The Predacon Chronicles: Gronius' story

Gronius was woken by a very bad headache. He stood up, a little confused and without any memory of what happened. He looked around: he was in a destroyed, small shuttle. The ship was looking like it was assaulted by terrorists, or like it was bombarded by a meteor shower.
Other than him, there were two more figures inside the pod. One of them was definitely dead. Energon was leaking from the wholes in his body. He was a black Maximal, with a kangaroo alternative mode. Gronius didn’t really remembered who the Maximal was but decided to ignore him after he saw the second being.
It was Wildsong, Gronius’ twin sister. She was a blue Predacon with four arms and dark blue armor. She was lying unconscious on the floor. Gronius took her in his arms. She was alive. She also had a weird piece of armor in her hands: it was looking like a golden chestplate, with some extensions that would attach by different parts of the body.
Gronius opened the door and left the ship, while carrying Song. Memories were slowly returning to his head. However, he almost dropped his sister when he saw what was happening outside: he was in the middle of a desert. At least 20 weird alien beings surrounding them, pointing what seemed to be an advanced type of blasters at him.
Gronius was still too dizzy to fight, or to protect himself. He looked around, panicked, not knowing what to do or how he got there.

It all started a few days ago, on the beautiful planet of Cybertron. A long time ago, Cybertron was populated by a variety of robotic species, from the kind Autobots to the aquatic Seacons. However, a few thousands of years ago, a big part of the Cybertronians was banished, leaving only two major factions on the planet: the Maximals, that had the ability to turn into different animals, and the Predacons, which had the ability to turn into a large variety of monsters and beast. A war broke out between the two factions, known as the Beast Wars, in which the Maximals eventually won. The Predacons became a second-class species, and they are considered by some Maximals brutes, or criminals, even though some of them would never hurt anybody.

One such Predacon was Gronius. Gronius was a big, dark red armored Predacon, with the ability to turn into a huge and powerful dragon. He had a talent in engineering and sword fighting, and he was always seeking for adventures.
That’s why he became part of an organization called the ‘Thunders of Iacon’. The Thunders of Iacon (or ToI for short) were a group of agents that were protecting the peace of Cybertron. They were helping the leader of the planet, the great Maxima Prime. They were above the police, investigating the more important cases, and they were seen as heroes. Even the Predacons of the group were more appreciated than the civilian Predacons.
Gronius was a ground agent, meaning that he should see a lot of action. However, he was rarely leaving his desk. When he was, his missions were not very important. One day he was standing at his desk, waiting for something interesting to happen or for somebody to ask for his help. Suddenly, he received a message on his computer. It was from his twin sister Wildsong.
‘Hey, G!’ the message was saying. ‘How’r’ya doing?’
Gronius looked around, to assure that nobody was seeing him.
‘I am working.’ He typed her.
‘You are always working!’ came the response.
‘Exactly. What do you want?’ he typed, a little annoyed.
‘I just wanted to see what my favorite twin is doing!’
‘I am your only twin, Song!’
‘Aren’t you supposed to work too? What if your boss is going to find out that you are talking to me?’
‘Don’t worry! His secretary Kelia is going to cover me. She always does.’
“Gronius!” sounded a voice in front of the Predacon.
Gronius quickly rose his head from the screen of his computer. It was his boss, Dreadclaw: an orange Maximal with a falcon alt mode. When he saw him, Gronius quickly stood up and rose his head to his forehead, making a militaristic salute.
“Stay down.” Dreadclaw said, annoyed.
Gronius did so.
“Yes, sir?” he asked, trying to pretend that he was working on his computer, instead of talking to his sister.
“What were you doing?” asked Dreadclaw, irritated.
“I was just finishing this report about my last mission!” he said, raising a random piece of paper.
Unfortunately for Gronius, the piece of paper was empty. Dreadclaw folded his hands to his chest, eyeing him angrily.
“It is empty.” The orange Maximal said.
“Exactly! I was starting to write the report!” Gronius said, smiling.
“But you said that you were going to finish it.” He said, raising an eyebrow.
Gronius chuckled nervously.
“Come on, boss! How long could it take to write down a report about a… failed attempt to catch a rogue agent…?”
Gronius said the last part a little disappointed on himself. He could remember that night very well: he supposed to catch Qingour: a rogue ToI agent that was now working for an unknown boss. Qingour was a tan maximal, with a kangaroo alt mode. He almost caught him trying to sell some drugs, but he failed miserably, and the whole agency laughed of him. Dreadclaw remembered it and decided not to talk about this.
“Do you want another chance? Another mission?” the Maximal said, to which Gronius rose his head, full of hope.
“Yes! Yes of course!”
Dreadclaw put a green stick on the desk, and then left, saying “Don’t screw this up again, Gronius.” Gronius quickly took the stick and plugged it into his computer. A few files opened, as a voice started informing Gronius about the mission:

The brilliant minds of DroneMax Industries did it again. This time, they built yet another technological wonder: The Shielding, Healing and Self-defense Chestplate, or SHASC for short. This chestplate, connected to any user, is able to absorb any type of fire, absorb it, and either use it to fully heal the user, like an advanced CR Chamber, or shot it to the attacker in form of energy bolts. The only finished prototype of the SHASC is still at the headquarters of the company, together with the blueprints that will be downloaded into the main computer of the industry later this evening.
The prototype is going to be send to Maxima Prime’s head scientists that will study and upgrade it. However, the SHASC needs guards, in case somebody is going to try to steal it.
Your mission Gronius, should you choose to accept it, is to participate to the team that is going to guard the SHASC prototype. Here are the coordinates where you are going to meet the rest of your team, this afternoon, at 6:45 PM.

