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.
money, no rights, no life. I own all original characters unless
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.
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...!
. . . Omicron, I repeat, if you copy us please respond. This is
Captain Vapour Trail of the Exaton,
I repeat, this is Vapour Trail of the Exaton,
we are responding to your distress call. What is your distress. Please
do you think it's possible the transmission is simply not going
through?" the second in command, Torque inquired. It had been two
days since a lone distress signal was sent out across the universe.
The Cybertronian battleships Exaton and
its sister ship, the Resistance had
received the distress call in a neighbouring galaxy and relayed the
message-less signal to their superiors on Cybertron. After an initial
attempt from Cybertron to contact the colony failed, the Exaton and
the Resistance had
been authorized to ride the jump gate to the colony's defense.
Vapour Trail shook his head from his seat in the captain's chair. The
white light of the bridge highlighted the twenty crew members eagerly
watching the silent colony Omicron through the bridge windows.
"There would be signs that we weren't getting through if there were no
connection. No, we're connected, they're just not answering."
I request permission to take a task force aboard," Torque saluted,
awaiting his commanding officer.
Torque. High Tide, what do you have for us on the scanners?"
grey and purple bot typed furiously at his computers, then began to list the
various readings to Vapour Trail, "All systems show normal. The docking
bays are operational, I did manage to authorize a dock with their systems if
we're going in. Energy readings show normal, no signs of radiation or
energon spikes. Everything's just . . . normal."
the life scanners?" Vapour Trail crossed his right leg across his other
hand placed a hand on his foot, a contemplative gesture.
the frightening part, sir." High Tide swallowed hard, fear
holding him for long seconds as he could faintly hear his captain amid the
ringing in his audios. He swallowed again and shook himself free.
"Nothing, sir. Just . . . nothing. Not a sign of life out of the
hundred thousand registered on the manifesto."
you sure?" Vapour Trail stood and began to make his way down the bridge
to High Tide's station. "Check it again. That can't be right."
checked it six times, sir. Every time I've got nothing, and it's scaring me
to death," for a soldier, it was bad form to admit fear. But High
Tide had never seen battle, choosing to instead be the communications
officer due to his squeamishness.
was something Vapour Trail could forgive because he understood. He had been
in that situation when he had first rolled out of the factory. But
that was while he was still in training. This was much different, and
as sympathetic as he was to High Tide, he knew the fear had to be stepped
over in order for this mission to go successfully. Vapour Trail then
turned back and glided up the steps to the captain's platform.
"Torque, you have half an hour to assemble the troops. I want no
less than forty when we dock." His seconded saluted and disappeared
from the bridge, and it was then he turned to his communications officer.
"High Tide, I want you ready to go as well. You'll be in charge of base
in the dock."
High Tide nodded slowly, then found his jittery self making his way through
the doors that Torque had previously disappeared through.
Trail returned to his seat and clasped his hands together, contemplating his
next move. "First officer Archive."
the solid green bot behind him came forward in an almost tentative action.
Vapour Trail could tell his troops were spooked at the mention of no life
forms within the colony.
want you to contact the Resistance and
request Captain Heliolatry to send her support troops to meet us in Dock 2
in 30 minutes." He gave his first officer time to nod, then continued,
"And Archive, you'll be in command until Torque and I return."
dead of space has no sound, but if you were to ask High Tide as he shook
nervously in his seat upon the leading shuttle, he would have said he could
hear the hum of the planets, the ferocity of the burning twilights of stars,
and the gales of the galactic winds all around him. But he could only
hear the dead silence within the colony screaming at the front of his mind.
