Next part of the Aftermath series. I will say that the pacing is really strange this time around, and its really long so bear with me XD They are all probably going to be on the longer side from now on, and incorporate more people's point of views. Otherwise I would never get this done. OH and just a warning, there is very slight BumblebeexSari and RosannaxCliffjumper, though more friendship-wise, and there is a character death. Who? I don't know. Read and find out. And my combat writing sucks, so try your best to follow what's going on during the fight near the end XD
Starscream trudged through the musty corridors of the stockade, not trying at all to hide his un-delightful tedium. He had never actually been here before, but it wasn't as impressive as everybot said. Rather boring, actually. Not threatening at all. No wonder they hadn't gotten many Decepticons in it for thousands of stellar cycles. Mostly Autobot offenders and supposed traitors. Of course, now it had a lot of `con inmates, but that was a different story.
Dirge, on the other servo, was marching with a newfound swagger. Every time a limp chassis of a `bot came in his way he would almost skip over it. It was revolting to Starscream how positively giddy his clone was. And it seemed unfair. Why did he get a new body, but not Starscream? And why did he have to pick that blue twin? The one that Sentinel had thought about. The one that had been tormenting his thoughts, and now visibly tormented him. Every time he looked at him he would be reminded of those feelings. He hated it. Starscream almost wondered if Dirge chose him on purpose. He wouldn't put it past him.
"Why so serious, Screamer?" Dirge asked, making the `bot smile a wicked grin. The unnatural red visor on the `bot glinted in the darkness.
Starscream scowled. "Leave me alone."
"Testy, testy." He shook his head and mocked a sigh, "You're not going to get anywhere with that attitude, you know."
"Not that we're going anywhere." Starscream reminded.
"Of course we are." Dirge said, "It's all part of the plan."
Starscream's frown deepened. More of this 'plan' slag. He didn't understand how Dirge thought. He kept saying he had a plan, but everything was so spontaneous and didn't make any sense. He could have all of Cybertron cowering under him right now, but instead he only took a majority of the sparks. Why had he left so many still online? It was a waste of power, resources, time, and everything else that Starscream could think of that made a plan a good one.
"How is not harvesting as much power as possible a plan?" He asked.
"You have to think outside of the box." Dirge explained. "This, life, is all a big game. At the moment I'm in control. But if I didn't have any other players…well, that would be cheating, now wouldn't it? It wouldn't be any fun if I didn't play fair."
"So what are you going to do about them?"
"Who? The survivors?" He laughed, "Play with them, of course! The game has barely started."
Oh really? Starscream didn't reply, considering all Dirge had just said. Ludicrous. Absolutely ludicrous. His logic didn't make sense. You take every chance you get to claw your way to the top. You don't give your enemies an opportunity to take you down! Then again, Starscream had never exactly gotten any of his plans to work before. Maybe Dirge had the right idea…
No. That was stupid. Dirge had never actually lived in the real world before. He didn't have the experience that Starscream had. The fact that everything he was doing was going fine for him was just pure luck. And possibly the fact that he had the power of the Allspark and the Matrix under his command. That was kind of a major factor. If Starscream had ever had that sort of access to a force as strong as that, he probably would've defeated Megatron a long time ago.
It was quiet for awhile as they continued walking. Where they were walking was a total mystery to Starscream, though. He didn't like not knowing things. He was supposed to be helping Dirge. Something about 'the only way to rule all of Cybertron'. Personally, he didn't care too much about that. He knew that before he would jump all over the idea, but now he had dedicated himself to something much greater. Offlining Megatron, by any means possible. Coming along with Dirge and assisting him was the only way he could accomplish this. The clone had even suggested that he would give him the right to do so if he helped.
That was something else strange about Dirge. He seemed so bent on keeping Starscream within his watchful viz scanners at all time, almost like Prowl had. It wasn't quite so forceful and noble like that Autobot had intended it to be, but it was still unusual. Starscream didn't think too much of it; he had found a lot of things about his other clones odd too (He didn't even want to get started with the femme).
Dirge suddenly made the twin twirl around, a frown on his faceplate. "I thought I told you to stop following us!"
Starscream followed his gaze, not sure who he was talking to. All the `bots they had seen so far were sparkless, like they should be. Then he saw him. Peeking his head around the corner they had just passed was the frightened form of a ghost. It was the blue twin whose chassis Dirge now inhabited. Starscream grimaced, reminded of those idiotic emotions Sentinel had placed in him. When he realized he had been seen, the `bot quickly disappeared, running back down the hallway and out of sight.
"Go back to your little ghostie friends! Tell them all about how you helped me. They'll love that!" Dirge taunted, "And while you're at it, be sure to let them know that they'll be hearing from me shortly. I've got something important to show them!"
Dirge sniggered and motioned for Starscream to keep on walking, as if nothing had happened. It took him a nanoclick to start moving again. He felt sick, though he made every effort to keep himself from showing it. He couldn't be weak. Couldn't think like an accursed Autobot. He was a Decepticon. Hurting anybot, regardless of their faction, whether emotionally or physically was supposed to be enjoyable.
"Why'd you tell him to regroup? Can't they do something to stop you?" Starscream asked. He wasn't ready to use 'us' yet. He wasn't a part of this operation, as far as he could tell. Dirge could easily be doing this by himself.
"I suppose so, but they won't be able to." Dirge replied, "They're in total disarray at the moment. Not for long, though."
Starscream blinked. "So…they're going to get together and try to defeat you."
"And…and that doesn't concern you at all?"
It was unbelievable how nonchalantly he was answering all these questions. "How can you just give up on everything you've worked so hard for!?"
"Give up? I never said anything about that." Dirge answered incredulously, "See, you specifically said that they would try to defeat me. 'Try', being the keyword. They can try all they want, but soon there will be only one way to subjugate my power, and they'll never find out how to do that. I've taken too many precautions for them to figure it out."
"Subjugate! Sub-ju-gate. Meaning conquer. Vanquish. Subdue." Dirge explained in an exasperated tone, "Why does nobot know that word!? Anyways, that's beside the point. My plan is too perfect to be foiled."
Again with the 'plan'. Would he just give it up? There was no way this could all be preconceived. It was obvious that Dirge was one for dramatics with the way he spoke and acted. But he wasn't impressing Starscream at all. He looked like a little protoform trying to convince his creator that he was intelligent while plunging open circuit boards into liquid.
"If your plan is so 'perfect', why don't you tell me what it is?" Starscream countered.
Dirge froze, a panicked expression appearing on the twin's faceplate. He stared at Starscream in disgust.
