The Master Plan
Written by Taipan Kiryu
Author's notes: I want to thank KayDee Blu, who beta read this story.
Disclaimer: Transformers belong to Hasbro, Takara and others. I only own this story.
Nothing could be heard a mile beneath the surface of Mount Saint Helens. But the narrow corridor was suddenly filled with the noise of steps that broke the silence that had prevailed so far.
Four Autobots were walking. Optimus Prime leading as Ironhide, Sunstreaker and Blaster followed closely behind. The four mechanoids stopped in front of a huge metal door at the end of the corridor and went in.
They arrived to a medium size room, illuminated by four fluorescent lamps that emitted a permanent buzz. There was a big console on the wall, and on the opposite wall stood a huge metal plate with two energon bonds at the top, two in the bottom and a fifth in the middle. All were deactivated.
Optimus Prime gave the plate a disdainful glance.
"This is disgusting."
Sunstreaker smirked. "Sorry Prime, we didn't have time to clean up this place. It may be not a five star hotel but…"
"It's more than enough for that Decepticreep. I mean, this won't be a holiday or something," Ironhide scoffed back.
Blaster made a grimace, putting a hand to his audio sensors. "Man… can't you do something about that buzz? It's sooooo annoying!"
"It's part of the enchantment, designed specially for our guest", said the weapons specialist.
Optimus folded his arms across his chest and gave another disapproving glance, this time toward the console on the other wall.
"This is not us. This room and its purpose break any Autobot honor code."
"Come on, Prime! You're not having second thoughts, are you? A lot of things depend on the success of this plan."
"I know, Ironhide, and that's the only reason why I'm granting permission for it to even take place".
Optimus turned to face the Autobot Communications Officer, who was playing with some wires connected to the console.
"What about the security, Blaster? Did you take all the precautions?"
"You bet. This room is sealed by the most powerful neural jammer ever created. Not even he will be able to communicate outside these four walls. He'll be completely isolated. And before we arrive here, this will restrain him temporarly without putting him off line". Blaster showed a little device no bigger than his thumb.
"And if that doesn't work, we can always control that freak with a couple of blows to the face plate," Sunstreaker spat, an evil grim on his face.
"We will avoid violence as much as we can," Optimus said, but even he realized the nonsense of his words. He watched uneasily the wires Blaster was still holding. "It's a shame that we have to use such filthy methods like this."
Ironhide laid a hand on his leader's shoulder. "It's necessary, Optimus. You said it yourself. The safety of the human race and their planet is in immediate danger. Besides, the timing is perfect. Megatron and half of his elite forces are on Cybertron. Our chances couldn't be better."
Optimus didn't say anything else. He turned and left the room abruptly. The others followed.
Having finally finished his double shift, Soundwave got up from the chair that sat in front of the mainframe computer in the Control Room of the Decepticon Headquarters. Thundercracker had arrived a few minutes ago but, as usual, the Seeker stayed still until the Communications Officer decided to retire from his usual post. Before taking his place, Thundercracker slightly nodded his head toward him and, as usual, the Communicator didn't give any sign of acknowledging his presence.
Instead, Soundwave walked to the privacy of his personal quarters. On his way, he crossed paths with Vortex and Blast Off, who both gave him an uneasy look. Long after they passed him, the Communications Officer could hear Vortex saying something rude about him, but, like with any other useless bit of information, he disregarded it with no reaction and headed on his way.
He arrived to his quarters and closed the door behind him. He was satisfied to be alone. His Casseticons were not inside of him at the present moment. Lately they were spending most nights away from the base to which Soundwave suspected had to do with wanting to wander around among the humans. But as long as they returned safe, none of it was his concern.
He sat in front of his huge personal computer and opened a panel on the console. A wire emerged and he plugged it into his head.
The journey begun as every night. As always, the first moment was unpleasant. But that lasted only seconds and soon he found himself floating and traveling through the human's vast plane of cyberspace, millions and millions of bytes of information running through his head.
For hours he traveled, submerging himself deeply into their virtual universe, losing complete contact with his body. He traveled through hundreds of television signals. And while he disregarded most, (including the billions of private conversations the humans were having) the ones dedicated to politics, society, and economics all caught his attention, with even a few music channels perking his interest.
