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Transformers: Extinction

transformers fanfic

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#1 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Feb 25 2014 - 12:50 AM

Well, Transformers: Age of Extinction is coming out soon...so far, however, I don't like most of what I've seen. I do think a Transformers 4 could be done well, and I still have hope for that movie being good, but...

I still feel the desire to do my own take on "Transformers 4" for some reason.

So, set after the events of Dark of the Moon...here it is. For reference purposes, all returning characters from DOTM have the same appearance as before, simply because I'm not a fan of AOE's redesigns.

 

Apologies for the gray outline around the text, I wrote this on another site, and copypasted it to another site, and then copypasted it from that site to this site. The other option was a dark blue outline and light blue text, if you guys would prefer that, just say so.

 

Review Topic

 

---

Earth. The home of humanity, and our kind. A world made free from the threat of the Decepticons. As far as we know, there are none that remain. It's been four years without a single Decepticon incursion on this planet, even of the most minor type possible. After eons of war, we have finally secured our freedom.

As far as we know.

Thundering, rapid noises filled the arid desert air. Ceaseless yelling and gunfire from both sides were all that could be heard.

"This has been going on for two hours! Do we have to fight until everyone on each side is dead?!" A U.S. soldier threw a grenade, but his fatigue got the best of his aim, and it went off to the side.

"It's only been thirty mikes, now straighten yourself out!" Colonel Lennox shot a suicide bomber in the head, causing him to slip, slide, and stop thirty meters from them. "Get down!"

The grenade and the bombs strapped to the man went off at the same time, leaving ringing in everyone's ears.

With the Decepticons gone, NEST veterans have been re-assigned to special forces teams fighting human conflicts from before the Autobots first came here, in search of the Allspark. Though we secured our freedom, we have not yet secured peace.

A silver blur raced across the battlefield, spinning to avoid a grenade, then killing several of the terrorists with one shot from each of his twin shotguns.

"I got caught up on that hideout demo op! They got their hands on the same high-heat rounds you guys were packing during the old war!" Sideswipe jumped, flipping over a line of machine gun fire, then threw his sword.

"AARGH!" A terrorist leapt backward as the sword slammed down through the machine gun, slicing the barrel off. Sideswipe landed right in front of him, pulling his sword from the sand.

"That explains why you took so long to show up seven of our guys got killed. Take 'em out, I'm calling evac." Lennox shook his head.

Sideswipe fired once more, destroying a pickup truck with a machine gun mounted on it. He watched tiny people flee in panic.

A helicopter touched down a few meters behind him. He turned, watching soldiers, some of them bleeding badly, get inside. But the battle was won, so it was time for him to get to his evac. He transformed and drove off.

"Pilot. Are we headed back to base?" Lennox looked out of the helicopter just in time to see Sideswipe driving into the back of a plane.

"Yes, sir. The big guy wants to see you."

"Another debate on what to do next?" The exhausted colonel rolled his eyes, then looked to his left. A medic was administering first aid to a wounded soldier on the move.

"No, sir. Not General Morshower. The big guy."

---

Lennox walked into yet another classified base. Classified had begun to lose its meaning for him. After all his time in special forces and NEST, classified was just his average day at work. Though now, NEST didn't exactly exist. The Autobots stayed at any classified base where they wished to, whether it was formerly affiliated with NEST, or not.

"All right, sir. I'm here."

The headlights on a familiar semi truck flashed. No matter how many times he saw it happen, Lennox was always amazed at the sight of Optimus Prime transforming. Panels, gears, and pistons shifted, producing all manner of interesting sounds, and finally coming to rest in the form of the mighty Autobot leader.

"It never ends. War." Optimus looked down at Lennox, attempting to speak to him on equal terms. It was always awkward, with him being a titanic robot, but he always had to try.

Lennox shook his head. "Seems like it, sir. At least the world doesn't hang in the balance every single time now."

"At ease, Colonel. This is not a military meeting, I simply wish to speak to you." Optimus got down on one knee, so as to get closer to Lennox. That seemed to help create the feeling of conversing as equals, or at least get as close to it as possible.

"People just keep dying. And now we got reports of the stuff we used to fight the Decepticons being used to fight you guys."

Optimus moved his arm in such a manner that his forearm was right in front of Lennox. At first he didn't realize what he was meant to be looking at, but soon Lennox saw a scorched hole there.

"Indeed. And now the morale of many of us, even some Autobots, is falling."

Lennox realized what this was about. "Optimus. I'm not going to give up. You know me that well. I still think we can actually end this."

"We can't rely only on ourselves, Lennox. Our friends, our brothers, need our help."

"I do the best I can. Sometimes they die anyway. Autobots have died too."

"I was referring not to the physical aspect, but the mental. Without conviction, none of us can stand. We must all remember what it is we fight for."

"I know that...I just hope the rest of the guys in my unit do."

"Hope without effort is not enough. Help them."

Lennox looked straight at Optimus, confused. "With what?"

Optimus stood up to his full height, a sign that the conversation had ended. "To remember why they do what they do."

---

"Hey, Screech! Come look at this!"

Sam Witwicky, now 25, ran over to look at a larger man's laptop. "Seriously, how the ###### do I get that callsign changed?" Having gotten his callsign from the fact that he screams like a little girl, Sam wasn't particularly happy.

"I don't know, but this is ###### funny!" With a push of the spacebar, a video of Bumblebee started streaming.

"Is that...Bee?"

"Yep, on security cam!"

The laptop's speakers emitted a metal clanging. Bumblebee, it appeared, was attempting to tap-dance...and failing rather miserably.

"Heh. Still not as funny as our unit photo." A short black man, two inches under Sam's height, pulled out a picture from his pocket.

"Wait, nononononono, don't show the one from after we finished basic training--"

Roaring laughter came from almost everyone present. It was probably warranted, as Sam was being shoved by Roadbuster's finger just as the picture was taken, causing him to fall over. Of course, he wasn't laughing. He had joined the military so he could continue to work with the Autobots even after the Decepticon threat had passed...not so he could get pranked in the middle of a photo everyone in the unit would have a copy of.

"...Screw you guys." Sam got up, half-smiling. It was a bit funny...but he'd never admit it. "I gotta go, I want to see Carly before we get our first deployment."

---

Bumblebee drove down the open dirt road, Sam sitting in the driver's seat, and as usual, not driving.

"Hey, Bee, can I drive for once?" Sam laughed, thinking of how it might be fun.

Bumblebee however, was thinking something else. He proceeded to play sound clips from various radio stations of about 16 different people saying "Nope."

"Aw, come on. Just once?"

A sound with the tone of someone saying, "Oh, well, fine..." resounded inside Bumblebee. Sam grabbed the wheel and attempted to drift. Bumblebee responded with a loud beep of protest, then continued to drive on his own.

Sam sighed. "It was worth a try."

They continued to drive, as a shadow passed over them. Something had blocked out the sun.

"I swear, every time I see clouds do that, I think of the Fallen." Sam was about to laugh when he was shocked out of it by Bumblebee stopping harshly--and drifting.

"Oh, so now it's ok--oh." Sam realized why Bumblebee had stopped. It was not a cloud that blocked out the sun, but a massive ship hovering very closely above them. A single, black Transformer decended from it, landing on one knee, then slowly rising.

"And so...I've arrived." His green eyes flashed as he looked straight at Bumblebee.

Sam got out of Bumblebee immediately, and he had scarcely gotten his right foot out when his old friend began to transform in a hurry. The dark figure's next words told Sam exactly why.

"Where. Is. Optimus. Prime."


Edited by Axilus Prime, Feb 25 2014 - 12:53 AM.

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#2 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Feb 25 2014 - 05:00 PM

And here's chapter 2. Interestingly, italics and bold remove the gray outline.

---

The dark robot's tone made it clear this meant trouble. Sam bolted away and dove behind a rock. He reached for his gun, only to remember that he couldn't take it with him when leaving the base. "###### it!"

Bumblebee raised his right arm, having already turned it into a cannon whilst changing from vehicle form. Sam peered out from behind his makeshift cover. Usually Bee only activated his cannon after identifying the target. That means this is worse than usual. Yeah. That bad, Sam thought to himself.

"Typical Autobot behavior. Preparing to kill me as soon as my presence is known. This is exactly your problem. Then again...I don't suppose I'll get much of an answer to my question from someone who cannot speak." The dark robot made no move, still staring into Bumblebee's eyes.

Right, he's mute, I guess I can't ask who this guy is... Sam pulled out his phone and snapped a picture of the dark figure for identification later. 3...2...1...flash.

"######! I should have checked..." Sam frantically put his phone away, but it was too late. The dark robot had already seen the flash.

"Still here, are you? Maybe I can get you to ans--" He quickly sidestepped as a barrage of shots flew right by his face. Bumblebee's face mask was down, and it was clear he would never allow Sam to be interrogated. "Typical!"

For one who professed opposition to constantly baring weapons, the dark robot's next move was ironic. Long pieces of metal slid up his shoulders, aligned, and connected, then came down aimed at Bumblebee. Each of his hands rotated and folded into his forearms, exposing a cannon. Four small guns came from his chest area, and finally, he lowered his head, flipped out a barrel, and extending it.

His face is a-- Sam's train of thought was shattered by the thunderous gunfire that followed. "BUMBLEBEE!"

Bumblebee's backflip turned into a sideways spin, entirely out of his control. Chunks of armor flew off of his body, burning and breaking apart, landing just as he did--thirty meters away from the rest of his body. One of his doors, moving far too fast to be identified as the left or right, slammed into the ground right next to Sam and exploded.

Bumblebee turned his head, seeing Sam roll aside to a different part of the rock, avoiding most of the explosion and getting only minor cuts from pieces of flying metal. He pushed himself up, then turned around to stand. The sight of the dark robot right in front of him when he turned shocked him into falling again.

He fired repeatedly, producing a strange sound resembling a broken radio. The dark figure seemed to barely take any damage, and responded by stomping on Bumblebee's cannon and crushing it underfoot.

"Oh no no no no no no!" Sam pulled out his phone again, realizing that if Bumblebee was injured to the point he couldn't communicate by any means, he needed backup, and he needed it fast. "This is Witwicky, track my phone, I need back--OH!" He jumped aside, narrowly avoiding a shot from the dark robot. At times Sam wished he could be like the Autobots, large and powerful, but this time he was simply thankful that he was smaller than the targets the robot was accustomed to aiming at.

"Tell me where Optimus Prime is, human, and you may live." Seeing Sam run to the rock for cover again, the dark robot fired a single shot from his hand cannon and destroyed it.

Sam stopped abruptly, tripping in the process. He looked at Bumblebee, who shook his head rapidly, only stopping when a hard kick to the face shattered his mask. "I'll tell you where he is. Just don't hurt Bee." Please, get here faster....

"Tell me now."

"Get away from Bee first."

"The Autobot is not innocent, fleshling. And you are not either, should you choose to help him. Tell me now."

"He's...he's on..." Stalling for time wouldn't work on this guy for long...

"SPEAK!"

Jet engine noise drew the attention of both the dark robot and Sam. Looking up revealed a plane with an Autobot insignia not too high overhead, opening its back end. As soon as he saw vehicles driving out, Sam felt safe. "He's on Earth!" The plane left just as four Autobots transformed in midair and touched down in formation. The area was surrounded.

The dark robot growled, either to Sam's intentionally unhelpful answer or to the sudden arrival of Autobots. Just as he was about to fire on Sideswipe and Dino, something else caught his attention, and he began to laugh. "I thought I'd have to hunt for you, Prime, but you so willingly deliver yourself to me!"

"Sideswipe, Ratchet, get Bumblebee to safety!" Optimus pulled out a shield and a large gun. "Lockdown."

So that was his name.

Lockdown activated his shoulder cannon and rotated it 180 degrees, firing on Sideswipe and knocking him into Ratchet without even looking. "No, Optimus. No one will get to safety. Least of all you."

"You were a neutral, Lockdown! Why are you here?" Optimus' finger was on the trigger of his gun, ready for anything. Whoever Lockdown was, Sam thought, he must be extremely dangerous.

"I was a neutral." Lockdown rotated his shoulder cannon around to aim at Optimus, while simultaneously activating his other shoulder cannon, a hand cannon, and a strange extension of his left arm that took the shape of a barbed whip. He barked a command in a Cybertronian dialect, and Lockdown's ship opened three doors.

