Hello everybody! This is my second chapter in The Predacon’s Chronicles, a story part of @MaximusPrimal’s New Horizons universe. Big thanks for him for allowing me to make these stories, they are really fun to write.
The first two chapters are representing the origins of my main trio: Gronius, Wildsong and Giffin, that will be explored in the first rp of New Horizons, named “Tournaments of Terror”.
Here is a link to the first chapter, if you are interested.
Without further ado, enjoy the story!
There Gronius was. Running for his life as fast as he could. He was so close; he could feel the taste of freedom. After two years of constant arena fighting, he was finally right in front of a working space shuttle that could get him out of there.
He looked behind. The guards lost him. Gronius laughed out of pure joy as he accelerated towards the open shuttle. This was his lucky day! After so many failed attempts, he was finally going to succeed and get free!
”This is it!” he thought. ”I get out of here, I go to Cybertron and I call Dreadwing to help me rescue Song! What could possibly go—“
Somebody jumped on Gronius’ legs from his left, making him fall down. It was a Vex guard. Five more ran into the room, with stasis blasters and cuffs in their hands. They approached Gronius, prepared to shoot. The guard immobilized the Predacon, before another one could tie his hands with a stasis cuff. Suddenly, Gronius’ body felt weak. He was unable to strike back, or to transform.
It was only the seventh time in the last month when he felt that sensation.
“Cybertronian scum!” one of the guards said as he pushed Gronius with the barrel of his riffle. “You almost escaped this time!”
“It was your fault, Zakir!”one guard told to another. “You let him escape.”
“Hey, I wasn’t in charge at that moment, OK? It was Cahangir’s turn!”
“Shut up, Zakir! Just help me bring this trash back to the gladiator quarters.”
“No, no!” said a taller, bulkier guard. He was clearly the leader of the group. “Iota had enough of this guy. It’s time for him to suffer the consequences!”
“Ho-ho!” the first guard laughed. “I will like to see this! Now move, monster! Move!” he said, pushing Gronius with the butt of his riffle.
As the guards were taking Gronius out of the hangar, he gave a last look to the space shuttle. He was meters away of freedom. If the guards wouldn’t have been there, a few tears would have probably fell out of his optics.
Gronius, credits to @decepticonaiden
Everything started two years ago, when he and his twin sisters Wildsong crash-landed on a mysterious planet on the other side of the known galaxy while pursuing a criminal called Qingour, who stole a very powerful artefact, the SHASC. Gronius got the SHASC (a golden chest-plate with a few extensions connecting to the waist and shoulders), but with one awful price: he and his sister lived two years of their lives as gladiators in an alien arena, fighting other gladiators, most of them (if not all of them) being Cybertronian of origin, as slaves in an eternal torture.
In these two years Gronius tried to escape a lot of times. So many times, that even his sister, who back in their normal lives was arguably his biggest fan and supporter, learned to deal with the fact that the two will never escape. He tried to convince her that this time his plan will work (“Come on, sis! Give me one more chance! It will work this time!”) but her excitement slowly turned into pessimism (“Yeah, yeah. Cool, G. Just be sure to be back before the last fight.”).
Song had absolutely no idea where he was, that his plan almost worked this time, and that if she was there, the two could have escaped. Maybe she was right. Maybe Primus just didn’t want them to escape. After all, they were just two dirty Predacons. Who needed them anymore? Who needed them in the first place?
Wildsong, drawing by @decepticonaiden
Song, meanwhile, just returned from the arena in the gladiator quarters. She totally rekked a poor warrior, kicking his aft so hardly that the guy needed help to get out of the ring. She smiled as she entered inside and looked at the other gladiators.
“Kneel before me!” she joked as she rose her four arms.
Nobody even smiled at her joke. Only two or three cared enough to eye her. Song’s smile slowly faded. Since her brother failed to escape for what had to be the 258th time, she tried to turn the gladiator quarters into her new home. She tried to be nice with the other fighters, Maximals and Predacons alike, Techno-organics or Autobots and Decepticons. However, she was rarely gaining a smile from them. She had no friends. She was missing Kelia and her other workmates. She was missing the beauty of Cybertron and its colonies and its night skies full of stars. She was homesick. Very, very homesick.
