Maieutics

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by Nemesis Scar, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Chapter 1

    "Now, who can tell me how Sentinel Zeta (as he was known then) managed to achieve his sweeping series of victories over the naval forces of Clench's Destron Empire? Tonans, how about you? You haven't answered lately."

    Ironhide frowned as he watched the usually quite silent mech stutter out his answer. The boy was bright, no doubt. His structure was just lacking in overall integrity.

    "W-well, sir, Zeta abandoned the then-common b-b-big gun focus that most c-c-capital ships had up to that point. H-he focused on basing a large number of f-f-fighters and other small spacecraft on them so that his squadrons could enjoy the benefit of beyond sensor-range engagements."

    Ironhide nodded in what could be interpreted as approval, and used his holochalk stylus to draw a basic diagram on the board. It depicted two basic types of warship. One was billowing with guns, while the other was a sleek affair with hangars on the side. X-ing out the former, he turned back to his students.

    "So, as Tonans said, the battleships of old relied on their sheer firepower - usually in the form of large main batteries consisting of long-range weaponry - to win their fights. While this was all fine and dandy when navies were battling it out in Cybertron's orbit and targeting the biggest heat signatures with their fire control systems, it would not be so for long. The advent of interstellar flight, space-to-space missiles, infrared stealth measures, and increased range on smaller starships changed the paradigm to favor ranges that the old ships couldn't engage effectively at.

    Now, here lay the genius of Sentinel Prime. He may not have been a great warrior personally - but by his aptitude for coordination and ability to adapt to change, he defeated Clench and brought a period of...tenuous peace..to Cybertron."

    The moment he said the last few words, the class as a whole felt a shadow - that of current events - come over them.

    "So, I feel that was...overly topical, but that's why we have Military, History and Analysis. So we can relate the past to what happens today in our future. Things - especially large conflicts like we seem to be heading towards - don't happen for no reason, do they? Anyhow, class dismissed. Our next lecture is to be one of my favorite subjects - the Thetacons's war against the occupying Protectobot forces and effective use of cunning guerrilla tactics to make up for numerical/technological inferiority."

    Looking in the general direction of the door, Ironhide groaned as he saw a familiar face enter as the younger Cybertronians leave.

    "Primus, of all the days for you to barge in, Warpath. You know what the kids just saw on those vidscreens - Kaon's chief Augur, shot down while speaking and the successful escape of his killer! A religious figure, a holy man, killed with impunity! The world on the edge of civil war! Seeing you - a prominent officer - is just going to confirm their fears."

    His visitor merely responded to this with a dismissive grunt. His speaking voice was a low roar, a spring under tension, about to be released.

    "Tough. The sooner the illusions of peacetime shatter, the better. You know why I'm here, Sergeant."

    Ironhide sighed.

    "I'm retired."

    "Read your discharge and separation document again. There should be a provision regarding this. Bottom, second page. You knew this would happen when you went to the Academy on the Senate's bill."

    Ironhide pulled said papers out of his desk. Paper, a needless formality in his opinion, was still insisted upon by the Government - harder to forge, they said. Reading the relevant words out loud, he realized that Warpath, sadly, was right.

    "In exchange for benefits offered, I, Ironhide, sign myself into the Lifetime Reserve to be called up at the discretion of the Armed Forces of the Republic, in times of planetary emergency."

    Warpath put his hand on Ironhide's shoulder.

    "Sorry, buddy. It's there in ink, though. Ain't nothing more binding in the state's eyes."
     
  2. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Chapter 2 - Processing

    "So, Sergeant...Ironhide, am I right? "

    "Yes, ma'am. That's me."

    Ironhide looked around the room. It was clinical as one could be with a limited budget and the good graces of a military establishment that spent more time preparing for war than execution of it. The wall were smooth and white, occasionally broken up with the occasional panel line. Rounded furniture blended into the walls, with the doctor (he thought she was a doctor, at least) having a small platform on hover casters in the center of the room.

    Her single, red optic glared at him, seeking out imperfection and obsolescence. This was not just his imagination. Ironhide knew that beside the femme's cosmetic alterations to look as neutral as possible, she was scrutinizing him from every angle with every artifice and sensor she could bring to bear - visible spectrum or no.

    It reminded him of darker, uglier times. Times where these examinations were used to crack on those attempting to pass as a different caste, or those with useless alternate forms.

    "...You check out, mostly. Not at all bad for a old mech, not at all bad for someone protoformed when the Council was still a thing. Only real notable thing to me is the single position and one mode T-cog. Don't worry, I'm not going to root around your internals. I'm just diagnostics, examination and re-engineering assessment - so I'm just here to note what needs replacing for the guy who does. That task falls to a Specialist, Medical Re-Engineering Surgeon, First Class. I'll put you on the queue of this facility's RES - Corpsman Ratchet, I think?"

    Ironhide gulped. Re-engineering, while completely safe, was still disconcerting to him. Rooting about someone's body with minimally invasive methods, removing the Primus-given internals, and replacing them with more advanced ones was dangerous territory. Somebody could "re-engineer" a dissident against their will, if they had the right tools, couldn't they? And what about the religious implications?

    "You know, a one position/one mode T-cog isn't a bad thing. Triple changing may be the expedient thing to do, but a specialized body is sure to perform the task better, right? "

    Ironhide opened his mouth, about to lecture her over how subtle of a device a transformation cog was, but immediately snapped it shut.

    "Hey, old-timer? Good luck out there."

    Pressing a button, she barked a few short words into the intercom and left, ready to process yet another recruit.

    "Room 4 ready for transfer to Re-engineering Wing. Gurney Autosled required at Room 4."

    It took a few minutes for the autosled to arrive, but when it did, Ironhide merely sat down and let the thing take him to his destination - a room with a bed, and the necessary provisions for re-engineering. Lying down, he waited for at least 10 kliks before somebody leaned into the doorframe and took a short look before coming in. The visitor shared a body-type with him, making it obvious to Ironhide that both were around the same age.

    He reviewed a datapad, making various noises, that to his patient's ears, indicated interest.

    "Well, Sergeant Ironhide. Specialist, Re-Engineering Auxiliary Adrestia's report here tells me you're in need of a T-Cog upgrade. Simple, quick, minimally invasive re-engineering procedure. Now, of course, like all re-engineering, I'm going to need to use a anesthetic so you don't feel discomfort. Just a simple shot of receptor blockers before I make the needed incision, and you shouldn't feel a thing. Oh, I suppose I should show what exactly I'm putting inside you, shouldn't I?"