"N-No! You can't know! You can't have it!" He cried, stepping back toward the wall. "It's mine. MINE! Y-You can't have it!"
As sudden as it was, Starscream had been waiting for something like this. All of his clones had been an extreme version of his personality traits. Dirge had told him that he had his greedy side, but had failed to show any inclination of it, save the basic voracity that every Decepticon had programmed in them. Until now. Seeing Dirge shudder before him, and yet having a fire in the twin's visor that told him he would fight over this ownership to the death, proved his origins. Maybe since he was born of the Matrix the personality wasn't as prevalent as in the others. That was a possibility.
"Fine then." Starscream scoffed, knowing that arguing with him was useless, "Could you at least tell me where we're going?"
Dirge didn't move for a moment, continuing to stare Starscream down, as if not sure if his precious plan was safe from him. Pathetic. Then he loosened up a bit, though still tense. His knee joints were rigid as he walked forward.
"This room right here." He pointed to a door ahead of them. It was huge, with several hydraulic levers and electronic locks over the front of it. It left no room for error, no chance of escape. About as intimidating as the stockades was supposed to be. Judging by the size, it was intended for high-level security threats. In other words, Decepticons.
Dirge stepped up to a small scanner to the side and placed the `bot's servo onto it. After a few nanoclicks, it glowed green with authorization. The hydraulics slowly pushed back, removing all the bars from over the massive entrance. Starscream knew that he could simply bypass this whole process and have slipped through the door, but just entering the room couldn't be Dirge's goal. He needed to bring something out.
The door opened, revealing two dark forms huddled in separate corners. Their servos were bound in stasis cuffs, which were further attached to chains on the wall. Rather brutal for an Autobot method. They looked up, surprised to see a `bot opening the door and unable to see Starscream at all. He glowered upon recognizing them.
"Hello, you two." Dirge said casually, "Would you like some help?"
"What do you mean, you don't know how to save her!?"
Bumblebee clenched his servos into fists. Perceptor merely blinked, the action slowed considerably because of the amount of static interfering with the reception.
"I'm trying my best to find a way to fix this, albeit I'm short on resources. I was having a direct meeting with the council, and as soon as this struck the Metroplex went into a lockdown. It seems I'm the only one of the members that survived."
"But aren't you supposed to be the smartest `bot on Cybertron? You're the head of the Department of Science, for spark's sake!" Bumblebee protested, "You've got to be able to do something!"
"BB, you may wanna cool down a tad." Jazz piped up.
Cool down? Oh, he would not be cooling down. Not when Sari was lying on that berth, slowly dying. Her skin was paler than ever, her breathing and pulse gradually becoming sluggish. Her organic half wouldn't last long without her Cybertronian life force. She was going to die, and here was the head of the science, the one who had brought Blurr back from certain death, telling him there was nothing they could do. They couldn't save her.
It had been Jazz's idea to contact Perceptor. Well, actually they had meant to reach Ratchet, but had found it impossible to do so. He wouldn't pick up no matter how many times they called him. So they moved on to the next best thing. While Bumblebee had waited for the signal to reach Cybertron, Jazz had called Professor Sumdac. The anguished father was on the way to the Plant as they spoke.
They had learned from Perceptor that what had happened to Sari wasn't something so unusual. It had struck a majority of the population of Cybertron, leaving only a very few still online. That meant that Optimus, Bulkhead, and Ratchet were probably…gone. Bumblebee shuddered at the thought of being the only member of the original repair team left. But there were still a small number that didn't share this fate. That included Perceptor. But he said he didn't know what to do. Didn't have a solution to the problem. Slaggit! Bumblebee needed a solution, and he needed it now!
"You don't have emotions, right? So, this whole thing probably doesn't bother you one bit, does it? As long as it doesn't hurt you, you don't care. Even if it did hurt you you probably wouldn't care."
"BB…" Jazz warned quietly.
"You have no idea what I'm going through right now. My best friends are gone. They won't come back unless you try to do something about it. But you're completely unwilling to do so!" Bumblebee cried.
Jazz shook his head and sighed disapprovingly. Bumblebee simply waited for the sciencebot's response. Perceptor was silent for a moment, and then he answered.
"…Red Alert was one of the first `bots to leave. Then, after the mass attack, Wheeljack's signal disappeared too. Jetstorm's is muffled and seems to have…changed. I don't know how to explain it, but he's not himself anymore." Perceptor replied, in his normally dull fashion and yet there was something more to it, "These `bots were very active in my life. I will notice their absence. And it would be a false statement to say that I am not trying to find a way to fix this."
Bumblebee didn't answer. So, maybe Perceptor did care. Maybe he was trying. But it wasn't getting anywhere! If he didn't do something soon…well, there would be no point in living anymore. He huffed, walking over to the berth Sari was on. She looked so cold. So fragile. How could he have let this happen to her?
"'storm, Jack, and Alert?" Jazz repeated, "Man…I wonder who else didn't make it…"
"If you want, I could give you the list of the signals that I am able to read from here."
"That's cool, Percy, but I think it'll be better if we don't know, dig?" Jazz smiled sadly, "I'd like to stay as optimistic as possible."
"…what can I do?" Bumblebee asked, brushing back some of Sari's hair from her face, as lightly as possible with his big fingers.
"Is that query directed at me?" Perceptor replied.
"Yes. What can I do to help?" If Perceptor was truly trying, than he was the only hope Bumblebee had at the moment. Anything he could do to assist him would be vital.
"Well…some research would be helpful, especially with other `bots other than the ones that are available to me here. But there's no logical way…" Perceptor paused. "Unless…"
"Unless what?" Bumblebee repeated restlessly.
"Is that space bridge on Earth still operational?"
Blurr collapsed to the ground, not before setting Rosanna gently down next to him. His chestplate was heaving wildly. Exhaustion had never come so quickly to him before. So much was happening so fast. He couldn't keep his processor straight. Cliffjumper had told him to be calm, and he felt awful for not being able to. He had to get the mission done. He had to find out everything he could about the incident. So far that was the hardest assignment he had ever gotten in his life.
He had sped off with somewhat of a lead after talking to Cliffjumper, but now it was more complicated. He had expected to find where Prowl and the rest of the small band of ghosts was and find some way to communicate. They must have a greater grasp of what was going on than him. As soon as he had started, however, the situation changed. Ghosts began appearing everywhere, not necessarily where their chassis were, all crowded in the streets. The sudden emergence took Blurr off guard, and made it almost impossible to find Prowl. If he had to look through these masses of ghosts…well that would take forever and might make this issue, whatever was happening, worse.
