Distant Early Warning

Series: Children of Primus, part 1

Author's note: This fanfic takes place only a few years after Come What May, well over a century after the episode Rebirth. Most events and characters are the same as in the Transformers television show, but there are two important changes: Rodimus and Optimus Prime are co-leaders, and Optimus has a girlfriend named Andromeda (of my own creation). These fanfics attempt to tie together the cartoon and comic book versions of the Transformer origins.

Chapter One

The being smiled to itself – a large, predatory smile. At last, at long last! It had been alone for so long, trapped and denied sustenance. But that was about to change. Its insubstantial body wavered in excitement. Soon. Soon now….

"Brace for crash-landing!"

Loud curses filled the ship as Decepticons raced back and forth, securing loose articles and strapping themselves in. The battered cruiser seemed ready to shake itself apart as the pilot jockeyed for control. Cries of pain echoed as the ship's underbelly made violent contact with the moon-sized asteroid. The damaged cruiser skidded across the pockmarked surface, banging around its crew relentlessly, before finally shuddering to a stop. The silence was punctured only by a few moans, accompanied by the hissing of ruptured coolant lines and the crackling of a few scattered electrical fires, which would not last long for lack of atmosphere.

Motormaster groaned as he pushed himself to his feet, brushing off the debris that coated his frame. "This is another fine mess Galvatron's gotten us into!" he growled.

"Yeah!" Runamuck exclaimed. "That crazy leader of ours botched a simple hit-and-run energy raid! There's no way we're gonna make it if he can't keep it together!"

"Your words are traitorous, Runamuck," rumbled a sleek purple form. Cyclonus lifted his fire extinguisher and attacked some of the dying flames. "Galvatron is our leader! All Decepticons must follow him."

"Ha!" Onslaught exclaimed. "He's leading us right into the Inferno. And if you're not careful, we'll throw the both of you in!"

"FOOLS!" An enraged, much bulkier and more powerful purple chassis stumbled and staggered its way out of a mountain of junked components. "I am Galvatron! I am destruction incarnate! None can stand in my way!"

"That would be why the Autobots stomped all over us and shot us down without straining a circuit between them!" Swindle snorted derisively. "This was supposed to be a stealth mission to steal energy, but you just *had* to go and open fire the minute the Autobot insignia came into view. Another failure, delivered courtesy of Galvatron."

"SILENCE!" the crazed Decepticon leader thundered, grabbing the Combaticon by the throat and squeezing.

"My lord!" Cyclonus protested. "You cannot kill him; we need him to form Bruticus!"

"rrrrAAAAAGH!" Galvatron raged, throwing Swindle into his second-in command, the two falling to the floor in a tangle of limbs. "I have no need of Bruticus! I have no need of *any* of you! I am Galvatron, destroyer of Autobots! And if none of you are up to the task, I'll have to do the job myself, after I've finished with you!"

The group of battered and bruised Decepticons cringed, all too familiar with Galvatron's brand of "discipline". To their surprise, however, the insane purple Decepticon stormed out of the damaged shuttlecraft, heading off into the distance on his own. The others breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that they had been granted the briefest of reprieves.

"Concentrate on repairing the shuttles," Cyclonus ordered with customary calmness. "All must be in readiness for our liege's return."

"I dunno why Cyc puts up with that guy's slag," Rumble muttered as he held a panel in place.

Frenzy fired his arc welder, sealing the panel to the wall. "Dunno. But one of these days Galvatron's gonna be history. I just hope I'll be around to see it!"

"Fools! All fools!" Galvatron raved as he stormed away from the shuttle, leaving large footprints in the brownish dust that lined the asteroid. "I am Galvatron! I have no equal! The universe shall tremble in fear at the sound of my name!" He allowed the rage to cloud his thoughts once more, his muttering becoming incoherent. At last, the anger began to cool (as much as it ever did), and some semblance of rational thought began to return. He discovered that he had wandered far away indeed from the shuttle, and if it hadn't been for the clear trail of footprints he had left, undisturbed for lack of wind, he could have become very lost indeed.

"Yesssss," a sibilant voice hissed.

Galvatron froze, every circuit in his being tingling with dread. Had he truly heard the voice, or was it, like so many other things, only inside his head?

"Come cloooosssssser," the voice hissed again. Despite his instincts, which were screaming at him to flee, he found himself drawn ever closer to the voice that held him in thrall. He stumbled and realized that he had nearly stepped in a large hole in the asteroid. Dark grey smoke began to pour upward from the hole, and he jumped back involuntarily when a pair of glowing red eyes formed.

"No! What are you?" the Decepticon cried, feeling an alien emotion – fear.

A mouth formed in the cloud, curving into a cruel smile. A chuckle emanated from somewhere within, and then the gray mass hurled itself at Galvatron, disappearing inside his head. The Decepticon leader cried out incoherently as his very mind was breached, violated!

"Yessssss," Galvatron hissed, his voice bearing a very unfamiliar tone. At last, it was able to feed again! It had been alone on this deserted asteroid for countless eons, but now it had sustenance once more! It plunged itself deep into Galvatron's mind, nourishing itself on the robot's crazed, intense hatred. It felt itself grow bloated on the powerful emotions as it tore into the layers of diseased consciousness. Years upon years of rage and torment filled its senses like a heady elixir. It bit deeply, heedless of its host's weak mental struggles. Then, suddenly, a gigantic mental fist slammed into it, knocking it loose.

'By the dark one!' it thought wildly. 'There is a deeper consciousness here!' It bared its mental fangs and lunged at the core consciousness, but found to its utter astonishment that it could not penetrate. The 'new' consciousness delivered another violent blow, and it retreated with a frustrated shriek. This could not be!

Galvatron stood slowly and deliberately, brushing off the asteroid dust. He strode purposefully back to the shuttle, his massive steps eating up the distance. His thoughts were clearer and more orderly than they had been in a long, long time. He held his head high as he entered the nearly repaired shuttle. 'Cyclonus does good work,' he observed with a calculating optic.

"Galvatron, you grace us with your presence," his second-in-command began his usual groveling.

"No." The mighty purple Decepticon held up his hand, cutting of Cyclonus' words. "I will never be called by that hated name again. I am Megatron and no other. That hated abomination is no more."

The shuttlecraft was filled with a pregnant silence. "Can it be true?" Cyclonus whispered finally. "Have you really returned to us, Lord Megatron?"

"Yes, I have." Galvatron smiled broadly, and for once there was not a trace of malice. He turned and addressed his assembled troops. "Hear me, loyal Decepticons! No longer must you silently endure Galvatron's ravings and abuse! That shameful chapter of the Decepticons has drawn to a close. Now, united under the proper rule of Megatron, the Slag Maker, we will finally rid the universe of those abominable Autobots!"

This announcement was met with a brief, shocked silence at this most unexpected turn of events. Finally, Cyclonus broke the spell by kneeling down before his ruler. He clasped a fisted arm to his chest and called out, "All hail Megatron!"

"Hail Megatron! Hail Megatron!"

None noticed as a smoky apparition filtered its way into the ship. A pair of blazing red eyes gazed with malevolent intent at the ship's occupants. This breed of robots did not make very easy targets for its feeding pleasure, but through the purple one's memories, he had learned of another, very similar breed of robot who would serve him well, and they held an object, a mystical object that could sustain him forever…. Its – his- eyes gleamed. Patience, he cautioned himself. It would soon be his.