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Liara and Nightracer sat at their respective terminals, busy searching through the data that had been retrieved from the Predacon lab on Cybertron. They had both been at this for a few hours now, having found a number of entries that were interesting and informative about their enemies, and were completely focused on their work. So much so that neither even blinked when the door behind them opened, with Orion entering while carrying a tray with two mugs of coffee on it.

"Thought you two could use a pick-me-up." the blue haired Bot said, earning the women's attention as turned to face him.

"You read my mind, Orion." Nightracer replied as she took one of the hot mugs in her hands and smelt the aroma.

"Definitely need a caffeine fix now." she added before taking a sip of the drink, while Liara gave Orion a very appreciative smile as he handed her the second mug.

"You know, you didn't need to bring me a drink just so you could see me, Orion." the Asari said with coy-like tone and smile, which made the Bot almost blush as he stood there in front of her.

"I know..." he said back with a smile, before Nightracer faked a cough which made both Orion and Liara snap out of their little moment.

"...so how are you two getting along with the Intel?" the Bot asked with a slightly guilty tone, as he had forgotten that the Femme was even there.

"We have come across a lot of interesting and helpful data about the Predacons in the project of the same name." Nightracer replied before taking another sip of her drink.

"And we have also come across a number of coordinates that had been deciphered from Project Iacon, half of them were already highlighted as found." Liara added as she brought up the data on one of her holo-screens.

"I remember my Dad telling me stories about this, since it happened during the Earth-bound part of the Autobot/Decepticon War. These marked coordinates are where both sides had found a number of relics and weapons which had been launched from Cybertron, with the Star Saber being the last one to be located." Orion said back, gaining nods from the women.

"That is only because these last few coordinates are located elsewhere in the galaxy, so I guess neither the Autobots or Decepticons were able to search for these last ones." the Asari replied.

"I wonder what the those ones are, maybe something like the 'Blades of Time' or the 'Requiem Blaster'." Nightracer said with a curious expression as she brought the images of both up on her own screen, earning the attention of Liara and Orion.

"Who knows, but we should send this data back to Autobot Command. They can then send out ships to these other co-ordinates and retrieve whatever is there, better they are in our hands than the Predacons." the blue haired Bot said.

"We were going to do just that." Liara said back with a knowing look, before turning her attention to the holo-screen on her far left which had the image of a bar scrolling from left to right and a percentage counting upwards on it.

"What's this doing?" Orion then asked as he looked at the screen.

"It's just decrypting another portion of the Intel..." Liara replied before it suddenly stopped at one hundred percent and pinged.

"...and it is done." she added as she typed on the holo-interface, bringing up a list of codes which made Nightracer's eyes widen as she recognised them.

"By the All-spark, we have just hit the jackpot." she exclaimed as Orion's face mirrored her own as he too recognised it.

"What are they?" Liara asked with a confused tone, having noticed the looks on her friends faces.

"They are Predacon communication frequencies, meaning we can now listen in on the enemy now." the blue haired Bot said back with a smile.

With this significant discovery now in their hands, the trio made their way to the CIC. Exiting the elevator to find Rodimus, Shen, Quickstrike, Smokescreen and Grunt standing next to the galaxy map, along with a holo-screen showing Onyx Primal looking back at them.

"So you're saying we can now eaves drop on the Predacons...that's awesome." Smokescreen said with an enthusiastic tone, one that gained mirroring looks from the others around him.

"That's right. We just need to cycle through the frequencies until we find the one they are using." Nightracer replied as Orion activated his holo-tool and connected it with the galaxy map's holo-emitter, making the image of the galaxy disappear and replacing it with a com-link frequency program.

"Good work, so let's begin." Rodimus said as he looked over to Liara and Nightracer, earning nods in return from them as Orion tapped a button on his holo-tool and activated the program, which began to search through each frequency.

"With this, we will be able to stop any Predacon attack before it happens. Maybe even figure out the locations of all their ships, letting us take the offensive." Grunt observed before the program suddenly stopped on one frequency and analysed it.

"Looks like we have found one." Orion stated before an unfamiliar voice suddenly spoke from the CIC speakers.

"This is the former Omega cruiser 'Venture' to the 'Nemesis', do you read?"

"Acknowledged, read you loud and clear." a female voice replied, one that several of the group recognised, especially Quickstrike.

"Rip-Claw!" he said, his voice tinged with anger.

"Quiet." Rodimus said back as everyone focused on the transmission.

"We are currently in the Traverse, near the galactic core. Orbiting a planet which the database calls 'Scissio'. It's data file claims that the planet is uninhabited and yet we are detecting an energy reading from it's northern hemisphere, it is only just readable but I believe that Lord Galvatron wished to be notified if we found such a reading." the Venture's officer said back.

"That is correct, I will inform our Lord of your findings. Good work, Venture, we will be there shortly….Nemesis out." Rip-Claw finished, ending the transmission.

"Looks like we have our next destination." Grunt said, gaining a nod from Rodimus.

"Indeed, I will relay this information back to Autobot Command." he said before tapping his com-link.

"Jetstorm, I am sending you some coordinates, please set a course for this planet and prepare to engage the space-bridge generator."

"Roger that." the pilot replied as the Commander then turned his attention to Orion.

"Better get your team ready, we will be moving momentarily."

"Yes, Sir." his XO replied before looking back at the others.

"Let's get suited up." the blue haired Bot the said, gaining nods from everyone else as they headed for the elevator and got inside, with it's doors closing behind them once the group had entered it. Once gone, Rodimus returned his attention to the galaxy map and activated his holo-tool.

"Get me a secure channel to Autobot Command."


The doors to Galvatron quarters opened and both the Predacon Lord and Shockwave exited the room together, as the former placed his hand on the latter's shoulder.

"You have made the right choice, Shockwave. Together, we will strengthen the Predacons and truly bring this galaxy under our rule. This will be the age of the Predacons."

"If I may say, I do not believe that it would be logical to let the rest of them know of my real identity. It is doubtful that they would understand." the Decepticon replied, gaining a nod from Galvatron.

"I agree, it will be easier to convince the others of Six-Shot's duplicity since he has shown elements of it already, very well. When you are out among the rest, you are to keep Shockblast's identity. I alone will call you by your real name and then only when we are alone."

Then before either Con could speak again, the ship's inter-com activated.

"Lord Galvatron, this is Rip-Claw speaking." the Femme then announced, earning a low growl from the Predacon Leader.

"Yes, I read you. What is it?" he replied with a sour tone to his voice, which was easily picked up by the Femme.

"...uh… my Lord...one of our ships, the Venture, has picked up an anomalous reading on a planet in the Traverse."

Galvatron's eyes widened as he realised what this meant, and that was not the only sign he received as he felt his Master's presence surround him again.

"That is where the Chaos Edge lies my Herald, I can feel it in 'our' spark." Unicron's voice spoke in the mind of the Predacon Leader.

'I agree, Master.' he thought back, earning a curious expression from Shockwave.

"My Liege...?" he asked, before Galvatron looked back at him after a moment of silence.


"You had gone quiet for a moment, is everything alright?" the Decepticon replied.

"Yes, everything is fine..." the Predacon Lord said back as he felt Unicron's presence fade away again, and then returned his attention to the inter-Com.

"Rip-Claw, have the planet's coordinates plotted into the space bridge generator and open a portal. I will join you in the CIC at once." he commanded.

"Yes, my Lord." the Femme replied before the transmission ended, leaving Galvatron alone with Shockwave again.

"I should return to my laboratory and restart my projects." the Decepticon stated, earning a nod from his leader.

Of course, Shockwave. Also, there is something I will have transported there for you later on." Galvatron replied, gaining a curious expression from Shockwave.


"More like someone. A person who has betrayed our cause. I have read your files on this….person, she has disgusted me that much that I can not even bring myself to say her name. But you have a lot of experience with her and I believe you can correct her and return the Femme to our ranks." the Predacon Leader answered.

"Of course, my Liege." Shockwave replied before walking away towards an elevator while Galvatron headed towards the CIC.

A moment later and the Predacon Lord entered the Command center to the sight of a space bridge vortex opening beyond the glass canopy that separated the Predacons there from the void of space, the green energy of the portal pulsing before them.

"Report!" Galvatron commanded as he joined Rip-Claw on the catwalk that overlooked the Terracons, who were working at their stations below.

"My Lord, the Nemesis is ready to join the Venture in orbit around Scissio. Only your word is required to proceed." the Femme replied.

"The word is given, take us to Scissio." he said back, earning a nod from the Terracon at the helm. And then almost instantly the Nemesis began moving toward the space-bridge, it's bright green spiral growing larger as they closed in.

"Rip-Claw, stand at ease." Galvatron then said, earning a confused and uncertain expression from the Femme.

"My Lord?"

"I know what you are thinking, but you can relax. Six-Shot has taken on your punishment." the Predacon Leader replied, gaining a surprised look from her instead.

"What?" the Femme said back in an almost stunned tone, while Galvatron stared back with resolute stare.

"He attacked me and I killed him for it, because I will not suffer insubordination from anyone under my command….is that clear?"

Yes, Sir. Does that mean you are giving me another chance. Because I feel shame, all the way to the core of my spark for failing you on Omicron." Rip-Claw replied with a regretful tone, earning a nod from the Predacon Lord who narrowed his eyes at her.

"Yes, but now stop your grovelling or else I will change my mind." he spat back, gaining a sudden alert expression from the Femme who began to step away and nod.

"Yes, Sir, of course. Just give me an order and I will see it done." she replied with a tinge of fear in her voice, making Galvatron roll his eyes before staring back at her.

"I want you to prepare a platoon of Terracons to join me down on the planet along with Blight, Vertebreak, Lazerback and Darksteel. I also want Predaking, Skystalker and Grimwing on standby in case we have any trouble with the Autobots and their own Predacon beast appear, though that should be highly unlikely."

"Of course, my Lord, I will see it done." Rip-Claw replied before turning around and walking out of the CIC just as the Nemesis entered the vortex, then a bright flash later the view changed as Galvatron could see a brown and green planet beyond the glass canopy as the ship exited the portal and entered orbit of Scissio with the Venture entering formation alongside it.


While the Predacons began to ready their ground-forces on their side of the planet, the Normandy in its stealth mode entered Scissio's orbit on it's other side. In the Cargo-bay, the entire team were readying themselves for the fight ahead as they checked their armour and weapons. Rodimus entered the room and immediately gained everyone's attention as they stared in surprise, since the Commander was in his own armour.

"Rodimus, you're coming with us on this one?" Smokescreen asked, gaining a nod from the leader as he walked over to the weapons locker and picked out a pistol and assault rifle.

"Yes, since Autobot Command feels that this mission could be the most significant engagement of our conflict with the Predacons." he replied, earning a smile from the Bot and a nod from Grunt who stood at his side.

"It's been too long since we last fought together." the Krogan replied as he placed a hand on the Commander's shoulder for a second.

"So, what is the mission?" Shen asked, gaining the trio's attention.

"Our sensors have detected two signals from the planet's surface, which are both within several kilometres of each other. One is the strange energy signature...the very reason that the Predacons are even here, while the other was a ground-bridge of which two MAKOs and a platoon of Terracons exited from." Rodimus said back before looking over at Orion.

"Now, one of the vehicles has left the area, moving towards the mystery reading. Which means that the other MAKO and the remaining troops make up a sort of FOB."

"Why's that then? I mean surely they could just open another ground-bridge elsewhere." Quickstrike said back with a confused tone, making the Autobot Commander shake his head in return.

"Well, this planet is certainly very different from most planets in our galaxy, our sensor scans have picked up an anomalous energy reading which appears to surround and bind the planet to its very core." Rodimus said as he activated his holo-tool and brought up the scans of Scissio.

"I am no scientist, but it looks like the planet is only half here and half elsewhere. The only really solid piece of information here is that it is in an unstable condition." he added as Liara stepped toward the image with a thoughtful expression.

"What you're talking about sounds like a dimensional flux." she said, gaining curious looks from everyone.

"Could we get an explanation to go with that please?" Shen then asked.

"It was a theory I remember hearing about that was doing the rounds in the Asari Scientific community, though I do not remember the name of the individual who produced the theory. But 'dimensional flux' is when something has been caught between two separate but neighbouring dimensions or universes. Like most Asari, I did not take to this theory since there had never been any evidence to support the claim, I guess we were all wrong." the Asari replied.

"Theories aside, whatever the planet is going through will hinder our ground and space-bridge ability inside it's atmosphere, just like it has for the Predacons. We can only open up a Vortex in one location, that is why the enemy are defending that area. It is their only avenue back to the Nemesis." Rodimus replied, earning a nod from Orion.

"So I take it we will be taking the area back from them." he said back with a knowing tone.

"Exactly, we will attack their beach-head after Galvatron has left to investigate the anomalous reading. Then we will split up into two teams, Orion, you will take your team and pursue the Predacon leader. Your job will be to stop him from acquiring whatever it is that he is after. My team will stay and prepare an ambush, on the off chance you are not successful." the Commander replied, before looking over at the others.

"Smokescreen, Grunt, you will be with me and, Shen, you will take up a sniper position."

The three nodded as Orion Stood beside the others not already named by Rodimus.

"So I will take Liara, Quickstrike and Nightracer with me after Galvatron."

"Yes...and, Onyx, if you could join us too. Just on the chance that the other Predacon beasts appear." the Commander added, earning a nod from the Maximal on the holo-screen.

"Of course." he replied, gaining a confident smile from Rodimus who then tapped his com-link.

"Alright, Jetstorm, prepare to open a ground-bridge at the coordinates stated, we will let Onyx through first before the rest of us follow through..." he said before equipping his rifle and looking back at the others.

"...Let's get on with it."


Down on the surface of Scissio, its landscape was a mixture of mountains and hill-like terrain. The later being covered mostly in grass, giving a strong green vibe to the it which was well balanced against the brown dirt of the mountains. Standing in what could only be described as a valley, a Terracon was walking round the currently not in use MAKO, keeping vigil as he patrolled the area alongside his comrades when his com-link activated.

"Th…is…..Galva…tron….rep..rt… ." the Predacon Leader spoke over the link, earning a confused expression from the soldier.

"My Lord? I can not understand, there is too much interference over the com-link." he replied with a slightly fearful tone, like he could just imagine the reaction of his leader at this very moment.

" !…I…ca..nt…ma..e…yo…ot!" Galvatron spat back through the crackling and hissing noises, and the tone of his voice sent dread through the Terracon's spark before the transmission fizzled out.

"My Lord? My Lord?" he said back before his attention was caught by what sounded like a strong wind in the distance.

"Did you hear that?" he said to the other Terracon closest to him, earning the Con's attention.

"Yeah, sounds like we might have a storm on the way." his friend said back, making him shake his head in return.

"This whole planet is wrong, I mean there isn't just the energy reading that Lord Galvatron is investigating. Everything here is strange, from the anomalous readings that this place is giving off and now weather patterns that come out of nowhere. I just want to get back to the ship."

Then the wind picked up again, earning the attention of every Terracon there as they stood alert, with their weapons ready.

"I don't think that sounds like a..." another soldier said before suddenly a jet black Dragon flew low overhead, with the Terracons caught in his wake being knocked to the ground by it's force.

"That's not one of ours." one Terracon said as the beast flew back around and started to circle the group, making the enemies fire back with their weapons once they got back to their feet.

"That one is with the Autobots, kill it." the lead Terracon ordered, while another equipped a rocket launcher and aimed it at the Dragon.


The soldier then pulled the trigger and fired the rocket, which shot soared up into the air towards the giant beast. Unfortunately for the group, the black dragon had spotted the incoming projectile and managed to evade it, by spinning around onto it's back and folding in it's wings. The beast then started to fall, but this was enough to make the projectile miss it's target and fly over the metallic creature harmlessly as continued into the open air behind it. The black dragon the turned it's body back round and extended it's wings, catching the air beneath them and stopping it's decent as the beast began to fly again.

"Damn it..." the lead Terracon spat before he interrupted by the sound of a rifle being shot echoed around him, making the Con look around until he saw one of his comrades fall dead to the ground.

"We're under attack, defend the area." he shouted before kneeling down and tapping his com-link.

"Lord Galvatron, we are under attack. I repeat we are..." he said in a hurried and alert tone before he was quickly cut off by a bullet flying straight through his head.

"Now" Rodimus then shouted as he and the rest of the Autobots revealed themselves from their hiding places in the long grass, gunning down the hapless Terracons who stood in their way. Meanwhile above everyone else, Onyx Primal opened his jaws and released several fireballs which hit spots around the battle, trying to scare the enemy even more. Which was working as several panicked when the ground burst to into flames near them, making them scramble into view of the other Bots who then gunned them down.

But as the Terracons positioned in the open around the beach head fell, there were three who were using the remaining MAKO as cover so that they could safely return fire against their enemies. Orion was in a kneeling position as he fired back at the Terracons and beside he stood Liara, who had erected a biotic barrier to protect them.

"Liara, you can make this barrier move with us, right?" he asked as the Asari had her hands outstretched before her, focusing on maintaining the barrier.

"Of course, why are you asking?" she replied with a curious tone, earning a confident smile from the blue haired Bot with bullets continued to impact against the energy field in front of them.

"Then lets get those Terracons." he said, gaining a smile from Liara who nodded and then looked back towards the enemy soldiers, who were still firing at them despite none of their shots penetrating the barrier. So the pair started to move forward, toward the Terracons who tried nothing else other than what they had already been doing.

Liara kept her mind focused on the barrier, pushing aside any thoughts that could weaken the energy field as Orion holstered the assault rifle on his back in the right slot and then unsheathed the Star-Saber, before readying himself to attack as the pair were now only a few feet from the Terracons, while the rest of the Autobots finished off the others. The enemies then suddenly dropped their weapons and launched themselves at the Bot and Asari, activating their beast modes and becoming enraged.

"Now!" the blue haired Bot exclaimed as Liara dropped the barrier and Orion swung the Saber at the nearest Terracon, it's blade glowing blue as it sliced clean through the enemy. Meanwhile his Asari companion used a biotic slam to knock the Terracon closest to her into the side of the MAKO, as Orion moved onto the next beast-like soldier while his first kill lay on the ground in two parts. He sliced off it's arm with the Star Saber before running the blade through it's chest, making the beast-man cry out in pain. The Spectre then quickly pulled the Saber back out and immediately decapitated the Terracon, before noticing that all the enemies in the area were now dead.

"Wow." Quickstrike exclaimed, making both Orion and Liara turn round to see the blonde Bot staring at the Star-Saber in his cousin's hand, it's blade still glowing a gentle blue.

"I thought you couldn't use it like that, I mean only a Prime can make it glow that way…right?"

The blue haired Bot looked back and shrugged his shoulders.

"I just focused on the blade, but I cannot unleash energy waves. I guess that feature really does require you to be a Prime." he replied with a slightly uncomfortable tone, having noticed that everyone else was now standing around the pair with impressed expressions on their faces, just as Onyx Primal landed and transformed back into his Cybertronian form.

"I could do with a blade like that." Grunt said a somewhat jealous tone, which earned a smirk from Smokescreen as he stood beside him.

"You don't need it, Grunt, you can tear people apart with your bare hands." he joked, earning a low growl from the Krogan.

"Good job, everyone. Phase one of the plan is a success. We have control of the beach-head, now…." Rodimus began to say before stopping short, since his attention was drawn to Shen running up to the group from his sniper-spot.

"Shen, what you doing here?"

"Rodimus, I thought I would come down and tell you guys in person that our com-links will not work." the Turian replied, gaining a confused expression from the Commander.

"What are you talking about….." he replied before tapping his com-link.

"…Normandy, come in…..Normandy, this is Rodimus….come in?"

But the only response Rodimus received was static, so he looked back at Shen who had a knowing expression in return.

"My sniper rifle has a micro-phone that can pick up conversations at certain ranges, and I could see that the Terracons were having similar issues trying to contact Galvatron."

"So that means we can't keep in touch with each other or the ship….perfect." Quickstrike replied with a tinge of annoyance in his tone.

"Well then, it's a good job that I have a remote control to the ground-bridge isn't it." Rodimus said back as he activated his holo-tool, revealing the remote trigger to the team.

"Now that is a relief." Shen said as Orion took a step towards the Commander.

"But this also gives us an advantage, since the Terracons would be unable to warn Galvatron that we were here." the young Darby said, gaining a nod from Rodimus.

"Exactly, and we should get a move on. So, Orion, take the MAKO with your team and intercept Galvatron. My team and I will dig in here and prepare a surprise for the Predacons, should they manage to get back with whatever it is they are after."

"Alright, Liara, Nightracer, Quickstrike. Let's go." the blue haired Bot said back as he opened the vehicle's door access hatch with his holo-tool, then the two women and his cousin got inside before the Spectre took one last look at Rodimus and the others.

"Good luck."

"Good luck to us all, Orion." the Commander replied, earning a nod from the blue haired Bot before he got into the MAKO and closed the hatch behind him. Then the vehicle's engine activated and it moved away from the area, following the tracks left by Galvatron's as the other team watched.

"Alright. Shen, get back to your spot and keep an eye out. Smokescreen, Grunt….time to dig in." Rodimus then said, earning nods from the others as they began preparing for what could likely be the last battle.

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  • 4 weeks later...


As the MAKO traversed the grass covered plains, following the tracks left by Galvatron and his own vehicle. Orion sat in the driver's seat and controlled the heavily armoured tank via it's holo-interface directly in front of him, Liara sat beside him in the passenger's seat while Nightracer and Quickstrike were located behind them.

"Orion, you're noticing this too, right?" the Asari asked while gesturing to environment they were passing through, earning a curious look from the Spectre.

"If you mean how the vegetation is slowly disappearing around us, yes I have noticed this Liara." he replied as both looked at the monitors in front of them, showing the greenery which had been so prominent when they had arrived on Scissio slowly decaying to brown and grey rock and dirt.

"It must be something to do with the energy signal, which is getting stronger the more with close on it." Orion replied as he saw the environment they were passing through become even more desolate and lifeless, with the hilly terrain being replaced with a mountainous region.

"Er… ,Guys, you noticing that?" Quickstrike asked as he pointed at one monitor, which was showing the outskirts of one set of small mountains that stretches across the horizon and yet had a curvature to it.

"I can't see the readouts from your console, Orion, but my guess is that energy signature is coming from over those mountains ahead of us." the blond Bot added, making his cousin who look down at the sensors before nodding back.

"Yeah, that's where it is coming from. So I say we take this a little closer and then carry on by foot, hiding the MAKO behind one of those rock formations at their base."

"Good idea, the mountains are not shaped like what we have come to expect from mountains. I just ran a scan of the area ahead, it seems that this region was created from what looks like to me like an earthquake, one that started from where ever this energy signal is located and spread outwards." Liara replied as she focused on the holo-interface before her.

"Like when a tsunami is formed in an ocean?" Nightracer asked, gaining a nod from the Asari.

"Exactly, a very powerful event must have occurred just over those mountains that changed the environment to what it is now."

"And now Galvatron wants to get his hands on it." Quickstrike added, earning a serious expression from his cousin who looked back at the others.

"Let's make sure he doesn't then." he said as the MAKO continued to close in on the location.

Meanwhile, just ahead of them. Galvatron sat in side passenger's seat of his MAKO with Lazerback in the drivers seat and looking at the holo-displays in front, while the other Predacons took up the aft section of the vehicle. Their journey was almost over as the MAKO reached the top, which made the Predacon's eyes widen as he stared at the image on the screen. For what it was like nothing he had seen before, as in front of the vehicle was an massive impact crater several miles wide. The mountain they had climbed was actually no mountain, but instead the crater's ejecta which ran it's entire circumfrance.

"That's unbelievable." Lazerback said, while the other Predacons and Terracons got up from their seats to look at the images appearing on the monitors.

"That is some powerful scrap that made that." Darksteel replied, earning a dark grin from Galvatron.

"And it will be mine. Lazerback, take us down to it's center now." he then added, gaining a nod from the Predacon as the MAKO drove down into the depths of the crater.

Several minutes later and the vehicle came to a abrupt stop, it's wheels kicking up some dust in the process before the access hatch on it's side opened up and Galvatron climbed out and took in his surroundings. For he was now standing in the Bottom of crater which was that deep, it had blocked out the sunlight and cooled the air around him and his Predacons.

"Chilly." Blight said as he saw his own breath in front of him while he and the others climbed out and joined their Leader. But Galvatron merely ignored his men as his attention was caught by what was directly in the center of the sunk-in area only a few metres away.

"There it is." he said while looking at two swords embedded in the ground blade first, one was rusty and ancient, looking somewhat familiar to Galvatron yet he could not put his finger on why, while the other pulsed with a red energy that was flowing down the engraved patterns on it's blade.

"What in the pit...why is there two swords embedded at the center of this crater?" Lazerback asked with a confused tone, while his leader walked closer to the blades.

"My Lord, perhaps you should keep your distance. We know nothing of..." Vertabreak said with a worried tone, but Galvatron continued toward the blades, reaching out his hand to the hilt of the red one.

"There is nothing to fear, I know what I am doing." he replied while never taking his eyes off the sword.

"But..." the Predacon said back, before he was suddenly cut off by the sight of Galvatron gripping his hand around the weapon's hilt and pulling it out from the ground and into the air.

"The Chaos Edge, at last...it is back in 'my hands'." he exclaimed, gaining confused expressions from his Predacon warriors.

"What do you mean...back in your hands?" Lazerback asked before the ground, as if on cue started to shake as a tremor hit the crater from beneath.

"What in the scrap is happening now?" Blight said, his voice tinged with fear as the ground continued to shake. But even as this tremor shook the ground and area around them, Galvatron did not even notice as he looked up at the red glowing blade in his hand. But then he suddenly tensed up as if he was having a sort of seizure, his eyes glowed purple and the energy glowing from within the engravings changed from red to purple.

"What's happening to him?" Vertabreak exclaimed in a frightened tone, which made Blight rush over to his master and attempt to snap Galvatron out of it by grabbing his shoulder. But instead there was a flash of red ane purple energy which suddenly sent the Con flying.

"Blight!" Lazerback shouted as Vertebreak rushed to his hurt comrade and helped him back to his feet, all the while Galvatron continued to be frozen while holding aloft the blade.

"What's happened to him?" Vertebreak asked as the trio just stared at their Master.

"I have no idea, but don't touch him." Lazerback replied, gaining a knowing look from the Con.

"Yeah like I am going to try that now, after what just happened to Blight."

"But what can we do to help Lord Galvatron?" Lazerback asked as the three looked back at their Master, who was frozen to the spot as his mind became overwhelmed by images and sounds.

'The Predacon Leader found himself standing in grass covered plains as day gave way to night with 'dusk' taking over the sky above him, and he noticed that the plains went on for as far as the eye could see. But as he took in his surroundings, his attention was quickly turned by the sounds of metal and foot falls approaching from behind him and so turned round to see an army of soldiers marching towards him in columns alongside what looked like tanks and other heavy artillery.

They looked almost Cybertronian in their features but were wearing armour that looked alien to the Predacon Lord, which could only be described like liquid metal being held into smooth and sublime stylings that made the soldiers look god-like in their appearance. Each soldier was carrying a staff-like weapon in one hand and a circular shield in the other, while also keeping a sword holstered on their utility belts. The tanks and machinery accompanying them looked of similar design to their armour and weapons, and all ground vehicles were hovering nearly a foot off the ground as they moved, emitting a low white light from their under-carriage.

'Must be some kind of anti-gravity tech.' Galvatron thought as he found himself in the center of this large army which continued onwards, and still none of the soldiers acknowledged Galvatron as they passed him, earning a confused expression from the Predacon.

'Is this real? Why can't they see me?' he thought before suddenly everyone stopped, including the soldiers and the vehicles.

'What is happening?' Galvatron could not help but think before his spark started to warm, which made the Predacon look to his left just as a soldier stopped beside him. He certainly was no ordinary soldier as he was wearing a dark gold and bronze armour with matching helmet which had two curved spikes, on either side reaching for the heavens. His armour had a similar design with large curved spikes on his shoulder guards and smaller ones on his gauntlets, and his boots had two twin spikes covering his knees.

Galvatron took a look at the newcomer's face and saw that he had a very well-trimmed beard that went down into a single point like the edge of a knife, as well as red glowing optics. And while this all earned a very familiar feeling from the Predacon Leader, it was not until this man unsheathed his blade that he truly recognised him.

'That's the Chaos Edge…it's Unicron…..but that means that this must be before written history...I cannot believe my eyes.' he thought before another soldier wearing a similar gold and silver armour, which looked far less threatening and more like the armour that had been worn by Jackson Prime. This soldier looked very similar to Unicron except for the beard and blue optics, he also held in his right hand a blade which suddenly brought up the memories of Megatron inside the Predacon's mind.

'That looks almost like the Star-Saber'.' he started to think before he was interrupted as Unicron turned to the other, looking right through Galvatron as though he was not even there.

"How are you feeling, Brother?" he asked, making the Predacon observer's eyes widen as he then knew who the second person was.


"I am ready, Unicron, as are our forces. I just hope the others are ready with their own, or else this will be a very short battle." his brother replied before looking away to the eastern horizon with a concerned expression, which did not go unnoticed by Unicron.

"Do not fret, Primus, the others will be ready. And so will Theia, I doubt your bond-partner would wish to fight anywhere other than at your side in this battle." he said back in a supportive tone as he placed his free hand on Primus's shoulder.

"She will be at your side by the time this battle is over, and we will all share in the glory of this day."

"I wish I shared your confidence brother, but then again you always did enjoy fighting more than I." Primus replied as he sighed, for he could see it in Unicron's optics….that desire for battle and warfare which had always eluded himself.

"My brother, always worried for my well-being. Well fear not, for as long as you are fighting at my side, we will never be defeated….not even by this 'darkness' that has blighted our species since we arrived on this planet."

"You mean that 'mistake' the High Council should never have let happen." Primus replied, earning a knowing look from Unicron.

"What the Council did was the for the best of all 'Aeonians', our Empire stretches across the entire universe because of their leadership. We are practically 'Gods' compared to the organic species we have come across in our expansion, so what is wrong with acquiring the power to make us so?"

"Because if God-hood is really meant to be in our reach, then fate will see it so. But because we tried to force it to happen, we instead brought on the very 'darkness' that we have barely held at bay." Primus replied, gaining an optic roll from his brother.

"Even with the fate of our entire species on the line, you can still find the time to disagree with me, Primus. I find it a small victory when we do agree on something."

"If the force behind creation wanted us to all be of one mind and opinion, then we would not have been given free will. Besides, despite all your grievances with us not being able to agree on most things. I know that deep down, you actually like arguing with me." Primus replied with a smirk, that made his brother sigh and smile back.

"You know me so well, Brother."

Then before anything else could be said, one of the soldiers approached the brothers, making them both look in his direction.

"Lord Unicron, Lord Primus. I have just received word from the other Lords….they are ready to attack when you are." he said, earning a nod from Unicron while his brother looked toward the plains directly in front of them.

"That's good timing, because 'its' coming our way." he replied while raising his blade towards the massive black liquid-like mass which broke free from the ground and began moving towards the army and with that Unicron and Primus moved to the front-line and faced their men, while Galvatron continued to observe quietly.

"Aeonians, hear me." Unicron shouted, earning the attention of each and every soldier within the range of his voice.

"We stand on the edge of an abyss, with our sparks now the only light that stands against the void which threatens to consume the entire universe and ourselves with it. But we shall not fear the darkness for we are Aeonians. We never give up and we never fail, and so we will conquer this 'force' and prove once again to the entire cosmos why we were why we were the 'first'…and why we are still here!" he added while thrusting the Chaos Edge into the air.

"For Aeonia!" he then screamed at the top of his voice, earning a mirrored reaction from every single Bot and Femme standing there in the army before him and his brother. Unicron then turned and thrust his sword toward the approaching darkness, Primus standing beside him with his Saber drawn.

"Attack!" he then finished before both brothers then charged towards the danger, with their whole army following behind as they ran past Galvatron who could only watch as the battle began before his very eyes. But even though this unknown and undocumented event was occurring right in front of his being, he found his attention was taken by what looked like a star shining far more brightly in the sea of stars that blanketed the sky of Scissio. The Predacon Leader stared up at the constellation that this one brightest star was shining in, and a name came to his mind.

'That must be where the planet Unicron was on about is located….'Aeonia'.' he thought before suddenly everything went white around him, making the Con close his eyes.'

"Lord Galvatron…" a familiar voice then called, which made the Predacon Leader reopen his eyes and find himself surrounded by his lieutenants at the crater's center once again.

"…are you alright, my Lord?" Lazerback asked while Galvatron looked around, as if still not entirely convinced look on his face.

"My Lord?" the Predacon then repeated, earning a nod from his Master who looked back at him and smiled.

"I am fine, Lazerback…..and thanks to this relic, I know where the Predacon cause can achieve its greatest victory." he added while the others looked at the blade in his possession.

"What do you mean, Lord Galvatron?" Blight replied with a curious expression.

"I was shown a vision of the distant past, a battle that was fought on this very planet." the Predacon Lord replied, which heightened the curiosity of the group as they stood round him.

"What battle? Who was involved and what was it about?" Vertabreak asked.

"It does not matter Vertabreak, it has long since past and knowledge of it is not a requirement for our cause. But we need to get back to the Nemesis,so I can find our next destination via the galaxy map." Galvatron replied, earning a disappointed expression from the Con while the others looked ready to move.

"You're not going anywhere!" a voice suddenly spoke out, making his Lieutenants and Terracons turn round with their weapons to find Orion and his team standing in their way with their own weapons ready.

"Autobots!" Blight spat as he opened fire on their enemies, making the Bots dive for cover behind the boulders that were scattered around the area. The his comrades and the soldiers with them joined him as they kept the pressure with continuous fire on Orion and his friends, who returned the weapons fire in kind from the boulders, taking down three of the several Terracons supporting the other Predacons.

"Looks like we could use a hand here, they outnumber us three to one". Nightracer said, earning a smile from Orion who then shot two Terracons down in a row.

"I think we an handle them." he replied, as Quickstrike noticed the blade in the Predacon Leader's hand.

"What was that sword in Galvatron's hand?" he said over the sound of the gunfire to his cousin as Nightracer and Liara returned fire.

"I don't know, but we can't let him keep it." the blue haired Bot replied while the Asari next to him spotted the other blade still embedded in the ground next to the Predacon group.

"Is it me or does that look like your Star Saber?" she asked, earning a curious look from Orion as he took a glance at the said blade.

"It does look very similar, lets take care of his entourage so we can ask him." he replied with a hint of sarcasm, which made the others smile as his cousin killed another Terracon.

Meanwhile, Lazerback had noticed how quickly they were losing the advantage and looked back at his Master, a serious expression on his face.

"My Lord, we need to get you out of here." he said, gaining a nod from Galvatron.

"Yes, we can not afford for this distraction to delay us." he replied, as Blight emptied a clip against the Autobots and took cover to reload.

"Then Lazerback, you, and Darksteel get our Lord out of here. Vertabreak and I can cover your escape." he said as he looked at them all, his expression was very serious and composed. They could see that he was committed to this decision, as did Vertabreak.

"Very well, but I will not leave you on this planet. Once we are clear, get free of this area and I will have a shuttle pick you up once I am back on the Nemesis." Galvatron replied, earning nods from the pair.

"What are they up to?" Quickstrike asked before suddenly a grenade was thrown into the open ground between the two groups.

"Grenade!" Nightracer shouted as they remained behind their cover as the device exploded, and the air was once again filled with gun fire as the Predacons continued their defence. Orion took a peek from behind his boulder and fired his weapon back at the enemies, killing the last Terracon before noticing that only two Predacons remained in the area.

"Where are the others?" he shouted to his friends who were still returning fire, which was impacting harmlessly against the large rocks that the Cons were behind.

"There, they are heading for their MAKO." Liara replied as she pointed to Galvatron, Lazerback and Darksteel who had made it to their vehicle.

"Damn it, we've got to stop them." the blue haired Bot stated with tinge of anger to his voice as they watched the MAKO then power up and take off back up to the top of the crater, before refocusing on the Predacons still attacking them.

On board the Predacon vehicle, Galvatron activated his holo-tool and began typing on it's keyboard, earning a puzzled expression from Darksteel.

"My Lord, what are you doing?"

"We cannot use our com-links down here, so I am sending a timed pulse signal that should pass through the interference in the atmosphere and to our ships."

"You mean something similar to what Humans called Morse code?" Lazerback asked while keeping his attention on his driving.

"Exactly, I found this data entry on the Federation database. And our computers should recognise and translate it for those on board, so that they can send us some back-up." the Predacon Leader replied while he continued to type, before then pressing the send button.

"Done, now we have no choice but to wait," he added, earning nods from his Predacons.

"Should we stop and wait, or carry on back to the ground-bridge? I mean there are probably Autobots there waiting for us," Lazerback replied.

"Carry on, we can't let them stop us." the Predacon Lord said back as their MAKO crossed over the crater-s ejecta and back down it's mountainous side.

While this was happening, Orion and his friends found themselves pinned down by the two remaining Predacons, as they had moved to two separate locations and were relentless in their attacks.

"Why couldn't it be just two Terracons remaining, they are so easy to kill compared to these guys." Quickstrike moaned between bursts from his rifle, earning a knowing expression from Nightracer.

"Because that's life, now quit your moaning and fight." she replied, which gained a smile from Liara who looked over to the Autobot Spectre beside her.

"That put him in his place."

"Yeah, but he has a point. Every moment we waste here is another step behind Galvatron. We need to end this now." Orion replied with a thoughtful expression, before looking back at the others.

"Do either of you have a grenade of some sort?"

Nightracer looked at her utility belt and showed it to her friend.

"I have a flash-bang."

"That will do…" he replied back before looking at Liara who could read on his face what he was thinking.

"I will be ready, do you want me to kill them?" she said back.

"I just want them out of the way, we don't have time to be thorough." the blue haired Bot replied, earning a nod from her.

"Okay, Quickstrike, we will fire on them on 'One' and then Nightacer will toss the flash bang on 'Two'…." he said back to the others over the gunfire, gaining a smile from Liara.

"And I go on 'Three'." she finished, earning a similar expression from the Bot.

"Exactly." he replied, the Asari nodding in return as the gunfire suddenly stopped and they could hear the Predacons reloading."

"One!" Orion then shouted as both he and his cousin got up and emptied their clips at the enemies who remained behind their cover.

"Two!" he then shouted as they both got back down and Nightracer tossed the grenade between the two Cons and dropped behind the boulder with the others.

"Scrap!" Blight shouted out loud before the grenade went off, giving off a blinding light to the entire area. Once it died down a split second later, he and Vertabreak stumbled out from their cover half blind and deaf.

"Three!" Orion then shouted as Liara stood up and using her biotics, lifted the two Cons into the air and slammed them into each other before throwing them back to the ground. She then looked back to see her friends stand up from behind the boulders.

"Nice." Quickstrike said back, while Nightracer gave the Asari a curious expression.

"Are they dead?"

"It doesn't matter, let's go. We need to stop Galvatron." Orion jumped in as he began to rush back up the crater's side, the others nodded in return and followed. But not before Liara activated her holo-tool and scanned an image of the ancient sword that still embedded in the ground there.

'This will be interesting.' she thought before glancing over to the two unconscious Predacons and then headning after her friends.


Back at the beach-head, Rodimus waited in the long grass with both Smokescreen and Grunt either side of him though several metres away, while they waited to see who would return from the signal's location. It was a thirty minute journey to the energy signal's location by MAKO and they had now been waiting fourty eight minutes, which was now showing amongst the others. Smokescreen had started a conversation with Shen over the com-link twice and twice Rodimus had to stop them, Grunt too was growing restless and had impatiently begun re-checking his weapons, but he remained quiet and that had Rodimus worried.

'I hope the others are alright, I just wish there was some other way to find out what was happening other than waiting.' he thought before Shen suddenly came over to him.

"Commander, I have a contact heading towards us from the direction of the energy signal." Shen said, making Rodimus pick up his rifle and get ready. He looked at both Smokescreen and Grunt and they had done the same, the latter actually looked happy that something was finally happening.

