Grand Canyon, USA, Earth

Cyclonus zipped through the stormy skies, easily dodging bolts of lightning. The helicopter was complaining and making jokes to himself, the jokes being accompanied by the Decepticon's maniacal laughter. Crumplezone muttered something about rain sucking, while Drill-Bit tried to console him. Lightning danced across the canyon as Cyclonus scanned for the prone form of Tidal Wave.

"How hard is it to find a massive purple Decepticon!?" Cyclonus sputtered to himself. The lightning illuminated the area, showing Tidal Wave collapsed in a pile of mud. Cyclonus chuckled and transformed, Crumplezone and Drill-bit doing likewise. The giant was starting to stir, but Cyclonus noticed something different. "Hey weren't you bigger?"

"Resizing circuit overloaded." Tidal Wave responded as he sat upright, sparks flaring from his head. "Couldn't retain larger size."

"Sucks to be you." Crumplezone snorted as the warship got to his feet.

"Galvy sent me to retrieve your sorry carcass, we throttled the Autobots good." Cyclonus chortled. Tidal Wave, now only standing about twice of Cyclonus's height, merely wiped mud off his chassis as he pried the large detonated shell from his chest. Drill-bit cringed as mech fluid spat out of the hole left by the shell, Tidal Wave barely noticing.

"We have visitors." Tidal Wave stated as he fired a salvo west from their location. Cyclonus looked at him funny, then gasped as three forms arced over the horizon. The lightning lit up the sky again, revealing a sleek jet, a large bomber, and a massive locust closing in on them.

"Meh, pathetic Unicron spawn, let's waste em Cyclonus!" Crumplezone whooped as he changed into a miniature tank, firing wildly. Cyclonus let loose a salvo from his gauntlets before transforming, letting Drill-bit and Crumplezone dock as he flew at the aggressors. Smokejumper banked right hard, letting his own missiles fly as Cyclonus's missed. Dreadwind's gattling gun swung out and let loose a contingent of missiles, causing Cyclonus to shout out as he turned to avoid them. Tidal Wave fired at the missiles, causing most to detonate, flames licking across Dreadwind and Cyclonus's chassis, steam rising as the rain evaporated. Tidal Wave fired again, causing Smokejumper to yell out in panic, grinding against the canyon wall to evade the shots. Scourge landed and transformed behind Tidal Wave, grabbing his pain sticks.

"Surrender to master Unicron's will!" The locust shouted as he hit Tidal Wave square in the back. The warship, not showing any sign of feeling the attack, turned suddenly, swinging his arm right into Scourge. He backpedaled, wings fluttering as Tidal Wave lurched forward for another assault. Smokejumper, landing and transforming, fired repeated shots into Tidal Wave's back with his rather large rifles, this time making Tidal Wave stumble and go to his knee. Scourge then rushed the Decepticon's head with his pain sticks, crying out as Tidal Wave took the first few blows to the head, then grabbed one in his hand, snapping it. Smokejumper fired again, and Tidal Wave fell forward, groaning.

"Don't you freaks ever die!" Cyclonus shouted at Dreadwind, shooting him dead on again, only to have the bomber straighten it's course again, firing with the gattling gun. Cyclonus rammed Dreadwind with Drill-bit, causing Dreadwind to groan, but not knock him out of the sky. Dreadwind suddenly transformed, grabbing the bottom of Cyclonus and firing up into him. The helicopter shrieked as he plummeted, Dreadwind transforming again and escaping the crash. Cyclonus transformed before landing in an unconscious heap, both of his Mini-cons attached to his arms, also nonfunctional. Dreadwind, assuming robot form again knelt by Cyclonus, checking for vitals.

"He's live." He muttered before shouting to his comrades, still trying to subdue Tidal Wave, who had gotten back to his feet, swinging his arms wildly to keep Smokejumper and Scourge at bay. "I got him, lets bail!"

"Say goodbye to your friend!" Smokejumper chuckled as Dreadwind warped out with Cyclonus's prone form. Tidal Wave grunted and swung again, but missed as Scourge struck him again in the back.

"Don't worry, he'll be in good hands." Scourge taunted as he and Smokejumper warped away. Tidal Wave dimmed his optics.

"Cyclonus." The Decepticon warship said quietly, looking to the stormy sky as he got up once more, sparking violently as the rain washed over his form. Lightning lit the canyon once more before he warped back to base.

Grand Canyon, USA, Earth, Two miles west of previous location.

"He's wakin up!"

"So, g-g-g-get the transporter ready."

"I'ma goin'!"

"We don't have time for this pitiful squabble, we must bring him to master Unicron."

Red Alert groaned as he brought his optic band back online, only to see four yellow forms hovering over him. The one known as Hook watched him quietly, his rifle lined up with his head. Mixmaster was fixing up a device while Long Haul prodded him along, studdering slighty. Scrapper stood on the other side of him. The shortest NeoConstructicon had his arms crossed and a look of disgust crossing it.

"So finally awake? Took long enough." Scrapper snorted as he knelt by Red Alert and cupped his chin. Red Alert fought his urge to back away, convinced further by another glance down Hook's rifle.

"What are you doing here, what do you want?" Red Alert gasped. Scrapper let out a loud laugh, bringing Red Alert's face closer.

"My my, so many questions for one in such a compromising situation, you'll be happy to know, all we really need from you is to be bait. Well that's almost all we need." Scrapper's smirk turned quite dangerous as his finger let a small, needle point probe appear out of it. He scraped it along Red Alert's head almost seductively. "I want all you know about medical procedures, and for that to work, we need you to be awake."

"I can't possibly tell you everything I know!" Red Alert spat nervously. Scrapper flickered his optics as he let the probe dance across Red Alert's head, coming to rest on its point at the side of his head.

"Silly Red Alert, you don't have to tell me a single thing, you may scream if you like though." Scrapper smiled warmly as he jabbed the needle into Red Alert's head, causing the medic to shriek loudly.

One Mile due east

The scream pierced Jetfire's audio sensors, making the spacecraft shudder in the air. "What the hell!? Was that Red Alert?" He asked the darkness, getting thunder and lightning as a reply. He raced across the canyon as fast as a damaged space shuttle could, coming upon Red Alert's growing screams. He spied four yellow robots hunched around Red Alert, the medic's screams growing less and less audible.

"RED ALERT!" Jetfire screamed to his fellow Autobot as he shifted in mid air, letting loose multiple plasma bolts. The NeoConstructicons scattered as Scrapper stayed by Red Alert. Jetfire landed violently near them, mud spattering around as his optics burned brightly.

"What have you done to him you freak!" Jetfire cried out, raising his gun to the short Autobot. Scrapper merely smirked back.

"We had a quaint little chat, then I indulged myself in his pain as I extracted information directly from his cranium." Scrapper said as Jetfire fumed, his plasma cannon glowing, Commettor linked to the top. "Now now, I wouldn't fire, you wouldn't want to hurt your comrade."

"I'm going to enjoy taking your mainframe apart piece by piece you sicko!" Jetfire screamed at him as Scrapper laughed out loud. "And I'm getting sick of that damn laugh of yours!"

"My apologies, he is free to go now." Scrapper said, deactivating the energy bonds holding Red Alert. Jetfire glanced around warily as the three other NeoConstructicons surrounded him. "You on the other hand, well, we're going to have some fun with you."

"Bring it, short-stuff!" Jetfire cried as he turned to Long Haul, firing his charged plasma cannon. He backhanded the charging Mixmaster with his other arm, using the shield mounted on it. Jetfire's momentum was stopped as he grimaced, feeling a laser bolt sear into his back, frying one of his servo motors. His arms sparked as he willed them to spin around, squeezing off a few shots at Hook, who had sniped his back. Scrapper, taking advantage of his opponent's turned back, leapt at him, boring his right bulldozer shoulder pad into Jetfire's back. Jetfire screamed as he hit his hands and knees. Hook walked up to him, putting his concussion pistol to his head.

"Do your worst." Jetfire spat, looking up at Hook defiantly as the NeoConstructicon smirked. Hook slowly squeezed the trigger when Commettor sprang up at his face, causing the shot to fly upward into the sky.

"Leave him alone!" The Mini-con screeched, beating Hook's face in with his odd arms, the yellow crane clawing at his face, trying to pull him off.

"Get off you impudent freak!" Hook cried as Jetfire suddenly lashed out at him, tackling him off of his feet. Scrapper pulled out his dual cannons and blasted Jetfire again, who cried out, spinning as he fell and shooting his plasma blaster. Scrapper dropped down as the bolts flew overhead. Long Haul pried Commettor off of Hook's face, and Mixmaster grabbed Red Alert's prone form, putting his arms in a position to snap the medic's head off.

"Stop right there or dis one gits it!" Mixmaster threatened, holding Red Alert's head at a sharp angle as he began to stir.

"Wait! No.I, I surrender, just let Red Alert go!" Jetfire said, letting his cannon and shield drop, sticking in the mud. Commettor thrashed in Long Haul's grip, flailing his limbs and revving his wheels.

"F-f-f-f-fiesty little critter, isn't h-h-h-h-he?" Long Haul chuckled.

"Let me down you overgrown scrapheap!" Commettor cried.

"That's better Jetfire, Hook, restrain him!" Scrapper ordered, Hook placing energy binds around Jetfire's arms as the white Autobot grumbled. Scrapper motioned for Mixmaster to drop Red Alert.

