23 - SPRINGER VS SHOCKWAVE Until now, Springer had never come face-to-face with the former Cybertronian lord and Decepticon military commander Shockwave before though he heard many stories about him before. Most of which were tyranny and ruthless acts of torture and remodification of both Autobots and Decepticons who refused to comply with him. Yet right now in his new role as Autobot leader, he had a duty to protect the City and his kind from the likes of him and his Decepticon army. As most of the Autobots had already been despatched to wage battle against Decepticons in one-to-one or group battles, the only allies he had right now were Elita One, fellow Triple changer Sandstorm who also arrived to help as well as Wreckgar and his Junkion army. But even so, they were still outnumbered and outwitted by the seemingly reborn Decepticon warlord and his new army of troops which they had never seen before; his six new female Decepticon jet warriors and dozens of droids with the same one-eyed face as him. This will be the toughest fight of my life, Springer thought as he withdrew his helicopter rotor blades turned sword in ready for the purple cyclops-like Decepticon who was armed with a fusion cannon and sharp carved black blades protruding. Initially he was fighting with Elita One and the rest but a change of events forced them to be separated. From the way he saw, it was clear that Shockwave and his Decepticons had already planned all these all along and apparent that they knew more about him and his Autobots than them about Decepticons. Now in the Southern expressway which split into two by a series of explosions, he and Sandstorm prepared to fight what most Transformers perceived as the most second powerful Decepticon after Megatron. Even with two of them against him and his troops, it will take more than just numbers and bravery to overcome them and staying alive after. Though he had fought in the last Autobot City War and been through series of adventures and war against Decepticons with Rodimus Prime – whom he still saw as Hot Rod since the former had not fully matured despite taking over Optimus, Ultra Magnus, Arcee, Kup and Blurr, this would be his first major challenge against a high authority. In terms of personality, he was always a little different from the rest. He was the type of Autobot who could do anything faster and better than anybody, all the while making it appear so simple that one had to wonder why he had not thought of it in the first place. His comrades Hot Rod and Arcee could testify to that since they had been with him through thick and thin and knew him better. Years of fighting against Decepticons and losing so many compatriots in his pre-warrior and early days when he was finally given the green light by Alpha Trion as combat ready soldier had made him more experienced and wiser while also being pessimistic and judgemental as well. That was also what made him capable in most Autobots and human operatives’ view. When Ultra Magnus first took over the Autobot Matrix Of Leadership as early successor, his suggestion was to evacuate the Autobot City when it was attacked again by reformed Megatron and his Decepticons – now known as Galvatron and the Sweeps. When that failed, he commanded the emergency separation of the Autobot battlecruiser despite the fact it had enough weapons to counterattack the Decepticons who were relentless in pursuing them. On both occasions, Springer was the first to question his capability as new Autobot leader which were both turned down by Magnus. Now that he was in that position having been chosen by Prime, he began to understand why Magnus and even Hot Rod did what they had to despite their decisions being unpopular. The responsibility to protect both Autobots and humans now weighed heavily upon his shoulders even his combat fighter personality remained the same as before. Quite simply if he thought anyone he spoke and listened to was wrong; he would not hesitate to tell in his face and offer constructive alternatives. His street-smartness had certainly made him more confident to even worry about whether he would offend anybody or not. Likewise if he saw anyone being hesitant about doing what he felt should be executed quickly in the interest of most Autobots and people around, he would take the initiative to get it done with no fuss and second thoughts. That was how straightforward and decisive Springer could be. Which were the same qualities why Arcee preferred him to Hot Rod despite his bluntness and why Optimus selected him as the next successor after the latter. Because with Hot Rod now missing and Optimus and Ultra departing to search for him, he was the next best Autobot to take over the leadership and command of Autobot City should the Decepticons attack again. Which was exactly what happened right now. As a warrior, he was incredibly strong, tough and versatile enough to adapt to any situation - be it combat or non-combat - in a blink of an eye even if he was not a Triple Changer. That was a complete makeover from his civilian days as Dion and from what he though and how he felt, he assumed that Alpha Trion had given his personality a new makeover besides his wounded body. As a Triple Changer, he possessed the capability of interswitching between his three transformations from helicopter to rocket car to robot twice as fast as most Transformers and even his comrades having the same number of modes as him. As a helicopter, he utilized the thrusters which enabled him to fly and maneuver like a jet for short distances. On the roads, his rocket car was fully armored like a tank which could