    Ratchet, as Ironhide assumed that his doctor was called, paced over to the platform on hover-casters and retrieved a small, grey orb with a orange core that pulsed with light. It's clean lines looked nothing like the diagrams that Ironhide had saw in the anatomy textbooks - bulky messes of folding panels, vacuum tubes and hydraulic cabling that looked more like Cybertronians in of themselves.

    "Neat, isn't it? Far more energy-efficient, lighter, and it allows for a third alternate mode. The Engineering Guild, back when you and I had to fear being taken off the streets if we so as much breathed the wrong way for our caste, censured me for creating the first of these. They said it promised to "unravel the fabric of our society". They got that right, at the very least. They definitely weren't expecting the first practical Triple Changers when they knocked on the Council's doors and paid them a little visit. I didn't do that set of surgeries on Boltwing and Astrohauler, though. That was Specialist, Practical Re-Engineering Technician Pharma.

    Hell of a guy, Pharma...anyhow, I probably should inject you now.."

    Ratchet reached for the small of Ironhide's back and stuck it with a syringe. Ironhide felt...puffy, to say the least. He looked up for a minute or two, pretending to be deeply interested in the ceiling. Looking down would probably be distressing.

    "Weld that plate back on, connect those, and...you should be good to go. How are you feeling, big guy?"
    Ironhide, attempting to speak a response, found that his oral plates were far too big to actually do so. Ratchet was obviously trying to avoid laughing, which made the old soldier wonder if he could get away with striking the doctor.

    "Sorry about that - I forgot to tell you that receptor blockers puff your oral plates up, didn't I? Anyhow, do you mind if I keep your old cog for research? It's not everyday I see one with such well-aligned plates..."

    Ironhide had absolutely no idea what Ratchet was talking about, and merely nodded his head as to speed up the process.

    "Capital! That's going to go a long way, you have no idea how far. It's going to be a few hours before you come down and return to normal, so you'll ship out for Lifetime Reservist Reacclimation and Retraining in two cycles. L-triple R is usually just them getting you back into shape, and easing you back in. Relax, Sergeant, you're on easy street..."
     
  3. greboguru

    greboguru Psychedelic Brainchild

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    So, why'd you choose "Maieutics" as your title?
     
  4. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    You want the official explanation or the explanation?

    The official one is that the story focuses on teacher and student. The real one is that I like being pretentious with Latin words.

    --------
    Chapter 3 - Point of View


    Tonans paced about, occasionally stopping to read the oscilloscope on the side of his charge - a Sky Guardian Mk. II Air Defense System battery, SAMs facing the sky and guns down. From time to time, it even got exciting! He had to adjust the display! Wonders of wonders.

    This was not at all what Warpath had said it would be. At all. He was bored out of his mind. He really shouldn't have said he was skilled with electronics. He wouldn't be here - guarding this Vanguard-class carrier and it's battle group in a aerospace installation far behind the lines.

    "And Tonans, what advance heralded the end of functionism and the rise of our current social order?"

    "Well, sir, the development of multi-position t-cogs."

    "Can you really say our current social order has done much to advance the cause of the unfortunates who suffered in the previous? Kaon's nobles still have to sell their ancient lands to resource speculators, gladiatorial combat still occurs, and the Kaonian dead still have to be recycled in smelting pools for their families to survive the next few cycles. Can you really say that? "

    "This is a history class, sir. Not a sociology or political science class."

    "Ah, but what is history but examining trends?"

    "I don't k-k-know, sir."

    Tonans read the oscilloscope, and saw it spike repeatedly, indicating only one thing. Activating the fire control computer and the attached gun-sight, he sounded the alarm.

    "S-Seekers 10'o'clock!"

    The first didn't even see the plume of smoke and fire as the Sky Guardian's missile rose from it's launch rail to the skies in mere instants. As it raced towards it's target, the Sky Guardian actuated to face the rest of the Seeker's friends - several Terajets swarming around a Skyraider tactical bomber and Skyswoop air warning platform.

    The Skyraider and the Tetrajet immediately turned left and went burners on, giving the IR seekers a wonderful target - until the smoke, chaff and flares came out. Tonans cursed to himself, before realizing exactly what they were doing.

    The Skyraider was the first to fly over the outer border of air defenses, unleashing it's payload of TV-guided glide bombs on the Sky Guardian batteries. It's Tetrajet escorts followed, strafing his comrades before transforming into robot mode to finish Tonans and his friends off. His breath became a series of short, quiet huffs as he slumped back and let himself lie back on the ground - hoping to at least fool them.

    "Well, blimey, Buzzer. I think we just about mopped 'em all up. Nope, this one's still breathing. Quick fix."

    He heard the scream of a Null Ray discharging, and smelled the resulting ozone. His mind raced - would they know? - as he realized they were coming closer. Then he came face-to-face with one of the Seekers.

    "Nice shot, Torch. Look at dis white one here, he's tryna play dead. Let's have some fun."

    "Don't mind if I do!"

    He was lifted up by his arms by the largest of the three. Straining to get loose, he realized that the Seeker was far too strong.

    "Imma break you."

    "P-p-please, m-m-mercy!"

    "E's begging for mercy! His kind don't know what the word mercy means! Crush him, Ripper! Crush hi-iggggghhh"

    A shot rang out, caving in the Seeker's face on impact. A mere second later, the shell that had embedded itself within exploded with great force, turning his head to shrapnel and shards of twisted metal.

    "Torch? You killed Torch, you bastard!"

    The large Seeker dropped Tonans to the ground, running to his fallen brother's side. Tonans turned to see his rescuer, and was moderately impressed.

    It was a red and blue 'mech, with kibble suggesting he transformed into - a tank, maybe? A cargo hauler? Firefighting unit? Maybe even a very unaerodynamic jet? - something quite large and with a very flat front section.

    "He will be only the first if you don't retreat. I'm going to count to three. You thugs better be gone by then."

    "Ya killed Torch, you slagging piece of slag! DIE!"

    His rescuer sighed as the large Seeker charged him, his eyes filled with murderous rage.

    "So be it. You had your chance."

    A second shot, then a third sent chunks of the large Seeker flying away, but were not lethal - allowing him to close and crush Tonan's rescuer's weapon. But as soon as he did, he was sent flying by a single blow from the rescuer's mighty fist.

    The other surviving Seeker opened fire with his Null Ray, then flew towards the attacker as the rescuer fell to his knees. It was then that Tonans mustered the courage to fight, lifting his service rifle off of the ground and delivering a burst of automatic fire to the Seeker's back, then running up to finish him off with a power jab through his foe's spark chamber.

