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 of high school now, but now there's college life to deal with.  Wish me luck!



"This is only my sixth day here and you're telling me that these types of things are abnormal? Great . . ." Shock Therapy was in a cynical mood to say the least; the only upside to things at the moment was that she had finished rerouting the control tower to her specifications, much to Esoteric's displeasure.  Well, whatever made a Council lackey unhappy was the cream on the pie to her.


The second explosion had more than taken out a complete sector within Ward Eight, and the rebuilding process was going to be delayed by the look of things.  This wasn't what bothered Cybershark; what bothered him was that two explosions in four days did not bode well for anyone within the security ranks.  Usually, when something exploded, there was always an officer or two who went down.  "Shock Therapy, search all sector monitors within Ward Eight to see if we can locate a face to go along with those taken from the Ward Twelve incident."


"Already on it, Cybershark.  It's just going to take some time for the computer to locate any matches, especially since there are always the excitement stalkers."  Cybershark knew not to forget about those; anytime something big happened there were always those who would rush in from the other wards to watch the excitement or lack there of.  "Slag," Shock Therapy drew his attention back from the monitor, and he crossed his arms carefully, "looks like the computer's already found sixteen matches, and still going.  I do so hate the ones who gawk."


"Once the computer's finished, have it run identification on all persons that match from both sites.  With any luck, perhaps we'll manage to find someone among the serried who might have a background or not exist at all on our files.  Those would be the ones to find first."


"And if they've already left Omicron?" she asked, tapping the pad beneath her hand until she had the visual she wanted.


"Two explosions in four days?  Whoever it is likes the publicity, the bigger the better it would appear from this second explosion." Cybershark smiled deviously, revealing razor sharp teeth.  "They're going to make a mistake soon enough in public to show their faces.  They like the thrill that people will know it is they who are behind this."


"What makes you say that?" it was difficult for Shock Therapy to twist her helm to face him, what with all the wires now pouring out of her body, but she managed the small action nonetheless.


"Trust me, I know this type.  They want something ostentatious enough to demonstrate that they are untouchable."



Nothing would stop them now.  As far as Taciturn was concerned, there was no trace that would lead to Stricture and himself for their involvement in both explosions.  And most importantly, with Misery working both sides against the middle like she was so fond of doing, there was no chance of Depth Charge and his crew finding the two.  Of course, he wasn't completely comforted since Depth Charge, formally the Maximal Nainsook, had worked with them before and seen a glimpse of what they could do.  That thought alone was not comforting.


Stricture, on the other hand, was confident that with as many loops that would be thrown towards the chief of security that he would punch himself in the face when the plan was finally revealed.  And yet, it was so tempting to go storming into the TRUNDLE building, guns blazing, and pull Xyston out in one fell swoop.  However, if the plan went that way, then yes, they would have the element of surprise, and yes, they would not have to wait, but they could also lose the advantage against a group of scientists who knew how to contain even the Autobot Killer.


The two were hid by the tinted windows of the office building across the street from the TRUNDLE Scientific Research base.  They were not alone, however, but were walking with the manager of the building under the guise of two corporate representatives.  "It's not much further to my office, gentlemen, so I do hope you'll keep up."  After a few more moments they were in the room and seated around a large table.  "Now, gentlemen, when I heard Tyr Corp. was sending new management I had no idea that you would be, well . . . soldier built."


"Oh, this?" Taciturn gestured to himself, then settled further into his chair, and with perfectly faked Autobot sentiment said, "It comes with age, young one.  We elders like to keep close to our old ways.  Now, down to business . . ."



"You are . . . silent tonight," Misery tilted her helm towards her left shoulder, resting her backside against the wall.  Depth Charge sat calmly in his chair looking over the reports of the bombings, trying furiously to discover a pattern.  He stirred slowly and took in the sight of her standing guard near the door; not directly close, but off to the side so if anyone walked in it would take them much longer to see her.  "You are troubled, dear boy.  Report to me your afflictions and I shall assist you."