He shuttered once more until he felt Vapour Trail's hand upon his shoulder,
calming him. Without words, his friend had lessened his fears but not
driven them away. The unyielding emotions he still felt could not
completely satiate the unnerving prickle of fear running up his backside.
how's our approach vector holding?" Vapour Trail's voice suddenly came
to his ears, drawing him further from his recessive fears.
a brown and blue coloured female never turned from her station, hands
gripping the helm, "approach vector is holding. I may have to
course correct by less than three degrees to clear the doors, but we're
coming in smoothly."
other 56 troops were seated in back of the shuttle, leaving only Vapour
Trail, Torque, High Tide, Revenue, and her copilot in the helm. Vapour
Trail then stood, gripping with his left hand at the hand holds in the
ceiling. "Revenue, transmit the landing signal to Dock 2 and
begin landing procedures."
sir, transmitting . . .now--what?" her sky blue visor fluttered as she
sat dumbstruck in her seat. "Sir, the docking bay doors just opened
themselves without me sending a transmission."
it be an autopilot?" he went to take a step forward but was stopped by
the sudden rumble of what sounded like stones skidding across a pond, but in
this case, the hull of the shuttle. "Revenue, are our shields
sir, but I can't get a visual on the screen. It appears whatever is outside
is too small to be picked up by the shuttle's cameras."
the blinders. Let's get a look at it, then," Vapour Trail took a
tentative step forward, hand never leaving the support rail. Revenue
complied, face darting back and forth as she gave the command to the
shuttle. Slowly, agonizingly, the solid metal workings shifted and
withdrew, leaving the bare windows exposed to the galactic elements.
eyes of the captain followed the floating debris as it hit the windows with
tiny pings and bounced away into space. Vapour Trail again followed
the trail of debris, this time towards the approaching docking bay, and
analyzed the spectrum of bits and pieces as they flowed out of the bay and
into space. At first, his mind could not make sense of it, but
eventually he began to connect the details before him. And then, he
did not want to understand; many of the debris were minute in size, but he
had recognized too much of it to know what it was. The remains of the
denizens of Omicron poured out of the docking bay and into the void of
space, forever scattered to the galactic winds and never to be recovered
Trail gave the next order once the first shuttle had sat down in the bay,
slowly followed by the second shuttle. Without Revenue even touching
the communications system, the docking bay doors had closed behind them and
the auto-gravity restored, leaving the remains that had not been sucked out
of the bay to fall idly to the metallic floor with a mute bang.
As soon as his people were on the metaphoric ground, he had ordered them to
sweep the mile long docking bay to ensure that there were no traps.
Tide," the captain approached the shivering grey and purple bot,
closing the distance so that his mouth was close to the other's audio,
apparently so they could speak privately. "I know you hate doing
it in these circumstances, but I need your gift. Can you pan out this
place and tell me what you hear?"
grey and purple bot shivered once more, hands opening and closing into
frequent fists. "I wish you wouldn't ask me," he whispered,
eyes trained only on his captain as if he were hearing something painful.
I won't ask," Vapour Trail refrained from shaking his head, mainly
because he did not want to accidentally bump heads with the other bot, but
also because he did not want to show his disappointment for what he was
about to say, "I'm giving you a direct order, High Tide zygæna
me what you hear."
Tide was motionless as he held his blank expression, staring right back at
his captain's eyes. "I hear only death."
Trail continued to whisper, his hand finding its way to High Tide's shoulder
to comfort the grey and purple bot. "Are you sure there's nothing
here alive that can be a threat?"
time, High Tide let out a long sigh and twisted his helm to take in
everything in a 180 degree rotation. As he focused, he began to speak
softly to his captain while turning his head slowly from one side to
another, giving the colony a once-over. "It's the sound of a soft
breeze of air, a light rain falling upon dirt, a whistle down a wind pipe,
the vibration of metal all rolled in to one. It's ringing in the ears and a
bell as it comes to an end. Everywhere I look I hear nothing but
you scan one final time to be sure?" the captain asked, drawing
partially away from his friend and withdrawing his hand so that he did not
invade the other's space for any longer.
he said, this time more calm as he scanned the silent colony. This
time, though, when he reached the halfway point in his rotation, in what he
knew would be the center of the colony he heard a small pulse of static.
"I hear a weak spark holding out, but it will be gone in nanoclicks,
before we could reach it. I'm sorry, sir, but there's nothing left
here alive. And whatever did this is long gone by now."
Trail shook his head, closed his blue optics, and lowered his head long
enough to say a prayer to Primus and the Matrix. Once recovered, he
turned to his men as he caught sight of Torque returning with the then
soldiers he had taken with him. "Torque, what's your
he lowered his cannon from where it had been gripped across his chest.
"We checked the other docking bays down the west side, the ones that
are sectioned off. It's a slagging slaughter house through here.
