Eight months now.
Eight months of solitude, of sparkache, of confusion, and of questions.
The EDC has had to wage a war against Insecticons in the mean time. The planet has been quiet. And maybe, just maybe, things were better off without the Transformers.
Something happened eight months ago, and while there have been clues to understand the situation. Arcee's scans, Shockwave's reports, the investigations into the Wastes. There wasn't enough to fully understand the situation. And yet in the midst of everything, Galvatron returned, but from where? Doing what?
It was eventually decided that the Exalted Explorer, a research vessel Quickswitch was assigned to, having returned during the missing time known as the White Out, might hold the answers, as its sensors were top notch. And so the Cybertronians took to low orbit, intent on clearing the air finally...
Drill Tank <Quickswitch> transforms into his Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch> mode.
Crosscheck is sitting in front of the sensor console of the shuttle. The scientist can't wait to get the sensors' readings from the ship. He's been pondering the results he got from the sample analysis requested by Rodimus but he needs more data to test his hypothesis.
The launch of The Exalted Explorer does not go unnoticed by Decepticon long range sensors! While the orbital sensor net is fairly inaccurate, it is sufficient to direct Decepticon Redshift TM to the approximate orbital location of the Autobot research vessel. Redshift's much smaller radar cross-section should make him much more difficult to locate as the red and black spaceship maintains a safe distance.
Escorting any others present, Quickswitch fires upon any asteroids in their path on the way to the exhalted Explorer. He sighs heavily, "The things I do for the Autobotsm and I -still- can't break orbit," he complains bitterly, closing in on the sensor-ship. Each asteroid represents a frustration held by the jet currently, so they happilly go boom.
Ok how hard can this really be, right? Smokescreen has seen lots of bots fly shuttles, its all in the order of the buttons you push, yes thats it. The car sits in the pilots chair faking like he knows what hes doing but considering how crazy the ride is; if obviously does not. If a mech could get motion sickness he's sure putting that to the test to those on board. But the Autobot isn't too concerned with that. All he's interested in right now is following Quickswitch whom is escorting the to the ship the Sixchanger came back on. "Sit tight everyone, we are still in one peice." Smokescreen says cheerily as the shuttle lurches forward, dips a bit and then yanks back level.
The Exalted Explorer isn't too hard to find really, still in service with active IFF tags, it remains in high orbit over Cybertron. The problem is the eons and eons of war and debris that still clutter orbit at large! Some items are small, fragments and debris...and on a few grim occasions, the dead themselves still endlessly drifting through space. As the Autobots limp their shuttle towards the research ship, proximity sensors suddenly go off as a large piece of hull starts to twist and tumble into the shuttle's airspace. Klaxons go off as the red lights flash as the ship wails in alarm!
And somewhere else, Red Alert raises his head, as if sensing the trouble...
Crosscheck turns back towards the pilot and shouts, "Incoming debries. Take evasive maneuvers! Coordinate alpha 342.234."
Smokescreen nods and works the controls. He thinks he has the coordinates right, lets hope so. The shuttle dips down hard suddenly and then kind of cants on its side a bit and, well, he does a good job avoiding the incoming debris, the question is did he really try?
Orbital debris is Redshift's middle name- The small craft has no trouble weaving in and out of the path of incoming debris. small bursts from attitude thrusters and twists of his curved wings lets him navigate the hazards like a fish through water. He carefully creeps forward to keep a close eye on what the Autobots are up to.
Combat: Smokescreen compares his Agility to 6: Success!
Realizing the shuttle is in danger, and loathing the sight of the debris heading in their direction, Quickswitch narrows, or would narrow, his optics and fires a direct hit upon it, "Get ready to evade, Autobots." He, of course, doesn't care what happens to any Decepticons in the area. They can rot for all he cares.
Any skulkers in the distance are doing just that. Skulking. Crosscheck catches the intercept course of the spinning piece of hull, alerting Smokescreen in time for his evasive action, as Quickswitch rakes the hull with his armament, breaking some small chunks off of it. The shuttle veers lazily, inverting entirely as light wreckage from the hull rakes against the shuttle's own hull. Cosmetic gouges at least, nothing that'll strand the Autobots in space...
