This fic is a crossover between G1 and Magic: the Gathering's latest storyline/world. I've tried to make it understandable whether or not you know the other canon. If you're curious or confused in spite of my best efforts, you can find out a bit more about the world this is set in and the non-TF characters in this fic in an article called Phyrexia: The Strong and the Scattered by Doug Beyer. Google is your friend.
Glissa glided into the chamber. The process of transformation had changed her, but it hadn't changed the way she moved. It had altered the copper parts of her body, giving her claws and sharpening the metal at her chest and shoulders into spikes. It had even given her a curved scythe she could never lose or drop, embedded as its base was in the metal of one wrist.
But although she barely resembled the elf she had been, her agility was unmistakable. No one else on Mirrodin could have successfully evaded levelers. That wasn't a talent anyone could just lose, and phyresis was about improvement anyway.
She slid to her knees before the immense throne, paused a moment, and then lowered her head as well, stretching to press her face to the metal feet of her lord.
"All hail the Father of Machines," she whispered.
Another might not have caught the laughter in her voice, the mocking lilt in the whispered words. The new Father heard them. He'd had what this world would call thousands of millenia to listen for such nuances back on his homeworld.
His homeworld. Cybertron. Where was it, and how far from here? He did not know. A rift that had brought them here, a black and oily mass that had grabbed them as though it were a living thing, grasping and squeezing and forcing until it had dragged them to places unknown. According to his best scientists, it was not only a rift in space, but between worlds as well.
He did not know the meaning of it. He doubted Shockwave and Soundwave did either, for all their knowledge. He had raged at it at first. After so long, ages upon ages of any world's time, invested in an endless war that began over his home, to be torn away suddenly by a parasite that sought only to use him was the ultimate insult.
At first he had sought only to make Phyrexia pay for what it had done to him and to his kind.
Then he had become its master.
The oil had seeped into his seams, wormed its way into his circuits. It had changed him, changed all of his kind that it brought with it. His form had been one of clean angles, but the oil had apparently wanted him deadlier still. It had sharpened his metal into a latticework of curved spikes, weapons emerging from weapons.
And from every joint and seam he used to shift between his forms, the black ichor leaked, glistening and thick.
It unnerved him even now that something else had altered him, had changed what he was against his will. But in the end, it did not matter. It had given him the strength to overthrow these creatures' ruler, their Father of Machines himself. If it had used him, he had used it in his turn, and made it his own.
In doing so, he had become lord of two races: his own, and these aliens. Phyrexians, they called themselves. Agents of the Great Work. Just as he transformed, changing his own shape to suit his will, they sought to change their world itself. They, too, fought a war, seeking to re-make the world in which they grew until it became wholly their own. Others opposed them, and these they killed or claimed, the oil altering them as it had altered him and altered the elf who now crouched before him.
As a goal, it was noble enough. But it had embroiled him, and all his Decepticons, in the politics of their new domain.
Politics that had brought this small technorganic literally to his feet.
"You are no Praetor, little one," he answered with a chuckle of his own. He saw her shiver, and realized why. To her tiny audio receptors - ears, those of this world called them - his voice must be nearly too loud to bear hearing. "And yet you come before me like you're Vorinclex himself."
She lifted her small head. He focused his optics, increasing their magnification until he could see the young elf clearly. Black ichor dripped from her - eyes - and, as he'd suspected, her lips were twisted into an unmistakable smirk.
"Vorinclex understands very little of these matters, Lord Megatron."
The Father of Machines smiled. "And you do?"
"He is on the hunt, and thinks of nothing but his own glory." She sniffed. "Or of his own belly."
Belly? Megatron thought a moment. Vorinclex, like most creatures in this world, was part organic, part machine. And organics did, as a rule, refuel by consuming one another.
His mouthplates twisted in distaste. He had of course seen some creatures that consumed living metal, but they were rare and alien. "And yet, he is your Praetor. Surely you should be united in purpose."
The elf's eyes widened, weeping the same ichor that oozed from her lord's frame. "Of course, my lord, but I felt his neglecting to report to you was -"
Megatron's laughter cut her off. Her ears twitched at the booming sound.
"Speak plainly, Glissa. I have nothing against your ambitions, as long as you admit to them."
She stared, craning her neck in an attempt to look her lord in the face, her copper claws clinking against one another as they twitched.
"Of course, my lord," she said again, her soft fleshy mouth curling into a grin. "I thought it might not bother you to hear such defiance. I'm sure you hear your fill of it already from that dragon you brought with you."
"Dragon?" He had seen dragons since arriving here: flying beasts with vestigial wings that evolution had long since rendered obsolete and were instead propelled by jets of flame emerging from just under the wing-stumps. By the standards of this world, they were immense, about the size of most Decepticons.
"The red one. Big, like you. With wings, real wings, and a voice that could shatter glass. Who shoots flame from his arms and from his feet, instead of his mouth and wing-stumps. Who killed one of our Praetors and took his place. Who rules over the mountain passes now."
Megatron laughed again. "Starscream?"
The elf nodded. "He and the others like him - they aren't dragons?"
"Not exactly. But the word is close enough."
"Your dragon, then," Glissa said, smoothly and without hesitation. "Even though he is a Praetor, he defies you. When he speaks of your Word, he laughs.
"Vorinclex would call it heresy," the elf went on, her eyes glowing piercing green. "He would say it is defiance of the will of Phyrexia itself."
Perhaps he would, Megatron thought. These creatures saw their leader as the guide of their Great Work. Defiance like Starscream's would be unseemly to them, at the very least.
And yet this elf had compared herself to Starscream just now, apparently convinced it would impress him.
