Pretender to the Throne

Part Three


"I will destroy you!"

MotorMaster was crazed. The Pretender Shell had done its work, repairing damaged circuitry, knitting broken hydraulics... unfortunately, it could not repair his deranged mind. Having control of the Matrix from his dimension (foolishly tossed aside by Spot in a previous story - editor) only made the problem worse; a Decepticon should not have been able to tap into the power of the Matrix. However, the Pretender shell from this Universe considered it 'part' of him, and integrated it acordingly.

It made him Psychotic. Not that anyone could tell.

The fire raged within; Motormaster had never felt so powerful. Having finally cast aside the other Stunticons, he'd made his way thru the ranks until he'd become second-in-command under MegaZarek. He'd have been happy enough to serve under him; however, when they'd hunted down the accursed Last Autobot, he'd dragged him to this unknown place - and had beaten him.


He would have his revenge.

He could practically smell Spot's fluids now. He was very close. Over the next rise at most. Running, he quickly closed the distance, came over the rise, and skidded to a stop. It wasn't Just Spot he'd found:

He'd found everyone.

Some he recognised as 'bots he'd killed once before. Many he didn't recognise at all. It didn't matter to him how many there were; in-fact, the more, the better. He would rack up a record of kills that rivaled even MegaZarek's.

He positioned himself on top of the hill and sought out his quarry. They'd apparently formed a protective circle around him. It wouldnt matter. One bot or one hundred, he'd kill them all. Motormaster shouted across the valley: "I don't know where all you 'bots came from, but I've killed you all once already! And I'll do it again!! You can't protect him! Give me the Last Autobot!"


Looking up, a number of the Dairycons were startled to find someone shouting at them from above. His approach hadn't even registered on their sensors. All their guns moved from Spot and company to this new anomoly. Who was he? Most simply looked, a very few trained their weapons fully on him.

Electrum Beast: "Anyone know precisely who that is, and what he's talking about?"

The Leader: "I have no idea. I don't recognise him. And I've got detailed records of everyone."

Scoot: "Energy levels indicate a Maximus-class threat from the target. Shall we engage?"

Ticker: "On so limited information? I can't even get a lock on his power source or primary transform. He seems pseudo-organic. Not like a beast at all, but there's no visible transform symmetry. I can't - "

Ticker didn't have a chance to finish her scans, or her sentence. The large humanoid figure jumped off the edge of the hill, falling toward her with a mighty fist extended. He smashed her in the chest, sending her flying several hundred feet before she landed hard, rolling on the ground, coming to a stop.....unconscious. The figure himself landed hard, leaving a crater in the ground underneath him. He stood, having no visible damage from the fall.

Scoot: "Ticker! He got Ticker!"

Campaign Car: (rather obviousy)"That must be why we were brought here, folks! We have to defeat... that. Everybody, organise into teams and attack!"

The Dairycons scrambled, sending highspeed comm chatter to each other, organising battle strategies, coming up with plans to quickly take out this new threat. Teams and abilities were routed to Campaign Car, who took overall field command of the situation. Assigning groups, he quickly put the two most powerful dairycons on immediate attack:

"Team one, on my signal, fire!"

Uncle Whiskey Breath: "You ready, Windy?"

Windchill: "beep."

Windchill transformed and locked into Uncle's gun, creating their classic Blizzard Bazooka.

The others rushed to comply with Campaign car's order. Scoot rushed to Ticker's side to see if he could render assistance.

It was a brilliant first move on the enemy's part; take out their team's medic, and the wounded would stay that way. Had Motormaster known that when he attacked, he would have further patted himself on the back.

Campaign car stood alone, and fired off the first volley. The concussive shells rained down on Motormaster from above.

Burning Furry Monkey braced himself and fired off his ApeScream, while Spot deployed his own Blizzard Bazooka. He fired his in-tandem with Uncle Whiskey Breath. Together, the heavy cold and sonic hits shook the very ground beneath them. A dense, localised weather pattern formed around Motormaster, obscuring him from view. Along with the target, large chunks of the ground froze and immediately vaporised, becoming part of the wild abrasive winds that battered at their foe.

It took a few moments for the smoke and debris to clear, revealing an untouched Motormaster.

Uh, oh.

Campaign Car: "Second Team, move in!"

