Transformers Version 2.0

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by peteynorth, May 27, 2003.

  1. peteynorth

    peteynorth TFW2005 Supporter

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    No, I meant to say Magna Prime. It was a memory sequence Hot Rod was sharing with Optimus Prime of the first time he witnessed Daniel walking, one from about 3 years previous. The procedure Spike and Halpin underwent was what allows them to interact with their CANINE units.

    And Wheeljack is still alive.
     
  2. King Starscream

    King Starscream <b><font color=blue>The Royal Seeker</font></b> Veteran

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    G2 BABY!!

    Wow, you really offed an A-List character in Sunstreaker. I really wasn't expecting that. I really liked the funeral scene, especially the Dinobots contribution to it. I'm sure Sideswipe's respect for the Dinobots is now bigger than Unicron's head. Not to mention the alluding to his G2 paint job. And I see you're writing is influenced by the UK version of Galvatron and Megatron. Another great chapter.
     
  3. Falcadore

    Falcadore Touring Car Autobot

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    He's only A-list because of the way he is written.

    A salute, not to the golden Streaker, who will continue to live on in the fictions of others, (or even return should the author ever turn his gaze to the Alternators line) but to Peteynorth, for making him a character that could steal any scene he was in from the get-go and for making us enjoy his presence.
     
  4. Laser_Optimus

    Laser_Optimus I can do this all day! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Awesome new chapter as always Petey! I really like the set up for Sideswipe's new color scheme there. The introduction to the swarm was cool and I have to wonder if you're going to bother reformating Megatron into a new form or just leave him as you've always had him sense you already made him a tank from the begining? Keep the great stories coming!
     
  5. Muffinshock

    Muffinshock Member

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    Awesome as always. Sunstreaker's absence in the Gen 2 comic always bugged me. I'm glad you addressed stuff like that.

    On the same track as a few questions ago, are Windcharger and Huffer still alive?
     
  6. peteynorth

    peteynorth TFW2005 Supporter

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    They're still alive. Can't say that I have any plans for them, but I don't think I've killed them.

    Yeah, killing off Sunstreaker was tough for me. He was probably the most fun character to write (allowed me to write things I'd never be allowed to say). But no going back now.
     
  7. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm Wreck n’ rule

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    i'm suprised you're introducing g2 elements already. there's still quite alot to address with g1, the other headmasters, target masters, powermasters, actionmasters and micromasters.
     
  8. Dragon Girl

    Dragon Girl Well-Known Member

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    Nice reading from you again. The others have said about all I could say but one thing. When you brought up that Jetfire was technicly and infant at the begining, does that mean your going to address what's happening to the infant decepticons? I'm just curious.
     
  9. darksage78

    darksage78 Maximal

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    I've finally reached chapter 47 and I must say its amazing. Thanks for this awesome read for this holiday :)  Really loved the BW references and build up to it. Great job making Grimlock and Counter-Punch such awesome characters. And I must say Perceptor as the bot behind transwarp and stasis pods? Brilliant!

    Just a question, I may have missed it but although Prime had recollections of Primal through the removal of the spark, wouldn't Megatron have had too? Also what of Obsidian and Strika who were the greatest generals in Cybertronian history in BM terms lol
     
  10. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    damn. finished the new chapter. excellent as always Petey, your fiction never disappoints me. This chapter did a great job of pulling you in and feeling what the characters were feeling! Its going to be tough seeing this story end in another 9 or so chapters :( 
     
  11. peteynorth

    peteynorth TFW2005 Supporter

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    My use of the term 'infant' was simply to explain how Jetfire was young and not alive for the lean years that the Autobots suffered through. I really didn't mean to imply anything beyond that by describing him as an infant.

    As for Prime's memories of Primal, I don't plan on Megatron having a similar set of memories from when his spark was taken. I don't see Megatron as introspective as Prime, plus, the removal of Prime's spark was far more eventful for him that Megatron's spark removal, and Prime even 'woke' and looked at Primal for a moment when his spark was returned. I do plan on making a very, very brief reference to Obsidian and Strika in the final episode.
     
  12. peteynorth

    peteynorth TFW2005 Supporter

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    Episode 52: Impending Doom


    "Get him in here!" Scrapper called out in a measured, yet forceful tone as he scanned the dark streets just outside the rust-covered door his head and shoulders were poking out from. Drag Strip and Wildrider's heads emerged from the shadows across the street and peered in either direction before jerking forward into the dimly lit street, dragging a large, charred and mangled frame with them as they made their way to the Constructicon's secret lair. "Hurry up!" Scrapper growled as they slowly made their way across the metal street.

    "We're coming!" Drag Strip grumbled back before finally reaching the doorway. Scrapper threw the door open all the way, and stepped back as Long Haul stepped forward and took the scorched, yet still massive and humanoid-shaped frame from off of their shoulders. Long Haul hoisted the frame over his shoulder, the frame's foot striking Drag Strip's head as it lurched into position. "Watch it, oaf!"

    The normally temperamental Constructicon ignored the insult and headed off down the hall into the lair. "Get him to the lab, and tell Hook I'll be there in a moment." Scrapper called after his teammate. He then turned to the Stunticons. "Get in here!" He growled, reaching forward and pulling Wildrider into the seemingly decrepit building. "Do you want to get seen?"

    "Hey, relax." Drag Strip commented as he casually stepped through the doorway. "The Autobots are focusing mainly on Polyhex and other Decepticon city-states. The ruins of Harbornia are the last place they'd be scouring for us."

    "Yeah, it pains me to compliment you clods," Wildrider chimed in "But I must admit this was a great choice for a hiding spot."

    Scrapper ushered them down the hallway where the sounds of others could be heard. "It's not that great. It seems that an inordinate number of Autobot Femmes have stronger ties to this slaghole than they do to Matriopolis. The groundwork for the reconstruction of Harbornia is being laid out as we speak. We've got another few days here, a week at best, before surveyors start coming down this way to assess this sector."

    "What? They've still got a long way to go on renovating Matriopolis, and then it'll be years before the population there requires the suburbs to be habitable." Drag Strip countered.

    "I didn't say it was a practical undertaking." Scrapper snapped as they turned the corner into the makeshift lab. "We're talking about sentimental Autobot Femmes here, it doesn't need to make sense. Now stay out of the way." Scrapper continued toward the large slab in the center of the room where Hook and Mixmaster were working on the mangled frame. Off to the side stood Bonecrusher, Long Haul and Scavenger, and perched on a tool-covered rack was Buzzsaw. "So, what have we got here?"

    Hook looked up and sent a surprised look at Scrapper. "I need to run some tests to be sure, but it looks like Buzzsaw might be right. From what I can tell, this is Megatron."

    "What's left of him anyway." Mixmaster commented. "The material requirements for this degree of frame and dermis rebuilding would be major for anyone, but given the added intricacies of Megatron's unique 'special' sauces, I'll be hard pressed to find the resources we need in this dump to put him back together again."

    "You will find them!" Scrapper snapped as he studied Hook's work on the neurological circuitry. "Not only will we put him back together, but we'll add a few improvements."

    "What, the handful of things we were able to reverse engineer from Galvatron?" Hook queried.

    "Yup. These changes will only yield a marginal improvement, but every little bit counts I guess." Scrapper answered. "Provided he still functions."

    Hook peered closely into Megatron's newly exposed cranial shell. "Brain activity." He looked up and smiled at Scrapper. "He still functions."

    "Excellent. Fix him up, and implement the improvements where you can." Scrapper looked to Mixmaster. "Start fabricating the necessary supplies. Cannibalize the Stunticons if you need raw materials."

    "Very funny, Scrapper." Drag Strip commented, aware that the Constructicon may very well not have been joking.

    "Hey, if Mixmaster wants to tango, I'll happily shove him up his own mixing drum." Wildrider snapped playfully, chuckling ominously as he glanced at Buzzsaw and the three Constructicons standing with he and his teammate. Noting the lack of humor in their dispositions, he shrugged. "Aw, you guys are no fun. I should have struck out with Motormaster. At least with him I'd likely have gotten the chance to kill something. It probably would have been him, but at least I'd have oil on my hands."

    "Why did you guys split?" Long Haul casually asked as he watched the procedure going on in front of them.

