An ancient struggle erupts on Earth between two warring clans of Dairycons, with a clue to the ultimate power held by a young Heffer.
Location: The Secret Base of The Leader.|
"Oh dear. This simply will not do."
The Leader had spent, literally, eons carefully aligning the timeline so as to avoid disruption. This... this fracturing of the Universe was annoying.
"That old codger. I told him this would happen, But would he listen to me?"
The birth of this Mooniverse threatened to undo all his plans. Like Plothole, The Leader was a sort of appointed Guardian of Spacetime (though in The Leader's Case, it was more of a self-appointment.)
"File Record: The Plan has finally been revealed, the parts I had been previously unaware of now open to me. It would appear that The Ancient was around even longer than I'd thought; he made mention of the Instruments of Destruction."
(first revealed in Dairycon 2040: Project Earth! -editor).
The Leader sighed. The Plan... Apparently, the Ancients being looked for were ancient weapons. Made sense, he supposed. Tales get lost over time, fading into myth and legend.
He should be impressed; PlotHole had hidden a *lot* from his prying eyes. Damn him. He could have helped. They weren't *that* different.
"File Record: Though I had thought myself successful in containing aspects of that particular wayward project, it appears I was... mistaken. File Pause."
It was painful to lose aspects of himself. More painful still now that those aspects were restored to him. Was that PlotHole's plan all-along? Make him feel this way so he would be *guilted* into helping Heffer?
Well, it worked.
His job became that much harder, though.
Earth, and the timelines surrounding it, would remain. And now they were joined by The Evil, which the birth of this Mooniverse had awoken. The Leader had Told Plothole this would happen. He told him....
A pause. PlotHole *knew*. He knew, and allowed it to happen.
He'd made provisions.
Old codger. Smarter than he'd given him credit for.
"File record: The events of the future as depicted on the Ravage tape have still not come properly to pass. But that will soon change. Surprisingly, not by my hand. It is with some ... embarrassment that I admit he outfoxed me. With the birth of the Moo-niverse, my aspects are restored to me - but I can no longer travel thru time. The ability has been lost to me. I am now... limited to traveling in space just as The Ancient once did. He's made it so that I've essentially replaced him. File Pause."
There was still one troubling aspect to all of this. The Plan, long thought discarded, which had 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. The exact number was closer to six, and they weren't hidden there at all.
Six Ancients. But three weapons. All hidden.
It didn't make sense. The stories can't be one and the same. Related, certainly, but...
With a flash of understanding, The Leader knew! He knew everything now! He knew where Prime was. He knew about Heffer. He knew...
Primus. He knew where the Instruments of Destruction were.
"Oh God. File Record! The Plan. *That* was the Plan! My God, Heffer doesn't stand a chance! He'll be looking for the Weapons, when actually he should be looking for....!"
A sharp blade slicing thru his upper chassis interrupted The Leader's frantic thought process. The computer had given no indication of an intruder, yet here the Leader was, splilling precious energon all over the floor of his secret base.
He had time to turn and look astonished. He was, literally, surrounded. How they had gotten in here was anyone's guess.
As ReCyKill jammed the blade into the Leader further, Nemesis Heffer smiled. The full impact of what he'd just done was apparent to everyone present.
The Leader could only sputter a single retort:
"Indeed," replied Nemesis Heffer. "Miss me? Can't say I've missed you."
"Why are you here? You were trapped in the other... oh, I see. *He* brought you back. It's begun." The Leader was having trouble focusing.
Nemesis Heffer nodded. "Exactly. We can't very well have you running around saving the Moo-niverse while our Master hungers."
The Leader was now losing energon at an alarming rate. "You... you're actually going to help him?"
"Oh yes. In time, anyways. As soon as I've settled up with the rest of you."
The Leader was slipping away, but he had to know. "What could the chaos-bringer possibly have offered *you*?"
It was an easy question for Nemesis Heffer to answer. "Everything. Nothing. Power. Revenge. The usual. He's very hungry. He didn't get to eat the last time you sent him away."
Nemesis Heffer nodded, and ReCyKill pulled his blade - slowly- out of The Leader. Sparking, he collapsed to the floor.
"Good one. But I'll s-s-stop you. D-d-one it b-e-forrrrrrre...."
Nemesis Heffer nodded. "Yes, but before, you had help. There's just me... and you, now. Hiding wherever you're hiding. I'll find you, of-course. And then I'll find him. Heffer will fall. After all, I have all the time in the Universe."
Nemesis Heffer doubted those final words were even heard as the spark of life faded from The Leader's eyes. "The Leader is dead,", he thought aloud. "Long Live the Leader."
"Did we get him, Boss?"