A set of coordinates popped up on the screen, together with a bunch of images that were representing the SHASC, the ones that created it, and other things.
Gronius was extremely happy. He was going to show to the whole agency that the whole Qingour incident was just a mistake, and that he is a good agent. In addition, Song was working at DroneMax, so he could see her too.
He stood up, fists in the air and said:
“Yes! This is my chance to prove myself!”
He was so happy, that he completely ignored the fact that some bots outside his office could see him through a transparent wall.

That afternoon, Gronius came to the requested coordinates, which were right in front of the DroneMax tower. The tower was huge, with at least 36 levels, and most probably a few more underground. It had a huge garden around it, with short grass, some bushes, and a few statues of different scientist. Some of them were representing Autobots too, like Perceptor and Wheeljack. Most probably the company payed high taxes to the government to let them have statues of the banished ones.
In the garden there were 8 more agents, all of them being Maximals, with riffles ready in their hands. There were a few more bots that were representing the DroneMax company: three scientists (most probably the ones that have created the SHASC), the head of the company (a silver Maximal with a lion alternative mode), and his secretary Kelia, a white dove bot. In front of the garden were three hover vehicles, one of them carrying a trailer.
Gronius approached the other agents, just in time.
“Ah, perfect! The last agent!” the purple lion said. “We were waiting for you!”
“I am sorry, sir…” Gronius said, laughing a little awkwardly.
“Anyway…” the head of the company said, turning to the rest of the agents. “The road is going to take about two or three hours. I hope this is perfectly fine for you all.”
The others nodded. The head of the company, called Silvertail, gave them a few more clarifications, after which the agents entered in the trailer. Inside there was a box made out of strong steel, with two lasers attached by the ceiling protecting it. Six of the agents sat on the benches on the sides of the trailer, while the seventh flew above the convoy, and the other two jumped in the other two vehicles.

After the leaving formalities, the convoy started it’s journey. Everything seemed all right in the first half of hour, until the convoy temporarily left Iacon for a shortcut. Gronius looked around at the other five ToI agents. The leader was a rhino, the second in command was a tiger, and the other three were a monkey, a giraffe and a zebra. The zebra and the tiger were talking about their past missions, laughing. At some point, the tiger looked at Groius.
“What about you?” the tiger asked. “I haven’t seen you around too often. I am Wyclaw.”
“Gronius.” The Predacon answered.
“Wait, Gronius? The Gronius?” the tiger asked unexpectedly, trying not to laugh.
“The one that screwed up that mission with Qingour?” finished the zebra.
“Yes…” said Gronius full of shame, trying not to show this.
The zebra and the tiger laughed.
“Oh, my!” the tiger continued. “The whole agency knows what you’ve done!”
“Or what you haven’t done!” the zebra said.
“Come on, boys!” said the giraffe. “What would you expect from him? He is a Predacon!”
Gronius’ shame turned into anger. Yes, he screwed up one mission, but who didn’t? This wasn’t a reason for them to judge him by his faction. He opened his mouth, ready to protest the giraffe’s affirmation, when the whole trailer shook crazily.
“What was that?” asked the monkey who, to that point, was standing asleep with his riffle in the hands.
“I don’t know.” The rhino said, standing up. “Wyclaw, call Airguard. He is flying above us, he must know what shook the trailer.
The tiger nodded and turned on his comms.
“Airguard?” Wyclaw called with no response. “Airguard, do you hear me? Airguard!”
Wyclaw continued like that for a few more seconds, before stopping and shaking his head to the leader.
“Nothing.” He said. “He is not responding.”
One by one, the agents stood up. Gronius did the same, looking confused at the Maximals. Suddenly, a weird sound caught all of the agents off guard: somebody was firing his riffle. There was a battle outside.
“By the Primes…” said the rhino. “You, open the door!”
He said to Gronius, motioning to the door of the trailer. The Predacon nodded and opened it. The only thing that they could see was the hover vehicle from their back, where one of the other three agents should be. The agent was sticking his head and arms out on one window and seemed to shoot something from the air. He then observed Gronius and yelled:
“We are under attack!!”
But then somebody shot him from the air in the left shoulder, then in the right one, and then in the head. The agent died immediately, and the hover vehicle derailed. Gronius turned around to the others, who were looking just as scared as he was.
“All right!” the rhino said. “We have one mission: to protect the SHASC prototype! Are we going to get scared by a little ambush?”
“No!” everybody said at unison.
Gronius thought that this was one tradition of the team. He smiled. Now he was part of the team too, right? Well, he could be part of this too.
“I can’t hear you!” the rhino said.
“NO!” Gronius yelled together with the others.
The closest bot to him, the giraffe Maximal, turned his head to him and frowned, irritation being clearly visible in his eyes.
“Perfect!” the rhino said, not observing the giraffe’s reaction. “Maximals or Predacons, we are going to do it! Because we are a team!”
“Yes!” the team said. This time Gronius shouted up. Clearly, the tiger, giraffe and zebra were not agreeing with the rhino.
Suddenly, something hit the top of the trailer. The sound scared the monkey, which fell on the floor and hid under the benches.
“Come on, man!” the rhino said. “I just said that we are not afraid of…”
But before he could finish his sentence, a shot perforated the top of the trailer and hit the rhino maximal right in his shoulder. The leader cried in pain, when another shot hit him in the head and killed him.
The rest of the team, excluding the monkey, started to shoot at the ceiling of the trailer, hoping that in this way they will kill the attacker, but then the right wall of the trailer exploded, and another bot entered inside.
The bot was clearly a Maximal with strong, double-jointed legs. He had black armor, with some tan accents, and a big visor in front of his eyes. He also had a pair of black wings, with some trans-blue parts. The maximal had his hands turned into two blasters and was prepared for fight.
Before the agents were able to stand up, the attacker shot the zebra in his head. The monkey (who was encouraged by Wyclaw to help them) tried to jump on his face, but the attacker quickly turned his left hand into a blade and stabbed the poor Maximal right in his spark.
“Screw you!” the Giraffe yelled as he lunged at the kangaroo.
While the Giraffe was keeping the kangaroo busy, and while Wyclaw was trying to find a weak spot, Gronius recognized the attacker.
“No!” Gronius exclaimed. “Not you again!”
“Again?” Wyclaw asked. “Do you know him?”
“He is… He is Qingour, with a new color scheme.”
How could the Predacon forget the Maximal that shattered his public image and his dignity? Gronius wished to never see him again, but clearly the Primes had other plans for him.
“No kidding?!” Wycom said, rather excited than scared. “Sit down and let me show you how a maximal is saving the…”
But before Wyclaw could finish the sentence, Qingour threw the dead body of the giraffe off the trailer and shot him in the chest. Wyclaw felt down, barely breathing, and leaking Energon.
“No!” yelled Gronius.
Qingour looked at him. When he saw who the Predacon was, he grinned.
“Hello, Gronius! Did you miss me?”
Gronius looked at him. He was nervous, but angry in the same time.
“N-No, actually. I see that you got a new paintjob. And wings.”
“Oh, these?” he said, looking at the wings. “Yes, I really like them, although they aren’t really mine. And about the new colors, besides the fact that I like black more, I’ve got it after one of my friends allowed me to enter to his group after you failed to stop me. Remember? Hm?”
“What are you doing here, Qingour?”
“Isn’t it obvious? I am here for the SHASC!”
“Well.” Gronius said, raising his fists. “You are not going to get it!”
Qingour chuckled.
“Oh, come on, G! You know you can’t do this. I defeated you before I had my mods, what makes you believe you can do it now?”
Gronius didn’t respond. Instead, he charged at the Maximal. Before the Predacon could punch him, Qingour jumped on his black tail, and used his double-jointed legs to hit Gronius with all his force. Gronius flew in the air, hitting the steel box where the SHASC was. The two lasers automatically shot him in the shoulder and in the head.
Gronius fell down. He was feeling that the world was spinning around him, but before he could do anything, Qingour hit him with the leg in the stomach so hard, that Gronius flew through the wall of the trailer. The Predacon flew out of the trailer. After a few seconds, the vehicle carrying the trailer stopped, and Qingour got out of it, with the metallic box in his hands.
“See you next time, Gronius!” the Maximal said, before flying off.
However, Gronius couldn’t hear him. The fire of the lasers and the hits of Qingour’s legs exhausted him, forcing him into stasis.