    "We'd already gotten separated from Dead End and Breakdown, so without Menasor as an incentive to keep us together, Wildrider and I saw no reason to subject ourselves to another minute with Motormaster." Drag Strip responded.

    "We ditched the big, stupid smelt-wipe." Wildrider chuckled. "He was heading to Polyhex, figuring that'd be where he'd find other fugitive Decepticons. We tried telling him that the Autobots would be waiting en-masse, but the idiot just called us Femmes and ordered us to follow along."

    "So we sped away from the hunk of slag and figured we'd head toward the ruins of some civilian sector." Drag Strip continued. "That's when we saw Buzzsaw streaking across the sky. He saw us, said he had been hooked up with you guys since the fall of Iacon, and then played a transmission that he had just intercepted from an Autobot frequency. It was of that red swish Sideswipe screaming about how he had run into Megatron, and Buzzsaw figured that even though it was unlikely the Autobot’s report was accurate, he needed to get this to you guys pronto."

    "That's when the boom happened." Wildrider added. "Unicron's head blasted into hundreds of chunks, and a few moments later we could see dozens of black wormholes appearing and disappearing in front of it."

    "Of course, the wormholes didn't catch everything, and so we were forced to run for cover as chunks of debris came raining down on us." Drag Strip recounted. "And in the midst of this storm, Buzzsaw starts squawking about some SOS beacon. The slaggin' bird takes off in the middle of the storm and disappears. A few minutes pass and the sky stops falling, and we finally stick our heads out. Then back comes Buzzsaw claiming to have found Megatron and insisting we follow him."

    "So we grabbed the frame, and spent all night traveling here as inconspicuously as possible." Wildrider finished. "So what's the deal? I thought Galvatron WAS Megatron."

    "Don't look at us." Scavenger replied. "The first we'd heard anything about Megatron was when Buzzsaw came zooming in here chirping about how you guys were on your way with him."

    A low buzzing came from a control panel near the entranceway to the lab. Scrapper looked at Hook, who waved him away. "Go check it out, I've got this in hand for now."

    Scrapper turned and headed to the console, keying in a few codes as he peered at the screen. "Sensors indicate that the outer walls of the facility were breached, though the nature of the breach is unknown, there appears to be no damage, and no signs of us being scanned."

    "Probably another glitch." Boncrusher offered.

    "Perhaps, but check it out anyway." Scrapper ordered.

    Bonecrusher nodded and headed out the door, his pistol held loosely in his right hand. He made his way down the hallway, but found nothing there. He turned into the makeshift armory, again nothing. He turned into the dormancy chamber, and still nothing. He finally turned into the energon storage room. Only the glow of energy met his initial glance. "Slaggin' snipe hunt." The powerful Constructicon grumbled. But a glance at a reflection given off by the metal wall behind one energon pile clued him into a slightly different form of pulsating light. Bonecrusher cautiously made his way toward it, his pistol gripped tightly in his hand.


    *


    "Well?"

    Bonecrusher walked past Scrapper, who was still standing in front of the console. "Why, not a thing Scrapper my friend." The Constructicon turned and beamed at his comrade. He'd have flashed a grin had his facial features been capable of such a thing.

    Scrapper peered at the most powerful member of his team for a moment, slightly confused by his uncharacteristic cheer. "OK. Just stay vigilant." Scrapper turned to the rest of the Decepticons. "That goes for everyone. We may be on the verge of having our greatest asset returned to us, but we're also being hunted by just about everyone on Cybertron. So stay sharp, who knows what we'll have to contend with?"

    All the Decepticons nodded, while Bonecrusher quietly chuckled as well, an atypically high-pitched chuckle for the normally deep-voiced powerhouse.


    ***


    Things are uneventful for weeks, and then the entire Pit breaks loose while you're on a simple diplomatic mission; a mission to spread word of the Decepticon defeat and to encourage countless neutrals, many of whom former Autobots who had renounced their heritage in hopes of avoiding Decepticon wrath, to participate in the creation of a new Cybertronian government. But while Bluestreak had been out trying to convince dozens of apprehensive Incindermechs, Excavitons, and other neutrals that he was not a threat, and that the new world order that the Autobots envisioned would be of benefit to all, an expedition sent to the orbiting head of Unicron had apparently run into Megatron, alive and well. They had detonated some massive nuke planted in Unicron's head very prematurely as they fled, and now the ominous moon that had been orbiting Cybertron since its near destruction was gone. Bluestreak needed to be brought up to speed on the details of the previous day, but one thing that he had been informed of was the death of Sunstreaker. The gray Autobot was wondering if the account of the self-centered egomaniac throwing himself in front of Sideswipe to intercept a shot meant for his brother could possibly be accurate as he entered The Smelt Pit.

    Located in the heart of Iacon, The Smelt Pit had been quite the hot spot prior to the war, and now with the defeat of the Decepticons and the capture of nearly all of their highest-ranking officers, the lounge had reopened and was attempting a comeback. Of course, Bluestreak noted as he entered the darkened lounge, it still had a very long way to go to achieve its former glory. Only the front room was fit for occupation, and those occupying it were there solely to either unwind, or to ingest enough tainted energon so that any and everything that was weighing on them was temporarily forgotten.

    Bluestreak glanced over the 'die-hard' imbibers lined up along the bar in front of him, and though they were all facing away from him, he was pretty certain that he knew none of them. There were a couple of brightly colored Minibots, a large yellow robot of indeterminate faction, a broad-shouldered black Autobot-looking robot hunched over his drink, an Autobot Micromaster, and three dusty Excavitons. Even if any of them knew anything about the events of yesterday, Bluestreak had no desire to get between them and their vials of putrefied beverages.

    "Bluestreak." The new arrival turned at hearing his name and set optics on Jazz, Trailbreaker, Tracks and Wheeljack at one table, and Grapple, Hoist, Inferno and Red Alert an the one next to them. Jazz smiled, reached out to an empty chair and slid it between the two tables. "Care to join us?"

    Bluestreak smiled as he headed toward the offered chair. "Don't mind if I do." The gray robot smiled and nodded to his seated friends as he made his way over from the doorway. Jazz and Trailbreaker were facing the approaching Bluestreak with their backs to the mirrored wall at one table, while Tracks and Wheeljack twisted around to view his approach. Like with Jazz and Trailbreaker, Grapple and Hoist were seated with their backs to the wall and Inferno and Red Alert craned their necks to smile at their friend. The seat was between Jazz and Grapple, a development that pleased Bluestreak to no end. While Grapple was a bit of a bore, Jazz was the coolest Autobot Bluestreak knew, and being a fairly high-ranking officer, he was certain to have all the juicy details. "So what's new guys?" Bluestreak asked as he approached the tables.

    Jazz shrugged. "Word is that Magnus will be stopping by with some of the appointees to the new governing council. For whatever reason, there's been some anti-Autobot sentiment spreading through the council, and Magnus hopes that by bringing some of them here to discuss our role in Cybertron's future over a meal at the legendary Smelt Pit, they might be reminded of the security, good will and other things that we contributed prior to the war. We may not have any desire to rule Cybertron, but we need to make sure that we have some influence in the governing council's decisions."

    Bluestreak nodded as he stopped and stood before the tables, not yet ready to take his seat. "First of all, Magnus must not be aware of The Smelt Pit’s current condition. And secondly, that's not really what I was hoping to discuss. Anyone notice anything missing in the sky recently?" The gray robot grinned at his buddies.

    Jazz sadly shook his head. "Yeah, yesterday was not a good day at all."

    Bluestreak eagerly reached forward and pulled the open chair toward him. He wanted to sit near Jazz, but he wanted to be facing him as well. "What happened? I've only been given the most condensed of versions." He asked as he sat down.

    Jazz sadly looked forward, past Bluestreak for a moment, and dimmed his optics sadly before returning his attention to Bluestreak and speaking in a low tone. "Sky Lynx took an expedition up to Unicron's head. Perceptor was to conduct the last of his data collection, while Sideswipe and Sunstreaker were to place an extremely powerful explosive deep within the head. The last of the wormhole generators were put into place in the space around Unicron's orbiting head to collect the debris and keep it from striking Cybertron, though we still had several days, if not weeks to go before we'd likely have destroyed the moon."

