In Perpetual Motion
By Tony "Thunder" Klepack
Cybertron shimmered silently in the darkness of the
void. It seemed small from his perspective yet it was still as
beautiful as ever. In a way, like so many other places Megatron had
seen in his travels through the cosmos except for one important
It was home.
The place where it had all started. The place where
Primus had been imprisoned in his last desperate bid against his Dark
Enemy and given life to their kind so that they might carry on his
legacy in the millennia to come.
"There is our goal," he spoke aloud. "Another world
in a vast sea of nothingness, but with one important difference." He
turned and gazed at the others. "This is our world. The place where our
war of ideology started and the prize which both of our peoples have
labored over for so long."
The assembled group of Transformers behind him
continued sitting in silence, allowing him to finish making his point.
"After so long a struggle, at last we find our world
within our grasp only to have these Disciples strike out and seize it.
We cannot allow them to interfere in the Empire's business any longer!"
"Agreed," Terrorwing chimed in, his face grim. "But
we must be careful. If we act rashly, we could find ourselves
overwhelmed by their superior numbers."
"What of our resources? Skyquake asked. "How much
damage did we take from Lightning and his machinations?"
"Mostly minor," Frostwing replied from across the
table. "We lost some personnel and suffered a bit of damage but thanks
to Terrorwing's quick command of the situation we were able to limit
the mutineers actions and eliminate them before they could do any
Megatron nodded. "As I suspected... It is time we
moved on with our battle plans then." He met their gaze. "We need to
come up with an effective plan to eliminate our enemy while limiting
our own casualties. If these preliminary numbers are accurate, we face
millions of enemies on the surface. I want options."
"Perhaps using some quantum warheads," Skyquake
chimed in. "It would decimate the enemy forces with ease."
"And Cybertron's surface," Soundwave added.
Skyquake nodded. "There is that problem. By the time
we finished, there might not be many structures left to occupy."
"Perhaps..." Frostwing began.
Megatron gazed at his security chief. "Yes?"
"Well, I am no tactician, but remember the
electro-magnetic pulse weapon the humans used against us? Perhaps we
could create something along those lines--albeit, a little less
potent--and use it on the Disciples."
He nodded. "An interesting option. Anyone else?"
Terrorwing spoke up. "Perhaps we could use
Frostwing's weapon against the fleet then move in afterward and do a
limited orbital bombardment on installations we know that house the
Disciples. They have barracks, factories, supply depots--things of that
nature. It would further disrupt their infrastructure then we move our
invasion forces in and finish off whatever is left."
Megatron nodded. "I'm hearing some good ideas
here... with some further refinements, we'll be ready to enact our
"How soon will we strike?" Soundwave asked.
"It is my hope that we will be ready in five days
time," Megatron replied. "We have wasted enough time gathering data. I
will accept no more delays."
He glanced around the room, meeting his officers
gazes in turn, making certain they understood him.
"Let us begin..."
"My Lord, we have taken out their perimeter defenses
with ease," Thunderfist replied. "The station has also taken a lot of
Starscream nodded abruptly, wishing his lieutenant
would come to the point. "But?"
"It appears their primary power reactors are heavily
shielded. We do not appear to be able to penetrate the station's
interior core without significant time and expenditure."
He gazed out the viewport at the massive construct
before them. In the void between the Conquest and Grand Central
Station, dozens of ships buzzed about trading weapons fire. From all
indications, his warriors were swiftly wearing down the
"What do you suggest then?" he
"We could deploy a small strike force to the
interior of the station--rig the reactors to overload and finish
task we have begun."
Starscream considered his words. "Very well.
Assemble the strike force. I will command it personally!"
Thunderfist looked as if he were going to object but
then thought better of it.
"As you command," he said instead.
"It appears to be one battle ship, backed by
multiple fighters," Matt reported to Face through
radio. He tapped a few more buttons. "The fighters are of
designs. I'm not certain who we're up against here but
that ship's big
and looks nasty."
"I believe it is time for us to
replied. "It is likely this station will not withstand the
very much longer."
Matt switched off the console before him. "Yeah, I'm
good with running away too."
The corridor shook violently then and he felt
himself drop to the deck before he could react. An alien voice
announced something over the comm system then other voices joined it in
"Perimeter breach! Evacuate
immediately!" a voice in
English finally added.
