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  1. CHAPTER IX Everything was quiet inside the Great Hall of the Lesuss Monastery, despite all the residents and it's staff present inside it's walls. For right at this moment, they were holding the joint funeral of both Superintendent Jethra and Justicar Samara. Myra and her friends were also in attendance as they stood amongst everyone else as they paid their respects to the two deceased Asari, as well as listening to each person who took to the stage and said a few words, which mainly was them reminiscing about the times they had shared with either of the pair. This brought sad smiles and tears from many in the audience, as they all took the time to remember the pair for who they were. Even Myra and Tolae took their turns to share their experiences with both Women, with the Rogue Spectre commenting on the Justicar's strong resolve and loyalty to those that she cared about and that it was an honour to have fought alongside and learned from such a woman, while Tolae spoke of both Jethra's and Samara's teachings to her and their encouragement to become better than what her life had led her to believe she was. The latter even began to sing an Asari-hymn, one that every other joined in with, even Myra did as her friends remained quiet and listened while the entire room sang in unison as their voices echoed throughout the Great Hall. This brought a smile to Kat and Evac as they looked on at their respective Asari friends, watching them both give their all as their vocals led the rest in harmony. And while they sang, sunlight shone down through the massive stained glass windows and enveloped the two coffins in its warm light. When the ceremony came to an end, the residents and staff started to exit the Hall and return to their daily schedules as Crosscut, Kat and Evac waited at it's entrance, while Myra and Tolae took a moment to speak to another Asari. "That was a very touching ceremony, thank you both for your contributions. I know Jethra and Samara would have appreciated it." she said, gaining thankful smiles from the younger pair as they stood before her. "Matriarch Gallae, Tolae has told me that you are now the acting Superintendent of the Monastery." the young Darby said, gaining a nod from her. "Yes, I would rather not. No one knew how to keep this Monastery functioning quite like Jethra, but apparently, I was her choice to be next in line should anything happen to her." Gallae replied with an unsure tone, so Myra placed a hand on her shoulder in support. "I am sure you will live up to the faith that Jethra had in choosing you, she had an adept skill in reading people so I know that she since has singled you out as the one to follow on from her that you are the right choice." she said back, gaining an appreciative smile in return as the older Asari nodded back. "Thank you, Myra Darby, and after updating myself on Jethra's journals, I will honour her wish not for the Autobots to be informed of your part in the events that have transpired here. I feel it is the most I can do for what you did to help defend this Monastery, I wish I could do more…" the acting Superintendent replied before turning her attention to Tolae. "…and I will also honour her wish for you to go with our new friends here, Tolae, for I too have seen that you are more than ready to see what lies beyond these walls." "Thank you, Matriarch Gallae. I am honoured that both you and Jethra believe I am ready...I will not let you down." the Ardat Yakshi replied, which made Gallae nod back with a smile. "I know you will not..." she said, before returning her attention to the Spectre. "Tolae is now a member of your crew, Myra. Take care of her." "We will, she has already done a lot for us so we will do the same for her..." Myra replied, before the Superintendent's com-link activated and cut her off. "Yea...they are here, in orbit. Okay, thank you for informing me. Have them come down and land in the next thirty minutes, Galle out." she said. "Let me guess, that's the Autobot cruiser entering the system." Darby said back, gaining a nod from the older Asari. "Yes, they will be here soon. So, I guess you should leave before they arrive." "Alright, we will get out of your hair then..." Myra started to say before looking back at her friends. "...Evac, power up the Eudora. We are leaving." "Way ahead of you, Myra. The Eudora is ready to fly." the Pilot replied with a wink as he typed on his holo-tool, earning a smirk from both her and Tolae. "Well, I wish you luck and hope you can catch up to Morinth and bring her to justice for what she did to our Monastery." Gallae then said while holding out a hand to the younger Asari, who then shook it with her own. "I will and then Vasir will suffer a similar fate." "Of course. Farewell, Myra, until we meet again." the Superintendent replied before turning around and leaving the pair, who did the same and headed back to the others. "Alright guys, we are heading out." Darby then said as Kat and Crosscut walked either side of her, while Tolae joined Evac. They gave her a warm smile as they followed the others towards the Monastery's exit, which unbeknownst to him made her heart warm. "You have a beautiful singing voice, did you know that?" he asked, making her blush slightly in return as she looked down at the ground. "I never really thought about it, plus no one has said it like that before." she replied, before looking back and noticing the golden glow of his irises. "Your eyes. I never noticed that before." Tolae then said, which earned a surprised look from Evac as he saw the way she was looking at him. "What do…you mean?" the Bot replied, feeling a little uncomfortable with the way she was staring at him as they walked. "Well, they just appear to be glowing." she said back whilst looking into his eyes like she found them enchanting. This made Evac's eyes widen as something came to his mind all of a sudden. "Oh, you mean my implants." he said, making the Asari look back curiously. "Implants?" "Yes, I had my eyes fitted with ocular implants that allow me to view the Eudora's sensor readouts and my holo-tool upgraded with a mobile piloting program, meaning I can fly the ship without needing to physically be in the Pilot's seat." he replied, earning a smile from her in return. "Impressive, but it is only visible if active…right?" she asked, gaining a nod from the Bot. "Yes, that's correct." he said back. "Good, because even though it looks nice. I do prefer to look into your more natural green ones." Tolae replied with a kind smile, earning a similar expression from the Pilot as they walked together. "Hey guys, I am the only one here who thinks Evac and our newest team member look rather cute together?" Kat whispered as she glanced back at the Pilot and Asari, gaining a nod from Myra while Crosscut looked a little unsure. "I know she helped us against Morinth and saved his