A Dangerous Mind

By: Joshin Yasha

Beast Wars and all related belong to Hasbro.  The story, its original contents and ideas, and any original characters belong to the author and cannot be used or reprinted without the author's permission.


Disclaimer: No money, no rights, no life.  I own all original characters unless otherwise specified.


Dedications: Like usual, the story is dedicated to the writers for their excellent work.  It's also dedicated to all the voice actors, especially David Sobolov and Campbell Lane, for bringing these wonderful characters (especially my favourites) to life.  As well as the writers of Beast Wars, it's also for the people I love in hopes that this will show that one day I can do something better.


Author's notes: Well, this only took forever.  Oh, well, I'm out for summer break, so hopefully I can do some writing this summer since I've neglected this for so long...!



Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?


"What'd you say?" Stricture asked, crossing the room to step up behind his wing mate.


Having wired himself to the computer for a simpler way of processing the data, Taciturn was typing furiously with his mind.  "I said, 'Why have you forsaken me?'  It's some kind of Terran quote from some famous book of theirs."


"Why'd you say it, then?" the silver and blue Decepticon began reading the screen, catching brief bits of information as the red and black Decepticon worked hastily with his telemetry.


He glanced over his pauldron, a clear smirk on his face as the computer spoke for him through the connection, "I felt that since we're about to start a revolution that it was foreboding enough to compliment our actions."


Stricture chose to disregard his companion's comment, returning instead to their previous modus operandi.  "It was pure luck that Esoteric was working alongside TRUNDLE."


"Misery did good," Taciturn smirked and licked as his still non-speaking lips.  "Everything's about ready to begin.  The clock has been set for three days.  You have your access code for the TRUNDLE building, right?"


"Yeah," he nodded affirmatively, then gestured with his helm that he was curious.  "You'll be taking care of the Twins, right?"


The red and black male began snarling with narrowed eyes.  "Those retched Autobot-sired of Air Raid's will pay for what he did to us.  I'll smelt them both to the tallest walls of Omicron for display to all those insipid Maximals."


"Right, of course . . ." Stricture grinned, wrapped his arms around Taciturn's pauldrons, and chuckled mischievously.  "You realize that if things go as planned then we're going to have over one hundred thousand bodies on our hands."


"Correction," Taciturn puckered his mouth in thought, then smirked once more, "Xyston will be doing most of the killing.  I'll get my given two, Misery has that other Autobot-sired to deal with, and you get whatever scientists are in your way when you go to liberate our dear killer . . . Hn? What's this?"


"What's what?" Stricture leaned over his wing mate's pauldrons.  "Oh, it's a message.  Someone knows we're here."


"It's from Malice," Taciturn narrowed his red eyes disapprovingly, "one of Machiavellian's boys."


"That name sounds familiar," the gold, silver, and blue Decepticon tilted his head, watching as the message flashed across the monitor, was instantly dissected by Taciturn, and then the underlying code of the message displayed as it was meant to be.


"It should, they're two of Misery's factory brothers." Taciturn cocked his head to the side, "Says they saw Misery on the news report.  Wanna know if they can help."


"I guess if everything also goes as planned, then all our old pals who might be here are going to start coming out of hiding.  No doubt that the report's been shown hundreds of times now."  Stricture was suspicious, but he allowed himself to have a cynical grin.  "She does have a way of making her armies, doesn't she?"


"Yeah, definitely." Taciturn began relaying a message onward, then settled back into his seat. "Depending upon who saw that broadcast is going to be what guarantees us time to do this part of the game."


"My brothers may have seen me," Misery interjected upon closing the door, catching the last part of the two males' conversation, and causing the two to turn and face her, "but I doubt their use shall be more than just an aided distraction.  Their purpose has almost run out."


"Almost?" Taciturn withdrew his cables from the computer and began to speak with moving lips. "Does this mean that you're going to meet with them?"


Oddly, and for the first time in many years that Stricture and Taciturn could remember, Misery shrugged her pauldrons.  "There is always a desire for cannon fodder and a stalking horse."  She approached the two and took the moment to set her hands on either of their helms.  Leaning in between the two, she viewed the monitors as the wingmates gazed at her wearily.  "I have a purpose for them that they might yet serve.  A distraction."


Stricture was silent a moment, before putting into words what he thought Misery might have been thinking.  "So you plan on using them to distract your lover?" Misery glanced to the left across her pauldron and gave an exasperated sigh.  Taking the hint, Stricture continued.  "So Depth Charge gets distracted while we unleash the wrath of what I'm presuming will be an extremely angry Xyston?"


