It's always something!
I'm so tired of fighting with flippin DA! Alrighty, so the first half of this is going up tonight, and the second half I'll take a stab at tomorrow. Arg I say, arg!! Ah well, hopefully you all shall enjoy this part.
Starscream tried one last time to hail the Autobot vessel before deciding to welcome himself aboard to investigate. He readied his arm cannons and prepared to land inside the gaping hole in the Atobot cargo ship when a single craft exited the hole, black and red, tipped with a pair of silver wings. Sharp red highlights raced along the aerial machine as it made a beeline for Starscream.
What? he aimed at the newcomer and was shocked to hear it respond, Not what, you junker, who!
A pair of red lasers tore past Starscream. Call me Fitor! He shot through the air and clipped Starscream with his wings, which were, much to Starscreams chagrin, razor-edged. A slice wound cut into his left wing, and the Seeker was spun by the force. He screamed with anger and responded with a volley of laser blasts.
Incompetent fool! Do you know who I am?!
Like it matters. Fitor laughed back. A flicker of yellow light ran along his joints and he changed from vehicle to robot, halting his flight and hovering before Starscream. Had the Decepticon seen Fitors original body he would hardly recognize him now. Fitors head retained its cone-like shape, but his body mass had grown in the upper chest and arm portions, legs rounded with intricate detailing. His wings splayed from a single point on his back in a V, his extra fins set within his forearms and lower legs. They glistened, a stray shard of Starscreams metal caught along an edge. His eyes cast a withering, icy glare, his lips thinned into a cocky smile. Fitor enjoyed his newfound mobility. He called to the jet, Let me guess, blocky head, big mouth, bravado to spare
you must be Starscream!
Remember that name Fido, its the last one youll ever-
Starscreams retort was cut short by the sound of Cyclonus approaching. He appeared beside Starscream and transformed, the Sweeps joined him.
Hes no Autobot!
No kidding genius, Starscream sputtered, marveling over Cyclonus ability to point out the obvious, Hes responsible for that! He thrust a finger towards the Autobot ship, still speeding towards Metroplex, indicating the gaping hole in its top area.
Now stop wasting time and stop the ship! I can easily handle this cretin!
Mind your tone, Starscream, Cyclonus reverted to jet mode and swung after the ship, the sweeps following suite, Galvatron you are not.
That ships a lost cause Fitor smiled, Did I mention we killed the whole crew?
How about that, Starscream leveled his shoulder cannon at Fitor with a devious smirk, did I mention I dont care?
Sweeps, open fire! Cyclonus unleashed a barrage upon the cargo ship, Scourge doing the same, tearing into the lining of the vessel and drawing a plume of smoke from the already damaged engines.
What are you doing?!
Cyclonus heard Springers anger amplified through his radio, Lower your settings, Magnus said slow it down, not destroy it, you didnt hear that with those satellites sticking out of your head?!
Destroying it will slow it down, autobot. Cyclonus killed their connection and continued firing. It was getting too close, moving too fast, but if they broke it apart-
A movement in the cavernous hole caught his attention. Three Renegade jets shot out of the crippled cargo ship and took wing. Bad Boy, Snoop, and Skyjack bore only a passing resemblance to their old selves, their flight and robot modes altered to grant them optimum maneuverability and firepower. Snoop changed into robot form and launched a cluster of smoke grenades at Cyclonus. They erupted in a fiery explosion, sending plumes of inky black smoke in every direction. It washed over the sweeps, who immediately clicked through their extra-sensory systems and tried to continue firing. Their shots neared the craft but veered off. As they exited the cloud, the Renegades came at them full speed, firing upon the sweeps in their momentary blindness. Cyclonus spun himself rapidly and roared his engines, coughing the smoke from his systems as he transformed and took aim at Snoop.
Ive no time for the likes of you, meddlesome she-bot.
The name is Snoop, her hands came alive, crackling with yellow, sparking energy, Looks like youll have to make time, wont you?
Springer and Blades pushed themselves, trying to remain close to the craft, which now threatened to shake apart before it could reach Metroplex. Springer launched a grappling hook and snagged the front end, Blades did the same.
If we could just get it to change course! He strained, the cable went taunt and hummed, the vibrations rattling his systems. Blades felt his own line thrum, then snapped a moment after Springers. Both were sent hurtling in opposite directions as the ship continued on course.
Thrusters main control room hosted a curved wall of monitors, their various sizes and widths connecting in an flickering web of images. Blane stood before the display, arms folded behind him, hands curling and uncurling into fists. Crasher stood beside him, eyes glazed with delight, laughing as Springer and Blades spun wildly through the air.