Docking with the Exalted Explorer is easy enough at least, the autopilot can manage that, and so the team can progress into the research ship, its large domed center the actual focal point of its systems. The ship's interior is clean and well lit. It just simply seems to be absent of people, but then what else is new? The gentle hum of its energon reactor is the only noise that awaits.
Crosscheck rises from his seat and check his datapad to ensure everything is ready to download the ship's data. However he doesn't bord the Exalted Explorer first. That's a job for someone better at shooting things than he is. Not that he's expecting trouble but better safe than sorry.
Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch> spies the familliar vessel. He fires his engines gently and then transforms to robot mode, floating purposefully over. Once he reaches the access panel, his large digits punch in an access code and the door hisses open, "C'mon guys. Decepticons, too. Let's see what's happening in here." And with that, the sixchanger enters.
Quickswitch transforms into robot mode.
Smokescreen looks proud of himself as the shuttle autodocks and setting the shuttle on standby he stands from the pilots chair. "Hey that was pretty easy after all." he grins and looks at Crosscheck. "Now lets check this ship out." he brings hisrifle out of sub-space and heads for the loading door.
The ship is in auto-stasis, and while not grand enough to have its own Teletraan system, the ship does light up more as the Bots move to enter. Nothing seems out of place, soft white light on the corridors, even that bit of lab equipment that one of the techs had had before returning to Cybertron. As with the rest of the world, everything is foreign, with a hint of being so familiar. Quickswitch can easily lead the way to the main sensor systems, which glow invitingly as the group approaches.
The world awaits, holding its collective breath...
Quickswithc heads down familliar but curiously vacant corridors to the bridge of the ship. "It's just over here," he says mildly, as the bridge doors slide open, reveealing an equally vacant bridge, "Where did everybody go?" he wonders outloud.
Crosscheck following behind Quickswitch and Smokescreen. He keeps his optics open for any sign of trouble but he's start to get impatient after a while, "You mean you can't find the way to your own ship's bridge?"
Smokescreen isnt picking up any lifesigns persay but he keeps a wary optic out as he follows Quickswitch to the bridge. Then Crosscheck speaks and he glances back, "He just did." He steps in the room and looks around. "Do your thing, Crosscheck." he motions to the computers. "Maybe this ship can give us some answers on what happend and where everyones at."
Quickswitch had /zero/ trouble getting to his ship's bridge, thank you very much, "Why I tolerate the Autobots," Quickswitch sighs, punching in another access code to a console. Part of the bridge lights up, "There," says the irritable sixchanger, "Are you /happy/ now?"
Crosscheck grunts as they finally reach the bridge. He walks in and start connecting his datapad to the main computer. He starts the download, but because this is high tech, he also display the data on the main screen where it is displayed at a somewhat readable pace. "Let's see what this beauty saw."
Smokescreen looks back and forth between the two as the bicker a bit and decides to look out of one of the portals to the space beyond. "You think they are all out there somewhere?" he asks quietly after the bickering dies down for a bit.
The screen lights up as Crosscheck accesses the ship's history...and rewinds eight months...
FROM THE COMBINED RECORDS OF ALPHA TRION AND BETA. COMMENTARY ENABLED.
The skies of Retoris are dark, and yet streaks of light, of energy are shown across the sky. Even from this remote distance, pops and flashes are seen as the civilians of the city can only stare in concern as the sky shows signs again of war.
I close my eyes, tell us why must we suffer?
Release your hands, for your will drags us under.
The scene reveals itself. Atop the great chasms before the Rust Sea, a full-scale battle is seen, dim and muted. Energy weapons and concussive rounds hiss and pop quietly at this distance. More streaks of light and figures in motion are but as ants. From this great distance, Shockwave, Ultra Magnus, and Wreck-Gar survey the situation grimly.
My legs grow tired, tell us where must we wander.
How can we carry on if redemption's beyond us?
Up above, a small planet looms, moving closer towards Cybertron. Mirroring one of the greatest calamities the planet had ever faced. The bio-organic world shows veins of orange power as more creatures are dispatched against Cybertron. The single eye of Shockwave stares back up at it, perhaps in contemplation.