Nemesis Heffer shook his head. "No, I'm afraid not. He's nearly indestrctible with all these 'aspects' of his floating around. However,my information indicates he can't time travel anymore, so although he's aware of nearly everything, he can't do much about it."
ReCyKill nodded. "You want me to find the rest of him?"
"Yes, do that," he responded. "I've already dispatched ComBat Hero to the City to take care of some of the Moron's friends."
(follow *these* events in Battle for Brew City! -editor).
Nemesis Heffer smiled down at the lifeless chassis. "By his own actions, The Leader will doom them all. And the best part is... He already knows it."
Nemesis Heffer paused, and straighted up. "Hmm. That reminds me. I have a small sidetrip to take. Pay my respects to the father, and all that. When I get back, I believe we'll have sufficient power to deal with the rest of them. See to your duties. Dismissed."
Nemesis Heffer transformed. Changing into a familiar shape, he gunned his engine and trucked opposite the highway. His black form was streaked and crackled with green; an after-effect of the dark power that coursed thru him even now.
"How fitting," he thought. "What better choice than to mimic his form?"
A pause. While his Generals would soon dispatch with a number of Heffer's friends, he was sure they wouldn't *all* be in the City. It was entirely possible, likely in-fact that Heffer had already recruited a few friends and had them stashed elsewhere.
That presented a challenge. For while Nemesis Heffer was confident he could destroy his brother with the power he already possessed, Heffer's friends were a mixed lot indeed, with powers and skill sets he might not have taken into consideration.
Nemesis Heffer needed power. Power enough to defeat them all.
Not a problem. As Heffer recruited friends, Nemesis Heffer would recruit enemies.
And these enemies of Heffer would *also* appear to be friends, too.
Yes. Delicious indeed.
Another dark portal opened. Nemesis Heffer left earth to find raw material. He knew precisely the place to go to find what he needed.
Next stop: VSQS.
He felt... *different.*
Heffer couldn't put his sensor on it, but something wasn't right.
Ever since his jaunt thru time, he'd been having... blackouts. Involuntary systems shutdowns. One minute he'd be pondering how to accomplish Plothole's mission, the next minute he'd find that 3 days had passed, and his computerized search engine (Moogle) was filled with data from things he had know idea about: sightings of the mini-construction team, data about how to win the latest online 'Multiworld' game (Heffer occasionally played as BatMoo), news sightings of a mysteriously cloaked figure roaming the streets at night...
Heffer paused - what was that last bit? The mini-construction team? Heffer had thought they were still aboard the ship in orbit, but it appeared they'd been sighted in the City after a particularly nasty conflict between Checkers, Flatfoot and an unknown assailant.
(see Battle for Brew City for that exciting story! - editor)
So it appeared a number of the Dairycons were in the City! Perfect. Heffer had an idea. Maybe they could help him track down this Emperor fella and the Instruments of... hmm, what was it?
Heffer looked down. In his hand, he found a crudely drawn map with arrows and notations. 'Secret Location of Instruments of Destruction' signed only with a crude drawing of a Red Cow.
It was the same thing last time. He'd awoken with a start to find a note that said, 'Where to find Emperor of Construction'. He had no idea where *that* note had come from, either, and it had disappeared shortly after he came back online.
Now he had this one. He memorized it as quickly as he could; the paper began to flash and disintegrate just as he got to the part about -
fwoosh! The flash paper was gone.
In Anger, Heffer balled his fist and smashed the metal wall, punching a hole straight thru it.
He paused; Anger. That was the other thing. Why was he angry so much lately? Half-remembered plans, an important mission, clues appearing and disappearing... why, it was enough to make any 'bot a bit anxious. That's all.
That must be it.
Transforming into vehicle mode, his mission was clear: gather the weapons. Find his friends. Defeat the enemy. He didn't know who exactly the enemy was, at the moment, but Heffer knew it wouldn't be long before he announced himself. Those evil types always do.
From a distance, laughter; the Moron was venturing out on his own again.
"At last, you come out of hiding. It's been so long. Run. Do my work for me. Soon, very soon, I'll have everything. And you will be dead.'
The laugh echoed thru the mountain range.
The Leader's Former Lair.
ReCyKill pondered. If he were the Leader, where would he be?
Helping the Moron, of course.
And the best way to find the moron? By looking for the Moron's friends.
- Combat Hero was already on-site with his cloned air drones, attacking Heffer's friends in the City.
- Nemesis Heffer would be going after Heffer himself, eventually.
That left ReCyKill looking for The Leader in some less obvious location.
One of the previous Moo-bases, perhaps?