A fighter jet, identified by Sam as an F-35, flew out and spiraled towards the area, transforming in that same spiral motion and landing on both legs and one hand. Metal belts launched from his wrists, then folded around and extended spikes, forming chainsaws. He looked up, green eyes glaring at Dino. Behind Dino, a Stryker tank drove in, transforming as the red Autobot turned around to face him. Sideswipe and Ratchet got up just in time to see a heavily armored, faceplate-wearing member of Lockdown's crew.

Sideswipe pulled out both his guns and wrist swords. "That's only two..."

Lockdown's eyes gleamed vindictively. "Hunters, attack!"


Edited by Axilus Prime, Feb 25 2014 - 05:02 PM.

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#3 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Feb 26 2014 - 03:14 AM

And here's chapter 3.

---

Optimus needed not give any command. At Lockdown's order to attack, Dino jumped back, fired his wrist-mounted rifle, and landed in vehicle mode. The faceplated Hunter swiveled around metal plates over his face, blocking the shot, then flicked his hand back at the wrist, causing a missile to extend from within his forearm and launch.

The Autobot Ferrari drove directly sideways, turning all four of his wheels that way and extending weapons from his vehicle mode. Stealth Force mode, as the late Que had dubbed it, had proven to be a valuable asset once again. He returned fire with machine guns, but the Hunter before him seemed not to care.

The jet Hunter lunged at Sideswipe with the chainsaw on his left arm. No sooner had Sideswipe ducked than this particular Hunter swung his right arm at him. The chainsaw tore up metal plating, sending up sparks and knocking the Autobot back.

Sideswipe rotated the wheels serving as his feet to avoid falling over, simply skating back with the force of the blow. He fired his twin shotguns simultaneously.

The jet Hunter roared in pain, but wasted no time in shooting Sideswipe with a high-powered rifle mounted on his shoulder. As the gun reloaded itself, Sideswipe grabbed the wound on his right shoulder with his hand. When he recovered from the shock, two chainsaws were coming down on him.

Clang!

Sparks flew once again as the rotating blades of the chainsaws strained against the swords Sideswipe blocked with. "Come on, tough guy!" He nearly gave way, but fired a relatively weak shoulder gun at the Hunter's face to maintain the balance.

Optimus ran straight at Lockdown, swinging his shield at an incoming missile. Flames and shrapnel slid off the shield as he shoved them aside, then fired his gun.

Lockdown stumbled from the shots, then swung his whip, wrenching the gun from Optimus and hurling it aside, then fired his shoulder cannon at the Autobot leader.

"Gaaah!" Optimus fell, but then blocked the subsequent shots with his shield, pulled out a smaller gun, and shot Lockdown in the face. Using the distraction, he transformed and drove for his larger gun.

"It won't be so easy, Prime!" Lockdown wiped shrapnel from his face with his hand, then transformed his face into a gun and shot in Optimus' path. Instead of driving straight into the shot, Optimus activated his Stealth Force mode as well, strafe-driving and firing a well-aimed missile at Lockdown.

Lockdown effortlessly destroyed the missile mid-flight with a single one of the machine guns on his chest, but the shot had served its purpose. Optimus once again had his large gun and was firing. "Nor will it be for you, Lockdown!"

Lockdown jumped aside and flipped large chunks of his body around. When he landed, three legs struck the ground and a massive cannon had taken aim. "Yet still easier than for you, I fear..."

Optimus had been quick enough to raise his shield in front of his head, crouching to conceal as much of his body behind it as he could--but that did him no good when the shot fired by Lockdown's cannon mode destroyed the shield utterly. Optimus was sent sliding back, tearing up the road as he strained to stop himself.

---

It was an odd day for Bumblebee. His day had started normally enough. Hanging out with Sam, serving as his transport, occasionally getting a call from the other Autobots. It had been a time more peaceful than past years. And yet, now, he lay on the side of the road, his mask smashed, parts of it penetrating his face, dangerously close to his eye. His radio broken, he could not communicate effectively by word or recording.

But in all the gunfire, all the yells of pain and rage, he had to do his part again. He was an Autobot, no matter how injured, and would act as one. He managed to force a missile launcher from his left shoulder, which in the process of doing, he realized was missing a door. -krrzzzt-

The act of firing hurt. The missile flew from his shoulder and slammed straight into the large tank Hunter's back, where plates had been moved aside to cover the front. "GRAAAAH!" The Hunter whirled around to fire, but Dino drove full speed into his heels, transformed, and slammed his blades into the Hunter's back.

"Now, stronzo, try to keep your mind on the fight!" Dino ducked to avoid an elbow swing from the large Hunter, extending his blades on metal cords attached to his wrists. "Come here, cazzo, try to get me!" He jumped to the left, sliding on his feet across the road and pulling the tank Hunter with him. "Gracia, Bumblebee!"

Ratchet, holding a pile of important parts he gathered from the road, ran to Bumblebee to attempt to place them back where they belonged. "Hang in there, B--" The parts dropped from his arms and he fell over, with a huge sparking, flaming dent in his back.

A blur standing over Ratchet phased into view: the third Hunter. Tubes running from his back over his shoulders and into the holes in his chest where the grills of his vehicle mode pumped blue fluid a few seconds longer, then ran dry. He raised his mace...

Bumblebee fired off another missile, striking the Hunter in the back. He responded by transforming into a black Lamborghini Aventador, activating Stealth Force mode, and turning around. "One missile for me...five for you." Missiles flew from the hood area of his vehicle mode, straight at the immobile Autobot.

The first thing Ratchet saw when he looked up was the sight of his longtime comrade...blowing apart into hundreds of pieces.

---

Optimus drove full speed in truck mode, swerving around at random moments to prevent Lockdown from aiming.Come on...face me...

The front legs of Lockdown's turret mode slammed together, and the turret broke apart. Pieces swung around and clicked into place, forming a Freightliner Argosy semi truck, which promptly drove after Optimus.

Optimus saw Lockdown coming at him and started to transform just as he got crashed into--exactly as he wanted to. Lockdown transformed and was immediately met with a punch to the face. "Hyaaaaah!" Optimus grabbed him by the neck and shoved him to the ground. "What are you here for?!"

Instead of words, Lockdown answered by activating his shoulder cannon. Optimus wasted no time, launching his sword from his wrist. He caught it in his hand and cut the shoulder cannon off entirely.

"Answer me!"

Lockdown transformed his face into a cannon yet again. "Hear the words of my mouth!" He fired, blasting Optimus off and shattering his faceplate, then got up, transformed his head back, and swung his whip.

Optimus drew his axe and caught the whip on it, then pulled the axe back. With the whip around the axe, Lockdown was pulled in close and slashed across the face.

"GAAAAH!" Lockdown grabbed his eye and retracted his whip, flinging Optimus' axe to the side. When he removed his hand, it revealed a burning orange scratch across his face and left eye, followed by the eye falling out. "I see...you wanted me up close." He flipped back, transforming into Stealth Force mode, and shot Optimus relentlessly.

Optimus yelled in pain, stumbling back, dropping his sword, attempting to transform, and falling over before he could do so.

"I was turned against you, Optimus, not by Megatron's force, but by my own will. After all...Megatron could never force me or mine to obey without question." Lockdown transformed into turret mode and fired straight into Optimus' abdomen, finally knocking him fully to the ground. The Autobot leader lay motionless and groaned. "Scourge, Cyclonus, Lugnut! This battle is over! Get Prime on board!"

Scourge, now free of Dino's blades, transformed into Stryker mode and drove full speed back to the ship. Though several meters from the door of the hovering spacecraft, he was pulled in by some invisible force, and the door closed behind him.

Cyclonus leapt into the air, kicking Sideswipe away and transforming into F-35 mode. He soared across the skies, providing cover fire.

"Get down!" Sideswipe pulled Ratchet away from Cyclonus' airstrike, and Dino drove away.

Ratchet shoved Sideswipe off. "Wait! Optimus is--"

Ratchet had been too late. Lugnut stood over Optimus, pumping the blue liquid through his tubes again, and soon became invisible. When he picked Optimus off the ground, he too faded out of view.

Lockdown fired his remaining shoulder cannon, flipping Dino and sending him flying. "We'll return, Autobots! I promise you that. And I stand by my word." And with that, he transformed into truck mode and drove back toward his ship.

---

Optimus awoke in a dark room, the design of which resembled the interior of most Cybertronian ships. Gray metal all around. Various shapes formed by the pieces of the ship's walls and systems. It would have reminded him of the second Ark, the ship he first left Cybertron in, had he not been hanging upside down from the ceiling. His weapons gone, he had no way to escape. "Aiigh...arrghh..." He struggled anyway, but it was in vain. He decided to wait until the opportune moment. If he was still alive, it was because Lockdown wanted something from him.

He put his finger to his ear, on the off chance the ship might not be blocking communications. As expected, that failed. He was alone.

---

Hours later, the Autobots arrived at a military base, the very same Sam had left earlier in his attempt to see Carly. Lennox, to their surprise, was standing at the entrance.

"Pentagon's buzzing with what just happened. We got the whole country on high alert, and we're at DEFCON 3. There's bound to be more, so NEST's been reactivated."

Sam opened Sideswipe's door forcefully, then stepped out. "Where do we start?" His eyes burned with rage, and there was an edge in his voice Lennox had never heard before. It soon occurred to him why.

Bumblebee was not among the Autobots who came to the base.

---

Optimus' head turned immediately as the sound of the door opening struck his ears. Though he had been here many hours, he never once dropped his guard. This was, after all, a hostile vessel. It was no surprise that it was the ship's captain who came to see him. "Lockdown..."

"You must already know I wanted you alive, Prime. You know something I wish to know. So, I intend to make you tell me...everything."

"And you must already know that will never happen, Lockdown. Not while I know nothing of your motives. Why are you here? Why are you attacking Autobots? You were a neutral!"

Lockdown glared at Optimus with his one eye, the burning glow from the scratch across his face having faded quite a while ago. He projected a hologram from the palm of his hand. It brought memories back from the final days of the war for Cybertron.

It was the Allspark, launching into space. The hologram changed, showing the launch of the second Ark.

"I saw it all, yet at the time, did nothing. You fled the planet taking our last hope of survival."

The hologram changed again, showing something more recent. Lockdown had watched from afar the battle four years ago, in Chicago, displaying the memory of Optimus running across a street, killing Decepticons every time he passed them, finally finishing with Shockwave by tearing his cycloptic eye from his head.

"In the name of...freedom...you slaughtered and killed."

Again the hologram changed. It was the aftermath of the battle, focusing on one detail: the torn-off head of Megatron, axe buried in it, resting on the bridge.

"You murdered in cold blood."

The hologram stopped, and Lockdown looked Optimus in the eyes.

"I am here to bring you your penance, your reward. Your extinction."


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#4 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Feb 27 2014 - 12:45 AM

And now, here's chapter 4.

---

"What happened to him?" Lennox looked Sam in the eye. 

Sam took a few seconds to force the answer out. "This...happened." He opened Ratchet's back doors and showed Lennox the spherical blue piece that once held Bumblebee's spark. "Optimus can't revive him like this."

"Do you have all his parts?"

"Of course not! They're all over the place, he blew up!"

"Hey!" Lennox grabbed Sam by the collar of his shirt. "I'm trying to help! Now get your head straight!" He released him, giving him a shove to make his point.

"Yes, sir..." Sam immediately thought of revenge, but with the strength of those Hunters, it wouldn't be that easy. "I think we need to bring in the Wreckers again. Sir."

"Yeah, I'll try and get that cleared, we're way understaffed here. Have Ratchet deliver the Bumblebee parts he does have to the research area. Sideswipe, Dino, go tell the Wreckers to get prepped in case I can get their deployment approved. Sam, cool your head and I'll pull some strings to get you approved to work with NEST."

"Their leader didn't say they were Decepticons, sir. He said they were Hunters." Sam's expression changed again. "Wait, work with NEST? Not join NEST?"

"Be happy with what you got, you didn't take SF training and you're still a Private. You're lucky to get that at all. I know you saved the world twice and helped once, but that's the only reason you even have a chance to get approved for something special."

"Yes sir." Unbelievable. The guy tells me I'm a soldier the first time the Decepticons attack, then when I actually am a soldier I'm treated like less of one.