I don't think we found anything attached to a single torso - transformer or
Trail could see that his man was visibly shaken, but he knew Torque had seen
things like this on a much smaller scale before, so he felt he had to ask,
"What's got you worried, second?"
not so much the bodies, sir, its the fact that nearly every torso we found
in tact had its spark ripped out, and I'm not talking done by a blade of any
kind. This was all hands." He pointed behind him to one of
the larger soldiers who towered over the rest of the crew, "Ballistic
could match his hand perfectly in all of the intact torsos, so whomever did
this had to be of his size."
it could just be secluded to this area . . ." Vapour Trail turned and
began barking orders to the mix of troops before him, "I want teams of
four. Torque will take a group to the lower levels, four teams will
stay here with High Tide as base camp, and the rest will follow me. I
want thorough searches. You all have the resident manifesto, anyone
that you can match, do so. Don't leave the sight of one another."
the interior bay doors began to creep open, sending in artificial light from
the smoldering flames that were still burning in most areas of the collapsed
ruins. All soldiers were at the ready with their weapons incase
something came through the opening unexpectedly. "Revenue, please
tell me that was you this time," Vapour Trail whispered over his comm.
that time was definitely me,"~ the
speakers of the first shuttled announced her voice. ~"Sorry,
sir. Um, but, uh, you'll be happy to know the doors are open
. . . Alright, troops, let's roll out!"
flight along the way to the security station floating high above had made
Vapour Trail and his soldiers give up hope of finding any alive. The
remains of the denizens of Omicron littered just about any flat surface they
passed, and half way to the center of Omicron he and the rest of the
soldiers had stopped for the few who had beast modes and had felt the urge
to regurgitate everything they had in their systems. The smell and the
visuals had been the worst for those few, and those who were pure of form
found themselves thankful for no such bodily function. Even Vapour
Trail found himself secretly thanking himself for never undertaking a beast
mode - he knew that if he did, he would have been joining his crew by now.
is the cruelty of the beast," one of his lieutenants, Equivoque, had
said with a deadpan expression, intending the full meaning of the double
reaching the security station, the troops had begun to split off into the
groups of four to scatter and begin cataloging the dead. Their orders
were to check in every megacycle on rotation with reports. Then, once
Vapour Trail and his group of four that he was leading landed at the
security center, they were so overwhelmed by the destruction caused to the
building that they wondered how it was still standing. "By
Primus, this place looks the worst of them all," Equivoque placed his
hand along the door that was half open and shoved it completely open,
grinding gears as he did so. He then had the butt of his gun pressed
against his shoulder as he stepped into the long corridor that lead upward,
scanning it for anything. "Clear," he yelled over his shoulder and
then lowered his weapon.
Trail stood from where he had been cataloging the remains of a body found on
the floor, which he had identified as being one of the security personnel.
He refused to acknowledge it any further than being a body at this point,
otherwise he knew he was going to lose his nerve. Swiftly he moved to
join Equivoque and placed his hand on the opposite side of the door frame.
"According to the schematics on file, this leads to the communications
tower. Let's head there and see if we can get a recording of anything
that went on here . . ."
making their way up the long stairwell, after cataloging and stepping over
more bodies, and after forcing many a door open, they finally found their
way into the darkened sphere of the communications tower.
"Lights," Vapour Trail ordered, but received no reaction.
"Slag, lights are down . . . Equivoque, Sidewinder, see if you
can get some lights in here."
two nodded and began typing at the nearest computer, attempting to pull up
the controls for the lights within the chamber. "Ensemble,
Metronome, while they're doing that, see if you can get a location of all
our groups and route the catalogue of the dead to High Tide as we receive
you really think we'll be able to identify that many of the dead out of
this?" Ensemble inquired, using a multi-tentacled hand to operate
another computer screen. Vapour Trail had never asked about the purple
and charcoal grey bot's beast mode, but he would have presumed it was some
sort of alien sea creature by the amount of fins and tentacles that covered
don't know. We'll be lucky if we get half the civilians, and right now
all the security crew is missing," Vapour Trail answered, stepping
close to a monitor and felt the floor beneath him give slightly.