"Talk to me, Shen. What do you see?"

The Turian then looked through the scope of his sniper rifle at the vehicle which was still at least over a kilometre away.

"This one has no sign of damage from our fire fight earlier, so I would say that these are the Predacons approaching." Shen replied.

"Damn, that means Orion and the others failed. I hope they are okay?" Smokescreen interjected, earning a sigh from the Commander.

"Whatever has happened, we will deal with it later. But at this moment the enemy is approaching and we have to focus on stopping them." he said back, earning nods from the others at their respective positions.

"How long until they get here, Shen?" he then added.

"At the speed they are moving, I would say just over five minutes." the Turian replied.

"Okay then. Smokescreen, time to arm the Claymores that we have positioned between us and the MAKO and everyone, time for final-checks on your weapons. No matter what, the Predacons can not leave here alive….understood?" Rodimus said with a commanding tone,

"Understood." the others replied in unison as they readied themselves for the approaching enemies, with Smokescreen using his holo-tool to activate the mines while Grunt ran through his weapons checks one last time and Shen himself had gone back to his sniping spot. The Commander though just got into a kneeling position, with his head only just above the top of the long grass and aimed his rifle at the MAKO that was still just a small shiny dot at the edge of his vision.

'This is it.' he thought before suddenly a space bridge vortex suddenly opened up nearby and the three giant Predacon beasts burst out of it and ascended up into the sky.

"What the?" Smokescreen exclaimed as the Autobots looked up at the Dragons.

"They are flying towards the signal's location." Grunt said with an urgent tone in his voice.

"Galvatron must have called them in to help against Orion and the others, so they are still alive." Smokescreen said back with a relieved tone.

"Well not for much longer, Rodimus why did you have to send Onyx to check the surrounding area. We could certainly use him right now, don't you think?" the Krogan spat back, but the Commander just remained calm.

"Watch it, Grunt. rRemember who's in charge here…. and I have it covered." he added before a familiar roar echoed through the sky, one that made the flying Predacon beasts suddenly slow their speed as they looked around. Then suddenly Onyx in beast mode burst out of the clouds and flew directly at the enemy dragons, firing three fireballs at them, making Predaking dive low and both Skystalker and Grimwing break left and right respectively.

"That's more like it." Grunt exclaimed happily as Rodimus noticed the MAKO very nearly upon them.

"Okay, Guys, let's do this." he said as they got into kneeling positions and aimed their weapons at the armoured vehicle that was speeding toward them.

Meanwhile, Onyx found himself in the middle of the three Predacons as he beared his claws and grappled the back of Predaking, earning a roar of pain from the beast as it tried to shake the Maximal off. Grimwing and Skystalker had both turned back around and had begun flying in formation behind their Alpha, waiting for their enemy to be shaken loose. But Onyx kept latched on, digging his claws into the Predacon's back while biting at the orange wings, causing Predaking to lose control and fall out of the sky.

But just moments before the orange and black beast hit the ground, the Maximal let go and pulled up. Letting his hated rival crash land, bringing up mud and dust as it slid across the ground to a stop. Onyx then turned his attention to the others who began to circle him, his blue optics narrowing as he let out a low growl. Grimwing then swooped in with his teeth and claws beared, but the Maximal rolled to his left and dodged the beast. But he failed to see Skystalker who breathed his ice breath up on the beast's wings freezing them up, making Onyx drop like a rock out of the sky.

As he fell, the black dragon transformed back into his Cybetronian mode, freeing his wings of the ice and continued to descend as both Predacons continued to circle as if happy to watch their enemy fall to his death. But Grimwing was a little too curious and had drifted nearer than he had realised, letting Onyx reach and grab at the green beast's leg. Grimwing let out a roar as the Maximal got a firm grip of the beast's leg as it began to roll around and shake him off. Onyx climbed up the Predacon's leg and got onto the green dragon's back before equipping his wrist blade and stabbing it into it's back, earning a painful roar from Grimwing as he dropped out of the sky.

Onyx then let go and re-transformed back into his black Dragon mode as the Predacon hit the ground, joining Predaking who was just starting to recover. The Maximal then looked around for the blue and white beast that remained, but there was no sign of him, earning a confusing whine from the beast. But all of a sudden Skystalker, copying it's enemy's earlier tactic…burst out of the clouds and tackled Onyx before plowing the larger beast into the ground alongside both Predaking and Grimwing, who had got back to their feet and growled at their enemy.

As that battle was happening, the MAKO was now within the perimeter of the beach-head and set off the first of the claymores, rattling the vehicle and it's occupants.

"What in the pit!" Darksteel exclaimed as Lazerback kept his eyes on the road.

"The enemy is here too, and they…." the driver replied before another claymore went off on the other side, interrupting him while trying to keep the vehicle steady.

"Yes, keep focused on your task, Lazerback, and get us to that vortex." Galvatron finished saying for his luitenant while pointing at the green portal just ahead of them. But suddenly the MAKO drove over another of the explosives, setting it off and throwing the vehicle into a roll as the Autobots watched from their hiding spots. The MAKO rolled several times, throwing it's occupants around like rag dolls inside before finally coming to a stop upside down at the other side of the area. Galvatron found himself lying on his face and feeling sore as he picked himself up and noticed that he was bleeding from a cut on his forehead, so he wiped the excess blood away before looking over to his comrades.

"Lazerback, Darksteel,…are you alright?" he asked as he shook both Predacons, but they were out cold and could not answer. So the Predacon activated his holo-tool and took a reading, sighing in relief a moment later.

"Do not worry, my Brothers, I will deal with whoever is out there." the Predacon leader vowed as he picked up the Chaos Edge and moved hobbled over to the exit, hitting the access panel and opening the MAKO up to the outside. He then climbed out, and looked at the vortex which was several feet away and still open, so he lifted his hand to his com-link and was about to activate it.

"Freeze!" a voice commanded, suddenly making the Predacon leader stop and look in the direction that the voice had come from. What he saw was a Krogan and two Autobots standing before him, their weapons aimed directly at him. Galvatron smiled as he stood against the hull of the MAKO and looked quite casual despite the situation, turning his attention to each of the enemies before him until his eyes locked in on the blonde Bot in gold and red armour.

"Commander Rodimus, I presume. That was a nice trick you did there, mining the area." he said while taking notice of where each Autobot was standing, as Rodimus walked a step closer towards him.

"So you have heard of me, I'm flattered."

"I read your profile….second Lieutenant to Jackson Prime, a fine soldier, etcetera, etcertera, that still won't save you." Galvatron replied with a confident tone, which made both Grunt and Smokescreen narrow their eyes at him with disgusted stares.

"You know something we don't?" the latter asked with an unconvinced tone.

"I know I am going to walk away from this…..and your all going to die." the Predacon said back with an evil smile, one that made Grunt's blood boil.

"Let's just kill him and get it over with." the Krogan spat back, but Rodimus held his hand up at his companion.

"Yeah, I was thinking the same thing." Smokescreen added, ,making Galvatron's smile widen which earned a confused look from the Autobot Commander.

"What's so funny?"

"You speak of killing me like it is a certainty, but you will not…" the Predacon replied with another chuckle, which this time stretched Rodimus's patience as he took a step forward and aiming his rifle at Galvatron's head.

"You sure about that? Ending your life will throw the Predacons into disarray and end whatever threat they are to the Federation." the Commander said back, and yet the Predacon leader kept smiling.

"Then do it, what are you waiting for?"

Both Grunt and Smokescreen looked on as their Commander just stood there with his gun aimed right at the center of Galvatron's forehead, the Predacon leader chuckling away as if nothing was even out of place.

"You will not kill me, for I have 'destiny' and it does not end on this planet." he said back, making everyone there look at him with confused expressions.

"I will leave this planet as I arrived, but you will be decorating it's landscape with your cold corpses before I do so." the Predacon said back with absolute certainty in his voice, earning an eye roll from both Smokescreen and Grunt.

"I've had enough of this 'destiny's child', let's kill him." the former said back, earning a nod from Rodimus who tightened his grip on the trigger of his rifle.

"Goodbye, Galvatron. You will not hurt anyone else." the Commander began to say before noticing the Predacon's eyes change from red to purple.

"And still you talk instead of taking action, pathetic!" he spat before a purple energy emanated from him and shot out in all directions, knocking Rodimus and his comrades to the floor while Galvatron smiled.

"You will all fall at my feet…" he replied as Rodimus as got back to his feet and activated his holo-blade.

"Not today." he said back before lunging at the Predacon, who deflected his attack with the Chaos Edge. He then elbowed the Autobot Commander with his free hand, before spinning around and knocking the Bot to the floor with another elbow to the back.

"Rodimus!" Smokescreen shouted as he then charged into the fight, managing to punch Galvatron in the face as he looked back. But this barely bothered the Con who then swiped his glowing red blade at the Bot, which hit him directly on the chest and catapulted Smokescreen across the long grass.

"Is this your bes…." Galvatron started to jibe before being tackled from behind by Grunt, who knocked the Predacon to the floor and began pummelling his face with his fists.

"Let me show you how we do things on Tuchanka." the Krogan spat before the Con grabbed his face and threw him off.

"I'm not impressed." he said back as Rodimus came into the fight again and slashed the Con's back, earning a grimace from Galvatron who spun round and swiped with his blade. But the Commander saw it coming and ducked under the attack, he then countered but the Predacon leader was quick and brough the Chaos Edge up just in time to block it, leaving the two in a stalemate as their blades clashed.

"Is this the best you've got to give me, Jackson Prime did a better job then you." Galvatron said back with a smile, which made Rodimus push harder and break the deadlock. But this then left him open and the Predacon was quicker as he kicked the Autobot in the chest, sending him back to the ground.

Galvatron then turned round to see Smokescreen and Grunt readying themselves for another attack, so he beckoned them towards him.

"Come on." he said with a smile, earning narrowed stares from the pair.

"Together…..now." Grunt shouted as he and Smokescreen charged at the Predacon Leader, who instead swiped the Chaos Edge around before unleashing a red energy wave which hit the pair and carried them several feet before they hit the ground hard.

"Impressive." Galvatron then said as he looked at the blade in his hands before suddenly as if by a six sense, he then dodged another attack by Rodimus from behind. The Autobot then swung his holo-blade again, though the Predacon blocked the attack with his Chaos Edge and grabbed the Commander by the chest-plate of his armour. Galvatron then yanked the Bot close enough to head butt him, disorientating Rodimus as he began to stagger back. But the Predacon still had the Elite Spectre by his armour and kicked him square in the chest, sending the Commander onto the floor again.

Rodimus tried to regain some control as the disorientation from the head-butt started to fade and slowly got back to his feet, but he then fell back to his knees and panted heavily. Galvatron stood triumphant over the Autobot Commander, a confident smile appearing on his face as he clenched the hilt of the Chaos Edge tightly.

"You have a lot of fight in you, Rodimus, but you are no Prime." the Predacon Leader said back, making the Bot look up at his enemy. His eyes narrowed as his spark began to burn with anger, gritting his teeth as he fought through the pain he was feeling through out his body at this moment.

"I may not be a Prime, but I will never give in to the likes of you!" he spat back before lunging at the Predacon with his holo-blade, which was blocked yet again by Galvatron. But Rodimus then swung his free hand, just as another holo-blade appeared around it and it caught the Predacon on his chest and knocked him back. The Con looked down at his armour and saw the mark left by Rodimus's attack, which ran down the length of his chest-plate.

But then he was made to defend again as the Autobot attacked and made Galvatron bring up his blade, clashing them together again and again as the Bot continued the offensive. And for a long moment the two Cybertronians continued back and forth, clashing their blades constantly until the Predacon Leader finally had enough and clashed the Chaos Edge against Rodimus's holo-blade one last time.

"This ends now!" he said before as the blade glowed bright red and smashed through the holo-blade as if it wasn't there, before slicing through the Commander's chest-plate. The Autobot cried out in pain as blood gushed out of the open wound, making him fall to his knees and hold his hands against the injury as Galvatron stood over him yet again.

"I told you that you would not prevail today, Rodimus. Now prepare to join the All-Spark!" he said while lifting the Chaos Edge over his head in preparation of delivering the killing stroke.

"No!" a voice suddenly shouted, stopping the Predacon in his tracks as he looked in the direction it had come from. What he saw made his eyes widen as the second MAKO was now there, with a blue haired Bot staring back in angry disbelief as others climbed out behind him.

"Yet more Autobots for me to humiliate." Galvatron stated with a bemused tone before kicking Rodimus onto his back, making Orion stare daggers back at the Predacon leader for what he had down to his mentor and friend.

"What do we do?" Liara asked as both Quickstrike and Nightracer looked over to the XO, who in turn unsheathed the Star-Saber from his back.

"We stop him now!" he spat before charging towards the Predacon with the blade behind him, leaving the others where they were.

"Get to Rodimus, we will help Orion." Nightracer said back to the Asari as she and the blonde Bot ran after their friend, who had already caught up to the smiling Galvatron who readied himself for more combat.

Orion swung the saber at the Predacon Leader, who managed to bring his own blade up to block it. This caused both blades at the moment of impact to let off a mixture of blue and red energy that surprised both Bot and Con.

"Interesting blade you have there." the latter said with a curious tone as their swords remained locked together, but Orion just stared back with pure anger as he gritted his teeth.

"I'll introduce you… as I impale your spark with it." the blue haired Bot roared as he put all his strength into breaking the deadlock except the Predacon Lord instead pulled away and released the Bot, leaving him open as Galvatron punched him in the chest with his free hand before sweeping him off his feet.

"You look familiar to me somehow…" he then said while looking down at Orion, but before he could enquire he was again under attack as both Quickstrike and Nightracer took him on together. Both tried to attack high with a kick, the other low with a punch. But their adversary was experienced enough to read their attacks, so he dodged the kick and blocked the punch and made sure to grab hold of the Femme's arm while doing so.

"Let me give you a hand." Galvatron said back before pulling Nightracer around and throwing her into Quickstrike who had just turned around, sending them sprawling onto the floor.

"Seriously, is this all you Autobots have?"

As this was going on, Liara managed to make it round to Rodimus who was sprawled on the floor with his hands on his open wound, trying to keep pressure on it. But he had lost a lot of blood and was slowly losing consciousness, just as the Asari knelt down beside him and pulled some Medi-gel from her utility belt.

"Stay with me, Rodimus." she said while tending to his deep wound, in fact she was so caught up in helping the Commander that she had failed to notice that both Lazerback and Darksteel had come too and climbed out of the crashed MAKO. The latter had spotted the blue female with her back turned to them, and so equipped his pistol before aiming it at her head. But just a second before he could pull the trigger, a gunshot was heard and the back of his head exploded outwards as a bullet went straight through it. Having heard the gunshot, Liara looked around to see the Predacon fall to the ground dead, while Lazerback dived behind the cover of the MAKO. The Asari looked back to her front and saw Shen standing up on the higher ground.

'I have your back.' he thought while she continued treating Rodimus's wound, as he meanwhile looked over to see Orion attacking the Galvatron again.

"Why do you look familiar to me?" Galvatron asked between Orion's swings of his saber, which the Predacon responded by deflecting each and every one before pushing the Bot back, so he could get the chance to look him up and down.

"Who are you?" he spat in a confused tone, to which Orion gripped the hilt of his blade tighter and stared the Con directly in the eyes.

"My name is Orion Darby, and I will make you pay for what you have done to my parents."

Galvatron's eyes widened as it finally dawned on him, just as the younger Bot attacked again and clashed the Star-Saber with the Chaos Edge, sending blue and red sparks everyway as the blades connected.

"The son of a Prime, living in your Father's shadow. I can relate to that." the Predacon replied as the two continued to push their blades against the other until his strength broke through and he slashed the blue haired Bot's arm, making him drop the Star-Saber to the floor leaving him open. And Galvatron took advantage by following through as he flipped the hilt of his blade around, giving Orion hard hit in the stomach with it and then knocking him to the floor with a back hand to the face.

"You are out of your depth…,Boy. I can see it clearly all over you." the Predacon Leader added as he looked down at the beaten Darby, who had blood running down the lower half of his face from his nose. He looked around to see Nightracer and Quickstrike still down on the ground, as was Smokescreen and Grunt before looking back up at Galvatron, who's shadow was being cast over him.

"You are no match for me, just as your Father was not." the Con said before smiling as if something had come to his mind.

"That is why he and that wretched Femme of his did not want the Normandy destroyed, because you were on board. Well, they believe you are dead….so who am I to deny them that reality." he then said before raising the Chaos Edge above his head, readying to bring the blade down upon Orion who just kept his eyes on the enemy before, unafraid of what was about to happen as his growing anger kept his focus.

But then suddenly a gunshot sounded and hit the blade, earning Galvatron's attention as he looked in the direction it came from. His eyes widened a little as a curious expression appeared on his face as he saw a Turian slowly moving toward him, his sniper rifle aimed at the Con's head.

"Pitiful." he spat, before Shen fired again. And the Predacon deflected it with his blade, so the Sniper fired off several more shots and each and every time, Galvatron deflected them before only a few feet stood between them.

"Is that it, is that all you have?" he said back with a hint of annoyance in his voice, which earned a slight smile from the Turian.

"Pretty much,…yeah."

"You must know you don't stand a chance against me, Turian." Galvatron replied, to which Shen gave him a knowing look.

"Oh, I wasn't trying to kill you….just 'distract' you." he replied, the Predacon's eyes then widened before he turned around to see a fist hit his face hard. The Con stumbled backwards before feeling another punch hit him in the stomach and then again in the face. He managed to open his eyes to see a resurgent Orion attack again with a kick that hit the Con in the stomach, which made him bend over and the blue haired Bot replied by connecting an uppercut with his face, sending Galvatron back first to the floor.

The other Autobots just started to get back to their feet as they saw Orion standing over the Predacon Leader, who spat some blood onto the floor before looking up at the Bot who upholstered his pistol and aimed it a the Con's head.

"You've lost." the blue haired Bot said, earning a smile from Galvatron who clenched his hands into fists which began to glow with purple energy.

"You underestimate me…,Boy, just like your Father. Now to pay the price!" the Predacon Leader then spat as he slammed his fists into the ground, sending out an energy wave which knocked Orion's balance and made him drop his weapon. Galvatron then launched into a barrage of punches that pummelled the younger Bot relentlessly, until he was completely dazed and bloodied. The Predacon then grabbed Orion's throat and lifted him off the ground, before looking into his eyes.

"And you are wrong, it is you that have lost…everything." he said, before hitting the Spectre in the chest, cracking his chest-plate before then throwing him to the ground hard. The Predacon Leader then stretched out his hand to where the Chaos Edge lied and suddenly the sword shot from the ground and back into his possession, tightening his grip on it's hilt and making it's blade glow red.

"Orion!" Liara then shouted in a frantic and scared tone, making Galvatron look round to see her beside the fallen Rodimus with a horrified expression on her face.

"Oh, I will deal with you later, Asari," he said back, before noticing that he was surrounded. Quickstrike, Grunt, Nightracer and Smokescreen surrounded him with their weapons ready.

"You're not going anywhere." the blonde Bot replied, making the Predacon shake his head and sigh in return.

"You Autobots never learn." he said before Smokescreen was suddenly shot in the back, making him cry out in pain as he fell to the ground. The others quickly turned and saw Lazerback with his weapon ready as he took cover from behind the damaged MAKO.

"Smokescreen!" Grunt shouted, before aiming his weapon at the Predacon responsible. Galvatron though smirked as everyone's attention had been drawn away from him, so he then stabbed the Chaos Edge into the ground and focused his thoughts into it.

"What's he doin….." Nightracer managed to say as she glanced back at the Con, before the ground around him suddenly exploded in a bright purple light which knocked all the Autobots to the ground.

"My Lord." Lazerback said as he walked over to his Master, ignoring the Autobots who were on the ground in pain at that moment.

"Lazerback, where were you?" the Predacon Leader replied as he sheathed the Chaos Edge onto his back.

"I managed to contact the Nemesis through the Space-bridge while you were dealing with the Autobots, they are ready to send more Terracons if needed." his lieutenant said back, making Galvatron shake his head in return.

"That will not be necessary, we are done here. Have a shuttle sent back for Vertabreak and Blight. And recall our Beasts, we'll leave the moment everyone is back on board."

"Yes, my Lord." Lazerback nodded back, before his Master noticed someone was missing.

"Where is Darksteel?"

"He is dead, killed by the Autobots."

"I see…" Galvatron replied before turning away, facing the ground-bridge portal.

"You have your orders." he said before leaving the Predacon there, who nodded before tapping his com-link as he followed. The pair then entered the vortex, leaving the Autobots there where they lay.


Meanwhile, Onyx Primal found himself in a similar position as he was pinned to the ground by both Grimwing and Skystalker. The two Dragons had their claws dug into his chest as the lay on his back in beast mode. Both were giving off deep growls as they bared the teeth at him and prepared to strike, when suddenly a massive roar stopped both as Predaking joined them and looked down at the Maximal.

It's yellow optics narrowed as it then opened it's mouth and charged it's fire-breath, forcing Onyx to break free from the other Predacons hold. But Grimwing and Skystalker had too good a hold on him, so all he could do was watch as his hated rival readied himself to snuff out the Maximal's spark. But just as Predaking was ready to unleash a fire-blast upon the defenceless Onyx, suddenly all three Beasts looked away in the same direction and whined.

'What in the Allspark?' he thought as Predaking stretched out his orange wings and lifted himself off the ground, quickly followed by Skystalker and Grimwing who then flew away and left Onyx. The Maximal quickly rolled on to his feet and took to the sky to chase them down before noticing that they were heading for the ground-bridge vortex.

Liara came too to find herself looking up at the cloudy sky, before realising that she had been knocked out by some kind of energy of Galvatron's making.

'Orion!' she thought before quickly got up and looked around, seeing the rest of her friends who were just coming round themselves. But her eyes came to stop as she saw a blue haired Bot lying several feet away from her, and she suddenly felt her heart beating very fast and heavy as numerous thoughts went through her mind. But the Asari pushed them aside and ran over to her friend, falling to her knees as she noticed the bruised and bloodied young man lying before her.

"Orion?" she said softly while cupping the left cheek of his face with her hand, hoping that her touch would wake him. But his eyes remained closed, which made Liara feel something inside herself that she had not felt since she had been back on Cybertron, the last time she saw Shockblast.

"No, don't do this to me, Orion, please?" she said back as she stroked his cheek with her thumb, before the Bot finally opened his eyes to her relief.

"….Liara.." he replied, earning a sigh from the Asari,

"You had me worried." she said back as the blue haired Bot attempted to sit up, only succeeding when Liara helped him.

"Where's Galvatron?" he asked as he looked around, earniing a confused expression from her.

"He and that other one are gone." Quickstrike suddenly said, gaining their attention as they looked over to see him walking over. The young Darby also notice Grunt helping with Smokescreen and Nightracer limping over to the unconscious Rodimus, a heavy feeling made Orion's spark dim within his chest as it dawned on him what this all meant.

"We failed." he said back with a heavy tone to his voice, making his cousin shake his head in return.

"Not yet, we haven't. Their ground bridge is still active. Let's go through and finish this." he said, trying to sound enthusiastic but coming off as just desperate.

"We are in no condition for that. Neither do we know what forces Galvatron has on the other side. It would be suicide to attempt that." Liara replied, gaining a nod from Orion.

"Liara's right…leave it and focus on our people." he said while looking over to both Rodimus and Smokescreen.

"What's their condition?" Orion said as his eyes fell upon his mentor, and his spark ached for young Darby knew he had failed him.

"I have stabilized the Commander as well as I can, but he has lost a lot of blood. We need to get him back to the ship." Liara replied.

"And the same goes for Smokescreen, he needs immediate medical attention." Grunt shouted over with an angry undertone to his voice, before reusing the Medi-gel in his hands on his injured friend.

"Well, we need to work fas…." Orion began to say before his and everyone's attention was caught by the Ground-bridge vortex suddenly expanding.

"What the hell?" Quickstrike said in return with a confused expression before a roar sounded out behind him, making the Bot turn round just in time for him and the others to see the three Predacon beasts fly low over them and into the vortex which then closed behind them, leaving the group alone on the planet as Onyx Primal landed and transformed near them.

"Is everyone alright?" He asked, his blue optics widening as he saw the condition the group was in.

"That remains to be seen." Grunt replied when Orion's com-link suddenly activated.

"Normandy to Orion, come in please?" Jetstorm said, making the Bot put his hand to his ear and tap the device and let the others hear it.

"Orion here."

"What's the situation down there?" the pilot replied.

"The Predacons…defeated us." the blue haired Bot replied, earning a sigh of regret from the other end of the link.

"..I see, I guess that is why the Nemesis has just used a space-bridge to leave the system, and the other Predacon ship jumped away…after picking up a shuttle from the planet."

"Wait…how are you suddenly able to contact us, we have been unable to do so ourselves?" the Spectre asked with a curious tone, while the others listened with equally curious expressions.

"It was the same on our side too, but just now whatever had been blocking our com-signals has faded to nothing." Jetstorm replied.

"Must have been that sword that Galvatron had taken." Liara said back, earning an aggravated expression from Grunt.

"Could we just get back to the ship already." he spat while remaining at Smokescreen's side.

"Right.." Orion replied as he looked back at their injured friends.

"Jetstorm, open up a ground-bridge for us and have Red-Alert ready with a medical team, we have injured."

"Aye, Aye." the pilot said back before another green vortex appeared near them, which made Grunt pick up his friend and carry him into the swirling portal, Shen and Quickstrike together picked up Rodimus and did the same as Orion watched with Liara helping him and Nightracer joining his other side.

"Once we are on board, take us out of the system immediately." Orion then said before ending the transmission and looking over to the two women with him.

"Lets get moving, we've lost too much time already." he then said, earning nods from the pair as they then helped him walk through the portal which then closed behind them. The Normandy then left orbit of Scissio and immediately jumped away, leaving the planet to float there in the void of space. But if the ship had stayed for a moment longer they would have noticed an almost transparent energy wave suddenly expand outwards from the planet before slowly dissipating into the blackness nothing like it had never happened.

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  • 1 month later...


Galvatron stood before the Galaxy map at his station on the Nemesis's bridge, his eyes focusing on the holo-image of the galaxy as he tried to pin point the planet that he had felt drawn too in his vision. In fact the Predacon Leader's attention was so absorbed by his task, he did not notice both Rip-Claw and Lazerback entering the room and walk up to him over the catwalk.

"Lord Galvatron..." the Femme called though he simply ignored her and continued his search, making both Rip-Claw and Lazerback to look at each other, with the Con shrugging his shoulders in return.

"My Lord, if we may have a moment of your time." Lazerback then said as the pair stopped directly behind the Predacon Leader, making him sigh before turning to them.

"Will this take long, I am in the middle of something you all should know is extremely important."

"Lord Galvatron, we already have a number of our Terracons searching through the navigational charts for the star...that you saw in your 'vision'. There is no need for you to do the same." Rip-Claw said back, earning a supportive expression from her comrade who then looked at his Master.

"Because we have a problem, one that requires your attention, my Lord." Lazerback added, earning what looked like a curious expression from Galvatron.

"Well, spit it out then."

"Very well...while we were occupied on Scissio, the other ships you sent out to search the galaxy have met heavy resistance from Autobot forces that intercepted them at each location." the Con replied, which made the Predacon Leader look back in confusion.

"That's impossible, how would the Autobots know where to look?"

"Master, if I may make a suggestion?" Rip-Claw then said, earning Galvatron's attention though his eyes narrowed at her and made the Femme feel uncomfortable.

"Go on." was all he said.

"Taking into account how the Autobots know exactly where our ships are to attack them, it would be logical to assume that they may have access to our communication channels."

"That would make sense considering the attacks our ships have suffered in such a short time." Lazerback added, earning a thoughtful expression from Galvatron.

"We can't take the risk, have the fleet switch to new com-channels...ones that we don't currently have listed as available."

"I'll get right on it." the Femme replied before walking away, leaving Galvatron alone with Lazerback who noticed his Master glancing back to the galaxy map.

"Lord Galvatron, you're going to continue with your search through the star maps...aren't you?" he asked with a knowing look.

"Yes, it is too important to leave in the hands of our Terracons. I hope you don't disapprove?" the Predacon Leader replied with an inquisitive stare, making the Lieutenant shake his head in response.

"No of course not, my Lord. If that is your wish, then I will see to it that you are not disturbed."

"I would appreciate that, though I hear a 'but' coming along." Galvatron said back.

"...But..." Lazerback began to say, feeling his Spark-beat speed up as he suddenly felt like he was walking a minefield with his next few words.

"...are you sure that you really experienced a 'vision', my Lord. Telling the crew, let alone the fleet, would raise questions in their minds."

Galvatron looked away as he thought on his lieutenant's words, then looked back as his eyes narrowed slightly.

"Do you share the same view as the others on this?"

"No, Lord Galvatron, I am merely pointing out what the crew's reaction is." the Predacon said back as he felt sweat slowly building up on his face, which Galvatron noticed.

"All you and the others need to know is that when we find the planet in question, we will have the means to finally end our conflict with the Autobots and put the entire galaxy in our control." he then said while holding his hands behind his back.

"Do I have your support?"

"Yes, my Lord, and I am sure that everyone else in our fleet feels the same." Lazerback replied, gaining a nod from the Predacon Leader.

"Very well, you are dismissed." he said back before turning back to the galaxy map, with the lieutenant walking away in return. It was then that Galvatron felt the presence of his master around him as he looked at the image of the star cluster.

"You should watch your back, my Herald." Unicron suddenly spoke into his mind, making the Con shake his head.

"Out of all of my Lieutenants, only one…possibly two who would have moved against me. One of them is now dead….and the other is working with me, I have nothing to fear from the others Master." Galvatron replied softly, so that none of the Terracons below would hear him.

"Because they 'fear' you, Galvatron?"

"Yes, fear after all is just another means of control….in the hands of the right person. And if that is required to help me achieve 'our' goals, then so be it." the Predacon Leader said back, feeling the purple optics of the Chaos Bringer bearing down on him.

"Very well, I will leave you to continue your search….unless you may prefer a gentle nudge in the right direction?"

"Do you know where Aeonia is located?.." Galvatron asked with a curious expression, too which there was no answer which heightened his curiosity even more.

"…Because I thought you said you could not remember such details, like with the Chaos Edge?"

"You must come to understand, Galvatron, that I am an Aeon and have a time-line that goes back almost to the beginning of creation itself. But I am not whole, since your spark contains the last slither of my being, and my memory is in a similar state. So much of my experiences from before and after my ascension are still scattered in the ocean of time, and are still outside of my reach. But when you held the Chaos Edge….my sword in your hands and witnessed that particular memory of mine, I did manage to recover a few more. Some that answered questions that I have, and some that have raised more." Unicron replied with a cryptic tone, earning a hint of impatience within the Predacon's Spark.

"So, is there anything you can tell me, Master? Can you point me in the right direction?" he asked with a tone that tried to hide his growing impatience, though Galvatron doubted whether he could do such a thing with the Aeon sharing his very spark.

"Using the words that exist in your mind, look in the 'Attican Traverse'. You should find the original home of my species there…..though it's name will be something quiet different from what I knew it to be." the Chaos Bringer replied before fading away, leaving the Predacon Leader alone with his thoughts again as he zoomed the galaxy map onto that region and continued his search.

Meanwhile, in his laboratory. Shockwave was looking through the files that his predecessor Shockblast had been cataloguing. This was something that the Decepticon had been in the middle of when Six-Shot had interrupted him, and Shockwave was eager to get through this without any more interruptions. But he as he scrolled through the files, his one remaining eye taking in the data scrolling down the screen with photographic accuracy. The Con still found his attention waning as he looked over to the body lying on the berth to his right with a grey sheet covering it, since this was the body of Six-Shot that Galvatron had yet to deal with before leaving for Scissio.

'It is not logical for my Liege to leave this problem for too long, surely one of more of the other Predacons will question his absence before long.' he thought as he shook his head and looked back at the holo-screen in front of him. Several minutes passed as he continued with his work before his attention was once again taken as the lab's doors opened, making the Decepticon turn around to see a Terracon enter with a mobile berth which was carrying someone. From where Shockwave was standing, he could not make out who the individual was on the berth except for the fact that it was a Femme. So he walked over to the berth and the Terracon who moved it towards the room's center, before being stopped by the Decepticon.

"Commander Shockblast!" the soldier said, earning a surprised expression from Shockwave.

'I find it illogical to assume that I will ever fully become used to being called by that name.' he thought while looking back at his subordinate.

"Why did you disturb my work?" he asked, quickly giving the Terracon a cold stare.

"I was commanded by Lord Galvatron to deliver this traitor to your laboratory." the minion replied, which made Shockwave look down at the unconscious Femme. He could see by examining her body that she had quite extensive injuries, which had not yet been fully healed.

"Why is she a traitor?" the Decepticon asked, which made the soldier look back with a disbelieving expression.

"You have not heard, Commander?"

"No, please explain?" Shockwave asked, ignoring the Terracon's stare as he activated his holo-tool and took a more thorough scan of the Predacon Femme.

"This wretch betrayed us…her family to the Autobots, at first helping one escape our clutches and then assisting the rest of the 'scrap' to sabotage one of our operations." the minion said, while the Decepticon continued to scan.

"I see….." he replied before his only remaining eye looked down at her face and widened, as the Decepticon found he recognised her despite the Femme being in a Pretender body.

"Ser-Ket?" he said, earning a nod from the Terracon.

"Yes, that is the traitor's name….." he began to say before Shockwave glared at him, making the minion nervous.

"Get out now!" the Decepticon spat, earning a nod from the soldier as he started to back slowly towards the door.

"…Sir,…yes,..Sir." he mumbled before leaving the room, though Shockwave waited for the door to close before returning his attention to the unconscious Femme before him.

"It has been a long time, Ser-Ket." he said before walking to the nearby table and picking up some Medi-gel.

'Or should I start calling you by your 'real name'.' he thought before heading back to the Predacon and injecting her with the medicine.

"This should help you recover…." Shockwave started to say as he accessed memories of her from after 'the Fall'.

'…since you are still my favourite creation.' he thought before his com-link activated and the voice of Galvatron could be heard.

"Shockwave, I am now in the middle of an important task. But I think we should discuss how to resolve our Six-Shot issue."

"You have my attention, my Liege. What did you have in mind?" the Decepticon replied as he turned from the unconscious Femme and walked back to his terminal.


The stars shone brightly in the night sky above Illium as Donovan Hock stood on his balcony holding a half empty glass of whisky as he leaned on the railing, his face unshaven, rough and his demeanour was that of a man who all but had given up. For it had been well over a week since the party that was gate-crashed by not one but two groups, with one of them escaping with his favourite Asari 'pet' who he had shelled out a good amount of credits for as well. But that was just the beginning of the downfall, because since that debacle Hock's entire business had fallen apart around him.

'Where did it all go wrong?' he thought as he looked out at the city's skyline before gulping down the remainder of the whisky in his glass, before sighing and placing the empty glass on the rail and letting his thoughts run wild in his mind.

'I used to run one of the most successful weapons trading enterprises in the galaxy and now my name means nothing, Illium's government seized my assets and shutdown my operation. I still cannot figure out how they were able to do that.'

Hock was so caught up in his own thoughts, he did not even notice the man approaching him from behind.

"Donavon Hock?"

"And who wants to know?" Hock replied as he turned around to see who had just interrupted his thoughts, and looked at the new arrival with a confused expression.

"Who are you?" he asked as he found himself looking at a Caucasian man in his early fifties with white hair that was combed back, as well as a short trimmed beard. He was wearing black and green armour which had two spikes on each shoulder guard, and also both armoured boots. Hock then noticed what looked like an emblem which was heavily faded and scratched, but there was no mistake that it was a Decepticon emblem and it then clicked who this man was.

"..you're Lockdown, a former Decepticon Assassin." he said, earning a nod from the former-Con.

"That is correct. So, you have heard of me?"

"Of course, with my line of work I have heard of and met many individuals such as yourself. But why are you here? If it is for work then I must apologise, for I am unable to offer anything…but I guess you can see that." Hock replied, his voice tinged with regret and self loathing. But Lockdown just stared back blankly before taking a step towards the broken arms dealer.

"I am not here to find work. More so, I am here to offer you some." he replied, earning a confused expression from Hock.

"I do not understand?"

"In my time since the end of the Autobot/Decepticon civil War, I have worked for many such as yourself as well as men who do not ever wish to be identified. But never in that time was I ever tempted to join any of them permanently, that is until I met my current 'benefactor'." Lockdown said back before taking a metal sphere out from one of the pouches on his utility belt, which the former arms dealer had noticed and looked at.

"And who is this benefactor, do I know them?" he asked while looking back to the former Decepticon, who merely smiled and let go of the sphere which floated between them both.

"How about I just introduce you…and if I may give you a piece of advice, take what my benefactor has to offer because I doubt that there will be another chance in your lifetime." he said in a rather cryptic way, earning a curious look from Hock who looked down at the sphere which then activated and glowed with blue light. Suddenly a holographic projection appeared which revealed silhouette of whoever Lockdown's benefactor, but since it gave no hint of who exactly it was then it might as well have been their shadow.

"Donavon Hock, I hope my associate has not caught you at a bad time?" the silhouette spoke, though the voice was heavily disguised and filtered as to not give away their identity.

"Not at all, I was just…" Hock started to say back before the unknown person cut him off.

"…hoping to drink yourself into oblivion so that your problems just disappear? You must know that will never happen."

"Look, I am not looking for anyone's approval or pity for what I am doing. Just who the hell are you!" Donavon spat back in anger at the hologram.

"I am someone who specialises in obtaining information from behind the 'shadows', I believe that is an adequate description of who I am."

Hock's eyes widened as it dawned on him who he was dealing with right at this moment.

"You're the 'Shadow Broker', aren't you? But there is no proof that you even exist,"

"That is correct. You must be wondering why I am speaking to you now?" the hologram replied.

"Lockdown has told me you have an offer to make?" Hock said back, not even attempting to hide his curiosity at that moment.

"Indeed I do. You see my organisation is moving into an expansion phase at this moment of time. And with the Federation and it's Autobots more focused on their conflict with the Predacons, there is no better time." the Shadow Broker's image replied, making Hock shake his head in return.

"I do not see what this has to do with me.."

"I wish to add you to my resources, since yours is a skill set I have been looking for, for some time. If you agree to my offer, then I will come to you first when I need weapons purchasing. You will receive a one hundred percent pay rise for your services, as well as all other bonuses that come with working for me."

"I see, well that is a good deal." Hock replied with a thoughtful expression as he looked away.

"Yes, it is. Plus, I will throw in an incentive. Just to show that I mean business." the Shadow Broker replied, regaining the Human's attention.

"What incentive would that be?"

"Well, I know of the embarrassment that happened to you not so long ago with the Autobots, they managed to infiltrate your home and liberate one of your assets. I bet your colleagues and customers thought a lot less of you after that." the Shadow Broker replied, earning a nod from Hock.

"And you would be right." he said back as he looked at the ground in shame, the memories of the debacle playing back in his mind

"Of course I am right, there has never been a moment when I have been wrong. So, I bet you would like to pay those Autobots back for what they did to you." the hologram replied, which made Hock look back with narrowed eyes.

"I most certainly would like the opportunity."

"So, do you accept my offer then?" the Shadow Broker said back with a knowing tone, gaining a nod from the Human.

"Yes, I accept."

"Excellent. I am looking forward to having you work for me. Now go with Lockdown, he will fill you in on the details of your first assignment, good-bye." the Shadow Broker replied before the hologram disappeared, with the sphere flying back into Lockdown's hand.

"I knew you would make the right choice. Now, if you follow me." the former-Con replied, making Hock look at him with a curious expression.

"Where are we going?"

"To my ship of course. We already know where the Autobots responsible are located. We are going to attack and disable it, then a team of Mercs I have put together will board the Autobot ship.." Lockdown said before Hock cut him off.

"Why are you boarding the ship, why not just destroy it?"

"Because the Shadow Broker wants to capture the Asari who is among them." the former-Con replied, earning a confused look from Hock.

