The Dreams of One’s Own Heart


By Tony “Thunder” Klepack


            The large purple and silver Transformer gazed at them, its jaw wide in astonishment.

            “S-Sunfire?” Tempest stammered finally. “ You’re human!”

            Sunfire felt herself break into a smile. “It’s the Syntara’s doing,” she explained. “They brought me back and remade me as a human female.”

            She’d dreamed of this moment, prayed that she’d meet Tempest again. She knew the Decepticon scout had been for real but they’d met under the oddest of circumstances and it all seemed so ethereal at the time–as if she’d been living a waking dream.

            “Doth thou know this Mech?” Avatar Prime asked beside her. Around them, their three Sentinels stood with their weapons drawn, an air of uncertainty about them. Rapture was with them as well, having insisted on coming along to make sure Sunfire was okay after her recent exertions against the dark enemy she’d revealed to them.

            “Yes, Avatar. I do,” she replied. “I know Tempest well. She’s no threat to us...”

            Avatar regarded her curiously then waved his hand at the Sentinels, signaling them to lower their armaments.

            Tempest had already lowered her weapon–Sunfire suspected the shock she’d betrayed wouldn’t have allowed her the clarity to react in time if she’d needed to defend herself anyway.

            “So they went through with my plan after all,” Tempest said quietly. “When you were killed, I feared the worst...”

            “Then they never told you?”

            Tempest shook her head. “I had a schedule to keep–I had to get back to the Dark Glory before they started wondering where their lowly scout had gotten to.”

            “I understand.” She nodded.

            “I don’t,” Rapture interjected. She looked from Tempest to Sunfire. “How is it you know her? Tempest said they had... remade you?”

            “It’s a long story,” Sunfire offered.

            “Evidently, a story worth the time,” Avatar Prime chimed in. “Please indulge us.”

            Sunfire met his gaze. “In short, I was once one of them.” She glanced at Tempest then back to Avatar. “I was an Autobot that crashed on this world with my comrades. I fought a desperate battle against a Decepticon assassin and, when it seemed like all was lost, awoke among the Watchers. Tempest was there already and suggested I be given information on the Enemy.”

            “But something went wrong–her mind was unable to absorb all of the information she was given,” Tempest picked up. “In my state of existence, I was unable to realize that a mortal couldn’t comprehend the information we were attempting to impart. The transfer was partial, at best. I had hoped it would be enough... as we left the sanctuary of the Syntara realm, we were ambushed and Sunfire was murdered. I believed my plan was a failure.”

            “But it wasn’t,” Rapture concluded. “They remade her as a human.”

            “In part,” Tempest replied. “A human mind is no more advanced then a Transformer mind. I believe they gave her human form in an attempt to help her blend in among the Masters–hence her similarity in appearance.”

            “If I’m not human, what am I?” Sunfire met her gaze.

            “Something more...” Tempest replied. “Part human, part Syntara. A fusion–a hybrid that has not previously existed.”

            “Indeed, such a detail explains her great power,” Avatar agreed. He met Sunfire’s gaze. “There is much more to thee then thou had realized.”

            She smiled modestly. “We’re all more then the sum of our parts, Prime.”

            She turned and looked up at the Transformer, noting the glow of her yellow optics. There was none of the harshness in them now that she remembered when she’d first encountered the other.

            “Its good to see you again... I feared the worst. I had a dream...” she trailed off, gathering her thoughts. “In it, Optimus told me he was dying, you see. But it wasn’t really him–it was the Syntara. They were calling to me...”

            Tempest cast a glance to her side, seeming to gaze at solid stone. “The Three,” she said. “Are they–?”

            “They told me in the vision that they were dying,” Sunfire continued. “And I saw a vision of Midnight rushing at me.”

            “Midnight!” It was more of a curse then a word.

            “I had to come here, see for myself...”

            Tempest nodded. “I understand. I felt a sense of... foreboding before I came. Like I knew on some level that something wasn’t right.”

            “I don’t understand something,” Sunfire said. “In the vision... the Syntara told me I was the Last... but you’re here, safe. Why would they tell me that? I feared the worst for you...”

            ”I broke our Prime Directive,” Tempest explained. “I acted out and used my powers openly in the physical realm. This was strictly forbidden by our kind. As a result... they decided to punish me.”