"Everyone be careful, it feels like this room is unstable and may
collapse at any time."
have nothing to fear,| came a cold answer that boomed from about the room.
Trail and his men nearly jumped, weapons trained all about the room.
"Easy, men, it's just the computer," he stepped into the center of
the room, feeling the floor give again until he stopped moving and was
surrounded by a series of steadily brightening lights. "Is this
the Telatron unit, or a different model?"
am no computer.| This time the female voice was angry as the room became
completely illuminated with light, revealing whole, broken, and cracked
computer screens that began to rotate themselves. Once all those that
were not being stood on by the rescue crew were now arranged in a circular
pattern around the five Maximals, the screens that were still functional
began to fill with images from what security cameras still remained, most of
them showing only flames, rubble, and the dead.
action around them made Vapour Trail come to his senses, and he grew bold by
stating: "Our sensors indicate that there are no living life forms on
this colony aside from my crew that just arrived. I ask again, is this
a Telatron unit or a different model?"
of the screens peeled away and aligned themselves towards a distant platform
that held two figures. |My name is Shock Therapy,| she said.
Seated in a control chair, and still wired in, what remained of Shock
Therapy's purple frame was limp with head tilted forward and chest ripped
open. Curled in her lap, the beaten and ravaged remains of Jazz³ was
held tight by the animatronic arms of the platform. |I can't return to
my body,| the detached and frightened voice of what was now known to be
Shock Therapy bemoaned, |Something's missing from my body - I can't go back
- I can't escape this! That monster - my body - Jazz - they tricked me! - He ate part
down, calm down!" Vapour Trail pleaded, motioning with his hands while
using his internal computer to scan the manifesto for her name.
"Please, if you can tell us what happened here we may be able to help
can't remember all of it!| if she had the capacity to weep, she would have,
but currently she was unable to do anything other than vocalize her woes.
Sidewinder interjected, "if you could tell us something of what
happened here! We need to know what happened to this place."
please," the captain hushed them all while still making a calming
motion with his hands. Then he turned back to face the lifeless body
of Shock Therapy. "You said your name was Shock Therapy. I
do see the name registered as the chief communications officer. Are
you sure that you just don't have a glitch and think you are Shock
would know if I had never been a Maximal or not,| her tone had changed to
more of a sarcastic chiding of the captain. |I downloaded myself
before I died.|
all looked expectantly at their captain, wondering what to do exactly. Sidewinder, Vapour Trail mouthed,
but did not say, You
have more experience with trauma victims, see what you can get.
Obediently, Sidewinder stepped forward and offered up his empty hands,
thereby proving he meant no harm to the disembodied female voice.
"Shock Therapy, right? What was the last thing you remember before you
. . .| A flicker ran across any screen that was still functioning, showing
Shock Therapy, still alive and in her own body, moving backwards as fast as
the platform could carry her, but it was too slow for the dark image of a
bot coming towards her. |I don't . . .| another image of the wires that
connected her to Omicron's central security network being severed and hacked
away, leaving her to fall to her knees and screaming. |I can't . . .|
another instant change in imagery left the group of five blinking after a
choppy image of a blackened void delving what they could only presume was a
hand into Shock Therapy's chest. She screamed at them, then, |Don't make me
alright, calm down, please," Sidewinder cooed, not sure what exactly he
should do to assuage the pathetic whimpering coming from the computer.
is one whacked out computer," Metronome breathed his words so that only
Ensemble could hear him.
was not as silent as he thought he had been, for he was instantly startled.
"I don't think so," Equivoque interjected, speaking loud enough
for everyone to hear. "All the things we just saw flash on the
screen. All the images of her attacker have been blackened out,
disfigured, or deleted entirely. She's acting like any traumatized
victim would do; not even a malfunctioning AI program would go so far as to
distort the image of an attacker."
do you mean?" Ensemble inquired further.
do elaborate," Vapour Trail ordered. "I'm equally as
Equivoque began, "I've seen it with attack victims before who have
survived. Sometimes it's almost impossible to get details from them because
they have simply deleted or distorted the events so that they don't have to
remember what happened. It's an emotional response, so even an
artificial intelligence wouldn't be compelled to go to such lengths to
delete things that have happened." He paused, turned his helm towards
the what he determined to be the source of Shock Therapy's voice and treated
it as if it were the direction of where she would have been standing if
still alive. "You are Shock Therapy, at least what's left of
was silence from the computer, and it thundered in Vapour Trail's audios
until he decided to move forward with the interrogation. "Shock
Therapy, are you still with us?"