    Tonans had never killed before - but watching his foe die? It was terrifying. The dying seeker's armor slowly turned black from the head down, until it at last reached his feet - and he vanished into a cloud of blackish-greyish dust, falling to the ground below. As he turned to look for his rescuer, he found him standing over the large Seeker.

    "You had your chance."

    "You killed Torch and Buzzer. You killed 'em."

    "You killed many more. Two wrongs does not make a right."

    "You wordy little sh - itghhhhhhhg."

    Having finished off the Seeker with his own Null Ray, the rescuer turned to Tonans.

    "Specialist, Oscilloscope Reading and Fire Control, Optronix at your service. I presume you and I are the last survivors of this battery of air defenses. If so, we are heading back to HQ."
     
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  5. Stonecrusher

    Stonecrusher Just another Edgelord

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    Man, Optronix is COLD.
     
  6. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Chapter 4 - Sentinel

    "Is this true, Specialist?"

    "All of it, Colonel. The e-e-entire outer ring is gone. And I would have been scrap if Optronix here hadn't arrived."

    Tonans watched Prowl's face shift from it's normal, seemingly distant face to a expression that could have vaguely been described as fear, then to despair. The mathematician-cum-strategist was not given to such displays - which made Tonans's concern reach fever pitch. If Prowl was scared, what hope did any of them have?

    "More losses. Our logistical situation has outpaced the vision the Senate has for this war, and I keep telling Prime this - we don't have enough energon, enough spare parts, and enough bodies for the next offensive. But he want - "

    "I'm well aware of the reality of this war, Prowl."

    The head of a massive figure leaned into the bunker, his blazing orange armor and faceplate making it clear his identity. It was Sentinel Prime - the 'mech, the legend. His face was a mess of lines and scars, evidence of his extreme age.

    "PRIME ON THE DECK!"

    "At ease, Sergeant Boss. Colonel Prowl, the matter at hand - logistics. Where exactly do you think we might source more Energon? A army marches on it's stomach, it's lubricant, it's servos."

    "Well, sir, unless you're keen on raiding Trypticon Station, I see only one real answer to that problem. "

    "That being, Colonel?"

    "We head to another planet and process it's fuel to create more."

    Sentinel Prime's face contorted with disgust at this suggestion, his faceplate unfolding to drive home the point to Prowl.

    "And sacrifice another, younger world for our dying planet's sake? To do exactly what Megatron and his ilk have advocated all these years in that rag Towards Peace? I suppose next you want the planetary engines fired up."

    "Your ideals are noble, Prime, but we can't just waste away until we die! If that happens, they'll be free to conquer any world they want - to take as they want! Do you want that?"

    "No. But this is not the answer."

    "IT'S THE ONLY WAY!"

    Prowl stood up from his desk, stomping towards the giant head in the doorway. Both Tonans and Optronix swiftly got out of his way, not at all eager to stand between the two.

    "Listen, Prime. There has to be compromise if we are to survive. One world. That's it. "

    "We'll never stop at one. The Council never did. Nova Prime never did. You think I haven't heard this before, Prowl? I am vorns old. It's always the same thing - we'll only do it once, never twice, never mind that we did! It's always the same talk, it's always the same lies.

    I will quash this rebellion - but not at the cost of dragging other species into our fight. I will never sacrifice another world for Cybertron. It is immoral to spread this war to another world. End of discussion."

    "If I promise to do my best to prevent that, will you sign off on the Ark's launch? You raised me, Prime. You taught me all you know. You can trust me. For Cybertron's sake, Prime. Please."

    This brought Sentinel to a brief pause before he spoke, withdrawing his head from the doorway.

    "I'll consider it, Prowl. I'll consider it."

    Prowl, sighing, returned to his desk and sat down. He slumped into his chair, clearly drained from the conversation. His optics seemed to stare not at the surroundings, but some far-off place.

    "I hate myself for manipulating the old 'mech like that. But it has be to done - for the sake of Cybertron. Sergeant Boss, do you think you can fit Specialists Tonans and Optronix into your squad?"

    A blue 'mech, having previously hunched over the console, turned to face Prowl with a salute. His single red optic took a quick look at the two, then he nodded.

    "They'll make a fine addition to the team - the red one especially. Orders, sir?"

    "Excellent. You are to salvage the remaining Sky Guardian units and redistribute them amongst the remaining batteries - try not to get killed."

    "As you command. Rev up and roll out, men!"

    --------

    Optronix looked around as the assembled squad ripped up the ground (and in Specialist, Ground Attack, Rotorstorm's case, the skies) beneath them, and felt a sense of...belonging? It made no real sense to him. He had only known these 'mechs for a hour at best. They screeched to a stop, transforming to look over the remains of the outer defense battery. What they saw was not a pretty scene - most of the Sky Guardians were toast, the rest in varying states of disrepair. Sergeant Boss and his adjunct, Corporal Scorch, were at a loss to explain it.

    "Six 'Cons did all this? Primus. Specialist Hurricane, what do you make of this?"

    "Seems like the defenses weren't able to transmit target data from first contact to the rest of the batteries. But that's impossible. Those data links are quadruplex redundant, and it would take someone with innate knowledge of the system's workings to disable that. No 'Con Skyswoop would be able to do that without help."

    The last few words from Hurricane were a blow in of themselves. It meant one thing - someone was working against them on the inside. And it was somebody high up. These ruminations, however, were swiftly interrupted with Rotorstorm's radar beeping.

    "Multiple land contacts, 10'o'clock sharp!"

    "Flash, intercept! Scorch, Hurricane, weapons primed! Optronix, Tonans, covering fire! Rotorstorm, be ready to blast them with your missiles!"

    The team fanned out, with Flash taking point in alt-mode, speeding towards the contacts. Rotorstorm hovered overhead, while Scorch, Boss and Hurricane took cover behind a destroyed Sky Guardian. Optronix primed his ion blaster, and waited. Tonans, as he now knew the 'mech he rescued as, crouched beside him - clearly afraid.

    "W-w-we're all going to die."

    "Not just yet, friend."

    The first shots flew overhead, and the battle had begun. From the short glimpses he got in between firing a shot then crouching back cover, the enemy primarily seemed to consist of Overcharge-type land drones.

    "To the pit with ye, beasts!"

    Boss's laser rifle's barrel was red-hot as he unleashed a hail of fire towards the Overcharges, running back to behind the duracrete barriers that formed the outer borders of the air defense battery.

