Everyone had voted NO.|
Electrum Beast's plan to build a replica of the ark, and crash it into a mountain as a publicity stunt (thereby reintroducing the Dairycons to Earth) was seen as short-sighted, serving no useful purpose, and in-fact downright dangerous.
Which is of course why he was doing it.
It hadn't taken much; he hadn't even had to build an actual Ark. The original was long ago towed into Earth far-orbit and set up as a museum piece. The engines had been demolished by Fortress Maximus during the so-called 'Generation 2' incident. In addition, there were certain...corpses left aboard the ship; the ship itself serving as a permanent memorial to those who had fallen in the final battle. In point of fact, nothing was touched or moved from where it had fallen.
Which made Electrum Beasts' trespass onto this sacred relic nothing short of sacrilage.
Few under the main Autobot command heirachy even knew the ship still existed; those who had fought in the last Great War, veterans few and far between, had only rumors to go by. It was those rumors that had led him here.
And now, looking over the diagrams of the great ship, inspecting the temporary maneuvering thrusters he'd bolted into place on the hull, Electrum Beast paused; was this truly something he should be doing?
The mech currently known as Defensis Prime wandered the ship, haunted by what he saw.
Curse Primus; Defensis couldn't turn back the hands of time, only travel thru space in his many guises. Each Ancient had been granted one power, and control of time had gone to Vector Prime. Defensis wished, more than once, that the power had been his. For then those fallen heroes who remained aboard this Great Ark need not have died at all; their stories in the great tapestry could have gone on longer.
He'd met many of them long ago; met the humans who would go on to play such a large role in their lives. Even gave the great Optimus Prime some sage advice on how to win the coming battle with Megatron's re-energised troops. Yes, those were great times, indeed.
His old joints creaked; the battle with Domino had taken more out of him than he dared admit. He rarely thought about it anymore, but in terms of age, he was very nearly the oldest Transformer in existance. He had seen and guided Primus' first-born race thru it's infancy. He'd been known by many names; Ancient One, Defensis Maximus, Plothole, the Great Reaver... he'd even been called the Keeper once, when he was the last one left watching over Primus in the center of Cybertron (before Grimlock had gotten him nearly killed...). His parts didn't line up the way they used to. Mismatched, battle-scarred, it was a wonder that anyone took him seriously, looking the way he did. He supposed it was the air of wisdom that all first-generation Transformers carried about them.
His current form and name suited him. Not by choice; the aptly-named MexiCon had caused this old form to reassert itself. However, given where he was currently, and given the part he'd played in the history of this great ship, he applauded the choice. Even wondered if the will of Primus was once again playing itself out.
He stopped by the old med bay. History recorded that Grimlock had fed nucleon into the life-support tubes, granting new life to many fallen warriors, only to see them cut down again in the Unicron Battle, and on the final battle of Klo. Though this dimensions' Last Autobot had resurrected many who had fallen under Bludgeons' wrath, there were many more still kept in this antique med bay; those who had fallen during the battle with unicron- who didn't revive from the Nucleon or the last autobot- still remained.
There were others; Ratchet still lay where he'd fallen, staving off Starscream, Megatron, and Galvatron during the Ark's second crash into earth. Still lying here, deactivated, for all intents and purposes dead when Megatron took over the ship a third time (in a new body from Cobra, no less.)
With Ratchet down, it took Fortress Maximus sacrificing himself to the antimatter engine for the Arks' (assumed by most) final crash into earth. Defensis had looked into the engine room earlier; found what remained of Fortress Maximus. There was precious little of either him, or his organic component. He left quickly.
Defensis looked down at his hand. In it, he cradled the Shard of Primus' spark, his most valuable possession. As an Ancient of Space, he used it to travel from one point in the universe to another almost instantly, allowing him to observe anything significant in Transformer history.
It would serve another function; like the essence of the Creation Matrix (kept by the most famous of Primes), Defensis' shard would also grant life to those fallen warriors who surrounded him. He might not be able to bring Fortress Maximus fully online, but the others... Ratchet, Landmine, perhaps even....
No. He clasped his hand closed again. If he did this, made this sacrifice to raise these fallen warriors, would he would be forever consigning himself to the Dairycon's fate? If so, their future would be his future. If he used too-much of the power, he would be stranded here forever.
Was that a sacrifice he was willing to make?
Ticker wished she'd never come back here.
After having lost Silverwynde to her own devices, Ticker wondered what use a healer would be on this mission. Those Dairycons who had agreed to Electrum Beasts' mission were gathered here; the few who outright balked were still on earth, picking up the pieces after the last battle with the the Leader. There were still a few unaccounted for, including those who had gone to seek the missing pieces of the StormSword, as well as Spot.
Was she the only one who remembered Spot? He'd sacrificed himself so long ago, in order to prevent the capture of Milwaukee base. She'd kept his body in stasis on the off-chance that she could repair him someday, but she never could....and then, one day, he was gone.
Was he dead? Did she only imagine him and Crackup in that vortex? She wasn't sure. Nowadays, it seemed like nobody stayed dead anymore.
Hmph. It was during that Transwarper business. That's when she last saw Spot. She and the other Dairycons had gone thru a vortex, and disappeared. Woken up in the Leader's ship. There was a substantial loss of time. That was when she'd lost him.