travel up to 500mph and mounted with a cannon that could fire blasts or produce powerful wind tunnels. When in his robot mode, he could use his legs to leap up to 5 miles straight up and armed with his helicopter sword - also known as Saber blade - to penetrate and cut through armor, concrete and steel. He could have helped Elita One who was in much tougher fight against those new Decepticon jets he and his Autobots had never witnessed before if not for the fact that she was on the other half of the expressionway. However he took solace in that he had given her a new weapon that he was supposed to give Arcee as his blessings and her protection but had forgotten before she left with Hot Rod and the rest for Cybertron four months ago. If not for the defeat and demise of Broadside by his Decepticon counterpart Astrotrain, they would have been the complete trio which had never happened before as Springer spent most of his time with Hot Rod and his Inner Circle. Nevertheless he and Sandstorm had taken out most of Shockwave’s lesser capable and limited intelligent hover droids who could morph into hoverboard crafts. Now that there were just two of them against Shockwave, it was time to take their skills to the next level of this sterner test as both of them charged towards the Decepticon warlord and Quintesson bounty hunter. As the Cybertronian scientist, overlord and military commander for the Decepticons, Shockwave was only the second most powerful individual Transformer after Megatron. But even that was disrupted by Soundwave who possessed the same capabilities as him. Unlike most Decepticons, he carried out his tasks with the cold focus, brutal clarity and well-planned perfection that one would anticipate of a pure merchanical being. However, his way was not that of blood lust but rather of a scientist coming up with a solution to a problem which was how he could eliminate the most Autobots and their allies in the shortest time possible? Unfortunately for the Autobots, it was rare that he did not find an answer due to his huge army of warriors and scientists assisting him in coming up with various innovations of weapons, tactics and gadgets. As in Soundwave’s espionage spies which became his mini-army of cassette warriors, the Combiners beginning with Devastator, the Triple Changers of Astrotrain, Blitzwing and Octane and the recent Pretender Monsters – in which they could fight with both their outer shells and inner robots within. Unlike most Earthly Transformers, he retained his Cybertronian form be it robot or a 35-foot long ray gun. Whichever form he was, he still had the power of flight and commanded the totality of the electromagnetic spectrum. This enabled him to emit beams of energy in a wide variety of forms. His cannon arm was connected to a nuclear reactor in his torso and had nearly complete control over most forms of radiation. From the electromagnetic spectrum to x-rays, inflared and radio waves. He could manipulate these as powerful energy blast, which were magnified even further in his space gun mode. Even in that, he still retained robot-mode size and flight capability. That was then before his destruction at the hand of Unicron which dismembered much of him and his once super intelligence. After his resurrection and modification by Quintesson Masters, his alternate mode was a multi-pronged jet fighter designed to resemble the Decepticon insignia which he embodied and remained absolute loyal to. Armed with twin concussion beam cannons and multi-blades of purple and black sharp and lethal enough to tear through any being be it metal or flesh, it was enough to be just as deadly and formidable as his once space gun. Especially with the added mode of driller as well to disintegrate the interior of any transport and building. Having destroyed the same number of Junkions as his main foes had with his Decepticon drones, they were now on level terms. His single socket eye now flashed with malevolent red instead of yellow as he readied himself with quiet confidence that he could still overcome his enemies even when alone. Reconnaissance work attracted two types of merchanoids as in those who did it longer to avoid danger and those who did it because they thrived on it. The former were happy with the function because they got to avoid the risks of combat so long as they were competent enough to avoid capture. The latter did it because they obtained the thrill out of the chance they might get caught and had to fight their way out. Sandstorm was obviously the latter. He daringly jumped at the most dangerous recon missions simply because he was totally bored by anything less. He would draw as close to the enemy as possible to perform his job and if he had to fight, so much the better. In overall personality, he was a confident and capable risk-taker who would not allow his need for excitement interfere with his job since he executed his kicks and flawlessly performed his role simultaneously. Like compatriot Springer, he had three alternate forms. As a chopper and dune buggy, he could use his rotors and tires to conjure ferocious storms of dust and dirt, effectively blinding the enemy. In his robot mode, he was armed with a sandblaster gun that fired particles of silicate which erode his targets. Which was exactly what he intended to do against Shockwave as they both charged towards him with their weapons firing. Appearing to stand still, Shockwave suddenly switched to his lethal jet fighter mode. His single-eyed head moved into his upper body which afterwards turned to a 90 degree in alignment with his lower half. Deactivating his cannon gun and