ReCyKill left The Leader's lair and transformed, his cybertronian cycle mode streaking on hot pavement toward the afternoon sun. He shimmered; soon, where one ReCyKill existed, there were four. Such was the Master's power.
The original gave the order. "Go forth. Find the Leader. Destroy him." Three cycles streaked off for The City to join their airborne bretheren. ReCyKill himself headed for a less obvious destination.
The crash site for the Beast Wars.
*That* would be the most likely location. After all, if The Leader were as sentimental as his Master had suggested, then he'd go to roost in the ruins of what spawned him.
The one who was Once Known as Waspinator would most certainly head home.
Earth. The Ark.
The Leader suspected they would look for him at the other crash site.
That's why he wasn't there. They could look around the site of the Beast Wars all they wanted; all they would find was an empty hole.
Why those idiots never thought to look at the site of the Ark never ceased to amaze him; it was as though no-one was allowed to tread here, for fear of screwing up the timeline. So they put the place completely out of their heads.
It made sense. It also made for a perfect hiding place.
The Leader pondered; Nemesis Heffer already had The Hammer. That left two Artifacts to go. The search for The Sword was already entrusted to the Prime; that left The Gun, somewhere here on earth.
It also left the problem of the Six.
The Emperor of Construction. It didn't take a time-traveling genius such as himself to figure out they meant the mini-construction team. Though scattered, the data suggested that they were part of the puzzle. The other team, the BrewMasters, though never in the same place as the Mini-Construction team, surely must be the other part. The numbers added up. The skill sets added up.
"So... what do *you* think?"
A figure stepped from the shadows. Though familiar, he had not truly been seen by anyone... for a long time.
"I think... that I preferred it when I was alone here."
"You mean you prefer that imposters take your place?"
"He's not an imposter. He's... an aspect. An evolution of self. We are linked. Pain felt by one..."
"Yea, yea, is felt by the other. You, in this case. But why the charade? You're the strongest, wisest..."
"I don't aspire to replace a God. That way leads... well, to your situation, doesn't it? How did knowing everything work out for you?"
"Sigh. Point conceded. But why here? I mean, I know it's home and all, but..."
"Can you think of a more important place to be right now?"
Well then." The figure stepped away; back to his monitoring of the situation. Alone.
That left the Leader to his own thoughts.
Well, that went as expected. There were few beings in the universe that could win an argument against The Leader... but that fellow was one of them.
And he had little to complain about; after all, he was right; the Leader had aspects of himself out there, too. Linked by space. And time.
And he *did* answer the Leader's questions.
Best thing he could do now is send an aspect out to protect The Moron.
He activated a portal.
The Leader: "Well, let's see; get the six aspects together. Get the three weapons together. Save Heffer. Save the Moo-niverse. Just another day."
The Leader sent a coded message; his other aspects would pick up the signal, and know what to do.
Now he would sit here... and wait.
The Chaos Bringer had promised him.
Hi-Q didn't take them all. He'd left the worst of them behind. The Dairycons who bore the symbol of the Enemy (or those who were only an empty chassis) were left to rot on this planet, while those who bore the autobrand were revived.
(and taken by Hi-Q! See the epic storyline Return of Convoy for details! - editor)
He did an inventory. SunBeam. Bailjumper. Crackup. Ass-09. PinchBottom. There were others, but none else were formerly Decepticons, nor touched by the dark energy. Their corpses were still baking in the hot sun.
Not much remained.
But enough for *his* purposes.
Nemesis Heffer: "Dark Master; grant me the power needed to respark these corpses. Give me my father. Give me the Thousand. Give me what is still here!! I command it!"
One cannot describe a swirl of dark intent adequately. It appears as a grey fog on the horizon. Before long, the sky thunders as purple energy punctures the ground where the bodies lie. Slowly... ever so slowly... three rise from the ashes; distortions of what they once were.
The same, yet... not the same.
Nemesis Heffer was not pleased; perhaps the dark entity was not as powerful as he'd once been. Only three warriors were resurrected, and one of them was much smaller than he remembered.
No matter. He'd brought his troops from the other moo-niverse with him. These three would serve his plans nicely.
Nemesis Heffer: "You have been revived and given new purpose. You will obey. What is your mission?"
Crackup: "Take the Artifacts."
SunBeam: "Kill the Dairycons."
Ass-09 "Friendship is Magic."
Nemesis Heffer sighed. Well, two out of three wasn't bad. Anyways.... Heffer had left the Sanctuary. The Time to Strike was now!
Go forth, my warriors. Bring me that which I desire.
The portal opened, and the four strode thru.
Earth was doomed.
TO BE CONTINUED in Shattered! Dairycon Mooniverse Chapter Four! The Fantastic Finale!