            “But why? How?” Sunfire gasped. “I don’t understand.”

            Tempest smiled. “They stripped me of my powers. I’m no longer a Syntara wearing a physical form–for all intents and purposes, I am as you see me. An ordinary Transformer.”

            “What did you do?”

            “I slew Midnight,” Tempest explained. “You and I were leaving this place when he emerged out of nowhere. I should’ve realized he wasn’t dead–should’ve made sure, but I didn’t. I had just assumed the lava explosion had taken him out. Anyway, he caught you by surprise, shredded you before you even had a chance to form a thought. He hadn’t expected me to be there... I used his surprise to my advantage and tore him apart, atom by atom.”

            “So he’s dead,” Sunfire mused. “I never entirely realized what had happened at the moment of my death. That first little while when I’d been reanimated, I was confused. Things were hazy...”

            Tempest had lost her powers for avenging her. Sunfire felt both guilt at being the cause of Tempest’s downfall and also honored that she’d thought enough of her to make the effort.

            She also wondered why she’d been able to use her own abilities openly without reprimand. Was it because of her own unique nature that she was exempt from the same rules that had governed Tempest? Or was there some other reason...

            “Not exactly,” Tempest answered, unaware of her thoughts. “While it’s true I slew Midnight, I saw him again recently. He appeared on the Dark Glory and attacked me. He was reanimated in another realm and set him loose on the Universe once more. He’s much stronger...and I don’t know what his intentions are.”

            “He didn’t kill you?”

            Tempest shook her head. “In my de-powered state, I wasn’t worth his time. But the others... if what you say is true then he might have gotten to them first.”

            “Lets find out...” She closed her eyes, concentrating.

            “Are you sure you’re okay with this?” Rapture started.

            Sunfire nodded once, her mind focused.

            “I...can’t,” she said after a moment. “I can’t sense them...”

            “Can you enter their realm?” Tempest demanded.

            Sunfire tried. “All I can sense is cold, darkness... that plane of reality is burning out.”

            “It was connected to them,” Tempest replied. “We no longer required physical forms... we used our power to maintain that plane. If they are dead then it must be as well.”

            “So now what?” Rapture asked.

            Sunfire was quiet at that. So, the Syntara had indeed passed on and now she was alone in her mission. But then, that wasn’t really true, was it? Tempest had been spared their fate on a whim of Midnight’s... Things had changed. Now she had the powers and Tempest was a mere mortal. But they were together again and together they could accomplish what had so far alluded them separately.

            “Something just occurred to me,” she spoke up suddenly. “Why do I still have my powers?”

            “I don’t know,” Tempest confessed.

            “I don’t draw my powers from the same source?”

            “It doesn’t appear that you do, no,” Tempest answered. “Did Midnight go after you as well?”

            Sunfire shook her head. “No, not so far.”

            “Perhaps you’re less powerful then a true Syntara,” the other wondered. “Or perhaps you are but he chose not to pursue you for some reason. He told me that you were still alive–I didn’t know whether to believe him or not, but he knows you’re still around.”

            “Maybe it’s another one of his sick games,” Sunfire said. “He’s toying with us, biding his time...”

            “Perhaps,” Tempest agreed. “Unfortunately, if he’s taken out the Syntara then we have no way of knowing where he is or what he’ll do next.”

            “I guess we should return to Eden, then,” Sunfire offered. “There’s nothing further for us here...”

            “What of the Mech?” Avatar asked. “Surely, thou cannot suggest that we allow it to follow us back to our sanctuary.”

            “Why not?” Sunfire asked. “Avatar, I realize that I have asked much of you and your people. I do. But Tempest is no mere Transformer. She is the last of the Watchers that put me on my mission–powers or not, she alone understands the bigger context of our task. If we are to truly unite our peoples against the Enemy, then we will need her help.”

            The older man regarded her and she sensed that the others were as well. Rapture stood still, deferring to Avatar’s authority. The three Sentinels did not concern themselves with the matter merely stood alert for any threats to their group.

            “Child, thou hath asked much of thee to this point.” He shook his head. “Yet, even without telepathy, thy sense that thou hath only the best of intentions toward our kind.” He paused. “Very well, thou shalt be allowed to bring this Mech back to our people–even though it be against the nature of our kind, the Children of Primus shall endure as we always do.”