    "It's no use, there's too many of them! We need to retreat!"

    "I make that call, Scorch. Not you."

    Scorch was right. There were thousands of Overcharges storming the aerospace installation, blasting their way through the seven defenders with careless ease. For each one Optronix killed, it seemed that two more took their place - a endless horde of grey armor and purple energy bolts, bearing down on them.

    It was then that Rotorstorm landed, unleashing a barrage of guided missiles and unguided rockets on the drones before opening fire with his service rifle.

    "Leader-1 is in AO! I repeat, Leader-1 is in AO! Hold on, people. We've got Prime backing us up!"

    Optronix looked into the distance and felt his spark squeeze a bit as he saw a all-too familiar shape emerge from amidst the Overcharge drones. Towering from above the assembled drones, a single 'mech commanded the attention of all present. It was Megatronus, just as he remembered him from his years spent in Kaon. Might, charisma and hatred alike radiated off the steely grey armor of the former champion like heat, choking all around him with it. His purple optics narrowed as he saw the seven defenders, and his face twisted with rage.

    "To the last - kill them all! Not a single biolight shining! Death to the Autobots, and to the stagnation that they stand for! Decepticons, attack! "

    He turned to behind him - and saw their leader, with Prowl and a unfamiliar red vehicle speeding towards them with multiple Autotroopers behind them. The skies were black with flying Seekers and their support aircraft, with streaks of light joining them as the other air defense batteries roared to life.

    As he turned back towards the matter at hand, he saw Tonans charging towards the Decepticon leader. He reached out to stop him, tried to warn him, but his hand wouldn’t move - his mouth wouldn’t say the words.

    “You k-k-killed my f-f-f-riends! “

    Megatronus, bemused, merely snapped up the white ‘mech and lifted Tonans by his neck. The gladiator seemed to almost be studying the young ‘mech.

    “And what if I did? This war is necessary to return us to glory! Your friends stood in the way of progress.”

    “M-m-monster.”

    “Such heroic nonsense.”

    It was like a dream - Megatronus raised his arm and unfolded it, revealing his Energon mace. It was a scene Optronix had seen all too many times - only for the replay to be interrupted with a burst of fire raking both Megatronus and Tonans. The massive shadow of Sentinel Prime stood over Optronix, and the massive Autobot leader stomped forth to do battle - his vast arsenal of death-dealing devices cutting his way through the Overcharge horde. The Autotroopers followed him, ramming and strafing their way through.


    “You and me. You’re my monster, Megatronus. And I’m going to put you down myself!”

    “We shall see about that, Prime! We shall see!”

    Megatronus dropped Tonans to the ground as he charged Sentinel Prime, allowing Optronix to rush over to his fallen comrade’s side. Though he couldn’t say why, he had a feeling this battle was one of apocalyptic proportions.
     
  7. Stonecrusher

    Stonecrusher Just another Edgelord

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    Oh dear.
     
  8. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Chapter 5 - Darkest Hour

    Master Sergeant Ironhide sped into battle, ramming any and all Overcharges in his way. His eyes fixed on his fallen student, and the young 'mech defending it from the endless horde. Megatron would pay dearly for this. If Prime didn't finish off the beast himself, Ironhide certainly would.

    "Going somewhere, Autobot?"

    He transformed and turned to face a hulking 'con with tank kibble, wings, and purple armor. Could it be? It was impossible, Boltwing was with the Autobots. It sure as hell looked like him.

    "Bol- Blitzwing shall - we shall destroy you! Blitzwing stronger than all!"

    Ironhide merely transformed, revealing his newly-added third form - a heavily armed main battle tank. A short blast from his main gun sent his adversary flying backwards, and as Ironhide transformed, he closed to melee range - fists flying, sending shards of metal flying from the foe's body with every blow. A good straight knocked the 'con away to rest amongst fallen Overcharges, and Ironhide was free to proceed towards Tonans.

    "Tonans? Speak, kid, speak to me! "

    "P-p-professor? Is that you, sir?"

    "Just Sergeant now, Tonans. And don't you ever call a NCO "sir", hear? "

    "Yes, s-si-Sergeant. How am I?"

    Ironhide turned to face the red 'mech who had stood vigil over Tonans. The blue optics that stared back at him seemed so...sad and depressed. Like looking into a turbofox pup's eyes. It was depressing Ironhide just looking at them.

    "You want to tell the kid, or do you want me to do it?"

    "I'd prefer that you do it, Sergeant. "

    Ironhide gulped with fear, looking Tonans over. Kid was messed up, no doubt about that. Sentinel wasn't called "Walking Arsenal" for no reason - most of Tonans's limbs were either gone outright or so damaged as to be useless.

    "Kid, don't panic. But I'm unsure if you'll be able to fight after thi -"

    Ironhide was interrupted by the voice of Megatronus sounding out like a klaxon.

    "Decepticons, retreat!"

    Ironhide turned to see the Decepticon horde turning back. And when he saw the site of where Sentinel and the rebel leader had thrown down, he understood.

    There was Prowl, on his knees before the battered, smoking corpse of Sentinel Prime. In the distance, Ironhide saw a wall of red - Warpath's forces from the Iacon garrison, speeding to back up the defenders. From all around, Autobots gathered around the titanic body of their fallen leader.

    "No."

    The red mech stomped forward to stand beside Ironhide, putting his hands on the older 'mech's shoulder.

    "I am afraid it is true - Sentinel Prime is dead. If the noblest of all can fall in battle, then what chance do we have?"

    "This is truly our darkest hour, kid. Prime was all that stood between the 'Cons and victory - not just physically, but as a leader.

    Without his command prowess, none of us will survive..."

    Tonans's voice joined the conversation, unwavering and clear in tone.

    "A new leader is needed, Sergeant. And do you really think Prowl is up to the task right now? Or General Warpath? "

    Ironhide didn't know how to answer, and merely buried his head in his hands.
     
  9. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Chapter 6 - Eulogy

    "Yes, we have lost our leader. Yes, we have lost a friend. And yes, I have lost a father. But Sentinel Prime did not die in vain. He died so we might live - and so that we might live without fear."

    Prowl was uncomfortable giving a eulogy for Prime. It wasn't that they weren't close - it was that they were so close. He tried to restrain himself - mourning was good, but the eyes of the Autobots were on him. He had to hold them together, and this was the key.

