Author: TVfan PM
Tenth in series Optimus Primal and his crew return to Cybertron, but they quickly find it to be something out of a nightmare. The Tripredicus Council appears to rule he planet, and they do not know how or why it happened.Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 2 - Words: 9,574 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 3 - Updated: 05-30-08 - Published: 03-20-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4142331
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
-1Beast Wars and all characters and things related are copyright and trademark of Hasbro and Mainframe Entertainment. This work, however, is the original work of the author.
Note: This story takes place immediately after "Going Home".
"Man, I can't wait to get home," Rattrap said with a smile, "Anyone wonder what they'll all say when we get there?"
"More then likely they'll be overjoyed that we survived and that we returned, and grateful that Megatron was captured to stand trial," Rhinox answered, "At least that will be the extent of their 'happy' reactions."
"What do ya mean 'happy reactions'?" Rattrap asked, "You make it sound like they won't like the fact that we're coming home."
"He is referring to my status, Vermin," Dinobot growled, "Your elders will not react well to me given my past allegiances."
"They might not react well to me either," Depthcharge commented with a sigh, "My hunt after X made me desert my post, although I would still say that I was justified in doing so."
"Man, I can't believe you're all a bunch of party poopers," Rattrap grumbled, "This should be a happy moment."
"We're all happy to be going home," Cheetor told his friend, "but I guess everyone is still a little tired from the events of the Beast Wars."
"And to some of us, this is more of a 'tourist' type situation," Silverbolt commented, "Remember that I've never been to Cybertron before."
"Then remember, you're comin' with me to this joint I know," Rattrap told the fuzor, "they have great oil and better company."
Silverbolt glanced over at Blackarachnia, who looked like she was trying to ignore the conversation.
"I think I'd better not," Silverbolt told the transmetal rat, "Something about it does not sound chivalrous."
"It doesn't good either," Wolffang added.
"None of you are any fun," Rattrap commented.
"Not everyone's definition of fun involves running around clubs of questionable moral character," Rapther said pointedly from her seat.
Optimus, meanwhile, tried to ignore the conversations going on behind him. It was mostly one he didn't need to enter into and much of the information that was being conveyed in it, was information that he already knew. He was joyous that he and his crew were finally going home after being stuck on prehistoric Earth for the Beast Wars, but he also knew the hard road he had ahead of him. Dinobot's past as a Predicon would not be viewed as favorable among the Maximal elders, and it would take all of Optimus's skills to persuade them that Dinobot's record as a Maximal in the Beast Wars would prevent the transmetal two raptor from being incarcerated. Depthcharge would be another issue he'd have to deal with, but technically he 'deserted' after his protectorate had been virtually annihilated and he 'deserted' to pursue one of the worst things the Maximals had ever done. That wouldn't be too hard to do, helping Dinobot would be the bigger issue and it was the one that stuck the most in his mind.
"We're about to drop out of transwarp," Optimus announced as the shuttle reached the coordinates for Cybertron at the present date.
Every optic looked forward as Optimus brought the shuttle out of transwarp space and activated the shuttle's standard sublight engines. What they saw shocked and surprised them, especially those who could remember what Cybertron looked like before the Axalon had taken off after the fleeing Darkside. While the planet still looked mechanical, it looked black, like a war greater then the Great War had ravaged the planet. Rhinox could spot a few weapons satellites orbiting Cybertron as well.
"This is Cybertron!" Tigerhawk asked in shock.
"It wasn't like this when we left," Optimus answered, failing to hide his own surprise at the situation, "It was technological, not natural the way Earth is, but it had a technological beauty to it. This looks like someone's practically destroyed the planet."
"Like its resources are being consumed for something else," Dinobot commented as he could see what looked like industrial smoke and smog covering much of Cybertron's atmosphere.
"But what?" Blackarachnia commented, noticing the pollution as well, "All the history tracks say that despite the industrialization that 'consumed' Cybertron, it was still a very clean planet. Humans could easily breathe there with no problems. What could someone be making there that could be doing all of this."
"We have a ship coming in," Rhinox commented as he looked at the one of the few scanning devices that were on the shuttle.
"Maybe they know what happened," Squeak suggested nervously.
They then looked out to see a starship identical in exterior design to the Darkside come up in front of them as it sat between two weapons satellites.
"That's a Predicon warship," Dinobot growled.
"Does this thing have any weapons?" Depthcharge asked.
"No," Rhinox sighed heavily as a communications signal came into the shuttle's small view screen that was on one of the side panels between Optimus and Rhinox.