I'm--" Matt stopped in mid-sentence as a
group of armored warriors rushed down an intersecting corridor beyond
him. "Hang on! I'm going to check something out and
then I'll head
"What is happening?"
Matt moved toward the other corridor. "I
security forces going somewhere. I think they're trying to
invaders. I don't know--I'm going to go check it
out and see if I can
get a look at our visitors."
"Be careful, Matthew."
"Don't worry." He switched
off the comm.
It wasn't too far but the group moved back
through several more junctions before arriving at their destination.
Matt tried his best to memorize the varying twists and turns back to
where he'd started.
The group hastily set up a perimeter around a large
hatchway and waited. The wall nearby exploded and several energy blasts
tore into them before they could react. The intruders marched inward
with little effort, striking down the remaining opposition as they
Matt felt himself gasp as he recognized the invaders.
He peered out slightly from his vantage point,
trying to detect any Decepticon symbols but none were present nor did
they appear to have any faction symbols at all.
Just what was he dealing with here?
The Transformers secured the perimeter and two in
the middle stood waiting as another emerged from their makeshift
entrance in the wall.
"The immediate area is secured, my
"Very good," it answered in its deep
voice. "Do we
know exactly where these reactors are?"
"Not precisely, but they are located in the
approximate center of the station."
The other suppressed a sigh. "Very well. Fan
teams of two and find the swiftest route to victory!"
He did not bother to turn back as a small humanoid
in armor entered through the tear in the wall. "I will summon
pet and have her assist us in our search." He gazed down at the
humanoid. "You know what to do, Gwen."
Matt reacted at the name and watched in stunned
silence as the humanoid removed her helmet, revealing the full face of
his one-time assistant.
âI live to serve." She giggled
wickedly at that and
Matt knew it was Starscream making her speak the words.
That meant that the large robot must be...
"Oh hell!" he exclaimed.
He ducked back behind the corner he'd been
from and switched on his com-link.
"Face," he spoke. "We've got a problem..."
Gwen marched along, her pistol at the ready for any
opposition she might encounter. So far, there had been none. All
seen was the odd merchant or civilian scampering off in one direction
or the other.
The majority of the station's resources had
diverted to trying to repel Starscream's invasion force. Most
citizens and non-essential personnel were doubtlessly trying to escape
the station and harm's way.
'Fools! There's nowhere to hide from
thought, marching along. Once they had destroyed this station,
Starscream planned to get things started on his bid to take out
Megatron. Then, the Galaxy would learn to fear the name of its new
master--he would make certain of that.
She'd accessed the station maps and
she thought was a swift route to the maintenance level. She was fairly
certain she was close to the correct area even now.
Once they found the reactors, they'd be rid
station and its abominable attitude towards their kind...
All the innocents that would die to satisfy
Starscream's power lust... they didn't deserve what
they had coming. If
She shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts.
Where had that come from? The small remnant of humanity within this
fleshling's mind? Foolish female--she was his now! There
was nothing she
could do to resist his mental dominance here. Nothing could stop
Starscream! He was all powerful now! Megatron's
benefactors now--had made certain of that.
Gwen moved forward further, entering what appeared
to be the opening of the maintenance section. She casually disregarded
some cautionary signs and entered the area through a large blast door.
She paused a moment, whipping her weapon around and
searching for signs of any stray workers that might not have vacated
the area. Her quick searches turned up nothing however and she
continued slowly working her way inside.
The maintenance area was as huge and impressive as
the rest of the station had been upon her initial visit. There were
multiple levels, criss-crossing every which way with catwalks. The
actual reactors were enormous, making a low hum as blue and purple
energies pulsated through their massive structures.
They were beautiful in a bizarre kind of way... she
could feel radiation emanating from them, although she suspected it
wasn't in any dangerously high levels.
She moved forward, surveying the machinery and
trying to determine its weakest areas. Starscream must be certain
Her mind reeled and she felt herself stumble
slightly. She paused a moment then attempted to continue forward but
felt her equilibrium shift abruptly. She collapsed to the deck,
reaching out for a hand-hold to keep her from sprawling on the deck
After several moments, the nausea wore off and she
slowly glanced up, regaining her senses. For the first time in a long
time, she felt good and abruptly realized she was in control of
herself--truly in control.
Starscream wasn't in her mind anymore!
She gazed at the nearby reactors and realization
dawned. Somehow, her proximity to the radiation was interfering with
his link to her.