    Jazz paused, looked back at an object over Bluestreak's shoulder sadly, and then looked down before continuing quietly. "Sunstreaker heard some noises, and despite being ordered back to Sky Lynx, he and Sideswipe investigated the area the noises were first heard before leaving. I can't go into all of the details of what they encountered, but I can tell you that they ran into what appeared to be a revived Megatron." Jazz paused and looked back up into Bluestreak's wide optics. "Well, of course they started to engage him,” Jazz shook his head in frustration. "But finally complied with Sky Lynx's order for immediate withdrawal. They sped back to Sky Lynx, but just as they transformed and started to board him, Megatron arrived and started firing. He powered up and took a shot at Sideswipe, and Sunstreaker...Sunstreaker dove in front of his brother and took the shot in his chest." Jazz paused, once again looked at something over Bluestreak's shoulder, and without taking his optics off of the object, finished the retelling of events. "Sideswipe immediately got Sunstreaker on board for medical attention, and Sky Lynx blasted off and started to head home. Sunstreaker passed on, and Sideswipe...Sideswipe detonated the explosive they had just planted in Unicron. Sky Lynx fortunately had the presence of mind to activate the worm-hole generators, thereby limiting the countless tons of Unicron chunks that would rain down on us."

    Bluestreak nodded as he leaned forward. "And Sideswipe?"

    Jazz returned his gaze from whatever it was he was looking at back to Bluestreak. "Forced medical leave. He's not taking it well at all, and I can understand. It probably comes off as salt in the wound to him."

    Bluestreak leaned back. "Wow, too bad. I hope he gets over this. I always liked Sideswipe. Without him, the number of beatings I'd have gotten at the hands of Sunstreaker would have been far greater." The gray, black and red Autobot shook his head. "But you know, maybe this is for the best. I mean, with his final act, Sunstreaker will be remembered as a hero, and not the sociopath that he really was." Bluestreak looked down, and therefore did not see the shock and worry in the faces of his companions. "Don't get me wrong, it was great to have him on our side during the war, but now that the war is pretty much over, perhaps everyone, including Sunstreaker himself, is better off with this having happened."

    Tracks leaned over and firmly but quietly addressed the newcomer. "Bluestreak..."

    "Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds cold-sparked, but let's face it; what would a bot like Sunstreaker do without the war?" Bluestreak interrupted, and once again failed to notice what the other Autobots were doing. Those with their backs to the other side of the lounge had twisted around to look at the bar, while Bluestreak just continued on with his musings. "A maniac like him has to be knee-deep in the mech fluid of others. He was a brutal killer, with or without the war, and without Decepticons around for him to focus on, well, I for one would be scared for my life." Bluestreak then shrugged and looked up at the faces of his companions. "Besides, it's not like anyone other than Sideswipe liked the guy." The very vocal Autobot finally noticed the apprehensive looks on the faces of his companions, and that they were all staring at something past him. The gray Autobot slowly shifted his gaze upward into the mirrored wall, and noticed a black robot standing behind him. Despite the difference in color, Bluestreak quickly recognized the robot now that he was looking at his front. "Oh slag."

    Jazz jumped to his feet. "Now calm down Sideswipe, Bluestreak didn't mean anything by it. He just runs off at the mouth sometimes."

    Bluestreak jumped out of his chair, turned around and backed up against the wall. He took in Sideswipe's changes; what was once red was now black, and his formerly bright blue optics were now a shade of red that resembled human blood. Sideswipe glared Bluestreak down with those optics as he stood still behind Bluestreak's now empty chair, his normally pleasant voice now icy and filled with controlled rage. "I know how he runs off at the mouth. I've defended him many times in the past for doing just that." With movements so fast that most of the tense viewers didn't know it was happening, Sideswipe gripped the chair and flung it across the lounge hard enough so that the legs were embedded into the wall behind the bar. "It's time he learned to be accountable for his words."

    Inferno and Tracks both slowly stood out of their chairs and positioned themselves in front of and to either side of Sideswipe. Inferno gently placed his right hand on Sideswipe's right shoulder. "Now let's just settle down Sideswipe. Nobody's disagreeing that what Bluestreak had to say was awful, but you're not one to beat up a friend over some words, albeit some pretty horrible ones."

    Sideswipe shifted his gaze toward Inferno, slowly looking him over from head to feet and then back to head, concentrating his gaze on various joints and potential weak points. It was something that was very disconcerting to the other Autobots, as it was an evaluation frequently used by Sunstreaker. And even when Sunstreaker didn’t act upon the information received from this sizing up, he made no effort to deny that it was for determining the best or most entertaining way to take the subject apart. It was a display of a very calculated, cold-blooded warrior, and seemed out of place for the formerly very congenial Sideswipe. "I'm not the one to beat up a friend over some words, huh? That must have been the other one, right? The one we're all better off without, right?" Although one of the strongest and most durable of Autobots, Inferno was genuinely scared of the color, and apparently disposition-modified Autobot. He may have been more powerful, but he lacked Sideswipe's level of combat prowess, and had nowhere near the mourning Autobot's reflexes and agility.

    It was Track's turn to place his left hand on Sideswipe's left shoulder in an attempt to quell this potentially volatile situation. "Look Sideswipe, you know very well that that wasn't what Inferno meant. Tearing into Bluestreak won't bring Sunstreaker back, and it won't make his passing any easier for you to bear. You're a beautiful, sensitive soul, and you've lost something dear to you. Accept that you're hurting, sit down with us, and let Bluestreak try and make things right."

    Sideswipe's head slowly twisted away from Inferno and toward Tracks, a malevolent grin coming over his face as his head shifted. "Tell me, how is his passing affecting you, Tracks? I'm tempted to think that you're pleased by it as everything that you strove to be Sunstreaker was better at. You're pretty, but he was prettier. You're fast; he was faster. You're a good fighter, but he was much better, and proved as much on numerous occasions. The guy who surpassed you in every way is now out of the way. You get to shine now." Sideswipe's grin grew as a twinge of shame fell over Tracks upon realizing that Sideswipe's accusations weren't entirely false. "Of course, part of me thinks that you are genuinely hurting at his loss. We all noticed the lingering stares. Perhaps it was envy, perhaps appreciation, perhaps something else entirely, but you definitely liked looking him over. But then again, Sunstreaker left no room for confusion as to how he felt about you, so perhaps even with your fascination in him; you're still pleased to see him gone. After all, the Pit hath no fury..."

    "Sideswipe!" Jazz stepped directly in front of the black Autobot, placing himself between Sideswipe and the object of his rage. "Just relax. Whatever you think MIGHT happen, won't. Now sit down and we'll discuss this like friends."

    Sideswipe disdainfully looked from each hand on his shoulders to the faces of their owners, sending a stern non-verbal warning, before looking to Jazz. The warning was ignored by both Inferno and Tracks, who left their hands in place to keep Sideswipe from lunging at Bluestreak. As he looked at Jazz, Sideswipe lost his smile. "Yes Jazz, we are friends. I've always liked and respected you, and though no one will believe it, so did Sunstreaker. That's why I must sincerely ask you to stay out of this, because this intervention of yours is going to fail. I KNOW what's going to happen, and I truly don't want you to get caught up in it."

    Red Alert jumped to his feet. "Now you just hold on a second, soldier! No one threatens a superior officer on my watch!"

    Sideswipe kept his red optics focused on Jazz as he replied. "Didn't anyone tell you Red, I'm on indefinite leave? And given that the new government is going to force either a downsizing or complete dismantling of our military, I don't see myself ever rejoining the ranks." Sideswipe shook his head as he continued looking at Jazz. "I don't want you in this, Jazz."

    Jazz sadly shook his head too. "You know I can't back down. Please don't do this."

    "Sunstreaker fought harder and more bravely than anyone here, and for his memory to be besmirched like this is nothing short of an outrage. Do what you need to do, but my brother is getting honored, and it's going to be in a way that I'm sure would make him proud." With that Sideswipe reached up and gripped the wrists of Tracks and Inferno, sent a left snap-kick to the stomach of Tracks, planted it back down and shot a right thrust kick straight ahead to the chest of Jazz, and without breaking his momentum, pulled Inferno's right hand out and ducked under the large red Autobot's armpit, coming up behind him still clutching Inferno's now-twisted arm. As Inferno jerked his head around to look at Sideswipe, two metal fingers were driven through the hulking Autobot's right optic, not deep enough to damage any neural circuitry, but the optic was painfully rendered useless.