"Target secured, pull out?" Hook asked, gun trained on Jetfire.

"Indeed, lets go." Scrapper chuckled as Long Haul disappeared with Commettor, and Mixmaster following suit. "This won't hurt one bit." He said to Jetfire.

"Just get it over with." Jetfire spat as he and Hook disappeared. Red Alert, who saw Jetfire disappear, brought himself to his knees as Scrapper regarded him.

"I hope you had fun, I sure did." Scrapper smiled, cupping Red Alert's chin again as he swung out at him. Scrapper blocked it and squeezed his arm, strength betraying his small stature. "We'll play again."

"No! Bring back Jetfire!" Red Alert yelled as Scrapper disappeared from in front of him. "JETFIRE!"

Death Valley, USA, Earth

The small convoy of vehicles pulled up to a massive crag. The sun beat down, heat waves visibly rising as the small vehicles shifted into robots. One of the largest, a yellow and gray SUV, crossed his arms.

"This should be suitable to turn into a base. Mirage and Terradive, you'll go to the nearest human settlement and use the alterations on Mirage's cloak to procure supplies from the humans, Iceberg will hold back five miles from the settlement and help you with the cargo when you return." The one known as Dirt Boss commanded.

"A sound plan, it shall be done, come along Mirage, Iceberg." Terradive bowed before transforming into sleek high-tech jet and flying east.

"Show off." Mirage scoffed as he switched to a bright yellow Indy car and drove after him. Iceberg gave the duo an icy stare before switching to his treaded snowplow mode and lumbering behind them.

"Whatcha got for us boss?" Fetch asked, cracking his knuckles.

"Why did you crack your knuckles?" Downshift asked.

"Umm, dunno, I saw a human do it once, like a ritual before they got to work on something." Fetch shrugged. Downshift looked at him before turning to Dirt Boss.

"Alright, Downshift, I'm picking up a few panels in the area, see what you can retrieve." The Mini-con said, Downshift transforming into a small stock car and jetting off. Dirt Boss then turned to Fetch. "You and me are gonna get our hands dirty, we gotta knock a nice sized hole in this cliff for our base set-up, think you can handle it?"

"No prob." Fetch said, raising his arm mounted rockets and blasting a large area in the crag. Dirt Boss sighed.

"This is gonna be a long day, but we'll make them all pay for oppressing us."

Autobot HQ, Earth, Medical Bay

"This is terrible! I'm a tech, not a medic, this slotting stinks and I can't handle all this at once!" Sideswipe muttered as he patched Smokescreen into life support. He had tied the main fuel line and stopped the leaking, but most of his inner circuitry was trashed. His Spark chamber was still in tact, as were his vital circuits.

"Sideswipe, how is everything coming along?" Optimus Prime asked, coming into the Med Bay.

"I'm doing what I can to stabilize Smokescreen, but there is no chance of me getting him online, we need Red Alert, where the slot is Jetfire!?" Sideswipe griped, getting louder as his irritability grew.

"Just do what you can." Prime said encouragingly, "Jetfire should be back with Red Alert soon, hopefully he won't be to extensively damaged, and will be able to help you out."

"Yeah, yeah, Hot Shot should be fine, I patched his internals back to where they should be..I think." Sideswipe scratched his head. "If I did something wrong, I'll be hearing about it when he wakes up."

"How are our Mini-cons doing?" Prime asked.

"Liftor was linked with Smokescreen when he went down, so, well, how do I explain." Sideswipe contemplated while making a few hand gestures. "Since it was sort of a Spark bond between the two, Liftor felt everything he did, and the damage to the mind and soul actually took physical representation, so he's got the same problem as Smokey, he's gonna need a complete overhaul. The rest were just banged up a bit, I shooed em off to the stock room to bang out each other's dents. I can't begin on Liftor either without Red Alert."

"Hey, if you can't do anymore with those guys, want to try and get my leg working?" Blurr asked impatiently from the bench he was seated in, trying to clean out the mud clogs and repair his knee.

"Oh hell, fine, let me see what I can do." Sideswipe rasped as he finished attaching a few cables to Smokescreen and walked over to Blurr. He kneeled next to the sharpshooter and inspected his knee. After a quick look over, he poked one part. "That help?"

"OW! NO!" Blurr howled as he threatened Sideswipe with his backhand.

"Sheesh! Ok, that?"

"Well it didn't hurt as much."

"That?"

"OW!" Blurr cried as Prime headed out of the room. Prime barely got five feet before his comm crackled to life.

"Optimus, get down to the warp bay now!" Scavenger barked over the comm. Mini-cons could be heard scuffling around as a "Whoa" from Sideways was heard.

"I'm on my way!"

Autobot HQ, Earth, Launch Bay

"Red Alert! Red Alert! Can you hear me!" Scavenger cried to the medic, cradling him in his arms. Sideways knelt down and examined him. Holding his head, he looked at the side.

"Whoa..someone used a neural probe to tap directly into his neural pathways." The double spy exclaimed.

"What the hell does that mean?" Scavenger growled.

"It means he's been mind raped, rather forcefully it seems from the sloppiness of the entry." Sideways replied, regarding Scavenger's mortified look as he continued. "All bets say he was awake and struggling the whole time."

"That's low even for Galvatron!" Scavenger said, shaking Red Alert as he began to regain consciousness.

"That IS to low for Galvatron, I think Prime may have called for the end of the fight to soon." Sideways trailed off.

"Ugh.what happened.where am I..Jetfire! Where's Jetfire!" Red Alert began to shout as he regained his senses.

"We don't know where he is, he was supposed to be retrieving you, but only you showed up." Scavenger explained calmly.

"I know what happened."

Scavenger and Sideways turned to see Long-arm kneeling, sparking from his side as he regarded the two larger bots.

"What? What happened!?" Scavenger asked frantically.

"The NeoConstructicons happened. They got Jetfire, took him captive, got Commettor too." Long-arm grunted as he knelt again.

"Jetfire! No, I couldn't help him, I was used as bait! I.I." Red Alert suddenly stiffened and froze, looking blank.

"What's wrong?" Scavenger asked.

"Nothing..n-n-n-nothing is wrong at all." Red Alert said, almost a whisper. Suddenly Optimus Prime showed up, snapping Red Alert out of his stupor.

"What happened, where's Jetfire!?" Optimus asked, looking around in confusion as Sideways let out a low chuckle.

"Unicron has him, and his little buddy. And looks like they extracted some info from your medic too." The biker stated, Red Alert shuddering involuntarily.

Prime regarded Sideways and Red Alert carefully before saying, "Red Alert, we need you in medical, Sideswipe is overwhelmed in there."

"Ok, I'll be there soon, just, give me a minute." Red Alert said, regaining his composure as he put his focus on something else.

"Take it easy big guy, everything is stabilized, but Sideswipe thinks Smokescreen will need a complete overhaul. You're the only one with the skills to do that." Prime put his hand on Red Alert's shoulder. "Come on, I'll help fix you up a bit before we take you over to medical. Scavenger, get to the control room and scan for Jetfire, we'll need to move as soon as we can to get him back."

"Alright Prime." Scavenger said, watching the two leave, then turning over to Sideways. "Why don't you make yourself useful and gi..Huh?"

Sideways had made himself scarce, leaving Scavenger alone in the launch bay with Long-arm. The green giant glanced over to the sparking Mini-con.

"You need help getting to Medical?"

"I'm fine."

"Suit yourself." Scavenger grunted, heading to the control room. Long-arm watched him leave before mentally cutting off the power flow to his side, causing the sparks to wane. He moved to a mound of mud, left by the returning Autobots as he plunged his arms into it. Digging around a bit, he produced a large blue panel with a stylized M in the middle.

"Thought I sensed you, hmmm.." Long-arm stood for a moment, considering before heading out of the launch bay, Mini-con panel in tow.

Autobot HQ, Earth, Medical Bay

"Let me make an adjustment here and...There! That should do it." Sideswipe proclaimed as he stood up. Blurr looked at Sideswipe with one optic raised behind his amber visor. He slowly stretched his leg, then stood on it, working the joints as he regarded Sideswipe.

"Well..I haven't fallen down, gone into a seizure, or burst into flames..so I guess you did alright." Blurr said, walking a few steps warily.

"Glad I could help!" Sideswipe said, patting Blurr on the back a little to hard, making the blue and gray Autobot stumble forward.

"Hey, easy, I'm gonna find Incinerator, blasted Mini-con, he has working legs, can't even come see his own partner." Blurr muttered, still favoring his right leg as he exited the room. Sideswipe turned to check Smokescreen's monitors as he heard footsteps and the door hiss back open.

"C'mon Blurr, I did all I could to your knee-" Sideswipe started as he looked, but found Sideways leaning against the wall instead. "Oh it's you, I thought Blurr had come back."

"Sorry to disappoint. Red Alert's back, Prime needs your help getting Red Alert fixed up." Sideways said, crossing his arms.

"Really? Where's Jetfire?" Sideswipe asked.

"Gone, NeoConstructicons kidnapped him." Sideways retorted.

"Crap!" Sideswipe sputtered, "Ok, can you watch the monitors while I go see to Red Alert?"

"No problem." Sideways said as Sideswipe nodded and ran out of the room. "No problem at all."