She smiled weakly and moved off as fast as she
could. Surely Starscream knew the instant the connection had been
broken and was already on his way to find her. If she could get deep
enough into the area, maybe she could figure out some way to elude him
and deactivate the nanotech that was allowing him to control her.
Failing that, there was another
option... she glanced over the railing nearby and
noted that the
reactors went a long way down before ending at a lower deck some
But that was only a last resort.
She moved deeper inside the maze of machinery,
looking for a good place to hide and a place that was far enough away
from where Starscream would be able to find her easily.
"Is everything secure?"
Sludge nodded, noting Hot Rod as he slid a fallen
Decepticon off the console where he'd slumped over.
"Everyone's accounted for,"
he replied. "The
Decepticons never knew what hit 'em!"
The other seated himself at the console and started
tapping buttons on the keypad before him. Sludge glanced up as
Cliffjumper entered the chamber as well.
"It's like we thought,
there's not a lot of supplies
here," he said. "Standard issue but nothing special
about them. Barely
worth the effort."
"We can use everything we can get,"
Hot Rod reminded
him, continuing to read the console in front of him.
"Why are we here, anyway?" Sludge
got to be better targets out there."
"This is a mining facility," Hot Rod
explained. "What it lacks in supplies it makes up for in other
that was my hope."
"And?" Cliffjumper asked.
Hot Rod glanced at the screen he'd pulled
checking its contents.
"Jackpot." He turned to the others. "This facility
is rich in raw Deplutonide-40."
Sludge gave him a strange look. "What's that?"
"Deplutonide-40 is the key ingredient in
warheads," Cliffjumper offered. He met Hot Rod's gaze. "Surely, you're
"I am," the other replied. "We want to hurt the
Decepticons--badly--and this is exactly what we need to
"Are you certain this is a good
idea?" Sludge asked. "A quantum warhead in the wrong place could kill
in addition to the targets it was meant for."
"We'll be careful not to use it in
situations," Hot Rod replied. "If there's any
innocents involved, we
won't even consider it. But in Decepticon strongholds this is
thing we'll need to even the odds."
"I hope you know what you're
"Trust me," the other replied. "This will work..."
Sludge said nothing at that but he hoped their
Commander knew what he was talking about. He'd signed on to
Decepticons but he had no intention of letting innocents suffer as a
result of their actions.
He longed for the days of Grimlock or even Optimus
Prime. A time when their leaders were stolid, unflappable in their
resolve. Did Hot Rod know what he was doing, he wondered. Or would his
hot-headed youthfulness be their undoing when the time came...
Still, he'd thrown his and the Dinobots
behind this Autobot's cause. He needed to give him time and
work things out before judging his actions. He just hoped he'd
"Lets get to work," he said.
"What do you think?"
Face glanced at Talon as the two strode through the
empty corridors of the station.
"I believe you are correct," he
replied. "It appears
that Starscream was able to successfully locate Megatron's
and utilize their resources to obtain a new body and this army of
Transformers you observed."
"He kept Gwen around..." Talon
"Indeed. We are fortunate he finds her
said. "This provides an opportunity to retrieve her. If
with her our efforts would be futile."
Talon nodded. "But now that she's
not essential to
his robot form I wonder how long he'll keep her around before
tired of her."
"If we are fortunate, it will not come to
"Why do you think he attacked Grand
Face shook his head. "I am not certain.
wishes to make a statement against their strong anti-robotic beliefs...
or perhaps he simply wishes to test out his new power. Whatever the
reason, we are in grave danger here."
"We will attempt to acquire Gwen before we
Face cut him off. "On that, you have my word."
Talon mulled it over a moment.
"All right," he said finally. "What's the plan?"
It had concerned Starscream when the connection to
Gwen had been broken. The fleshling had been a part of him in a very
real way for weeks now and it felt odd not being able to control her.
He glanced around at the large reactors, the same
ones he'd seen through her eyes earlier and sighed. Obviously
Headmaster nanotech was susceptible to large doses of radiation. Had he
lost her for good, he wondered. Had the radiation destroyed the nanites
completely or was it merely interference?
He turned and glanced at his security chief,
"We've determined the optimal points
placement on the reactors," he explained. "I've
got our team deploying
to them right now."
Starscream nodded. "How long until we are
"It shouldn't take longer then two
breems, at the
most," the other replied.
