Disclaimer: Transformers © Hasbro/Takara. Any and all creative liberties are by the author, and in no way are connected to The Powers That Be.

Inspired by the LJ prompts.

The First Set : The Rookie's Tale

Log Entry #10: The Curtain Falls – Too fast, too late.

He realized he had spent too much time in Kaon when he couldn't convince his younger brother that his vision for Cybertron was the right one. He thought Ultra Magnus would listen to the older sibling, the one the Allspark created mere nanokliks before the others, but clearly it had gone into his Spark that Optimus' rather mundane course of rule was for the best of Cybertron.

The best? The Golden Age was over and Cybertron was a rusting, stagnant mess. He'd seen it with his own optics, when he ventured through the dank underground passageways to the arenas. Down south he found a world of decay, and a toughened lot of Cybertronians who didn't think anyone from up north would give a damn about them.

So the question was, he thought to himself as Cybertronians gave him a wide berth while he walked, did he give a damn about them?

He looked to his right and then his left, studying the rowdy crowd as he made his way to his customary seat. Did he care for their plight, their lots in life, or did he just want them for their aggressive nature and potential as superior soldiers of war?

Already things were in motion. Soundwave, loyal lieutenant from their cycles in the CSF, had been selecting the best from the population of rejects. Shockwave, the calculating top scientist from the Research & Studies Organization, promised technology of war; so far he was the only one who saw what Megatron had seen for the Allspark, Cybertron, and their race. And then a presumptuous Aerial, a little-known CSF lieutenant, boldly approached him with a promise of air superiority, and so Starscream became a member of the newborn quartet.

Megatron still needed to decide how to let the rest of Cybertron know of his plans for the Allspark. The only Cybertronians who were aware of the extent of his plans were himself, Soundwave, Shockwave, and Senator Xeon. He couldn't afford to let Starscream or anybody else in on the plans, lest they turn and report to Optimus and the Premier Senator Gravitas.

«Lord High Protector Megatron, we have obtained the floor plans of Nova Cronum,» Soundwave reported. «Although security is light, the scientists should not be underestimated.»

«Find Shockwave and have him help you pick the best Cybertronians for the job.»

«Lord High Protector Megatron, may I suggest Barricade and-»

«We already agreed on his mission. Either send Ravage or one of your neutrals for recon.» Megatron pointed a long finger at the center of the arena before him. «Who is that?»

«Ramjet, Lord High Protector Megatron.»

The one problem with Soundwave was his overly formal tendencies. Megatron told the lieutenant enough times to stop including his entire title and-

He sensed a familiar Spark moving through the masses before and below him, and his optics skimmed through the audience. He felt his Spark shrink within its chamber as he sought to read the foreign signature; a sensation of dread slowly creeping outwards from his Spark Chamber made him aware of who else was watching Ramjet beat the faceplates off of his opponent in the arena.

«Soundwave,» he said quietly.

«Lord High-»

«How fast can you find all the floor plans?»

«Not for another megacycle or two.»

«Fifteen cycles.»

«Lord High-»

«We've lost time.»

«We haven't secured the loyalty of all the Cybertronians here-»

«There is no time. We've been found out. Move quickly, and quietly. We have one chance, just one chance to get things done right. Dismissed.»

«Very well, Lord High-»

«Just go

His audio receptors picked up the sound of Soundwave leaving, clicking to his neutrals Laserbeak and Buzzsaw, but his optics were trained on the broad shoulders of his brother's friend Ironhide pushing through the audience below, trying to get a closer look at the two combatants on the stage.

Optimus, you are such a fool. I may have to strike sooner than I expected, but you won't stop me from taking the Allspark and conquering the universe. Just watch, Brother.

Author's Note: I admit that when I first finished this I didn't like it at all. Now, I think I do like it.

Reviews are deeply appreciated.