"You mean 'my' Asari, I don't think so. I paid good money for her."

"And you will be paid that back in full with more than enough extra for your troubles, Hock, This is not negotiable! Our Benefactor wants the Asari. And what he wants he gets. We will destroy the Autobot ship, so you will still witness their deaths." the Assassin said back with a commanding tone that put the arms dealer in his place.

"I guess that will have to do, considering I would never get another chance." he said back in defeatist tone, earning a smile from Lockdown.

"I am glad you can see reason, now let us be on our way."

"One thing though, who is going in this team of yours?" Hock then asked as the pair left the balcony and walked through his apartment to the elevator on its far side, gaining the former-Con's attention as he pressed the recall button next to the door.

"I have hired the same slavers who captured this Asari for you before since they have experience with her, as well as some individuals I prefer with me."

Hock smiled as the door then opened and they both entered the elevator.

"I see, well this will be interesting." he replied as the door closed and the apartment lights dimmed as it's sensors detected no one else in its vicinity, leaving it in complete darkness.


Rip-Claw walked amongst the stations on the Nemesis's bridge, watching the Terracons at work. Since her failure at Omicron, the Femme had done her best to ensure that Lord Galvatron would not be given any more reason to assume she was of no more us to him and the Predacon cause. Only to complete the tasks he had given her to the best of her ability and not create waves, so that he would not notice the Femme. Also she had not even given a singular thought to Ser-Ket either, for as far as Rip-Claw was concerned, the two were no longer sisters let alone Predacons.

The Femme walked in between the manned stations, only giving a passing interest in what the Terracons were doing as she collected her thoughts in herself.

"Yes!" Galvatron exclaimed in a wildly joyous tone from the catwalk above, gaining the attention of Rip-Claw and the soldiers around her with everyone looking up to see the Predacon Leader standing next to the galaxy map, which was right now showing a blue and white planet.

"My Lord?" the Femme asked with a curious tone, a few seconds past by before Galvatron turned round and looked down from the catwalk at her.

"I have found it!" he said back with a smile, making her even more curious.

"Found what, my Lord?"

"Our 'final destination', the place where from where our ultimate victory will begin."

'This planet was the original home-world of the Aeonians.' he thought before returning his attention to Rip-Claw.

"Find the others and make sure they all come here, I have an announcement to make." the Predacon Lord said back, gaining a nod from Rip-Claw before she tapped her com-link.

"Shockblast, Lazerback, Blight, Vertebreak, Scorponok, Six-Shot. Meet myself and Lord Galvatron on the bridge ASAP."

A few moments later and Galvatron stood at the galaxy map with most of his lieutenants standing behind him, except for the brothers.

"My Lord, how long do we have to wait for the others?" Vertebreak asked, earning similar looks from his comrades as they all looked to their leader for an answer.

"I am sure they will be…." he began to say in response, before the door at the far end of the bridge opened and revealed Shockblast to everyone.

'Shockwave…' Galvatron thought while the others looked more confused, as Lazerback took a step toward the late arrival.

"Shockblast, where is your brother?" he asked, earning a cold and emotionless stare from the other,

"…My brother is dead." he said back, making the other lieutenants whisper amongst themselves as they looked at each other in confusion.

"What do you mean, Shockblast? Why is Six-Shot dead?" Galvatron replied with a confused tone, though had the others known any of the reality of what had really happened. Then they would have seen through the Predacon Lord's screen play, that he and Shockwave had concocted between them.

"I killed him." the scientist Con said back, earning shocked expressions from the others while Galvatron fought to keep a smirk from his face.

"Why did you kill him?" Lazerback asked.

"Because I came across plans that he had on his personal terminal which outlined his intentions to kill our Liege and take command himself and when I confronted him about this, he attacked me and left me with no choice." Shockwave replied.

"Well, its not like we haven't all seen his behaviour over the last few weeks." Rip-Claw replied, gaining nods from the others which made Galvatron's smile widen more as he looked over to Shockwave.

'They bought it, excellent.' he thought before shifting his expression to concerned as the others turned to face him again.

"Thank you, Shockblast. You have done me a great service. It warms my spark to see that my lieutenants are watching my back as well as helping to our achieve my goals."

"You are welcome, my Liege." the Con replied before looking at the hologram behind the Predacon Lord.

"May I ask what you have found, Lord Galvatron?" he then asked, making everyone else look at their Leader with curious expressions.

"Indeed you may, Shockblast. After looking through our navigational records, I have found where we must go next." he replied before stepping aside and letting the others see the holo-blue and green planet being emitted on the galaxy map.

"This world is where we will find our victory, here on the planet which the database calls 'Virmire'."

"Does this have anything to do with that blade you picked up on Scissio, my Lord?" Blight asked, gaining a nod from Galvatron who then unsheathed the Chaos Edge and held it before them all.

"Yes, this blade, along with Jackson Prime's Matrix of Leadership, will activate an ancient Cybertronian Temple, which in turn will give us the power to crush all of our enemies and conquer this galaxy."

The other Predacons just stared back in wonder as it dawned on them how soon this would all be over, Lazerback took a step towards Galvatron and raised his hand.

"My Lord, what is our next move?"

"The Nemesis will be heading for Virmire at the close of this meeting, and I want the entire fleet to join us there."

"But, Lord Galvatron, since the rest of our ships do not possess their own space-bridge generator, it will take them at least a few days to reach Virmire via the nearest space-bridge." Rip-Claw replied, gaining a nod from the Predacon Lord.

"Then you better tell them to make a start, now go back to your stations and prepare for the jump to Virmire…its time for us to embrace our destiny."

The lieutenants all nodded before turning and walking away, leaving Galvatron and Shockwave alone at the galaxy map.

"That was nicely played, Shockwave. They all bought it, like I knew they would." the Predacon Lord said back, earning a nod from the Decepticon.

"You are welcome, my Liege, but now if I may ask to take my leave and return to my laboratory?"

"Of course, I believe you should have received Ser-Ket by now." Galvatron said back as he turned back to the holo-image of Virmire.

"That is correct, my Liege, and once her wounds are fully healed, I believe I have a way to make her a loyal soldier to you once more." Shockwave replied.

"Very well, you may go." the Predacon Lord said in return, which made the Decepticon Scientist walk off towards the exit just as the Terracon manning the helm-station below looked up.

"My Lord, coordinates are set, space-bridge generator primed. We are ready to move on your command."

"The command is given. Take us to Virmire." Galvatron replied as he stared out at the void beyond the glass canopy in front of him, earning a nod from the Terracon who then worked the holo-interface of his station. Then suddenly a bright green vortex opened and expanded before the Nemesis before it flew head first into it and flash of bright green light later, the ship found itself before the blue and green world of Virmire, on the other side of the galaxy.

"Excellent, now take us into orbit and start making sensor sweeps of the planet. I want to know if we can locate the Infinite Combinatoric." the Predacon leader said as he looked down at the world below him through the glass canopy.

"Sir, I am not reading any anomalous energy readings from the planet. The temple is obviously offline right now." another Terracon spoke from the right side of Galvatron below the catwalk.

"Then I guess we will have to wait for the rest of the fleet to arrive, then we should be able to locate the temple with our increased sensor range and depth." the Predacon Lord replied, earning a nod from the Terracon manning the sensors station.

"Yes, my Lord, but I am detecting a small area of the planet which is blanketed in radiation."

"That is of no concern to us, it is nothing but a foot print left from the early days of the Reaper Conflict. Pay it no mind." Galvatron said back before looking down at the Communications station.

"Has the rest of the fleet been notified of our location?"

"Yes, Lord Galvatron, we have used the new communication frequencies and the entirety of our fleet will be here inside of three days." the Terracon there replied, earning a smile from the Con leader.

"Excellent, and with the Autobots unaware of our location. That leaves us with all the time in the world to find the temple and activate it." he said to himself as he looked back out at the planet below, his smiling face looking back via his reflection from the canopy.


Hock stood in the CIC aboard Lockdown's ship, looking impressed at his surroundings as he watched the Mechs working at the room's various terminals. They looked very similar to the standard LOKI Mechs that were being used as a security measure around the galaxy, yet this model looked more armoured with a more humanoid physique.

"I do not believe that I have ever seen this type of Mech, Lockdown." he said as he looked over to the former Decepticon who was sitting in the Commander's chair, overseeing the rest of the CIC.

"They are a special design that the Shadow Broker gained possession of and feels are necessary to the operation of 'his' ever expanding organisation." he replied, though with a hint of uncertainty in his voice. This did not go unnoticed by Hock as he glanced back at the lifeless robots

"You don't sound like you really accept this." he said, gaining Lockdown's attention.

"I'm am not a fan of androids, they are programmed with only the data that is needed for them to complete their given tasks. I prefer people who can think and adapt to whatever situation is thrust upon them."

"I find that an interesting view, considering how you and your species began." Hock replied with a knowing look, making the former Decepticon stare back with narrowed eyes.

"We Cybertronians are nothing like these walking tin-men, we were all 'born' sentient. With the ability to choose our own paths in life, even if the dogmatic caste system that the original High Council had put in place led to the very Civil war that destroyed our home world. Since that bloody chapter of our history was put to an end, we have lived with a greater freedom to pursue paths which seemed only like a dream originally. So don't go labelling myself and others of my species alongside these walking circuit boards."

"Forgive me, I meant no disrespect." Hock replied while taking a step back from the Assassin before looking back around the room.

"Why don't we have a canopy here, so that we can see what's outside?" he then asked, trying to change the subject which made Lockdown smirk in return.

"My vessel requires no canopy, for a view screen will appear when it is required."

Then one of the Mechs turned around and looked over to both men, lifeless red optics staring at them.

"Sir, we are approaching the target."

"Target?" Hock said back with a confused tone, but Lockdown ignored him and looked straight ahead.

"On screen."

Suddenly a blue holo-screen appeared on the wall before them, showing an Autobot frigate flying just in front of them."

"Wait, is that?" the arms dealer asked, earning a nod from Lockdown.

"That is the 'Normandy', the very ship that belongs to the Autobots who embarrassed you and the Asari that the Shadow Broker wants us to capture."

"How did we reach it so fast? I did not feel us jump to hyperspace. And how have they not detected us, we are right behind them?"

The former Decepticon smiled before nodding to one of the Mechs at his right.

"This vessel is equipped with both a Space-bridge generator and a stealth system, the same as the Normandy."

Hock listened while staring back out at the Autobot ship, still amazed that they were so close to them.

"How…" he began to say before the Lockdown cut him off.

"Lets just say that our benefactor has a way of getting his hands on the tech and equipment we require."

"You keep calling the Shadow Broker a 'he', how do you know that?" Hock then asked with a knowing look,

"I have never met the Shadow Broker, only one person in our organisation has had the honour of meeting 'him'."

"And who is that?" the Human asked back with a curious tone to the former Decepticon.

"Agent Zero. She alone is the Shadow Broker's most trusted confidante. She has told me that our Leader is a 'he'."

"And you believe her? Who is this Agent Zero?"

"It is not my place to reveal her identity to you, that should come from her when you meet. Anyway, that is enough questions for now." Lockdown replied as the doors behind them opened and a human and a Batarian entered the CIC.

"We are nearly ready, Lockdown. I am looking forward to seeing that Asari again." the latter said before noticing Hock.

"Mr. Hock, looks like we will be working together again."

"Yes, Varas, and what of you, Kane?" the arms dealer said as he looked over to the bald Human in rusty black armour.

"I am just looking forward to getting paid, so lets get on with it." he said back, making Lockdown shake his head in return.

"No, Slaver, we will go when I say so. So for the time being, just be ready." the former Decepticon replied as one of the Mechs turned to him.

"Commander, we have Agent Zero on hold for your attention."

"I will take it in my quarters." he said as he got up and walked out of the room, leaving Hock and the slavers in the CIC.

Once in his personal quarters Lockdown activated his terminal, a glowing blue inter-face appeared before him as he activated the audio transmission.

"Agent Zero, Lockdown here."

"The Shadow Broker wishes to know your status, Lockdown." the female agent replied. Earning a knowing look from the Assassin.

"Like he is not already aware of how our operation is proceeding. So I have to ask...why are you really contacting me?"

"Do you really trust these men you are working with?" the Agent asked back with an inquisitive tone.

"About as much as I trust these Mechs I have been burdened with, Zero, but I will see this mission completed and the Asari brought back to base." he replied.

"So why do I sense a feeling on uncertainty from you then?" she said back.

"What does the Shadow Broker want with this Liara T'Soni? There is nothing special about her what so ever, unless you count her being the daughter of Matriarch Benezia."

"It's not our place to question why the Shadow Broker wants, just that he gets it. I am sure he has good reasons for wanting the Asari. Now do your duty and attack the Normandy, Agent Zero out."

And with that the transmission fizzled out, leaving the Assassin to his thoughts before he tapped his com-link.

"CIC, this is Lockdown. Take us to battle-stations and prepare for the attack." he then said before the lighting around him changed to red and battle siren blared out of the ship's intercom as he walked over to the exit and headed for the CIC.


Meanwhile, the crew of the Normandy continued to perform their duties to the best of their abilities, but after what had happened on Scissio you could see that their moral had been hit hard. Both Grunt and Quickstrike were in the Medical-Bay getting patched up, all they could do was watch crewmen walk past the room as they sat on their separate berths. Neither had said anything as they sat there, not even to the nurses who were dressing their wounds at that point. But then Red-Alert walked in from the operating theatre, gaining the attention of both men.

"How's the Commander and Smokescreen?" the Blonde Bot asked, beating the Krogan to it as he simply looked at the Doctor.

"Commander Rodimus will recover, if Liara had not stopped the bleeding when she did, then it would have been a different story. And as for Smokescreen, I have removed the bullet and patched him up. Both men won't be leaving their berths any time soon, so we will monitor their conditions and keep them comfortable. As for you two, I'll be letting you return to duty as soon as the Nurses have finished." the Femme replied as she placed a pad she was holding down on table nearby before looking back at the Blonde Bot.

"Where is Orion? I have seen Liara, Nightracer and the two of you. He is the last one left."

"Orion was in the CIC since he is next in line to take command in Rodimus's absence. He is taking the defeat pretty hard."

"Well, I told Rodimus to kill Galvatron when we had him dead to rights but he paused, this would never have happened if he had listened to me and Smokescreen." Grunt replied with hint of anger in his voice, making Quickstrike look back and narrow his eyes at the Krogan.

"That doesn't matter now, does it? It happened, save your anger for the Predacons." the Blonde Bot said back, making Grunt bare his teeth and get of the berth before the Nurse had finished.

"What did you just say? I couldn't hear you from over there." he said, barely hiding his angry tone as he walked over to Quickstrike.

"I'm saying that criticising our friend and Commander isn't helping our situation, so why don't you just shut up." the Blonde Bot said back, earning a growl from the Krogan as he walked right up to the Autobot and stared him in the eye.

"You dare speak to me like that!" he spat while slamming his closed fist on the berth Quickstrike was sitting on, he could feel the power in the hit as it made the berth vibrate. But the Autobot just sat there and looked back, as inside he held his breath while Red-Alert could do nothing but watch in shock.

"I'm trying to talk some sense into you. You're hurt and angry and ready to lash out."

"That's it!" Grunt then roared as he threw a punch at the blonde Autobot, but it stopped just millimetres from his face as blue energy surrounded the fist. The pair looked over to the door to find Liara standing there, she had her left hand stretched out before her which too was glowing with biotic energy.

"What in the Goddess's name is going on here?" she spat in an uncharacteristic show of anger as she stared at Grunt, who looked as shocked as everyone else.

"…these two were about to leave now, as their wounds have been tended too and patched up." Red-Alert replied as she finally found her composure due to the Asari's appearance, earning a nod from Grunt as Liara released his hand. He then took one look back to the operating theatre before storming out of the room.

"Thanks, Liara." Quickstrike replied as he got off his berth and prepared to leave the room, earning a gesture to stop from her.

"Grunt is just upset from the fact that both his friends nearly died today." she said back in her more characteristically calm tone, gaining a nod from the blonde Bot.

"I know, still thanks for the save. Anyway, why are you here?" he said back, earning a curious look from Red-Alert.

"Yes, I treated you already, Liara." she said in return.

"I was looking for Orion, I thought he would be down here by now." the Asari replied.

"No, we haven't seen him since we got back on board. I thought he was in the CIC." Quickstrike added, making Liara shake her head in return.

"No, he was not there when I went to see him just now. So, I thought I would check here…." she answered before the inter-com activated, cutting her off.

"Red-Alert, this is the Communications station. We have a transmission for you from Autobot Command." a female crewman said, gaining a nod from the Femme.

"Okay, put it through. I'm sorry, Liara."

"Of course." the Asari replied before going quiet and letting the Doctor deal with the transmission.

"Red-Alert, this is Admiral Hackett." a grizzly voiced older man spoke back over the inter-com, gaining a curious look from the Femme.

"Admiral? Please forgive my bluntness, but what can I do for you? I have a lot on my plate right now."

"I have read the report that was sent back to me about the mission, and I hope Commander Rodimus and Smokescreen make a quick recovery. God knows we will need them and everyone else on board the Normandy in the days to come, but I have news for you about Long-Arm."

Hearing that name made both Red-Alert and Quickstrike's attention heighten.

"Long-Arm!" the Blonde Bot replied, gaining a look from the Femme.

"You know my boyfriend? She asked with an inquisitive look.

"Yes, we became friends while serving on Omicron. He and I helped some civilians escape when the Predacons attacked, he flew the shuttle away." he answered before turning his attention to the Admiral's transmission.

"That is correct, Quickstrike. I guess this is for you too." the Admiral said before going silent for a moment.

"Admiral, what is it?" Red-Alert said back, the tone of her voice becoming agitated at his silence.

"There is no easy way for me to tell you this…." Hackett then said, which made the sparks of both Red-Alert and Quickstrike suddenly go heavy.

"…but I am sorry to have to tell you that Long-Arm is dead." the Admiral finished, which made the Femme collapse into the chair that was behind her as the entire world shattered around her.

"What!" Quickstrike replied with a mixture of confusion and anger in his voice while Liara looked on in shocked silence.

"The Autobot cruiser 'Wrecker's Fist' found the shuttle adrift in the middle of the Ondeste system while searching for Predacon vessels. Everyone on board had died of exposure to the vacuum of space. The shuttle had suffered damage from what appears to have been a fire fight and had simply lost power." Hackett continued, but his words became background noise to Red-Alert who was had become lost in her own thoughts as she tried to comprehend the reality that just been dropped on her.

"I don't know what to say." Quickstrike replied in a shocked tone, as he too found the news hard to bare before turning towards the Medical-Bay's exit.

"I have…I have to go." he said as walked out of the room, his mind filled with thoughts of his fallen friend which also brought back similar thoughts of Ser-Ket. This left Liara and Red-Alert with the Nurses in the room.

"…Admiral, I would like to be alone now…if you don't mind." she said while fighting back the tears that were beginning to form around her eyes.

"I understand, Red-Alert. Again, I am very sorry for you loss. Hackett out." the Admiral replied before the inter-com went silent.

"Everyone….take a…break please, I would like to be alone." the Doctor said, earning sympathetic looks from her staff.

"We understand, Doctor, but what about…" one started to say, but the Femme cut her off suddenly.

"The Commander and Smokescreen are out of danger. I will monitor them…now, please go." she said again, this time with a slightly aggravated tone to her voice while she barely held back her grief. So the Nurses nodded in return before leaving the Medical-Bay, as Liara took a step towards the Femme.

"Red-Alert, I am so sorry for your loss. If you ever need to talk, then I am here for you….because I know what your going through." she said in a sympathetic and experienced tone, gaining a nod from the Autobot Doctor.

"Thank you, Liara, but for right now….I would prefer to be alone." she said back in a respectful tone, earning a understanding expression from the Asari.

"Okay." was all she said back before walking out of the room, leaving Red-Alert on her own and there and then the Femme just let go of her control and began to bawl out there and then with her head in her hands, tears running down her face as she let her grief take over.

Liara though continued to look for Orion, and though she did not want to leave Red-Alert alone, in-fact the Asari wanted to do the exact opposite. But she knew from personal experience that did not always help, so she refocused on her original task and that was to find the ship's suddenly illusive XO, and she felt as though she knew where to look.

Orion sat in his quarters, his desk covered in data pads with the Star-Saber lying over them. The lighting was on a low setting as he tended to his cuts and bruises. He also had used syringes of Medi-gel lying around, which he had used to heal any damaged bones and organs that he may have suffered from due to his fight with Galvatron. But after he finished dressing the last of his wounds, the young Darby just sat there and sighed before his attention was caught by his door chiming.

'Great, who is it now?' he thought before looking over to the door.

"Orion, it's Liara."

The Autobot suddenly felt a little better knowing that it wasn't any other member of the crew and got up from his chair.

"Open." he said, which made the door slide open and allow the Asari to enter, her eyes immediately falling upon the Blue haired Bot.

"Orion, what are you doing in here. You should be in the CIC." she asked with a concerned tone.

"I came here to think and to tend to my wounds. Basically, to get away for a moment." he said back in an honest tone.

"But with Rodimus incapacitated, that puts you in command. You should be out there, where everyone can see you. To give them hope that all is not lost and so not lose themselves to despair." Liara replied as the Bot sat back down in his chair and gave her a knowing look.

"I'm sorry, Liara, but I screwed up." he said back before looking away, making the Asari walk over and kneel in front of him.

"How did you screw up, Orion? Because the way I remember it, Galvatron defeated us all." she asked with a serious expression.

"I had the opportunity to finish Galvatron off, but I was so consumed with anger for what he had done to Rodimus….that I lost control and gave that Predacon the advantage." he said back with a guilt-laden tone.

"Orion, we all make mistakes."

"Yeah, but I have made more than a few already, which I have yet to learn from." he then spat back as he got up and walked over to the other side of the room, surprising Liara who stood up too.

"What do you mean?"

"If it is not my anger, then it is my over-confidence. I still don't see why that blade chose me." he said as he looked back at the dormant Star-Saber lying over his desk, and Liara looked down at the blade too before refocusing her attention on the blue haired man.

"Orion, the Star-Saber obviously sees something in you that is worthy of it, or else it would never have let you hold it. Nobody is perfect, I know for a fact that your Father and Optimus before him made mistakes too. You shouldn't beat yourself up for it, for no Leader is infallible." she replied while moving over to his side.

"But everyone out there is expecting me to know what to do and how to react." he then said back while looking back at the Asari directly in the eyes.

"But you have been in command before during this mission." she replied, making Orion shake his head in return.

"No, I have always been support for my Commanding Officer. I never wanted to be in command myself, and now this has happened and I find myself as lost as we are all feeling..." he replied as the Asari just watched and listened intently.

"...Because the truth is I have no idea what I am supposed to do, or even any idea on what I can do."

Liara though raised her hand up to his face, gently brushing her fingers against his cheek.

"Orion, I know this is hard for you…as it is for all of us. But your crew needs you right now, because while Rodimus is bed stricken, your all they have left and you need to be strong for them. Now I know you can do this…..and so does that." she said back while pointing down at the Star-Saber, making the Bot sigh in response before looking back at her.

"You don't give up, do you?" he asked earning a slight smile from Liara.

"On you, never."

Orion smiled back as he took a breath and regained his composure, before taking the Asari's hand in his own.

"You know, I can't imagine what my life would be like without you in it, Liara." he suddenly confessed, which made her heart warm as she smiled back.

"I feel the same about you, Orion."

"I don't know exactly when it happened, but I want you to know that I am glad it did." he said back as the two began to lean in closer to each other.

"Orion…" she started to say before she felt his breath on her lips as they were now just millimetres apart, until she then closed the distance as they kissed. From the instance their lips met, everything else melted away as they lost themselves in each other. Orion wrapped his arms around Liara's waist and pulled her close, the Asari moaned into the kiss as she did the same. Nothing else existed for the pair at this time as time itself appeared to slow to a standstill, suddenly the Normandy was rocked by what felt like an explosion.

"What the hell was that?" Orion said as the pair pulled away in surprise, Liara giving him an equally confused expression.

"I don't know, felt like something hit us." she replied as the Blue haired Bot tapped his com-link.

"Orion to CIC, report!" he said in suddenly commanding tone, all the doubt and insecurity that had plagued him moments earlier now gone.

"Orion, we are under attack. An unknown ship just appeared behind us and open fired." Jetstorm replied, as the battle-stations siren blared out around the pair.

"Take evasive action, we are on our…..." the young Darby began to say, before being cut off as the ship was rocked by another explosion.

"Damn it, they just took out our engines. We are dead in the water." the pilot replied, earning a look of shock from Orion as he stared at Liara before picking up the Star-Saber.

"Let's go."

Meanwhile, on board Lockdown's ship. The Assassin was in the Commander's chair watching the Normandy begin to drift on the view-screen as Hock and Varas stood either side of him.

"They never saw us coming." Hock said with an impressed tone, while both Lockdown and Varas ignored him.

"The Normandy has been crippled." one of the Mechs then said, earning a smile from the former Decepticon.

"Good, latch on to the enemy ship and prepare to dock." he said back as he stood up and looked at the Batarian.

"Varas, have your team ready. Our sensors have picked up a single Asari life sign at this section of the Normandy, so we will dock there and breach the hull for you to board and capture her."

"What will you be doing?" Hock asked back, feeling somewhat cut out of the plan.

"I will use a Ground-bridge to enter their shuttle-bay and plant an explosive device there, then we will destroy the ship remotely once everyone is back on board." Lockdown replied while looking back at the arms dealer.

"You can watch the entire operation unfold from here, Hock."

"May I sit in your chair?" the human asked, earning an eye roll from the Assassin as he turned his back to him.

"Do as you wish, just remember who's ship it is. Let's go." he then said before he and Varas left the CIC and Hock made himself comfortable in the Commander's chair.

Back on the Normandy, the crew worked frantically either at their stations or putting out the fires in the CIC as Jetstorm remained at post just as Quickstrike joined him in the cockpit.

"What the hell just happened?" he asked, while Jetstorm kept his attention on his holo-interface.

"We are under attack, I just informed Orion and he is on his way to the CIC as we speak."

"Where is the enemy now?" the Blonde Bot said in return, making the pilot type the holo-keys in front of him and bring up the sensor screen which hissed with static every now and then.

"Damn it, all systems are messed up. But…" the Autobot replied as he saw the red dot moving up alongside them.

"Looks like they are planning to board us…" he added with a tinge of shock in his voice, earning a serious expression from Quickstrike.

"Can you tell me where?" he said back, gaining a nod from Jetstorm before typed away and made a projected course appear on of the many holo-screens surrounding the pilot.

"The crew deck, starboard section….where Orion is."

"Right, tell Orion. I will get the others and meet him there." the Blonde Bot said back before turning around and making his way back to the CIC.

"Wait…" Jetstorm then shouted, regaining the Bot's attention.

"I am picking up a ground-bridge opening in the shuttle-bay."

"Damn it! Okay, I am on my way down there. Have anyone nearby meet me there and tell Orion what is happening." Quickstrike said back before heading back into the CIC, earning a nod from the pilot.

"Aye aye." he said as he returned his attention to his holo-interface.

On the crew deck, Orion and Liara exited his quarters and entered the corridor which was still basked in red light from the battle-stations siren which continued to blare out.

"We need to find the others and figure out our next move." the Blue haired Bot said, gaining a nod from the Asari.

"Orion, Jetstorm here." the pilot then spoke through the com-link, which Orion then reconfigured so Liara could hear it to.

"I'm here with Liara, what's our status?" the Bot replied as they stopped in the center of the corridor.

"We are being boarded, Quickstrike is rallying the others to join him in the shuttle-bay since a ground-bridge vortex has been detected there." the pilot said back.

"Alright, we will meet them there." the young Darby replied, earning a nod from Liara.

"I don't think you will have time for that, Orion." Jetstorm said, gaining curious looks from both the Bot and Asari.

"What do you mean?" she asked back.

"Because whoever the enemy ship is, they are attempting to dock with us…at your location!" the pilot said and as if on cue, the ship again shook as the strain on the hull could be heard around the pair.

"Roger that." Orion replied as he readied his pistol and Liara clenched her fists, before the wall in front of them suddenly exploded and knocked the two onto their backs. Everything went fuzzy for a moment as the Autobot Spectre heard ringing in his ears as he attempted to get back to his feet, and the Asari experience similar feelings as she looked ahead at the large hole which had been blown open in the wall. Her sight was somewhat blurry, but she could just make out several figures as they stepped out onto the deck.

"There she is, Boys, right where they said she would be." a voice spoke out, which made her eyes widen in shock before anger took over. For this was a voice that she recognised and thought she would never hear again as she sat up and looked at the new arrivals, just as he eyes regained focus to see the Batarian and his Salvers.

"You!" she spat, earning a smile from Varas.

"She remembers us, isn't that precious. Get her, Boys!" he then said, as the other armoured men rushed at her. But Liara's heart and blood began to boil with anger as her mind became overrun with memories of her time as their prisoner, empowering her and heightening her biotics. This made her glow with energy as she launched herself at the Slavers, just as Orion recovered and looked back in confusion and shock.

"Liara!" he shouted back as he saw her fight with the armoured men, earning curious looks from the Batarian and the other Human standing next to him.

"Who's that, Varas?" Kane asked, earning a shrug from his boss.

"Who cares, kill him." Varas replied, to which the Human Slaver raised his weapon at Orion and smiled before pulling the trigger. But Orion managed to use the Star-Saber to deflect the shot, to his own amazement and that of the Slavers.

"What the…how did he?" Kane asked before firing three more shots which the Blue haired Bot deflected with ease, gaining a confident smile from him.

"Take him out the old fashioned way….while I deal with our Asari." Varas replied before activating holo-armour around his body and walking towards Liara who finished with the last of the soldiers. Kane nodded as he activated his holo-sabers, each one looking like a Katana before he took a fighting stance. Orion did the same before they both charged at each other, meanwhile Liara dropped the last soldier to the floor and looked back to see Varas walking over to her, a look of utter glee on his face as he licked his lips.

"I was hoping we would see each other again, my Dear. There is so much more you could 'learn' from me." he said back in a slimy manner, earning a look of utter disdain and hate from the Asari.

"I'll never let you or any Slaver touch me again!" she spat while taking on a defensive stance and began glowing with biotic energy, making the Batarian's smile widen even more.

"Oh, I will touch you, and make you feel it." he said back before launching himself at her.

Meanwhile, Lockdown and his Mechs were already in the shuttle-bay and planting the large explosive device in the center of the large room, just as Quickstrike, Nightracer, Shen and Grunt entered.

"Autobots!" the Assassin shouted before firing back at the group, making them scatter and take cover behind nearby cargo containers as several of his Mechs joined in. Nightracer fired back before her eyes widened as she recognised the enemy leader.

"Can't be." she said, gaining a curious expression from Quickstrike.

"What?" he asked before firing several shots back at the Mechs, blowing the head off one as he did so.

"That's Lockdown." she simply said back, earning a shrug from the Blonde Bot.

"Who's that?" Grunt said back, beating him to it.

"He was a Decepticon, I remember my mother telling me about him from her Con days." she replied before taking another shot at the robot soldiers.

"Whoever he is, let's kick him off our ship," Shen said back before putting down three more of the Mechs, gaining nods from his friends as they all fired simultaneously. This barrage of gunfire made Lockdown hide behind the heavily armoured bomb while the remaining Mechs were annihilated.

"That's what I have come to expect from Autobots." he said to himself with a measure of respect in his voice before bringing up his holo-tool and activating the bomb, a timer on it then lit up and revealed a three minute countdown.

"You're outgunned and outmatched, surrender." Nightracer called out, earning a sigh from the former Decepticon as he threw his gun aside and stood up from behind the device. He looked at the group and smiled as he recognised the Femme.

"You must be Slipstream's daughter. I would recognise those eyes anywhere." he said back, earning a surprised expression from Nightracer who kept her gun on him as the others took positions around the Assassin.

"Lockdown,…you're under arrest." she replied, making him smirk back in an unconvinced manner.

"Really? I don't really feel threatened at all, if that's what you're trying to achieve." he said back, making Grunt grit his teeth and let off a low growl.

"We can change that." he said back, but the former Decepticon ignored him and continued to look at Nightracer.

"So what now?" he said back, though his expression was that of someone who did not care.

"Who are you working for?" she asked back in a firm tone.

"Is it the Predacons?" Quickstrike quickly added, gaining a knowing look from Lockdown.

"I work for someone who wants you all out of the way, that's all I…." he began to say before his com-link activated.

"That's the bitch that broke my nose! Kill her!" Hock suddenly screamed, earning a slight grimace from the Assassin as his ears felt that one.

"In good time." he replied calmly, earning confused looks from the Autobots.

"Who are you talking to?" Shen asked while keeping his pistol aimed at the former Con.

"Never mind that…." he said before looking around himself.

"…Can you hear that?" he then added, making the Autobots glance at each other with further confused expressions.

"Can we hear wh…" Quickstrike said back before he suddenly heard a low beeping coming from the large device next to them, so he looked down at it and saw the timer counting down.

"Oh shit! It's a bomb!" he exclaimed earning the looks of the others as they looked down at the device, earning a smile from the Assassin as a ground-bridge portal opened up behind him.

"Yes, it is. Have fun." Lockdown replied before stepping backwards into the portal which then closed before anyone could retaliate, leaving the group standing there with the explosive device counting down.

Back on the crew deck, Orion and Liara continued their fight with the Slavers as the Blue haired Bot got the upper hand on Kane, side kicking the human Merc in the side before grabbing his arm and throwing him to the ground hard. The Spectre then turned his attention to the Asari and her adversary, with him lunging with his holo-blade only for her to evade with a biotic charge which made her dash to his right in the blink of an eye. She then grabbed his free arm and broke it, which made Varas cry out in pain before she got him in a head lock and kicked at his leg, causing him to fall to his knees.

"You Bitch!" he said back while blood filled his mouth.

"I'm going to make you pay for that!" he continued while the Asari tightened her grip around his neck, a look of complete calmness on her face at this moment.

"No…you won't hurt anyone ever again." she replied before then snapping his neck and silencing him once and for all, earning a look of surprise from Orion as she dropped the body to the floor in a heap.


The Asari looked back before Kane regained both their attention, as he got back to his feet.

"One more to go!" she then replied as the Human Slaver's com-link activated.

"Have you secured the Asari?" Lockdown spoke, making Kane shake his head while stepping backwards from the pair.

"Negative, our team is down and Varas is dead." he said back.

"Scrap! Get back to the ship. I know of another way to secure her." the former Decepticon replied, earning a nod from the Human as he then equipped a flash bang grenade and threw it down to the ground between himself and the pair, which made Orion grab Liara and pull her towards him just before the device exploded into a blinding light.

"Orion." she said back in surprise before the light faded and the couple opened their eyes to find themselves alone in the corridor.

"You okay?" he asked as they looked at each other.

"Yes, but what about…" she started to say, making Orion cup her face in his hands and look her in the eyes.

"They were after you, Liara. There's no point running onto their ship and into what's obviously a trap." he said back calmly, earning a nod from her as she held on to him tightly before he looked down at the dead slavers, including Varas.

"These were the Slavers that…." he started to say before Liara cut him off.

"Yes! Yes, they are." she said back as he felt her physically shake in his arms, so he held her so close to his chest, the Bot swore that he could feel her heart beat.

"I completely agree with what you did, Liara, and I swear we will get the rest of them. No one hurts…my girl." he then found himself saying, making the Asari pull back enough to look him in the eyes with a curious expression.

"Your girl?" she asked back, almost making Orion blush as he sighed.

"Oh…yeah. I just thought since we did kiss…uh.." he started to say before she interrupted him by placing a finger on his lips and smiling at him, he blue eyes glistening as he found himself lost in them.

"I like that…" she said back as they leaned in for a kiss, but suddenly the ship shook around them again as the sounds of something dislodging itself caught Orion's attention, making him look back at the hole in the wall.

"Scrap, we have to move now!" he said as he gripped Liara's hand tight and the two ran for the adjourning corridor, picking up the Star-Saber as they ran past. The pair made it to the corridor just as the ship's atmosphere started to escape through the gaps being created from the unknown ship, with Orion bringing up his holo-tool and creating a force-field that blocked off their corridor from the other just as the enemy craft pulled away and exposed said area to the vacuum of space.

"That was close." Liara said with a breath of relief as she and Orion looked on as the dead bodies were sucked through the hole in the hull and out of sight.

"Orion to CIC, come in." the Blue haired Bot then said into his com-link, but the only reply he received was static.

Meanwhile, Lockdown re-entered the CIC of his ship and gestured for Hock to get out of his chair, all the while never taking his eyes off the Normandy which once again began to drift through the void in front of them.

"We have successfully broken off from the Normandy." the Mech manning the helm stated, earning a grin from the former Decepticon.

"Locate and target the section where the Asari life-sign is." he replied, earning a look of confusion from Hock as he stood there and watched.

"What are you doing?" he asked, but Lockdown ignored him and focused on the view screen.

"Arm one low-yield torpedo and prepare a Ground-bridge portal, targeted several feet outside that part of the Normandy to open several seconds after launch." he added, gaining nods from the Mechs at both the weapons and helm stations.

"Area targeted, weapons armed." one replied.

"Ground-bridge ready." the other added.

"Fire!" Lockdown then commanded, as the Mech pressed one mechanical finger down on it's holo-interface. With that the ship fired the glowing red torpedo which hurtled towards the stricken Normandy and impacted the hull, causing an explosion which ripped that section apart.

Suddenly, everything that happened next did so extremely fast for Orion and Liara as the ceiling over them was ripped open and exposing them both to open space. Orion instinctively embedded the Star-Saber into the ground as he held tightly on to his lover, as they both suddenly felt like they were in the middle of a hurricane as the atmosphere was sucked out of the gaping hole over them and pulled their feet from beneath them. The pair felt the extreme pressure of the vacuum of space yanking at their bodies as the Spectre held on to the hilt of the Star-Saber for dear life.

"Don't let go, Liara, the emergency force fields will kick in soon." he shouted back, gaining a nod from the Asari as she tightened her grip around his body while he did the same. But the force at which the Bot was fighting against was too much for him, and he could feel his strength beginning to fail him.

'No, I can't…I won't let us die….come on force-field, activate already.' he thought as his grasp started to slip slightly from the hilt of the Star-Saber which at this time was the only thing anchoring him and his Asari lover to the Normandy. But as another few seconds passed, the force field still did not activate and the blue haired Bot felt his body fail.

"I'm sorry." he said before his grip completely slipped and he and Liara were sucked out of the gaping hole in the Normandy hull and out into space. But just as the pair felt the air vacate their lungs rather violently, a bright green vortex opened up and swallowed them whole before closing just as quickly.

Lockdown smiled as he tapped his com-link while watching the action on the CIC's main view-screen.

"Do we have them and are they alive?" he asked before a familiar voice spoke back to him.

"Yes, Lockdown. And they are alive, if slightly frost-bitten."

"Good, get them to the Infirmary and deal with their wounds. But don't let them out of your sight Thane, don't screw this second chance up or you know what the consequences will be." the former Decepticon replied before ending the transmission.

"So what now? When does the Normandy blow?" Hock asked, which made Lockdown look down at his holo-tool and read the timer that was currently counting down on it's small screen.

"It's several seconds away, Hock, take a look…" he replied before looking over to the Mech manning the helm.

"Bring us about and take us away from the Normandy, and set the view-screen to aft view."

The Mech nodded and did what he was asked as the screen showed them turning away before suddenly making the Autobot ship appear again and get smaller as it continued to drift through space.

"Its about time.." the arms dealer then said as he watched the Normandy drift further away before suddenly exploding in a massive fireball, which made him smile from ear to ear, earning a curious look from Lockdown.

"I suppose you are happy now?" he replied with Hock nodding in return while keeping his attention on the explosion, savouring every second of it.

"Yes, that was well worth it."

"Good, then let's get moving. Helm, set a course for the 'home'." Lockdown said as he leaned back in his chair as the view-screen switched back to the front view just in time to witness a space-bridge vortex open up and envelope the ship in green light.

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  • 3 weeks later...


Minutes earlier…..

