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CHAPTER XI

As the shuttle flew low toward the half demolished Decagon, which had the unknown cruiser buried in it's side. The Pilot suddenly put his hand to his com-link and listened as he kept his other on the flight controls.

"Sir, I think you should hear this." he then said, gaining Jack's attention as the Prime moved to the Ensign's side. The pilot then pressed a button on his holo-controls and a familar voice could then be heard through the vessel's inter-com.

"This is Arcee to any Autobots in range of this signal..."

'Arcee...' Jack thought as he felt relief in his heart at hearing his sparkmate's voice, with the fact that she was still alive down there.

"...the emergency shuttles are hostile and are firing on any civilians they can see, there are also hundreds of unidentified enemy soldiers on the ground. They came through a Space-bridge vortex and have created a beach-head for themselves. Chromia and myself are currently staying out of sight until we can regroup with another group of Autobots..." then the message cut out and static was all that could be heard, as the Prime looked back down to the pilot.

"Can you pinpoint the location of that transmission?" he asked, while the others stood behind him with their weapons ready.

"Yes, Sir. Coordinates already locked in." the Pilot replied, earning a slight smile from the Prime.

"Good, get us there as fast as you can." Jack said back before looking back at Garrus, Smokescreen and Grunt.

"Change of plan, we are going to head to the enemy beach-head and take these bastards head on."

"About time, my trigger finger needs the exercise." Grunt chuckled as Smokescreen gave him a worried look, but Garrus ignored them and looked directly at Jack.

"You alright, Jack? Must be good to hear her voice just then?"

The Prime flashed a slight grin at his Turian friend.

"Yeah, I am okay and it is good..." he said before his face became serious.

"...but we have bigger problems to deal with."

Garrus nodded in return, his own face now mirroring the Prime's.

"Yes, we do."

"We are coming up on...by the Allspark!" the Pilot then said, gaining everyone's attention.

"What is it?" Jack asked.

"We have a cruiser descending behind us and it is powering weapons."

"Perhaps its one of ours?" Smokescreen said rather hopefully, but suddenly the Pilot performed a barrel role that narrowly missed a burst of cannon fire from the other ship.

"I doubt it, Smoke. Friendlies don't make it a habit of firing on each other." Garrus replied with hanging on to the hand hold above, just like everyone else at this moment as the pilot performed another evasive maneruve as more cannon fire flew past them and hit the ground below.

"I can't dodge this guy forever." the Pilot stressed as he kept his hands firmly on the holo-controls, ignoring the sweat that was running down his face from his brow.

"Take us up to jumping altitude." Jack then said as h walked past his friends to another cabinet, opening it as his friends stared back with shocked expressions.

"Jumping altitude! You sure about this?" Smokescreen asked as Garrus stood beside him.

"Yeah, Jack. I'm with Smoke on this one. I mean if Turians were meant to fly, then we would have been granted wings long before now."

Even Grunt looked uneasy at the Prime's idea.

"What about Krogan..."

"Guys, shut up and suit up." Jack said, ignoring his friends pleas as he tossed them each a gravity pack. Each of them looked down at the pack in their hands, their faces looking more worried with each passing second.

"We will be in position in thirty seconds, though I doubt that I can hold off that ship behind us for that long." the Pilot called back as the weapons fire continued to fly past his canopy from the enemy cruiser that was closing behind them, dwarfing their shuttle with it's far larger size.

"Okay, we are ready." Jack said as he and his team all equipped the gravity packs onto the backs of their individual armours, though the Prime noticed that Garrus and Grunt did not look happy about it. But before he could say anything about it, the shuttle suddenly rocked violently as if it had collided with something which sent it's occupants onto the floor.

"We've been hit." the Pilot shouted as he typed frantically at the holo-controls in front of him, but it was getting harder to keep the shuttle steady.

"I've lost the starboard thrusters, I won't be able to get us to jumping altitude now. We are about eighty feet short of it." he added, while Jack pulled himself to the cockpit entrance.

"We will jump now then, open the hatch." he said, instantly earning shocked looks from his friends.

"It was a bad idea at..." Garrus started to say as alarms began blaring around them, before the shuttle's hatch opened beside him.

"They have a target lock!" the Pilot shouted over the howl of the wind that filled the shuttle alongside the alarm.

"Jump!" the Prime shouted as he pushed the Turian through the hatch and out of the shuttle, both Smokescreen and Grunt stared open-mouthed at the Leader.

"Go!" he commanded with a stern expression and both Bot and the Krogan looked at each other, before they sighed and leapt out of the hatch. This left Jack and the Pilot as the last on board the doomed shuttle, with the Prime reading himself next to the hatch before looking back to the Pilot who was still frantically working the controls.

"You coming?"

"I will be right behind you, Sir." the Pilot replied, so the Autobot Leader nodded and then threw himself out of the shuttle. But only a second or so after doing so, the shuttle was hit by a missile and it exploded in mid-air as Jack and his friends plummeted to the ground below.

PRIME EFFECT 4

As the gunfire and roars from the enemy echoed around them, Arcee got on to her knees and took a peek from behind her and her sisters cover to examine their situation. What she saw was enough to make her spark heavy with sadness as the femme witnessed yet more innocents being slaughtered by the soldiers of this unknown enemy, who appeared to take great amounts of pleasure from ending their lives in the most horrific and violent ways possible. In fact it would seem that these soldiers were more like animals. Arcee kept herself low enough that the enemies could not see her, but not so that it would block her sight. She thought for a moment, as she remembered the name she had heard the one that was obviously the leader call his men.

'Predacons...where have I heard that name before?' She thought before looking down at her Sister, who had remained quiet for nearly the entire time since these 'Predacons' had begun their attack.

"Chromia?" the older Femme asked while placing a hand on her shoulder, but Chromia would not answer and yet Arcee could already tell how she was feeling. For when she held onto her sister's shoulder, it felt tense and cold. This was a Femme who had just seen her Spark-mate give up his life to save hers, and now that the disaster that had befallen the city now appears to have been staged and by these Predacons no doubt. Chromia now looked like she had during the Great War, as a Femme out for blood.

Arcee looked back to the enemy and saw that they had moved on, and that the Sisters were now alone.

"Alright, we should head in this direction since this it would be the most logical way to meet up with Autobot forces."

Chromia finally looked at her sister and gave her a cold stare.

"You can head that way if you want, Arcee, but I am going after those Predacons."

The older Sibling placed her hands on Chromia's shoulders, as a sign that she wasn't going anywhere. But the youngrt Femme just looked unfazed at Arcee.

"You're not going to stop me, they have to pay for what they did to Ironhide. And I will ensure that they pay for it with their lives."

"And how are you going to accomplish that when you have no weapons?" Arcee asked in a doubtful tone, but Chromia simply looked over the cover and spotted three Predacon soldiers standing just a ways from them.

"There, those three. We just kill them and gain their weapons, easy pickings."

Arcee looked at the three enemies, noting their posture and movement.

"They look like stragglers."

"Exactly...now you can help me, or get the pit out of my way." the younger Sister said, earning an anxious expression from her older Sister.

"Alright...I'm with you." Arcee replied, if only so that she could try to keep Chromia from making a mistake. A mistake that she would never make with a clear mind, one that could end her life. And that was something that Arcee would not see go through again, not like she had to with their older sister...Elita One.

So both Femmes moved slowly and stealthily from their cover, heading towards the three Predacons who were completely oblivious of what they were about to face.

The two Sisters kept to the shadows of the ruins as best they could, slowly but surely gaining ground on the three enemies ahead who continued to move around the area. Suddenly the sound of movement caught the attention of one of the Predacons who pointed their rifle over to what looked like a broken and dislodged piece of wall, moving around it until he came across a severally injured Salarian who was crawling on all fours while shaking, obviously still severally shaken by what had just happened. He looked up at the soldier, his brow was soaked in blood from a cut on his temple.

"Please...help me?" he said in whimpering and fearful tone.

"Hey, Guys. We have another one." the soldier said to his comrades, who looked over to him.

"Well, take care of it then." one of them said to him, so the soldier raised his rifle and aimed it at the Salarian's face. The injured man's eyes widened as it dawned on him what was about to happen.

"Wait...wait plea..." he began to stammer before being silenced by the sound of a gunshot, his body then collapsing onto the ground with a bullet hole in between his eyes. The soldiers then laughed in response, clearing enjoying themselves.

"You see that, Guys. That was the easiest kill I have had today." the soldier said with a beaming smile as the others nodded and smiled back.

Meanwhile as the two Femmes watched from behind some more broken large concrete slabs, Chromia felt the last of her restraint burn away due to her growing rage while the third soldier spoke up.

"Yeah, but isn't this all a but to easy? I mean I would prefer a real fight rather than all this executing."

Suddenly before Arcee could do anything about it, her younger sister vaulted over their cover and charged at the three Predacons.

"You want a 'real' fight? Well you've got one!" she shouted as the enemies turned around in shock that someone was calling them out, only for one of them to see nothing but the Femme's fist a split second before it connected with his face and sent him to the ground as the others fumbled with their weapons. The raging Autobot then kicked the second soldier in the groin with a hell of a lot of force, making him grimace while also looking confused as to why that hurt. But he never received an answer, instead a roundhouse kick to the face was all he got as he fell to the ground with one hand covering his face and the other covering his nether region. Chromia who was standing over the two beaten Predacons then turned to face the third enemy, but he already had his gun pointed at her.

"Nice try, Femme, but it's lights out for you now." he said as he began to pull the trigger.

"...more like lights out for 'you'!"

The Predacon looked to his right, but all he saw was a quick flash of orange and feel a sudden searing pain along the width of his neck before his eyes came to a blue haired woman in a kneeling pose just next to him, with a holo-arm blade exposed and dripping with his blood.

"...how...?" was all he could say before his head separated from his neck and fell to the floor, the rest of his body joining it soon after.

"Thanks." Chromia said with a hint of gratitude as her older sister stood up straight and nodded back.

"You're welcome." she replied as her eyes looked down at the two defeated Predacons, one of which was beginning to recover.

"You might want to..." Arcee said, making Chromia look down in the direction that her sister was gesturing to.

"Oh, right." the younger Femme replied before moving down onto the enemy and swiping her freshly activated holo-blade at the enemy's throat, opening it up and letting his blood flow freely as he brought his hands up to the wound and attempted to slow the bleeding. But it was gushing out too quickly for him and within a few moments of clinging to life as it drained from his body, he then was dead.

"Before you kill that one, we should question him first." Arcee then said, earning a nod from Chromia who then coldly walked over to the last Predacon and pressed the heel of her boot against his aching groin and still while his hand was covering it, making him grimace in pain.

"Why are you attacking us? What are you after?" she shouted at him as she increased the pressure, making the soldier cry out and yet still gave no hint of an answer to the Femme's questions. Arcee merely watched as her sister released his groin from under her heel and looked down at him.

"If he won't tell us anything, then he is of no further use." Chromia sighed before bending down and placing her hands around his neck, so she could strangle him.

"But I won't let him or any of his kind die easy or quickly, not for what they did to my Ironhide."

She then tightened her grip and the Predacon began gasping for air as he felt the furious Femme grip contracting his air-pipe, so he started to struggle against her in an attempt to break free, but Chromia would not let go as that cold and calculating expression returned to her face as she looked down at her dying enemy. Arcee could only watch as she saw her sister slowly taking another life today for the one that was closest to her spark, but she was worried that Chromia's thirst for revenge against the Predacons would never be sated, not even if she killed every single one of them.

The older Femme knew this because she was exactly the same after losing Cliffjumper to the brainwashed Airachnid, and the only reason she did not go down the same path when Jack died aboard the original Normandy was that she had no idea who was responsible nor did the Council and Alliance investigate it. So she had no choice but to focus on her job and mourn her Spark-mate, but as the older Femme watched her sister as she strangled the Predacon under her, Arcee hoped that she was wrong about that outcome.

But suddenly she was brought out of her thoughts when Chromia started to struggle against their supposedly beaten enemy, as he began to physically change before them. He grew more muscular and slightly larger, his teeth while became sharper and more defined as he bared them for the Femmes to see. The Predacon looked like a cross between a beast and a man as his eyes reformed to those of a reptile, and he then threw a surprised Chromia off himself and she landed hard on the ground just aways from her sister who was equally as shocked at how things had quickly changed as she looked at the now monstrous looking Predacon standing in front of her.

"Time to die!" he roared before charging at the older Femme and swiping at her with his now claw-like hands, and the Autobot jumped backwards to evade the strike but only just enough as the tips of the claws caught her clothing and ripped through its fabric. Arcee looked down at the five scratch-shaped tears in her dress.

'That was too close.' she thought as the Predacon lunged at her again and once again, the Femme managed to barely keep out of reach of it's razor sharp claws. The Femme then saw her opening and immediately performed a punch and kick combo which had hit several direct hits on the enemy, but left him unfazed, leaving the Autobot feeling worried all of a sudden.

The soldier noticed this and smiled before attacking again with a combo of it's own, but despite her advancing years Arcee managed to dodge the attacks before diving under the last of the swipes and going into a roll and ending up in a kneeling position behind the enemy. The soldier looked back at her over his shoulder with a face of fury, as Arcee took on a defensive stance with her holo-armblades activated.

"I thought I was going to die?" she asked with a sarcastic tone as she noticed some movement behind the transformed enemy, her comment though only further infuriated the Predacon more as he roared again before charging at the Femme, when suddenly Chromia leapt on his back and kept stabbing him repeatedly with her holo-blade. The beastial soldier grimaced and cried out in pain as Arcee then joined in the attack by slashing at the enemy's chest and legs, but despite the cuts and the blood the enemy was losing as it seeped out from the wounds, managed to lunge out at the older Femme as the younger one continued to stab away at it's back.

But Arcee once again evaded the attack and then readied herself for another counter, but then the Predacon fell to one knee while the younger sister took this as a sign and pulled her holo-blade out of it's back and plunged it into the back of the supersized soldier's neck, who then fell onto both knees and panted as Chromia got off his back and joined her sister in front of him.

"Is that it?" the older Femme asked, earning a shrug from her sibling. But suddenly the Predacon got his second wind and lunged at them, hitting them both with a back-handed swipe that knocked the sters onto their backs.

"You will have to do better than that." he said sarcastically while the Autobots recovered and got to their feet.

"You take him high, I'll take low." Arcee said, earning a nod from Chromia before they both charged at the Predacon who mirrored their actions. The older Femme then lept up and slashed the his face with her holo-armblades as the younger sister kicked at his legs and swiped at his abdomen with her holo-blade, while also dodging and evading the monster's attacks at the same was really an impressive sight, seeing two Femmes of advancing years being able to fight one that was larger and far younger than them both.

After a few moments of fighting, Chromia ducked under one of enemy's punches and buried her holo-blade into his chest, earning hallowing cry of pain. Arcee kicked him in the back, pushing him more into her sister's blade which slid into his spark chamber and made him spasm for a moment, making the femmes retreat back a metre away before the Predacon suddenly fell to the ground dead. Arcee and Chromia breathed heavily for a moment and looked at the body as it continued to bleed out from all the wounds they had given it, but mainly from the killing blow in it's chest.

"That was tougher than I thought it would be." Arcee said while still breathing deeply.

"It can still die, that suits me just fine." Chromia replied coldly, earning a knowing look from her older sister.

"Still, if all the Predacons are that tough to beat. Then this could become a serious problem."

The younger femme then looked back at Arcee with a confused expression.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, we have fought many Vehicons and Husks in the past and yet this Predacon was far tougher, especially when it changed. We need to contact the others so they are know what they are facing." Arcee said back before tapping her com-link.

"How right you are." a voice unknown to the Femmes spoke out behind them, gaining their attention as they quickly picked up the dead soldiers weapons and turned to see the Man in the silver armour standing above them on a mound of rubble as Predacon troops began surrounding them.

"You are the leader of these 'Predacons', aren't you?" Arcee said while pointing the rifle at him, as she remembered seeing him amongst the other enemy troops earlier. The Predacon Leader gave her a sly smile in return.

"How very observant of you. My name is Galvatron and I am the Predacon Leader."

Chromia then nudged her sister, gaining the older Femme's attention as more Predacons appeared around them.

"Doesn't he look somewhat familiar? I mean I know that face, but I just can't put a name to it."

Arcee then looked back at Galvatron in a similar manner, earning an aggravated expression from the Predacon Leader as he heard chuckling coming from just beside him and knew exactly who it was as the aggravated feelings within his spark increased.

"This will be priceless if I do say so myself, wait for it..." Megatron chuckled as he stood next to his clone with his arms crossed and looked at both femmes, knowing precisely what the older sibling was about to say.

"He does look..." Arcee started to say when Galvatron suddenly erupted with rage and jumped down to them, landing with at their feet with a loud clang. The two Femmes kept their weapons pointed at him as he stood up and towered over them, but were surprised at his outburst as his red eyes stared daggers into their own.

"Enough!" he shouted as he equipped his blade which slid out of an opening on his armoured forearm.

"You dare disrespect me when I clearly have you dead to rights." he spat while gesturing to the Terracons surrounding them. Chromia though narrowed her eyes at Galvatron as her face changed to that which would have turned the hearts of those who saw it cold and fearful.

"We disrespect you? You're attacking my home, killing the people and friends I know. And you personally gave the order that led to my Ironhide's death, for that...I WILL KILL YOU!" she spat as she fired at the Predacon leader with her weapon, only for him to deflect the shots with his blade easily. Arcee fired hers too but again Galvatron blocked the shots, while letting his personal shield absorb the odd bullet's kinetic energy. Both Femmes stopped and looked at him as Terracons prepared to fire at them, but suddenly the clone lifted his arm into the air and stopped them.

"No, I will deal with these Autobot wretches myself." Galvatron then raised his blade and moved towards both Sisters slowly, while they separated and begun to circle the Predacon leader until they were both on a different side to him. The troops simply watched as Arcee stood before their master, while Chromia stood behind him.

Galvatron felt a smile growing on his face as while looking at the blue haired Femme, he could still feel the hateful eyes of the younger one on his back. He clenched his fist more as the anticipation of the first attack began to excite his spark, but was this his feelings or just memories of Megatron's from his days as a gladiator coming to the forefront of his mind. But before he could dwell on that line of thinking anymore, the older Femme attacked with her holo-arm-blades which Galvatron deflected both attacks with his blade and pushed her away with a punch to the chest.

Then on hearing quickening footsteps behind him, brought his weapon round just in time to deflect the younger Femme who had lunged in with her holo-blade. But with his successful deflection of her attack, Galvatron had left Chromia open and took this chance by backhanding her face and then kicking her in the stomach, sending her to the ground. He smiled darkly as the Femmes recovered and picked themselves up.

"I hope that wasn't the best you could do?" he asked in a sarcastic and unimpressed tone. Arcee looked over to her sister for a second, hoping that they would be on the same page for their next effort. But Chromia ignored her and charged at Galvatron, who ducked under the Femme's holo-blade and caught her with an uppercut to the chin which sent her back to the ground as quickly has she had got up. Arcee then performed a jump kick at the Predacon Leader, who simply caught her outstretched leg while she was in mid-air and then threw her to the ground beside her sibling.

"You're going to have to do better than that." Galvatron retorted with a chuckle, which gained daggers from Arcee and Chromia who both realised that he was simply toying with them. So the Autobots got back to their feet and Arcee looked at her sister, who for the first time in this fight looked back to her.

"We have to work together if we are going to beat him...for Ironhide."

Chromia's eyes widened at the mention of his name and a slight smile appeared on her face.

"Alright, Sis. Let's do it." she said before they both turned their attention to Galvatron who was waiting for them to make a move, he was looking over to some of his ships in the distance that were firing on what could only have been more civilians amongst the ruins. So the siblings both lunged at the Predacon Leader while his eyes were averted, but he caught their arms and threw them back to the floor, his face still smiling as he did so.

The Femmes then got up and tried again and for the next minute or so, their fight played out with the Sisters attacking and Galvatron countering and beating them back, all the while his troops were just enjoying the show. It was obvious the two Autobots were no match for their Master, that he was simply playing along. But that all changed after the Femmes were felled for seventh time as Blight appeared amongst the Terracons with his holo-tool active.

"Lord Galvatron!" he called out, earning the Predacon Leader's attention as he looked up at his lieutenant.

"Blight, report." Galvatron replied as the Predacon looked at the data on the holo-tool's screen.

"My Lord, we have multiple Ground-bridge vortexes opening around the city, Autobot troops are being deployed as we speak and enemy ships approach from all directions."

The Predacon Leader smiled ever so slightly as he took in the information.

"Excellent, then our battle can now truly begin. Have our troops prepare themselves and make sure Six-shot has our fighters ready to engage the Aerialbot forces."

As Galvatron spoke to Blight, Arcee and Chromia lifted themselves off the ground for what felt like thousand time and wiped the dirt from their faces and looked at each other, they both knew the chances of them both defeating this Predacon were nonexistent, but they couldn't just roll over and surrender….not now or ever. Arcee had even injured herself while trying to overcome Galvatron and needed a moment or two to recover. And Chromia was right, because there was something about this Predacon that kept bugging the older sister. This Galvatron was familiar to them, not just in that name but also in his fighting style and the other ways that seemed too coincidental.

'Could it be…' she thought but before she could dwell on the possible answer, the Predacon Leader turned to face them both. His red eyes glaring down on them with little to no contempt.

"Looks like we have to bring this little amusement to an end….beginning with her." he said as he clenched his fist and re-deployed his blade again while walking over to the older Femme.

"No…..." Chromia panted while breathing heavily as she watched their enemy stop and stand over her Sister, raising his blade overhead as he readied himself for the killing strike. She had just lost her Spark-mate and there was not a thing she could do to stop that, but it would be a cold day in the Pits of Kaon before she would allow her Sister to suffer the same fate.

"NO!" she shouted as the younger Femme put everything she had into getting up and lunging with her holo-blade between Arcee and Galvatron as he brought his blade down on the her, only just stopping the strike a mere few centimetres from the older Sister's face with a loud clang of metal announcing her success. Both Arcee and Galvatron stared at the younger Autobot, the former with a thankful relief while the latter with a annoyed disgust.

"Chromia.." the older Femme began to say before the Predacon Leader kicked her onto her back and disarmed the Chromia easily as he turned his attention to her.

"You seem eager to die first…" he spat as he grabbed the weakened Femme by the neck and lifted her off the ground, just as Arcee looked up at the two of them.

"….so be it!" Galvatron added as he equipped his blade and stabbed it into Chromia's stomach, the Femme gasped and grimaced in response.

"NOOOOO!" Arcee screamed in wide eyed terror as the Predacon leader pulled the blood covered blade out, and casually let go of her sister's body which dropped to the ground like a rag doll. The blue haired Femme tried to move closer to Chromia's body, but was immediately stopped by Blight and two Terracons as Galvatron turned his attention to her.

"Ready to join her in the Allspark?" he asked while looking down at the Autobot, touching the tip of his blade on her throat as the Terracons held her in place. But suddenly Blight who had been looking at the Femme as his Master spoke placed his hand on Galvatron's shoulder.

"My Lord, wait! I recognise this Autobot..." he said, earning the Predacon Leader's attention.

"...That is Arcee, I remember reading about her in the ISF database. She was one of the heroes of the Great War and the more recent Reaper War." he added as Galvatron thought on the name and searched his own or rather Megatron's memories.

"Arcee? Yes, I remember now. I am surprised that I didn't recognise her sooner." he said while looking at the Femme who was currently staring at the ground, her spark in pain and anguish for her fallen sister who's body lied just away from her.

"She is also the spark-mate of Jackson Prime." Blight added, earning a smile from Galvatron.

"Yes, that could be advantageous to our cause. For the Prime will not try anything if he knows we have his lover as a captive." the Predacon Leader replied as he lowered his blade.

"Very well, we will take Arcee with us." he added as the Terracons pulled the blue-haired femme onto her feet and began to move away from the dead Autobot that was lying motionless on the floor, as Arcee looked back with sadness in her eyes. She was overcome with feelings of remorse and guilt for her sister who was now one with Allspark, if only she had tried to do more against Galvatron. But as she looked back at Chromia's lifeless body, something came to her mind that gave her a very small comforting feeling before glancing up at the sky.

'Ironhide, you take care of my Sister you hear. Don't make me hunt you down, and I promise….you will both be avenged.'

PRIME EFFECT 4

Fighting erupted in the streets of New Iacon as the Autobots engaged the Predacon ground forces while the Aerialbots took on the enemy ships in the skies above the city, and as this was happening there were still civilians trapped between the two sides and trying to survive and escape the ever growing violence. A group of people made up of a Human, a Salarian and Asari and two Turians were keeping low to the ground, almost on all fours as they traversed the battlefield. All the while bullets were flying over their heads as both sides continued to fire on each other from the safety of cover.

"Keep your heads down back there." the Salarian at the front of the group shouted back to the others.

"Pa'ak, what did you say? I can barely hear you through all this gunfire." an Asari behind him shouted back, while the Human woman beside her placed he hand on her waist which was soaked in blood.

"Belis, I need another bandage. This one is soaked through again." she said, earning the Asari's attention as she looked back.

"Zoe, hold on just for a moment or so longer. We are nearly to the cover over there," Belis answered back in a caring manner as she gestured to the damaged building just ahead of them.

"Could we get a move on please, I don't want either my wife or I to be stuck here any longer." The Male Turian shouted from the rear, earning a hit on the shoulder from the female next to him.

"Tonis! The Human female is injured remember, show some compassion."

Tonis looked at wife and sighed, due to the expression on her face which was both angry and ashamed.

"Sorry, I am only concerned for you, Lilim." he said before the group began moving again slowly while Terracons and Autobots battled and fell around them.

"Just a few metres to go." Pa'ak said back when suddenly there was an explosion on the side where the Autobots were fighting, bringing an end of the gunfire as Predacon troops started to advance on their position and came upon the civilians.

"Look what we have here." one of Terracons said as Belis immediately moved in front of Zoe in a protective gesture, Ba'ak fell backwards on to his butt and the two Turians held on to each other.

"Well, what are you waiting for...kill them." another trooper said before the enemy group aimed their weapons at the innocents, who looked back wide eyed in fear.

"I'm sorry." Ba'ak said back to the others when all of a sudden bullets ripped through several of the Terracons, spilling blood over the floor as they fell to the ground. The remaining two Predacon soldiers began firing wildly around them, since they did not know where the gunfire had come from. But it soon did not matter when with the space of five seconds they were both on the floor with bullet holes in their heads, while the civilians looked on in surprise as they wondered what just happened. For it looked for a moment that their lives were about to come to an end, but someone must have been smiling on them at this time for they were still alive.

"Who did...?" Belis asked when a voice called over to them.

"Are you guys alright?"

The civilians turned round to see Jackson Prime and his team standing just aways from them, a look of relief and joy appeared on their faces at this reveal.

"Thank the goddess, we're saved." Belis exclaimed as Zoe stood beside her, still holding onto the bloody bandage around her abdomen.

"Smokescreen, this girl needs medi-gel." Jack ordered his Autobot friend, who nodded in return before moving towards the injured woman.

"Sure thing, Jack." he said as he picked out the medi-gel from his utility belt and treated her, Belis was watching with an appreciative smile on her face.

"Thank you."

"You're welcome." the Bot said with a smile before turning his attention to the injured Human.

"You will begin to feel better in just a moment." the Autobot said as he sprayed the wound with the medi-gel which began to effect and heal it in almost an immediate fashion. Meanwhile the two Turians crowded around Grunt who looked somewhat uncomfortable.

"Thank you, thank you..." they said in a hysteric tone.

"You're...welcome..." he replied in a flat tone, but they just kept smiling at him.

"...Okay...go away." he then added before walking off and leaving them standing there completely gob-smacked, while Smokescreen put in the final touches to the new bandage on Zoe's healing injury and looked up at the couple with an embarrassed smile.

"Don't take offence from Grunt, he doesn't really have any people skills. But he really is glad you're alright."

The Turians just smiled back somewhat awkwardly, before giving the Krogan one last look as he kept his attention on their immediate surroundings. Meanwhile Jackson Prime stood next to Garrus, who was scanning the horizon with his sniper rifle.

"How does it look, Garrus?"

"I think 'Just like old times' explains things pretty clearly, Jack." the Turian replied.

"Really? It's that bad." Jack said back in surprise before his friend gave him the rifle.

"Take a look for yourself."

The Prime then looked trough the scope as it magnified the view in the distance and showed him hundreds of enemy soldiers, earning a sigh from him.

"I see what you mean." he replied as Ba'ak walked up to the pair, gaining their attention as the Prime handed the Turian Sharpshooter his weapon back.

"Jackson Prime? My name is Ba'-ak and I would like to thank you for saving our group, I thought we were done for." he said in a very appreciative tone, earning an equally knowing look from the Prime.

"You're welcome, but I am afraid that the danger is still not over. And I am afraid that you cannot come with us." Jack replied, earning worried looks from the other civilians as Ba'ak nodded with an understanding expression.

"I understand completely, but will there be a evacuation shuttle for us. Because I guess it would be to dangerous to stay put, even with all the dead enemies around us?"

The Prime looked around for Grunt and saw the Krogan standing at the edge of the group.

"Grunt, call in a shuttle for these coordinates."

"Will do, Jack." the Krogan replied with a nod before raising a hand to his com-link. The Prime then turned back to Garrus and was about to say something when his com-link came to life.

"Jackson Prime, come in. This is Joker. Do you read...come on, don't leave me hanging?" a male voice spoke with a rather impatient tone.

"Joker, I am here. What have you to report?"

"All Aerialbots deployed and in the battle, plus we are making short work of these enemy ships. Their pilots aren't very good, if I do say so myself." the Pilot replied.

"Don't get overconfident, Joker." Jack said back.

"...Pft, just saying it as it is, Prime. They have not shot down any of us yet, but we are knocking them down like dominoes. I am just saying, it's too easy."

"Understood." the Prime replied as he looked back at the others while Joker went quiet for a moment, before he spoke up again.

"Oh also, I heard your looking for the Leader that Arcee mentioned in her burst transmission earlier."

"That's right, what do you have?" Jack asked, keeping his attention on the Pilot's voice as he heard weapons fire and explosions on the other end of the call.

"Powerglide just reported spotting a group that fit the profile, and he swore that Arcee was with them."

Jack's eyes widened at that comment as he heart almost skipped a beat.

"Which direction were they heading?" he asked in a calm and commanding manner, managing to hide the obvious worry that was quietly threatening to over rule him as Joker went quiet for another second or two as he conversed with his teammate, then just as Jack felt his chest tighten as the wait was beginning to beat him, the pilot spoke again.

"Powerglide says they were west of your current location and based on their direction, heading toward the Space dock near the New Iacon Vault."

"Thanks, Joker. Now get these bastards out of my sky." Jack replied while looking up into the sky to see more Aerialbot fighters flying overhead, as they were entering the battle playing out in the skies over the besieged city. Grunt then walked up to the group, gaining the Autobot Leader's attention.

"Jack, we have a shuttle on it's way to evacuate the civilians here."

The Prime nodded in return as the civilians all looked far more relieved than they had, as Ba'ak offered him his hand.

"I know I have already said this, but on behalf of all of us...thank you."

"Just doing our jobs, but you're all welcome." Jack replied as Smokescreen and Garrus joined his side, Grunt meanwhile walked over to his teammates while ignoring the constant smiles from the Turian couple as they continued to stare at him.

"Can we go now? I need to kill something." he asked in a cold and uncaring tone.

"Let's go." Jack said before they began to head off in the direction of the vaults, Garrus though looked back and gave the civilians an encouraging smile.

"The shuttle will be here in under a minute, so just sit tight."

The group smiled and nodded back as they watched the heroes that saved hem disappear behind a derelict building.

PRIME EFFECT 4

Meanwhile the fighting was fierce as Galvatron's group was carving a bloody path through the Autobot lines, as they bravely fought back to protect their home and people. A group of Autobots made up of Turians, Krogan and Geth charged into the fray with their weapons blazing, making the Predacon group dive behind the cover of some derelict cars.

"Blight, keep firing on the enemy position from here while I sneak around the back." Galvatron said while unbeknownst to the rest, Megatron looked at the clone with disgust.

"You...sneaking, once again you prove me right. For I always let my enemies know I was there, because I wasn't a coward!" he spat, but the Predacon leader managed to keep his anger in check as he ignored this vocal attack from his hallucination. He then turned to the two Terracons and the Autobot Femme in their custody.

"Make sure 'Arcee' doesn't try anything, I wouldn't want our ace in the hole to end up joining her Sister in the Allspark too soon." he said with a sly grin, but the Femme simply looked down at the floor as she mourned Chromia's death, even all the sounds and sights of war surrounding her could not gain her attention.

"Aye aye, Sir." the Terracons said in unison, so the Predacon leader took one final look at the Femme before turning round and leaving the group but as he did, Arcee suddenly looked at him with narrowed eyes and a cold stare.

'I'll wait for the right moment, then I will kill you.' she thought with a clear and focused mind.

Galvatron kept as quiet as he could while moving behind whatever cover he could find, meanwhile his Predacon troops continued to fire on the Autobot position that was blocking their path, hoping to keep their enemies attention on them as their leader got the jump on them. The Lord of the Predacons managed to get round to the aft position of one of the Autobots, it was a young Krogan and by the look of him, very inexperienced.