Sideways let out a dark chuckle as he snapped his fingers and Crosswise leapt our of the shadows. Sideways closed the door and opened the security panel. He motioned to Crosswise as the silver Mini-con hopped onto his shoulders and made a few wire connections. The panel sparked slightly as Sideways chuckled and closed the panel.

"Watch the door, I'll take care of the rest." Sideways ordered his Mini- con as he moved to the medical beds. He regarded Hot Shot's prone form with a snort as he came upon Smokescreen's battered body. Sideways dimmed his optics as Rook suddenly tore off of his neck. A faint hissing sound is heard as Sideways' cylindrical head slid into place. Rook stood on the bed besides Smokescreen, peering up at the biker bot with dull optics.

"Ah Smokescreen, the little known Autobot grunt." Sideways purred, his hand running across the crane's battered form. "You'll probably get a medal for this stunt, but nothing more. Barely a mark in the history books."

Smokescreen's blank optics met Sideways' cold visor, and the double-agent let out a laugh.

"Don't worry Smokey, I'm going to make you a much bigger part of this war." Rook climbed up Smokescreen's chest, waving his tiny hands at it as a bright glow was seen under the metal. Sideways continued, placing his hand over the glow. "In fact, you're going to be such a vital piece, that many lives will be changed just by what I give you."

The glow intensified as Rook found the release for the panel on Smokescreen's chest, exposing his Spark.

"Prepare yourself Smokescreen, I'm coming." Sideways crooned as he thrust his hand into Smokescreen's Spark.

Decepticon Moon Base, Warp Chamber

"Guard duty, sheesh! A waste of my time." Demolisher complained.

"Bitch, bitch, bitch." Knock-out muttered from behind a console, working on the warp gate controls. "That's all you do anymore, whadda you think Blacky?"

"Demolisher's speech to bitch ratio: two to twenty." Black-out responded blandly as Knock-out let out a loud guffaw. Demolisher just shook his head.

"I get no respect around here." The tank muttered as the warp gate activated. Rain sprayed from the rift as Tidal Wave stumbled through, running right into the console Knock-out was working on. The Mini-con rolled back as the console sparked.

"Hey watch where you're goin' ya big oaf!" Knock-out spat at the larger bot, wiping the rain off of his frame. Tidal Wave regarded the small robot before stumbling forward towards Demolisher.

"What the slagging heck happened to you, I didn't think the Autobots tore you up that bad!" Demolisher exclaimed, using his lasers in his fingers to quickly fuse some of the worst holes in the large Decepticon.

"Cyclonus.taken by Scourge and the jets," Tidal Wave groaned, "Couldn't stop them."

"Dangit! Black-out, get me some help to get him to the med bay!" Demolisher barked at his Mini-con, who sprinted out of the room. Tidal Wave groaned and jerked a bit as he went into stasis lock. Oil sprayed from a few wounds as Demolisher struggled to reposition the enormous Decepticon, working to stabilize his most extensive injuries, Knock-out muttering something and moving over to help.

Decepticon Moon Base, Medical Bay

"You're a slagging idiot you hear me!"

Skywarp winced as Thundercracker's deep baritone tore through the med bay as he worked on Skywarp's midsection, which had been damaged fairly heavily. Zapmaster was rummaging through some spare parts as Thunderclash watched inquisitively. Buzz-saw, one of the mainstays of the Decepticon medical staff, was working on a new plate of metal for Skywarp's wing.

"Hey I got a Mini-con didn't I?" Skywarp retorted as he winced again. "Ow! Watch it!"

"Shuddup and stop you're whining. You did exactly what I knew you would do, and that something is something very stupid!" Thundercracker roared, "Why do you think I left you home!"

"I can't cut properly with you two bickering!" Buzz-saw cried, throwing his hands in the air.

"You shut up too! Can't you see I'm lecturing a mentally deficient Decepticon?" The blue seeker snapped at the yellow Mini-con.

"Well if you want that retard to fall out of the sky because of a shoddy job on his wing, be my guest!" Buzz-saw snarled, going back to the sheet metal in front of him. Thundercracker made a razzing noise as he went back to work, giving Thunderclash dirty look then pointing to Skywarp's arm.

"You, fix it." Thundercracker ordered the Mini-con, who simply cocked his head at the larger bot. "Ugh, Skywarp, make it work on your arm."

"Thunderclash! I order you to repair my arm!" Skywarp said, as the somewhat large Mini-con shuffled up to him and started mending wires in his wrist. Zapmaster finished his rummaging, grabbing a resizing circuit from the pile and starting to walk off.

"Where do you think you're going!" Buzz-saw demanded, again leaving his work to face the silver Mini-con.

"Um.I was gonna see what Swindle could give me for this hunk of junk." Zapmaster toed the ground innocently. Buzz-saw just snatched it out of his hand and gave Zapmaster a large backhand.

"You idiot, get out of here now, I can't have you stealing valuable medical supplies." The technician cried, and shoved Zapmaster out of the medical bay, right into Black-out, who had come sprinting down the hall.

"Gah! Watch where you're going!" Zapmaster cried, getting knocked on his aft.

"Unit Tidal Wave in need of medical assistance." Black-out reported to Buzz- saw blandly, ignoring the silver Mini-con he just ran over.

"It's gonna be one of those days, isn't it." Buzz-saw spat as he shooed Black-out aside and told him to report to Galvatron.

Throne Room

Galvatron sat on his throne, fingers steepled as he gazed forward, crimson optics blazing. He did not move once as Black-out trotted into the room. "Report."

"Unit Cyclonus captured by Unicron's forces along with Mini-cons Crumplezone and Drill-bit, unit Tidal Wave extensively damaged." The orange and tan Mini-con said.

"So Unicron wishes to increase the wager hmmm? Very well, we shall play. Clench! Report all units fit for low combat duty, Decepticon roster only."

"Thrust, Wheeljack, Thundercracker, and Demolisher are all capable of duty sire." The black and purple Mini-con replied, appearing from the shadows. "It is recommended that Skywarp and Starscream are allowed recovery time from the last skirmish."

"I see, have Wheeljack and Thundercracker report to me, I have a task that requires their immediate attention." Galvatron commanded, dismissing Clench. Turning then to Black-out, he leaned back. "Keep me informed on Tidal Wave's condition, and send Thrust to me in thirty cycles."

"Yes Galvatron." Black-out took his leave.

"I've always loved a three way game, yessss. Now I believe the ball is in your court Optimus, what shall you do with it is the question though."

????????????

"Ha ha ha ha ha..."

"Who's there?!"

Lightning strikes in the distance.

"H-h-h-h-hello?"

"Pathetic fool."

"SHOW YOURSELF!"

Light poured into Smokescreen's vision. He immediately scrambled to his feet as rain and wind battered his form.

"Something..isn't right here." Smokescreen trailed off. "The sky.." Smokescreen looked up, his optics flickering as the rain hit them. The sky was a brilliant azure blue, yet somehow rain came down in buckets.

"You lost or somethin'?"

"Huh?!" Smokescreen backpedaled as he looked down at a small black, blue, and red robot. "Who're you?"

"My name's not important, what's important is that you realize what's happenin 'round ya." The Mini-con spread his arms, as Smokescreen looked around him once more.

"Primus." Smokescreen gasped as he looked around at the charred landscape, lava flowing past him.

"You really should be paying more attention."

"What did you say?" Smokescreen looked at the Mini-con again.

"Wasn't me." It shrugged.

"Jeez! Pay attention." A sharp pain shot though Smokescreen's foot.

"OW!" He looked down to see a white robot, detailed in blue and red. Personally, it was the weirdest damn Mini-con he had ever seen. "Watch it!"

"Don't blame me for your own inattentiveness." It snorted.

"Sheesh, for a little guy you sure are snappy." Smokescreen retorted.

"Hey, now watch!" Black (Smokescreen had no damn clue what to call them) pointed. Smokescreen turned along with White. A blue light tore from the ground, and materialized into the Star Sabre. It danced through the air as Smokescreen gingerly touched his midsection. He winced in pain, but there was no damage on him.

"Funny.I remember now, it went right through me."

"You're not watching!" White exclaimed as Smokescreen looked up, seeing the Star Sabre's blue blade turn to him and shoot forward. Smokescreen cried out and held up his hands defensively, but a blinding yellow light intercepted it. Smokescreen reactivated his optics as he saw a large yellow and black shield before him, crackling with energy as the Star Sabre was halted by it.

"The slag?" Smokescreen said, moving out from behind the shield as Black chuckled.

"Good ole Skyboom, always comes though in the pinch."

"I am so confused." Smokescreen said, resigning himself to whatever insanity was to follow.

"Giving up, that's no good, no good at all." Smokescreen shot looks at Black and White, who looked at each other and shrugged.

"Not another one.." Smokescreen groaned.

"Oh another one indeed!" A mainly blue Mini-con with purple, yellow, and green details hopped onto his shoulder. This one seemed to have a massive cannon for an arm. Smokescreen mentally decided to call this one "Blue".

Suddenly, Optimus Prime and Thrust erupted from the ground. Molten rock spewed forth as the two Transformers landed. Crying out, Smokescreen fell on his aft as Blue fell behind him.

"Hey hey hey!" Can't you keep your balance?" Blue yelped, getting back to his feet as Prime and Thrust each grabbed a Mini-con weapon.

"Optimus! Why are you here? What's with Thrust?" Smokescreen asked frantically, waving his arms at the stotic Autobot commander. Optimus said nothing, holding the Skyboom shield, completely rigid. Thrust did the same with the Star Sabre. Thrust slowly struck at Prime with the Star Sabre, to which Prime easily blocked with the Skyboom. Both crackled faintly with energy as they connected.