---

"The Decepticons would not change their ways, Lockdown. I tried. For thousands of years." Optimus remembered the early days of the war. Even presented with many chances to kill Decepticons, even with his blade to Starscream's neck, he tried to avoid it as best he could.

But time and Megatron's relentless pursuit of power resulted in the best he could not being enough. It had become clear with the death of Sentinel Prime all those years ago that the Decepticons could never be redeemed. And while Sentinel had proven to be an enemy upon his revival, back then, neither Optimus nor the Decepticon responsible knew it. The Decepticons had killed him fully believing him to be what Optimus had thought he was.

"But then you killed. And your excuses will not change that."

"Your forces killed as well. Bumblebee is dead! You intend to bring all the Autobots extinction, Lockdown. How does that not constitute killing?"

"It does. But you, Optimus, you do the same as I, the same as Megatron, and yet claim you are better than we are. Your actions caused the destruction of Cybertron in its entirety, and you dare to call yourselves good! I kill, Optimus Prime, but you do as well. And your crime is not the act itself, but your justification of it."

"You attempt to justify your killing by saying we deserve it. That is the same as we do."

"No, Prime. I don't justify it. I give my reason, and accept that it is not just. But I don't care about right and wrong. I care about profit. And that is the difference between you and I." Lockdown grabbed a metal bar somewhat resembling one of Sentinel Prime's Pillars. Its tips rotated and opened as he held it in his hand, then it extended into a staff. At the tip of it, metal pieces slid up forming a vague claw shape. Blue energy coursed through its blades.

Raw, unbridled energon... "What could you gain from killing us?"

"Now that, I can't tell you." Lockdown spun the staff in his hand. "But there is something you can tell me." Without even asking a question yet, Lockdown gave Optimus a taste of the staff's torturing capabilities.

As soon as the blades met Optimus' stomach, he was burned from head to toe with lightning-like Energon. "Aaaaahhhhhrrrrrggggh.....AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!"

---

Sam paced the rooms of the base. Through a window he saw some people fiddling around with parts of Bumblebee. He violently swung around and walked briskly towards the door, but stopped when he saw Ratchet helping them. Maybe they were trying to repair him so Optimus could use the Matrix to bring him back. A part of him didn't want to ask what they were doing, in case the answer disappointed him. That part evidently got the upper hand, as Sam turned and walked away.

Still, even if they did get him back in one piece, they'd have to free Optimus first. What if they killed him...could I still find a way to revive him again? No, they wouldn't kill him. Otherwise why bother capturing him? But why would they want to captu--

"Sam!" Lennox called him from the other side of the room. "Got good news and bad news."

Sam ran over to him as fast as he could, anxious. "What is it, sir?"

"We got the Wreckers approved for redeployment, they're also giving Sideswipe and Dino some new weapons. Once that's done they'll get on the Autobot transport plane and head out."

"Head out where?"

"Lockdown's in a ship. Pretty hard to hide something like that."

"So..what's the bad news?"

"You've been denied on working with NEST. They wouldn't let you in, you have no military combat experience."

Sam's face began to turn red with anger. "Whoa whoa whoa whoa, what?! I have no experience--I have experience, 3 friggin' times. I have more experience than half the guys in your unit, that's how long I've been mixed up in this business! What the ###### are they saying, I have no experience?! Tell them--"

"Sam!" Lennox cut him off by sheer shock, with the volume of his speech. "No military combat experience. And if it was up to me, you could come, but it's not. So sit back and do what you do best!"

"And what's that supposed to be?"

"Whatever you can, with whatever you've got." Lennox turned and left.

I guess that's what I always did...

---

Optimus groaned, with a charred hole a half-inch deep in his stomach. Still, he had been through worse. He had been through death. He would not answer.

"Don't assume this is the most painful device at my disposal, Prime! Where is the Matrix of Leadership?!"

Optimus spat a small chunk of metal at Lockdown's face, narrowly missing his eye. "Even...if you get it...it will turn to dust...if touched by one who is unworthy.."

"No, Prime. If it is touched by one who does not exhibit the traits it seeks out. Worthy is a matter of perspective, and while it will of course reject me, I need not touch it. I know all too well how to levitate it."

Optimus remembered the day he revived Sentinel, believing him to still be a trusted friend. He had offered him the Matrix, levitating it to him. Sentinel caught it by levitation as well, never once touching it. If he had touched it, it would have turned to dust, revealing his betrayal, and re-formed only when touched by one worthy of it. And Lockdown planned to keep it in one piece by doing the same.

"Why...do you..need it?"

"As I told you...I cannot tell you that." Lockdown sent a transmission in Cybertronian to someone in the next room.

"Yes, sir," Scourge responded, "Cyclonus is doing that now."

"Good."

High above the ground Lockdown's ship rested on, Cyclonus was flying towards a U.S. military satellite. The last Cybertronian to hack into one had never been detected, even after leaving it, and as a result no countermeasures against future hackings were ever taken. He transformed, planted a device, then descended again to Earth. Transforming again, he flew back to the ship.

The device he left behind was small and circular in nature, but it soon opened up, revealing many wires. The wires hooked into the satellite from all angles, going around it, on it, and even deep inside it. Soon, everything the satellite could access was being uploaded into Lockdown's ship.

Optimus continued to stare at Lockdown, refusing to speak a word that could help Lockdown find the Matrix. Megatron had once deceived Optimus into using the Matrix to revive Sentinel for him, but it seemed no one outside the Autobots and their human allies actually knew where he kept it. And since Optimus would not fall for the same deception twice, Lockdown would need to force him to reveal it...an impossible task.

"Enough of this..." Lockdown tossed aside the staff, then grabbed another device from the wall. The device unfolded in a circular motion, then began to spin--a buzz saw. "If pain will not force the answer from you, then loss will. I will rip you limb from limb, Prime, until you tell me where the Matrix hides!" Sparks flew as he shoved the saw on Optimus' right elbow, intending to start by removing his forearm.

Cyclonus burst into the room. "Lockdown! The satellite is still downloading access codes for the file we need to access, but it has given us insight into the human military's communications. They're coming, with Autobots, at this very moment." He didn't seem worried, but excited.

Lockdown grinned. "As I thought. Though if it's as you say..." Lockdown looked at Optimus menacingly. "If the humans truly do work with the Autobots when we have not attacked them yet, then they are equally guilty. Extinction will be theirs to bear as well."

Cyclonus activated his chainsaws. "Perfect." He left the room. Optimus could hear him yelling for Scourge and Lugnut to get ready for battle.

Outside Lockdown's ship, the Autobot transport plan dropped off Sideswipe, Dino, Topspin, Roadbuster, Leadfoot, Ratchet, and a platoon of NEST soldiers led by Lennox.

"All right, we take out anyone he sends at us, find a way inside, and rescue Optimus! Hooah?"

Loud yells of "Hooah" erupted from the entire platoon, and even the Wreckers.

"Here they come!"


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#5 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Mar 01 2014 - 06:29 AM

Ok, chapter 5 time.

---

Cyclonus flew toward the soldiers and Autobots, firing at them as he advanced. 

"Dino, block it! Wreckers, back up to aim and fire!" Sideswipe jumped out of the firing line, grabbing Lennox and the soldier right next to him. He shifted his body around, placing his wheels on the ground first, then fully compressed himself into vehicle mode with the two soldiers in his seats.

"Drive!" Lennox opened fire as Sideswipe drove out of Cyclonus' firing line, hitting him with high-heat rounds. Unfortunately, against the more compact armor of a vehicle mode, they seemed to do little.

Dino's wrist blades were nowhere to be seen, instead replaced by two large, light gray chunks of metal. He launched them from his wrists, and they landed directly in front of him, connecting together and rising up into a shield. When Sideswipe circled around to get behind the shield, Cyclonus' shots bounced off of it.

"Let's get some!" Topspin backflipped, transforming and landing as a heavily armed version of a NASCAR racer, then reversed while firing on Cyclonus with more machine guns than the airborne Hunter could count. 

He prepared to match his firepower to that of the Wrecker, but changed his mind when he was fired on by Roadbuster and Leadfoot as well. He locked on a missile to each of them, fired, and did a barrel roll to get out of their lines of fire.

Sideswipe transformed and ejected the soldiers, shooting each missile in midair to blow it up before it could reach the Wreckers. "Don't let up, keep firing!"

Lennox looked up just in time to see Cyclonus' barrel roll. He noticed small sparks fly from on the jet nose, as if metal was scraping against metal--before the Wreckers readjusted their aim. "He's got a rider!"

Lugnut phased into view as he leapt off Cyclonus, who did another barrel roll and transformed in midair. Lugnut, however, fell rapidly and fired a series of missiles.

"######!" Dino rolled aside, transforming into stealth force mode, then shot Lugnut while he was in midair.

Lugnut roared, then landed and started firing on soldiers. Roadbuster, from his angle, could make out a grin on the Hunter's face. He had anticipated the Autobots' reactions.

Sideswipe, as expected, rushed at Lugnut--and was shot off his feet with a gatling gun from Scourge's chest.

"He's behind us," a Scottish voice yelled. Roadbuster transformed and fired missiles from his shoulders at Scourge, who, he realized, had gotten behind them during all the chaos.

Lennox fired his grenade launcher at Lugnut, knocking the Hunter over. "Plant boom sticks!" He ran at him, pulling out a spiked object of Cybertronian design, resembling a stick with a green glowing midsection, and planted it in his foot. Several soldiers followed suit, planting them in his legs and arms.

Forcefully, Lugnut got up, smacking a soldier out of his way and to his death. "Raaaaah!"

Cyclonus landed on his feet and one chainsaw, rather than a hand. He jumped over the shield Dino planted and slashed at the red Autobot. "New tricks won't save you!"

"They won't help you live either, cazzo." Dino's blades suddenly ejected from his back, and he swiftly grabbed one to block the slash. "Haha!" He pulled the other one and threw it at Cyclonus' chest.

Cyclonus grunted, moving to the side with the force of Dino pushing against his chainsaw. He could not evade the blade entirely, however, and it landed in his shoulder. "Gaah!"

Dino jammed his wrist rifle into Cyclonus' nose and fired, knocking him back. To his surprise, the Hunter was tough enough to take that hit, and came right at him again. "Argh!" He whirled his blade around, blocking slashes from both Cyclonus' chainsaws and looking for an opportunity to strike.

Scourge jumped aside, but the missiles were still on course to hit him. They were tracking missiles. He stood perfectly still, shifting his armor in front of him to take the hit. No sooner had Roadbuster grinned than Scourge shifted his armor panels around again, skillfully causing each missile to slip between his plates, failing to strike him. He finished by transforming into Stryker mode and shooting Roadbuster in so many places that the areas shot outnumbered the missiles. The missiles then changed direction and impacted him, but the compact armor of vehicle mode, as it had for Cyclonus, kept him nearly undamaged.

"You mess with one, you mess with all, ya nancy wanker!" Leadfoot and Topspin drove right by Scourge at full speed, one on each side, and transformed when they got behind him. Topspin jumped on Scourge, tearing guns off with his large claws. When Scourge transformed and threw him off, he was immediately fired on by Leadfoot.

Roadbuster began to get up, laughing. No one could wreck the Wreckers.

---

Optimus' right arm, at least the part from shoulder to elbow, swung downward. The wrist of his severed right forearm still hung on the wall, as did the rest of him. "Gaaaaah...."

"Where is the Matrix?! I won't hesitate to cut off all your limbs. Even if you slip off that wall once every body part bound to it is gone, you won't be able to face me when you can neither stand nor fight! Give it up!"

"No, Lockdown...I will guard it...with..my..life."

"Then you will lose your life," Lockdown snarled, clearly losing his patience.

"If I..give it to you, I will lose my life regardless. And...I don't care. Even..if I...die, others..can stop you. You...number...only...four."

"And you defeated larger forces than your own many times, Prime!" Lockdown slammed the buzzsaw into Optimus' right shoulder, cutting the rest of his right arm off.

"Aaaargh!" The pain was familiar, making it a bit easier to bear. He had lost that arm before, after all, at the hands of his former mentor.