She sighed. “Another day in the paradise…” she said to herself as she walked deeper in the crowd of gladiators that were waiting for their next fight. At that point, she could recognize almost all of them, but she knew the name of only a few, and even fewer knew who she was. Gronius was actually more popular than she was. He was known as that new guy that always tries to escape, but fails miserably every time. Song knew that he was doing this for her good, this being the very reason of why she was not telling him to give up.
As she was walking through the crowd, a Predacon stopped in front of her, grinning. She tried to walk pass him, but a Maximal stopped her, crossing his arms. Somebody tapped her shoulder. She turned, only to see a familiar face, one that she preferred to see ripped off by another gladiator.
“Thundercracker.” Song said, looking at the towering Decepticon.
“Oh, my! Wildsong! You’re here, my dear! Good show back there! Good show!” he said, faking a weak admiration.
“What do you want?” Song said, unamused.
“Oh, only to show you what I found in your quarters!” Thundercracker said, raising a golden chest-plate. Song’s optics opened widely as she saw the SHASC shinning in the Decepticon’s hand.
“Give it back!” she said, trying to reach it, to no success. Thundercracker was much taller than she was.
Thundercracker started laughing. “Ah, little Predacon! I really enjoy to see you like this. You know what I also enjoy? The fact that now I will win every battle using this little thingy!”
The Maximal and the Predacon started chuckling.
“Give it back, Thundercracker!”
“Give it back, you say. And what if I don’t?”
“Then I’ll… I’ll…” she said, looking around. Most of the gladiators from the room were not even watching them. The ones who were, seemed not to care too much if Thundercracker and his two bullies were going to hurt her.
“Yeah. That’s what I was saying.” Thundercracker said, raising the SHASC. “This is mine now!”
However, before Thundercracker would lower his hand back, something jumped on his hand. It seemed to be a Minicon, one fully covered by a beige cloak. The Minicon hit Thunderckacer with all of his force in his face. While the Decepticon was stumbling back, the Minicon took the SHASC from his hand and jumped away. The Minicon jumped on the floor and quickly ran away, trying to lose in the crowd.
“What are you waiting for?” Thundercracker yelled to the Maximal and Predacon. “Go catch him!”
The two nodded and started pursuing the little Minicon. Without even thinking, Song did the same. She had to get back the SHASC before the other two.
The guards locked Gronius into a small room with walls made out of yellowish stone. The room had two closed wooden doors on the opposite wall, in addition to the smaller one he got in from.
Gronius was waiting silently for something to happen. Where was Dreadclaw? Gronius frowned as he remembered the last time he saw the Maximal commander. He was shacking his hand, right after he won his respect after defeating a Combiner. Then everything went down.
Gronius punched the wall angrily. He had to realise this! He had to know this! He was just a Predacon! Nobody needed or respected a Predacon, especially a Maximal! Especially Dreadclaw! That handshake! That handshake was nothing! Dreadclaw left him to die like a trash. No, worse. Like a Predacon!
Suddenly, somebody knocked into the smaller door.
“Can you hear me?” asked Zakir, the guardian.
Gronius groaned. The only thing he needed was a conversation with his annoying guards.
“Good! You are now going to fight one of our top warriors! I talked to Iota! He said that if you win, not only that he will let you return to your sister, but he will also let you alone for two weeks! No fights! Good and fresh Energon twice a day! You will be threated better than all of the other gladiators! Where, at least than most of them!”
Gronius had no idea who this Iota was, but two weeks of not fighting sounded almost as good as going back on Cybertron.
“And if I loose?” he asked.
“Then you will have to fight him every day until you win.”
“And when is the fight?” Gronius asked, mostly ignoring the second part of Zakir’s response.
“Right now!” the Vex happily responded from behind the door.
Gronius wanted to ask something, but before he could, the two big wooden doors opened. Gronius stepped outside, and ended up in a huge arena ring, with the floor completely covered in sand. Above the arena there was an energy dome. Gronius couldn’t see much through it, except for some tribunes full of excited Vexes.
