Quarantine, weeks free in which I could learn a new programming language, pick up a new hobby, or paint random crap and come up with fanciful backstories to justify my decisions. I chose the latter. Bought Wei Jiang Divebomb because I was too impatient to wait for a PotP Predaking upgrade kit. Then, because I have problems, and because Wei Jiang's figure was a decent improvement over the original Hasbro figure, I couldn't not complete the set. At the same time, I didn't need two Predakings, and so my extra Predaking needed to be something a bit different. Enter fanciful justifications: Preface: Shockwave doesn't want to admit it. I'm not sure he has the facilities to even face it. For all his logic, he is amazingly blind in this respect, perhaps even to the point of denial. The Decepticons on Cybertron are finished. Megatron is dead, so many loyal Decepticons falling with him. Starscream has tried, and admittedly has followers, but no self-respecting Cybertronian will rally around that bot. We have reason to believe Soundwave is out there somewhere still. He has always been more spy than warrior however, and lacks the charisma or grit necessary for what is to come. And Shockwave is, of course, Shockwave. And so, the great bastions of Decepticon strength, the pillars on which Megatron built our movement, are falling. Shockwave continues to press on with his experimentation. He seems to believe, or reason I suppose, with Optimus Prime dead and the Autobots fragmented, that the next test subject will be our salvation. Always the next one... Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, he is running out of captured test subjects. On the other hand, we are also running out of warriors. Even with out forces dwindling, we were still able to hold out with the combined might of Devastator, Sixshot, and Predaking defending what remains of our citadel. Alas, Sixshot had the audacity to take it upon himself to hunt down the clans of Sky Lynx. Admittedly, he has always fought as an army unto himself, and our few remaining drones report that he completely wiped out nearly half of Sky Lynx's forces before their leader was able to join the fray. Now he is in six separate pieces, displayed around Sky Lynx's palace, a monument and a warning to any who would challenge his reign. The last we saw of the Constructicons, they were heading out into the Wastes, on what should have been a routine energon salvaging mission. Primus knows they've run their share, and defeated all who opposed them while ranging. It has been long enough now we don't expect them to report back in, particularly with the rumors now filling the airwaves that the Dinobots, generally in their combined form, have taken to haunting the Wastes like some sort of ghoul. In short, we are desperate. Predaking is a warrior like no other, but against Sky Lynx, or even the Dinobots, I would call it a nearly even match. Should any Autobot actually manage to bring the others back under control, our citadel will surely fall in short order. And so... Shockwave wants to try one more experiment. He has been tinkering with what's left of the Space Bridge for several cycles now. We don't have the components or energon remaining to transport enough physical matter to make it worth trying, but he is determined that he can reach out to the multiverse and pull back some sort of essence. The "Soul of a Warrior" he claims. Oddly enough, I'm halfway convinced he is trying to be poetic. Something that, when used to bombard the Predacons's sparks, will give them a strength and ferocity to win back our place. I think it's a pipedream. I think even Shockwave, logical as any of us, is starting to crack. But, one way or the other, we are desperate. Divebomb, inspired by the Nevermore Grimm from RWBY: Phase 1: Subject: Divebomb Observations [Transcript]: Naturally, Divebomb volunteered to go first, despite Razorclaw's initial demands. Always the scout. He was generally the first of his team onto a new battlefield, and I suppose treated this no differently. Something went wrong though. Shockwave is determined that all of his calculations were flawless. Which is possible, it could have been bad luck. Something blew an energon capacitor during the buildup. Instead of failing gracefully, the entire thing melted down and led to a massive power surge. In short, we cast our net over far too many layers of the multiverse. As a result, to put it bluntly, we broke Divebomb. It took him several cycles before he came back online. The physical changes were obvious from the start. According to our instruments he is stronger than he was before, faster, somehow even more energon-efficient, a feature that all of our previous research shows should be impossible to accomplish. It wasn't until he came back fully online that we realized he is also quite insane. For the first couple cycles he wouldn't speak, save for mumbling to himself. When coming out of this state, his personality was severly altered, and appears to be quite in flux. He always had a bit of bloodthirsty cheerfulness about him. Now it has taken a turn for the darker. He has insisted that his name is now Poe. Where this originates from, we cannot determine, but he is fond of asking if we know where he got his name, each time accompanied by an anecdote concerning its origin, each different than the last. Thus far he has claimed it came from being an expert flier, a ghost, and some sort of human money manager. None of the stories make any more sense than the one before. Headstrong, inspired by the Mudhorn from The Mandalorian - originally he was going to be a Fire Nation Rhino, but I couldn't not make a Star Wars reference after watching the series. Unfortunately, I don't have a Mando figure yet for the vs pic. Phase 2: Subject: Headstrong Observations [Transcript]: Shockwave chose Headstrong as the second subject. I like to think it's because of his great physical durability and the hope it may serve to curb the effects of the energies we bombarded his spark with, but I suspect it's because his intelligence is low enough that Shockwave could have tricked him into the testing chamber with an energon snack. Shockwave recalibrated most everything used in the experimentation this time, in the hopes of grabbing a more stable power. It seems to have worked. Headstrong came back online shortly after the procedure ended, fortunately still quite sane. Unfortunately, he has lost most of what little intelligence he possessed. Physically he is even tougher than he was before. Shockwave has yet to find a physical weapon that will damage his armor. For unexplained reasons, he is secreting a strange brown substance that cakes into his armor. Chemical analysis shows that it is nothing special, composed primarily of crystallized oxygen, silicon, and various common metals. We initially tried to question him on it, but he will only repeat a single word to us, one that doesn't appear to have