    "In life, Prime was unyielding. Neither corrupt civilian governments nor Destron marauders could faze my father. When his enemies - Destron, Decepticon, or Functionist - pushed on him, they found a mech who could not - would not yield. In politics and war, he stood firm - a mighty rock for the innocent to stand on . "

    Prowl wanted to prostrate himself before Prime's body and weep. What did it matter now? Nothing could bring his father back. But this - this was what Prime would have wanted.

    "Prime once said to me that the good should never abandon their dependents - the weak who need the strong. To my father, doing so was a mortal sin. We, Autobots, we are the strong. Will we betray Prime's memory?
    Will we break down and surrender?"

    The answer was a loud roar, a unified answer from the crowd. It filled the Colonel with pride, just hearing it.

    "Never!"
    The crowd dispersed, and Prowl saw a series of white silhouettes racing towards Prime's body. Prowl did not object. He had asked them here.

    Prime's death would give the wounded new life. It was what he had wanted, he had told Prowl to do so. And as the medics stripped away the massive Apex Armor that had so long had been bonded to his father - he saw the mech as he remembered him.

    Not as a war machine, not as a leader, but his father.
     
  10. Stonecrusher

    Stonecrusher Just another Edgelord

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    Got me right here man.
     
  11. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Chapter 7 - Rebirth

    “Hey, kid! Wakey, wakey! Uncle Ratchet doesn’t have all day, now!”

    Hell of a bedside manner.

    Tonans groaned as he sat up, looking around him. The sterile surroundings, and bump-like protrusions extending from the walls to serve various purposes - including the bed he was - confirmed his suspicions. He had been taken from the battlefield to this place, that much he knew. Now, what exactly had been done to him in the missing time?

    He looked down. His legs looked different.

    “Now, kid, don’t panic. You were too wrecked to even serve as a binary load lifter in the shipyards, so Sentinel Prime’s parts were used to give you something a bit more...combat-suited.“

    The realization hit him like a pile of plasteel bricks. He had died on the battlefield. Tonans -at least the person he knew himself as - was dead. But Prime had given him new life in death. A new name was in order. Now, what did his old name translate to from Southern Cybertronix? Clashing of Thunder? Something long-winded and overly descriptive. He liked the sound of that, though. Just a little bit simpler.

    He turned to rush out the door, and found himself stopped by a familiar old hand.
     
  12. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

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    Just got caught up. Pretty well written honestly. I love Optronix's entrance, and what seems to be Thunderclash's origin here. Did NOT expect Tonans to actually be anyone. I think Ironhide's my favourite so far. Just his overall reluctance to participate, and his struggle to adjust to modern warfare makes for an interesting character.
     
  13. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Chapter 8 - Descent

    Optronix was falling, tumbling through the air. Up became down, and vice versa in a matter of seconds. While disorienting, it was utterly and absolutely thrilling. Or perhaps it was utterly and absolutely terrifying. Hard to tell these days, no?

    A pinging noise interrupted his ruminations - the sound of the jump pack on his back activating. It was followed by the deafening roar of the jump pack’s attitude control thrusters orienting him in the correct position, and that, followed by the propulsive landing systems kicking into gear.

    He landed softly on the ground, waiting for Prowl’s input.

    “Alright, ‘mechs, good landing. Now, Tyrex’s men should be inbound - “

    A loud crash interrupted Prowl, and all turned to face the source - a dropship lithobraking to a landing not too far from their location. Boss shook his head as he watched the dropship dig a trench behind itself.

    “Sure, in the air, his pilot is great. But the whole landing part eludes her.”

    Panels on the left-hand side folded upwards and away from a doorway, with a ramp extending downwards from the dropship. What emerged was a rather motley collection of Autobots.

    The first to egress was a lithe and short femme, her thin physique suggesting a Vosian heritage. Optronix’s theories along these lines were confirmed with further examination - jet kibble and obvious lift fans jutted out from her back. He was surprised but not unhappy to hear her speak - in peacetime, her chipper voice would have made her a good telescreen announcer.

    “Sorry, mates. My bad!”

    After the femme, a far more threatening figure emerged. His heavily armored frame was decorated with a bevy of spikes, and in the center of his chest was a great pit. A great torrent of flame issued forth from within.

    Finally, a imposing mech stepped forth, towering above all present. His mighty frame rippled with barely-contained power and rage, his every motion
    leading seamlessly into the next.

    “I am Tyrex. The burning mech is Tricex, and our “pilot” is Divebomb. Your orders, Colonel.”

    “Tyrex, you and your team are to escort us into the depths of the planet.“

    “Yes, Colonel, sir.”

    Optronix realized why they had come here, to the Sonic Canyons. It was the only access in neutral or Autobot territory to the Underworld. Prowl was clearly intending to delve deep into Cybertron - how deep, he did not know.

    “Listen, Colonel, you never told us why we’re here.”

    “We’re here to light our darkest hour, Sergeant.”

    Prowl transformed into his pursuit vehicle alternate form, speeding off towards the crevice that allowed entry to the Underworld. Boss’s squad and Tyrex’s group followed not too far behind, skidding to a halt before the massive crack in the skin of Cybertron.

    “Lights on, people! I have no idea what is down there besides the basic structure, so keep your weapons warm.“

    They jumped blindly into the crevice and let themselves fall, using the jump packs to slow the speeds of their descent to a safe level. Boss growled, and glared at Prowl.

    "You’re not being clear. Why take us to the middle of nowhere and have us dive into the unknown? Answer me, Primus damn it all.“

    “Trust me, Sergeant. Try to refrain from blasphemy while we're down here, too.”

    They tumbled downward, into the vast and unknown darkness below.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  14. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Chapter 9 - Black Autobrands, Black Sunglasses, Black Suitcases

    Ironhide groaned. The kid was heavy beyond belief now - but Prowl's orders were clear. Get the kid, and get the two of them debriefed by Intelligence.

    The holodramas depicted Intelligence as omniscient G-Men, but they were nothing of the sort, in his opinion. They were, at spark, skilled at gathering and processing information - black-bag scrap was instead usually carried out by Tyrex or Impactor's units, depending on the level of subtlety desired. Thus, you could expect used bodyframe salesmen, former data clerks, and even radio personalities to fill their ranks.

    Riding an auto-sled through the Decagon, the two stepped off at a door marked with a black Autobrand.

    "A-a-am I in trouble? Are w-we in trouble?"

    "Kid, Intel is Intel. We'll see."