"Are you always so precise with your words?"  the security chief propped his helm against his shoulder and stared at her lopsidedly.  When he received no response he decided to stand and pace towards the window that looked upon the main shuttle track of Omicron.  He took a deep breath and then sighed reluctantly.  Depth Charge extended his left arm and pointed to the spot beside him.  Misery was by his side soon enough, gazing out the window in shallow thought.  "Look out there, Misery, and tell me you feel nothing."


Misery waited before replying, and then she licked at her blue lips.  "I care nothing for those who are weak minded."


"Yet ya came when I called you," he wasn't referring to now, but when he had requested her and Shock Therapy from the Tripredacus Council.  "How can you honestly look upon their faces, upon mine even, and tell me you feel nothing."


Her hands gripped his face and pulled him towards her until they could look one another in the eyes.  "I care nothing for the ignorant, those who know nothing of their governments or what secrets they hide.  You have glanced through the window and seen what is on the other side.  You know the secrets your government hides from you because I have shown them to you.  Do you doubt that I have made you aware and care nothing?"


"That's the closest you've ever come to telling me that ya love me," he clutched her helm and pulled the female Decepticon closer to him.  "But you do talk your contradictions, don't ya?"  Depth Charge placed his face inches from hers, then he, too, flicked his tongue across his lips.  "Tell me what secrets you're hiding, Misery."


"My secrets, precious pet, are mine alone to know," the Decepticon female widened her red optics after she was suddenly lifted in his hands and forced against the wall.  The glare in the Maximal's ruby orbs guaranteed pain if his demands were not met.  "Going to force them from me?  Unfortunately, lovely boy, I do not reveal things so easily."


"Stop playing your games!" he snarled, feral teeth bared, calm nature finally lost.


Her eyes were wide, surprised, but showing no emotion.  Then, Misery smiled fiendishly, optics closing as she began to speak.  "A powerful monster, living down / In the darkness, growled in pain, impatient / As day after day the music rang / Loud in that hall, the harp’s rejoicing . . . / And then / As now warriors sang of their pleasure: / So Hrothgar’s men lived happy in his hall / Till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend, . . . / who haunted the moors, the wild / Marshes, and made his home in a hell / Not hell but earth . . ."


"What does that mean?"  Depth Charge drew back, face contemplating her words carefully and slowly.  "Misery . . . what did you do?"


"I have done nothing, precious pet."  She laughed then.


"You're lying!" he snapped, fingers digging into her arm.


"Lying? No . . . merely prophesying.  The danger, lovely pet, is only going to become worse from this point onward."  Misery rolled her helm along her shoulders, joints popping and wires bending with the motion.  "I trust you shall be intelligent enough to figure this mess out before the proverbial curve ball is thrown."


Depth Charge shook his head, turned away, and dropped the blue and black female on her feet.  He would not look at her, but yet he would not move away.  "I hate your games, Miz.  More importantly, I hate your games when they play with my friends."


"Everyone is but a pawn, beloved pet.  It is only the choice of moving the pawns forward and gaining new pieces to enable the sure development of a checkmate."  Misery smirked then, knowingly.  "The Bishop Pair has achieved fianchetto, yet the Knight's Pawns are still defended by the Black Bishops.  Do not make the mistake of losing your Rooks this early in the game."


The behemoth took it for the warning it was, then said, "Sometimes, Misery, you make no sense . . ."




Esoteric stood awaiting the shuttle doors to open.  The pistons were slow, and the hiss of air rushing into the cabin filled the space about him.  "This better be good, patriarch.  I do not enjoy being called out of my lab so rottenly rushed."


"Mainstay leucas, you are better tempered than usual.  I believe you received my transmission in regards to your sired," the Patriarch of Omicron's fingers twitched while the other took his time stalking down the steps of the shuttle.  "You have ways to retrieve pertinent information from him that I require."