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Gronius woke up the second day. He was in a hospital bay, connected to a CR Chamber. In front of him there were two robots: his sister Wildsong and his boss Dreadcalw. Wildsong was happy to see him awake. She was standing on a chair next to the medical chamber. Dredclaw, on the other hand, was standing in the opposite corner of the room, with the arms folded to his chest.
Gronius immediately knew that he is in troubles.
“Gronius! You awaked!” Song said.
“What… What happened?” Gronius asked, dizzy.
“Qingour showed up. And he defeated you. Again.” Dreadclaw said.
Gronius slowly remembered what happened.
“What about the others?”
“Dead. They all died.”
Gronius didn’t know what to say. He couldn’t believe that eight top agents died so quickly.
“Wildsong.” Dredclaw said to the Predacon. “Please leave us alone for a few minutes.”
She nodded and left the room, waving goodbye to her brother. Dreadclaw approached Gronius.
“All of them are dead.” Dreadcaw repeated for himself.
“Boss, I am sorry! It is only my fault!”
“No, Gronius. It isn’t. That bot somehow got incredibly powerful mods. This is what I want you to do: I want you to force that Predacon mind and try to remember as many things related to that criminal as possible.”
Gronius thought for a few seconds.
“He was the same person. Nothing new to his character. But he was now black with tan accents, instead of tan with yellow. His legs were double jointed, and he was now able to sustain all of his weight on his tail. I don’t know if this is on the syllabus of Maximal trainmen of the agency, but something tells me it isn’t. He also had a visor helmet, covering about half of his head, and a pair of wings.”
“We believe that the wings are actually a Minicon Deployer.”
“Well.” Gronius said, standing up. “We need to catch them! They took the prototype!”
“No, Gronius.”
Suddenly, Gronius’ expression changed.
“What?” the Predacon asked confused.
“You are not going to work on this case anymore.”
“Wha-What do you mean?”
“This is the second time Qingour defeats you, Gronius. It is nothing personal, but we can’t risk a third defeat, especially if other agents would die too.”
And while saying this, Dreadclaw left the room, leaving behind a confused, still dizzy, Predacon.

