Guard duty is almost always boring but this two-week assignment at the ark
had been pure fun! The Ark is the site for our research and developments,
there’s always some new gizmo or weapon that needs to be tested. And
because of the heavy security it was most to be there if the ‘cons decided
to thrash the party. And this time the whole team I was part of was there.
Getaway, HotRod, Nightbeat, Targetlock, Sideswipe, no we do NOT combine….
I don’t know how we got bunched into a team, but I got my suspicions.
The Dinobots had arrived a week into the assignment to participate in an “experiment”..
Currently we where playing poker, the Dinobots where somewhere in the woods and testing their new equipment, but when they were back we had planned to have an paintball tournament.
Cybertron, Megatrons Office:
Megatron was looking at a data pad that was displaying names.
”So these are the ones that Straxus has recruited to his little raiding mission” Megatron said with a slight hint of disgust in his voice.
“Should I have them rounded up and incarcerated?” Soundwave asked
“No, I have worked for over an earthen year to solidify the Decepticon army into one entity instead of several packs under the rule of petty warlords” Megatron spat out the last words as if they were poisonous.
“I can’t allow any more quarrelling now that our world stands so close to disaster”
“Incompetent stupid fool, chasing that ludicrous legend about the endless energy source powering the Ark”
“As soon as he has reached Earth you will disable his means to use the spacebridge”
“As you command” Soundwave replied
“Let Straxus rust on Earth, I have bigger things to concern myself with”
The door chimed and Shockwave entered.
Megatron brightened up and Shockwave greeted him.
“What’s our status? Shockwave” Asked Megatron
“In four earthen weeks Cybertron will pass Draylond and in ten weeks we will enter event horizon of the ngezza singularity”
“The planetary drive will be operating in three weeks and ready to start braking Cybetron’s course in four if we acquire enough energy to power it” Shockwave continued.
“Good, We will start the invasion as soon as the fool Straxus is out of the way” Megatron concluded.
Straxus punched a code into the bulky control panel he was holding and a gateway of pure light opened and he and his troops walked through. In the shadows ravage silently watched and quickly darted trough the gate unseen. They arrived in an open clearing in the great big forest surrounding mount Hillary. Ravage melted back into the shadows and observed unseen.
“Gyro, Camshaft, Transform and scout ahead!” Straxus ordered!
“At once Lord Straxus” Gyro saluted, he and Camshaft transformed
to boxy looking hovercrafts and advanced through the forest.
“The rest of you, Follow me” Straxus said and started to walk towards the ark…
4 breems (1 Breem~8.5 min) later Straxus got the feeling that something menacing was watching him, a sense of utter dread. He spun around and saw that two of the warriors that had been last had disappeared. Then with a roar 10 shapes burst fourth from the foliage. And then all hell broke lose.
Straxus battled one of the monsters that had attacked them and managed to kill one with his vibranium axe. He was for an instant shocked when the wound revealed that it was an empty shell and not dead at all.
“A Pretender shell…” then he was interrupted by a screeching
Grimlock threw the Decepticon he had been munching on out of the forest and attacked Straxus.
“That hurt, NOW YOU LUNCH!” he jumped onto Straxus and bit his arm clean off at the shoulder. Straxus Screamed in pain and threw Grimlock of himself and through several trees. He transformed to canon mode and shot several shots at the rubble. The Pretender shell attacked anew but Straxus ripped it slowly to pieces, Grimlock’s scream could be heard for miles before he succumbed to the Pain.
“INCOMING, SCATTER!” I screamed just before a ‘con impacted
on our table.
We threw us away from the table just in time.
The table wrapped around the ‘con like tinfoil and he tumbled a bit before he settled.
“What, who how??” Hotrod started
“Which only leaves us with why and when” Sideswipe concluded
Getaway lifted up the ‘con and tore away the table from him.
He had a large bite mark over his torso.
“He came from the forest” I answered the obvious question.
“His condition and his appearance indicates that he was thrown here by Grimlock” Nightbeat concluded.
“Then let’s find the Dinobots and ask them to not throw Decepticons at us” Getaway said with a smirk.
“Okay, I want” Getaway didn’t get further when Hotrod screamed
“There’s Swoop, he’s surrounded by ‘cons” he pointed at the sky above the foliage and Sideswipe ignited his magnesium boosters.
“Hang on” Sideswipe shouted over the roar from his boosters and grabbed Hotrod.
Together they flew towards the Decepticons that swarmed around Swoop.