"Very well." Starscream glanced
about the area. "Inform me when you are ready. In the mean while, I
conduct--if any of your men locate my little pet, you are to
to me immediately. She cannot be harmed!"
BloodEdge bowed. "By your command."
Starscream heard the other move away as he turned
his attention back to searching the area. The engineering section was
vast. He wondered if there was any real chance of locating Gwen in the
time it would take his men to set the detonators or whether he would
have to leave his partner here to her fate.
'It's been fun, my dear...'
He continued his search, scanning behind some large
cylinders that controlled some thing or the other in the
A noise in the distance caught his attention. He
turned and glanced down the section to where his warriors had been
working. That had sounded like an explosion!
He went for his com-link.
"I'd say you have bigger things to
worry about then
He spun about to see another Transformer nearby.
This one was blue and black colored.
"How did you get here?" he demanded.
Talon smiled. "Did you really think Megatron
oblivious to your machinations? Come on, Starscream! He knows better
then to trust you..."
That gave him pause. Was it true? Had Megatron
suspected his treachery even before he'd come and had him
if so why hadn't he stopped him before he located his
allied with them? Or had he been waiting to incriminate himself?
He stepped forward, all thought of Gwen vacating his
mind as he drew his new sword.
No, he was just being foolish. Megatron
have gone to all this trouble--not for him. If he'd
dead, he would've just done it and been over with it. The fool!
his own hesitation to act that had doomed him.
As for Talon... he was controlled by the human,
Kirkby. The one that had once been Gwen's boss. He had wanted
her, he knew from Gwen's thoughts and she...had been open to
on some level even though she'd pretended otherwise at the
time. It was
obvious why he was here although he was still wasn't certain
could've known Starscream would've been here, now. Had
been responsible for Gwen's disappearance or was it merely
"Surrender now, Starscream!" Talon
his laser sword and igniting it. The purple-blue blade was vibrant.
"Megatron might go easier on you if you don't
The fool! He was trying to bluff him... no one got
the better of Starscream! No one!
"Never!" Starscream hissed,
Gwen had hidden herself as best she could, deep
within the network of machinery that powered the station. She'd
Starscream from afar once, watching him as watched for her. He
give up until she was his again. She was certain of that.
He'd had his body rebuilt by
as he called them but spared her life rather then disposing of her
along with his old form. It was as if he was determined to make her
suffer as long as possible rather then die in peace. She wondered what
he had against her... did he despise her for being human? Female? Both?
Was he indignant to have been merged with her?
She'd replayed the moment of her bonding
over and over in her mind. It had seemed so noble at the
on a new form and rescue her boss, Matt Kirkby from his own bad
judgement in bonding with an unsafe headmaster shell. She'd had
time to consider why he'd done what he'd done. Had it
Or was there some other element at foot there? Perhaps he'd
sell the technology to the highest bidder on the black market? Whatever
his plans, they'd blown up in his face along with any hope of
ever returning to Earth now.
'Condemned to hell...'
That's what it had
been. A life of living hell--controlled by Starscream and made
to act on
his every whim, no matter how brutal or insane. Unable to control her
own body but made to watch and see everything that happened... unable
to hide anything from his mind. He knew everything she knew and he was
all but a blank slate to her. An unstable bonding where he dominated
her totally and she was left with no gain out of the process.
What if he caught her again? There'd be no
it! She didn't think she could stand it...
She stopped and caught her breath, trying to calm
her racing heart in the process. She had to stay positive. Have hope
that she'd make it out of this alive, free.
An explosion caught her attention just then. She
peered out cautiously from her perch, attempting to locate the source
of the disturbance. In the distance, something had caught fire. She
heard several mechanical voices shouting in alarm. Curiously, she heard
laser blasts shortly afterward as well--she assumed most of the
station's security had already been weeded out. Certainly the
of them were outside the station combating Starscream's forces.
She decided to move up, further away from the
disturbance as far as she could. She made certain not to track back to
where she'd seen Starscream earlier... she hoped he'd
go to the
battle--or whatever it was down there--and help his
troops out rather
then continue hunting for her but she had no idea what he'd
She also didn't want to leave the
section for fear he could re-assert control of her. She still had no
way to know if their link was severed permanently or not--she
this had all been a temporary reprieve and she certainly wasn't
to just walk back into his waiting clutches.