Rolling her head and cracking her neck, Misery glared viciously at the screen.  "Your job is simple enough.  I entrusted it to you for a reason, Stricture.  Although... even you must be cautious.  Beware the wrath of Xyston once you find him."


That being said, Misery turned and left the two flyers staring after her.  It was Taciturn who broke the silence, "Beware the Jabberwock, my son. The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! ...What?" the red and black male asked when he finally noticed his wingmate was gawking at him.


"What is it with you and quoting Terran stories today?"




The door hissed and slammed shut behind her, and Misery was greeted by an infinite amount of monitors in varying sizes and shapes, each with the image of Shock Therapy's face.  "I normally don't allow anyone into my sanctuaries, but for a fellow Decepticon sister I felt I could make an exception.  What do you want, and be clear, Misery, I do hate to have the shuttle shot around."


"Irony.  Such a contemplative measure that reflects my intentions," the blue and black female took several paces to close the distance between herself and the monitors.


Shock Therapy flashed interest in her singular yellow orb, "You wish to discuss lineage.  Go on."


"The grand scheme has been set in to motion.  Are you intrigued?"


The purple coloured female pondered a moment, then the various monitors framing her face simultaneously smirked.  "My sire once told me a tale of the Autobot killer.  Would you like to hear it?"  When she realized Misery was waiting to be humoured, she continued with the tale.  "He said the Autobot killer was once a computer, once the computer.  He was once known as the X Server, the central computer brain of the planet In-A-Gadda.  When we Cybertronians took hold of their underdeveloped technological hub, the X Server, which was already sentient, manifested itself inside our sister of the Deceptitran mobile unit, the Teletran 1 model.


"Such a magnificent computer, designed by an underdeveloped robot civilization but already perfect in its form.  It was capable, father said, of understanding our race.  You see, it was already alive and thinking." Shock Therapy chuckled, voice almost nostalgic.  "An alive and thinking sentient computer that the Autobots attempted to use for their own purposes because we Decepticons had overlooked it. Had we of known, had my father of known, then the X Server would have been deactivated before its full capacity was known. 


"But, I digress . . . the Autobots infused the technology of Teletran 1 into the X Server, and it understood then, that the Autobot purpose was to preserve while ours was to conquer.  But it wanted revenge for its enslavement since the Autobots had tied its core into the Autobot ship.  The X Server was fueled by its hatred and it wanted to inflict pain upon the Autobots.  You see, as the technological hub of In-A-Gadda it had been free, able to jump from one computer to another, able to move about the planet --to them it was just as much of a god as Primus is to us.  Under the Autobots it was nothing more than a slave computer, required to be subject to their bidding and confined to one computer.  So sad that such a beautiful essence had been trapped, trapped inside an Autobot ship, unable to move.


"Thus, like any enslaved god, it became angry, and the X Server began to understand the concepts of pain, war, and simple emotions.  It began to feel instead of just think.  But then, it saw a form in shape so lovely that the pain caused in this creature by the Autobots became a fixation.  This creature, our belovéd you, sister Misery, would allow yourself to experience the pain but not acknowledge it.  X Server became curious and watched you with interest, and because of this fixation, he wanted to touch you, to explore the reasoning behind your absurd masochism.  It began to escape the cocoon of the ship and explore the mining attachment facility the Autobots had built.


"Then he began to ponder what would happen if he used the metal from In-A-Gadda to create a body to mock ours.  Secretly he built it, and secretly the X Server began to separate itself from Teletran 1.  When the Autobots were under an attack by your squad, it surprised them on the inside and tore them to pieces, now calling itself Exodus to mock our names and to mock its liberation from the ship.  Then you entered, and Exodus began to entice you.  He wanted to rule you, but you just can't be ruled, can you?  He understood that, and he swore that he would make you great if you promised to be his.


"And you, in Decepticon fashion, accepted his bargain and, in Decepticon fashion, gave him a name more representative of his rebellious nature.  Xyston, the name of the pike that could be used to set heads upon after an uprising.  You named the computer's shell, while it formed his body, and his body became his new mobile shell.  The computer became free to wander and exact its revenge, but it also became capable of being your exact match.  Such a twisted love tale, wouldn't you say?"


"Indeed," Misery grinned sardonically, "I know my past."