    Shifting Tonans to his other shoulder, Ironhide flung open the door. A young'un, whose yellow bodyframe and kibble evidenced a high-speed courier mode, took Tonans off of his shoulder. His eyes were covered by a horned face shield that curved downward from his forehead and ended at where his olfactory sensor receptacle would be.

    "Specialist Tonans and Master Sergeant Ironhide have arrived, sir. En route to debriefing room Gamma I. Over. "

    They walked through the room - a standard affair for Intelligence, even back in Ironhide's day. On the wall, holoscreens displayed various information - telemetry from Aerialbots, sensor readouts, and current events were what Ironhide recognized. On either side of the room, lowered pits held cubicles for SIGINT specialists - generally either data clerks or those of the former "Disposable" caste - and CYBINT specialists - who were far more varied in body types. The yellow 'mech leaned over to a pair sitting unusually close together around a water cooler.

    "Rewind, I'd like a printout of those radar returns from the Sonic Canyons on my desk when I get back from debriefing these two."

    "Right away, Lieutenant!"

    "Chromedome, I have need of your talents in G1."

    The larger of the pair, whose insignia identified him as both LFINT (Lifeform Intelligence) and CYBINT, got up and followed the yellow mech.

    "Is that Ironhide? By Vraccas's Hammer, old 'mech. You put me through BCT, what in the Pit are you doing here?"

    Ironhide racked his brain module for memories. His last solar cycle before initially he left was spent as a drill sergeant, yes. He didn't remember this one, though.

    "You might remember me as Tumbler, Master Sergeant."

    Ah, yes! That jogged his memory! Tumbler, from Ironhide's memory, was a quiet but competent recruit - doing above average on the speed-interval runs, and having benchmark performance on the range. Not particularly notable, but a good recruit nonetheless. Did he transform into a safe? Or was it a IFV? Ironhide couldn't remember.

    "What prompted the name change?"

    "I took the MOS test and apparently showed the talents necessary for mnemosurgery and cyber intelligence processing. Seems they're rather fond of head-themed names at the Lifeform Intelligence School, so I went with something that fit both disciplines. "

    The four rounded a corner, and entered a hallway. From there, they entered the first room on the left - guarded by a red and purple-armored Aerialbot femme. It was a spartan affair - two chairs on either side of a table, with a holo-projector dead center in the middle of the table.

    "Have a seat, Master Sergeant. Prowl wanted us to go over the compromised air defenses. Specifically, the nature of the sabotage performed on them."

    The air defenses had been sabotaged? This was news to him.

    "Well, the kid was out there both times, and I only arrived with Sentinel Prime. If you want to get answers, his brain module is the best place to start. Tonans?"

    "It's T-t-thunderclash, now, Sergeant. And yes, go ah - ahead.."

    Ironhide breathed a sigh of relief as Chromedome wrapped his fingers around the top of Tona - Thunderclash's head. Terrible as it sounded to him, he was glad the mnemosurgeon wasn't going to root around in his memories this cycle. He winced as Chromedome popped the top plate off of Thunderclash's head and began running his needle-like fingers over the brain module.

    The noise of actuators firing made Ironhide even more queasy, and the accompanying image of the needle-fingers shooting into Thunderclash's brain module didn't help one bit.

    "I'm in, Bee. Primus, the 'cons were executing the wounded. This Optronix 'mech - commendation of some sort? Maybe a promotion? Hmm. It appears there was a Skyswoop in the area at the time. Skyquake's bunch? Data link appears to be the part that failed on those Sky Guardians, Bee. That requires someone with intimate knowledge of such things - a AWACs radar operator or computer specialist."

    "Did the kid's squad ascertain who did it?"

    "Nope, 'Cons dropped on them before Specialist Hurricane could do so, sir. His theory was of a mech on the inside - I don't think that's plausible, considering my knowledge of those data links. If anyone could do it, Air Commander Skyquake could, though."

    The mention of that name made Bumblebee's face shield lift up, revealing wide, blue and surprisingly innocent optics. Ironhide consulted his memory about the title - a relic of when Vos was a Destron trading hub, perhaps? It seemed too militaristic for Senate and Functionalist times.

    "Skyquake is meticulous and intelligent enough to do so, yes. But he mostly delegates things to either Starscream or Thundercracker, he almost never leads operations himself. And when he does so, he does with little to no subtlety."

    "Well, we can cross him off the list. Perhaps Starscream?'

    "That does seem his style, yes - deceitful, excessive use of air power. Being responsible for the death of Sentinel would serve his ambitions for leadership well, too."

    Bumblebee pushed a few soft keys hidden in recesses on the table's surface, causing panels to unfold and reveal a Vector Sigma terminal. A screen emerged from a wall panel to face towards Ironhide and Thunderclash, showing what Bumblebee was seeing on his end.

    Bee was going through dossiers - "Tech Specs", as they were colloquially called by grunts - of prominent Decepticons. Megatronus, Soundwave, Skyquake, Starscream, the entire High Command had been extensively documented - psychologically and physically - in those files. A couple key presses later, and a smug, almost emaciated face was filling the screen - with his dossier a short scroll away.

    Designation: Starscream
    Function
    : Lieutenant Sky Commander

    Loyalty and honor seem to escape this individual. Skyquake's predilections towards abuse of his subordinates do not win him any points in this Seeker's eyes. Possible point of contact for intelligence on the Predator Assault Team, if his pride and ego are appealed to by the agent doing the collection of intelligence. Nevertheless, Starscream is a dangerous and unpredictable individual to deal with - caution is advised.

    Analysis of wounds found on casualties from Vos massacres, Seeker deserters, and debriefings of those who have engaged this individual have revealed the use of weapons capable of creating a directed electromagnetic pulse without the use of critical mass weaponry - an intriguing development if unique to this individual.

    Skilled aerial combatant, and possibly less at home on the ground than in the air if the trend regarding Seekers holds true. As part of Project Proteus under Intelligence Directive 1984-9-17, massive amounts of records were uncovered on most Vosian and Kaonian citizens. From analysis of this wealth of intelligence, it appears that Starscream was once Ulchtar - a promising airframe designer with a history of political radicalism.

    Ironhide's eye glazed over at all this. Who spent this much time analyzing and studying their enemies when they could blast them? It was absurd. His ruminations were interrupted by Bumblebee turning off the terminal and slamming his yellow-armored fist to the table surface. His face shield flew back onto his face, signalling his rage to those around him.

    "We know who to kneecap and throw in a Tox-En pool, at the very least. You two are under my command for the time being. Welcome to Strike Platoon Orvus."
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  15. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Chapter 10 - A3

    “Colonel Prowl, not to be a downer or anything, love, but...this is sort of a bad idea! Y’know, I hear that sewer mutants dwell the Underworld and eat the ones who can’t get out.”