            Sunfire smiled at him then turned back to the Decepticon scout. “You are coming with us, aren’t you? Or do you have to get back to Megatron?”

            Tempest shook her head. “I’ve decided to abandon my post. My position there is meaningless now. And, powers or not, I feel I still have a job to do. I’d already decided as much before I came here and discovered you still alive.”

            Sunfire nodded. “Come on, then. We’ve got a long journey ahead of us...”

                                    *                                   *                                   *

            Talon emerged from the maintenance hatch to where Face was already waiting.

            “Is it all clear?” he asked quietly, sealing the hatch behind him as he did.

            “For the moment,” the other replied, casting a glance about the corridor. “They have no reason to suspect anything is amiss.

            “Do you know what to do?” Face asked.

            Talon nodded. “Take out the hyperdrive, check.” He materialized his rifle out of sub-space and checked it’s settings. “What about you?”

            “I shall see about retrieving our friend, Ms. Pieterson,” he replied.

            Talon thought back to earlier, when Gwen had struck Matt. His jaw still stung slightly from the strike.

            “The instant you take her, Starscream will know!” he warned.

            “I am fully aware of the peril of the situation. However, if all goes as planned, we will be too far away for Starscream to retaliate.”

            “Good luck!” Talon switched on his cloaking device, promptly vanishing from sight.

            Face waited a moment. “And to you,” he said.


            Talon moved silently down the corridor as swiftly as he could, following his sensor readings to his ultimate destination: the drive section of Starscream’s large vessel.

            The ship was nowhere near the size of the Dark Glory. Still, it was large enough that he suspected it could give Megatron’s ship a good fight in any event. He also doubted Starscream would try to take on Megatron any situation approaching a fair fight–it simply wasn’t how Starscream thought.

            It was funny how far he’d come. When he’d joined the Decepticons he didn’t have a clue about what he was getting into–he was merely attempting to save his own skin in the siege of his world. Since then, thanks mainly to Face, he’d learned how to fight and how to survive among their kind quite well. He even knew enough to be able to predict the actions of Transformers like Starscream and Megatron now–a respectable feat in of itself.

            Still, if someone had told him at the end of all this he’d be risking his own neck to try and save Gwen from Starscream, he would’ve told them they were mad. All his life he’d thought of himself, first and foremost. Concerning himself with others–even attractive female others–simply wasn’t part of his DNA. Matt knew from interacting with Whisper’s mind all this time that he wasn’t much for worrying about others concerns either. It was funny how he’d changed since this had started...

            But Gwen was an innocent in this conflict, caught up in circumstances beyond her control. Loyal to him to a fault... he hadn’t asked for her to come after him but he certainly wasn’t going to leave her behind now to be Starscream’s toy either. She would know her freedom again or he’d die trying in the attempt.

            He slipped into the vast engineering section without detection, keeping close to the smooth silver-white walls of the ship and out of any stray warrior’s path. The area was large, multi-leveled with several smaller platforms inset at seemingly random intervals about the section. The area was busy, full of Starscream’s warriors going about their duties. Beyond it all, however, lay the vast, pulsating hyperdrive.

            The beating heart of the ship...

            Face had told him to disable the hyperdrive so they could escape with Gwen. He didn’t say anything about how much force to use.

            Talon counted off his mental inventory of weapons and decided a couple of pulse grenades, set to a lower yield should do the job. The trick was to disable the hyperdrive so they couldn’t be trapped aboard or pursued later. Too much force, however, would’ve destroyed the entire vessel and them along with it.

            He removed the two grenades and set them according to his estimate. He glanced at the hyperdrive, judging the distance and the best path for his throw. Satisfied, he armed the grenades and launched them off successively.

            “This is for you, Gwen...” he whispered. He watched an instant longer, making sure the grenades were on target then turned and dashed back the way he’d come.


            “Status!” Starscream demanded.

            “E.T.A. to target destination, four hours,” Thunderfist announced. “All systems are nominal.”

            Starscream shifted slightly in his chair. “Excellent,” he replied.

            Things had gone well on Grand Central Space Station. His new forces had performed admirably, destroying the station thoroughly while sustaining very few casualties. Talon and Face, while startling him with their appearance there, had been eliminated as well, leaving Gwen solely in his control.

