Playing Dice With the Universe
Chapter 2

Authors note

As pointed out "Sixgun" as I called him is actually Sixshot and has a larger history in Transformers than I knew (the fact I got the name wrong was why I couldn't find anything about him at first...) Also it wasn't a flying Griffon but a wolf with wings (a bit like Beast Wars Silverbolt) I'm fixing the name but keeping the character traits of always chomping at the bit and transforming absently. If that goes too against the original so be it. Another thing that bugs me is that there is an Autobot called Sixgun, I've even used him before! (he's a component of Metroplex, made up of six guns)

To move the plot along there is also going to be a "twist" at the end of this chapter that may make you want to punch the screen. Pun is, of course, intended.

Shockwave was a scientist, thoroughly devoted to logic, as such he knew it was impossible for a purely mechanical being such as himself to suffer headaches. This, however, was the only explanation for the developing pain in the diodes down the left side of his brain. 'And you fell for that?'

'Well you.. you ordered me too...' Triton stammered

'I ordered you to find and kill the Autobot micromaster leader. Not fall for the first trick in a fem's arsenal. Why did she not just annihilate you when she had the chance?'

The useless Deception shook his head 'Sunburst let me go to deliver a message.'

'Which was?'

'Urm. She said:- "Thanks for the compliment, but next time just send flowers or chocolates".'

Shockwave just looked at him for a long second. His logic buffer refusing to compute what he had just heard. 'I sent you as an assassin, she turned you into a message boy and took it as a compliment?'

'I told you, she's insane. I mean completely gone, her sanity chips must have burnt out or something.'

'That is not outside the realms of possibility.' Shockwave admitted. 'But still, you learnt her name. Her recklessness is a weakness, what else did you learn?'

'Lot's. She's not a micromaster, she's a powermaster! Combines with Optimus Prime, the Autobots think that when she does they become Primus.'

'Superstition.' he thought for a moment. 'Still with even more power the feeble minded Autobots might believe Prime had the power of a God.'

Triton 'And another thing she wasn't created an Autobot. The say she's human underneath.'

This brought Shockwave's head up. 'Of course, a Powermaster. They converted her into an Autobot for some reason. It is possible that she herself can be a source of power, logically that would explain a great deal. Her tactics and skills must be human learnt.'

'How can a human be a power source?' Triton asked

'That I do not know. Megatron was always as interested in enslaving the humans as much as taking their planets energon. This theory explains that too. Still that is unimportant. Extraneous data.' Shockwave stood from his seat and walked over to the window over looking Helex. He had a lot of planning to do.

Dawn crouched behind a scrap pile and looked up. She had the bulk of her forces with her and a mission in mind. At the top of one of the bombed out buildings Longsight and Spotlight were keeping a look out over the target. Using her micro flashlight she sent a couple of flashes to them.

She didn't risk radio transmissions, she couldn't. No sound, no words, just complete stealth. Dawn waited, no signal. Damn there was someone guarding the stockpile. Red and Blue shared a look, they knew what no response meant. They also knew it was a bad idea to risk another flash of light. Sure it wasn't likely it would be seen but Dawn wasn't going to risk lives, a Decepticon saw one flash he'd ignore it. but lots of them they might notice something was up. Especially this close to Decepticon command.

Literally at the foot of the great decepticon tower called Polyhex in their city of Helex. God what was with Decepticons putting "ex" in everything, didn't they have imagination? well no they were the bad guys. The heavily armed, merciless and now rapidly becoming desperate bad guys. If they found out that she was there she and her forces would be stomped in to jam faster than you could say splat.

On the other hand if they were going to tick off Shockwave this was the best way to go about it. With a creeping smiled she looked back at the shattered building. A single flash.

Someone was on patrol. Only one but that was enough, if they spent too long with them Shockwave's pet team, the Seacons, would get the message and then she could kiss her exhaust port goodbye.

Well that's life Dawn guessed.

Shockwave looked out the window, the flapping of metallic wings echoed into the room. 'Ahh Ratbat. What news of the abandoned Micromaster base?'

The small cassette spy came to land on the back of Shockwave's chair 'Empty, save for a rig of demolition charges on the supports. It appears they have left a trap for any that follow.'

The Decepticon commander didn't bother to look back. He was still using most of his processing power to predict the next action. An attack was an eighty percent probability. Still with this opponent that wasn't much help. 'And they had already left by the time they released Triton. I thought as much. Still you found nothing?' If they were to attack the odds were fair as to where.

'Nothing. The computers and equipment too large to move were stripped of valuable components and scrapped.'

'As I suspected. Once again an incredibly logical move from an often illogical foe.' A brief flicker came across his processor. 'I calculate their next attack will be against my own private energon stockpile. Have Flywheels...' Shockwave trailed off as the very stockpile he was talking about detonated. 'Never mind.'

Ratbat flew and landed on his shoulder. 'I don't understand, why don't you just launch an extermination squad to hunt them down.'