A number of the Dairycons didn't have long-range weapons; they were designed for close-combat maneuvers. Thus, it was Bunny Convoy, swords in-hand who led the charge to the enemy with Pinchbottom and Heffer. BC got their first, delivering a brilliant series of cuts to all his joints, starting low and hopping high. Motormaster merely slapped him away, the blades not even penetrating his powerful armor. Heffer transformed into vehicle mode and charged, driving straight for him. The enhanced shell allowed Motormaster to step sideways and kick Heffer away before could even make contact. That left PinchBottom. Although this was clearly not a lady, it was obvious that he needed to be pinched. Having been positioned on the other side of the ridge prior to the attack, and crawling unnoticed up his backside, Pinchpinch transformed, pulling the rest of his mass from subspace and growing very nearly the size of the Pretender shell itself. His claws pinched Motormaster's arms at the elbow.

PinchBottom: "Eh, I got em, anybody wanna...?"

Campaign Car: Team Three, finish him!"

The Third Team, unfortunately, consisted of Crackup, Bailjumper, Domino, and SuBeam. To his credit, SunBeam fired his concussive laser blasts for all he was worth. Crackup, still upset with recent events and the loss of his own agenda, merely sat there. Bailjumper, like Domino, always followed what Crackup did, so they didn't help either. That left Sunbeam easy prey for being kicked, as PinchBottom only had his arms pinned....and not for long. With a hard wrench, he managed to pull free from Pinchbottom. Motormaster turned to grab him, but he had allready transformed and shrunk back to scorpion size, burrowing into the sand so as not to be seen. He decided he would make his way underground to Sunbeam to see if he could help. Burrowing to his friend, he managed to pull Sunbeam under the sand with him, and to safety.

Campaign Car fumed. "Crackup, Domino, Bailjumper! Fight or die!"

Crackup didn't take kindly to being ordered around, especially by that traitor. The enemy was simply destroying everyone; perhaps he could be convinced to choose his targets more wisely.

Crackup: "Fellow Decepticon, I understand your pain. These Autobots are surely to blame. Join forces with me, and I will help you destroy them."

Motormaster didn't answer with words. He merely unslung his gun, pointed, and fired at Crackup, blasting him off his feet and knocking him several meters.

Crackup didn't tolerate this affront lightly. Nodding, he ordered his troops to advance on this obviously dangerous and deranged 'bot.


Motormaster felt supercharged. All these warriors coming at him, and they were nothing. He swatted them aside as though they were nothing at all. The feeling was intense, almost a drug. He wanted more.

He was not to be disappointed. He felt a heavy explosive shell explode against his armored exterior. Turning, he found Washout and Flatfoot charging his position. Flanking him were a reluctant Crackup and Domino. He didn't notice Bailjumper until he felt a shot to his side. Turning, he reached and seized Bailjumper. As Washout fired again, Motormaster used Bailjumper as a shield, the small robot taking the heavy artillary shots. Riddled with large holes and leaking fluid, he tossed the damaged bot at Flatfoot, knocking him to the ground. On orders from Crackup, Domino charged and punched Motormaster, as hard as he could, in the kneecaps, while firing his heartburner gun into Motormaster's chin. With no effort, Motormaster grabbed Domino's head and squeezed, feeling the crainial structure buckle in his hand. He pulled, ripping the head off and tossing it to the ground. He then took his gun and fired several volleys at Washout, hitting him squarely in the treads and main turret. Washout transformed, tried to return fire, but collapsed from the damage.


The battle was going badly.

The Decepticon tore thru the ranks of the Dairycons like tissue paper. It seemed as though none of them, for all their vaunted abilities, could stop him. Many had taken their turn, and been damaged as a result.

But not quite everyone. The reserves were called in.

WannaBee: "Ok teams, this is the moment we've been waiting for! Let's show these guzzlers that we can be team players, too! On my mark.....unite!!"

The two teams of Mini-Constructicons didn't get along well, often sniping each other verbally. One of the team went so far as to give up on construction completely, forming his own subteam (the BrewMasters) who focused on other projects along the way. Thus, the two teams hardly ever worked together on repair projects. But when the fate, literally, of the universe was at stake, they knew how to put aside their petty difficulties. Sensing their purpose in the larger scheme of things, they did not hesitate to follow their once and former leader's words. Forming up, they transformed- and combined.