            There was nothing to stop him from reaching the Dark Glory now and fulfilling his destiny. Megatron would die and then, at long last, no one would contest him as the new leader of the Decepticons.

            It had been a very good day.

            “Commander,” Thunderfist approached his command console from the right. “If I might inquire, what is our strategy when we reach Cybertron?”

            “I have a plan,” Starscream explained. “I’ve constructed something a little special for Megatron when we arrive. Something that will soften up his defenses and–“

            He stopped in mid-sentence as Gwen was snatched off his left arm abruptly. Beside him, Face emerged out of thin air.

            “Surprise!” he exclaimed, rushing off with his tiny prey.

            Before Starscream could react, the deck shook violently and the ship shuddered. He felt himself being flung abruptly from his seat and knew that the others had experienced a similar fate.

            So, they had survived after all. Face and that accursed Headmaster Talon–why couldn’t he just give up on Gwen? She was a mere woman! There were many others out there–and none of them belonged to Starscream! But no, he had to have the one that he’d chosen instead. The fool! He would eliminate them both once and for all. Then, no one would contest his possession of Gwen and no one would be able to stop him from his ultimate destiny–Supreme Commander of the Decepticons and ruler of the universe!

            He rose, seeking Face among the confusion but the other had disappeared once more. He suspected the other had cloaked himself. He reached out with his mind, attempting to see through Gwen’s eyes but wherever she was, she could see nothing but darkness.

            “What happened?”

            Thunderfist propped himself up on the helm console and tapped a couple of commands. “Our hyperspace has been disabled!”

            “They survived somehow,” Starscream hissed. “Get me sensors! We have intruders!”


            Talon trained his weapon on the airlock and fired, tearing a large hole in it. He moved swiftly through the tear and out into space, swiftly converting to his fighter mode as he did. Behind him, Face had followed suite.

            “Now what?” Matt asked in Talon’s cockpit.

            Gwen thrashed out at the control panels in Face’s own cockpit. “We have what we came for,” he replied. “There is a habitable body nearby where we can seek sanctuary.”

            “I didn’t realize you’d planned that far ahead,” Matt replied. “Should’ve known better!”

            “You won’t get far!” Gwen hissed. “I know exactly where you are and I’ll be coming for her!”

            “I have always believed you were a coward,” Face said calmly. “If you wish to prove me wrong, you may pursue us, of course.”

            “You’re dead, Face! Both of you are–“

            Gwen stopped abruptly as Face sent a mild electric shock through her, depriving her of consciousness.

            “It is time we ended this, Matthew,” he said. “Starscream shall be coming for us and in doing so, he will be playing directly into our hands.”

                                    *                                   *                                   *

            The world was cold, sterile, inhuman...

            Arthuralayas gazed about as he had a dozen times before, taking in the silent street around him. Jagged, uneven towers rose into the heavens all about him, forming a totally alien cityscape.

            This had been the world of the Mechs before the holy Jihad had taken it back from them by force. It was also the final resting place of the Holy One himself, Primus. Unable to reach his true children, he had fashioned his prison into this unnatural metal world, giving life to the Mechs themselves to carry on the war against the Dark One.

            He wasn’t acclimatized to the alien world but at the same time, he did his best to hold it in reverence. After all, despite it’s stench of Mechs, it was a holier place then the sanctuary Eden itself and he understood better then many of his youth what that entailed.

            Much of the City lay in ruin still, but the Disciples had rebuilt some areas, converting them into the facilities necessary to continue the siege of this world and add to their ever growing numbers.

            All of this... all of this effort, the great use of their resources had been to one ultimate end. The Mechs would die and the Masters would at long last prevail over their ancient enemy but first they needed what was here.

            Their enemy had abandoned the ultimate power here–but he found that unsurprising. Even in the void of oblivion, their celestial father had provided for his children, as he always did. It had been fate that the accursed Mechs had left the instrument of their own destruction carelessly behind–they were as much slaves to destiny as his own people in the grand scheme.

            He was interrupted by the sound of footsteps and turned in time to see a Disciple approach him. The larger automaton stopped and bowed in reverence.

            “We have located the Sacred Vessel,” it said in its monotone.

            Already? Indeed, fortune was on their side this time...

            “Thou hath done well,” Arthuralayas replied. “Lead me to it...”

            The clone Transformer turned and walked stiffly back the way it came. Arthuralayas closed his eyes, commanding his armor to hover and follow after the Disciple.