That gives new meaning to the term whirlybird!
Partys just startin. Blane smiled, Thruster, weapons online, and tap the citybots computers. You find a chink in the armor, you shut him down.
Metroplex sensed the last of the Autobots leaving his premises and immediately began to transform. It was a welcome change. Though he understood the Autobots need for his city mode, the long stretches of inactivity wore on him. It was hard, knowing that every bot within was moving freely while he could not experience that freedom himself. His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden buzzing in his head that grew into a painful siren. His monitors sprang to life, a blank face composed only of green metal stared at him, he felt his internal security programs spring to life, blocking out its attempt to hack his systems.
Then came the firestorm. Painful bursts of laser artillery fell from the sky and pelted his armored siding. His onboard weaponry immediately came to life, firing skyward in the general vicinity of the attack. His systems were now picking up a vague form above him, and he doubled his efforts, pushing aside the pain when he thought of his fellow autobots on that failing cargo ship. They needed his help. He continued to change, sensors clicking off the speed of the incoming ship while fighting off the attempted intrusion into his mind. It was coming in faster. With a grunt he rose, a leg formed, an arm, his head began to rise from its holding. His proximity alarms warbled frantically. As Metroplex neared complete transformation the Autobot ship smashed into him.
Fitor swung his head to the left and dodged Starscreams shot. He heard the collision below as the Autobot ship slammed into Metroplex. Bullseye! he shouted and looked back at the Decepticon. Starscream made ready to charge and suddenly felt a large hand grip him from behind the throat. The fingers reached all the way around, already applying pressure.
Fitor pointed to Starscreams assailant, Screwhead, air this loudmouth out!
A tremendous robot covered in black metal gripped Starscream tighter. A pair of stealth wings indicated one vehicle form, but the drill cannon mounted to his back suggested another. He held Starscream with his right hand, his left spun and took the form of an enormous, ridged drill. It jumped to life with a snarl and Screwhead drew his arm back.
Fitor laughed, his grin never fading as he watched Starscream struggle desperately to free himself from the hulking bot. Screwhead enjoyed the resistance. His former self could barely complete the most rudimentary task, but in his new body he found himself not only comprehending the intricate workings of himself, but others as well. He was no longer a drone in the Renegade army; he had become a vital part of their mission. His eye visor flashed, amused by Fitors excitement, and he shook Starscream violently from side to side, a gruff laugh escaping him as well.
have had... ENOUGH!! Starscream roared, his thrusters blared to life and he twisted wildly, firing a blast of his null ray that caught Screwhead in the forehead. At once the Renegade felt his circuits overheat, threatening to seize from the lapse in electron flow. He screamed; arms locked in an outstretched gesture as if welcoming someone with a hug. He embraced only the barrage of missiles Starscream fired, the explosions caused Screwhead to do an impromptu dance in the air before his hover capabilities cut out and he fell like a hunk of metal. Starscream watched Screwhead became a black dot against the landscape, a cocky smile playing on his lips. His thoughts snapped back to Fitor as a spade of metal erupted from his chest, shearing through the glass of his cockpit with a dry crunch. Starscream gasped in shock and pain, he could sense the wicked sneer Fitor was wearing. You tricky little scud, Fitor ripped his blade free, spun Starscream around and smashed his midsection with a savage kick. His arm spun on a downward arc and sliced through the tip of Starscreams left eye down the length of his cheek. The Decepticon shrieked MY FACE!! Red chips of glass rained towards the ground below and Starscream roared, infuriated. He took aim at Fitor as the Renegade charged his fists and took aim. An explosion erupted between them, Fitor hurtled backwards, grimacing as he realized his right forearm was sizzling, the metal cracked and orange from the heat. The null ray hadnt hit him directly, but the energy from the blast was still wrecking havoc on his motor functions. His thrusters shorted out, and he fell from the sky. Starscream clutched his chest and felt hot fluid dripping, his consciousness fading in and out. He felt himself dipping, then falling. His descent was abruptly halted. Through the haze of his good eye Starscream made out a face all too familiar to him, it haunted his forced memories ever since his last attempt to rekindle the war
Hun-Grr stared down at Starscream with a bit of a smile, enjoying Starscreams inability to speak after realizing who had saved his life. The other Terrorcons flew alongside their leader, Rippersnapper the closest.
Yeah! Sinnertwin chimed in, We teach him to wreck our chew toy!
Blot laughed along with Cutthroat, their eyes glowing red in unison as their claws flexed in anticipation.
Thruster dropped the stealth cloak above Metroplex, blotting out the sun and throwing the city into darkness. A row of doors slid open along her massive frame, the Renegades poured forth like a cloud of frenzied bees.