To all of my children in whom Life flows abundant
To all of my children to whom Death hath passed his judgement
The scene zooms in on the battle. All of Cybertron has come together to face the invaders. Strange, tall organic creatures of humanoid design with streaks of green light upon grey flesh, all with sickly claws and glowing energy for faces...The type Arcee had seen. Wreckers and Seekers alike engage the foes in a massive clash of steel and energon.
The spark yearns for honor, and the frame, the hereafter
Look to those who walked before to lead those who walk after
Impactor leaps forward, Bludgeon on his heels as the two meet two enormous Invaders head on. The samurai drags his blade against the ground, causing sparks in his wake as he moves forward to behead his next foe. Together they drill and slash their way into the enemy ranks. From a distance, Onslaught coordinates the assault, launching missiles that fire straight up, then vector forward, targetting key positions. Blast Off nods once to the silent orders given, transforms, and launches upward into the atmosphere.
Shining is the Land's light of justice
An invader's torso is shattered, bio-mechanical innards spill out in slow motion, as the punch of Rodimus Prime connects mightily. The Autobot Commander's mouth is open in a scream of defiance.
Ever flows the Land's well of purpose
Galvatron's overloaded cannon fires in slow motion, coreing three massive Intruders, the blast piercing one into the next, into the third. His scream is one of abject fury, as he holds a fourth foe in his crushing grip.
Walk free, walk free, walk free, believe...
A critically injured Warpath is towed away from the frontlines by Hook. The other minibots of Bumblebee, Beachcomber, and Gears providing a retreat as sparks fly on Warpath's frame, his turret damaged magnificently.
The Land is alive, so believe...
A Datsun Turbo roars through a darkened chasm on-planet. It soars through the air as the ground beneath it gives way, and for a moment the vehicle just seems to hover there...
In a forgotten wasteland on Cybertron, a blue Pontiac Fiero idles in the darkness, as a flying swarm of the Intruders passes by. Moments later, its lights come on as the car peels out
A blue and yellow Seeker is engaged with several flying Intruders, with significant fire support from the Seekers behind him For a moment the skies are blotted out with explosions, only for this one to pass through the explosive cloud, spinning as he goes.
A large, fat, grey hovercraft barrels forward into a tunnel deep within Cybertron. Those Intruders that confront it, are rammed without any further provication, its great mass enough to send most flying.
A sleek, pink car races through an abandoned pipeline, the cracks within the old fortification give way before her. Using the speed she's gained as an advantage, the vehicle turns up onto the wall to bypass the missing ground.
Hun-Grr starts loading his crew into a large shuttle, as other teams do so behind him. Mortar fire and anti-air weaponry streak off in the distance as he seems to be one teammate short.
Shuttles take off from Cybertron's surface. Exiting atmosphere as the planetoid approaches is difficult, even for the experienced pilots among both sides. Rodimus Prime grimly watches the Intruder's base come closer, the entirety of the Autobot Combiner teams visible behind him.
Meanwhile, Blot is totally lost by himself in the darkness.
A large helicopter in flight splits off from the Seeker escort as it delves into the Istoral Chasm. Halfway down it transforms into a dune buggy, driving straight down one of the jagged walls of the chasm.
Soundwave supervises the loading of several pylons onto the fastest scramjets Cybertron could muster. He takes a moment to look over a map, displaying a few key figures spreading out over the planet...
Galvatron takes to the skies, Cyclonus transforms, picking him up, as the Decepticon battle changes its focus. Rodimus Prime leaps into a shuttle, which immediately engages its main thrusters. Both seem to focus on the demi-planet.
And we will answer...
And that's when it happens. The Intruder's planetary ship begins to crack, orange light pouring out as large sections of it begin to disintegrate, and break free. The light pours out further and further until something within begins to emerge. An enormous creature's head appears, revealing the entire subplanet to be just a vessel for it. With a piercing insectoid screech, the giant quill-shelled creature emerges!
Now open your eyes while our plight is repeated
Still deaf to our cries, lost in hope we lie defeated.
It takes flight immediately, pieces of its planetoid home shatter and break, sending thousands of meteors planetside. A trail of destruction across Cybertron, as explosions ripple. Horrid insectoid wings emerge from its shell as it flies across the homeworld, a hundred, a thousand quills firing off from it, trailing the great beast like a volley of missiles.