That, and Blurr didn't want to run into Rosanna. To be forced to face her again. To have to tell her that he failed her. Just thinking about it tore him up inside.
He turned and looked at her. Her chassis was so perfect, healthy in every possible way. She had been fine. He had talked with her. She had been talking to him. And now she, like practically everybot else he ran into, was gone. Why was this happening? What had they done to deserve this? That was what he was determined to find out.
Blurr decided to try his best to ignore the excess of ghosts. They were just distracting him now. He would have to find a way to complete his mission without interacting with them. And, if this proved to be impossible, it wasn't like they were going anywhere. They were literally all around him. He had actually passed through many of them on the way here (which was extremely discomforting).
He slowly got up, stretching his sore limbs a bit. He couldn't give up now. He would just have to start the search up again. He was used to doing recon duty; it was one of his favorite assignments. If only the circumstances were different. Maybe then he would actually enjoy this.
He almost fell back down when the door on the building in front of him opened.
At first he thought this was a joke. The stress was finally getting to him. When the orange mech walked out he was even more convinced. But after the image didn't suddenly disappear, he knew this had to be reality. And that meant…somebot else was still online! Excitement and relief replaced his fear and confusion.
Once he got over the initial shock, he recognized the young `bot that stood in the doorway.
"Jetfire!" Blurr shouted, running up to him, "Is it really you? Are you really here!?"
Jetfire didn't seem to notice him, his faceplate ashen with a distressed expression. He absently pressed at his chestplate, making a strange squishing sound. It was then Blurr saw it. The energon. It was all over his armor, even to the point of being on top of his head. Dripping off of his chassis. Splattering onto the ground. And yet, there was no wound to be seen. Blurr felt sick as he realized what that implied: that energon hadn't been Jetfire's.
"…tripped…" He murmured dazedly, "I…vas tripping…" The young mech looked up, viz scanners widening, "B…Blurr?"
"Yes, yes, yes! It's me, Jetfire! It's Blurr! …well, actually I suppose I should say that I am Blurr, since we haven't officially met before, and it seems rude to just assume you really know me and-" Blurr stopped himself before he continued to rant aimlessly. It was harder and harder to control his endless chitchat with all the strain he was in, "Spark, are you all right? How are you here? Do you know what's happening?"
The questions had barely left his mouth before he was thrown to the ground, Jetfire pinning him down. Blurr wasn't able to sort out exactly what was happening, the course of action so obscure and unpredictable. By the time he became conscious that he was being attacked, Jetfire had already started throwing punches. Blurr tried to wriggle out from under him, or at least dodge the hits, but found it was useless. Jetfire was too strong. He had never seen such strength from a `bot his size before.
Almost as quickly as it had started it was over. Jetfire stumbled backwards, seemingly of his own will, leaving Blurr to recover his orientation. He hadn't been hurt too bad, mostly just a little banged up. Some of his armor was a slightly chipped, but other than that he was just aching. Why had Jetfire just done that?
Jetfire was backing away from Blurr, looking frightened. "You…You are knowing!! Do not be asking me!! You know! You know!! You know vat happened to…" He stopped, as if choking on his own words. "…Jetstorm!! JETSTORM!! Vy…Vy…!?"
He shook his head violently, oil leaking out of his viz scanners. He sank down, holding onto his knees, letting the oil flow. His sobs filled the silence in the city. It was a sobering sight, and one that Blurr would have preferred not to see, but now he felt that he finally understood what was going on. He cautiously approached the young mech, hoping not to illicit a similar response like earlier. When Jetfire didn't pounce again, he decided it was okay to speak.
"Jetfire, what happened to your brother? Is he like everybot else out here?" Blurr asked as gently and slowly as possible.
"No…he took Jetstorm…He vas taking him away from me…" Jetfire said in a hoarse whisper, "…he is to be using my brother…"
"Who is, Jetfire? Who is using him? If you tell me, there is a high possibility that we can work together to stop him. I'm more than willing, in fact it would be really helpful for me too, to help you."
Jetfire looked up at Blurr, as if looking at him for the first time. The tears started again. "Please! Please to be accepting so many apologies! I…I vas not meaning to hurt! Vas not meaning to yell!" He stared at his servos in horror, "Cannot be controlling myself…"
"It's okay Jetfire, I forgive you." Blurr said softly. He could remember Red Alert telling him about the Decepticon coding problems that these twins had. She had once said that the issue was repressed when the two of them were together and their special bond was intact. Now, that one of them was 'gone', it probably made Jetfire a little disorderly.
"He is being Dirge. He is one that is taking Jetstorm. He now looks like my brother, but is not him at all. My brother…Jetstorm vouldn't do any of this." He waved his arms in every direction, referring to the carnage all around them.
"Wait, the one that took Jetstorm also is the one who caused…caused all of this?" Blurr asked, unsure of what to call the situation they were now in.
"Must be. He vas talking like so." He reasoned, "And he vas vith Starscream, though I am not being sure how that vorks. Starscream vould never be up to any good."
Starscream! So that's where he was! That's why he hadn't been with the smaller group of ghosts when he had seen him earlier. He was with this 'Dirge' character, whoever that was. And 'Dirge' was the one who took the sparks. Blurr began to feel anxious again. He was so close to figuring this whole thing out, even if some parts still didn't make sense.
Thinking about this ghost in particular made Blurr aware again of the multitude of ghosts around him. Ignore them! You have something to work on now, you don't need them.
"Where can we find Dirge? How would I be able to recognize him?"
"Already telling you! He looks like Jetstorm. He somehow pushed him out of chassis, like he did to everybot, and then took over inside." Jetfire grabbed hold of Blurr's servos, pulling him toward the end of the street, "No time to be explaining. Ve must look for him to stop him and get my brother back!"
Blurr didn't resist the tugs, but solemnly looked back. Rosanna was still lying on the ground where he had put her. He couldn't leave her here. Couldn't just let her stay out like that, as if she was just another body. But in the same way he couldn't take her along anymore. She would be a burden, and with the future so unclear he didn't know if he could risk having a load as important as her.
He silently asked Cliffjumper for his forgiveness as he kept on going, knowing he would never be able to turn back.
Jetfire tried his best to keep on walking. The streets so far were worse than the hallways. So many chassis just strewn all over the place. Some of them still had their viz scanners opened, staring blankly. And the smell. He had always been told that when a `bot went offline, there was a certain odor. He had thought he would never actually experience it. Had wanted never to experience it.