---

Sideswipe got up. To his left, Dino was facing off against Cyclonus. To his right, the Wreckers were ganging up on Scourge. "Dino, hang on!" He transformed, driving full speed to Dino's shield, then transformed again, slamming his hands into the back of the shield. It began to shift around, and he flipped over it as he did so, rotating the shield itself while it transformed into a massive stationary turret. "Knock knock!"

Dino leapt back as the turret churned out powerful rounds of Cybertronian metal, forged from the recycled parts of dead Decepticons. They slammed into Cyclonus, knocking his right leg off at the knee. They continued to smash into him, tearing chunks of armor off until it ran out of ammo.

"Not enough in there, Autobot?" Cyclonus pulled back the panels on his arm, along with his entire hand, exposing a machine gun. He shot Sideswipe off the turret, then turned it towards Dino's direction--which was no longer the correct place to aim.

Dino transformed from right under Cyclonus, knocking him down with ease now that he lacked part of a leg, then pulled the blade from his shoulder. Just as he prepared to stab him in the chest with it, a boom stick slammed into his arm. "Gah!"

Lugnut hurled another boom stick at Dino, missing him narrowly. He threw two more, hitting Sideswipe with one as he got up.

"Maybe thirty second timers were too long, sir!" A NEST soldier fired on Lugnut, but that did little to impede his progress. Lugnut responded by blowing him sky high with one missile, then tossing boom sticks into the crowd of soldiers. He now had only three boom sticks left in him, stuffed into his left thigh. What to do with them...

He immediately caught the sight of the Wreckers tearing pieces of armor from Scourge as he attempted to shift them around, and hitting him with them. Scourge, judging by his constant stumbling and roaring, was not doing too well. Lugnut hurled a boom stick with absolute accuracy, hitting Roadbuster in the back.

"HOY!" Roadbuster whirled around to shoot Lugnut, but then saw a boom stick halfway to Topspin flying by. He tried to adjust his aim to shoot it, but before he could do so, the one in his back detonated, throwing his aim off and causing him to fall. "Aaaaigh!" He transformed just as the other boom stick impaled Topspin in the shoulder. Meanwhile, boom sticks were blowing up among the soldiers, killing several of them.

The final boomstick he threw hit its mark better than he ever could have hoped. No sound came from Leadfoot's mouth, blocked out by a boomstick impaling him in the chest. It blew up just as Topspin's did--so fast he scarcely had time to realize what exactly exposed his sparkchamber.

Scourge got up, grabbed the dying Wrecker, and finished the job by tearing him to pieces. With each rip, he forcefully threw a piece at Topspin, knocking him down and bashing him repeatedly.

Roadbuster, however, was driving straight at Lugnut, shooting him, but then stopped as he saw one more boomstick, something he did not want to drive into.

It was in Lennox's hand, and in one more second, in Lugnut's foot. The Hunter grunted with pain, then looked at his foot, seeing Lennox dive away.

BOOM.

He fell on his back, then got up immediately. One boomstick would do little to him. "Grraaaah...." He prepared to shoot Lennox, but then turned around when he heard an explosion.

Ratchet had been holding the weapon given to Sideswipe at the base earlier, one designed to fire a larger version of a Javelin missile in a straight line. He transformed and drove through the hole he had created, straight into Lockdown's ship.

---

Lockdown kicked aside Optimus' severed upper arm. "You disgust me, Prime. You hold so strongly to your convictions, so strongly that you can bear such pain, for the wrong reasons! That you can draw such will from such a flawed, pathetic philosophy is appalling!"

A low-pitched, but loud beep resounded twice through the room. Lockdown tossed the buzzsaw aside. "So...one of your Autobots has breached the ship's hull. It appears you'll soon have company, Prime!" Lockdown walked towards the door, which opened automatically. "And if you won't give me the Matrix's location to spare yourself pain or loss...perhaps you'll give it to me to spare his life."

As the door closed, Optimus held in a yell of rage. If he had yelled audibly, as he very well knew, Lockdown would know for sure that holding one of his allies, one of his friends hostage, would work.

---

Sam wandered the base again, passing several rooms. In one room, Decepticon corpses were being melted down to create weapons. In another, their weapons were being studied. He didn't know where the corpses not currently being used were, though, and he knew that he would get no good answer if he asked.

The Autobots were out facing those Hunters, the ones who killed Bumblebee, and he was stuck in the base, told once again by the government to do nothing.

The last time this happened, he went out and did some work on his own. He walked to the exit, but was stopped by an armed guard.

"Witwicky, get back inside."

"What the ###### for?!"

"Orders from higher up, and honestly," the guard responded, "I agree with them. They don't want you to go out and do something stupid."

"What? The last time I went out and did stuff on my own, it worked out! We found out what they were up to!"

"Yeah. And that's why they think you'll start getting big ideas again. But this time, one of your friends died. You go out there with a big idea, you'll do something stupid. Get back in there. Now."

"Rrrrrgh!" Sam turned and stormed back into the base, just resuming his pacing of the halls. Ok. Why would they want to capture Optimus?

---

Bullets from Autobot and soldier alike struck the Hunters, backing them into one spot. Lugnut started pumping blue liquid through his tubes again.

"He's gonna go invis! Shoot the pipes!" Lennox yelled. A soldier shot a pipe repeatedly, causing the blue liquid to spill out. Parts of Lugnut turned invisible, others did not. A whole network of pipes was revealed inside his body, and the spilled liquid started to turn parts of Cyclonus and Scourge invisible as well. Partial invisibility did not help much, however, as the Autobots and soldiers demonstrated.

Scourge yelled in Cybertronian, but with four Cybertronians present, that was little good.

Sideswipe shot Scourge in the face, blowing armor panels off. "He's trying to retreat! Cut them off!"

Dino flipped over the three Hunters, landing behind them, then shot Scourge in the back. Cyclonus turned and launched a chainsaw right off his arm, tearing Dino's off.

Lugnut put his hand to his ear, but said nothing. He transformed and drove away as fast as he could, gunfire on his tail. Scourge followed suit, but his tank mode was incomplete with all the armor pieces torn off by the Wreckers. Cyclonus attempted to fly away, but Roadbuster jumped on him and jerked him to the side, causing him to slam into Lugnut.

"Yer not getting away that easy! I'm gonna kill you fer what you did!" He jumped off as the two Hunters transformed, but he was shot away before he could land as intended. "Aargh!"

"After them!" Sideswipe transformed into stealth force mode, Topspin at his side, and they fired on Scourge.

---

Lockdown drove through the halls of his ship towards the breach zone. By the time he got there, no Autobot was in sight. Evidently, whoever broke in had gone through a few doors already. He laughed and transformed into robot mode, then opened a door. "You can't hide from me in my own ship, Auto--" He was interrupted by his comm channel opening and the sound of gunfire through it. No words directly from Lugnut came in, as those would be too obvious, but he knew well enough what the point was.

The Hunters were losing, and they would die if he did not step in. It would take the Autobot some time to find the room Optimus was in and free him...there was still time to get to the scene of the battle and save his team. He transformed again and drove out.

The next thing Roadbuster saw was a black Freightliner Argosy, bristling with weapons, driving in. "Lockdown's back!"

Lennox immediately looked in his direction, then spotted Lockdown driving in nearby. "Lockdown?! Concentrate your fire!"

Sideswipe and Topspin caught up to the rest of the Autobots, with soldiers following behind. In Stealth Force mode, he and Dino shot Lockdown alongside Roadbuster and Topspin.

Lockdown drove straight through their fire, taking some damage, but dishing out far more. His machine guns knocked off several of those used by the two remaining Wreckers, and his missiles locked on to all four Autobots. He slowed to a halt and transformed slowly, almost leisurely, as the missiles flipped the four Autobots and sent chunks of their armor flying. He activated a cannon on each shoulder, evidence that he had easily been able to replace the one cut off by Optimus Prime in their last battle. Before he could fire, he hear a high-pitched triple beep inside his head. "Scourge! Get back in the ship! Optimus Prime has escaped!"

Lugnut forcefully pulled Cyclonus up. "Get to the repair bay through the hangar you came out of!" He watched Cyclonus transform and retreat to the ship, then extended a sword from each wrist. Without his pipes intact, he couldn't turn fully invisible, but he did have one idea. He grabbed the pipe that had been damaged and tore it loose, then started pumping blue liquid through it, spilling it onto each sword.

---

Optimus ran through the halls of the ship as Ratchet drove alongside him in Stealth Force mode. Ratchet suddenly stopped, then transformed, ejecting the two halves of Optimus' severed arm that were stored inside his vehicle mode. "Wait. Are you even carrying weapons?"

"None. We can get replacements back at base, provided my replacement trailer has been finished."

"First we'll have to get back to base." Ratchet transformed again, placing the arm halves back inside. He drove onward, followed by Optimus. "This is the way I got in."

Optimus suddenly put his foot in front of Ratchet. "Wait." Metal footsteps were coming from around the next corner. Optimus let out a yell, rushing forward and punching the approaching robot in the face with his left arm.

"GAAAAH!" Scourge stumbled back, then transformed his hand into a mace. He launched it from his arm on a chain, then swung with a roar.

Optimus caught the chain, but the ball of the mace struck his arm, causing him to lose his grip. Scourge swung again, bashing the Autobot leader hard enough to make him slam into the wall to his right. The mace transformed back into a hand, which grabbed him and reeled him into a hard kick to the stomach.

"Aaaargh....hyaaahr!" Optimus stood up, kicked Scourge back, then grabbed the chain and pulled it. He swung the Hunter around, sending him past the corner. "Ratchet, fire!"

Scourge was met with a barrage of machine gun fire, which he promptly blocked by shifting around his remaining armor panels and rushing at Optimus again. He swung a punch at Optimus' face.

Optimus transformed to reduce his height and avoid the punch, then rammed Scourge full speed, shoving him back into Ratchet's line of fire. He transformed and stomped on Scourge's foot to prevent him from getting away. A spiked knuckle cover extended from his wrist then lowered over his fist. He slammed his fist right into Scourge's chest, breaking his sparkchamber.

Ratchet transformed, ejecting the arms again. "I thought you had no weapons!"

"In case anyone was listening in, I pretended to have none." He pulled his fist out of Scourge, letting him drop to the ground.

Ratchet approached Scourge, looking into his flickering eyes and activating his wrist buzzsaw. "Don't worry, I'm an emergency vehicle!" He slammed his buzzsaw into Scourge's neck, severing his head. "Can't take the risk. They might have had the resources to repair him after even that."

"Agreed." Optimus transformed, followed by Ratchet.

Meanwhile, Cyclonus walked to a control panel with a new leg. He pushed a button and started viewing the security cameras.

---

Dino rushed at Lockdown with both blades, but was tripped by machine gun fire from the Hunter leader's chest, then bashed aside by his whip. Roadbuster and Topspin both took the full force of shots from Lockdown's shoulder cannons.

Sideswipe rushed at Lockdown, firing his twin shotguns. Lockdown stumbled back slightly, but then fired on him. Sideswipe flipped over the gunshots, then landed. While he was flipping, he had seen Lugnut approaching behind him, and turned so he could see both Lugnut and Lockdown. He shot at both, causing Lugnut to stumble more than Lockdown, but then found that the shotgun aimed at Lugnut was cut in half. What--

Lockdown aimed at Sideswipe, but was interrupted yet again by a transmission. "What is it?!"

Cyclonus answered, "Lockdown! Scourge is dead!"

Lockdown snarled and transformed, driving full speed back to the ship. "Lock all the exits! I want the only way they can go to be towards the breach area!"

As Lockdown left, Sideswipe faced off against Lugnut alone. Lugnut's arm swung towards him, but it wasn't long enough to hit him. In a split second, Sideswipe reacted by swinging his sword at the air in front of Lugnut's arm, coming into contact with a solid but invisible object. His suspicion, aroused by his gun being sliced in half, was confirmed. Lugnut had invisible swords.

Metal clashed against what seemed to be simply air. Shallow cuts began to appear in Sideswipe's armor, as his estimation of the swords' dimensions was bound to be imperfect. "###### it!" He did his best to parry and counterattack, dueling a foe whose weapons he could not see.


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#6 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Mar 04 2014 - 12:55 AM

Ok, Chapter 6.

---

Optimus and Ratchet drove quickly, switching to Stealth Force mode at every corner to take advantage of greater maneuverability. While speed was of the essence if they wanted to get out before Lockdown could catch them, it would not do them much good if each corner caused them to crash.