    Sideswipe jerked his left hand away from Inferno's face, thrust his body backward, driving Jazz into Bluestreak, who in turn was driven into the wall, and slammed an elbow into the jaw of Grapple, who was rising from his chair. Still holding onto Inferno's twisted wrist with his right hand, Sideswipe then reached forward, gripped Inferno's arm at his elbow, and drove his frame over the table and into Trailbreaker, sending both large Autobots to the ground. The table started to tip, and Sideswipe kicked up under it with his right leg and slammed the top of the table into Wheeljack on the opposite side.

    Jazz wrapped his arms around Sideswipe's torso, but the black Autobot slammed his head back, driving it into the bridge of Jazz's nose. Sideswipe then twisted his entire body forcibly enough to break free of Jazz's grip and pushed away from his friend. At that moment Red Alert charged Sideswipe from behind and tried to pin Sideswipe's right arm to his side by looping his own right arm under Sideswipe's elbow and with his left arm he tried to get Sideswipe in a choke hold. Sideswipe instantly spun away from the similarly framed Autobot and delivered a left jab to Red Alert's jaw. Sideswipe planted his feet and immediately delivered a right cross, which floored the Autobot security officer.

    Tracks came at Sideswipe's left, exposed side. But the black Autobot shot out a low thrust kick that buckled Tracks' knee, reached out and clasped Tracks' left hand, and with a violent twist, sent the blue Autobot sailing across the lounge and crashing into a vacant table and chairs. Sideswipe would have to keep an optic on Tracks at all times, as he was the most skilled combatant of the group he was fighting, but he was still far short of being in Sideswipe's caliber.

    Hoist had made his way around the table he was at and was now coming at the enraged Sideswipe. Wheeljack was coming as well, but it would be another full second before he got there, so Sideswipe concentrated fully on Hoist, pivoted sharply on his left foot, and delivered a powerful right crescent kick to the left side of Hoist's head. The green Autobot was driven by the kick into and over the table that he had been sitting at a few moments before, and hit with enough force to topple the table and send him barreling into Grapple, Jazz and Bluestreak.

    Sideswipe spun in time to see Wheeljack connecting a right cross to his face. Sideswipe's head twisted with the impact, but he still caught enough of the force to be sent stumbling back. Sideswipe smiled as he forced the cobwebs out of his head. Wheeljack always could deliver a solid punch. "I consider you a friend too, Wheeljack, so walk away now."

    Wheeljack squared off against his friend and shook his head, the crests to either side of his face illuminating as he responded. "Sorry pal, but I..."

    A left jab thrown so quickly that he didn't even see it caught Wheeljack in the face mid-sentence. A thunderous right uppercut to his mid-section lifted him into the air before sending him to the ground. "No buddy, I'm sorry." Sideswipe then scanned his opponents to determine the next threat, and therefore the next course of action. The one-opticed Inferno was slowly coming at him from his left with Trailbreaker, while Tracks and Red Alert were coming at him from the right. Coming at him from straight ahead was Jazz, with Bluestreak a step behind him. At seeing Bluestreak, all of Sideswipe's earlier rage returned, and the warm feelings that had been creeping back in for his friends instantly dissipated.

    The dark Autobot charged straight ahead and jumped, reaching down to plant a palm into Jazz's face and then deliver the bottom of his large left foot hard into Bluestreak's face. Sideswipe followed the thrust kick through, propelled Bluestreak's head into the wall and pinned it there. Sideswipe landed on his right foot, removed his left foot from Bluestreak's face, and pushed Jazz away with his right hand. Pinned against the wall, Bluestreak started sliding against it downward, but the force from a flurry of uppercuts to his body and head kept him upright. Ignoring the threat from the other Autobots, Sideswipe concentrated on the pummeling of the vociferous Bluestreak.

    The savage beating was finally put to an end as several hands gripped Sideswipe's back and shoulders and jerked him back, through the air, and slammed him onto the ground several dozen yards away. Tracks, Trailbreaker, Red Alert and Inferno surrounded the floored Sideswipe and either kicked him savagely from a standing position, or bent over to punch him repeatedly.

    Sideswipe took several shots, and was starting to get dizzy, but suddenly snapped back to life and grabbed Trailbreaker by the thigh with both hands. Using his grip on Trailbreaker's leg, Sideswipe hoisted himself up legs first and delivered a thrust kick to Inferno's jaw. The kick only backed up the massive Autobot a step, but Sideswipe used his upward momentum to get out from the center of the group and then lunge at Tracks, tackling him to the ground. Making the most of undoubtedly brief bit of offense, Sideswipe drove his forehead hard to the bridge of Tracks' nose three times before a large and powerful pair of hands gripped him by his sides, lifted him high into the air, and slammed him hard against the mirrored wall several yards to the right of the unconscious Bluestreak. "ENOUGH!"

    Pinned against the wall with his feet dangling several feet off the ground, Sideswipe cocked his fists and prepared his feet to strike, but held off as he looked upon the angered face of Ultra Magnus. "Hey chief, what's a bot like you doing in a nice place like this?" Sideswipe chuckled as he relaxed. He twisted his head and caught a glimpse of Bluestreak lying battered on the ground. It wasn't as long or intense as he had hoped, but between the thrust kick and the follow-up flurry, he was comfortable with the beating that he had delivered that slaggin' bigmouth.

    "What's going on here?" Magnus yelled as the other Autobots regained their composure.

    Jazz stepped forward, looking over shamefully as six members of the new government looked on in fear and disgust. "I'm sorry about this Magnus. Bluestreak failed to recognize Sideswipe as he walked in and made some comments regarding Sunstreaker."

    Magnus nodded and returned his intense gaze to Sideswipe. "We are all saddened by the loss of your brother, and we all will do anything we can to help you come to terms with his passing, but this outburst is completely unacceptable, regardless of what Bluestreak may have said! Leave or no leave, you are an Autobot officer, and this conduct is thoroughly unbecoming of you! You have disgraced us in front of these citizens..." Magnus nodded his head toward the robots at the bar. "And these esteemed members of our new government! We are in a very fragile time, we must earn the trust of all Cybertronians, and permitting a senseless desire for revenge drive you into attacking your comrades like a Decepticon does little to make other factions comfortable with us!"

    "HANDS OFF WARRIOR!" A pair of black hands nearly as large as Magnus's gripped the Autobot legend by the shoulders and hurtled him to the other side of the lounge, into the opposite wall, and then to the floor. "We at war, opinions of bots unwilling to fight not matter to me Grimlock!" Grimlock glared at Magnus as he reached down with his left hand and helped Sideswipe to his feet.

    "We're not at war!" Ultra Magnus yelled as he got to his feet. "The Decepticons are defeated, isn't that the reason you and your band of thugs left Cybertron in the first place?" Magnus turned to the door and sent a look of disdain at the four Dinobots watching on in amusement.

    Grimlock started walking across the floor toward the massive blue, red and white robot. "Yes, we leave for organic world, to leave civilized Autobot fops and live among beasts. But organic world invaded by Decepticons. Maybe different from Decepticons we know, but still Decepticons. They try to cyber-form planet, but Dinobots stop them. Me Grimlock examine Decepticon databanks on damaged ship, and discover they but tiny portion of gigantic Decepticon empire, empire that already cyber-form dozens of worlds. Me Grimlock come back to get Autobot warriors, but discover that cowards that hide from Decepticons now running planet, and those that protected them and make them free now serving them. Few Autobots earn me Grimlock's respect. Sunstreaker one." The Dinobot Commander then turned and looked directly at Sideswipe. "Sideswipe another." Grimlock then turned to the other Autobots in The Smelt Pit. "Apparently me Grimlock only one that bear respect for true warriors. Autobot's insult dead warriors and jump living warriors en-masse like cowards."

    Jazz stepped forward. "Now hold on Grimmy..."

    "SHUT UP!" Grimlock snarled at the predominantly white Autobot. He then turned back to Ultra Magnus. "Autobot leaders have all information regarding new Decepticons. If Autobots find bearings, we accept their help. Otherwise, to the pit with all of you!" The massive gold and gray Dinobot then turned to Sideswipe. "Me Grimlock consider honor to have you fight with us."