An erratic flicker of lights lit the seams of the flying machine and with ease that defied its size, it changed forms. A pair of legs folded from the ships underside, arms pulling free of the midsection as it reconfigured into a decidedly feminine form. Its head appeared, curiously a single shade of green. Her eyes, simple indentations in the face itself, carried a hint of yellow that flared once its mode change was completed. She dropped, arms raised and fists drawn back as Metroplex finished his transformation.
Clear the area! Magnus shouted over the rumbling, hoping everyone could outrace the darkness, Clear the-
The collision was deafening.
The cargo ship, which had been jutting from Metroplexs torso, exploded, its remnants falling from the titan as he fell. He hit the ground with Thruster on top of him, the fall cracking two of his towers and shattering a number of his windows. Transformers were thrown from the force of the impact.
Magnus and Galvatron pulled themselves to their feet and turned towards the violent battle erupting around them. They had gone only a few meters away when the grounded Thruster reared back and brought a massive fist down towards Metroplexs face. He pulled his head to the side and felt the wind of her forearm swoosh past. It slammed into the ground before Magnus and Galvatron and pulled back, dripping boulder-sized rocks and dirt.
Springer transformed and touched down beside Magnus, staring up at the giants as they struggled.
Arcee, Blurr and Hot Rod pulled up beside them, covered in dust.
Springer, fall back to Autobot City II and send out a call to every Autobot we have! Contact Prime, he needs to know whats going on here! Magnus turned to Arcee and Blur, You two join him, go!
They transformed without a word and followed Springer, a clenching fist of uncertainty gripping them.
Galvatrons eyes scanned the skies. Less than ten minutes ago they were empty, now they were alive with conflict. His sweeps were engaged with the newly arrived Renegade air forces, and cutting through it all, a bright yellow sphere heading in their direction.
Galvatron, we need to-
Galvatron grabbed Magnus by the shoulder and pushed him hard, Eyes open Autobot!
The commanders fell back from the explosion in time to see a combination of steam and dust spewing from the impact point. Three figures were silhouetted against the smoke, the yellow eyes of the largest one shone brightly as he stepped forward, a wide smile on his face.
Blane surveyed the scene of their arrival, both Autobot and Decepticon were present, and, most importantly- Galvatron! Blane called his name as he would an old friend, prompting a hard look from the decepticon. Magnus shot Galvatron a look of his own. You know him?! His hand instinctively reached for his blaster.
Dont be stupid Autobot. Galvatrons attention returned to Blane, who was flanked by Cop-Tor and Crasher. Eyes locked with Galvatron, Blane pointed in the direction of Springer and the others. Crasher, Cop-Tor, whatever they were sent tdo, make sure they dont do it.
With pleasure Blane, Crasher changed modes and peeled out while Cop-Tor launched himself, changed, and took off. Galvatrons eyes narrowed.
How is it you know me?
Blane lifted a finger to the sky, The head-man gave us the rundown. Never met you, but Ive already got you pegged.
Head-Man didnt ring any bells to Galvatron, and at the moment he didnt care. And who are you, newcomer? Galvatrons cannon came online, I might remember your name after I blow your head off.
Blane laughed at Galvatrons threat. I used to call myself Cy-Kill. Cy-freakin-Kill! Can you believe that? His smile faded to a dry grin, Now youll call me Blane, leader of the Renegades. His head tilted, making his smirk look even more unsettling, And to me, youre just another corpse that dont know hes dead.
Fitor saw the Terrorcons coming for him, and tried again to reignite his thrusters. They cut in, caught flame, then fizzled out.
Great. The word barely left his mouth when a hand snagged his arm. He looked up and corrected himself. Not a hand-a claw. Scorp hovered in place, his new spiked length of tail lashing side to side like an excited cat. Vamp was close by, surrounded by a cluster of the Renegade Mutants. Fitors smile withered. He hadnt cared much for them before their global change, now their evolved bodies looked like a closer reflection of their sinister nature. He didnt like the way they nearly crawled over themselves to be closer to Vamp. Most of all, he didnt care for the way she had taken to calling them her Renegade mutants.
Make certain Blane knows it was I who saved you Fitor. Vamps voice was low, but Fitor flinched, he swore her hissing voice was skittering through his mind.
Right, he managed, I can see it was you that saved me because Scorps the one who-ag!
Scorps claws dug into his metal, he winced, Right, kudos to you, but in case you didnt notice, we have a problem coming our way, and it has lots of teeth.
A problem for you, Vamp tilted her head and tittered, it sounded like nails across sheet metal. A meal for us.
