Uh, it's been a while since I updated… sorry for that, but I hope you will like what's to come.
As always, I want to thank you for your reviews and support. That goes to my beta reader iratepirate too, always there to encourage and inspire me.
I strongly recommend listening to The Blue Danube whilst reading the first part of this chapter. You can find it very quickly in youtube. Trust me, the reading experience will be better. I'm a total Stanley Kubrick sucker, by the way!
Chronicle of a merge foretold
Nemesis Headquarters, Storage Room X-07, 0257 hours.
Dirge tried to stretch his servos, but all he could stretch was the void surrounding him. He chuckled. "Right… I have no servos."
"Hey Dirge," Thrust greeted him as he floated beside him.
"Sssslag Thrust… your head is so cone shaped, so cone shaped…"
Thrust laughed. "Dumb aft, I have no head…"
The infinite became dark grey and Starscream's frown wrapped them.
"Focus, you dolts!" he tried to yell.
"Mmmh… this is better than high grade…" Skywarp said as he glided gracefully. "Hey guys, did you see? No wings…"
The gigantic face of Starscream looked around. "Thundercracker, where the slag are you?"
Skywarp pointed backwards. "You know TC… he has never been able to hold his high grade. It seems that he can't handle the gestalt bond either."
Thundercracker's annoyance appeared suddenly from the wall of oblivion. "I can perfectly handle this gestalt bond nonsense, I just don't like it!"
Ramjet's laughter reverberated through the entire place without limits. "What's wrong, Mr. Personality? Are you afraid we may peek into your darkest secrets? Oh my, I can't wait to take a look in your deadly boring processor. I'm being sarcastic, by the way."
"You really have an obsession with sneaking into other robots' minds, don't you Ramjet? But no, that's not it. I just hate the idea of having my processor connected to yours!"
Starscream's presence surrounded his wingmates like a suffocating circle. Hands without fingers everywhere, a shinny and tricolor frame, two crimson slots that seemed to see everything…
"You will shut up right now or so help me I—"
"Fool, we aren't even talking," Dirge said.
"You know what I mean! Do I have to remind you that we are running out of time? In less breems than you can actually count we will have to merge in front of Megatron and those insufferable Combiner Teams!"
Invisible wings flapped against more invisible wings in tacit understanding. Seeker competed against Seeker, Seeker couldn't stand Seeker, Seeker cared only for the Seeker he could see in the mirror, but when circumstances tightened their grip, Seeker united with Seeker against the entire Universe.
Imaginary but tangible tendrils embraced each other as the dormant Machion started to yawn. Foreign, but so familiar at the same time.
"Slaggg… Is this me… or you, Thrust?" Ramjet shook his head, but suddenly it was Skywarp's head that he was grazing. "Beats me… I think it's Starscream… For the Primary Program, what the frag is happening?"
Starscream's reassurance was even more screechy than his voice. "We are becoming one. Shut up and continue the interlink protocol."
"Mmmh… this doesn't feel that bad…"
"Get off me, you geek! You're invading my personal space."
"Hey TC, if you wanted to be alone with Thrust all you had to do was ask," Skywarp giggled.
"I don't! It's just that I feel as if he were squeezing my mind… It's hard to explain. Back off, geek, I mean it!"
Starscream's annoyance spread through the inexistent air. "It's all part of the merge, fools. Shut up and endure it, Thundercracker. We are wasting precious astro kliks here."
Thrust snickered. "You heard the boss, TC. Now open your stiff mind and allow me to… oooh slag… Did you…? Is this real? Did you actually frag the entire Autobot Female squad?"
Thundercracker retreated, only to find a thick wall that popped out of nowhere. "What the… get out of my head!"
Skywarp pushed his way into the cloud of shame and lust. "What? Are you serious, Thrust? Why didn't you ever tell me, TC? Slag, you know that has been my fantasy for vorns!"
Starscream punched Skywarp, or at least he tried to; not having fists could be very disadvantageous. "Stop gossiping like humans and focus on what we are doing! This gestalt bond is not going to hold forever unless we… What the frag? Elita One too? Thundercracker, you twisted screwhead!"
"You interfaced Optimus Prime's lady herself? Are those female Autobots that desperate?"
Now it was Thundercracker who tried to exercise a little bit of violence. Unlike Starscream, he seemed to succeed because he could feel Ramjet's pain when he hit him.
"I interfaced no one! But what else could be in your minds, except the one thing you do all the fragging day?"
"Jealous, jealous," Thrust giggled. "And a liar too."
Thundercracker growled in anger and charged at the gestalt bond. The entire colorful Universe tingled as certain data from every processor was stripped.
