Beast Hunters - Tor

written by SlipBot

A lone form soars through the pre dawn sky. A slight violet hue, radiating from the east, allows its jet black wings to highlight the sky. Wind blows through the body's scarlet fur as it is held aloft between the strong wings. The creatures eyes scan the area, looking for a path that will not draw attention as it passes over the lake ahead.

The round eyes in front of the small head pick up on a small finger of land extending into the lake. Its heavy tree cover would allow for well concealed travel over halfway to the island.

Adjusting the wings, the form turns abruptly left, just in front of an unseen, but still detected, energy screen. The creature swoops down below the extent of the computerized sensor field, hovering close to the canopy. It only took a few moments to reach the finger. With only a faint sound of rushing air, the bird-like animal jets across the lake peninsula and stops once the land stops.

The small head turns slightly from side to side, contemplating the next move. The eyes work quickly, with almost robot like speed, trying to find the perfect place to cross the water. Almost without thinking, she darts off, across the water, narrowly missing the sweeping radar system, and into the overgrowth of trees at the island shore. Landing beside a small pool, the creature is bathed in light from a source deep within the jungle like interior of the island.

The ripples in the pool vaguely distort the face of the small crimson fox with sable wings. Keeping low to the ground, the odd animal stealthily walks along the ground, reaching a large clearing a few minutes later.

It has only a second to take in what the island's true purpose is before a strange sensations glides across the sleek form. The body tenses with the feeling, for it knows what will follow. Alarms, lots of alarms. From every direction it seems, alarms blare and sound, and rustlings off all kinds erupt from all around.

The fox-like creature wheels around and takes off the way it came. A quick look behind it reveals that a large metal insect has taken to the sky, quickly gaining on the animal. A glance to the left shows that a steadily growing path of upturned dirt is trailing it, while a look to the right shows huge amounts of dirt and foliage being torn up and thrown into the air. An explosion rocks the ground behind the small animal which is thrown tumbling through the air.

Looking around, the creature sees three large creatures walking along the ground towards it. One, the metal insect, yields two long blades on it's forelimbs. A second, presumably the one from underground, is another large insect, this one black with a large set of pincers on the end of its thorax. The third was rather low to the ground, reptilian, yet with an odd array of stripes, and two large front teeth.

Suddenly, the three forms begin to change. Body parts flip and rotate revealing robotic forms. The small critter yelps in shock and leaps to its feet, struggling to run away, but one of it's forepaws had been hurt. The three mechanical monsters continued to approach, arming themselves with an array of weapons.

Suddenly, the fox leaps as volleys of bullets, lasers, and energy pulses begin to shoot after it. The black wings unfold and flap wildly, lifting the animal into the air, shooting forward, across the lake and across the forest on the other side, ever cautious of weapon fire.

The mammal soon evades the monstrosities and finds a mountain valley. Tucked inside, a large alien ship rests, while an immense blue-green, translucent field surrounds it. The blur of red and black approaches the screen, which vanishes just long enough for the creature to fly past its perimeter before it reappears.

------

A group is eagerly awaiting the animal's return. They sit around a long table in a large room. Windows surround the room. The view is supposed to be filled with stars and planets, but are now filled with trees and rocks. One large chair sits empty. The doors open and the winged fox enters.

"Eclipse, report," comes the voice of Maximal Field Commander Alpha Hound.

"Success," the animal huffs, obviously out of breath from its return trip. Everyone seated abruptly stands up.

"You did?" comes the voice of Wingspan, Maximal computer specialist.

"You've been trying for days, you know what this means?" Prowl, second-in-command, answers.

"Indeed!" Whisper says. "It means we'll be able to move forward with the plan."

"Wait," comes Alpha Hound's response. He is theonly one still sitting down. "We do not know what is there yet. Only then can we make a plan. Eclipse, please inform us as to your findings."

"Certainly," the fox replies, transforming into a metallic, human-like form. "I was able to reach the clearing. The Predacons, have built a base."

"A base? Is that all!" Snarl snarls.

"Be quiet and let the lady finish!" comes the lumuxing voice of Tusks. Although not the brightest bot, he was probably the most considerate."