The situation was growing desperate onboard the Normandy which was still connected the to the unknown enemy ship. Down in the Shuttle-Bay, Quickstrike and the other Autobots stood around the explosive device, unsure of what to do while it's timer continued to count down towards zero and detonation.

"So, anyone here know bomb disposal?" Shen asked with a worried tone, making everyone else shake their heads in return.

"No. But even if any of us did, I don't see any openings or access of any kind for anyone to even try." Quickstrike replied as he knelt next to it and looked around the timer

"Well, what do we do?" Nightracer said as she walked around the bomb, looking at it's base, noticing another problem for the team.

"The damn thing has been fused to the deck, I don't think any of us would be able to move it." she added before looking up at the Blonde Bot and noticing his thoughtful expression.

"What is it?" she asked him.

"We may not be able to move it, but I know someone who can." Quickstrike replied before looking behind him at both Grunt and Shen, making the Krogan narrow his eyes back at the Blonde Autobot.

"Don't look at me, I can't move it." he spat back, making the Blonde Autobot shake his head in response.

"I wasn't looking at you!" he replied as he pointed behind the pair at the back wall of the Shuttle-Bay, gaining the others attention as they looked back and noticed that it wasn't just a wall but closed blast door.

"Wait…that's the Cargo-Bay back there, right?" Shen asked, earning a nod from Quickstrike as he tapped his com-link.

"Jetstorm, do you read?"

"I'm here, what's going on down there. I have lost internal sensors across the Normandy." the pilot replied.

"How bad is the damage so far?" the Blonde Bot asked, while Nightracer gestured back to him about the timer,

"Engines and weapons are offline, not many systems are fully operational…why?" Jetstorm said back as he looked at the flashing images of the ship's schematics on his holo-interface.

"Tell me the stealth-mode still works?" Quickstrike replied as he tapped his com-link again and let the rest of the team listen in.

"It is still active, but I don't think it would last long. But we still have that other ship hooked onto us, what good would it do?" the pilot answered.

"Just be ready to use it and wait for my say so, I am leaving this channel online…so standby." the Autobot said before looking back at the others.

"So you have a plan?" Grunt asked, gaining a nod back.

"Yeah, that Lockdown is expecting that explosive to destroy us, right..?" he said while Shen glanced down at the timer and noticed that it had passed the two minute margin, earning a gulp from the Turian before he activated his holo-tool and started a similar timer.

"..so we will let it go off." Quickstrike continued before activating his holo-tool.

"Say what?" Nightracer replied with a shocked look, earning similar reactions from the rest of the team. But the Blonde Bot ignored her and turned his attention to the Cargo-Bay door, and with a push of a button on his holo-interface made the door open with a grinding-like noise. And it opened to reveal Onyx Primal looking back at them while on his hands and knees.

"What in the All-Spark is going on here?" he asked back, his blue optics focusing on the group.

"We are under attack." Quickstrike replied, while Nightracer smiled as she figured out he friend's plan.

"Is it Predacons?" the Maximal said back, making the Blonde man shake his head in return and point over to the explosive device.

"No, but they have planted a bomb here that we cannot defuse or move."

"But I can." the Primal replied as he crawled through the open doorway and into the Shuttle-Bay.

"Right. And since you don't need to breath oxygen, we will vacate the room and open up the bay doors so that you can throw the bomb into space…." he then said, before suddenly the ship shook again and cut him off mid sentence.

"The enemy ship has just pulled away from us." Jetstorm spoke back through the com-link.

"Good, so as I was saying…Jetstorm, once the device explodes you will activate the stealth mode to fool the enemy into thinking we have been destroyed." Quickstrike then finished, gaining nods from everyone.

"Quite the plan you have there." Nightracer replied.

"Well, let's get started." the Blonde Bot said back as he motioned everyone to follow him to the door way before tapping his com-link again.

"Orion, Liara, you there?" he said but the only response was static as he made it to the exit and looked back at Onyx Primal, who nodded back before transforming into his dragon mode and grabbed the bomb in his jaws before pulling it free from the deck.

"Good luck." the Blonde Bot said before closing the door and moving over the to the control panel next to it as the others watched.

"You think this will work?" Grunt then asked but before Quickstrike or anyone else could answer, Jetstorm suddenly shouted down the com-link.

"They are firing a torpedo, hold on!"

And suddenly, the Normandy was rocked by an explosion as the torpedo impacted another part of it, making the team lose their balance, also in the shuttle-bay Onyx too fall to the ground and dropped the bomb back onto the deck. His optics widened as he heard it make a strange noise after impacting on the ground, so he quickly grabbed it with his jaws again. Meanwhile outside the room, Quickstrike got back to his feet quickly, just as Shen looked at his holo-tool and gulped again.

"fifteen seconds!" he exclaimed as the Blonde Bot leaned against the panel and typed into it's keypad, before hitting the release button underneath. While inside the Shuttle-bay, Onyx Primal saw the landing ramp open up and expose the room to the vacuum of space with the atmosphere instantly starting to vacate that area of the ship. So the Maximal dug his claws into the deck and opened his jaws, letting go of the bomb and watched as it flew out of the ship but not before clipping the landing ramp on it's way out, which would have made the Primal bite his lip if he had one before transforming back into his Cybertronian mode.

"It's done!" he shouted into his com-link just before the atmosphere was completely sucked out of the exposed area as the ramp was nearly fully open. So Quickstrike immediately pressed the re-seal button to close and re-pressurize the cargo bay, while Shen tapped his com-link.

"Three, two, one…."

Suddenly the bomb exploded between the Normandy and the enemy ship and shielded it from Lockdown's view, though the energy and force of the blast damaged the Autobot ship and made everyone to lose their balance again. But Jetstorm was fully strapped into his chair and managed to activate the stealth mode which made the Normandy disappear seconds before the explosion dissipated to nothing.

"We are cloaked, though we have suffered more damage from being so close to the blast." the pilot replied, while Quickstrike helped Nightracer back onto her feet as Grunt did the same for Shen.

"But has it fooled Lockdown?" the Femme asked, earning an uncertain look from the Blonde Bot.

"We'll know if they open fire." he said back before everyone went quiet and waited for one of two outcomes, either Jetstorm would give the all clear or the ship would be destroyed by another volley of torpedoes. After what felt like an eternity, the pilot spoke again.

"The enemy ship has just left via a space-bridge, it worked." Jetstorm said, earning sighs of relief from everyone as Quickstrike put his hand to his ear.

"Orion….Liara, come in." he said into his com-link but again there was no answer, gaining a concerned look on his face which was shared by the others.

"They're on the crew deck, right?" Nightracer asked, earning a nod from the Blonde Bot.

"Let's go then." she replied as he looked back at the others.

"Shen, head back to the CIC and help Jetstorm coordinate repairs. Grunt stay here and make sure Onyx is alright in the shuttle-bay." Quickstrike then said, earning a stare from the Krogan.

"Who put him in charge?"

The Blonde Bot though merely ignored him and gestured for Nightracer to follow, leaving Grunt with Shen.

"I don't want to get involved….so I will just head to the CIC." he said before walking off so that Grunt was the only one left, and he reluctantly looked over to see that the shuttle-bay had fully re-pressurized. So he opened the door and looked in to the Maximal staring back at him with a curious expression.

"So I guess it worked then." he said, earning a sigh from the Krogan.

A few minutes later, and a hatch opened up in the floor of the crew deck, with both Quickstrike and Nightracer climbing out and looking around at the damaged corridor they had entered.

"Damn. Look at this place. I hope they are alright." the Femme replied with a worried expression and tone, earning a similar look from the Blonde Bot as they began searching.

"Orion, Liara." they both took turns in shouting before spotting a force-field flickering just a head of them, so the pair moved toward it until the sight before them made Nightracer gasp in shock.

"No…" was all she could say as they stared through the force-field to see the entire section had a gaping hole going from one end of the corridor to the other, exposing the area to the vacuum of space.

"Surely they weren't here, but on some other part of the deck?" the Femme asked but when Quickstrike did not answer, she noticed he was looking in a certain place so did the same. What she saw made her eyes widen, as there in the center of the wrecked corridor was the Star-Saber, embedded into the metal deck.

"I will not believe they are dead?" the Blonde Bot then said with a hint defiance in his voice.

"This was where Jetstorm said that the enemy ship had locked onto us, so they forced their way on board here."

"You think they may have taken our friends, if so then why is the Star-Saber like that unless Orion left it so?" Nightracer asked while the Bot looked at the area with a thoughtful expression.

"What if they had tried to…but failed originally." he then said, earning a confused look from the Femme.

"I…what are you on about?"

"…whoever they are, Lockdown aside….they have space-bridge tech." Quickstrike added before tapping his com-link.

"Jet-storm, you there?" he asked, hearing nothing but static for a moment before it finally cleared.

"Shen here, Jetstorm is back in the CIC helping some of the crew. So is Orion and Liara okay?" the Turian answered back.

"No, they are not here." the Blonde Bot replied, earning silence from Shen as Quickstrike looked over to Nightracer, seeing the worry in her face.

"You don't think…." the Turian began to say, only for the Autobot to cut him off.

"No, I don't. Can you access the sensor logs during the attack from the cockpit for me?" the Bot replied.

"Yeah…..I guess, so what am I looking for?" the Turian said back.

"Check the external sensor logs for any ground-bridge activations outside of the ship."

"Looking at them now…..yes, there was a vortex just outside that area of the Normandy that you are in." Shen said back, gaining a nod from Quickstrike.

"Alright then, how are communications looking?"

"Our Communications are still operational." his friend replied.

"Good, Nightracer and I are on our way to the CIC now. See if you can get us contact with Autobot Intelligence and Matriarch Benezia." the Blonde Bot said back before deactivating his com-link and looking over to Nightracer, who was still staring at the Star-Saber.

"Come on, Ni. There's no point standing around here." he said while placing a hand on her shoulder.

"But we can't just leave it here…" the Femme started to say, but the Bot cut her off.

"Well, other than Orion, none of us can even move it. Plus it is in a vacuum right now, it's not going anywhere." he replied, earning a nod from Nightracer before she looked out of the gapping hole in the hull at stars outside.

"I just hope they are alright."

"So do I, Ni. So do I." Quickstrike said back before the pair started walking back the way they came.


In a system on the edge of the galaxy, a space-bridge vortex opened up and Lockdown's ship came through back into normal space. It's dark grey hull did not even reflect the light of the near by star as it flew towards a light green planet with heavy cloud cover. In the ship's CIC, Lockdown sat in the Commander's chair and watched as the planet appeared on the holo-screen while Hock watched at his side.

"Send the signal." he said, earning a nod from the Mech at the com station as it pressed a key combination into it's holo-interface.

"Signal sent." it replied, then a moment passed before a beeping could be heard from the Com station.

"Signal acknowledged, we are allowed to approach and land."

"Very well, lock onto the base's beacon and take us down." the Assassin then said to the Mech pilot, and then the ship descended into the planet's atmosphere.

"Where exactly are we?" Hock asked as the ship started to vibrate and shake around them, earning a worrying look from the weapon's dealer. But Lockdown just looked relaxed as he sat in his chair.

"Relax Hock, my ship can take a little turbulence." he said back before a lightning bolt struck the ship, causing it to rock which made Lockdown's new comrade grab at the arm of his chair to keep himself from falling over.

"You didn't answer my question, Lockdown. Where are we?" Hock replied with anger in his voice, gaining a smile from the former Decepticon.

"Well, since you are now part of the organisation, I suppose you should know. This planet is Hagalaz, quite the hiding place wouldn't you agree."

"Hagalaz…" the Human replied as he looked out at the storm raging around them on the view-screen.

"It is known as a garden world, but is deemed too dangerous for colonisation because of it's highly volatile atmosphere…correct?"

"Yes, you see it has a far slower rotational period compared to planets like Earth or Thessia…ninety eight hours I believe. So this leaves the planet pretty much boiling during the daylight hours and then as soon as the sun goes down, the planet's surface snap freezes a few minutes later. It's at this point that highly volatile storms are created…of which we are through now." Lockdown replied which made Hock nod back as he listened with a curious expression.

"And the Shadow Broker's base is in this?"

"That is correct, though it is more of a ship and it follows the sunset, so it remains completely hidden in this storm system. So the only way to find it is to have access to it's beacon's frequency, because otherwise it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack…during a hurricane as you Humans say." the Assassin replied before noticing a shape in the storm clouds ahead of them.

"And there it is." he then said, making Hock look at the view-screen as the Shadow Broker's ship appeared before them. The vessel had a giant reflective shield on the side that was facing the setting sun, while the rest of the ship which looked like a battle cruiser.

"Impressive." Hock said as he looked at the giant ship, noticing that the vessel was getting it by multiple lightning strikes as the storm raged around it.

"I am no expert on ships you know, but it must be a pain to try to keep this ship from getting too damaged by the constant energy strikes it must receive?"

"Not at all since the entire ship except its heat shield, is covered in lightning rods which then draw the excess energy into capacitors that help power the ship. So the storm system not only hides the Shadow Broker, but also powers his vessel too." Lockdown said as he had the view-screen zoom in on the ship's hull, showing the lightning rods to Hock.

"A very efficient design, I must say." he replied before one of the Mechs turned to the Assassin.

"Commander, we have permission to dock."

"Very well. Take us in with thrusters only." Lockdown said back as he and Hock watched.

Aboard the Shadow Broker's ship, Agent Zero watched from the landing-bay's control room while the arrow-head shaped vessel entered the large landing area, folding it's ventral and dorsal wings in as it extended it's landing struts just in time to touch the metal floor of the bay.

"I will go and welcome our guests." the Agent said to the Mech manning the control room's terminal before leaving the small room, just in time to see the ship's shuttle-bay ramp open up and reveal it's crew.

"Welcome back Lockdown." the female agent said, earning a nod from the Assassin as he walked down the ramp with Hock beside him.

"Thank you, Agent Zero. The Shadow Broker will be pleased to know that our mission was a success." the former Decepticon replied while Hock stared back in confusion at the unknown female Agent, because she was still wearing her breather-helmet. This did not go unnoticed by her, as she turned her attention to him.

"I take it this is Donavon Hock." she said back before offering her hand to the arms dealer, who looked down at it before shaking it in his own.

"Yes, and you are?" he asked in an inquisitive tone.

"Agent Zero." she replied, earning a smirk from the Human.

"Yes, that is your code name. But I make it a point to know who I am working with, so your name is….?"

"Agent Zero, that is all you need to know at this time." the female replied before pulling her hand away and stared back with narrowed eyes through the visor of her helmet.

"Okay.." Lockdown then said, making both Hock and Zero look at him before noticing the two mobile berths being moved down the ramp towards them. The female Agent saw that one carried an unconscious Liara T'Soni, while the other had a blue haired man strapped onto it which made her walk over to his side.

"I know this man, he was…." she began to say, earning Hock's attention before Lockdown stepped in.

"..this is Orion Darby, Autobot Spectre and son of Jackson Prime. You obviously recognise him from his profile." the former-Decepticon said to the female Agent with a knowing look, while Hock raised an eyebrow at the pair as they turned their backs to him.

"Hock doesn't need to know that you were there when the Autobots crashed his party to rescue the Asari here,…does he," he whispered to her, gaining a nod from Zero.

"Yes, of course. I just recall this particular Autobot being quite the annoyance to my mission then." she whispered back before her attention was caught by the Drell that stood behind both berths.

"Thane, I was not aware that you had been assigned to this mission." Zero said but before the Drell could respond, Lockdown beat him to it.

"I requested that he be put on my team, just on the off-chance that the forces under my command were not enough." he said before looking back at Thane.

"So how are 'our guests'?"

"They are both still unconscious, but we have healed any injuries that they had received during our mission." the Drell replied with a blank tone, gaining a nod from Zero.

"Good, though you could have just focused on the Asari. Since she was the only one that was supposed to be retrieved in the first place."

"So what should I do with the Autobot?" Thane asked back before looking down on the unconscious Bot.

"Have him put in the ship's detention area, we will let the Shadow Broker determine what happens to him." Lockdown replied, earning a nod from Agent Zero before her com-link activated.

"Excuse me." she said to the three before turning her back to them and receiving the call,

"Where do I go?" Hock then asked the Assassin, making him turn to the Human.

"One of the Mechs will take you to your quarters until the Shadow Broker is ready to see you." the former Decepticon said before gesturing to one of the nearby roBots.

"Please sir, if you will follow me." it then said, making the arms dealer follow it out of the Landing Bay as Thane took a step toward Lockdown.

"Since I have done everything asked of me as of late, maybe you can see if I can be allowed to see my son now?" the Drell asked.

"I do not know if that will be possible at this time Thane, you did after all fail to acquire the Asari the first time round." the former Decepticon replied.

"I was not the only one who failed in that task Lockdown…" Thane replied while gesturing to Agent Zero who was still on her com-link.

"…it has been several weeks since I joined this operation, which I only agreed too since the Shadow Broker promised to not only help protect my son from whoever killed my wife, but also discover the identity of her killer. But I have yet to have that evidence or see my son." the Drell replied with slight anger building in his voice, though Lockdown merely looked back calmly.

"I understand your frustration Thane, I do…..but there is nothing I can do at this time, as it is up to the Shadow Broker. Now can you take Orion Darby to the detention area please?" the Assassin replied, earning a reluctant nod from Thane, who then gestured to the Mech pushing Orion's berth to follow him out of the room. Agent Zero then deactivated her com-link and turned back to the former Decepticon.

"That was the Shadow Broker, he wants Dr T'Soni ready to meet him. But first he wants to see you in his sanctum." she said, gaining a surprise expression from the former Con before he nodded back.

"Very well, I will go see him immediately then." he replied before turning away from the Agent and leaving the room.

'He wants to see me, why would that be? he thought as he entered the corridor and walked towards the ship's bow.

A few minutes later and the former Decepticon Assassin entered a large dimly lit room that had a sphere-like shape to it's structure, and a large power conduit running through it's center which was surrounded by large holo-screens. Lockdown looked down to the far end of the room and saw the silhouette of a large being standing there in what looked like m, as if waiting for him.

"Lockdown, please come closer." a beastly and commanding voice spoke, which made Lockdown feel somewhat nervous. But he took a breath and did as he was told and walked through the room towards the shadowy large being, stopping next to the power conduit when he could see this person more clearly. For what he saw was an alien being that he recognised only too well, with it's large mouth and eight black eyes. For it's massive frame and primitive look. For it's species has a terrible reputation known throughout the galaxy, since it annihilated the former Citadel Council's first contact teams decades ago.

'It's a Yahg, but how?' he thought as the beast took a step towards him.

"Did you complete your mission?" the Shadow Broker asked in a very calm and conservative tone, which earned a quick nod from the Assassin in return.

"Yes, Sir. We retrieved the Asari and captured Orion Darby too while also destroying the Normandy as you ordered." he said back while trying not to show how confused he was at the Beast's behaviour.

'How is it acting so sophisticated and calm, considering it's reputation? In fact how did 'it' become the Shadow Broker?'

But the Yahg activated his holo-tool and brought up a data-log on one of the large holo-screens.

"Is that so, then perhaps you can tell me how the Normandy managed to contact the Autobot Command only minutes ago?" he replied with a slither of anger in his voice while showing his sharp teeth.

"I do not understand, Sir. My crew and I witnessed the Normandy exploding before us." Lockdown said back in shock as he looked at the data flowing down the screen.

"Well, an Autobot by the name of Quickstrike informed ISF Command of the attack on the Normandy before naming you as one of the attackers. He also told them that he believes you have taken Orion Darby and Liara T'Soni as captives. This is not looking good for you, Lockdown." the Broker replied again.

"Sir, I….can't really…come up with a good…excuse." the former Decepticon said back in a worried and confused tone, which earned a low growl from the Beast.

"If you could, then I would kill you where you stand. because I can not stand liars. I prefer the truth, that is why I am the most powerful information Broker in the galaxy. Lies and deceit do not go well in this business."

"I understand, Sir. So, what now?" Lockdown asked as if he was holding his breath at how the Shadow Broker would respond.

"Since you were truthful with me, and because this is the only time you have failed…..I am willing to give you another chance…..but only one chance, understand?" he replied, gaining a nod from the Assassin.

"Yes, thank you, Sir. I will not fail you again."

"You better not, now go." the Beast replied before turning his back to the former Con, who was about to move when he suddenly looked back at his employer.

"Sir, if I may ask. How did you find out about the Autobots?" he asked, regaining the Shadow Broker's attention as it looked back at him.

"I have contacts in both the ISF Senate and Autobot Command, I am the Shadow Broker after all."

"Of course, Sir, but what about Quickstrike and the other Autobots?" Lockdown replied.

"I have sent some of our forces to my contacts, they will have them deployed if the Autobots begin snooping where they shouldn't. Now go, I have another meeting to hold." the Broker said back, which made the former Decepticon nod in return before walking back to the room's exit.

"Of course, Sir." he said before reaching the door, which opened to reveal Agent Zero and the berth carrying a still unconscious Liara.

"Zero." Lockdown said as he passed them.

"Lockdown." the female replied before pushing the berth into the room as the door closed behind her.

"Agent Zero, how is our 'guest'?" the Yahg asked as the Agent stopped the berth just in front of it.

"Her injuries have been treated, but she is still unconscious. I was told by our medical Mechs that she should awaken soon." Zero replied, gaining a nod from the Broker.

"Good, I have looked forward to this moment for a long time."

"I know, do you think she will join us…once she knows the truth?" the Agent asked with a curious look, which made the Beast look back at her with a determined expression.

"For her sake, I hope so."


As the Normandy flew in orbit around a dead, crater covered planetoid in one of systems on the edge of galaxy. Nightracer entered the Communications room while Quickstrike deactivated the terminal before him and crossed his arms in frustration while turning around to the Femme.

"I take it by the look of you that it didn't go well?" she asked, gaining a nod from the Blonde Autobot as he sighed in return.

"I reported what had happened and who was responsible, but all Command could say was that they would pass our information to Autobot Intelligence, since they were more focused on dealing with the Predacons right now."

"So…..we are alone on this then?" Nightracer said back with a disheartened tone.

"No, we have been ordered back to join the seventh Autobot fleet in the Exodus cluster." the Bot replied, making the Femme's eyes widen in shock.

"But what about Orion and Liara, we can't just leave them to Lockdown and whoever he is working with." she said back with a defiant tone and expression, earning a nod from her friend.

"Hey, your preaching to the choir on that one. And I am sure the others would agree, so I am up for ignoring the order to return if you are." Quickstrike said back with a slight smile, earning a mirrored look from Nightracer in return.

"Sure why not, I'm certainly not willing to give up on our friends…." she said back before the Communications terminal began to beep, which made the pair look over to it with a curious expression.

"We're receiving a call?" the Femme stated with a confused tone, which made the Blonde Bot tap his com-link.

"Jetstorm, do you know anything about us receiving a transmission?"

"We are? Sorry, there is nothing on my system about it Quickstrike." the Pilot replied, which made Orion's cousin look down at the blinking light on the terminal with a thoughtful expression.

"Well, you better answer it before whoever it is gets tired of being ignored." Nightracer replied, making Quickstrike deactivate his com-link and place his hands over the terminal's surface, thus activating the holo-interface before connecting the call.

"This is Quickstrike of the Autobot Spectre vessel Normandy, who is this attempting contact?" he then said.

"Well, that was certainly a very professional reply, and from me of all people." a familiar female voice spoke, making Nightracer's eyes widen as she recognised it.

"Kasumi?" she said back before the holo-emitter behind the terminal activated and revealed the Autobot Informant and Thief.

"Hello, Nightracer…and who is this?" she replied while looking at Quickstrike.

"This is Quickstrike. He is Orion's cousin." the Femme replied, gaining a nod from the Bot.

"I see, and where is Rodimus. He is still Commander of the Normandy…yes?" Kasumi asked in return.

"He was severely injured during our last engagement with the Predacons and is currently in our Medical Bay." Quickstrike replied, earning a worried and concerned look from the Thief.

"I see…. well, I hope he recovers. He is a good man." she said back with a caring tone in her voice, which earned mirrored expressions from the pair.

"Yes….but now if I may ask, why have you contacted us, Kasumi?" Nightracer asked.

"I was told to do so by Miranda Lawson, after she had heard about Lockdown's attack on your ship." Kasumi said back, gaining a curious look from Quickstrike.

"I only just contacted Autobot Command a few minutes ago, how did Commander Lawson hear about so quickly? Because I doubt our military leaders would have informed that fast."

"And you would be correct, Quickstrike, let's just say that Miranda likes to know what is going on around her before anyone has the chance to tell her. It's her MECH training asserting itself. But either way, she knows that I am your best chance to find out where Lockdown and your friends are." the Thief replied with a confident expression.

"How is that?" Nightracer asked in return.

"Hello….professional Thief, lives in the criminal underworld. I would know where the best places to look would be." Kasumi said back with a slither of sarcasm in her voice, which made Nightracer tighten up a little.

"You don't have to remind me of that."

"Well, getting back on topic. Lockdown was quite the household name amongst Assassins and Mercenaries back in the day, when he suddenly just disappeared off the map. Only appearing for very short periods of time and it was rumoured that he had found himself a more permanent employer."

"Do you know who this 'employer' is?" the Blonde Bot then asked, making the female shake her head in return.

"No, but since whoever it is must be extremely secretive to keep themselves out of the public eye for so long. So they will be monitoring the entire galaxy for signs that their prized Assassin is being searched for, so we bait them into revealing themselves or at least someone who can lead us to them properly." Kasumi replied, earning a smile from Quickstrike and Nightracer.

"I like it, so where do we meet to set this trap?" the Femme said back.

"I will be in the city of Joughin on the planet Benning, I am sending you the coordinates now to meet me there. It is a more grimier section of the city where lowlifes and other unpleasant individuals like to congregate, and be sure to dress more incognito when you arrive, as the saying goes 'when in Rome..'." Kasumi replied while typing on her holo-tool.

"Do as the Romans do', Understood. We are on our way, Normandy out." Quickstrike said back before ending the transmission and making the holo-image of the Thief fade to nothing, he then turned back to Nightracer.

"As soon as we arrive at Benning, we will take a ground bridge down to the city a click away from Kasumi's coordinates. So inform Shen and Grunt that they need to suit up with us for this mission."

"Okay, will do. But there is one thing I want to ask before doing so." the Femme replied, gaining a nod from the Blonde Bot.

"Alright, what is it?"

"I know you contacted Autobot Command, but what of Matriarch Benezia? Did you tell her what has happened to her daughter?" Nightracer then asked, making Quickstrike shake his head in return.

"I tried, but I was told that she was not available at this time by her aide." he replied with a defeated tone to his voice.

"Surely you explained what had happened to Liara." the Femme said back with a disbelieving tone of her own.

"Her aide would not give me the time of day, she just repeated that Benezia was not available." the Bot replied, which made Nightracer sigh in return.

"Makes you wonder if the rumours of the Asari Matriarch's distrust of Autobots is true, huh? She could be no more different to her Daughter could she."

"Yes, now lets work on getting both Orion and Liara back." Quickstrike replied, gaining a nod from the Femme.

"Yeah, I'll see you in the armoury with Shen and Grunt then." she said back before leaving the Communications room, as the Blonde Autobot tapped his com-link.

"Jetstorm, open a space-bridge vortex to Benning and activate our stealth mode before taking us through." he said as he then exited the room, with the door closing behind him.


The sun was halfway through its descent behind the large skyscrapers of Joughin, the Capital city of the planet Benning. Quickstrike looked up at the large glass covered buildings which seemed like a miles away from where he was standing right now alongside Nightracer and Grunt, as the group made their way amongst the busy crowds of what was called the 'Flea trap Market'. It was a name that felt somewhat deserved as it looked nothing like the more wealthier part of the city where those sky scrapers were standing, since the buildings here were basically minimum standard living trailers no bigger than industrial shipping crates, which had then been stacked on top of each other.

The whole area had a bad vibe emanating from it as the Autobots walked through the streets, though no one could guess that the new arrivals were anything more than your basic mercenaries. Grunt was wearing basic Krogan combat armour with a brown rusted look to it, while Nightracer wore black leather jean-like Bottoms and matching coloured tank top with faded leather jacket over that. Quickstrike though wore black heavily worn jeans and faded red t-shirt under a long brownish red coat, a far cry from their usual high quality Autobot armour.

"Anyone spot Kasumi yet?" Grunt asked with an annoyed tone to his voice as another person bumped into him as he walked past, earning a growl from he Krogan.

"I swear if another person walks in my way or bumps into me again, I will shoot them." he added, making both Quickstrike and Nightracer roll their eyes in response.

"Cool it, Grunt, we are all getting bumped around here. Its not just you." the Blonde Bot replied as he looked through the thick haze of people surrounding them, while Nightracer looked at her holo-tool.

"We are in a ten metre radius of the coordinates Kasumi gave us, but where is she?" the Femme said with a confused tone as she looked up and around her, while the Bot tapped his com-link as Grunt pushed away another civilian who had accidentally bumped into him.

"Don't make me…." the Krogan spat back.

Meanwhile, on one of the higher makeshift balconies, Shen was in a kneeling position as he watched the crowds in the street below with his sniper rifle.

"Shen, can you see Kasumi from your vantage point?" Quickstrike's voice suddenly came through on the Turian's com-link.

"Let me see…" he replied as he scanned the area through the weapon's scope, looking at every face down there until he came upon his team mates.

"No, don't see any….wait." he added before spotting a shimmer of light behind the Blonde Bot, which suddenly revealed the female Thief.

"…she's behind you." he added with an impressed tone in his voice as he saw Quickstrike turn around to come face to face with Kasumi.

"Well, you don't stick out too much now, do you." the Thief said with a sarcastic tone, earning annoyed looks from the Autobots.

"You were with us the whole time, weren't you?" Nightracer said back, gaining a nod from Kasumi.

"I have been shadowing your group since you entered this district so I could see how well you blend in, and by the fact that you have several undesirables eyeing your group at this very moment shows that you stick out like a sore thumb." she replied with a stern expression.

"Well, we are sort of in a hurry Kasumi, with wanting to find our friends. We don't have the luxury of playing it slow and safe, so why don't we just get on with it already." the Femme said back before the group's com-links activated simultaneously.

"Guys, you have a group of six….maybe seven individuals heading right for you from the North." Shen suddenly said, making Quickstrike look over his shoulder and spot the gathering of Humans, Vorcha and Turians moving toward them through the crowds.

"Kasumi's right, lets get off the streets and take care of this group before we continue any further." he said before looking back at the thief.

"Conceal yourself, Kasumi. This shouldn't take long." the Bot added, gaining a nod as she reactivated her cloak.

"Head for the alleyway several metres south of here…"Kasumi then said as she pointed to the alley's entrance just away from the group just before disappearing from sight before them.

"Let's go." Nightracer said as the trio made their way through the oncoming crowds and entered the smaller street, being quickly followed by the others that blocked off the way they had came.

"Are you people lost, cause we could help you." a slimy sounding voice called back, which made Quickstrike and his friends turn round to face the other group, who all looked like common thieves with their dirty and ragged looking clothes.

"We…just took a wrong turn." the Blonde Bot replied while standing there with a casual demeanour. But the lead Human, who had a shaven head and scar over his left eye looked at Quickstrike and smiled, revealing his dirty teeth.

"But you are not from around these parts, are you?" he asked as his friends stood around the Autobots, looking at both Grunt and Nightracer….especially at the latter.

"We have watched you for a while now…" he said as he walked up to the Blonde Bot and placed a hand on his shoulder, gaining a knowing stare from Quickstrike.

"…You may dress like us, but you are certainly not like us."

"What are you staring at?" Nightracer said to the Turian standing next to her, after noticing that he had leered at her. Which only made the Turian smile back, making the Femme feel sick to her stomach. But the main attention of the group was on Quickstrike as the lead Human tightened his grip on the Bot's shoulder while equipping his knife, with the others readying their own.

"Give us all the valuables you have on you, and this won't have to get nasty." he said in a very casual way, making the Blonde Bot smile back.

'Knifes, are you kidding.' he thought before noticing a slight shimmer appear behind the Vorcha at the back of the group, making his smile widen.

"What?" the lead Human asked with a confused tone when suddenly the Vorcha screamed out in pain, making the leader look back to see an invisible force beat down his friend.

"What?…" he started to say before Quickstrike grabbed at the guy's arm that was still on his shoulder, quickly pulling it off and twisting it. This made the Human grimace while Grunt and Nightracer made short work of the thieves standing next to them. The Blonde Bot then looked down at the man he was now holding in an arm lock, who looked back with a blend of anger and confusion.

"You picked on the wrong people." the Autobot then said before punching the Leader hard in the face wit his free hand, knocking him out cold. He then looked round to see the Human's friends all in the same condition as the Krogan and Femme stood over them, before looking at the alley's entrance just as Kasumi uncloaked before him.

"Nicely done, so let's going shall we." she said while gesturing to the group to follow her.

"So where are we going?" Nightracer asked as the group exited the alleyway and rejoined the busy crowds, who had not even noticed the scuffle which transpired nearby.

"There is a local bar nearby, a real dive compared to most similar places around here. But it can be a good source of information, for those with the right credentials." the Thief replied as she led them through the streets, while Shen followed very the balconies and rooftops overhead.

After walking down several similar looking streets, the group entered a seedy looking bar that was bustling with people not unlike the ones that they had encountered in the alley earlier.

"You think we can get something here?" Quickstrike asked with an unconvinced tone, earning a nod from Kasumi.

"Trust me, this will work. Now be ready for anything." she said before walking over to a table occupied by Humans, Batarians, Vorcha and Turians who had all but one of it's seats filled, as those sitting there had just begun a game of poker. So the Thief pulled out the remaining chair and sat herself down amongst them, earning confused looks from all.

"What are you doing, Kasumi?" a Batarian sitting opposite her asked as Kasumi took the deck of cards from the Human beside her and began shuffling them.

"I just saw that you had a spare seat and thought I might join in." she replied while the rest of table looked at her with a distrusting stare.

"You're well known for cheating whenever you play a game of poker here, Kasumi, so why the hell would we want you to join this game." the Batarian sneered back earning nods from everyone else before noticing Quickstrike, Nightracer and Grunt all watching them.

"Who are they? Friends of yours?"

The Thief glanced over to her acquaintances and nodded in return.

"Yes, they are. You see, my friends and I are looking for someone…" she answered before placing the deck back in front of the Human beside her and staring back at the Batarian.

"…so if I can't join your game, perhaps you can tell us if you have seen this person we are looking for?"

The men all looked at each other before the lead Batarian narrowed all four of his eyes at Kasumi.

"That will depend on who it is your looking for?"

"…we are looking for Lockdown." she then said casually, earning wide eyed stares from everyone at the table he, as the whole room then went quiet at the mention of that name.

"Well, that is someone we have not seen for a long time." the Batarian replied, as Nightracer noticed a black haired Human in mercenary combat armour suddenly look over at the group suspiciously along with the others around him.

"Quickstrike, at my ten o'clock." the Femme whispered, making the Blonde Bot glance over to see the man slowly get to his feet with his friends.

"I see them." he replied while inconspicuously moving his hand down to his holstered pistol as he returned his attention to Kasumi.

"So, don't I get an answer to that question?" she asked, feeling the dagger like stares everyone around the table was giving her at that very moment.

"I think you should leave, Kasumi. We only wanted to have nice friendly game of poker here." the Batarian replied before noticing the same black haired Human and his group equipped their weapons and slowly aimed them at the Thief's friends.

"You have a tendency of bringing trouble with you." he answered back, earning a curious look from Kasumi who noticed the Batarian's attention drifting away to her right.

'I hope you are ready guys?' she thought as she took a breath, knowing exactly what was about to happen…when suddenly.

"Have you people ever heard of what curiosity did to the cat?" a unfamiliar voice suddenly spoke, making Orion and the Autobots suddenly turn round with their weapons ready and aimed at the others.

"What's a Cat? I don't get it." Grunt replied with a confused tone as the Femme and Bot ignored him.

"Looks like we have ourselves a little Mexican stand-off." Nightracer observed as the entire room went quiet, while the rest of the customers got up and slowly backed up towards the room's walls.

"Drop your weapons." Quickstrike ordered as Kasumi shrugged at the Batarian before suddenly disappearing in front of him and the other poker players, earning confused looks from them as they returned their attention to her friends.

"I told you she was trouble." the Human player then said.

But this was ignored by everyone else as their attention stayed with the Autobots and their stand off against their unknown adversaries.

"Where did she go?" the black haired man then said as he noticed her disappear, but before anyone could say something back. Suddenly one of his men was electrocuted from behind by an unseen force, making him and the others look back in shock.

"What…that….not compute!" he said back in a confused tone, earning a curious look from Quickstrike as Kasumi suddenly reappeared behind the leader and electrocuted him with her holo-tool before pulling him to the ground, leaving the rest of the men open to attack.

"Now!" the Blonde Bot shouted before he and his friends opened fire and riddled the other men with bullets, which made them all look on in surprise and confusion as all the enemies body's began jerking awkwardly with electric bolts flowing around them before falling to the ground.

"Their robots?" Nightracer said in disbelief as Kasumi knelt beside the Leader and looked up at the team.

"I had no idea, I was merely trying to apprehend him for us to question, I had no idea that he and the others were Mechs."

As the Autobots surrounded the Thief and the disabled Leader Mech, everyone in the place except for the Hanar-Barman left in a quiet but quick fashion. The jellyfish just sunk back down behind the bar.

"They look too life-like to be Mechs." Grunt said back, earning a nod from the Femme while Quickstrike activated his holo-tool and took a scan of the body.

"No, Kasumi's right. it's a Mech, but a real advanced one. Still….I have no idea who sent it and the other ones."

"I might….I mean there is a rumour that a particular person likes to use Mechs as soldiers but…" Kasumi began to say before Grunt glanced through the windows of the building, his eyes widening at what he could see.

"Everybody down!" he then shouted before the enter room was flooded with gun fire, shattering the windows and showering the team with glass as they all dived to the floor. But the attack did not stop as outside in the street there were several dozen Mechs firing their weapons into the building, hoping to eliminate the Autobot team in one foul swoop.


"I believe she is coming to." a somewhat familiar voice spoke as Liara felt herself slowly regain consciousness, opening her eyes to see the metallic curved ceiling above her.

'Where am I?' she started to think before it all came back to her, making her rise up into a sitting position quickly as her thoughts filled with only one thought.

"Orion!" she shouted before looking down at her surroundings and discovering that she was sitting on a berth in a large room with a spherical design to it, with a bright glowing power conduit in it's center and being orbited by large blue holo-screens.

"Orion?" Liara asked again, as she found that her lover was nowhere to be found in her immediate area. But before the Asari could move to look for her Autobot, her attention was caught by a female soldier walking over to her side whilst wearing blue and white armour. And though the person's face was covered by a breather helmet, that didn't stop Liara recognising her.

"Agent Zero!" the Asari spat as she quickly got off the berth and clenched her hands into fists, which began to glow with biotic energy.

"It's been a while, Miss T'Soni." the Agent replied in her disguised voice, though Liara just narrowed her eyes at her would be adversary.

"Where is Orion?"

"Your friend is in one of our Detention cells, and will remain there….and unharmed as long as you behave yourself. So don't do anything foolish now." Zero said back in a firm tone, which made the Asari stare back with disdain before cooling down her biotics.

"What do you want?" she said back, not attempting to hide the anger in her voice.

"My employer and mentor wishes to meet you, which was the same reason I was sent for you the first time." the Agent replied.

"And just who is it that wants to meet me?" Liara asked, while crossing her arms over her chest, not even budging a little in the anger she was feeling right now.

"….The Shadow Broker." Zero replied before pointing to the area behind the Asari, making her turn round to see a large creature walking towards her.

'By the Goddess!' she thought while recognising it's species, which seemed impossible considering it's reputation.

"The Shadow Broker's a Yahg, that's impossible!" she said as the larger being stopped in front of the Asari and looked down at her.

"It is not impossible…'Little Wing'." the Broker replied as his voice changed from heavy and monstrous to that both feminine and wise.