'That is both the most logical option and most predictable. Were I to divert men and energon from the fortification lines Prime would over run them. As it stands I must walk a fine line between splitting my forces. The Autobots have provided me with two options. Both result in my demise. I must find a third, still with these near constant micromaster attacks pressing me into action and occupying my processors I don't have the time to devote the processing power needed.' Engaging his optical magnification Shockwave watched the attack. They were out of range but he could still see them. One small Autobot dived from Flywheels attack from the air while shooting at the tank form.

A strange tactic. Attacking the most heavily armoured component of the duo-con rather than his weaker air form. The obviously female micromaster kept firing and, then between one shot and another, threw something at him.

As one the micromasters fired, not at the tank but the air form. Shockwave examined the tactic, once again too late but to observe. The female had throw an explosive charge, magnetically attached to the join point between the two component forms. Instinctively Flywheels united to protect his air form. Transforming quickly the Decepticon guard combined his two forms. The explosive charge detonated, separating the two parts and knocking the Decepticon into status lock.

It was an impressive move, quickly exploiting the weakness of the multiple form Decepticon. The Micromasters then split up. One, small, group collected energon cubes and ran while another team helped their wounded. Shockwave had lost track of Sunburst and tried to see which group she was in. It would tell him more about her. Did she care for her warriors first or the attack's success. She wasn't in either. Scanning this way and that he finally spotted her, looking back at him.

Down there, far out of range of his weapon in either mode the Fem waved back at Shockwave before ducking behind a building. Shockwave pounded on the reinforced plexi-glass and scanned again. She had been the last to leave, distracting him from the others escape.

'Lord Shockwave, look. The Seacons!' Ratbat cried. He was right, the Seacons in their combined form of Pirranacon were flying onto the scene.

The Decepticon leader growled before activating he communications. Transmitting an image of the red, blue and green powermaster fem he barked an order. 'Ignore the others, locate and terminate her.'

Dawn was cursing herself under her breath. She'd wasted time showing off for the one eyed Decepti-creap. Now not only was she left behind but she had that ugly giant firing after.

Somewhere a battle instinct kicked in and she pulled off a duck and tuck roll. A laser burst lanced right where she had been. Scrambling up again she didn't have time to think before she had to pull of a combat shoulder roll. Flipping over a fallen wall and skidding down the inside of a crater. Laser fire following her all the way. 'My kingdom for an ion cannon.'

She was trapped and the flying Decepticon landed at the crater edge. 'You know, if you want a girlfriend sorry I'm not interested. But I'm sure there's a nice crocodile that doesn't care that much about looks.' Dawn quipped, drawing her rifle. Sure it was a nice little gun against Micromasters but full blown Decepticons could just ignore it. Gestalts, forget it.

'The little one wants to play huh. I don't like the odds. How about six against one?'

'One or six of you. Doesn't matter to me.' She shouted back before whispering. 'I'm dead either way.' She pulled up a quick inventory. Her rifle had two thirds of full power, who knows she could get lucky and take down two of them. Only one explosive charge left.

That left three if it split up, none of her stuff would make a big enough dent on the combined form. That Ion Cannon she had asked for sounded good right about now. The Seacons split into their individual robot forms.

Dawn opened the panel on her thigh that held the last explosive surprise. The six of them, gloating like cat's that had just trapped the mouse. They didn't know this mouse still had claws. Dawn affixed the Charge to the end of her gun and shouted; 'As the Klingons say. Today is a good day to die.' before she fired at the right of the middle two Seacons.

The powerful explosive, already destabilised by being fired, might as well have been a missile. The Decepticon, expecting an easy kill wasn't ready for the blast and neither was the on next to him. The one she aimed at pitched back, the one next to him was thrown to one side.

Dawn didn't waste anytime and just opened up. Blaster on full auto she ran to on side, circle strafing like Xander had told her once about in computer games. Thing was this was no game and one wrong move she didn't have any extra lives to use later. Getting killed meant game over. 'Fall down!' she almost ordered the one she had concentrated her fire on.

The jarring jerk form each shot was getting worse. Throwing her aim but that didn't matter. The Decepticons were getting closer. Bigger and closer. It might have been luck or simply the amount of shots he'd taken but her target finally stumbled.

It couldn't have been luck. There was nowhere left to run, she and they knew it The crater was too steep this side to climb out. Dawn's back was against the wall and this was it.

Shockwave looked down from his thrown at the Seacons, smoke still rising from numerous rents and holes. 'At least tell me you took care of Sunburst.' He asked plaintively.

The two that could reply looked at each other over the grav-sled with their deactivated team mates on. 'We think we did.' Jawbreaker said at last.

'She wasn't moving, but that could just be because my Sting Blasters paralyse.' Seawing added quickly and Shockwave resisted the impulse to rap his fingers against the arm of his throne.

'Tell me again what happened. From the beginning.'

'Well,' started Seawing. 'We tracked her down like you said to. She was all alone and we had her cornered in this big hole you see.'

'Yes but like you said we knew she was cleaver so we separated. You know to surround and outnumber her.' Jawbreaker pointed out. Tactically it didn't matter, combined or not they were more than a match for a powermaster. 'So there were, about to blow her apart when she jumps left, she dodges right. You know nimble like.'