she meekly responded.
mentioned someone named Jazz earlier. Is that third in command of
security, Jazz Cubed that you spoke of?" The captain decided that it
might be easier to test the waters with his questions so that he would not
cause her to have another outburst.
her voice became clearer as the former Decepticon became curious.
that he who lies with your body there?" he indicated with an uplift of
his helm in the direction of the black and white body curled against the
purple female's body.
you remember what happened to him?" he tried, and was instantly
rewarded with images upon the screens once more.
beat him until he was almost dead,| her voice was weak once more, attempting
desperately to remember as the screens flickered from recording to
recording, jumping the omitted past with such sharpness as to look like a
horribly mismatched animated slideshow. |They were killing him,| the
image changed to show Shock Therapy still being held in the air by her
connection cables, screaming We
had a deal! You said you'd leave him alone! And
then it changed to show Jazz³'s beaten torso being dropped to the floor,
and he began to crawl off screen with the one good
arm he still possessed. JAZZ! the
image of her wailed, until being overtaken by the blackness.
memories had been enough to stir the uncertainty in the five Maximals,
delaying them from further inquiring into the events surrounding the
destruction of Omicron, until Ensemble worked up his nerve. "What
happened to Jazz Cubed after that?"
said, simply, |He died next to me,| but the monitors showed the truth behind
the events. The then empty room was left with Shock Therapy's dead
body and Jazz³'s slowly fading life. She still could not believe they
had manipulated her as if she were some ignorant child! |Oh,
Jazz . . .| her
voice had filled the room - animatronic arms extending from the approaching
platform as she had spoken. |Jazz,
I'm so sorry I let them do this to you,| the
arms had tentatively reached out and slid under what was left of his fragile
and dying frame, and then retracted to carry him towards the floating
'Ther . . . a . . ." he
had tried to whisper, strength rapidly reducing within his body.
don't talk, Jazz. Just rest a while longer with me,| she
had murmured, all the while taking diagnostics of his vital signs amid his
personal computer announcing his need to fall into stasis mode.
. . . er . . . ri . . .d . .
had commanded amidst his computer's objections. Jazz³ did not want to
die in stasis. As peaceful as it would be, he would rather prefer to
know what was going to
happen to him. "Lie
. . . to . . . me . . ." he
had begged of her.
can't, Jazz . . . I love you too much to do that to you,| she
wept as he died in what arms she had left to her. |I can't go through that
anymore,| her voice brought them back to reality as the visuals disappeared
from the monitors. |He died, that's all that's left.|
understand," Vapour Trail cleared his throat, and then Equivoque leaned
into him and reminded him of the more pertinent questions. "Shock
Therapy," he asked, stepping away from his lieutenant, "do you
know where Chief of Security Depth Charge and his second, Cybershark,
left of Depth Charge is in Ward 6.| The monitors again became lit with the
scanning of the security cameras over Ward 6. Several minutes passed
them by until the cameras settled upon an amassed pillar of rubble, and
beneath it, face down, with an outstretched arm severed just above the bend
of the elbow, was the purple and blue remains of Depth Charge.
Primus," Metronome shuddered, hands cupping over his face in disgust.
"Look at his face--"
think we can all see," Ensemble cut him off, equally as repulsed by the
mutilation that devastated the large Maximal's face.
Trail soldiered on, intent on not allowing the scenes around him distract
him from their search and rescue. "And, what of Cybershark?"
don't know where he is or if he's still alive,| she withdrew the computer
monitors and placed them in their former locations. Now, with solid
flooring beneath them, the rescue team was able to move around once more.