"You believe the security chief is hiding something from you and you wish for me to access it via Cybershark mokarran."  Mainstay had once been the head of his own lab on Cybertron, but after countless decades of having his research pushed aside by the Maximal High Council, the teal and white Maximal sold his lab, home, and various stock bonds until he had enough money to purchase a research facility in the outskirts of the Karnasian territory.  The telemetry research Mainstay had developed evolved into a working system, able to safely allow him to probe the circuitry of unknowing robots from great distances.  Together with his three "pups," Pariah lewini, Cybershark mokarran, and High Tide zygæna (so named for Mainstay's obsession with the now neo-evolved Terran sharks of mu Ara A), Mainstay managed to implement the technology into himself and his sired.  With it, they were now able to communicate with others via telemetry no matter the distance.


His next words to the Patriarch were dripping with a sarcasm that Esoteric chose not to acknowledge.  "How cunningly brilliant of you."


"Indeed," the Patriarch hissed, stepping aside as the teal and white Maximal made his way down the long catwalk.  He called after the scientist, words not even echoing in the large expanse of the shuttle bay, "Find out what Depth Charge is hiding from me, Mainstay leucas, and you shall be highly rewarded."




"The amazing reality of Maximals is that no matter how much truth you divulge to them, they always misinterpret what they hear," her words were low, hidden by the noise of the colony about her.  Her body pressed against the back wall of a tiny alcove, Misery raised her head up with pride as she spoke to the darkened bot to her immediate left, not daring to look at him lest his identity become known to whomever could be observing the female Decepticon.


"You know many things, yet you do not yet have your own entelechy from the years you have been upon this world.  Though tell me," a long tentacle-like object snaked out of the darkness to wrap around Misery's left gauntlet, "how do you plan to continue if Depth Charge figures out what you've been telling him is true?"


Closing her eyes, she tilted her head to her right shoulder to rest, and then drew a deep breath.  "By the time he understands what is happening, it shall be too late for him and everyone else."


"You'll hate to see us go, won't you?  You've grown quite fond of him, and of me, even?" a teal coloured gauntlet reached out and stroked down Misery's backside, between her wings, and settled on the bend of her culet.


"When the time comes," Misery allowed her body to embellish what would normally be an evil growl into a soft purr, "I shall make certain that you and Depth Charge will have a reason to leave before the avalanche is set into motion."


"Very well," the darkened male leaned forward, allowing the mixed light of ruby, sapphire, amethyst, and white play across his silver and teal body.  "I eagerly anticipate your plans, then, Misery," he grinned, then added, "I shall warn you now, however, that my sire is on Omicron, and it appears he's on the hunt for me tonight."


"Draw him away, then," Misery bared a predatory smirk, and then her next words came without motion of her lips: "I shall orchestrate into motion Depth Charge's plan without your aid.  You keep your sire busy until that time."


"But of course, Queen of Ice," he mocked a bow, more formality than anything else.  "Make sure you gut him from nave to chops, then.  Allow him to bleed out his systems for me."


"Doubly noted," the Decepticon female then pressed forward, taking a dive from the high building, transformed into her remodeled Seeker form, and streaked between two smaller buildings before completely disappearing.


Cybershark grinned cynically before thrusting himself out and took a scenic walk across catwalk that encircled the level of the building.  He placed both hands on the window frame and stepped into the large room and then took a seat at the empty desk.  "I await you, leucas," he voiced out to the world, grinning like a raptor.




His last meeting of the day had been trifle, but self-admittedly important.  If Mainstay leucas upheld his part of the bargain, than Esoteric was certain he would know the missing pieces of the puzzle behind this random outbreak of murders.  With all the technology at the disposal of the security chief, the Patriarch knew Depth Charge was either hiding something or just not searching as vigorously as he should, and Esoteric was willing to bet it was the former of the choices.


Mainstay leucas, in Esoteric's eyes, was a last resort used too soon, but he was tired of waiting and was eager of results.  Stepping into his expansive flat, he commanded the doors shut, the lights on, and a soothing tone of Cybertronian music filtered through the room.  The patriarch wiped at his face with both hands as he sat down.  He began to type one handedly on a data pad that had been stored under the seat, making notes and accessing information from the main computer.


