Salvation: Part II

“Thunderblast must have been under the assumption that those four would be enough to defeat us,” Shockwave guesses.


Facelift could be found in the insecticon hive, alongside his crew. His equipment and storage tanks were set up in a small room branching off from the main chamber, and now that their presence on the ship was known, the Butcher of Tetrahex and his associates looked to be taking up permanent residence among the insecticons. Drone and Red dragged something into a backroom, while Facelift himself repaired Arthropoda, the insecticon queen.

“The last time I worked on an insecticon was Cycle Sixty-Three,” he comments. “Small little worker drone. Wanted to get bigger so she could usurp her own queen and take over the hive. So I tried setting her up with a couple of alt-modes, a transmetal upgrade, and a duocon retrofit- mostly because Brainpan tried to tell me once that you couldn’t make a six-changing, transmetal, duoconic insection, and whaddya know! She was absolutely right…”

Arthropoda gives the mad doctor a concerned glance, gently pushing him away from her sparkchamber with her claws.


Halfrunner shrugs.

“It takes more’n fighters to win a war, lad,” he says. “So I’ve been told, anyway; don’t have much experience in warfare meself.”


Greasemonkey sighs. He was happy to be getting visitors again, but why were his guests always so disruptive?

“Please quiet down, thank you!” he shouts upward. “And don’t break anything; we wouldn’t want to unravel the fabric of reality around us, now would we?”

SideStep glanced at Shockwave. “You made fourteen clones?”[quote=“Chromeharpoon, post:8204, topic:49995”]
Facelift could be found in the insecticon hive, alongside his crew. His equipment and storage tanks were set up in a small room branching off from the main chamber, and now that their presence on the ship was known, the Butcher of Tetrahex and his associates looked to be taking up permanent residence among the insecticons. Drone and Red dragged something into a backroom, while Facelift himself repaired Arthropoda, the insecticon queen.

“The last time I worked on an insecticon was Cycle Sixty-Three,” he comments. “Small little worker drone. Wanted to get bigger so she could usurp her own queen and take over the hive. So I tried setting her up with a couple of alt-modes, a transmetal upgrade, and a duocon retrofit- mostly because Brainpan tried to tell me once that you couldn’t make a six-changing, transmetal, duoconic insection, and whaddya know! She was absolutely right…”

Arthropoda gives the mad doctor a concerned glance, gently pushing him away from her sparkchamber with her claws.
[/quote]

Spectrum crawled up behind Facelift and tapped his shoulder.

“That’s the problem, my one job, spying, is no good on an expedition like this. I’m not even sure who put me on this boat. I just got a message saying that I had been selected and to show up at 0800 hours.”

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“Of which you and your cohorts have killed five,” Shockwave adds.


Agh!” Facelift cries out in surprise, dropping a blowtorch and jumping around. He pulls out his cannon and sweeps it around the room in search of his assailant.

“Who’s there?! I have a Type-3 EM Heavy Cannon and I’m fairly competent in how to use it!”


“You’re not the only one, kiddo,” Halfrunner says sympathetically. “I’ve been away from cybertronian space since this d*mn war started. I put in my application to join this here voyage as a joke, for spark’s sake!”

“So there are more? Are any of them bigger than that blue cold one?”
Brieg asked.

Shadows dash around the floor as the beast flies from spot to spot. Looking for something. Something missing. The creature swooped down low. Greasemonkey would only be able to catch a brief glimpse of the intruder, but something about it may have seemed somewhat familiar.

^^^^^^

“Wait, wait? Who the H**l was in charge of recruiting for this joyride?” He exclaimed, “Their whole job is to weed out the jokes and fakers from the real applicants!”

Shockwave nods.

“There may be one,” he says, “if their science division has managed to complete specimens one-through-five’s augmentations.”


Thrift reaches into a hatch on his ship and pulls out a swatch of datacards splayed out in his hands like playing cards.

“Everything that drives, crawls, swims, and flies!” he proclaims.

“Okay, before you sue me for false advertising, that’s not entirely true, but my library is still expansive!”


“Let me correct meself,” Halfrunner quickly adds.

“Part of me did want to go out an’ explorethe unknown, save our species, an’ discover ancient relics and whatnot, but I never seriously considered I’d be accepted. It was more of a ‘why the slag not?’ sort of thing.”

“That makes a bit more sense. At least you wanted to be out here. I didn’t even sign up.”

“They must’ve seen something in ya,” Halfrunner says with a shrug. “Shockwave doesn’t make mistakes, I’ll give him that.”