"Let's see," his revenge spoke, "you three Conehead slaggers interface three times a day… no surprise there, but rather boring. Skywarp has a sick fetish with human breasts – don't look at me that way, 'Warp, it is sick. And Starscream… oh slag, Starscream…"
"How do you dare to invade my intimacy? Get the frag out!"
Ramjet snorted. "Since when has Starscream having the hots for Megatron been a surprise? Please!"
Surprise or no surprise, suddenly frames returned to the exterior world in a rather painful way. Six Seekers were thrown out brutally from a place that still felt so foreign to them, but they didn't have time to realize what was happening as their backs hit the metal beneath.
"Now that was rude…" Skywarp said, sitting on the floor and rubbing his rear plates. "We didn't even make it to phase two."
"We can't make it to phase two because our transformation cogs are partially blocked, remember? We can't transform into our Combiner forms," Thundercracker retorted, onlining and offlining his optics. "Besides, I don't think we will reach phase two by sneaking into our most intimate secrets."
Ramjet waved a fist toward Thundercracker. "Look who's talking, rustbucket! It was you who forced our doors open!"
Thundercracker shot him a deadly glare. "Excuse me? You invaded my privacy first!"
"When I say shut up I mean it this time! Any idiot who interrupts the interlink again will know about my fury!" Starscream shouted, standing up with an agile jump. "Now come here immediately and we'll try it again! The countdown to ridicule is expiring and we cannot afford to lose!"
Once again, the greater cause of team pride united the six mouthy Seekers. In other words, it was them against the world, a world that seemed determined to laugh in their faces.
Nemesis Headquarters, Training Room, 0701 hours.
Starscream entered with the royal pace of a king, his loyal troops scattering through the room as soon as they trespassed the threshold behind him. Oblivious to the looks of hate and contempt thrown in his direction, he directed his steps toward the center of the place, not bothering in hiding his delusions of grandeur. He knew he was above all the mechs gathered there.
"Well?" he said, addressing the three Combiner Teams gathered in the room, each one of them keeping a safe distance from the others. "And where is our glorious leader, I wonder? I would have thought he would be the first in line to witness the new Decepticon Gestalt form for the first time."
"You mean the new Decepticon Gestalt failure?" Onslaught said. "I'm sure Megatron has better things to do."
Starscream smirked and turned toward the Stunticons. "You better control your boyfriend, Motormaster. I would have thought that by now you would've already shown him his place. Unless, of course, you are not the one on the top… in both senses of the word."
Swindle, Wildrider, Vortex and Drag Strip burst into laughter. Fortunately for them, the thunderous guffaws of the Constructicons and the Seekers overwhelmed their disrespect with a level of decibels that would have shadowed the sound of ten torpedoes exploding.
Motormaster took a furious step toward Starscream, but his aggressive prelude was overcome by a red dot that appeared on the Seeker's forehead.
Starscream didn't move; he kept standing, arms crossed and wearing his usual smirk as the aim of Onslaught's gun remained fixed on his helm.
"What? Are you going to shoot me now, Onslaught? Go on, I'd like to see you try and fail, again."
Something that sounded like a snort came from Onslaught's vocalizer as he lowered his weapon. "Failure is something that you can achieve perfectly well without any help. I will allow you to exercise your field of expertise all by yourself. It won't take long for you and your minions to realize what a failed merge means."
"You brutish slaggers must know that very well, don't you?" Skywarp said threateningly, pointing a finger toward the Combaticons. "I have never been able to tell Bruticus' head from his aft. By the way, which one of you tail pipe-suckers chose that retarded name? Sounds more like Idioticus to me."
Onslaught lifted one arm and contained Brawl, who had already started to advance toward Skywarp. "Keep talking, Seeker. We'll see if you keep doing it when you face me without your wingmates backing you up. Cowards like you are unable to function on their own."
"Don't bite your own glossa Onsi—"
"Shut up, Skywarp!" Starscream said emphatically. "We didn't come here to fight."
"Wise statement, Starscream, although contradictory to your initial childish behavior," Megatron said, entering the room with Soundwave beside him.
The Stunticons and the Constructicons straightened their stances, all except Wildrider and Mixmaster, who were giggling as they exchanged hand signals in a sort of code they had created. Their respective teams had never been particularly friendly towards each other, but Wildrider and Mixmaster had understood each other practically since the first moment they locked optics. All the Decepticons said it was because insanity attracted insanity.
Motormaster interrupted the wordless communication by roughly elbowing Wildrider, almost throwing him to the floor with the impact.