Of all the data he stared at, only the files for TRUNDLE were unread.  "New messages?" he pondered, typing in his master code and scanning through the title of the files.  Experiment #357, Failed; Experiment #358, Failed; Lab Notes, Marked #946, were some of the unread titles, but instead he inputted his master code once more and accessed a personal message flagged important from Meson, Specialist in Spark Mutations.  It read:


'Subject four, Protoform X, has again expressed fantastical strength of unmatched proportions with resulting consequences.  During Experiment #358, Protoform X managed to escape restraints and murder two scientists before being subdued with 1000-potent virus encryptions.  Limb extensions were then removed and placed in different locations while Subject four was subdued.  Various body limbs have been scattered in different locations and awaiting authorization before attempting Experiment #359: Infection and Transmutation.  Reply requested.'


"They certainly are creative, are they not?" Esoteric all but jumped from his seat before metal collided with his body and sent him flying across the room until he struck wall.  Rather than slide down the wall, the metal held him place, and before he could speak, a free piece of shrapnel metal (what he recognized as what had once been the arm of his chair) covered his mouth and pinned his helm.


Misery stepped away from the other wall, shadows peeling away from her body as she did so.  She held her pronate gauntlet up, turning it over and commanding the data pad to herself.  The female Decepticon took a seat in a chair that had remained intact and began punching in Esoteric's master code.  When the other began to mutter behind the metal gag, the black and blue female smirked.  "Did no one ever instruct you to never use the same password for all of your locks?  The door was easy enough to open, but this is ridiculous."  After taking the time to read every document stored on his data pad, Misery stood and paced across the room until she was a meter from the patriarch.  "They are foolish if they believe they are holding him against his will."


Esoteric's eyes widened, and she took that to mean he was wanting to understand what she meant.  "Do you believe that you have held Xyston this long because of your own means?  Maximals are all the same: ignorant, naïve, misguided."  She raised her hands once more and willed the metal to begin crushing the patriarch.  "I have come to collect ma modestie, and thus I thank you for your services in my purpose."  Misery turned around and began walking towards the door, the sound of muffled screams, a spark implosion, and the minute sounds of the chair reconstructing itself filtered through the empty flat as she left, carrying with her the final piece of the puzzle needed to retrieve the Autobot Killer."




Smoke covered the floor a foot deep as bots, femmes, and aliens propelled themselves around the room on hover stools. Low hanging purple and pink lights swayed from side to side as people made their way through the bar. Along the walls there were private tables to comfortably seat groups of ten or more for private conversation, but the real conversation only happened at the bar.  Currently, the bartender known as Machiavellian tended to an alien customer before sliding down the bar to attend to another.


Another drink was served, this time to the taste of a Karnasian, but everyone in the pub quickly forgot themselves as Minstrel, the usual entertainer for the bar, came running in at breakneck speed and turned on the video screen.  "Esoteric's been murdered!" he wailed, punching the code until the single monitor flashed.  The entire wall above the entertainment stand was instantly lit by hundreds of screens became a gestalt of the image.


All eyes of various incarnations were fixated on the news bulletin:


~"Reports came in early this evening as a call went unanswered to the Patriarch's flat.  Upon inspection by fellow members of the board, it was discovered in a gruesome scene that the Patriarch's body was found in what was described by Chief of Security Depth Charge as 'scattered, yet identifiable pieces of framework, similar in size and shape to the design of the Patriarch's body.'  He went on to say that after a conclusive search of the Patriarch's flat that a distinguishable piece of Lorica segmentata was found with serial number intact that matched that of the Patriarch."~


The screen flashed and switched to an interview with reporters surrounding a central platform, at the centre of which stood Depth Charge, accompanied by Jazz³ on one side and Misery on the other, and answering questions left and right.