"Are you paying attention!" White yelled at Smokescreen.

"I don't think he is, nothin' is gettin' through to him." Black replied.

"SHUT UP!" He yelled at the trio of Mini-cons, who huddled together quickly. Smokescreen was so busy yelling he nearly missed the faint gold sparks emitting from the three. "Hey, what's that?"

"What's what?" Blue retorted.

"You three..you make a weapon!" Smokescreen exclaimed, realization dawning upon him.

"I suppose he's figured us out." White commented dryly.

"Eh wot? Shall we give him a good showin then fellows?" Blue asked his comrades.

"I 'spose we got nothin' better to do." Black shrugged. The three jumped and shifted in midair, snapping together to form a long barreled rifle, comprised of black, blue, and white. Smokescreen flickered his optics and picked it up, examining it. Suddenly, Thrust and Optimus Prime turned to Smokescreen and charged.

"AAHHH!" Smokescreen cried, bringing the Mini-con gun to bear and firing in defense. The blast fizzled on the other two weapons in a glorious seizure inducing light show. All three stood as the weapons crackled with gold energy, Smokescreen just gaping as light shot off in three directions. Sparkplug and Clench appeared in two light streams, glowering at Smokescreen.

"Where did you two come from? Prime?" Smokescreen looked at the still silent Autobot. Thrust and Optimus looked at each other before turning black and dissolving into the landscape. Smokescreen hadn't even noticed that he was in a grassy field now.

"The three have arrived." Clench said, floating in the golden arc.

"Indeed, the twins must arrive, and all shall be one." Sparkplug replied.

"What in the world is going on!!" Smokescreen cried, flailing his arms.

"Don't worry Hoist, all shall be well."

"What, who said that?" Smokescreen looked around as everything faded, and he was on the Moon.

"Your time will come, just remember what you've seen here Hoist."

"Who's Hoist!?"

"Why, that should be simple." The speaker stepped out from behind a crag, a purple and yellow lithe form.

"Sideways!?"

"The answer is simple Hoist." Sideways chuckled as Smokescreen began to scream, his arms shattering to reveal a massive tan and orange backhoe, and another large white arm. His legs shattered to reveal longer, tan legs as his shoulder cannon melted away.

"What's ha.happ..happening.." Smokescreen gasped, falling to his knees as his chest melted away, revealing a white cockpit. He noticed his face was melting away as well.

"He's you."

Autobot HQ, Medical Bay

"AHHH!" Hot Shot screamed as he shot up, a few tubes snapping off his frame.

"AHHH! Damnit Hot Shot! Don't scream like that!" Red Alert shouted back, fumbling with the tool in his hand.

"Bro! You're alright!" Sideswipe exclaimed, jogging over to Hot Shot's bed.

"Wha..What happened?" Hot Shot said, confused as Sideswipe clasped his hand.

"You took a nasty shot from that Decepticon, Wheeljack I think his name was." Sideswipe replied. Hot Shot's optics got a far away look to them as Sideswipe kept going. "Why the heck did you let him shoot you like that bro?"

"Umm.It's nothing, nothing at all." Hot Shot said, coming back to reality as he looked about the room. Red Alert, looking quite paranoid, was slowly working on a massive white arm. "What is that Red?"

"Smokescreen." Red Alert retorted, not looking up.

"What!?" The yellow Autobot cried.

"Yeah, he kinda got messed up really bad, same with Liftor, he won't even wake up until we can get Smokescreen operational again." Sideswipe regarded the orange Mini-con on the table, with pincers on its head.

"That's Liftor!?" Hot Shot sputtered. Sideswipe was about to elaborate more, but Scavenger appeared in the doorway.

"Hot Shot." Scavenger trailed off as he regarded the Autobot. "Hot Shot, Prime wants to see you in his quarters right away."

"Now?"

"It's urgent."

"Ok, I'm going." Hot Shot resigned as Sideswipe returned to help Red Alert. Scavenger followed Hot Shot out, not speaking a word.

Autobot HQ, Stasis Bay.

Long-arm limped into the blackened room, blue Mini-con panel under his arm. He looked up at the two other panels, both blue themselves. Long-arm moved forward, the blue glow of the panels illuminating the room. He got to the middle of the room when he heard a voice.

"What do you think you're doing?" A voice demanded.

"What?" Long-arm said, backing up as the lights flipped on. Jolt stood between Long-arm and the panels, arms crossed. Looking behind him, Dunerunner and Ransack stood, blocking the door.

Jolt stared at Long-arm incredulously before speaking. "You were actually going to activate them. You were going to do it weren't you!" Jolt began pointing at him as Dunerunner and Ransack closed in on him.

"Why wouldn't I? You know as well as I do that prolonged stasis is hell!" Long-arm yelled at Jolt, who did not flinch.

"The Autobots would make them fight." Dunerunner said from Long-arm's right.

"They'd be used for what they hate, war!" Ransack added from his left.

"And you were going to sentence them to it!" Jolt said, jabbing his finger into Long-arm's chest.

Long-arm swatted Jolt's hand away, then groaned as he sparked again. "We have no choice! They're our one chance of ending this petty war!"

Jolt threw his hands into the air and paced in front of Long-arm, who grimaced as his side sparked once more. "Who cares!" Jolt cried suddenly. He then pointed to Ransack. "Do you care?"

"Nope."

"You?"

"Not a chance." Dunerunner replied.

"Exactly! Let em kill each other, Primus can sort em out! Either way we'll pick off the victor and rise against our oppressors." Jolt preached, flailing his arms to emphasize his point.

Long-arm dimmed his optic and hung his head. "Sparkplug would be ashamed."

"Sparkplug's as much of an idiot as you!" Jolt cried. "He wants the Autobots to win!"

"The Autobots win, WE win!" Long-arm shouted back.

"Wrong! You lose!" Jolt spat as he motioned for Ransack and Dunerunner to grab Long-arm.

"I won't let you do this!" Long-arm cried, tossing the panel in the air and converting to vehicle mode. Jolt summoned his cannon from subspace as Long-arm sped forward, his crane knocking the panel to the others as Ransack and Dunerunner missed him.

"NO!" Jolt screeched as he fired his cannon, Long-arm getting thrown back in mid-transformation. The panels all shimmered and shorted out the lights in the room as three Mini-cons tumbled into a heap on the ground. The black one was the first up.

"All right ye scumbags, I'll bash yer heads in!" He cried as he brandished his fists. He looked around, seeing Long-arm in a sparking heap. The scene was told from the small whisper of smoke curling out of Jolt's cannon. Dunerunner and Ransack stood, frozen in place as Jolt began to stammer something unintelligible. The black Mini-con paid no head as he charged Jolt, a flurry of fists pounding into the helicopter's cherry red armor.

"PAYLOAD STOP!" One of the other Mini-cons cried as he dragged the black Mini-con off of Jolt, who was merely whimpering.

"ATCH! What are ye doin' Skyblast, let me pound his scummy head into the ground!" Payload thrashed in Skyblast's arms as the remaining blue Mini- con ran over to Long-arm, frantically checking for signs of life. The door hissed as it slid open, revealing Sparkplug's small yellow form, being flanked by Grindor, Highwire, and Sureshock. Ransack and Dunerunner slowly became coherent as they took in all the events.

"WHAT THE SLOTTED HECK IS GOING ON IN HERE!" Sparkplug roared as loudly as his tiny body could. Ransack shifted uneasily as Dunerunner edged to the wall. Sparkplug took in the scene, taking a moment to realize a few things.

"Astroscope? Payload? Skyblast?" The yellow Mini-con stammered.

"Get medical support down here!" Astroscope screamed at Sparkplug, not bothering to greet his old friend as he tied Long-arm's fuel lines. Sparkplug hesitated before hitting the comm.

"Sideswipe, we need you, we have a situation!" Sparkplug hailed over his comm.

"What? Now? Can it wai-"

"GET DOWN HERE!" Sparkplug screamed as Sideswipe cut off.

Jolt slowly got to his feet, whole frame shaking as his cannon clattered to the floor. "What have I done..oh Primus..Long-arm...forgive me."

Jolt began to cry.

Decepticon HQ, Barracks.

Thundercracker strode down the hall, looking in the deserted bunkers. "Where the hell is he?" The blue seeker slammed another door shut as he made his way further down the hall. He came to a slow stop as a voice drifted into the halls.

"And there came a hero who said: 'Hurt not the Earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, nor the very fabric of time.'"

Thundercracker snorted and followed the voice, coming to stop at the entrance. Wheeljack sat, one leg draped over the other as Wind Sheer sat cross-legged before him. Bonecrusher was leaning on the wall, completely entranced. Wheeljack glanced to Thundercracker before looking down into the book on his lap and finishing the passage.

"But the hero would not prevail, nor would he surrender."

"Never thought of you as the religious type." Thundercracker remarked as Wheeljack closed the book.

"You've never read the Covenant of Primus?" Wheeljack said, a glimmer of amusement on his face.

"Nope, never believed in that stuff." Thundercracker replied.

"That's a shame." Wheeljack stood and placed the Covenant of Primus on his desk as Bonecrusher and Wind Sheer rose.