He was about to finish for the night when he abruptly stopped. All the information around him disappeared, as his mind suddenly started focusing on something. There was a beating, a sound, a melody his audio sensors had never heard before.
With his attention caught and his senses delighted, Soundwave tried getting into the sound that was already disappearing. But right before it did, the Decepticon Communications Officer was able to track its possible origin.
Soundwave retreated, slowly unplugging himself from the cyberspace. He checked his internal chronometer. Soon dawn would arrive. Despite his double shift and all the hours spent in cyberspace, he wasn't tired. He hated recharging because he considered it a waste of time, time he could spend doing his duties or finding new ways to expand his mind. And his mind was his most precious treasure; it was a universe in permanent movement. Behind his cold and unexpressive appearance existed a universe thinking, analyzing, discovering and creating.
But that night he considered it proper to recharge at least for some breems before beginning his quest. Right after he lay down unceremoniously on his recharge bed, he replayed in his head the unique and intriguing sound.
It was almost noon when Soundwave landed beside an abandoned old factory lost within the desert. He had spent the last hour trying to locate the exact origin of the sound detected last night, and seemed finally he had found it.
The Decepticon took a careful glance around him and ran his scanners. His advanced audio sensors caught the noises of the wind and the local fauna, but nothing more. Only after the process was finished, he directed his attention toward the human factory. The place was very carefree, and there was no signal of organic life inside besides the rats, snakes and some insects. A shattered fence surrounded the place and there were some rusted signals alerting about possible electrical shocks, prohibiting the entrance.
Soundwave accessed the location. It was full of deactivated generators and little half destroyed buildings. Now that he had the source of the sound identified, the blue and white Transformer walked straight to a shattered construction to his right. When he was about to arrive, a voice took him out of his train of thoughts.
"You just couldn't resist, right Soundwave?"
The Communications Officer turned around, only to find Blaster leaning on an old antenna.
Soundwave said nothing, but his shoulder cannon began to rotate dangerously.
"Save the chit chat, Blaster! Just get'em!" Ironhide shouted, bursting in from a pile of debris.
Soundwave shot and took cover behind a little building.
"Give up, Soundwave! There's no escape!" The blue and white mech heard the Autobot yell at him as laser shots zipped by, nearly clipping him.
An euphoric shout behind him made the Decepticon turn around. He had just enough time to catch a glimpse of a very fast yellow Lamborghini charging toward him at full speed.
Sunstreaker crashed against the Communications Officer making him plunge backward into the entire building behind him. But right after Soundwave fell, he grabbed the Autobot by his tires and threw him against Blaster, who was running toward them.
The impact was brutal, as both Autobots collapsed to the ground, a crushing collision of metal scraping and clashing together violently. Immediately, Soundwave got up and steadied his concussion blaster. He was about to shoot when an intense pain on his back made him fall.
That was all he could do. As soon as he hit the dust, two powerful arms pinned him to the floor and unarmed him.
"Nice shot, man!" Blaster said, getting up.
"As humans say, piece of cake," Ironhide replied. "Now use that device of yours before he can radio for help."
Still stunned by the shot, Soundwave felt something sharp being attached to his neck.
"Done," said Blaster, running a scanner over Soundwave. "We are so lucky. His cassettes aren't inside of him."
Ironhide tied Soundwave's hands with a huge energon chain. "Great. I didn't feel like dealing with those little junk pests. Let's get back to the base". He got up, grabbing his prisoner by the neck. "On your feet, Decepticon! We already wasted enough time in here."
Right behind the hologram of a huge dune, Skyfire emerged, transforming into his alt mode. The three Autobots and their prisoner got inside. Sunstreaker pushed Soundwave roughly, making him fall to his knees.
"Take it easy, Sunny. No need to get violent," laughed Blaster.
"This piece of slag will pay for what he did to me!" replied the Lamborghini with a disgusted face.
Skyfire took off. Inside of him, Blaster was carefully detaching Soundwave's shoulder cannon.
"Any attempt of communication is useless, Soundwave," he said, perceiving subtle mind waves coming from the prisoner. "The little neural jammer I attached in your neck will avoid you from contacting your comrades, though I don't blame you for trying."