Jawbreaker picked up the story 'That's right. She was running this way and that and then boom. She must have had some sort of heavy firepower because Snap Trap took something in the chest. Look.'

Shockwave did, the Seacon sub-commander's chest plate was a mess and he was covered in burn marks. 'Looks like demolition charge damage. Our enemy has a fondness for using high explosives. Continue.' Shockwave found it an interesting dichotomy, she used maximum stealth so well she could move totally undetected but her weapon of choice was anything but stealthy.

Jawbreaker went on to explain how Sunburst kept dodging but eventually ran out of space to evade, even if she brought down Tentakil. '...Then Seawing fired. We didn't want her dodging again.'

'Yeah so I fired. We had the little fem right where we wanted here when the whole Micromaster had us surrounded. It was a trap. We were stuck at the bottom of this pit with dozens of them all around, we did what we could, but without Snap Trap and Tentakil.'

'You couldn't form Pirranacon. Skalor and Nauilator were badly injured. What of Sunburst? Was she destroyed?' Shockwave pressed, that was all he was interested in.

'We... we don't know.'

'How can you not know?' Shockwave was trying very hard to stay calm. 'You either shot her or you didn't.'

Jawbreaker answered. 'We saw her carried off by two other Micromasters. Then Skalor said he had them...'

'Get him repaired, get all of yourselves repaired. I want Skalor here as soon as he can walk and talk.'

'Yes Lord Shockwave!' The two Seacons nodded and pushed the sled out, heading for the repair bay.

Shockwave couldn't risk hoping she was dead. There was a seventy-eight percent chance her damage was only superficial and a ninety-eight percent chance of further attacks. With his own private supply of energon gone and an Autobot attack becoming point eight of a percent more likely every passing cycle sooner or later the Decepticon cause was lost.

And with it any chance to complete his great experiment. How his fellows laughed when he told them of his designs millennia ago. Back when he worked at the Cybertronian Science Development Complex. Alongside the know it all Preceptor, the madcap inventor Wheeljack, the lunatic Flame and all under the watchful gaze of the complex leader Xarron. It was before Megatron rose to power and started the great war, he had worked with the Autobot fools because he too was a scientist but they didn't respect him. He loved the science of numbers, calculations. The more complex the better and then he turned his attention to the most complex equation of all, time travel.

He spent years, devoting every spare moment to it, and eventually had a working theory. The Cronosphere, an energy bubble correctly attuned to the wavelength of time and space. With it you could travel anywhere and anywhen. His Autobot colleagues disagreed, said it was too dangerous, that it would never work. Xarron himself called it a folly and warned him not to mess with the dangerous idea of time travel. Blinkered, blind, old and jealous fools.

Shockwave conducted the first experiment on his own. It cost him his first head and left hand. Megatron found him in his secret lab and after rebuilding the head and replacing the hand made him an offer. Help conquer all of Cybertron and Megatron would support any future experiments. Shockwave agreed, but for his own reasons.

When the Decepticon leader disappeared Shockwave had already become one of his most trusted lieutenants. Converting his alternate mode from computer bank to a space gun and providing sound tactical advice when needed. Taking command of the Decepticons was easy but he never lost sight of his goal. The Cronosphere.

Even when the planet ran out of energon and he could no longer experiment Shockwave still calculated and recalculated, trying to find and fix any errors in his math or machine.

It was his true labour of love, and now he was going to lose it. Before he'd had a chance to use it.

Shockwave jumped with a start. That was the one resource he hadn't used, if the Autobots were so concerned about the damage that could be done with time travel he'd have to show them it first hand.

The radio popped out of his wrist. 'Shockwave to Counterpunch. I have a mission for you, the Autobots cannot know about it. Understood?'

'Yes Lord Shockwave. What is it you need me to do?'

'Gather up all the energon supplies from depot nine seven three gamma. Take them to the south side of this tower. It is vitally important the Micromasters do not know about this until it is too late.'

'To late for what?'

'For them to stop me destroying all of them of course.'

Reddusk looked in. Their leader was lying on the medi-slab, she'd taken a pounding. Energon replaced, and a handful of systems just weren't working. Fixit looked up and shook his head.

'Sorry Reddusk, I just don't know. If it was you or me I could repair the damage but Sunburst is still part human. I have no idea how their self repair system works or even if her's will still work.'

'Do what you can, it was a matter of luck we heard that detonation.'

Fixit chuckled. 'If you ever need to find this fem it's always a good idea to look for the biggest explosion around.'

'Got that right.' Bluetooth walked up to them. 'We've got a problem, it's Punch. He's just broken cover to find us. Apparently old one eye's gotten tired of playing to Sunbursts tune and has a new plan.'

'If he won't dance with us we'll just have to dance over him.' Sunburst suddenly said, surprising everyone before trying to get up. 'Oww. And keep it down next time. You guys are loud enough worriers to wake the dead.' Their leader chuckled painfully

End chapter 2

Authors note:
Doesn't anything keep her down? Well that's something we're just going to have to explore isn't it. Also Counterpunch and Punch, Punch is an Autobot spy that has two robot modes. One is Counterpunch, who is really a disguise for him of a Decepticon warrior.