The next day, after he fully recovered, Gronius returned to his office. He had multiple tasks to fulfill: making reports, researching different crime cases, and others, but he was ignoring them all. He was haunted by Qingour. He just couldn’t accept that he has lost. Again.
He was re-reading the files he has downloaded from Dreadclaw’s stick. He wanted to know absolutely everything possible. He then found a few words: The only finished prototype of the SHASC is still at the headquarters of the company, together with the blueprints that will be downloaded into the main computer of the industry later this morning. Suddently, Gronius formed a theory: Qingour needed the blueprints to use the SHASC prototype. Otherwise, it is just a new chestplate.
Gronius quickly jumped out of his chair and ran out of his office, stumbling into different people, looking for Dreadclaw.
The orange Maximal was talking with a Phoenix woman. Gronius stopped in front of them, breathing hardly.
“Boss! I’ve found him!”
“Gronius, please! I was talking to Firewing!” Dreadclaw said, motioning to the Maximal female.
“It is an emergency! Very important! Very important!” Gronius continued, hoping that he would convince Dreadclaw.
The Maximal rolled his optics and sighed.
“Fine. Spit it out.”
“I know where Qingour is going to be! At the DroneMax tower! Boss, he can’t use the SHASC without the blueprints! He will go to the HQ of the company and will try to steal them!”
While Gronius was saying everything he had to say, Dreadclaw was clearly showing signs of irritation and tiredness.
“So let me see.” Dreadclaw said. “You are telling me that this guy actually tried to steal one of the most powerful weapons, without thinking that he can’t use it?”
“Yes!” Gronius said, full of hope.
“Listen, don’t you think that this sounds stupid? Qingour is NOT that stupid.”
“But… But…”
“No, Gronius. You go to your office and stay there! This is an order!”
“And what are we going to do with Qingour?”
“So happy that you asked! Firewing is going to take the case!”
Gronius looked at the Maximal. She tried not to look back. Gronius looked around. The other Maximals, and a few Predacons, were looking at him like at a lunatic.
“That’s an order.” Dreadclaw repeated.
Gronius slowly backed away, and then returned to his office. He lost, again. He was demoralized, and didn’t know what to do. Maybe he was right. Maybe he wasn’t good enough for this company.

He sat down and covered his face with his hands. He made a fool of himself. Again.
A new message appeared on his screen. Again, it was from Wildsong.
‘Hey G. What’s up?’
Gronius sighed. He had nothing better to do, so he typed back.
‘I made a fool of myself.’
Gronius quickly explained her what just happened in a few messages.
‘So…’ she responded. ‘You are saying that the kangaroo is going to attack my workplace.’
‘This is not good.’
‘Why aren’t you coming here?’
Gronius rose his eyebrows.
‘It’s 17:37. DroneMax is closing in about one hour. I can talk to Kelia and ask her to allow us to download the blueprints before Qingour comes in. Or at least protect them.’
‘That’s… That’s actually a good idea!’ Gronius asked as his sadness slowly turned into happiness.
‘I was a genius all this time. You just didn’t appreciated it :wink: Come in front of DroneMax at 18:30. I’ll be in front of the main gate.’