“Ladies and gentlemen!” a voice sounded from around the arena. “It’s time for the special fight of the day!”
The crowd started cheering as Gronius walked closer to the centre of the arena.
“The new warrior is a Predacon! A tricky one! We lost count of his escape attempts a long time ago!” the commentator said. “Let’s see if he can escape this fight too! Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Gronius!”
The cheering of the crowd significantly dropped as Gronius arrived in the very center of the ring. Gronius cringed his teeth. Great! Not even the audience was liking him.
“And now, for the real warrior!” started the commentator, enthusiastically. “Come on everybody! You know him!” the crowd started cheering as another pair of wooden doors was slowly opening. “He’s big! He’s bad! Ladies and gentlemen, he’s Skywarp!”
Before Gronius could identify the Cybertronian entering the arena, someone suddenly punched him in the guts. Gronius fell down, as Skywarp smirked at him from above.
“Come on, lizard! Stand up and fight! I need a new dummy! The last one died yesterday!”
While this was happening, Song and the other two were chasing the little Minicon all around the arena, bumping into other gladiators who just wanted to watch Gronius’ fight. Maybe Song would have stopped if she knew who was fighting, but right then she was more concerned about the SHASC.
The Predacon and the Maximal were fast. The latter turned into his cheetah mode, trying to run faster than the clunky Predacon. As the cheetah was advancing, Song jumped in the air. She then used her cable spikes to catch the Maximal. The spikes stabbed the cheetah in two points of his back. The Maximal groaned in pain, but continued chasing the Minicon. Song caught the two cables with her upper hands tightly, letting her heel slide on the floor as the Maximal was carrying her. She was basically water skiing. Song turned her lower hands into two blaster and pointed the right one to the Predacon. The bot saw that, but before he could stop running, Song shoot him twice. The Predacon got severely injured, falling down on the floor, sparks flying out of his wounds and small pieces of metal falling everywhere.
“Sorry!” Song yelled, before turning to the cheetah. “One more.”
Song turned her lower hands back into their normal configuration and caught the two cables. She then transferred all of her strength to the two pairs of arms, using the two cables as a slingshot, propelling herself right into the Maximal. When she landed on his back, the cheetah lost control, falling down. The momentum was, however, too big. The cheetah continued sliding forward, with Song on top of him, just like a surfboard. Sparks were flying off the Maximal’s back as his iron body was sliding on the stone floor. Gladiators were turning to watch her. Some of them even started laughing. It was the first time Song has been in the spotlight since her arrival.
When the cheetah stopped, Song resumed running, trying to catch up with the Minicon.
While she was doing so, Skywarp aimed one of his two arm guns to Gronius. The Predacon was fast enough to dodge the blasts and to shot a few beams himself from his laser pistol. Skywarp teleported a few hundreds of meters away of the blasts, further away from Gronius. This was Gronius’ only advantage: Skywarp was not able to properly use his teleporting abilities. Most of the times, he was teleporting randomly (if at all), just to get out of his range. However, Skywarp’s size and strength were compassing that.
The Seeker stood up and his body started shifting in an unusual matter, one that Gronius have never seen before. His legs rose upwards as they started to disassemble and fuse with parts of his back and some of his triangular wings. His arms were almost entirely swallowed into his shifting body. The alt mode had no arms, no legs, no head, only two sharp wings and two engines. Skywarp took off in his jet mode, swooping above Gronius’ head. Two guns were deployed under the jet’s wings, aiming and shooting at the Predacon.
It was the first time Gronius had to face a technologic alt mode.
Song got closer and closer of catching the Minicon. She almost succeeded twice, but failed. She was tired and wanted to stop. She jumped forward, attempting to catch the little one. The Minicon saw this, and entered in a room. Song fell to the floor, but quickly got up and followed the Minicon inside.
The room was almost entirely filled with scrap metal of hundreds of different types. Weapons, pieces of armor, or even limbs were thrown together in big piles or hanged by the walls and the roof. The room had only one small window with steel bars blocking it. Song closed the door and looked around for the Minicon. She suddenly heard a weird noise and turned around.
