Chapter 1

Out in the depths of space, in an asteroid field, was an Autobot space bridge. One might wonder why Ultra Magnus would want to have a space bridge built here, but no one would dare question the Magnus himself. Besides, the more space bridges, the bigger advantage they would have over the Decepticons.

On one of the larger asteroids was the space bridge itself. An orange and black ship was docked to the side, and, inside the ship, a young purple and black robot with red eyes was watching something to occupy his time.

"Many millions of years ago, war raged between the forces of the powerful Autobots and the unworthy Decepticons for control of the planet Cybertron. The Autobots battled valiantly in the name of their mighty Imperium; their courageous exploits bringing hope and glory to beleaguered, war-torn planets, and inspiring countless generations of robots yet to come online"

Orion Pax was one of those robots. He had joined the Autobot Elite Guard in the hopes of becoming a great commander, and, eventually, Magnus. Oh, he had plans for Cybertron alright, but some took exception to his 'creative' methods and had him expelled. He would make them all pay for his indignity, but first he needed weapons, bots with the chrome bearings to use them, a little energon, and a lot of luck.

As he watched the screen another Autobot, Ratchet, an old-as-rust medic with a green-scrubbed paintjob came in. "What a load of slag" He said, scoffing at the films. "Why do you waste your time with those history vids?" He asked Orion. "Because I can, Ratchet. Know the past and you can conquer the future" Ratchet shook his head. Orion had always had delusions of grandeur, like every other cadet that came from the slagging academy. "Look around, Orion. The Great Wars ended centuries ago" He said, spreading his arms for emphasis.

"The war is never over, not while the Decepticons scavenge our borders." "They haven't done any major damage, and I doubt they'll continue to do so" Orion grunted, stood up and glowered. The rust must be getting to Ratchet's processor. "They aren't called 'Decepticons' for nothing, Ratchet. You say you were there, that you saw some action? Prove it. What were the Decepticons really like?" Ratchet almost punched Orion in the face. He didn't need to prove anything. "Trust me, kid. The galaxy's better off not knowing. Besides, looks like the young bots could use a hand."

They looked out the window to see the shape of Bulkhead dangling precariously from the cliff. "Goldbug! My wreckin' ball's stuck again!" Orion sighed. As if Jazz arriving to inspect them wasn't enough, he had to deal with these fools under his command. He and Ratchet headed for the airlock, transformed and rolled out.

Outside, things weren't much better. "C'mon, Crosshairs! I really don't like heights! Get me down!" Bulkhead pleaded. "Get yourself down. I'm on break" Crosshairs was always on break. He would make an ideal soldier, but he was too lazy to try to do anything. He was squat with gorilla-like arms and a wine-red paintjob. The lazy smirk on his face must have been branded on his faceplate when he came online. It really irritated Bulkhead.

Finally Goldbug arrived. He was a sneaky, manipulative little bugger with a black paintjobs with gold stripes, not that Bulkhead minded. His plans always worked in both their favours. "Relax, Bulkhead." He said, taking aim with his stingers. "Tell me you're not going to shoot me down" "I'll be careful. Have ever lied to you?" "Millions of times-" Bulkhead couldn't continue, as Goldbug's shots cut through the rock like space jam. Bulkhead crashed to the ground, shaking it so hard that Goldbug slipped and Crosshairs fell off the cliff onto him.

Bulkhead wandered over to the two pipsqueaks, picked them up and prepared to smash the slag out of them when he felt something sharp pierce his shoulder. Orion and Ratchet had arrived, and Orion pulled the axe out of Bulkhead with his grapplers.

"What's the situation now?" Orion asked, very irritated. "I think the technical term is 'bunch of big honking rocks blocking Space Bridge'" Goldbug summed up. "Then what are you waiting for? Smash!" The three grudgingly got to work, thought it took a fistful of rock to get Crosshairs moving. Ratchet looked around "Scoop must be hiding again" "Of course. He's a coward." Orion held his axe dangerously and stalked the area "Oh Scoop. Come out before I cut your head off" He called in a sing-song voice.