Gronius was pocking his fingers, waiting for Song to show up. The workers of the company were leaving its quarters. After all of them left, two females came in: one of them was Wildsong, while the other was the dove-woman: Kelia. Up close, Gronius could see her better: she was a little shorter than Song, with two wings on her back, and a dove head on her chest, with white and bright yellow armor.
“Come in!” Song invited him. “She is Kelia. I thought you haven’t meet her before.”
“No, I haven’t.” Gronius replied.
He shook Kelia’s hand.
“The blueprints are already downloaded into the main computer. The AI C.L.A - R.A. is guarding it. It should be save until we get to it.”
The three entered the massive building and entered an elevator. On their way up, it was obvious that Gronius was not exactly calm. Song was the first one to notice this.
“Hey, are you all right?” she asked her brother.
“Yeah… Yeah…”
“Oh, come on!” she insisted. “What’s on your mind?”
“It’s that… That now that I think of it, I don’t know if what we are doing it’s right.”
“What do you mean? Why shouldn’t it be?”
“Well what if Dreadclaw was right? What if I underestimated Qingour, and he actually know how to use the SHASC? What if he doesn’t need the blueprints, and we are going to take them for nothing? If Dreadclaw would find out that I took them with no real reason, he would fire me!”
Song put her lower pair of arms on her hips, and folded the upper pair to her chest.
“Come on, Gronius. Don’t be like that. Don’t underestimate yourself.”
“Besides.” Kelia added. “The creation of the SHASC was kept as a secret for the public. We revealed it three weeks ago. Nobody, except for a select few, knows how to use it. The blueprints are the only way for the other bots to learn how to use it. Unless Qingour has a double-crosser in our company, or in the higher ranks of Maxima Prime’s science department, then he will have to get the blueprints if he actually wants to use the prototype.”
“Really?” Gronius asked, to which Kelia nodded.
“We take every measurement of precaution possible when we are creating pieces of technology that powerful. We don’t want terrorists like Qingour to create mass-destruction.”
Gronius smiled.
“All right then. Let’s go an take the—“
Suddenly the elevator stopped, to the three’s surprise.
“I don’t understand.” Kelia said. “We are not there yet.”
A female voice sounded from the sides:
“Kelia, the building is under attack.”
“Who is attacking us, Clara?”
“A black Maximal with what seem to be a kangaroo alternative mode, and a Minicon Deployer.”
Kelia looked at Gronius.
“It’s them.” He confirmed.
“Clara, open the doors.” Kelia told the AI.
“Of course, Kelia.”
The doors opened, and the three were free to go.
“The main computer is three floor higher.” Kelia said. “Follow me.”
The Maximal ran away, and the two Predacons followed her. They climbed up on a stairway and arrived at the computer’s floor. One of the windows was broken. There were multiple guards, dressed in white armor with black visors, shooting to somebody. Gronius, Kelia and Song attempted to come closer, but suddenly a blue shockwave hit the guards. The poor bots flew through a window and felt off the building. Gronius stoke his head on the hallway and saw Qingour entering in an open room. He had no wings, but he had a riffle in his left hand. Gronius entered the hallway, trying not to make any sound. Kelia and Wildsong did the same. When they arrived of the door, Gronius stoke out his head again, to see inside the room.
There was a huge computer with a big screen and three consoles. On the main console there was a Maximal Minicon, with wings, black armor with blue accents, and bird legs. He was trying to hack into the computer, and it seemed that he was succeeding. Next to him there was Qingour, with the riffle in his hands.
“Faster!” Qingour was saying. “Faster! More guards should appear soon!”
The Minicon lost his patience and hit the console angrily. He turned to Qingour and said:
“And this is suddenly a problem for you, Mister Muscles-Instead-of-Brain?”
“What did you say?” Qingour said.
Gronius turned to Kelia and Song.
“They are arguing.” He whispered. “We need to do a plan.”
“Why don’t we just… Ambush them?” Song suggested.
“I’ve fought with them before! They are tuff.”
“I have an idea.” Kelia said. “You two distract their attention, while I try to take the plans myself.”
The two Predacons nodded and turned their lower hands in blasters. They looked at each other, and then they entered in the room.
“Hey! Qingour!” Gronius said.
The two stopped arguing and turned to the Predacons.
“You?” the kangaroo asked, surprised. “What are you doing here?”
“My job!” Gronius said, firing a few blasts.
Oingour jumped away while the Minicon transformed into a small eagle and flew away. Wildsong ran for the Minicon, trying to catch him before he could merge with Qingour. The Minicon, however, was too fast for her. On the other side of the room, Gronius and Qingour were fist fighting.
“You are very courageous to come here!” Qingour said. “I respect that!”
“Respect this!” Gronius said, trying to punch him in the face.
Qingour slid to the left and jumped at Gronius. Outside the room, Kelia was standing down, wondering if she should enter now or if she should wait. Her thoughts were interrupted when Gronius and Qingour flew through the wall of the room into the hallway. The Maximal did not notice her. Kelia entered the room through the hole made by the two fighters. Inside, Wildsong caught the Maximal by his legs. The poor eagle was trying to fly away, carrying Song with him all across the room. The dove took this opportunity and went to the console. She took a stick and selected the proper files. While she was doing so, the Minicon saw her.
“Qingour!” the small eagle yelled. “They are stealing the blueprints!”
When he heard this, Qingour punched Gronius in the guts and ran in the room. When he saw Kelia, he turned his left arm into a blaster and aimed for her, but Gronius quickly jumped on his back, destabilizing him.
Kelia continued to download the blue prints as fast as she could, while the two Predacons were dealing with the Minicon and the Maximal. After a few minutes of intense fight and texting, the blueprints were download.
“Yes!” Kelia happily said, taking it.
Seeing this, Gronius attempted to get rid of Qingour. He punched him hard in the stomach, but the Maximal responded with a kick of his legs. Gronius fell on floor. In a blink of an eye, Qingour knocked Song out of the battle, freeing the Minicon. Kelia was now alone, with two bad guys in front of her.
“Blackbeak!” Qingour told the Minicon. “Merge.”
The Minicon approached Qingour and merged with him, giving him back his wings. Qingour approached Kelia, who was backing away. Before she could react, he punched her in the face. Kelia dropped the stick. The Maximal took it and flew away through a window.
Gronius stood up and looked at the other two.
“They ran away…” Song said.
“I am sorry!” Kelia said. Energon was leaking from the corner of her mouth. “I am so sorry! I should have done something!”
“It’s not your fault.” Gronius said.
“G?” Song said, approaching her brother. “What do we do now?”
Gronius could not accept the idea of letting Qingour run away again. He turned his view to Kelia.
“Kelia. Call the Thunders of Iacon and tell them to track me down. I am going after him.”
“I’ll come with you.” Song said.
Gronius knew that he can’t stop his sister, so he shrugged. “I won’t stop you.”
“Hell yeah!” Song said, grinning.
Gronius ran towards the window broken by Qingour and jumped on it, followed by Song. In mid-air, their forms started to ■■■■■, until they completely turned to dragon modes. While the last bits and pieces were still attaching to their places, the two dragons were rising in the sky.
“Let’s terrorize!” Wildsong yelled.
Gronius ignored her. He was looking around, trying to spot Qingour.
“Do you see him?” he asked.
“I’m looking for him, brother!”

While the two Predacons were searching, Kelia turned on her comm links and called for the Thunders of Iacon.
“Hello?” a Predacon responded. “I am Iguanadon. How can I help you?”
“Quickly! I need help! Agent Gronius is pursuing a criminal!”
“Hold on, ma’am!” Iguanadon said. “What is the name of the criminal?”
“Qingour! Listen to me, Gronius said to tell you to track him! You need to help him!”
“Don’t worry ma’am. I’ll make you the link with Dreadwing.”