Six creatures broke from the cluster and moved forward, their robot forms far from anything humanoid. Like the Terrorcons, the only word that could fit them was monster. They came into view and caused the Terrorcons to halt their advance. Vamp smiled. Heart Attack, Fright Face, Weird Wing, SouthClaw, Fangs, Gore Jaw. My precious Beast Fiends
Please me. The beasts made for the Terrorcons, exchanging snarls and growls with their soon to be opponents. HeartAttack hesitated a moment. She cast a baneful, scarred red eye towards Vamp then rejoined her group. Fitor watched the bulky creature a moment, for the first time noticing a series of crisscrossed slits carved into Heart-Attacks back. He looked back towards Vamp.
What was that about?
A smile appeared to grow out of Vamps face, exposing a glistening pair of red fangs. She is resistant, but she will learn. All bestial mechanoids will wish to please me.
Those Decepticons look pretty bestial to me, why dont you make them please you?
Her tone became sharp, buzzing dangerously in Fitor's audio. Those are feral, disgusting creatures. I have no desire for those filth. Her voice trailed off and she tilted her head suddenly, eyes traveling towards the tremendous forms of Thruster and Metroplex.
There. She lifted a wiry claw towards the conflict, the Renegade Mutans followed her gaze as one. She changed forms, resembling an insectile sliver of an aircraft, and took wing, her brood close behind. Fitor managed to pull free of Scorp and reignite his hover, waving the mutants off. Have fun doing whatever it is you think youre doing. Ive got other things to tend to.
The darkest six of the Renegade mutants encircled HeartAttack, she opened a claw towards the Terrorcons and screamed Gattai!
A flare of pink and purple light illuminated the Beast Fiends as they initiated the starting sequence of a GoBot gestalt merge. Fright Face and HeartAttack combined, creating a solid torso. Both Weird Wing and SouthClaw folded into arms, connecting to their respective joints while Fangs and Gore Jaw became legs for the giant. A demonic head, dark blue with a mouthful of interlocking fangs rose from Fright Faces back and gave a thunderous bellow. It registered as a cross between a bat and metal buzzsaw.
Death-Combination, MONSTROUS! The gestalt radiated energy, its size greater than the combined mass of its individual components. Starscreams jets kicked back in, allowing him to remain airborne behind the Terrorcons.
Terrorcons, show this GoBot what a real monster is!
They needed no coaching. Hun-Grr snarled, his mind going overcome with bloodlust Terrorcons, MERGE!
They moved as one, Rippersnapper and Blots bodies shifted, readjusted their limbs and attached to Hun-Grrs broad shoulders as arms. Sinnertwin and Cutthroat connected to the bottom of his legs while the hands and feet, chest shield and head connected with the sound of a small explosion. In a voice that echoed with the Terrorcons rage the new machine howled, Combine to become ABOMINUS! The gestalt gripped a tremendous cannon in his hand, his voice deep and menacing.
Abominus, Starscream felt his hover fading, his wounds sparked erratically, Attack! No sooner had the words left his mouth, his hover systems shorted out completely, and Starscream plummeted to Earth.
Abominus triggered off a deafening blast from the cannon and growled when Monstrous dodged the orange line of explosive energy. With a four-taloned claw the gobot combiner took hold of the guns barrel and crushed it. White lights flashed from the weapon as it self-destructed in Abominus hand. He jerked back, curling a fist as he did so and swung at Monstrous, catching the beast in the center of the face. Monstrous howled and held the wounded spot but was not driven back, he snaked a hand out and grabbed Abominus by his left arm. Immediately the claw gripped with the power of a vice and dug into the metal. Abominus snarled, bringing fist upon fist down on Monstrous back. The bestial robot turned a wicked glare on Abominus and clasped a claw around his fist. It was almost crushed in his grasp. Abominus roared, teeth clamped in a defiant sneer. The two monsters locked eyes, uncaged violence and cruelty raging in their optics
There were good Autobots on that ship. Magnus voice was low, brimming with anger as he leveled his weapon at Blane, whose eyes moved towards him.
Beat it Magpie, the grown-ups are talkin. Blane lowered his hand and snapped his fingers. A high pitched squeal of tires sounded to the left of Ultra Magnus, he saw a blur of red, black and silver lunge at him and change forms. Psycho roared as he sprang, silver and black arms reaching oversized, hooked claws towards Magnus face. Psycho himself had no face, only a slick stretch of a smooth glass-like surface that opened suddenly, exposing multiple rows of jagged teeth. Magnus fired at the beast as it came, the blast slamming into his shoulder and throwing him off course. Instead of his face, Psycho clamped down on Magnus left arm and immediately began to click off the notches in his vice-like jaws. The metal resisted, then crunched inward as Magnus stumbled back, bringing the length of his gun down across Psychos face. It made a hollow thunk, and bent on a wild angle. He didnt have time to care, he raised it again and craned his neck back to avoid a swipe from one of Psychos elongated black talons. The Renegade growled incessantly, it sounded like three different creatures, all snarling and hissing at the same time but at different pitches and intervals. He let go of Magnus arm enough to shift his head and bite down again. And again. And again. The sound became a clanging, chattering sound that became almost as painful as the damage the creature was inflicting.