"Never get tired of that stuff, really inspires a bot." Bonecrusher said as he nodded to Wheeljack and left. Wind Sheer simply looked to Wheeljack. Thundercracker noticed this.

"What's his problem." The seeker pointed to the Mini-con.

"His core programming was wiped during stasis, he has to learn from scratch." Wheeljack explained, patting Wind Sheer on the head.

"So you feed him that mumbo jumbo." Thundercracker scoffed.

"Maybe to you, but some of us have taste." Wheeljack glared. "Are you here for a reason?"

"Oh yeah, we gotta report to Galvatron, he's got some busy work for us." Thundercracker responded as he started to walk off.

"Oh joy, wonder what we get to do now?" Wheeljack replied to no one in particular, and upon seeing Wind Sheer's cocked head, he put the Mini-con on his shoulder and followed.

Autobot HQ, Optimus Prime's Quarters.

Hot Shot slowly entered Prime's office. Classical music sauntered out of the room as Scavenger stood at the doorway, closing it when Hot Shot got through the door. Prime was seated, looking out the only window in the Autobot base. A small portion of the ship jutted out of the mountain, covered by vast overgrowth and ferns. The window was installed by Prime himself, and he would spend a few cycles a day gazing out lost in thought. Rain pelted the window, cascading down, forming a liquid curtain.

"I've been expecting you Hot Shot." Prime said, not looking from the window.

"What is this about, sir?" Hot Shot said.

"You tell me Hot Shot, please."

"Sir?"

The rain picked up in tempo, drowning out the classical music play as Prime rose from his seat, not yet turning.

"Who is Wheeljack?"

"I beg your pardon sir?"

Prime suddenly turned, smashing his fist on the desk. "Don't take me for a fool Hot Shot, why did you let Wheeljack shoot you out there, with no effort to fight back. Not only did you put yourself in harms way, you jeopardized the whole battle by taking yourself out of the equation. Did you even see Smokescreen!?"

"But sir, I, I."

"But nothing! I don't care what you and Wheeljack's past may be, you wear one sigil, and he wears the other. That means you point your gun at him and shoot and he does likewise. I don't think you fully understand what you may have cost us Hot Shot. Do you know where Jetfire is?"

Hot Shot looked into Optimus's optics, seeing for the first time a very tired and very stressed soul behind them. "I just recently came back online sir, I have-"

"Unicron has him, and Commettor too. If they're even still alive, they're sitting in the brig of a planet eater, awaiting who knows what torture." Prime watched Hot Shot's reaction before continuing. "I had to have Sideswipe and Scavenger guard your ungrateful body, that's two men I spent protecting you that could have been helping Smokescreen or Jetfire, we had to rush out with you and Smokescreen so quickly that we couldn't even search for Red Alert of Jetfire. According to Sideways, Red Alert had data unwillingly extracted from his cranium, and he won't even speak about it now, he's a nervous wreck!"

Hot Shot took a deep breath, on the verge of breaking down. "I'm so sorry, but, I couldn't just let what I did to Wheeljack go unpunished!"

"So what you did in the past was worth the wellbeing of all of my troops-My friends!" Prime cried.

"No! I didn't mean for this to happen, I just couldn't bear the thought of Wheeljack switching sides.All because of me! I wanted to get rid of the guilt! I never would have wanted this to happen, never!" Hot Shot cried out, dropping to his knees.

Prime just glared before turning back around, sighing as he sunk into his seat. "Report to Sideswipe, he has the briefing for your next mission."

"I'm so sorry."

"Out."

Hot Shot whimpered, pulling himself to his feet and walking out the door. Scavenger stood there, a solemn look on his face. "I suppose you're going to tell me this is all my fault too!" Hot Shot spat, his voice betraying his broken spirit.

Scavenger frowned and dimmed his optics. "These are desperate times Hot Shot. In such a desperate situation, one cannot afford to be compassionate, or think only of themselves. The team must prosper to survive." The green Autobot then stalked off down the hall, leaving Hot Shot to his grief.

????????????????

"Ohhh my achin motherboard." Jetfire's optics reactivated suddenly. The room he currently resided in was a splash of dull gold and yellow. "Any one in here?"

"Wow, of all the bots I coulda expected, I would have never expected you."

Jetfire spun around to see Cyclonus sitting in the corner, a small form cradled in his arms. Jetfire looked closer and realized it was Crumplezone, but now a mix of green, black, and silver for his coloration. "What did they do to him?"

"I heard something about "Powerlinx Experimentation" from one of those yellow goons. They just took off with Drill-bit and your munchkin after they brought back Crumplezone." Cyclonus replied, the usual malice in the Decepticon's voice gone. "I assume we're next after they get done with the Mini-cons."

Jetfire stood and examined the cell. "How long have we been here?"

"I have no clue, my internal chronometer has been on the fritz since they dropped me in here."

"How did we get in here? I don't see an entrance or anything."

"Beats me, I think we were warped in."

Jetfire turned to the Decepticon again. "Am I actually holding a conversation with you, and not trading insults?"

Cyclonus let a slight chuckle escape his vocalizer. "Yeah, being cellmates will do funny things to you I guess."

The two sat in silence for many cycles until a flash of light caught their attention. Dreadwind, Smokejumper, Maelstrom, Slipstream, and Sensor all stood before them, the latter two pushing Drill-bit and Commettor forward. Drill-bit, now green, black, and orange, collapsed immediately. Commettor, now predominately white, rolled into Jetfire's arms.

"Awful..so..terrible.don't...don't let them take me back!" Commettor cried to Jetfire as he calmed the Mini-con down.

Smokejumper prodded Jetfire with the end of his rifle. "On your feet!" He commanded as Jetfire complied, glaring at the small Decepticon as he rose to about twice his height. Smokejumper involuntarily backed up, holding his rifle torso level to Jetfire. "T-t-t-to the warp gate..NOW!"

Dreadwind chuckled as he pushed Cyclonus forward. "Isn't stuttering Long Haul's thing?"

"Shut up!" Smokejumper cried back as they prepared for the warp jump. Maelstrom hovered up and punched a combo into a keyboard, taking them all to another part of the ship, leaving Commettor alone with two unconscious Mini-cons.

"Jetfire..please...comeback.."

Death Valley, USA, Earth

Terradive and Mirage strode into the now very large cave that was once just a massive cliffside. Iceberg drove a good deal behind them, pulling a massive skiff of assorted materials. Dirt Boss was standing with Downshift, Fetch, and a white and blue Mini-con.

"Dirt Boss, we return." Terradive announced, causing an attention shift.

"Ah good! And you're just in time to see us reactivate more comrades!" Dirt Boss exclaimed, a bit excited. Mirage and Terradive strode over to where the new Mini-con was fiddling with four Mini-con panels on the ground.

"Just about got them, should activate any second now." The white Mini-con said cheerily.

"Good job Makeshift." Downshift said as the panels began to activate. The first panel revealed a stout red bot, having white accents on two large shoulder units. The next revealed a large gray Mini-con, with bright yellow cannons sticking from his back. The third was a lithe and orange one, with wheels on his legs and chest. Last, a jagged gray, gold, and blue Mini-con stood before them.

"I am Dirt Boss, leader of the Mini-con resistance. I welcome you brothers." The large race team Mini-con announced.

"Resistance eh? I like the sound of that, damn larger Cybertronians have pushed us too far! I'm Dualor, and I'll give you all the firepower you'll need." The gray one shouted enthusiastically.

"Name's Firebot." The red one quipped, looking around at the large cave.

"Oval here, reconnaissance expert." The orange one said, looking disinterested.

"Thunderwing reporting, aerial assault." The gray and gold one said.

"Excellent! Welcome, together, we'll free all Mini-cons, let no one, Autobot or Decepticon, stand in our way!" Dirt Boss exclaimed as the rest cheered. Mirage and Downshift hung to the back slightly.

"He sure can give speeches." Mirage said, cupping his chin in his claw.

"Yeah, good thing he has us around for the technical stuff though." Downshift replied as he looked over the materials Mirage had procured. "We still got a long ways to go to be operational. We need this base to be fully functional before we can even think of stopping the Autobots and Decepticons from getting more of us."

"True, true." Mirage replied. "I suppose we should get to work."

The two looked at each other, and with a sigh, turned to work.

Decepticon Moon Base, Throne Room.

Galvatron activated his optics when he heard footsteps. Wheeljack knelt before him, Thundercracker standing not to far away with his arms crossed. Galvatron ignored this act of defiance as he rose. "I have a task for the two of you, if you already didn't assume that."

Thundercracker snorted.

Galvatron snapped his fingers, causing a display to come up to the left of the room. A large holo-map was displayed, a small light blinking. "This is your objective, move in quickly, without alerting the Autobots, this is of the utmost importance."

Wheeljack and Thundercracker wordlessly studied the screen. Thundercracker took a few steps closer, his optics widening. "A Mini-con signal of that proportion. You don't mean.." He trailed off, looking at Galvatron, gaping.

"Yesss. Now go! Take Wind Sheer and Zapmaster, and move!" Galvatron commanded, both Decepticons bowing and walking quickly out of the room. Wheeljack looked at Thundercracker as they walked.

"What in the world are we looking for?" The black Decepticon asked.

"You'll find out, and hope we get there first." Thundercracker responded, quickening his pace.

Galvatron smiled as the two exited. He pressed a button on his throne, causing Thrust and Starscream to enter from the other side of the room. "Well?"