    “That’s just a legend, Divebomb. Everyone knows Prime wiped out the Mutants just like he wiped out Clench’s Destrons. Right, Sergeant Boss? ”

    “Quiet, Flash. Prowl, how long until we reach the bottom?“

    “About...now.”

    The ground they landed on was unusually soft - not at all like walking on the surface of Cybertron. It looked different too - almost like a membrane stretched along the ground itself. Before them, a seemingly endless row of thin lights lighted the equally long tunnel ahead

    “What is this place, Prowl?”

    “The place where Sentinel Zeta became Sentinel Prime.”

    “That’s still not an explanation, Prowl!”

    Prowl stomped down the corridor, as if he had been in it before. Boss’s squad, not sure where else to go, followed the son of Sentinel Prime. Tyrex scoffed at this, however.

    “This is a fool’s errand. What good can there be to be found in the Underworld? All that dwells in there is death - and there is more than enough of that to be found on the surface.”

    “Quiet, Tyrex. I have come to claim my birthright.”

    “You would lead? One whose mind is more how he can maximise efficiency rather than he might rule responsibly and justly?”

    This comment clearly angered Prowl, who stopped for a moment to face the hulking ‘mech.

    “The only reason you and your thugs aren’t rotting in a Kalisian prison right now is because of me, Tyrex. I saw that you lot were more than petty criminals. Perhaps I was wrong in my assessment.”

    Tyrex’s energo-sword roared to life and swung forward in his hand in a blur of motion, coming to a rest at Prowl’s throat.

    “Threaten my family like that again, Prowl. Go ahead. I’m waiting.”

    “You and your “family” can -”

    Boss threw himself between the two before Prowl could finish, his hand grasping tightly the blade at Prowl’s throat.

    “This solves nothing, you two. Prowl, why are we here? Now.”

    “Father contacted a unique entity in this part of the Underworld. He never spoke of what transpired down here, but he emerged with the Apex Armor. I hope to contact that same entity, so that we might win this war. “

    “You couldn’t tell us this?”

    “If you knew we were entering the Underworld, you could have refused. “

    “I will follow you to the ends of Cybertron, Prowl. But you can’t keep doing this to us if you hope to lead.”

    “Sergeant, Colonel, ya’ll might want to see this.”

    Optronix’s head turned to see Flash, who was standing before a massive wall-like structure at the end of the tunnel. There were three scenes on it, each rendered in shards of colored metal - maybe the armor of fallen warriors, maybe purpose-cast for the wall.

    The first was a scene of a figure, rendered almost entirely in black, with tiny figures rendered in a multitude of colors climbing all over it. They were not shaped like Cybertronians, nor did they possess the kibble that would denote them as such.

    Perhaps the figures were meant to be the children of the figure in black? Or were they fighting against a giant that threatened them? Without context, the meaning was unclear - uncertain, hazy visions divorced from the data behind them.

    The next was a cyan-blue face emerging from the ground, screaming in rage. The same figures from the previous mural were present - but limp and strewn all about, as if dead.

    The third and final mural was even more cryptic - a grand tower, rendered in blue and black, rising from what appeared to be the modern Sonic Canyons. But Optronix knew of no such tower in the general vicinity.

    “What do you make of it, Colonel?”

    Prowl ran his hand over the first mural, his eyes narrowing as he scanned it.

    “The Ancients kept many secrets, Flash. Come. “

    They turned from the mural wall to yet another tunnel, which ended in a seemingly empty chamber. Just as they entered, the floor unfolded and shifted, revealing a spiral staircase that seemed to descend ever downwards - and they heard footsteps coming up. The weapons of the assembled Autobots pointed towards the staircase, as if by instinct.


    “Hold your fire.“


    As the footsteps came closer, the Autobots could visually detect the sound’s source. It was a Cybertronian, that was for sure. His form, however, was far more twisted by age than even that of Sentinel Prime. His limbs were thin, the plates of purple armor that covered them loosely doing so. A long, unkempt beard issued forth from the lower portion of his faceplate.


    “I would rather not die today, travellers. “


    The new arrival’s eye flew to Prowl’s insignia. A short chuckle left his mouth as he saw it.

    “Been a long time since I saw the red face you’re wearing, young one. I presume you and the other one who came down are related somehow?”

    “If you’re talking about Sentinel Prime, yes. I’m his son, in fact.”

    “Sentinel Prime? Boy was brave coming down here, but he’s no Prime.”

    “My father’s status is not the reason I came here, old ‘mech. I have come to claim my birthright.”

    “Nobody is a born a Prime, boy. Come, let me show you one of those who became a Prime. It seems that might be the only way to hammer understanding into your mind.”

    The old ‘mech descended down the spiral staircase, and the Autobots followed - not sure why exactly, but drawn downward, nonetheless.

    “Behold. Autonomous Prime! For centuries he has slumbered, children. ”

    Prowl and Optronix both shared a glance with one another as their mouths fell open at the sight they saw - a giant cyan-armored faceplate poking out, with a unnerving similarity to the Autobot symbol they both wore.

    “Can you awake him, old ‘mech? If that is indeed a Prime down there, we have need of his power against Megatronus.“

    “Megatronus is dead - unless some fool has adopted his name for shock value. Things like that are why I stopped coming to the surface. But yes, theoretically, with enough Energon, the Prime could reawaken.”

    “You said he “became” a Prime. How does one do so?”

    The older ‘mech said the next two words matter-of-factly.

    “The Matrix.”

    “The what?”

    “I’m not sure, myself, to be fair. I am merely one who studies the mysteries of the Ancients. It is associated with the right to rule, wisdom and fairness in doing so. But whether it is a quality, a person, or an artifact is beyond me.”

    Optronix felt the need to interrogate the old ‘mech further, but stopped himself. He looked at his comrades. Hurricane looked uncomfortable - he wondered why. Flash was...Flash - not a lot went on up there in his brain module. Boss was merely shaking his head. Scorch's smile betrayed a hint of skepticism - which, admittedly, he shared.

    But Prowl and Tyrex looked hungry. This Matrix. What was it, and why did it elicit such varied reactions? This needed further analysis.