"Left turn, mind the pipe running across the floor!" Ratchet drove close behind Optimus, trying to remember the path he took as best he could.

"There is no pipe. Are we headed towards the outside?"

"Yes. The pipe must have been in the next turn. Take a right, then go straight and left again. Lockdown will probably find out about this soon."

"He was alerted the second you entered the ship, Ratchet. I believe he is already well aware of our escape...and the death of his comrade. We should use an alternate path to avoid being recaptured." Rather than taking the right turn ahead of them, Optimus drove straight toward the door in front of him.

"I underst--huh?" Ratchet swerved to the side, drifting across the metal floor of the ship, and crashed lightly into Optimus. In a few seconds, the shock wore off and he realized why Optimus had stopped. The door was locked, and he had crashed straight into it. "That door opened automatically when I passed by it on my way to you."

Optimus transformed, making room for both him and Ratchet to get back on course, and walked down the next hallway, taking the right turn Ratchet had first suggested. "This is confirmation that Lockdown knows we are escaping. He wants us to be able to take only one path."

"To guarantee an ambush." Ratchet followed Optimus in Stealth Force mode, in order to fight without dropping the arm parts he was carrying.

Optimus nodded, then continued to walk.

"He took the weapons from your Stealth Force mode too, didn't he?"

"Lockdown was far too thorough to allow me to keep them."

"But then how did he miss your knuckle blades?"

Optimus pondered the question as he walked, activating said blades once again for their inevitable meeting with Lockdown at their pathway's end.

---

Sparks flew into the air, briefly forming parts of an outline around the edge of Lugnut's swords. As the next slash quickly proved, however, outlines were far from enough.

"Gaaah!" Sideswipe's right hand fell from his arm, hitting the ground and tumbling for a second. Though it hurt, Sideswipe's swords were on his wrists, leaving him nearly undeterred. He continued to parry and counterattack with both blades, but Lugnut's defense was flawless. Out the corner of his eye he could see soldiers running towards them, but they were still too far to accurately use their grenade launchers.

Sideswipe let both his arms be knocked back by the force of Lugnut's swings, creating an opening for Lugnut to slash with both blades simultaneously. When he did so, the Autobot second-in-command responded by bringing both his blades forward with surprising speed and pressing against Lugnut's blades. He slid his blades up Lugnut's, taking note of how much they narrowed without taking completely sliding them off.

"Measuring my blades without giving way for me to kill you..." Lugnut smirked and kicked Sideswipe back, then transformed into Stealth Force mode. "Or so you think!" He began to fire missiles when explosions all over his right side flipped him and interrupted his shooting.

"Sideswipe," Lennox yelled, "we're screwed if you die!"

Another soldier fired on Lugnut, attemping to keep him down. "Stay alive, that's an order! You die and I'll court martial you!"

Sideswipe fell down, but recovered fast enough to pull out his remaining shotgun and shoot one of the missiles before it could hit. His next shot missed, and Lugnut had left no room for error. The next two missiles hit and broke apart his chest, exposing his sparkchamber. He shifted his sparkchamber down and crouched, transforming into vehicle mode.

Lugnut transformed and stomped on a soldier, then uttered a sadistic laugh. Sideswipe's sparkchamber was no longer exposed because it was on his underside. With the Autobot's ability to fight severely limited, he began to slaughter the soldiers.

---

Optimus stopped when he came to the end of a hallway, not going around the corner. He gave Ratchet a look to ensure he was ready. Light shone onto the wall just in front of him and to his right. Therefore, the exit is at this left turn.

Ratchet drove up right beside Optimus, ready to fire. He said nothing, in case Lockdown was standing there at that very moment and listening for them, but the gesture made it clear he was ready.

Optimus ran forward, going around the corner, but saw no one at the end. A small detail on his knuckle blades caught his eye during the natural swinging of his arms while he ran. Immediately after, he heard a small sound behind them and stopped.

"What's wrong?" Ratchet turned around, then turned back forward.

"My original blades had a crack after the battle in Chicago." Optimus heard a louder sound and immediately whirled around, but was too late. Two shots struck him simultaneously in the chest, shattering his windows and knocking him to the ground. "AIGH!"

Ratchet turned around again and began to fire machine guns at the towering dark robot before him. Lockdown was behind us?!

Lockdown slammed Ratchet's left side with his whip, bashing his guns into his armor and flipping him. He finished by stomping on him, holding the guns on his right side down as well to bring a halt to the gunfire.

Optimus looked up, seeing metal hanging down from the ceiling behind Lockdown. He had burst in from the floor directly above them.

Lockdown lowered his head, flipping around panels and extending them forward once again, forming the gun face he used in their first battle. "I shall give you my face, Prime!"

Lockdown shot Optimus directly in the face, and everything went black.

---

Sideswipe rammed Lugnut in the legs full speed, causing him to fall over easily. His injured foot spread apart further as he fell, but he got up again, slamming his hand on yet another soldier.

Lugnut roared as he rose to his full height. Grayish blurs parallel to his forearms began to phase into view, and as Sideswipe turned around to make another pass, he spilled more of the blue liquid from his pipes onto them.

"Focus fire on his head!"

High-heat rounds slammed into Lugnut's face, obscuring his view and causing him to bleed red and orange energon. Sideswipe's next ramming attack hit perfectly. When he fell, his face hit the ground. Burning, crushed metal fell from his face as he got up. "Raaaaah!"

Sideswipe turned again and drove full speed to ram him a third time before he could get all the way up. The front of his vehicle mode being split in half, however, shocked him. His tires shredded against the ground in an effort to stop. My own move--

Just as he had done to Sideways years ago, Lugnut had forced him to drive into a blade. He reversed to avoid the exact same fate he had dealt to Sideways, but Lugnut swung his arm up as he did so. Sideswipe was flipped completely. A glowing blue light on his underside was clear as day.

"How 'bout you try and fight us instead, ya ninny?!" By the time Lugnut turned to face the robot who spoke, his missiles were too close to avoid. A series of explosions brought the Hunter down once more.

"It's time ta' kill him!" Roadbuster, followed by Topspin, ran at Lugnut.

Seeing the blue Wrecker's claws snapping threateningly, Lugnut transformed into car mode and drove back to the ship full speed. Topspin and Roadbuster, however, had no intention of letting him off. They had begun to transform after the first panel on Lugnut shifted and were already driving after him, firing all the way.

A door opened on the front of the ship for Lugnut to drive through, a sign that Cyclonus was watching. From the ship's bridge, Cyclonus grabbed a lever and pulled it.

"RAAAAAAAH!" Lugnut's rear end went up in flames, breaking apart from the gunfire. The two Wreckers were mere feet behind him, capable of much greater speed than he was. He yelled in Cybertronian, even more garbled than usual as a result of the pain.

The ship's guns shot once in response, sending Roadbuster whirling aside. He crashed into Topspin with the force of one of Optimus' punches. They tumbled aside, bending out of shape and attempting to transform. They skidded to a halt partially transformed and too badly hurt to finish.

Sideswipe transformed and ran to them, ignoring Lugnut's escape into the ship. "Both of you! Get up! It'll fire again!"

Cyclonus adjusted his aim to shoot Sideswipe. Orange lights on the ship's cannons lit up slowly as they turned.

"Move!" Sideswipe shook the two Wreckers, who only groaned in response. If the cannons did this to them, and his sparkchamber was exposed...

The sound of gunfire ended Sideswipe's line of thought instantly.

Another line of thought, however, began when he saw the ship's cannons come down and hit the ground. I'm not dead?

The plane that brought the Autobots there had returned, but its wings were angled down slightly, and weapons protruded from several parts of it. Weapons on a type of plane that was ordinarily unarmed.

"Sir, when did those planes get weapons?" A soldier was staring up in surprise.

"He always had them," Lennox replied.

Sideswipe dragged the Wreckers toward the soldiers as explosions raged behind him. Lockdown's ship was under heavy fire and taking off. "We...need...evac," he transmitted to the plane through his comms.

Dino got up slowly. Parts of his armor fell from his body. Wind was picking up, blowing the broken parts away from him. As he looked up, he saw Lockdown's ship rising with blue light glowing behind it. Explosions raged on its bow, the source of which he soon determined to be the plane bombarding it. It lurched forward, then faded out of view long before it got far enough to be outside of visual range. Dino transformed and drove to the remaining soldiers and other Autobots.

"It can do that?" a soldier asked. "Why didn't it do that before?"

Lennox stomped in anger. "Because they wanted us to find it!" He looked up at the plane, which was decending towards them slowly, spinning as it approached. When it landed, the weapons retracted and the wings returned to their usual angle. "Get inside. We're going back."

---

Optimus awoke strapped to the wall upside down, just as before--save for the fact that Ratchet was next to him in the same predicament. "What..." Across the room, there were his weapons, along with both halves of his right arm. Both his original knuckle blades, with the crack, and the new ones were on the table, right next to each other.Lockdown didn't miss a weapon..he replaced one.

Ratchet looked at Optimus. "What happened...?"

Optimus turned his head to face Ratchet at the sound of his voice. The medic was clearly injured, his armor bent out of shape, but was overall in better shape than Optimus was. "Lockdown," Optimus answered, his voice extremely hoarse from being shot in the face, "put in a replacement for my blades. I believe it contained a tracking device. Knowing our exact position, he could...ambush us."

Metal banging against metal in a corner of the room drew the attention of both Autobots. It was Lockdown, clapping sarcastically. "Your powers of deduction exceed your ability to fight me, Optimus Prime." He laughed callously and took Optimus' own sword from the table. It glowed orange in his hand. "Cyclonus, Lugnut, has the intel been downloaded to the ship?"

Lugnut's voice echoed through the room. "Yes. Both of us have repaired our injures as well."

Lockdown glared at Optimus, malice clearly visible in his eye. "Good. Execute Phase One. I believe Phase Two will be in our grasp very, very soon."

---

Sam was sitting alone in the supply room of the base. He had grown tired of pacing some time ago, but was still unable to figure out why Optimus was captured. Information, probably. It's not like Optimus is carrying some superweapons...

The door opened, and Sam looked up to see Lennox entering.

"About ###### time..." Lennox shut the door behind him. "Why are you in here? I've been looking all over for you!"

"Needed somewhere to think," Sam answered, half-irritated. "What happened?"

"Those Hunters were baiting us. We tried to rescue Optimus, instead we got an even fight and Ratchet was captured or killed. Then the ship took off and went invis. We can't detect it with anything we've got. Some sort of cloaking is keeping it under the radar."

"Wait wait wait, they captured another Autobot?" But Bee had to die?!

"Don't ask me why, I don't know. And I said captured or killed. But if they could have stayed hidden the whole time I'm leaning towards captured."

Sam paused for a moment. "Wait, they captured Optimus. They must want something from him. So..so then if he wouldn't give it to them they must be trying to threaten him with someone else's death..."

"Maybe, what's your point?"

"Information, or...." Sam's mind wandered as his words trailed off. The sight of Bumblebee's mangled parts flying through the air, flaming and dead...the parts in a laboratory of some sort...the other laboratories where Decepticon parts were being melted down or studied...dead Decepticon parts... "He wants the Matrix!"

Lennox's expression changed to one of confusion as he answered almost instantly. "The Matrix--for what--######!" His expression changed to one of anger.

"Wait, we've got dead Decepticons in holding, are they all here?! We gotta guard them, we gotta--"

"We have a few parts here, the main storage's a few miles out!"

"Send some Autobots, they're gonna be coming to get the bodies!"

"The Autobots are injured, we only got one guy!"

"Send him! Don't you get what's going on, the Hunters are planning to revive Megatron!"

---

Soldiers looked up as a transport plane bearing an Autobot insignia landed at their base. The wings angled up sharply while the fuselage split. Parts rotated and folded together until a massive Autobot several times the size of Optimus Prime stood there.

"Wait," one of the soldiers said, "that's Stratosphere! I thought Sunscream or whatever he was called killed him!"

Stratosphere looked down at him and answered in a deep, thunderous voice. "Starscream came close. It took Ratchet some time to fix me up after I crashed...but I made it." He opened the door of a gigantic building clearly designed for Cybertronians, yet of human make. Inside lay the corpses of hundreds of Decepticons. In the center of the room lay Megatron, Shockwave, and Sentinel Prime. "Any Hunters that attempt to take these will not. Fall back, I don't want any of you dying."