"I told you that story so you would remember it, Misery.  I'll agree to help you if you give me what I want," the monitors that held Shock Therapy's face pulled away and disappeared.  The lights in the darkened room flashed, and the body of the purple Decepticon lowered from the ceiling, wires and support cables spewing out from various ports.  "I, too, have a twisted love.  I want to dream in digital, Misery.  Make me like the X Server, free my mind from this body so that I might exist in every Cybertronian computer throughout the universe."


"Your proposal is logical," Misery made her way across the haphazardly shaped floor.  Lights began to come alive under the flooring, and it became evident that not only were there mobile monitors in the room, but the floors, as well as the walls and ceiling had been turned into a gigantic grid of visual screens.  Through this, Misery surmised, Shock Therapy could use all the cameras of Omicron to highlight every screen to create the illusion that anyone who stood in the center would feel as if they were in the sky of the dome over Omicron.  "This is what I require."


Shock Therapy looked puzzled, but reached out with an animatronic arm to clasp the data disk that her fellow Decepticon held above her head.  The purple female inserted the disk into a local drive and read the elements of it in a matter of seconds.  "I see . . ." she grinned, an evil chortle rising from her throat.  "So that's your plan, how cunning of you, sister Misery.  I shall enjoy this plan very much."


"I shall uphold my part of the bargain once yours is complete.  You have my word," the immortal female crossed her arms and awaited the conformation from the other.


"I know your word, Misery, and I accept our bargain.  I eagerly await the moment when I can finally dream in digital for real instead of this chaotic imitation.  By the way, Misery, it appears you are beeping."


"I know," she gave a murky expression once flipping open the comm. link on her gauntlet and reading the message.  "I must away, Shock Therapy.  My plans seem to have developed a twist."


"Please do unwind them, Misery," Shock Therapy called after the blue and black female just as the door shut.  "I would hate to have to wait another millennium for my chance."




"Sorry to pull you away from your normal business," Machiavellian, while setting a drink of high grade energon down on the table, grinned at the blue and black female sitting across from him, "but when we saw you were on Omicron, we just had to have a little factory reunion."


She took the time to carefully inspect the room, discovering the silhouettes of the bouncers, waitress, and entertainer with ease.  "You wish to join my game," Misery replied deadpan, red eyes all but gleaming with reason.  "I see that you downgraded to a form not suitable for warfare.  Why should I accept your help?"


"For factory sake?  We are but just a handful that remains of Plant Four Fifteen," Machiavellian mused, melancholy threatening to arise in his voice.


Misery snirked, mouth a snarl, "Hence the name of your bar."  The Decepticon female pointed to the sign above the bar, declaring the pub 4-1-5.  "Attempting to gather those that remain to you?"


"If ever anyone would care to look," he shrugged, then growled as Muffle stepped forward from his place against the wall.  "Just what do you think you're doing?"


"No sense in hiding ourselves, Machiavellian," Muffle cocked his head to the side, looking the female over from top to bottom.  "She has known our locations for several minutes now."


"Same model number," Misery narrowed her red eyes, returning the same facial gesture before standing and facing off with the blue and black male.  "You understand me?"


"Just as you understand me," Muffle relaxed his body, craned his neck to acknowledge his brigadier general.  "She has a place for us in her scheme, Machiavellian."


"Hm, indeed," said Misery, turning back to Machiavellian with a new gleam in her eyes that reminded him of untamed cynicism.  "You are familiar with the unexplained bombings?"


"Yes, very showy.  Your doing, I take it?" he inquired, anxiety resigning him to another drink of his energon.


"Exactly."  Misery was all but grinning, and the others leaned in when she began to explain what she would require of the six.




It was much later when Air Lock, Air-slake, Cybershark, and Misery strolled down the heavy set stairwell to the security headquarters, taking in the view out the one way layered windows that lined the outer wall from the first floor to the top floor.  The twins were engaged in a heavy conversation revolving around the conjugation of Karnasian words compared to the Karnasian ability to communicate.  Misery and Cybershark were vastly disinterested.  "I'm telling you, with only two vowels and nine consonants, the Karnasians, linguistically speaking, should not be able to communicate with one another above basic levels of interactions."


"Ah, but you neglect the fact that the Karnasians can combine words to make new words, and elongate the amount of time spent on one consonant or more to change the meaning of one word into another," Air-slake reminded, gesturing greatly with his hands while he spoke.


"Would you two just shut up?" Cybershark barked, tired of listening to their argument, which had been going on for the past two hours, varying only on races.  The twins had already covered fifty other races with point-by-point essay-style quoting.