"We've found a few key pockets of Mini-cons, but it appears as a good half of the panels have been salvaged." Starscream replied flippantly.

"I see, so you are positive that this must be it?" The tyrant asked.

"Yes sir, it has to be, unless it was destroyed in the crash, this has to be it." Thrust responded.

"Excellent, Starscream, when Tidal Wave is repaired, have him salvage the submerged Mini-cons we've detected. Until now there has been no way to retrieve them, but now is as good of time as any." Galvatron commanded the red seeker, who simple sneered, then saluted and stalked out of the room.

"He's getting harder to control, sire." Thrust commented after Starscream had left.

"I know, he may have to be dealt with soon, but for now, keep the operation going, we must gain the upper hand in this war, no matter the cost. And if it means returning to Cybertron and bringing every Decepticon on the planet to this bleak little world, so be it!" Galvatron slammed his fist on the throne, emphasizing his point.

"Yes sire." Thrust bowed before leaving Galvatron to his musings.

Autobot HQ, Medical Bay.

"Are you sure you don't want me to tell Prime?" Sideswipe asked the small yellow transformer in front of him.

"This is a Mini-con matter, just fix up Long-arm." Sparkplug said quietly. Sideswipe shrugged and went back to work as Sparkplug strode out of the medical bay and down the hall. Astroscope waited for him, arms crossed. The blue Mini-con started walking with Sparkplug as he passed.

"So," Astroscope began, "Not the best way to catch up it seems."

"Not at all." The yellow Mini-con responded.

They walked in silence, entering the Mini-con quarters wing. Ransack and Dunerunner were quietly cleaning the walls with small brushes, made for a human's teeth. Skyblast and Spiral were updating a few computers as Payload stood watch over Jolt. The red Mini-con sat slumped over, making no sounds save the occasional whimper. Grindor, Highwire, and Sureshock discussed the fate of the helicopter in a sealed room.

"I sent Rollbar to inform Prime of our presence, but I told him not to divulge our little "ability." Astroscope told Sparkplug.

"Good, although I'm sure Prime would want to use it, he wouldn't force you, although, things are getting that bleak." Sparkplug replied somberly. "When did we get so bad Astroscope? When did we have to begin fighting each other just because of this stupid war?"

Astroscope sat with a heavy sigh. "I don't know, I don't know."

The sound of a door hissing made everyone's attention snap to the trio of Mini-cons coming into the room. Sparkplug lifted his head heavily. "Well?"

Highwire scanned the room before meeting optics with Sparkplug. "We have reached a decision." He said before shooting into the air with Grindor and Sureshock. A few moments and contortions later, the trio combined into the entity known as Perceptor.

"We have come to a feasible conclusion." The Mini-con Gestalt spoke as he crossed his arms. "The Mini-con Jolt, is charged with assaulting a fellow Mini-con, causing very serious damage, and three accounts of preventing release from stasis."

Jolt whimpered.

"However, we sympathize with Jolt's intentions, but his methods were unjust. Everyone does not want more of our brethren used as mere weaponry by Autobot or Decepticon. This does not justify lashing out at a fellow Mini-con however. Jolt will be confined to base unless under the most dire circumstances, and will aid in the repair of Long-arm, and aid him in anyway possible during recovery. Monitor duty will also be taken over by Jolt for twelve solar cycles." Perceptor declared.

Jolt blinked. "What? That's all?"

"We see no other reason to punish you further, and lack the malice to perform any unjust or cruel sentences." The giant spoke, unfazed.

"Alright..I'll do my best to make amends." Jolt whispered.

Perceptor smiled. "That pleases us." With that, the giant disassembled into his component parts. Sparkplug let out another sigh as he leaned back.

"Alright everyone, take the rest of the day off, just drop what you're doing, it can wait, even you two." Sparkplug pointed to Ransack and Dunerunner, who both collapsed and chucked their toothbrushes aside. "Jolt, I want you to report to medical and see if you can help out, other than that, everyone just relax. We need it"

Autobot HQ, Lounge

Sideswipe fell to the couch with a groan. "What a freaking day this has been, and I have to go out on the field too!" Sideswipe sunk farther into the couch as Nightbeat hopped up besides him.

"Are you done bitching?" The Mini-con inquired.

"No, as a matter of fact I'm not!" Sideswipe retorted, playfully pushing Nightbeat to the other side of the couch. Hot Shot trudged in after a few more cycles.

"Hey." Hot Shot said sullenly, sitting in a chair.

"Meeting with Prime not go so well bro?" Sideswipe asked as he settled back down in the chair.

"You could say that. He said you got our assignment." The yellow Autobot replied.

"Yeah, you're gonna love this one, we have to go investigate a massive energy signature in the jungle. He wants us out there in a Megacycle, stealth is of the utmost importance." Sideswipe sighed.

"Just you and me?" Hot Shot asked.

"Oh this is the part you're gonna love, us, Nightbeat here, and your favorite headmaster."

"For Primus's sake..." Hot Shot groaned. "He's sending Sideways with us?"

"Someone say my name?"

Two Autobots and a Mini-con swerved their heads to see Sideways leaning in the doorway, Crosswise perched on his shoulder. Sideswipe let off a nervous chuckle. "Oh hiya Sideways, we were just err.talking about you."

"All good things I hope." Sideways said, walking further into the room. "I got the mission from Prime, shall we ladies?" Sideways gestured to the door.

"Oh why the hell not, I've only been working all day in medical, might as well get shot at again before the day is over too." Sideswipe moaned as Nightbeat jumped to his shoulders.

"Didn't I tell you to stop that." Nightbeat scolded.

"Shut up." The sedan replied. Hot Shot gave Sideways a quick glare before walking out of the room. Sideways chuckled and followed.

Unicron

"AARRRRRGGHHHHHHHH!"

"M-m-m-m-must he do that?" Long Haul muttered as Scrapper worked a large console. Jetfire screamed repeatedly in agony as small probes supercharged parts of Jetfire's circuitry. The Autobot vice-commander was strapped down onto a horizontal table, spread out and many vital components exposed. Wires and sharp metal probes intertwined his body as Scrapper turned a dial up on the console, causing the connections to shudder and send more power into Jetfire's frame. Parts of his body fluctuated colors as he screamed.

"The process seems to be working on the larger Cybertronians as well. It is just taking longer than we expected." Scrapper thought aloud. Long Haul frowned and kept watching the gauges as Scourge strode in. Scrapper looked up in annoyance. "Well?"

"The Decepticon has nearly been completed. His body, while smaller than the Autobot's, could take a tremendous amount of power surges before his superstructure had to alter to compensate." The locust replied.

"I see, once this one is finished, we may compare all of our findings, and upload the finished process directly to Unicron." Scrapper smirked. "Then he should be able to do this process himself, and much more accurately, given his 'powers'."

Scrapper and Scourge looked up at one of the monitors, which revealed a mostly green Cyclonus strapped up in a similar fashion as Jetfire. Hook stood at the moniter, controlling the power surges that racked Cyclonus's body. The Decepticon had stopped screaming, only flinching when Hook turned up the dial.

"That one is no where near as fun as the Autobot." Scourge chuckled. "This one makes more noise." To emphasis his point, he turned up the dial.

"AAAAARRRRGGGHHHHH!"

"Yes, we are almost done it seems, send Prowl to report to master Unicron that we're almost ready for the final phase." Scrapper said as Scourge nodded and walked out of the room.

Central America, Exact Location Unknown

White hands brushed aside the overgrowth on the side of the structure. Rain was pouring heavily still, something which irritated Thundercracker greatly. Wheeljack cleared more brush away as Thundercracker miserably huddled under the vast tree cover.

"Can you hurry it up, it's wet out here." Thundercracker complained. "And with all these trees, flying is out of the question too."

"This would go faster if you helped." Wheeljack snorted, looking for an entrance big enough for them. "I sent Zapmaster down one of the smaller entrances, he should be back any minute."

"He damn well better hurry." Thundercracker growled.

"So why am I searching for an entrance in this hunk of stone made by some flesh-bag who knows how long ago?" Wheeljack asked.

"Ah, yes you were probably to young or not even online yet during that phase of the Great War." Thundercracker leaned back against his tree. "Well I might as well tell you, seeing as how this rain doesn't want to stop."

"Oh? Well spit it out already then!" Wheeljack said, getting irritated with the structure.

"Alright, alright. It was way back in the early phases of the war, when the Mini-cons had just appeared. Both factions were experimenting with Mini-cons left and right, trying to think up new ways to use the critters to power them up. The Autobots came up with a radical theory, involving taking out the head unit of an Autobot and altering a Mini-con to serve as its head. Well before this technology had been perfected, the Autobot's original Vice-commander, Ultra Magnus, was mortally wounded, a freak shot mangling his head and chest. Without much time, they decided that they could repair him if a Mini-con was used to replace his damaged components. They got a volunteer by the name of Rollout. The little guy underwent, from what I've heard, a very painful process to not only transform into Magnus's chest and head, but to merge with his spark, repairing the damage caused to it. When they finally got it done, and had Rollout merge with Ultra Magnus, he was so far gone that both of their sparks merged and formed something completely new. He called himself Overload, guardian of the Mini-cons. When Overload turned into vehicle mode, Rollout would separate and retain most of his old personality, where the shell of Magnus would be no more than a mere drone, requiring Rollout to tow it around. Anyway, when the mass exodus of Mini-cons occurred, Overload went with them, vowing to protect them. And naturally, Rollout was put into stasis with the rest of them. I knew he would be somewhere on Earth, and it appears Galvatron put in some extra effort to find him. Hopefully we can get there before the Autobots and get him on our side, or else the Autobots may just gain the upper hand." Thundercracker sighed. Looking at Wheeljack, who was listening, Thundercracker frowned. "Hey! I never said you could stop working."

