Author's Note: This is a slightly rewritten version of this fic. It is first in a series, as I'm sure anyone who's visited my author profile has noticed.

I've been asked by various readers (and you know who you are) where Ultra Rodimus came from. This fic is the answer to that question.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Transformers. Hasbro owns the Transformers. I'm just borrowing them, and will return them to their own universe in short order. The character of Ultra Rodimus does belong to me. So keep your paws off.

Transformation

Chapter 1: Scent of Danger

Rodimus Prime stood on the balcony of his office, looking out over the ruined landscape of Cybertron. As far as he could see, efforts were underway to clean up and try to repair the damage caused by Unicron's attack. Entire cities had been flattened. The planet itself had suffered terrible wounds, deep craters in its metal surface from Unicron's hands and feet and weapons. It would take many years, possibly even decades, to clean up and/or repair the damage that had been done.

Behind him, the door hissed open. Someone approached him. He knew without turning around that it was Ultra Magnus, his second-in-command. No one else sounded like that when they walked.

"Yes?" Rodimus asked.

"How did you know it was me?" Magnus asked.

"I recognized your footsteps," Rodimus replied as Magnus joined him on the balcony. He turned to look up at the city commander. "So, what have you got?"

"The latest reports on the extent of the damage." Magnus waved the datapad he held. "It's bad."

"How bad?"

"Very. The worst damage is just north of here, but the southern regions took more punishment. It's more spread out, though. It's the most dangerous area. In some places the surface looks undamaged, but when you walk on it it gives way beneath you. Or it simply collapses without warning. The holes that form can be very deep."

Rodimus tilted his head. "How deep is very deep?"

"Let me put it this way. We now know that the exact core of Cybertron is an asteroid. One of the holes is so deep we can see the asteroid itself."

Rodimus winced. "That is deep."

"Like I said."

"Any estimates on how long the repairs could take?" Rodimus pushed away from the balcony railing, walking over to his desk and sitting down. Magnus moved to stand in front of him.

"Estimates run from several years to over a century. The damage is that extensive."

The new Prime sighed. "We're low on resources and energon, and I know that the Decepticons are still out there somewhere. We haven't seen the last of them. They'll be back."

Magnus placed the pad on the desk, next to a stack of other pads, the dreaded paperwork that, unfortunately, came with being the Autobot leader. "Here are the reports."

"Thank you." Rodimus picked it up and began to read. Magnus watched for a moment, then walked out of the office, returning to his task of coordinating the cleanup and repair work.

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Elsewhere in the galaxy...

Cyclonus circled around and made another pass over the lava pools, looking for any signs of his missing leader. Nearby, Scourge was doing the same thing.

"I don't see anything," Dirge complained. "Are you sure he's here?"

"Be silent and keep looking," Cyclonus snapped.

"Translation: no," Ramjet grumbled. Dirge grunted.

The Decepticons had been searching every planet they'd come across for any sign of Galvatron. So far, they'd found nothing. There wasn't a trace of Galvatron anywhere. They were beginning to tire of the constant search. Many of them were grumbling about how Cyclonus was driving them.

"I think I've got something!" Blitzwing yelled.

The other Decepticons converged on his position. Blitzwing was standing on a rocky point near the edge of a large, seething pool of lava. The triple changer pointed.

"I'm reading a large, metallic object down there."

Cyclonus cruised over the spot. His sensors quickly located the large metal object Blitzwing had found, just beneath the surface. The Decepticon second-in-command went into a hover, not an easy feat because of the way his jet mode was built, and dropped a set of cables, slowly gliding forward. When he felt the cables catch on something, he rose higher and headed for the shore, dragging his catch onto the rocks.

Galvatron, deactivated, was caught in the cables. Cyclonus lifted the Decepticon leader to a more stable spot and checked him over.

"He is in need of repairs. Let's get him back to Trypticon."

Galvatron was loaded into Astrotrain for the trip back to the huge Decepticon city. Astrotrain transformed from his locomotive mode to his shuttle mode and lifted off, leaving the planet of lava and bare rock behind. The swarm of Decepticons rose through the atmosphere and vanished into deep space, each one dreaming of when they would again have a leader to take them into battle against the Autobots. And that day would be soon.

Tbc...

So, what do you think so far? Send me reviews if you want more story!