"Constructimus Prime.... online!"

It's true! Our erstwhile little adventurers were designed to combine into a being of great strength and wisdom. Though their individual components squabbled, as a uni-mind they were practically seemless.

This new, unique being lumbered toward the Decepticon Pretender, intending to tear him limb from limb. Unfortunately, though they were designated a Prime, they did not posess a matrix as others of their name did. And unfortunately for them, their enemy did.

He made short work of them.

Stomping the last broken pieces of this so-called Prime into the ground, Motormaster felt his victory close at hand. He would keep one of the enemy alive, long enough to tell him how he got here, and how to use the device (he supposed it was a device) to get back to where he belonged. Or even go other places where he could kill more Autobots...or even Decepticons. Some he battled today wore that badge. He didn't care. He would destroy them all.

He would spread his destruction across the universe.


Spot watched the carnage aound him, and despaired.

He had his suspicions. He thought this particular decepticon destroyed, this particular demon excised by his own hand. Yet here he was again- not looking the same at all, yet sounding the same, and with the same insane attitude. He'd beaten Motormaster before, but now?

Now he feared he didn't have the strength.

If only he hadn't carelessly tossed aside that odd artifact that Ultra Trion had given him. It seemed important to the old 'bot in that other universe, but when he brought it here, it seemed to do nothing. He figured it was safe to simply leave it with the rest of the useless junk on this planet, and assign a retrival team to clean up the place later.

Spot had gone on ahead with his original, seemingly more important mission, to find the missing piece of the StormSword. He and ApeScream had gone to another universe, a strange one populated by... well, it wasn't important, the point was they'd found ThunderClap, and returned back to their universe.

Imagine Spot's surprise when they'd arrived back home to find the once-empty planet full of Dairycons, all of them pointing their guns at him. And then, just as quickly, to find themselves fighting an enemy he thought vanquished, and in another universe entirely.

He hadn't counted on a being from that other universe coming here and finding the artifact.

Much less being able to use it, as Motormaster obviously had.

Spot was currently part of the rear guard, the ones who stayed behind to confer with the other ranking 'bots. Burning Furry Monkey and Thunderclap went on ahead to fight the enemy. He didn't like the idea of staying behind while others fought, and possibly died, for a mistake he might have made.

He was the Last Autobot. In hindsight, he realised that it was his mission was to guard that artifact.

And he had failed. Obviously, the Enemy had gotten ahold of it, and was using it as a tool of revenge. It easily explained the new look, and the insane power levels. Before, Spot had beaten Motormaster single-handedly. Now, an entire planet full of Daiycon warriors couldn't even scratch him.

Once again, Spot had failed. He seemed to have a history of failure.

In the small circle with him were Nachos Belgrande, Electrum Beast, The Leader, as well as Scoot, who was struggling to save the life of Motormaster's first victim, Ticker. If this were Cybertron, or even their own Moo base, then saving her life would be a matter of course, but out in the field, she was their only medic. When she went down....

Campaign Car and Uncle Whiskey Breath flanked and protected their position. Should those two fall, it would be left to this small group to do what none of the rest of the Dairycons combined were unable to do:

Stop Motormaster.

If Spot were human, he would have cried.


"Team 5, report!"

"Electrum Beast here. Our group has yielded no success as of yet, I'm afraid. And the battle?"

Campaign Car: "Badly. I had to send in the reserves. They didn't last as long as this transmission."

The Leader:"Should we head back?"

Campaign Car: "No. It would do no good. Your skills are needed there. They wouldn't help here."

The Leader: "With all due respect, I nearly took all of you out single-handedly in battle once."

Campaign Car: "That's fine. And when your mission is completed, and we're all dead, you can feel free to try to carve this fellow up, too. In the meantime, work on fixing the problem you created. Campaign Car out."

The Leader: "How rude." With a thought, he commanded the scrapmetal rift to surround the small group, rendering them (hopefully) invisible to their enemy while they planned.

Electrum Beast: "Can we send him back to where he came from?"

Spot: "Then we'd be endangering another world - or universe, as it were. We have to stop him here. It's obvious that this is what we were all brought here for."

The Leader: "I'm not so sure of that. Besides, I could simply go back in time and destroy him before he becomes a problem."

Nachos BelGrande: "And risk setting off the very destruction we're trying to prevent? Primus warns of the consequences of this very action."