When they inquired further, Shock Therapy responded without the use of the
computer screens this time, |Cybershark and Depth Charge pursued those
responsible for our previous bombings outside the colony. I lost track
of them once they ventured through the jump gate. Only Depth Charge
returned, but they ambushed him once he was back inside.|
much time passed between the time Depth Charge left and the time he
returned?" Equivoque requested before his captain could.
days,| she responded, and a collective shock ran through the five males.
impossible," Sidewinder objected, "no one could kill this many
people without major destructive weapons leveling everything. There's
too many body parts that are intact for that!"
argue with me, I'm a system monitor,| Shock Wave chided. If the air of
seriousness had not been surrounding them, the group might have laughed at
her snide comment to Sidewinder, but as the way things stood, it only
further bolstered Shock Therapy's claim that she was who she said she was.
Tide's voice filtered through Vapour Trail's personal comm. link.
Trail had to shake himself free from the sensations currently overwhelming
him. "I'm here, High Tide. What've you got for me?"
that signal I picked up before. It's back again. Weak, but it's
are you saying?" Vapour Trail was hopeful. If it was the life
mentioned before, then there may be a slim chance of--
think we may have a survivor. Based upon the layout I have of Omicron,
I've calculated the coordinates. I'm transmitting them now."~
this time, they were all looking to Vapour Trail expectantly, waiting for
any news, any orders. After he received the approximate coordinates,
he raised his arm to relay the coordinates to any available units to begin
the search. That is, until Shock Therapy interrupted him, |Give me the
coordinates. I can help you.|
Trail nodded, "Done. Let's do this."
transmission I intercepted from the Exaton and Resistance indicate
that they've found a survivor."
words drew the attention of Xyston's half-lidded, emerald eyes. He
understood, but he acted as if the red and black male's words had not
registered while he continued to stroke the backside of the sleeping female.
His fingertips traced the grooves between her wing mechanism and he returned
his gaze to her as he spoke. "So, the mongrel lives . . ."
Taciturn withdrew himself from the pilot's chair and disconnected his body
from the Cenotaph's mainframe.
"Might I postulate a theory?"
returned his attention to the female laying prostrate next to him and
continued to trace his fingertips across her back. "You may . .
Depth Charge is indeed alive, then it means that the extension of
Starscream's gift to Misery has proved him a valuable asset." The
flick of a glance from Xyston gave Taciturn all the indication for him to
continue, "He may not be as immortal as you and Misery, as indicated by
his lack of speedy recovery, but his spark is immortal enough to pull him
back from the Matrix twice now."
Xyston turned his helm completely this time, brow raised enough to show his
was the orange and black Maximal you killed once at the TRUNDLE tri-cluster
outpost." Xyston tipped his head up, pantomime of someone
realizing something really important. "Though, I must say, there
are still other TRUNDLE branches that could pose a problem. Especially
if they know there is a survivor."
you suggesting that I save him?" Xyston growled, paying extreme
attention to black and red male as he crossed the bridge and sat down on the
other side of the sleeping Misery.
merely proposing that it would be very unfortunate if TRUNDLE got their
hands on Depth Charge. The consequences of replicating the immortal
code could prove detrimental to your plans." Taciturn held a taloned
hand above the black and blue female's backside, pores opening in his palm
and building a small warming fire.
observed the flames as they licked up Taciturn's palm, but as fascinated as
he was with the fire, he pursed his lips before he offered his idea.
"Perhaps you should continue to follow the transmissions from the Exaton and Resistance.
If they dock at a colony within striking distance of TRUNDLE, and we just so
happen to be passing by his recovery station, then we shall liberate him
from his aggressors, but only-" Xyston made certain that he would not
awake Misery as he spoke, but it did not stop him from emphasizing his words
with his unoccupied hand "-if he is capable of making it out on his
own. I shall not assist him any further than that."
course," Taciturn nodded, raising from his seat to return to his
pilot's chair. "Oh, Xyston?" he stopped midstep and turned
to face the behemoth.
thrower of flames," Xyston's voice was beginning to show his
displeasure and annoyance. He felt today the most exhausted in his
entire lifetime of over 9 million years, and the past four stellarcycles had
been the most taxing.
. . What do you think he'll do now?"
is Misery's pet," he turned back to the sleeping female, but no longer
did his hand grace her back as he spoke. "She is responsible for
his actions, now." Xyston then gentle caressed her from her
sleep, and though she was still tired, he led her by the hand to her feet.
fierté, let's retire to our quarters, for we have
much to plan tomorrow."