It was a voice that Liara recognised even quicker than she had with Agent Zero, for it was a voice of someone she had known all her life.

Her eyes widened as she stood there in complete shock as the Yahg suddenly began to glow, revealing itself to be nothing more than a holo-image before fading to nothing and revealing an Asari standing in it's place.

This female was wearing a black formal-like dress, and her skin tone was the same shade of blue as Liara's.

"…Mother!…." she gasped in shock as she looked upon Matriarch Benezia, who smiled back at her.

"…you're the..." Liara continued, only for the older Asari to cut her off.

"Yes, Liara. I am the Shadow Broker."

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  • 3 weeks later...


Back on Benning, the gunfire barrage from the Mechs continued to devastate the building that Quickstrike, Nightracer, Grunt and Kasumi was hiding in, using it for cover while bullets flew over their heads.

"We are pretty much pinned down here and since whoever is attacking us has yet to stop, we can't even get a chance to return fire." Nightracer shouted over the gun fire, gaining a nod from Quickstrike who then noticed Kasumi looking over the body of the human looking Mech with her holo-tool. But before he could say something, a grenade was thrown into the room, landing between him and Grunt.

"Son of a.." Grunt spat before grabbing the explosive and throwing back out from where he was lying, with an explosion soon following in the street.

"Thanks, Grunt, that was a close one." the Blonde Bot said back appreciatively, gaining a nod from the Krogan.

"Don't mention it, but where is She….." he started to say back before a gunshot was suddenly heard outside, followed by a metallic body hitting the ground.

"Sorry I was late, Guys." Shen's voice suddenly came through on their com-links, earning a sigh from Nightracer.

"Better late than never. Now, can you help thin the herd out there?" the Femme said back.

"Already on it." the Turian replied before another two gunshots were heard, with another sound of bodies hitting the floor, Grunt and Nightracer then immediately got up into kneeling positions and peeked out of the shattered window to see that the Mechs attention was now diverted between them and Shen.

"Let~s do this." the Femme said, earning a nod from the Krogan as they both returned fire and dropped two more of the enemy Mechs. Quickstrike meanwhile returned his attention to Kasumi.

"What have you found? And how can you concentrate while this is going on?" he asked loudly with a curious expression, gaining a smile from the Thief.

"Grace under pressure, Quickstrike. It comes with being a professional Thief. But I think I may have over done it here." she replied.

"What do you mean?" the Bot said back with an inquisitive tone.

"My electro-shock seems to have completely shut down it's systems, meaning I can't gain access to its memory core." the Thief replied as the Blonde Bot activated his own holo-tool.

"Don't worry about that, because if we can get it's communication sub-system back to the Normandy, then we should be able to use our computers to study it's com-traffic and discover the source of it's orders."

"That certainly sounds like a plan." Kasumi said back with a smile, while Quickstrike deactivated his holo-tool and grabbed the Mech's head.

"It's communication sub-system is located under it's memory core, so…" he added before ripping the head from the body, earning a shocked look from the Thief.

"…we only need this part." he added with a smile as he tucked the head under his right arm while equipping his pistol with his left hand.

"Time to get out of here." he then said before peeking out over the cover to see Shen under siege via gunfire from the remaining Mechs in the street, managing to blow the head off one of them before taking cover.

"Guys, time for you to help me now." he then said with an aggravated tone over the com-link.

"Time to change your sniping position, Shen. Make the call and we will cover you." Quickstrike replied before the trio then fired their guns at the enemies, pulling their attention away from the Turian and back to them. The Autobots immediately retook cover as the Mechs opened fire on them again, the robots not noticing the green flash of light coming from the balcony that Shen had been located.

"Okay, now what?" Kasumi asked as she blew the arms and head off one of the Mechs with her pistol, earning a smile from the Bot.

"..Watch." he said before suddenly another Mech went down from a sniper shot, though this came from another direction up above them. The enemy robots suddenly looked up again as suddenly another one was shot dead.

"Wait! Where is he?" the Thief asked with a confused tone, though it did not stop her from shooting another Mech in the back whilst speaking, the Blonde Autobot just gestured to the tops of the buildings around them. So Kasumi looked up to see the Turian taking down another enemy before disappearing in a flash of green light, only for him to appear on a building top across the street and fire again.

"What the?" she replied.

"Before came down to the planet's surface, the Normandy scanned this area of the city to which your coordinates are a part of and Shen picked a number of spots on the roof-tops that would make good sniping locales." Nightracer said back before returning fire to the few remaining Mechs outside, while Quickstrike looked back at the Thief.

"Once we knew exactly where we would be going with you, Shen would have the Normandy activate the Ground-bridge when he needed it and transport him to the next spot in this area…..as you can see him doing now." he added.

"Impressive." she replied before the Turian spoke over the com-link again, just in time with his killing of the last Mech, only a split second after Grunt and Nightracer shot down their respective targets.

"Okay guys, time to go." he said before the group stepped out of the heavily damaged building and into a street, which was full of smouldering Mech corpses.

"That's a lot of scrap metal." Nightracer commented, earning a smile from the Krogan standing beside her.

"Yeah, I liked it." he replied while cocking his shotgun, but Quickstrike looked towards the adjourning street as something caught his eyes.

"…guys, we have more incoming." Shen's voice came through on the com-link.

"Yeah, I see them…..,Everyone, run!" the Blonde Bot shouted back to the others as the Turian began firing down at the oncoming horde of robots, which opened fire on the group the moment their singular optics saw them.

The Autobots ran down the street whilst returning fire on the enemy force pursuing them, as numerous civilians ran for cover of the buildings nearby.

"Shen, return to the Normandy and have them open a ground bridge for us now!" Quickstrike ordered through his com-link.

"Will do!" the Turian replied before a green flash lit up the area where he was and quickly disappeared just as the team ran into the district's square, a large open area with little cover except for some benches and bins.

"Take cover." Nightracer shouted back as they dived behind the nearest bench, while the Mechs flooded into the area.

"I would really like top know who it is that is after us." the Femme added as they opened fire on the enemy drones, making the ones at the front of the attack topple like dominoes. Quickstrike fired at the Mechs, shooting another through it's chest before noticing a red pulsing light on his pistol.

"My gun is overheating." he said, gaining a nod from Kasumi and Nightracer.

"Mine too, how much longer unti….." the Femme started to say before the bright green vortex of a ground-bridge opened up behind the team.

"Kasumi, take this head and go. We'll cover you." the Blonde Bot said as he handed the Mech's head to the Thief.

"Okay." she replied before he turned his attention back to the attacking robots.

"Covering fire!" he shouted before he and his friends opened fire simultaneously on the Mechs, killing several in a row as Kasumi ran from them and dived into the vortex.

"She's through, Guys, Your turn." Shen's voice spoke over the open com-link, as Quickstrike glanced at his friends.

"Let's go together, Now!" he said as they stood up and backed towards the ground-bridge, maintaining fire on the Mechs which were continuing to pursue them despite many of their number being shot down. As the trio got within a few metres of the vortex, Nightracer turned and ran through the vortex, and as Quickstrike and Grunt were about to do the same, the Krogan was suddenly hit in the side by two shots from the Mech nearest to them, the shots going straight through his body and spilling blood onto the floor behind him.

"Fuck!" he shouted in anger as he turned his shotgun and blew the head off the one responsible before falling to his knees, his anger taking over as he saw red and fired his weapon at the other enemies.

"Grunt!" Quickstrike shouted before he equipped and threw a smoke grenade into the Mechs, surrounding the robots in a thick fog as he went to pick the injured Krogan up.

"What the hell are you doing? Get out of here!" Grunt spat back whilst pushing the confused Bot away.

"I'm not leaving anyone behind, not this time." he replied defiantly as he grabbed the Krogan and pulled him to his feet.

"We go together, now move!" he added before pulling his team mate towards the swirling portal behind them, just as the Mechs found their way through the dissipating smoke and regaining their focus on the two.

'They will be on us before Quickstrike can get me through the Ground-bridge.' the Krogan thought as he accepted what he had to do.

"No, I'm staying and you're going….Now get out of here!" he spat while breaking free and pushing the Blonde Bot towards the ground-bridge, making Quickstrike stumble backwards before losing his footing and falling into the vortex.

"I've got this!" he then said with the com-link still active before turning around to see the Mechs moving around him, with others heading for the vortex.

"Close the Ground-Bridge!" he shouted before using all his remaining strength and forcing his aching body into one last fight, as he pounced at the enemy robots. Shooting the head off one with his last shot before ramming the weapon into the head of another, while the ground-bridge closed behind him before the Mechs could enter it. This made them turn on the Krogan who was tearing through the enemy force, but they could not use their rifles since he was too close so instead surrounded him and tried to beat him down into submission.

But Grunt would not yield as he continued to fight back, smashing through each and every Mech he could, with his bare hands or whatever he could get his hands on, be it the Mech's own weapons or body parts that he ripped off. His anger and rage was the only fuel his body needed, even if it was still draining out of his body through his wound.

But his team mates on the Normandy could only listen to his fight on the intercom as the com-link connection to him was still active. Everyone remained quiet as his yells and grunts and punches could be heard until suddenly a large scuffle was heard and it all went quiet, making the entire team look to the ground in respect before Grunt spoke one last time.

"That….was…a good….fight….." he said before the com-link deactivated and the room was again in silence, everyone stayed that way for a while longer as they paid respects to their friend's sacrifice. Then a moment later Quickstrike looked up at Kasumi who was still holding the Mech's head in her hands.

"Let's get that to the computer lab and begin analysing it's data-core, We still have to find Orion and Liara. So lets not make Grunt's sacrifice was not in vain." the Blonde bot said, gaining nods from the team before they all walked out of the room together.

"Jetstorm, get us out of here, and then await for our new coordinates" he then said into his com-link,

"Alright, Quickstrike, we are on the move." the pilot replied, before the ship whilst under cloak, opened a space bridge portal and left Benning space. While back on the planet's surface, the remaining Mechs stood around the dead body of Grunt. They were staring at him as if confused, for on the Krogan's relaxed and lifeless face was a smile.


Meanwhile, Liara stood in front of Benezia, completely in shock at the revelation that had been thrust upon her.

"Mother…., how?" was all the Asari could say, gaining a nod from the Matriarch who walked over to her side.

"How did I become the head of the largest private intelligence organisation in the galaxy, it is as the saying goes….a long story." she replied as she gave her daughter a caring and reassuring smile.

"But what is important is that you are safe now, here with me." she added, though Liara still looked confused and pulled away from her Mother slightly.

"What is going on here, Mother? I want to know how and why you came to be here." the younger Asari replied with a slightly defiant tone, earning a frustrated look from Benezia.

"Have you forgotten who you are speaking to, Liara, or did you get that tone from your Autobot friends?" she replied as her tone became more cold, but Liara could not help but notice the hostility in her Mother's voice when she mentioned her friends.

"Forgive me, Mother, but I am not a little girl any more, so stop holding back on me. I want to know everything."

"Very well, you are my daughter after all. I was going to tell you all this later, but if you want to know now, then so be it. I only ask that you keep an open mind with everything that I am going to reveal to you, because after this I will be asking you to make a choice." the Matriarch replied, earning a knowing look from Liara.

"I have always kept an open mind just as you taught me, Mother, that is why I was such a good archaeologist." she said, gaining a smile from Benezia.

"Of course, so…" the Matriarch said as she activated her holo-tool and brought one of the large holo-screens above them to life.

"…as you well know, the Reapers before their defeat had left our people in a severely weakened state. No thanks to the Autobot/Human Alliance, who left us at the mercy of those machines. We received no help from to get our civilians out of harms way, and so lost many to the Reapers." she said as the holo-screen began playing camera footage from the battle of Thessia. Liara looked up at it, memories began racing through her mind as she remembered those days. But she shook her head in return and stared at her Mother who just looked back with an aggravated expression.

"I can tell by the look on your face what your next words are going to be, so do us both a favour and just don't. For I know you took part in the evacuation of refugees from Thessia, and that you saw the exact things I am talking about." Benezia added, stopping the younger Asari before she could say anything.

'But there could be no help Mother, for everyone were under siege by the Reapers at that time. Why can't you see this?' Liara thought as the Matriarch continued.

"It was then that I realised the Cybertronians and their Human followers would always put themselves before anyone else, I even saw that after the war when the Inter-Stellar Federation was formed, going as far as to plead with the rest of the Matriarch Council not to accept membership. But they ignored my warnings and accepted, for they had been broken by the Reapers and would do anything to stop our people from disappearing into obscurity….us, the Asari! Who once were the most powerful species in the galaxy, as it was we who had rediscovered the Citadel and founded the original Council or our cycle. We were like gods compared to the other races, younger than our own who looked to us for guidance." she said while looking at her daughter with an expression which begged for understanding, but could not see any in her eyes.

"You do not understand, Liara. For you have not lived for as long as I have. I am nearly one thousand years old, and to see our people fall so far from what once made us great, it is heartbreaking. And to have not one but two unworthy species now standing over us, one which fell into a self-destructive pattern of civil war and another that was uplifted well before their time, and this I will not stand for. That is why I decided to find a way to ascend the Asari back to our rightful place, one that required no so called help and support from Earth or the former Cybertron." Benezia added before using her holo-tool to deactivate the current holo-screen, making Liara look over to Agent Zero.

"So, what's her story in this?"

"She is in fact the one who should be thanked for how things have turned out for us Liara, because Zero was the person who put me in the direction of the one who was the Shadow Broker before me." the Matriarch replied before nodding at the Agent.

"Time to take off the helmet and reveal yourself to my Daughter."

"Zero acknowledged this and removed her helmet, earning a wide eyed look from Liara as it was an Asari who's identity was hidden behind the helmet, and one that she recognised.

"Tela Vasir, I remember you were one of the few Council Spectres who were allowed into the newly christened Autobot Spectres." the younger Asari said back, earning a smirk from the other Asari.

"That's correct, and I regret ever making that damned decision." she replied before looking over to Benezia.

"Luckily for me though, I met your Mother."

"And how did that happen?" Liara asked in a curious tone.

"I was to protect Lady Benezia while the evacuation of Thessia was under way, but we came under attack by Banshees and it was only because of your Mother that we got out of there alive. She saved my life, and I was eternally grateful for that." the Agent added as she smiled at the Matriarch.

"After the war, we became good friends as we discovered that we shared similar views on our people and the growing situation with the Cybertronians and Humans." Benezia said back and returned the smile, while Liara stood between them and listened.

"And that is when I shared a secret with Benezia, one that spawned a glimmer of hope for our people, even if they would not know it." Vasir added.

"And that secret would be?" the youngest Asari in the room then asked.

"At that moment of time, Vasir was working for both the Autobots and the Shadow Broker….she was a double agent." the Matriarch replied, earning another surprised expression from Liara as she stared at the Asari Agent, you merely smiled back at her.

"I know what your thinking, that I was betraying the very principles that I was bound to as an Autobot Spectre. But the truth is Liara, things were far more simple as a Council Spectre. You were given the freedom to do what you thought was right to achieve your goals….which were the preservation of the Citadel Council. There was no black and white, everything was grey. The Council never cared how you got the job done as long as it was done with surgical precision, and that none of it could be traced back to them." Vasir continued while using her holo-tool to bring up images and video footage of her work for the Broker up on the holo-screens.

"By collaborating with a known enemy of the Council, I gained a lot of good Intel that helped me end many threats to Asari and Council interests. Which gained me a fast track through the ranks of the Spectres, and all it cost me was a few assassination and espionage missions from the Shadow Broker in return."

"When Vasir told me of her work with the Shadow Broker, I saw a perfect opportunity to gain the power to change our fate….real power, which people still believe can be gained mainly through a force of arms. I mean look at the Autobots, the former Omega Syndicate or even the Predacons." Benezia added as the holo-screens played videos of all three factions above the three Asari.

"But 'knowledge is real power' as the saying goes, and 'he' or rather 'she' who controls that power, has the potential to change the face of the galaxy and beyond." the Matriarch continued while Liara looked on in disbelief at what she was hearing, but could not help but listen on.

"So you had Vasir kill the Shadow Broker so you could take his place?" the younger Asari said back, gaining a nod from her Mother.

"Well, it was not easy as you just put it, as Vasir took a few years to secretly pinpoint the Broker's exact location….because he was quite paranoid. But in the end, we located him and I killed him right in this spot." her mother added as she gestured to the ground beneath her feet with a look of pure self-admiration, which Liara found frightening.

'By the Goddess!' she thought while the pair carried on, ignoring her shocked expression.

"Since the Broker never let anyone know his identity, it was so very easy to take his place." Benezia said while using her holo-tool to recreate the holo-image of the Yahg.

"In fact, I am using the image of the previous Shadow Broker as a disguise." she added while gesturing to it.

"So that is how you became the Shadow Broker, but you have yet to say how you intend to restore the Asari back to their 'rightful place'." Liara then said, trying to contain the emotions she was feeling at that moment. This earned curious expressions from both Benezia and Vasir.

"It first involves ridding ourselves of the Cybertronian species, not an easy task. But as the Shadow Broker, I have discovered many secrets about our 'so called' allies." the Matriarch replied before using her holo-tool to bring up images of a derelict ship.

"One such secret was this ship, which the Human organisation 'Unit:E' kept under raps due to the wishes of their Autobot allies during the final years of their Civil war. You see Liara, this particular ship's crew were killed by a Cybonic plague, which was of Decepticon design." she added as it's molecular structure appeared on the screen, making her Daughter look at it with wide eyes.

"I found that one of Autobots back then, Optimus Prime had become infected with the plague and it was only via extraordinary means that his comrades were able to find the cure and administer it to their Leader before his spark was snuffed out. Now the Autobots with their Human allies later destroyed the infected ship and it's crew, ensuring that the plague would never again endanger a Cybertronian again. But what Optimus and his Human liaison, Agent Fowler did not know was that there were individuals in Unit:E that still did not fully trust their alien allies. And they wanted some insurance just in case the Autobots ever turned on them, so they kept a small amount of the virus. It's funny isn't it, the Humans and Cybetronians never looked anything other than perfect allies and friends to the rest of the Galaxy. So to find that there were those amongst Humanity, other than MECH of course who had the same misgivings about the Cybetronians as I do, which I find to be very enlightening. Wouldn't you agree, Liara?" Benezia asked, earning a nod from Vasir. But the youngest Asari shook her head in response.

"No I do not, Mother, but then again I already know that every species has members who are less savoury than the rest." she said back, earning yet another disappointed expression from the Matriarch. But before she could say something back, Liara asked another question.

"But how does a virus which I assume was created to only infect fully autonomous robotic life forms, possibly affect that the same species if they are now fully biological?"

Benezia smiled at the question, remembering how smart her Daughter really was despite her choices she had made so far in her short life.

"Well, despite their closer physical appearance to Humans, Cybertronians still have the Cybernucleic Acid or CNA in their genetic makeup. And it is in this that the virus can be deployed…" the Matriarch added as she brought up footage showing lab work and Cybertronian test subjects.

"…, of course we had tinker with it to ensure that it would be as effective on the new Cybertronian form, so not to affect Humans."

Liara gave her Mother a knowing and curious look in return.

"Why are you making sure not to harm Humans, aren't they the enemy in your view?"

"They are…. but without their Autobot protectors, Humanity will be that much easier to manipulate."

"So, you are going to infect the Cybertronian species with a virus that will effectively wipe them out, then what?" Liara asked, earning a look from Vasir before she glanced over to the Matriarch, earning a nod from her.

"Over the last twenty years your Mother and I have built an organisation with the military strength comparable to that of MECH, before they were dissolved and their resources merged into the Autobots. With the Cybertronians gone, I will temporally take on the role of the Shadow Broker and launch a campaign of fear and intimidation upon the Federation, exploiting the weaknesses that are abundant throughout it, causing its people to question its leadership. This will open up an opportunity for Benezia to step up and lead the Asari as they rescue the ISF from this threat, putting our people back in control of the galaxy...just as it was always supposed to be." the Agent added.

"No one outside of this room knows who the Shadow Broker is, so by giving the galaxy a phantom threat to focus on, we can manipulate the conflict to suit our needs and objectives. This plan cannot fail, we have taken precautions on everything." the Matriarch said back.

"And what about the Predacons, where do they come in with this plan of yours?" Liara asked with a curious tone.

"We were originally going to infect the Autobots, but now we can use the Predacons as the means to spread this plague through the Cybertronian species. And no one will question it, as they will think that the Predacons were simply carrying it themselves." Benezia replied.

"And how are you going to infect them? Their forces are spread out amongst the galaxy?" the youngest Asari asked, which made her Mother activate a holo-screen which showed a large gathering of ships in one system.

"Give me some credit, Liara. I have been monitoring the Predacons since they first appeared. And as of right now, they are currently massing their whole fleet around the planet Virmire, so we just have to send a small group of ships to attack and spread the plague. The Nemesis is the primary target, since it's crew are all Predacons."

"It does seem that you have everything thought out and planned..." Liara replied as she looked over the information on the screens above her, earning confident nods from both her Mother and Vasir before she the. Looked over with a thoughtful expression.

"...but I guess you're not telling me this just because your feeling generous."

Benezia gave her Daughter a reassuring smile as she stepped beside her.

"You are correct, Liara, I have learnt to keep my cards close to my chest over the last twenty years, and don't make a habit of revealing them to just anyone. And I want you to join us." she replied, earning a surprised expression from Liara.

"You do?" she asked back, before returning her attention to the screens. As she did this, Benezia gave a nodding gesture to Vasir who then reequipped her helmet and walked out of the room, leaving Mother and Daughter alone.


As Vasir walked down one of the many corridors of the massive ship before stopping next to a door and pressing a button on the panel beside it, which let out a chime sound. Within a moment the door opened, revealing it's occupant to be none other than Donavon Hock.

"Agent Zero, can I help you?" he asked with a curious tone.

"Have you found everything to be to your satisfaction?" the Agent said back.

"The accommodations are satisfactory, but when do I get an audience with the Shadow Broker?" the Human replied, a slight slither of annoyance was present in his voice.

"The Broker is in a meeting right now, but he wanted to know if you would like to have some face time with the man who led the Autobot team who took Liara T'Soni from your care? Surely you would like to have some time to 'thank' him for that?" Vasir asked with a curious tone, though with her helmet on and voice disguiser activated, this didn't sound that way to him. But he smiled in return, obviously understanding what she meant.

"Yes, I would very much like to meet him." he said back as his smile grew wider.

"Then by all means, show him your appreciation for his work. You will find him in the detention cells at this location." the Agent replied as she showed him a route on her holo-tool.

"I will have Kane meet you halfway, have fun." she said before turning away and walking back the way she came, just as Hock then left his quarters and headed in the opposite direction. The disguised Asari then turned a corner and came face to face with Lockdown.

"Zero, I thought you were in that meeting with the Shadow Broker and our Asari guest?" he asked with a puzzled expression.

"I am, but the Broker wished for me to offer an invitation to Hock to go and see our other guest." she replied.

"I see, so the Boss wants our new Weapons Dealer to keep himself entertained because his current meeting is taking longer than planned." the Assassin said back.

"It is not for you or me or any of us to question or analyse why the Shadow Broker does what he does, only that we follow his orders to the letter….surely you understand this?" the Agent replied with a harsh tone, earning a knowing look from Lockdown, as he remembered his past failure.

"Yes, I do. Only too well."

"Good, remember we were chosen because we are the best at what we do, so lets not give our Boss reason to believe otherwise." Zero said back, gaining a nod from the former Con.

"Of course…." he said before a curious expression appeared on his face, earning the attention of the disguised female.


"There was something I forgot to mention to the Boss earlier, but Thane has been asking for his son again." Lockdown replied.

"And? Did you give him the same response that both the Broker and I have repeated in the past?" Zero said back, earning a nod from the Assassin.

"Yes I did."

"Then I do not see a problem. Remember his Son is the reason why he is working for us to begin with, that and that something which we shall remain mum about." she replied with a knowing tone to her disguised voice, to which Lockdown nodded again.


"Well then, if you will leave me be, as I have something else to do before returning to meeting." the Agent said back, before the former Decepticon walked away as she watched until sure that she was alone. Then Vasir entered the nearest room and closed the door behind her, before activating her holo-tool and bringing up the security footage from detention Cell.

"Come on, he should be there by now." she said while keeping her eyes on the screen and then as if on cue, the two Humans entered the room and walked over to the Blue haired man who was restrained to an upright berth and unable to move, whilst behind a force-field.

"Right on time, this ought to make good viewing." Vasir then said as a devious smile appeared on her lips.

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Orion looked around at his surroundings as he remained restrained to the upright berth in his cell, having only regained consciousness several minutes earlier.

'Where I am? And more importantly where is Liara!' he thought as he tried to free himself, only for the restraints to beat him for the umpteenth time since his awakening. The last thing the Autobot remembered was holding onto both his Asari friend and the Star-Saber, trying to anchor them to the Normandy so they would not be sucked out into the void of space through the hull breach in the corridor. But his strength had failed him, and everything went black as he and Liara were pulled into the vacuum of space. But now he had awoken and found himself restrained in this unknown location.

'Those guys who attacked us were the same Slavers that had captured Liara the first time.' Orion thought as he tried to piece together the current situation from what he already knew, but this just left his spark feeling worse for Liara.

'I've got to get out of here and find her.' he thought while trying again to free himself, straining as he put everything he had into breaking free of his bonds but eventually had to stop when they would not budge.

'Scrap, I'm not going anywhere.'

Suddenly the door opened and two Human men entered the room, gaining the Blue haired Bot's attention. The first guy was the bald Slaver that was part of the group that had attacked both him and Liara, but Orion's eyes widened as he recognised the person behind him.

"Hock! You're the one behind the attack on the Normandy?" he asked in a disbelieving tone, earning a smile from the Arms Dealer.

"I wish I was the one responsible, but alas I am not." he replied whilst stopping directly in front of the force-field before gesturing to Kane, who then deactivated the energy-shield. Hock then walked in right up to Orion.

"Where's Liara!" the Bot spat,

"You mean my 'Blue Rose' don't you…." Hock replied, which made the Autobot grit his teeth as he glared back.

"Liara is not yours!" the Bot jumped in angrily, earning a less than interested look from the Arms Dealer.

"..whatever. Even if my Asari is now in the hands of the Shadow Broker, I still hope I get a chance to see you her again."

Orion's eyes widened at that name that had just be spoken, for he had heard it before.

'That was the name of Agent Zero's employer, the one who tried to grab Liara from us when we rescued her from Hock.' he thought.

"The Shadow Broker!" he then said aloud, earning a nod from Hock.

"Yes, he is the one who was responsible for the attack on you ship which was quite successful since I saw it explode afterwards."

The Blue haired Autobot's face suddenly became one of shock and disbelief in return, as he the looked down at the ground.

"No….your lying…." he said back as he felt his spark sink in his chest, as his friends faces began to appear in his mind.

"…your lying." he continued before Hock grabbed the Bot by the throat and lifted his head back to him, so that he could look him in the eyes.

"Believe me, they are dead. They got what they deserved for messing in my affairs, I am sorry that I did not play a bigger role in their demise.." Hock replied coldly before showing Orion a dark smile.

"..but luckily I can show you what I would have done to them."

The Arms Dealer then looked over to Kane, who remained silent and watched the two men before him.

"Kane, what were the methods you and Varas did to that Asari, you know the ones to make her submissive and docile?" he said, earning a smile from the bald Slaver before looking back to Orion with a knowing look.

"Oh, that's right. I remember what you told me you did to her now…." He then said before punching the Autobot hard in the face, earning a grimace from the restrained Bot.

"You beat her for starters."

Orion spat what little blood had formed in his mouth on to the floor and looked up at Hock with an unimpressed expression.

"My Grandmother could slap people harder than that." he said back with a slight smile, making the Arms Dealer narrow his eyes at him.

"Joke all you want, but I will take great pleasure in causing you utmost amounts of pain for what you and your Autobots did to me and my operation." he said back as he raised his fist, ready to strike again. But Orion just smirked at him.

Give it your best shot because when I get out of here, you will die at either mine or Liara's hands….that's a promise."

But neither Hock nor Kane looked very concerned before the Arms Dealer began to punch the Bot again and again, as only those sounds and the grunts and grimaces of Orion could be heard within that room.


Meanwhile Liara was lost for words as she stood beside her own Mother, who only a few minutes earlier had revealed herself to be the infamous Shadow Broker.

"You want me to join you, why?" she asked with a tone that was both confused and curious, earning a smile from the Matriarch.

"Liara…." she replied while placing a hand on the young Asari's shoulder.

"….you are my Daughter, I want you at my side as 'we' raise our people back to where they belong."

Benezia then pulled away slightly and looked back at Liara with caring expression.

"I remember when I bought you your very first history book, the look on your face as you read it. I watched as you became deeply interested in the past, in the history of the galaxy, focused on the achievements and mistakes of those that came before us. And during the dark days of the Reaper War, you learnt how to fight. You came through all those years stronger than I would have thought you capable of, that is why I believe you should be the one to succeed me as both Matriarch and Shadow Broker when it is the end of my time."

Liara merely looked back with a dumbfounded expression, unable to think clearly on what her Mother had just said.

"You want me to one day replace you, but Vasir…." she managed to say back, to which Benezia simply shook her head in response.

"Tela Vasir has been like a second Daughter to me, but she is merely a warrior. The Asari will need a leader who can fight for them, but will also be unable to make the same mistakes that has blighted others throughout history. That can be only you Liara, my 'Little Wing'."

The young Asari looked back at the Matriarch, seeing the proud look on her face but Liara deep down knew she could not go through with what her Mother wanted and so took a deep breath, before looking back with a serious and regretful expression.

"Mother I wish I could help you with the restoration of our people, but I cannot condone the actions you are going to take to achieve it..." she said back, whilst Benezia looked back as her expression changed to one that could not be read as she listened to her Daughter.

"…You admit that I am a student of history, but yet you think that I could just ignore the fact that you would commit genocide against the Cybertronians. I cannot and not just because my friends are Cybertronian or that I…care for one in particular…" she said, earning an expression from the Matriarch that she wished she could not read. But instead decided to ignore it an carry on.

"….but also because it is wrong, with history proving it time and again. Just how far have you fallen Mother?" Liara finished before noticing one of the holo-screens featuring details of mercenaries, recognising two of them as the Slavers that attacked her and Orion during the raid on the Normandy.

"And what kind of people are you surrounding yourself with? Scum like these." she said with a hurt expression as she looked back at Benezia.

"I work in an area of 'grey' Liara, there is no black and white with what I do. But I require the 'best' to work for me, which unfortunately includes those that society considers unacceptable." she replied as the screen then showed data on a Drell Assassin, one that Liara recognised from back on Illium.

"What about this one, this Thane Krios. It says that he is 'honourable' despite his profession. I doubt he would go along with what you have planned."

Benezia looked up at the Drell as he appeared on the holo-screen and smiled slightly, acknowledging what her Daughter had guessed.

"That would be correct, because despite my reputation and power. There are still those who say no to me…..though I do have my ways of encouraging them to accept my decisions." she replied, earning a wide eyed look from Liara as she read a part of Thane's file.

"He said no to working for you, so…..you had 'Lockdown' kill his wife! Just so you could manipulate him into joining the organisation by promising him that you would give him his loved one's killer."

"That was the only way I could think of to guarantee his cooperation, so I took it." the Matriarch replied with her tone suddenly cold and calculating, which was in reaction to her Daughter who just looked back with a further disbelieving expression after reading some more.

"And your holding his son as a bargaining chip…." she started to say before Benezia cut her off.

"We told Thane that his young son Kolyat would be safe here, so long as he himself remained in our employment."

"…but surely as a Parent yourself, you would not wish that kind of treatment on anyone els…." Liara said back before something else suddenly overcame her thoughts, stopping her from finishing her sentence.

'Why are the Slavers that tortured me working for Mother, surely she would….' she thought before looking back at Benezia with narrowed eyes, earning a knowing expression from the older Asari.

"Those Slavers you hired to get me off the Normandy, they were the same ones who captured and tortured me before selling me to that Bastard…Donavon Hock. But what I want to know is, did you know about this?" Liara said back with her voice tinged with a building anger, but the Matriarch just stared at her with a blank expression.

"Yes I did."

"You...did..." Liara replied, as he thoughts were over run by the memories of her captivity and torture by those Slavers, the pain and suffering she had to endure every waking moment as those men attempted to break her body and her mind. She had been beaten, starved of food, water, light and heat. Made to suffer until she would beg for them to stop, except the young Asari never did so...

'Liara was on her knees in a darkened room, her hands held up over her head by restraints which hung from the ceiling above her. She had been left alone in that room for goddess knows how long, since the passage of time had become lost to her. Every part of her body ached, from her starved stomach to her cracked ribs and bruised skin. A biotic clamp was also fastened tightly around her neck, like a heavy weight on her already aching body.

'I will never give in to them, never let them see me break…..for I would rather die than give them the satisfaction.' she thought before the door to her room opened up, filling her surroundings with a blinding light. Liara felt her eyes sting as the brightness of the light over-rid her vision, joining the rest of her body in the physical pain it was going through. After a moment her sight began to refocus, allowing the Asari to see three figures standing before her.

"Are you sure about this, because I still think that our usual 'teaching methods' will eventually work on her, especially if we include….." a familiar voice spoke as Liara looked up to see that it was the bald Human who was called Kane, and on one side him stood a Vorcha that remained nameless while on the other was the leader, a Batarian by the name of Varas and he shook his head in return.

"No Kane, this Asari is the finest looking female we have had in our possession."

He then knelt in front of Liara and grabbed hold of her chin, lifting her face so that he could see her properly.

"This one is strong, I doubt we could break her mind before her body ultimately fails. And we will get our highest pay-day if we make sure that she remains….generally unharmed." he added while the young Asari narrowed her eyes at him in a hateful stare, earning a smile from Varas.

"Yes, I have a better idea for you."

The lead Slaver then let go of Liara and looked over to the Vorcha standing beside Kane.

"Hand me the shock adapter." he said, gaining a nod from the other who then gave the Batarian a small metallic device which he held before the Asari.

"This little gem will ensure you do exactly what we say from now on Asari." he then added before connecting it to the would be Slave's biotic clamp, before getting back to his feet and looking down at her.

"One way or another, you will know your place." Varas added before activating his holo-tool.

"Now stand up."

Liara though just stared back at him, not even blinking for a moment, earning a sigh from the Batarian.

"Very well, have it your way." he replied before tapping a button on his holo-tool and suddenly the biotic clamp came to life, sending a strong pulse of electricity through the Asari's body which made her scream out in pain for several seconds. Varas then tapped the button again to deactivate it, making Liara slump back onto her knees while breathing heavily.

"So now will you do as I say and stand up?"

But again the young but battered Asari ignored him and remained quiet, which made Varas narrow his eyes at her as he bit his lip.

"Have it your way, I can do this all day!" he spat before activating device again, which electrocuted Liara and made her scream out in pain as the energy lit up the room.'

As the memory faded, Liara looked back at Benezia with a look of utter disbelief.

"Why?…..why would you let me go through that?" she uttered just above a whisper, because the young Asari could not believe that any Parent would knowing let their children suffer. But the Matriarch merely looked back at her with a resolute stare, like she was not even bothered as she started to walk around her Daughter.

"Only great Men and Women can lead others Liara, but they must first be baptised in fire before taking their rightful place above everyone else. When I received word that you had been captured by Slavers, I knew that the horrors that they would put you through would change and shape you. But I knew you were strong and that it would ultimately forge you into a person more befitting of what I had planned, as I want a Daughter who is in every way my equal." she said while looking at Liara.

"You have survived your baptism of fire and emerged far stronger than I could have hoped, I have watched you since the Autobots took you from my grasp, and you are not only stronger physically, but wiser too. You will make an excellent successor for me, my Daughter." Benezia replied with an almost hysterical but proud tone in her voice, though the younger Asari looked back with a sickened expression.

"After what you have done, what makes you think you have the right to call me 'Daughter'. I am ashamed of what you have become and will have no part in this, I will remember and cherish the person you once were because I do not recognise who stands before me right now." Liara said back with a cold tone and firm expression, not letting her feelings get in the way of what needed to be said. But the Matriarch just stared back at her once ' little wing' for a long moment, before narrowing her eyes back in a hateful stare.

"You disappoint me Liara, I am the one who brought you into this world. The one who raised you and loved you, and this is how you repay me….with this disgusting insolence, but I will have your obedience….one way or another." she spat before tapping a button on her holo-tool which brought up an image of Orion being beaten by Hock in his cell, this made the younger Asari's eyes widen as she watched her would-be lover being tortured.

"You will do as I say Liara, or this Autobot will die. In fact I was thinking of introducing him to the Cybonic Plague, it would be most interesting to see how it would affect a Cybertronian/Human hybrid such as him." the Matriarch added, making her Daughter look back at her with a stare of pure rage.

"I know that you care for this Boy, so stand down and join me…..or watch him suffer the consequences." the older Asari finished, while Liara gritted her teeth.

"You think that I am going to stand down just because you have put Orion in jeopardy? Then you don't know me at all 'Mother', for I never let those bastard Slavers break me. So what makes you think I will let you!" she spat back while clenching her fists, which started to glow with biotic energy.

"You have proven yourself to be just as big a threat as the Predacons and I have to stop you, but now you have brought Orion into it and for that…..I will end you!"

Benezia though simply smirked in return as she followed suit and conjured biotic energy around her own fists.

"You think you can take me on Liara, your own Mother…a Matriarch now less? So be it!"

The younger Asari then launched herself into a biotic charge, speeding towards her Mother in a blue flash. But Benezia threw a biotic uppercut that stopped Liara dead in her tracks and sent her flying into the air, the Matriarch then held her glowing blue hand out in Liara's direction and caught her in a biotic energy field. Before the younger Asari could do anything, her more experienced elder then performed a biotic slam and smashed her into the ground.

"You dare to raise a hand to me…..and expect me not to wipe the floor with you." Benezia said as she then lifted a hurt Liara off the ground with her power, holding her Daughter in the air as she walked over.

"This was never going to end well for you Liara, you are simply no match for me." she said before slamming Liara into a nearby wall, making the young Asari grimace in pain. The Matriarch then let go of her, making her Daughter fall to the ground hard before walking slowly towards her.

"I will unleash the plague upon the Autobots, eradicating a species that should have wiped themselves out long ago." Benezia added whilst Liara slowly got back to her feet, holding onto the wall for support as she looked up at her Mother approaching.

"The Federation will then be brought to it's knees before they beg for me to lead them back into the light, only then will the Galaxy be as it should." the Matriarch carried on before gesturing a low glowing punch to the ground, creating a biotic slam that knocked Liara back to onto the floor.

"But you my Daughter will not live to see such a time, and neither will your Autobot lover." she said, making the younger Asari look up at her with a wide-eyed expression of fear, gaining a dark smile from Benezia.

"It sickens me to think you would choose someone like him as a bond-mate, I am doing the world a service by ending both your lives." she carried on with her scathing verbal attack on Liara, who in return narrowed her eyes and stared back with a wrathful expression as she clenched her fists tightly that in turn began to glow brighter with every second that past. But the Matriarch did not look impressed as she stood over her Daughter, her expression passive.

"You cannot…." she began to say before Liara cut her off suddenly.

"Shut the hell up!" she spat as she thrust her fists forward, which exploded in a biotic blast that sent Benezia threw the air several meters before she hit the ground and rolled to a stop. This allowed the younger Asari to get back to her feet whilst never taking her eyes off her Mother, who quickly recovered and readied herself for the next round.

"That is more like it Liara, I knew you had it in you….but it still will not be enough." she said back, while her Daughter took a deep breath.

"This ends now." she said before rushing Benezia, once again using biotic charge. The Matriarch did the same and rushed at her younger opponent, the pair clashed in the center of the room and caused a biotic blast to erupt outwards from their impact. The energy was so concentrated and powerful that it shattered the glass containment of the conduit near them, exposing it's own energy which shut down the holo-screens positioned around it. But this did not even phase either Mother or Child as they focused on defeating the other, as the battle had turned into a fist fight. Liara threw a punch that connected perfectly on Benezia's face, knocking her backwards a step or two. But before she could recover, the younger Asari continued with her advantage and threw another punch.