“Targetlock, go after ‘Rocketeer’ and his co-pilot” Getaway and Nightbeat transformed!
I leaped into the air and transformed.
“Nightbeat and I will” “KICK AZZ” Nightebeat interrupted
They quickly accelerated to blinding speeds and disappeared amongst the trees.
I activated my targeting system and locked on to eight bogeys and three friendlies.
I let loose a barrage of 16 amraams.
Instant panic amongst the flying Decepticons as their threat screens lit up like a Christmas tree. Four of the targets where direct hits and they went down in the forest below…
One chickened out and dove towards the foliage followed by swoop, Sideswipe and Hotrod.
The rest of them that I now recognised as Airjam, Spincontrol and Vector gave me their undivided attention!
“Decepticons, destroy their pretender shells” Straxus ordered. He picked up his severed arm and inspected the damage.
“When I have conquered the Ark I will have it reattached by their medic”
The Decepticons was viciously shooting the Dinobots pretender shells into scrap.
The tables were turned and the former unbeatable Dinobots were soon defeated.
His warriors had organised themselves and they where preparing to leave the clearing that had been created in the battle.
“The guardians have fallen, now only the automatic defences lie in my path” Straxus mused.
“Soon I shall be in possession of the most powerful energy source in the universe and then rule the galaxy” Straxus stated.
Then two shapes raced through the clearing almost faster than their optics sensors could register. Getaway was utilising his uncanny ability to plot a course for him and Nightbeat allowing them to travel at supersonic speeds through the forest. The twin sonic booms and shockwaves hit the Decepticons a second later and chaos reined anew.
Grimlock’s cranial circuits where more ablaze than the fire he lay in, he felt like the pain was melting his personality core. Someone was dragging him out from the fire; He opened his eyes and saw Slag.
“Easy there, boss” Slag helped him to his feet.
“Where are the rest of us?” Grimlock asked.
“After Straxus defeated you he ordered the rest of his men to concentrated their fire against our unprotected Pretender shells”
“The feedback knocked out Snarl and Sludge and almost me but I got away, I don’t know where Swoop is”
The pain in Grimlock’s head flared up mixed with guilt over his captured friends
“It’s my fault, Wheeljack warned me about the pretender shells being unarmoured and that they were not feedback protected ” Grimlock thought grimly.
“Lets go back and see if we can save Snarl and Sludge….” Grimlock stopped himself realising that his speech impediment was gone.
Suddenly a Decepticon jet crashed to the ground and Swoop swooped down.
Sideswipe and Hotrod also landed.
“Why are you two standing here for? Backup has arrived”
“Where’s your pretender shell Swoop?” Grimlock asked
“I sent it back to the Ark, one hit at it almost fried my circuits, when that big bozo axed your shell I thought you would overload on pain but instead you bit his arm off” Swoop answered with awe
The fire in Grimlocks eyes re-ignited, his doubts over himself swept away in one swoop.
“Then lets go save our friends” he said and transformed and let loose a roar that echoed through the forest.
Airjam Vector and Spincontroll, I remembered these wannabe seekers from Cybertron.
They avoided my missiles and opened up with their own artillery. Sadly enough these guys couldn’t hit water if they were standing in it! I flew past them and made a 180 turn and released a couple of sidewinders. Unfortunately they seemed to have trained some since our last bout. They again avoided my missiles (I really have to start using newer missiles) and now they started to come close with their own missiles. Plenty of chaff and bursts took care of almost all of the missiles but on of them grazed my left tail fin and I still had the ‘cons on my tail.
“Any last words, flying bucket?” Airjam yelled at me.
“He’s to occupied to fly to be able to answer ” Vector sniggered
“Have you gone deaf on old days, autoantique ?” Spincontroll hollered
Sigh, Time to use excessive force!
I reverse my engines and hit the brakes and see three loudmouths shot past.
Full forward throttle again and the tables are reversed.
“Less talk and more airshow” and I launch a full spread of sidewinders.
Two hit home and Airjam and Vectors engines failed.
Spincontroll tried to bank and I transformed, gripped his fuselage and threw him towards the ground.
“Try to control that spin!” I shouted at him.
His troops were in disarray and despite their superiority in number they
were loosing against the coordinated attacks from the two Autobots.
Straxus singled out Getaway as the leader of the attack and transformed to canon mode and aimed.
Then he heard a roar that chilled him to the core and woke up Snarl and Sludge.