~"I agree,"~ Shock Therapy's face highlighted a screen on the upcoming wall as they continued to descend the steps.  Coming to halt, she continued with the reason that the Decepticon was contacting them, "We have two bodies that have been found in Ward 5."~


"Are the deaths similar in style to Esoteric or our bombers?" Cybershark inquired, knowing that the twins had not been informed of the planned murder of the colony patriarch.


~"No, the bodies are intact and not scarred by projectiles of any kind.  I was hoping somebody could take a look."~


Cybershark nodded, "I'll send the twins to check it out."  He turned to the two and narrowed his eyes.  "I want a legible report, Air Lock, not some screwing around this time."


"Find fine," Air Lock clasped his gantlets behind his helm, smiling innocently as he did.  "I'll get right on that!"


"Yeah, you better . . ."  Misery and Cybershark waited for the twins to disappear down the stairs and out the door before beginning their conversation.  "Game's set."


"Indeed," Misery nodded, acknowledging that Shock Therapy was still around.  "Wait until they are in Ward 5 before signaling Machiavellian."


~"Understood,"~ then the monitor switched off.


The Decepticon female turned her gaze back to the blue and grey Maximal.  "Go to your position.  The game is all but ready to begin."  Cybershark closed his red eyes, nodded, and disappeared down the stairwell.  Misery then thought to herself, Soon, Xyston, very soon you will be free once more.




Jazz³ jumped to his feet when the call came in, "I'll go with you!" he yelled, already halfway out the door, following close behind Depth Charge, who was in a full sprint.  The thunderous aftershock of the explosion had been so close it shook the security headquarters, as well as (from the reports of the subordinates) collapsed several buildings in the area.  With the proximity of the explosion, and the enormity, it surprised Depth Charge that more damage had not been done.  "Huh?"


They both stopped dead in their tracks when a hologram of Shock Therapy appeared in the hallway, blocking their path.  Shock Therapy raised her face, yellow orb burning brightly.  ~"Depth Charge, I do believe that explosion was caused by our same bomb terrorists from the first two incidents."  Her eye flicked to Jazz³, and he was half tempted to smile.  "Cybershark is already within distance of the explosion, Depth Charge. Might I request that Jazz stay here to assist me with the computers?  We might be able to speedily apprehend those responsible."~


The chief of security looked quickly between his third and the monitor who stood holographically before him.  He said passively, almost in a rush, but quiet enough that only Jazz³ was able to hear, "Stay here and watch Misery.  She can't be left alone."


The Autobot sired slumped his shoulders, knowing he would rather be on the battlefield.  Jazz³ knew the advantage was already on their side since Cybershark could use his telemetry to follow, predict, and counter the terrorists, while the black and white coloured Autobot sired would be better suited to fight the Decepticon if his own suspicions were true.  "Go," Jazz³ resigned, looking away.  "Just make sure you give them a few good hits for me."


Depth Charge barely had time to nod before he took a diving leap out an emergency door that lead to the open skies above Ward 1.  "Cybershark," Depth Charge growled once he was halfway towards the smoke clouds, "ya there, bud?"


~"I'm about five hundred meters ahead of you.  I'm slowing down for you, but you have to catch up fast."~ Depth Charge's comm. was silent for a moment, and then Cybershark's voice returned. ~"I'm picking up at least seven entities that are fully functional.  By my guess, it must be the ones who are causing these attacks."~


"I see you," the chief of security stated flatly as he thrusted forward through the open skies.  Normally, the altitude he was flying in might have had two or three shuttles carrying supplies filtering through, but as all citizens were instructed in the event of an attack of any kind, the skies were cleared for the security to go to work.  He was at least thankful that the citizens listened to his original charter when he took over Omicron as chief of security.




The departmental branch of Tyr Corp. that stood alongside the TRUNDLE research facility was empty of the 35 commissioned workers who would normally be busying about their daily tasks of measuring resource distribution for their 700 odd branches across the universe.  Upon discharging thirteen of the employees due to "downsizing of branches", and then "promoting" another nine to positions at various other branches (whom were all now on their way to being surprised at the falsified documents and confused managers), Taciturn and Stricture had been left with the remaining thirteen workers who had been easy to make short work of when they became dispersed for work throughout the 7 story building.


Currently, though, Taciturn stood at the tinted windows, running diagnostic scans over the neighbouring building, detecting weak points in the security and also comparing the layout to the blueprints they had acquired recently.  "Stricture, I believe I have found the security room," the red and black Decepticon announced to his wingmate.


"Good, gimme the coordinates and I'll get moving," the gold and blue male said as he cleared the immediate area of the temporary scanning equipment Taciturn had set up.


