Brainpan and several scientists join Wildsong in attacking Hun-Gurr, who once more falls to his knees as bolts of lightning and stun bolts pelt his armor. A few keep their fire on the other two predacons, but are no match for Twinstrike and Windrazor. The vermillion flyer slices New Decepticons in half with his wings, while Twinstrike transforms to robot mode and charges at Wildsong with a pair of sickles.
Thrift looks out the hangar aperture at the inscription-laden horizon of OL-2006-2-C.
"Would be nice to ask one what all that's about," he says, gesticulating at a patch of mile-long glyphs.
Underneath the tangle of loose wiring and scrap metal that Broadwing had cobbled together into a nest, SideStep would find a cleverly-disguised keypad, adorned with a green Decepticon insignia.
Halfrunner looks up at the face of OL-2006-2-C, whistling as he takes in the glowing rings adorning its surface. They were likely carved deep into the planet's crust from orbit, by the powerful lasers that Knight warships were reputed to carry.
"Aye, that sure's something to wake up to, alright," the barkeep says.
"So this is where we've been trynna get to for the last month, is it?"
Elsewhere in Little Iacon, Lurch is accosted by security personal and asked to accompany them for questioning. Lurch, of course, protests.
"I will not subject myself to an unwarranted interrogation to satisfy the paranoia of our deranged Autobot captain! He's the one who put you up to this, I'll bet; a Decepticon possessed of a sound mind like Shatterpoint would see plain as day that I couldn't possibly pose a threat to the Salvation or its crew.
The spy's communication's hub in the city, discovered by Blight, Juliana, and Epsilon-5, could still be accessed, its equipment currently inert but not disabled.
Forcep begins to analyze a sample of the Blue Cybermatter, of which the medical wings had been receiving a constant supply of since the Omega Key was inserted into the Omega Conflux.
Sprocket and Grommet remain in their laboratory, as they had been ordered to by SideStep. Sprocket gets back to tinkering with the pieces of the Golden Age mining tool that Gronius had brought aboard Salvation many weeks ago.
In Salvation's brig, Matchstick and Fusebox reside in separate cells, seemingly glaring though the walls at each other. Accompanying them are the survivors of those who lead the thwarted breakout on Planet Omega, and the would-be assassins who had been ordered to kill Shockwave by an unknown client.
Speaking of Shockwave, the cyclops was still in his lab, tinkering away at the Cortical Psychic Patch. Zepar and Epsilon had provided him with useful data on how to further improve the machine, but he was beginning to doubt that he could get the Patch up and properly running as he was proceeding now. Like the many other projects detailed in his notes, Salvation perhaps just wasn't currently equipped to accommodate his flavor of mad science.
Salvo finishes the repairs to her mech, crawling inside it and booting the machine up. The CYBR Corrupter remains on display.
Within a private chamber on the Vigilant, Thunderblast withdraws a dagger from the now-empty sparkchamber of the scientist Quasar, who falls onto the floor, dead.
"Useless!" she hisses. "Utterly useless!"
Outbreak, her personal physician and the chief medical officer of the entire New Decepticon Fleet, watches in silence. Rarely was Thunderblast ever this angry- or rather, rarely did she display her fury so plainly. Wildsong had tested her patience to its limits.
"I should have cut out her spark the moment she failed to bring me the Omega Key!" she spits, "but no, I stick myself with a self-important brat with delusions of grandeur more outlandish than those of Bludgeon, who as apparently done nothing but sit and indulge herself in her fantasies throughout the Salvation's voyage!"
Outbreak smirks behind his visor, almost hoping that Wildsong knew how much she had frustrated Thunderblast with her complete failure to be of use to her shadowy schemes. Still, when Thunderblast was mad, she tended to stab any foolish underlings who made the mistake of drawing her ire, even at the slightest offense, and so the doctor saw it in his best interest to calm her down.
"Perhaps she wasn't a complete waste of your time, Your Excellency," he hisses through his mask. "After all, she gave us this..."
Outbreak taps a console, and a copy of Wildsong's combiner schematics appears on a holo-screen. Thunderblast glares at the notes and schematics at first, before her expression softens...
...and reshapes itself into a wicked grin.
"Indeed she did..." duplicitous Decepticon concedes. "Perhaps, even if she can be of no use to me directly, I can still make something of what I'm sure is a rare spark of brilliance on her part...
"...Outbreak, dear, make sure these schematics are distributed to the supply ships, and have their captains begin selecting, ah... volunteers for a new project of yours."
Outbreak rolls his eyes as he copies the data Wildsong had given Quasar, sending it out to the other four supply ships of the New Decepticon fleet.
"Oh, and Outbreak? I don't believe this is something Bludgeon and his lackeys need to be made aware of," Thunderblast adds. "Wouldn't you agree?"
"Wholeheartedly, Your Excellency..."
Aboard the Armageddon, Bludgeon meditates in his chambers, murmuring a prayer in Ancient Cybertronian:
Look upon me, my Creator, as I lay low the enemies of your salvation. Bear witness as I carve a path upon which I will lead your children to glory. Look upon me- your savior- and despair not..."
As Bludgeon demands Primus' attention, he stares intently at a worn and rusted artifact: a shell which had once held the crystal core of the Matrix of Leadership, abandoned and lost in the icy glaciers of Clemency for eons until he had recovered it.
Obsidian and Strika survey their legions from a gantry high above the Armageddon's main hangar.
"See to it all marksman-class units are be equipped with CLUTCH attack drones," Obsidian drawls to his cohort.
"It will be done," Strika vows. "Thunderblast and Lockdown's experiments with the artifact recovered from that shipwreck have finally yielded results, as well. While I have my misgivings about meddling with the Blood of Unicron, I am nonetheless eager to evaluate our new assets' effectiveness in combat..."