Ironhide took the shoulder cannon from Blaster's hands and looked at it disdainfully. "This was pretty easy, don't you think Blaster? You were right. This cold son of a glitch couldn't resist the special sound you created."
"A fair reward for my efforts. I spent almost twenty solar cycles developing it."
Soundwave said nothing, not moving an inch. He seemed to be looking at some spot ahead of him with no particular interest. As always, what was going on in his mind was a complete mystery.
Skyfire landed in a secure platform inside the Ark.
As soon as he was dragged out of the ship, Soundwave was welcomed by many pairs of optics that looked at him with very little sympathy. Definitely, he was not the most popular Decepticon around.
Ironhide, Blaster and Sunstreaker took him to the special room they had prepared for him. There, they chained his arms, legs and waist to the big plate on the wall.
"Well, well… welcome Decepticon scum!" Sunstreaker said with a grin, roughly detaching the little neural jammer from Soundwave's neck, causing him an uncomfortable wave of pain. "This will be your home for a while; I hope you'll find it comfortable. It was created specially for you."
Standing in stony silence, the blue Decepticon gave off no reaction of having listened to the Autobot's words.
"Good old Soundwave, cheerful as always," mocked Blaster.
"As you must have realized, Con, this room is protected against any of your dirty little tricks," Ironhide said. "So you better behave and cooperate or things will get pretty nasty for you."
The door opened and Optimus Prime entered, followed by Inferno and Sideswipe.
"Greetings, Soundwave," the Autobot leader said. "I truly lament the circumstances in which you were brought here."
Soundwave didn't reply but glanced stoically at Optimus Prime.
Optimus placed himself in front of the prisoner, folding his arms across his chest. "I suppose you are wondering why we brought you here, so I'll get straight to the point. A while ago, our spies notified us there have been constant hacking attempts coming from Decepticon Headquarters to the intelligence systems of the human countries that possess nuclear weapons. Obviously Megatron is trying to control the nuclear weaponry of the humans and obviously you are behind this entire operation."
There was no reply from the Decepticon Communications Officer.
"It's priority for us Autobots to stop you. For more than thirty cycles we have tried to stop your intrusions and track the codes you are using to trespass the human's computer security but we have been unsuccessful. I need you to give me those codes immediately."
Optimus Prime stopped talking and looked deeply at Soundwave, but the Decepticon remained silent. His expression was unreadable. Blaster ran a secret scan over him, trying to penetrate his mind, but couldn't sense anything at all. No fear, rage or doubt. Nothing at all.
"Soundwave, I need you to understand that those codes are essential for us, and that we will do whatever it takes to get them," continued Prime.
Silence prevailed for a few more uncomfortable seconds, but finally Soundwave spoke for the first time since his capture.
"Point taken. Petition denied," he said with his unique and monotonic voice.
Optimus narrowed his optics. "I knew you would say that, but I must warn you that if you don't give me those codes I will be forced to take other kind of measurements than just asking."
"Petition denied. Codes confidential," repeated Soundwave without any trace of emotion in his voice.
"Last warning. Give us the codes and avoid a very unpleasant situation for both of us."
"Codes confidential of Decepticon High Command," he spoke for a third time. Though his voice sounded as emotionless as usual, Optimus could detect some sort of challenge.
The leader of the Autobots unfolded his arms and sighed. "I see… this is your decision, then. You are intelligent, Soundwave, and I really hope you will change your mind and avoid being unnecessarily damaged."
Optimus made a sign to Ironhide, who walked to the console. There he opened a panel and extracted a bunch of wires and connected them to Soundwave's chest and head.
"Last time I'm asking you, Soundwave. Give us those codes," Optimus spoke again.
Soundwave didn't reply. He didn't even make the slightest movement when Ironhide connected the wires to his body. He looked to be totally absent of any signs of breaking, as if he couldn't feel the intruding devices invading his structure.
Optimus shook his head. He didn't want to have to resort to this, but the uncooperative demeanor of the Decepticon standing before him now was giving him no other choice.
"It's a shame… Ironhide, start."
To be continued.