Taciturn tossed the forearm hookup to his wingmate, then held up his hand in a waiting gesture.  "When I tell you, teleport to those coordinates.  Since the room will be clear for approximately three minutes you'll have time to attach the transmitter to their systems and it'll reroute the grid back to me.  I'll have complete control and will be able to walk you through."


"I got it, don't worry," he smiled, flicked his wrist to ensure mobility with the device attached, and when Taciturn's hand dropped he found himself being pulled across space and materializing feet first in an empty surveillance room.  Stricture all but dived under the computer panel and removed the transmitter from his forearm and placed it on the underside where it would not immediately be detected.  "Tass, you reading me?"


~"Loud and clear,"~ the deep voice came across the comm. link. ~"In about thirty seconds you are going to have the shift change arriving.  I suggest using your energon blade once he's in the room."~


Stricture spun on his heels, extended the energon blade from the back of his left forearm, and held it across his chest.  Forcing his way into as small a space as possible, the gold and blue seeker narrowed his golden-hued red eyes towards the door, awaiting the arrival of the guard.  Almost as if on cue, the door to the security room slid open and a squat, burly robot waddled into the room and sat down at the monitoring screens.  The poor fellow never saw it coming until the blade had pierced through his backside and out the front of his chest.  "Slag . . ." was the last thing he muttered before going offline.


"Alright," he withdrew his blade and tapped at his helm to open a private communication link.  "I should have three megacycles, more than enough time.  Tass?" he unholstered his regular gun, charged the weapon, and then stood next to the door.  "Where's my next clear room?"


~"Coordinates 23-14-84.  There's only two life forms in the room.  It'll take you down five flights, but I'm still trying to be sure that the large energy pull is where they'll be keeping him."~


"Whatever gets me there fast.  And here we go," he said, leaving a dust cloud of gold, silver, and blue behind him.




Shock Therapy lowered the screens in order to illustrate to her fellow Decepticon female how the system was running.  "Depth Charge and Cybershark have engaged your six friends, and Air Lock and Air-slake are in Ward 5 investigating the bodies left by your other two friends." She paused as the cameras revolved and changed angles on the two situations, detailing the examination of the thirteen bodies and the battle between the others.  "Jazz, on the other hand, is going to be the most difficult."


"I know." Misery was silent for several moments, contemplating the Autobot who remained in the security center.  "Depth Charge will have logically set Jazz upon me as some watchdog.  That, I cannot have."


"So what will you do?"


"For now, I will give him distractions until Machiavellian and his squadron lure Depth Charge and Cybershark away from Omicron."  Misery was almost ready to leave when Shock Therapy asked her the pertinent question, to which she responded idly: "When he awakens, you will receive your payment we have agreed upon."


"Remember what else you promised me, Misery."  There was anger in her voice as it echoed about the room, reverberating in the cylindrical communications tower.  "You promised."


"I honour my promises."




Depth Charge dived to the left as an energy blast narrowly missed where his head had once been.  Across from him, Cybershark was returning fire from behind the rubble of what was once a financial building.  The security chief pressed his back to his cover, reloaded his weapon, and then peered at his opponents on the other side of the battle field.  The six robots were assailing the two security guards from higher ground, each perched on the remains of the third floor of a building.


Another shot flew past his face, but this time Depth Charge launched into the domed sky, spinning into his flight mode as he fired off two shots, both of which hit the framework beneath Mace.  What had remained of the flooring instantly gave out and raised the downgraded Decepticon to the ground.  Cybershark followed up the attack by shooting a missile point blank into the chest of the bouncer, extinguishing his spark almost immediately.


Instantly, Cybershark rolled backwards and avoided the energon ax that belonged to Minstrel.  Retrieving it from the ground, Minstrel wielded the weapon high before striking once more at the second in command.  "My brother!" he screamed, enraged at the death of his twin.  "You killed my brother!"  Cybershark deflected the attacks as they came carelessly towards him, his own energon sword bursting with energy as it connected with the ax.


"Normally I might apologize," he grunted, locking his blade in the groove of Minstrel's ax, and pushed forcibly against the other's might.  "But considering the circumstances, I doubt you'd pardon me!"  The cables in his forearms instantly extended, throwing the former entertainer off balance and across the rubble.  "For the murders you have committed and the violation of the Pax Cybertronia, I sentence you to death!"