He felt so confused. His processor was extremely fuzzy, and it took a lot of concentration to keep himself from losing it again. He even had to concentrate on how to walk. Lift one stabilizing servo. Lower it. Repeat with the other. It was like he had to relearn everything he already knew, and then focus in order not to forget it again.
Last time their bond was broken, it hadn't been this bad. The last time, at least Jetstorm had still been online then.
He had stopped dragging Blurr along a few mechanometers back, but it was still hard to keep the `bot following him. He was constantly looking around, then shaking his head like he was trying to stop from seeing something. Jetfire wondered if it was the pace he was moving at. From what he was told, Blurr wasn't a `bot to slow down. At least he was still coming to help, especially after all he had done to him. Jetfire was still surprised at himself that he had actually attacked Blurr. The one he had risked so much save.
Something was definitely going wrong with his processor.
"Hey! Hey, you!! HELLOOOOO!!"
Both Jetfire and Blurr spun around, surprised at hearing a voice. A real, audible voice. Not imagination, since both obviously had heard it. Unless they were both hallucinating the same thing, which was unlikely. The eerie silence of the now-dead city had been unnerving, but now it was no longer quiet. Somebot else was here!
A small yellow compact car was driving up to them, carefully maneuvering around the chassis that filled the streets. Jetfire hoped that he wouldn't slip and fall into any energon puddles on the way here. He knew what it was like to be soaked in a complete stranger's lifeblood; it wasn't comfortable at all. The vehicle had a distinct form that Jetfire had remembered seeing before, somewhere on Earth. However, he was in such a state of bewilderment that he couldn't quite place it. It felt like his memory core was completely jumbled up.
To his relief, Blurr was able to identify the `bot. "Bumblebee!"
The car skidded to a stop in front of them and transformed into the familiar shape of the young energetic mech from the Earth Team. The one who had been disguised as Wasp for a time. The one who had taught him about video games. How could he have forgotten about that? He looked tired and a bit nonplused, but other than that he was the same Bumblebee that Jetfire had spent so much time with while on Earth.
"Blurr! You didn't go offline!" Bumblebee exclaimed. When he caught sight of Jetfire, he looked a little uneasy, "…And you too, Jetfire. You're both here!"
"Speaking of here, which we are now all aware that we are, what in the pits are you doing here? You were stationed to remain on Earth, weren't you?" Blurr asked.
Bumblebee looked down at his stabilizing servos. "Sari's gone." It was quiet for a moment, then he added, "…I-I'm sorry about Jetstorm, Jetfire…"
"You know!?" Jetfire's viz scanners widened. "How are you knowing?"
"Perceptor told me…well, kinda-sorta. He said that his energy signal isn't the same anymore and the only conclusion was…" He stopped. "Anyways, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry, and I know how you feel."
Jetfire suppressed the fury rising inside of him. Bumblebee didn't know how he felt! He was just saying that to make his own conscience feel better. He had only lost a close friend. Did losing Sari make him this sick? Did losing Sari make him confused about everything he thought he knew? Did it make him want to lash out at every opportunity, to inflict pain so that anybot around him would really know what he was going through? No, Bumblebee did not know how he he felt. He didn't have the other half of him torn away so violently, like killing part of him inside.
But at the same time, Jetfire knew he didn't mean it that way. He thought he knew how he felt. He was speaking from his spark, letting him know that he wasn't alone. He shouldn't be getting this angry over something so trivial. And yet, it only made sense. The same thing happened before.
"Perceptor? He's still here too?" Blurr questioned.
"Uh…yeah. He authorized the space bridge that got me here." Bumblebee explained, "Look, I really want to do something about this…so, do you know anything I can do? Perceptor wanted me to do research on the chassis out here…but…" He grimaced, looking around at all of the lifeless shells.
"You can be helping us. Ve are tracking down one responsible: Dirge, who is now looking like my brother." Jetfire offered. "If ve are to be finding him, ve can find out how to turn all this around."
"Do you know where he went or anything? He could be anywhere!" Bumblebee protested.
Jetfire hadn't actually thought that far, not that anything he was thinking now could really be considered concrete 'thoughts'. The city was huge. It would take forever to look everywhere for him. Especially if he was on the move. It looked like another dead end. But it couldn't be a dead end! He had to find his brother! He had to free him, to be with him again! Everybot else could go offline for all he cared. They didn't matter to him anymore.
Blurr suddenly put a finger to the side of his head. "Yeah? What is it, Cliffjumper?" He waited, then frowned, "…you have? For how long would that be, exactly? …Well of course it's relevant, why would I be asking you about anything with even the slightest irrelevance at a time like- …you're right, you're right…Wait, you do? You can? ...Us over there? Well, I'm not completely certain, but I would assume due to the lack of traffic that- …Okay, Okay, you don't have to be so loud, I got the implications of your message. I'd say maybe half a megacycle, give or take a half…okay? Okay, got it."
"Vat vas that?" Jetfire asked. It sounded like the strangest commlink conversation he had ever witnessed, especially since he had only been able to listen to one side of it. Or was it? He wasn't sure of anything any longer. At least for this moment it was strange to him.
"Cliffjumper. Turns out my boss has been eavesdropping on me since we last communicated, which I'm certain is illegal and is written down somewhere, Cliffjumper, if you're still listening, but considering the circumstances I doubt that the civil law evens applies anymore, so I guess you're off the hook for now, although I may have to file a report later." Blurr informed, "He's fully aware of everything we've been talking about and has come to some sort of a deduction."
"What kind of deduction?" Bumblebee asked, interested. Jetfire was curious to what Cliffjumper's idea was too, since everything he had come up with was now inconclusive.
"He had Jetstorm's-Err…well I mean Dirge's, I guess- signal for awhile but he lost it because of unexplained interference inside of the Metroplex. He thinks that if we can get him out, he'll be able to lock onto our target and then…"
"Then ve vill be able to catch Dirge." Jetfire completed the sentence. Blurr nodded.
It was the best thing that Jetfire had heard all orbital cycle.
Bumblebee stared at the seemingly endless piece of road that reached up to the entrance of the building. The Metroplex was a lot bigger than he thought it would be. And it was really tall, and had like little mini communication buildings around it. And it looked like it was attached to those buildings, which then attached to others and…It had to be the most complicated structure he had ever seen. Woah…was that a giant turret on the top!? That might have been why Blurr had forbid Jetfire from flying there. It probably was programmed to shoot at anything in the air.