Optimus looked at screen to see the face of a vile looking transformer on the screen.
"This is Optimus Primal, Captain of the lost ship Axalon," Optimus spoke clearly, "We are returning to Cybertron from our voyage and request an audience with the Maximal Elders."
"This is Captain Vile of the Tripredicus Defense Ship, Revenge," the transformer said in a threatening tone, "Surrender and prepare to be boarded."
"Tripredicus?" Cheetor asked from his seat.
"The Predicons are officially ruled by a council that goes under that name," Dinobot answered, "Megatron was a rebel against their authority."
"But then why doesn't he refer to himself as a Predicon?" Rapther asked, "I mean no Maximal refers to themselves as 'the Elders'."
"The Tripredicus Council is rumored to have origins different from that of ordinary Predicons," Dinobot growled.
"Different origins?" Optimus asked, "You don't mean to say they're descendents of Unicron?"
"That is the rumor, and the reason why Megatron rebelled against them," Dinobot answered, "He argued that they were not loyal to the Predicon cause. In that case I would not doubt that there is some truth behind Megatron's accusations."
"Uh, I think now is not the time to be discussing this," Cheetor commented pointing forward.
They looked to see the warship moving forward into an attack position above the shuttle.
"Does this thing have shields?" Cybershark asked.
"Not strong ones," Rhinox grumbled.
"Look out!" Airazor said urgently as he ship began to fire on them.
Optimus gunned the engines and dove down toward the darkened Cybertron. The Autobot shuttle would no stand up to the Tripredicus warship and certainly not the weapons satellites behind it. He managed to dodge the first few shots that the Revenge fired, but eventually one shot did manage to hit them and the Autobot shuttle began to spiral out of control towards Cybertron's surface. One of the weapons satellites turned and managed to make a glancing blow against the hull of the shuttle, but the shuttle was already crashing and the satellite's shot only added further damage to a doomed vessel.
"We're all gonna die!" Rattrap screamed as they descended rapidly to the surface of Cybertron.
"No we're not," Optimus said in a determined voice as he tried to level the shuttle's flight pattern out.
The attempt did not go well as the shuttle crashed through several buildings before finally coming to a stop after tearing up much of the road.
"See, we're still alive," Optimus spoke as the shuttle settled to a stop.
"Why would they fire on us?" Cheetor asked as everyone began to pull themselves back to their feet, "From what I remember, this 'Tripredicus Council' did want to keep the peace between the Maximals and Predicons."
"Peace does not mean they weren't plotting," Dinobot growled looking down, "And Megatron's actions at the start of the Beast Wars might have given them the opportunity to launch whatever plans they had."
"Could they have taken over Cybertron?" Rhinox asked.
"I would not have thought so," Dinobot sighed, "While the Tripredicus Council leads the Predicon Alliance, the number of Predicons that shared their origins to Unicron is very small, and there are few other Predicons that would follow them without question. The only thing that has kept the Predicons from fighting an internal civil war is that they have been fearful that if they fought each other, the Maximals would attack and destroy both of them. But then, the present situation might indicate that the were more powerful then many of us thought."
"But then we don't know if they did take over the planet," Airazor commented, "I mean we've seen one thing, but we've also been gone for a long time. Can we guarantee what happened on Cybertron during the Beast Wars?"
"We can't," Optimus sighed, "We'd best move to the Chamber of the Maximal Elders. That way we can deal with Megatron and possibly find out what has happened since the Beast Wars began."
"What if they aren't there?" Blackarachnia asked suspiciously, "Suppose the Tripredicus Council has taken over Cybertron. Wouldn't their first target be the Maximal Council of Elders?"
"We'll go there anyway," Optimus sighed again, "We might still find out what happened, and if not, the building is built like a fortress in its own right, and we should be able to hold out long enough to figure out a path of escape."
"We'd best get going," Silverbolt commented, "Whoever is commanding the 'Revenge' and its crew will come looking for us to make sure they didn't destroy us."
Vile looked onto a communications screen with the Tripredicus Council as he delivered his report.
"Your certain this Maximal said the name 'Optimus Primal'?" General Seaclamp questioned.
"Yes," Vile answered with a slight nod.
"Did you find out if they had Megatron and his followers with them?" General Cicadacon questioned.
"They fled before we had a chance to board them," Vile answered, "I've already sent scout ships down to the planet's surface to see if they survived."
"You jumped to boarding the vessel?" General Ramhorn demanded, "What in the name of all things possessed you to try boarding the vessel first."
"You did order me to defend Cybertron, should the Maximal and Predicon fleets return before the planet has been reformatted."