His cables flew with intensity and accuracy as they embedded, not in Minstrel, but in Masquerade's body.  Withholding his surprise, Cybershark recalled his weaponry, all the while tearing vital systems within her body.  " 'rade!" Minstrel roared, dropping to his knees at her side while Muffle and Malice provided him with cover fire.  " 'rade! Masquerade speak to me you stupid bitch!"


"You don't have to scream," she panted weakly, mech fluid spilling out of her main pump below her spark.  As Minstrel searched her body, diagnosing the worst of the wounds, she gripped his hand which hovered above her stomach.  They both knew instantly the outcome of this situation: not even stasis lock would prevent the creeping death.  "I guess you won't be getting that interface anytime soon, you dumb bastard."


" 'rade . . ." he whispered, holding her close.  "You shouldn't be dying for me."


"We all gotta go sometime," she grinned, mech fluid running faster from her chest when she lifted her face close to his.  "I just didn't want you to go before I did.  I wouldn't have the same kinda fun with the other boys."  Masquerade grabbed at the side of his helm and pulled him dangerously close.  "Kill the bastard who killed me!"


As her body went limp, Minstrel heard the footsteps of the approaching enemy behind him.  He let go his sister and rose to his feet, turned, and stared down the slowly stalking second in command.  "You'll pay for their deaths," he barked while picking his energon ax from the ground and gripping it in both hands.


"Touching," Cybershark mused, pivoting into a swift charge, an action mirrored by Minstrel.  Hellacious fury could only describe the chops, swipes, and blocks that took place between the two until, finally, with a scream of rage from both, they chaotically threw weight behind their weapons.  The two were at a standstill, weapons buried into one another, Minstrel's ax was buried to the shoulder in Cybershark's left side, while Cybershark's sword had struck through Minstrel's chest.


"Bastard," Minstrel panted, using what strength he had to force his ax deeper into Cybershark's side.  If he could not kill him, he would certainly injure him as much as possible.


The second in command bared a feral grin, leaned his face in close to Minstrel's, and softly spoke, "Misery thanks you."  It was the last thing Minstrel heard before going offline.


From across the field of battle, Muffle was holding off Depth Charge by rapidly firing his dual blasters while Machiavellian and Malice reloaded.  After inspecting the end of the battle between Minstrel and Cybershark in the distance, Malice rounded the protective rubble and sat down next to his leader.  "Mach, we've lost two brothers and our sister. We can't sacrifice this much for Misery."


"You're right," he bowed his head, honouring his fallen factory mates.  "It's time we retreat," he said, climbing to his feet, "Decepticons, SCRAMBLE!"  Machiavellian, Malice, and a very confused Muffle transformed to flight mode and took to the domed skies towards one of the docking bays, avoiding shots from Depth Charge along the way.


Cybershark held his side as he turned to watch the three fly away.  This can't be happening.  Misery said they would stay and fight! They're not supposed to be leaving yet!  While Cybershark was contemplating these sudden events, he drew his red eyes away from the disappearing forms of the three Decepticons to settle on the chief of security's face.  If they leave now, how can I get Depth Charge out of here . . . "We can't let them escape!" he screamed, interrupting Depth Charge's anecdote for getting reinforcements and closing the docking bay.


In a burst of pure speed and transformation, Cybershark was in pursuit and Depth Charge was left screaming after him.  "Cybershark! You stupid-- FALL BACK!" When he realized that his second in command could not hear him, he tried the comm.  When that failed, he growled in frustration and jumped into the air, transformed, and followed suite.  "Jazz, are you reading me?"




"Yeah, I'm reading you," Jazz³ pressed his finger to his helm and his visor extended over his blue optics.  "You on your way back in?"


~"Negative,"~ Depth Charge's voice was angry as it fed over the communications wave, and Jazz³ could only cringe at what could be happening. ~"We're going to need assistance in pursuit and clean up.  I need ya to go and send clean up crews to Ward 7, vector seven-seven-five.  There'll be three Predacon bodies, all blue and black make, possibly more considering the explosions, and I need Misery to join us at Bay 2."~


"I don't know if it'll be possible. You told me to watch Misery and I can't find her."


~"Slag,"~ there was hesitation, and then, ~"we can't leave Therapy alone.  Call the twins and have them meet us at Bay 2 as soon as possible. Depth Charge out."~


The black and white robot shook his head in frustration, visor flaring to life as he radioed his fellow Autobot sired.  "Air-slake, Air Lock, you guys there?"


~"Jazz, you're not going to believe this. We've got thirteen bodies down here,"~ Air-slake responded over the comm.