'Excellent, my attack has made the Autobots panic and bring in everyone to fight, even those who are clearly not ready.' Galvatron thought as he knelt behind the broken wall just away from the Krogan and noticed how restless it looked, like he would rather be further up the front lines than simply guarding this area. But then the Predacon made his move and lunged from his hiding spot at young soldier, who jumped in shock at what was storming towards him.

The Krogan did not have time to bring his weapon up as Galvatron grabbed it with one hand, while equipping his blade and stabbing it into the soldier's face which spilled more blood as the enemy's body spasmed in response. The Predacon Lord then pulled the blade out, which was followed by a lot of blood that sprayed out over his shoulder and onto the ground as he let the dying Krogan fall on his back.

Galvatron then entered the Autobot position and while the majority of the soldiers were concentrating on the Predacons firing at them, one Geth turned round so it could reload it's weapon. But it's singular optic widened at the sight of Galvatron, who was standing in their midst with their Krogan guard lying dead at his feet.

"Alert! Enemy behind us!" the Geth shouted as it fumbled it's weapon, but then went silent as it's face was sliced in half by the Predacon leader's blade. The other Autobots turned round to see what the commotion was about, but they too looked shocked as Galvatron began attacking each and every one of them. He sliced through a Turian who attempted to aim his weapon at the Con, causing the Autobot to fall back on another Geth who had returned his attention to the other Predacons who began to advance on their position. And while the Geth was on the floor with a dead comrade on top of him, the Lord of the Predacons buried his blade into the synthetic's chest and caused it's optic to dim and go out.

As this was happening, some of the other soldiers managed to aim their weapons at Galvatron. But before they could fire, Blight and the other Terracons stormed their defences and slaughtered the rest with either their holo-blades and claws, leaving Galvatron to stand amongst them and take in the slaughter that they had imposed on these Autobots.

The last two Terracons them arrived with Arcee in tow, who looked at her dead comrades lying soaked in their own blood about the place. And an expression of sadness appeared on her face before she looked up to see Galvatron smiling down at her, taking pleasure in her turmoil. Suddenly an explosion occurred in the sky that got the attention of everyone there, as one of the Predacon controlled cruisers was destroyed above the city by one of their Autobot equivalents. The debris rained down on the battlefield below as Galvatron notices that the aerial battle was turning in their enemies favor.

"Six-shot to Lord Galvatron." a voice spoke through the Lord's com-link.

"Six-shot, report." the Predacon leader replied with an irritated tone.

"My Lord, the Aerialbots have shot down or destroyed over half of our airborne forces. We are in danger of losing our advantage." the Predacon pilot said back in a worried voice.

"What? How did this happen?" Galvatron spat.

"The Aerialbots are better pilots my Lord, they are flying circles around our own. I am confused to how I have managed to evade them thus far."

That last sentence held secret meaning to it that escaped the young Predacon, but not his Master as Galvatron remembered that Six-shot was once a Cybertronian Pilot with sympathies toward the Autobots and their cause. Hence his far superior flight skills when compared to that of the Terracons, but the Predacon leader could not ever let Six-shot or any of his army discover the truth about himself being a clone of Megatron and not one of them.

"Six-shot, I believe it is time for our beasts to spread their wings." Galvatron said as the other end of the link went quiet for a moment.

"...yes, if you believe that is wise, Lord Galvatron?" the Pilot replied with an unsure tone in his voice.

"I do, now regroup with the rest of our fighters and make sure we lose no one else. I will make sure you are not interrupted in the meantime." the Predacon Leader said back before closing the link and recalibrating it, and then sent out another signal while looking over to the Icarus which was still buried in the Decagon.

"It is time my Beasts. Time to awaken and serve your one true master in crushing our shared enemies."

On board the Icarus, even though there was no one on board the ship and all it's systems had been powered down since the crash. A deep breathing could be heard echoing down the ship's darkened corridors from inside it's large cargo bay, where two pairs of optics opened and glowed bright yellow light as two giant beasts began moving in the pitch black area. Suddenly one roared and it was so loud that the Autobots and Predacons fighting outside of the Icarus stopped and looked over to the derelict husk of a ship, the former looking confused and worried to what was about to happen and the latter smiling for they knew what had just been awakened. Suddenly the sounds of metal being crunched and ripped apart came from on top of the ship and the beasts roared again, this time with nothing between them and the outside. The roars could be heard by everyone as the sounds of terror carried on the air and reached not only Jack and his team who looked back in shock, but also Galvatron and his men who looked at the Predacon Lord who smirked in response.

"Predaking, Grimwing. Welcome to the new world." he said while raising his blade to the heavens just as the roof of the Icarus began to cave in, as a metallic paw with razor sharp claws suddenly appeared and clung onto hull and a jet-black and orange metallic Dragon of immense size and length climbed out onto the top of the ship. It was followed by a similarly large green and silver Dragon and both looked around at their surroundings, before looking directly at the Predacon Leader who's smile widened. Arcee though watched with wide-eyed shock as it dawned on her who these enemies were.

"By the Allspark, now I remember them." she said, while Galvatron focused on the Beasts.

"Now, my Beasts, destroy our enemies and pave the way towards victory." he shouted in an almost hysteric tone, as both dragons spread their massive wings and gave out another roar that shook the very ground around them before leaping off the ground and taking flight.

In one of the Aerialbot fighters, Joker looked out of his canopy at the two dragons as the joined him and others in the sky.

"What the shit!" he gasped as he suddenly had to veer to the right in time to miss Predaking who flew straight past him, missing the Autobot pilot by mere inches.

"Alright guys, new plan. Fire at these...dragon-like-things, I can't believe I just said that." he said into his com-link as the new arrivals began striking down the Aerial bots, one or two at a time with their claws and teeth. Down on the ground, Galvatron could not help but enjoy the sight before him as the modern world was reintroduced to the ones 'that should have been'.

"How? The Predacons were made extinct during the great cataclysm." Arcee asked out loud, while still in shock at this new revelation. Galvatron turned to her and stared down at the femme.

"We are Predacons...reborn! And we will take that which should have been ours from the very beginning."

"Which is...?" she asked in return while fighting the need to attack him there and then for what he had done to her.

"The Galaxy of course, we want the Galaxy under our feet."

Arcee looked down at the ground as Blight turned to the Predacon Lord, who had gone back to watching the dragons who were decimating the Aerialbots at that moment.

"My Lord, we can not carry on down this path, as the building that used to be standing there has just collapsed and blocked off the road." the Predacon Lieutenant reported as he pointed toward said building, gaining Galvatron's attention.

"So we will instead cut through the Iacon vaults then."

"But, Lord Galvatron? The vaults are sealed. There is no where to enter since the building went into lockdown the moment we attacked." Blight replied.

"Really?" the Predacon leader said as he gave his subordinate a knowing look, then he turned and tapped his com-link as His eyes fell on Grimwing.

"Grimwing, your master requires assistence." he said as he pointed over to the vaults. Suddenly the winged behemoth turned and flew over head, as the beats of it's powerful wings could be felt by those under it passes them and landed on the ground outside the building. It then opened it's mouth as a light glowed through it's throat and up until the light appeared in it's open maw, before unleashing a blast of fiery plasma at the side of the building. It's powerful concentrated heat began to melt away the concrete and steel of that section of the vaults, weakening them considerably. The green and silver dragon then turned on its feet and swung it's tail into the damaged wall, shattering it and opening up the building for Galvatron and the others.

"Thank you, Grimwing, now return to the battle and destroy the Autobots." the Predacon Leader said before the dragon turned away and flew away back towards Predaking and the Autobot forces nearby.

"Let's go, for our secondary objective is just beyond this vault" Galvatron then said to the rest of the Predacons as he then led them inside.

As this was happening, the Aerialbots were now having a difficult time finishing off the Predacon fighters and cruisers as Predaking and Grimwing were giving the enemy a very clear advantage. The massive dragon flew down over one cruiser and used it's fire-breath on the vessel's bridge, which drained the shields protecting that section and then burnt up everyone there, causing the ship to lose control and crash-land into ruins of New Iacon below. Grimwing then fired several fireballs into the grounded cruiser and caused it to explode. Joker saw the whole thing from his cockpit, he watches in wide-eyed horror as he couldn't believe how quickly the tables had turned.

"We've lost the Tyger Pax, I repeat we have lost the Tyger Pax." the pilot said as he then fired his cannons and destroyed a Predacon fighter that had flew in front of his ship. He flew the fighter threw the explosion and turned around to see black and Orange dragon flying in a parallel course to him

"Come on guys, let's get it together." he said into his com-link, hoping to motivate his pilots a bit more.

"But Joker, these things are impervious to our weapons and they are out-flying us." one of his squad replied, earning a head-shake from the lead pilot.

"There are people on the ground counting on us, now wings Beta and Gamma….concentrate your fire on the enemy fighters. Zeta and Epsilon, provide cover for our cruisers and Alpha and Kappa, form up on me."

"What's our target, Joker?" another pilot asked as several Autobot pilots entered formation behind their leader.

"We're taking on those two Dragons." Joker replied confidently as he stared out at the two behemoths in front of them. The fighters then flew in up close as they entered weapons range, just as both Predacon giants breathed fire down on the masses below, incinerating them instantly and leaving flaming ruins in their wake.

"Open fire!" Joker shouted as he and all the fighters behind him fired missiles and let loose with their cannons, launching a hail of bullets that hit the backs of both Predaking and Grimwing who barely noticed the projectiles as their lightly impacted their metallic hides. But several of the missiles score direct hits on dragons, earning grunts of annoyance from both as they looked back to see the swarm of small fighters following them.

Predaking then turned over on to its back and fired several streams of hot plasma-like fire that caused Joker and the Aerialbots to take evasive action, meanwhile Grimwing beated it's wings with more power as it ascended higher up into the sky. After veering his fighter to narrowly miss the white hot fire that was being launched in his direction by the black and orange dragon, Joker fired his cannons again and hit Predaking directly in the face. The Dragon roared before turning back onto it's front and veering hard to the right, getting itself out of the pilot's crosshairs.

"Damn it, we haven't even made a dent in it's metal hide." one of the pilots said in a deflated tone, before Joker noticed something was a miss.

"Where is the other one?" he asked while looking at the view outside his cockpit's canopy, just as Predaking was making some distance between itself and the Aerialbots.

"It must have disappeared while we were evading the other one's attack sir." another team-mate replied before he noticed the area darkening around him, like a storm cloud blocking out the sunlight to the ground below it. So he looked up and immediately gulped as fear as the reflection of a giant winged beast reflected in his eye.

"It's here!" he shouted as the green and silver form of Grimwing descended upon the fighters like a Hawk would to it's prey, firing several fireballs that destroyed him and several of the other Aerialbot fighters in one go.

"Evasive!" Joker shouted before witnessing the Predacon fly through the other fighters, clipping two with it's massive wings and sending them down to their deaths as they exploded on the ground below. Then out of nowhere, Predaking swooped in and chomped on one fighter before clawing at another and sending it spiraling to the ground. Both Alpha and Kappa wings were in a complete disarray at this point as both dragons picked them off, until only two fighters remained.

"This is Joker, anybody left out of Alpha and Kappa wings?" the lead Pilot said as he managed to keep his distance from both of the Predacon beasts.

"Skydive, here. Everyone else is gone." the voice of a young Pilot replied hesitantly, Joker then looked out of the left hand side of his cockpit to see a damaged Aerialbot fighter enter formation with him.

"Just stay at my wing, where are the two dragons now?"

"They are moving off, back towards the center of the city." Skydive replied.

"We can't let them take out the rest of our forces, so follow me and keep your weapons primed." Joker said back as he turned his fighter around with Skydive on his wing and the two Aerialbots headed back after the dragons, who had began attacking the remaining cruisers. Predaking flew around one, managing to evade the cruiser's flak cannons while scorching it's hull with it's fire-breath. Grimwing meanwhile, landed on top of another's engine module and began tearing away at it with it's powerful claws and teeth.

"They are both trying to take down the 'Washington' and the 'Legion'." Skydive said as they closed in on the beasts.

"We have to split up and take each dragon solo." Joker replied.

"What! But we couldn't even take them down when our numbers were greater..." the younger Aerialbot started to say back in a shocked tone, but then Joker cut him off.

"We have to try, or else we will lose both ships. I will take on the one attacking the legion, you distract the green and silver one."

"...Roger that." Skydive replied before pulling away and moving towards Grimwing, while Joker set his sights on Predaking who was still attacking the Legion. He fired his cannons and again the bullets did little to no damage on the dragon's armoured body, but the Predacon looked over and saw the lone Aerialbot fighter advancing on it' position and turned it's attention from the Legion which took the opportunity to make some distance on the beast.

The dragon then roared as it powered up an blast of fire breath, but Joker saw the signs as the light of the plasma glowed between the spaces of it's armoured neck as it was channeled up towards the mouth. So the pilot fired another missile which flew directly into the behemoth's mouth, exploding upon impact and creating a large cloud of smoke that covered the Predacon.

"Come on, that must have done some damage?" Joker said to himself as he flew around the cloud, hoping to see the beast fall from within it. But within a few seconds he got his answer as a deafening roar could be heard, making his eyes widen as the beast burst out of the cloud and flew directly at him with what could only be described as a look of pure rage upon it's face. The Aerialbot just managed to pull of a split second evasive manoeuvre, missing Predaking's attack by inches as he hit the afterburners and pulled away with the beast in hot pursuit.

"Oh great, I pissed it off." Joker said as several fireballs flew past his fighter from behind as the dragon got closer, causing the pilot to put everything into the engines and hope that he could out run it as well as get it farther from the other Autobot ships as he could. But suddenly the fighter was shaken by an impact at it's rear, causing the master alarm to sound off.

'Shit, engines been hit.' he thought as he saw the schematic of his fighter appear on a holo-screen to his left, the engines flashing red as he felt the fighter's control slipping from him.

"Mayday Mayday, this is Joker. I have been hit badly and am losing control of the fighter. I am going down, I repeat I am going down." he said into his com-link before pressing the flashing ejection button on the holo-interface. In an instant the canopy was blown off from the cockpit, exposing him to the gale force-like air that was hitting the ship hard as it carried on descending.

And Joker soon followed as he was shot up out of the fighter while strapped to his seat, the fighter continued to go on without in as he let the force of the launch carry him up higher into the air before the seat's straps released him and found himself free falling back towards the ground. He tried to reach down for the chute release, but the force of the air hitting him as gravity pulled him back down to the ground was very strong.

So he edged his hand closer until he got a firm grip on the release and yanked it hard, which released the parachute from within the pack on his back and it expanded rapidly until enough of the air was caught under it, immediately putting the breaks on Joker's descent and hurt his body like hell while doing so.

'Fuck me, I think I broke my ribs.' he thought as his torso ached, but now that he was slowly floating down to the ground below like a leaf in a gentle breeze. He could look around at the city of New Iacon and the visible scars of the battle that was still raging within and over it, he then saw the black and orange dragon as it followed his fighter until it hit the ground and exploded. Which earned a roar of approval from the beast as it turned around and flew back towards the battle, leaving Joker alone as he spotted Skydive's fighter which was firing at the green and silver Dragon that was still on the Washington.

'What are you doing? Your getting to close.' he thought as the fighter flew directly at the Beast which then fired a spread of fireballs in it's direction, which made Skydive veer out of their way. But Grimwing suddenly sweeped his tail up in that direction, which left the young pilot with no chance to evade and his fighter hit the tail directly at full speed, killing him as the ship exploded.

Joker turned his head away and looked down to the ground as he mourned yet another pilot who's life had been extinguished by this new enemy, one that only a short time ago looked as if they were going to lose this battle, or at least the one going on in the sky. But he knew there was still hope as Jackson Prime was still out there fighting amongst the enemy and maybe if he could take out their leader, then this battle would be over before it could get any worse.

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  • 4 weeks later...

CHAPTER XII

Garrus looked through the scope of his sniper rifle and scanned the horizon around him, his eye took in all the death and destruction that this new enemy had inflicted upon New Iacon. If he was an overly emotional man, this probably would have made him shed a tear for those that had already been taken from this world, but Garrus had already seen his fair share of war and had grown accustomed to keeping his mind in the here and now. For he was a Turian, and as a species they were always one of the most military-centric in the galaxy.

So he kept looking through scope, though in fact he used to think that viewing war through a scope actually made everything he saw seem less real, and that he was really just an observer and not a part of it. Not a very healthy way to view the carnage that was playing out in front of him, and that was something Garrus had learned when he was but a soldier of the Turian Hierarchy.

For if you truly disconnect yourself from what you are doing, then you lose a part of why you are doing it in the first place. And he had seen that happen to one that he had known back then, his name was Vrynnus and he was the single greatest sniper in the history of his species. Though his psyche was unstable and thus was promptly dishonourably discharged.

Garrus had not seen or heard of Vrynnus since then, but as he saw a civilian family attempting to outrun a group of Predacon soldiers. He could not help but feel glad that he had not turned out the same way before pulling the trigger on his rifle and killing the first soldier with a shot to the head. The others suddenly looked up after their comrade had fell to the ground and the Turian quickly dispatched them too, leaving the family in the clear. He watched as they made their way to more cover before his com-link activated.

"Garrus, how does it look out there?" Jack said, gaining the Turian's attention as he reloaded his rifle.

"We are clear to move, Jack. No Predacons in this area. Though there is a family of civilians who need evacuating."

"Then call in a shuttle and get back here, because we are heading for the Vaults." the Prime replied.

"Roger that." Garrus said back before he got to his feet and reactivated his com-link, turning his back on the civilians as he headed back to the others.

Jack meanwhile was waiting with both Smokescreen and Grunt, watching the battle taking place in the sky above the city. And he just had just witnessed one of the Aerialbot fighters being taken out by the green and silver dragon that currently stood atop one of the Autobot cruisers.

"Scrap, exactly how are we going to beat those two beasts, let alone the army that controls them?" Smokescreen asked, earning a serious look from the Prime.

"By defeating their leader, that is how." he said, earning a nod from the Autobot. Grunt smiled and looked at both of them.

"Decapitate the Thresher Maw's head and it's body will die. I like that plan."

"Thought you might, we will head off the moment Garrus gets back." Jack replied as the Krogan started to reload his shotgun, though Smokescreen joined the Prime's side as he went back to looking at the perimeter.

"What's wrong, Smokescreen?" Jack asked as he looked turned to his friend, noticing the younger Bot's slightly worried yet hopeful expression.

"I am sure Arcee's alright, Jack. We'll get her back." he said in his usual enthusiastic tone, earning an ever so slight smile from the Prime. For when Smokescreen was younger, that tone might have been mistaken for a naive-like overconfidence. But now that he was older, it could be seen for what it truly was. Maybe what it always had been... Potential. For over the past two decades, Jack had seen the Autobot grow from green as green rookie, into one of the best warriors in the entire Autobot ranks.

And the Prime had to admit that Smokescreen had the same potential that both he and Orion Pax had within themselves, which was the potential of becoming a Prime. But unfortunately for the bot, it was not meant to be. For Jack already knew who the next Prime would be, though he could not explain how or why he knew. He just had to ensure that the future he knew of, came to pass. And so to witness the individual in question desperately trying to avoid such a fate was just very disappointing to the Autobot leader to see.

"Jack?" Smokescreen asked again with a confused expression, snapping the Prime from his thoughts.

"I'm okay, and I know we will get Arcee back."

The Autobot smiled in return before Garrus appeared from over the ridge and rejoined the group.

"What's it like between us and the vaults?" Jack asked.

"Just took out another patrol, so if we are going to do this then we should move now." the Turian replied, earning a nod from the Prime.

"Alright, Guys. We head straight for the vaults. No stopping for anything now, we have stop the Leader of this attack. So roll out."

The team then left the area and moved with purpose towards the building just north of their current position while conflict continued to rage on around them.

PRIME EFFECT 4

Meanwhile inside the Vaults, Galvatron and his Predacon troops walked through a large hallway that had a massive cybertronain painting upon it's ceiling. From the way it looked, you wouldn't think that it was a storage bunker as it looked more like a temple. But as the group continued through its interior, Blight looked over to the Predacon leader.

"Lord Galvatron, while we are here, shall we raid the vault for whatever relics and objects that could be of use to our cause?"

"There is no need, Blight. For everything we require is just beyond this very building. So Why don't we..." Galvatron began to say before he suddenly felt the need to look over to a corridor situated to the group's right, which earned confused looks from everyone there. What he felt was like a burning desire in his spark that was not there only moments earlier, and this confused the Predacon Leader.

'Why do I suddenly wish to explore the vaults? I had no plans to originally...but I feel that I must.' he thought as he placed his hand onto his chest plate which was directly over the area where his spark was contained, as it was pulsing faster and faster with a need to investigate that now mysterious corridor.

"My Lord?" Blight asked in a confused tone as the Predacon Leader ignored him and continued to look away from them, the Terracons in the group began whispering to each other. Even the two guarding Arcee began conversing quietly as the Lieutenant tried again to gain their master's attention, but the Femme could hear what they were saying.

"Here we go again..." the right one said, earning a look from the one on the left.

"What? What have I missed this time?"

"You have heard about our Lord's lapses in concentration, haven't you?" the right one replied.

"Oh, you mean when he suddenly looks away from people and stares angrily toward an area where there is no one." the left one answered, earning a nod from his friend.

"Yeah, and how others have heard our Lord talking to himself inside his own quarters, despite the fact that he is alone in there."

"I have heard that, so this is another episode we are seeing here." the left one replied.

"I wonder what he is going to do this time?" the right one said but unbeknownst to them, Arcee was eavesdropping on their conversation.

'So Galvatron is crazy, wonder if there is a way I can use that to my advantage.' she thought before Galvatron spoke again.

"On second thoughts, Blight, take two of the Terracons with you and secure the building's exit. While I will take a look inside the vault for any trinkets that could be of use." he said while looking back at his men, earning a worried stare from Arcee as the Predacon Leader kept his attention on Blight.

'He can't be allowed to get any of the relics down there, if he so much as finds those like 'the spark extractor', 'the Apex Armour' or 'the Resonance blaster' , then he would get a significant advantage. Even more than what he has already with the Predacons.' she thought as the others continued to converse.

"And take our Prisoner with you, I would not wish for her to be near any of the objects down there that she could use as a weapon against us." Galvatron added as he looked back at the Femme.

"Yes, my Lord." Blight answered in return, before the Predacon leader and two Terracons turned to leave sown the right hand corridor. But suddenly Arcee started to struggle against her captors, earning surprised look from both of them as they kept a grip on her arms.

"Quit your struggling, your not going to get away from us." the left one said, but the Femme carried on.

"I said stop it!" he said again as he went to hit her with his free hand but the Autobot moved her head backwards, making the Terracon move forward with the momentum of the punch he threw at her, making he lean forward. While he was like this, Arcee took her chance and kneed him in the chest which caused the Con to let go of her arm while staggering back.

"What are you doing, you stupid wretch?" the other asked right before the Femme then hit him in the face with her free hand, disorienting the Terracon before she followed through with a kick to the chest, sending him onto his back.

Galvatron just turned around and aimed his rifle at Arcee's legs and opened fire, but the femme was quick enough to take cover behind the Terracon who was still clutching his chest. The Predacon Lord though, kept his finger on the trigger and fired again at her legs. Which ripped through the Terracon's own, causing him to fall to the ground as blood spilled out from the wounds. Arcee though just pushed herself harder, running down the corridor and out of Galvatron's range.

"Damn it." he spat as she disappeared out of view, while Blight took a few steps in her direction only for the Predacon Leader to hold his hand up to him.

"No, I will handle this. You already have your orders." he said before looking down at the Terracons that were still on the floor.

"Kill these two." he barked without even looking them in the eyes, earning a confused look from his Lieutenant.

"My Lord?" he asked with a puzzled tone, while the soldiers looked up at him.

"They have failed me,..." Galvatron said with disdain in his voice, so the Lieutenant equipped his gun and shot both Terracons in the head without any further hesitation, their bodies then fell back onto the floor with a smoking hole in each of their heads.

"...also contact Lazerback and request reinforcements." the Predacon Lord added as he began to walk down the corridor, leaving the Predacons who then walked in the opposite direction towards the exit.

Arcee kept moving as the corridor began to slant somewhat, descending down into the vaults until she came to a T-junction at the corridors end. The Femme looked down both directions that were open to her and frowned.

'Scrap, which way were the weapons again?' she thought before hearing footsteps approaching from further up the way she had come from, building up the urgency of her situation.

'Come on...damn it, why can't I remember. Fuck it." she thought before running down the left corridor and into the more dimly lit area of the vaults, hoping that her guess would turn out to be right. Then a moment later Galvatron walked down to that same Junction and stopped in it's center, before taking a look down both corridors connected to it.

'Which way did you go, Autobot?' he thought before that feeling returned and he looked back down the corridor on his left, as he felt a tingling sensation all over his skin along with a sudden crystal clear sense of purpose. So the Predacon Leader began walking down the left hand corridor, not knowing that the Arcee had gone down that exact same corridor.

The corridor then opened up into a massive dimly lit room, with the only sources of illumination coming from the small lights on the high ceiling and in the special display cases that were positioned in a grid like structure throughout the room. Arcee looked around her to see that she was alone, but the Femme still had no idea if she was in the correct room.

So she looked at a number of the display cases an found numerous artifacts and relics from Members throughout the Federation, like the original statue of the Goddess Athame that belonged to the Asari. There were numerous relics similar to that in this room and that was when Arcee saw it, giving her a feeling of relief in her spark as she looked upon a large golden hammer that could only be the Forge of Solus Prime. It was a sign that she was in the right place, as she stood there and looked at it.

'At least I am not in the weapons area, I just wonder if...' she began to think, before a vile voice cut her off as it echoed throughout the room.

"I know your in here, Autobot." Galvtron said aloud, his voice echoing through the vast room, but Arcee just kept quiet as he continued to speak.

"Why don't you just surrender since you know you cannot defeat me." he added while walking further into the room, as Arcee hid behind one of the cases and looked back towards the entrance,. And there she saw Predacon Leader. Galvatron looked around the room, his eyes scanning every detail of his surroundings as he continued further into it.

"You obviously did this because you think I would want the weapons that are so obviously stored in this vault...

such a waste of energy and time. Because like I said before, I have no..." he continued to say before he was cut off by that feeling in his spark remerging, though now it was stronger than ever as it overrode his senses.

"Arrgh!" Galvatron spluttered as he fell on to his knees, clenching at his spark as it pulsed even stronger.

'What's wrong with me?' he thought before looking up and noticing a large glass case just a few aisles ahead of him, to his eyes it was glowing a bright white light that one would think was blinding, but the Predacon Lord found himself fascinated by it, like a moth to a candle light.

So he got back to his feet and walked even further into the maze of display cases, while Arcee watched from her hiding spot.

'What?' she thought before deciding to move closer and observe her enemy, because if he was distracted then she may have a chance to avenge her Sister and end this conflict. So the Femme kept to the shadows as she followed the Predacon as he continued to walk through the room in an almost trance-like state, but then he came to a stop in front of one display case and stared at it's contents.

'What's in the case that has his attention so badly?' Arcee thought, wondering why he was no longer searching for her. But unbeknownst to the Femme, Galvatron had pretty much forgotten about his quarry as he was now staring at the object in front of him, which to his eyes was shining brightly like a newly born star, so he could not make out what it looked like. But as the feeling in his spark gained strength, he suddenly heard a loud ringing in his ears. A sound that brought instant pain to the Predacon, making him clutch at his ears and cry out in agony.

"Aaarrrggghhhh!"

This even made Arcee nervous as she watched from just behind the display case behind him, for what was transpiring confused her even more.

'What in the Allspark?' she thought as Galvatron fell back onto his knees and breathed heavily, but before the Femme could guess what would happen next, the Predacon rose up onto his feet and raised his clenched fists into the air. And almost on cue, his fists began to glow with a purple energy before he brought them down on the glass display case. shattering the glass instantly, allowing him access to the artefact.

Galvatron then reached in and picked up the object, looking down at it while the ringing and agonising pain in his spark stopped, even the bright light that had been enveloping the object faded away. His eyes then adjusted while he looked down at what was in his hands, when suddenly his memory kicked in as he recognised the object which looked like a metallic book, making his eyes widen in disbelief.

"It can't be?" he said in surprise while opening it's cover, for it's pages were like glass panels which had Cybertronian letters scrolling down them like code, but the Predacon Lord could not read it as it read like gibberish.

Arcee meanwhile was still watching and saw the book in Glavatron's hands, her eyes widening and jaw almost dropping to the floor in her surprise.

'The Covenant of Primus!' she thought as her mind then jettisoned any further ideas of stealth and patience, with only one thought taking their place.

'I have to get that book out of his hands. Screw it!' she thought before starting to move towards him slowly.

Meanwhile Galvatron was still looking at the book, as something made his eyes widen once again as the random letters and symbols began to change and form whole words before him on the page. He was suddenly able to read it. But before he had the chance to, the Clone suddenly had a feeling and spun around with a punch that connected with Arcee's face as she leapt at him. The force of the hit sent the Femme back to the ground hard, while the Predacon Leader equipped his rifle and pointed it at her as she recovered.

"Stay down, Autobot, unless you are that desperate to join your dead friend." he said, earning a look of pure hate from Arcee.

"Chromia was my sister!" she spat back as blood trickled down her chin from her mouth, making Galvatron smile as he enjoyed the turmoil the Autobot was in.

"You don't say, and here I thought you were just trying to get this from me." he replied as he held up the book for the Femme to see, her eyes focused on it for a moment before meeting his again.

"That doesn't belong to you." Arcee said as Galvatron closed the book and connected it to his utility belt.

"I think you will find that it does...now." he said while gesturing for her to stand up, which she did while wiping the blood from her mouth.

"Now get moving." he added while keeping his weapon pointed directly at the Femme, before they then left the room and went back to meet up with Blight and the Terracons. Galvatron did not know why he was drawn to the Covenant or what he saw in its pages , but he would make sure that he found out. But for now that would have to wait until he and his Predacons had secured their secondary objective.

PRIME EFFECT 4

Jack and his team arrived outside the New Iacon vault to find a massive hole in the building's wall, but no welcoming committee. The Prime, Smokescreen and Grunt kept their weapons ready while Garrus looked up to the giant hole and whistled.

"Now that is a big hole." he said in amazement at the sheer size of the improvised entrance, Smokescreen stood turned his attention to what thr Turian was looking at and nodded.

"It certainly is, bet it was one of those dragon-like beasts. I am just glad that those things aren't here now."

This earned a look of disappointment from Grunt who sneered back.

"What's the matter, Smokescreen? You afraid of fighting a little Beast?" he said, gaining a knowing stare from the Bot.

"No, I'm just not crazy like you, Grunt." the Smokescreen replied, which made the Krogan narrow his eyes back in return.

"When you've faced a Thresher Maw up close and killed it with just a shotgun and your bare hands, then you certainly won't fear Dragons or whatever you call those things." the he snarled with anger tinging his voice, earning an eye roll from both Jack and Garrus.

"Here we go again." the Turian whispered, while the Prime left his side and walked over to the other pair.

"That's enough. Grunt, save it for the enemy. And, Smokescreen, you know better than to piss off a Krogan."

"You think he would, but how many times has he done it now?" Garrus casually replied with a smile, making the young Autobot look at him with a shocked expression.

"That's not cool, Garrus."

As they bickered, the Prime decided to ignore them and instead look out at the City around them, this did not go unnoticed by his friends who stopped and looked at their Leader who had a thoughtful expression on his face.

"What is it, Jack?" Smokescreen asked as they stood around him.

"We know the enemy Leader is in there, so it's plausible to assume that more of his troops will come this way." Jack replied, earning a nod from Garrus.

"Yeah, I agree with that. So what's the plan?"

"You three will stay here and take up defensive positions, ensure that no other enemies make it in there after me."

All three of his friends gave him a concerned look in response, while ignoring the Aerialbot reinforcements flying over head.

"But what are you doing during this?" Smokescreen asked, before either Garrus or Grunt could utter a word.

"I am going in there to rescue my Spark-mate and kill their Leader. And I am doing this alone. There will be more of a chance that I can get the drop on them." the Prime said back, earning a worried look from the younger Bot.

"But…." he started to say, though Jack simply cut him off.

"That is an order, now get to it. We can't waste anymore time, we need end this conflict now." he said as placed his rifle on his back and equipped his pistol. The others nodded in return and as Jack turned away and headed into the building, both Garrus and Grunt started looking for good places to ambush anyone that would show up. But as they did so, Smokescreen just watched as his Leader and friend headed off into the darkness of the vaults.

As Jackson Prime made his way through large halls of the Iacon Vaults, he could not help but notice the lack of any kind of rear guard for the enemy leader.

'Either he isn't expecting an attack, or is just very over confident.' Jack thought as he carried on further into the building, being sure not to make make any noise since it would be magnified and echo through out these large halls, alerting the enemy to his presense. But just as he was about to leave the current area, the Prime heard a foot step behind him so he spun around with his pistol and star saber holo-blade, ready to take down what had krept up on him in a heartbeat.

"Woah, take it easy."

Jack simply looked at Smokescreen who was standing right in front of him, his arms raised in a non threatening manner with a look of surprise on his face.