    "Now hold on...” Slag stepped forward to protest.

    "Slag shut up if Slag know what good for him!" Grimlock growled.

    Sideswipe looked around the lounge at Autobots that he had counted as friends just a few minutes before, then to an extremely irritated Ultra Magnus, to Dinobots who regarded him with mixed feelings, and then to Grimlock. "Yeah, I'm in." Grimlock nodded and turned to exit the facility, and Sideswipe followed him to the door. As he got to the door he turned to Magnus. "I guess this is my resignation from the Autobot Armed Forces. If Prime asked why I left, just tell him that I'd rather be preserving the rights of sentient beings than kowtowing to these vacillating spectators."

    Ultra Magnus watched silently as Sideswipe walked out of the tavern. He knew that duty compelled him to stop and discipline Sideswipe, but though he didn't know what was said, he still could not fault the warrior for violently honoring the memory of his brother against any insult. And his choice to follow Grimlock to defend other worlds, that was something that Magnus could not find fault with either. Turning to the politicians that he had invited for dinner, Magnus politely smiled. "Please accept my deepest apologies, but I am afraid that a matter has arisen that demands my utmost and immediate attention." The massive Autobot then turned to the other Autobots. "Collect Bluestreak and report to the Spires. It is time diplomacy took a back seat to doing what's right."


    ***


    "I'm not exaggerating, we're talking hours. Four or five at most." Quenaud Ginrai commented as he peered at the circuitry built into the head of the human laying face down on the medical slab in front of him. The human, Spike Witwicky, pushed himself up to a sitting position and then hopped off the slab, glaring heatedly at Ginrai as he did so. He had made some threats to the Nebulan, but had refrained from physically assaulting him. Ginrai had believed that the human had put Ginrai's endangering of his family behind him, but going by this glare, that belief seemed to be far from correct.

    "I told you they were similar." Galen commented as he stepped toward the two. "It may be worth considering altering your existing hardware so that you can interact with both your C.A.N.I.N.E. unit as well as a Headmaster suit." The Nebulan looked to his fellow alien. "Provided Hi-Q here is capable of implementing such an alteration."

    Ginrai smiled slyly at Galen. "Please. It's so simple, even you could perform it."

    "Well, this is all very interesting," Spike commented. "But I don't know if I'd be up for another bout of neuro-surgery. Nor do I foresee any Autobots stepping forward for the Headmaster procedure now that the war is over." A look of sadness came over the human. “Or at least it seemed to be over.”

    “How was the service?” Galen asked, changing the subject.

    “Inadequate.” Spike replied. “I realize Sunstreaker wasn’t the nicest guy in the galaxy, but there should have been more Autobots. Hell, the service was held on another planet and my wife and I still managed to show up.”

    “Don’t judge the Autobots too harshly.” Galen advised. “This is a time of great transition, and I’m certain the discovery that Megatron may have survived has pulled their strained forces even further.”

    Spike nodded. “I know. It just seems…” the human shook his head frustrated. “Despite his faults, Sunstreaker deserved better. And Sideswipe sure as slag deserved better.” Spike looked up and tried to return to the subject he and Galen had veered from. “But even with a lingering casualty or two, I don’t see any Autobots jumping in line for the Headmaster process.”

    "There are benefits beyond combat, and if it’s the surgery aspect that has you worried, don’t be. The alterations would be to the electronics, not to your physiology." Ginrai replied. "Though I think you may be right about new Autobots stepping forward for the procedure."

    Galen shrugged. "Maybe you could test it out on Cerebros?"

    Spike looked questioningly at Galen. "I thought that being the partner to Cerebros was something that has been passed on from father to son for countless generations?"

    Galen smiled. "It was. But I have no son, and while there are many attractive females on this planet, no human female has the genetic compatibility for me to sire a child with."

    "That's what's best about them." Ginrai chuckled.

    The human nodded knowingly. "I see. I was wondering when you would want to be heading home."

    "Yes, when we departed from Nebulos I fully expected to never return, but the war ended far quicker than I had anticipated. And with the Autobot's wormhole generation technology, well, it's only been fourteen years. My friends are still alive, and though I'd likely drop to the next generation of women for mating purposes, my temporal displacement is mild enough that I can fit back into Nebulan society easily enough." Galen shrugged. "What can I say? I see you with Carly and Daniel and grow envious. I desire a family of my own." The Nebulan then clasped Spike's shoulder. "And I trust you with the responsibility to be the partner of Cerebros and Fortress Maximus."

    Spike smiled. "Well, maybe it's something I can be talked into. But it'd better be a short-term gig. I fully expect you to return to Earth at some point with a wife and rug rats en-tow to take back the responsibility."


    ***


    "His memories seem to check out. As does his spark signature, though there is some odd scarring that wasn't there before; something that I've never seen the likes of." The words came broke the silence as the blackness faded away to a blur of white light, and then to a focused view of a rusted and dilapidated ceiling. "Oh, wait, he's online." The voice was instantly recognizable as that of Hook, one of his Constructicons. A moment later, the speaker's face interrupted the view of the disgusting ceiling. "Sir, please do not move. I have not completed the work needed to your neural processors, and you are still hooked up to my machinery. I will raise your platform so that you can see those addressing you." Hook disappeared, but proved to be truthful as the slab beneath started rotating up. The other Constructicons came into view, as did Drag Strip, Wildrider and Buzzsaw.

    Scrapper stepped forward. "Sir, if you are who you appear to be, then please, I beg your forgiveness. But we need to be certain of your identity, as another exists who claims to be an altered version of you."

    A response was in order, but the words that were sent to the vocal processors did not come out easily. No doubt a result from the various injuries incurred during the course of his escape from Unicron and return to Cybertron. He had managed to endure the blast and subsequent debris impacting his frame, and despite the damage sustained he even had the wherewithal to navigate around the numerous wormholes springing up in front of him on his way to Cybertron. But the entry through the atmosphere, and the impact shortly after had left him on the brink of death. A quick diagnostic let him know that Hook had gotten him out of the woods and well on the way to recovery, but the repairing of less vital functions like speech had not been yet attended to, and a reply to Scrapper would require a great deal of effort. But Megatron had never been one to wilt before a challenge. "G...Galva...tron."

    "Yes." Scrapper replied. "So you know of him."

    Megatron gingerly raised his hand to the partially exposed circuitry of his chest in an almost protective manner as he contemplated his response. "H...he is a violation. A puh...punishment for my refusal to bend to Unicron's will." The forcing of the words paused long enough to force a physically painful, but emotionally rewarding smile. "He was Unicron's first compromise. He wanted me, my spark, but my will was too strong for even a god to overwhelm..." Megatron pulled his hand away from his chest. "So he ripped open what was left of my chest and cleaved off a portion of my spark, copied my memories, duplicated my personality traits, and placed them all into the purple battle chassis that he fabricated before my very optics." The combination of fury and pride greased the pain of speaking, and the words began flowing freely. "Where I endured unimaginable pain to stand strong against Unicron, I witnessed Galvatron submit to the Chaos-Bringer with his first act of life, oblivious to my existence, much less my example of internal fortitude."

    Hook had joined the others in his line of vision, and was just as awestruck as they were. "But sir, if your spark was torn in two, how is it that either you or Galvatron managed to survive?"

    Megatron's mutilated mouth twisted into a snarl as he leaned forward a few inches. "It would seem that the dark god is more resourceful than you or the other members of your surgeon's guild." The revived Decepticon legend relaxed back against the slab and pondered thoughtfully. "Though as he conducted his mutilation of my spark, Unicron attempted to torment me further by declaring that the being that had conceived of this procedure would not have intended it to be performed on his most prized creation." The damaged Decepticon shrugged. "It meant nothing to me when he said it, and I've not gained any clarity regarding it since. But feel free to speculate on these words and their relationship to the survival of that flawed copy and myself." Megatron then looked back to the ceiling, and then noted the overall inadequateness of his surroundings. "What manner of infirmary is this?"

    The other Decepticons looked at each other nervously. "It is the best we could muster given our unfortunate circumstances, Oh Mighty Megatron." Bonecrusher announced, almost giddily. The odd and almost inappropriately toned response earned him a strange look from the other Decepticons.