He planned to destroy the station and unless she
made an effort to escape, she'd die along with the great
if it came to it, that would be preferable to a life of slavery with
She climbed a ladder, ascending to the third level
of the section as she did. It seemed to lead to the topmost level of
the area that was actually regularly serviced by the station's
personnel. Beyond that, the machines ran deeper into the depths of the
station. It got tighter beyond that and she suspected there was only
crawl space for the occasional maintenance situation that was required.
Still, as long as she stayed hidden, it should suffice for her current
She nestled down into a hiding area and watched,
It was long before the deck shook and to her
surprise, a Decepticon emerged from a lower level, its laser sword at
the ready. Starscream crashed through the deck before him, displaying
his newfound strength. She watched in shock as the two fought viciously
with their weapons, each seeking an opening in the other's
Starscream's opponent seemed vaguely
moved out slightly and focused her vision. The Transformer was blue and
She gasped. It was Talon! That meant--
Starscream moved under Talon's last slash
pummeled him with his fist. He slammed to the deck, losing his sword.
He twisted to his left evading Starscream's killing blow as he
Talon slammed his foot into the other's knee
forcing his opponent to stumble and allowing him time to regain his
weapon. He jumped to his feet and charged Starscream, forcing the other
"Fool!" he hissed. "You
don't stand a chance against
"I seem to be doing okay so far," Talon retorted.
stabbed at the other, narrowly missing Starscream's shoulder.
The other struck out with his fist but Talon evaded
it skillfully. He struck again with his sword, dislodging
own blade as he did. He moved fast and kicked it away from his
"You're weaponless now!" he
snapped. "Give up and
make this easier on both of us!"
"You'll never get Gwen!"
rubbing at his sword hand. "I've already disposed of
her, you fool!
Once I got this new body...there was no reason to keep her
"She's...dead?" Talon seemed
"That's right," Starscream
replied. "I squished her
little pink body with my foot... she was weak, worthless to
She watched him move slightly closer to Talon. She
knew he'd use every dirty trick in the book to win--she
just hoped Matt
was smart enough to realize that for himself.
Talon seemed unsure of himself and Starscream seized
on his confusion, leaping forward. At the last second, he evaded the
charge and slashed Starscream as he moved past, scarring his armor
"I guess that's why I saw her enter
then," Talon said. He assumed a fighting stance as Starscream
Gwen was amazed by the revelation. After everything
Starscream had done to scare him off, Matt had seen through it all
somehow and come for her. She didn't know how he'd
found her, but she
was grateful nonetheless.
She just hoped he'd survive this so she
him in person.
"Smarter then I gave you credit
hissed."It doesn't matter. That sword is far from my
only weapon. I am
stronger and far more powerful then before. I am Megatron's
every way and once I dispose of you I'm going to take him out
"Whatever." Talon slashed out at him
Decepticon evaded the strike and materialized a weapon out of thin air.
He fired his rifle, forcing the other to draw off.
Starscream fired again. Talon timed it right and
caught the blast with his laser sword, reflecting the energy into a
"Always wondered if that would
work," he mumbled.
"Time to end this." Starscream fired
upward and a
section of the ceiling crashed down, forcing Talon to scramble out of
the way. He stumbled slightly and fell, losing his own sword in the
"I'd intended for crushed Talon, but
I guess this is
as good an outcome as any." He aimed his weapon at the downed
"STOP!" Gwen screamed, charging out
of her cover. "Don't do it, Starscream!"
She met his cold crimson optics as she caught up to
the duo. "It's me you want," she spoke. "Leave him be and I'll... I'll
come along quietly."
"Willingly?" he demanded.
She nodded somberly.
"Don't do it!"
She looked up to see Matt transform from
head module and come running toward her.
"It doesn't need to be this way,
exclaimed. "We've come here to rescue you!
Don't let him just take you!"
He approached her and Gwen watched him quietly.
Nearby, Starscream said nothing. Matt removed his helmet.
"It's over for him, Gwen," he told her. "Come away
with me... he can't hurt you anymore. We can be safe...
"I..." Gwen touched his cheek. "I wish it were so
She struck out with her free hand unexpectedly,
catching him in the jaw. Matt dropped to the deck, stunned.
She stood over him. "You stupid
fool!" she hissed. "Letting your heart do your thinking for you! Didn't
you even stop to
consider that this close it was a simple matter to re-assert control
over her? She's mine again. The way it should be! And
Starscream trained his weapon on Matt.
"You've just handed me
victory!" he hissed in his
deep tone while Gwen stepped back out of the line of fire.