"Thank You." Eclipse says, still puffing a little from the exertion in her gears. "I did not have a long chance to look over the compound because the sensors were able to detect me. I was lucky to make it this far. However, from what I saw, it seems they've used alien technology in the construction."

"The aliens?" ScratchCap responds. "Not THE aliens, the ones we're trying to keep the Pred's from finding?" Eclipse nodded. "How did they get it?"

"My guess is from the ship that Megatron and his forces encountered. The one that triggered the termination sequence. He must have gathered some of the material when it exploded and gave it to Bludgeon and his crew."

"Did you get specs on it?" Prowl asks the scout.

"A few, I will download them once the meeting is through."

"Don't wait," Alpha Hound says standing up. "And Swoop,"

"Yes sir?"

"Go with her. Compile her data with the energy scans we did and the few readings we got from yesterday's expedition."

"Yes sir."

The two figures depart and made their way to the comp deck. With the aid of K-9, they will be able to get as good a picture of the base as possible.

------

"Is that it?" Swoop says with a surprising tone, and a hint of fear.

"Yes." Eclipse replies dryly.

The monitor in front of them displays an image of sheer horror. A tall tower, or slender pyramid to be more precise, roses up from the ground. Wound around it are huge massive vine-like structures. The pinnacle is made of clear crystal, and several spikes curve up from below the apex, all aiming inward.

The entire device appeares to be biological in ways, but metal in others. It seems to have skin covering the main pyramid below the green tentacles, but there are spots were the skin looks torn, and masses of circuitry peek out.

"What is it?" Snarl asks unexpectedly. He had appeared from somewhere behind them.

"Trouble." Prowl announces solemnly. "It appears Eclipse was right, the Predacons have built a station on that island."

"And that's it?" Snarl asks with a slight growl.

"Not exactly," Swoop responds as he looks up and down from the keyboard and the monitor, constantly typing. "This image is a combination of the Astroplex's energy scans of the area, the data pad scans from yesterday's mission, and the data Eclipse got earlier."

"No, that's it. Only, the real one is much more grim looking."

"Indeed it does," Wingspan says from her station next to the group. "Unfortunately, the Astroplex can not animate 'grim' that accurately."

"Hmm, any idea as to it's purpose?" Prowl asks as he leans back a little ways, folding his arms.

"Well, from the data," Wingspan replies, "I'd assume it is some sort of data collector. Maybe a scanning station of some sort. It's size would imply that it could scan an immense range."

She quickly types in some commands and the Comp Lab's main display window turns on. At first it's the same image of the tower. Then it rotates to an overview which Wingspan quickly alters to show an overlaying energy scan.

The scan is centered over the top of the tower. A small translucent ripple of red covers it. From the point, more ripples spread, growing larger and wider in size as they cross the spectrum of colors.

"Hmm, it appears that it is not yet operational. That is good." Wingspan murmurs.

"Yes, indeed." The group wheels around to face Alpha Hound. "For it means we can safely mount an attack and destroy this tower before they can locate more pods, or more alien sites."

"Hmm, but getting there will not be easy, they're security is incredible." Eclipse says, looking over at the screen.

She presses a few buttons on Swoop's console. The image on the monitor changes slightly to show the locations of the scanner buoys she had to pass.

"It was hard enough for me to evade the buoy's sweeps, let alone get around the island." The robotic fox says, turning towards her current commander. "And the constant patrol of Preds does not make it easier. I almost didn't make it when I was ambushed by Manterror, Militant and Daggerfang today."

"Today," Snarl snarls. "What about yesterday when there were Twice as many bots!"

"Yes," Prowl replies to the angry mutt. "I am assuming that yesterday's fight left many of them heavily damaged. They are probably still repairing. After all, they only have one CR Chamber."

"Don't assume that," Swoop says to the leaders. They look down at him in surprise. "I've gone over the sensor pad data. The Pred's carrying the equipment had some BioFilters and MechConverters. Just what they would need to build some CR Chambers of there own."

"Another reason to take out that building. Them having one chamber is one of the few advantages we've had lately." Alpha Hound turns towards the elevator lift. "Eclipse, Wingspan, join me in the Briefing Room in half an hour."