    "Circumstances?" Megatron peered intently at his soldiers before his growing anger came to the forefront. "What state has that purple buffoon left my Decepticons in?"

    "Sir," Hook muttered. "We have been defeated by the Autobots. Our assets have been seized or destroyed, those of us not captured or destroyed have been scattered and are in hiding, and most of our leadership is in custody."

    Megatron looked down, furious anger coursing through his various systems. "And what has become of Galvatron?"

    "In custody as well, my lord." Scrapper answered. "Captured by Optimus Prime himself."

    Megatron's head jerked up and forward, snapping some of the cables connecting his cranium to the medical equipment behind him as he bellowed at Scrapper. "Captured by WHO?"


    ***


    "I'll tell you what I know Perceptor, but unfortunately that's not a lot when it comes to this symbol." Swoop commented into his wrist communicator as he walked down the desolate metal street toward a large, yet unassuming edifice. "I do remember it, the symbol was carved into many different public structures for a short period of time." The winged Dinobot peered at the split image on the small screen on his wrist, one half displaying an image of the scar on Galvatron's spark, the other half displaying an identically-shaped image carved into ancient metal. "Supporters of whatever underground, anti-Quint movement that carved them used to mutter something about it representing the breaking of the Quintesson attempts to limit our numbers." Swoop heard the distant sound of an engine approaching and tensed, ready to either relax if a friend, or spring into action should it be an enemy or a friend outside their little loop. Though distracted by the sounds, Swoop continued his report to Perceptor. "Oh, and for whatever reason, it got the former temple priests all riled up."

    "Former temple priests?" Perceptor's voice returned.

    "Yeah, the Quints outlawed all religion other than the worship of them, and set out to arrest representatives of these outlaw religions. Most of the Priests of Primus easily evaded them, but they were forced to hide who and what they were from the Quints. Of course, we all recognized what they used to be, and to an extent, still were. When they saw this symbol, they’d mutter things along the lines of it being blasphemy, a violation of the natural order. Stuff like that." Swoop readied to reach for his weapons, but relaxed as the approaching vehicle came into view. "Gotta go Perceptor. Sorry I couldn't be more help."

    "Actually this is very valuable information. If I could only trouble you for the specif..." Swoop cut off the channel and silenced Perceptor's voice as the black Lamborghini hauling a wheeled crate filled with weapons approached and came to a stop in front of him.

    Sideswipe transformed and nodded a greeting. "Important call?"

    "No, just helping someone with their homework." Swoop cocked his head and studied the small, weapon-laden trailer. "I thought the Autobots had revoked your access to the armories when they put you on leave."

    "They did." Sideswipe replied as he walked around to the back of the trailer and started pushing it to the building just a few dozen feet ahead of them. "This was Sunstreaker's personal stash. Choice weapons picked off of Decepticons he killed."

    "Well, I guess you are the sole beneficiary of his estate." Swoop mused as they entered the building, which turned out to be a large hangar. In the middle of the hangar rested the stolen scout ship Spotter. Mulling around the ship were the other four Dinobots.

    “And Prime doesn’t know you have this thing?” Sideswipe asked as they approached the other Dinobots and the ship.

    “Grimlock’s report said it was destroyed in our battle with its former owners.” Swoop chuckled. “This way we shouldn’t need to steal any more shuttles from the Autobots. Of course, we did help ourselves to one of those wormhole generators you guys left floating in orbit.”

    "See, me Grimlock tell you good idea to invite him." Grimlock gently smacked Slag in the shoulder as Swoop and Sideswipe approached.

    "Time was, the requirements for admittance to our squad was a bit more rigorous than the ability to be a good gopher." Slag spouted as he glared at Sideswipe.

    Sideswipe met the glare as he wheeled the large crate toward the craft. "I could care less about your little club. I'm here to kill Cons, not to wear a pledge pin." Slag sneered at the insolent Autobot and planted his foot in front of one of the wheels as it rolled past him, fully expecting it to slam the crate to a halt and send the newly re-colored Sideswipe stumbling into it. The crate did forcibly stop, but Sideswipe gracefully sidestepped it, reached into the crate, drew out a hand-held grenade launcher, and leveled inches in front of Slag's face, all in a single, fluid motion. "You're move, Slag."

    "Lower weapon!" Grimlock bellowed.

    "No." Sideswipe calmly replied. "There seems to be an issue between Slag and I, and I think it's better that it get resolved now, before we go any further with this mission." The black Autobot cocked his head and peered at Slag with his red optics. "Don't you agree?"

    Slag glared down at Sideswipe, but slowly started to nod his head. "Alright. You can tag along, as long as you pull your weight and are an asset in battle. But you're not one of us. No matter how useful you make yourself, you'll never be a Pit Lord."

    Sideswipe intensified his gaze at Slag, but a half-smile broke the tension and he lifted the weapon away from the Dinobot's face. "Fair enough." With that the Autobot turned, tossed the weapon into the open-topped crate, and continued pushing it to the ship.

    Swoop, Snarl and Grimlock all walked up to Slag and they all watched Sideswipe get to the Spotter and start lifting handfuls of the weapons up to Sludge who had climbed into the ship. "Slag think he fire?" Grimlock asked.

    "Yeah." Slag answered. "His optics made it very clear, he would have pulled the trigger if I tried anything." The horned Dinobot crossed his arms and smiled. "It's the only reason I didn't pound him into a puddle afterward. Gotta respect a guy with the bearings to follow up a threat like that."

    "Courage to follow up convictions good." Grimlock muttered quietly. "But blowing off comrade's head bit extreme, even for me Grimlock."

    "Very extreme." Swoop agreed. "It's almost as if Sunstreaker, and not Sideswipe, was the one that survived."

    "Both brother die up there." Grimlock commented. "It not life powering that frame, it vengeance." The Dinobot Commander nodded thoughtfully. “That make him infinitely more dangerous, and infinitely more useful to us.”


    ***


    "Sir, the Spotter is on the move." The green and chrome helmsman called out to the massive Jhiaxus, who was peering silently at the enormous transparent metal window displaying a partially cyber-formed planet ahead of their ship in the distance. "It's leaving the home world."

    Jhiaxus turned and approached the helmsman. "Odd. I would have assumed that they would have spent a great deal more time studying the craft, perhaps even dismantle it."

    "Sir, a wormhole has appeared in close proximity to the Spotter." The helmsman calmly announced.

    "It appears they did not even bother to study the craft's long range propulsion system, merely fit one of their wormhole generators on it." The large warrior casually waved his hand as he ceased his attempts to understand the reasons for launching the craft. "Dispatch Mindset's team to track it, but inform him that he is not to be detected."

    "Right away sir."


    ***


    "Identify yourself immediately or we will be forced to open fire!"

    "Hound almost came across as threatening." Sideswipe muttered as he reached to open the frequency to reply, but partially turned his head to look to Grimlock before doing so. "He's going to want to know why we're here."

    "Tell him we explain once we're on the ground." Grimlock replied.

    Sideswipe nodded and flipped the switch for his reply. "Hey Hound. It's Sideswipe, and I'm here with the Dinobots."

    There was a long pause before the response came through. "We'll need to confirm that for ourselves. Land in the clearing and come out of the craft slowly and unarmed."

    "Got it." Sideswipe replied before switching off the frequency, engaging the auto-pilot landing procedure, and turning completely around in the pilot's seat to face his companions. "You do realize that if they call this in to Prime he's going to tell them to bar access to us."

    "Probably." Grimlock replied as he leaned forward and peered at a couple of the screens laid out on the control panel in front of Sideswipe. "But shouldn't be problem. Look like just Hound, Protectibots, and bunch of human military."

    Sideswipe twisted his head and noted a change in the readings of Cybertronian life forms below, one involving the consolidation of five into one. "Looks like there's a problem now."


    *


    The lowering of the landing platform and opening of the port-side door occurred simultaneously, and a moment later the Dinobots and Sideswipe came walking out and onto the rocky ground a few hundred yards in front of the large temporary structure built over the base of the mountain where the remains of the Ark had been collected for restoration. The Autobots had no intention of making the Ark flight capable again, or of using it as a headquarters again, but various human organizations had convinced them to rebuild it as best they could for its historical value. It had predated mankind by at least a million years, likely much more than that depending on what qualified as ‘mankind’, and the symbolic and sentimental value it held for human and Autobot alike was significant enough for the Autobots to happily accept the challenge. But a significant level of security was necessary, as even destroyed; the Ark and its contents would prove quite valuable to unsavory elements from both Earth and Cybertron.