Our sparks have been torn, and our bodies forsaken
Bearing sins of the past, for our future is taken
The newly renovated Cybertron is under siege by the second-largest peril the planet had ever faced. Within moments, the fortress at Stanix is caught under fire from the missile barrage, The Sonic Canyons start to crumble inward as quills explode and pierce the planet's hull. An errant quillmissile streaks off towards the evacuation minibots, only to slam into a protective barrier. Computron steps forward to protect the evacuation...
War, endless war, these childish games deceive us
A series of shuttles follow the creature, even as the few remaining warships attempt to open fire on the monster. As the living missiles start to home in on the shuttle, they suddenly are strafed from above as Quickswitch, a late arrival to the fight, covers Prime's shuttle. Given the creature's great speed, the shuttle manages to match it for only a moment...and only a mid-air leap, five miles above the surface allow Rodimus Prime, Galvatron, and the others access to the beast's great shelled back.
Wars without end, these lies find us lost
Mired by a plague of doubt and destruction, Primus mourns.
Devastator merges. Predaking merges. Computron arrives. Behind them, every single combiner team, save the Terrorcons. Guided by Perceptor's hurried gesturing, and Shockwave's computations, the combiner teams slam down a series of enormous poles into the creature, which no doubt suffers little if any damage from the gestures.
Judgement binds all we hold to a memory of scorn
Tell us why, given Life, we are meant to die, helpless in our cries?
The monster lets out a magnificent shriek as Cybertron dies before its multitude of eyes, reflecting the fire and the carnage.
Smokescreen reaches a console panel in the darkness, his eyes glowing bright, he grasps at a lever, and pulls it!
Punch follows suit, opening a hidden compartment elsewhere, revealing a similar lever, which he engages.
Though battered and wounded, Dirge reaches the top of a forgotten mountain where another lever is found.
Imager stares in wonder from her trench, her own lever pulled, as the columns of pure light and energy start to shoot up into the sky, reflected on her optics.
Blot accidentally sat on a lever, and admires the soft light that illuminates the darkness.
And we'll find
Spindrift rolls out of a large tube into a cramped control room, where his lever waits for him. He hurls himself at it in urgency.
We'll search for
Sandstorm, amid a pile of bodies, desperately throws himself at another lever, engaging it.
Columns of light emenate from Cybertron, and together they lace to form a planetary warding shield. Interlacing and redoubling themselves, a wave of bright light moving to protect the planet.
The light seems to draw in to the plyons on the massive creature, sparking them to life. With textbook timing, Shockwave remotely activates the space bridge in Polyhex, causing the spacetime energy to shift...and move to this very spot to feed a spacebridge!
Seek The Answer Together.
Energy surrounds the Autobots, the Decepticons and the creature, as the spacebridge is created on-site, ON the creature itself!
Thy Life is a riddle, to bear rapture and sorrow
To listen, to suffer, to entrust unto tomorrow
All forces start to shift, falling into the wormhole created. Even those unlucky to be involved in the great battle below are picked up into the air, sucked up into nothingness.
In one fleeting moment, from the Land come from
Yet in one fleeting moment, before this day was done
All those, save the ones who activated the levers to bring the power of Cybertron forth, who can only watch the scenario unfold. A bright flash of light is seen across the planet as the monster is sucked into the spacebridge, transported out there somewhere in the universe, with almost every Cybertronian with it. The flash of light scrambles and corrupts the data of those who witness it.
In the same fleeting moment all who lived were all one
And the scream of a monster dies off into the distance....
The footage ends moments later.
Quickswitch onserves with softly glowing optics and a wondrous expression on his face, "Woah..." he utters, very softly, and that's all he, any of him, says.
Smokescreen had turned back from the portal window to look at the screen as Crosscheck rewinds it. He just stands there slackjawed staring at everything that just happened via memory banks. "So..." thats all he can say as he looks from Crosscheck to Quickswitch then back to the veiwing screen.
Smokescreen has a thought come to him then, a thought that would send chills up his spine if he were human. Instead his doors just shutter a bit but he says nothing. The look on his face though is very serious and concerned.