He wondered what it would be like to actually work here. He couldn't imagine Cliffjumper or any of the council members having to drive up here every time they had to do their job. He knew he would be exhausted after less than a deca-cycle of that.
"There is a panel on the side over there that we should be able to use to override the lockdown, if the codes that Cliffjumper gave me will work." Blurr informed. He pointed over to a small section of wall next to the door that seemed to be thousands of hics away. Bumblebee inwardly groaned.
"Then vat are ve vaiting for? Let us be going!" Jetfire said, motioning for them to start moving. He began running up the steep incline, Blurr following in suite and quickly passing him by.
Bumblebee followed, though not with nearly as much enthusiasm. Sure, this would help Sari and everybot else, but it didn't seem like him helping Blurr punch in some code and get Cliffjumper out was really necessary at the moment. They could be doing this part without him. He lagged so far behind that they were several mechanometers ahead. If they got too far apart he would transform and rev after them, but at the time he felt like taking a bit of a break. Well, the closest thing to a break he could take, that is. He would never be able to really rest until everything was as it was before.
He looked up and was about to call out a question when he noticed something different about the scenery. Smoke. There was smoke coming out from the top of the Metroplex. He peered up to get a better view. Where the turret had once been, there was now a smoldering piece of slag.
Bumblebee knew two things at that point. One: Something was going horribly wrong.
Two: Decepticons had to be involved.
"Jetfire!! Blurr!!" He cried, "Get back down here!!"
Jetfire turned around and yelled something back. It sounded garbled and far-away. They wouldn't be able to hear him from this distance. Weren't going to be able to hear his warning.
He was too late anyways.
A giant shadow landed on the road in front of the two of them, causing a minor crater to appear in the structure and stopping Blurr in his tracks. Bumblebee watched in horror as a lumbering servo appeared from the form, knocking Jetfire aside and sending him to the ground. Unable to stand and not do anything any longer, Bumblebee's processor went into combat mode and he raced forward, just in time to hear the `con cry out.
"ALL HAIL MEGATROOONN!!!"
Lugnut raised a fist in an apparent premature victory stance. Or maybe it was supposed to be intimidating. It didn't matter to Bumblebee. He was still going to beat the slag out of this `con. He wondered how Lugnut had even gotten out of the stockade to begin with. Maybe when the Metroplex locked down, the stockade opened up? He thought that the security systems were better than that…Then again, a lot had changed.
The `con blinked as he came closer, seeming to examine him as he transformed into robot mode, stingers ready. He was going to blast him so hard his tiny processor might just overload. In fact, he wouldn't even tell what hit him.
"No!" Bumblebee stopped, seeing Jetfire struggle to get back up. The twin turned his head toward him, his viz scanners lit up like the flames burning inside, "He is being mine!"
Before Bumblebee could even consider arguing with him, Jetfire barreled into Lugnut. The `con grunted at the sudden force. It looked like it was taking a lot of effort to push Jetfire back, as if he was a lot larger than he really was. But Jetfire was relentless, shoving himself up against Lugnut with all he had.
Bumblebee wanted to help him, but knew it wasn't a wise decision. The way Jetfire had looked at him earlier suggested that he would get really riled up if Bumblebee even thought about fighting Lugnut. He must be taking that first hit pretty hard. Blurr didn't appear too happy with being out of the brawl either, but he stood uncharacteristically still nonetheless. Neither one of them wanted to get on Jetfire's bad side when he was like this.
Flames blazed up servos as he increased the pressure, driving Lugnut further and further towards the edge of the road. The intensity of the fire was so great that Bumblebee could adequately feel the heat even without being in close contact. This seemed to be enough of a combined exertion to get the job done. The `con tottered and fell over the side, cursing himself as he dropped out of sight. Bumblebee sighed, considering a disaster narrowly averted.
That was, until Jetfire disappeared as well.
Both Bumblebee and Blurr were instantly at the edge of the road, heads peering over to see what had happened. Bumblebee couldn't help feeling nervous. He had never seen a `bot plummet so quickly. Blurr fidgeted, as if considering jumping down after their comrade.
The two of them were still falling, Lugnut probably speeding up the process because of his massive size. Jetfire was struggling, one of his stabilizing servos caught firm in the `con's grasp. If Lugnut was going down, he wasn't going down alone it seemed. Bumblebee wondered why they weren't flying. The turret was gone, so wouldn't they just convert the energy of the fall into a flight? Then again…Lugnut wasn't very bright, and Jetfire probably couldn't transform and fly correctly with that unwieldy servo clutching on to him. They had no choice but to continue to descend and hope that the impact wouldn't offline them.
Bumblebee turned away when they hit the ground, hearing the faint 'thud' that accompanied their collision. He didn't want to look back and see what happened. There was a chance that both of them didn't survive, or at least Jetfire didn't. He didn't want to see another cold chassis, a chassis of a friend, only this time gray and clearly offline. The grief would swallow him whole. He was never useful in emotionally-compromising situations.
"Bumblebee-Bumblebee-Bumblebee, Oh, spark, Bumblebee, what are we supposed to do!?" Blurr asked, obviously beside himself, "I know that Jetfire doesn't want us to help, although it seems unreasonable and only a hazard to his health, but there is absolutely not even a smidge of a possibility that he can win this by himself, even though I am quite aware that he is apparently an excellent fighter. What if-What if-What if…What if he doesn't make it through and then it would be all our faults?"
Bumblebee hesitantly turned his gaze back to the ground, now assured that Jetfire had endured the crash. The orange mech was pretty small from this height, but he could still make him out. Jetfire was already back on his stabilizing servos, going after Lugnut as if plunging several stories hadn't affected him one bit.
Blurr was worried, possibly more that Bumblebee was himself. He could tell by the frenzied tripping over his own words, which normally didn't happen. Even though Blurr spoke unnaturally fast, it usually was smooth and he didn't repeat phrases again and again. Bumblebee had a bit more confidence in Jetfire now, though. He had been able to take down the Dinobots before, and they were pretty tough to handle. Well, Jetstorm had been there too, but they had gone one-on-one with each of the prehistoric `bots. He could slag Lugnut no problem.
But Bumblebee did understand Blurr's apprehension. When Sari had gone and he hadn't been able to do anything…it had been the worst feeling in the world. Now they had an opportunity to do something, but were forbidden to do so. It was an odd reversal that Bumblebee wasn't comfortable with.
"I think you should be more concerned about yourselves than your little friend."