------

Deep within a dark chamber, a foreboding figure reclines in his command seat as two soldiers aproach.

"Report!" He barks at the two.

"No sign of any Maximals since the one this morning, sir." Manterror announces quickly, bowing slightly to his leader.

"And you? How is the work on my Tor coming Scarem?"

"Excelently Bludgeon. It should be opporational by the end of the day. Assuming..."

"Assuming what?" Bludgeon grumbles with a tone that could send shivers down any Predacon's central support shaft.

"Assuming the Maximals do not discover the base and attack," the bug says sheepishly.

"Oh don't worry. I'm sure they already have. Now get back to work! Both of you!"

The two Predacons shrink back into the shadows. Bludgeon turns around and activats the sensor viewer, one of the few devices working in the base.

"It's only a matter of time now."

------

Five winged forms quickly aproach the island.

Upon reaching the small finger encroaching on the islet, they land, setting down to decide on their next move.

"Where do we go from here?" the one in the lead whispers.

"Straight across," came the reply of the red, winged fox who now aproached the owl.

"Excelent. Eclipse, you take the lead," he says, turning slightly to face the island. "SkySaber, Wingspan, and SlewSlander follow. I'll take the backdoor."

The group pauses a second as Eclipse walks to the front. For a moment, all is quiet. Then, without warning, she lifts into the air, flying towards the island. The rest of the team follows in orerly fashion, forming an angled line. Slowly this line moves around the island clockwise to avoid the buoy sweeps.

------

Deep within a caverous region below the island, Predacons are continuing their work.

"Our leader demands this instalation ready by dusk!" bellows Scarem as he and Manterror enter the vicinity.

"We are working as hard as we can Insects!" yells a large bot as he drops a heavy container on the floor.

"Yesss, Sssiege iss right!" the hissing voice of Circe, the serpant woman states. "Why do we have to ssset up the bassse ssso quickly? It'ssss not like we are unprepared for an attack!"

"True, but our leader has his ways!" Scarem replies to his fellow drones. "And we have our orders."

Disgruntled, the troops return to their work, carfully installing the large box shaped computer drives into their proper places surrounding the central power shaft.

"Excelent," Thunderwing says from the shadows. "All is going according to plan. The base shall soon be complete. At least it will be, if the Maximals are as predictible as we think them to be." As stealthily as he came, he leaves, leaving only shadows.

But from those shadows come a pair of eyes, and a deep voice, cold as ice, and strong as an ox.

"Indeed. All is going according to plan." Treachery and cunning filled the voice. "But whose plans shall come to fruit?"

------

The group aproaches the clearing at the center of the island.

Sparaticaly, they stop, waiting until the sensor buoy's rotating scanners pass ahead of them, allowing them to pass. It is slow moving, especially with this rather large group, but it is unavoidable.

"This way," Eclipse whispers to the group. They stealthily aproach the edge of the clearing.

There they lay their opticals on the tower. The clearing sinks so low into the ground that the some 100 feet tall tower doesn't clear the tree tops. Its emmense tentacles stretch out from the base into large square stations, allowing access into a subterranian network of chambers that their optical scanners can only hint at existing.

"The central tower is our main objective," Prowl announces. "It must be where the main computer is. Wingspan, thoughts on how to do it?"

"Hmm, I believe that if we could take out one of those scanner buoys we could aproach the main tower. We could use some belly blombs to blow the main structure."

"Sounds good, move out team."

------

"Daggerfang, how are you coming with Bludgeon's requested Cyber-Venom?" Manterror asks the Predacon's resident torture expert.

"Muahhghaw! I can't work under these conditions! No power! No working equipment! Only this table and some beakers!" The Crocodile-Tiger crossbreed responds.

"Well, that can't be helped. We need the power for the security systems and the main computer. And we also need that cyber-venom. Fuzor and Transmetal bodies are less seseptible to the standard type, we need a new type."

"I know, I know, but these conditions, I ca....." The torturer is cut short by the sounds of alarms blaring. "What's that?"

------

"The alarm system, someone is attempting to bypass the sensor bouys!" yells Thunderwing over the inter-base comm window.