'My Mother's Biotics are more powerful than mine, but her close quarters combat is certainly lacking.' she thought as she then kicked her Mother in the side, earning a yelp from the Matriarch who stumbled backwards.

"You will pay for that you little Bitch!" she spat before noticing the broken glass lying around them. So before Liara attacked again, Benezia used biotics to lift the shards off the ground and surround her Daughter. The younger Asari noticed this and looked at her with a thoughtful expression, pausing in her attack as the glass floated all around her.

"Die!" her Elder then spat as the glass shards then flew through the air at Liara from all directions, making her gasp out loud before quickly bringing her clenched fists up to her chest and focusing which then created a biotic sphere that enveloped her being. The broken pieces of glass flew like daggers into the sphere, but the energy surrounding Liara instantly disintegrated them into sand which landed harmlessly around her.

Benezia looked back with a surprised expression as her Daughter narrowed her eyes and met her own, pure anger could be seen in them.

"You first!" was all the younger Asari said in return before pushing her fists out in front of her in direction of the Matriarch, this in turn made the energy sphere suddenly move and engulf her Mother. Liara then tightened her fists more, ensuring that her opponent could not break free before feigning a throw with her clenched hands to the right, sending her Mother head first into the exposed energy conduit.

Benezia screamed out as the energy rushed through her body, burning it inside out as the electricity completely consumed her. The lights in the room began to short out and flicker on and off repeatedly as the older Asari was electrocuted, causing Liara to cover her eyes whilst hearing her Mother's screams before suddenly the power blew and sent the body flying out and hit the floor hard. Liara withdrew her hand away from her eyes, letting see that the emergency lighting and power had kicked in. She looked down to see the fully burnt corpse of her Mother lying only a few feet away, so she walked over and looked down at it with a look of sorrow and regret on her face.

"I am sorry Mother, but you left me no choice." she said softly before bowing her head, mourning her Mother's passing. A moment later and the power in room turned back on, reactivating the holo-screens once again.

'Orion!' she suddenly thought before activating her holo-tool and syncing it to the Shadow Broker's computer.

'Where are they keeping him?' she thought whilst looking through the ship's schematics on her own holo-screen, when suddenly her attention was caught by a familiar voice crying out.



Liara looked over to the room's entrance and saw Vasir standing there with a look of complete shock and despair on her face, as she looked at the Shadow Broker's corpse. So the younger Asari stopped what she was doing and stood ready for whatever the double-Agent would do next, earning a similar angry expression from her as she turned her attention to Liara.

"What have you done!" Vasir spat whilst giving her Mentor's Daughter a dagger like stare.

"What had to be done to stop this madness from going on any further." Liara replied as she took a step back from the Agent, who in turn stepped closer.

"Benezia was my mentor and my friend, you betrayed and murdered your own mother." she said back as she clenched her fists and made them glow with biotic energy, earning a mirrored response from the younger Asari before the entire ship shook around them with alarms blaring.

"Warning, Warning, ship's power-core has ruptured. All hands are to evacuate before core-breach occurs in fifteen minutes." a synthesised voice spoke through the ship's inter-com, earning the attention of both Asari.

'That must of happened when I threw my Mother into the power conduit, the excess biotic energy must have passed through it all the way to the core and destabilised it.' she thought as Vasir returned her attention to her.

"None of that matters, I will make you pay for what you did to Benezia." she said with a finality to her voice.

"You heard the computer, this ship is going to explode." Liara replied as her thoughts refocused back to Orion.

"Yes and if I don't kill you, I can at least delay you long enough so that the explosion will kill you and your Autobot friend, that is something I can take solace in." the double-Agent said back before charging a biotic energy ball and throwing it at the other Asari, causing Liara to dive out of the way just as it impacted the wall behind her.

'I don't have time for this.' she thought while getting back to her feet before throwing a biotic blast back, to which Vasir brought up biotic barrier in front of her. The blast impacted the energy-field causing a bright blue flash as it absorbed the attack, though the moment it started to fade Liara charged in and tackled the Agent to the floor.

"Why are you fighting for my Mother? What did she do to deserve your loyalty?" she asked angrily as she pinned the other Asari down, earning a grunt from Vasir as she struggled to free herself.

"Because she shared my views on the Cybertronians and unlike others that felt the same, Benezia was willing to do something about it. I owe her everything, especially since she chose me to succeed her." she spat back before freeing her right arm, allowing Vasir to hit Liara hard in the stomach. This winded her and let the Agent knock her off herself, before performing a backwards roll back into a kneeling position. The younger Asari recovered and looked over at her opponent with a knowing look.

"You think that my Mother really wanted you to succeed her as Shadow Broker, then why did she want me here?"

Vasir looked back at Liara with a thoughtful expression as she dwelled on the question for a second.

"Because she wanted you…her Daughter to help." she said back whilst keeping her fists clenched, ready to attack at a moment's notice.

"Yes, that part is true. But my Mother also wanted me to later succeed her as both Shadow Broker and Matriarch, she never wanted you for that….not permanently." Liara replied in a calm tone, making the other Asari stare back with narrowed, hateful eyes as she gritted her teeth in response.

"You lie, you will say anything. I have worked with your Mother for over twenty years, while you never gave a damn. You were more bothered about your career and your Cybertronian friends. And now after Benezia opened her arms to you and wished for you to join her, you not only slap her hands away and betray her…..you have also killed her!" she spat before launching herself at her enemy, making Liara go on the defensive as Vasir began throwing punches and kicks which she blocked, one after another. The double-Agent kept up the offensive, charging her fists with biotic energy. But the younger Asari did the same, blocking each and every one before countering with a punch to the face and then a kick to the stomach, knocking Vasir back.

"You talk to me about betrayal, but you betrayed the very principles you swore to abide by when you became an Autobot Spectre." Liara replied, earning a lopsided grin from her opponent before she threw another punch that connected with the Asari's chin, making her grunt as she recoiled.

"And I would do it again, they have done nothing to gain my trust and obedience." Vasir said back, as she watched Liara wipe a trickle of blood from her mouth.

"Your skills are impressive though Liara, you are your Mother's Daughter. But I am a Spectre, you cannot keep this up for long, not with time ticking down as we speak."

"Your right about that, but are you forgetting that I did just kill my Mother, a powerful Matriarch that eclipses both us…." the younger Asari replied, though the words made her heart ache with guilt and regret at what she had done. But she needed to keep that bottled up, because not only did her and Orion's survival depend on it. But also the rest of the galaxy, since she knew where the Predacon fleet was…thanks to her Mother's Intel.

"…And I am fighting for more than my own survival, and you cannot stand in my way a moment longer." she spat before then firing another biotic blast from her hands, knocking Vasir several metres back. The Agent regained her balance and returned her attention to her opponent, who had started running towards her whilst glowing with a blue shimmer as she charged her biotics.

"You don't have what it takes, but by all means….show me what you've got." she sneered as she created a biotic barrier around her body like a shell, readying herself for whatever Liara had planned. But the younger Asari suddenly performed a biotic charge and smashed into Vasir, shattering her barrier with the strength of the impact and sending the Asari flying into the wall behind her and knocked her unconscious. As he body fell back to the ground, leaving a crater in the wall where she had impacted it. Liara then used biotic lift to pull up a piece of the damaged wall off and hover it over the defeated Agent, a thoughtful yet angry expression on her face as she contemplated ending Vasir's life. But suddenly her attention was caught by the computer's voice as it spoke through the inter-com.

"Warning, twelve minutes until power-core breach."

This earned a thoughtful expression from the Asari before suddenly throwing aside the large piece of debris.

'Orion.' Liara thought as she reactivated her holo-tool which by now had been completely synced to the Shadow Broker's database.

"Computer, where is Orion Darby being held." she asked while looking at the holo-screen hovering over her forearm.

"That name does not compute, please restate your question." the synthesised voice replied, earning a look of frustration from Liara as she stood over the unconscious Vasir, until it finally clicked in her mind why.

"Computer, where is 'the Autobot' being held?"

Suddenly the holo-screen in front of her came to life and revealed a map of the ship, showing her position and another blinking spot in a location not far from her.

"Here." the Computer replied, earning a nod from the Asari.

"Download information concerning Predacon movements to my holo-tool." she then said, gaining a beep from her holo-device as the screen disappeared.

'Hold on Orion, I am on my way.' Liara thought before exiting the room, leaving the corpse of Benezia and a knocked out Vasir alone.

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  • 2 weeks later...


The alert sirens were blaring all over the ship as Liara ran down one of it's many corridors, hoping to reach her Orion and free him before the approaching destruction of the very vessel they were aboard.

But just as she turned a corner, the Asari ran into a group of six Mechs who looked at her with a blank expression that could only be read as confused.

Liara though focused her biotics through her right hand and thrust it before her, which made the Mech nearest to her suddenly fly backwards into the wall.

The other robots looked back at their comrade before turning their weapons on the Asari and open fire, but Liara was ready for them and surrounded herself with a biotic barrier that covered every inch of her athletic figure.

The gunfire was absorbed by it's blue energy as the young Asari launched herself into the centre of the group, and began to punch and kick at each and every one of punched straight through the chest of one robots then followed that with an elbow to another which tore it's head from it's body, exposing it's wires which flickered and buzzed before the body fell to the ground.

One of the remaining Mechs grabbed at the Liara's arm but she merely spun around and performed a biotic throw, sending it into the another one behind it and smashing them both against the wall.

She turned to see the last three Mechs ready themselves to attack her, so she again focused her biotics into a shockwave which flowed across the ground and destroyed them, sending their debris flying backwards down the corridor.

Liara then took a breath as she looked back in the direction of the detention cells, her mind only on one thing.

'I really don't have time for this, I have to reach Orion.' she thought as she continued down the corridor, hoping she would reach him in time.

Orion, meanwhile, felt aches all over his torso and face before Hock's fist once again connected with his face, earning a gleeful expression from the Arms dealer while a worried Kane looked on.

"Your friend looks worried." the Bot said back as blood trickled down his chin, earning a stare from the bald Slaver before he looked back to Hock.

"We should be going, just leave him here and let this place take him with it." Kane said, making the other man shake his head in return.

"I am having too much fun rearranging this guy's face." Hock replied before punching Orion square in the face again, which made the blue Haired Autobot spit out some blood onto the ground before grinning back.

"You….will have to do better than that." he managed to say, earning an angry look from the before all their attention was caught by the computer voice speaking through the inter-com.

"Warning, ten minutes until power-core breach."

Kane gave Hock a further worrying stare after hearing the message.

"We 'really' should get to the shuttle-bay and leave." he said back with fear tingeing his voice, but Hock gave him a knowing look in return.

"Worried that all the shuttles will be taken are you? Apart from us, Lockdown, Agent Zero, that Drell and whoever the Shadow Broker is. The only others I have seen on this ship are Mechs, so I doubt we have to worry about our place on the escape craft. Besides we have plenty of time to reach the Shuttle-bay, almost ten minutes still." he replied as he pulled back his fist, readying to strike Orion again.

"But what if they have decided to leave us and each take a shuttle?" Kane then asked with a wide eyed stare, making the Arms Dealer stop in his tracks as a thoughtful expression crossed his face.

"What do you mean?" the man asked as he turned away from the Autobot and looked back at his companion.

"Apart from the computer warning, no one has come to get us in the last five minutes have they. What if they have decided to leave us behind?" the Slaver replied, making Hock look down at the ground as it sank in, whilst Orion just watched them both with a slight grin as he felt the strength around his restraints weakening.

'The drain of power to my restraints must be down to the power-core breach. I just need these idiots to stall a little more…wait, he said…Agent Zero.' he thought as a memory came to mind, while Hock looked back at Kane.

"You really think that they would do that to us?" he asked before both his and the Slaver's attention was drawn back to Orion, as the Blue haired Bot had started to chuckle to himself.

"What do you find so funny?"

"Well, I find it funny that you are now allied with the very people who attacked you to get Liara originally." he said back with a smile, making the man narrow his eyes at him.

"What are you talking about? That was you!" he said as he stepped right in front of the Autobot and grabbed his throat.

"I admit I was there with the others and we 'rescued' Liara from you, but we weren't the only ones there. Since we ran into Agent Zero who was also after her." Orion said back, earning a confused look from the Arms dealer before he shook his head and equipped his pistol.

"Your lying, you will just say anything to stay alive at this point." he replied as he pointed his gun at the Bot's head.

"Think about it?" Orion added, not even acknowledging that a pistol was pointed at his forehead at that moment.

"No, I would rather take this Slaver's word of that of an Autobot." Hock said back as he touched the barrel of his pistol to the Bot's head.

"And I would prefer to see your blood decorate the wall behind you now." he added with a smile as he began to tighten his grip around the trigger.

"Don't you dare!" a familiar voice shouted at them, making all three look over to the doorway. And standing there was Liara with her glowing hand pointed at the pair.

"Ah, my 'Blue Rose'. It is good to see you again. Now stand down or I will put a bullet through this Bot's head." Hock said with a smile as he looked back at the Asari, who just stared back with a hateful expression.

"You do that and I will flay you alive." she spat back, gaining a grin from Orion as he quietly moved his left arm, noticing that the restraint had weakened even more.

'All I need to do is one swift strong movement to break it.' he thought while both Hock and Kane kept their attention on Liara, unsure of how serious they should take her threat.

"This Asari shouldn't be a problem for you, Kane, I am right?" the Arms dealer said back, earning an unsure look from the bald Slaver in return.

"I wasn't alone the last time we subdued her…" he began to say back, but Hock then cut him off.

"But your not alone, I am with you." he said thought Kane simply responded with a gulp as he kept his eyes on Liara, who just stared back whilst her hand began to glow a little brighter.

"..plus we have an ace in the hole." the Arms dealer added as he again touched the barrel of his pistol to Orion's head, while looking back at the Asari.

"So how do you want to this to go…'Blue Rose'?"

Liara just stared back, narrowing her eyes at him as she clenched her hand into a fist before glancing at the Blue haired Bot. He gave her a slight smile while slowly moving his hand in it's restraint for her to see, gaining an ever so small smile in return from her before she looked back at Hock.

"I will shoot him if you don't stand down." he added as the Asari smiled back.

"No you won't." she replied, which made Hock suddenly narrow his eyes at her in return.

"You don't tell me what to do 'Asari, you do as I say'!" he spat back, his grasp tightening around the grip panel as he held the gun to her lover's head though the Arms dealer kept his attention on her.

"You have no way to make me do anything you want, not now…not ever." Liara replied coldly as she slowly began to walk into the room, giving both men a stare that looked like it could go right through them.

This made the pair suddenly look rather fearful as Hock suddenly panicked and pressed the gun's barrel against Orion's head again.

"You brought this on yourself!" he replied in a scared tone as he began to pull the trigger, only for the Blue haired Bot to suddenly break the arm restraint on his left side and grab the gun, pushing it just away enough that the moment it went off, the bullet instead impacted the wall next to him.

"Wha…!" the Arms dealer started to say as Liara performed a biotic charge and slammed into Kane, while Orion pulled Hock close enough so he that could head-butt the man, making him drop the pistol as he stumbled backwards.

As this happened, the Asari looked over to the Autobot and waved her glowing hand in front of her, breaking the remaining restraints on the berth.

Orion then dropped off it and fell to his knees before looking over to her, an appreciative smile appeared on his face.

"Thanks Liara." he said before turning his attention to Hock who stood before him.

"Your more than welcome Orion." she replied back fondly before Kane suddenly grabbed her from behind, one hand on her arm while the other went round her neck.

"Liara!" Orion shouted as he saw the Slaver get his friend in a hold but just as he got back to his feet, Hock suddenly charged into him and pushed him up against the wall before punching him in the chest hard, winding him.

"Didn't think I was capable of that did you…" the Arms dealer sneered as the Autobot coughed hard, before looking over to see Liara in Kane's hands with the Slaver leering over her as he held her close.

"Remember, Asari, I told you once I would get my hands on you eventually. That I had such thoughts of what I would do to you when the time came." he said into her ear, making the Asari feel sick as she felt his breath on her skin.

"Well, first I will let you witness your boyfriend's death by Hock's hands, then with your will completely broken by that. Then I will let you taste how dark my imagination can be." the Slaver added as he tightened his grip on her.

At that moment both Liara and Orion looked up at each other, their eyes meeting as he had just heard every word of what Kane had said. Making the Bot turn his attention to Hock and grit his teeth.

"Never!" he spat as he suddenly put all his strength into a punch that hit the man so hard in the stomach that he almost keeled over, before the Autobot followed through with a punch to the face that sent the Arms dealer to the floor.

Both Liara and Kane watched this with surprise in their expressions, though the Asari had more of a smile on hers before she then made her left hand glow with biotic energy which coincided with a part of the Slaver's arm that was still around her neck, which began to glow too which earned a worried look from him.

"What the? I will break your nec…." he started to say just as Liara clenched her hand into a fist, earning a cry of pain from Kane as the bones in his forearm shattered from the stress the biotic field the Asari created around his arm. This made him let go of her, so she turned around and used biotic push to send him onto his backside,

"My arm!" he shouted before cradling his broken limb with his other while Liara stood over him, staring down at the Slaver with an expression that his heart go cold with fear.

"You talk about dark thoughts and imagination, then try mine!" she spat as her eyes suddenly went black, making Kane freeze where he sat and stare back like a statue for a moment.

Then he suddenly screamed so loud and covered his face with his hands, Orion just watched because Kane looked like his head was about to explode with the way he was holding his head in his hands.

The Slaver fell onto his side still screaming as he went into a spasm on the floor before going quiet, his hands dropping to floor to reveal that his eyes were still open and glazed over.

"What did you do?" Orion asked with an uncertainty to his voice as Liara turned to him, a look of fulfilment on her face.

"I gave him a taste of his own medicine, that man was a rapist and murderer of women, it was no more than he deserved." she replied, earning a nod from the blue haired Bot as he grabbed Hock and lifted him on to his feet.

"I couldn't agree more, now what do you want to do with Hock? I did tell him that either of us would kill him." he said back as the Asari nodded in return before grabbing the Arms dealer by the throat, staring into his eyes and seeing the fear reflected back, fear that was well deserved after he had witnessed the fate of Kane just seconds earlier.

"Please, show me mercy." Hock begged, gaining a look of disgust from Liara before the inter-com suddenly activated, earning all their attention.

"Warning, eight minutes until power-core breach." the computer stated, earning a thoughtful expression from the Asari before staring back at Hock.

"You are pathetic..." she said back with venom-like tone to her voice before dropping him back to the ground, making hin look up with a confused face.

"...run, and pray I never see you again." she added, which made Hock get to his feet and run out of the room in almost one quick motion, gaining a confused look from Orion.

"I don't get it, I thought you would want to make him pay?" he said back, while Liara looked back with a caring expression.

"We don't have the time, and he just isn't worth it, Orion. Without the power and influence he had before, Hock is just a small, pathetic individual. Plus he won't get off this ship before it blows, the shuttle-bay is in the other direction of where he ran off to for starters." she replied with a smile before looking the Bot up and down, noticing his injuries.

"Are you okay?"

Orion gave her a look of surprise in return.

"I'll be alright, all I had were two idiots hitting me. I was more concerned for you, Liara.." he said back, gaining an appreciative smile from the Asari as he spoke.

"..so what about you? What happened?" he asked, making her smile disappear as a more saddened expression befell her beautiful face.

"I will tell you about it once we are out of here, so let's not waste anymore time here." the Asari replied while holding out a hand to the Autobot, who took it in his own.

"Okay, lets go." he said back with a nod, regaining her smile before the pair turned and headed for the room's exit, with Orion making sure to pick up Hock's pistol on their way out.


Vasir opened her eyes to find that she was lying on her side, and immediately the rest of her body let her feel the pain it had been enduring while she had been unconscious. Every part of her being ached, earning a grimace from the Asari as she lifted herself up onto her knees.

'That Bitch certainly has more strength than I would have guessed.'' she thought as she looked back around the room, only for her eyes to fall upon the burnt corpse of Benezia, earning a saddened expression from Vasir.

'I am so sorry I failed you, Benezia. Your daughter will pay.' she thought before tapping her com-link.

"Lockdown, this is Vasir. Do you read?"

"I read you. What's going on? How did the power-core breach?" the former-Decepticon replied, while the Asari kept her eyes focused on Benezia, a single tear running down her cheek as she thought about her mentor.

"We have been betrayed, the Shadow Broker is dead." she said back, earning a gasp from the other end of the link.

"..What! How?" Lockdown asked with a shocked tone.

"Liara killed him…" the Agent replied, knowing that she had to keep the pretence of who the others believed the Shadow Broker's false identity.

"..and she set off the power-core breach. How long until it blows?" she then asked.

"We have several minutes left, why do you ask?" Lockdown replied with a curious tone.

"Because we have enough time to escape the ship before the explosion, but first we will lay a trap for that Asari Bitch who is no doubt rescuing her Autobot friend as we speak. We can kill them for the Shadow Broker and then get to safety in that time." Vasir said back.

"What about Hock and Kane?" the former Decepticon replied as he thought about others.

"What about them? If they were still entertaining themselves when Liara arrived to save Orion Darby, then they are already dead." she said back coldly.

"And we should probably leave Thane and his son here too right? I don't know how long we could keep up the pretence of who really murdered his wife." Lockdown added, gaining a nod from Vasir.

"Very well, just go now and make sure you have enough Mechs with you at the Shuttle-bay. I will be….arrggh!" she said back while trying to get back to her feet, but falling back onto her backside as her leg gave way beneath her.

"Are you alright?" the Assassin said back, a concerned tone was clear in his voice.

"Just trying to shake off the after effects of my fight with Liara, I will be there as soon as I can. Just don't underestimate her or that Autobot. Zero out." she replied before ending the link, and then took a Medi-gel syringe out of a pocket on her utility belt.

'This should get me moving, I need to get to the shuttle-bay.' she thought as she injected the medicine into her leg.

Meanwhile Liara and Orion ran down the corridor, with the Bot following the Asari's lead as she glanced down at the map on her holo-tool's screen.

"Not far to go." she said back, gaining a nod from the blue haired Bot as he smiled back.

"We have plenty of time, Liara. We'll grab one of their shuttles and get out of here." he said back as the pair turned a corner and stopped in their tracks, with Orion raising his pistol at the Drell standing before them.

"Him again." the Autobot said with an angry stare, earning a similar expression from their adversary who too aimed his twin pistols back at both of them, though he looked less convinced as the ship's alarms blared again around them.

"Six minutes until power-core breach."

"Orion, wait!" Liara then said in a commanding tone as she stepped between both men, earning surprised looks from both.

"Liara?" Orion replied with a questioning tone.

"Your name is Thane Krios, correct?" she asked, ignoring the Bot while she focused on the Drell who nodded back, but did not lower his own weapons.

"That's right. How did you..?" he began to ask as he looked at her with a curious expression.

"Because I have access to the file the Shadow Broker had on you, and it has information on it that you must know." she replied whileusing her holo-tool to bring up a screen displaying the Drell's file. Thane walked up slowly to it, his pistols slowly lowering as he started to read what was on the screen.

"Liara, are you sure about this?" Orion asked, but the Asari ignored him while she continued to watch the Drell, whose eyes widened as he read the file.

"….Lockdown's responsible…..for my wife's murder." he said back in disbelief, gaining a nod from her in return.

'Lockdown? I have heard that name before.' Orion thought as he watched both Liara and Thane.

"Yes, the Shadow Broker figured it was the only way to gain your trust, by saying that you would get all the help in finding the killer as long as you joined the organisation."

"I have been a fool. Tell me, where is Lockdown and the Shadow Broker?" Thane replied, his face becoming stern.

"The Shadow Broker is already dead, killed by my hand. But as far as Lockdown goes…" Liara started to say before Orion jumped in.

"This ship has just over five minutes until it blows, I bet everyone else will already be there." the blue haired Bot stated while Thane's eyes widened, as his need for revenge was sudden over ridden by thoughts for someone far more important to him.

"My son, I need to find my son." he then said with panic in his voice, earning a sympathetic look from Liara.

"You mean Kolyat? I know where he is and I can get him for you." she replied, gaining the Drell's attention.

"We still need a way off the ship, can you help me secure us a shuttle while Liara retrieves your son?" Orion then asked, a thoughtful expression from Thane before he nodded back in return.

"Yes, I will help you. But if Lockdown shows up, I want him myself."

"Of course, he is all yours." the Autobot replied.

"Alright then, you two go get us a shuttle. I will meet you there with Kolyat." Liara said back, earning a nod from both Orion and Thane before they started to move back down the corridor, only for the Bot to look back to the Asari with a caring expression.

"Be careful."

"You too." she replied with a mirrored look before turning around and running in the opposite direction.


Liara continued down one of the many corridors of the ship, but she did not need to go very far to find Kolyat's location, in fact if they had more time then the three of them could have retrieved his son.

But with just five minutes to go before the ship's destruction, the Asari had to do this by herself, and she turned a corner to find two Mechs standing guard at one of the many doors that lined both sides of the corridor before her.

Before either of the robots could spot her, Liara took cover around the corner and reactivated her holo-tool.

'Yes, that is where Kolyat is located.' she thought while looking down at the yellow dot on the map that was being shown on her holo-tool, so she quickly turned it off and returned her attention to the two guards standing in her way.

'Got to make this quick.' she thought before and idea came to mind, earning a smile from the Asari as she focused her biotics into her left hand, gaining a blue energy glow around it. The young woman then left the cover of the wall and stood in view of the two Mechs, who noticed and immediately aimed their weapons at her.

"Freeze." they said in unison, with a synthesized tone to their voices. But Liara simply smirked before throwing a blue energy projectile directly at them, which made her entire body glow for a split second before it left her and flew across the corridor at the pair.

It then hit the closest of the Mechs, causing an explosion of biotic energy that sent them both flying into the walls before they too exploded from the damage caused.

The Asari then ran down the hallway and used her holo-tool to hack the door controls and gain entrance to the room, finding it to be a standard living quarters….though kind of empty from the look of it.

'Where is he?' she thought while looking around the room.

"Kolyat?" she said in a gentle voice, before hearing a scuffle like noise from under the desk that was nearby. So Liara walked over to it and knelt to find an eight year old Drell sitting under it with a scared look on his face.

"Stay…back!" he said back with a stutter, but the Asari just held out her hands in a non-threatening gesture.

"It's alright, Kolyat. I won't hurt you." she said back softly, earning a surprised look from the child.

"How…do you know my name? Who are…you?" he asked with an unsure tone.

"My name is Liara, I am an acquaintance of your Father's." the Asari said back.

"You know my Dad?"

"Yes, I am here to take you to him." she said back as she held out a hand to the Drell, who looked down at it with a thoughtful expression before looking back at her face.

"I haven't seen my Dad for so long?" the boy replied, earning a kind smile from Liara.

"So come with me, and I will reunite you with him." she answered, earning a nod from Kolyat who reached out and took her hand.

"Okay." he replied before climbing out from under the desk, earning a curious look from the Asari as she noticed he had a toy ship in his free hand.

"You like star-ships?" she asked as she noticed that it was a toy replica of the Defiant, which made the boy nod back enthusiastically.

"I love this ship. I want to fly one just like it when I grow up." he said back with a smile, gaining a mirrored expression from Liara.

'He will love it when he sees the Normandy.' she thought before they both moved to the door, with the Asari taking a glance outside and noticing that the path was clear…. for the moment.

"Okay, Kolyat, I need you to do exactly as I say, alright? I promise you will see your Dad real soon." she said while looking down at the child, who gave her a knowing look.

"The 'other people' kept telling me that, but you're the first person I want to believe." he said back, earning a nod from her.

"Let's go." she said before she took his hand in hers and the pair left the room and ran back the way she had came.

Not so far away, Orion and Thane turned a corner into an adjoining corridor, that had on it's right side only one double door and a windows either side of it's doorframe.

"There is the entrance to the shuttle-bay, if we are lucky then we can get a look inside and see what we will be up against." the Drell said, gaining a nod from the Autobot in return before the pair sneaked up to the nearest window and took cover under it.

"I'll take a look" he then said before raising himself up just enough to peek inside, taking in the layout of the room and the Mechs he could see from their location before sinking back down into a squat.

"I see several Mechs in there right now, they are guarding two shuttles. I don't see Lockdown in there though." he said back, earning nod from Thane who looked back with a serious expression.

"He's there, I know he is. I have worked with that Decepticon long enough to know what he can do." he said back, before sighing while looking down at his pistols.

"He played me, him and the Shadow Broker. He has to pay."

Orion gave the Drell a sympathetic look while placing a hand on his shoulder in support.

"Look, if Lockdown has in fact already jumped ship. I promise that I will do everything in my power to help you find him, it's the least I can do for your help." he said back, earning a smile from Thane.

"I appreciate that, Orion…." he started to say before the blue haired Bot took another peek inside the Shuttle-bay.

"…so consider this an early thank, as I clear the way to the shuttle." the Drell added regaining Orion's attention as he looked back to see that his new friend had disappeared, his eyes widening at the empty air before him.

'Where the hell…?' he thought before noticing that the door had been opened, making him ready his pistol.

'Damn it.'

Inside the large hanger-like room, the Mechs patrolled area whilst using their optics to scan everything…even themselves.

"Scan complete, nothing to report." one said with it's synthesised voice, as Orion sneaked in and hid behind a cargo container near the now open door, being lucky to not be caught in the vision of one of the robots while it looked in his direction.

"Where is Thane?" he thought before suddenly hearing metal hit the ground hard, so he peeked around the cover to see a deactivated Mech lying on the floor at the far end of the room with a bullet hole in the back of it's head.


"Correction, one of us has been hit." another Mech stated as it's attention was drawn to it's fallen comrade, it's red optics let out a beam of red light that enveloped the corpse as it walked over to it.

"One bullet hole to the back of it's cranium, alert status!" it then said, earning a simultaneous reaction from the rest of the robots as their lifted their rifles into ready positions. Suddenly just as lead Mech turned away from the corpse, Thane dropped down behind it and wrapped his arm around it's neck and used his free hand to grab its head and yank it sideward, snapping its neck.

One of the other Mechs turned around and saw this, raising it's weapon at him in response.

So the Drell held onto the deactivated robot with one hand while equipping one of his pistols with the other and fired back at the enemy drone, blowing a hole in it's chest. This earned the attention of the other Mechs as they began firing back at him.

"Eliminate the intruder!" the robots said in unison before one had it's head blown off as Orion revealed himself, rushing the nearest Mech as he activated his holo-arm-blade with his free hand, slicing through it before the robot could react.

"This earned a smile from Thane as dropped the metallic heap on the floor and dived behind the nearest shuttle for cover, while half of the remaining Mechs focused on him with their combined rifle fire.

The other half turned on Orion, opening fire on him and causing the Autobot to take cover behind another cargo container next to him.

But he still managed to return fire and take down two more Mechs, earning a smile from Thane who then climbed up onto the roof of the shuttle and fire down at the enemy drones, blowing holes in a few of them before they returned fire.

He instead jumped down into the middle of the group and used both pistols for up close damage, firing bullets into their chests and heads whilst spinning around on the spot.

The other group that had been focused on Orion had took notice of what the Drell was doing to their comrades and had switched their priorities, so the Bot ran out from cover and using both his arm-blades, sliced up the remaining enemy troops until only Thane and himself were left standing.

"That was impressive, Orion, just like the day we fought back on Illium." the Drell said back, earning a smile from the Autobot.

"Thanks. Though I have never met anyone with sneaking skills like yours." he replied humbly before an unfamiliar voice spoke from above them, gaining their attention.

"So Zero was right…"

Both Thane and Orion looked up to see Lockdown standing on the roof of the other shuttle, hold twin holo-katanas that were being powered by the holo-tools around both this forearms.

"Lockdown!" the Drell spat as he narrowed his eyes back, as the former Decepticon performed a somersault jump off the shuttle and landed in between the pair before pointing both blades at them.

"Thane? Why are you helping this Autobot?" he asked.

"Because I know what you did!" Thane replied, gaining a knowing expression from Lockdown.

"..Ah… I see. Well, it was business. It wasn't personal for me." he replied before the Drell gritted his teeth and leapt at him.

"This is personal to me!" he spat back as the Assassin swung a katana at him but Thane ducked under it before landing a punch directly into his enemy's chest, knocking him backwards.

But Lockdown used the momentum to turn his attention to Orion and he made a swipe at the Autobot, who managed to block the attack with one of his holo-arm-blades.

The former Decepticon followed through with a front kick that connected with Orion's stomach and sent him flying onto his back and out of the fight, so Lockdown returned his attention to Thane.

"What are you doing?" he spat with a curious tone as he saw the Drell activating his holo-tool, bringing up the orange glowing device on his left forearm.

"This!" he replied before lunging at his enemy, who lunged back with his right holo-katana only for Thane to bring up his holo-tool and block the strike before giving the former Con a smirk.

"Thanks." he said back just as the holo-katana suddenly disappeared from Lockdown's right hand and reappeared in the Drell's possession, earning a shocked look from him.

"What the?" he replied before Thane took a swipe at him, scratching the Assassin's armour as he narrowly dodged the attack.

"My holo-tool can mimic any holo-weapon it touches, I think it would be fitting to kill you with your own weapon." he said before he again lunged at Lockdown, who deflected the blade with his own.

"Don't get ahead of yourself, Thane, I have lived through countless eons fighting. Do you think you have what it takes to end my spark?" he said as he pushed the Drell back, separating the two again.

"I do no such thing, but I believe that my late wife will help guide this blade and bring an end to your life, finally bringing her and myself some peace." Thane replied before the two continued to fight, clashing their blades together numerous times.

Meanwhile, Liara and Kolyat ran into the shuttle-bay, before stopping as they saw Thane and Lockdown fighting.

"Dad!" the little Drell shouted, earning his Father's attention as he deflected the former Decepticon's blade again.

"Kolyat, follow Liara into one of the shuttles." he said back as the Asari saw Orion getting back to his feet.

"Orion, Mechs were right behind us." she said while leading the child into the room as they ran toward the nearest shuttle, earning a nod from the Bot who readied his pistol.

"I'll cover you." he said before shooting a bullet into the chest of the first roBot to enter through the double doors, making it fall to the ground as the others took cover behind it.

Liara then opened the hatch of the shuttle before lifting Kolyat off the ground and into the small vessel's interior.

"Two minutes until power-core breach." the computer's voice spoke over the inter-com as Orion fired back at the door and killed another Mech, before his attention was caught by a grenade hanging of the utility belt of one of the dead robots lying near him.

"Liara cover me!" he shouted, earning a nod from the Asari who fired biotic blasts from her right hand at the doorway, pinning the Mechs to their cover on the other side.

So Orion ran over to the body and picked up the grenade, and as Liara continued to assault the door with her biotic projectiles, even making one Mech slam back into corridor wall.

The Blue haired Bot tapped the button on the top of the device and threw it through the open doorway before diving behind another cargo container.

"Fire in the hole!" he shouted, making his Asari friend erect a barrier around her and the shuttle hatch just before the grenade exploded, destroying the Mechs in the corridor.

The force of the blast also knocked both Thane and Lockdown to the ground, halting their fight as both tried to recover.

But the former Decepticon was the first to his feet as he laughed whilst standing over the Drell.

"Looks like your 'wife' isn't listening, Thane." he said with a sarcastic tone as he lifted his holo-katana, readying to deliver a killing stroke. But just as he began to drive the blade downwards, Orion suddenly tackled him to the ground.

"Oh no you don't." he said before punching the Assassin in the face repeatedly, giving the Drell the time he need to get back to his feet though his eyes widened as something came to mind.

'I forgot about that!' he thought before raising his hand to the small device on his forehead.

As that was happening, Lockdown managed to block one of Orion's punches and grabbed his arm.

"I have had enough of you, Autobot!" he spat before punching him in the face with his free hand, earning a grunt from the blue haired Bot before Lockdown followed through with a swipe of his holo-katana which made the younger man dodge by rolling off him and back to the ground into a kneeling position.

"The feeling is mutual." he said back as Lockdown got to his feet and readied himself to attack again, but Orion's eyes caught his attention as he looked behind the Assassin.

So he spun around just in time to see Thane lunge at him with his holo-katana, making Lockdown swipe his own weapon in return. But his eyes widened in shock as his blade passed harmlessly through the Drell, like he was a ghost or something.

"How?" he began to say before suddenly feeling a sharp white-hot pain in his chest, so he looked down to see the holo-katana that Thane had stolen had been driven through his body.

"This is for my wife." the Drell said back coldly as he twisted the blade round in the former Decepticon's wound, making him grimace as he looked back at him, his eyes noticed the device blinking with green and blue LEDs on his adversary's forehead and smiled back.

"A 'Phase-Shifter', well…play…" he began to say with what could be described as a hint of respect in his voice, but Thane did not want to hear any more as his anger got the better of him.

So the Drell ripped the katana from the former Decepticon's chest, causing blood to spill out on to the floor as he spun around and sliced the enemy's head clean from his body, and it bounced onto the ground as the rest of the Con's body joined it.

Thane stood there and looked down at the headless body lying before him, his face finally looking satisfied as he sighed while Orion just stood there and watched.

"Warning! One minute until power-core breach." the computer's voice suddenly spoke out over the inter-com, regaining the attention of both men before another voice did the same.

"Orion, Thane, lets go!" Liara shouted, earning a nod from them as they turned and ran to the shuttle before climbing in via it's open hatch.

"Okay everyone, strap yourselves in." the blue haired Bot said as he sat down beside Liara in the pilot's seat, while Thane strapped his son into one of the passenger seats before doing the same himself. Kolyat gave his Father the most warm and happy smile he had seen in a long time. But before either could say a word, Liara spoke first.

"You know when this ship goes up, there is no guarantee that we will be able to outrun the shockwave from the explosion." she said with a worried tone, though Orion merely shook his head in return as he pressed numerous buttons on the green holo-interface before him.

"We'll just have to hope for the best then, won't we." he said while activating the shuttle's engines and then lifted the small vessel off the deck, while also opening the bay doors and revealing the stormy atmosphere outside.

Meanwhile Vasir arrived at the shuttle-bay to see numerous Mech body parts lying around it's entrance with the walls scorched by what appeared to be an explosion.

'What the…?' she began to think before her attention was drawn to the sound of a ship taking off, so the Asari entered the room to see one of the two shuttles flying out of the ship.

"Damn it!.." she spat while looking around and spotting Lockdown's headless corpse lying a few feet away next to the other shuttle.

"...I was too late." she added before limping towards the other shuttle, just as the computer spoke up again through the inter-com.

"thirty seconds until power-core breach."

This earned a wide eyed expression from Vasir as she ran to the second shuttle and opened it's hatch.

A few seconds later elsewhere on the ship, Hock ran through the corridors in a panic as he looked for what he could only hope was a way to escape what was coming.

"There has to be a way off this ship!" he spat while he continued down the hallway before noticing there was only a right hand turn ahead.

'Haven't seen that one yet, this looks hopeful.' he thought as he turned the corner, only for him to stop and stare in wide-eyed disbelief. For before him was a dead end, just as the computer spoke again through the inter-com which left the Arms dealer with a sense of dread creeping through his soul.

"Ten seconds, nine, eight, seven, six….." it said in a synthetic tone, as Hock felt his eyes tearing up.

"I don't want to die." was all he could say before the computer finished the countdown.

"….one, zero." it said before the ship suddenly shook rather violently from an internal explosion, which knocked Hock to the ground before he heard what sounded like a fireball quickly coming towards him.

"No, No, No!" he stuttered in a fearful tone as said fireball shot round the corner and enveloped him before the Shadow Broker's ship exploded.

"That's it, the ship just exploded, and I am detecting a shock-wave approaching us at a speed greater than what this shuttle is capable of." Liara stated in a worrying tone as she looked down at the holo-screen in front of her, while Orion kept his attention on flying the craft while watching the clouds and storm carry on around them.

"We just have to reach the edge of the atmosphere, give me all the power this shuttle has and channel it into the engines. Take it from life support if you have too." he said to the Asari, earning a nod from her as she typed on her interface.