"It's just me, Jack." the young Bot added, while Jack's eyes suddenly narrowed as a look or thunder appeared on the his face.

"I told you to stay with the others and defend the entrance." he whispered back, though even the lower volume could not disguise the angry tone that came with them. But the Autobot simply returned Jack's angry expression with a frank look.

"Sorry, Jack, but I could not leave you to face what could be an overwhelming force in here alone. I just could not do it."

"And what about the others?" Jack replied.

Meanwhile, Garrus and Wrex had taken up defensive positions near the entrance to the building, which gave them good cover and view of the area leading up to them.

"Hey, is it me or has it gotten a lot quieter all of a sudden?" Grunt asked due to the lack of talk, so he and the Turian looked around to find that they were they only ones there.

"Oh, for the love of..." Garrus suddenly said with an agitated tone as the Krogan chuckled to himself.

"...Can't Smokescreen simply follow orders. I hate it when he runs off like that." the Turian added.

"Well, I am just happy that he isn't talking my ear off, but I guess he followed Jack." Grunt replied.

"Of course he did. Damn it Smokescreen." Garrus said back as Grunt noticed movement ahead of them.

"Garrus, we have incoming."

The Turian looked through the scope of his rifle and saw more enemy soldiers approaching their position by foot.

"I see them. Okay, pick your targets and make sure they go down in one hit. We don't want them to get too close, or else they could swarm us. Lets keep them disorganised."

"Whatever you say, let's just kill them already." Grunt replied as he readied his rifle and aimed it at one of the enemies. Garrus meanwhile had the head of one directly in his cross hairs and took a deep breath, and then pulled the trigger.

Back inside the Vaults and Jack was still looking angry as he stared at Smokescreen.

"Well? What about the others?"

"You need the help more than they do, Jack. I mean Garrus is one of the best snipers in the galaxy. And Grunt is a walking roadblock, you and I both know they can handle it." Smokescreen replied in a completely honest tone, which was reflected in the expression on his face. Jack simply sighed in response, knowing full well that the younger Autobot was right. He just wished that Smokescreen would actually follow his orders to the letter from time to time.

"Okay, you're with me then. Just stay quiet and follow my lead, alright?"

"Of course, Jack. Lead the way." Smokescreen replied before both of then heard voices echoing from down the corridor before them.

"They are just ahead of us, be ready." Jack said, earning a nod from his friend as they both equipped their weapons and made their way into the corridor.

PRIME EFFECT 4

"The exit is secure sir." the Terracon standing to Blight's left said, making the Predacon turn to him and nod in acknowledgment.

"Very well, then all that is left is to await Lord Galvatron's arrival." he replied as both soldiers saluted him.

"You won't have to wait long." a familiar voice called out from the room's entrance as Galvatron appeared with Arcee at in front of him, pushing her forward with his free hand as he kept his rifle aimed at her.

"Keep moving, Autobot, unless you want to join your Sister in the Allspark a little early?"

The Femme gave him a piercing look of hate, though the Predacon Leader merely ignored this and pushed her again.

"Lord Galvatron, the exit has been secured." Blight reported, earning a smile from his Master.

"Excellent work, Blight. Now you two, keep this Femme under close guard or else you will suffer the same fate as the last two...understand?" Galvatron spat as he pushed Arcee toward the two Terracons, who grabbed her and restrained her arms.

"...und...understood, Lord Galvatron." they stuttered in unison, the fear they for their leader showing in their faces, which made the Predacon Lord's smile grow a little bigger in response.

Blight then noticed something on his Master's utility belt, something that had not been present earlier.

"My Lord, what is that you have in your possession?" he asked, earning the attention of both Terracons while Arcee kept her eyes to the floor.

"This?" Galvatron replied as he held the object in his free hand, giving his men a good look at it.

"...this is the 'Covenant of Primus'. It is an Autobot relic which may hold some answers for us and will be studied once we have left this planet."

Blight looked at the book with an intrigued expression, one that was shared with the Terracons.

"I do not mean to intrude, my Lord, but how exactly will we be leaving?" one of the soldiers then said, earning looks of shock from Blight and the Terracon standing next to him before they looked back to see their master's reaction.

Galvatron stared at the questioning soldier with a look of surprise and annoyance, one that pierced directly through into the Terracon's spark and made him uneasy.

"Forgive me, my Lord. I am merely curious as we lost the use of the Icarus, when we plunged it into the city. And the rest of our cruisers have either been destroyed or under heavy fire."

"Are you now, then why don't you take a look through the exit and tell me what you see." the Predacon Leader replied, making the soldier feel more nervous. But his master merely gestured to him to take a look, so the Terracon walked over to the doorway that exited the vault's building. Once there he could see the ruined city surrounding their location, but less than half a mile directly in front of the questioning soldier was a massive black ship that was in what looked like a dry dock.

"What is that?" he asked.

"That is the newest battleship to come off the Autobot assembly line and it is called the Nemesis, we will be requisitioning it for the Predacon cause." Galvatron replied as he walked over and stood by the Terracon, who merely looked back at the giant black ship.

"It is a pity though that you will not be able to board it with us." the Predacon Leader then added, earning a bemused look from the soldier.

"What?…" he began to say before suddenly being cut off as Galvatron punched his fist into the Terracon's chest and grabbed hold of his spark chamber, making the minion grimace and spit out blood as he fell to his knees. The Predacon Lord then looked down the Terracon, who's eyes had grown wider as the pain became unbearable.

"Do you know what your mistake was?" Galvatron asked as he tightened his grip on the spark chamber, earning a nod from the soldier who could no longer speak due to the ever increasing agony he was currently feeling.

"Good, take that lesson to the pit with you!" the Leader then growled as he tore the spark chamber from the Terracon's chest, scattering his blood around the immediate area. Galvatron then showed the others behind him the blood soaked spark of the dead Terracon, earning shocked looks from all three as the body of the fallen minion collapsed onto the floor.

"Nobody questions Galvatron, understand?" the Predacon Lord spat as he dropped the blooded organ on the floor, earning panicked nods from both Blight and the one remaining Terracon who was holding Arcee. The Femme though simply looked at the enemy Leader with hate and contempt, earning a devious smile from him before looking at the two Predacons.

"Let's go, the Nemesis awaits."

"I don't think so." a voice called out from the other side of the room, making the Predacons turn around and see two men entering the room with their rifles aimed at them. Arcee immediately smiled as she recognised both men, older on especially.

"Jack." she said with a relieved tone in her voice, earning a sneer from Galvatron as he took a step toward the new arrivals.

"Jackson Prime, finally! I was wondering when you would make an appearance." the Predacon leader said with a familiarity that surprised the Prime.

"Excuse me? but I don't believe we've ever met."

Galvatron smiled darkly at the Autobot Leader, for he did know him. But only through his inherited memories from Megatron, and the information he had read on the extranet.

"No, we have not met. And yet...I never forget a face, not even that of a Human."

Jack's eyes widened as he recognised not only that sentence, but also the tone and way it was said. Reminding him of one that died a long time ago.

"Megatron?" he replied with surprise and a questioning tone in his voice. Galvatron's expression suddenly changed as his red eyes narrowed at the Prime while gritting his teeth, the enemy leader was obviously aggravated by what Jack had just said. But what no one in that room knew was that at this very moment, Galvatron also heard an uncontrollable laughter coming from his right side, from someone that everyone else in that room could not see.

"Ha ha ha ha...I knew it...ha ha ha ha, I knew he would think you were me." the hallucination of Megatron exclaimed happily, making the clone's blood boil in his veins as he tried desperately to ignore him.

"My name is Galvatron! Leader of the Predacons, and you will surrender or else I will have your spark-mate terminated." the Predacon Lord replied as he gestured to the both the Terracon and the Femme in his grip, making Smokescreen look a little unnerved as he looked back at Jack. But the But the Prime was unfazed as he looked from Galvatron to his lover, who had her arms held behind her back by the Terracon.

"Arcee, are you going to just take that kind of treatment from these guys?" he asked with a knowing smile on his face, one that was mirrored by the Femme who nodded back before activating her holo-armblades which sliced the Terracon's fore arms off. The soldier gave out a cry of pain as Arcee freed herself, holding it's stubs up in the air as it's blood flowed from the open wounds. The Femme then turned and sliced its chest open, letting the soldier fall to the floor and die as Galvatron looked dumbfounded.

"Blight, kill her." he spat as the Predacon nodded and launched himself at the Femme, only for Smokescreen to come out of nowhere and tackle him to the ground.

"What!" Galvatron said aloud, while Arcee and the younger Autobot stood beside each other, ready to fight the Predacon who was getting back to his feet.

"Thanks for the help Smokescreen." Arcee said, earning a smile from the bot.

"You're welcome, now lets take this guy out."

Galvatron was fuming as he equipped his blade and began to move towards the Femme, only for him to find himself on the defensive as he brought his weapon up just in time to block Jack's star-saber. Galvatron then pushed the Prime back and then swung his blade at him, but Jack easily deflected it with his own.

For the a long moment the two clashed their blades several times in a row as they appeared evenly matched, as neither seemed like losing. The Predacon leader though managed to create an opening by punching Jack in the face, disorienting him for a moment so Galvatron took advantage by thrusting forward with his blade aimed at the Prime's the Autobot leader managed to activate the skyboom shield just in time to block the attack before performing a front kick into Galvatron's chest, knocking him to the ground. But as the Prime stood over his opponent, the Predacon Lord chuckled while looking up at his enemy.

"I'm impressed, you're quite devious for a Prime. Launching an attack while my attention was elsewhere, that's almost Decepticon behavior." he sneered, earning a knowing look from Jack.

"Well, I guess it's no different to dropping a star-ship on a city, and then attacking while they recover from it. If anything, I would say that your like a certain Decepticon who died a long time ago." The Prime, earning daggers from Galvatron as he stared back in anger. The Predacon then lunged forward with his blade, making Jack deflect the attack with his star-saber. But it was only a feigning from the clone as he then threw a punch with his free hand, which connected with the Prime's jaw, sending him back a few steps until he fell to one knee. Galvatron was about to continue his attack before he was forced to stop as the hallucination of Megatron reappeared in front of him with his arms behind his back, and looked at his clone.

"He does have point, doesn't he? You should face the fact that you are nothing more than a shadow of me." the hallucination said as Galvatron looked at him for a second, just as a purple hue appeared around the pupils in his red eyes.

"Never!" he suddenly screamed as he lunged through Megatron and tackled Jack to the floor.

As Jack and Galvatron fought, Arcee and Smokescreen were busy taking on Blight who had accessed his mode almost immediately, looking just like the Terracon that the femme had killed earlier with the help of her fallen sister. And so did not bat an eye at the change, the same couldn't be said of Smokescreen.

"Holy shit! What the hell?" he said in shock at the transformation that the Predacon just went through.

"Smokescreen, we can take him if we work together." Arcee replied, earning the younger bot's attention as Blight's transformation was just finishing.

"Let me guess, it's now stronger and harder to kill." be said, getting a nod from the Femme as she raised her arm blades.

"Right, so follow my lead. Now!" she cried before launching herself at Blight and slicing at his head, just as Smokescreen activated his holo-blade. But the Predacon blocked it and used her inertia to throw her to the ground. Before he could then finish the Femme as she lied there on the floor, the other Autobot attacked with his blade but Blight deflected it with his armoured forearms. And then punched Smokescreen in the face, sending him on to his ass.

Arcee got back to her feet and then side-kicked Blight in the back, making him grimace as she then grabbed At his neck. But the Predacon managed to recover and slash at the Femme's armour, making her let go and he repaid the Autobot by throwing her back to the ground.

"That's where you should stay, wretch... " he replied while staring down at her.

"...at my feet." he added before suddenly crying out in pain, giving Arcee a chance to roll away and get back to her feet. Once recovered, the Femme saw that Smokescreen had stabbed his holo-blade into Blight's back. The Predacon tried to reach back at the bot, but Smokescreen was out of his reach. So Arcee smiled and dashed forward at Blight and slashed at both his legs, causing the enemy lieutenant to fall to his knees as the younger Autobot pulled the blade back out and the pair stood over the defeated Predacon.

"Well, that was easier than I thought it would be." Smokescreen joked while breathing heavily, earning an eye roll from the Femme before their attention moved onto Jack as he was fighting Galvatron.

"Come on, we have to help Ja..." she began to say before suddenly being grabbed by Blight and knocked to the ground for a third time, earning a shocked expression from Smokescreen, as he watched the previously thought to be defeated Predacon get back to his feet and narrow it's eyes at him.

"That hurt." Blight said in annoyance as he made his way over to the Autobot.

"...sorry." Smokescreen replied with a sarcastic tone just seconds before the beast-like Con roared and charged at him, making the Autobot dive out of the way. But he wasn't fast enough as he was caught on his side by Blight's sharp claws, which ripped through his armour and the skin beneath. Smokescreen grimaced as he fell to the ground, holding onto his wound that was bleeding through his finger tips. But before he could even acknowledge anything around him, Blight followed through with a kick to his chest. It was so hard and fast, the Autobot was instantly winded as he lay there. The Predacon then picked up the wounded Smokescreen by his throat and looked him in the eye and smiled, which earned him a gob full of saliva as the bot spat in his face.

"You hit like a Sparkling." he said with a smile as Blight wiped the spit off himself, and then repaid the act by punching Smokescreen three times in his stomach. Meanwhile Arcee came too and recovered enough to see Blight hurl the younger Autobot through the nearby wall, his body disappearing from sight.

"Smokescreen!" the Femme shouted as a large hole was all that was left where her friend had crashed through the wall, making her look back at Blight with utter hate in her eyes. The Predacon looked from the hole back to the blue Autobot and smiled.

"Another one dead, it's really not your day, is it?"

As Arcee remembered those that she had lost already on this day, Chromia, Ironhide and now Smokescreen. The anger in her spark escalated and without a clear train of thought, she launched herself at Blight in a rage. But before she got within a meter of her enemy, a red armoured hand grabbed her arm and another punched her in the stomach and put the Femme back on her knees as she strained to breath. Blight smiled at the one who stopped her as the new arrival, clad in red and yellow armour looked down at the defeated Autobot.

"I got here as soon as I got your message, just had to take out two Autobots who were guarding the entrance to this building." he said as he looked back to his friend.

"Lazerback, thanks for the assist. Though I did have everything under control." Blight replied with a lopsided grin, earning a knowing look from the other Predacon who had noticed Blight's injuries.
"Yeah, you sure look like you had control of the situation."

"These are just scratches, so where are the rest of your Terracons?" the blue and white Predacon replied, making his friend point behind him.

"I sent them to help our master."

Arcee's eyes widened at that comment and turned her head to see the Terracons advancing on Jack and Galvatron, who both were too preoccupied with their own battle to have noticed.

'Jack!' she thought instinctively before feeling the eyes of the two Predacons over her, so she looked up to see them looking down at her.

"You're going to watch this." Blight said with a satisfied expression on his face, one mirrored by Lazerback as he pulled her back to her feet and properly restrained her, forcing her to watch the fight unfolding just aways from them.

This was certainly a tougher fight than Jack had experienced in a long time, as he once again blocked another attack from Galvatron. Who's blade clashed with the Prime's star-saber, leaving the Predacon leader open to a counter. So Jack kicked his enemy in the chest, knocking the silver and black/purple armoured man back and giving the Prime the chance to attack again. But before he could do so, Galvatron looked behind him and began to laugh.

"I didn't know you found losing a fight to a Human so funny?" Jack replied sarcastically, making the Predacon shake his head and smile back in a confident manner.
"Actually it is you, Prime, who has lost. If you would only look around you."

The Autobot leader kept his blade pointed at Galvatron and glanced around him to see not only had Smokescreen disappeared, but also Arcee had been captured again and there were five Terracons advancing on his position.

"Surrender now, Prime, and I may at least allow your Spark-mate to live." Galvatron said, but Jack merely grinned slightly as the star-saber in his hand began to glow.

"That is a very generous offer, but I'll pass. No one else is dying today" he said back before swinging his blade at the Predacon, making him jump back with an enraged expression on his face.

"Destroy him!"

The Terracons suddenly launched themselves at Jack who raised the Skyboom shield to block two of them before swiping the star-saber, which sliced one of the soldiers in half as the other just managed to dodge it. Another tried to attack the Prime from behind, but Jack dodged it and with a slice of his glowing blade, cut the soldier in half. The others looked at their dead comrade with wide eyes as the two halves of his body fell to the floor, before looking back at the Prime who grinned at them.

"He had to split." he joked, making the remaining four stare daggers at him before rushing him together. But the Autobot leader was ready as he roundhouse kicked one, then smacked the face of the another with the hilt of the star-saber before elbowing him in the back. Then he charged into the next with the skyboom shield, knocking him to the ground and finally deactivated the shield to upper cut the forth right under his chin, sending him flying onto his back.

Once this was over all four Terracons were standing all around Jack closely, which was what he wanted as his holo star-saber glowed bright blue. Galvatron who had watched the whole thing unfold, suddenly knew what the Prime was up to and shouted at them.

"Get out of the way, you Fools!"

But before any of the Terracons could reply or move, Jack swung the blade around him in a three hundred and sixty degree slice, decapitating all four Predacon soldiers in one move. First to hit the ground were their heads, which were quickly followed by their bodies as Glavatron stood opened mouthed at the sight before him.

"You were saying?" Jack asked as he gave the Predacon leader a lopsided grin, which made the Lord enraged as he charged at the Prime with his blade ready.

"You will die!"

But Jack charged the star-saber and spun on the spot before unleashing an energy wave which hit Galvatron head on and sent him flying into the nearby wall, knocking the Predacon leader out.

Both Lazerback and Blight stood their speechless as they held Arcee captive, the Femme though was smiling at Jack with an 'I want to jump you' expression. The Prime's cheeks reddened slightly at this but he managed to keep his composure, looking at the two Predacons with a cold and serious expression.

"If you don't want to end up like your leader, you will release her now." the Prime said in a firm tone, making them look at each other nervously while considering their options. But suddenly a maddening cry of anger caught everyone's attention, making them look over to see Galvatron quickly get to his feet next to the damaged wall. His face was that of complete thunder and rage as his eyes fell on the Prime and narrowed, his teeth were gritted and bare.

"You thought I was defeated, Prime, but you are sadly mistaken. And now you will pay for your arrogance with your life."

Both Jack and Arcee watched in wide eyed shock as the Predacon leader began to change before their eyes as his beast mode took a hold of him, making him look more muscular and feral. This was also reflected in his armour, which looked more demonic than previously. Galvatron then launched himself at the Prime, his speed and strength had also been increased due to the change as he caught Jack on his chest, scratching through the chest-plate of the Prime Armour with his razor sharp claws.

Jack grimaced as the force of this blow knocked him onto his arse, he didn't even get a chance to recover as Galvatron attacked again. This time he backhanded the Autobot leader in the face, spilling blood from his mouth as the inertia from the strike sent him rolling across the ground until he came to a stop on his front, making his star-saber deactivate.

"You don't seem to be doing as well as you were earlier, Prime. Perhaps they don't make Primes like they used to." Galvatron said with a sarcastic tone as he walked over to Jack, who got onto his hands and knees while fighting the dazed feeling that last hit had given him.

Arcee was watching with a lump in her throat as Galvatron who now stood over her spark-mate then kicked him in the chest, gaining a painful moan from the Prime as he tried to get back to his feet. But the Predacon leader didn't give him the chance as he swiped the back of Jack's armour, slicing through the armour again and cutting through the flesh. Jack grunted as he collapsed to the ground again while Galvatron stood over him and looked down at his claws, which had red blood dripping off them.

"Jack!" the Femme screamed as she knew she had to do something so she tried to break free from Blight's grip, but both Predacons were already on top of that.

"That's enough wretch!" Blight said in return as his grip around her arms tightened, and Lazerback gave his thoughts on her escape attempt by punching the Femme in the stomach and face, making her grimace as she spat out some blood onto the floor while both enemies laughed.

Meanwhile, Galvatron had turned his attention away from Jack for a moment to admire his men's treatment of the Femme, taking pleasure seeing the pain she was going through from being unable to help her spark-mate. Jack though was still lying on the ground and reeling from the wounds that the Predacon Lord had inflicted on him, he managed to turn his head enough to see his lover being hit by one of other Predacons, all the while another one was keeping Arcee from defending herself by holding her arms behind her back.

'I have to help her!' he thought as he tried to roll back onto his front so he could get back to his feet, but Galvatron turned back and looked down at him.

"Oh no you don't." he said before stamping on the Autobot Leader's back, earning a cry of pain from Jack. The Predacon Lord then knelt down and picked him up by his neck and looked him in the eyes.

"Face it, Jackson Prime. You are beaten and it is pointless for you to keep fighting." he said while looking the Human Prime up and down with content and disgust.

"It sickens me to see that the Cybertronian species has fallen so far, to become weak and pitiful as the Human race is a fate worse than extinction in my eyes."

"Then….I guess we have a difference in opinion, Galvatron." Jack replied as he reactivated his star-saber and used all his strength to swing it up which caught the Predacon on his face, earning a wince from Galvatron who dropped the Prime and covered his face with his hands as he stumbled back. Jack upon landing on his feet, quickly activated his skyboom shield and held his blade before him as he readied himself for the enemy leader's response.

But as he looked at Galvatron, the clone then pulled his hands back to reveal a bloody cut that started at the right side of his forehead, ran down over his nose and stopped just halfway over his left cheek. The Predacon Lord wiped the blood from his face until his red eyes locked on to the Prime and narrowed as he scowled at his enemy.

"You fool! I will make you suffer for this." Galvatron roared as his hands tightened up into fists and began to glow with purple energy as he suddenly charged at the Prime, who lifted the skyboom shield to protect himself. But when the Predacon's punch hit the 'shield of the Primes', the force and power of the purple energy that surrounded the fist caused the shield to shatter, sending shards of the golden energy in all directions. Arcee's eyes widened in horror as her lover stumbled back from the hit, but as he tried to raise the star-saber up to defend himself.

Galvatron activated his own blade and sliced off Jack's right arm before he could do anything about it. Jack screamed in pain as his arm fell to the ground and the holo star-saber faded to nothing, leaving the Prime completely defenceless as he instinctively raised his other arm to the bloody stump that was now his right arm.

"JACK!" Arcee shouted before Galvatron followed through with another purple glowing punch that hit the Autobot leader squarely in the chest, cracking his armour even more as it sent him crashing into the wall again and falling to the ground in a heap, leaving a crater in the wall behind him. The Predacon Lord then stood over the disabled and defeated Prime and readied his blade to strike, poised to end Jackson Prime's life there and then.

"And now, Jackson Prime, I will end your life and the line of Primes will finally come to the end it deserves."

Jack turned his head and looked over to Arcee, as the captive Femme eyes met his. And as time seemed to slow down between the two lovers, no words were said as there was no need as both already knew what the other was thinking at that very moment. Jack did not want to leave his spark-mate, but fate seemed to deem it so. And Arcee was about to lose not only another partner, but the only man she ever 'truly' loved with all her spark. The Prime then looked back up to Galvatron who raised his blade above his head, preparing to strike.

"Time to die, Jackson Prime."

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  • 4 weeks later...

CHAPTER XIII

Galvatron stood over the fallen Prime, holding his blade over his head with smiling darkly down at his defeated opponent.

"Time to die, Jackson Prime." he said as He suddenly swung the blade down upon the Autobot leader, making Arcee lose complete control of her emotions as she watched.

"NO!" she screamed in response, but her eyes suddenly widened as confusion took hold at what happened next. For Galvatron stopped himself, leaving the razor sharp tip of his blade mere centimeters from the Prime's chest. Jack too was confused as he looked up at the Predacon Lord, who had an expression on his face that the Autobot Leader could not read, even with all the pain he was currently in.

Galvatron looked down at the Prime, only a second ago he was ready to end the life of this adversary. But then something had caught his eye, bringing back that feeling that the Predacon Leader had experienced earlier when he found the Covenant of Primus. As he stood over the Prime, his eyes were fixed on the a light that glowed through the cracks of the chest-plate of Jack's Prime -armor.

"Lord Galvatron?" Lazerback asked with a worried tone,while his Leader continued to stare at the chest-plate. Blight then walked over and placed his hand on Galvatron's shoulder which snapped him out of his daze, making him look over to both Men with a confused expression.

"Yes? What is it?"

"My Lord, are you going to kill the Prime?" Blight asked as Galvatron looked back at his blade, which was still pointed directly over the injured Prime's chest.

"No..." he replied, shaking his head.

"...We will take him and the Femme with us as prisoners." he added, making the other two Predcons even more confused.

"But, my Lord..." Lazerback said in return, earning an angry stare from Galvatron who gritted his teeth.

"Are you questioning me?"

The sound of his voice unnerved Lazerback immensely, but not so much as it did Blight who had already witnessed what happened to those who questioned their Leader. The former looked back at the latter who shook his head at him, then Lazerback looked back at Galvatron with a regretful expression.

"No, Lord Galvatron." he replied with a grovelling tone to his voice, earning a dark grin from the Clone.

"Good. Now patch up the Prime's injury and be ready to move."

Both Cons nodded before Galvatron turned his attention to Jack, looking down on the beaten Autobot Leader with a smug expression.

"Because you will only die when I deem it is your time. And I doubt either of you will try anything stupid, when you know that it will only cause the other to suffer excruciating pain in return."

Blight knelt down next to Jack and began adding medi-gel to what was left of the Prime's arm, but Jack's eyes met Arcee's as both lovers silently acknowledged the predicament they were in as Galvatron waited for them to be ready to move.

Not long later, Garrus and Grunt limped into the area with their weapons ready aimed ahead of them. Both Men looked like they had been through hell, with their armor damaged and their faces covered in bruises with a few cuts thrown in for good measure. The duo looked around the room to find that apart from the two dead Terracons, it was completely empty.

"Damn it, they have been through here already." Garrus said with a annoyed tone.

"Well, I bet Jack and Smokescreen had something to do with this." Grunt replied as he gestured toward the two bodies, earning a nod from the Turian.

"Yeah, but where are they now?"

"I don't know, but I just want a rematch with the red/yellow armored foe that bested me." Grunt replied with an angry tone.

"You and me both, but at least we managed to cut the amount of troops he had with him by half." Garrus said back, as the Krogan then moved over to the other exit and looked through to see the Nemesis just aways from their current location.

"They must have gone this way, let's get moving so we can catch up."

The Turian sniper nodded in return before making his way to join his friend at the exit, when something caught his eye.

"What the hell?" he said aloud as his eyes widened at the site before him.

"What is it?" Grunt asked as he left the exit and walked up to his Turian teammate, who was just looking at the ground with a disbelieving stare. The Krogan looked down at what had Garrus's attention and his eyes widened too in response.

"It can't be...?

On the floor in front of them was a puddle of blood and in its center was a severed right arm, the armor it was in-cased in was identifiable by the three colored stripes running down the arm, two silver on both sides of a large red main stripe.

"That's Jack's arm!" Garrus exclaimed in shock of the sight in front of him, because despite seeing it with his own eyes, he still could not believe it.

"But that doesn't mean that Jack's...you know." Grunt sheepishly added, since he could tell by the Turian's expression what he was currently thinking at this moment.

"I know. For one, there is no body..." Garrus replied as he continued to stare at the appendage, losing himself to the terrible thoughts for his friend that were now plaguing his mind since laying eyes on it. But he was brought out of his stupor, when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Let's go, Garrus. We may still have a chance of catching up to them." Grunt said, gaining the Turian's attention.

"And give them hell, especially if our friends have been..." he said before being cut off by the Krogan, who Gave him an encouraging smile.

"Exactly." Garrus said back in a determined tone and nodded in return and then both Autobots made their way outside, just in time to see the two giant Dragons fly overhead towards the Nemesis.

"Looks like we are heading in the right direction then." Grunt said as they saw what looked like a lot of activity around the giant dreadnought, when suddenly their com links activated.

"They are pulling back, the enemy is retreating." an unknown Autobot said over the link, before another voice spoke.

"All Autobot forces, this is Warpath. Jackson Prime is not answering his com-link, so I am taking temporary command. The enemy are regrouping at the Nemesis launch site, move in and take them down. We can not them get their hands on that ship."

Garrus and Grunt looked at each other as the message came to an end.

"Looks like we..." the Krogan began to say before a sound caught their attention.

"ugh,mmm...ugh." came a voice from nearby.

"Did you hear that?" Garrus asked, earning a nod from his friend.

"Yeah, it came from over there." he said as the pair began walking over in the direction that Grunt had pointed to, until they came to a pile of rubble. Both looked around around in confusion, as there was no sign of what had made that noise.

"I swore that sound was coming from over he..." Garrus started to say when he was interrupted again.

"Ugh...ugh,.." came the voice again as the pile of debris began to move slightly as a hand appeared from under it.

"There! Someone is under the rubble." Grunt said as he began to pick up and clear the rubble, Garrus quickly joining in as they unearthed a person from under it. Their eyes widened and as smiles appeared on their faces.

"SMOKESCREEN!" Garrus exclaimed as they pulled out the White/Blue and Red armored Bot, who was semi-conscious and visibly injured, but thankfully still alive.

"Smokescreen, you alright? Can you hear me?" Garrus said as the injured Autobot lay there in front of them, but all they got from him was...

"...ugh..mmm, ugh."

Grunt then placed his hand on the Turian's shoulder, gaining his attention.

"Let me try, Garrus?"

His friend looked at him blankly but nodded, moving out of the way so that the Krogan could get closer. Then he did something that completely surprised the Turian and slapped the Bot's face, making Smokescreen wake up fully and stare at the pair.

"What in the Allspark!" he said in an exasperated tone as Garrus looked over to Grunt with a surprised expression.

"What was that?" he asked, but the Krogan simply smiled.

"I just woke him up. Plus, it felt good." he answered before looking back down at Smokescreen.

"Can you move?" Garrus asked as the Bot grimaced a little while he sat up.

"Yeah, but my whole body feels like it just got trampled on by the Dinobots." the younger Autobot replied as he slowly got to his feet.

"Well, considering how you look, I can believe it. Those enemies sure do pack a punch." Garrus said, as Smokescreen stood up beside both men.

"They're called Predacons."

"Predacons? Never heard of them." Grunt replied with a blank expression, earning a questioning look from the Bot before he shook his head.

"Look, never mind. We can go over the details later..." he said before noticing that there was just the Krogan and Turian standing with him.

"Where is Jack and Arcee?"

Garrus's expression faulted as he looked to the ground, this did not go unnoticed by Smokescreen who looked directly at him.

"What's happened? Don't tell me they're..." he started to say when Grunt cut in.

"No, we found no bodies back there, just Jack's arm." the Krogan said with the usual amount of compassion he had...which was none.

"By the Allspark! So where were you heading to when you found me?" the Bot questioned, Garrus was about to answer when suddenly out of nowhere a squadron of Aerialbot fighters flew low overhead. This caught the trio's attention as they looked at the fighters as they flew toward the battle engulfing the area around the Nemesis, as explosions could be seen and continuous gunfire could be heard .

"We are heading that way." Garrus finished before Smokescreen equipped the pistol he had on his utility belt.

"What are we waiting for then ,let's go."

The others nodded in return, then the trio began moving quickly towards the massive black ship just ahead of them.

"By the way, Garrus, who did that to your face? I mean, I would ask Grunt. But his face looks the same whether he has fought or not." Smokescreen suddenly asked, earning an annoyed growl from the Krogan as they moved through the battlefield.

About fifteen minutes later, the three Autobots arrived at the Nemesis launch site. But the battle was over before it really had a chance to start and the trio could only guess that was because of Predaking and Grimwing, who had destroyed what Autobot forces had arrived there in a matter of minutes. The Turian, Krogan and bot all took cover behind the charred husk of an Aerialbot fighter, before Garrus used his sniper rifle to scope the area.

"I can't believe I am going to ask this, considering what we saw on our way over here. But how does it look over there?" Smokescreen sheepishly asked, making the Turian shake his head in return.

"So much for the counter attack, those Predacons have the area completely under their control. Our forces had no chance against those beasts of theirs."

Grunt growled lowly in return before saying his piece.

"Those beasts are tougher than any Thresher-Maw, that's for sure."

Smokescreen nodded as he looked up at the two winged monsters who flew over head with the Predacon fighters alongside them.

"That is what the Predacons really looked like, back when they roamed Cybertron during what you would call 'Prehistoric times'."

"So they are just like Earth's Dinosaurs?" Garrus replied.

"And Tuchanka's Thresher-Maws?" the Krogan added, earning looks from both his friends.

"Grunt, you still have Thresher-Maws now." the Turian replied bluntly, making the Krogan look back with a slight smile.

"Yeah, but the prehistoric ones were much bigger."

"I guess, but either way I am just going off what I learnt from the historic archives on Cybertron...during the war." Smokescreen replied as they kept their eyes on what was happening just ahead of them, when suddenly there was a lot of movement near the Nemesis's ventral shuttle bay as a large contingent of Terracons arrived on the scene.

PRIME EFFECT 4

Blight stood stood on the lowered ramp of the shuttlebay with a small group of Terracons and another Predacon, one in yellow and purple armour. The two of them watched as another large contingent of troops arrived at the Nemesis and stopped before then.

"And I think that it is it for any of our troops arriving here by foot, Scorponok." Blight said to his comrade who nodded in agreement.