            They moved into a large domed building and down several flights of stairs before finally emerging at what appeared to be a large vault. The doors had been wrenched open forcefully, allowing them access. A legion of Disciples stood on either side motionless, awaiting further commands.

             The Disciple that had brought him down turned and stopped, joining the others assembled outside the vault. Arthuralayas moved to the doors and peered inside.

            “Thou hath done well,” he spoke to the drones. “Thy Masters are pleased.”

            "For the will of Primus,” the entire group spoke. “All must be one!"

            “Indeed.” He smiled. “Summon the Holy Fist! Their assistance will be required.”

            The original drone turned and moved off. Two others also moved off in other directions, trying to fulfill their command. He watched them a moment then turned and gazed into the vault beyond.

            He hovered into the large chamber slowly, taking in the new locale as he did. The chamber was large, the room ancient even by Cybertronian standards. There were statues of Mechs he did not recognize lining the outer perimeter. Cerulean stones lined the room in a circular pattern, converging in the center of the chamber and into the object it held. Other stones held ancient Cybertronian symbols and torches lit the walls, providing ample illumination.

            His gaze wandered to the center of the room and the metallic tomb that occupied it. It was carved meticulously with ancient Cybertronian symbols, much like those on the walls around the chamber. It was done in the style of the much older chamber but was clearly newer then the rest.

            He moved to what he believed was the front of the tomb and knelt on one knee, bowing. After a moment, he glanced up and stretched his arm upward. He concentrated with his mind, sending out a message to the tomb.

            At first, nothing happened. Then the floor rumbled slightly and the tomb spit up the middle and folded outward slowly, revealing its contents as it did.

            It was a Transformer, blue and gold-orange in color. It was older then any other he had ever seen before, its design rough yet still functional. There was almost a sort of elegance to its form. Its face was that of the symbol of the Mech faction that called itself the Autobots.

            According to the knowledge they’d gleaned from the Transformers they’d absorbed into the Disciples’ collective, it was known by many names.

            The Ultimate Warrior. The Final Guardian. The Last Autobot.

“The will of Primus be done,” Arthuralayas whispered. “At long last, we have found our prize!”

            To them it had only one name:

            The Sacred Vessel of Primus!

                                                *                                   *                                   *

            Starscream and five of his warriors soared through the skies of Sigma-17985, a lone world orbiting a star near to where the Conquest had dropped out of hyperspace. He’d overheard Face tell Talon they would be heading here before Face had rendered Gwen unconscious. He suspected they’d try to find shelter here and wait him out–the fools! No one could escape him now!

            He suspected they were smart enough to try and plan a trap for him, but thus far the life signs they’d detected were too far away for him to concern himself with. If they moved swiftly, they could take out the two Decepticons before they had a chance to retaliate. Either Gwen would be his again or no one would have her.

            Unexpectedly, a missile tore out of nowhere and struck one of his wing men. His underside ignited and he dropped out of the air then erupted in flames half way to the ground.

            “Scatter!” Starscream yelled.

            How had they gotten the drop on them, he wondered. According to the sensors, the trio were nowhere near them!


            Somehow, they’d faked the read-outs! That meant they could be anywhere.

            The five of them moved evasively, all expecting another attack at any moment. Nothing registered on the sensors however. At that point, though, he was starting to have serious doubts about how much faith they could put in them.

            Just then, one of his wingmen howled.

            Starscream turned in time to see Talon kneeling atop the warrior’s jet mode, a purple-blue energy blade piercing the warrior’s cockpit. He withdrew the laser sword and stabbed again into the jet’s rear compartment, slashing through its engines as he did so.

            Satisfied, Talon allowed the air drag to take him off the wrecked warrior and disappeared immediately with some sort of cloaking device. One of Starscream’s warriors fired off where he thought the Decepticon had gone but his shots struck nothing. Talon’s prey, meanwhile, dropped out of the air at incredible speed, bound for the surface far below.

            “Everyone, land!” Starscream radioed the others. “We will not be such easy prey below!”

            At least, he hoped.

            It didn’t take long for the four of them to get to the surface and reconfigure to their bi-ped modes. Instantly, all of them had their weapons drawn, prepared for anything.