    “Come, young ones. We can discuss this in an environment you’ll find more hospitable, no doubt. I am Alpha Trion, archaeologist. ”
     
  16. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Torque is based off of the unnamed Throttlebot helicopter from some obscure German thing or another, I forget which.
    --- --- ---
    Chapter 11 - Breachers

    “ETA at 20 centi-cycles, Lieutenant Bumblebee. So far, the Vosian air defenses are relatively quiet. Going to hover around the AO if you need extraction.”

    “Thanks, Torque. Alright, men. Gather round. Sergeant Rollbar, if you please?”

    A green-armored ‘mech, whose chest bore a distinctive 9-slot grille pattern, pushed his way to the center of the group gathered in the dropship. His accent was unclear - it had the drawl of Southern Cybertronix, most definitely - Kaonian? Kalisian? Either way, the moment he opened his mouth, Thunderclash repressed the urge to groan at the sheer amount of cliches that exited it.

    “Alright, maggots! Listen up, we’re going to hit them hard - and we’re going to hit them fast! You will engage the enemy! You will place the detpacks on the gates and take out the guards so that 2nd Squad can breach the AO without fear! DO YOU HEAR ME, MAGGOTS? “

    “Sir, yes, sir!”

    The team sat down, hoping the ejection mechanisms worked properly. It was a act of Primus if the crash-suits’s shape memory alloys would work or not.

    As Thunderclash flew out of the seat, he breathed a sigh of relief as the metal did it’s work - immediately pushing out the cybertanium armor plates above it and into their correct configuration for landing. Slamming to a landing, he let forth a hail of fire at the hapless Seeker who just so happened to be below him - shredding his foe’s face into a rain of white, glowing fragments of metal. Stomping towards the first gate, he met resistance - a trine of seekers, their contrails thrice-staining the skies.

    “Stop that Autobot, Acid Storm!”

    The leftmost Seeker shot his weapon at him- and Thunderblast gritted his teeth with pain as a glob of corrosive material ate through the cybertanium and shape memory alloys in his suit, and began to eat at his paintjob.

    “Specialist, get clear!”

    Rolling to the side, he saw the leftmost Seeker fall to the ground and a fiery doom as a infrared-guided SAM struck his assailant. Turning to see his second rescuer in as many cycles, he was heartened to see Lieutenant Bumblebee on the field. Getting back to his feet, Thunderclash delivered a well-aimed shot from his handheld mortar launcher to the rightmost, blue-armored Seeker’s wing - splintering his foe’s control surfaces with the shrapnel, sending the Tetrajet careening out of control. Bumbleebee strode over to the left of them - and the gate. Slapping a detpack onto it, he motioned for Thunderclash to follow as he ran to get clear of the timed explosive’s radius.

    “Rollbar, how are you doing with the other gate?”

    “++Bzzt++ We’re pinned down, Lieutenant. ++Bzzt++ Scrap! Take this, you Decepti-punks! Yeah, that’s going to leave a mark, no?”

    Sighing one after another, ‘Bee and Thunderclash assumed their alternate forms. Thunderclash, using his reinforced frontal armor in his payload carrier form, smashed through the wall separating the two gates from one another - crushing a Seeker or two in the process.
    Returning to robot form, Thunderclash lay down suppressing fire while Bee moved to cover - with the two switching places when Thunderclash got to cover.
    “I have visual on you, Rollbar.”

    “I’m kinda hard to miss, sir!”

    Indeed, it was hard to miss the Sergeant. Rollbar was using his bare hands to cleave a swathe through the Decepticon ranks, headbutting and striking those that were dumb enough to get close to him. And to nobody’s surprise, a good deal were. The rest would meet their ends from the rest of the squad.

    “Bee, I’ll draw their attention - you place the detpack!”

    “That’s danger close, Sergeant! No-go! No-go! We’ll get rid of them the normal way!”

    Bee leaped up, using his vehicle mode and a bit of debris from the last detonation to soar through the air in robot mode - scrapping Decepticons left and right with the thundering discharges of his sonic blaster.

    “Chase, Searchlight, you know what to do!”

    A white courier-kibbled mech leapt up from cover, running with his back pointed slightly forward before unleashing a blinding light show that caused Thunderclash to avert his eyes. Not too far behind was another, red-armored mech who used a energon blade to cut down the blinded ‘Cons.

    “Alright, place the detpack and let the big guys do the talking from here! Well done, men! Wonderful work.”
     
  17. Nemesis Scar

    Nemesis Scar The Wolf Queen (?)

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    Chapter 12 - Two Snakes

    In his spark, Starscream knew the Autobots were coming. In a way, he had asked them here when he killed the Chief Augur. When he had orchestrated his most glorious victory, and when their foolish leader had fallen. he had anticipated this.

    The old ‘mech fell to the ground, the first victim of his glorious new Null Ray. The guards rushed him from either direction, but found themselves impaled on his claws. The Augur staggered to his hands and feet as Starscream disposed of his guards.

    Interesting. The Null Ray clearly didn’t have enough power flowing through it to have a long-lasting effect, or the Augur was more resilient than he had accounted for. No matter.

    “How do I wake it up? I know it’s venom corrupts. How do I wake it up?”

    “Wha - the World Serpent? You foo -”

    He stomped down on the old fool’s hand and twisted his foot, wrenching the hand with it. The fool let out a cry of pain as he did this.

    “You didn’t answer my question.”

    “You’ll never get the answer.”

    Starscream lifted the Augur up, and merely slammed his clawed fists into the old, worn face. Again. He still wasn’t cracking. This was getting annoying. Best to leave before the Police Corps showed up.

    “Any last words?”

    “The might of the faithful will always break that of heresy and li - “

    He gripped the neck of the Augur between his hands and applied gradual increases of pressure to shut him up.


    So they were coming for him. He turned to his “guest”, currently restrained in a Variable Voltage Harness. His “guest” was mostly grey-armored, but splashes of purple detailing were present. The hated red sigil laid smack dab on his chest.

    “So, Astrohauler. Enjoying your stay? You know, Boltwing - he begged for me to stop. He begged for the venom.”

    He got no response save pained grunts and groans of agony. He expected none. In time, he would turn the captive Triple Changer with the venom of the World-Serpent that slept beneath their feet. But not right now.

    He had bigger things to worry about. The Autobots were a momentary distraction, yes. But they had the potential to cause so much harm. What he had planned was bigger than either the small brain modules of Megatronus or Skyquake could grasp, and there was no room for a single disruption in the grand design.

    The stories were all true. The gods had once strode the surface of Cybertron, they had warred over it’s gifts, and they were killed by one of their own sons. Their power was there, just there for the taking - and Starscream intended to do so.