"I think you're right, though I would prefer not to leave the others out there. But we wont be able to hold this location forever."

"I would not worry about such details, Scorponok. Our Lord already has something planned to ensure our brethren make it safely aboard. It is one of the reasons he chose this ship as a target of interest." the other Predacon replied before looking behind him at both Arcee and Jack who were on their knees and surrounded by Terracons.

"The quicker this ship is taken, the faster we can get these two into the brig." he added, gaining a knowing look from Scorponok.

"Well, Lord Galvatron and Laserback did take half of my troops with them to secure the CIC and the Engineering decks, I am sure we will hear something soon."

The two Predacons then looked back towards the horizon and the image of a beaten and broken city. New Iacon looked less like the capital of the Federation, but more like the city of London after the Reaper invasion that the Cons read about on the Icarus's databanks.

"We sure did a number to this city, didn't we?" Scorponok said as both smiled and looked down at Jack, who merely looked at the ground as blood dripped ever so slowly from the dressing on the stump that was once his arm.

"You have nothing to say about this, 'Prime'?" Blight asked with a sarcastic tone in his voice.

"Be careful, the Prime might hit you with that stump of his." Scorponok laughed in a similar tone. But both the Autobot Leader and his Spark-mate remained quiet, not wanting to give the Predacons the pleasure of reacting to their goading. But the two lieutenants soon stopped when one of the Terracons that were watching the perimeter turned to them.

"Sir, I can see movement just ahead of us. Behind the wreckage of that fighter over there."

Scorponok then equipped his sniper rifle and looked through it's scope, bringing the image into sharp focus.

"Are you sure, Soldier? Because I can..." he started to reply before noticing a reflection of light off what appeared to be a similar sniper rifle scope.

"More Autobots! Fire on that location now!" he shouted as he fired three shots that impacted on the hull of the wreckage, making the Turian there get right behind cover. The rest of the Terracons followed suit and fired on the area, earning a similar reaction from the three Autobots.

Blight took cover behind the wall of the shuttle bay as both Jack and Arcee looked towards the wreckage, hope appearing on their faces. But this had not gone unnoticed by the Predacon who looked down at them with content.

" I would not hold on to hope of your friends rescuing you now." he said before tapping the com-link in his ear.

"Lord Galvatron, we have more Autobots attacking the ship."

"Keep them at bay for a little longer while we are prepping for launch." the Predacon Leader replied as he ended the link, earning a nod from Blight who looked back to the Terracons.

"Keep the pressure on those Autobots, we will be leaving soon."

He then looked at the four soldiers surrounding their prisoners.

"Take these two to the brig now."

So the Terracons acknowledged him and pulled Jack and Acree to their feet before moving out of the shuttle bay and further into the Nemesis's interior.

From their cover behind the fighter wreckage, Garrus blew the head off one of the Terracons defending the shuttle bay's extended ramp and spotted two familar people who were being escorted from the battle.

"They do have Arcee and Jack!" he exclaimed, gaining the attention of both Smokescreen and Grunt.

"You sure?" the Bot asked as he killed another enemy soldier, before looking over to Garrus and noticing him nodding in return.

"I just saw them being escorted away from the battle and further into the ship."

"Well, we have to get them then, that's all there is to it." Smokescreen replied before taking a few shots at the Terracons, killing two of them while the others kept the pressure up by firing constantly at their cover.

"And how do you propose we do that?" Grunt asked after just narrowly missing a bullet to the face as he turned to look at the younger Bot, his face looked like thunder.

"They've got us pinned down here. We can't make a move without it ending in suicide for us."

This took both Garrus and Smokescreen by surprise, since Grunt would usually be first in line for such an action. But the Turian knew that on this occasion he was right, so he tapped his com-link.

"This is Garrus Vakarian to any Autobot forces in range, the enemy are taking control of the Nemesis and have Jackson Prime and Arcee among them. My team have a chance of recovering the pair, but are currently being pinned down by enemy fire. Are there any Autobots who could help?"

After a moment or two, with both the bot and Krogan firing back at the enemy before taking cover again. Garrus received an answer.

"This is Warpath. Garrus, we are on route as we speak. ETA five minutes."

But suddenly a deep humming noise could be heard from the Nemesis's engines, making the Turian's eyes widen in response.

"To late, they're preparing to launch."

PRIME EFFECT 4

In the Nemesis's CIC, Galvatron and his Terracons had just taken control of the room, leaving the Autobot corpse on the floor while the soldiers manned each station. The Predacon leader himself stood at the command terminal that was on a catwalk that was raised above the rest of the CIC, giving a good view of the entire room.

"Status report?" he said in a commanding tone, earning the attention of his men.

"All stations manned, Lord Galvatron. We have had no trouble accessing the ship's systems." one of the Terracons replied while looking up at his master.

"Excellent work." Galvatron replied as his attention was caught by a a holo-screen appearing before him, showing the ship's engines activating.

"Lord Galvatron, the engine room is now under our control and we are prepping the ship's engines up now." Lazerback then reported through the Predacon leader's com-link.

"Very well. How long until the Space-bridge generator is ready for use?"

"It is charging up now, my Lord. But in the meantime it's ground-bridge function is fully operational, since it does not require the same level of power." the Predacon replied, making Galvatron smile in return.

"That's good, Lazerback. Keep me apprised of any further developments."

The Predacon Lord then looked down at one of his men.

"Activate the Ground-bridge at areas where our troops are still fighting. We need to evacuate all our remaining ground-forces to this ship immediately."

"Yes, Lord Galvatron." the Terracon replied before typing in the commands into his holo-interface, meanwhile Galvatron set his com-link to broadcast mode.

"This is your Lord and Master speaking, I want all Predacon forces to fall back to the Nemesis. Fighters, you will rejoin your respective cruisers and they will rendezvous with the Nemesis in orbit. Our ground forces are to use the Ground-bridge vortexes that will appear before you momentarily, these will bring you aboard our new flagship."

After shutting down the com-link, the Predacon Leader turned to another of his Terracons below him.

"Activate the Ground-bridge and bring our troops home."

"Yes, Sir." the soldier replied as he worked the holo-interface before him.

"...And open up the top cargo bay for Predaking and Grimwing." Galvatron added.

Meanwhile all across the battlefield that only hours earlier used to be the Federation Capital, ground-bridge vortexes opened and closed one after the other. Opening just long enough for the Terracons still fighting to retreat through, leaving the remaining Autobot forces to stand in the middle of their destroyed city and wonder what it all was for. The Predacon star-fighters broke off their dogfights with the Aerialbots, docking with the nearest cruisers that were still operational and they then made for high orbit.

Back on board the Nemesis, one of the Terracons looked up at the Perdacon Lord as he admired the view he from his location, as he looked out of the large canopy covering the very front of the CIC.

"My Lord, our forces are pulling back as you wanted. And Lazerback reports that we can continue to ground-bridge our remaining troops while we are leaving."

Galvatron smiled at comment as he turned and looked down at said Terracon.

"Very well. Call in the rest of the troops protecting the shuttle bay and take us into space,..."

The Terracon nodded in return and then focused on his station's holo-interface.

"...And have our prisoners brought to me too."

On the ground, Garrus, Smokescreen and Grunt were still stuck behind the wreckage of the Aerialbot fighter, while the Terracons continued to bombard them with weapons fire.

"This is ridiculous, we have to make a push for the shuttle bay or else we will lose Jack and Arcee." the Turian said in both an angry yet anxious tone, while the other two fired back into the mass grouping of enemies, killing two of them as they did.

"Wait a second, they're falling back." Grunt observed as they all looked to see the Predacon soldiers backing up on to the shuttle bay, while laying covering fire on the Autobots position.

"Then we go right now, follow me!" Smokescreen roared, surprising his friends as he ran around the wreck and stormed at the Terracons with his weapon blazing. The others followed suit as he shot dead three Terracons and made it onto the shuttle bay's ramp as it began to lift off the ground. The bot then stormed towards the interior of the ship but in his reckless and desperate actions, he failed to notice that the remaining Terracons had stopped firing at him.

And before he had a chance to wonder why, he suddenly ran into a powerful energy field which knocked him flying off the ramp and back down to the floor where his Turian and Krogan friends joined him. They looked up at the Nemesis which had risen off the ground and saw the Terracons laughing and waving back sarcastically just before the ramp closed and sealed off the shuttle bay from the outside.

"Ugh, what was that?" Smokescreen asked as he sat up and held his head as the mother of all migraines began to ache.

"You were hit by the Nemesis's new energy shield that protects the shuttle bay, lucky you weren't fried by it."

"Very lucky. His armor took the brunt of it." Grunt added as they looked at the bot's burn't white/blue and red armor. But before anything else could be said, the trio's attention was caught by the sight of the Nemesis as it had ascended high above them and flew away from them at sub-light speeds with the two metallic dragons landing on it's roof as it moved.

"Scrap..." Garrus then said with disappointment in his voice, while both Smokescreen and Grunt watched with similar expressions.

PRIME EFFECT 4

As the Nemesis began to climb through the Earth's atmosphere, Galvatron was still overlooking everything from his spot in the CIC. The doors behind then suddenly opened as Jackson Prime and Arcee were escorted into the room and led up the catwalk to the Predacon Leader who smiled darkly at how defeated the two Autobots looked.

The Prime looked like he had been battered as he was limping along, while all that was left of his right arm was a stump that had been bandaged up, but that was already becoming a deep shade of crimson as the wound had yet to be properly healed yet. His femme meanwhile looked no better as she had her arm round the Autobot leader and helped him to walk, her face was one of deep concern and fear for her spark-mate as she never took her eyes off him.

"Ah, glad to see the two of you could make it. I promise not to keep you from the infirmary too long Prime, since I would hate to see you bleed over the floor of my new battleship." Galvatron said in sarcastic tone, earning looks of pure loathing and content from the pair.

"You wont...get away with...this, Galvatron." Jack said in between his breathes, which had started to get heavy due to his injuries. But the Predacon Lord merely looked down at his prisoner and smiled.

"Oh, but I already have. Because the City that you Autobots hold so dear is now nothing more than a smoking crater. Also your forces are stretched out all over the galaxy, with no means to communicate to each other. We Predacons have no such restrictions, so we will take advantage of the situation that we have created and ensure that the rest of the galaxy trembles at the very mention of our name."

"My Lord, we are free of the planet's atmosphere and the rest of the fleet has joined us." the Terracon piloting the Nemesis then stated, earning his Leader's attention.

"Very good.." Galvatron replied as he looked out of the canopy to see that the star-field surrounded them, and multiple Predacon cruisers were now taking up formation around his ship.

"Sir, Six-shot requests permission to land." another Terracon said, gaining a nod from Galvatron.

"Granted, and have him come straight here." he replied before looking back out of the CIC's canopy, and noticing a ship ahead of them that certainly wasn't one of their own.

"We have an Autobot cruiser directly in front of us. it is the Ultra Magnus." the pilot reported as Galvatron, Jack and Arcee watched.

"It is heavily damaged, but it's weapons are still active. Should I signal our cruisers to take it out?" he said, making his leader shake his head on return.

"No, I wish to see what the Nemesis is capable of. Power up our weapons and target that ship." he said in a commanding tone, making his Terracons work frantically At their posts.

"Weapons armed and target locked." one then said from his post.

"Fire!"

The Nemesis then fired a barrage of red glowing torpedoes at the Ultra Magnus, which tried to evade them whilst using it's thrusters. But several of the torpedoes impacted on it's engineering section, crippling the ship and causing it to drift out of it's way.

"Finish them off." the Predacon leader then added as an evil grin grew on his face, but just as the Terracon at Tactical prepared to launch one last spread of torpedoes at the Autobot ship. Suddenly his fellow soldier then called out.

"Space-bridge vortex opening directly in front of us." he said as a green blip appeared on his holo-display.

"What?" Galvatron shouted back as everyone looked out of the canopy to see the said green vortex hovering in the void ahead of them. Suddenly a smaller frigate flew out of the vortex and towards the Nemesis.

"It's IFF is coming up..." said one of the Terracons as he looked at his holo-screen.

"...it is the Autobot frigate 'Normandy'."

Jack looked out at the ship as his eyes widened at mention of that name, which did not go unnoticed by Arcee.

"Jack?"

"Orion is on that ship, Arcee." the Prime said, before Galvatron gained both Autobots attention with his next action.

"Shoot that ship down, I want it out of our path now."

A look of pure horror then appeared on the parents faces as it dawned on them what was about to happen.

'No!' Jack and Arcee both thought as the Terracon began targeting their son's vessel.

At that exact time in the cockpit of the Normandy, Rodimus and Orion stood behind Jetstorm as he piloted their ship. Surprised expressions were written on their faces as they saw the ships directly between them and Earth.

"Looks like your hunch was correct, Commander. I have a dozen enemy ships leaving Earth as we speak." the pilot said as he read the data appearing on his sensor screen, then Orion pointed his hand to the massive black ship that was amongst them.

"What is that?"

Rodimus's eyes widened as he recognized the vessel.

"That's the Nemesis, but it shouldn't up and running yet."

Suddenly an alarm began blaring around them and Jetstorm knew exactly what it meant.

"The Nemesis is targeting us." he exclaimed.

"Take evasive action!" Rodimus ordered, making the Autobot pilot type at his holo-station frantically as veered the Normandy starboard, but the newly christened Predacon battleship fired several spreads of torpedoes and cannon fire at the frigate. Several missed and that was thanks to Jetstorm's quick manoeuvres, but the rest of them hit the ship along it's hull which taxed the shields until the final spread impacted on the Normandy's port engine wing.

There was suddenly and explosion that shook the entire ship, knocking any crew members not seated to the ground as it's wing and the entire port engine broke off, causing the ship to go into an out of control spin.

"Damage Report!" Rodimus shouted over the sounds of panic as he and Orion picked themselves up from the floor, the younger bot looked back towards the CIC and saw the crew fighting the fires that had been caused by the damage that their ship had just taken in the attack.

"We've lost the port engine, I am trying to correct our course with thrusters. Our shield strength is down to seventeen percent, I doubt we could survive another hit like that." the Pilot replied while studying the red flashing areas of the ship schematics on his holo-screen.

"Damn it!" he then cursed while clenching his fist and slamming it on the arm rest of his chair, alarming both Bots behind him.

"What's wrong, Jetstorm?" Orion asked as smoke filled the air from the fires behind them.

"We've just lost power to the other engines, we are completely dead in the water."

The three bots then looked at each other as it dawned on them what might happen next, before looking out of the canopy to see the Nemesis directly in front of them, blocking out the sun with it's jet black hull, the only light glowing from the weapon ports as they were aimed at them.

Galvatron was looking out at the critically damaged Autobot ship as it drifted before his battleship, while his crew of Terracons continued to work the Nemesis's systems around him.

"What is the condition of the Normandy?" he asked as he turned round and noticed the looks of pure horror on Jack and Arcee's faces, as they stood there and looked out at the frigate.

"My Lord, the Normandy has suffered considerable damage. It is no longer a threat to us." the Terracon on the station to his lower left replied, making the Predacon Leader smile darkly as his eyes met those of his prisoners.

"Just because the vessel is no longer a threat, that does not mean I will leave it be." he said back while keeping his attention on the two Autobots, taking note of the evolving looks of despair on their faces.

"No.." Arcee whispered as Jackson Prime took a step forward toward Galvatron, making both Terracons that stood guard over them point their rifles at him.

"Galvatron, I ask you…..spare that vessel. Haven't enough people died today…on both sides?"

The Predacon Lord looked at the Prime, his red eyes narrowing while his counterpart stood firm before him.

"Why? What is so important about this vessel? You didn't speak a word when we disabled the other Autobot ship earlier, so that leaves me curious to this sudden change in your attitude."

Jack broke contact with Galvatron's eyes as he looked down to the ground, He could not come out and say that his son was on board that ship. If he knew the truth, the Predacon may just destroy the Normandy to cause further pain to both him and Arcee.

"Please, just let the ship be." Jack said back in a pleading like tone while holding his arms out to his sides, earning a devilish grin from Galvatron.

"What is this? Is the great Jackson Prime, Leader of the Autobots begging me not to end the lives of some of his precious Autobots." he laughed before looking down at Jack, his shadow being cast upon the Prime as he stood before him.

"Well, I am afraid that if you really want me to leave this ship alone, then you will have to get on your knees and plead to me to do so."

The Autobot Leader looked back at Arcee, who merely nodded in return. For the Femme knew that even if this diminished themselves in the eyes of their enemies, it would be a small price to pay if it meant protecting that which was most precious to them.

So Jack turned back to Galvatron and while keeping his eyes to the ground, began to get down on to his knees. But before he could do so, the Predacon Leader laughed out loud and kicked the Prime in the chest, sending him onto his back.

"Jack!" Arcee exclaimed as she rushed to her partner's side as Gavlatron towered before them both, his sharp teeth bared as he smiled darkly at them both.

"Pitiful! How weak and pathetic the line of Primes has become. You are a disgrace, Jackson Prime, and to answer your question, I will not spare that ship…." the Predacon Leader spat before turning his back on both prisoners and looking out at the crippled Normandy.

"…take them away, and target all weapons on the Normandy." he commanded to his crew, but as both Autobots were about to react, they were suddenly grabbed and pulled to their feet by the two Terracon guards.

"Galvatron!" Jack called out in a desperate plea, but the Predacon Leader ignored him and kept his attention on the soon to be destroyed enemy ship beyond his canopy.

"The Normandy is targeted, my Lord." the Terracon manning the weapons station reported as the door the two Autobot prisoners were dragged off the bridge.

"Prepare to fir..." Galvatron began to say before his com-link beeped, cutting him off mid sentence. So he tapped his ear piece to responde.

"What is it?"

"We have the Space-bridge up and running my Lord, and all troops have been brought aboard via the Ground-bridge. So we can leave at your convenience." Lazerback replied, earning a sigh from the Predacon leader.

"Very well, Lazerback, and well done." he said back before looking at the Terracon manning the helm.

"Belay my last order and target our Space-bridge for Cybertron."

"Yes, my Lord." the soldier replied as Galvatron watched the Normandy as it drifted past.

"But, my Lord, I thought we were going to destroy that ship?" another Terracon asked, gaining an angry stare from the Predacon Leader.

"You are not questioning me are you? Surely you have heard what happens to those that do?"

The soldier gulped but kept his gaze fixed on his Leader as he stood at his station.

"...Of course not, Lord Galvatron, but you told the two Autobots that we would destroy the ship. I am just confused to how this works...,my Lord."

Galvatron flashed a slight smile towards the soldier, before looking back out at the black void beyond the CIC canopy.

"Well, they both seemed very concerned about that vessel or perhaps it was someone who was on board. So if they were to believe that the Normandy had been destroyed, then it would only make them suffer more grief and despair. And that would make them even less likely to cause us any trouble as our prisoners, so that is what I will let them believe." he said back, earning a smile from the Terracon.

"You are most wise, my Lord."

"Indeed..." The Predacon Leader replied as he looked down to the soldier manning the communication station.

"...inform the fleet to meet us at Cybertron." he then said, earning a nod from the Terracon. Galvatron then looked back to the helmsman.

"Take us home."

The Terracon manning the helm then programmed the coordinates into his holo-interface and suddenly a bright green vortex opened up before the Nemesis which then flew into it, as the rest of the Predacon fleet carried on to the Sol system's edge so that they could use the space-bridge located there, leaving the Federation in chaos as they wonder how on earth this possibly could have happened.

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CHAPTER XIV

The fires were finally snuffed out in the Normandy's CIC as the crew began work on trying to repair what they could of their ship, while in the cockpit Rodimus, Orion and Jet-storm were all looking at the holo-screen which was showing the damage that the vessel had sustained. They had only twenty minutes earlier witnessed the Nemesis leave the system via its own Space-bridge vortex, even though the battle-ship had them dead to rights.

"I still don't know why they had left us alone like that. We were completely disabled and just to easy a target to leave alone, yet they just upped and left." Jet-storm said with a confused tone, while he waved through the screens of damage reports flooding his holo-interface.

"Well, I am more concerned with who 'they' are and what they did to Earth before we arrived." Orion said back, earning a nod from Rodimus as he stood beside them and looked up from another holo-screen on his holo-tool.

"Orion has a point, but we are currently suffering a communications blackout due to our network having been disabled. So all we can so is speculate, but that will only be detrimental to the crew's ability to repair the Normandy. So I ask that we refrain from doing so, at least until we are back on the move." the Commander said back, gaining a nod from both his subordinates.

"No offence, Commander, but unless we can get access to a dry-dock, this damage will not get repaired. There is only so much we can do, especially since we lost half of our engineering crew during the attack." Jet-storm replied as he changed his screen back to the helm controls.

"I know, but I would have the crew focus on the task at hand. It will keep everyone from losing themselves to fear and panic. Anyway, how are the thrusters handling for you?" Rodimus said back as the pilot typed on his holo-interface.

"I am managing to keep us from drifting too much."

"Wait, what's that over there?" Orion said, cutting the others off as he pointed out of the canopy at a far off object that was closing in on them.

"Sensors are still down, so your guess is as good as mine at this point." Jetstorm replied while keeping his eyes on said object.

"But it's too small to be a cruiser, maybe it's a shuttle-craft." he added.

"It is coming from the direction of Earth, let's see if we can hail them on the short range communications. I mean, that isn't connected to the network, is it." Rodimus said as he looked at his pilot.

"Yes, that's right. Okay I am activating the com sub-link now." Jet-storm replied as he used his holo-interface, and then a fuzzy sounding hiss came through the cockpit's speakers before a faint voice was heard speaking.

"...Normandy, this is Swerve on board shuttle three of the Ultra Magnus. Please respond?"

"Can you...?" Rodimus instantly said to his pilot, who was already typing away at his station.

"Way ahead of you, Commander." Jetstorm replied as he tapped on last button.

"...And you're on."

"This is Commander Rodimus of the Normandy. We read you, Swerve." the Leader said before waiting for a reply through the static coming through the speakers.

"...thank the Allspark. We feared the worst after our sensors picked up your ship and the damage it had suffered." the Autobot responded as the shuttle came in closer to the frigate.

"We have a repair team on board if you require assistance." he added.

"That would be greatly appreciated, Swerve. We will open up our shuttle bay and you can come on in." Rodimus replied.

"Will do, but I am afraid it will be a quick drop. My main orders are to get you back to Earth as quickly as possible. Things are falling apart back there." Swerve said back, earning a confused expression from all three Bots in the cockpit.

"Why? What exactly has happened?" the Commander asked.

"I can brief you on the way there, but let's just say that a whole lot of shit has hit the fan today...if you will excuse my french." Swerve replied.

"Consider it excused. I will be waiting for you in the shuttle bay with my team then." Rodimus responded as he looked over to Orion and gestured him to get the others.

"Who is on your team? Because there is limited room on the shuttle." came the reply from the speakers, making Orion stop and look back as curiosity took hold.

"I will have with me, Shen Vakarian, Nightracer, my XO Orion Darby and our guest Dr. Liara T'Soni."

"Did you say Darby?" Swerve asked, making Rodimus look back at his XO with a confused expression.

"Yes, I did." he said back before it was followed by silence for a long moment.

"...okay. We can make room for them, especially Darby." Swerve replied suddenly as the shuttle flew past the cockpit's canopy.

"We will be ready to dock in just over a minute." he added, earning a nod from Rodimus.

"Very well. We are on our way now, Rodimus out."

The Commander then looked at Orion.

"Go get the others and meet me in the shuttle bay."

The younger Bot nodded and turned away before heading towards the elevator at the back of the CIC, though he could not hide the confusion on his face as he moved. Rodimus then looked back at Jetstorm.

"You are in command while Orion and I are off ship, and I want you to oversee the repairs. Make sure the ship is at least capable of getting back to Earth orbit."

"Yes, Sir." Jet-storm replied as the Commander then turned and walked away, leaving the pilot on his own in the cockpit.

PRIME EFFECT 4

Galvatron could definitely get used to this, from his position standing on the catwalk that stretched over the length of the CIC, he had a perfect view of everyone that worked there. It was far better than a chair in the center of the room, like the bridge aboard the Icarus. The Predacon leader had been looking through the ship's history on it's database, and while the original Nemesis had to be refitted so it could be piloted by Humans. This version of the former Decepticon battleship was built to be used by them from the start, they just decided to keep everything looking the same but just somewhat more scaled down.

Galvatron was so caught up with his admiring of the ship, he did not hear footsteps approaching behind him.

"Ah, I see you have been admiring my ship." a voice spoke, one that had a grating effect on the Predacon Lord who sighed and hung his shoulders in response as Megatron stood beside him.

"It amuses me how you keep trying to convince yourself that you are not simply a clone of myself, yet here you are...standing on a poor imitation of my very warship."

Galvatron felt his spark beginning to burn again as his anger started to build. But if Megatron had noticed this as his clone stood there, grinding his teeth and clenching his hands into fists tightly, then he chose to ignore it and continue.

"So you still believe that, am I correct?" the Decepticon leader asked as Galvatron simply looked ahead.

"If so then why did you steal this ship, was it to prove something. I believe that you actually wish you were me and all this grand talk and posturing is just your way of denying the truth, that you are just the worthless clone that should have stayed locked up on Cybertron for the rest of time."

That was it for Galvatron who finally let his blood boil, turning to his hallucination in the blink of an eye. His red eyes narrowed and betrayed none of the anger he was feeling at this very moment for the ghost of someone long dead. But again, Megatron's expression was one of barely any interest as he looked back at his doppelganger.

"What? Am I supposed to be intimidated by that stare, because I have seen far more intimidating looks from Knockout...and he wasn't intimidating."

The Predacon Leader ignored the jibe and continued to stare as he gritted his teeth again.

"I swear that one day I will find the spot in here where your ghost resides..." he said while pointing to his temple.

"...and snuff it out." the Clone added, earning a smug grin from the Decepticon.

"If you could have, then you would have by now. You will have to face facts that you simply are me. The quicker you figure that out, the better."

Megatron then shoved the Clone with his shoulder as he walked passed him, earning a growl from Galvatron who then looked back to see that the hallucination had disappeared. So the Predacon Leader quickly looked around to see if anyone had noticed this, but all the Terracons were still focused on their tasks.

'How long will I have to endure this madness?' he thought as he tried to calm down before hearing footsteps behind him, making the clone's temper go off the charts and he spun around and grabbed the person by the neck, lifting him off the ground.

"...Lord Galvatron,...it's me...Six-shot!"

But the Predacon Lord could not hear him due to the red haze that was currently clouding his judgement.

"Lord Galvatron!" one of the Terracons shouted which cut through all the rage flowing inside Galvatron who snapped out of it and dropped his Lieutenant back on to his feet. Six-shot looked around at the other Terracons, every one of them had the same unsure expression that he did as they stared at their master.

"My Lord, what was that?" the Predacon Pilot asked in a rather frank way, as everyone watched. Galvatron rubbed his face with his hands as he tried to calm down.

"I...I must be fatigued." he said in weary tone while pulling his hands away, with his face slowly returning to its usual commanding and composed look.

"Well, why don't you take a moment for yourself and rest? You haven't done so since before the attack on New Iacon." Six-shot asked, earning a nod from Galvatron.

"Yes, I think I will. Take command in my absence, but keep me apprised with all that happens."

"Of course, my Lord." the Lieutenant replied as the Predacon Leader walked past him.

"I do have some questions?" the Pilot added with a curious tone.

"Can they wait for the time being?" Galvatron replied without even looking back at his Lieutenant.

"Yes, I suppose they can."Six-shot answered as his Lord left the room, and then the Predacon turned around and noticed that all the Terracons had been watching their Master and glared back at them.

"Don't you have work to do? Get back to it!" he spat, making the minions almost jump out of their skin as they rushed back to work, earning a smile from the Predacon. But as he stood there on the catwalk, he looked back towards the CIC's entrance.

'What is going on with him?' he thought, this wasn't the first time that Galvatron had done something strange that had caught everyone's attention. And something told Six-shot that it would not be the last, but for the time being he should focus on keeping the others in line during their Lord's absence. So he turned back round and looked out at the planet Cybertron that they were now orbiting.

PRIME EFFECT 4

It was so quiet on the shuttle as it flew from the Normandy to what was left of New Iacon, that you could hear a pin drop as every member of Rodimus's team dwelled on the briefing that Swerve had just given them. They had been told that an enemy force that called themselves 'Predacons' had launched a surprise attack on New Iacon while it was in the middle of the Anniversary celebrations, but that was the only information they were being told right now. And that knowledge or lack of details was still no easier to take in even as the shuttle began passing through the clouds as the ruined capital of the Federation was revealed to them.

"By the Allspark, I have never seen so much destruction." Nightracer said while staring out of the window at the heavily damaged and collapsed buildings below, which made the City barely recognizable to what the Femme remembered it to be like.

"I have unfortunately..." Rodimus said as he sat next to her.

"...Back when I was a teenager and the Reapers attacked the colony where I was living with my father, never thought I would live to see this all over again." he added as Orion and Shen sat opposite them, a confused expression on the young Darby's face as scores of questions flooded his thoughts due to the revelation that his accompanying them was a priority. He was as stunned as everyone else to hear about the attack, even more so to see the aftermath. But he could not help but wonder why 'he' had to among them when they landed.

Liara was seated by herself on the starboard side of the shuttle, but still was facing the others. And through the entire journey from the Normandy really wasn't that long, she had found herself staring at Orion. Well maybe staring is a little strong a word to use, but she was certainly taking a few sly glances every now and then. She could see that something was bothering him, and wished that there was something she could do to help him. but she still felt somewhat like an outsider at this point, despite how much Orion had made her feel comfortable aboard the Normandy. The Asari was suddenly snapped out of her own thoughts when Rodimus spoke.

"Well, you said we would get a brief of everything that happened, Swerve. But all you have told us is that Earth has been attacked and who it was."

"Forgive me, Commander, but we are still in the middle of debriefing those who were witness to the events on the ground." the red and white armoured Autobot replied as he stood in the doorway to the shuttle's cockpit, placing his hand to his com-link as he spoke.

"...we are giving you the information as we get it."

It was at this moment that Orion decided to speak up and bring his questions to light. Because if there was one thing he didn't like, it was intentionally being kept in the dark.

"Excuse me, Swerve. But why did you insist that I was brought along. I mean, you did make that part really clear, but you haven't said anything since."

Everyone looked at the Bot in surprise, but Swerve's expression was one of quiet panic.

"I am sorry, Orion, but I cannot say any more on that until we have landed." he said, but Rodimus had noticed the young Darby's expression.

"I don't think so, Swerve. You will tell Orion now."

The Autobot looked completely out of his depth as he stood there in the doorway with everyone staring at him.

"I am sorry but I am under orders from Warpath." he said with an unsure tone in his voice, but this still was not going to cut it with Rodimus who glared at him.

"As second in command of the Autobots, I am ordering you to tell us what has happened. And why is Warpath giving commands when Jackson Prime is down there?"

Swerve just kept quiet and looked down to the ground with the mention of the Prime's name and suddenly the whole shuttle went quiet too, as it dawned on everyone that something terrible had happened. Orion's eyes widened as the shock took a hold of him, feeling like his heart was in his throat as the worst case scenario popped into his thoughts.

"Is...is my Father...dead?" the young Bot asked with a shaken like tone to his voice.

"No, he is alive. But according to witnesses, he had his arm sliced off and was taken prisoner by the Predacons." Swerve replied, making Orion look down to the ground as he started to shake slightly as he started to feel ambivalent, due to both the fear for his Father's life and anger towards these 'Predacons'. But as he clenched his fists and looked back up to Swerve, he saw that the Bot still had the same expression on his face.

"What is it?" Orion asked, wondering how in the world things could get worse.

"They have also taken your Mother prisoner as well." the red and white armored Bot replied, wishing the ground would open up and swallow him at this moment due to how sour the atmosphere in the shuttle had become. The younger Darby's heart felt like it had stopped at that moment as the realisation that his parents were now in the hands of a deadly new enemy, so he then looked out of the window as he could feel everyone's eyes on him, but the devastation that he saw only made the anger growing in his spark double its intensity.

"Who are these witnesses?" Rodimus managed to ask while both Nightracer and Shen remained quiet, still in shock at the news they had been given. Liara though kept her gaze on Orion who was still looking away from her and out of the window, and her heart went out to him.

"The witnesses are Jackson Prime's team-mates. Smokescreen, Grunt and Garrus."

Shen's eyes widened as he looked away from Orion and right at Swerve.

"Dad!...Is he alright?" he said as everyone turned their attention to the Turian.

"Apart from some bruises and cuts, your Father and the others are fine. They are at a hospital on the outskirts of the city, since the New Iacon General was destroyed in the Predacon attack." Swerve replied, and that was when Orion suddenly turned away from the window and looked at the Autobot.

"I want to go to the hospital and see them."

"As do I." Shen joined in as both stared at Swerve, pilling on the pressure.

"Unfortunately, my orders are to take you to meet with Warpath."

"Well, I am afraid Warpath will have to wait, Swerve, because I concur with Orion and Shen. We will go to the hospital first." Rodimus jumped in, earning a shocked look from the Autobot.

"But my orders are..."

But the Commander just gave him a matter-of-fact look in return, making Swerve feel small in comparison.

"Do I have to remind you who is in charge after Jackson Prime?"

"No, Sir. You don't..." Swerve replied, his expression was one of worry as he sighed.