"I'll be slagged," Machiavellian grumbled in astonishment.  He turned to the current inhabitants and spoke with a commanding boom to his voice.  "Everyone in this bar who isn't part of the employment leave now, we're closing early."  Some grumbles filled the room, but three bouncers of sorts stepped forward from the darkened walls and began ushering the drunk and sober alike out.  When what one robot deemed as an imperative question, Machiavellian simply replied, "Yes, you can take your drink!  Just go already, Odin!"


"Is that sister Misery?" the attending waitress, Masquerade, inquired as she climbed the stairwell from the basement.  Purely, it was telltale that the obvious similarity in design by the bouncers, entertainer, waitress, and bartender were that of the same Decepticon factory design of Misery's.


"Yeah, that's the old gal herself," one of the bouncers, Malice took a seat a few tables back from the stage, purely focused on the screens that acted as one.  He was quickly joined by his factory brothers and sister, all of whom were now engrossed with the interview.


"What's she doing on Omicron?" Mace, another bouncer, inquired.


"Yeah, and in ancient battle design even yet," Minstrel observed with a shocked face.  "You'd think that the Tripredacus Council would have made her change the design.  I heard they were rounding up the old ones who still wore battle gear."


"Yes, well that may be so, but I am unfamiliar with her," the final bouncer, Muffle, spoke with hesitation, face watching the matching black and blue Decepticon on the screen.


"You didn't roll off the assembly line until the later part of that day, by then Misery had already left.  She was commissioned for some outlandish planet where she began working her way up the ranks," Machiavellian answered before the others could, choosing to stand next to the table where the other five were seated.


Masquerade continued for him, "Sister Misery stayed a captain, though.  And don't get me wrong, either, she was good, too good to remain just a captain, but she wouldn't give up the position.  Said something about it being easier to command a squadron of ten than a company of a hundred."


"You mean it was easier for her to bond with ten compared to a hundred," Minstrel chuckled, elbowing Mace in the side to emphasize his backhanded remark.


"Enough of that," Malice barked, "Muffle wants to know who she is, not some fantasy of yours, Minstrel."


"He can't help it," Masquerade gleamed, "I've been denying him an interface for years."


"Licentious botheration!" Minstrel growled, nearly jumping across the table towards the female Decepticon waitress.


"Sit down," Machiavellian ordered, "now.  I don't blame her.  I wouldn't want you in my head either."  After the other had returned to his seat, Machiavellian decided to continue:  "It was said that after a raid on the planet In-A-Gadda that she found something there that began to tip the balance in our side's favour."


"And that would be . . .?" Muffle tilted his head to the side, a very Misery-like action.


"The Autobot killer," Mace breathed, along with Masquerade and Malice.


"The legend?" Muffle asked.


"The fact," Machiavellian simply stated.  "He's as real as night and day, Primus 'n Unicron, Matrix an' the Pit.  The ultimate killer, and she convinced him to work for our side."


"I heard tale that he was an Autobot," Masquerade chuckled.  "An Autobot with an insatiable thirst for violence."


"The perfect sadist," Malice grinned.  "He hooked up with the perfect masochist, too.  Misery enjoys pain.  That's what makes her so . . ."


"Like me," Muffle glared, red optics looking the female on the screen over and over from top to bottom.


"I was going to say 'amour-propre,' but that works too."


"Her masochism gives her a sense of pride," Machiavellian grimaced.  "Perverse in it's own way, I guess, but a fact that's only understandable by a few.  Not even Lord Megatron understood the way she would let the opponent strike her.  It was almost as if her ability to take a hit and keep going meant that she was greater than them.  It was what made the Autobot killer love her."


"Not really love, I should say," Masquerade shook her head.  "He wanted her as a mate for life because of her pride, he even goes so far as to use some twisted Terran word to call her by as a pet name.  But that idea didn't exactly appeal to her."


"She challenged him, then," Muffle narrowed his eyes, staring into the golden-hued of Misery's.  "She made him work for her so that she could control the uncontrollable."