The Seekers also assumed a martial position, except Starscream, who folded his arms casually and remained as indifferent to the figure of authority as possible. The Combaticons behaved in a similar way, having very little loyalty but an important amount of fear toward the Decepticons Supreme Commander.
"As always, it's a pleasure to see you, leader," Starscream sneered, remarking the last word with his usual sarcasm. "Although I have to say you are rather late. I would have thought you would be looking forward to seeing the first merge of the Decepticons most powerful Super Robot."
"That last statement is yet to be proved," Megatron said before addressing all the Seekers. "You all have been honoured with the opportunity to become a Combiner Team. Show me you are worthy of such a privilege and rule the skies with the might that only a Decepticon Gestalt can achieve!"
Five voices answered in unison. The sixth one snorted with superiority in response.
"You will have your super warrior, Megatron! Thundercracker, Skywarp, Dirge, Thrust, Ramjet… at my signal!"
"There's something called the gestalt bond you can use to communicate with your teammates, you know?" Scrapper said, visibly bored. "Try using it sometime and spare us the unnecessary mumbling."
"If you can achieve the bond, that is… which I highly doubt," Hook seconded immediately.
Starscream shot a killer look to both Constructicons but stepped back and waved his head toward the center of the room. At his signal, Ramjet walked there and planted himself firmly on his two feet. Dirge and Thrust joined him, not even flinching when Ramjet activated his thrusters and stood on their shoulders.
The reigning awkwardness turned into snickers when Thundercracker and Skywarp flew toward Ramjet's sides and grabbed his hands.
"See?" Breakdown whispered into Dead End's audios. "I told you Seekers have a fetid to interface in public."
"The word, Breakdown, would be fetish."
Frank laughter erupted when Starscream positioned himself on Ramjet's shoulders.
"What the…" Vortex said between laughs. "Are you slaggers going for the Cybertronian Kamasutra?"
"No, they are cheerleaders!" Wildrider happily provided his opinion. "Way to go, girls!"
"I feel ridiculous," Thundercracker muttered, visibly disturbed.
Starscream grimaced from his place at the top of the pyramid of Seekers. "You look ridiculous! Don't give those idiots any importance and just do as we planned! Are you ready?"
"Gestalt bond, Gestalt bond," Scrapper insisted, tapping his arm.
"At least use your fragging comm link," Motormaster growled, watching the Seekers as if he were looking at something obscene.
Starscream seemed fond to continue talking but a quick look at Megatron made him think otherwise. Despite the literal uneasiness of his situation, he relaxed his face plates and dimmed his optics.
"Soundwave," Megatron said.
Beside him, Soundwave's optical visor seemed to blink. "Mindwave patterns enabled, Megatron. Gestalt bond in process."
Megatron approved with a curt nod. The slight smirk on his face was visible only to Soundwave.
"Initiate the interlink."
"Uh… how exactly are we supposed to…"
"We already practiced it, Skywarp! Do as I fragging said and initiate the interlink!"
"Okay, okay… I'm just nervous, alright? Slaggit, Screamer, being the team leader is really getting into you."
"I SAID INITIATE THE FRAGGIN' INTERLINK!"
"You didn't initiate a frag, Ramjet. Just lower the firewalls of your neural processors. We did it all night!"
"Why don't you lower them for me, Thundercraphead? I dare you!"
"Don't mess with me today. I'm not in the mood."
"Are you ever?"
"Stop fighting and do as I command! I'm your Gestalt leader and Air Commander! I'll say it for the last time: Initiate the interlink!"
Soundwave didn't move a cyber inch, but his presence seemed to spread through the room.
"Neural processors connected, Megatron. Interlink completed."
"Frag! That telepath freak is already messing with our minds. Do you think he can tell what I did yesterday?"
"Nobody cares what you did yesterday, Skywarp! Now do as I command!"
"Phew, that's a relief… Not even TC noticed that I painted myself in his colours and claimed his Energon ration for the entire vorn."
"You did what?"
"Uh… did you actually hear that, TC? But I just was thinking…"
"We are gestalt bonded now. I can listen to your thoughts when the interlink is initiated!"
"Oh right... I had forgotten… This link is really something, isn't it?"
"I'm done with your idiotic rambling! Prepare for co-functional interlock now!"
"Mm, what exactly did we say that was all about?"
"Were you absent last night when we essayed this or is it just that you are a complete idiot, Thrust?"
"Screamer means transform into your gestalt mode, genius. In other words, RJ, transform into an aft plate and roll on!"
"Aft plates don't roll, Skywarp, not in this case at least. And stop messing around with Ramjet or so help me I—"
"You're such a cutie, Dirge, always defending your boyfriends."