Darkside snorted, “That’s what he wants people to think.”

“Sweet Primus… Don’t tell me you made a predacon gestalt.”
Brieg said. With a noticeable level of shock and perhaps a little bit of disappointment in his tone.

“I need flight modes. Anything that can attack from the air. Show me everything you have.”
She said with a rather serious edge to her voice.

“Well he’s convinced me,” Halfrunner remarks, taking a sip of his own drink.

Away from the bar, captain Topside could be seen sitting at a table with Flyby, Brakeswitch, and Broadband accompanying him. The captain was, at the behest of the other three, regaling them with a tale of a past battle.

“…The bridge is venting atmo, we’ve lost our engines, and if that wasn’t bad enough, Starscream himself is digging his greasy talons into my neck- that’s not an expression, either; the guy has something against personal maintenance, I swear…”

“I can vouch for him,” Brakeswitch says. “He was on the Nemesis a few times back when Flyby and I were assigned to it. Megatron needs to tell him about oil baths.”

This elicits a laugh from around the table.


“It was always a fascination of Megatron and the other Decepticon Lords,” Shockwave says. “The fabled destructive fury of the predacons multiplied and condensed into one easily-controlled form. I had already begun research into modifying the necessary retrofitting procedures for predacon physiology before the truce was called.”


Thrift raises an eyebrow.

“I can see from your wings that you already have a flight mode yourself,” he remarks. “Maybe a couple, actually…”

The junkion narrows his eyes, then widens them again with a gasp.

Hey! You’re Starchaser, ain’t ya? Wow, what an honor. I’d kiss your hand, but I don’t have a mouth- and even if I did, I’m pretty sure you’d rip my face off, no offense.”


His curiosity piqued, Greasemonkey tries to get a better look at the creature.

“Ever hear about the time he lost a bet on a race, even though he was told that the racer wouldn’t win?”

“Really now?” Halfrunner remarks. “Never took Shockwave for a betting man.”

“Well based upon the battle of today, I think its safe to say we don’t stand much of a chance if such a creation is turned against us.”

“None… Taken.”
She replied. Though she did sound a little hurt.
“Look, the game’s changed. So I need to change with it. These new decepticon troopers are a lot tougher than the old autobot flyers I’m used to. So I’m going to need some upgrades.”

The beast perches itself on a nearby support beam. Hidden in shadow, only a long tail with a hooked blade at the end hung in the light. Swinging idly back and forth. Two red gleaming optics looked back at the engineer. It seemed just as much as he was studying the creature, it was studying him as well.

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“Back on Velocitron, there were more than a few race-fixing rings. Shockwave and I had been ordered to break a few of them, hurting our own fixing efforts. His job was to use his access to the treasury to artificially inflate the bet count on certain racers to draw out the rings, and my job was to track the ring down to be eliminated later. However, at one point, I over heard one of the ring members talking about trying to throw us off by fixing the race to a different racer than we anticipated. However, when I tried to tell Shockwave this, he refused to believe that they would switch. ‘It was Illogical for them to change.’ He told me ‘This is the best way for them to make the most profit’. For some reason he refused to belive that someone would choose the illogical path to escape trouble. You should have seen his face when the results came in! He almost shut down for a few minutes while his mind tried to process how in the world he could have lost almost 5,000,000 Shanix.”

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Shockwave taps the predacon files, selecting one code-named “Abominus”. Designs for a fearsome gestalt materialize in front of Breig and SideStep, along with notes on its five individual components.


“Well, you’ve certainly come to the right scoundrel!” Thrift says without missing a beat. “I happen to have a few combat aircraft schematics that I’ve acquired through various entirely legitimate and over-the-table means.”


“Hello?” Greasemonkey says, looking up at the creature.

“May I help you?”


Halfrunner bursts out laughing.

Ha-HA! Ah, that’s priceless!” he exclaims.

“Makes me wish I had a snapshot Charger!” He said, laughing with him.

“My god… We’re doomed.”
Brieg said with a heavy sense of dread.

“Alright. I’m glad to hear it. So let’s see what you got.”

“Help… Help…”
The creature echoed in a rough and raspy voice.
“Help, me?.. Help, you…”
The creature said as old and long past memories came back to the surface. He leaned forward, being an all too familiar face to the light. A technorganic mess of flesh and metal. A long jagged beak on the front and lean sharp crest on the back.

“Help, you… Help, you…”
The creature repeated.

Epsilon knocks on the door to Shockwave’s lab, looking rather worse for wear.


Zepar and Garnad were in the Conflux, observing the effects the Green Key would have on it.