"Shit," Jazz³ slammed his fist into the nearby wall.  "Listen, this place is going to hell in a hand basket, I need you guys to clean up there and meet Depth Charge and Cybershark at Bay 2 ASAP."  He waited for a response, but when he hit his comm. again to try the two, he was met with only static.  "Guys, come in, are you there?" he waited a second time, but received nothing. "Roger me, wilco me, something? Hello? Hello? Omicron calling the Air twins?!"


The comm. was silent save for the white noise that was already beginning to annoy him.  Working quickly, however, Jazz³ switched his audio communicator off and settled for trying his back up energy radar.  As soon as he made the switch, though, his optics caught sight of the bright yellow energy scans illuminating his face from the inside of his visor.  "What the hell?" he twisted his helm to investigate the pathway, only to find energy being diverted from the security tower, and everywhere else for that matter.  And it all appeared to be going to one source in Ward 5, where it was almost on top of Air Lock and Air-slake. "What in the name of the Matrix is going on here?"


"Ah, good," he jumped in fright, pivoting on the metaphorical dime and retracted his visor to come face to face with the blue and black Decepticon female.  A cynical smirk graced her lips, and she flexed her hands as the temperature in the room began to lower considerably.  "Just how I enjoy my enemies: confused and afraid."  Misery raised her hands, and instantly metal was pulled from the framework of the walls and sent spiraling into Jazz³, which sent him crashing through a windowed wall at the end of the corridor.  "As they say, it is time for me to show my true colours . . ."




When Air Lock and Air-slake had arrived at the location in Ward 5, they quickly learned upon a thorough inspection of the alley that there were more bodies dumped haphazardly in the waste bins.  "I don't like it, 'Lock," Air-slake had shaken his head as he completed count of the thirteenth body he had dug out of a drain.  "It's too strange."


"You mean other than the high body count lately?" Air Lock had asked as he ran his scanners across the area, searching for traces of any material residue or tracks that could lead to some answers.  "But I know what ya mean, 'slake. This whole thing has sort of a staged feel to it. Like, we were meant to find all these bodies like this.


Currently, the two were inspecting each body to determine the causes of spark extinguishing, only to find so far that most had been caused by an energy weapon clean through the chest with one exception of being severely melted from shoulder to chest.  From the ripples caused by the melting, Air-slake had determined a powerful, acutely focused flamethrower had been used to melt the carcass into its current state. It was then that Jazz³'s voice came across their communicators, ~"Air-slake, Air Lock, you guys there?"~


"Jazz," Air-slake responded for the two, "you're not going to believe this. We've got thirteen bodies down here."  He hoped the worry in his voice couldn't be heard.


~"Shit. Listen, this place is going to hell in a hand basket, I need you guys to clean up there,"~ Jazz³'s voice finished across the comm. link before static filled in after him.


"Well, that is what we're doing, Jazz," Air Lock could always find the opportunity for sarcasm, no matter how much he was worried, but when they had waited almost a minute for a response from Jazz³, they looked at one another with skeptical expressions.  "Some how I don't think he wants us to just clean up."


"You're probably right, and that's the part that worries me," Air-slake walked partially out of the alleyway to look around the almost dead streets.  Most likely, everyone who could afford the consequences of staying inside were, while others continued about their busy routines.  " 'Lock, take your scanners off the security grid and go personal.  Let's see if we can pick anything up."


"Already ahead of you, brother, and I don't like what I'm seeing." Once receiving the inquisitive look from his twin, Air Lock also stalked out of the alleyway, looking at the ground as if he were afraid to step in certain areas, and finally stopped with his body facing the small building of Tyr Corp.  "My scanners are picking up a massive energy drain going straight into Tyr Corp.  I've never seen anything like this."


"Well," always one to be by the book, Air-slake waved his hand across his Maximal insignia, consciously ordering it to change to the Maximal insignia crossed with four small circles connected to a large, centered circle --the sigil of Omicron security, "we have a duty to perform."


"Yeah, but it doesn't mean I'm gonna like it," Air Lock shook his head, falling into step next to his twin as they began approaching the building.




By the twelfth teleportation, Stricture had left himself a jump path that was based now on instinct instead of Taciturn's directions.  As he figured, Stricture spent not even a nanoclick in each room as he teleported through his route back to Tyr Corp, this time dropping three more bodies into the already amassed pile.  "Is this the last jump?"


"It should be," Taciturn narrowed his red optics and stared intently out the window and towards the TRUNDLE building.  He spoke without moving his mouth, but parted his lips nonetheless, "I'm still detecting a massive redirection of energy into zero-four-two.  It must be where they are holding Xyston."