Now without the pretender shells as an Achilles heel the newly awakened Dinobots tore through their captors.
Straxus aimed at Sludge but Grimlock jumped on him and ripped of his canon with his powerful jaws.
“Did you actually think I was going to let you get away, lunch?” desperately Straxus saw a handful of troops that were coming to his rescue being knocked down by his own flying Decepticons that were dropping out of the sky. He transformed and threw Grimlock of and the remaining decepticons troops jumped on Grimlock like a full week of Mondays. Straxus had decided that it was time to retreat and fetched the bulky spacebridge control from subspace. The controls were dead when he tried it.
“Swindle, when I get my hands on you” he thought and threw away the controls.
The control was caught in the air by Ravage who subsequently disappeared.
“Megatron” Straxus screamed and fetched his vibranium axe from subspace.
I dove down through the foliage and landed. Pain shot up from my foot and
I would have fallen if Camshaft hadn’t caught me. My foot was almost
blown of. Camshaft was one of Counterpunch’s agents.
“Targetlock I need to get to Optimus Prime as soon as possible, Megatron has almost finished project freepath”
“It sounds important and if you wanted a ride you caught the right ‘bot, but as you can see I don’t think I’m going anywhere” I said and Camshaft started to look a bit desperate.
“Then I’ll have to hide out until” Camshaft started but I interrupted him
“You don’t have to, I can put you into subspace, no one will know until I get to Prime”
He agreed and I transferred him to subspace and concentrated on walking back towards the Ark when all went static and I lost consciousness.
Spincontroll reached down and hauled up Targetlock on his shoulder.
“One down, more to go” he started to walk away from the battle when Nightbeat knocked him out with a concentrated beam from his photon rifle.
“Couldn’t have said it better myself” he said with a smirk
“Getaway!” he hailed over Autobot radio
“Yes, what is it? Were kind of busy here!”
“Is Spincontroll one of the Decepticon jets that’s out cold over at your side?”
“Yep, he and his buddies came down in the right time”
“Can you confirm it?”
“Wait a microbreem”
Grimlock and Straxus were fighting each other, Vibranium axe against Thermal sword.
Sparks flew while the combatants tried to get the upper hand.
Grimlock saw and opening and sliced Straxus remaining arm clean off and punched his lights out
Hotrod yelled “Timber” and the rest of the Dinobots cheered.
Getaway walked over to the heap of 20 or so decepticons that they had gathered and pulled out the still unconscious Spincontroll and thought “uh oh”
“Yes, he is here laying on the ground, how so?”
“We have a mystery here!”
“I just knocked Spincontroll out here after he had appeared out of nowhere and shot Technoid”
“I hate when you say that we have a mystery, it makes even Kup go worried!”
“Don’t move, I’ll send over Swoop and Sideswipe and Hotrod” Getaway ordered.
When I woke up I was seated against a tree at the edge of the clearing where
the main battle had been. Nightbeat stood and watched me.
“Good morning, Targetlock!” He said. I checked my internal sensors and saw that Camshaft was still secure.
“What happened?” I asked Nightbeat
“You were shot by Masquerade, I had been following Camshaft when I saw Spincontroll shoot you. And after I had knocked him out, it was easy to deduct that he really was Masquerade since you had already downed Spincontroll over here” Nightbeat answered.
“Just great, I hope we can keep him locked up this time”
“Well, Kup will be so happy that we have nailed him”
Suddenly Prowl and Defensor stepped out of the forest.
“Need any help?”
“Straxus might need a hand,” Grimlock said pointing at the still unconscious Decepticon.
“Lord Straxus of Polyhex?” Prowl looked like a cat that’s just been handed a live mouse.
“And I see that you thought of Kup too, Masquerade at last we meet” Prowl continued with joy.
Getaway looked around and couldn’t loose the thought “Woodbusters – We makes your forest disappear“ when he saw the reach of their little battlefield.
Cybertron, Megatrons Office:
”So Straxus got caught?” Megatron said with an amusing tone to
“Now Straxus is MIA and can’t hinder us anymore” said Shockwave
“We launch the attack in 60 Breems”
On the water world of Draylond the most advanced life form was a creature that almost identical to the earthen dolphin.
They sensed that something was amiss but didn’t know why; it was generations since they had exiled the dangerous predators that had once roamed the oceans into secluded areas. They were the masters of their ocean and they knew that nothing could ever threaten them. They decided that only the distant future held the answers.
Unfortunately that future was only hours away……