Electrum Beast: "I have an idea that might buy us some time...."


"I am Automated Security Sentry zero-9. My primary function is to guard this storage bunker."

Well, that explained the strange spark-dissonance that Ass-09 had felt since arriving on VsQs. At first, he thought it was because of the strange way he'd arrived here; after all, he's never traveled via Plothole's Shard of Primus before. To have found a virtual clone of himself staring back at him... well, no wonder he'd felt 'off'.

SunBeam: "So he's you?"

Ass-09: "Apparently. Perhaps they re-used my designation when my frame turned up missing. Or he could be from another universe. I'm no expert in these matters."

Sunbeam had not yet recovered from the damage Motormaster had dealt him. It was Pinchbottom's timely rescue that had saved his spark from being extinguished there on the battlefield. He'd been dragged here, to the apparent source of the anomoly he'd registered earlier. Ass-09 had followed.

They had not expected to run into another one of him.

SunBeam:"So you're saying that you're the only automated security sentry left?"

"As far as I know. The frames were still in storage before the great reformatting. Megatron never had the chance to deploy them. I'd gone to check afterward, but they'd...well, they'd disappeared. I've never met another cybertonian in this style of body. As far as I know, only my spark has chosen to reside in this style of drone. I'd always assumed they were reabsorbed into the reformatted Cybertron."

It made sense. If an cloned army of 'beast machines' were to have been created and let loose, they would have seen evidence of it on Cybertron. Ass-09's frame would be a wise choice. Vehicons had fared poorly during that particular skirmish; Megatron could have decided to create a soul-less behemoth such as Ass-09 in order to defeat the Maximals at their own game. Or even an army of them. Still, until now, there had never been more than one. Until this...

"I am Automated Security Sentry zero-9. My primary function is to guard this storage bunker."

SunBeam: "Yea, you said that already."

Ass-09: "This is a problem. My designation is Ass-09 as well. When did you first come on-line?"

Automated Security Sentry zero-9: "Your query is irrelevent."

SunBeam: "Were you brought here by The Leader?"

Automated Security Sentry zero-9: "Your query is irrelevent."

Sunbeam: "Screw this." Unsheathing his blaster, he took aim at the drone's head, and fired. The shot went straight thru, bouncing off the rockface alongside. The drone said nothing, his eyes merely growing dim.

Ass-09: "That seemed excessive."

SunBeam: "Hey, I'm not going to stand here arguing all day with a sparkless carcass." Pushing aside the drone, they opened the heavy durasteel doors of the storage bunker.

That's when it all went wrong.


Motormaster was finally subdued.

It had taken the combined might of the Dairycons to do it. But there he sat, finally, broken, beaten...and secured properly in stasis cuffs.

At least, that was the delusion Spot was having as Motormaster continued to choke the spark out of him.

Electrum Beast's plan had failed. It was thought that Spot might be able to distract him, and even possibly defeat him again, if he faced off. However, it had not gone at all as planned. He'd deployed his blizzard bazooka, and both his fireball cannons at close range, without success. He tried to recapture the rage that had driven him before, calling upon the memory of his dead comrades in his time of need, so that he could beat him bare-handed if necessary.

It did no good. Although both former leaders of their respective combiner teams, Motormaster was vastly more powerful than previously, and Spot finally understood why this strange new look of his had seemed familiar:

It was one of those damned Pretender shells.

He'd talked with Burning Furry Monkey once before, when they had first discovered the empty shells on this planet. Discarded after a battle with Thunderwing, the shells had sat, a long time, to the point where they should have been so much junk.

Yet this one obviously still survived, and repaired Motormaster. Upgraded him with a powerful new body. That was the assumption, at least, because until now, all they'd been facing off against (and losing to) was this monster Pretender shell that merely sounded like him. No telling what Motormaster looked like, or if he was even still truly 'alive' at all inside the shell. It was too-bad, Spot thought, that he didn't finish the job quickly. Motormaster was taking entirely too-long to kill him.

These were the thoughts that went thru Spot's mind as he slipped closer to stasis-lock.


There were scores of them in the storage bunker. Hundreds, at least. Possibly a thousand.

They all looked like Ass-09.

And they were all coming on-line.

The drone outside was merely one of many. Inside the door, another drone faced them.