The Minicon was standing in a corner, scared. He was having the SHASC in his hands.
“Please don’t kill me! Please! I’m sorry!” the Minicon cried.
From up close, Song could see the Minicon better. The little guy was looking like a cassette bot, one that you could see in the images of the old history books, like Rumble or Frenzy. However, certain pieces of kibble on his body were pointing towards a different alt mode. He had two small wings on his back, having black armor with yellow accents and a red visor. The Minicon was terrified.
“I am sorry! Please!” he cried.
Song bit her lips and sat on her knees in front of the Minicon.
“Hey! Hey! Calm down!”
“I-I’m sorry! I’m sorry! You can take it back!” he continued, putting the SHASC on the floor, between them.
“Calm down. I am not going to hurt you. What’s your name, little one?”
“M-My name?” the Minicon asked. “Gi-Giffin.”
“Hi, Giffin!” Song told the Minicon on a calm tone. “I am Wildsong.”
“I’m s-sorry! I didn’t intend to make you angry! I just thought that the chest-plate will help me!”
“Aren’t you too small to use a chest-plate that big?”
“I don’t need it for the arena fights!”
“What?” asked Song confused. “Then for what?”
Gronius was running for his life in the arena, to the audience’s amusement. From above, Skywarp was shooting the Predacon, intentionally missing to entertain the Vexes, and himself.
“Run, reptile! Run!” Skywarp said, shooting another laser close to his legs.
The laser created a small explosion, propelling Gronius into a wall and creating a sand cloud around him. That was it! Gronius was sick of it!
Skywarp was flying above the sand cloud, trying to see the Predacon. Instead, he only saw a huge dragon head getting out of it. Gronius opened his two huge wings, throwing sand everywhere.
“Finally!” Skywarp yelled. “A real threat!”
Gronius screamed at the jet, preparing to shoot a fireball, when Skywarp started turning back into his robot mode in mid-air. As he was transforming, a handle popped out of his back. Skywarp caught it, taking a purple mace and rotating it in the air while the last parts of his body were fixing to their places. Before Gronius could react, Skywarp hit his dragon head with the maze so hard, that Energon started spilling out from almost half of his face.
Gronius fell to the floor.
Song covered her mouth with two of her hands, as the Minicon was pointing to two seemingly death bodies. They were also Minicons, with their bodies heavily damaged and dirty.
“Offline?” the Minicon asked. “No. My brothers are tuff. It would not be the first time they are in stasis lock. But it’s the first time when they spent 30 years in this state.”
The two Minicons were connected to different improvised machines. Those were probably the reason why they were still alive.
“And how did they ended up like that?”
“Long story.” Giffin sighed. “We were traveling close to this Solar System. We were going from Airlandia to a small Autobot colony called Akalo. We wanted to arrive as fast possible, but in the end we ended up dangerously close to the Vex planet. They attacked us, destroying our engines. We crash-landed on the planet. All of us entered in stasis lock. However, I woke up. After I realized that I was a prisoner in an alien gladiator arena, I waited a few days for Spokes and Skorn (these are their names) to wake up. However, they never did. I panicked. I created these machines out of scrap metal and dead bodies of other gladiators to keep them alive. I thought that the Vexes would give me the technology necessary to fully fix them, but they never did. Since then I am stealing technology from the other gladiators. This got me into problems but… Anything for my brothers…” Giffin pointed to the SHASC in Song’s lower hands. “I saw what that thing is capable of. Cybertron’s latest tech, right? Well… I wanted to open it, and study it. Maybe I could create an improvised CR Chamber, based on its healing abilities. I didn’t knew that you and Thundercracker’s band will try to take it back. I mean… I should’ve imagined. Trion, I am so stupid sometimes!”
Giffin’s story emotioned Song. She stood down next to him.
“Hey! Hey! It’s OK.”
“If you want to keep it, I understand. Just try not to spread the information too much.”
“No, I’ll help you.”
“What?” the Minicon said, looking up at her, eyes full of hope.
