Salvation: Part II

Starchaser turned back around and walked back in.
“Alright then. Let’s get this done.”
She handed him the two data cards.
“So how is this going to work?”

“Keys… Keys… Keys… What do the keys do? Open a lock, but… More?”

“I’ll be fine,” Salvo declines.

Halfrunner tends to other patrons while the bridge crew sits together at another table.

“Well, if you’ll just lay yourself down over there-”

Facelift gestures to an operating table.

“…Then I’ll put you in stasis lock and put all the right parts in ya to get these schematics working right.”

“Oh that’s right,” Greasemonkey realizes. "You weren’t there for that.

“You see, two weeks ago, following an exploration of a derelict Knight ship gone awry- terrorcon infestation; nasty business- Salvation’s transwarp drive was damaged in the hullabaloo. We happened upon an uncharted planet for repairs, which by a brilliant stroke of coincidence, happened to boast the outpost on which the Omega Lock was forged, all those eons ago.”

“Oh, okay…” he says, deflating a bit. “Well, I guess I’ll see you around then.” he said, turning to walk away.

“How about no. If you think for a nano-tick I’m going to let someone like you put me under you got a screw loose.”
Starchaser said in a very assertive tone.

“So… This is where… the keys were made?”
Broadwing asked. Not entirely understanding all that he had just been told.

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Garand just looks at Brieg, still silently asking him to elaborate on what he meant earlier.

Salvo resumes work on her mech as Darkside departs.

What an odd guy, she thinks.

Facelift takes a step back.

“…Or I could just disable your pain receptors and keep you conscious for the procedure,” he decides.

Greasemonkey nods.

“In a manner of speaking. The story goes that Solus Prime built the Omega Lock with the help of the Knights, but when the Thirteen had their falling out, Optimus Prime cut it into pieces- of which these Omega Keys we have are two.”

SideStep nodded and began to twiddle his thumbs as he waited.

Spectrum peered up at Fortress from under the hand, smiling happily.
“H-hand!” She chirped.

“Ugh. Shockwave and I are trying to perfect cloning technology. A massive breakthrough in modern science and one of these keys may be exactly what we need!”

“That I can work with.”
Starchaser replied.

“So the lock is… Made of keys? Not, opened by keys…”
Broadwing said. The odd concept clearly not processing well in his diminished mind.

“It looks serviceable. You have done a fine job.”
Fortress said. He would smile if he could.

“Cloning was forbidden among Angelicons after the Nova Incident.” Garand says.

Spectrum nodded as she tried to set the hand down.

“But times are different now. Things have changed! Just imagine what could be done with perfected cloning technology.”

Lurch is eventually escorted into the lab by two security personnel. Upon taking sight of SideStep, he shoots a fierce glare at the bot,

You. I should have guessed that this was your idea.”

Drone helps her set the giant hand down. The rest of the repair team side-eye the extremity.

“I, uh… I guess it’ll do until we can build a better replacement…” one says uneasily.

“Splendid!” Facelift exclaims, clasping his hands together.

Greasemonkey chuckles, the laugh reverberating out from behind his mouthplate.

“Yes, it is strange, sir.”

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“Indeed. It is not ideal, but appears functional.”
Fortress said.

Starchaser winced a little and walked over to the table, lying down and waiting for the doctor to begin.

“We have… Two keys?.. How many… Do we need?”
He asked.

Darkside meandered down the hallways, bot really going anywhere in particular, until he wandered into the Conflux.

“Huh.” He said, looking around, “This is new.”

He walked forward, and inspected the console.

Zeapr growled, “We’ve seen a preview of that.” He was referring to the Predacon clones they’ve been fighting.

“Zepar!” Garand barked, “Control yourself.”

“The predacons are what we are trying to avoid. They are savage beasts. We want to create civilised thinking beings.”

“It’s dangerous.” Garand said, “Clones can potentially be programmed or customized to some desired task or form; you could create the unbeatable weapon with such power.”

Zepar looks at Brieg, “He has a point, doctor, what’s to stop someone from creating custom clones for malicious purposes?”

Brieg wanted to say a decent moral code or set of ethics, but he didn’t want to sound like a hypocrite.

“The machinery will be under tight supervision. Meaning that no unauthorized cloning will be possible.”

Forcep grabs a black-colored rod dotted with blue lights, and waves it over Starchaser’s body. She feels a numbness come over her as the device disables her pain receptors, allowing Facelift to do his work with minimal discomfort to his patient.

“You know, it’s my experience that most prefer to be under for this,” he remarks. “You don’t get squeamish watching folks pick you apart and root about your insides?”

As Darkside approaches the Conflux’s main console, the device comes to life, a faint aura of white light surrounding it. A small, holographic map of this planet materializes above the flat surface of the terminal, and all around the chamber, the Blue Omega Key’s holo-map fades into view: hundred of thousands of tiny stars wink into existence, dotted by planets, asteroid fields, nebulae, and other stellar bodies. The frayed and fizzling edges of the holo-map cling to the walls, their corrupted graphics and broken strings of glyphs wrapping enigmatically around the room.

A faint pulse of verdant light emanates from the recently acquired Green Omega Key, and the map begins to change. The stars begin to shrink and rotate, taking their planets with them as more points of light fade in to fill the empty space. The damaged sections of the map fill in with lines of ancient code, restoring them partly.

“I’m not sure,” Greasemonkey admits. “The word is that Optimus cut the Lock into five pieces, so I would assume that leaves three left for us to obtain.”

“I trust you about as far as I can throw a dinobot. Not gonna happen.”
Starchaser asserted.

“I… See… How do we… Find them?”