    The dozens of American military personnel who had sped to the scene and surrounded the ship visibly relaxed at seeing the Dinobots and the Sideswipe, though most had to take a second look to recognize the formerly red Autobot. Hound and Defensor stood between the Spotter's crew and the structure housing the Ark's wreckage, their posture unthreatening, but they made it clear that their fellow Autobots were less than welcome. "While it's good to see all of you, I must ask why you're here." Defensor's deep voice called out.

    Sideswipe walked toward Hound and the gestalt. "We were in the neighborhood and I wanted to sift through the rubble to find some of my brother's old belongings."

    Hound walked forward and placed a supportive hand on Sideswipe's shoulder. "Sideswipe, I...I'm sorry to hear about Sunstreaker. We didn't always see optic to optic on things, but he...he was..."

    "Yeah, I appreciate it." Sideswipe said as he brushed Hound's hand from his shoulder.

    "Me Grimlock also want to see what salvaged of Teletraan One." The Dinobot Commander announced.

    Hound and Defensor exchanged a curious glance before Hound attempted an answer. "Well, First Aid, Groove, Streetwise and myself have found that most of the data is recoverable. Of course, anything militarily sensitive was dumped right before Trypticon destroyed the ship, so that sort of stuff is all gone."

    Sideswipe nodded. "I doubt that anything Grimlock wants to check out would be something Jazz considered dump-worthy at the time."

    "Regardless of what you are after, we can not permit you access to what has been recovered. Not until we have clearance from Prime." Defensor announced as the human military began dispersing.

    "What?" Grimlock roared. "Me Grimlock out rank everyone here! Gestalt no tell me Grimlock what to do!"

    Hound defensively raised his hands in an attempt to quell the Dinobot's anger. "Look, Grimlock, we've got to follow protocol here, and this little visit coupled with your desire to get access to Teletraan One's salvaged data just seems...odd. Sideswipe's on forced leave, perhaps even bound for disciplinary action." Hound looked to the black Autobot and shrugged. "I heard about The Smelt Pit."

    "And you and your Dinobots might be spending time in the brig with him." Defensor added. "The matter of a stolen shuttle is still unresolved."

    "Plus...” Hound continued. "If this were the sort of thing Prime would give his blessing to, you could have just used Teletraan Two or any number of computers in Iacon. Everything that was in Teletraan One has been downloaded to or duplicated in any number of databases."

    Grimlock nodded and calmly approached Defensor. "Me Grimlock need to talk to Hot Spot."

    Defensor smiled. "He's listening."

    Grimlock was visibly irritated by the response. "Defensor not as smart as he think." The Dinobot growled, but quieted down, stepped closer to the gestalt, and continued in an almost hushed tone. "Autobot's most elite team come with warrior that has Autobot military affiliation severed in stolen Decepticon craft, to source of information unlikely to be considered asset by anyone, and Defensor not make connection?" Grimlock nodded toward the departing humans in the distance. "Term humans use is black ops."

    Defensor stared down at the Dinobot skeptically, but eventually took a step back and disengaged. Hot Spot addressed his team as he started toward the Dinobot leader. "Take Hound and escort the other Dinobots and Sideswipe back to the restoration center, and do not discuss anything Grimlock just said until I get this sorted out." The blue Protectibot watched them off before stopping in front of the Dinobot and crossing his thick arms. "Alright, what's this all about?"

    "Dinobots run across contingent of Decepticons on distant organic world. Apparently part of vast Decepticon empire we not know about." Grimlock related. "We steal ship, interrogate survivor, get him to reveal name of his Commander, and reveal that Commander used to serve Decepticons on Cybertron. Can't discuss specifics, but Prime give Dinobots mission related to this, but need information to perform mission. Information that might be found in Teletraan One."

    Hot Spot didn't seem to be buying it. "And Sideswipe? He's not even active on our roster."

    Grimlock slapped the side of his head and groaned. "Ughn. Hot Spot need me Grimlock to define 'black ops'?"

    "I'm familiar with the term, Grimlock." Hot Spot snapped.

    "Then you know outcast status of Dinobots and Sideswipe good thing." Grimlock grumbled. "This not sanctioned mission. Nothing official here. Stolen ship not mentioned in any report. If caught, we renegades acting alone."

    Hot Spot chuckled incredulously as he nodded. "Alright. I'll be sure nobody's listening when I ask Prime to verify this."

    "Ughn." Grimlock groaned in feigned frustration once again. "Can’t call Prime. Humans refer this as plausible deniability. Me Grimlock wonder how Hot Spot ever become officer."

    "Plausible deniability, huh?" Hot Spot questioned.

    Grimlock nodded. "Plausible deniability."

    "And black ops."

    Grimlock continued nodding. "Yup."

    Hot Spot unfolded his arms and started to turn around. "Sorry Grimlock, perhaps it's my naiveté, but I don't think Prime works that way." The bulky blue Autobot started marching up the rocky hill toward the makeshift structure where the other Autobots had just entered. As he took his fifth step, a massive black fist slammed into the back of his cranial shell.


    ***


    "Power down antimatter propulsion." The large, visor-bearing robot calmly commanded his pilot as he studied their coordinates.

    "Yes sir." The pilot replied as he obeyed the order. The propulsion system powered down, but the craft still hurtled through space as an unfathomable rate.

    "Administer antimatter braking systems."

    "Yes sir." Once again the pilot complied, and the view through the front window showed planetary bodies taking form and speeding toward them. But the antimatter breaking system slowed the craft down quickly enough that those planetary bodies soon came to a halt.

    "Power down antimatter breaks and administer standard propulsion." The hulking white robot ordered.

    "Yes sir." The smaller green and white pilot replied. They approached the green, blue and white orb ahead of them.

    "Hold here for now and open a channel to the Twilight." The large Captain ordered.

    "Yes Mindset." The pilot replied.

    The ship came to a halt and Mindset gazed upon Earth for the first time, eager to announce this discovery to Jhiaxus. His chance finally arrived as Jhiaxus's voice emerged from the speaker. "I see that you have arrived in the same system as the Spotter, Mindset. Tell me of what you have found."

    "Sir, a mid-sized organic planet, roughly two-thirds to three-quarters of which is covered by water. Atmosphere consisting primarily of nitrogen and oxygen, and from the readings, a good deal of non-Cybertronian technology currently being utilized, so we've got at least one higher functioning native or alien species here. I'm also detecting a small degree of Cybertronian technology, and by that I mean home world technology, not ours. But it's not prevalent, just a few isolated pockets of it."

    "Are you able to trace the Spotter's exact coordinates?" Jhiaxus questioned.

    "Yes sir, it appears to be powered down near the western edge of the planet's third largest continent, at the location of one of the readings of Cybertronian technology." Mindset relayed.

    "I see." Jhiaxus replied. "Find a location near the planet where the Twilight will not be noticed, send me the coordinates, and as you wait for me there, begin acquiring all information you can regarding the planet from your remote position."

    Mindset looked out his left side window and noticed Earth's moon. He tapped his pilot and pointed at it. "Take us behind there and forward the coordinates to Lord Jhiaxus." Mindset watched his pilot's movements as he complied, and then responded to his Commander. "Coordinates transmitting now, my lord."


    ***


    "I have to say, that black looks pretty sharp on you." Streetwise commented to Sideswipe.

    "Thinking of a makeover, Streetwise?" Blades asked humorously. "I'm sure Swipe here would be willing to share his paint."

    "I could definitely see you going dark as well Blades. It would better reflect your outlook." First Aid remarked. "Plus, this re-coloring might serve as an impetus to get Hot Spot to finally go red to improve the blending in of his vehicular mode."

    Blades turned toward First Aid and sneered. "Believe me, you and Groove wouldn't get off unscathed in this paint-fest. I'm thinking bright orange and teal would be up your allies."

    As his teammates playfully bantered, Streetwise continued to intently study Sideswipe and the Dinobots. Locking his visor-covered optics onto Sideswipe's crimson ones, Streetwise began his interrogation in earnest. "So why don't you tell me your real purpose for coming here?"