Matt closed his eyes...
He must have been as shocked as Starscream was when
an energy blast emerged out of nowhere in the nick of time, striking
the Decepticon in the chest. His shot going wild, traveling into the
maze of machinery beyond them.
"Perhaps it is you who should have
he did not come alone!" A new voice spoke. Gwen glanced up to
another Decepticon, Face, rushing toward them.
Starscream grasped her small form in his fist as
gently as he could. "No matter. I already have what I came
changed into his starfighter mode and flew off, leaving the two to
"Stop him!" Matt yelled. He leapt
into the air and
re-merged with his Headmaster form.
Before his opponents could react, Starscream loosed
a salvo of missiles at them as a parting shot. Impossibly, the
projectiles seized in mid-air and shot upward, slamming into the
ceiling above, tearing it to pieces and cutting them off from him with
a pile of jagged debris.
Not the ending he'd hoped for but it would
supposed. Obviously one of them had some kind of force field or
telekinetic power and had stopped his attack before it struck. But
they'd also effectively stopped their own pursuit in the
"Starcream to BloodEdge," he
transmitted to his
"This is BloodEdge,"the voice came
back to him. "Commander, I've been trying to reach you for several
there's been some sort of interference."
Had Face and Talon been smart enough to jam their
comm channels? He hadn't realized they'd planned this
all out as well
as they did. Still, he doubted Megatron's forces were here.
none of them would still be functional...
"What's been going on? Are those
"Affirmative. We were attacked by... another
Transformer, I think. It may have been several--I'm not
sure but he--or
they--sure kept us on the alert. It was as if he were in several
at once and--"
"Never mind that!" Starscream
those explosives ready?"
"Pull out and blow it! That's an
replied. "I'll see you back on the Conquest."
He laughed wickedly even as Gwen sat motionless in
"Your friends back there won't be
able to make it
out in time, I think," he told her. "That's one
problem up in smoke..."
He felt a surge of emotion in her mind but quickly
suppressed it. There was nothing further she could do to stop him and
her last hope for rescue was over. It wouldn't take long for
She was his now...
First, Talon and Face. Soon, he would do battle
against Megatron and eliminate him as well. Then all his enemies would
lie dead at his feet and he would be truly invincible.
The large city in space that had been Grand Central
Space Station erupted in a magnificent fire storm, sending charred
wreckage in every direction.
Starscream watched in satisfaction from his command
chair on the Conquest. Gwen was seated nearly immobile on the
dressed fully in her binary armor.
His forces had fared well in their inaugural battle
against an enemy--coming back with a mere five percent loss in
overall assault force. There had been no serious injuries to speak of
among the living either. The ship, the Conquest, had taken only
damage to its hull by a few stray defenders that had made it
their defense grid. Even then, the damage was only superficial in
Still, if they were going to take on Megatron and
his Dark Glory fortress, they would need more then mere luck to
successful. They would need cunning as well.
Fortunately, cunning was his hobby...
They would have to soften up the Enemy first then
when they were disoriented, move in for the kill. There was no way
they'd succeed in a direct assault against a battle commander
The untimely appearance of Talon and Face had
concerned him. Not Talon so much, but Face had been among the
Decepticons ranks much longer and he'd always been mysterious
motivations in general. Talon was controlled by the human Matt and he
wanted Gwen back--but what was Face's angle on all of
this? Surely he
wasn't acting out of the kindness of his core.
Despite their appearance though, he believed they
were acting on their own. If Megatron knew where he'd been or
was up to, he suspected he would've spared no expense to come
and eliminate Starscream for good. Sending two lone warriors
have cut it.
He'd trapped them there and destroyed the
station around them. There was no way they could've escaped
detonated the explosives. He was certain they were dead and with them,
all hope they would be able to take Gwen away from him.
She was his now.
He glanced down at the lifeless human on his
armrest. She sat quietly, awaiting his next command.
Just like a good pet should...
"My warriors," he said, rising from
his seat. "You
have proven yourselves well in our first assault against a real
opponent." He watched their expressions, viewing the
their faces. "Now, we go for the real prize--the Dark
The warriors around him raised their fists and
"Set course for Cybertron!"
The Conquest leapt to hyperspace.
Two small shapes were docked to the underside of the
ship, their docking struts magnetized to its underside.
"We failed," Matt radioed to Face.