"...it's just..." he tried to add before Rodimus cut him off.

"Look, the first port of call here is to make sure everyone's families and loved ones are alright." he said before glancing over to Orion who had reverted back to staring out of the window.

"And don't worry about Warpath, I know you are just following your orders. But that hot-headed Bot can go over the top sometimes, so I will deal with him later."

The Commander then looked back at his team and apart from Orion, everyone else gave him an appreciative nod.

A few minutes later they arrived at the hospital and it wasn't a sight that any of them was prepared for, as the place was heaving with injured people. It was so overcrowded that many were being treated right there and then in the corridors. It was hard for anyone to walk through as numerous doctors and nurses worked to try and help those in need with just the tools they had on their person, since they could not gain entry to any of the already full operating rooms. While the madness ensued around them, Rodimus and his team made their way slowly through the crowds as Orion and Shen searched for any Smokescreen, Garrus or Grunt.

"I have never seen anything like this." Nightracer said as she, Liara and the Commander saw a woman being held down on a gurney as she screamed at the sight of the stumps that were once her legs.

"Will someone sedate this poor woman already, we cannot treat her in this state." one of the Doctors shouted as she held down the woman with two nurses, when another Doctor appeared with a sedative in their hand and injected it in to the woman's arm, making her calm down as the drugs sent her off into unconsciousness. Nightracer looked over to Rodimus who was looking around him with a blank expression.

"This doesn't bother you, Commander?" she asked, gaining the older Bot's attention.

"It does Nightracer, but unfortunately I have seen far worse in my time."

"You mean during the Reaper War?" the Femme replied, earning a nod from Rodimus.

"Yes, for during that time there were no wounded or even hardly any dead after those black monstrosities had visited a colony. Because the Reapers didn't just kill, but instead harvested a world of it's population and turned them in to instruments…..weapons to use against the rest of us who still drew breath and fought back." the Commander replied as memories of those dark days came flooding back into his mind.

"I have to agree with Rodimus on this." Liara added while looking around the room as she remembered the friends she had lost during the conflict, many of which she had to fight once they had been converted. As both Asari and Autobot thought on the past, Nightracer saw an active terminal nearby that showed a list of the confirmed dead on it's large holo-screen, so she walked over to it and typed her Mother's name into it's search engine. The screen then flashed up a no results message, which made the Femme breath a sigh of relief as Rodimus's eyes noticed a name in the list that scrolled down behind it.

"No…." he said, making Nightracer turn to him, with Liara mirroring her expression.

"What is it?" she asked as he placed his hand on the holo-controls and highlighted the name he was looking at, and that name was…..Ironhide.

Meanwhile Orion and Shen were still moving through the crowded corridors of the hospital when someone called out their names.

"Shen! Orion!"

Both Bot and Turian turned to see a familiar bot waving at them from across the corridor, he was wearing white and blue armour that was battered and burnt all over, but they both recognized him instantly.

"Smokescreen!" they said in unison as the Autobot joined the pair.

"Hey, Guys. Glad to see that you are alright."

"Yeah you too, though shouldn't you be in bed?" Shen asked as he noted the bruises that were still visible on the Bot's face, but he shrugged in response.

"Nah, there are more people in need of a bed here than me. And this is all just cosmetic, I mean the last dose of medi-gel did the trick. I am already starting to feel better." Smokescreen replied while gesturing to his face.

"That's good to hear." Orion replied with a slight smile, gaining a similar one from Smokescreen before his expression changed to one more solemn.

"Orion,…..I am really sorry about your parents. If only I hadn't been sucker punched, I may have been able to help your Dad."

The young Darby though shook his head in return, not willing to let Smokescreen take the burden.

"You shouldn't blame yourself, Smokescreen. We have seen what these Predacons have done to the city, so I doubt there would have been anything more you could have done. I can only take solace in the fact they are not among the casualties." he replied, earning a nod from older Bot.

"That's kind of you to say. I know we will get them back and make that Galvatron pay for what he and his Predacons did."

Both Orion and Shen's eyes widened at the mention of that name.

"Did you say Galvatron?"

"Yeah, that was what the Leader of the Predacons called himself. Why? Have you heard of him?" Smokescreen replied, earning knowing looks from the pair.

"We should get Liara." Shen said, gaining a nod from Orion in agreement but before they could do that, a voice called out suddenly.

"Shen!" it said which made the young Vakarian turn around quickly and spot another Turian standing only a few feet away, a smile appearing Shen's face as he recognised him.

"Dad." he replied before rushing over and embracing his Father, who returned the hug just as affectionately.

"It's good to see you, Son." Garrus exclaimed happily as the two remained in the embrace for a few seconds longer as Orion and Smokescreen joined them.

"I am glad you are alright, Dad." Shen replied before they finally parted, with Garrus placing his hands on his son's shoulders.

"Well, I have picked up some new scars here and there, but its nothing when compared to what I have been through before." he said back reassuringly.

"Is Mum okay..." Shen then asked, gaining a nod from his Father.

"Your Mother's fine, Shen. She is still back home on Rannoch. I just wish I could contact her, but all long range communications are offline."

"I bet you can thank the Predacons for that." Smokescreen said, making the Turians look over to him and Orion.

"Orion..." Garrus then said as his happy expression changed to one that was more subdued.

"...I am sorry that we didn't..." he began to say, only for the young Darby to cut him off.

"It wasn't your fault, Uncle Garrus. I just told Smokescreen the same." he replied, gesturing to the bot beside him, earning an embarrassed look from him.

"Where is Grunt?" Shen said after noticing the group was short of a particular Krogan, and one of them was never hard to spot in any crowd.

"Even though the Doctors told him to stay right here, he just walked off. Said he was hungry." Smokescreen replied, gaining an eye roll from Garrus.

"Typical Krogan."

"So what do you guys know of this Galvatron?" Orion asked, surprising both the Bot and Turian. But before either could reply, the rest of the team appeared.

"There you are." Liara said as she, Nightracer and Rodimus joined them.

"About time you showed up, Rodimus. Can't say I am a fan of Warpath's command style." Garrus said, earning a nod from the Commander, who looked somewhat distant as he turned his attention to Orion.

"Before I deal with that..., Orion, I...I am..." he began to say, but having trouble just letting the words out.

"What's wrong?" Shen asked as Liara and Nightracer shared the same expression as the Commander, which Orion found himself uncomfortable with.

"What's going on?" he asked as Rodimus took a step toward him.

"I don't know how else to say it..."

"Then just say it, lets not beat around the bush here." the young Darby replied, clearly getting agitated with the uncertainty that Rodimus was uncharacteristically showing.

"...Ironhide is dead." the Commander then replied and then suddenly all the sounds of the doctors and patients around Orion became white noise as he tried to comprehend not only what He had just been told, but also balancing it with the fact that his parents were in mortal peril at the hands of monster like Galvatron. It was so much for him to take, the young man suddenly felt ill as his stomach started to stir and upset him.

"I..I think I'm gonna be sick." he said before pushing Shen aside and rushing over to the currently vacant visitor's bathroom, not even waiting for the door to close behind him as he vomited into it's toilet. Everyone just stood there, completely unsure of what to do for their friend. But Liara walked over to the door and waited, wanting to something rather than leave the Bot to his own despair.

Inside the bathroom, Orion had finally stopped vomiting and was just standing over the toilet, holding his hands out on the wall to keep himself in position, looking down at the mucus as it floated on the water inside the bowl. His entire body felt like it was aching, from his stomach through his chest to the back of his throat.

Tears started to well up in his eyes, but not from the pain his body was currently feeling, but through the realization that his entire immediate family was under threat of being snuffed out. But he knew he could not simply hide in this bathroom from his problems, that were continuing to mount without fail.

So he forced himself from the toilet, flushing it before moving over to the sink so he could wash his hands and face. Once done, he looked at himself in the mirror that was positioned over the sink.

'First Mom and Dad are captured, now Uncle Ironhide was killed. What's next for the my family? Quickstrike was currently off-world and so out of reach, and Aunt Chromia was...Chromia!' he thought before opening the door and startling Liara and the others.

"What about Aunt Chromia?" he asked with urgency in his voice, but the reaction of the others was not very encouraging.

"Orion, Jack told us before all the craziness happened that he was going to meet up with your Mom, Uncle and Aunt. But we never saw signs of either."

The young man felt like he was going to lose control again but before he did, a Doctor approached him.

"I am sorry to interrupt, but did you say Chromia?"

"Yes, yes I did." Orion replied with a slither of hope in his voice, earning a hand motion from the Doctor to follow him.

"This way, Sir, if you will follow me."

Orion followed the doctor through the crowded corridors of the hospital with the rest of his friends in tow, before stopping next to a door.

"If you would please come inside." the doctor said as he opened the door and let Orion enter the room first. The bot walked in to see a large white curtain spread around what only could have been a bed, and he could hear a heart monitor consistently beeping very softly as the doctor walked past him and toward the curtain.

"Can you identify this woman?" he asked before pulling the curtain back and Orion's eyes widened instantly as he recognized the patient lying their on the bed.

"Aunt Chromia!" he exclaimed before rushing to her bedside and taking her right hand in his own.

"A search and rescue team found her lying unconscious in one of the destroyed areas of the city, she had a stab wound in her stomach and had lost a lot of blood. They managed to stabilise her, but she also has sustained multiple injuries to numerous areas of her body. So once she was brought here, we induced a coma so that her body could concentrate on healing itself without any distractions."

Orion looked at his Aunt as her lay there looking all peaceful.

"A Coma? Will she reawaken?"

"Yes, she will in time. We induced the coma artificially, so we can bring her out when her treatment is complete and her vital signs are strong and healthy again." the Doctor replied, noticing the young Bot's expression as he looked at Chromia.

"Your Aunt has a strong spark, she will make it. I will personally see to her well being during her stay here."

"Thank you, Doctor. May I stay a while with her?" Orion asked, earning a nod from the Doctor.

"Of course, I will be outside if you have any other questions."

With that the Doctor turned around and headed for the door.

Outside the room, everyone else was waiting to find out what was happening, while also making sure not to get in the way of the other doctors, nurses or patients.

"I hope that's who I think it is in there?" Garrus said, earning a nod from Smokescreen and Rodimus as Nightracer looked over to Liara and noticed her expression.

"You alright, Liara?"

"What?...yes, I am okay. Its just with all the terrible news that Orion has had to take on just now, it brought back some bad memories for me."

"You mean when you lost your friends during the war?" the Femme replied, gaining a nod from the Asari.

"Yes, I wouldn't wish that fate on anyone, let alone Orion." she said back as she glanced back at the door to the room the Darby was inside. Nightracer noted the look of concern on her face and was about to inquire further, when the door opened and out stepped the Doctor.

"Is everything alright, Doctor?" Rodimus asked.

"Yes, everything is fine. The young Man is simply spending time with his aunt right now." the Doctor replied before Garrus took a step toward him.

"Chromia is alright isn't she?" he asked, gaining a nod from the Doctor.

"She is fine, but I am afraid that I can only share details with family members. But rest assured, Chromia will be alright. Now if you'll excuse me, I have more patients to see." he replied before walking past the group and back into the crowds.

"Finally, some good news. I was starting to think that things were only going to get worse." Smokescreen said with a little relief in his voice.

"I wouldn't breath easy yet, Smokescreen. With the communication network still down, we have no idea where these Predacons will strike next." Rodimus replied, earning nods from the rest of the group.

"And that Galvatron is a real piece of work..." Smokescreen began saying before Liara jumped in, her eyes wide with shock at the Turian's comment.

"Did you say Galvatron?" she asked as Rodimus and Nightracer looked equally as surprised.

"Yes, Galvatron..." the Bot replied, making Liara's face go pale as it all started to dawn on her.

"...that's what he called himself." he then added, while Shen noticed the Asari's sudden change in complexion and guessed the reason why.

"Liara..."

The Asari then placed her head in her hands and breathed heavily.

'By the goddess, its my fault. Its all my fault.' she thought as her behavior gained the attention of the others.

"Whats wrong with Liara?" Nightracer said as she looked up at everyone with a startled expression.

"It's my fault..." she said, earning confused looks from all.

"What do you mean?" Shen replied, before a group of soldiers appeared through the crowds and approached them, one of them was wearing red armour and looked like he was in charge.

"Commander Rodimus, I thought I would find you here." the Bot said, earning the Commander's attention.

"Warpath, as Swerve should have told you already, members of my crew needed to be here to find out if their loved ones are alright."

"Yes, he did tell me that. But your presence has been requested by what remains of the Senate." Warpath replied.

"Swerve informed me of what happened at the Decagon, how many Senators did we lose in the attack?" Rodimus asked, earning a bemused expression from the Autobot.

"Over half of the Senators were killed when the starship crashed into the building...wait, you were informed about this and yet came here first?"

Rodimus narrowed his eyes in response to Warpath's rather hostile sounding question, not amused by his attitude what so ever.

"My first and main responsibility is to my crew, Warpath. It's something that you have never really comprehended and that is why you never advanced past Captain. Now as soon as I know that one particular member of my crew is alright...he is in the room behind me right now with his Aunt, oh and his parents are currently prisoners of the very force that attacked us by the way."

Everyone...except Liara looked on in awe at Rodimus who was showing real metal as a Leader while he stared down at Warpath who despite all his fluster, looked more likely to run and hide than stand his ground in this moment.

"...his parents...you mean Orion Darby, Jackson Prime's son?" Warpath replied with a very unsure tone as he looked up at the Commander, who merely nodded back.

"Yes. Once I know he is alright, I will happily go and see the Senate. but not a moment before, am I crystal clear enough for you?" Rodimus answered, earning a somewhat shaky nod from the red armored bot who looked away, feeling very small in comparison. That was when his eyes caught the sight of Liara who still had her head in her hands, with Shen sitting beside her with his hand on her shoulder.

"...What's wrong with her?" the Captain asked, trying to change the topic and draw attention away from his humiliation.

"I'm not sure?" Shen lied as he looked up at both Warpath and Rodimus.

"She just said that it was her fault."

"What is your fault, Liara?" the Commander asked, making the Asari look at him as he knelt down on to see her at equal level.

"Galvatron…." she simply said in return and it was right then that Rodimus realized exactly what Shen and Nightracer both thought at that moment, remembering what Liara had told them during her debriefing.

"Ah, I see." he said before breaking eye contact with her for a second while looking away, Liara though did not know what to make of this action by Rodimus. But she looked at the others, and she saw supportive expressions from both Shen and Nightracer, while Garrus and Smokescreen just looked confused by the whole situation. But then her eyes fell on Warpath and his look was definitely more aggressive then everyone else.

"Would someone like to fill me in with what is going on here. Who is that for starters?" he said, earning a sigh from Rodimus as gave Liara a slight but sad smile, acknowledging that he knew what she was currently thinking before getting back up and looking at the Autobot Captain.

"This is Doctor Liara T'Soni, survivor of the Icarus incident on Cybertron."

"T'Soni, Matriarch Benzezia's daughter. She will be most pleased to know you are safe, Dr. T'Soni." Warpath replied with a smile.

"My Mother, she is here on Earth?" the Asari replied.

"Yes, she was one of the lucky ones, I guess. Your Mother was at the edge of New Iacon when the Predacons attacked."

But then the Captain's expression changed as he narrowed his eyes at her, making Liara feel uncomfortable.

"Now as your mother has told us and Rodimus has just confirmed, you were a crew member on board the Icarus, the very ship that as of this moment is half buried in what remains of the Decagon. Which means you must know more about these new enemies of ours."

"Wow, this guy is a real Sherlock Holmes isn't he." Smokescreen joked to Garrus who looked back at him with a confused expression.

"Sherlock...who?"

But Rodimus and the others ignored the pair and focused on Liara and Warpath, that latter of which looked almost confrontational as he stepped closer to the Asari and stared down at her.

"Are you going to tell me why you consider this all your fault, because the way you are looking right now screams of guilt."

"I…..I don't….I…" she started to stammer as the pressure from Warpath was becoming too much for her to take, causing her to breakdown there and then. Rodimus suddenly stepped in between them both and pushed the Captain back, startling him.

"Nightracer, Shen! Get Liara out of here while I deal with this arse-hole." he snapped while keeping his eyes firmly fixed on Warpath.

"She's not going anywhere, guards!" the Captain said, making his men ready their weapons, but Garrus and Smokescreen instantly equipped and aimed their hand guns at the soliders as did Shen. Nightracer motioned Liara into the room where Orion currently was before doing the same, while Rodimus stood his ground with Warpath.

"Everyone lower your weapons now, that's an order!" he shouted, startling not only the group but the doctors and patients around them. They all lowered their weapons while looking completely bemused as the Commander turned his attention back to Warpath.

"As for you…" he started to say before punching the Captain square in the jar and knocking him out, sending him to the floor.

"…consider yourself relieved."

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  • 4 weeks later...

CHAPTER XV

The last few minutes had passed like a blur for Liara and because of her current state of mind, she didn't understand any of it. The only thing she did know was at this moment was that she was standing in the room that currently was home for Orion's Aunt, who was in a coma while bed stricken at the other end of said room.

"Liara?" a very familiar voice asked, bringing her attention to Orion who was sitting at Chromia's bedside and holding her hand in his own. He was looking at the Asari with a confused expression, but Liara felt no hostile intent from him as they looked at each other for a long moment. The Blue Woman could say that she felt this young man sitting in front of her could never be capable of such an action to those he considered his friends. Since the first time they had met, Orion had only ever tried to be her friend. But she also felt that there could be more there between the two of them, and she would be lying if she didn't feel it too. But as of this moment, all she felt was shame and guilt, which could be seen all over her face.

Orion was definitely confused right now since just prior to this he had been sitting with his Aunt, who despite her injuries looked so peaceful as she lied there on the bed. And even though she was currently unaware of his presence, Orion was going to stay by her side for a little longer while he thought on everything that had happened recently. The Predacons and Galvatron, how they captured his parents, finding out that his Uncle had been killed and the not so small miracle that was his Aunt surviving her injuries. Nothing on this day had made any sense to the young Man, and then Liara appearing in the room simply added to his confusion.

"Liara, what's wrong?" Orion asked as he observed the beautiful Asari, and she was very beautiful. But as he focused on Liara, he noticed her eyes were welling up while a single tear ran down her left cheek as she started to sob. So Orion instantly walked over to her, which made the Asari look down at the ground in shame.

"Liara, talk to me..." he said with in a soft tone while kneeling down in front of her so they would be at face level, and slowly the Asari looked back at him with her aqua coloured eyes meeting his own.

"...Its all my fault, Orion."

"What is, Liara?" he said back with a look that was both confused and curious.

"Everything...everything that has happened today with Galvatron, the attack on city, your family...all of it." she replied while looking away again, not wanting him to see the shame that she felt inside. Orion though wasn't going to back down from this and let Liara drown in sorrow that was not even deserved.

"Look at me, Liara." he said in gentle yet firm tone, earning her attention as she wiped the tears from her face.

"I know you were there when Galvatron was awakened, but that does not make you or anyone among the group you were with responsible for any of the atrocities that he has committed since then. He and these Predacons are the ones that should be blamed, no one else." he added, making Liara shake her head in return.

"But I did secretly have doubts about waking him up, though I ignored them because I trusted Shockblast's judgement." She said, earning a supportive look from the Spectre.

"And if you had raised your concerns, do you think that Shockblast would have listened or would he have continued forward?"

The Asari looked at Orion, or more so his own blue eyes and saw no judgement or anger, just a calmness that seemed to seep into her very being as she remembered how driven her former Boyfriend was at that time. So she broke eye contact and sighed while looking back down to the ground.

"...No, he wouldn't have stopped." she admitted as another tear flowed down her cheek as she remembered Shockblast.

"Come here." Orion then said as he instinctively brought his arms up around the Asari and embraced her in a hug, which surprised her at first. But soon Liara found herself calming down as she brought her arms up and hugged him back in return. The whole action made her feel even more calmer as they held on to each other, the Asari could swear that she felt the beats of Orion's spark through his chest due to their physical closeness right now and the that too added to the calming effect that the bot had over her at this moment.

"You okay?" Orion asked as she rested her head on his shoulder, listening to her breathing as it slowed down.

"Yes. ye, I feel better. And you?"

"Funny enough, I do too." he replied, surprised that he was feeling that way. Helping Liara obviously took his mind off of his own problems, which now made him feel calmer and more assertive. So they pulled away from each other, but neither had noticed that they were still holding each others hands.

"Thank you, Orion." Liara said with a slight smile, earning a similar expression from the Bot as she gently stroked his hand with her thumb affectionately.

"You're welcome, Liara." he replied before looking past her towards the door.

"Ready to go out there and face everyone?"

The Asari nodded in return.

"Yes...but you are coming too right?" she asked with a curious expression.

"I am, just give me a moment." Orion replied, gaining a nod back before he walked back over to his Aunt's bed. Orion bent down over the sleeping Chromia and placed his hand over hers.

"I have to go now, Aunt Chromia, but I promise that I will return with my Mom and Dad. And I will also make Galvatron pay for Uncle Ironide's death, I hope to see you soon." he whispered into her ear, then he got back up and walked over to Liara who was waiting by the door. But as they turned their attention away from Chromia, they did not notice that her hand began to move for a second.

"Well, here we go." Orion said as he tapped the release button on the control panel at the door's side, making it slide open but then they both looked on in wide eyed surprise at the sight before them. As lying unconscious on the floor was Warpath while everyone else stood around him, not looking the slightest bit bothered that he was. Then Smokescreen smiled at both bot and Asari.

"Guess what you guys missed!"

PRIME EFFECT 4

Six-shot had been standing at the Command post in the Nemesis's CIC for over an hour since taking over from Lord Galvatron, and he had nothing much to say or do as the Terracons continued with their tasks without any trouble what so ever. So he instead used his time to go over the ship's security footage and database, one holo-screen had information scrolling down it about the Nemesis's capabilities, while another had live footage of both Jackson Prime and his spark-mate Arcee in their shared cell. It showed the Femme as she was tending to her Human, who was lying down on one of the basic bed-like furniture that the cells were equipped with. The Prime certainly looked worse for wear and not just because of his missing limb, because Galvatron had really done a number on him physically as he was covered in bruises.

'I wonder if our Lord had gone over board on the Prime because of his rapidly erratic state of mind.' Six-shot thought as he then with a flick of his hand switched to another camera, this one was titled 'Commander's Quarters'. But the Con was surprised to see nothing but static on the screen which was accompanied by a hissing sound, which meant that the camera had been shut down at the source.

'Scrap! What are you hiding, Galvatron?'

But before he could contemplate that question any further, his attention was drawn to the sound of the door to the CIC opening up. He quickly shut down the security footage and turned around, hoping that it wasn't a certain Predacon Leader. But he breathed a sigh of relief as he recognised his Brother Shockblast, who walked up to him with two other Cons that he did not know.

"Shockblast..." he exclaimed happily.

"...I did not know you were coming on board." he added as he went to embrace his older sibling, but Shockblast ignored it and took a step back with a cold expression that surprised Six-shot.

"I am here to report my progress to Lord Galvatron, where is he?"

"He retired to his quarters an hour ago. Are you alright? Because I haven't seen you for a while." the younger sibling asked with a worried expression since he had not expected this reaction from his own Brother. But Shockblast just looked at him blankly.

"I am fine, I have been busy creating more Terrcons and these two Predacons from the last of the CNA samples in Shockwave's database." he replies while gesturing to the two newcomers behind him. One was Caucasian with blond hair, strong build and was wearing silver and black armour, while the other looked Asian with a slightly smaller frame and was wearing yellow armour with black stripes covering it like some sort of camouflage.

"This is Darksteel and Vertebreak, They had wished to meet their Master before being deployed."

"Welcome to the Predacons, I am sure you will both be excellent additions to our Lord Galvatron's army." Six-shot said with a slight smile at the two Men, but they did not even acknowledge him. They simply looked back to Shockblast who nodded in return, causing both to turn around and leave the CIC. The older sibling was then about to do the same, but Six-shot stopped him.

"Shockblast, are you okay?" he said, regaining his Brother's attention.

"Yes, I am fine, Six-shot." he replied with smile, something the younger brother not seen in a while. This brought relief to his spark as he smiled back in return.

"That's good to hear. It's just I haven't seen you outside of that lab for a good while."

"I have just been busy, you worry to much, little Brother." Shockblast said back, earning a sigh from the younger Con.

"Yeah...I guess I do. Still we can spend some quality brother time at some point right? Possibly on patrol or something."

"Sure thing, well I should get back. If you could inform our Liege of my visit, I would appreciate it." Shockblast replied before turning around and walking out of the CIC. But as the younger sibling watched the door close behind his him with just the Terracons once again, as his worry for his brother came back to the surface.

'Liege? Shockblast never used to speak like that before. What is happening to him.'

PRIME EFFECT 4

"So you just knocked him out?" Orion asked, trying hard to keep himself from smirking as he looked at Rodimus, who just nodded in return.

"Yes, I did."

"It was awesome." Smokescreen interjected, sounding more like the naive younger soldier he used to be years earlier.

"Warpath had it coming, but more importantly are you alright, Liara?" the Commander replied.

"Yes, thank you. Though I feel I should apologise for my behavior." the Asari said in return sheepishly, wanting nothing more than to forget her moment of misguided guilt.

"You have nothing to apologise for, Liara." Shen replied with a smile, one mirrored by the rest of the group which earned an embarrassed smile from the Asari who also blushed in return.

"And you're alright, Orion?" the Commander asked as he turned his attention to his XO.

"Yes, I think I will be. As long as get back out there, I have to find my parents and make those that took them pay." Orion replied with serious and firm tone.

"I second that." Nightracer said in agreement, earning nods from Shen and Smokescreen.
"Want some extra help?" the bot said, surprising the others.

"You want to join us the Normandy too, Smokescreen?" Rodimus asked.

" Sure." the Autobot replied with an eager tone and smile.

"You do know that you won't be counted as an Autobot Spectre." the Commander replied, gaining a nod from the Bot.

"I know, but still I want to help get Jack and Arcee back...any way I can."

"Alright then, but what about Grunt?" the Spectre Elite said back.

"If you think you could use a Krogan on your team, I am sure he would want in on this too." Smokescreen replied.

"Well, I will ask him when I see him. So I guess..." Rodimus began to say before his com-link beeped.

"Excuse me." he then said to the others before taking the call.

"Jetstorm, report...you have, excellent. How long for repairs...four days! Okay, we'll just have to try and speed that up. Thanks for the update...Rodimus out." the Commander replied before ending the call and returning his attention to the others.

"The Normandy has docked with the dry-dock and the have begun repairs."

"Did we hear that right...four days?" Orion asked, earning a nod from his Commander.

"That's the minimal it will take to get the Normandy back to full working condition. And in the meantime I have a Senate meeting to attend. So I am placing the rest of you on the inactive list until the ship is ready. Take the time to see your families and rest..." he said while glancing over to Orion, hoping he didn't offend his XO. But since The Bot did not even flinch, the Commander continued.

"...I will want you all in full fighting condition when we leave."

"leave? Where will we be going?" Shen asked.

"Cybertron, since that is where Liara first came in contact with this Galvatron right, in one of Shockwave's secret labs, I think it would be a good place to start our search."

"Yes, that's correct." the Asari replied, as Smokescreen jumped in.

"And the Predacons came from Cybertron originally too, maybe Galvatron found another of Shocks's labs and woke them up too."

Everyone looked at the bot, who simply stared back at them with a confused expression.

"What? I can't have been the only one to know that bit of Cybertron's history."

"No, that's actually a good point you just made, Smokescreen." Rodimus replied.

"We are just surprised that it came from you." Garrus teased, gaining a red face from the Bot.

"Hey...no fair, I have had lots pf good ideas in the past. How about the time I used the Phase-Shifter to reclaim the Apex Armour from Starscream."

"Moving on..." the Commander said suddenly, moving the group's attention back to himself.

"...I am going to go and propose our plan to the Senate, so what you do now for the next few days is up to you."

"Hey, Dad, why don't you join us too. You can still kick ass with the best of them." Shen asked, making the older Turian smile and shake his head in return.

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, Son, but I am getting to old for this. Besides, the Normandy already has one ace Turian sniper on board, no need to add another."

"Alright, then how about I stick around so we can catch up until the Normandy's ready?" the younger Turian replied.

"I'd like that. Come on then, let's get something to eat." Garrus said back before leaving the area with his Son.

"I am going to go visit my Mom, what about you, Orion?" Nightracer said as she looked over to the young Spectre who had a thoughtful expression on his face.

"Oh, I think I will spend some time at the family home." he replied before looking over to Liara who was speaking to Rodimus, not even noticing that the Femme had stopped beside him.

"You sure you want to, I mean you haven't been back there in a good few years, Orion. I mean with everything that has just happened in such a short time, perhaps going home isn't the best course of action. I mean, wouldn't you rather like to stay with your Aunt?"

Orion looked back at Nightracer and gave her a slight smile, knowing fully well that she was just looking out for him, but he just shook his head in return.

"The Doctor said that it would be a while yet before Chromia wakes, and I know she would not want me to wait around for her to do so when there could be other things that need doing. Plus I have been putting visiting home off for far too long, so I need to do this."

The Femme nodded in acknowledgement before turning away, but then she looked back.

"Okay, but if you need anything…." she said, earning a smile from Orion.

"I know. Thanks, Ni."

Then Nightracer turned away and headed down the corridor, leaving the young Darby on his own as he looked back over to Liara and Rodimus.

"Liara, you know that your Mother will be expecting that I bring you with me to her at the Senate meeting." the Commander said, gaining a nod from the Asari.

"I do, Commander, as I also know that my Mother would then have me taken back to Thessia to keep me safe. But that is not what I want, since I feel that I can be of help to you and your team. So I would like to join your crew, if you will have me?"

"I have a feeling that your Mother would not approve, but with us going to Cybertron and possibly facing off against Galvatron. I would rather we had someone who knows their way around, so as Commander of the Normandy…. permission granted Dr T'Soni."

"Thank you, Commander." the Asari replied with a smile.

"Well, I will see you aboard the Normandy then." the Spectre Elite said back before turning around and walking away, but not before glancing over to Orion and giving him a nod. The younger bot nodded back as the Commander headed to the elevator and once there, Rodimus looked back to see Liara joining Orion and he just smirked before stepping into the elevator before it's doors closed.

"I thought you would be going to see your mother, Liara?" Orion asked as the blue Asari stopped beside him, before shaking her head in return.

"No, actually as of this moment, I am now a member of the Normandy's crew." she replied, gaining a surprised smile from the bot which almost made her blush.

"Really? Well, I am glad that you are sticking around."

"Are you now, and why is that then?" Liara responded coyly, and now it was Orion's time to blush as he ran his hand through his blue hair.

"Well….you are….. really good with those Biotics of yours for one thing." he managed to say without too much of a stammer, earning chuckle from the Asari.

"Okay, that will do…..for now. So where were you heading?"

"I was going to go back home, I haven't been there for a long time." the Bot replied.

"Do you want some company?" Liara replied, gaining a slight smile from Orion in return.

"Sure, I mean if you don't have anything else…"

"No, I think it is safe to say that…. I am all yours." the Asari said back.

"Alright, so let's go to the ground-bridge then." Orion said before they both walked toward the elevator together and got ready to leave the Hospital.

PRIME EFFECT 4

Twenty minutes later and both Orion and Liara stepped through the vortex of the Ground-bridge to find themselves standing atop a small grassy hill, one that had a perfect view of the coastline as the waves moved onto the golden sand beach just aways from the pair.

"I know we are going to your family home, Orion, but where exactly are we?" Liara asked while looking out to the horizon where the deep blue ocean and the clear blue sky met.

"We are on the northern California coast, not far from San Francisco. This is called 'Drakes Bay'." Orion replied, earning a curious expression from the Asari.

"Drake's Bay?"

"It was named after Sir Francis Drake, who was the second person to circumnavigate the world from 1577 to 1580. It is believed that his landing spot was on this bay during that voyage." Orion replied.

"I see, did it have any name before that?"

"Puerto De Los Reyes."

"So, you are also quite knowledgeable. Not just a pretty face then." Liara replied coyly, nearly making the Bot blush yet again.

'She's very good at that.' Orion thought as he smiled at her, before pointing to a white house just aways from them.

There's the Darby residence." he said as his Asari friend looked over to the house, noticing its picket fence and large porch, complete with porch swing that overlooked the beach and sea.

"Looks nice. Must have been a great place to grow up." she replied as they walked over to the house.

"It really was." Orion said back before going silent for a moment, this did not go unnoticed by Liara.

"Orion?" she said back with a curious tone, but instead the bot opened the little white gate on the picket fence to let them in and then looked around.

"Ravage? Ravage?" he called out until he heard a groan coming from the porch, noticing a large greying feline lying under the porch swing. It it lifted it's head and looked directly at Orion before then going back to it's original position, and then suddenly it's head sprang up again and stared at the blue haired Bot with it's eyes widening as it recognised him.

"Ravage!" Orion exclaimed happily as the feline got to it's and made his way over to the young man, though at a somewhat slower pace which showed it's age. Orion knelt down as Ravage came right up to him and licked his face before embracing his pet and friend in a warm hug, earning a purr from the animal. Liara smiled at this touching display before Orion pulled away and looked at Ravage.