"Vorinclex? Don't tell me you think he understands my will, Glissa. Not when you came before me specifically to tell me that he doesn't."
Glissa hissed, her eyes still glowing, and arched her back. Megatron fought down a grin.
"Vorinclex is a fool. He is an impediment." The elf licked her lips. "He is dead weight. One day he will go out into the Tangle, intent on the hunt, not knowing that I am hunting him."
"And you will kill him." Megatron was not sure how a creature so small would manage to kill a behemoth bigger than most of his Decepticons. Still, he had no doubt she would manage it somehow.
"Kill him?" She tossed her head, her hair flying. Her fleshy body trembled, and he realized she was holding in laughter. "Kill him?
"Lord Megatron - I am a predator. Vorinclex is my enemy. He does not deserve a clean death."
The elf snarled, showing rows of sharpened, copper-colored teeth. "I will overtake him and devour him alive."
Megatron's optics widened. Her earlier mention of Vorinclex's "belly" had disgusted him, and his tanks turned over now, thinking of the tiny throat swallowing flesh, gorging itself on membrane, meat, and organ. It was a disgusting, messy way to refuel, and it seemed like a great deal of trouble besides.
And yet, somewhere beneath his revulsion, he felt his spark pulse with excitement. Eating, he did not understand, but the other hunger, he understood completely.
He rumbled in amusement. Glissa tilted her head in pleasure or curiosity and slid closer to his leg. Clicking her claws together, she reached for one of the seams on his leg, dipping her copper fingers in the oil leaking from it.
He twitched as the tiny metal appendages slid over the thin channel. The light tough was not unpleasant, but it was odd, a tickle like the feel of some small creature skittering over his plating.
Glissa growled. From a denizen of the Tangle, it was as good as a prayer.
Then, with a soft laugh, she curled her hands, raking her claw over the metal of Megatron's leg.
Megatron's optics widened in surprise as bright lines of pain lanced through his circuitry. Glissa's claws, small though they were, had not just chipped his paint but scored his plating, biting surprisingly deep. He could see a faint purple glow as energon welled up in the wounds and dripped from them, mixing with the oil slicking his seams.
He threw back his head and laughed. Who else, besides his "dragon," would dare to damage the Father of Machines?
Glissa lifted her head. Staring directly into his eyes, she smeared her hand in the energon, raised it to her lips, and licked at it.
Her lip curled as she tasted it, and she spat it out, completely unconcerned about Megatron's reaction. Most other Phyrexians would never have spat in his presence, either, even if his effusions didn't agree with them.
He reached down to touch the small creature's back. The oil's transformation had given him claws just as it had Glissa, and he curled them back now to avoid cutting her flesh. A low rumble escaped his frame, half of pleasure and half of frustration. Her size and her many exposed, fleshy parts made her frighteningly easy to break.
She arched into his touch, her supple, fleshy body making her movements far smoother than any he had seen from his own kind. He stared, more transfixed than he would ever have confessed to being.
He had come to Phyrexia because it had forced him, the black oozing symbiont seizing him and ripping him from his world. He had joined Phyrexia's war because he'd had no other choice.
The other Decepticons figured that their leader had claimed Phyrexia for his own because it made sense. Anything the oil touched, it infected and remade, twisting it to the will of Phyrexia's lord. Even Starscream had to admit that was impressive.
And appealing as well. When all this was over and Phyrexia reigned over this world, the oil would prove a formidable weapon against the Decepticons' true enemies. How satisfying would it be, after millions of years, to watch those who had defied him change, the ichor oozing its way into their systems? Making them into machines of war, as his own kind were. Showing them the way that they had spent eons refusing to see.
How would it feel, at the end of it all, to see Optimus Prime himself kneeling at his feet?
But as enticing as those thoughts were, none of that was why Megatron had claimed Phyrexia.
He would have made use of the oil, of course. No useful weapon should ever be ignored. But finding a useful tool was not reason enough to take on the mantle of Father of Machines and involve himself in a war that wasn't his.
Glissa was speaking now, the small wound on the Father's leg throbbing in time to her words. "I will consume the Praetor's flesh."
"And his metal?" Megatron asked. The elf, like all things in this world, was part metallic, but he doubted her digestive system could process it.
She grinned, her smile dripping ichor. "From one of his plates, I will form the crown of the new Praetor of the Tangle. By magic and by metalwork I will affix it to my own head."
"And the rest?"
She licked her lips. "The rest I will bring before the Father of Machines, and lay at his feet in offering."
Megatron's smile echoed Glissa's own, a ring of shining blades. "Come up here, little one."
She blinked. He rumbled with impatience, tapping his thigh.
Then the elf obeyed, scaling his frame as she would trees in the Tangle, her claws gripping at protrusions that she could use as handholds. She clutched at them, hard, heedless of whether it would cause him pain.
His frame vibrated with contentment as her impossibly small frame slid up his abdominal plating and over his chest. She cried out, feeling the heat of his seething spark beneath the plating there, unsure what she had found. But she pressed on, ignoring the discomfort.
She settled on his shoulder, holding on to the spikes the ichor had raised there. Straightening, she surveyed his chamber from her perch, her pointed ears pricked up. A tiny, deadly sentinel, she watched and listened, just as she would on a hunt in her forest home.
He shifted, relaxing. He felt her slip, but then she moved with him, regaining her balance without a word of protest, determined to maintain her place.
Then she reached out, greatly daring, to stroke the side of his helm.
He leaned into her touch, his frame rumbling with pleasure. This was why he stayed.
Because there were some in this world, with its strange beasts and its tiny, fragile organics, who were truly worthy to be his.