blades, his arms were interlocked with his torso and legs sliding inwards as the underneath of his jet hull. Once he was in his Decepticon insignia image, he unleashed his plasma cannons. Red bolts of ultra-energy poured forth from the barrels as he aimed them at the orange and yellow Autobot first. They proved to be deadly accurate as they easily penetrated the blue beams fired by the Autobot and then his stomach. As Sandstorm groaned in pain, Shockwave intensified his speed at full velocity and drilled the entire Autobot right through with his deadly spike blades protruding from his resurrected body and acting as his jet wings . Sandstorm could not believe what had just happened and it was a question he might never had the answer. In all his years of fighting and adventure, he had never come across anything like that before. But this was not an ordinary enemy he was facing or any other Decepticon which he could overcome with minimum resistance and his amateur skills. This was the second most powerful Decepticon and professional scientist of all robot machinations Shockwave. As the blades withdrew from his fast turning grey body, he fell all the way from the expressway into the deep waters below and to his death. No! Disbelief and then anger exploded his mind as he just witnessed the demise of his comrade and friend at the hands of the Decepticon warlord and yet could not do anything about it on time. His first instinct was to convert into the helicopter and began blasting away his cannons continuously until his enemy was torn into shreds. But his opponent was alert and counterfired with a much greater firepower that he had never witnessed before and took him out as well. Even as he attempted to reverse and stab his opponent with his rotor blades the same way the latter did with his friend, he was hit again in his pilot cockpit by another blast. Just as he was about to crash, he switched to his armored rocket car before accelerating away at maximum speed and releasing two heat-seeking missiles. Expecting to see them hit home and exploded his enemy into flames, he saw them being detonated in mid-air as well by those extraordinary powerful cannons. Sensing the other green Autobot’s anger and determination to avenge his friend he had just slain, Shockwave switched to his driller mode and rotated his entire body in spiral pattern to slice through his foe the same way he had to his friend with his lethal black and purple blade wings. The plasma cannon under his jet nose also emitted crimson beams as it moved in fast towards the Autobot whom he hardly saw as a threat as say Optimus Prime and Skyfire who were both not around now. Such foolish nonsense, he thought as he was about to deliver another death blow that would send the Autobot joining his late friend soon. Springer barely reverse engineered his entire vehicle body to avoid his enemy’s death blows having witnessed what those blades were capable of. Having fired all his long-range weapons, he began to realize how futile they were against the new technology his enemy had just employed which was way ahead of his own. With no other alternative, Springer reverted back into his robot mode. His front part of the vehicle which also housed the pilot and passenger seats extended and flipped down as his side and back components began extending and rotating to form his arms and legs. In between the front hull and pilot cockpit seat, emerged out his warrior head with the green knight helmet. From behind, he withdrew his rotor blades which now formed into his own sword that was now glowing in bright blue with his right arm and with his left, he fired his cannon with the other trigger switch. It produced tremendously strong wind tunnels that halted the Decepticon in his mid-flight spiral drill and then blew him out to the other side. Refusing to admit defeat, Shockwave also transformed back into his humanoid robot mode. His upper and lower parts of his body opened up to release his arms and legs which both expanded as his single-eyed cyclops-like head re-emerged from the top of his main body which now joined as one. Upon completing his transformation, he relaunched his attack on the green Autobot he admitted that he had greatly underestimated him. His twin shoulder-mounted cannons as well as that on his arm and blades reformed as he headed towards his Autobot foe soon to be turned prey and next casualty. But that never happened. The winds that trapped him were too strong for him to alter his direction. Instead of heading back towards the way he wanted to, he ended up being blown in the opposite direction far away from the Autobot City. The soaring and blowing of the enormous currents became too much for him as other than transforming, he could no longer move anywhere else. Springer could have enacted revenge when he had the chance but decided not to having witnessed how powerful and deadly his enemy was in killing off his compatriot and friend Sandstorm. Even with his enhanced skills, capabilities and intelligence, he was not at the level as Shockwave to be able to beat him like how his predecessor Optimus did. His appearance let alone his weapons was already a major surprise which he was completely unprepared for. So instead of engaging him in one-to-one whom he had no confidence of winning, he decided to cast away his opponent somewhere else instead. There would be another time and in fact plenty to deal with him. Right now he had other more important priorities to look into. Such as helping his new Autobot friend Elita One and Wreckgar who clearly had their hands full fighting the new Decepticon females.