The breathy voice was enough to make Bumblebee's circuitry freeze in fear, but turning to see the speaker only made it worse. The purple armor. Slick antlers. Deviously sharp claws. Dark and vacant faceplate, save the one piercing red viz scanner. There was a gleam in it that suggested he would be smirking if he indeed had a mouth. And then there was the giant firearm aimed at Bumblebee's chestplate.
He didn't think there was a shoddier time for Shockwave to show up.
Bumblebee rolled out of the way as the `con fired, making sure to stay as far from the edge as possible; he didn't want to fall like Jetfire had. The shot only missed him by a hair. He knew Shockwave wasn't the best servo-to-servo combatant, so his aim was probably close to perfect. This didn't leave much room for mistakes. He had to get that cannon.
"Blurr! Stay out of his way!" He ordered, dashing over to the other side of Shockwave, who was apparently reloading his weapon. Or at least, that's what it looked like. All that mattered was he wasn't firing again. Yet.
Blurr didn't respond.
That was odd…
"Blurr? Blurr? Hey, Blurr!?"
Blurr was faintly aware of somebot calling his name. He couldn't tell who it was, though. Couldn't even process where he was, not even begin to explain what he was doing there. Everything around him was hazy and distorted, and yet dark and cold at the same time. He felt clammy as he tried to figure out his location. His processor pounded with every new sight, every new thought that entered it. He could barely think. What was going on?
Only one thing was clear and focused: the horrific figure of Shockwave, his viz scanner flashing with his murderous intent.
"I'm going to kiiillllll you…"
The words resounded in his consciousness, stabbing inside of him. He had never felt such terror before. A chill passed through him. His entire chassis was in a stand-still, unable to move. Unable to scream. Just to watch, and wait until it happened. There was no way to stop it.
He was going to go offline.
Pain. Oh spark, there was pain. Coursing through him, in every part of his chassis. He could feel the walls crushing in on him. It made him so nauseous. Shockwave came closer, laughing menacingly all the way, claws reaching out. He was going to grab him. He was about to touch him. He couldn't let him do that! But it was too late, he was trapped. Trapped. Trapped! He couldn't save himself. Nobot else could save him. He couldn't escape, no matter how much he needed to. It was over.
He wanted to shrink or disappear. To make everything go away. Get rid of all of his problems. Give him real peace. Even if it meant going offline. He didn't care anymore, as long as this would leave. He couldn't take much more of it.
He slowly curled up into a ball, shoving his servos over his audio receptors to drown out the laughter.
"Go away-go away-go away-go away…"
Bumblebee blinked. The `bot was on the ground, head down in his knees, rocking slightly back and forth. It was like he didn't even notice they were being attacked, like he was in his own little world.
Or maybe he did notice.
Bumblebee felt stupid for not thinking of this before. This was Shockwave for spark's sake! He remembered Perceptor telling him about Blurr's triggers before, but he had completely disregarded them until now. What could be going through his processor at this moment? Sheer horror, Bumblebee expected. But was Blurr even conscious? It didn't matter. Whatever the details, he had to get him out of the way so he wouldn't be a sitting target.
"Slagged laser cannon…" Bumblebee heard Shockwave curse as he threw the weapon to the ground, now smoking and unmistakably overheated, "Have to do everything myself…"
Well, that eliminated one problem.
Bumblebee sped over to Blurr, avoiding the swipes from Shockwave. Now that the cannon was out of the picture, he just had to get Blurr to a safe distance so that he could deal with Shockwave. Try to deal with him anyways. He didn't know how long he would last up against him without any help, especially since his stingers didn't work on him the last time. And it didn't look like Blurr was going to be able to assist him anytime soon.
"Blurr! Blurr! You gotta get up! We gotta get moving!" He begged, grabbing him around the shoulders to force him to look at him.
Blurr's viz scanners were glazed over, but they didn't hide the residual panic that he was experiencing. His mouth was moving rapidly, though Bumblebee couldn't tell what he was saying. It wouldn't be much help if he could anyways. Blurr wasn't able to understand what Bumblebee was asking him to do, if he even knew he was there. It seemed impossible for him not to notice him, since he was all up in his faceplate, but he didn't look like he could see much of anything. He wondered if he should try shaking him, but then thought better of it. That might make it worse.
Bumblebee turned around, reconfiguring his servos to stingers again. If he wasn't able to move Blurr, he would just have to defend him with all he had. He wasn't going to let Shockwave get him. The `con was marching up to them. Bumblebee set off a few sparks, as if warning him of what would come if he came any closer. Shockwave didn't seem too concerned.
"The two of you have been a thorn in my side for far too long." He growled. "It ends here."
Bumblebee nodded. "You're right. It does."
He brought his stingers together, directing them towards Shockwave. The electricity flowed through and hit its mark, creating a small burn score on his opponent's armor. That was about as harmful as it got, though. It didn't even stop Shockwave from coming nearer. He kept on walking, as if the shock hadn't had any effect on him. Bumblebee frowned. If this was any sign of how this fight was starting, he didn't really want to know how it would end. At least he would go offline a hero. Of sorts, that was.
All of a sudden, something behind Bumblebee exploded. It wasn't close enough for him to feel the results, but he could hear it. A shot flew out from seemingly nowhere and caught Shockwave in the chestplate, causing him to stagger back. Bumblebee could barely believe the sudden change. But how had it happened?
"That's right! And stay down, dirty slaggin' traitor!!"
Bumblebee's mouth dropped wide open. Cliffjumper! It was Cliffjumper! And in his servos was the largest cannon he had ever seen a `bot wield in his life. It had to be at least as big as Cliffjumper himself! How had he even purchased something that Its barrel was set on Shockwave, along with Cliffjumper's death glare. Bumblebee never knew a time when he had actually been happy to see Cliffjumper before. It was like an ironic answer to his prayers.
"You…" Shockwave grumbled, getting up again.
"It's nice to see you again too, Shocky." Cliffjumper replied, "What, did you forget my name or something? `Cos if you did I'll make sure to slag you even harder so you never will."
"Of course not, Cliffjumper. Nor have I forgotten your services to the Decepticon cause. Without your strenuous efforts to obey me, I would have been found out long before needed. Do you want to know how many `bots went offline because of my inside work?"
"I wasn't helping you willingly and you know that! I would never have done anything you had told me to if I had known who you really were! I would've killed you right then and there!" Cliffjumper furiously insisted.
"But how do you know that you still wouldn't have followed my command?"
Cliffjumper tightened his hold on the cannon. "I don't think somebot like you should talk like that when I've got this."
"That weapon? The one you can hardly carry?" Shockwave scoffed. "Scarcely a threat."