"No disrespect," the soldier replied, "but we're just as willing to risk our lives to kill Decepticons, Hunters, or whatever they want to call themselves, as you are."

Stratosphere nodded and went inside the building. "Everyone willing, in here then."

A platoon of soldiers entered the building and took up defensive positions. Seconds later, they heard the sound of another plane flying in and a car driving up to the base.

"That's them." Stratosphere transformed his right arm into a six-barreled rocket launcher, aiming in the direction the sounds came from. "Be ready..."

The metal wall opposite Stratosphere ripped open with a deafening explosion.


Edited by Axilus Prime, Mar 04 2014 - 12:56 AM.

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#7 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Mar 05 2014 - 12:48 AM

Chapter 7 time.

---

Wasting no time, Stratosphere fired three rockets in rapid succession at the two silhouettes behind the flames. The larger silhouette grabbed an armored car off the ground and used it as a shield, stepping in front of the smaller silhouette. When the explosion cleared, the car was a smoldering wreck, and there was only one silhouette.

Cyclonus shot Stratosphere in the eye with his shoulder rifle, knocking the titanic Autobot back several steps. Soldiers fired on him from behind the remains of Decepticons, remains he was forced to destroy with missiles to bring a swift halt to the gunfire. He charged at Stratosphere, both chainsaws spinning, only to be struck with multiple small explosions around his feet. He roared in frustration, partially at himself for not killing all the soldiers before they could make use of grenades.

Stratosphere brushed shrapnel from his face, then shot Cyclonus in the chest with three more rockets. As Cyclonus fell and forced himself to get up again, Stratosphere reached for one of his wings and pulled it from his back. Small blades slid out from the wing's edge, forming a massive serrated sword.

Cyclonus grabbed a soldier off the ground as he stood. "Strike me, and he dies."

Stratosphere stopped mid-swing. "If he dies anyway, so will you."

Cyclonus simply laughed. "Drop your weapon."

Stratosphere hurled the sword over Cyclonus' head, sending it out of the building. "Now set him down."

Cyclonus formed a gatling gun in his free hand and shot Stratosphere in the face again, not stopping even as he spoke.

Stratosphere grunted and crossed his arms in front of his face. "Rrrrgh!" He made a fist with the hand he had been holding the sword in.

Outside the building, the jet engines on the sword spun to life, inaudible over the sound of Cyclonus' gun. Behind the Hunter, the sword rose off the ground and flew at him.

Slam!

Cyclonus roared in rage and pain. Gears and panels in his upper arm moved in an attempt to squeeze the soldier to death, only for him to realize he was not holding the soldier. The sword had flown straight through his elbow, and the soldier was safe in Stratosphere's hand.

Stratosphere set the soldier down, then grabbed his sword. "Get out of here, Hunter, and you won't feel the Wing Saber's blades in your neck."

Cyclonus simply charged at Stratosphere with his chainsaw.

Stratosphere swung his sword. "ARGH!" His swing had been sent off course by a jolt of pain in his back, followed by more pain to his midsection when the chainsaw dug into it. In the heat of battle, he had not noticed an invisible force killing all the remaining soldiers, finishing with the one whose life he had just saved, and then taking his other sword from his back and slamming it back in with the blades. "So it's...you. The invisible...Hunter." The sword buried in his back activated its jet engines, backing up and slamming Lugnut with the blunt end. It flew around Stratosphere and slashed at Cyclonus.

Cyclonus immediately jumped back, tearing out some of Stratosphere's stomach as he did so. He fired his gatling gun again, only for the flying sword to swing into position to block it.

Stratosphere grabbed the flying sword, then charged at Cyclonus, swinging both swords simultaneously. "Now, I'm gonna kill you!"

---

Lockdown pressed Optimus' sword to Ratchet's neck. The heated blade started to burn the Autobot medic's chin. His expression betrayed the pain he was in, though he was able to resist yelling out. "The Matrix's location, Prime, or your medic dies."

Optimus kept his face straight. Lockdown, however, saw right through through the artificial expression of calm. The mouth too firmly closed, the eyes unfocused, it was far too obvious to him that Optimus was attempting to hide how well the threat was working. Upon that realization, Optimus' expression darkened.

"It won't be just him. With no medic, eventually all of you will die of any wounds you sustain. You can't pretend for a second that you won't care if one of your lapdogs dies. But just think," Lockdown said, pressing the blade harder, "of the deaths of every last Autobot."

Yet if I give you what you want, you will no doubt use it to cause that to happen regardless. Optimus glared at Lockdown, thinking about what decision would bring greater repercussions.

"And then, without the power of the Autobots to protect them, the humans will die as well." Lockdown grinned with malice, cutting a pistol in Ratchet's neck.

At the sound of the resulting yell, Optimus made his decision. "Stay the blade, Lockdown. I will give you the Matrix."

---

Cyclonus' gatling gun split apart and slid back, replaced by his chainsaw. He managed to block one of the swords, just barely keeping it from touching his face. "Rrgh!" As he struggled to push against Stratosphere's incredible strength, he noticed that the other blade, despite being swung as well, did not hit him.

Stratosphere had yet again been caused to miss by shocking pain. He looked at his hand using the corner of his eye, still keeping his focus on Cyclonus. Evidently, Lugnut had planted a boomstick in his right hand. He released the sword pushing against Cyclonus, but that did not stop his relentless attack. The sword once again flew independently, whirling around and slashing at Cyclonus from various directions. Meanwhile, Stratosphere reached for the boomstick to pull it out, much too late to grab it in time. "GAAAH!"

Lugnut caught the sword that fell out of Stratosphere's exploding hand. His evil grin faded into view, followed by the rest of his body. Invisibility wouldn't be of much use when the huge blade in his hands betrayed his position.

Stratosphere reached out with his left hand, and the sword attacking Cyclonus flew to him. Before he could counterattack, he was bombarded with missiles. "Hnngh!" Much faster than his size suggested he could move, Stratosphere blocked each missile with the broad side of his sword, then when the missiles stopped, swung at Lugnut and knocked the stolen sword from his hands.

Lugnut retracted his wrist swords, having already accomplished his objective. Two severed jet engines lay at his feet, leaving Stratosphere only able to use one sword. He transformed into Stealth Force mode, drove under Stratosphere, and nimbly spun around to shoot missiles at his back.

Stratosphere was hit, but used the force of the missiles to lunge forward with greater speed, cutting Cyclonus' legs off with one swing. He turned to face Lugnut, but saw no one there. "No..."

Cyclonus, groaning in pain and giving off sparks, managed to transform into a badly damaged F-35 and fire all his weapons into the hole Lugnut had created in Stratosphere's back.

Stratosphere fell forward, dropping his sword. He attempted to get up, but nonstop attacks knocked him back down again. The hole in his back continued to grow, pieces of armor and internal parts flying out. "Aaaaargh!" He grabbed his sword and swung it around to block.

Lugnut faded into view again and swung his right arm, tearing all Stratosphere's fingers off with his wrist sword. Cyclonus' continued attack did strike the sword--sending it into Stratosphere's chest and face. As the Autobot collapsed in pain, Cyclonus continued to shoot the sword, sending it in deeper and deeper until Stratosphere was entirely cut in half.

Lugnut walked to the center of the room and picked up Megatron's head. His last moments of shock and rage were still visible on his face, despite further damage being inflicted on his remains by the battle. "It looks like he'll need some rebuilding."

Cyclonus transformed and grabbed his severed parts, attempting to place them back on his body. Wires reconnected while pieces of metal interlocked. He stood up again weakly on shoddily attached legs. "As will I...this won't do in a fight."

Lugnut tossed Megatron's head to Cyclonus, who caught it with the arm that was in proper condition. "Call Lockdown. We're moving both Megatron and Shockwave."

---

Lockdown kept the blade on Ratchet's neck. "Where is it?"

"I have it with me. Free my arm, and I will give it to you." Optimus kept his eye on Lockdown. "But if you kill Ratchet, I will never answer, not even if you capture another Autobot. As you said, if Ratchet dies, the rest will follow." Optimus wondered briefly if that were true. He thought to himself that he probably would have still been affected if any other Autobot had been held hostage afterward. He pushed the thoughts from his mind, staying focused on the current situation.

Lockdown brought the sword from Ratchet's neck. "And if you do not give it to me, I will kill him on the spot." He slashed the metal keeping Optimus' left wrist stuck on the wall.

Optimus held his hand slightly in front of his chest. His window frames spread apart, and the cover over his sparkchamber lowered itself. In front of his spark lay the Matrix of Leadership, glowing bright as ever. It levitated to his hand, and he grasped it tightly while closing up his chest.

Lockdown's expression changed, for a rare moment, to something other than malice or anger. He was genuinely surprised. Of course...the perfect place to hide the Matrix. Instead of hiding it away in a human base, or burying it deep in the ground, he carries it within him!

Optimus looked at Lockdown, catching a glimpse of his changed expression before it reverted to his usual expression. "Drop the sword, Lockdown. Then I will give it to you."

Lockdown threw the sword down. Below Optimus, its glow faded. "Now..." He held out his hand.

Optimus levitated the Matrix to Lockdown...then around him. Instinctively, Lockdown turned to face it. With a quick, sharp motion, Optimus brought his hand back, and the Matrix followed--smacking Lockdown in the face and turning to dust. As Lockdown turned again to face him, he grabbed his sword off the ground and cut the metal binding his feet to the wall. Rolling down onto the ground, he transformed and rammed the Hunter leader. "HYAAAAH!"

Lockdown's expression was one of rage and shock, both at the Matrix turning to dust, and at Optimus' sudden escape. He felt his back slam into the table behind him, then grabbed one of Optimus' guns, the smaller of the two.

Optimus transformed and swung his sword, cutting Lockdown's hand off. While Lockdown roared in pain, he caught the gun and fired four shots, destroying the metal binding Ratchet.

Lockdown shoved Optimus away and activated a hand cannon, shooting Optimus and forcing him to drop both weapons. He grabbed the Autobot leader by the neck and brought him toward the Matrix dust.

Ratchet, seeing that Lockdown intended to force Optimus to touch the Matrix and re-form it, grabbed Optimus' larger gun off the table and fired it three times.

Lockdown lurched forward and slammed into a wall when he was shot, then activated a shoulder cannon, rotated it around, and shot Ratchet back, causing him to fall and drop the gun.

Optimus grabbed his sword and got up, kicking Lockdown in the stomach to make him crouch. With a battle cry, he swung his sword again and cut Lockdown's shoulder cannon off. "Ratchet, get my arm and your weapons! Leave mine behind!" He jammed his elbow into Lockdown's face as he took the shoulder cannon in his hands, then fired it at the door four times to blow it open. When he turned his head to look at Ratchet, he was already in Stealth Force mode and carrying Optimus' arm pieces within him. Good.

Lockdown smacked Optimus away by flipping out his gun-face, then shot him in the back while standing up again and yelling a barely intelligible "NO!"

Optimus used the cannon and shot Lockdown repeatedly to slow him down while running out the door. "Ratchet, follow me!"

Lockdown grabbed the table and swung it in front of himself to improvise cover just as Ratchet drove out after Optimus. He peeked out over the table and saw that they had left. Immediately, he threw the table aside and got up, activating both hand cannons. He ran out the door...

...and was greeted with a point blank shot to the face that knocked him down once again. Optimus had been hiding by the doorway, and after succeeding in his trick, ran after Ratchet.

"Optimus! That wasn't the same room I found you in, we'll have to find another way off this ship!"

"I know, old friend!" Optimus looked back once to see if Lockdown had resumed his pursuit. Seeing that he was not yet behind them, Optimus tossed his sword up and let it slide down into his forearm, then put two fingers on the side of his head. He transmitted a code in Cybertronian, then continued to run normally.

Behind them, Lockdown approached in Stealth Force mode. Missiles and gunfire flipped Ratchet, causing him to land in Optimus' way and trip him. He transformed, then aimed his remaining shoulder cannon at Ratchet. "DIE!"

Optimus flipped Ratchet back on his wheels, allowing him to dodge the subsequent shot and pepper Lockdown with small missiles. Meanwhile, Optimus got to his feet and blasted open the door in front of them with the stolen shoulder cannon, then shot Lockdown back. "Keep moving!" He ran through the doorway, followed by Ratchet.