"Close, but not exactly right," Machiavellian closed his red eyes, recounting from memory a twisted tale that made little to no sense.  "He's the ultimate sadist, and her the ultimate masochist.  Like that Terran concept of balance of good and evil, or the Karnasian business principle of supply and demand: one cannot be without the other."


"It does not make sense, yet it does," Muffle cracked his neck to the side, looking to Machiavellian to continue.  "She is similar to me, though, is she not?"


"Yeah, you were same model number as her, if I remember correctly . . .  Your minds are very similar except for the fact that you were housed in a male body while she was in a female.  Misery even has the same idiosyncrasy about observing others to figure out their quirks before she speaks to them.  Slot, you and her even have the same speech patterns."


"I understand," Muffle did, in his own way, admire the fact that he wasn't the only make and model capable of understanding himself.  Now he wished to speak to the Decepticon who still stood silently on the screen more than ever.


"Do you think," Malice began, "that we should give her a ring, figure out what she's after?"


"You know that if she's here that her left and right are too, and no doubt in my processor that the Autobot killer isn't too far behind," Masquerade shuddered.


"You want to meet the greatest killer ever built, is that it, lovey?" Machiavellian smirked.  "Here I thought I was the only bot in the universe who could get your spark pounding."


"You can dream," she shot back.


"Oh, believe me," his smirk widened, "I have indeed dreamed, lovey."


"Does Misery serve the same purpose as our Masquerade?" Muffle asked as he stood and shuffled around the table to get closer to the stage to observe the image closer.


"That she does," Minstrel preened, voice holding that same cockiness that all men can have.  "Same function that all Decepticon females were programmed with."


"Hush, you," Machiavellian ordered.  The bartender then nodded towards the black and blue bot standing below the stage screens.  "Muffle's interest has been perked.  He wants to meet her.  I suggest we give her a call."


"Excellent, and while we're at it I'll start raiding the armoury for when we have to run for our lives from the Autobot killer."


"Shut up, Mace."


"Oh, hey, do you hear that?"


"Hear what?  That banging at the door?"


"Yeah, who's outside?"


"Oh, those are just the guys trying to find a hiding place.  Most likely Odin sobered up from where they got him drunk again."


"Oh," Mace blinked and looked from factory sibling to factory sibling.  "Should we let them in?"


"No slaggin' way! I don't want to be in Odin's way.  He's sober!  Think about that next time before you feel compelled to open the door."


"Point taken."




"Interesting friends you keep, Cybershark mokarran," Mainstay leucas stood behind the column, arms crossed with helm tipped upward.  "An Autobot sired who understands nothing, a Decepticon who wants everything, and one Maximal who cannot be read."


Cybershark was still seated behind the desk, posture slouched with gauntlets hanging limply over the arms of the chair.  His pinprick red eyes began shifting about the room, focusing on everything he observed before he continued searching the room.  "You tried to read his mind, but you discovered the same thing I did."


"Depth Charge cannot be read." Mainstay narrowed his blood red optics and lowered his helm slightly.  "You knew, and that is why you were not at the press conference.  The female, on the other hand . . ."


"Leave her be, father.  Her ability to inspire pride in others may be unboundedly odious to the Maximal kind, but I enjoy the substance she brings to me."  He took a breath and climbed to his feet, circled the desk, and crossed the large, gutted room.  The grey and blue Maximal stopped on the opposite side of the pillar Mainstay stood beside.


"She speaks with duplicity, Cybershark mokarran.  You are not dealing with an ordinary Decepticon."  Mainstay leucas refused to face his disobedient sired, choosing instead to remain fixated on the distant door.  "She's going to kill you."


"I'd rather be dead than a peasant of the Council's.  At least this way I can ensure that Cybertronian kind shall rise up to its potential instead of sitting back and letting history repeat itself."


"Ah, yes, the Great War," Mainstay cocked his head to the side and forced all his weight upon the column.  "You realize you're just helping to create another war."