Magnus noticed with mounting concern they were nearing Metroplex and that thing the Renegades arrived in. Their battle was shaking the landscape, making it even harder for him to get his footing and think. The two mountainous bots were carving out a small canyon, the last thing he needed was to get careless and- Gah! He hissed through clenched teeth, noticing for the first time that his assailant sported a large length of spiked tail. It rose and quivered, tipped with a flat, curved triangle of metal that listed from side to side like a cobra, then whistled past Magnus eye. It missed but sliced across the tip of his helmet with a spark before drawing back. Psycho released his hold Magnus arm and curled towards him, intent on making another lunge for his original target. His jaws opened wide, quivered when they could go no further-then unhinged in the middle and elongated. A cloud of silver teeth yawned at Ultra Magnus, he could hear them clacking against each other in anticipation. His thoughts buzzed, he drew back with an angry yell and transformed. Psycho leapt, mouth impossibly wide and landed not on Magnus face, but the front bumper of his cab. Psycho roared as Magnus floored his engine and blinded him with his floodlights. Psycho fell to the ground, limbs flailing in a cloud of flashing metal. He was on his feet in a second, hunched forward like a goblin and managed a snarl as Magnus collided with him, knocked him flat, then ran him over. Internally, Magnus winced in pain, feeling his tires being ripped by the thrashing Renegade even as he was being crushed. They blew completely and sent him into a wild spin. His trailer jilted to the side and pulled the cab with it, sending him into a sideways tumble. Pain jolted through his body, by the time he managed to push it down enough to think, he was already falling over the newly formed cliff and into the chasm.
Fortress Maximus descended upon the planet like a silent reaper. Shadow stretched across the battlefield, heralding his arrival. In the midst of the war screaming across Iacon, it all came to a halt as the titanic fortress touched down with a loud blast of air. The ground quaked with a shudder mingled with the sound of depressing steam. Fortress Maximus came to rest for what seemed like an eternity. His guns shone as a ball of gathering energy clustered at their tips. Through every Autobot frequency came the blaring command, Autobots, seek cover.
Cannon fire blotted out every noise within a twenty-mile radius. Those who didnt know Fortress Maximus had arrived, did now. An orange mushroom of light stretched from Iacon as if the sun had come to rest in the heart of the city. Twelve Command Centers, only half the size of the monstrous Autobot, were completely annihilated by the sheer force of the blasts streaming from Fort Maxs cannons. The unrestrained energy punched through their sides and ravaged their bodies. Plumes of black smoke spurted from the wounds in a fiery geyser as they fell, dying like their dinosaurian designs.
SmallFoot lay prone before Elita-I, staring up into the barrel of her blaster. Without hesitation Elita fired. No more time for questions, no more time for explanations. The GoBots were asking for it, and she had every intention of giving it to them. The blast from her gun erupted into an explosion a lot bigger than she thought possible and evaporated, then she saw why. A strange blue light ran along every crease and line of SmallFoots body. She screamed, the sound high pitched and harsh, sending a chill down Elita's spine.
Surges of energy tore away the metal comprising SmallFoot's rectangular frame as her internal systems grew and shrank. Her eyes stripped and rebuilt themselves. Her arms pulled and pushed into a streamlined configuration, angles smoothed out into curves. Her body pulled in and pushed out, taking on a more humanoid shape. Her legs rounded out, feet becoming heels instead of blocks, wheels shifting into new positions on her compacting frame. She stared out from behind a newly formed green visor as a wave of red metal washed across her body, finalizing the change. She stood before Elita-I, thin beads of blue power tapering off from between her joints. She looked down at herself, eyes disbelieving.
so this is what it feels like
her voice overflowed with awe over this new form, her body curved and bent in so many places. A wide, unbelieving smile lit her face-until she lifted her eyes and saw Elita-1.
Elitas sour expression hadnt changed. The damage she received from their tumble marred her shoulders and back, the gun in her hand was still smoking. She had fired off three rounds during SmallFoots change and watched her shots deflect, but her weapon remained trained on the gobot, finger still at the ready.
Are you finished? she fired.