"Miss me, Ravage? Because I missed you." he said as he stroked the top of the cat's head, making Ravage pull a funny and adorable expression as it enjoyed it, purring some more. The Feline then looked at Liara as Orion stopped and stood up again, the Asari not being sure how to react.

"Don't worry about Ravage, he is just a big softy really." the Bot said with a smile before the feline moved over to the Female and rubbed his body against her legs.

"Told you, I think he likes you." Orion observed as Liara stroked the big cat's back, earning a purr from Ravage.

"Nice to meet you Ravage." The Asari then said as she then knelt down and fussed with the Feline, Orion simply watched for a moment walking onto the porch and opening the door.

"Shall I leave you two alone then?" he joked as both Liara and Ravage looked up, the latter tilting it's head to the side.

"I'm coming. Sorry, Ravage." she said before getting to her feet and following Orion through the door, leaving the Feline to whine slightly before heading back to his spot under the porch swing.

"Would you like a drink?" Orion asked as they stood in the living room, with Liara taking a seat on the chocolate colored couch.

"Yes, please." she replied, gaining a nod from the bot who then entered the kitchen, which was a walk-in one that had a complete view of the living room. He opened the fridge and looked inside, while Liara noticed many photos on the walls and so got up to take a closer look.

"We have some beers and sodas in here." Orion called back from behind the open fridge door.

"A soda would be great." Liara answered back while looking a lt a photo showing Jack and Arcee with a baby Orion, gaining a smile from the Asari.

'He looks so cute.' she thought before looking at more photos that showed Orion at different points in his life, each photo had the feel of a loving family, which confused Liara due to what she had heard and seen when it came to Orion and his father. Her eyes then fell upon a photo of the bot at his Autobot graduation in full military dress, he had to be about twenty years old at that point.

'Orion really is an eye catcher that's for sure, but still so young when compared to myself.' the Asaro thought, but then she noticed that he did not look entirely happy in the photo. Neither did his father in another photo of both Parents standing with their son on that same day, the only person that looked happy was Arcee who could not look any more prouder of her son.

Liara was so engrossed in the photos, she had not noticed that Orion was walking up to her with the sodas in hand.

"That one was when I was fourteen years old, and went up in my first shuttle flight with my Mom and Jetfire who was a friend of the family. It was incredible seeing the clouds fly past and looking down to the ground and seeing everything looking like miniatures from one of those old model exhibits you see in museums. And then it got more surreal when Jetfire let me take control of the shuttle for a few seconds. At first he flew it with me, talking me through it and showing me what everything did. And then he let me pilot it without any assistance, I tell you my Mom looked very nervous at first but she was so proud of me afterwards and I was hooked on flying after that." Orion replied with such enthusiasm that Liara found herself swept up by the energy and aura that he was giving off as he talked about it.

"I just wanted to fly all the time, and Jetfire saw that I was gifted so chose to train me until I was old enough to join the academy." The bot added before stopping to take a sip of his soda, as Liara smiled back at him.

"I could tell with how well you handled that sky-car back on Illium, so why didn't you stay a pilot. I mean your a Spectre now right? Why did you give up on flying?" Liara asked, which suddenly altered the mood of the conversation as Orion started to look uncomfortable as he turned his attention towards a closed door at the far end of the living room. Liara noticed this right away and decided to change the subject, so looked out of the window that was next to her and noticed four mechanical devices on metal rods that were planted in a square like shape in the back garden.

"What are they?" she asked, regaining Orion's attention as he took a look through the same window at the devices.

"They are holographic emitters, my Dad set them up to create a sort of training area. He used it to keep himself sharp and ready by fighting with holographic enemies."

'Damn it, I wanted to shift the focus away from his Dad and this just brought it back to him.' she thought, but decided to continue on. Hoping that Orion would let her eventually.

"Have you ever used it?" she asked, gaining a shake of the head from him.

"No, but I have seen my Dad use it many times. Fighting against holo-enemies of Reaper Husks, MECH soldiers and mercs. It was one of the ways he would train or…..just let of some steam."

Liara sighed as even though she had tried to move the conversation away from Orion's Dad, she had done the opposite and the bot was still looking somewhat uncomfortable as he took another drink from his soda.

'Screw it!' Liara thought, because she liked Orion and seeing him like this made her feel as uncomfortable and hurt as he obviously was. But she knew that there was only one way that he would get over whatever issue was plaguing him about his father, and that was getting him to open up and talk about it.

And so she would have to force him to do so, even if it was painful for him. Liara hoped as she got up and moved around to face him that he would not end up hating he for it, but if this did help him, then that would be a good thing in the long run. Not only for him, but for his friends and family too.

'That has to be worth it.' she thought as she leaned against the window sill and looked at Orion with a and expression that was both serious and supportive.

"Orion…what's wrong? Talk to me." she asked in a gentle tone as the Bot looked to the ground.

"I…don't want too." he replied, the tone of his voice sounding uncertain. But Liara did not move her eyes off him and placed her hand on his own, which was settled on the window sill next to her.

"Please, let me know what it is that has been bothering you."

"What do you mean, what do you know?" Orion then asked back as he looked at her, with slight hostility in his eyes as he became defensive, but the Asari kept her calm and all he saw was the Woman that had become a friend in his eyes.

"Hardly anything. I kind of guessed that there was something that was bothering you after we first spoke about your parents, and then after talking to Shen and Nightracer…."

"What did they say?" Orion said back with a worried tone as he cut his friend off.

"They are worried about you and so am I, we are your friends after all. Well I hope I am?" Liara replied as she looked down to the ground, as if it was her turn to do so. But the young man sighed and hung his shoulders as he looked at her.

"You are my friend Liara….but I just….don't want to talk about…"

"What? What is it that you don't want to talk about? Because I can see how uncomfortable you are with this, and that to me, it looks like you have been carrying this on your shoulders for a long time….perhaps too long. So please….let me in, let me help you?" Liara replied in an almost pleading like tone, earning a thoughtful look from Orion as he looked back to her and then back towards the door at the far end of the room. The Asari followed his eyes and looked at the same door, gaining a curious expression on her face.

"Where does that door go?"

"My Dad's study."

"So this is about your Father?" Liara replied, as if she did not already know who it was that Orion had an issue with. But the bot nodded in return before looking back to her.

"Help me to help you,…please?" she asked again, as she thought she saw some cracks appearing in the armour that Orion was hiding himself behind.

"You know as a family we used to be so happy, and me and Dad were inseparable. He was my hero and I remember every night when I was young, he would tell me stories of his adventures with my Mom and the Autobots. I wanted to be just like him, experiencing the same kind of adventures." the Bot said while looking back out of the window.

"What changed?" Liara asked while never taking her eyes off the Bot as he reminisced, but then Orion stopped and looked at her.

"Things started going down hill when I was fifteen, my Dad began to change. He became more stern and serious with me all of a sudden, I didn't know where this attitude had came from."

"What about your Mother?"

"My Mom noticed it too. But whenever she tried to find out why, Dad would just shrug it off and act like nothing was wrong." Orion replied, earning an inner smile from the Asari.

'That sounds familiar…' she thought before returning her attention to the Bot.

"So did you ever find out?"

"Yes….." he replied before going quiet again, making Liara sigh to herself in slight frustration.

'No, not again.' she thought before gently stroking his hand with her own as they leaned against the window sill.

"You know if your having trouble remembering this, then there is another way to share it with me." she said, earning a curious look from Orion.

"How?"

"Well as an Asari, I can join my mind to you and share memories and feelings with you. It is a process that works both ways."

Orion's eyes widened slightly at that last part that Liara said.

"You can see my memories and feelings?" he replied as a slight shyness came over him, to which Liara smiled slightly in return.

"Yes, but I will only do this if you want me too, that is if you trust me."

The Bot looked back at her, his eyes meeting hers and nodded in return.

"I trust you, Liara. Okay, let's do this." he said as the Asari stood back up and took him by the hand.

"Come here then, Orion."

The Bot then stood up in front of her and the two looked into each other's eyes.

"I want you to think about your Father and what happened between you both, it will make finding the memory in question that much easier." Liara said, earning a nod from Orion.

"Alright, now close your eyes and relax."

The young man then closed his eyes and breathed in and out slowly, while the Asari then lowered her forehead towards him. They could almost feel each others breath on their faces, now that they were so close. Then Liara closed her eyes, mirroring Orion as she too breathed the same.

Then for one moment that seemed to last forever, the pair stood in relative silence apart from the sound of the porch swing which moved ever so slightly due to the breeze coming in from the ocean.

"Embrace Eternity." Liara then said as she simultaneously opened her eyes, revealing them to be jet black instead of her natural blue and Orion suddenly felt the world around him disappear as everything went black.

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  • 2 weeks later...

CHAPTER XVI

Eight years previously...

'It was early evening on Rannoch as it's sun began its descent below the horizon for another day and there was not a cloud in sight for miles, Orion was with Nightracer and Jetfire as they stood beside the training shuttle that they had just landed.

"Another great lesson you two, keep this kind of pace up and you will be ready for the Autobot Academy a year earlier than your supposed to." the tutor said with a proud smile as the pair of teenagers stood in front of him. Nightracer was managing to look like the praise had not gone to her head as she stood there in a calm manner, Orion though...well, he had the biggest grin on his face and could not look more happy. The Femme simply smiled and shook her head slightly as she looked to the ground for a second.

'I could hit Orion for being so big-headed, if it weren't for the fact he was so cute doing it.' Nightracer thought as Jetfire looked at his holo-tool.

"Okay, so that's today's lesson over now. Two weeks from now, we will fly through Razor Canyon and I will see just how good your reflexes truly are."

Both Orion and Nightracer looked excited as their tutor gave them the news, making him look back with a cautious expression.

"Yeah I know, its Razor Canyon. But you shouldn't let your confidence get the better of you, or the canyon will chew you up and spit you back out." he said while giving Orion a knowing look, which made Nightracer chuckle in response.

"Looking forward to it." the young bot replied, while trying to ignore the Femme.

"Alright, the transport will be here to take you back to your parents in the city in fifteen minutes, so I will see you tomorrow. And again, great job today." Jetfire said with a smile before walking off and leaving the two youngsters alone next to the shuttle.

"So we have some time to waste before our ride shows up, what shall we do with it?" Orion asked, earning a delicious smile from Nightracer who got up close to him.

"Well, since we are all alone, I thought we could make out until it arrives." she replied in a coy tone, gaining a similar smile from the bot as his cheeks reddened.

"I was just thinking the same thing."

The young Femme gave him a knowing smile as she put her arms around his neck and pulled him close.

"I bet you were...so kiss me already."

Orion happily obliged as he pulled her close and pressed his lips against hers, earning a little moan from Nightracer who then opened her mouth, letting the bot slip his tongue inside and it danced with her own. Then he returned the favour and the femme used her tongue to explore the inside of his mouth. The pair continued to kiss for a good few minutes, barely stopping for air as they enjoyed each other.

In fact they were so caught up in the act, they failed to notice two others, a Bot and a Turian around their age walking up to them.

"Get a room you two."

Both the Bot and Femme almost jumped as they pulled away, before looking around the air strip to see who had found them out. Then they saw the two new comers and both gave off an annoyed sigh as they recognised them.

"Why don't you come back in another ten minutes, Shen? We will be done by then." Nightracer replied without even looking at him, as she was more interested in looking at her boyfriend who still had his arms around her waist.

"What and miss that look on your faces right now." the Turian said back in a teasing tone, while the blonde haired lad chuckled.

"Quickstrike, find this funny do you?" Orion asked, earning a nod from the blonde lad.

"Sure do, Cuz, since you two sure do have a bad taste in making-out areas. I mean not far behind us there are some Geth engineers heading this way, I wonder what their reactions would have been to see you two like that?" he replied as the couple broke their embrace, but still held hands.

"I think their reaction would be 'analysing…analysing….analysing'." Shen replied in his best impression of a Geth voice. The others laughed out loud at the Turian, who bowed his head shyly and waved them off.

"Okay, not the best impression, I know."

"It's funny as hell though." Quickstrike replied as he took a deep breath and regained his composure, as did Orion and Nightracer.

"…So, what have you two been up to?" the young Darby asked while he gently squeezed the Femme's hand affectionately, making her smile grow a little wider.

"We were down at the shooting range, out-doing each others scores." Quickstrike said back, earning a knowing look from Shen.

"You mean 'you' were trying to out do my score, don't you? I mean who here has actually had sniper training?"

"Oh boy, here we go again.." Nightracer replied with a tired tone, earning an eye roll from her Boyfriend.

"Yeah, we know your dad is an elite sniper….." Quickstrike started to reply, only for the Turian to cut him off.

"…You mean the Elite Sniper, don't you."

Yeah well,...can your Dad take on scores of enemies with just his bare hands?" the blonde bot said back before waiting for a come back from Shen, but the Turian just looked flustered.

"Ha, didn't think so.."

"Okay guys, but tell me this...which one of your Dads is a Prime?" Nightracer then asked, making both bots sigh and nod back in acceptance. The femme then turned back to Orion and saw him look down to the ground with a dejected expression, making her instantly regret her action.

"I'm sorry, Orion. I didn't think."

"It's alright, Ni." he replied as she gently squeezed his hand while placing her free hand on his shoulder affectionately.

'I should of thought about what I was going to say before I opened my mouth.' the femme thought, because it's not like she did not already know about Orion's frosty relationship with his Father...or rather how it had devolved to one. Since it was never like that before, and frankly it left Nightracer incredibly confused.

"Okay, so what are we doing now?" Orion then asked to the others, bringing the femme out of her thoughts just as Quickstrike and Shen looked at him.

"Well, since we are all together, I think we should get the transport back to the city and grab a bite to eat before our parents turn up." the Blonde bot replied, Shen nodded in return.

"Yeah, I am starving."

Both Orion and Nightracer looked at each other before shrugging their shoulders in unison.

"Why not..."

"Great, let's go to the landing pad then and wait for the transport, it will be here in a few minutes." Quickstike said back, as he and Shen started to move away, with the couple just behind. But then Orion stopped and looked back at the shuttle, gaining a confused expression from Nightracer.

"Orion? What is it?" she asked as the others stopped too and looked back.

"What's the hold up?" Shen asked while the young Darby looked over to the shuttle, a smile appearing on his face.

"What are you thinking?" the Femme asked, knowing fully well what that look meant from her Boyfriend.

"Why don't we forget about the transport and make our own way there."

His three friends all looked at him with a wide-eyed stare.

"And how are we going to do that, Orion? The transport is the only way to and from here for non-pilots." Shen replied.

"But Ni and I are not non-pilots." the Bot said back with a confident tone in his voice, earning a half smile from the Femme.

"You want to fly the shuttle there instead, do you think we can?" she asked with slight trepidation in her voice, though her face betrayed that concern with the growing smile she had.

"Sure we can, and even Jetfire thinks so. He said as much during our last few flights, why else should he give us a chance to fly Razor Canyon." Orion replied.

"You guys have been offered that? Wow, I guess your progressing really fast in your training?" Quickstrike said, making the couple look at him and nod.

"Yeah, I was surprised too, but Orion is right. We have been excelling in our flight-skill."

The Femme then smiled at her boyfriend, who mirrored her expression.

"Alright, I'm in."

"Hey if Jetfire, the legendary Aerialbot thinks you're ready for the Razor Canyon. Then I have no problem flying with you guys." Quickstrike said back with a smile. The three teens turned to the Turian.

"Shen, how about it? Want to fly with the slow and annoying transport, or come with us and get there faster?" Orion asked, while Shen looked back with an uncertain expression.

"Are you guys sure about this, I mean it's not like we have permission."

"It's fine, Shen. Orion and I have flown together lots of times. I wouldn't agree to this if I thought for a second that we couldn't do this easily." Nightracer replied with an encouraging tone, but the Turian was not buying it.

"So you're not going along with this because Orion's your Boyfriend?" he asked in a matter-of-fact way, earning surprised looks from all three friends, who were taken back by his question.

"Shen?" Quickstrike asked back, while Orion and Nightracer just stood there, still in shock.

"Look, I had to ask the question. Because...I mean if we do this then we will be taking one hell of a risk. Flying a craft without a license while also underage, our parents would kill us." Shen said back in a calm and honest way, that immediately made the others feel a bit easier.

"I understand your concerns, Shen, but we do have our training passes and their range does go from here to the city." Orion said while showing bringing up the license details on his holo-tool.

"Yes, but they are only valid during the day, which ends in another twenty five minutes." Nightracer added, earning a nod from her Boyfriend.

"So we better get moving then, all aboard." the Bot replied as he pressed a button on his holo-tool, opening the hatch on the shuttle.

Once on board, Shen and Quickstrike realised that this shuttle was not like the standard ones that they were used too as Orion and Nightracer sat down in the pilot and co-pilot seats and activated their holo-interfaces that lit up with a blue glow.

"Right then, lets get this show on the road." the Bot replied as he fired up the engines, gaining nervous glances from both his friends who had took their seats behind them, feeling the power vibrating though the vessel around them.

"No need for those faces, Guys. You're in safe hands here." the Femme smiled back before suddenly the shuttle lifted off the ground and then soared up into the sky.

"Alright, we are on our way." Orion said as the others looked out of the shuttle's canopy at the brown rocky landscape which reminded Quickstrike of the Colorado Plateau back on Earth, which he visited a lot with his parents. They lived twenty five miles south of the area in a small town of Kayenta, and it was happy life that they were living.

"We should be reaching our destination in just several minutes." Orion said back as Shen got up off his seat and stood over Nightracer, who gave him a curious expression.

"What are you doing?"

"Well we have time for one song before we land right?" the Turian said as he scrolled through the radio stations on the holo-interface in front of him and the Femme.

"Because unfortunately neither the Geth or the Quarians have that much taste In music." he added, earning a smile from Quickstrike.

"Yeah, I mean have you heard Aunt Tali singing…..ugh. My ears are still recovering from that experience." Orion joked, earning an annoyed look from Shen.

"Hey, that's my Mom you're talking about…." he said back before going quiet for a moment.

"…but you're right."

"So are you going to pick a station then? Or just keep getting in my way." Nightracer said as she glared at the Turian, who ignored her and scrolled down the list on the holo-screen before stopping on one.

"There, that one will do. Activating now." Shen replied before a song burst onto the shuttle's speakers, instantly gaining smiles from Orion and Quickstrike.

"Turn it up." the blonde bot called as the trio started bobbing their heads to the song.

'Heaven only knows what you might find…Dare - dare to believe that you can survive, you hold the future in your hand…'

As the song carried on, Nightracer merely shook her head before giving a loving gaze to Orion.

"You do love your rock music." she said, gaining a smile back from the bot as they all just enjoyed the song as it moved on to another verse just as the shuttle was flying over a region not unlike the grand canyon.

"So is Razor Canyon anything like the one below us now?" Shen asked as he looked down at the area.

"A little, but this one is a slightly wider canyon to Razor which takes its name from the fact that the rock-like structure of the canyon walls can rip a ship in two." the Femme replied, earning wide-eyed looks from both the Turian and Quickstrike.

"And you two will be flying it soon…..wow! You must be really good." Shen said back.

"If we had more time, I could give you guys a preview by flying through this canyon." Orion replied, just as the song's chorus was about to start. But then both Orion and Nightracer's eyes widened when a Geth transport suddenly appeared from behind a monadnock and flew directly in front of them.

"Look out!" the femme screamed as Orion reacted instantly by pulling up the shuttle, with it narrowly missing the transport's hull by mere metres as it flew up and over. The Geth on board the other ship panicked as they watched the shuttle fly away.

"Emergency, emergency!" one cried out as it's single optic stayed fixed on the Teens shuttle.

Meanwhile everyone on the shuttle breathed a sigh of relief as Quickstrike got up and patted his cousin on his shoulder.

"Great flying, Orion. For a second there, I thought we were gonna be toast." he said with a smile, earning a similar expression from the young Darby.

"You don't think they identified us, do you?" Shen said with a hint of worry in his voice.

"No, but it wasn't as if that collision was our fault. The transport just appeared out of nowhere." Nightracer replied while the young Darby kept his attention on flying the shuttle with his cousin standing over him as the song continued to play out on the radio.

"We should be well away by the time those Geth report it in right?"

"I don't know, Quickstrike. We aren't exactly flying the tourist route back to the city." Orion said back, earning glances from Nightracer and Shen.

"What?" the Turian replied.

"What he said." the Femme added as she gestured at Shen.

"I said I would get us back to the city quickly, but we couldn't exactly fly back the safe way now, could we. With all the patrols in that area, we could easily be caught, so I decided to take us through the restricted area." the Bot replied, making the Turian's eyes widen in surprise.

"You mean we are in more trouble now, than if we had just flown back the safe way?"

"Look, I am flying us at an altitude that keeps us from being detected by the Geth/Quarian sensors in this area, and I doubt that transport even had a chance to report us."

Nightracer was about to say something before her attention was caught by a flashing object appearing on the shuttle's sensor screen.

"Ugh, I think you might be wrong there, Orion. Because our sensors say that a Geth gunship is approaching our rear."

And with that explanation from the femme and even though they could not see the back of the shuttle, Quickstrike and Shen looked back with worried expressions on their faces.

"Oh Scrap!" the blonde bot said just as the rock song entered another verse.

The larger gunship began gaining on the shuttle as a Geth voice spoke over the inter-com.

"Unidentified Shuttle, we demand you land now!"

Shen began to panic as the synthesized voice blared out of the speakers.

"By the spirits! If they catch us, our parents are gonna kill us." he said, making Quickstrike place a hand on his shoulder in support.

"Only if they catch us. Right, Orion?" the Bot said, earning a nod from his cousin.

"Right. Buckle up, Guys. I am taking us into the canyon." he said and as everyone did just that, he brought the shuttle into a sharp descent as it flew down at speed into the canyon, with the gunship in close pursuit as they both flew through the weaving-like shaped ravine.

"You do know that it will catch up to us eventually." Nightracer said as she saw the gunship closing on them on her holo-screen.

"Yeah, but I am hoping that this canyon's width will get small enough for just our shuttle." Orion replied as he brought the shuttle around a bend, bringing them out into a much wider part of the ravine.

"You were saying." Shen said as he pointed out at the now much wider canyon.

"Ni, put everything we have into the engines." Orion said, ignoring his panicking friend.

"That will only buy us about twenty more seconds." the Femme said back as she rerouted the power, giving the shuttle a sudden burst of speed.

"Yeah, but there is something ahead that might just give us an advantage." the young Darby replied as the others looked to what he meant, their eyes widening at the very sight of it.

"That hole in cliff up ahead." the Turian exclaimed, earning a raised eye brow from Nightracer.

"Its an extinct lava tube, but sensors say that it is barely big enough for the shuttle. Plus we don't know where it leads."

"If you guys have any better ideas, then you have about ten seconds to tell me." Orion said as he corrected their course and headed straight for the tube's opening. But everyone went quiet just as the Geth called again.

"Cease your evasive action and land now!"

"Think again, everybody hang on!" Orion said back as he flew the shuttle directly at the opening.

"No, no, no, no ,no, Noooooooooo!" Shen shouted as the shuttle flew directly into the lava tube, making the gunship slam on the breaks and stop before slamming into the cliff side. Meanwhile everyone on the shuttle held their breath, Shen was physically trembling as Orion kept his cool and focused on flying them through the small lava tube, the rocky walls zooming past the canopy of the shuttle as a white light appeared ahead of them, getting closer and closer before the shuttle then flew out the other side just as the song's final chorus began.

'Dare - dare to believe that you can survive….'

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as Shen just collapsed in his chair.

"I think I nearly wet myself back there." he said with a sigh as both Nightracer and Quickstrike high fived before turning their attention to Orion.

"That was incredible flying back their, Cuz. I don't think that Gunship will catch us up now."

"What did I tell you. My Orion's the best…..but I can do that too, just so you know" the Femme replied as she looked at Orion proudly and teasingly.

"Yeah, so you say." the Bot said back in a similar manner, before turning his attention back to his flying.

"So guys, should be back in sixty seconds." he added as they could see the city before them through the shuttle's canopy.

"Home in time for supper." Quickstrike quipped as their shuttle flew toward the city as the sun set behind the mountains in the distance.

PRIME EFFECT 4

The shuttle landed on the LZ at one of the ports that surrounded the city just as the night started to expand across the sky, pushing back the red hue and making the stars visible once again.

Everyone got up from their seats as Orion opened the hatch via a button on his holo-interface, while Nightracer turned round and helped Shen to his feet.

"You still feeling unwell?" she asked as the Turian placed his hand on his stomach, earning a noise from it.

"I guess I am just not ready for that kind of aggressive flying." he replied, earning a curious look from Orion which he did notice.

"Not that I can't appreciate such fine handling of a shuttle, and had it not been for your flying, we would all be in serious trouble right now. Thanks." he said earning a nod from his friend.

"Unfortunately, isn't for everyone...but your welcome, Shen."

"I will always agree with my Father on this subject, if we Turians were meant to fly then the spirits would have given us wings." the Turian said back with a smile, gaining Quickstrike's attention as he stood by the open hatch.

"But there are plenty of Turians who are pilots.." he began to say before Shen cut him off.

"Have you met them? Because I have and I can say without a doubt that they are crazy, I mean really gone in the head." the Turian said as he gestured at his head brain with a finger in a circling motion.

"Well, I guess that means Ni and myself are crazy too." Orion replied as both teen pilots stared at Shen, who then waved his hands in front of himself in a defensive gesture.

"No, you guys are cool. But I can say that because I have known you for like forever. But other Turians who do fly...stay away is all I will say."

"Well, can we get moving? Because I am getting hungry." the Femme said, gaining a mischievous smile from Orion.

"Yeah, you don't want to see how Ni acts when her blood sugar level gets too low." he replied with a wink, to which Nigtracer replied with a half-hearted punch on his arm.

"Oww." the Bot replied as he feigned injury, earning an eye roll from the Femme.

"Let's go, Fly-boy." she said back with a smile, earning a similar smile from the Bot.

And with that the four teens then climbed out of the shuttle and took in the cool evening air that was there to meet them.

"Well how does old saying go, 'red sky at night, shepherd's delight. Red sky at morning, Shepherd's warning'." Quickstrike said, gaining a knowing look from Shen.

"That doesn't really apply to Rannoch, since every night and morning has a red sky."

"You're ruining my moment of being knowledgeable, Shen." the blonde bot replied with an annoyed tone, as both Nightracer and Orion chuckled.

"Yeah, you don't want to do that, Shen." The young Darby said back.

"Because Quckstrike doesn't get many of them." the Femme added.

"Ha, Ha. Funny guys, can we go get some food now?" Quickstrike replied as he tried to push the focus away from himself. The others replied with more laughter before the group began to walk away from the shuttle, but their happy moment soon ended when Nightracer's eyes fell on three people walking towards them from the terminal.

"Oh scrap." she said, earning confused looks from the others.

"What is it, Ni?" Orion asked, making the femme point at the three Adults ahead and the moment the Teens saw them, they hearts/sparks sank.

"Oh scrap... Indeed." Shen replied as ahead of them were Garrus, Ironhide and Jack Darby, with none of them looking happy in the least.

"You guys look like you have had a good time?" Ironhide said as the teens joined their Parents.

"Tell us, was that before or after you took a shuttle for a joyride?... and without permission?" Garrus added.

"Or... And this is the best bit, nearly hit a Geth transport and evaded a Gunship that was just trying to get you to land."Ironhide finished as the pair stared daggers at their kids. Orion though glanced up at his Dad, who had stayed quiet the whole time his friends had spoken. And the young bot could see the disappointment in Jack's eyes as he just looked back at his son in silence.

"Hey, it was that transport's fault for coming out of a blind spot. Orion's quick thinking and skill saved us." Nightracer spoke out, surprising everyone. But Ironhide wasn't going to let that fly, even if she wasn't his daughter.

"Don't give me attitude just because your mother isn't here. I have already informed her of what has happened and will be dropping you off as Quickstrike and I head home." the Bot replied, making the young Femme quieten up.

"That incident would not have happened if you had not taken the shuttle in the first place." he added as the four teens suddenly felt small in the presence of their elders.

"Shen, let's go." Garrus said in stern tone, making the younger Turian walk away from the others while hanging his head in shame.

"See you later, Guys." he said, while Ironhide looked at both Quickstrike and Nightracer.

"You two, come on." he said, making the femme look at Orion with a sorrowful expression.

"Sorry." she whispered, earning a nod from her boyfriend as she took his hand in hers for a second and gently squeezed it before letting go and walking off with Quickstrike and his Dad. and suddenly there was just Orion and his Father and it was now that Jack decided to speak.

"Let's go home." was all that he said, and that made His son feel even more nervous.

The flight home in the family shuttle had been the most quiet that Orion and his Dad had every undertaken, with Jack just focusing on piloting the shuttle and his son just looking to the ground. The journey lasted less than an hour from Rannoch to Earth, with the shuttle landing outside the family home just as the sun was beginning to set over the ocean view that greeted the pair as they stepped out of the vehicle.

Ravage was waiting by the porch and soon ss he laid eyes on Orion, he ran up to the young bot all excited. Even after all these years the old feline still had the energy of a young beast and if he was feeling up to it, Orion would have shown his pal some well deserved attention. But the Bot just looked down at Ravage with his glum expression, making the feline stop and tilt it's head with a confused expression.

"Sorry." Orion said as he walked past, earning a whine from the feline as it slumped onto it's belly.

"Not tonight, Ravage." Jack said as he followed his son, gaining another whine as both he and his son walked onto the porch and then into the house.

As soon as he was inside, Orion took off his shoes and jacket and put them away. He did not look up at all, concentrating solely on these tasks as he knew who was waiting directly ahead at the connection between he hallway and the living room.

"Are you not going to look at me, Orion?" a female voice said in a firm tone, gaining the bot's attention as he looked up from the shoe rack to see his Mom, Arcee standing there looking back at him with a sorely disappointed expression on her face. All Orion could do was glance back at her every now and then, as his mother's staring hurt him inside.

"I'm sorry." he said in a faint voice.

"What?" Jack replied as he walked ahead of his Son and stood beside his Spark-mate.

"...could you speak up? Because we didn't quite catch that." he added as he gestured to Arcee while never taking his glaring eyes off Orion who still felt very small in before his parents.

"I am sorry." he said again, this time with a bit more volume to it. But though Arcee's expression softened ever so slightly, Jack's remained the same.

"And I guess that makes up for nearly getting your friends killed, hmm?" the Prime responded with a hint of sarcasm mixed in with the anger in his voice.

"Why did you do it, Orion? Why did you take that shuttle instead of waiting for the transport..." Arcee said in a more calmer tone than her spark-mate was using, though Orion could still feel the disappointment she had in her voice.

"'...yeah, like you have done 'so' many times before today?" Jack finished, earning the ever so slightest glance from Arcee before she returned her attention to their Son.

Orion looked to the ground and took a deep breath before returning his attention to them both, a resolute look on his face.

"Because I was tired of waiting for that transport and ...because I knew I could get us there quicker."

"So you thought what...that just because your one of the best 'trainee' pilots under Jetfire's tutelage, that gave you the right to take a shuttle and fly it through restricted space." Jack replied with a sting in his voice, making, Do I even have to mention the fact that you nearly collided with a Geth transport or your evading a Geth gunship." he added while Orion hung his head.

"And yet you mention it anyway." he said under his breath.

"What did you say?" Jack replied while Arcee placed a hand on his chest, giving the Prime a look that said 'back off a little'.

"So I guess it completely escapes your attention that the Geth transport was completely in the wrong itself, with the way that it was travelling and that it was down to my skill that a collision was averted." Orion snapped back, regaining his father's attention immediately as he stepped toward his son, ignoring Arcee's silent plea.

"And there in lies the problem. You think because you're gifted, that it puts you above the rules. That they don't even apply to you... I bet you didn't even think that you were in the wrong when you lead that gunship in a merry chase that nearly lead to the crew of that ship, nearly crashing into a cliff-face while you performed a death defying stunt to impress your friends."

"I did what I did to keep us out of trouble." Orion spat back.

"Well, how did that work out for you? Because you still ended up in a lot trouble, since a Quarian/Geth ground patrol saw the last part of that show and then reported it directly to their superiors and then to me." Jack said before looking away from his son as he took a deep breath, and tried to calm down somewhat.

"You know I thought, I…..we taught you better than that." he added while gesturing again to Arcee who was still quiet, observing both the Men in her life while they argued, as Jack started again.

"..I mean when I was your age, I never would have taken such a risk….and with my own friends also. What were you thinking?"

It was at this point, the anger that was boiling inside of Orion just exploded. Since he had heard this same story for nearly five years now and he had finally had enough.

"Oh here we go again. The old 'when I was your age' story. I don't know if you have noticed, but my life is nothing like yours was…..we are just nothing alike!" he said before he even had time to think what he had just said, making his Dad's eyes widen in shock at what he had just heard. Then they narrowed at him again as Jack clenched his fist.

"Why you…." he began to say before Arcee suddenly jumped in.

"Orion, go to your room!" she said, making both Men look at her in surprise.

"What?" they both replied in sync.

"You are hereby grounded from now until the day you graduate for the Academy, you will only be allowed outside these grounds for flight school and your studies. You will not spend time with your friends outside of these activities. Do I make myself clear?" the Femme added as she stared at Orion with a stern expression.