"I'm not doing any work unless you help." Wheeljack scoffed, then cupped his chin. "Interesting, interesting, how do you know so much about this Autobot anyway."

"I was the grunt in a stalemated war, had nothing better to do." Thundercracker shrugged, getting to his feet. "Ok you know what, give Zapmaster two cycles, if he ain't back with a good way in, we're blowing a hole in this sucker. Screw Galvatron. I'm sick of this damn rain."

Wheeljack stifled a chuckle then went back to searching the ruins. Wind Sheer swooped down into the canopy and transformed. "Autobots have warped into the area Wheeljack, three strong."

"Shit!" Thundercracker cursed. "We gotta go, now! Zapmaster, where the slot are you?"

"Right behind you?" The silver Mini-con chirped from behind.

"AH! You little piece of scrap, did you find a way in?" The blue seeker snapped.

"There isn't a single place I could find where you two would fit." Zapmaster replied.

"Ah screw it!" Wheeljack spat, taking out one of his oblong yellow guns and sending a bolt into the wall, causing the wall to collapse. "Let's move!" The Ex-Autobot motioned the seeker and Mini-cons into the hole.

On the other side of the ruins, the blast gets the attention of the Autobots.

"What was that?" Hot Shot asked.

"Sounded like an energy discharge." Sideways replied nonchalantly.

"Must have been the Decepticons, that means they got here first." Sideswipe deduced. "We need to get inside, and fast."

"Well maybe we coul-" Nightbeat was cut off as he was flung back by chunks of rock. Sitting up, he spotted Sideways, gauntlets smoking as he climbed in the hole. "Or not."

Back with the Decepticons, Wheeljack took glances at the markings in the structure. "This must have been some sort of temple."

"Brilliant deduction. The silly flesh sacks built a shrine to honor the artifacts they found." Thundercracker smirked as he looked over the markings.

"These look like they foretold destruction and death to whoever disturbed these ruins." Wheeljack said, pointing to a few more inscriptions. "This Overload must have been one major fighter."

"You have no idea, none at all." Thundercracker replied quietly. The two stalked forward deeper into the ruins, passing multiple pictures of humans worshipping a massive fiery entity, eyes ablaze with the same fires it created.

"This is creeping me out." Zapmaster muttered as he and Wind Sheer followed the Decepticons. The halls lead to a massive altar room, and in it, a large Mini-con panel was attached to the wall.

"This is it!" Wheeljack cried, right before the wall behind him crumbled.

"Stop!" Hot Shot cried. "We won't let you get this Mini-con!"

"Ha! If only it was just a Mini-con!" Thundercracker declared. "Either way, you aren't touching it, Zapmaster, POWERLINK!" The silver Mini-con transformed after leaping to Thundercracker's back, linking and activating the seeker's electro-cannons. The cannons sparked as he let loose a torrent of energy. All three Autobots dodged as Nightbeat transformed and drove at Wind Sheer, snapping back to robot mode and tackling the Mini-con. Wheeljack flipped forward both of his blasters, laser bolts flying from them as he brought them to bear. Hot Shot took a shot to the chest before growling and drawing his hand gun.

"You aren't getting the best of me this time Wheeljack, you should have finished it!" The yellow Autobot snarled.

"Poor Hot Shot, I'm really trying to feel sorry for you." Wheeljack retorted, snapping his arm to the right and shooting Sideswipe in the leg. "Oh no you don't!" Sideswipe fell to the ground with a cry and brought his handgun up, snapping off a few shots. Wheeljack took a shot to the chest as he moved back. Sideways shot forward as he dodged the bolts of electricity Thundercracker was sending his way.

"Stand still damnit!" Thundercracker cried, letting his cannons fold back as Sideways closed the gap. Sideways threw a couple of high kicks at the seeker, who dodged as his wing shone bright blue. The wing flipped ninety degrees as a handle jutted from the bottom. Dodging another kick, he grabbed the handle and swung the wing out in a smooth outward arc, causing Sideways perform a back-flip, dodging the wing as it unfolded into a sword. Thundercracker smirked as he grasped the hilt of his blade, feigning at Sideways as the double-spy looked for an opening. Thundercracker lunged forward, grazing Sideways' chest as he sidestepped and grabbed the seeker's forearm. Kneeing it, Thundercracker yelled out and dropped the sword. Sideways rolled on the ground and grabbed the sword, holding it in both hands. The sword was quite large compared to the lithe purple motorcycle, but he gracefully slashed and swiped at Thundercracker. Sideways swung the sword over his head in a downward arc, but Thundercracker grasped the blade with the palms of his hands, grabbing the sides of the sword. Smirking, he shot a salvo of lasers from his chest at Sideways, who gasped and flew back. Tossing the sword back into the air, the midnight blue seeker caught the handle and assumed a battle stance.

"Impressive." Sideways chuckled as he rose from the small crater he created. "But your friend looks to be having trouble." Thundercracker looked to the side to see Wheeljack getting tackled by Hot Shot, as Sideswipe was limping to the altar. Thundercracker turned back to see a light gray fist barrel towards his face. He tumbled back as Sideways chuckled and kneeled down. Crosswise appeared, darting out of the shadows. "Well?" The silver Mini-con shook its head. "Damnit I was sure that these ruins would have something on it, oh well, get out, we'll handle the rest." Sideways sighed as Crosswise disappeared again.

Wheeljack had dropped his guns and was fending off punches from Hot Shot. Suddenly, Wheeljack transformed, shifting into a black sports car and tearing away from Hot Shot, throwing the yellow Autobot off. "Hah! Wind Sheer, Powerlink!" Wheeljack declared as Wind Sheer delivered a straight uppercut to Nightbeat and transformed, quickly swooping over to the Decepticon and linking to his roof. Wheeljack's doors swung up and the cannons inside fired, hitting Hot Shot dead on. Hot Shot cursed and tried to rise to his feet.

"I'll never surrender, so do your worst...Decepticon." Hot Shot spat, forcing the last word out as he glared at Wheeljack.

"So you finally accept it then, good!" Wheeljack said, switching back to robot mode and grabbing his guns. "Say goodbye Hot Shot."

"Forget about me!" Sideswipe cried as he squeezed off one shot, hitting Wheeljack in the leg. The ebony colored robot groaned and dropped to his knee as Sideswipe reached the panel.

"No!" Thundercracker cried as he stumbled to his feet, flipping his cannons forward again and firing at Sideswipe. The massive electric bolt shattered the altar, sending Sideswipe flying back. Everyone cried out as the whole structure began shaking. A blinding light shorted out all optical sensors temporarily, leaving Autobot, Decepticon, and Mini-con alike disoriented.

"What's happening!" Wheeljack shouted as he limped forward, squinting his optics. As the light dissipated, a very large red and white Mini-con stood in the ruins of the altar. It smirked as the rumbling happened again, to a larger degree. The wall behind the Mini-con suddenly shattered, stone flying everywhere as a massive red weapon battery rolled from the rubble.

"Shit!" Thundercracker said as he fired at the Mini-con. It merely jumped aside and transformed into a transport vehicle.

"Overload! Transform!" The Mini-con shouted as the weapon battery shifted and twisted until it resembled a headless robot. The massive hands picked up the Mini-con and thrust it into the opening in its chest, a blue head flipping up once the connections completed.

"What in the world!" Hot Shot cried as Wheeljack shot furiously at Overload, combining fire with Thundercracker. The optics of the large crimson transformer shone bright green as it punched the oncoming blasts, dissipating them with the power of his punch. Thundercracker and Wheeljack stared slack-jawed as Autobot symbols blazed onto its shoulders.

"Pathetic." Overload snorted as the symbols on his shoulders snapped open, revealing dual missile batteries. Holding out his arms, missiles swarmed out at the Decepticons. Wheeljack took one to the chest as Thundercracker swung at one with his blade, causing it to detonate before him and send him flying.

"Let's bail! He's tearing us apart!" Thundercracker screamed before warping away. Wheeljack cursed loudly and followed suit. Hot Shot gaped as Sideswipe pulled himself from the rubble. Sideways merely chuckled as Sideswipe said one thing.

"Incredible."

Cybertron, Fortress Darkmount

The lights flickered in the dark hallway of the Decepticon's main fortress on Cybertron. Footsteps pierced the silence as an angular copper, black, and blue winged Decepticon made his way down the hall. His face was as white as snow, framed by a twilight black helmet. Yellow optics scanned the hall as he looked for a certain room. This Decepticon was known as Dirge, second in command of the Decepticon forces left on Cybertron. Striding down the hall, he came to two Decepticons standing before a door. The two were slumped over lazily, until one caught sight of Dirge. The two scrambled to attention as Dirge stood before them, optics flickering from one to the other.

"Hailstorm, Cinder, slacking off as usual." Dirge said, full of contempt as he crossed his arms.

"Umm.No, we're just guarding the lab per orders, sir." Cinder, a stout Decepticon who had a color scheme that made him look he was jumped by a few pranksters with buckets of different hues of red paint.