------

"The Maximals!" screeches Bludgeon at his comm window. "Yes, the time has come at last. Predacons, attack!"

------

"Finally, some action!" yells Siege in the command core. He heads for the exit passage.

"Time to squash those Maximals," Savage, the Tortoise beetle laughs as he makes his way to the lift shaft.

------

"Yes, the master calls us to battle!" cries Millitant out in the forest on patrol.

"Indeed, back to the Tor!" yells Drow, and the two rush off towards the battle.

------

"What happened!" Prowl yells from the base of the pyramid.

"I don't know! This alarm wasn't here, I checked!" Wingspan yellls back as alarms blare.

"Well, snk hahaha ha, we have to hurry, snk ha ha, these belly bombs are set! Snk sk" SlewSlander laughs from the other side of the structure, runing back towards the group.

"This is not a time to laugh you twisted hyenna!" SkySaber yells at the insane hound, as he pulls out two wing spears. "We must prepare for battle."

The five flyers pull out there weapons. Blasters, spears, guns, any weapon handy.

"Predacons! Terrorize!"

With no more warning, ten Predacons leapt out at the group.

Millitant, Drow, and Throttle leap out at SkySaber. Although he is agile and strong, he has trouble holding them off. His spears jab back and forth, and the claws and swords of the Pred's find their mark more often than him.

Siege, meanwhile, has taken the offensive against Eclipse. The small fox fires off her tiny blaster constantly, but the strong Seige merly shrugs the shots off.

SlewSlander is busy dealing with the hypnotic voice of Circe, whose using her soft melodious voice to lure him closer.

"Must obey pretty lady! Snk Ha Ha!" he cackles before she stifles his voice with her hand on his throat. Beside her, Daggerfang injects a vile full of his latest Cyber-Venom into the bot. Slew starts laughing wildly, even more so than usual, as waves of bluish venom move across his exo-structure.

"It works!" Daggerfang yells as he dances around before the drunken Slew slams into him with a slug from his pistol. "Ouch!" he mutters before collapsing.

"Leave me alone!" SkySaber roars as he plunges one of the spears into Militant's chest, knocking him into stasis lock. "One down," he mummbles to himself before lunging at Drow.

"Prowl, my old comrad! We seen to have met again you sentimental fool!" Thunderwing sneers as he and his Maximal counter part stand face to face, swords locked together. "I can not tell you how much it pleases me to see the struggle in your eyes. It reminds me of the look in K-9's eyes when I shot him."

"You talk to much!" Prowl yells as he spins and delivers a cut across the metal hawk's chest, causing the lug to collapse. Prowl removes his stasis pistol and pops a small static charged pellet onto Thunderwing's back, knocking him out.

Eclipse leaps into the air, transforming into Beast Mode. Savage waves his brutish arms through the air, trying to swat the fox. She evades all his efforts and finally transforms back and shoots the monstrous bot with a super charged energy blast.

"Finally! Thought he'd never go down!" she laughs before an arrow from Shaft's cyberbow sends her down.

"A shame," he says standing over the knocked out body of Eclipse. "Such lovely curves."

"My mate!" SkySaber screams. "How dare you!" With a roar he leaps over Drow and hurls a spear at the prehistoric annoyance that would injure his love.

The spear strikes true, detonating and throwing Shaft into the air. SkySaber places his hands on his hips to take a quick breath in victory. However, Throttle soon leapt at him and the battle was on again.

"Wingspan, where are you?" Prowl yelled over his comm while blasting several rounds of his nitro cannon off at Flashfire. Sparks fly from the shoulder of Prowl, damaged from a napalm shot.

She was busy by the computer console. "I'm trying to complete our mission!" she yells back irritated. "It's not like these, uh, Preds are making it easy!"

Wingspan struggles to type in more codes into the computer access port while her right arm struggles to hold back Manterror's blades with her sai.

"Enough!" she screams as she pulls out her standard issue pistol and shoots a charge into the arm of the giant mantis. The Predacon stumbles back, dropping both blades to nurse the injured limb. While distracted, Wingspan delivers a poweful kick, knocking the insect back towards the computer core.