"You asked for it!!"
Cliffjumper ran past Bumblebee and Blurr, heading straight for the `con. He was going for a close-range shot or something. Either that, or he was blinded by anger and didn't really have a strategy. Bumblebee hoped that wasn't the case. One of Shockwave's servos stretched out, looking like he was trying to hit him. Cliffjumper took aim and fired, blowing the limb back.
"Wanna try that again?" Cliffjumper taunted, cocking his cannon.
"If I must."
In a flash, Cliffjumper was on the ground. The cannon fell from his grip, skidding over next to Bumblebee. Shockwave retracted his other servo, which nobot had noticed before. The first attempted attack had been a distraction, and it had worked.
"Cliffjumper!" Bumblebee shouted, starting to rush over to him.
"Stop…!" Cliffjumper grunted, "Stay with Blurr. I've got this under control."
Bumblebee didn't like that he was always getting ordered around. So maybe he wasn't able to do any substantial damage, but he wanted to be a part of the action too. He didn't want to feel like he was just on the sidelines. He could keep Shockwave's servos full while Cliffjumper took a better shot at him. And yet, he didn't disobey. Cliffjumper and Jetfire, they had both had extensive combat training that he didn't. They would be able to adjust to different battles and know what to better than he did. If Cliffjumper though it was best for him to stay, then for the moment he would stay.
He soon regretted this submission.
Shockwave was right on top of Cliffjumper, seizing him around his mid-section and lifting him into the air. Cliffjumper struggled against his grasp, thrashing about wildly while cursing as loud as possible. In response, Shockwave pinched his claws tighter together, making Cliffjumper cry out.
"Do you feel tough now, Autobot?" He mocked.
Bumblebee knew he didn't. His hopes were so short-lived. Shockwave was going to slag his last chance at his survival. At Blurr's survival. He looked somberly at the blue mech, who still didn't show and recognition of what was happening. At least they had tried.
Cliffjumper wriggled frantically, able to turn his head enough to face Bumblebee. Ever so slightly, he tilted his viz scanners toward the cannon on the ground and then to his open servos.
Ah! Bumblebee understood. Cliffjumper did have this under control, although it didn't look like it at all. Slowly, not to gain any unwanted attention from Shockwave, he slunk over to the cannon. He gingerly picked it up, hoping it wouldn't be too heavy or noisy. Slag, it was heavy. How in the pits did Cliffjumper carry it so easily?
"…You may think you have won…Shockwave…but this is…far from over…!" Cliffjumper said through labored breaths.
"Oh really? Will those be your famous last words, then?" Shockwave asked sarcastically.
Cliffjumper turned his head back to Bumblebee, a look of urgency on his faceplate. He had to have that cannon, and now! With all the strength he could muster, Bumblebee took the bulky weapon and shoved it into the air. He cringed, not sure if he had thrown it far enough. What if it didn't make it all the way? Then all of this would have been in vain.
To his relief, Cliffjumper nimbly caught it in his right servo and shoved it into Shockwave's faceplate.
He pulled the trigger.
Jetfire stepped back, breathing heavily. His chassis was so sore. But it was over. He was done. He had fought harder than he ever had before, and he had won. Sentinel and all the `bots that had trained him would have been so pleased. So…why didn't he feel accomplished?
Maybe it was the gray hulking mass of Decepticon in front of him.
Everything grew cold and numb as he stared at the offline shell. He had never taken a life before. Never seen the armor of his enemy dull into a lifeless shade of gray. It wasn't like he had to take him offline either. He had knocked Lugnut into stasis lock long ago. But, for some reason, he wasn't able to just stop there. He couldn't even clearly remember what he did after that, but he did recall his intentions. Something in his processor had told him what to do. How to finish the job. To make the `con pay. Next thing he knew, he was standing next to the chassis, wondering how he had gotten there.
He was horrified and afraid. Afraid of himself. Of what he was innately able to do.
Had Lugnut really deserved it? He was a `con, that was for sure, but most `cons were just sent to the stockade. Some even received trials, though none ever went free. Killing was only necessary in an offline-or-be-offlined circumstance. And even then you were supposed to try your best to take them captive online. Lugnut was unable to fight back. Unable to prevent his fate. What Jetfire had done was against everything Autobots believed in.
"Jetfire! Hey, Jetfire, where are you? Are you okay!?
They were looking for him. Wondering if he was alright. They had no idea what he just did.
Jetfire was doing this all for his brother, but he wondered something: Would Jetstorm be proud of what he had become?
"Careful, now! Don't get up too fast!"
"Are ya tellin' me what to do?"
"No! I just…I just don't want to irritate it, that's all."
"Well, I'm fine, okay? Slaggit, where's Jetfire?"
"Dunno. I called for him. Maybe he…"
"Nah. His signal's coming up fine. Just being bothersome and taking his sweet little time to get up here, it seems."
Blurr moaned. Why was everybot talking so loud? And why didn't he understand what they were talking about? His processor felt like a giant weight holding him down. He opened his viz scanners, not sure of what to expect.
He nearly jumped back on seeing Shockwave in front of him. He shouted, scrambling as far away as possible. Images reformed. He remembered the terror, remembered the utter desperation. The pain. Oh, the pain. And now it was back, and more real than before! Why wouldn't it just leave him alone?
"Blurr! Blurr!" Bumblebee came to his side. "Calm down! It's alright!"
Alright!? How could it be alright!? He was trapped with Shockwave again. With his worst nightmare. It was definitely not alright. Was Bumblebee blind or something? He stared at him fearfully, completely at a loss at why he was so collected at a time like this.
"Blurr, you're going to bust a gear at this rate. Cool it. You're not in any danger!" Cliffjumper called. For some reason he was sitting on the ground a bit of a length away from himself. A small puddle of energon was next to him. And…wait, how had he gotten out of the Metroplex?
Had Blurr missed something important?
He returned to Shockwave, who hadn't moved at all in that last cycle or so. It was then he saw the broken pieces of metal surrounding the `con. And the busted faceplate. Blurr did a double take. It wasn't just a crack. His entire faceplate, even his viz scanner, was gone, revealing sparking circuitry. A mix of energon, oil, coolant, and every other kind of internal fluid was flowing from the wound.
"What is- What is- What is he doing here? What happened?" Blurr asked.
"Shot him." Cliffjumper answered simply, "But the stupid bugger didn't go offline. He's in deep stasis, though. Probably won't ever wake up."