"Yes…..Mom." he answered sheepishly while Jack was still in shock.

"Then go to bed."

Orion nodded and turned around sombrely before slowly making his way up stairs.

"And you…we need to talk." Arcee then said to Jack, motioning him to join her in the living room. Though neither parent had noticed that Orion had stopped at the top of the stairs as they went out of view and began eavesdropping.

"What is going on with you, Jack? I mean you were really tearing Orion a new one."

"Arcee, after what he did today, what else could I do? I mean, this isn't the first time either...but definitely the worst."

"Jack, what Orion did was so very wrong and I know that, but your handling of it is getting out of hand."

"What do you mean?"

"I mean that for the last five years, you have really come down upon Orion for even the littlest irresponsible action. In fact you're not even letting him enjoy what is left of his teenage years. It's almost as if you want him to grow up too quickly."

"Arcee, we all grow up. That's life and it is time Orion did it too."

"No, there's more to it than that. I remember you saying that since you grew up without your own Father, this meant you had to grow up quicker and help your Mom, giving up on a lot of your childhood in the meantime. And on the day that Orion came into our lives, you swore that you would ensure that he'd not end up the same.

For a long moment Jack went quiet as did Arcee, making it hard for the younger Darby to listen from his spot at the top of the stairs.

"I did...but?"

"But what, Jack? Talk to me...what is it that you aren't telling me?"

The Prime went quiet again for a moment before breathing a sigh.

"Arcee,...I can't say." he replied, gaining a sigh from the femme that was somewhat less calm than his own.

"Okay, let's try this another way then, shall we. Because I have had enough of this tip-toeing around whatever issue you've been concealing from me."

"Arcee, I really can't say..."

"Serious face, Jack! Tell me!"

"But I swore.."

"To who?"

"The Aeons! I swore to the Aeons." the Prime replied, that last part really earning Orion's attention as he sat on the top step of the stairs.

"What? when?"

"Like you said, it was three years ago. I can't go into exact details, but let's just say that the Aeons showed me something.."

"Showed you what?" Arcee asked back, the tone of her voice far less hostile than before.

"Showed me something...something that is going to come to pass."

"And what was that?" the femme asked and so Jack talked and talked while Orion sat at the top of the stairs and listened intently, his eyes growing wider with every word that he heard.

A few hours later and Orion was then sitting on roof of the house, next to his open window and looking up at the star filled night sky. Down on the ground, Ravage was sitting in one spot and looking up at the roof, as if sensing that Orion was there. The bot's parents had already gone to bed at this time of the night, but he found that he could not sleep as the conversation, or more importantly what he heard his Dad tell his mother was playing through his mind repeatedly, like a endless loop. And its details had worried Orion immensely.

'It can't be true, it has to be a mistake.' he thought as he continued to look skywards, praying that what he had heard was not so.

PRIME EFFECT 4

Suddenly everything went black again before Orion opened his eyes and looked at Liara, who was looking back with an understanding expression.

"So...now you know, right?" he asked, gaining a nod from the Asari.

"Yes...I saw and felt everything you did in those memories, and I can now understand why you and your Father haven't seen eye to eye for years."

"But now I guess you also understand why I have never taken any of the command promotions that I have been offered during my career." Orion replied sombrely.

"I guess I would be concerned too, if I heard such information about my future. I take it things with your Mother got better? " Liara said back

"Yes, my Mom was still angry…..no, more disappointed with my actions. But after a month or so, things between us healed, it was with my Dad that ties were forever separated." he replied earning a nod from Liara, but then she noticed Orion looking back at the door at the far side of the room again.

"What I don't understand, is why are you constantly looking at your Father's study?" the Asari added, regaining Orion's attention.

"I am sorry, Liara. I guess that even after so many years being at odds with my Dad…I miss how things used to be between us. And it has also been a very long time since I last went in that room." he replied with a sombre face, this earned a slight smile from Liara as she offered him her hand.

"Then why don't you have a look, I will go with you." she said in a calm and warm manner, but the young Darby shook his head in response.

"We can't. Ever since my Dad and I started arguing, he has always locked the door and never let anyone in there, not even my Mom."

Liara though ignored Orion's words and walked over to the door and pressed the control panel beside it, which to the bot's surprise…..made the door open and grant them access.

"If that is the case, then why is the door unlocked?" the Asari asked as Orion joined her and together they entered the Prime's study.

The room itself looked like any other kind of study, there were a few shelves on the walls, a cupboard and a bookcase. As well as a large desk and chair, that had a computer terminal on it. But what Liara noticed was that there were also a few photos on the wall, ones that were of Orion that were not among the family ones in the living room.

"When were these taken?" she asked as Orion took a closer look at them.

"This one was after my first flying lesson with Jetfire, and that one was when I passed my blue belt qualification with Master Prowl. And this one here is the day I became an Autobot." the bot said as he looked at each photo, Liara gained his attention again.

"Looks like you were never far from his thoughts, Orion, even during the last few years."

"I don't know what to say. We have been at each others throats for over ten years now. I'm finding it hard to think that he could ever be proud of what I have done in that time." Orion replied as he continued to stare wide eyed at the photos.

"He is your Father, of course he would be..." the Asari said as she looked around, before an object hanging on the wall behind them caught her eye.

"What's that?" she asked, making the bot turn around and see the said object which was a large Cybertronian long-sword.

"I am sure I have seen this before or something similar." the Asari added as she walked up to it for a further examination.

"That's the Star Saber, a blade that only a Prime or one that has the potential to be a Prime may wield. It was originally the weapon of the original Prime called Prima, and it's last owner was the late Optimus Prime." Orion replied as he joined Liara's side and looked at the blade.

"I remember seeing your Father wielding a weapon that looked similar to this back when we worked together during the Reaper War."

"That was the holo-Star Saber, it was holo-blade that the Prime Armour allowed my Dad to use, since the Star Saber itself belonged to Optimus." the bot explained as Liara brushed her fingers against the long blade.

"But why doesn't your Father use it now, since he is the Autobot Prime now?"

"Dad was thinking about it for a time, but around the same time that we began fighting and generally not getting on, all of a sudden said that the blade was not meant for him and that he was only a caretaker of it until the 'one' that it was meant for would need it." Orion said, earning a curious look from the Asari.

"Oh, that's cryptic." she replied before she looked at the blade with a thoughtful expression.

"Wait a minute, after what you let me see in your mind with your Father and everything he said to your Mother about you. Could it be that you're the one this blade was meant for?"

Orion stared at Liara, his eyes widening as he thought about what she just said.

"After everything we have talked about here and what I let you see when we melded just now, how can you possibly think that I am the one he meant? Especially with how cryptic that sentence was." he replied in a concerned tone, but Liara just responded with a slight smile, one that she hoped would disarm the bot a little.

"It kind of makes sense. I mean, I know after seeing and feeling your thoughts that you don't think you are worthy of such a fate like the one your Dad said is ahead of you, but maybe that is exactly why you are."

Orion though shook his head as he looked back at her.

"No, I am really not that kind of guy. I mean I am reckless, impatient and stubborn. I have made more mistakes in my life than most and I really don't want that kind of responsibility."

"Why? I mean I kind of already know, but I want to hear you say it aloud. So tell me, why you don't think you are worthy?" Liara said back with a firm tone, but with an understanding look in her eye as she stared back at the Bot. Orion suddenly felt kind of embarrassed at the way she was looking at him, so he turned his attention to the floor.

"Liara, how would you feel if you found out that you were going to join a lineage of great people, especially two that became literally legends due to the deeds that they accomplished. I mean my Dad saved the entire galaxy from the threat of Unicron and his Reapers, before playing a part in creating a great and powerful Galactic Alliance. And Optimus Prime before him, well he needs no introduction or recalling of the great deeds that were done by him. I just don't think that I have what it takes to be that kind of person, because what if I did try but the. Have it all blow up in my face. I mean that incident on Rannoch all those years ago is proof enough that I am not Prime material."

Liara felt her heart ache for Orion as he looked down to the ground with a hurt and saddened expression, so she put her hand on his shoulder in a supportive gesture.

"Orion, look at me." she said in a soft voice. The bot slowly raised his head until their blue eyes met, and he felt a sudden calmness come over him as he almost lost himself in the dark blue of hers.

"Orion, you may not be the perfect paragon that you think is needed to be a Prime. But I know in my heart that you are still a good person, who cares greatly for his friends and family. Your also the type of person who will never give up, no matter how dire the circumstances."

As Liara spoke, Orion remained quiet as he listened intently.

"All of this I know from spending time with you and also from what I sensed while we melded, that is all the evidence I need to believe that you are exactly that which you think is impossible…..worthy."

The Asari then took a step in front of the young Darby as she then gestured to the blade.

"But I guess there is only one sure way for you to know….so pick up the Star Saber."

Orion looked at her in surprise yet again, funny how many times she has made him do that today.

"Liara, I…" he stammered, but Liara just looked at him.

"This is the only way that you will know for sure, either you can lift it or you can't. One way or another, you will finally know. So do it."

The Bot could see in the Asari's eyes that she would not budge unless he at least attempted it, so he took a step toward the Star Saber as it hung on the wall and reached out and grasped his hand around it's hilt. Once his grip was firm, he prepared to lift it off the wall, knowing that in fact that he would not even make it move an inch.

But then his eyes widened in shock as he effortlessly lifted the Star Saber off the wall and held it in front of himself with both hands around its hilt. He looked over to Liara and saw that she too was wide eyed at the sight before her, but she smiled as their eyes met.

"I think you have your answer, Orion."

The Bot returned the smile, though with a nervousness to it that Liara could understand as she watches him staring back at the blade. But then as if the whole situation was not already surprising enough, the Star Saber began to glow a light blue.

"Why's it doing that?" she asked, but Orion would not answer as he stood there and stared at the glowing blade like he was in some kind of trance.

"Orion?" the Asari asked, before noticing that his eyes were now glowing too, with the same light blue light.

"Dad?" he said out loud.

"Hello, Son." a familiar voice spoke back as Orion found himself standing in a white spot-light, which was completely surrounded by darkness. He looked over to see another spot-light appear in front of him and reveal his Father, Jackson Prime before him.

"Dad..."

"If you are seeing this message now, then that means you now have the Star Saber in your possession."

"Message?" Orion asked, but he did not get a response from his Dad who then carried on talking.

"Now I do not know why or even when this has occurred, but I want you to know that I am glad that it did. I want to apologise so very much for the way that I have been treating you in the last several years, I know that this would mean even more for both of us that I do this in person. But I also know that you would not give me the time of day to do this, and I wouldn't blame you." Jack said, earning an understanding expression from his Son as he listened.

"But there is a reason behind my behaviour though even now as I look back, I find that I was seriously out of line. You see I had something happen to me, something that I can not explain fully. This is because I made a vow to the Aeons that I would not divulge the very things I saw at that time, because no one should know the details of their future. But I still had to ensure that what I saw will come to pass, so I have instead left you something, something that will give you an idea or what is to come. Plus I know that even while you now stand there with the very Star Saber in your hands, that you will still have doubts. You are as stubborn as both myself and your Mother, but what I have left should remedy that. You will find it inside a lock-box that is connected to the underside of my desk, the combination code is sixteen, eighteen, nine, thirteen and five."

Orion nodded as he took in the information that his Dad was passing on to him.

"Now it is time for me to go, but I want you to know that despite my behaviour to you...I am in fact proud, so very proud of the man you have become. For I have kept a close eye on you and I can understand your reluctance with certain situations that have come upon you. But your choices have ended up shaping you into a better soldier than and like I said, I am proud of you son. So I Love you, Orion. I'll See you when I see you." Jack then said before he faded away, as Orion felt a tear run down his cheek just as he found himself back in the study with Liara staring back at him in confusion.

"I love you too, Dad." he said softly before he was suddenly hit by bout of fatigue which caused him to drop to his knees as he breathed heavily, while using the Star Saber to keep himself upright.

"What happened?" Liara asked as she knelt down beside the Bot.

"I was given a message, through the blade." he replied between breathes.

"It was your Father right?" she asked, earning a nod from Orion.

"Yeah and you were right...about my Dad, thank you." he said back with a warm smile, which made the Asari blush as she mirrored his.

"I know...and you're more than welcome ,Orion."

The Bot nodded before turning his attention to his Dad's desk, getting back to his feet and walking over to it.

"What are you doing now?" Liara asked with a curious tone as she stood and watched the young Darby placed the blade on the desk, then bent down and reached under it as if searching for something.

"My Dad said he left something here for me, I've just got to..." he said before a loud click could be heard, gaining a smirk from him.

"...Found it." Orion added as he pulled out a metallic box and then placed it on the desk next to the Star-saber.

"What's in it?" the Asari asked as she joined his side, while the bot punched in the code on the keypad.

"No idea.." he replied as there was another click-like sound and the box unlocked itself. He then removed the lid and he then felt his spark jump into his throat as he recognised the object inside the box.

"By the Allspark.." was all he could say as he looked down at the glass panel that was nestled on a black silk like cloth, which had Cybertronian lettering scrolling down its width.

"What is that?" Liara asked as Orion picked up the glass panel that was the size of a page.

"Its...a page from the 'Covenant of Primus', a book of the Primes that contains prophecies of the future."

Liara's eyes widened as she comprehended what Orion just said while taking in all the detail of the page.

"Really? Can you read it?"

"From what I remember from school, there are only two types of people who can read the Covenant. Those that have trained themselves to decipher the code, like Alpha Trion. And those that the prophecies are about."

As he said this, his eyes widened in amazement as certain letters stopped scrolling down and formed words and those words formed a passage, a passage that then translated into English. Orion looked at the page and read it, while Liara could not see it at all.

'A Prime will rise and connect the past to the future, thereby completing the 'Trinity of Primes', which will defend all of creation against the 'Heart of Darkness'.'

Orion then went quiet as he stood there and looked down at the page, the prophecy repeating itself in his mind. Liara though looked at him with a concerned expression.

"Orion? Orion, are you all right?"

And suddenly as if those words had woken him up, Orion placed the page back in the box and picked up the Star-Saber from the table and walked out of the room without saying a word. Liara followed as her concerned look changed to one of confusion.

"Orion, what's going on? Where are you going?" she asked as he opened the back-door and stepped into the yard behind the house.

"I want to see what this can do." he simply replied while entering the large area between the four holo-emitters, he then stabbed the Star-Saber into the ground and the activated his holo-tool.

"Computer, load up Jackson Prime 'Husk' battle scenario level intermediate."

Then suddenly the air inside of the holo-emitters began to sparkle as Liara stopped on the steps and looked at the bot as he looked back and smiled.

"I have watched my Dad use this hundreds of times, what better place to try out the Star-Saber." he said before noticing that his holo-tool was beeping at him, so he pulled the blade out of the ground and took a defensive stance.

"Enable."

Suddenly several Husks materialized out of nowhere, attacking the Bot instantly. But he simply cut them down, one after another with the mighty sword. One of the Husks rushed Orion from his right but he kicked it in the chest, making it fall back before slicing it's head off. The defeated Husk then turned to pixels as it disappeared, but the young Darby was not given a moment to breath as another Husk launched itself at him from his front. The Bot then swung the blade down and sliced the hologram in half, both sides falling away and turning to pixels while he turned his attention to the other Husks that were readying themselves to attack.

Orion couldn't say that he was entirely comfortable with such a large sword, even one that felt as light to him as one of the training staff's he used during Master Prowl's lessons when he was younger. But the other Husks attacked and one by one, Orion took them out of the game, leaving pixels in the air where they used to stand.

As this was happening, Liara had taken a seat on the steps of the back door and watched in silent amazement at the young Darby's fighting prowess. Though she had seen him fight before, it was still a sight to behold from one so young when compared to herself and other Asari who had spent centuries perfecting their fighting styles. Suddenly one of the newest wave of Husks leapt onto Orion's back, but he was ready for it and used the creature's inertia to throw it into the others, knocking them down to the ground like bowling pins.

The Bot then smiled as an idea came to mind, so just as the Husks charged at him. Orion concentrated and spun the blade around him before slashing the air in front of him, but then went wide-eyed with confusion when nothing happened.

'What the…?' he thought before suddenly feeling like something had smashed into his face, as the Bot found himself hitting the floor hard.

"Orion!" Liara shouted as she stood up on the step and looked to see her friend on his front, the Husks standing around him as though they were waiting for him to make a move.

The young Man then got onto his hands and knees with a grimace before giving the Asari a thumbs up to show he was alright, earning a sigh of relief from the blue woman as she looked on. Orion then looked at the Star-Saber as it rested on the ground next to him.

'Stupid Orion! You're not a Prime yet. The saber won't let you use it to its full potential, because you haven't earned the right yet.' he thought as he took a breath, then he took hold of the sword by its hilt and got on his knees, holding the blade of the saber with his free hand. The Husks just stood around him and watched, as did Liara.

'What's he doing?' she thought.

But Orion closed his eyes and concentrated on his thoughts on the relic of the Primes in his hand.

'I have never believed in destiny, rather I would prefer to forge my own path in life. Though t seems that destiny has other plans and that my life is to become intertwined with that of the Primes, but that is not important right now, for at this moment a mad man has taken my parents hostage and is currently unleashing chaos upon the innocents of our galaxy. So please...help me to end the threat that he poses and rescue my parents, and...I will leave it to you to decide if I am worthy of the destiny that is before me.'

Suddenly the Star Saber began to shift and change its form right there in the young bot's hands, as a slight smile grew on his face. Once the transformation had ended, gone was the overly large long-sword that the Star-Saber once was, and in its place was what could only be described as a hybrid of a Cybertronian blade and an Japanese Katanna.

Orion then gripped the new blade by its hilt and it glowed a faint blue, making his smile even wider as he looked up at the Husks staring down at him.

'Thank you.' he thought before launching to his feet and swiping at all the holograms in one swooping action, leaving nothing but pixels in his wake. Liara stared in complete shock as Orion systematically took down one Husk after another with the new looking Star Saber, holding it with both hands around its hilt. But then two husks attacked from either side of the Bot, so he switched to one hand on the saber as the activated his holo-armblades with his other and swiped at one of the two, taking it's head off before side kicking the other.

This made the hologram stumble backwards as Orion then sliced across its chest with the saber, making it grimace before spinning around so that his back was to the creature. And then with both hands on the Star Saber's hilt which he had flipped around, he then stabbed back into the Husk, right through its heart.

For what felt like a long moment he stood there in mid-action with the Husk impaled on the Star Saber, before he then took a step forward and withdrew the blade from the Husk who then fell backwards and exploded into a cloud of pixels. Liara took a step toward the holo-field as a score appeared on the outer edges in front of her and looked like a screen.

'Congratulations, a new time record and second place on the scoreboard.'

"Orion, that was amazing." the Asari said as the Bot walked out of the holo-field which then deactivated, shutting down the holo-emitters again.

"That was definitely something." he replied in equal amazement while he looked down at the Star Saber.

"So I guess you must have a destiny then." Liara said with a half smile, gaining a nod from the Bot who returned the smile.

"It looks that way." he said before his face went serious and he looked out towards the ocean.

"What is it?"

"We should head back and help with the repairs to the Normandy, we need to get back out there, find the Predacons and stop them." the Bot replied.

"And we will, but you heard what Rodimus said. The ship will still be in the drydock for another few days, so how about that tour you said you would give me. I would like to see the whole area where you grew up at least, I mean even future Primes need to a breather every now and then...right?" she asked with a smile, making the Orion's expression soften into a similar smile.

"You're right, let me just put the saber back indoors.." he replied as the two headed for the house.

"...and I know I have said this already. But... thank you." he added in a warm tone, which made the Asari blush in return.

"Don't mention it." she said with a radiant smile as they entered the house.

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  • 4 weeks later...

CHAPTER XVII

"Galvatron!" a commanding but distorted voice called out of the darkness, echoing around the Predacon Leader as he looked around the void that surrounded him.

"Who,...who said that?" he called out in a nervous tone, the voice not recognisable to him.

'Who was that? I could not make it out, but surely it wasn't Megatron.' he thought as he stood there in the blackness.

"Galvatron!" it called out once more, but again it was so distorted and without direction, Galvatron could not make out where it originated from. So he began walking through the darkness like a blind man as he reached out ahead of himself with his hands, hoping that he could grasp whatever was calling to him.

"Galvatron, follow my voice." it called out again, but now the Predacon was starting to get agitated.

"How? Where are you?" he answered back with an anger-like tone, as the voice was still echoing around him.

"Who are you?" Galvatron asked as kept looking, but only seeing the black void around him. For a long while there was only silence, while the Predacon Leader stopped in his tracks and waited. But then he received a reply.

"Galvatron, my…."

Suddenly his voice was cut off by a loud beeping that blotted out everything around Galvatron, making his ears burn as he clenched them and fell to his knees. The very sound felt like it was vibrating right through him.

He then opened his eyes and found himself sitting up on the bed in his quarters aboard the Nemesis, covering his ears with his hands. He looked around frantically and saw that everything was as it was when he had entered the room earlier.

'It was a dream...' the Predacon Leader thought as his attention returned to the beeping sound which was the intercom.

"Galvatron here, what is it?"

"Sorry to cut your rest short, Lord Galvatron. But you are required in the CIC." Six-shot replied over the com.
"I am on my way."

Galvatron then got off the bed and walked over to the door, but then stopped midway and looked over to the book lying on his desk.

'The Covenant of Primus.' he thought as he stared at it for a moment.

'I must examine the relic more closely, when next I have the opportunity.'

And then he left the room and headed for the CIC.

A few moments later and the Predacon Leader was among his lieutenants and Terracons in the nerve centre of the Nemesis, looking at the data flowing down the large holo-screen that Six-shot was controlling with his holo-tool.

"As you can see, my Lord. After our victory...which was at a heavy cost to our forces..." he said, earning a annoyed stare from the Predacon Leader.

"...the Autobots are still in a weakened and venerable state, with their fleet spread out around the galaxy and many of their ships are not even close to a space bridge. So even though we have few ships now, we can still make significant collateral damage if we perform guerrilla strikes on their other colonies." he continued before Galvatron cut him off abruptly.

"No. That is not what we will do next, Six-shot."

Everyone looked at their leader, who turned around and saw their confused expressions.

"uh,...my Lord, what would you have us do then?." the con replied, though with a slight questioning tone to his words that annoyed the Predacon even more.

"As you so gracefully pointed out, Six-shot..." Galvatron said with the same abandon, while standing over the Lieutenant and staring down at him with his red eyes.

"Our forces have been weakened by 'our' victory over the Autobots, so even though guerrilla tactics would sound like the right course of action. We would still end up losing more ships and troops, and that is something I will not tolerate. If and when our next engagement with the Autobot fleets happens, I wish for us to be on equal terms when it comes to man and fire power."

Everyone else in the room kept quiet as they listened to their master, but that didn't stop Six-shot.

"So,...what are we...to do then?"

Galvatron smirked and turned his attention to the holo-screen, hijacking it from the other Con's control with his own holo-tool.

"We are going to regain the strength that we have lost."

"...and how do you propose we do that, my Lord?" Six-shot replied as a map of the galaxy appeared on the screen, before zooming into an area at the top half of the map.

"Well, there is only one other alliance in his galaxy that has forces rivaling the Autobots and their Federation." Galvatron added as the screen froze on a space station, that had a fleet of ships orbiting it. Six-shot's eyes widened as he recognised the station and the Alliance it represented, while the others looked on.

"That's Omega! You want to attack the Omega Syndicate."

The Predacon Lord looked over to his subordinate and smiled.

"Yes, that is correct, Six-shot. You see I have been studying Omega through the information from the ISF mainframe, and the Syndicate is made up entirely of mercenaries, slavers and freelancers. Their leader, Aria T'Loak maintains control through fear and manipulation..." Galvatron said as the Asari's image appeared on the screen, that was when a familiar voice spoke up behind him.

"A person after my own spark, she certainly has more to her than you, Clone."

Galvatron glanced back to see the other Predacons standing behind him and unbeknownst to them, Megatron was there and leaning back against the desk, looking up at the image with a evil grin. Galvatron bit his lip and turned back to the screen, trying to refocus his attention to the task at hand.

"...so if we were to remove her from power and let them see it happen, then they would accept us as their new masters without opposition."

"But, surely there are those who are loyal to this Aria.." Lazerback spoke up, making the Predacon Leader look to him and also notice that Megatron was nodding in agreement with him.

"We will kill all those in her inner circle, that should end any threat of reprisal from Omega's troops. After all, they are without honor and so should be treated as such." Galvatron replied.

"So I take it that once we have gained control of the Omega Syndicate that they will merely be cannon fodder to use against the Autobots?" Six-shot asked, earning a nod from the Predacon Lord.

"They will give us the edge over the Autobots that we require and so will enable us to crush them once and for all, hopefully while they are still disorganised." he said while looking at Six-shot with a knowing stare, one that made the Con feel nervous.

"I can assure you my Lord, even if the Autobots are able to identify where their network is disabled, they do not have any ships in range to find out."

"Well, let's make sure of that shall we. Because while I will lead the attack on Omega with the Nemesis and three quarters of our remaining fleet, the last quarter will be split up with one half statying here on Cybertron to defend our interests, and the other will join the ships at Omicron and bolster their defences."

"I see, but isn't the Omega Station heavily armed and defended. How are we going to break down their defences, when they can take out any one of or ships with a single shot?" Six-shot asked as he interacted with the holo-screen and brought up the specs of the station for all to see. But then Galvatron reasserted control with his holo-tool, bringing up an attack plan.

"Our ships will keep the enemy fleet busy at the space bridge, meanwhile the Nemesis will jump in close using it's own space bridge and begin systematically disabling weapon placements of Omega. Because this ship has actually been fitted with armour and shields designed to resist the powerful beam weapons of the station. Those same weapons that could cut through our average cruisers with ease." the Predacon Lord said as they watched the screen.

"Also, the Nemesis will deploy troops all over Omega with our ground-bridge to ensure that we capture it quickly." He added before turning round to the Predacons standing with him.

"Any questions?"

The others all looked amongst themselves before Blight raised his hand.

"When do we leave?"

"Once Shockblast has birthed the latest batch of Terracons, which will be in five hours time. So let's get started." Galvatron replied, earning nods from then all.

"Dismissed."

As the group dispersed, both Vertebreak and Darksteel stepped toward the Predacon Leader who acknowledged them.

"We are will not let you down, Lord Galvatron. It is a honour to serve you." The yellow armoured Con said, earning a nod from his friend.

"Yeah...what he said." Darksteel added.

"My brothers, it is I who should be honored to have such warriors amongst my troops..." Galvatron replied with a smile.

"...For if you fight as well as Shockblast tells me, our enemies will find themselves fearful indeed of our power."

Both Cons nodded before turning away and leaving the room together, as the Predacon was left with the few Terracons manning the CIC's stations.

'This should be an easy task for my Predacons.' he thought before he was rudely interrupted.

"You even doubt yourself and your troops! What in the pits of Kaon are you? I mean really? Most of the time, you come off as a poor imitation of myself, by doing things that I would have done...and nowhere near as skilfully. Then you do a complete reversal and question yourself, you make me sick to my spark." Megatron spat as he stood beside the Predacon Lord, who gritted his teeth and clenched his fists tightly while trying to ignore him.

'Can't I have a moment to myself?' he thought, earning a smile from the Decepticon Leader.

"I heard that...and...no, you can't." he replies sarcastically, before he was then cut off by Shockblast's face appearing on the console screen beside Galvatron.

"Lord Galvatron, I have successfully sped up the Terracons incubation time, meaning that they will now take only four hours to fully mature, instead of five." he said in a cold and emotionless tone.

"Thank you, Shockblast. Continue to keep me apprised of their situation."

"It would be only logical, my Liege. Shockblast out." the Con replied, then as quickly as the image had appeared, it was then gone.

"Something is off with him, wouldn't you agree? I mean you do see it right?" Megatron asked with a curious tone in his voice, reminding the Predacon Leader that he was still there which only angered Galvatron more.

"Shut up!" he spat back in as low and faint a voice as he could, so not to gain the Terracons attention before walking off the bridge, leaving Megatron to chuckle as he stayed there in the CIC.

"You can try shut me out or ignore me, but I am not going anywhere." he shouted back as the door shut behind Galvatron.

The Predacon lord walked through the dimly lit corridors of the Nemesis, trying to calm himself as his spark was still burning with anger, mainly this was because of that hallucination though he did have a point. He was right about Shockblast, the Con is acting less like himself with every passing day.

'What is happening to him?' Galvatron thought before his com-link activated, pulling the Predacon from his thoughts as he tapped his ear piece.

"Lord Galvatron, Six-shot here. You have a call from the Omicron Colony on standby, it is Ser-Ket." Six-shot stated.

"Very well, patch her through." the Predacon Lord replied before the Con's voice was switched with that of the Femme.

"This is Ser-Ket. Can you read me, Lord Galvatron?"

"Loud and clear, Ser-Ket. But tell me why you are calling and not Rip-Claw?"

The com line remained quiet for a moment before Ser-Ket spoke up.

"Forgive me, my Lord, but my sister's time has been taken up with the torture of our prisoners." she replied as the sounds of screams echoed through the com-line, which surprised Galvatron.

"What in the Allspark was that?"

"Apologies, that was one of our prisoners, Lord Galvatron. Rip-Claw is quite efficient in getting what she wants through the infliction of pain." Ser-Ket answered with an uneven tone that the Predacon Leader picked up on.

"And this bothers you?" he asked, though the tone pf his voice carried no compassion what so ever.

"With my enemies, I prefer to kill them outright and not make them suffer. Because there is no honor in it, which is something I believe my Sister is without." the Femme said back.

"I understand and appreciate your opinion, Ser-Ket, even if I do not completely agree with it. But has Rip-Claw's efforts bore any fruit?" the Con asked, in an attempt to change the subject.

"No, not really, my Lord. We already know most of what the prisoners have spilled, which is why I am uncomfortable with the torture continuing. May I have the prisoners put out of their misery now?" Ser-Ket replied.

"No, your Sister will continue. Because I think that our Autobot prisoners know more than they make out, so tell her to keep at it and inform me of whatever she finds." Galvatron answered, earning a sigh from the femme.

"Very well, is there anything else, my Lord?" she said, with an agitated tone.

"Yes, I take it there have been no problems since we took over the Colony?"

"That is correct, Lord Galvaton, the entire colony is now under our control and its defences are in the process of being repaired. The civilian population are all under house arrest and the military contingent are either dead or our prisoners."

"Excellent. Then all that is left for me to say is that I will be sending extra ships to help you sustain control of the Colony." Galvatron replied.

"Very well, my Lord. We await their arrival."

"Galvatron out." the Predacon leader said back before cutting off the conversation, finding himself staring out of one of the observation ports in the corridor he had stopped in while speaking to the femme. And it bothered him why she would question the treatment of prisoners in the way she had.

'Something is up with her?' he thought while looking out at the dead Cybertronian landscape.

'I will send a message to Rip-Claw and ask what she thinks of her sister's attitude.' he added before the intercom activated.

"Lord Galvatron, you're presence is needed in the engine room." a Terracon spoke, earning a sigh from Galvatron.

"I am on my way."

PRIME EFFECT 4

Ser-Ket felt uncomfortable, it was something she could not help as she stood just yards away from the door that lead to the Achilles brig. The screams coming from inside that room were enough to make her sick to her spark, but what made her feel me uncomfortable was that their Lord and Master Galvatron was willing to let it continue.

'What sense is there in further torture when the prisoners have willingly given all the information they know already, just so it would make the pain stop?' she thought to herself as another blood chilling scream ripped through the air and her ears, making her grimace where she stood. This earned curious looks from two Terracons who were standing guard either side of the entrance, which did not go unnoticed by the Femme.

"What are you looking at?"

Both soldiers jumped to attention and stared back at the wall directly in front of them, but this was not good enough for Ser-Ket.

"I said, what are you looking at?" she repeated while walking right in front of them, breaking their sight of the wall so that they had no choice but to look back at her.

"Nothing, Commander." they replied in unison, but the Femme glared back as she stood before the pair.

"Good, make sure it stays that way."

"Ser-Ket, would you join me please?" Rip-Claw called from inside the room, gaining Ser-Ket's attention as she sighed before walking past the soldiers, who mirrored her once she was gone.

Ser-Ket entered the brig to see that all the cells were occupied with an Autobot, and they were all trapped behind an energy barrier that kept them from escaping or physically interacting with each other. But the last time she had been in this room, Ser-Ket could have sworn that the prisoners were all still breathing. But as she looked around, the femme could tell that they were all dead.

They bodies limp, bloody and bruised and they faces frozen in one expression that showed they had died in excruciating pain. Ser-Ket could not help but feel sorry for them, but she also felt relieved that their prolonged suffering had now come to an end.

"Sister, there you are." a femmine voice spoke to her right, making Ser-Ket look over to see Rip-Claw standing over a mobile berth as she smiled down at the male prisoner who was restrained on it. Ser-Ket's eyes widened once she got a good look at the said prisoner, recognising it to be the blonde Autobot that gave them a good fight during the invasion, though he now looked almost like the dead prisoners that were lying around them as he lied half naked on the berth, his muscular but beaten torso bare for all to see.

"This Autobot is being far more stubborn than the others Sister, he won't even give me his name." Rip-Claw said before taking a sharp knife off of the small tray of similar tools, which were already covered in blood and stabbed it into his leg, making the bot grimace as blood sipped out around the wound.