But still, as the shuttle ascended through the dense and chaotic atmosphere of the planet, the shock-wave from the now destroyed Shadow Broker base continued to gain on them.

"It's no use, the wave is still faster than we are. It will hit us in less than twenty seconds." Liara said back before looking over to Orion as she reached out with her hand, so the Bot looked back and took hers in his hand before turning his attention to the Father and Son sitting behind them.

"I'm sorry." he said with a sad and accepting tone, earning a nod from Thane who then looked over to Kolyat and placed his hand on the back of the younger Drell's head and kissed his forehead.

"I love you, Kolyat." he said in a soft voice, gaining a warm smile from the unbeknownst boy who could not understand what was happening around him.

"I love you too, Dad." he replied, earning a smile from Thane that he found hard to keep since he knew what was coming.

"Close your eyes, my Son." he said back, and watched as Kolyat did just that. Orion could not help but feel sad after seeing that as he returned his attention to Liara, so he just looked her in the eyes and gently squeezed her hand affectionately.

The Autobot took a deep breath as the Asari stared back, as their waited for the inevitable to happen.

"Liara, I.." he started to say, earning a knowing smile from her in return.

"I know…" she began to reply before suddenly a shadow was cast over the shuttle, darkening the interior and gaining their attention.

"What is that?" Liara said while Orion smiled as he looked up through the glass canopy in front of them, making the Asari give him a confused expression.

"What is it?" she asked, before a familiar voice spoke through the shuttle's inter-com.

"You guys look like you need a lift?" Jetstorm said, gaining simultaneous sighs of relief from all the adults on board the shuttle as Orion pressed a button on his holo-interface.

"Great timing, get us out of here." he replied as the Normandy descended over the shuttle as the shock-wave was almost upon them.

"Hold on." the pilot said back before the frigate scooped up the shuttle into it's open shuttle-bay, and then proceeded to ascend back up into high orbit, outrunning the shock-wave which slowly dissipated as the Autobot ship left the planet's atmosphere.

"Everyone alright." Orion asked as he looked at first to Liara and then to the two Drell, with the older one nodding back in return.

"Yes, thank you, Orion." Thane replied before his son got up out of his chair and looked out of the shuttle's canopy to see the landing ramp close and re-seal itself.

"Where are we?" the boy asked enthusiastically as he held onto his toy ship, which earned a smile from the Bot and Asari.

"You know your favourite ship?" Liara asked, gaining Kolyat's attention as he nodded back.


"Well, your standing in one just like it." she added, which made the boy's eyes widen in wonder as an infectious smile appeared on his face.



Not long after, a ground-bridge portal opens up and Orion, Liara, Thane and Kolat step through to find themselves back on Earth. The older Drell looked around to see that they were standing on landing pad on top of a mountain, which is surrounded by a desert and similar rock formations.

Where are we?" Thane asked as the vortex closed behind them.

"This is Autobot Outpost Omega One, it was the first Autobot base on Earth and has been in operation since the last days of the Cybertronian Civil war." Orion replied, gaining a smile from Kolyat who stood beside his father and marvelled at his surroundings.

"An Autobot base…wow!" he exclaimed before the blue haired Bot knelt in front of him.

"Kolyat, could I have a moment with your Dad? Liara will keep you company in the meantime?" he asked, gaining a nod from the child.

"Okay." he said in an innocent tone before walking over to Liara who began pointing out sights to him, so Orion got back to his feet and looked back to Thane.

"I am sorry that we have to drop you off here. I would have liked to take the both of you back to Kahje. But with the Intel Liara gained from the Shadow Broker about the Predacons gathering around Virmire, we have been recalled to New Iacon for repairs and new orders." he said, gaining an appreciative smile from the Drell.

"I understand, Orion. I am very grateful for everything you have already done. Because had it not been for you and Liara, I would still be working for the Shadow Broker and would probably never have seen my Son again. But instead I now have Koylat and I found out that Lockdown was the one murdered my wife. And he has paid for that with his life….though, I would of liked to make him suffer for a bit longer if we had the time." he replied with a hint of regret in his voice, which the blue haired Bot noticed.

"Are you alright?"

"In my life I have always strived to kill my marks in a quick and clean manner. I never questioned if they should die, instead I believed that it was fate's choice which brought them into my sights. But with my dear Irikah's murder, I found myself wanting to kill those responsible and make them hurt for as long as I possibly could. So I find myself at a loss with how Lockdown's end came about." Thane said back, gaining a nod from Orion.

"I can understand that." he replied, making the Drell look at him with a knowing expression.

"I sense that you do, forgive my asking but this is because of your Parents isn't it?"

The Autobot nodded in return as he looked out at the desert around them.

"Yes, they are the prisoners of Galvatron. As far as I know, he has tortured them both and I want nothing more but to make him pay for that…" he replied before looking to the ground with a shamed expression.

"..but I am in a position of command and cannot let my need for payback get in the way of the mission." he added, which made Thane place his hand on the Autobot's shoulder in support.

"I do not claim to know you well, Orion, but I have seen enough to believe that you can find a balance between your duty and your need to avenge your parents. I know it is possible to have both." he said while looking over to his Son, who was still marvelling at the wilderness around him as Liara watched.

Orion looked over too and nodded in return, giving off a sigh as he did.

"Thank you, Thane." the Bot replied as he held out his hand, to which the Drell took in his own and shook while Liara and Kolyat returned to their side.

"No, thank you. You have given my back my life and my Son…" he said as he placed his hand on the little Drell's head, earning a grateful smile from him.

"…and peace of mind. For that…. I would like to offer my services to you in this war, as your enemies are now my mine." he said, but Orion smiled and shook his head in return.

"I appreciate that, Thane, but like you just said, you have been reunited with your son. So you should stay with him, we can handle the Predacons."

"Yeah, Dad, I mean they are Autobots. They can handle anything." Kolyat suddenly spoke up with an enthusiastic tone, gaining the adults attention as they looked down at him and smiled. But instead of going shy, the young Drell just became more confident.

"When I grow up, I want to be an Autobot." he declared, which made Orion kneel down in front of him and place his hand in his trouser pocket.

"You certainly are brave enough, and if you're anything like your Father, then I don't doubt that one day you will join our ranks. So in the meantime I want to give you this…" the Bot said as he placed an item in Kolyat's hand, making the youngster look down to see that it was an Autobot emblem, which made him look back in surprise.

"…and make you an Honorary Autobot...until you of age." he finished, which made the child's smile even wider as he saluted the blue haired man.

"Yes, Sir."

Thane chuckled in return as he looked down at his ecstatic son before returning his attention to both Bot and Asari,

"You've just made my son's day, thank you again. I will honour your wishes, but if you ever need help, you know how to find me."

"And me." Kolyat added, earning a smile from everyone.

"Take care of yourselves. You will need for nothing while staying at this base," Liara said, gaining a nod from Thane,

"Thank you, same to you,"

Orion then tapped his com-link.

"We're ready." he said before another green vortex opened behind them, with the pair turning face to it. The Bot though looked back at Kolyat.

"Watch the sky, you're going to like what comes next." he said with a smile, earning a curious expression from the child before stepping into the portal with the Asari. Both Thane and his Son watched as the Ground-bridge closed, when suddenly Kolyat spotted something coming out of the clouds and moving toward them.

"Dad, look!" he exclaimed as the pair saw the Normandy fly up to the mountain before circling above them both.

"Wow." the young Drell said with amazement as he looked up at the Autobot ship, recognising it as his favourite.

Thane just smiled and enjoyed seeing his son's reaction as the ship then took off up into the sky and did a barrel roll before flying away at top speed, leaving Kolyat breathless at what he had just witnessed.

"Dad, I definitely want to be an Autobot." he stated, as his Father placed his hand on the boy's shoulders.

"We'll see when you are older, Kolyat." he replied before noticing two Autobots stepping out of the elevator to greet them.

"Come on, my Son, let's go." he then said while taking his Son's hand in his own, and together they walked over to and were greeted by the Autobots.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the galaxy, a damaged shuttle drifted slowly through the cold void of space.

The interior of the vessel was dimly lit as Vasir sat in the pilot's chair, looking out at the star-field through the glass canopy in front of her.

The Asari's expression was one of deep anger and reflection as she kept her hands on the holo-interface, and even though her eyes were fixed on what was ahead. her thoughts remained focused on only one thing.

'Benezia, I swear that I will make Liara pay for what she did to us. For betraying and murdering you, and for destroying my life as I knew it. I will make you proud and rebuild what we have lost…. and even if it takes the rest of my life, I will see to it that Liara and everyone she holds dear suffers….this I swear to you.'she thought as a dark smile began to form on her lips.

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  • 3 weeks later...


'We are so close.' Galvatron thought as he stood in one of the Nemesis's corridors, looking out at the blue and green world of Virmire through a window before him.

'But what is taking so long? We have been here for a few days now, and have every ship in the fleet spread out around this planet. Surely they would have detected something by now?' he thought with an aggravated tone before the Con felt a familiar presence around him.

"Patience my herald, 'our' destiny is still ours to take. Before this day passes, the Infinite Combinatoric will be within our grasp.'

'Yes my, Master, forgive my impatience. I just can't help but feel that the longer this takes, the higher the chance of the Autobots discovering our location.' Galvatron thought back, as he continued to feel Unicron in his mind.

"You did everything necessary to stop them from discovering your movements, am I correct?" the Chaos Bringer replied, earning a nod from the Predacon.

'Yes Master, we deleted our old communication frequencies and added extra protection to our new ones so that the enemy could not gain access again.'

"Then you can relax, because I believe you will get the answer you seek sooner than you think. You should start your preparations…." Unicron said back before fading away again, leaving Galvatron to look out of the window with a confused expression.

'What do you mean, Master?….Master?' he thought before realising he was alone again, gaining a frustrated sigh from him in return.

"My Lord Galvatron?" another familiar voice suddenly spoke from behind the Predacon Leader, which made him turn round to see Vertabreak standing there.

"Yes, Vertabreak. What is it?" he replied with a slightly surprised tone and expression.

"Is everything alright my Lord? Because Commander Rip-Claw has been trying to contact you for the last few minutes, but received no answer from your com-link." the younger Predacon said back, which made Galvatron tap his ear-piece and reactivate it.

"Ah yes, I forgot that I deactivated it earlier. So I guess you were sent to find me instead?"

"Yes my Lord, I am to relay a message." Vertabreak replied with a tone which was both eager and nervous before going silent.

"Well don't keep it to yourself, Vertabreak, what is it? The Predacon Leader answered, earning a breath from his lieutenant.

"…The Commander wishes for you to know that after numerous scans, our low-level search of Virmire's surface has found something."

Galvatron's eyes widened as his curiosity peaked.

"Found what?"

"I do not know the details, my Lord, but the Commander does." the lieutenant said back, earning a nod from the Predacon Leader.

"Well, I will head to the CIC then. Thank you for the message….dismissed." he then said, gaining a salute from the younger Con before both separated and walked off in opposite directions.

Once in the CIC, Galvatron walked along the catwalk and join Rip-Claw who stood at the forefront, manning the galaxy-map and terminal located there.

"I got your message, Rip-Claw, report your findings." the Predacon Lord stated, gaining a nod from the Femme who then tapped a sequence into the holo-interface's keypad before stepping aside, allowing her master to look at the large holo-screen which appeared before both of them.

It showed a map of the planet and it's continents, as a red dot appeared on the eastern side of it's equator.

"As you can see, my Lord, after our fleet's scans of the planet came up empty. I decided that we should use our fighters to perform a low-level search of it's surface, and that is when we found this." she said while pointing up at the red dot on the screen.

"What is it?" Galvatron asked as his eyes focused on it.

"It appears to be a structure of some kind, which has a metallic signature that is not recognised alongside the metals that the planet has been surveyed for in the past. And it is also inside that mountain." the Femme replied as she tapped another button on the holo-interface, which made the map turn into a three dimensional image of the area and showed the mountain and the red dot's location within it.

"I see, so we will have to tunnel to it then." Galvatron said, gaining a nod from Rip-Claw.

"Yes, my Lord, we could have one of our cruisers fire upon the mountain…" she began to answer before the Predacon Leader gestured for her to stop with a wave of his hand.

"No, I have a better idea." he said before stepping in front of the terminal's holo-interface and typing away.

"..ugh, yes, my Lord?" the Femme replied with a confused expression before an image of the Nemesis appeared on the screen, which had it's armaments highlighted on ship and listed on its right.

"Along with our torpedo launchers and cannons, the Nemesis also has these particle beam turrets." Galvatron said as he pointed at those particular weapons, gaining a nod from Rip-Claw.

"Yes, these are the most powerful weapons in the Nemesis's arsenal. But they also create an incredible strain on our power systems, so they can only be used when absolutely necessary." the lieutenant added, earning a thoughtful expression from the Predacon Leader as he worked on the holo-interface, bringing back the three dimensional image of the mountain and it's surroundings to the screen.

"That valley on the south side of the mountain, we could land the Nemesis there right?" he asked, earning a curious look from Rip-Claw, who then examined the site.

"Yes, the geography of the area shows it to be relatively flat and stable. Yes the Nemesis could land there, why do you ask, my Lord?" she replied.

"Because once on the ground, we can use the ship's engines to power the particle beam turrets and use them to burrow through the mountain and create a tunnel to reach 'whatever' is at its center." Galvatron said back, which made the Femme nod back in agreement as she saw where he was coming from.

"And we could also defend the area from attack, should the Autobots discover our location."

"Plus they would have to fight their way past our entire fleet before even coming up against the Nemesis's defences." he added.

"Ingenious, my Lord, if it is what you wish then I will have the Nemesis begin it's descent to those coordinates." Rip-Claw said back, earning a nod from the Predacon Lord who smiled back.

"Make it happen…Commander."

Hearing this made the Femme smile as she felt a surge of confidence within her spark.

"Yes, my Lord, it will be done." she said back before looking down at the Terracon pilot below them.

"Prepare for atmospheric entry, we are going to land the Nemesis." she said, to which the Terracon acknowledged before returning his attention to his station.

"I am going to organise the landing party which will be accompanying me on the surface, so at this time you have the CIC." Galvatron then said as he turned around and began walking back down the catwalk towards the exit, leaving the Femme who smiled before returning her attention to the Terracons below.

Meanwhile, in the science laboratory, Shockwave was standing over the unconscious form of Ser-Ket who was lying on the berth in front of him. He had his holo-tool active and ran it over her body, before smiling as he looked at the result on the device's holo-screen.

'Excellent. Ser-Ket's vitals are steady and all her injuries are healed.' he thought as his eyes took in the information on the screen, he then turned it off and picked up a syringe and injected it into her neck and released it's contents into her bloodstream.

'Time to wake up.'

The Decepticon then watched as the Femme slowly came too, hers eyes opening and beginning to focus as she looked around the room with a confused expression.

"…where…am I?" Ser-Ket said aloud before her attention fell upon the one-eyed man staring down to her, recognising him despite his injury.

"You are safe, Ser-Ket. it has been a long time." the Con scientist replied in an emotionless tone, earning a further confused look from the Femme.

"Shockblast, what are you talking about? And what happened to your eye?" she asked in return, looking completely bewildered at her current situation as she attempted to sit up, only for him to gently push back down onto the berth.

"You are still weak, it is not logical for you to over-exert your self in your current condition, even if your injuries have been healed." he said back with what looked to Ser-Ket like a concerned expression, though it was hard to tell with his emotionless delivery.

"I wasn't expecting this kind of treatment, especially since I betrayed you all." she replied, still confused by it all. This made the Decepticon nod back in return, before looking at her with his remaining eye.

"The fact that the body I now inhabit is far different and inferior to my original, it is only logical that you would not recognise me. And I also found evidence of your neural net being tampered with after probing your mind with the cortical psychic patch."

"Your not making any sense, Shockblast…" the Femme said back before a thoughtful expression appeared on her face.

"..what do you mean…. my neural net tampered?"

The Decepticon Scientist then activated his holo-tool and brought up two images of the Predacon's mind.

"The image on the left is how your neural net looked when I created you, and the one on the right was taken when you were brought back on-line by Galvatron and Shockblast." he then added while pointing at the differences between the two.

"They are different because your memories have been altered since then, most likely so that you would believe you're actually a Predacon."

Ser-Ket just looked back at him with an expression that was getting more confused by the second, which made her shake her head in response.

"I don't get this, Shockblast, what are you on about?" she asked whilst looking back at the Decepticon Scientist, who merely stared back at her.

"My name is not Shockblast." he said back with an ever so small slither of annoyance to his voice.

"Then what is it?" the Femme snapped, showing that her pertinence was about to break.

"I am Shockwave, former first lieutenant to Lord Megatron in all scientific endeavours that strengthened the Decepticon cause. I now serve Lord Galvatron in a similar role."

The Femme's eyes widened as she recognised the name, before looking the man in front of her up and down in disbelief.

"Shockwave!? How…?"

The Con gave her what looked like a smile, which from someone who prided himself on logic and being emotionless was something to behold.

"I believe it is what Humans call 'a long story.' and it would not be logical to waste time repeating it. I will just say that I have been given a second chance, and I intend to use it."

"So what is to happen to me, because I'm surprised that I am still alive?" Ser-Ket then said, gaining a nod from the Decepticon.

"Indeed. And as I said earlier, I have probed your mind and seen what you have done since your reawakening. It troubles me to see the choices that have brought you here, betraying your comrades for an Autobot and because of 'love' of all reasons, so highly illogical."

"Who said love was logical, I certainly will not apologise for it. You must also have seen my questioning of Galvatron's leadership and of the other Predacons, I never felt like I was one of them."

The Decepticon Scientist nodded in return as he used his holo-tool and brought up more images of her mind onto his screen.

"Yes, and I believe I have an answer for that. The only logical way to explain the bizarre behaviour you have exhibited since your reawakening. I believe that this all stems from your new-found belief that you are actually a Predacon, which is wrong on not one, but two counts."

This made the Femme cock her head with another confused stare, as she looked at the holo-screen and then back at the Con.

"You said that before, what do you mean?"

"The first count is the memory alterations that Shockblast, my predecessor did to you so that you would fit in more with your fellow Predacons. This made you feel out of place, considering that these alterations hindered your 'truer' nature and personality from taking hold, which then led into count two, for which I am at fault."

"Shockwave, I do not understand." the Femme replied with hint of worry in her voice at what he was telling her.

"Shockblast was under pressure to bring Lord Galvatron his Predacon army quickly and he misinterpreted my notes on Project Predacon, namely yours for he believed that you were a Predacon clone given the wiped neural net of a Decepticon volunteer. So that the increased intelligence would diminish your species natural primitive instincts, but he was wrong." the Con said as he brought up images showing an unknown Cybertronian Femme lying on a berth, and along side it were more images of Predacon bones and CNA.

"What really occurred was that a Decepticon volunteer had her CNA spliced with that of a Predacon, to create a more stable and formidable warrior to stand up against my earlier failures...the Dinobots."

Ser-Ket remained speechless as she stared at the screen, for she could not believe what she was hearing, but Shockwave continued regardless.

"But I made an error, because I recently discovered the CNA used was not of Predacon origin. But it was instead from one of their rivals, for which I still do not know the name of. It was from the bones of a beast that had it's wings forcibly removed. I believe that it was characteristics from whoever this beast was and the altering of your memories that caused you to feel apart from the other Predacons." he added, before noticing the wide-eyed stare from Ser-Ket.

"I am a… Decepticon?"

Yes…" Shockwave replied as he brought up a clearer image of the Cybetronian that had appeared earlier, she had a large build for a Femme and was covered in heavy black, purple and silver armour.

"…your real name is….Strika."

Ser-Ket stayed quiet for a moment as what Shockwave had said sunk into her mind, but the Predacon could not accept it as she shook her head in return.

"No, no, I don't believe it." she said back defiantly, but the Con Scientist just stared back with a blank expression before walking round her berth and bending down at it's side.

"Then I will just have to show you the truth." he replied before standing back up, revealing himself to be now carrying a cable with a device at either end that looked similar to a diadem.

"What is that?" the Femme asked with an unsure tone as her eyes fixed on what was in Shockwave's hands.

"This is the most recent update to the Cortical psychic Patch, and it will allow me to show you memories which will prove that I am telling you the truth." he sad back before placing one of the devices onto Ser-Ket's head, and then the other on his own.

"There will be some discomfort as our minds join, be warned." Shockwave added before tapping a button on the side of his own device, which suddenly made the Femme's head feel like it was about to explode as memories began flooding her mind.

She saw the Decepticon Femme called Strika, the one that Shockwave claimed her to be and witnessed her leading Megatron's forces during early years of the War for Cybertron.

The Decepticon General was an unrelenting monster who took joy in killing as many Autobots as humanly possible, it was a sight that made the Predacon-Femme feel physically sick before the barrage of violent memories changed and depicted the time when Strika volunteered for Shockwave's experiment and was transformed into Ser-Ket, but with the memories of her past life.

Then the memories stopped as a quick flash of white light enveloped her eyes before she found herself staring at the walls of the laboratory, while Shockwave removed the patch from her head.

"So you see, Ser-Ket may be your name now but you were always Strika in your spark, and that was lost when Shockblast re-awakened you." he said while noticing that the Femme still had a look of denial on her face, so Shockwave took the cable and head devices and placed them on the table nearby.

'It can't be true, I could not see myself being so blood thirsty and cruel.' she thought as the images continued to play in her mind.

'This has to be a deception of some kind, I am a Predacon.'

Shockwave turned back to her and sighed, for he could see it in the Femme's face that she was not going to accept the truth.

'It is an extremely low probability that Ser-Ket will come to accept the information about her past and wish to rejoin our cause, so I am left with only one other option to work with.' the Decepticon thought before he began walking over towards the Lab's exit.

"I will return in a short while Ser-Ket, the restraints will keep you from attempting to escape in the mean time."

Shockwave then walked through the door, leaving the Predacon Femme restrained to the berth and unable to move.

But at this time, escape was the last thought on her mind as she was still being plagued by the memories of who the Decepticon was claiming her to be.

So Ser-Ket just lowered her head as a single tear ran down her cheek as her eyes began to well up.

'I cannot be her, I just can't be.'


A day earlier….

The city of New Iacon was still in the early stages of repair as the midday sun shone down upon it from the cloudless blue sky overhead, and the Normandy was docked to the outer ring of one of the surviving Autobot command towers that was located on the western outskirts of the city.

The ship had numerous repair bots and engineering crews working on it's hull as they were repairing it's hull, Orion could see it all from the room he was standing in at this moment as he looked out from the window before him.

"The Normandy's going to be fine Orion…" Rodimus suddenly said, gaining the blue haired Bot's attention as he turned around and looked over to his friend and mentor, who was sitting in a hover-chair just aways from him.

"..the Engineering crew has assured me that the ship will be combat ready inside of a day, though I wish we had a little longer so that she would be like new. But since the Predacon fleet is gathering around Virmire, I guess a patch-up job is all we can afford." the Commander added as his XO gave him a concerned look.

"I am glad you are here, Rodimus, but surely you should still be recovering in the Medical bay?" Orion replied, gaining a slightly annoyed expression from the older Bot.

"I appreciate your concern, Orion, but I would rather do something than just lie down on a berth and watch everyone else around me fight, plus I thought you would want my help."

"I do, Rodimus. Believe me, I do. But you did get your chest sliced open a few days ago." the XO said back.

"That's true and had it not been for Red-Alert, I would probably be one with the All-Spark now. The fact that she managed to help both myself and Smokescreen, even after receiving the news that she had is a testament to her dedication and ability." Rodimus said back with a thoughtful look, earning a mirrored expression from Orion who nodded back.

"I heard Red-Alert was going to visit the Memorial Wall."

"Yes, she has been allowed to add Long-Arm's plaque to the rest of our honoured dead, since he died trying to rescue the civilians of Omicron Colony from the Predacons. She also told me that she will light a lantern-spark for him at the 'Well of All-Sparks' temple." the Commander replied.

"I know the Well has been dormant since the end of the Reaper War, but I didn't realise that it had become a temple." Orion said back with a curious tone.

"Every Cybertronian knows that when we die, our sparks return to the All-Spark. And that before it became dormant, the Well was the physical representation of the path each of our sparks must take to return to the All-Spark, so that the cycle of life can continue anew. Now in reality the Spark simply disappears and reaches there all by itself, but people like to believe that they can in some way help those they have lost, by lighting a lantern-spark which then descends into the well, lighting the way for their lost one's spark and guiding it back into paradise."

Orion crossed his arms as he thought about it for a moment, before looking back at the Commander.

"Do you believe in that, Rodimus?"

"Yes, yes I do…." the older Bot replied with a nod.

"..I did the same thing after the death of my brother, Hotrod."

"I'm sorry." Orion said back, gaining a nod of appreciation from Rodimus.

"I have a feeling many more will be lighting lantern-sparks before our conflict with Predacons is over." the Commander added as he looked up at his XO.

"That is why we both agreed that the crew should have the day off…" Rodimus continued, earning a nod from the blue haired Bot as a solemn expression appeared on his face as the Commander continued.

"..so that they can spend it however they want, for example with friends and family. Because with the fight that is coming, I'm having a hard time seeing us all coming through it unscathed."

"I understand. Believe me, I do. We both got a real beating from Galvatron and his Predacons, but I am not going to throw in the towel." Orion said back with a serious tone and expression, earning a taken aback look from Rodimus.

"I'm not going to either, or else I would have stayed in bed. But I'm just pointing out how bloody the battle is going to get, especially since the Predacons have their entire fleet positioned around Virmire."

"Well, with the evidence that Liara gave the Autobot High Command, I can't see us having a hard time convincing them to send the entire fleet with us when we face them."

A half smirk appeared on Rodimus's face as he looked up at Orion.

"Orion, you're just like your father." he said back, earning a slightly embarrassed look from the younger Bot.

"I'll take that as compliment."

"Good, you should. Now then, surely the High Command should have an answer for us by now?" the Commander replied with a hint of annoyance in his voice, as Orion looked at the time of his holo-tool.

"Yeah, you would think that with the enemy fleet now in one sport, they would want to move on this as quickly as possible." he said back, while Rodimus looked back at the door leading out of the room.

"I thought Liara would be here though, it is her Intel after all."

But Orion looked away as a concerned and thoughtful expression appeared on his face.

"Liara wasn't feeling that great, so I told her we could handle this ourselves." he said while looking back out of the window, so not to let his friend see the concern on his face.

'Liara has been quiet ever since we dropped Thane and his son off, no…in fact it has been since leaving Hagalaz.' he thought as the Asari took up his attention while watching the transports fly to and from the damaged part of the city.

'I was going to ask what her what was wrong, but haven't had the time to do so. I will see her as soon as we are done here.' he continued before Rodimus regained his attention.

"So where is Liara staying, with the others at the barracks?" he asked, making the younger Bot turn and face him.

"No, she is staying at my family's house right now. I was going to ground-bridge over once this meeting is done."

"Good idea, take advantage of the this quiet moment we have right now." the Commander replied as the door on the other side of the room opened, with a Turian stepping out to see them.

"Commander Rodimus and Orion Darby, they will see you now." he said, earning a nod from both men before they began to move toward the door. The Autobot Commander used the control panel on the left hand armrest of his hover-chair to navigate, gliding over the floor with Orion at his side as they left the waiting room and entered a larger spherical-shaped room.

Several Admirals sat around a large black table which was shaped like a horse shoe, the group consisted of a Turian, Human, Asari, Krogan, Quarian, Drell, Hanar, Salarian and a Volus.

"Commander Rodimus, we have reviewed the Intel retrieved by Doctor Liara T'Soni and have come to a conclusion on what we must do next." the Turian Admiral said before looking over to his Asari counterpart.

"We all agree that the Predacon threat must be stopped and with their forces all in one place, this will be the perfect opportunity to see it done." she added.

"So prior to our seeing you, we have just sent orders out to all Autobot ships with orders to head to these specified coordinates that are only one jump away from Virmire. Once there, the fleet will jump to the planet and engage the Predacon fleet." The Human Admiral then said as he tapped the holo-interface next to him, which brought up a holo-image of Virmire and the Predacon fleet surrounding it in the center of the table.

"We will also land ground troops to stop Galvatron from reaching whatever it is he is after down there." The Krogan Admiral said, which made Rodimus hold his hand up and gain their attention.

"This is a good plan, but I believe Orion here would like to make a suggestion." he said before looking to his younger friend, as did everyone else in the room.

"Yes, thank you, Rodimus." the blue haired Bot replied before taking a step toward the Admirals.

"This is a good plan, but the Predacons will be dug in well and ready for any kind of ground attack."

The Geth Admiral narrowed his optic as he looked back at the Autobot Spectre.

"Then what do you suggest we do?"

"Continue with the attack, but do it as a diversion." Orion replied, earning a curious expression from the Admirals.

"A diversion? For what?" the Quarian Admiral said back with a questioning tone, before the Bot activated his holo-tool which made a blue dot appear extremely close to the planet.

"So that the Normandy can space-bridge into Virmire's atmosphere and deploy a team led by myself, and together we can take out Galvatron while he and his forces are focused on you."

"That's an ambitious plan, do you agree with your XO, Rodimus?" the Human Admiral replied, earning a nod from the chair-bound Commander.

"I do." he said with a confident expression, which made the Admirals look at each other and nod in return.

"Very well, then we will have the fleet and the ground forces engage the Predacons." the Turian Admiral replied.

"The Normandy's repairs will take a day to complete, correct?" the Asari Admiral asked, gaining a nod from Rodimus.

"That is correct."

"It will take that much time for the fleet to assemble at the chosen coordinates anyway. In that case, we only have one other matter to discuss." the Human Admiral said before gesturing to the Hanar who used one of his tentacles to activate his holo-interface and change the image in the center of their table to that of two Asari with multiple screens around them.

"We were quite shocked to find out from Doctor T'Soni that the mysterious Shadow Broker was in fact one of our own Senators, Matriarch Benezia." the giant jellyfish said, its insides glowing with every word that it spoke. But both Commander and XO looked on in shock, Orion's eyes widening as he took in the information being fed to him while looking her holo-image.

'Liara's Mother was the Shadow Broker, why didn't she tell me?' he thought as the second image beside the Matriarch's focused into that of someone that Rodimus recognised as a familiar expression crossed his face as both he and Orion looked at the Intel that appeared on the screens surrounding the two Asari holograms.

The pair could see data on all the plots that the Shadow Broker had planned, including the plague she intended to unleash on the Cybertronian race….it was sickening to think that either person could be capable of such acts.

But the Commander was taken completely by surprise by who he saw beside the Matriarch.

"Tela Vasir, you're telling me that she was working for the Shadow Broker?" he asked with a disbelieving tone, still coming to terms with the first bombshell which was Liara's Mother.

"Yes, Rodimus, one of your very own Autobot Spectres has worked for the Shadow Broker for decades now, according to Liara. With your permission as Leader of the Spectres, we want to revoke her Spectre status and brand her a public enemy of the Federation." the Quarian Admiral added, making the Autobot Commander nod back solemnly in return.

"Yes, I agree. I cannot believe it, but if Liara says it's true and has this evidence to back her up….then yes, you have my permission."

"We are currently preparing an investigation into Matriarch Benezia's dealings as a Senator, to see how much damage she has actually inflicted in the last twenty-five years behind everyone's backs, which will go into full effect once the Predacon threat has been extinguished. So if there is nothing else, lets call this meeting adjourned." the Human Admiral replied before pressing a button on his holo-interface, deactivating the holo-image as everyone got up from their chairs and left the room as they followed the Commander and his XO.

"I still find it hard to believe that Vasir of all people was a traitor, I worked closely with her for years and yet all this time she was playing us and working for Benezia of all people..." Rodimus said, still with a hint of disbelief in his voice before looking over to Orion and noticing that he was still quiet since hearing the bombshell.

"...I guess I can understand why Liara wasn't feeling so good since Hagalaz.." he then added, earning the younger Bot's attention as he looked back.

"…Finding out that the person who raised you was actually a nasty piece of work like the Shadow Broker would take a lot out of you."

Orion nodded before taking a step towards the elevator, gaining a knowing look from the Commander.

"Where are you going?"

"We have a big day tomorrow, so we should take this time to rest, because we'll all going to need to be at our best before we launch." the blue haired Bot replied, earning a reluctant smile from Rodimus.

"Yes, you are right there. So I take it you're going to see Liara." the older man said back, earning a nod from Orion.

"That's what I was planning to do. What about you?"

"I think I will visit my brother, its been a while since the last time I did that." the older Bot replied, gaining a sympathetic expression from Orion.

"I see, do you know what the others are up too?"

"Well, Smokescreen is still recovering in the Medical Bay. Nightracer as gone to visit her mother, while Shen said he was going to contact his parents who are both back on Rannoch. Quickstrike said he would keep Onyx Primal company after visiting his own mother in hospital, I managed to obtain permission for our resident Maximal to have the freedom to stretch his wings and fly around the city. I told the City's authorities that he has nothing to do with the Predacon dragons, but your cousin said he would stay nearby and make sure Onyx would not get any unwanted attention."

"Right, some people might look up at the sky, see a flying metallic dragon and think the attack is happening all over again." the blue haired Bot replied before sighing.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Rodimus." he then added, earning a nod from the Commander.

"Yeah, you too." he said back as he watched his XO walk up to the elevator and enter once it's doors opened.

Meanwhile, at New Iacon's eastern edges, Quickstrike looked out at the green plains that surrounded most of the city.

He was trying to enjoy the quiet moment, just standing there and admiring it's natural beauty as its greenery complemented the blue sky that was starting to vanilla as the sun began its descent behind the horizon.

But the blonde Autobot's thoughts kept returning to Ser-Ket, the Predacon Femme who captured his spark after rescuing him from her brethren's clutches.

He could not help but worry for what she may now be going through because of him, feeling guilt for not being able to save her.

But before his inner torment could strain his spark more, the Bot's attention was drawn to the sound of large wings flapping in the evening air, so he looked up to see Onyx Primal in his beast mode soaring overhead.

He watched as the beast flew around the plains ahead, before turning around and landing in front of him.

"Enjoy yourself, Onyx?" Quickstrike asked as the Maximal transformed back into his bipedal mode and looked back at him, nodding in return.

"Yes, I did, after spending the time I have in your cargo-bay, it is a nice change to be able to fly through the sky and enjoy the natural beauty of your world. And it is very beautiful, considering it is purely an organic world." the Cybertronian giant replied as he knelt down on one knee, gaining a faint smile from the Autobot in return.

"Yes, it is." the Bot said back, earning a sympathetic expression from Onyx.

"You wish you could share this beauty with Ser-Ket, am I correct?" he asked, gaining a slow nod in return from Quickstrike.

"You are." the blonde man replied with a hint of sadness in his voice, while looking ahead at the sunset.

"You know we were all given the chance to spend this day with our loved ones, but my Mother is still in a coma and all I could do was sit and hold her hand in the silence of that room. And the woman I love is either a prisoner of the Predacons or no longer of this life, either way I feel empty inside. The only thing I want now is to make the Predacons pay for that they have done. I have been able to hide this from the others while we on a mission, but standing here with nothing else to think about but what has been taken from me by those monsters, Ser-Ket and my Father I want is to tear them apart." the blonde Bot said with a building slither of anger in his voice.

"I understand what you are going through, Quickstrike, believe me I do..." the Maximal replied as he remembered the anguish and rage he felt for Airazor's death, which for him was only a short time ago despite the actual eons that had passed since the tragic event.

"...but you have to remain strong for your friends, for they will need you in the coming battle."

The Blonde Bot looked up at his friend and saw the sympathetic expression on his face, which made him feel somewhat better and less alone.

"..you do not yet know the fate of your spark-mate, so do not despair since there is every chance you may see her again." Onyx added, gaining a nod from Quickstrike in return.

"You're right." the blonde Bot replied as he looked over at the sunset, as the darkness of the coming night began to eat away at the light of the descending star. Onyx Primal turned around and joined his friend in the viewing before their attention was caught by something else.

"Excuse me?" a unfamiliar voice suddenly spoke up, making the pair turn around to see a Human Caucasian Woman with brown hair standing behind them. She looked up at the Maximal with amazement, while Quickstrike gave her a questioning expression.

"Can we help you?" he asked, gaining the Woman's attention.

"I hope so, my name is Ann Bryson and I am a scientist stationed in the Cybertronian Archives here in New Iacon."

"Bryson? Why does that name sound familiar?" Quickstrike replied, earning a confused look from Onyx while Anna returned her attention to the giant Bot.

"My Father was Doctor Garrett Bryson, he died during the Reaper War, while trying to find the Rogue Reaper known as Lucifer." she said whilst not taking her eyes off the Maximal, marvelling at his presence.

"I remember now, so how...can we help you?" the blonde Bot asked with an unsure expression and tone, having noticed the way she was staring at Onyx.

"Is there something on my face?" the giant Bot asked.

"I am sorry, it is just I have never had the chance to meet a Pre-Pretender form Cybertronian before. I had only heard the stories of how your people looked from my father, so I never dreamed I would one day get to see one of you like this." Bryson replied with a tone that was half excitement and the other embarrassment, which gained a half smile from the Maximal.

"I see. Well then, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Onyx Primal, I am a former Predacon and Leader of the Maximals."

'Maximals? I have never heard of them.' she thought as a curious expression appeared on her face.

"Then if you would do me an honour, Onyx Primal, we know nearly nothing of the era of the Predacons. So if you would, please tell me your story?" Bryson asked with a hopeful tone, earning a thoughtful look from the Maximal, before he then knelt in front of her and smiled.

"Very well, Ann Bryson." he replied, which made the Doctor's smile widen almost ear to ear with a quiet excitement while Quickstrike began to walk back away slowly, before Onyx noticed.

"Quickstrike, please stay. You may find what I am about to tell you both very illuminating."

"Alright, its been awhile since I heard a good old fashioned true story." the blonde Bot replied before both he and Bryson sat down on the grass and looked up at Maximal, whose blue optics began to glow brighter as the night took hold overhead.

"My story begins so very long ago, across the oceans of time that separate what you call the present from the distant past. It was a time of great change for my people as 'The Thirteen Primes', the ones who had guided us were now gone, leaving us to find our own path…." he began to narrate while the stars began to shine down from the night sky.


Meanwhile, night had already taken its hold over the Darby household as it stood there on the grassy hill overlooking the coast, then a swirling green vortex of the ground-bridge then opened up at the front porch. It's green light illuminating that side of the house before Orion stepped through, then a split second later the light was gone as the portal closed behind him, allowing the porch lights to dimly light his way as the Bot walked up the steps towards the house's front door. He had the look of a man who was in deep with his thoughts and concern while he took the door's handle in his grasp, looking down at it, but not really at it.

'I still don't get why Liara didn't tell me, letting me hear it second hand instead.' he thought as he opened the door and entered his family home which still felt empty and sparse, considering his parents were still in the hands of Galvatron and his Predacons.

"Liara?" he said as he walked into the front room, only to find it empty and devoid of the blue beauty that had gained his affections during the course of the last few weeks. So he checked the Kitchen….but nothing, went up stairs and yet there was still no sign of her.

'Where is she?' he thought as he stopped at the bottom of the stairs and thought about where else to look, until a faint noise from just aways caught his attention, making the blue haired Bot walked back to the Kitchen and found that the back door had been left slightly open.

Orion left the interior of the house and stepped out into the vast area which was the family's backyard, but it was all as he had left it originally, with the training area untouched and this left him scratching his head more.

'Okay, now I am getting worried.' he thought as he walked away from the house down towards the beach, before suddenly noticing Ravage lying on his front and staring in the same direction.

"Ravage? What are you doing here?" Orion said as he knelt down beside his old pet and friend, which made the feline look up at him and purr in as it rubbed it's head against the Bot's knee.

"Yeah, I missed you too." the Autobot replied as he placed his hand on Ravage's head and stroked it's hair softly, making the former Decepticon purr again.

"Do you know where Liara is, Ravage?"

The feline looked up at him before turning it's and looking towards the beach, thus making Orion look in the same direction.

His blue eyes widened as he spotted a lone Asari sitting on one of the sun lounger beds that his parents had put down there years earlier, since that particular spot was still several feet away from where the tide would come in at night.