SmallFoot dropped to the ground in a split, heard the shot ring overhead, then sprang kicked Elitas hand so hard the Autobot screamed and checked to make sure the appendage was still attached. SmallFoot caught her with a swift knee to the midsection and followed with a straight right, knocking Elita off her feet. Anger raced through Elita, she stood and simultaneously launched herself at the GoBot. She threw a right that was on target with SmallFoots face-and missed. Elita felt herself stumble forward, then saw SmallFoot teetering on one leg, a look of surprise on her face as well.
Shes still adjusting. Elita thought, watching Smallfoot regain her balance and turn towards her.
SmallFoot felt her gyros spinning, altering her center of gravity and settling her in one place. Elita lunged forward, throwing a right that would surely crack SmallFoots visor-and caught sight of SmallFoot stepping to the side a lot quicker than she had during their first encounter. SmallFoot watched Elitas fist swing by her as she dodged the attack. She wouldnt have been able to do this before, it felt like her body was on autopilot. Was this how she was supposed to be moving all the time? But the wonder of avoidance was short lived. Elita dropped to a crouch and lashed a leg into the back of SmallFoots knees, sending the gobot crashing to the ground with a yelp. She was on her at once, grabbing SmallFoot by the helmet and hauling her to her feet, fist pulled back at the ready. SmallFoots mouth twisted into a snarl as her hands came alive with energy. Her fist found Elitas side and caused a small burst as her power ignited, the pink fembot was thrown back by the force. SmallFoot regained her footing and opened a palm towards Elita, feeling something inside her forearm click. Her new form had shifted elements of her vehicle form around, she felt a slot in her palm slide open and fire the grappling hook that had once been in her chest. It lashed out, a small claw latched onto Elitas shoulder and yanked her forward. SmallFoot pulled back her free hand and slung it forward, releasing a small sphere of energy that burst against Elitas forehead. The grappling claw detached, allowing Elita to fall backwards and hit the ground.
She begun to stir, then fell with a thud. SmallFoot took a running start and changed modes, her vehicle form a slim, curved flatbed truck, and resumed her trek to Command Center G2.
In only a few minutes, Command Center G2 loomed before her like a slumbering giant, waiting to be awakened and serve its primary function. She skidded to a halt and shifted modes, cranking her head back to take in the sheer enormity of the robot beast. Its gun-toned metal winked at her with a gleam.
Elitas engine snarled. She didnt know how long she had been unconscious, didnt know how long it had taken for Jazz and Blaster to catch up to her, but she did know SmallFoot had laid her out, and she planned to return the favor. Jazzs engine was loud, keeping a set distance behind her, making sure she didnt veer off the road. They drove in silence, hearing Fort Maxs announcement left them feeling dread none wished to voice.
Then she saw it.
Elita slammed on her brakes when caught sight of the mountain of a machine waiting for SmallFoot. She transformed, eyes wide as they traced the subtle differences that set this Command Center apart from the others. The dark color, the smoother edges, and the maroon stretch of glass marking its single eye. As if aware of her gaze, the eye suddenly lit up with a flash, throwing a thin reddish haze about its streamlined snout. It was unnatural light; it scared her. Jazz slid to a halt, allowing Blaster to jump free and transform as he did the same. Together they drew their weapons and prepared to open fire. Before they could launch their assault, the Command Center threw a beam of crimson light around SmallFoot. She faded, warped like a disrupted signal, and vanished.
Not good. Jazz took a step back. The Command Center came alive, lifting a gigantic leg and taking a step towards them.
Not good at all, time to make tracks! Blaster yelled as Jazz reverted to car mode, hopping inside his back seat as he reverted to radio form. Elita-1 transformed and pulled back beside him, they raced in reverse as it slammed a foot down before them, then began to lift into the air, turning its sights towards the center of Iacon.
Infernos audio gleefully accepted the continuous ovation he was receiving from the Autobots who witnessed what hed done to Turbo. A crumpled hunk of metal lay against the leg of the strange Command Center, an errant wheel poking from the junkpile. The score was as good as taking down a Decepticon in wartime, and as Inferno exchanged high fives with Gears and Jazz, he remembered the days of old, fighting side by side with his comrades against a common foe. He hadnt realized how much he missed those glory days. Despite the pain racing through his chest, he couldnt remove the grin from his face.
Two GoBots in one blow, Gears slapped Inferno on the back, Man you are on fire!
Red Alert laughed and stopped abruptly as a command echoed through his audio.
Autobots, seek cover.
He grabbed his temple a moment and looked towards the others. They looked just as rattled as he felt. Fortress Maximus.