"For our sakes, I hope you're right." Stricture flicked his wingmate a troubled smile while picking up a large container, "otherwise, I don't think Misery will want to play with us anymore."


Taciturn shook his helm, resigning to the fact that Stricture could, and would never be as delicate in tongue as he was now.  "Just go," and he was then left behind as Stricture pulled himself across space once more, the various locations he had previously visited passing him by as if pulled through him at warp speed.  Then, he felt his feet touch ground as if he had dropped several miles from the air in a mere second, but landed as delicately as a leaf on water.  ~"Do you see anything?"~ Taciturn inquired over the comm. link.


"Not yet, it's pretty dark," he took a few steps forward and the motion lights flooded the corridor with blue, purple, and red lights.  If he had thought of if at the time, Stricture would have labeled it a very scientific feel trying to soothe, but failing miserably.  Alas, his footfalls down the corridor would not go unheard, and he was immediately greeted by a small green and white scientist who asked him for identification on the spot.  "Stricture," he smiled.


"My records do not show a Stricture in our employment, nor do they show a Stricture on our visitation list," the squat Maximal humphed, preparing to call security.


"Really? But they sent me down here with important documents concerning the X Server project," he remained as pleasant as he possibly could.  That was, until the Maximal noticed is openly worn Decepticon sigil and he was forced to behead and de-spark the Maximal.  Following sufficiently stuffing the Maximal's body into a trash compactor, dusting his hands off, and checking the corridor for possible onlookers, he kicked in the door several meters from him.


Inside the room, he was met by thousands of tiny orbs of light pinpricking the rows of observation desks and equipment seated around a white lighted pit.  Below, the blue and gold Decepticon laid eyes upon several scientists working around a misshapen body on a table, and when their attention met his body, he did not hesitate in shooting all three.  It was then that he stepped tentatively forward, placing the large container under his left arm on the floor next to his feet, and forced himself not to look into the pit as the wounds within the body began to heal.  "Tass, I need you to see if this facility can do a protoform scan and if it has a CR chamber."


~"Give me a moment . . . there, I think I found one, on the third floor, coordinates three-three-one, same room for both.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm about to have guests."~


Stricture swallowed hard, but soldiered on, and after grabbing the container once more he teleported from the consol down next to the table, focusing as much of his attention on the single emerald optic and its hastily repairing neighbour.  "I know you can hear me," he did not wait for a response, but witnessed the focus of that glowing green orb center upon him.  "I come baring a gift from Captain Misery.  She presents you with your cannon," as he said this, he opened the container to show the gigantic, triple-barrel cannon nestled carefully in the confines of the case.  "She also offers the denizens of this great colony as a token of her commitment to you."


Stricture was almost taken aback by the rate of healing and how much more recognizable Xyston's body was becoming.  So much had been reformed, in fact, that Xyston's guttural growl reverberated the room once his throat completed healing.  "I will forgive your transgressions once you take me to a CR Chamber," he ordered, body attempting to force its way free against the restraints.


"As my master commands, so shall I obey," the Decepticon male bowed his head, touched a hand to Xyston's arm, and then instantly the two were transported to the empty repairs room.  At once, he heaved the behemoth into the CR chamber and watched the other's mutilated face disappear behind the door as it sealed shut.




After Taciturn had watched his wingmate disappear out of the corner of his eye, he returned his focus upon the alleyway that turned off from the end of the street.  He had seen them land some time ago, but now he was intent on awaiting their return to the streets. ~"Tass,"~ Stricture's voice filtered through his communications link suddenly, ~"I need you to see if this facility can do a protoform scan and if it has a CR chamber."~


"Give me a moment," the red and black bot thought to himself that the retrieval of Xyston had either gone perfectly or horribly wrong for Stricture, so he did his best to locate what was requested as fast as his internal computer could manage, "there, I think I found one, on the third floor, coordinates three-three-one, same room for both." His attention then changed to the two bots who had just walked out of the distant alleyway, and he paid special attention to the one pointing a dactyl in Tyr Corp.'s direction.  "Now if you'll excuse me, I'm about to have guests."


The Decepticon male withdrew his flamethrower from its holster on his back and began charging it, all the while his free hand beginning to glow with embers that sent wisps of smoke up past his face.  "Let it begin," he grinned, pointing his flamethrower at the two in the distance as they began to approach the building.  Then, simply, he pulled the trigger.