            He scanned the jade skies, seeing nothing out of the ordinary. There were scant clouds present but not enough to provide cover to their enemy. Around them, a wide field of crimson plants swayed gently in the wind. Again, nothing stirred about them. The vegetation was only ankle deep to them, at any rate–too little to conceal anything.

            “Form a loose circle,” he ordered. “Shoot anything that moves that isn’t one of us!”

            He heard a small hiss and spun in time to see Talon emerge out of nowhere, his laser sword slicing through one of the remaining warriors as he did. He moved fast, dodging the two other warriors attacks and impaled one through the head module as he stopped. Behind him, an energy blast tore through the remaining warrior’s head, taking him out as well.

            Leaving Starscream all alone.

            He spun to see Face nearby, his rifle smouldering from removing the final warrior and preventing Talon from getting shot.

            “This is over,” Face said. “Allow us to take Gwen and leave. You cannot win.”

            “Never!” Starscream hissed. “You may have taken out my warriors, but I am not so easily defeated!”

            “Don’t bother trying to call for reinforcements either,” Talon chimed in. “We’ve jammed the comm channels to make certain we’re not interrupted.”

            Starscream failed to see Face cock his head slightly at that revelation thus when Talon smiled slightly, he thought the gesture was to mock his power.

            “You might believe in your prowess fool but I nearly defeated you on Grand Central. I’ll finish the job here!” He charged Talon, who easily dodged the clumsy attack.

            “You’re going to have to do better then that!” he mocked.

            Starscream opened several shoulder compartments and loosed multiple missiles at him.

            “Oh hell!” Talon dodged a few and then leapt out of the way of the rest of the salvo. The projectiles struck the nearby forest, decimating it in one shot.

            “I bet trees everywhere fear the power of Starscream!” Talon taunted. “Too bad Transformers don’t.”

            He charged and slashed at Starscream, but the other was ready for the maneuver and dodged the attack. He grasped Talon’s wrist and slammed his other fist into his head. Talon stumbled from the strike and Starscream hit him again, dropping him to the ground.

            “It’s time to finish what I started before,” he hissed, materializing a rifle out of sub-space. “You’re not nearly as tough or as smart as you act.” He trained his gun on Talon. “I wonder what sort of opponent Face is–certainly better then you I’d think.”

            “Why don’t you find out?”

            Starscream turned and saw Face standing nearby. His attention immediately gravitated toward the smaller object beside Face.


            “You’ve made a fatal mistake,” he growled. “Leaving Gwen out where I can easily get to her!”

            He reached out with his mind, contacting his binary partner... 

            Gwen merely stood where she was.

            “Talon never meant to stop you,” Face explained. “Merely distract you while I used my abilities to extract the nanites that gave you control over Gwen. You had no opportunity to resist the process, making it far easier then it would have been otherwise.”

            “I’m free Starscream,” Gwen spoke up. “Truly free. You will never be able to control me again, you monster!”

            “What a shame,” Starscream replied. ”We could’ve been so good together, my dear, but...” He aimed and fired his rifle in the same instant.

            Face was ready. He and Gwen vanished an instant before the blast struck the spot where they’d been standing.

            Something struck his head from behind and he crumpled to the ground... His head spun for a moment and he heard jet turbines spool up and roar away.

            “You won’t...get away so easily,” he mumbled.

            He rose and transformed to his fighter mode, soaring skyward.

            Already, the two blips on his sensors had made some distance from him, expecting he’d give chase in some foolish game of cat and mouse. But he wasn’t going to play by their rules any longer...

            It didn’t take long for his new form to reach orbit. He was still watching the two blips on his sensors that represented Talon and Face. He swiftly converted into his new third mode, a particle cannon.

            “Feel the true power of Starscream!” he broadcast over the comm, since there was no atmosphere around him to carry the sound. “I am power!”

            Drawing all the power he could summon from his core, he channeled it into one enormous blast then loosed it at the world below. He felt faint as the energy stream tore toward the surface, seemingly striking it dead-on and for a moment, nothing happened. Then, the effect of his shot was felt as the world quivered and shook, tearing itself apart in enormous eruption.

            He converted to his fighter form and moved off as fast as he could...

            Conquest, this is your commander,” he signaled. “Raise shields to maximum immediately!”

            The world exploded, sending large chunks of debris everywhere in every direction.