"Yes, but you should know that Optimus Primal for the past few years has been trapped on Prehistoric Earth fighting Megatron," General Cicadacon growled, "There is no way that they could know what has gone on here since they left."
"And since we do not know if Megatron was on the shuttle, it could be possible that he is alone on Prehistoric Earth and could very well threaten our rise to power," General Seaclamp added, "drawing him in through some polite deceit would easily allow us to gain the information that was most importantly needed."
"I apologize, sir," Vile answered, "I wasn't thinking. Should I land and go after them on foot?"
"No, they'll reach the resistance by that time," General Ramhorn responded, "We've already sent a division of drones to deal with them, or at least discover their strength."
"Very well," Vile nodded.
"You will, however return to your duty of patrolling the space around Cybertron," General Seaclamp ordered, "And you will of course recognize that gathering information is more important then rushing into a fight. If they show any signs of confusion, try to deceive them into giving up more information then what they would want to."
"Of course," Vile answered.
"Good," General Cicadacon finished, "Tripredicus Council out."
The group slowly made their way out of their crashed shuttle to look at what had been the capital of Cybertronian civilization. From the ground, Cybertron looked even worse then what it did from space. The streets were deserted, few lights seemed to be properly working, and the electronic signs that showed maps and locations and street names seemed to be missing from their standard spots. Many of the buildings also appeared to have evidence of battle damage to them.
"This is really Cybertron?" Silverbolt asked as he looked around.
"It wasn't always liked this ," Optimus sighed as they began leading out the Predicons that had survived the Beast Wars and had been captured when the Maximals won.
"Even the worst Predicon sectors weren't this bad," Dinobot commented.
"You see," Megatron growled, struggling in vain against the cuffs he was in, "They're destroying Cybertron and everything that everyone values. It is destroying the glory that should rightfully be the Predicons'."
"And you would have destroyed the fabric of space and time," Optimus answered firmly, "You are no different then whoever is behind this."
"The whole place still makes me nervous," Rhinox came up beside the Maximal commander, "There isn't anyone here. There should be more transformers here."
"Hopefully the Elders are still here," Optimus sighed, "They can give us some information that we will need to figure out what is going on."
"Uh, we got something coming," Squeak said pointing to the horizon.
"Optimus then turned as saw a large cloud of dust approaching them.
He zoomed his optics in as far as they would go and found that it was a large number of tank-like robots approaching them. He sighed heavily as he saw they were all heavily armed.
"Whoever that Vile character was, he sent an army after us," Optimus sighed, "We need to get to the Council Chamber of the Maximal Elders and quickly. Dinobot, Depthcharge, Tigerhawk, I need you to cover our retreat while we move for that location as quickly as possible."
"What about us?" Airazor asked.
"I need you and the others to help make sure that Megatron and the rest of prisoners keep moving," Optimus answered, "They will likely try to slow us down in an attempt to try and escape."
The group slowly began moving out. Optimus lead one ground with the Predicon prisoners down a side street as the tank drones continued to advanced on the position. Meanwhile, Dinobot and Depthcharge stood in a position where they could easily fire down the street and deal with any transformer that attempted to launch a suicidal charge down it. Tigerhawk hovered in the air above them to provide air support. As the tank-like transformers approached they could see that the robots were largely blue in color with a silver 'head' and tank barrel, which was actually mounted on the side of the vehicle instead of in the center.
"They're all identical," Depthcharge grumbled.
"Drones," Dinobot grumbled most likely, "They won't have the ability to transform and their armor will be much weaker then even the weakest armor on a real transformer."
"Hopefully they are easer to deal with then what we had deal with on Earth," Depthcharge replied.
"We shall soon find out," Dinobot spoke as he readied his weapons.
After a few moments the tank drones came closer and then began firing on Tigerhawk, as the transmetal two fuzor was the most obvious target. He moved and ducked behind his wings, using them as a shield. The shots did only negligible damage to him.
"Their weapons aren't that powerful," Tigerhawk announced, "At least not against a transmetal two."
"Their strength is likely in their numbers," Dinobot snarled and fired his optics laser at the closest tank drone.
The raptor smiled as the laser destroyed one of the drones by direct impact and the resulting explosion destroyed the three drones that surrounded it. Depthcharge gave his own sort of smile and began firing at the front row of tank drones and watched as the blasts not only destroyed the drones that they hit, but also destroyed several of the other drones that surrounded the ones that were directly hit by each shot that Depthcharge fired. Tigerhawk then took advantage of the rising smoke and flying shrapnel, which slowed down the tank drones and fired a pair of feather missiles into the center of the formation, which did massive damage to the formation destroying several tank drones. Tigerhawk then dove down on the drones and began firing his gatling guns on the them, destroying several drones as he moved.