Lockdown got up yet again, then fired several missiles. They all struck a wall when the two Autobots turned a corner. "RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" He pounded the wall in rage, then transformed and drove after them.

Optimus could not move at full speed when he was forced to stay on foot. Yet if he transformed, he would have to drop the only weapon they had that could break apart the ship's doors. Therefore, as he predicted, Lockdown caught up again. This time the missiles were fired at Optimus. He transformed, causing them to fly over him and destroy the door immediately ahead of them.

Before Lockdown could fire again, Ratchet transformed and fired on him with his machine gun. "Optimus! This can't hold him!"

Lockdown transformed and shot Ratchet to the ground with his shoulder cannon, then aimed at Optimus. Optimus, however, was once again in robot mode--and not aiming at him.

Optimus fired the stolen gun repeatedly at the ceiling, bringing it down between them and Lockdown. A tangled barricade of wires and metal fell down from above them, partially on Lockdown, and mostly in front of him. "Ratchet, move ahead!" As Ratchet grabbed the arm pieces and transformed again, Optimus fired more, just to ensure he had constructed a thick enough barrier to delay Lockdown. The sound of approaching explosions from behind the barrier told Optimus it would not last for long, and he ran after Ratchet.

Door after door, hallway after hallway, they continued to continue to move on as straight a path as they could to one of the ship's sides. Eventually, the sight of a familiar room caught Optimus' attention.

"This is the same room you freed me from, Ratchet. It's a familiar route from here on." Optimus tossed the gun aside, knowing there were no more doors between him and the hull breach they were headed for, then transformed. "Let's roll."

They drove through the hallways as before, finally reaching the light at the end of the tunnels. Ratchet could see clouds whooshing by. "Optimus! The ship's in the air!"

Optimus simply drove on. "I was counting on that!" He continued to drive until he was out of the ship.

Ratchet, naturally, stopped at the hole Optimus drove through. "What do you mean?" Optimus, however, could no longer hear him, having fallen too far already. "Optimus!"

Lockdown drove in behind Ratchet and transformed. "Where is PRIME?!"

Ratchet transformed and faced Lockdown, unsure of what to do. "He's gone!"

Lockdown aimed his shoulder cannon. "Then so are you!"

The jump or the bullet. It became quite clear which left more chance of survival, considering that Optimus had jumped without hesitation. Ratchet backed up and fell out of the ship, narrowly avoiding the shot. "Optimus," he transmitted with two fingers on the side of his head, "what now?!"

Optimus fell through the air, then saw an incoming object. He moved his panels apart, rearranging them until he was in robot mode once again. "Now," he transmitted, "I'll catch you!"

The object was Optimus' jetpack, flying to him without anyone attached to it. It swung around and clipped into his back, lowering the harnesses onto his shoulders. "Just hang on!" With a loud flaring burst, the jetpack propelled Optimus up towards Ratchet. "I got you," he said, grabbing the medic.

Ratchet made a sound resembling a sigh of relief. "The replacement trailer..."

"Indeed." And with that, Optimus flew through the clouds.


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#8 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Mar 10 2014 - 04:55 PM

And now for Chapter 8.

---

Sam was once again pacing around the base, anxiously awaiting the next bit of news. The lack of news seemed somewhat ominous to him.

"Witwicky. Turn around and go back."

Sam turned his head to the source of the voice: the same armed guard who stopped him from leaving the base earlier. "What?" He realized shortly afterward that he had wandered back towards the exit. "Oh, oh, yeah, I was just...looking around." He walked back, thinking of a variety of insults to describe the guard with as he went. Only a few steps away from where he had been, he stopped and turned around again. "Can I see the Autobots?"

The guard rolled his eyes.

---

Lockdown yelled in rage, then walked back the way he came, picking up the shoulder cannon Optimus had dropped. He entered the first door to his right, repairing his injuries from the fight. The spare parts mounted on the wall were in shorter and shorter supply. Only two more pieces for the assembly of legs remained, and they were not suited for a robot larger than a car.

Mechanical arms moved, straightening out Lockdown's parts. Four more arms came down from the ceiling, grabbed small spare parts from the wall, and placed them into Lockdown's body. An arm grabbed at air near the wall, evidently reaching for a part that was not in supply, then moved to the spot on Lockdown's face where his other eye should have been. Larger arms on the ground with a variety of tools on them picked up Lockdown's severed cannon and hand, aligned all the parts together, and fused them back onto Lockdown's body. When all the arms returned to their standby positions, Lockdown left the room and returned to the room from which Optimus and Ratchet had escaped.

The Autobot leader had left behind many weapons. A large gun, an axe, knuckle-blades, and a variety of machine guns and missiles clearly meant for use in Stealth Force mode. The axe, in particular, caught his gaze. When he approached it, he heard the clinking of metal dust under his foot.

Lockdown bent down, taking some of the dust in his hand. He spilled it back onto the ground, rubbing his fingers together to get the last of it off. At that moment, he got a call from Lugnut.

"Lockdown! We met with some resistance, Cyclonus will need his limbs fused back on properly."

Lockdown pounded the ground. "You mean you failed?!"

A harsh, grating laugh came through the comm link. "Not at all. The bodies are secured. Megatron will need some repairs, so we're bringing Shockwave as well. One Autobot was guarding the bodies."

"And he is dead." Lockdown seemed more like he was making a demand, more like he was saying that he must be dead, than asking a question.

"Yes," Lugnut answered. "We just need some pickup. Do you have the Matrix?"

Lockdown did not answer for a few seconds. I should have had it!

"No," he finally answered, "Optimus Prime and the medic escaped."

Lugnut simply snorted in disgust. "Awaiting pickup."

---

Sam walked into a hangar. Four Autobots were inside, each in vehicle mode and missing some parts. Most of these parts were lying in piles in the back of the room, but there were bound to be a few that just weren't there. "Uh...so...how's everything?"

Sam had scarcely finished his sentence when Roadbuster violently swung his panels around and stuck his head out. His torso took a few visible, jerky movments to fully form properly, then he got up on his legs. His arms clicked into position a few seconds later. "How do ya think, ya wee little--"

"At ease!" Sideswipe transformed facing away from Sam and towards Roadbuster, mostly smoothly, but took extra care when flipping his chest parts forward. Sam saw why when he turned around--a gaping hole in his chest showing his sparkchamber. "We're not doing too good. My parts are over there, but without the doc...wouldn't risk a sensitive operation."

Sam nodded as Sideswipe pointed at his spark, as if it wasn't obvious already. "How..." He tried to think of the most polite way to ask the question.

"We tried a rescue op, but the doc got captured. Haven't heard from him or the big guy ever since. Starting to think they might be dead."

Sam shook his head. "No, they need Optimus to give them the Matrix. That's why Stratosphere's guarding the base with the Decepticon bodies--"

"No, human." Dino walked over to Sam, having transformed entirely unnoticed. A large strip from which metal had been violently torn away was visible across his chest and stomach. "We got word just earlier that he died guarding that base."

Sam's expression changed to one of shock. They were able to take him down too?

"Don't be so surprised," Roadbuster said. "He lost to Starscream!"

Dino smacked Roadbuster in the back of the head, rather hard judging by the sound.

Sam barely paid attention to the sound, however. Then...it's not impossible that they already got the Matrix, and killed him, then took the bodies to revive them. "What if Megatron is alive right now?"

At that, Topspin transformed and looked at Sam. The other Autobots had expressions of mixed fear and shock.

"The worst case scenario," Sideswipe said, "would be that Optimus is dead and we're all the Autobots we've got, the doc is dead so our condition will keep on worsening until we die, and...."

"And that Megatron is alive, and they've already won," Sam finished for him.

"The Hunters have not won, Sam. And Megatron remains dead, whether they have his body or not."

Sam turned to the familiar voice. "Optimus!"

---

Lockdown held Megatron's head in his hands. "We will need more than these bodies to revive him." He dropped the head and let it roll on the ground. "When Cyclonus finishes his repairs, put these in the repair room and let the systems sort out what parts should be used and where."

Lugnut was playing with Shockwave's eye, swinging it in a circular motion by the wires attached to it. "And how exactly do you plan to recapture Optimus Prime? He clearly once again possesses supplementary weapons, and with their medic returned to them, the Autobots will soon be back to full strength. At least...the surviving ones will."

"We do not need to recapture Optimus Prime. When Megatron told me of the events that had transpired on this planet after his defeat in Egypt, he spoke of a human boy who also came to be...accepted...by the Matrix." Lockdown projected a hologram of that boy from his hand.

Cyclonus stepped into the room. "The device I planted on the satellite has yielded that boy's current location. He is in a human military facility, with their pathetic soldiers and four Autobots."

Lugnut looked at Cyclonus. "Perfect. We can go after him now and restore the Matrix."

"You think it will be as easy as killing the Autobot guarding those bodies?" Lockdown threateningly approached Lugnut. "Given recent events, we are to assume that the medic has fully repaired all the Autobots...and that Optimus Prime is once again armed and at full power. We will attack them...but not in a manner so easily stopped."

Lockdown left the room, motioning for them to follow. "Lugnut, gather the Matrix dust."

"And you?" Lugnut asked sharply.

"I am going to the ship's bridge."

---

"And that's the last of it." Ratchet held down a piece of metal on Roadbuster's back, re-attaching it with his repair ray. "You're all combat-ready now."

"What about the weapons?" Dino looked at Optimus, though the question had been directed to Ratchet. "You said he left them behind."

"He can get Stealth Force weapons from the labs, made from recycled Decepticons. As for robot mode..." He looked at Optimus, who was still wearing his jetpack and once again had two arms. "He has all the weapons he needs."

Optimus sighed. "So he's dead."

Sideswipe nodded his head. "And they took almost all the bodies. They didn't bother with Starscream, probably figured if he was killed by an 'insect', in their terms, he deserved to stay dead. They left Sentinel too, for...obvious reasons."

Optimus' face darkened at the mention of his former mentor's name. "We must prepare for attack. If they have these bodies, then all they need to do is restore the Matrix. I fear they will not rest until they have it...or until they are all dead."

Sam nodded in agreement. "Obvious choice which one to allow then."

A thunderous explosion outside caused the building they were in to quake. Dino ran to the door, weapons out, and stuck his head out. "Looks like they didn't want to wait." His voice seemed much more surprised than usual.

"No rest for the weary..." Sideswipe pulled out his shotgun, then skated on his wheel-feet outside. "Whoa!"

Optimus reached for his back and pulled out two gauntlets, which slid down over his forearms and pushed out machine guns. "Sideswipe, wait. Get Sam to safety."

Sam looked at Optimus in surprise. "What?!"

"I understand your eagerness to fight, but if they are truly here to restore the Matrix, they will be looking to capture you!"

Sam didn't move for a while, clearly angry. "Right...of course. Sorry."

Sideswipe skated up next to Sam and transformed, then opened his door. "Get inside!"

Sam rushed into the passenger seat as the Wreckers and Optimus went outside. As they drove out, Sam looked back and saw what had surprised the Autobots so much.

They were not under attack by Lockdown or his Hunters, but by his ship.


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#9 Offline Axilus Prime

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Posted Mar 14 2014 - 04:08 AM

Time for Chapter 9.

---

Sam looked back, trying to see as much of the battle as possible. The base went up in flames, obscuring his view. The sound of the ship's turrets filled the air. Pieces of the base came down to the ground as the flames sunk, but now smoke from said flames was obscuring his view. "Gah..." He turned and faced forward.

Dino saw a shot from one of the turrets sent both Wreckers flying through the air. Must be the one they called Lugnut firing those. He flipped out his wrist blades and launched them at the ship's underside, keeping them tethered to his arms. One, to his great surprise, was actually shot off by one of the turrets--but the other hit its mark. He reeled himself in, grabbing onto the ship's underside. "It's safe here!" From there, he started firing his wrist rifle at turrets to knock them off.

A well placed shot spared Roadbuster the pain of another shot. "Yer all right, Italian!" He fired off a series of missiles from his shoulders, which took out some turrets too large for Dino's rifle to knock down.

A loud yell pierced the air as Optimus flew directly under the ship and pushed up the front end. "Hit the engines!" He grunted and strained, turning the ship upwards slightly. Turrets turned to aim at him, knocking him off. "Gaaaah!" He spiraled back in midair, then stabilized himself with a burst of his jetpack. "I need cover fire!" He fired his machine guns, destroying several turrets, but more just came to replace them. He kept at it, instead providing cover for the others when he had requested it himself.