any direct translation into Cybertronian: "Mud". For now, spurred on by Divebomb/Poe, it is what we have taken to calling him. [Addendum]: The intricacies of Divebomb's transformation continue to unfold. We have discovered that he is somehow able to feed off of generating negative emotions in his enemies, becoming faster, stronger, and running for far longer without replenishing energon reserves. This explains much of his manipulation and mind games. He also built himself a scythe-like weapon from scraps and seems to believe that it is extremely powerful. As far as my observation and discreet analysis shows, it is merely a physical blade. However, Divebomb, or perhaps it's more appropriate to call him Poe at this point, carries it around as if it is a totem, and insists it is also a gun. Tantrum, inspired by a boss monster from Sword Art Online: Phase 3: Subject: Tantrum Observations [Transcript]: Whether Tantrum volunteered or was convinced by Shockwave, I am unsure, but he took his place as our third subject. Shockwave was immensely confident in his recalibrations for this round of experimentation, aiming for something between the levels of danger presented to Poe and Mud. How he performs these calculations, or can possibly know what it is he is trapping from other universes, I cannot begin to comprehend. Again though, his improvements seemed to have been successful. Tantrum came back physically transformed much as the others. Again, he is more powerful and resistant to damage than before. His personality has changed only slightly, although he has insisted that his name is now Gleam Eyes. He has become much more proficient in melee combat, sword use in particular. Where he has always used his brute strength and the innate dangers of his electro-blade in the past, he now makes combat look more like a form of art and performs complicated combinations of attacks that seem as if they are more for show than effect, yet somehow easily overwhelm his partners that he has insisted on sparring with. Razorclaw, inspired by Dyaus Pita from God Eater. Phase 4: Subject: Razorclaw Observations [Transcript]: After a lengthy conservation with Shockwave, Razorclaw became our fourth test subject. Again, Shockwave refined his equipment, and he has finally achieved his original goal, the creation of a nearly ultimate being. Razorclaw, although always a stout warrior now appears to be nearly unstoppable. His physical structure is no longer what it was, instead made up of what appears to be millions of nanomachines. Individually they show no intelligence and are completely under the control of Razorclaw's modified spark. Shockwave has done extensive testing with much of what remains in our armory and, thus far, we have found no weapon, be it physical or energy, that does any significant damage, and any small amount of damage that is done is nearly immediately repaired via the nanomachines, which are replicated via feeding off of Razorclaw's energon stores. Additionally, Razorclaw now has the ability to process nearly any raw material into usable energon fuel, his new body breaking it down into raw components and reformulating it into refined energon internally. Despite his strength, Razorclaw retains much of his normal personality. The only oddity thus far is that he has proclaimed his name to be Father. It is an odd sentiment for non-biological beings, but it is a small price to pay for the warrior we have created. [Ammendum]: Gleam Eyes continues to become more and more efficient with bladed weapons the more he battles others, moreso than a normal training/learning cycle, seemingly at a much larger curve. We have also found that he has an irrational fear of facing an opponent wielding two blades. The first time he completely froze and could not continue the training session. Since then, his thought and emotional readings still go off the charts, but he has begun focusing his fear into a terrifying, nearly mindless violence. And, last but not least, Rampage, inspired by the Flood from Halo: Phase 5: Subject: Rampage Observations [Transcript]: Shockwave, encouraged by his amazing success, tinkered with his calibrations again. He suspected that he could create another nearly god-like being. I shared his hopes. Another like Razorclaw would be all we would need to secure ourselves against the Autobot remnants for the remainder of time. I am afraid, however, that we created a monster. To all of our scanning instruments, Rampage never came back online after the experiment ran its course. As far as we can tell, he is spark-dead, his spark operating at such a low capacity that it will do little more than keep him operational, although he can never regain consciousness. We detected minor biological matter in his frame, but wrote it off as rogue microbes that would quickly be overwhelmed by his internal systems, despite his physical weakness. After several cycles, we realized that we had miscalculated. The organic material continued to grow, appearing to somehow learn of Cybertronian anatomy even while destroying it. Within a few cycles, all components dealing with rational thought were destroyed, replaced with organic matter. Within two more cycles, all components dealing with motor function were either destroyed and replaced, or taken over by the organic growth. Another two cycles and we found Rampage standing in his containment unit. Scans still show that he is completely spark-dead, but that the colony-like organism within his frame is controlling his movements. His spark is running at such a low power-level that it appears he isn't even actively consuming energon reserves. Testing shows that the creature feels no pain and shows little concern over physical damage, literally holding Rampage's body together with an organic substructure. The creature shows no evidence of higher-level thought, but is extremely aggressive to any but its fellow Predacons. [Ammendum]: Razorclaw, or Father I suppose, overheard me trying to convince Shockwave to incinerate what is left of Rampage. I am afraid of the parasitic nature of the creature embedded within him and the potential effect should it be able to spread. Father, remaining surprisingly calm, forbade it. Considering his strength, and his newfound ability to generate, and attack with raw electrical energy, we have little choice but do as he says. Still, although my fears are thus far unfounded, I have the feeling that we have unknowingly doomed Cybertron, Autobots and Decepticons alike. And their combined form, Gravemind: Destroyer of Worlds: My apologies if I got a bit long-winded for anyone here. I hope that any viewers enjoyed a peek into my little slice of the Transformers universe as much as I did creating it. I'm now particularly looking forward to Earthrise Sky Lynx, because now that I have the seed of Sky Lynx as a tribal leader of outcasts in my head, I need a base with which to work, one cheaper than MMC's offering.