"And we don't know why he's out of the stockade." Bumblebee said. "Are you…uh…any better, now? You were kinda out of it before…"
"Fine…I'm fine, other than the fact that I was, to use your words if you don't mind, 'kinda out of it' and that 'kinda out of it' was a little overwhelming and now with all of this I'm beginning to feel dizzy, or ill, or dizzy and ill, I'm not quite sure." He shook his head and sighed, "How did you get out, Cliffjumper, since I know that Bumblebee, no offence, does not have the capacity of breaking you free since he did not have the codes."
Bumblebee frowned. "I would've found another way. I'm not that stupid."
"I got bored of waiting, and then I picked up the `cons' signals so…had to do something, I guess." Cliffjumper shrugged, "Took my cannon and blew my way out."
Blurr smiled. That was Cliffjumper for you, using force to solve his problems.
"Just in time, too. We were so slagged." Bumblebee announced. "Thanks, again."
"Whatever. Help me up."
Bumblebee went over to Cliffjumper and grabbed of his servo, getting him back to his feet. Cliffjumper cringed the whole way up, holding onto his sides.
"Are you sure you'll be okay?" Bumblebee asked as he let go.
"I'm great, slaggit, great. Stop asking me that."
"Is something wrong, Cliffjumper? Did something happen to you?" Blurr queried.
"Now look what you did, stupid. You've got him all worried." Cliffjumper cried, exasperated.
"I already said I wasn't stupid!"
"It's just some internal bleeding or crushed circuits or something. Nothing important." He insisted.
Internal bleeding? Crushed circuitry? That sounded serious. Like…life-threatening serious. Shockwave must've done it to him. If Blurr had been able to fight, maybe this could've been avoided. Was it his fault? Why was he always shifting the blame on himself? He decided to stop thinking like that and focus on what he could do, not on what he might've have been able to do.
"Perceptor." Blurr remembered, "He's still online, right Bumblebee?"
"Yeah. He is."
"Cliffjumper, we need to get you to him to fix you up." Blurr ordered.
"Oh no, I'm not going anywhere now. You need me to find Dirge, remember? We're wasting time already as it is." Cliffjumper protested.
"We probably should get him out, anyways." Bumblebee admitted.
"He had to have heard me blast that hole in the door. He's smart. He'll come out if he wants to." Cliffjumper replied, waving it off.
Bumblebee looked like he was about to argue with him when Jetfire appeared overhead, landing next to the three of them. If he saw Shockwave he didn't seem too shocked by his appearance. In fact, he didn't even blink on seeing Cliffjumper. It was like nothing surprised him for some unknown reason. Or something even worse was bothering him so that he didn't notice.
"Jetfire! Finally! Where have you been? Where's Lugnut?" Cliffjumper greeted ever-so-unkindly.
Jetfire's faceplate paled. "…he…vill not be troubling us no more…"
An awkward silence followed as everybot understood the meaning of his words. Jetfire stared down at his stabilizing servos, not able to look anybot in the viz scanners. Oil was welling up, and Blurr thought for a moment that he was going to break down again like earlier. He was so young, he didn't deserve to experience something like this. And yet, Blurr couldn't understand what he was going through. He had never offlined a `bot before; intelligence work never called for that, as he usually just collected information.
"No time to stand around and mope, I'm afraid. We have to go after Dirge while I can still read his signal." Cliffjumper announced. Blurr scowled at Cliffjumper's blatant insensitivity, but knew that he was right. They had to get moving.
"Well then, where is he?" Bumblebee asked. Even Jetfire perked up a bit at the prospects of finding Dirge.
"Lemme figure that out." Cliffjumper opened one of his storage compartments and took out a handheld device that appeared to be a mix between a datapad, a communicator, and maybe a mini computer. Blurr had had something like that before, but not quite as hi-tech. Heads of departments always got the best in everything.
Cliffjumper's viz scanners widened and he dropped the gadget, almost falling back himself if Bumblebee hadn't been right next to him.
A voice coming from the device explained his alarm.
"Hello? Is this thing working? Helloooo?"
Jetfire gasped. "Dirge!"
Blurr leaned over to grab the device, holding it a servo's length away so everybot could see. Sure enough, Jetstorm's faceplate filled the screen. But it wasn't Jetstorm, Blurr knew it. The devilishly red visor made him almost look like a different `bot entirely. And voice was higher-pitched, almost sounding exactly like Starscream. A clone, perhaps? Blurr didn't know.
"Aw, who gives a slag? It's working in my book. Anyways, greetings, everyone! I'll trust you're not doing good, considering everything I've done. I know certain `bots got a nasty surprise sent directly from the stockade." He smirked. "But that's only the start of your problems, my friends. Lookie what I've got."
He shoved a glowing object so that it was covering himself. It looked larger than usual, but it was still easily recognizable. The Matrix.
"That's right. It's mine. Don't even think about taking it away from me. Not that you can. It's about to finally fulfill its true purpose. Why don't you watch with me? It's going to be a good show."
Dirge raised it into the air, making it pulsate. A shot of light shot out, and Blurr saw that it was not only visible on the screen. He could see it faintly in the distance. That must be where Dirge was!
"What's he doing…?" Bumblebee asked. Blurr only wished he had a clue.
There was a deep rumble. Clouds formed far above the surface of Cybertron, making it impossible to see anything into space. There was a tension in the air as everybot looked around wildly, wondering what was going on. Something like electricity flew through the clouds, making a giant hole in it, looking similar to the substances inside of space bridge.
As if on cue, Blurr could feel the energy associated with a transwarp. Something was being brought here. Dirge was summoning something. Or somebot.
"Here he is! He's coming!! Finally!" Dirge cackled, "Unicron!"
What was forming out of the clouds was something Blurr had never seen before. It appeared to be a giant, yellow and gray planet. A metal planet, much like Cybertron, and yet there was something more to it. It was more complicated, for one. There were large claw-like appendages around the middle, with a metal ring surrounding the entire thing. Not like Cybertron at all.
"Woah…" Cliffjumper said, pointing to the side of his datapad-thingy, "That's one big energy signal."
The radar on the side was going off the chart with the sudden signal. It was almost cancelling out everybot else's. Blurr was relieved to see that Jetstorm's wasn't gone, showing that they could still track Dirge. But this new signal, this planet, could prove to be a bigger trial than Dirge himself.
"What is Unicron, Cliffjumper? Have you ever heard of it before?" Blurr asked anxiously.
"Never. But I know one thing: It can't be good."
Yeah. It was Lugnut :D I hope I got you surprised for nothing. But UNICRONNNNNN!!! I can't wait to actually write him, and not just describe him.