“There!” Song soon said. “Follow me!” she said, flying towards the Maximal, followed by Gronius.
Qingour didn’t observe them. Instead, he continued flying through the skyscrapers of Iacon. This gave Gronius an idea.
“Song. Wait. I have a plan. We follow him to his base. Then we strike.”
The two Predacons flew above the clouds, to be sure that Qingour won’t see them. After half of hour of flying, Qingour landed and entered in an abandoned warehouse at the edge of Iacon. The two Predacons waited in the sky for a few minutes before landing and transforming to robot modes. Once they did so, Gronius took his laser riffle and looked at Song.
“Please, be quiet. We enter there, wait for the ToI, and then take the SHASC or the blue prints.”
His sister nodded as she turned two of her lower arms into blasters. Gronius took a deep breath and entered inside.
There was total darkness; however, the two could see a light in the distance. They approached it, and saw that it was coming from another room. Gronius moved his head closer to the entrance to see what was inside. In the room he could see a group of Predacons and Qingour together with the Minicon. In the far corner there was a Predacon with dark blue armor and two big wings. He seemed not to care what the others were talking about. Next to Qingour there was a huge serpent with dark blue armor. His yellow eyes were shiny and for a moment Gronius thought that he could see him. There was also a tall and bulky Predacon, with dark gray and green armor, with the Minicon Blackbeak staying on his shoulder in eagle mode. A red Predacon with a long whip was staying with the back of Gronius, so he couldn’t see his face. All of the aforementioned bots were listening to a female Predacon, with teal armor and some purple accents, which had the SHASC in one hand and the stick with the blueprints in a huge claw with four fingers that served as a second hand.
“We did it, boys!” the teal Predacon said. “We have the SHASC and the blueprints!”
“Now what?” asked the blue dragon. “You haven’t specified what we are going to do next.”
“Calm down, Stormrazor.” The teal Predacon said. “Now we prepare to attack the main prison of the Thunders and liberate every single prisoner. We will have our own army, and we will conquer the whole Cybertron and it’s colonies too!”
The Predacons cheered, as Gronius turned to his sister. However, Song wasn’t there. Gronius looked around for her, but instead he got kicked in the face by one blue leg. It was the snake-former in his robot mode. He had the body covered in blue scales, a long whip instead of his right arm, and two yellow, hypnotizing eyes.
“Well, well, well.” Said the teal Predacon as she entered the hallway. “Two intruders?”
All the Predacons approached, the red one carrying Song by a pair of stasis handcuffs. The snake put another pair on Gronius’ arms before he could react. The cuffs wouldn’t let him to transform any part of his body, and were weaking him.
“Did you really thought you can sneak right in front of me, Thunder?” the snake said.
“Back off, Corhada.” The teal Predacon said. “Bring him in the room.”
The grey and green Predacon took him in his arms and dropped him on the floor of the room. The red Predacon also threw Song next to him.
As the Predacons were entering inside, Gronius could recognize them: they were criminals from other missions he had heard of.
“Ripclaw.” Gronius said to the teal Predacon, remembering her name. “I see that you gathered yourself a team.”
The Predacon chuckled.
“I see I have a reputation in the ToI.”
“A reputation?” Gronius asked. “Reputation is a small word compared to your real status. Every ToI agent dreams of catching you: the rebel Predacon that killed 20 agents in five minutes.”
“That is an exaggeration.” Ripclaw said. “Those were six minutes. Anyway, this doesn’t matter now. What matters is how I am going to kill you.”
“Go ahead.” Gronius said, to which Song eyed him widely.
“Gronius, what are you doing?” she whispered.
Gronius ignored her. Ripclaw chuckled.
“We finally got a brave soldier!” she said, as she approached Gronius. She took him by his neck with her huge claw, squeezing it.
“Leave him alone!” Song said when she heard Gronius coughing.
The green and gray Predacon, Grimwing, hit her with his feet in her back, making her to fall down to the floor. Ripclaw smiled as she saw this, moving her view back to Gronius.
“All right soldier, take a break.”
She then started squeezing his neck harder, attempting to brake it, when suddenly a bright light invaded the whole room. It was then when Gronius and Song realized that the room had three barricaded windows. Through the barricades, the white light was penetrating the darkness of the room.
“This is Commander Dreadwing!” the Maximal’s voice boomed from outside. “We know you have one of our agents inside! We also know that you possess either the SHASC, or the blueprints, or even both! So you have time till I count to ten to get your ugly, yellow Predacons butts out of the warehouse, together with our agent, or we are going to blow the slag out of you!”
“Go ahead.” Gronius repeated, grinning to Ripclaw. “Kill me. I dare you.”
Ripclaw cringed her teeth. While Gronius was talking, the red Predacon with the long whip, Laserback, was looking out on the window through the barricades.
“Ohmigosh, boss!” he said, afraid. “There are at least twenty agents! With Targetmasters! And there is one Combiner too!”
The other Predacons started panicking. Song stood on her knees, looking around the room for the SHASC. Ripclaw let Gronius fell on the floor. He stood up and looked around at the criminals, fixing his view on Qingour.
“Gotcha!” Gronius said.
Qingour was mad. He turned to Ripclaw, who seemed calm for the situation she was in.
“What are we going to do now?” he asked. “We are caught! You said that this will work! You modded me for this godslagged mission!”
“Exactly.” Ripclaw said, slowly. “I modded you.”
At first, Qingour couldn’t understand where she was going, but then he understood her point. It seemed that the other Predacons understood too. Gronius and Song were the only ones puzzled in the room.
“I repet!” Dreadwing repeted. “You have time until I count to ten! One… Two… Three…”
The Predacons stood up. Laserback pushed Gronius and Song in the corner of the room. Corhada, the snake, took the SHASC and the blueprints from a table.
“Four… Five… Six…”
“Slayercons!” Ripclaw said. “Unite, and form…!”
After they’ve heard this words, the Energon froze in Gronius’ veins. He knew this signal. He heard it multiple times. And he didn’t need to hear the rest of it to know what was going to happen.
The seven criminals, including the Minicon Blackbeak, started shifting, transforming, but not in their beast modes. Their bodies continued disassembling and rearaging, until the clouds of shifting metals united into a bigger, humanoid creature so big, that it destroyed the ceiling of the room. As the last parts were fixing in their place, Dreadwing, Iguanadon, Firewing, Kelia, and anybody present could see a huge Combiner exiting the warehouse.
“Sershatron!” the Combiner yelled.
“Watch out!” yelled Gronius as big pieces of debris and metal were about to fell on Song. He jumped above her, with his cuffed hands at his back. As the debris and metal fell on him the cuffs broke, setting him free and regaining his powers. Gronius threw the scrapped metal, freeing himself, before ripping off the handcuffs from Song’s wrists.
“What happened?” she asked.
“Combiner.” He simply said. “Look.”
He pointed outside the building, via the huge whole that destroyed most of the room. While the two were getting rid of the handcuffs, Sershatron already knocked out half of the ToI agents. He was currently fighting with the ToI Combiner, with a few agents trying to shot him down.
Sershator was definitely a colored Combiner. Stormrazor, the blue dragon, and Laserback, the red Predacon, were forming it’s legs. Corhada, the snake, was forming a sword, being a Targetmaster Combiner. Grimwing, the green hulking Predacon, and Qingour were forming the two arms of the combiner. Blackbeak, the Minicon, was forming a chestplate that was covering most of the… Well… Chest. Ripclaw was forming the body and the head. Sershatron had a big, blue visor and a red helmet.
As Gronius was studying the Combiner, he could see the SHASC attached by its sword. Kelia ran to the two and hugged Song.
“Now what?” Wildsong asked.
“Now…” Gronius said, trying to give born to a plan in his mind. “Now we try to take the SHASC.”
“Where is it?” Kelia asked.
“On that thing.” Gronius said, pointing to Corhada’s sword mode, right when the Combiner was using it to slash through all of the ground units and then to hit the ToI Combiner in his left arm.
“And how do you plan to take it?” Song asked.
“I don’t know!” he said, thinking. “I’ll just try to climb on it, hoping that it will not feel me, and then try to force it out of the combined mode.”
“And what if you can’t?” Song said.
Gronius tought for a few seconds.
“Then I’ll try again.”
“Gronius, you can’t do this!” she said, taking her brother by his shoulders. “They’ll kill you!”
“Sershatron slays you all!” the Combiner yelled as he cut one of the legs of the ToI Combiner, killing the poor agent.
“I have to, Song. Please, understand me!”
“Let me come with you!” she said.
“You know that if you would get hurt I would never forgive myself!”
He kissed her on her forehead and then ran towards the Combiner.
“Stay safe!” he yelled.
“God slagit Gronius!” Song yelled. “Why aren’t you sentimental like this when I need it?!”

