Chapter 1: Dark Alliances A small craft glided through space. It was wedge shaped, with two triangular wings protruding from the sides, propelled by a single thruster on the rear. It had been painted a reflective black to blend in with darkness of space, yet the cockpit was illuminated with a white light, revealing two figures seated inside. One of the characters was blue in color, and had a slender frame. He looked to the larger figure sitting next to him, who was a dirty red and blue with a muscular build. A dark brown cloak covered most of his torso, and a hood had been draped over his head, hiding his face in shadow. Only a glimmer of blue light from his eyes pierced through. "This is a bad idea, Prime" The smaller figure said, breaking the silence. "We don't have a choice, Mirage. We can't lose this opportunity." Out the window the of the cockpit, Prime and Mirage could make out the shape of a jagged rock and metal formation in the distance. It had at one point been an asteroid, but was split in half centuries ago. The magnetic properties of the rock resulted in an everlasting violent storm of metal shards in its atmosphere. "Derlis, once set on a crash course with Cybertron. Mirage, we will have to plunge through the storm, brace yourself!" Prime yelled, and grabbed hold of the two controls in front of him. "Activating energy shielding!" Mirage yelled, as he tapped his fingers on a holographic pad above. He spun around in his seat and grabbed a lever as Prime forced the control sticks forward. The ship was gaining speed quickly, moving closer to Derlis. "Ready?" Mirage yelled over the roar of the engine "Ready!" The craft slammed into the storm. Mirage was knocked back into his seat, Optimus jerked sideways, sending the craft reeling to the left. The window was glowing blue from the mass of debris hitting the energy shielding surrounding the craft. "Alter course! We are going to smack into the side of the asteroid!" Mirage yelled, watching prime yank the controls back to the right. The sound of metal being vaporized created a loud buzzing noise, which quickly turned into the clangs of metal hitting the hull. "Our shields aren't going to hold!" "They will hold! Get ready for the landing!" Prime replied, and pulled back on the controls. The ship began to slow down, and suddenly the noise stopped. They had passed through the storm- quickly, Mirage yanked back on the lever, activating the ship's wind-brakes and landing gear. "This is gonna be close!" Before Mirage could continue, the craft hit the ground. The landing gear scraped the ground while the nosecone dug into the rock. They were quickly approaching a rock formation near the edge of the asteroid's surface. Optimus slammed his fist down on a holographic panel near the dashboard, opening the canopy. He pulled himself out, walking along the top of the craft to the back, and grabbed onto one of the rear tail fins. He let his feet hit the ground, and began to adjust as they were being dragged along. Mirage looked back to see Prime attempting to hold onto the ship and slow it down. He placed his hand on the control panel, and fired the ships weapons, carving out a section of the ground. The landing gear took hold of the rivets, and it came to a jarring stop. CLANG. Optimus slammed into the rear of the ship, his face nearly missing one of the white-hot thrusters. "Prime! You alright?" Mirage asked as he jumped out of the craft. Prime grunted as he got to his feet. "I'm fine. I just hope the ship will handle the return trip out of here.." The two figures began to walk toward a landmark situated at the very center of the asteroid. It was singular mountain structure with a large arched door at the base. Mirage clenched his fists, and with the cue of a quiet mechanical noise, turned completely invisible. Prime continued to the archway while Mirage hid by a ledge nearby, overlooking the structure. Minutes later, Prime had reached the entrance. He knew his weapon was secured to his back, yet didn't reach for it. After a couple steps forward, he took a more confident stride into the building. "Primus..." Optimus whispered to himself. The rooms, which had been carved out of the large, mountainous structure, were lined with small glass cases, a glowing crystal set in each. The walls extended upward, matched by strategically placed ladders, and seemingly had no end. "Optimus Prime" The voice echoed throughout the room. It was deep, with a rough metallic tone behind it. Optimus turned to see another being twice his size, staring down at him. One of his eyes was gleaming a bright red, while the other was clearly badly damaged - or badly repaired. His entire body was a mess of mismatched armor plating, varying in colors, shapes, and materials. "Who are you?" Optimus replied, almost startled by the abomination in front of him. "I am a refuge for the lost souls of the Cybertronians. I am a museum of history for the galaxy. I preserve what might be lost, if it ceased to exist. I am the Collector." "Then it is your assistance I seek. These crystals on your shelves, are they-?" "Sparks. Thousands of them. When a transformer is brought down in battle my scouts rip the sparks from them, and deliver them to me. It's a simple business, you pay a small fee for the service of the spark, and resell it for a larger fee. In the meantime, what is not sold becomes a memorial of history." The Collector walked over to one of the shelves, and removed one of the cases. "Ah, here is a true legend. Bludgeon. Such skill and finesse, and the fearlessness to back it up. It's the wonderful thing about a spark- They contain the memories of any Cybertronian. In essence, Bludgeon is here with us, right now." He set the case back down and lifted his arms to point to all of the cases around him. "They all still function, Prime. And every once in a while, someone is willing to pay the price to get one back." He smiled, revealing a set of rusted teeth. "It doesn't matter who you have aligned yourself with. Autobots, Decepticons, all of you are here. Sparks, weapons, armor, I have it all. Now, what can I do for you, Optimus Prime?" The Collector moved to sit in a chair that had been carved out of the wall. Optimus glanced up at the thousands of sparks that lined the inner walls of the mountain. He shuddered as he imagined what monstrosities were here, being preserved to kill another day. "I need to purchase a spark." He replied. "Ha, ha, ha!" The Collector's voice rumbled through the mountain. "Even the majestic leader of the Autobots is willing to pay a price to bring back one of the lost. Don't forget, Prime, that a spark is merely the memories that are left. It remembers how it died, who it hated, and what it can do. Those things can drive it to insanity, and your old friend is no longer what it used to be. Not that I care, but I believe my customers should know what they are buying. You know, Optimus, there is quite a price on your head. But you already knew that, didn't you? You're cloaked, but nothing will hide who you truly are. I hope that one day, your spark may rest here in my collection." Optimus frowned, clenching his fists. "Don't fret, Autobot. I only collect the spoils of war. Now then, onto business! I accept many forms of payment. Energon, cybercredits, I'll even consider a trade. Who's spark are you looking to purchase?" Optimus closed his eyes for a moment, and let out a sigh. "I need the spark of Megatron." ------------------------------------------ And there we have it, the start to my brand new fanfic. The Collector is a character that I had always had an idea for in my head, and while I never intended for him to resemble the collector from marvel, Marvel did inspire me to simply name him the collector instead of giving him a cybertronian name. This will be a very long fanfic and I have a ton to pack into it, but I'll mostly keep each chapter focused on one story arc each, to avoid putting too many scenes in each post.