"I am Automated Security Sentry zero-9. My primary function is to guard this storage bunker."

Sunbeam drew his gun and fired again, putting the second drone to the floor with a shot to the head.

Ass-09: "Would you *please* stop doing that? You're freaking me out!"

SunBeam: Well, if you know of a better way to stop them, I'm open to it.

Yet another drone approached them: "I am Automated Security Sentry zero-9. My primary function is to guard this storage bunker."

Pinchpinch: "Why are they all the same number?"

Sunbeam: "he's got a point. You'd think they'd all have a different number. Why do they all have your designation?"

Ass-09: "I don't know! Why don't you ask them their secondary function instead of shooting them?"

SunBeam: "hm. Ok... Automated Security Sentry zero-9, what is your secondary function?"

A.S.S. Zero 9: "My secondary function is to to worship the dark deity."

SunBeam: "Wait... What?!"

Ass-09:"Obviously, he means that he worships his dark master Namely, Unicron...and me." With that, Ass-09 pulled out his stunwhip, and blasted SunBeam directly in the side of the head, knocking him into immediate stasis-lock. Pinchpinch, seeing the sudden betrayal, shrunk down and climbed the rockface, attempting to get the high ground.

Ass-09: "Drone! Destroy that bug!"

The drone turned to PinchPinch and fired.


Uncle Whiskey Breath: "And there's no way he can break out?"

Flatfoot: "The cuffs act as a modelock device; in this case, instead of trapping him in vehicle mode, they trap him in robot-mode, and within his pretender shell. The shell itself is unable to move, and he is trapped inside. Standard issue."

Spot: "You'll never get close enough to put them on him."

Electrum Beast: "Flatfoot, if we distracted him, could you get behind him to put them on?"

Flatfoot: "It would have to be one heck of a distration."

Spot: "I volunteer."

That was the plan. So far, the distraction had not gone as planned. Thunderclap, Windchill, and Hotstuff had carpet-bombed Motormaster's location moments before, hoping to loosen his grip on their erstwhile ally.The only thing that would happen at this rate, Spot thought, is his imminent slip into stasis lock. Motormaster had only increased the pressure on Spot's neck. If Flatfoot and the others didn't act soon....

The pressure was suddenly released, and Spot dropped to the ground. It wasn't Flatfoot, but Uncle Whiskey Breath, smashing his huge metal fists into Motormaster's pseudo-organic head. Although armored, the head wasn't designed to take the pummeling Uncle was dishing out. It forced Motormaster to let go, at least momentarily.

As Spot moved out of the way, Uncle continued to pound on the Pretender's head. He had him stunned. Flatfoot moved to put the cuffs on him.

Motormaster grabbed the cuffs in one hand, and Flatfoot in the other. He crushed the cuffs into scrap. He then threw Flatfoot into Uncle Whiskey Breath, knocking them both to the ground. He then reached again for Spot, but by then he'd transformed, and fired his water cannon at the deranged Decepticon. Uncle, thinking quickly, grabbed his Blizzard shotgun and fired, freezing Motormaster in his tracks and giving the beleagured Dairycons a few precious moments to get away. They retreated a few clicks to their previous triage area while Motormaster screamed.

The Leader: "Well?"

Flatfoot: "Mission failed. Need a new plan. Despite the inherent danger involved, I recommend we reform the StormSword. I don't think we have anything else that will stop him."

Just then, the panel on Uncle Whiskey Breath's lower torso began to pulse on and off. Uncle looked down - and for the first time, there was fear in his eyes. It was a look Spot had not seen on the old 'bot even when they were fighting Motormaster mere moments ago.

Heffer: "Moo?"

Uncle: "Shush, Heffer."

Electrum Beast: "No, he's right. Why is that panel flashing 'Moo'? And why does it have you so scared?"

Uncle: "You don't understand. He's coming!"

Electrum Beast: "Who, precisely, is coming?"

The Leader: "Yes, I must admit, I am curious as well. You've faced me down and didn't flinch. Who or what could possibly scare you?"

Just then, the panel stopped flashing, and instead glowed steadily, the 'Moo' casting a warm glow amongst those gathered around him. If Uncle could faint, he likely would have.

Uncle: "He's.... he's here!!"



OPTIMUS PRIME: "Uncle Whiskey Breath.... would you care to explain what's going on here?"


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