Most of the ToI were already down. The Combiner was barely protecting himself of Sershator’s attacks. Gronius arrived at the base of the Combiner’s legs, next to the one formed by Stormrazor. He spit in his hands and rubbed them together, before jumping on the blue leg. Luckily for him, the Combiner didn’t sensed him. He started crawling and crawling until he arrived at the hip.
“Attack!” yelled Firewing to a bunch of other winged agents that lunged in the air towards Sershator’s face.
The Combiner dodged most of them, but was still hit, making a few steps aback. This shook Gronius hardly. He almost fell down. He transformed his fingers into claws and used them to climb higher. It was a miracle that the Combiner still didn’t saw him. Probably he was either too focused on the other agents, or probably it was a secondary effect of the merging of the Slayercons.
Gronius was now between the upper right arm (the one that was wielding Corhada) and the body. He had to jump on the arm.
“Maxima Prime!” he prayed for himself. “Please, help me! At three… One… Two… THREE!”
In the exact time as Gronius jumped, Firewing slashed her huge fire sword at Sershator’s face. The Combiner rolled his whole body, hitting the Maximal with the sword, launching her into a nearby skyscraper. This whole quick movement made Gronius role around Sershator’s upper left arm and then to be thrown in the air. Luckily, Gronius caught the Combiner’s pinky finger from the left hand.
This time, the Combiner finally acknowledged Gronius’ presence. He rose his hand to the eye level.
“Sershator…” the Combiner said, before his voice synthetizing into seven voices. “Gronius!” the voices said, predominated by Qingour. “Why can’t you just die, you stupid Predacon?!” “Hey!” yelled the voices, predominated by Grimwing. “We are Predacons too!” “Shut up, you two!” yelled Corhada. “You are interfering with Sershator’s collected mind!” “SHUT UP!”
Gronius used this opportunity to turn into his dragon mode and to shoot a wall of fire out of his neck. The fire fully covered Sershator’s face, making him to stumble back. Gronius then transformed back to robot mode and jumped off the hand, letting himself to fell on the flat of Corhada’s sword mode.
“Something fell on me! Something is touching me!” The Combiner yelled with his face still on fire, this time more with Corhada’s voice. The other six voices were rather whispers. This was a sign that the Combiner may disassemble soon.
Gronius used this time to run on the sword to the SHASC. He then caught it, and used all of his remained strength to force the chestplate out of the combined form. As he was doing so, the outlines of the SHASC started shining brightly.
From the base of the Gestalt, Dreadwing was looking up at Gronius.
“He is either the most courageous agent I’ve ever seen, or the stupidest.” Said Iguanadon, who was next to him.
“Indeed he is.” Dreadwing said, without moving his eyes from Gronius.
Gronius continued to draw the SHASC, until he felt that something broke, and he fell off the blade. Luckily, he didn’t got hurt. He looked in his hands. The SHASC was intact! And the blueprints were attached to it!
He looked up at the Combiner. Sershator started yelling. His components started shifting and disassembling. Before Gronius could blink, the seven Slayercons were back.
“Slayercons!” Ripclaw said after she realized what just happen. “Flee!”
And so the Slayercons did. Most of them turned into their winged forms and flew away. The more damaged ones just ran away.
“Any agent that can still fight!” Dreawing yelled. “After them!”
Every agent that was not heavily injured turned to their animalistic modes and started to follow the Slayercons. All, except for Dreadwing who walked to Gronius.
“Listen, kid.” He said. “I am sorry. You were right. And you were very brave out there. You fought a whole Combiner all by yourself, just to take the SHASC.”
Gronius smiled.
“Thank you, boss. I knew that if they would keep it, a lot of bad things would happen.”
“And I know this too!” a voice sounded from behind the Predacon.
The two looked in the direction of the voice. It was Qingour, and he had Song in his right arm. He had his left arm turned into a blaster and pointed to her head.
“Give. Me. The. SHASC.” Qingour said, visibly angry. “OR I’LL BLOW HER BRAIN MODULE INTO THE PIT!”
Gronius cringed. He slowly rose his head, handing the SHASC to the Maximal. Qingour took it with his right hand and started backing away with Song.
“Now, don’t do any dirty move, Gronius! Don’t even think to act as a hero, again! If you try anything, I’ll kill her and I’ll keep her Spark as a trophy!”
As he backed away and entered back in the warehouse, Dreadwing swore.
“Slagit!” the commander said. “Now what?”
“Sir, you go and try to catch Ripclaw and the others. In case Qingour escapes, I am more than sure that they could provide us valuable information.”
“What about you, Gronius?” he asked.
“Don’t worry about me! I’ll try my best to rescue Song!”
“Gronius, are you kidding? You are in a horrible form! It would be a miracle if your internal systems would resist the exhaust!”
“Please, sir. It’s my sister. I know what I am doing.” He said, before turning towards the warehouse.
The Predacon turned, and was surprised to see Dreadwing’s hand rose for a handshake.
“I am sorry. For all.”
Gronius handsook his superior’s hand.
“Now go! Make the agency proud of you!”
Gronius nodded and ran towards the warehouse. On the way there, he tried to turn his lower arms into blasters, but with no success. Dreadclaw was right: his body was in a horrible condition. He took his pistol, hoping that it will be enough.
He entered inside. Just like the first time, he entered in a big room with no light sources except for the door and a light at the end of a hallway. But suddenly, the whole room lit up. Inside there was a small shuttle. Gronius recognized it: it was Qingour’s ship.
Before the owner of the ship would find out what he was doing, Gronius entered in the ship just in time: the landing gears folded in, and the whole ceiling of the warehouse opened.
Dreadclaw looked up in the sky and saw Qingour’s ship leaving the atmosphere of Cybertron, with Gronius inside of it.

