"File Record: Begun a number of years ago by Ticker and Scoot, the Plan had originally involved hiding a number of Ancients across the Moo-State. Rumor had it that there was one for every town in the greater Milwaukee area, but that was just fleshling rumor-mongering. File Pause."|
The Leader sighed. The fleshlings. How it is that the Transformers had become so tangled in their business was anyone's guess. What should have been a simple war over resources turned into a war of philosophy, of ideas; and the humans were swept up into the middle of it.
Perhaps were even responsible for it.
The Leader wondered, not for the first time, if continuing to mix human and Cybertronian business was such a good idea. There were the occasional xenophobes on both sides... but not enough to effect meaningful change.
The Leader would see to it that the change he effected became meaningful.
"File Record: Though I have successfully contained most aspects of that particular wayward project, it cost me a part of myself. The entire debacle with Motormaster wasn't exactly fun, either. File Pause."
It was painful to lose an aspect of himself. Knowing that there were moments closed off to him because he had 'died'. Knowing there would come a time when he could no longer exist gave his purpose even more meaning. He would ensure that Earth, and the timeline surrounding it, would remain.
He always had Earth's best interests at heart. Which led him to his newest difficulty.
"File record: The events of the future as depicted on the Ravage tape have not come properly to pass. Hi -Q should have been able to complete the merge, thereby reuniting the final aspects of the Prime. However... that hasn't taken place. Instead, we are to discover that the Hi-Q portion of the pair... his soul, if you will... was placed within a synthezoid body and sent on a mission by the Council. The *rest* of the Prime, as we know him, was eventually partnered with a Pretender Shell, and sent to save the universe with the help of the Dairycons. File Pause."
The Leader reflected on this next bit. Committing it to record would be... difficult.
"File record: It is with some embarrassment that I admit I don't know when it happened. Obviously, during one of the moments in time closed to me because of my death... the rest of Prime was lost... either accidently, or deliberately by the Council... and replaced with a doppleganger. Without further analysis, I can't determine if they shunted a spark from the future, or from another universe entirely, but this much is clear. This Prime... isn't our Prime. He's a Pretender. Oh, he's noble. Has a scrap-pile of convictions. He can even utilize an aspect of the matrix... but he's not *our* Prime."
A roaring began in the back of his head as he committed the next the next words to tape:
"Which begs the question: where *is* our Prime? And where are the Dairycons? I intend to find out."
The file record ended. The Leader prepared his next jump. If he had to guess, the essense had to be somewhere he could still access. He'd take a peek around the year 2040. He remembered that 'he' was still there. Listening to a rousing speech, no doubt. It would be up to him to figure out where Prime disappeared to (and... to perhaps see why -and when- there was a replacement.)
Events were coming to a head, and it would be up to him to nudge things along.
As the Leader prepared his jump, a startling thought occurred to him:
What if *he* had replaced Prime for some reason?
It sounds like something he would do. But when did he do it? And why?
For that matter, why would he hide it from *himself*?
Well, little time enough to wonder about that. The warpgate resolved itself, and the Leader stepped thru.
Time was wasting.
"File End. Save, store to BacKup."
The Leader stepped thru the warpgate and vanished.
"He knows too-much!"
"That is to be expected."
"But he'll try to stop us!"
"He can try. We've arranged for him to have an 'accident.' The One from another Universe will destroy him."
"How can we be sure?"
"Already, he is denied aspects to certain parts of the timeline. His recordings indicate such. If it had not succeeded, he would still have full access."
"He could be playing us."
"Yes. He could be. *You* could be." With that, he pulled out a gun and shot the nay-sayer. Sparking, he collapsed to the floor. Smoke curled from a gaping hole as he spluttered, "Good one. But I'll s-s-stop you..."
"That is doubtful. We've now succeeded in destroying *two* aspects of you. How many more can you afford to lose?"
The smoke turned to a whisp as the spark faded from the naysayer's eyes.
"Fellow Council members... The Leader has Fallen. Long live the Leader!"
The chant was taken up by the other members in the chamber, until nothing else could be heard.