"Come now, would it really be so bad if you just gave me your name." she then said to the bot, before giving him a moment to speak. But instead he spat blood back in her face, earning an annoyed expression from Rip-Claw as she wiped her face clean with one hand.

"Okay, that happened." she said calmly in return and then pulled the knife out sharply, earning another grunt from the bot before slamming the knife down into his other leg.

"Arrrrgh! Fuck you, Bitch!" he spat before gritting his teeth as she pressed the knife down more into his flesh.

"You sure you don't want to give me your name?" the Femme asked.

"Go to hell!" he managed to say while gritting his teeth, gaining a sigh from Rip-Claw who replied by ripping the knife out of his leg as blood squirted out over the floor.

"I have to say, I did not expect this reaction. I mean I have cut and stabbed you numerous times, yet you will not answer my questions."

"Perhaps he does not know anything." Ser-Ket spoke up, gaining her sister's attention, while the prisoner then passed out due to the pain his body was in, but not before noticing Ser-Ket and her reaction to the whole ordeal.

"He knows something alright, and I will cut it out of him one way or another." Rip-Claw replied as she glanced back at the bloodied Autobot, before placing the knife on the table.

"But I will have to continue this later, when he reawakens. It's funny that he is the first person to pass out from the pain I have inflicted upon him." she added while walking over to Ser-Ket who looked back at the blonde Man unconscious on the berth.

"He is strong, that much is certain." the Femme replied, earning a curious look from her sister who the gestured to her to join her outside. So both Predacons walked out of the brig and stood in the corridor.

"Okay, I am going to take a break now and I want you to take care of his wounds." Rip-Claw said, making Ser-Ket stare at her wide eyed.

"Why me?"

"Because, my Sister. I have noticed that you've taken a liking to this Autobot since we encountered him in battle." the older Femme replied.

"Wait...I have not..." Ser-Ket said back in a blustered tone, making Rip-Claw smile.

"I mean in the way that he has given us more of a fight than the rest of the Autobots on this planet, just like you said earlier..."

Ser-Ket suddenly looked uncomfortable as her sister continued.

"...And I know you well enough to see that torture does not sit well with you and he too has witnessed this today, so this will hopefully soften his defences towards you."

"You think he will open up to me? That I can gain his confidence?" Ser-Ket replied with a curious expression, gaining a nod from Rip-Claw.

"Exactly, then I will give you one hour and then I will return and begin anew." she said with a confident smile.

"So you better get started. I will be back." the older Femme replied before turning and walking away, leaving Ser-Ket standing there in the corridor with a worried expression on her face.

'This will not end well.' she thought as she took a deep breath and then began to walk back into the brig, stopping short of the door and standing between the two Terracons. Both soldiers looked ahead with confused expressions as to why the Femme had stopped there, but then she suddenly grabbed them both by their throats and pushed them back against the closed door. Her grip was so tight that neither could breath as they gasped for air, but their eyes froze on her as Ser-Ket gave them a deathly stare.

"If you ever go behind my back and speak of me to my Sister again, I will make you suffer more terribly than she could ever imagine. And you know how creative she can be. Do we understand each other?"

Both Cons nodded as neither blinked while looking into her cold eyes, too afraid of what she might do to them. But then she let go of their necks and both men slumped to the ground, taking deep breaths of much needed air.

"Good." she answered before walking through the door and back into the Brig.

PRIME EFFECT 4

It was the most peculiar of sensations that stirred Quickstrike from his unconsciousness, as he felt what could only be described as warm water running over his bruised skin and into the painful cuts and stab wounds that he had been unfortunate to have withstood at the hands of that bitch. The fire like pain that he felt just beneath and around those wounds quickly faded as whatever it was healing him, but this was not the feeling that he found peculiar. It was a secondary sensation, that felt somewhat like wool being brushed over his skin, spreading and rubbing in the liquid over himself.

So he opened his eyes and instantly his pupils were bombarded with a bright light, one that had felt almost as painful as the blades that had pierced his skin, forcing him to raise his hand to the light and block it from his sight. Allowing his eyes to adapt, so that he could see what it was that he was feeling over his exposed skin. And slowly but surely, his vision corrected itself and the image of a beautiful woman standing over him revealed itself.

The woman, who clearly had noticed that the prisoner had awoken, chose instead to ignore this and continue to rub liquid Medi-gel onto his damaged body, bringing what felt like new found life to what had begun to look like a defeated husk. Quickstrike though recognised the woman who had shoulder length black hair as one of the two he had faced before being captured.

"If this is your version of good cop and bad cop, then I think I will pass." he replied weakly, earning the Femme's attention.

"What?" the Woman simply replied with an almost innocent tone to her voice as she looked down at him with a confused expression.

"So the other woman, the one that spent a good hour torturing me with both deep and shallow cuts. She also beat me into a bloody pulp with her fists as she tried to get me to talk. And now she just up's and leaves. And here you are to tend to my wounds and act nice to me. Sorry, but I have seen enough movies and TV to know what game you're playing right now and it won't work." Quickstrike said with confident tone, which surprised the Femme considering the condition the bot was currently in.

"Because I won't tell you anything, not that I know anything of value anyway. So you might as well kill me now and stop wasting our time." he added, making the Woman look back down to the cut on his chest and rub more Medi-gel into it.

"I know you won't say anything, but I have my orders and they are to keep you from bleeding out and dying. I fear my Sister is taking an interest in you." she replied, making the bot tilt his head to the side and look at her.

"Your Sister?" Quickstrike said as he remembered back to the earlier torture and he did recall hearing that bitch call out to a 'Sister', but then it hit him what the Femme just said.

"…wait! What interest in me?"

"My sister has never failed to break someone's will through torture before, I mean you did not even give her your name..." the Femme replied with what sounded like an impressed tone while looking down at him.

"...And it was most impressive, but I believe that the next time Rip-Claw comes in here, that she will try even harder to get what she wants from you."

Quickstrike looked away from the Woman and towards one of the now empty cells that surrounded them, his face staying serious and firm as he dwelled on her words before looking back at her.

"Then I will just have to bite my lip and take it again, because I will not give her the satisfaction of seeing me falter. And if you think that this nice act is going to work on me, after all the lives you and your forces have killed here. Then you are a fool."

The Femme stared at him for a long moment, trying hard not to look taken aback by his words. But in this act she failed, as the bot suddenly recognised the expression on her face, as he had seen it before during the white hot pain he was suffering at the hands of the one she called Rip-Claw. Before another word could be said, the Femme's holo-tool activated and began beeping, making her suddenly stop what she was doing and step away from the prisoner.

"How do you feel physically?" she asked, as Quickstrike looked down at his body, the wounds he had suffered now nothing more than slightly red bruises.

"Better, I guess." he replied, unsure of how to make his answer sound. Due to the fact that he did not know what to make of this Woman, but she did show that she had compassion which was more than he could say for the other one.

"Good, because you will need your strength. This means that my Sister is on her way back." the Femme replied as she held up her holo-tool and Quickstrike looked at the flashing light on it's interface.

"I wish you luck and if you survive, I will be here to patch you up."

The Woman then began to walk towards the door before stopping and looking back at the bot.

"My name is Ser-Ket by the way."

Quickstrike merely looked at her for a moment before slowly nodding in return, earning a slight smile from the Femme.

'I am not going to make it easy for her, even if she is kind of cute…for an enemy.' he thought as Ser-Ket walked out of the room, making the door shut behind her and leaving the bot on his own and strapped down to the berth.

So he tried to free himself, but found that his restraints were tightly wrapped around his ankles and wrists. Then suddenly the door opened and Rip-Claw walked back in and right up to his bedside, flashing an evil smile as she looked down at him.

"Well, then…shall we start again…..or do you feel like talking?" she asked, but Quickstrike merely stayed quiet and looked away, which only made the Femme's smile grow wider.

"Very well,…" she replied as she then equipped some strange looking gloves before grasping her hands together, which made bolts of electricity erupt around them. Lighting up the room and making the bot look back at her with a wide-eyed and worried expression.

"…tell me when it hurts." Rip-Claw added as her hands descended upon the Autobot's exposed chest.

Suddenly Quickstrike's screams could be heard echoing down the corridor, it even surprised the two Terrcons guarding the Brig's entrance.

Even Ser-Ket who had been walking away, stopped and looked back towards it's source. A worried look appeared on her face, for she knew that her sister would only get worse and more imaginative in her obsession to break the Autobot, and there was nothing that she could do about it.

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  • 5 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

CHAPTER XVIII

Two days had passed and Quickstrike was lying on his side on the cold, hard floor of his cell. His entire body was shaking, but not because of the temperature of the room but from the pain that was coursing through his body.

Because the Autobot had just gone through another torture session with Rip-Claw, the sadistic Femme that took pleasure in inflicting pain on to others.

And what Quickstrike had gone through in the last twenty-four hours could only be described as hell, pure and simple.

That Predacon bitch was going through every torture method she knew which appeared to be all of them, and the Autobot was not even sure how she managed to inflict so much on him in the span of a day...but she had.

The Femme would torture him for an entire hour, then leave him alone for an hour in which time Ser-Ket would tend his wounds and then Rip-Claw would return an hour later to start again.

He did not know how he had taken so much pain in such a short time, but he knew that he could not give in and let that bitch win.

Now Ser-Ket on the other hand, he still did not know what to make of her, she was an enigma. On one hand she could be playing him just like her sister, offering a soft hand instead of a hardened fist or sharp blade.

In an attempt to make him talk and yet he could see it in her face each time she helped his wounds heal, that all this torture was bothering her.

The bot was good at reading people and this particular Femme was not doing a good job of hiding her feelings from him, which appeared to be going against what these Sisters were supposed to be doing.

'I have to hold on, be strong.' Quickstrike thought as he heard a door open, followed by footsteps as someone entered the room. So he turned his head to look out of his cell and felt his spark sink as Rip-Claw appeared and deactivated the force-field that was keeping him inside.

"Ready for some more?" she said as he noticed her holding a mallet in her hand.

"Not really, but if you insist." he replied sarcastically, which irritated the Femme.

"Well, I do." she said back before smacking the mallet down on the Bot's hand, making the bot cry out in agony as his fingers were crushed from the blow. He hen instinctively held his broken hand with his other as he rolled onto his back, but Rip-Claw then smacked the mallet down on his right knee, earning another cry of pain from the Bot.

"How much longer do you think you can keep up this level of insolence? What's going to break first, your body or your spark?" she asked in an irritated tone before bringing the mallet down on his chest, earning a loud crack from under his skin which made Quickstrike almost heave and cough loudly as he tried to breath through the excruciating pain that blow caused him.

"Tell me what I want to know." the femme said to him as her tone went from irritated to angry, as the Bot rolled onto his hand and knees Whilst not saying a word. Rip-Claw gritted her teeth at this and kicked him in the stomach, earning a loud grunt from Quickstrike as he howled out in pain. But the Predacon did not stop there as she then swung the mallet down onto his back, slamming the Bot onto his stomach.

"WHAT IS YOUR NAME?" she shouted before readying The mallet again.

"Wait...!" the Bot suddenly replied, making the Femme stop in mid-swing.

"You ready to talk?" she spat back with little patience in her voice, as the Autobot slowly got back onto his knees and looked up at her.

"My name..." he said as a grin appeared on his face.

"...is Optimus Prime, you stupid bitch."

Quickstrike then started laughing, which was painful for him. But he wasn't going to let that get in the way of this, as Rip-Claw's face suddenly went almost red with fury as she swung the mallet right into the side of his face, sending him back down to the ground and into unconsciousness.

"Scrap." she muttered as she looked down at the Autobot who's face had a very red and swollen bruise on the side that she hit, so she tapped her com-link.

"Ser-Ket, you are needed down in the Brig...and bring the medical kit."

'That was way too fast for Rip-Claw.' Ser-Ket thought as she paced down the corridor towards the Brig with medical kit in hand, she knew that her sister loved to extend torturing prisoners for at least an hour. So hearing that it was already over made her spark worry for the prisoner, which in itself was a worrying notion to the Predacon.

'Why am I worrying over an Autobot?' she questioned as she arrived at the Brig and walked between the two Terracon guards and entered the room. Once inside the femme noticed that Rip-Claw was already gone, but her eyes widened at the body that was sprawled out on the floor before her. For it was Quickstrike and he was unconscious with blood dripping down his cheek from his mouth, dripping into a small puddle beside him.

"What in the Allspark!" she said as she got on her knees beside him and began to scan his injuries with her holo-tool, the data soon appeared on her holo-screen and it made her gasp as she read the information.

'Shattered hand, broken ribs, broken knee, broken back and cracked skull. What in the pit was Rip-Claw thinking?' she thought aloud, earning a chuckle from Quickstrike which surprised her.

"You're...!"

"Still alive." he replied as he slowly turned his head toward her and met her eyes with his own.
"I guess I really pissed her off."

The Femme shook her head as she took out several syringes of triple-X Medi-gel and began injecting them into points of his body where the damage had been immense, which earned a yelp from the Bot.

"God! How big is that needle?" he cried out as Ser-Ket finished the first one and pulled it out gently.

"Don't be a baby, it's just a little prick." she replied gently, though with a hint of annoyance in her voice.

"I mean, if you can take a mallet to the head and still laugh about it, then I guess you can take a little injection." she added with a slight smile as she injected some more medi-gel into his chest.

"You're funny, I'll give you that." he said while looking up to the ceiling, the bot could feel the medi-gel coursing through his body, healing him. It was a good feeling, one that brought a small smile to his face as he looked back at her.

"I still don't know what to make of you...but...thank you, Ser-Ket." he added, earning a taken-back expression from the Femme before she nodded in return.

"You're welcome."

Quickstrike then looked away from the Femme with a concerned expression, which she noticed so turned to see what had gained his attention. What she saw was a camera that was fitted to the top corner of the ceiling over them, and the Predacon sighed before turning back to her patient.

"By the way, no need to worry about those cameras that are located here." she said with a confident tone.

"Why not? I mean with the footage that has been recorded over the last few days, aren't you worried how that will look to your comrades and your sister?" the bot asked with a worried tone.

"No, not at all. Since the cameras for the Brig have not been activated yet, I check the security systems each time before I arrive and they are still offline." the femme replied with a calm tone, before she took an injection and brought the needle up to the Autobot's face which was covered a massive bruise.

"Stay still, I have to inject this into your face so it will heal the damage done from that mallet." she said, earning a nod from Quickstrike who took a deep breath. Then Ser-Ket slowly slid the needle into the skin while the bot looked ahead and tried to focus on something else which was difficult as he felt the medi-gel flowing into his face from the needle which was followed by a tingly feeling. Once the needle was removed, the Femme smiled as she saw the medi-gel having an almost instantaneous effect as the damaged skin and the skull under it began to heal. The Autobot looked up at the Predacon and gave her an appreciative smile, which she returned as she prepared the next few injections.

Then for next several minutes there was a comfortable silence between the two, as Ser-Ket finished injecting the medi-gel into Quickstrike. And then once she was done, the Femme packed her equipment away and got up.

"Leaving so soon?" the Bot said with a disappointed tone.

"You need to rest, even if it is only for an hour." she replied, abet with a worried tone in the last part of her sentence.
"Well then, see you in bit then...Ser-Ket." Quickstrike said as he raised his hand an slowly waved to her, which made the Femme wave back to her surprise before she turned around and headed for the door. But then she stopped, earning a puzzled look from the Autobot.

"Ser-Ket?"

"You know, I can't help but feel bad that I don't know your name." she replied as she turned back to him with a heartfelt expression. One that made the Bot look up at the ceiling, a thoughtful look on his own that surprised the Predacon again.

"I don't know if it's the high concentration of medi-gel that's in me, or if I am just warming to you but...Quickstrike." he said, earning a look of curiosity from the Femme.

"What?"

"My name is Quickstrike." he replied, earning a smile from the femme as the force-field reactivated between them and walked out of the room.

Ser-Ket did not get very far because as soon as she stepped through the door, Rip-Claw was waiting with her arms crossed.

"Well? Did he tell you anything?"

This was the same question the older sister would ask after every single time that Ser-Ket had tended to their prisoner's wounds, but after what she had seen and dealt with just now, the younger Sister felt her blood boil as she looked at the other Femme, but waited for the door to close first.

"What the hell were you thinking? You nearly killed him." Ser-Ket spat, earning a smile from Rip-Claw.

"My, that's a lot of spirit for someone who is an enemy of ours. Is there something you want to tell me?" the older Sister replied with a knowing smile.

"No, I am just concerned that you will kill him before you can find out what he knows. I mean those were your own words, 'Sister'. How about keeping to them?" Ser-Ket answered.

"Whatever. That sarcastic little bastard pissed me off, so I made him pay for it. But you did not answer my question, did he tell you anything?"

'Quickstrike, his name is Quickstrike.' she thought to herself before shaking her head in response.

"No, he didn't tell me anything."

Rip-Claw simply looked at her and sighed before mirroring her Sister.

"Well, I guess I will be back in a few minutes….." she began to say, before being cut off by Ser-Ket.

"Make it an hour.."

The Predacon looked at her younger sister with a curious expression.

"…His body needs that time for the increased medi-gel to at least… heal his wounds, so that he won't die." Ser-Ket added, hoping that she could dissuade her sister from her more savage nature.

"Very well, one hour and no more." Rip-Claw replied before acknowledging the Terracons standing nearby and then walking back down the corridor, this earned a sigh of relief from Ser-Ket who then remembered where she was standing and so moved on, as both guards watched her curiously.

'I have to be careful.' she thought while she walked away, she can't be seen showing too much compassion towards Quickstrike who after all, is still an Autobot and an enemy of the Predacons. But there was something about him that she found interesting and it wasn't just his ability to annoy and frustrate her sister, though she couldn't put her finger on it at this time. In fact there were a number of issues that were plaguing her spark since her reawakening, like how out of place she felt amongst the rest of the Predacons.

She even found out from eavesdropping on other Terracons during their breaks that they could remember little moments that happened to them before the great cataclysm, and yet she could not remember anything. Actually her earliest memory that she could think of, was her battle with Grimlock back on Cybertron during the Great War. And then there were the nightmares she suffered during her sleep cycles which in themselves were confusing to say the least, because they were just an assault of images and sounds that hit her so hard and fast that she could not really make out what they were or about.

'It's funny…' she thought while she walked.

'The only time I feel at all at peace with myself was when I'm in Quickstrike's company. So yeah, I am confused….welcome to my world.'

The Femme then stopped at one of the windows that showed a view of Omicron's landscape and the city that was under their control and from where she was, the Femme could see Skystalker perched on top of what was once the Autobot communication tower. Ser-Ket found that whenever she was feeling down or in need of some time alone with her thoughts, then she would always come to this spot, which the Predacon was doing a lot lately.

And usually the view had been much better than this, as rain fell down heavily from the grey cloud covered sky. The femme had been used to looking out at multi-coloured nebulas or just at the infinite looking star-field, but right now she was too caught up in her own thoughts to really notice the view. For she could not stop her thoughts going hack to their Autobot prisoner who was currently sleeping off a torture session that had become a fists all and blunt objects hit-athon.

'Why did Rip-Claw go out of control like that? Could he really have got under her sister's skin and infuriated her enough to make the Femme lose her control like that...not like she had much of it to begin with.' she thought as she blankly watched as a Predacon fighter flew past while it performed its patrol.

'If Quickstrike keeps this up, then he really would be tempting fate. Because I doubt he would survive another close call like the previous one.'

A concerned expression appeared on Ser-Ket's face as she dwelled on this.

'I should check on him again.' she thought before realising the guards would still be there.

'Wait, it would look real suspicious of me to be going back just after I already treated him.'

The Femme kept her attention on the view outside while two more Terracons walked past her and down the corridor.

'I'll head down when the guards change shifts, that should give me a ten minute window.'

And with a new sense of purpose, Ser -Ket left her favourite spot and headed back towards the ship's brig.

The wait for the guard change was a stressful one for Ser-Ket as she remained hidden in the doorway of a room just aways from the Brig's entrance, too which both Terracons were still standing there and the hour mark was only shy of ten minutes.

'Come on, you have to go at some point.' she thought with a frustrated sigh. The Femme had been lucky that the room she chose to hide in was on the other side of the brig, because Rip-Claw always approached the brig from the opposite side and Ser-Ket didn't want to have to explain why she was even there at this time. Suddenly both guards began to move as one spoke to the other.

"Let's go then, shift's over. Time for some other unlucky sod to guard this son of a glitch."

"Yeah. If it were up to me, I would let the rest of the men tear that Autobot apart." the other replied as they both walked away, their banter becoming fainter as they disappeared down the corridor. That was when Ser-Ket made her move and quickly made it through the door and into the Brig.

It was quiet inside the brig, but then that was to be expected since the prisoners that once filled each of the cells were now dead. Having been killed by her sister Rip-Claw during her torture sessions, and right now there was only one left and Ser-Ket wanted to be sure he wasn't going to end up like the others. But even she wasn't prepared for the sight that was waiting for her as she walked in front of Quickstrike's cell, her eyes widening when they fell upon him sitting against the wall in a tired and lost way. The Femme's spark sank as she saw it in his blank expression, which was in complete opposite of what the Autobot had been like only an hour earlier. With the way he was looking at the ground, the Bot had not seen the Femme who simply stared in disbelief.

'He is far worse than I thought, how did I not see this?' Ser-Ket thought as Quickstrike sighed before looking up, noticing the femme standing there on front of him. His eyes widened as they met those of the femme and for a long moment, there was only silence between the pair.

"So...I guess you now know the truth..." Quickstrike finally said as he looked away from her towards the grey wall to his left.

"How long?" was all Ser-Ket could say, her eyes never moved off the bot who looked back.

"Since the last two sessions. I've been tortured nearly none-stop for over two days now. How much more did you think I could take?" he replied as Ser-Ket dropped the force-field and entered his cell.

"But you seemed so focused and intent on holding on." She said back in a gentle tone while kneeling down in front of him.

"That was just for show..." he answered while looking at her, noticing the Femme's compassionate expression.

"...I didn't want to reveal how close I am to breaking, that 'she' would win."

"And what about me?" Ser-Ket replied with a questioning tone.

"I've only known you for the last two days, Ser-Ket. And I know I shouldn't trust you, but I can also tell that you are not like the others." Quickstrike said back, earning a unsure look from the Femme as she looked away from him.

"I am still a Predacon, still an enemy."

"I don't think so. I have seen that you've strongly disagreed with how your comrades have treated me and the other Autobot prisoners." the bot replied, regaining Ser-Ket's attention.

"I also noticed earlier on, that though I told you my name, you did not tell your sister. Why was that?" He continued.

"I...I did not want her to know." the Femme said back as both their eyes remained on each other.

"Why?" the Autobot simply asked.

"Because I...am ashamed of how dishonourable my comrades have been, and I am feeling less and less like one of them as a result of it." Ser-Ket replied while wondering why she was being so open with him.

'Why am I telling him all of this?' she thought as the bot continued to look at her before sighing, regaining the Femme's complete attention.

"I appreciate that..."he replied with a smile which then disappeared and he looked ahead in a blank-like way.

"...but in the end it will not matter, because if I go through one more round of torture from your sister, then I will tell her everything she wants to know." he continued, earning a sad frown from the Predacon.

"But why? Why give in now?"

"Because I am tired and I want it to be over. I know it has only been a few days, but never before have I ever met someone who can inflict so much pain in such a short time." Quickstrike replied while Ser-Ket remains quiet and listened to him intently.

"So, if I have to go through that again, then I will tell her. And she will then finally end it all for me." he added, before noticing the worried look the Femme had.

"What?"

"I don't think Rip-Claw would actually, since you've embarrassed her with your continued resistance for far longer than anyone else she's tortured. So its more likely that she will continue to keep you alive and make you suffer for longer." Ser-Ket answered in a truthful but sad tone, making the Autobot look down to the ground in defeat.

"Then...can you..."

"What?" the Predacon asked with a confused expression, as Quickstrike looked back into her eyes.

"...can you kill me?"

"What?! Why?" the Femme asked back with shock evident in her voice at what the bot had just said.

"Because your the only one who can now, since you have confirmed that the rest of the Predacons will not. I mean I wish things were different and that I could see my family and friends again. But I know that will not happen, so I ask you."

'I don't want to see him suffer anymore, but killing him...I can't do that.' she thought to herself, but unfortunately Quickstrike could read as much in her face as she looked back at him.

"Please, Ser-Ket..." he simply pleaded softly, but before the Predacon could answer, her com-link activated.

"Ser-Ket, it's Rip-Claw." the Female voice spoke on the other end.

"Sister, what is it?" the younger sibling replied with a finger on her com-link, all the while Quickstrike looked at her with pleading eyes.

"Where are you right now?" Rip-Claw asked with a curious tone, one that did not go unnoticed by Ser-Ket who looked around at her surroundings while ignoring Quickstrike for a second or so.

"I am in my quarters, why? Is there something wrong?" she answered, earning another pause before her sister spoke up.

"Okay...well, Lord Galvatron's asked for one of us to speak to him and since you have already covered for me, I thought I would return the favour and volunteer."

"Thanks for that, if you want I can head to bridge to cover for your absence.?" Ser-Ket replied.

"I appreciate that, Sister. Rip-Claw out." the other Predacon said back before the transmission ended, making the younger Femme smile as she looked down at the bot who had a confused expression.

"What is it?"

"I am not going to kill you to end your suffering by my Sister." she replied, making the Bot confused again. But before he could question, Ser-Ket carried on.

"I think that family reunion you wanted will happen...because I am going to help you instead."

Quickstrike's eyes widened at the Femme's comment as his expression was one of pure shock, while Ser-Ket simply smiled at him confidently.

"You can't. I mean if they find out it's you that help..." he began to argue, but the Femme countered immediately.

"Who's to say they will discover that it was I that did it, since I can just make it look like you got out by your self."

"Why would you risk so much for me?" the Autobot asked with a curious tone.

"Because I don't want to see you die at the hands of my sadistic sister, like all the prisoners we had captured here. They all... like yourself, deserved to die an honorable death. One that has them standing, and not on their knees." Ser-Ket replied as she brushed her hand through her black hair in a combing-like way.

"So what do we do, because I still feel like I have gone twelve rounds with a Krogan." the Bot said back while gesturing to himself.

"My medical kit contains not only medi-gel, but also an injection that works similar to Human adrenaline. It is injected into the spark and will give you a second wind that will make you feel completely fine, despite how your body's actual condition." she replied as she showed him the syringe, earning a nod from Quickstrike.

"Alright, so what's the plan?"

The Femme checked the time on her holo-tool before looking back at the Bot.

"Okay, I have to go now or else the new guard shift will find me here and I won't be able to help you. So I am going to leave your cell's force-field deactivated and head to the CIC. This will take me several minutes to do, so wait a minute before injecting yourself with the syringe. I will then cause a distraction in this area that will allow you to take out the guards and get their weapons."

The Autobot nodded before Ser-Ket gave him a curious look.

"How good is your memory?"

"I have a photographic memory." Quickstrike replied with a confident tone despite his current condition, which the Femme thought was cute.

"Okay, here is a layout of the ship. Use this path to get to the shuttle-bay, I will set off further distractions across the ship and then meet you at there to help you access one of the shuttles." she said while showing him the map with her holo-tool. Quickstrike examined the map carefully, taking note of certain locations along the way.

"Right, I've got it. But are you sure you can do all this without being caught yourself?" he asked with a concerned expression and tone that surprised Ser-Ket.

"I'll be fine, I just want to make sure you have a fighting chance. That's all you need, isn't it?"

"Yeah. But you could always...come with me." the bot replied, which made the Femme's eyes widen.

"You want me to go with you?"

"Yes, I do, because you have been kind to me and I don't want to see you hurt because of your part in helping me escape. Thats what will happen when they find out and they will, because secrets will always come out in the end and when that happens...you will no longer be safe." Quickstrike said which unbeknownst to him, made Ser-Ket's spark warm as she gave him an affectionate smile.

"I appreciate your concern, Quickstrike. Really, I do. But this is my choice and all that matters to me right now, is making sure that you escape and not suffer the same fate as the other Autobots we captured. So I will go and prepare the distractions."

The Femme handed him the syringe, then got up and began walking away, before stopping and take another look at the Bot.

"I will see you at the shuttle-bay, good luck."

"You too." Quickstrike replied before she nodded and walked out of the room, leaving him alone in the brig as he stared down at the syringe in his hands.

Ser-Ket was almost pacing down the corridor has she made her way to the nearest elevator, so she could get to the CIC. The Femme was lucky to leave when she had, because the two new Terracons assigned to guard the Brig's entrance passed her just past the first cross-junction in the corridor. And they would not have known where she had come from because of that very reason, and she was thankful because the plan was still pretty much in play. So she stopped at the elevator door and tapped the control panel on it's left, then a moment later the doors opened and she stepped inside.

Quickstrike sat up in his open cell and waited while patting the syringe's side on the palm of his free hand, this was a habit that he had developed since he was a kid. Something to help keep his mind focused when he was waiting, though back when he was a kid it used to be a pencil or pen that he tapped on the desk, book or whatever else was around him at the time. He never really was the patient type, but the wait now was nearly as much torture as what he had already gone through in the last few days.

'That's got to be long enough.' he thought before he took the lid off the syringe, exposing the needle and the sight of it gave the Autobot chills.

'I hate needles.'

But he shook his head and got his mind back on the task at hand as he steadied his hand and held the syringe just above his exposed chest, right where his spark would be.

'Allons-y.'

He then stabbed the needle into his chest and pressed down on the button on the syringe, which forced the liquid inside it to travel through the needle and into his own spark.

'God damn it, that hurts.' he thought as he felt an enormous pressure on his chest which made him fall on to his side as he held on to the syringe which was still stuck in his body. And he lied there as his body began to shake and fidget uncontrollably.

Meanwhile Ser-Ket entered the CIC and saw that her Sister was not present, so it would seem that she was still in a meeting with the Predacon Lord. Not that the young femme would know what his plans were, as it seemed she was on a 'need to know' basis. But right now, this was a blessing as there were only a few Terracons scattered about the room, so she could carry out her plan without any real interference.

"Commander Ser-Ket, may I be of service." the nearest Terracon asked as he looked over to her.

"No, thank you. You may carry on with your duties." she replied as she moved to her station, earning a look of gratitude from the soldier as another joined him.

"She is so nice, isn't she?" he said, earning a nod from the other.

"I know, she's not at all like her Sister."

"You know, I have a mind to ask her out."

"Yeah right, like you have a shot with the likes of the Commander." the other laughed, earning a confused look from his friend.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, let's see, first she is our joint Commanding officer, and second she is intelligent, kind, courageous and beautiful. While you are just...you." the other said, earning a sigh from his friend.

"Yeah, you're right. I guess a..." he was about to say before both Cons noticed that Ser-Ket was watching them from her station.

"You two do have duties to fulfil, right?" she asked in a commanding, but not at all insulting tone.

"Yes, Sir." they both said in unison as they stood to attention.

"Then please return to them." she added before looking back to the holo-screen in front of her. Meanwhile both Cons started to head back to their separate stations.

"Much better than Rip-Claw." one of them whispered.

"Much, much better." the other replied.

Meanwhile Ser-Ket had gained access to the ship's security systems and began tampering with the fire alert protocols.

'This should keep everyone busy and allow Quickstrike the chance to escape.' she thought before pressing the button on the screen which was highlighting the area where the Brig was located.

Quickstrike opened his eyes which focused immediately as he found himself lying on his back on the floor of his cell, so he sat up and looked at his surroundings.

'Wow, this stuff really worked.' the bot thought as he felt great...better then great actually, he was suddenly so alert and full of energy compared to only a few minutes ago that it all felt really strange.

'Gonna need a moment to take this all in.'

But that moment came and left just as quickly as he thought it when suddenly the lights in the room began flickering on and off, which made the bot smile.

'Ser-Ket did it, okay...show-time.' he thought as he got to his feet and walked out of his cell and towards the Brig's exit, picking up his shirt as he did.

Meanwhile outside in the corridor, the Terracons guarding the Brig were looking around at the area's lights with dumbfounded expressions as they flickered on and off.

"What in the Allspark is up with the lights?" one asked as he stepped further into the corridor, leaving the other to stand at the door.

"Not sure, but perhaps we should call the CIC and see if they know what it is."

The first Terracon turned away from his friend and tapped his com-link.

"CIC, this is Terracon group Gamma..." he began to say before the door behind his friend opened, and Quickstrike grabbed that soldier from behind and began to strangle him with one arm around his throat. He the pulled the Terracon's pistol out of its holster with his free hand just as the other guard turned back to see what was happening, going wide-eyes at the sight.

"What in the pit?" he exclaimed before Quickstrike shot him in the chest twice, blowing him back into the wall and then onto the floor dead. His mate tried to fight back as he grunted, but the Autobot had to tight a grip around his neck and then increased the pressure until the enemy soldier lost consciousness, Quickstrike then dropped his body before firing the weapon on the knocked out soldier with a kill shot to the head. And as he stood there with two dead Terracons at his feet and a loaded gun in his hand, the bot smiled and took a breath as he looked down the corridor of the Predacon ship.

'Time to get out of here.'

Edited by Apollo-XL5
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