"This is not even worth of the name 'battle'," Dinobot smiled and then charged forward, firing his optics laser at several of the drones as he charged.
The laser blasts did significant damage to the drones, and while Dinobot did take fire in his charge, it did little to stagger him. After he finally reached one of the drones he sliced through the drone's barrel and decapitated it with his claws. The drone then slowly went offline. The battle then continued as it was. Tigerhawk made passes and dives on the drones while Depthcharge fired at them with his shark blaster. Dinobot moved among the exploding drones, destroying those that directly targeted him with his optics laser and destroying those that he could get to with his claws. After a few short moments, all of the drones were gone, and there was no sign of any immediate arrival of more drones.
"That was easy," Dinobot spoke as he looked over the battlefield that they had made of the street area, "How could these things take over Cybertron."
"The Tripredicus Council must have helped just enough to allow their numbers to insure that the others couldn't defeat them," Tigerhawk commented, "That must be the only explanation. We should be getting back to the others."
Dinobot and Depthcharge slowly nodded and began to follow Tigerhawk down the street that Optimus and the others had left down earlier.
General Seaclamp sighed as the viewing screen went black as a largely white transformer slashed at the head of one of their tank drones. Three transformers had destroyed nearly one hundred tank drones without taking damage.
"That was a perfect waste of drones," General Seaclamp sighed, "Perhaps we should have sent Vile down after all. His ground troops would have done much better then those drones."
"Maybe," General Cicadacon commented, "But I believe we've learned something rather interesting about our opponents. Their design did not look entirely robotic."
"Yes," General Ramhorn nodded, "From what I could see, I would say their alternate modes were animalistic, not a vehicle."
"I guess we can only assume the same for the rest of Optimus Primal's band," General Seaclamp spoke, "And Megatron and his followers as well if his faction survived the conflict on Earth."
"A rather interesting development," General Cicadacon chuckled, "Animals on Cybertron."
"It is a mechanical planet," General Ramhorn growled, "and even if it wasn't, we must stop them before they join the resistance. If that happens, they'll make our problems much greater."
"Of course," General Cicadacon nodded, "I meant no disrespect, I just found the situation rather interesting."
"What is our next move?" General Seaclamp asked.
"Recall Vile and his forces to Cybertron," General Ramhorn spoke firmly, "Have him join up with Curser and move toward the old home of the Maximal Elders and tell them to take a battalion of drones with them as well."
Council Building of the Maximal Elders
"Maybe this is good news," Cheetor commented as the group finally approached the building, "If they can not stand up against a transformer, maybe they don't have control of the planet, just the space around it."
"Then why have all the streets been deserted?" Rattrap asked, "If the Tripredicus Council only controls the space around Cybertron, why did no one come out to help us when we 'landed'?"
"As much as I'd like to hope that they haven't taken over the planet, I'm afraid I'd have to agree with Rattrap," Optimus sighed, "This isn't even normal Predicon behavior."
"Like you know everything about Predicons," Megatron grumbled from his position among the other prisoners.
"I know they wouldn't just ignore a shuttle crashing through buildings," Optimus told the cuffed Predicon tyrant.
"So what do we do now?" Blackarachnia asked, "The Tripredicus Council will eventually figure out that their drones were destroyed."
"We try and get some information," Optimus sighed, "We've come into the middle of something that is rather strange for anyone. We need to find out what has gone on here while we were fighting the Beast Wars."
"There is a good possibility that the building is just as deserted as the rest of the planet appears to be," Rhinox told his commander.
"Maybe," Optimus sighed, "But there should be plenty of security cameras and records from that we can find that we can use to at least gain some information."
The group then slowly made their way into the building, which like the rest of Cybertron did not lack battle damage. As they made their way inside, they found several tank drones laying in fragments throughout the hallway.
"They made it inside," Depthcharge commented.
"Rattrap, take Cheetor and see what you can find in the main security areas," Optimus ordered, "It might give us some information on the attack here."
"Right," Rattrap answered.
Optimus then turned to the rest of the Maximals.
"The rest of you, take them into the main central rooms and hold Megatron and the other Predicons there," Optimus said with a sigh, "Rhinox and I will check out the Council Chamber."
Cheetor and Rattrap found the main security room to be in just as much disarray as the rest of the building. To their own surprise they found two offline Maximal transformers.