A sharp scream sounded and out of the rocks popped a robot slightly larger than Bulkhead with green and grey colouration. "Okay, okay. I'm out, I'm out. I'll get to work! Just please, don't hand me over to the Elite Guard!" "That's not a bad idea, Scoop. They could probability fix your courage circuits." "I prefer to call it 'being smart'" Orion bared his axe "And I prefer to call you 'space scrap', but I need men. Now get to work!" Scoop scrambled off. "Real motivator, aren't you?" A slick voice called out.

"Jazz… we weren't expecting you" Jazz was a slim, white robot with a visor that could kill if looks could. "Sure you weren't. Though, I am impressed with the way you motivated your crew" Orion turned to address the crew. "Everyone, Jazz is here! Step it up! Bulkhead! Goldbug! Come on, Ratchet! Move your fender, Crosshairs! Stop dawdling, Scoop! You too, Prowl!" Then he looked and realised "Where is Prowl?"

A shuriken whizzed out and smashed a rock completely before flying back to its owner – Prowl, a slim bot coloured black and silver. Cold and emotionless, he was the ultimate assassin, but it also made him a loose cannon. "Just have to know the weak spot" He uttered. Jazz clapped dryly. "Next time, give us more warning" Orion warned. "That would just mess up my timing"

Orion decided enough was enough and stood up on a rock. "Listen up, cogs! Do I need to go through all this slag again?" Prowl face palmed "Not this speech again" Orion began "Now, remember: The Imperium-" "Is like an enormous clock" Everyone droned "Is like an enormous cl- Yes, precisely! It only works if all the little cogs mesh together." Scoop slipped and caused a rock to land on the control console. Terrified, he tried to fix it while Orion gave his speech "Now, a clock needs to be cleaned, well-lubricated and wound tight." Scoop, despite not knowing a thing about space bridges, pressed desperately at the control panel, trying to get it operation again. "The best clocks have jewel movements. Cogs that fit, that cooperate be design. You know what I mean when I talk about cooperative cogs?"

Everyone seemed to understand, except Prowl, of course, and… Scoop? He turned to see Scoop at the panel. "Look at me when I'm talking to you, Scoop!" Scoop turned, revealing the mess he'd made of the control panel. Ratchet got angry "What did you do?" "I-I-I was trying to fix it, see?" "I've seen Hoist do better patch-up jobs than you!" Ratchet pushed Scoop out of the way to observe it "Oh no. Move it!" Scoop had accidently activated the function that could turn the bridge into a giant blaster. They ran for cover as the blue transwarp sphere in the space bridge turned orange, disappeared than exploded, knocking the Autobots back and sending Jazz's ship tumbling into the asteroid field, where it was crushed into scrap.

The Autobots looked up. Jazz was dismayed "My ship! Now how will I get off this spark-forsaken rock?" "You'll just have to settle for a bunch of lowly maintenance bots, Pretty Boy" Crosshairs replied. "No talk-back, Crosshairs, or I'll have you sent to the ARC!" Crosshairs blew it off "An empty threat"

Orion then noticed something glowing from a crack in the rocks. He opened the crack to reveal a glowing container, pulsing with untold power. The whole group gasped "Could it be?" Jazz asked. "Are the legends true?" Orion asked. He held out his hand but Ratchet stopped him. "Leave it. Or, better still; throw it back through the space bridge. This wasn't meant to be found" Everyone stared at Ratchet as I he had gone truly mad. "Rules were made to be broken, old bot. This is the AllSpark itself!" Before the others could ask more Orion received a distress signal from the ship. "Decepticon incursion! Decepticon incursion!" "Decepticons?" Orion asked. Scoop nearly fainted, and Ratchet looked more worried than ever. "What are you waiting for, an invitation? Load that thing up!" Prowl and Goldbug did so, and they got back to the ship.

"Let's get the ship moving!" Scoop whined "Before the 'Cons blow us away!" Jazz whipped out one of his nun-chucks and whacked Scoop's arm, breaking it. As Scoop cried in pain Jazz spoke "Stupid fool. The 'Cons follow the self-destructive path of pacifism and tolerance. They won't attack first" "No more talk! To the bridge!" The ship lifted off, hoping to get their precious cargo to safety.

Author's Notes

This is the start. The Autobots might not seem that evil now, but, trust me, they will. Next chapter I'll introduce the heroic Decepticons.

ARC stands for 'Agonising Rehabilitation Chamber'