    Sideswipe stood up and returned Streetwise's intense glare. "Where've you got Teletraan One set up?"

    "What do you want with Teletraan?" Streetwise queried, knowing that the situation was going south quickly.

    Sideswipe turned and looked over Hound and the other Protectibots, but finally settled on Groove and started slowly walking toward him. "Where's Teletraan One?"

    "Hey, you leave him alone!" Blades ordered and started toward Sideswipe, but his intervention was halted by Snarl grabbing him and holding him back.

    "What are you doing?" Hound stepped forward, but Swoop's hand on his shoulder convinced him to stand down.

    Sideswipe's metal upper lip raised as he started to repeat his question to the now terrified Groove, but his words were held as a loud thud near the door snared everyone's attention. All optics took in Hot Spot's crumpled form on the ground, and then watched Grimlock enter the room and step over it. The Dinobot Commander nodded to Sideswipe. "Get to work."

    Sideswipe returned the nod and then turned ominously back toward Groove. "Either way I'll find it. But you can save me a few minutes of looking, and yourself a few days in the CR Chamber by just pointing me in the right direction."

    Slag stepped forward and grabbed First Aid by the throat, hoisting him into the air as he did so. Groove watched his teammate struggle against the Dinobot's grasp and then frantically looked back into Sideswipe's optics and pointed to the far side of the temporary structure. "Over there. I'll take you, just leave First Aid alone!"

    Sideswipe nodded and turned to Slag, but the Dinobot ignored him and continued to playfully torment the dangling First Aid. Sideswipe then twisted his head the other way and sent Grimlock a glare. Grimlock didn't visibly acknowledge Sideswipe, but did was silently asked of him. "Slag."

    The horned Dinobot let go, and the bulky medic dropped to the ground. Sideswipe then returned his attention to Groove as First Aid clumsily pulled himself off the floor and made his way to Hot Spot. "Alright, lead the way."

    "You realize that this is treason, don't you?" Streetwise calming asked Grimlock as Sideswipe followed Groove through the piles of salvage toward the back of the structure.

    Grimlock looked over the interior of the restoration facility as he answered, almost absently. "Me Grimlock aware that how this be seen, but truth is, this most patriotic thing we can do. Decepticon threat there, and Prime and advisors too busy squiring Neutrals around Iacon to do what needed." Grimlock walked up to Snarl and tapped his shoulder, causing him to release his submission of Blades. "Decepticon army out there, and whether Prime know it or not, we need to know what we up against."


    ***


    The enormous ship came out of seemingly nowhere as it slowed to a stop behind Earth's moon. Roughly half the size of a moderate Cybertronian city-state, the Twilight was the most awesome structure to ever enter Earth's solar system. Mindset took in the tremendous sight before turning to his pilot. "Take us in."

    A few minutes later Mindset and his team were exiting his craft and stepping onto the floor of the enormous hangar that they had landed in. Ahead of him he saw Jhiaxus waiting patiently. "Greetings my lord."

    "Hello Mindset, what have you learned of this world." The hulking leader asked.

    "It is called Earth, it has great organic bio-diversity, and is extremely rich in fossil fuels." Mindset began. "From what we've been able to pick up from their various sources of information and communication, two Cybertronian crafts crashed here roughly fifty-thousand vorns ago, but the Cybertronian crews remained in stasis until only about a fifth of a vorn ago, when they were awakened by seismic activity and began battling each other. One crew is apparently affiliated with our ancestors, as they're designated Decepticons. The other crew belonging to a faction called Autobots."

    Jhiaxus chuckled. He had been created to help the Decepticon forces finally destroy the weak, yet persistent Autobots. He had spent his earliest days destroying the Autobot resistance and hunting down their remnants. His service to that old cause had led him to set out in search of alien energy sources to fuel the destruction of the remaining Autobots, which was when he had found his true destiny. During his transition from that old life into that of service of this greater empire he had marveled at the ignorance of his new comrades regarding the Autobot scourge. Every so often he'd run across a fellow direct descendant of Vector Sigma, or a member of later generations who had proven to be worthy of knowing their heritage and the existence of other Cybertronian lines, like his most trusted advisor Rook, but the vast majority of the empire's countless legions were ignorant to the history of their home world. "And what ships did these Decepticons and Autobots crew?" The Commander asked in good humor.

    "The scuttled Autobot craft was called the Ark, and the Decepticon craft was..."

    "The Nemesis?" Jhiaxus's green optics stretched wide. "This was the final resting place of Megatron?"

    "Yes. Well actually, uh, no sir." Mindset replied confused as to how Jhiaxus could know so much. "I mean, he was here, but he was revived, and fought here for a short while until he was apparently mortally wounded. His remains are reported to have been lost in space, though most reports indicate that he was rebuilt and renamed Galvatron by an entity called Unicron."

    Jhiaxus looked up and seemed to be lost in thought as he continued asking questions. "And Optimus Prime, did he survive as well?"

    "Ye..yes sir. Like with Megatron, he fought on this planet a short while, and was apparently slain by Megatron in the same battle that Megatron was mortally wounded. And like with Megatron, he is reported to have been recently rebuilt and brought back on line, though he reportedly was not renamed."

    Jhiaxus's head snapped back down and he looked intently at the robot standing next to him, Rook. "I want this planet studied thoroughly from this location. Every detail you can acquire without risking discovery is to be presented to me. I want to know everything there is to know about this Earth, its relationship to Cybertron, and the current status of the war with the Autobots."

    Rook nodded but stepped forward and whispered. "As you wish my lord, but this risks direct involvement with Cybertron. Has…he, given any indication that he feels we are ready for that?"

    Jhiaxus peered down on his advisor as he replied. "He would not have made me Liege Centuro had he any doubt regarding my discretion. Now do as I command."

    "Thy will be done, my Liege."
     
  13. KA

    KA Well-Known Member

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    damn dude, if anything, youre prolific.

    kudos.
     
  14. darksage78

    darksage78 Maximal

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    Amazing work, love the conflict over the downsizing and the government structure of Maximal society coming together. And I can't wait till Obsidian and Strika make their cameo :)  Though how many eps are left? And will you do OVAs? XD
     
  15. peteynorth

    peteynorth TFW2005 Supporter

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    Sorry, no cameo, just a mention.
     
  16. darksage78

    darksage78 Maximal

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    Aww, but its cool enough. Just a few questions.

    1. Will Obsidian and Strika already have the war record under their belt or will they just be starting out to defend Cybertron?

    2. When will stasis pod technology come out?

    3. Will your fic end with the Pax Cybertronia? If it does, will there be a separation of Cybertron and Earth relations? Just out of curiosity since in BM, I don't think there was any evidence of human relation on Cybertron. And throughout the BW/BM saga, there is never a mention about humans continuing to be allies in the future.
     
  17. peteynorth

    peteynorth TFW2005 Supporter

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    Episode 62 will be the last one.

    I'm going to have to be pretty vague with my answers to your questions:

    1. At the time of the discussion where their names are brought up, their military records will be behind them.

    2. Sometime after this story ends, I think. I just wanted to plant some seeds for various elements in BW/BM, but the bulk of the changes will occur in the centuries between this and BW. That said, I might change my mind. I have a general outline of where I'm going with the story, but details change as I write them, so I might work it in.

    3. Answering this one might give the ending away.
     
  18. Overlord II

    Overlord II Starscreamicon Leader TFW2005 Supporter

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    Wow Petey, you never cease to amaze..So Starscream has possessed Bonecrusher now...very interesting, hopefully the traitorous 'Con will make a more permanent comeback.

    I never really followed the G2 comic so these concepts are new to me. I love how you are handling the return of Megatron.

    Given Sideswipe an edge, and a logical reason for it...wow.

    keep up the good work.
     
  19. Spider Striker

    Spider Striker ThisGuyWithTheYellowCap

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    Dammit, I wish the suscription option would send me actual chapters instead of just responses containing spoilers. Still, this story continues to rock and I can't wait to see your take on G2.
     
  20. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm Wreck n’ rule

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    i like the protectobots joking about their g2 colours, i find sideswipe quite disturbing, i think it was because i really liked the character but his behaviour is probably how he would react if his brother did die