"This is an absolute horror," Cheetor spoke as they walked in.
"What I'm starting to get confused on is how could all of this have happened," Rattrap grumbled, "The Maximals are easily stronger in terms of numbers. And according to chopperface, the number of Predicons that share the Tripredicus Council's origins is relatively small… so how could they practically wipe out all of Cybertron?"
"I don't know," Cheetor sighed, "Maybe the rest of the Predicons were more loyal to the Tripredicus Council then Dinobot says."
"Maybe," Rattrap sighed, "but I still wouldn't get it."
The two then activated the main security camera. They watched on it as the Maximal Elders on the screen were discussing something when the doors suddenly exploded, knocking all of them over, or at least disorienting them. Several drones then attacked through the opening, firing on each distracted Maximal Elders. The Elders held their own against the drones, but the drones did land a few hits that did some minor damage. While this went on they watched as a series of shots came in from off-screen which did far more damage to each of the Elders, knocking them into stasis lock. The drones then swarmed them and kept firing.
"They… they…" Cheetor stuttered too horrified to speak clearly.
"We gotta tell Optimus," Rattrap said and the two quickly turned and left.
Optimus was completely horrified by what he saw. The building in which the Maximal Elders had meet was totally wrecked with bits of destroyed drones and damaged artwork and furniture, some of which had been gifts from Earth in gratitude for the Autobot's service in the Great War. All of that had been destroyed.
"I hope we'd get some sort of answer from all of this," Optimus sighed as he and Rhinox walked down the hallway, "I hope that things are only fairly rough, that everything hasn't been destroyed. That we'll find the Elders and the Maximal high command planning something to save Cybertron…"
"But you know that isn't what we're likely to find," Rhinox commented, stating what he and Optimus both knew.
"We have to hope for something though," Optimus commented.
Rhinox nodded as they continued on. The doors that lead to the room where the elders met in were blasted in as they arrived and that only added to Optimus's own private fears. As they entered room, they were confirmed. All of the Elders lay offline and on the ground with a great deal of damage being done to their bodies, looking, mostly as if whoever was firing at them was simply shooting them to mutilate their bodies and frames.
"How could they have done this?" Optimus asked, unable to accept what had happened to the Maximal Elders, "The drones that Tigerhawk, Depthcharge, and Dinobot fought were not strong enough to do much damage. The Elders were the strongest of all of us."
"They were the oldest of us," Rhinox answered, "Not the most powerful. Most of them were Autobots in the Great War. They've been in charge of the Maximal faction because of their age and wisdom. I highly doubt they are truly the most powerful of Maximals. You and Tigerhawk are in terms of a level of raw power probably equal to that of the Elders."
"Still, this shouldn't have happened," Optimus said firmly.
"Maybe," Rhinox sighed, "Although it wouldn't surprise me if some of the 'real' transformers that serve the Tripredicus Council are more powerful then we think. I mean, most of what we know about the Predicons is based of the history tracks of the Great War. Before the Beast Wars, none of us would have thought that a Predicon like Dinobot, who's sense of honor makes him very much like most Maximals, and would be the driving force behind his defection to our side, or that a Predicon like Blackarachnia would turn away from them for love. None of us knew that sort of thing was possible before the Beast Wars."
"In that we may have learned something," Optimus sighed, "Although, it won't really help us now. We need information about what happened here. No one appears to be here and the Elders are dead."
"We'll find someone," Rhinox said firmly, "Don't worry."
Optimus and Rhinox returned to the room where the others were waiting to find Cheetor and Rattrap come running.
"They killed the Elders," Cheetor reported quickly.
This produced a series of gasps from the other Maximals and what startled them more was Optimus's own reply.
"We know," Optimus spoke with a sigh, "And that means this building probably isn't safe."
"But how?" Airazor asked, "These are the Maximal Elders."
"It looked like an army of drones according to the security scans," Rattrap spoke up.
"Impossible," Depthcharge said finding it hard to believe all of this himself, and then gestured to Dinobot and Tigerhawk, "The drones that attacked us barely did any damage to my armor, and mine was the weakest of the three of us."
"They might have stronger drones, or they might have transformers who serve them who are far more powerful then we think," Optimus sighed, "At the present time, there is simply too much that we do not know."
They were then shocked to hear a voice that they had never heard before.
"And there is much to tell you," the voice said.
The group turned to see a moderate sized blue and brown, with some black, transformer standing near a concealed door that Optimus didn't know existed before.
"Come with me, if you want to live," the transformer said sounding deadly serious as the sounds of explosions racked the exterior of the building.
To Be Continued…