"Right, what he said." The lithe light blue Decepticon with angled wings, otherwise known as Hailstorm, nodded.

"Aside, I must speak to Reptillion." Dirge growled, causing the two Decepticons to edge away as Dirge gave them a final sneer and stepped into the lab. A short green and brown Decepticon was working as a console, growling and banging coming from a large containment field on the other side of the room. Dirge stood and watched as the Decepticon turned a dial, causing the banging and growling to increase. "Reptillion!"

"AHH!" Reptillion spun around, then sneered. "Dirge! What do you want?" Reptillion was very, very ugly. A result from his early organic experiments, he now adorned the features of an Earthen Iguana, pieces mixed and matched with Cybertronian components. His one optic flickered as he glared at Dirge.

"Lord Scorpinok requires an update on the project." The copper Decepticon replied.

"Hehehe, why don't you ssssssee for yoursssssself?" Reptillion smiled, a large set of silver teeth showing on his green face. He hit a panel on the wall, causing the containment field to illuminate. Dirge took a step back as the figure inside roared and lunged. The field crackled and sparked as silver fists beat on it relentlessly. The creature in the field was very imposing, colored dark bronze and silver, with dark green littering his body. Hover fans rested on his back, and large armored shoulder pads sat besides his face, which was riddled with a cruel grin.

"It...goes well then, I assume." Dirge said nervously.

"Yessss, the merging of Cybertronian and organic alloys issss working better than we could have ever imagined. Predacon livesssss to kill." Reptillion declared, steeping his fingers as Predacon performed a lunging kick to the field, clawed foot causing the field to bend slightly as electricity whipped and danced up the technorganic leg.

"How are we to be sure we can control it though?" Dirge asked Reptillion, his smirk fading a bit as he looked to his console.

"Thatsss what I am working on at thissss time, and if you want resssults, I mussst work!" Reptillion stated, turning back to his controls.

"Very well, I shall inform Scorpinok of your developments." Dirge said, giving Predacon one more glance as the large transformer gave him a wicked smile, suddenly calmed from his rage. Dirge quickly left the room, shoving Hailstorm and Cinder out of the way as he made his way back down the hall. Passing the odd Decepticon or two, Dirge finally came to a very large audience room. In the middle of the room was a large throne, the Decepticon sigil prominently displayed above it. The form seated in the throne never failed to impress Dirge however. Large, shovel like hands gripped the armrests of the throne, leading up massive arms attached to the powerful chest of this Decepticon. Massive smoke stacks jutted upwards from his chest, emitting steam every time the he activated his air-intakes. Claws and treads made up his legs, and a massive tail like protrusion rose from his back, the end of the tail containing large lasers. A Decepticon symbol sat dead center on his chest. His face was contorted into a fear inducing scowl, sea green face contained in a gunmetal helmet. He was Scorpinok, leader of Cybertron in Megatron's absence.

"Your report?" Scorpinok said, steam furling from his chest as even his normal voice seemed to make the room vibrate.

"Reptillion says all proceeds accordingly, he should be done on schedule." Dirge replied, kneeling before the massive orange, green, and gunmetal Decepticon.

"Excellent. Megatron will be sorry if he does not return triumphant over the Autobots. My Decepticons grow weary of empty promises, we expect victory, we deserve the universe!" Scorpinok declared, crushing one of the armrests with relative ease. Dirge winced as Scorpinok smiled. "If I must crush Megatron myself, I shall, because I am the only one fitting to lead the Decepticons to victory. Don't you agreed Dirge?"

"Yes my liege, Megatron and his foolish followers will get a surprise upon returning." The copper Decepticon chuckled. Scorpinok chuckled as well and settled back into the throne.

"Things are proceeding as I have foreseen, it is only a matter of time."

Unicron

Jetfire knelt in the containment field. Everything, even things he didn't know he had, hurt. He looked himself over. Large amount of blue had made its way onto his superstructure, including two blue pinstripes going down his chest. He was still mainly white, but blue replaced any red he had, and then some. Unicron's forces were assembled in front of him, Cyclonus, Crumplezone, Drill-bit, and Commettor were all held in containment fields to his side. A viewscreen displaying Unicron's horned visage appeared in front of his forces.

"My minions, the time draws near, we shall soon conquer our enemies, and bring the universe to a new order." Unicron's omnipresent voice reverberated throughout the area. "Scrapper, you and your team have done well, behold, as this technology springs to its peak."

A hatch in the ceiling opened, and light poured down, striking the Neoconstructicons, the Air Assault Team, Dreadwind, and Smokejumper. As the light fizzled into a haze, the stricken bots rose.

"I..I have never felt such power." Scrapper said, looking at his hands. "Remarkable, there is no change in my appearance, yet, I can feel it."

"A reward for a job well done my minions. Now, my minions, you need a leader, to crush all opposition. Step forward, Scourge!" Unicron commanded.

"Yes sire." The locust stepped forward, kneeling.

"Your reward awaits." Unicron said as a beam of light struck Scourge, but unlike the rest, his body started to change shape. "With the visage of our enemy, you shall strike fear into the hearts of all." Scourge gasped and sputtered as all of his features became more smooth and mechanical. Wheels adorned his legs and shoulders, a grill forming his chest. His back looked like the top of a truck, and his arms had gauntlets that ended in laser cannons. His colors settled on jet black, teal, and smoke gray. As he rose to his feet, Unicron spoke. "Arise, my Nemesis Prime, arise to strike down your foes."

"I live to only serve you, master Unicron." Scourge, a dark version of Optimus Prime, pledged, kneeling again.

"Despair, you shall be his instrument of destruction." Unicron stated as the black Mini-con floated forward. The light struck him, and he contorted into a dull silver, angular Mini-con. He quickly shifted into a jet that had purple trim on the wings before changing again into a rifle that fell into Scourge's hand. "Despair shall run over any opponents before you Scourge."

"Finally, I come to you Prowl." The owl shifted as Unicron's horned visage pierced to his spark. "I grow tired of your passiveness, and your games. Using your shell, I shall mold a lieutenant for my champion."

"But master Unicron, I have never done anything but served you loyally, and ARGGH!" The light consumed Prowl, his body contorting, wings disappearing and his body becoming sharp in general. He collapsed, the light fading as a light green and orange figure rose, sharp wings jutting from the forearms, and a sharp scowl on his face.

"Arise Terrorsaur, and fill the skies with fear once more." Unicron announced.

"My existence is only to destroy your enemies, master Unicron." The newly christened Terrorsaur knelt, pledging his loyalty.

"Now, the universe shall truly know chaos." Unicron chuckled. Suddenly, Smokejumper's prone body flew to the front of the crowd. "WHAT!"

"FREE! HAHAHAHAH! EAT LASER!" Cyclonus shouted, his bonds suddenly disappearing. The bright green Decepticon showered the crowd with lasers as Crumplezone and Drill-bit joined him, linking to his legs to bring his knee cannons into the fray. Jetfire burst from where he was once held, screaming as he fired madly at Scrapper in particular, Commettor linked to his plasma cannon.

"How did they escape!" Hook cried as he shot at the would-be prisoners. It didn't last long however, as Long Haul and Dreadwind were rendered unconscious. A single blast from the front of the room caused Cyclonus to howl in pain and favor his leg.

"Prepare to die, insolent ones." Scourge said, Despair's cannon smoking.

"Bring it on." Jetfire said menacingly, bludgeoning Hook with his shield, causing the Neoconstructicon to slump to the ground. Cyclonus on the other hand, had enough.

"I think this party is getting a little too hot for us!" The Decepticon called out, firing at Scourge as he kicked down a door.

"You got a point." Jetfire said, laying down a wide spread plasma bolt as he flew to the door. Cyclonus flew ahead, blowing open anything that lies in his way between him and freedom. Jetfire followed a little ways behind. Terrorsaur, who until now had done nothing but watched, rocketed forward, shifting to pterodactyl mode as he pursued the Autobot. Cyclonus made it to the outer walkway, and moved aside as Jetfire burst through backwards, Terrorsaur latched onto his shield. Cyclonus kicked Terrorsaur off and Jetfire shifted into shuttle mode.

"Get in!" Jetfire told Cyclonus.

"What?" The Decepticon responded, Mini-cons unhooking and running inside.

"You heard me, get your sorry arse in before I change my mind."

"Alright, alright, sheesh!" Cyclonus complied, barely fitting into the already cramped cargo hold. Jetfire blasted off of the walkway and towards the moon as Scourge burst onto the scene, Despair in hand.

"I have failed you, my liege." Scourge said, bowing his head.

"You have done nothing of the sort, I had foreseen this. If they were to not escape they would have been terminated long ago, now collect Terrorsaur, we begin our ascension to the heavens soon! Unicron declared, his voice ringing outwards.

To Be Continued..

Author's Notes: I've done it! So many ideas, so hard to fit into one chapter. To all my loyal readers, I thank you for putting up with my long absence to this fic, and hope you enjoyed this. Yes, Scorpinok is my first tie in with Energon, and Dirge is the copper Powerlinx Thrust, Hailstorm and Cinder are my own personal Decepticon Redshirts, and Scourge is the Nemesis Prime redeco of Supercon Prime, Despair being Run-over, the repaint of Over-run. The beginning of the end begins, and it'll all start to fall together. Look for it all next chapter, to hopefully be out sooner than this one was!!!

Maelstrom