Topspin drove behind the ship and fired his machine guns at the engines, to no avail. "It's NOT working! What the ###### kind of plan is that?!" Before he could drive back to his previous position, the engines flared up brightly and unleashed jets of concentrated flame.

The resulting explosion was momentarily blinding to the other Autobots. "Topspin!" Ratchet drove around towards him. "Not another one!" He transformed while rolling forward, avoiding a direct hit from a turret. The shockwave from the impact on the ground knocked him forward--but in his intended direction.

"Just a scratch!" Topspin transformed and stood, blackened and missing some pieces of armor, then shot a turret that was aiming for Dino. "Help me up, ###### it!"

Dino launched the cable from his now-bladeless left arm to Topspin, but the ship turned and sent it off course. "Merde! They can see down here?!"

"No," Ratchet answered as he fixed Topspin's minor injuries with his healing ray, "look!"

Optimus was flying towards the engines, with them already in sight, and the ship was desperately trying to avoid him. He bombarded the engines with rockets, slowing the ship with every hit and making it easier to land subsequent hits. "Now!"

Roadbusted transformed and drove to the back of the ship, firing his remaining missiles at the engines. The entire ship quaked.

Optimus stopped firing when most of the flames coming from the rear of the ship were not engine exhaust, then flew under the ship. "Dino, get down from there!"

Dino pulled his blade out from the ship's underside and landed on his hand, spinning and landing on his feet. As soon as he looked up, he heard Ratchet telling everyone to clear out. It was fairly obvious why.

"Hyaaaah!" Without the full thrust of the ship's engines working against him, Optimus was once again pushing the front of the ship up. Occasional turrets flipped out to shoot him, to which he responded with machine gun fire. The ship was now tilting upwards severely. Tanks drove in and shot the ship, helping keep the turrets off Optimus. With a loud yell, he pushed the ship even further back, flipping it over and slamming it into the ground. The entire ship shook violently as parts of it went up in flames. Optimus flew up, shooting down at the ship as he went.

---

Lockdown growled as he got up off the ground...or rather, the ceiling. He pushed wires and metal off of himself, then stood up. He stepped forward violently, ripping some pipes off his legs. "The fool continues on...Cyclonus! Divert to Trypticon Protocol!"

Cyclonus looked up from the ground with a confused expression on his face. "Against five Autobots?! The ship will run out of Energon!"

Lockdown grabbed Cyclonus by the neck and pulled him out of the wreckage, ignoring his grunts of pain at having the metal scraping against him. "The ship is compromised already! Besides...this will allow for me to make use of our special ammunition."

Lugnut got himself out of the wreckage promptly after that. "I will move the dust and the body off the ship then...unseen."

---

"Yeah! That's what happens when you mess with us, wankers!" Roadbuster kicked the ship and laughed.

"We need to move inside and end this. We cannot rest until all the Hunters are stopped...permanently. I cannot allow Megatron's return." Before he could attempt to enter the ship, parts of it lurched forward and swung around. "No..."

Lennox continued to fire on it from inside one of the tanks. "The ship is doing that now. Of course..."

The ship's side panels moved down and split while the center moved up. It rose up on legs and feet, and a circular structure on the front of the ship moved to the top. The center of it glowed red.

"I really don't like big, one-eyed Decepticons." Dino aimed his rifle at its eye and fired promptly before the ship-robot even moved. He doubted the wisdom of that decisions when it looked at him showing no signs of pain. With astounding speed, it swung its foot forward and sent him flying into the wreckage of one of the buildings.

Optimus flew up to its head and fired repeatedly, but it simply swung its arm too fast for him to dodge and knocked him to the ground. He rolled, tearing up the road as he went, and narrowly missed crashing into Ratchet. The ship-robot ignored the Wreckers firing on it pointlessly, and crouched. Pistons in its legs came up then slammed down with incredible force. At the same time, it pushed itself up on its legs.

It went up so fast Ratchet couldn't see where it had gone at first. Naturally, he looked up, and he did in fact find it there--hundreds of feet in the air. A cannon was forming in its hand. It fired, sending a large bullet across the sky, too fast to dodge but slow enough to see flying through the air. Before anyone could figure out what that was for, it came down again and swung its foot at both of the Wreckers, sending both of them flying. Tanks bombarded it, but they did little to its nearly impenetrable armor. It ran towards them with extreme speed in its leg movements. Coupled with enormous strides this got it to them faster than Optimus could have flown--further evidenced by the fact that he was flying towards it from behind.

"Back up!" Lennox fired on its eye to keep it from seeing them as the driver of his tank reversed as fast as possible. The other tank drivers got the message through the radio, and all those that weren't turned into flying, burning pieces of metal followed suit. 

The ship-robot was firing nonstop from its hand cannon, with normal shots this time. Most of the shots didn't hit, but a few tanks went up in flames.

"Why don't we have weapons strong enough not to aim with?!" Roadbuster stopped firing, realizing that he was doing nothing to the colossal Hunter.

Optimus pushed the Hunter in the back, causing it to rush forward with ease. When he looked down, however, he realized that was only because it was stepping forward on a tank. When he looked back up, he saw that it had rotated its entire torso around on its waist, and a gigantic fist was headed towards him. "Hnngh!" He flew up, but the fist smacked him in the feet and caused him to spin out of control. "Aaaaaaaargh!" He slammed his sword into its back and hung onto it as best he could.

Clearly intending to crush him, the ship-robot fell over backwards. Optimus pulled his blade out and flew out from under it to make it crash pointlessly, but it rotated its torso around again and caught itself. It then proceeded to flip over and continue to fire.

---

Sideswipe veered to the right, crashing into a streetlight and knocking it down. A huge bullet crashed down next to him, but didn't explode or even crack.

Sam coughed, then looked through the dust at the bullet. He looked to find its source and saw a giant robot with parts he recognized from Lockdown's ship on it. "Oh no. No no no no no. Are you serious." The bullet split open before he could think of how to defeat a robot that size. "NONONONONO!"

Lockdown stepped out from the bullet, then kicked Sideswipe. "The boy. NOW."

Sideswipe transformed and caught Sam, then set him down. Immediately he was knocked through a wall by Lockdown's shoulder cannons and gun face. "Sam," yelled a garbled voice barely recognizable as his, "run!"

Sam had no time to do so. Before he could even move, right at the instant he realized what Sideswipe said, Lockdown had grabbed him. "Will you fire on me now, Autobot? You who so easily kill those who stand against you...yet won't hurt one ally for the sake of any mission!" Each emphasized word was coupled with a stomp on Sideswipe's chest. "Such hypocrisy!" He transformed into Stealth Force mode, placing Sam inside himself, and aimed at Sideswipe.

I can't shoot him without hurting Sam...all I can do is survive. Sideswipe fired on the ceiling in front of him with a small burst-fire gun on his shoulder, knocking down enough debris to provide cover. He weakly lifted his arm, putting two fingers on the side of his head. "Optimus...Lockdown has Sam!"

Lockdown heard him speaking through the rubble. "Graaah!" He turned around, transformed fully into vehicle mode, and drove off.

---

Optimus received the transmission just as the ship-robot started firing. "Understood!" He started intercepting shots with rockets from his gauntlets, looking for a weak spot. With none visible, he fired on the face, chest, and stomach with his machine guns. Everywhere he shot caused the same reaction: none whatsoever.

Finally, the ship-robot stopped its random firing and grabbed Optimus, then threw him down. He stopped himself from crashing into the ground with a huge burst from his jetpack, but the resulting strain hurt. He grunted audibly, but from his new, lower altitude, he saw where the starboard side of the ship had gone--and with it, the hull breach. Immediately, he flew in.

With Optimus inside, the ship-robot turned its attention to the other Autobots. It caught Ratchet attending to Dino's injuries and fired on him. Both Autobots jumped and transformed into Stealth Force mode, dodging in opposite directions.

"Block its view," Ratchet yelled as he fired missiles at its eye. Dino soon did the same.

Meanwhile, Optimus navigated the ship's new interior layout, trying to move upward. With each of the robot's movements, the hallways changed. A piston slammed one of the wings on his jetpack against the wall, crushing it. "Argh!" He angled the wings back to reduce the chance of being hit, but then the room he was in spun violently and caused him to miss the exit. He crashed into the wall, then bounced downward. "Autobots," he transmitted, "I will need some time! Try to find Sam, before it's too late!"

"Dino, Wreckers, search the city!" Ratchet drove towards the tanks and transmitted to them. "Lead that thing away from the others!"

The tanks turned around and drove in the opposite direction full speed, while their turrets rotated to face the ship-robot and shot it in the eye.

Optimus flew into a room that was oddly still. I must be in the torso. He flew up into another room, passing the repair room. The next room, however, was filled with the bodies of Decepticons mounted to the walls, all in pristine condition. "No..." Before he could fire on them, something flew in from above and knocked him into the previous room. "Gaaaah!" When he crashed, the door to the room full of Decepticons shut itself.

"I don't have time for you!" He threw the Hunter he identified as Cyclonus aside and shot him, then flew down an alternate hallway. In the chest area, he found an energy ball. "The sparkchamber." He fired, but as with all the other attacks on the colossal robot, that did nothing. Jet noise from the hallway he came through met his ears. He's back. When Cyclonus flew in, Optimus grabbed him by the wings. "Burn!" He threw him into the energy ball.

All the missiles under Cyclonus' wings detonated. He stayed in vehicle mode, trying to use the more compact armor to survive. Paint burned off of him and metal melted while the ship-robot's spark grew increasingly unstable.

Ratchet fired two missiles at the ship-robot's eye, then heard a clicking sound instead of firing. "I'm out!" He looked to the tanks, only to realize they had run out long before he had. The ship-robot was now running straight towards them, with a cracked but still functional eye. It grabbed Ratchet off the ground.

"Put me down, scrapheap!" Ratchet transformed into robot mode and struggled, but then was squeezed tightly.

"My name...is...Trypticon!" At that, however, an explosion tore apart the robot's chest and sent its head flying off. Its grip loosened as it fell to the ground. Optimus flew out from the hole created by the explosion.

"Optimus!" Ratchet was now falling rapidly towards the ground.

Optimus, just as before, caught Ratchet. He set him down, then flew up to get a view of everything. "Sam...where are you?"

---

Lockdown transformed seemingly at random, still holding Sam in his hand. "Lugnut...let's begin."

Lugnut appeared out of thin air, followed by a huge body lying on the ground. It was black with purple accents, in thick armor of spikes and plates. Sharp teeth were visible in its open mouth, and its hands were claws. 

Sam noticed none of this, seeing only the Hunter who killed Bumblebee. "You," he bellowed, "I'm gonna KILL you!"

Both of the Hunters present simply laughed. "The dust, Lugnut!"

Lugnut held up a Matrix-shaped metal casing and opened it, spilling dust onto the ground. Sam struggled in Lockdown's hand, but was helpless to prevent him from crouching down and touching him to the dust. "Oh no."

The dust, just as it had done years ago in Egypt, re-formed into the Matrix of Leadership. Lockdown stood to his full height and levitated it. "The casing."

Lugnut carefully slid the top and bottom halves of the casing on the Matrix, closing them around it. Lockdown then took it in his hand. "Dispose of the human." He tossed Sam to Lugnut, who eagerly, maliciously, caught him.

"No!" Optimus flew in and grabbed Lugnut, pulling him hundreds of feet up. Lugnut responded by dropping Sam.

"Go! Save your pet, Prime!"

Optimus threw Lugnut aside and flew after Sam, catching him in his hands.

"Lockdown! Help me!"

Lockdown threw the Matrix at Lugnut, who caught it in his hand. He then levitated the Matrix to make it descend at the fastest speed possible without harming Lugnut. "The casing proves its worth even before its intended use!"

Casing? Optimus set Sam down and turned to see Lugnut holding onto the Matrix without it turning into dust. "No!" He fired on Lugnut again, sending him back, but Lockdown quickly pulled the Matrix toward himself as Lugnut released it in pain. Optimus turned, but all he saw was Lockdown placing the Matrix in the body's chest.

"Now, Prime...I give you your extinction."


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