Then, a bright, blinding light all around them. Just as quickly as the sound enveloped them, it vanished again, leaving only a small twinkle of the rift behind them. BFM probed it; the Rift was still active(though no longer hidden within an oversized scrapmetal). It merely twinkled; if you weren't looking at it from the correct angle, you wouldn't even know it was there.
Looking around them, he found a nearly empty city; whatever life this stronghold used to team with, it obviously existed no longer.
BFM waved his scanner around; the technology was definately Cybertonian, but with a radiation signature radically different from his or Spots.
Spot... BFM ran his scanners over the seemingly deactivated 'bot.
Optics flickered as Spot came back on-line, his core memory dumping while his buffers reinitialised.
Spot: "Uuunngh. That must be what the humans refer to as, 'one monster of a headache'."
BFM: "Are you damaged?"
Spot: "I'm fine. I simply wasn't ready for the sudden reactivation of my complete core memory. It overloaded me for a moment. I'm fine now."
BFM: "Good thing, because I hear footsteps approaching."
BFM was right. Heavy footfalls, as though someone were running. And further away, many footfalls. Probably whoever was chasing the first set. So much for this place being empty. BFM and Spot readied their weapons, at which point, from around the corner came
Ultra Trion: "What? Hotspot? Here? Thank Primus, I thought you were dead."
Spot: "Er, wait, I'm not.."
Ultra Trion: "No time, my son. There is no time. They're right behind me. Here, take this."
Ultra Trion shoved an object into Spot's hands. Before he could protest further, the old 'bot took off down the hallway. Just then, the other footfalls grew suddenly louder as, looming over Spot stand two Decepticons.
MegaZarak: "What? More vermin? I thought we'd killed every Last Autobot. No matter. I'll go after Ultra Trion. You take care of these lessers."
MotorMaster: "With pleasure, sir!"
MegaZarak ran off after Ultra Trion, not noticing the object Spot had in his hands. Motormaster, however, does...
MotorMaster: "The Matrix! You have it! Give it to me!"
Spot: "The hell I will!"
The Decepticon advanced. Spot eyed his opponent. Hatred filled his optical sensors. It was this particular Decepticon, in Spot's universe, that caused the death of his combiner comrades.
It would be this particular Motormaster who paid the price.
It was odd; he didn't seem quite as large as Spot remembered. Perhaps whatever upgrade process existed in this universe caused the Decepticons to downsize as well. Or maybe, after having gone thru death a few times himself, Spot no longer feared what this Decepticon could do. Either way, it was no longer of any consequence. Tucking the object into his side compartment, Spot squared his fists, and proceeded to pound the ever-living crap out of the former Stunticon leader.
Burning Furry Monkey could only watch, helpless.
Defensis Prime was in trouble.
Having been battered from the previous battle with Domino, Defensis had a further problem; this 'con was in the same business as Defensis.
And he wanted Defensis out.
The shard of Primus was out of the question. The Leader had done his homework; he'd likely have developed a defense against some of its power, such as the mindwipe, or a forced transport. Though Defensis could use it in other ways....
He didn't get the chance. His opponent had finished talking, and was charging his position. In a split second, he would be upon him; likely skewered on the same blade that took out Domino. Defensis needed a plan, and fast.
The decision was taken out of his hands, however, when a golden blur shot in-front of him, blocking the thrust of the Leader's blade, and snapping a corner of it right off. He recognised the item; it was MexiCon's golden disk, the one that had disappeared from the vegas battle. He'd wondered what happened to the artifact. Now here it was, hovering in-front of him, ready to deflect another of the Leader's attacks if need be.
Defensis wondered where the Disk had suddenly come from.
Washout had made his decision.
Before Flatfoot could react, he threw the Disk toward Defensis and the Leader. If the artifact would actually do what Washout wanted, it should prove an effective defense for the Ancient, especially against someone with the Leader's power.
The Leader would likely be pissed.
Well, he could piss off.
His job wasn't finished yet. Trusting that Flatfoot wouldn't shoot him in the back, Washout transformed into tank mode, and rumbled toward their position, firing his main cannon at the Leader. In addition to protecting the ancient, Washout wanted to put the Leader on the defensive, give him a new target to pick on.
When pressed, Washout would later be unable to answer why he did it. Looking at the old 'bot had given him a flash; a memory of another time, another life, when Defensis was revered as an elder, and was whispering into the ear of history's greatest leader, Optimus Prime. Humans were present at the gathering, and they were all in the main area of a great ship. The image came unbidden, and Washout had no idea when such a thing could have happened (much less why *he* would remember it) but it spurred him into action.
Blam! Pow! Washout's main turret kept firing. Though he seemed to be doing minimal damage to the Leader, he was pushing him back and away from Defensis. If he could keep this up a bit longer, it might give the old 'bot time to escape.
He wondered if the others would help him before he perished.
"You know, I had this idea for a park once. Great location, out of the way, the humans never bother it. I always thought, 'hey, if I were piloting the Ark, I'd have crashed it there.' "
Electrum Beast: "Um...What?"
Ass-09: " I was saying, if I'd been the pilot of the Ark, I would have crashed it into a different place, one where we could have been closer to nature. It would be like a nature park. All the Transformers could have taken beast modes instead of cars and jets, and we could be more in-tune with the planet."
Electrum Beast was startled; he'd almost crashed their transport into the side of a building. After retrieving one of the Stormsword bits, Electrum Beast (with his new partner Ass-09 in-tow) headed back to base. The process of transferring Ass-09 from his job at the Hall of Records onto Electrum's Project-Dairycon Team had gone surprisingly fast. He wondered at first why that was... until he'd spent a little time with him, that is.
Electrum Beast: "Are there a *lot* of Transformers who like this idea? I ask because... well, to be frank, though I have a number of beast changeforms on my team, most 'bots I've dealt with prefer a clean metallic design, devoid of any organic parts."
Ass-09: "You'd be amazed how many of us there still are. We're getting pushed underground, though."
Electrum Beast: "Why is that?"
As-09: "Well, with the surge in popularity of vehicle changeforms, beasts like you and I are ostrasized; those who don't get pressued into giving up their organic modes are pushed further into designated 'reservations' on Cybertron. Frankly, I was surprised they even let me maintain my position in the Hall; I'd presumed that it was a token gesture to hide what the Council was really doing."
Electrum Beast: "So tell me about this Ark idea of yours."
Ass-09: "Well basically, I was saying that if I could go back in time, and be the pilot of the original Ark, I'd crash it somewhere other than where it landed. Somewhere better."
Electrum Beast: "You realise, of course, that by going back in time you'd be changing reality, possibly ending your own existence. Not to mention further damaging history."
Ass-09: "Well... when you put it that way. Still, how bad could it be? After all, my way might be a better way for our history to unfold."
Electrum Beast: "I can think of at least a dozen reasons it would be worse. Still... does it have to be time-travel? Or the original Ark?"
Ass-09: "What do you mean?"
Electrum Beast: "Well, what if we built a replica of the Ark and crashed it into this 'park' of yours? That would provide the nature some of us crave, while allowing a new base to be established on Earth for our team."
Ass-09: "A ...replica Ark? Are you serious?"
Electrum Beast: "No."
For the first time that day, they drove onward in silence.
TO BE CONTINUED!