The Bot remembered that his Mother always did enjoy relaxing on one of them beds during a nice cloudless day, as did his Dad who would also sit down there and sift through his reports when he wasn't away at work.

Orion smiled before looking down at his feline friend, placing his hand on the beast's back and giving it a rub.

"Thanks for keeping an eye on Liara, Pal, I'll take over now." he said, earning a soft whine from the family pet. Who simply lied his head down on the floor as Orion got to his feet and walked down towards Liara.

As he made his way towards the Asari, further away from the synthetic lights of the family home.

Orion could see her more clearer, thanks to the light coming from the bright full moon, which was rising up into the star filled sky.

He could see that Liara was sitting upright on the lounger bed with her feet up against her chest and her arms wrapped around her legs, and she had not noticed his approach since the Asari was just staring out at the ocean which was reflecting the moon light back into sky with a ripple effect from the gentle waves.

"Liara?" Orion then said as he got within two feet of her, making the Asari look over to him with an almost startled expression.

She really must have been deep in thought for her not to have noticed, since he knew that someone of her age would probably be hard to sneak up on…not that it was his intention though.

"Orion." she said back as the blue haired Bot sat beside her on the sun lounger bed.

"What are you doing out here?" he asked as he looked back at her, his eyes then widening as he noticed the wet streaks running down her cheeks from her eyes.

"I just wanted to be alone with my thoughts." she said as she looked back towards the ocean and wiped her cheeks with her hands, while Orion looked back with a concerned expression.

"This is to do with your mother, doesn't it?" he asked, regaining the Asari's attention as she looked back in surprise.

"Why didn't you tell me that Benezia was the Shadow Broker?" the Bot said back, which made another tear run down her cheek, following the same path as the ones that had flowed before it.

"It's hard enough for me to come to terms with it myself, I didn't know how to tell you so.." Liara replied as she again wiped the tear away and looked back out at the ocean.

"…I thought that some time alone to think about it would allow me to make sense of it, but…." she added before stopping, earning a curious and concerned expression from the Autobot.

"But? But what?" Orion said back.

"But I can't help thinking that my mother and I are more alike than I would like to think." the Asari said with shameful tone.

"What do you mean, Liara, your nothing like Benezia." the blue haired Bot said back in a surprised tone, but Liara's eyes welled up as she looked down at the sand beneath her.

"Am I not? When our people fell during the Reaper War, my Mother let her anger for that slowly corrupt her heart. That anger became a rage and hatred for everyone she felt was responsible for that, and then dedicated herself to ridding them from the face of the galaxy and reclaiming the Asari's status as the Federation's Elite." she replied.

"I know, Liara, I did see your Intel report. But how are you the same?" Orion said back with a questioning tone as he placed his hand down beside her own on the lounger bed's soft surface.

"I killed my own mother and those responsible for my enslavement, wanting to make them pay for what they did to me. Those slavers for the torture they put me through, and my Mother for letting them do that to me." Liara said back, her voice tinged with both shame and anger, gaining a horrified look from Orion.

"Benezia? she knew what was happening to you?" the Bot replied as he looked down at her hand, placing his over hers in a sympathetic gesture as the Asari nodded back.

"Yes, my Mother knew. She told me that it was necessary, so that I would be more like her and in turn be ready to succeed her as the next Shadow Broker."

Orion did not know what to say as he watched Liara look back towards the ocean, tears slowly running down her cheeks as she began to sob. So with his free hand, the Bot touched the Asari's chin and gently turned her face back to his, with their eyes meeting as he looked into her own.

"Liara, you're nothing like your Mother…" he started to say back in a gentle and affectionate tone, which had ensnared her attention completely as she found herself simply staring back into his blue eyes.

"…the fact that you are feeling guilt and remorse for those who do not deserve it proves the opposite, it's that clear in my eyes." the Autobot continued as his hand moved from her chin to gently cup her face as he began to lean in towards her.

"You are one of the most caring people I have ever met, Liara, you always put others before yourself and I can vouch for that."

"..Orion.." she started to say in return as she mirrored his actions and leaned in closer.

"I do not know what I would have done with everything that has happened to me recently, if you had not been here with me, Liara." the young Darby continued, making the Asari's eyes widen as she listened to him.

"You have saved me in so many ways, and I don't think I have properly thanked you." he said as they now were so close, they could feel each other's breath on the other.

So Orion closed the distance and pushed his lips against hers, earning a surprised but happy moan from the Asari as they kissed for a moment.

And then he pulled away just enough to look her in the eyes, noticing that her tears had stopped as she looked back in to his, so he wiped aware the wetness with his

"Thank you, Liara." he said softly as he looked at her lovingly, before she suddenly closed the distance and kissed him back the same way.

"What was that for?" he asked with a smile when they pulled away, earning a coy expression from the Asari.

"You saved me first, remember? We would never have met had you not rescued me from Hock to begin with. So thank you, Orion,…..now kiss me again." she said as they both smiled at each other as the Bot then cupped her face in both hands and leaned into each other, their lips meeting again as she wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him towards her more and intensifying their kiss.

Which went on for a long moment as while they remained locked by their kiss as their lips caressed the other, making them feel as if time itself had stopped around them.

But once the need for oxygen took precedence, the lovers pulled away enough to catch their breath while looking into each others eyes.

Liara then smiled as she moved her hands down the Bot's torso, enjoying the feeling of his muscles under his shirt before reaching its bottom and slipping her hands under it.

The Asari bit her lip as she then pulled the top up, earning happy sigh from Orion as he lifted his arms and allowed her to lift the shirt off him in one easy motion and dropped it beside her on the sun lounger bed.

Orion could not help but smile as he noticed Liara looking him up and down, taking every square inch of his muscular but yet athletic physique.

The Bot then pulled the Femme back into another passionate kiss, pressing his body up against hers as she placed her hands on his bare back, which made him shiver slightly as they were a little colder than expected.

But he soon felt they warm while they explored his back, taking in the curves of his muscles that made up his back as they continued to kiss.

Liara then pulled away slightly so that she could focus on his ear, nibbling it a little one of her hands moved up to the back of his head so that she could run her fingers through his blue hair.

So Orion took the opportunity to begin removing the Asari's clothing by taking hold of the zipper on the back of her top and pulling it down, exposing her blue skin and earning a slight gasp from her as she felt the cool night air touch it.

The pair then pulled away just enough for the Bot to remove her top and reveal her beautiful athletic form and the edges of her breasts which were mainly covered by a dark blue bra which he then removed with ease.

'He's definitely had some experience doing that.' Liara thought as she smiled back before letting her lover lay her on the back, feeling the soft cushion like material of the lounger bed beneath her as he hovered over her and looked deeply into her eyes.

The only sounds they could hear were the waves behind them and their own breathing, which itself was only just out of sync, and then the Bot kissed Liara again before he then left a trail of kisses down her neck to her breasts before taking one in his hand, while the other went between his lips as he kissed and sucked it, gaining a sweet moan from the Asari as he gently massaged the nipple of her other breast with his fingers.

"Don't stop." she said as he then switched his focus to the other breast, kissing and licking it while freeing his hands which he moved down her body and over her stomach, feeling his way down to her trousers, which he then began to unzip and open while keeping his main focus on her breasts with his mouth, gaining further light moans of pleasure from Liara.

After a moment, while the Asari just lay there with her arms stretched out across the width of the bed, the Bot then left another trail of kisses from the peaks of her breasts down across her flat stomach which made her make the sweetest of giggles before he looked down at her open trousers.

The Asari looked back at him and made the most coy of expressions as she took in the image of his naked upper half lit up by the light of the full moon in the night sky, before she then lifted her legs in the air and made it easier for him to remove her trousers and underwear in one easy motion.

And just like that, Liara was now completely naked before her lover and he looked down at her with a loving gaze before crawling back over her and leaning down into another passionate kiss as he felt the Asari place her hands on his back and pull him down to her, allowing Liara to feel her skin against his.

She then surprised Orion by rolling them both onto the right side of the bed, so that she was now on top and this made him smile back as the Asari then mirrored his earlier action by leaving a trail of kisses down his neck and over his chest and stomach, until she reached his jeans.

The blue haired Bot then helped her remove them and his boxers in quick and efficient manner, which revealed his semi aroused member to both her and the night air that earned a gentle moan from him before the Asari climbed back on top of him.

The two then kissed passionately again, while she moved a hand down to his member and began to give it long strokes which earned yet another pleasure felt moan as he quickly returned the favour, by moving his hand up to her own sex and started to gently rub it's labia and so earn yet another sweet sound of ecstasy building up within his Asari Lover.

The pair continued like this on the sun lounger bed for a good long moment, slowly speeding up their masturbation of each other's sex which also quickened their breathing as they both felt their pleasure increasing.

'Oh goddess, I don't know how much more I can hold back.' Liara thought as she bit her lip slightly, but she knew Orion was no farther behind as his member was now completely stiff in her hand.

Orion himself could feel how close she was with his hand on her own sex which was now soaking wet.

So Liara stopped her strokes with her Autobot lover following suit, and she repositioned herself so that her sex was now directly over his erect member.

They were so close, the Bot could feel the heat emanating from her.

They both smiled lovingly at each other before she then gestured for him to sit up which he then did, meaning that she was now almost straddling him and she leaned in close to his ear so that he could feel her breath on his skin.

"Embrace Eternity, my love.' she then whispered before lowering herself down onto his member which slipped in so easily due to how wet she was down there.

This earned a moan of complete and utter pleasure from both of them as she took in the full length of his member, making her lean back and stare up into the night sky and revealing to Orion that her eyes had now turned completely black.

But it was not that which took the Bot by surprise, but instead it was the explosion of ecstasy he suddenly became overwhelmed with as he not only felt his own pleasure but Liara's too.

It felt as it the pair were now one, each and every feeling the other felt was multiplied as the Asari continued to rise and fall onto her Lover's member.

Their breathing now heavy and in complete sync with each other as they lost themselves in each other.

This went on for another long moment before Orion suddenly gripped his Asari lover tightly, lifting her up enough and turning them both around so she would land on her back with him on top of her once more.

This made her smile back at him and tut coyly in return.

"You want your turn?"

The blue haired Bot merely replied with a nod whiled looking back at the Asari with a hungry stare before re-entering her moist sex with a slow thrust, earning another sweet moan from Liara as the Autobot began to build up his rhythm.

She was so lost in the joyous feeling that was spreading throughout her body, which was too being multiplied by what Orion was feeling too.

The Asari had not noticed the fact she had begun to claw at his back, drawing a little blood as she did. Though if Orion had noticed this, he certainly did not show it.

For he too was so overwhelmed by this symbiotic relationship they had undertaken during their lovemaking, feeling everything that Liara was feeling on top of his own pleasure.

That he had simply lost himself in her, in exactly the same why she had with him.

And so the pair continued with their love-making, with no care to who may have been in hearing distance of their cries of pleasure.

There was certainly no consideration for poor Ravage who had moved to the other side of the Darby residence, and was trying to sleep at this moment.

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  • 5 weeks later...


The scent of sea salt was strong in the morning air as Liara and Orion lay in each other's arms on the sun lounger bed, with nothing but a light duvet to cover them which the Autobot had picked up from the supply box under the bed. And the pair just lied there watching the sky slowly brighten up as night gave way to the new day.

The Asari had never felt so blissful and content in her life as she did with her lover's arms wrapped around her, listening to his spark beat as she lay her head on his chest. She couldn't think of a better way to start the new day as she ran a finger down the Bot's stomach, feeling the toned muscles of his six-pack as she did so.

Orion too was just as content to let this moment last as he lied under Liara with his arms holding her close, for he did not want to let her go. He could feel the Asari's chest expand and deflate slightly on his own with each and every breath she took, which was now more calmer and controlled than either of theirs had been a few hours earlier. For what they had experienced together then, was beyond anything Orion had felt with any partner he had before, Nightracer included.

He sighed happily as he looked up at the vanilla sky overhead which was slowly shifting from red to blue, and this earned a smile from the Asari which he felt through the skin of his chest.

"You're awake?" he asked in a caring tone, which made Liara turn her head and rest her chin on his chest while looking back into his blue eyes.

"..As are you." she replied coyly before leaning with a kiss, her lips tasting like a heavenly fruit to the Bot as he returned the kiss.

"Morning." she then said back softly after pulling away enough to look back at the Autobot.

"Morning." he replied as they then readjusted their positions so that they were still holding each other, but now at eye level.

"Last night, Liara, it was..." Orion began to say, only for the Asari to jump in as she smiled back with a slight shy-like expression.

"Orion, I know." she said back, marvelling at the wide-eye look of wonder on his face as she listened to him.

"I think only one word can describe last night." he added, earning a curious look from Liara.

"And what's that?"

"…Perfect." the blue haired Bot replied before leaning in close and kissing the Asari, who had begun to blush in return. But that did not stop her from returning the kiss in kind as she pressed her lips back into his, turning their kiss into a passionate one that continued for what felt like a lifetime between them.

If it had not been for the need to breath, the lovers might never have parted from the kiss. But they both just looked back at each another and smiled as Orion shook his head in disapproval with a sigh.

"If I could, I would curse whoever thought needing to breath was a necessity." he joked while looking back out at the blue ocean before him and Liara.

"It's not that bad really, considering we can just do it again." she replied, regaining his attention.

"That's true." the Autobot said back as the Asari leaned in again. This time touching her forehead to his own as they looked deeply into each others eyes.

'Man, I could so easily lose myself in those deep blue eyes.' he thought before they both moved in for another kiss, only for their com-links to suddenly activate, pulling them both out of the moment as they sat back and tapped the devices.

"Orion and Liara here." the blue haired Bot said as his Asari lover listened.

"It's Shen, I know that I am probably interrupting you two…" the Turian replied, his voice laced with a mixture of embarrassment and guilt that was easily readable by them both, gaining an annoyed sigh from the Autobot.

"You kind of are….yes…" he said back with a reluctant tone while Liara chuckled, finding his reaction to be quite cute as she looked back at him.

"Oh…okay, well sorry….'did I already say that?'…" Shen replied.

"Yes you did, so what is going on?" the bluehaired Bot said back, his voice becoming more serious so to snap his friend out of his embarrassed state.

"Yes, right. The Commander wants us all back on the Normandy, the ship and the fleet is ready."

These words suddenly made the Autobot and the Asari look directly at each other as they lied on the lounger, a knowing expression on both their faces. For they knew that what had been a perfect evening between them was now coming to an end, so Orion reluctantly sighed as he put his finger up to his com-link.

"We….are on our way, Orion and Liara out." he said with a deflated tone, earning a nod from the Asari.

"Should I feel bad that I don't want to go back now." she said with a mirrored tone which made Orion put his arms around more, with the blue female laying her head on his should as they both looked out to the ocean.

"I know exactly what you mean Liara, because I don't want this to end either after what we shared last night." he replied before looking back at the Asari, who was now looking up at him.

"I don't want to lose you Orion, not after finding each other and experiencing what we could have together." she said back, making the Autobot squeeze her in his arms affectionately as he noticed the tinge of dread in the Asari's voice. For he knew of what she had already lost before now, with her friends during the Reaper War, then Shockblast and now her own Mother. So he just looked the Asari in the eye, never blinking once.

"And I don't want to lose you either Liara, what I want is for us to build a life together, one that is our own...and maybe down the road...a family." he replied before looking back out to sea, noticing the sky becoming more blue-like as early morning continued to pass them by.

"But we first have a duty to stop Galvatron and his Predacons, to save my parents and personally put that monster six feet under." he added as he looked back, noticing that Liara still had an unsure expression on her face. He did not know what else to say that could quell his lover's fears, but then something came to mind, something he had not had chance to really think about which had occurred only a dozen feet away from their location only a week or so earlier.

"You're not going to lose me, Liara. Not now or ever...but..." he started to say, noticing the Asari's face becoming curious to what he was saying, so he gave her a slight smile in return.

"Remember when you said that 'I must have a destiny?'"

"Yes. Why do you ask?" Liara replied with curious tone.

"Well it said in the Covenant that I would bring about something called the 'Trinity of Primes'. Now I don't know what that is, but since everything written in the Covenant always happens, then that means I will be fine." he continued as his lover stared back with a hopeful expression.

"And I will make sure that you do too, we will be in this fight together, side by side." he added, as Liara leaned in close and smiled.

"Yes, we will." she said back before the pair then kissed again, before pulling away and looking back out at the sea as the waves gently broke against the shore in front of them.


In the Normandy's CIC, Rodimus sat in his hover-chair and watched as the crew worked at their individual stations, using their holo-interfaces as they prepared the ship for launch. The Commander than activated his own holo-tool and synced it to the galaxy map, which changed to show a holographic version of the ship.

"So all the hull damage has been repaired?" he asked a female Turian engineer standing beside him, who nodded in return while pointing at particular points on the hologram.

"Yes, but they are more like patch-jobs considering that the Normandy would really need a few weeks in dry-dock to bring it back to pristine condition. It was really the best we could do, given the time we had. So even though the breaches have been sealed, the hull integrity is still only at seventy percent. We have increased the structural integrity field of the ship to strengthen its hull and bring it up to around eighty-five percent. We have also repaired the shield generator and weapons systems, but the stealth system needs more time than we had to repair so it has instead been completely deactivated until we have the time." she added, earning a reluctant nod from Rodimus.

"I see. What about the other main systems, how are they holding up?"

"All other systems are working from around ninety to one hundred percent, I won't lie that the Normandy has seen better days. But it can still give a good fight, since my engineering crew and I have done our best to see that it would get the chance." the Turian said back.

"Well thank you for all the hard work over the last day, it is greatly appreciated." the Autobot replied as the engineer deactivated her holo-tool.

"You're welcome, Commander Rodimus, but now I have to be excused." she said back before walking to the elevator and exiting the CIC, so the Commander then tapped his com-link.

"Nightracer, have Orion and Liara arrived yet?" he then asked.

The Femme tapped her earpiece as the Commander's voice came through on her end, looking around her in the Shuttle-Bay as people walked to and from the ship via the lowered landing ramp.

"Yes, Sir, I see them approaching the ship now." Nightracer replied as she spotted the pair walking towards the ramp.

"Good, now what is the status of our re-supply?" Rodimus asked, making the Femme look round to see the last of the metallic crates being placed on the deck near Onyx Primal, who was watching everyone in his beast mode. The loaders gave the dragon a wide berth as they moved slowly away, earning a smile from Nightracer as she turned back round.

"They have just finished it now." she replied.

"Alright, once everyone is on board then we will get under-way. Rodimus out."

Nightracer then deactivated her com-link and turned to see Orion and Liara approach her, holding hands as they did, which made her look to the ground slightly and sigh before they stopped directly in front of her.

"You guys are late." she said with a slightly apprehensive tone, gaining unsure looks from both the Bot and Asari.

"Uh, well.." Liara began to reply before her lover stepped in.

"Yeah….a lot happened last night between us." the young Darby said as he looked back to Liara, a big smile on both his, earning a mirrored expression. This made Nightracer sigh and smile in return, unable to keep up the act any longer.

"You don't need to explain yourselves, it's not like the rest of us haven't noticed how close you both have become since Illium…" the Femme said back, earning an appreciative smile from the pair.

"…And I know Liara is a good fit for you." she continued, gaining a nod from the Asari.

"Thank you, Nightracer, that's kind of you to say."

"Yes, thank you. Though I could have sworn that your reaction was going to be somewhat different, because of the way you were looking at us when we arrived." Orion added with a tinge of confusion in his voice, earning a chuckle from the Femme as she smiled back teasingly.

"That's because after all this time, you still fall for 'the look'. And you are so cute when you squirm, wouldn't you agree Liara?"

The Asari gave the Bot a similar smile and nodded in return.

"Yes, I would agree with that…..and I will remember the look for future reference." she said back in a similar teasing tone, which made Orion sigh in defeat.

"Ni, do you have to give Liara ideas."

"There's more where that came from." the Femme said to the Asari with an added wink, which Orion caught and smiled back at.

"I saw that, I know when your kidding Ni." he said with a not completely convinced tone, which made his Ex smile wider.

"Oh really, do you think I am kidding…" she replied before looking over to Liara, who was just watching the pair with an interested smile. So the Femme leaned over slightly to the Asari and covered her mouth from the Bot so he could not see.

"…I am really, but he will still bite and squirm…then finally fold." she then said, gaining a nod from blue female.

"I've have noticed that." she said back, which made the pair laugh as Orion just dropped his head in defeat and sighed again.

"Okay, you win."

"See what I mean." Nightracer said as the door behind them opened, gaining their attention as well as a sigh of relief from Orion who saw that it was Shen and Smokescreen, the latter sitting in a hover-chair like Rodimus's.

"Look who's finally up and about." the Turian said with an enthusiastic tone as the others walked over and surrounded the pair, earning a slightly embarrassed expression from the Autobot who looked up at them all.

"Not exactly the way I wanted to leave the Medical-Bay, but I guess it will have to do." he replied with a slightly disappointed tone, which made Nightracer place a hand on his shoulder in a supportive manner.

"Well, we are all just glad to see that your on the road to recovery." She added, which made the others smile back in unison. But Smokescreen merely nodded back before looking down at his stricken legs, a sad look appearing on his face.

"Thanks, but I just wish that others were as lucky as I was."

Everyone's faces sunk somewhat, as they all knew who the Autobot was on about.

"Quickstrike told me what happened to Grunt on Benning, and I do not claim to have known him well. But I remember the stories that my Father used to tell me when I was a child, of the adventures he had with you, Grunt, Rodimus and Garrus. And I do know that with how my Father described Grunt, the Krogan would not have had his death any other way." Orion then said with a knowing and supportive expression, which gained a nod from Smokescreen in return.

"Yes, Grunt always did relish a good fight and that was how he always envisioned himself going out. Wrex said the same thing, but still….I am going to miss him."

"We all will… but as long as we remember him, then he will always be with us." the blue haired Bot replied before the Autobot looked back at him with a thoughtful expression.

"You are your Father's son, and I know he would be damn proud of you, Orion. I certainly am, to have had the chance to work alongside you and the next generation of Autobots." he said back as a smile graced his face, while holding out a hand to the young Darby which he then shook.

"Just do me a favour and bring your Parents back safely, okay?" Smokescreen then added, earning a nod back from Orion.

"I will, you can count on it." he said back with a determined tone to his voice, which made the chair-bound Bot smirk back.

"Very well, I look forward to seeing you guys after this is all done. Good luck."

Everyone there then shook hands with Smokescreen, before he then pressed a button on the small control panel on top of his right hand side armrest, making his chair move down the ramp and off the ship.

"Okay, then I guess it's time we got moving." Shen then said as everyone watched the injured Bot disappear down the ramp, then suddenly the inter-com activated and gained their attention.

"This is Commander Rodimus, all hands to stations and prepare for launch."

Orion and the others immediately nodded at each other before heading out of the Shuttle-Bay, but not before Nightracer used her holo-tool to close the landing ramp and seal it from the ship-s exterior, then she joined the rest.

The CIC was a buzz with activity as Rodimus moved in his hover-chair towards the Cockpit, taking note of how efficient his crew were in performing their tasks at their individual stations.

"Jetstorm, report status." he said as he stopped behind the pilot, who was typing on the holo-interface in front of him.

"Sir, all decks report ready for launch. In fact, Docking Control has cleared us for departure." he said in return as Orion joined the pair, earning a nod from the Commander in acknowledgement.

"Very well. Is the air-lock and outer hatches sealed?"

"Yes, Sir. Nightracer dealt with that. Everyone who's not supposed to be on board has disembarked." the blue haired Bot replied.

"Good, then by all means, Jetstorm." Rodimus said back with a gesture, earning a nod from the pilot.

"Disengaging docking clamps, clearing all moorings. Thrusters at ten percent, easing us out." he then stated as the Normandy began to reverse out from the docking ring of the Tower, turning around one hundred and eighty degrees once it was at a safe enough distance to do so.

"We are clear of the tower." Jetstorm then added, as he and his Commanders looked out of the glass canopy to see the city of New Iacon before them.

"Take us out." the Autobot Leader then said before the Normandy then flew up into the blue sky, taking less than thirty seconds to breach Earth's atmosphere and re-enter the void of space.

"Activate the space-bridge and aim it at the rendezvous coordinates." Rodimus then said.

"Aye, aye, Sir." the pilot replied before entering the numbers into the number pad of his holo-interface before pressing a button next to it, which was followed by the sudden appearance of a bright green vortex opening up before them.

"Space-bridge activated, taking us through." Jetstorm stated as the Normandy then entered the portal, reappearing on the other side and finding itself surrounded by the largest fleet seen outside of the Reaper War.

"Wow, I have never seen so many ships in one place." Orion said in amazement as he looked out at the many Cruisers, Destroyers and other Star-ships that filled up the void around them.

"It certainly looks like we have called in every ship we have." the pilot replied as he flew the Autobot Frigate between two of the largest vessels, but then as Rodimus was about to speak, a terminal before Jet-storm beeped.

"We are being hailed. It is Admiral Hackett on board the Apollo."

"Put him through." the Commander said back, and a second later another holo-screen appeared before the trio with the face of Caucasian man in his late fifties appearing on it. He had a well trimmed silver beard and a scar running down his right cheek, ending just above his lips.

"Commander Rodimus, glad you and the Normandy could make it." the Admiral said with a deep and commanding voice.

"There was no way the Normandy was going to miss this, Admiral. What is the status of the fleet?" Rodimus replied with a smirk, earning a mirrored expression from Hackett.

"With the exception of the scattered forces left to defend our major Colonies and Home-worlds, we have pretty much every ship in the fleet with us for our assault."

The Admiral's smirk dropped a little as his face became thoughtful.

"Though, I thought that we wouldn't ever need to show such a force of strength again….not since the Reaper War." he added, earning a nod from the Commander.

"I know what you mean, but we cannot let the Predacons continue with their campaign against us."

"Agreed. And considering their entire fleet is orbiting Virmire, we might never have a better chance to put and end to them. Though before you arrived, I sent a shuttle into the system for a quick in and out re-con. And it seems that the Nemesis has landed on the planet, taking up a very well defended position at the foot of a mountain." the Hackett said, earning a wide-eyed look from both Rodimus and Orion. With the latter turning to his Mentor and friend.

"Looks like Galvatron has found what he was looking for."

"Right, so we should get moving….now." the Commander replied.

"Yes, I agree. So I already have a basic outline of the attack plan…." the Admiral began to say before Rodimus stepped in.

"I will go over the details of the attack with you now…" he said in return, before turning to Orion.

"Time for you and your team to suit up." the Commander added, gaining a nod from the young Darby.

"Yes, Sir." he replied before tapping his com-link.

"Liara, Quickstrike, Shen, Nightracer. Head down to the Armoury and suit up, I will meet you there."

The XO then looked back at Rodimus, Admiral Hackett and Jetstorm as he readied himself to leave.

"We will begin as soon as you are ready. Good luck, Orion." the Commander then said, earning a nod from the young Darby.

"Good luck to us all." he replied, gaining mirrored reactions from the trio before leaving the cockpit, heading for the elevator at the back of the CIC.

"He certainly has the look of Jackson Prime." Hackett observed as he watched the Spectre walk off, while both Rodimus and Jetstorm turned back to him.

"He is his Father's son, and this attack plan was mostly his own idea." the Autobot replied, earning a nod from the Admiral.

"I see, well if he is anything like our Prime, then we will be in good hands."

"Of course, Admiral. It is an ambitious undertaking. But it can succeed." the Elite Spectre said back as he sat in his hover-chair.

"Very well, then what do you want us to do?" Hackett replied, earning a slight smile from Rodimus who then activated his holo-tool, as he prepared to brief the Admiral.


Back at Virmire, Ser-Ket was still restrained on the berth in Shockwave's Lab. The Femme was deep in thought as she went over what the Decepticon Scientist had shown her, with the images continually flashing in her mind.

'I still can not believe that I was that Decepticon, it has to be a lie.' the Predacon thought as she looked down at her body, shaking her head in reluctance.

'But there is no denying the sense of familiarity I can feel with these images…these memories, that scares me more than anything.'

This form of thinking made Ser-Ket feel a cold dread pass through her spark, since it had been hard enough for her to believe that she had any kind of real connection to her Predacon brethren. But now with this bombshell dropped into her lap by Shockwave, someone she had believed to be long dead because of what the historical records had claimed. This had left the Femme feeling utterly confused and unsure of what her role was or where she supposedly fitted in this world and that did really frighten her.

But just as her mind had become engulfed in the rising tide of memories that were supposedly of her and the thoughts that followed, threatening to drown Ser-Ket in her own despair and anguish. There was one light that could keep her afloat and reinforce her focus and that was Quickstrike, the Autobot who she had come to love with the entirety of her being. One that she was willing to sacrifice herself for in order to save him, despite what that fate meant for her in return.

'Quickstrike, I know your out there and looking for me.' she thought as she remembered the blonde Bot' smile and eyes, which warmed her spark and calmed her down. But it was then that another thought came to mind, something which Shockwave had told her prior to the bombshell he then dropped into her lap.

'Shockwave said that my CNA was spliced not with a Predacon as he believed, but of one of their rivals. What if this is the reason for my detached feelings concerning my Predacon brethren, something that was brought out by Shockblast when he reawakened me.' Ser-Ket thought as she then remembered the dreams she had of the battles and black Dragon, the one that she felt no fear or animosity towards.

'Could those dreams have been remnants of the person I was spliced with?'

But before the Femme dwell on this thought any more l, the door to the Lab opened and Shockwave walked in. His face was entirely expressionless as he headed over to his restrained acquaintance.

"It has been decided." he said in a cold tone, which earned a concerned look from the Predacon in return.

"What has...?" she replied as her eyes remained focused on the Decepticon, who came to a stop right next to her and began looking over the instruments that lay on the small table beside her berth.

"I have spoken to Lord Galvatron and gained my Liege's permission to wipe your mind clean of Ser-Ket, leaving you free to return as Strika." he said back, earning a horrified expression from the Femme. Her thoughts overcome by the repurcusions of such an action.

'If he does this, I will lose Quickstrike forever!'

The Predacon started to fight against her restraints, gaining Shockwave's attention as he looked down at Ser-Ket with a confused expression.

"Do not fight it. Soon you will be free of these conflicted memories and emotions, ones that were never really yours." he replied while picking up the Cortical Psychic Patch once again, and fitted one end onto the Femme's head despite her struggles.

"You will will instead be free of such confusion and illogical thinking, instead returning to efficient and ruthless comrade that we Predacons need." the Scientist added as he placed the other device back on top of his head, before activating them with his holo-tool which made both units hum in response.

"No, No, I do not want to lose my memories. I need them!" Ser-Ket spat back, only for the Decepticon to ignore her and continue.

"All that is required of myself is to access your memory-core and wipe the majority of it clean, before then re-uploading your back up of your original memory via your secondary buffer. It is logical after all, to keep all options available."

'No, I cannot lose what makes me who I am. I will not become that Decepticon, the one who is ruthless and without even an iota of mercy...she who is a real monster.' Ser-Ket thought as she gritted her teeth and put everything she had into breaking her restraints, but found that they would not budge.

"Your struggling is illogical, I am giving you a gift. A chance to be yourself again, and lead a life without the conflicting and destructive emotions that control the rest of our species." Shockwave stated while watching the Femme continue to fight against her locked arms and legs, with a look of pure confusion plastered over his face. But as the Patch continued to hum louder as it came ever closer to full power, the Predacon came to one inescapable conclusion in her mind.

'I cannot break these restraints, not with the strength I have at this moment.' she thought as she stopped struggling and looked down at herself with an expression of acceptance, one that Shockwave noticed and nodded at in return.

"Good, your struggling was futile and only delayed the inevitable for a moment or two more." he replied as Ser-Ket closed her eyes, looking like she was giving up.

'...I have to use the side of me I despise, my beast mode!' she thought before focusing on her anger and rage, letting it build inside of herself, before her eyes opened wide and startled the Decepticon Scientist. For what he saw were not the eyes of a Cybertronian, but instead were those of a Beast.

"No, you will fail. Even your increased strength can not overcome your enhanced restraints." he said back with an increasing tinge of worry in his voice, as he activated his holo-tool's electric-shock function and grabbed the Femme's arm, delivering a powerful shock of electricity through her. This made the Predacon scream in pain, but it was a scream that slowly morphed into a roar as Ser-Ket continued to change before the Scientist's remaining eye, for he could not believe what he was witnessing.

"Impossible!" he spat in complete disbelief as the Femme broke out of her restraints and grabbed his arm off of her, staring into his eye for a moment before throwing him to the ground several feet away.

Shockwave quickly got to his feet while the Predacon easily freed the rest of her body from the berth's restraints and got off it, revealing the finished transformation into her Beastial form.

"You have to be neutralised!" he added before pulling out his pistol with one hand, while raising his other to his com-link in an effort to alert the rest of the crew. But before he could, Ser-Ket pounced and grabbed both arms while pinning the Decepticon against the wall. She growled deeply while gritting her teeth at the one eyed man. The Femme's thoughts were all over the place as a veil of rage blanketed everything in front of her.

"I swear by the Allspark, you will never hurt another person ever again." she spat before ripping off his arms, spraying blood out in both directions as she then dropped the limbs and grabbed his head in both hands.

"You are Strika, a Decepticon General. That is what you are and were always meant to be!" Shockwave managed to say through the Predacon's hands, but this made the Femme narrow her eyes at him in return while increasing the pressure around his head.

"My name...is Ser-Ket, and it is time for you to die!" she spat before crushing his head into mulch with her bare hands, killing the Decepticon instantly as his headless body slumped to floor and twitched for a second before falling limp.

The Predacon just stood there and breathed heavily, staring down at both it and her blood covered hands.

'I...have to get out of here!' she thought before rushing out of the Lab, leaving Shockwave's body there to continue twitching in a pool of blood in the now empty room.


Meanwhile, Galvatron stood on the bridge with Lazerback too his right, while standing behind him was Jackson Prime and Arcee who were both in restraints and surrounded by Terracons. The Predacon Lord had a confident smile on his face as he watched the holo-screen in front of the group, which showed the particle beam cannon firing into the mountainside and crafting a tunnel through the giant rock formation.

"We are now only fifty metres from the object…." the Terracon manning the weapon's station stated as he kept his focus between working the beam and watching it's power levels.

"…..but the power is on the verge of overloading, having already passed one hundred percent."

This made Lazerback look over to his leader with a concerned expression, as the weapon's station began to sound an alarm.

"My Lord, we should deactivate the particle beam and allow it to cool down, or we risk burning out the cannon."

"Noted, now maintain fire on that spot and up its power levels again." Galvatron replied with a growing anger in his voice, never taking his eyes off the screen whilst doing so. This made his lieutenants look at each other in equally perplexed expressions before nodding back in return.

"You heard Lord Galvatron." Lazerback said while looking down at the weapon's operator.

"Yes, Sir." the drone replied before typing onto his holo-interface, making the power readouts rise up into the red. This instantly made the beam glow even brighter and cut through the rock faster, earning a grin from the Predacon Leader as he continued to watch. Another minute or so passed as the weapon's alarms continued to blare out of the CIC's speakers until the Terracon suddenly deactivated the cannon, he then turned around and looked up at his Commander.

"My Lord, the beam has crafted a tunnel through the mountain and hit something inside, something our sensors cannot identify."

Galvatron smiled back and nodded in return.

"Very good, and what is the condition of the particle beam cannon?"

"It was a good timing that the tunnel was created when it was, because if it had been used a moment longer then it would have overloaded. I am afraid that it cannot be used again." the Terracon replied, earning a knowing nod from Lazerback that did not go unnoticed by his Lord.

"Do you have something you wish to say, Lazerback?" he asked with narrowed red eyes, which made the lieutenant suddenly stiffen up and shake his head in response.

"No…m.., my Lord." he stuttered back.

"Good, because you do remember what happens to those who question me…don't you." the Predacon Leader replied, earning a nod from Lazerback who said nothing else.

"Now then, take our 'guests down to the ventral hanger. I have ordered three Terracon squads to meet you there, and wait for my arrival."

"I see, my Lord, and once you join us?" the lieutenant asked with a slightly nervous tone.

"Then we will go to that mountain and see what we have uncovered, any more questions?" Galvatron said back, trying to hide his growing annoyance with his minion.

"Just one more, if you will indulge me my Lord." he replied before gulping hard while the Predacon Lord stared back, but said nothing in return.

"…Why are we taking the Prime and his Femme with us, surely they would be better secured in the Brig?"

Galvatron gave his lieutenant a knowing smile, both Jack and Arcee did not even flinch at the sound of them being talked about as their thoughts more focused on everything that had happened to them recently… and what they had lost personally.

"Because the Prime carries something we will need for what is in that Rock, and his Femme will guarantee that he uses it."

This suddenly caught Jack's attention, as he looked over to the Predacon Leader with wide, curious eyes. Which made Galvatron smile back at him.

"Now do as I command." he said to Lazerback, who turned and faced the Terracons guarding their prisoners.

"Let's go." he said, earning salutes from the drones who responded by grabbing both Prime and Femme and turning them around to face the exit. Arcee then caught her Spark-mate's confused expression, mirroring the look with her own.

"Jack, what is it?" she asked, but all the older Darby did was look back at Galvatron who continued to smile back at him confidently, while they were escorted off the CIC.

Once the Autobots were gone, the Predacon Lord turned his attention back to the Terracons working below his station, who all felt his gaze as they continued with their individual tasks. This made him smirk as he tapped his com-link.

"Rip-Claw, do you read me?"

"Yes, Lord Galvatron. How may I serve you?" she replied with an eager tone.

"I want you and Vertabreak to lead our ground-forces outside, just in case the enemy find us. If that happens, you are to make sure that no Autobot reaches the mountain, is that clear?" Galvatron asked.

"Yes, my Lord. But what about their air support, there is no cover out there on that terrain?" Rip-Claw replied back with a concerned tone.

"You will have Predaking, Grimwing and Skystalker out there with you, and also the Nemesis will also be laying down covering fire for you and the Terracons. Now execute my orders."

"By your command, Lord Galvatron." the Femme said back before deactivating the com-link, which then made the Predacon Leader look down at the Terracon manning the Communications terminal.

"Get me Blight on the Achilles." he said in a commanding tone, one that made the soldier in question almost snap to attention as he began typing on the holo-interface before him.

"Of course, my Lord, I have him now." he replied before a holo-screen appeared in front of the Predacon Leader, and Blight appeared on it.

"Lord Galvatron, I have positioned the fleet around the planet in a defensive pattern as per your earlier instructions." he stated in a professional tone, which impressed Galvatron as he listened.

"Very good Blight. Tell me, has your sensors picked up anything outside of the system?"

"There have been no sign of any ships on the long range sensors my Lord, but we are picking up a plasma storm which appears to be heading for the system." the lieutenant replied, earning a curious expression from Galvatron in return.

"Plasma storm, does it pose any threat to us?"

"We have calculated its probable trajectory and we believe that it will pass through this system, but no where near Virmire."

"Alright, then I will not keep you from your duties Blight. Keep me apprised…" the Predacon Leader started to say, before suddenly alarms began blaring around the Lieutenant, making him look over to his Terracons around him.

"What is it?" he said to those off screen, leaving Galvatron as nothing but an observer for a moment with a confused expression growing on his face.

"Blight, what is it?" he asked, earning a surprised and concerned look from his minion.

"We are detecting a large fleet of ships heading directly for us." he said back, making the Predacon Leader's red eyes narrow as he gritted his teeth.

"The Autobots have found us, patch me to every Predacon in our fleet." he then spat at the Communications Terracon, who nodded and worked his station.

"You are on my Lord." he replied, as his lieutenants, Terracons and Mercs alike all listened for their leader to speak.

"My Predacons, today we stand at the very beginnings of a new Golden age for us all. One that will see the end of the Autobots, the only ones left to oppose us. They have arrived to try and stop us from achieving our ultimate victory, so I say let them make their final stand. We will crush them all and take this galaxy for our own, once and for all. So my Predacons….attack and TERROISE!" he commanded in tyrannical glee, earning cheers from everyone in his fleet, just as the Autobot ships entered the system.

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