            Starscream had his shields at full power, watching from a safe distance as the destruction continued its inevitable course. He had lost Gwen forever thanks to Talon and Face’s interference. He would curse the day they ever got involved with him...

            But at least he hadn’t walked away from this totally empty handed. Gwen was gone, but he had a new form now and wasn’t dependent on the weakling human to be complete. Most importantly, she had met her fate at his hand directly along with her two would-be heroes. All had certainly perished this time–there was no way they could’ve escaped his final judgement and for that, he felt at least some small comfort.

            Now, it was Megatron’s turn to feel his power! He relished the thought of taking out his former leader more then anything. He couldn’t wait to see the other’s look when he ended his miserable life once and for all!

            He turned and headed back to the Conquest.


            Gwen watched the jumbled mixture of colors outside Face’s canopy as they moved along. Talon was out there too although she had trouble seeing through it all.

            “Do you think Starscream bought it?” Matt’s voice asked over the comm.

            “Indeed. He saw exactly what he expected to. He is certain we perished on that world despite the fact we had previously used the same sensor manipulation on him.”

            “I agree,” she chimed in. “He was likely so angry at your liberating me that he didn’t think it through, merely lashed out like always.”

            “I’m glad you’re safe, Gwen,” Matt said. “At long last. But we know Starscream’s next target is likely the Dark Glory so we’re not exactly safe heading back there. And Earth isn’t a viable option any more either, so...”

            “I know a place,” Face replied. “It is well hidden and very few know of its existence. It is a sanctuary of a sort, you will be safe there.”

            “Sounds like a plan,” Matt chimed in. Gwen found herself nodding.

            “Very well. Once we emerge from hyperspace, I will transmit the coordinates and we can set course...”

                                    *                                   *                                   *

            Sunfire gazed at the beauty of the Creator’s Cloak nebula as it filled the portal into her cabin. She knew it was only a matter of time before they arrived at Eden where Militant Prime and the rest of the Masters would be awaiting their return.

            She couldn’t see Tempest sleek fighter form beyond the vessel but she knew it was out there somewhere in the void, following suite with the Masters’ organic vessel.

            She suspected they wouldn’t be too happy to see the Transformer that she’d casually invited along to their world. But she couldn’t see any other options–it wasn’t like Megatron would listen to Tempest’s warnings and the Autobots would’ve been even less receptive to a Decepticon on their doorstep. That was assuming they were still alive and functioning–something she was no longer certain of.

            Besides if her plan were to work, she needed to unite them. All of them. The Syntara had seen fit to bring her back as a human that fit in appearance perfectly with the Masters, so it made sense to start with them. Certainly, they would be among the hardest to convince. If they would accept the presence of one of their hated enemies among them, then it was a small step toward her ultimate goal.

            It was strange and wonderful to have Tempest at her side once more. She thanked Primus that the Decepticon had survived Midnight’s machinations and would be there to help her unite the various factions.

            Wonderful to have the help, but strange to have her there. The Autobot Sunfire had confessed her love of Optimus Prime to Tempest and the other had told her he knew... and now, Tempest was here. Where did that leave them now, she wondered.

            Tempest had told her that Optimus appreciated her love but that he couldn’t return her feelings–that his heart belonged to his people and that it had been darkened by the War. But now... things were different, weren’t they? The Syntara that had been Optimus was Tempest now and deep down, this was the same being–wasn’t it? Optimus couldn’t return her love but perhaps Tempest could. On the other hand, if the Syntara at Prime’s core had been tainted by the War, wouldn’t the same hold true for Tempest?

            It was confusing, maddening!

            Could Tempest open up to her? And if so, would that be what she really wanted? She had loved Optimus, but he had also been her hero. A noble, distant warrior... a beacon of light that others looked to in times of darkness, a charismatic figure of legend. Even if she got to fully know Tempest, to understand this being–could she possibly live up to the image in Sunfire’s mind? Or was she setting herself for an inevitable fall?

            And could she stop herself even if she realized it?

            “Life was so much simpler when I was a machine,” she sighed.

            Whatever the future held, they’d face its challenges together... that was the only thing she was certain of. She’d have to reach down deep inside, find her true strength if she was going to succeed at her mission.

            And she would succeed–or die trying. And if it came to that... well, she’d die as many times as it took to get the job done.

            The ship started its descent for Eden.