High up in the atmosphere, the clouds that now cover the sky begin to flash and pulsate with energy. One would think that this coincidental storm was tied in to all the energy being thrown around on the ground.

SlewSaber has reverted back to Beast Form, and although still intoxicated with venom, he manages to take out Drow with some carful ancle bitting. The entire lower leg easily releases from it's socket, and he stumbles around with the limb in his mouth while Drow hops back to the base.

"Slew, that is simply disgusting!" Prowl groans as he shoots off another blast at Flashfire.

"Tastes like chicken," the hyena/vulture mumbles with the leg in his mouth, drool begining to dribble down. Prowl rolls his optics and dodges a shot from Flashfire before shooting off another.

The shot damages the flame thrower, causing it to backfire, exploding in the pyro-salamader's face.

"Extra crispy, my fave!" Slew chuckles. "Snrk! Ha ha Ha!"

Wingspan eagerly works at the console, imputing more codes. If she can finish these imputs, she can hack into the central computer and blow it up, while downloading all of it's data. "I knew I should have stayed back at the base! Whenever I leave, trouble!"

A form moves around the command building to face Wingspan. Two horns rise up and curl from the beast mode head affixed to his chest. And two small horns stick out from his own head. A grim smile is plastered on his face.

Wingspan grabs up the scimitars of Manterror and holds them up to Loki's face.

"Can't you see than I'm a little bit Busy!" she says casually.

"No problem," the strange badger-goat replies. "I'll just wait over there!" He points off at the far side of the complex and slowly backs off towards it.

"Better," she smiles as she returns to her task. Prowl rushes over to her, followed by SlewSlander still holding the leg, and SkySaber holding his love in his arms.

"We have to go now! Those detonaters are about to go off!" He commands.

"But I just need a second to get into the central computer!"

"No time!" Prowl yells as he grabs her by the arm and lifts off into the air.

------

The four flyers head off over the canopy, still being shot at by a large group of preds. Wingspan and Prowl revert to beast mode and the group narowly passes by the edge of the island as a tremendous bolt of lighting streams down, striking the main tower as the bombs detonate.

"Now there's a light show! Snrk" Slew mumbles, his words a little garbled from his trophy.

A huge cloud of flames leaps into the sky as the rain begins to pour.

"Perfect timing, eh?" Wingspan says to the group.

"A little too perfect," Prowl replies. "Now lets get back to the ship."

------

"So the mission was a success then?" Alpha Hound asks his second-in-command and his team.

"Yes, the central tower is destroyed, and damage has been done to all the sectors of the base." Prowl replied.

"If I had had a few more seconds, I could have accesed the Predacon computer network and downloaded some of their data," Wingspan quips. Prowl eyes her harshly and she lowers her head. "But there wasn't any time."

"I see," Alpha Hound merely states, leaning back in his chair in his command office. "None the less, good work. The Predacons are still left without a stable base. You are all dismissed."

Prowl, Wingspan, SlewSlander, SkySaber, and the partially recovered Eclipse, all turn to leave.

"Oh, and Slewslander?" The former Autobot says.

"Yes bossbot?"

"Get rid of that leg!"

------

Deep within the cavernous underground, Bludgeon sits contented in his command chair.

"Was the surge enough?"

"Indeed," Scarem responds, looking up from a power console. "Lightining storm energy, and the energy from the explosion of the power anteanae are enough. We have power!"

"Than my good bug," the leader smirks before leaning forward. "Throw the Switch!"

The Beetle grabs ahold of a lever and pulls it downward. Mechanized noises and surges of power are heard throughout the levels of the base. Lights activate, sensor pannels, and computer consoles come to life. Maniacle laughter rings through the base as all the Predacons witness the realization of all their hard work. And in the shadows, one laughs for the work he has established in this base, for the future.

------

Outside, the ground shakes and rumbles as a new, more hidious form rises out from the charred remains of the Predacon power antenae tower and grounding stations.

A huge form, a massive step pyramid rises up into the sky, a powerful triangular crystal affixed at the top. Lighting flashes all around as the storm rages, and the Tor, master work of Bludgeon is activated.

"Live now my Tor, for now none shall be able to stand against the Predacons!!"

END

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