Soundwave turned to Megatron. "Interlock initiated. Cerebro shells unstable."
Megatron narrowed his optics. "In other words, all they are doing is talking nonsense… Starscream! Stop fooling around and continue with the procedure!"
Starscream looked at his leader with murderous optics, but returned his attention to the inner world that was barely opening for him. His optics dimmed even more as he returned to the five confused minds waiting for his orders.
"Prepare for co-functional interlock. Thrust, Dirge, you go first."
"Ah slag… I don't know if I can…"
"Slag it, Dirge! Could you stop being such a cowardly slime bucket for a moment? Even Skywarp could do it!"
"Right! Even I could… Hey, what the slag was that, TC?"
"Shut up you two! Dirge, Thrust, now! Our transformation cogs are free now, I can feel it… Just let go and it will happen."
Megatron's attention increased as soon as Dirge's form started to change. To the surprise of most of the mechs present– and annoyance too – the blue Conehead servos contracted and his frame extended. A big, although slightly twisted leg staggered before standing still. Above Dirge, Ramjet activated his thrusters to avoid falling, staring at his wingmate, who was now a leg, with astonished optics.
Starscream must have urged Thrust to follow, because he hurried to imitate his wingmate and soon two legs awaited for a frame to support.
"Holy slag… it actually worked…" Ramjet stammered.
Starscream slightly kicked the Conehead's shoulders, confirming the order he had already given. Ramjet's usual psychopathic grimace disappeared as he seemed to concentrate harder than he ever had before.
Drag Strip dared to approach Motormaster. "They are doing it…" he said in low voice as Ramjet transformed into his mid section form and attached to the legs beneath him. "What are we going to do if they make it?"
"Your orders remain the same," Motormaster replied through the Stunticons' Gestalt bond. "And keep your slagging vocalizer shut if you want to still have it by the end of the day!"
Thundercracker and Skywarp looked at each other and exchanged a high-five. "Our turn, 'Warp. Once a wingmate..."
Skywarp nodded and took a firm grip of his friend's hand. "Always a wingmate."
Skywarp transformed so gracefully that Hook couldn't help but approve. Of course, the one Seeker he had personally instructed had to be the best one. He looked at Scrapper with superiority and he could read the grimace beneath his leader's facemask.
Thundercracker wasn't as fast and definitely not as graceful as his wingmate, but his transformation into the right arm was completely successful.
Wildrider elbowed Breakdown with a shine of pride in his optics. "That's my boy… Sigh, they grow up so fast…"
Starscream stood on the headless gigantic body and addressed Megatron with his best stare of superiority. High heights seemed to fit him.
"And now, Megatron… behold Machion!" he screamed as his body transformed drastically, taking aesthetics to a new level. Machion's head was very similar to the face plates of Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker, but his helm was smaller, with two coniferous forms protruding beside that resembled angel's wings.
"Seems like they made it after all…" Vortex said, palming Swindle's shoulder. "You owe me fifty energon cubes and two pleasure drones."
Swindle sneered. "Not yet, buddy, not just yet..."
Two mechs were completely unimpressed by the monster staggering before their optics. As casually as if he were talking about an insignificant matter, Megatron turned to his loyal Third in Command.
"Soundwave, if you will?"
It was not common to witness Soundwave displaying his telepathic abilities, mostly because no Decepticon could tell he was doing it. But Stunticons, Constructicons and Combaticons knew for certain that that was exactly what the Communications Officer was doing when the giant's trembling turned into a shock and six dizzy Seekers hit the ground as if they had been expelled from a club they didn't belong to.
Megatron grimaced with contempt as he contemplated the pathetic spectacle. "Do you idiots think that merging is a matter of attaching to each other like severed limbs? It took Soundwave only a slight pressure to your neural connections to force your separation protocol. Get up, fools! Get up and do it again! Your Gestalt brethren are watching!"
Starscream was the first to get on his feet. "You should know better than anyone else that I don't give up, Megatron! I promised you Machion and I will give you Machion, even if I lose my life in the process… and yours too!"
Megatron smirked, accepting the challenge.
To be continued.
There was a small reference to my fic 'Interfacing has no enemies', in which Thundercracker spends some quality time with Elita One and company. I couldn't resist it :oP
Anyway, I wanted to take a swim inside the gestalt bond of the Combiner Teams. The canon has never been very clear about it; we just see the giant robots merging and that's it, but the mental connection must be even more awesome than the best hallucinating mushrooms trip ever. The Seekers may be arrogant jerks, but they have been flying together for ages and their coordination in the air is amazing, so making such a bond happen never sounded impossible to me.
Update coming soon. Please let me know your opinions :o)