There was no relief on their faces. Though confident in Fort Maxs power, his arrival meant things were spiraling out of control. The city went orange, awash in the brilliant glare of Fort Maxs arsenal.
In their preoccupation, no one noticed the minute lines of glittering blue energy tracing Turbo and Scooters bodies. It slithered along the detailed circuits within, following the length of Turbos crumpled hood, threading across the jagged edges of his shattered windshield and spilling into the remains of Scooters decimated body. At the same time the Command Center sensed the activation of its twin as SmallFoot was beamed aboard, and initiated its own self-activation. Inferno, Gears, Red Alert, and the surrounding Autobots swiveled around at the sudden hum coming from the bestial machine.
Whats it doing? Red Alert asked, taking a step back when the ground began to vibrate.
Better question, Gears un-holstered his gun and aimed it at the now flickering mass of Turbo and Scooter. What are they doing?
Im not about to find out. Inferno raised his hand, swapped it into a hose nozzle and sprayed a wide cone of foam at the duo. It hissed when it neared and vaporized. Gears took aim and fired, noticing with dismay his energy blast acting the same way as Infernos foam. The Command Center reacted instantly, turning its elongated head down towards the transformers and opening its massive jaw. A roar escaped the walking fortress and threatened to burst the Autobots receptors at such close range. They drew back, still wary of Turbo and Scooters changing forms.
Every line defining their bodies pulsed with the light now, as if laced by a spiders web. Then they started to move. At first it appeared to be the ground stuttering the heap along until a growing, throaty sound began to reach from the pile. It grew into a scream, and Turbos ravaged body erupted in a fiery blaze.
Every inch of Turbos mangled exterior flickered with energy as his reformation began. His crushed form remolded and reshaped itself accordingly. A dual cry of savage anger poured from Turbo, and Scooter burst through his comrades back from the inside. He shared Turbos gridline skin, but retained his blocky form. The present transformers shielded their eyes from the glare. Gears tried to peek through, and found it as difficult as snatching a glimpse of the sun. Before he averted his eyes he saw Turbos form changing
and growing. Red slashes of metal ribbed around Turbos new body, flattening and rising to match the new outline. When the GoBot rose, he had increased in bulk, standing almost twice his original height with the body mass to match. Energy wisped from his eyes, he glared in the direction of the Autobots.
Gears half muttered, half whispered.
Scooter tried to stand beside Turbo, shaking uncontrollably. His body expanded,the skin itself split into countless geometric shapes and for a moment looked as if Scooter would simply dissipate. The metal pulled back into place on his frame and appeared to show no signs of change, he looked almost the same as before. His internal systems rebuilt themselves, advanced layers of programming networked through every inch of his body. Deep black circles replaced the yellow tracing Scooters eyes, a closer look would reveal the rings to be threaded with miniscule circuitry, redistributing his holographic technology. His face took on a dark, stormy glare, wide eyes sweeping the crowd of Transformers before him. He had inherited Turbos fighting spirit, and right now he wanted nothing more than to leap into the lot of them. His eyes focused on Inferno, and he felt something shift in the rings around his eyes. A detailed schematic of the Autobots mainframe appeared in his head and instantly his skin felt like it was coming apart, shifting and twisting in small rectangular waves, reconfiguring him again.
Wha-? he brought his hands up and saw them shifting as well, the surface changing and rounding out. His arms shook, thousands of tiny panels across his body flipping, turning, and interlocking. He looked down and saw his chest altering itself into the grill of a firetruck. His legs buzzed, more tiny panels flipping and altering his appearance in a wave, working their way across his feet and midsection. The change took seconds, and when complete Scooter stood, an all-red replica of Inferno. His face remained unchanged under the mimicked helmet he raised a glowing hand and took aim at the real Inferno.
Youve got to be kidding me! Inferno whipped out his gun and fired at Inferno-Scooter, the shot struck Scooters arm and threw his shot. It careened over his and punched into a nearby building.
The Command Center open fired with a roar, launching a hail of fire from its onboard cannons.The landscape was ravaged under the attack, plumes of thick smoke sprouted from the various points of impact as the Autobots tried to avoid the assault. Inferno waved a hand towards the gobots as the Autobots pelted the Command Center with gunfire, trying desperately to take out its weapons.
Bring the heat boys!
I always bring it! Turbo made for Inferno, fist cocked, then smashed him with a vicious uppercut that almost ripped through his torso, exposing his engine in a splatter of smoke and fuel.
Inferno! Gears aimed at Turbo, gun blazing. Turbos eyes found him and flashed.
Outta the way, half-pint!
Turbo raced forward, giving Gears enough time to fire off one last round before Turbo brought his leg around and slammed his foot into the Autobot. Gears chest caved in on impact, he hurtled through the air and struck the ground without a sound.