Gronius was in an antechamber connected by the bridge via a doorframe with an arcade. The ship was on autopilot. Qingour was fighting Song, who rebelled against him. However, the kangaroo hit her with his double jointed legs and launched her in the corner of the bridge.
“I will sure be very happy when I will arrive back on Abrax! I could finally melt you into slag and, you know, make myself an army and take over the Cybertronian Commonwealth!”
While Qingour was talking, Gronius opened his pistol. He was out of bullets. He swore in his mind, and knew that he will regret what he was going to do.
“Thunders of Iacon! Freeze!”
It was the standard cry, but Gronius really didn’t knew what else to say. He pointed his pistol to Qingour. When the Maximal turned to him, his black face seemed to turn red.
“It’s over Qingour! Land the ship, and I will not…”
“You will not what, Gronius? You will not what, arrest me? Oh, please! In the last few days I had more occasions to kill you than I can count! Don’t force me to repeat the same mistake again. I am pretty sure you are out of bullets too.”
Gronius looked at him for a few seconds, before biting his lips and throwing his gun to his head. The gun broke Qingour’s visor. Before the Maximal could react, Gronius jumped on him and caught him by the torso. The Predacon was too heavy for Qingour to sustain him, and as so the two fell on the console of the shuttle, braking a good part of it.
“Warning!” a feminine voice said. “Hyper-space travel activated!”
Suddenly the ship started flying ten times faster, throwing everybody to the ground. Before he could get up, Qingour jumped on Gronius and started punching him in the face. While the two were fighting, Song saw the SHASC not too far away on the floor. She tried to take it, but some strong turbulences made the chestpate to slide on the other side of the room.
Turbulences? She thought. While we are traveling with the speed of light? Oh, no! No, no, no!
Qingour rose Gronius by his shoulders and threw him in the wall.
“I spared you in that convoy! I spared you at the DroneMax! I spared you at the warehouse! I pulled myself from using Sershatron from killing you! I am sorry Gronius.” He said, loading his gun and pointing it to Gronius. “No more sparing.”
Gronius closed his eyes, expecting those to be his last seconds.
“Qingour! Don’t shoot!” Song said. “You didn’t calculated the trans-warp jump before activating the speed of light! This means—“
The window of the cockpit broke.
Shards flew everywhere.
A small asteroid flew inside the bridge.
It hit Qingour with the speed of light.
Then nothing.
Gronius opened his eyes before closing them.
The two realized that they were flying inside their own ship.
“Crash-landing imminent.”
Gronius looked around at the aliens that were taking him, Song, and the dead body of the Maximal out of the small shuttle.
It was just then when he realized that he was doomed.

So this is the first instalment in my series called the Predacon Chronicles, part of @MaxinePrimal’s New Horizons universe. I worked at least two months at this project, and I am very very proud with the end result.
I want to give big thanks for @MaxinePrimal for making the universe and allowing me to take part at it, to @decepticonaiden for the awesome Gronius art, and to all of the ones that take part at the NH project.
Thank you for visiting the topic.
Hope you enjoyed.