Maybe that's what she was doing out here now. Trying to make sure she didn't lose anyone else. But this, this was big. Worse than changing time, they were, in essence, desecrating history, and for what? So that they could *all* be reunited on Earth? So that the Dairycon universe could become known to everyone, not just in this little pocket universe of theirs?
To make a better future than the one being currently created, by bringing back vestiges of the past?
She didn't know. So she sat here, monitoring this little expedition from a distance.
There were three Dairycons in the Ark; the rest were on-board her while she maintained her distance in shuttle mode. She was also in-contact with the Dairycons on Earth; once the Ark had 'crashed', the Dairycons would take up residence in it as their new base of operations. None of the main-line Cybertronians would likely care; most didn't know the ship still existed. They all had their own ark-descendent ships, and couldn't be bothered with the original. A shame, really; this was living history here. Well, history, anyways.
What was left of it. The ship didn't support an atmosphere. Most of the right side of the hull had blown out from an antimatter explosion. The engines were useless.
Still... with the attached maneuvering thrusters, and the bubble-shield to protect it during descent, the remains of the ship should hold together as they placed it in their pre-dug mountain. Once in-place, they could get the rest of it operational, and once again have a facility that rivaled the old Milwaukee Base.
It was the location that bothered her the most. This ship originally crashed into Mt St Hillary in Oregon. And Milwaukee Base was originally in Wisconsin. How Electrum Beast had chosen to resolve this particular problem had left her vexed. If it were the replica ship he'd been designing, it would make sense. But the original?
This didn't seem like a good idea.
It definately wasn't a good idea.
Electrum Beast could see that now. Having been in these hallowed halls, he knew he had to reconsider. If he were to place it anywhere, it would be in the original mountain in Oregon. For now, though, it was better to leave.
He disconnected his padd from the workstation, and deactivated the maglocks on the maneuvering thrusters. They'd gently float away from the ship, so that anyone else finding the Ark wouldn't have a ready-made way to move her from here.
Electrum Beast stepped down from the console, and signalled the other two members of his team to meet him in the shuttle bay. Ticker would pick them up, and they would return home.
To which home, he couldn't say. He'd let someone else decide for a chance. Perhaps it was time to return to earth with the others. Cybertron had become positively boring since his last stay there. Perhaps, having seen the grand old Ark, they'd reconsider the replica. Perhaps even let him crash it into the mountain the way he originally wanted. With a lighter step, he headed toward the shuttlebay, and Ticker.
It wasn't right.
He had no right to hang onto this power when he could save so many others. He was tired, and he was old; the other Ancients had long ago gone to join Primus. He remained because his felt his mission wasn't done. As long as the Transformer race existed, he existed, in order to make sure things reached their logical, final end.
That end was a long ways away. And these children of Primus deserved a chance at living it.
He unclenched his hand. The shard floated from his fingers and hovered above. Instinctively knowing what he wanted, the shard blossomed outward, from its normal diamond shape into something akin to a large faceted snowflake. The shard pulsed; energies lightly washed over the medbay, and pulsed outward from there. It seemed that the entire ship was awash in matrix energy.
As quickly as it started, it ended. The snowflake condensed back into a diamond, and floated back into Defensis' outstretched hand. It seemed no worse for wear; the Shard would still function as it always had. He wondered, then; did anyone here come back into the light of Primus? Or did they remain deactivated? The ship looked the same. The old contaiment vessels barely lit up when they were bathed in Primus' lifeforce. Perhaps he should...
It was then that he recieved the call from Electrum Beast. The mission was over; the Ark would be left here, to rest for all eternity. That satisfied him; far be it for the Dairycons to decide the fate of this grand ship. Forgetting the immediate puzzle, and storing his shard, he left the medbay, satisfied that everything would be all right.
It decidedly was not.
The mission was scrubbed. Electrum Beast had decided to leave sleeping dogs lie.
Uncle Whisky Breath was satisfied with that. They'd had enough trouble lately, what with old friends gone, old enemies coming back, and now this earthen festival coming up. The last thing a 'secret' base needed was to come flying over the highway where all the humans could see it. Some secret that would have been.
Uncle placed the shiny chrome star on top of the tree; underneath it and around, small pewter autobot and dairycon sigals decorated the branches of the sizable blue spruce.
Campaign car had asked what the tree was about. Uncle had explained, in typical Uncle fashion, that the humans celebrated the birth of their races' savior by having a fat red human slide down an exhaust port and put energon goodies under an earthen plant like this. Apparently, this explanation didn't suit Campaign Car, who muttered to himself and walked away.
A shame, really. this plant would have looked nice here in front of the new location of the Dairycon base. But since that wasn't happening, well.... no sense letting the decorations go to waste.
Having placed the star on top of the tree, Uncle transformed, and rumbled thru the light underbrush after Campaign Car. With any luck, they'd both be in-time to celebrate with some of their fellow Dairycons, and their new human friends. After all, what better reason to down a little drink than with friends?
As he drove away, Uncle sang a song that one of his fellow Dairycons had recently taught him: 'Jingle Bells, Starscream smells, Grimlock laid an egg....'
The End. For Now.