âWe had Gwen
right there and I--I blew it!"
"Do not worry, Matthew, Face
replied. Although we
failed in our effort on Grand Central, be assured that this is not
It hadn't been a long trip from the Dark
its perch over Cybertron but to Tempest it felt like it had taken
forever to reach Cindras Two.
She didn't know why Face had approached her
angle he had been trying to play--if indeed, any. But after her
conversation with him, she'd felt reinvigorated and filled with
again. She knew she'd have to get out there and try her best to
the dark Enemy from interfering, powers or not.
But then as she'd prepared to leave,
bizarre had happened.
Midnight, the Decepticon assassin she'd
earlier on Cindras had returned from the dead and tried to eliminate
her before discovering she no longer had her Syntara essence.
her go and disappeared back to wherever he'd come from but she
under no illusions she'd seen the last of him. He was still out
biding his time before whatever dark purposes he was laboring for
She'd gone to the medical bay and got the
to patch up the minor damage he'd done to her armor then
hastily left the ship before anyone else could distract her further.
She'd planned to go to Oberon and try to
Autobots what was occurring around them. If they were to fight against
the Armada, they would need to be united--all of them. But the
appearance of the dead assassin had left her with a sense of
foreboding... he'd known precisely what she'd been and
spoken the word
Syntara with contempt. Had he planned some sort of action
Even so, would he have been able to succeed against them--she
idea how powerful he was now. No way to know if they could destroy him
Her mind made up, she left the Dark Glory
last time and leapt to hyperspace, bound for Cindras Two and her former
She wondered if she was just being paranoid. What if
she arrived there and they were fine? Would they even deem to descend
to her level? To tell her they were all right but that since she had
been punished for acting openly, they wouldn't have anything to
her? She had no way of knowing...
Then there had been Midnight's reference to
Had the Three really brought her back or had he been toying with her?
And, if so, why? What point was there in making her believe the fallen
Autobot had been resurrected. If Sunfire was still alive and
somewhere, where would she have gone. There were too many places she
could've traveled and no way to be certain.
The arrival at Cindras Two was uneventful. The world
was churning and unstable as always but she knew a safe path on the
surface and from there it was a short way to the cavern that accessed
the Syntara realm.
She paused as she approached a yellow lava pool.
This had been the place... the final resting place of the Autobot
Sunfire--or so she'd believed, at any rate. Now she
wasn't so sure. She
gazed into the brilliant molten rock for a moment, considering her
original plan for Sunfire.
'How things should have gone...' she
She moved on. It was little further to the end of
the path she traveled. The cavern twisted several times, finally ending
up at a dead end. To a normal mortal, this was the end of the line. To
a Syntara, it was the Nexus that they used to enter their realm and
approach the Three.
She called out with her mind, trying to establish
contact. If they were there, they would be aware of her... but would
they answer? She didn't know.
"Talk to me! Slag it!" she
exclaimed. "I need to
know if you're there!"
If they weren't, she didn't know
what would become
of the Balance of Power... the races of this Universe and indeed, all
the Omniverse, would truly be on their own. It was a scary thought but
one she had to consider. Had they pushed the Powers too far? Had the
Armada seen fit to strike back?
"Answer me!" She slammed her fist
against the stone
No answer came.
Panic surged through her circuits... it was true,
wasn't it? They weren't answering because they
weren't able to.
Somehow, they'd been eliminated and even in her powerless state
sensed it on some level.
What now? Without the Three, they'd have
She stopped in mid-thought as a scraping sound
caught her attention. Instinctively, she drew her weapon out of
sub-space and trained it down the corridor behind her. She
half-expected to see a black dragon descending out of the shadows.
Instead, a group of humans emerged from around the
last bend, small glowing orbs hovering nearby them, providing light on
their journey. Their armor glowed faintly with a trace of bio-organic
She recognized them immediately.
But how had they arrived here? They knew nothing of
the Syntara or the special meaning of this place.
The leader of their group was a woman with
white-blond hair and clothed in a ordinary jump suit that distinguished
her from the others. She had jade eyes like all the others but they
seemed to glow with life, outshining the others in some way Tempest
couldn't quite quantify. The group detected Tempest at almost
same moment she discovered them.
The woman glanced up, a look of astonishment on her
"Tempest!" she exclaimed. "You're here! You're
"Who...?" Tempest began.
"It's me, Tempest," the
woman answered, a tone of
joy in her voice.