“I will help you. We will find a way to fix the two, don’t worry! We can do it.”
Giffin smiled. He couldn’t stop himself to hug Song’s lower torso.
“Thank you! Thank you so much!”
Song smiled and put two of her hands on the Minicon’s back.
Gronius’ body automatically changed to robot mode. He tried to stay up, but a big foot stepped on his back.
“It seems that I’ll see you again tomorrow, lizard!” Skywarp said, looking up to the crowd.
“Ladies and gentlemen! We have a winner!” the commentator said.
In those very seconds, flashbacks were flying in front of Gronius’ optics. His whole life played in front of his eyes. Every time he was called names, every time he felt bad only because of his faction. He have fought multiple criminals, Qingour, the Nightmarecons. He fought numerous matches in this alien arena, and won almost all of them. Yet here he is, ridiculed again and called “lizard” by a Decepticon. No. He was not going to accept that anymore.
Gronius jumped up on his feet, pushing the much taller Skywarp away.
“Oh, it seems Gronius is going to fight back!” the commentator cheered.
“Come on, Predacon!” Skywarp yelled. “Show me what you….”
But before he could finish his sentence, Gronius blasted him in the chest with his pistol. Before Skywarp could focus on him, he lunged at him and punched him in the guts. Then again, and again. Skywarp tried to counterattack, but to no avail. Gronius caught his hand cannon before the Decepticon could shoot. Then he hit him in the face with his head.
Skywarp stumbled back, giving Gronius enough time to transform to his dragon mode. He opened his big, damaged mouth and spilled out an entire firestorm, completely covering Skywarp. The poor Decepticon tried to run away, but Gronius rotated 360 and attempted to hit him with his huge tail like with a whip. Skywarp teleported in the air before he could be hit and pointed both of his blasters at the dragon.
The lasers were too weak to damage Gronius’ thick skin. The dragon opened his wings widely and took off. Compared to the huge dragon that was flying around the arena, Skywarp was a child. A scared child. Before he could fire, the huge beast caught him with it’s front claws and threw him on the ground, dropping his purple maze.
Skywarp stood up, heavily damaged, completely surprised to see Gronius in his robot mode and with his maze in hands, preparing a hit at his side. Not even his teleportation could help him this time. He was hit so hardly, that he flew in the closest wall.
The crowd was silent for a few moments, before exploding into applause and cheering.
“Wow! That was unexpected! Gronius just kicked that Decepticon aft out of Skywarp! Ladies and gentlemen! Gronius won!” the commentator yelled.
From his room, Iota smiled as Gronius was being taken out of the arena.
Song and Giffin were both standing on the biggest pile of scraps from the arena, looking through the bars of the window at the sunset. The Minicon was hugging the big chest-plate in his little hands. Song put two of her hands on his opposite shoulder, half-hugging him.
Gronius entered in the same empty room. Two guards were waiting for him. Gronius recognized them from earlier that day: Zakir and Cahangir.
“Man!” Zakir said. “That was an epic fight!”
“Yeah, man! That was truly epic!”
Gronius didn’t say anything. It was the first time when he finally used the range in a fight. It was unexpected, even for him, but it felt so good. He had no idea that he could beat a Decepticon, a being almost twice bigger than him.
Breathing hardly, he couldn’t stop to smile.
“Why are you smiling?” Cahangir asked.
“Yeah, why are you grinning like that?”
“Show me the way to the gladiator quarters.” Gronius said, silently, still grinning.
“Yeah! What are you going to do?”
Gronius suddenly rose Skywarp’s maze and rested it on his shoulder.
“I almost killed that guy over there.” he said, motioning with his head at the battle ring. “What makes you think you would have any chance?”
That was the first from a long line of “regular days” in Gronius’ and Song’s life. The latter one will spend her days trying to find a way to use the SHASC to heal the two Minicons, together with Giffin. Gronius would spend entire days fighting in the arena, gaining the respect of the audience, the guardians, and maybe of the gladiators too. Doing so both of them forgot of the hope of finding a new way of escaping and returning on Cybertron.
But hope was coming, in a form that none of them would suspect.