Turbo was immediately pelted with gunfire, shots ricocheting off his armored body, some beginning to dig into him. He raising both massive hands over his head.
Come on, ya punks!
Huge spheres of energy welled up around them as he slammed the ground. The explosion ballooned forward and drove the Autobots back, lifting many off their feet and shattered the metal earth beneath them in ragged cracks.
Scooter stopped firing and concentrated. His body shook, then transformed, the sequence slightly different from Infernos, but granted him the same alternate form. He leveled his water cannon at the advancing Autobots and fired. The drenching stream did little to deter the determined warriors, the sound of engines grew louder until a beam of crimson light enveloped Turbo and Scooter. They flickered, then vanished from sight.
Red Alert squinted up at the Command Center, which now began to walk forward, heedless of anyone it might crush. It lifted into the air, a series of screaming thrust units launching it skyward as it turned towards the center of Iacon, and Fortress Maximus.
Fortress Maximus ignited a dull hum within his cannons, and fired a blast that tore straight through another Command Center. He watched the clunky mass erupt with fire from within and explode in a white flash before it hit the ground. A corner of Iacon was overly lit from the light, casting dreadful shadows across the city. For a moment Fort Max wondered if there had been other robots, other GoBots aboard the vessel, but his moment of compassion deserted him quickly. They were at war, a war no transformer wanted to see. Another three Command Centers registered on his sensors and he initiated transformation.
No matter how many times the colossal battle station transformed, it was always a sight to behold. Fortress ejected from the battlestation and became the head for his changing body. The Command Centers zeroed in on their target as Fort Max continued to transform, pelting him with cannon fire during the transformation but doing little damage. Fortress Maximus returned fire, his auto guns locked onto his assailants as a preprogrammed safety measure. Again the atmosphere was illuminated as the oncoming Centers met a fate identical to those before them. Three monstrous flares of blinding light went off, and in their wake stood Fortress Maximus, his transformation complete.
Command Center G1 cut through the air and made for him. Plumes of rocket heat jetted from the dark structure, forcing an inward dent of sagging heated metal beneath. For the transformers surrounding the Center it was like standing less than ten feet from a shuttle launch. Bodies were thrown into the air and carried almost an entire blocks length before smashing to the ground. At the same moment four miles away, the deep gray, almost black Command Center rocketed through the starless night.
They moved at speeds twice that of the previous designs, proving their appearance was not the only thing different about them. They came upon Fort Max, the Guardians aboard awestruck by the view as Fort Max fought off the horde of Command Centers that besieged him.
Fort Max wrapped his hands around the head of one and with a series of quick, savage pulls, tore it free in a shower of angry sparks. Red-black smoke snaked from the gaping wound like blood, and Fort Max grabbed a firm hold of the machines body. It was slung up and over his head, clipping another Center approaching from the left. It spiraled wildly and struck the ground. A pillar of flame spewed from its crumpled body and threw a harsh light upon its killer. He turned to find his next victim, acutely aware that the battlefield was becoming cluttered with the mangled corpses of the Command Centers. He almost smiled; there would always be room for one more, or twenty
He stood amidst the flames burning out against the metal landscape and realized he was no longer under fire. A glance to the sky revealed only dark space; the city itself was no longer a target of the GoBot transports. He turned again and saw why. The remaining Command Centers hovered in a tight net before him, a visible part down their center. Within the space hovered two dark forms, standing apart from the others not only because of their deep hue, but the strong aura about them. They faced Fortress Maximus and began to move towards him, energy radiating from their beings like a power core. Each was only half his size like the others, but he found himself sensing something about them, something unsettling. He felt his teeth clench, his eyes became slits as light flowed across their circuitry, and the two dark Command Centers entered mode-change. No, Fort Max observed with disbelief, they werent just changing modes, they were combining.
Command Center G2 split down the center, stopping just short of its head. Adjusting itself into an upright position, the split portions folded down and away, becoming a solid pair of legs. Center G1 entered a more complex series of changes, a pair of arms formed from its back portion. Hands stretched from the back end, with splayed fingers it upended itself and displayed a newly formed chest and shoulders. Across the expanse of metal Fort Max noticed a large symbol, a stylized G shaped like a diamond in appearance, a sharp point pulled down from the bottom. A pair of triangular eyes rested on either side of the letter.
he wondered, but his thoughts quickly returned to the robot merging in front of him. A head rose from between the shoulders, a gray helmet covered most of it save a single Y pattern. Crimson light flooded from the space. Fully combined, the new gestalt stood before Fort Max, its featureless face looking him in the eye.
to be continued...