"Father, what do I care? I'll be dead, remember?"


He was silent a moment, pondering how much society had changed in the last few centuries.  "Cybershark mokarran, do not disbelieve me when I tell you that none of us are free.  You are correct in thinking that our current path leads to the decadence and destruction of our race at the hands of the Maximal High Council, but all of us are chained --people are in darkness, chained, and broken.  They can no longer see the light to show them the way, but the path the Decepticons will lead us on will only end with bodies littered across the universe."


"I agree that our path will be long and difficult, but only the Decepticons can preserve our race as they were originally intended."  Cybershark wiped at his mouth with the back of his gauntlet, and waited for a response from his sire.  "Father?" he asked, peering around the corner to find that the older Maximal was contemplative.  "Father?"  He moved forward, footsteps echoing off the walls.  "Father!?" he yelled once more, but it was evident that the older Maximal was ignoring him.


"Death is the only path left for me, Cybershark mokarran.  I have grown too old for too long, and I am weary.  Please," the older bot turned and faced his sire, eyes serious, "do your sire one last favour and give me a quick death so that I may not have to face it at the hands of those older than I. I leave the care of your brothers to you."


"Asking me for this is unthinkable.  Remember, father?  Because of your programming I cannot harm you." Cybershark flicked at a piece of shrapnel on the floor with one of his cables, snapping the crippled metal towards his sire's feet.


"Then I release you from your holds!"


Mainstay leucas widened his eyes in pain as the locks inside Cybershark's mind were lifted.  The wrist mounted blades on his sired's left arm had flipped forward and torn into his chest, clamping around the time-worn spark cavity and crushing.  Mainstay leucas's last thoughts to his sired were: I'm glad to know you never hesitated . . .




"Congratulations, Miz.  You do manage your affairs quickly, don't you?  As for this," Depth Charge held up the data pad that Esoteric had been reading from before he died.  That very same data pad that Misery was careful enough to copy then erase all messages and data that regarded to Xyston's personal whereabouts.


"All is as you requested, precious pet," she purred, ice blue fingers tapping the desk in patience.  "Did you enjoy the partition?"


"Shut up, Misery," he began ripping the fragile data pad apart, making certain to crush the important data chips so that no information could be recovered once disposed of.  "I don't care how you do your job just so long as you do it.  More importantly, I don't want to know how you do it, either."


She growled, sitting straight and uncrossing her legs.  Her golden red eyes were wide and glaring at him with spite.  "Perhaps I should not have helped you.  Yes, I should have let you do your own work so that you could have a taste of what it is like to be a Decepticon."


"Just shut up!" he roared, climbing to his feet and slamming his palms down upon the table.  He stared her down with equal malice.


Misery blinked, face relaxing and twisting into a morbid grin.  "Hm, you are becoming more the beast of war I desire of you."


"Your war may be on the uprising, Misery, but I'm not your beast, so neither call nor refer to me as one."


"It frightens you for the reason that you may dissociate yourself from your emotions without regret.  You make me proud, indeed.  Very few understand the concepts that I manufacture inside my head, so those that are able to comprehend my thoughts are those who quickly gain favour among those whom they serve.  You serve me, now, lovely boy."


Depth Charge's body slackened and he fell backwards into his seat.  He rubbed at his face, "I'm not your servant, either."


"Oh, but you are.  It was I who sired you a new body and life.  You are indeed mine, but soon your role shall become more fulfilled."


Depth Charge sat up, eyes wide in sudden realization and searching her face.  "Misery . . . what did you do?"


Misery smirked, preened, and refused to cackle at his question.  "All in due time."


"What did you do?!"  When Depth Charge saw her face remain cynical and clear, he knew she would not answer.  No matter how he thought he would -or could even- threaten her, the chief of security knew the look in Misery's eyes was that of swollen pride.  She would no sooner tell him than to change her allegience, and, watching her turn to leave, he felt all joyful thoughts leave him.  There was something . . . something so infinitely wrong.