life, but can we really just leave them alone together. I mean she is still an Ardat-Yakshi after all?" he whispered back, which earned a nod from the Rogue Spectre. "I understand your hesitation, Crosscut. But Jethra assured me before she passed away that Tolae would be fine with us. And I have not seen anything like Morinth's behaviour in the way she acts, have you..?" she replied, making the Bot shake his head in return. "…And I can't help but feel that harming Evac is far from what she wants to do to him." Myra then added, gaining a nod from Kat. "I agree, I think she generally cares about him and is more likely to harm those that would harm him." "Yeah, okay. I get what you both are saying." Crosscut replied with a defeated tone as the group exited the building and saw the Eudora hovering over the landing platform ahead of them. "What did I tell you, it's ready and waiting." Evac then said in a happy tone as he tapped his holo-tool, which made the entry ramp drop down and grant them access. This earned an eye roll from Crosscut who just sighed and walked up into the ship's interior, while Kat and Myra simply smiled back at the Bot. "Good job, Evac. Once we are airborne, take the ship into the mountains and activate the Space-bridge Generator." Darby then said, gaining a nod from the Pilot. "I get it. Use the mountainous region to hide us from any possible sensor scans that the Autobot ship might make." he replied before the Asari and her Human friend then turned around and followed Crosscut, leaving the Bot with Tolae as she turned around and looked back at the Monastery with a thoughtful expression. "What's wrong?" he asked, bringing her attention back to him. "Oh, it's nothing. But now that I am leaving, I find myself somewhat reluctant to go." she replied before looking back at the temple-like building, while Evac joined her side. "I understand, leaving home is never easy. I went through it myself when I joined the Autobots…" the Bot started to say, regaining the Asari's attention he continued to speak. "…I was Eighteen at the time and thought I was ready for everything like Teenagers do. When the moment came, I began questioning myself. But it was just nerves and it passes, they always do." he added, gaining a smile from Tolae in return. "You're right. Wouldn't think that such wise words would come from one so young. I mean when compared to one such as myself." she replied with a respectful tone, which made Evac smile back with a slightly embarrassed expression. "Okay, well I don't know if the others would agree with you…but thanks." he said back, as her smile widened. "You're welcome." "So, all aboard." the Pilot then said whilst gesturing to his friend as he turned back toward the Eudora, gaining a nod from her in return as she joined him. But just as she stepped onto the ramp, the Asari then looked back at the Monastery. This did not go unnoticed by Evac as he was just behind her, so he tapped onto his holo-tool and made another holo-device appear around his left arm. "Okay, how about I give you a good view of the place then." he said, making her stare back with a confused expression which just made him smile back as the Eudora suddenly began to rise up, which surprised the Asari as she grabbed onto the safety rail beside her. "It's alright, you're not going to fall." the Pilot then said as she stepped beside her, while she looked out as the ground appeared to shrink below them as the ship ascended up into the air. "What are you doing?" Tolae asked. "Making your last look at the place a memorable one." he replied as he then made the ship fly over the Monastery, giving the Asari a perfect view of the entire facility as it passed beneath her slowly. Once it had gone out of her view, the Woman then looked back at him with an appreciative smile. "Thank you." she said, making him smile back as he then pressed another button and made the entry ramp ascend, taking the pair into the ship's interior. "You're more than welcome, Tolae." he replied before the Eudora then descended down into the mountains before flying into a bright green vortex, which disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. PRIME EFFECT 5 Morinth walked down on of the many corridors of Vasir's ship, having arrived from Lesuss only a few minutes earlier, and she could not help but feel that everyone she passed by was staring down at her, like they knew what she had done on that planet. The Asari could feel their eyes on her while she simply looked ahead and focused on heading to the CIC. 'I swear, I will kill someone if I have to continue being stared down at for much longer.' the Ardat-Yakshi thought as she walked past a pair of Turians, who simply looked back with disgust. This made Morinth clench her right hand into a fist, bringing the blue hue of biotic energy out as it enveloped the appendage. But even this look of possible retaliation did not deter the stares, as numerous crew members stopped what they were doing and looked at the Asari. Despite the gauntlet of angry stares that Morinth had to endure on her way from the Shuttle-Bay, she did make it to the CIC and saw Vasir standing alongside Inferno. She narrowed her eyes while staring at the Terracon, for he was yet another person she did not trust or particularly like. 'Great, the Machine which plays at being a 'person' is with Vasir now.' she thought as while watching the pair from the room's entrance. For she did not trust Machines or at least ones that believed they're real people. 'The only good Synthetics are the ones that do as they are instructed and do not think for themselves.' she added, before being brought out of her thoughts by the Leviathan Leader. "Morinth, get over here." Vasir said in an unreadable tone as she glanced over at the Ardat-Yakshi, earning a smirk from Inferno as he looked back at Morinth who walked over to them. This made the Murderer grit her teeth in response, for she wanted nothing more than to wipe that grin of his face, but she quickly brought her attention back to the Vasir who had her back to the Murderer as she joined the pair. "Vasir, about…." the Asari began to say, only to be cut off by the Leviathan Leader who spun around and backhanded her in the face. "I don't want to hear your excuses." she spat as Morinth fell to the ground, earning a chuckle from the Cybertronian as he looked down at her. "You disobeyed my orders, went down to Lesuss and murdered not only your Mother…who is also a Justicar, but also the Superintendent of that Monastery." Vasir continued, while Morinth spat out a trickle of blood before looking up at her. "I went down there to check on the homing beacon I placed on Darby's ship, to make sure that it is still operating properly." But the older Asari simply looked down at her with a knowing expression as she activated her holo-tool. "Oh really? Well, as you can see the signal from the Eudora has worked perfectly fine from not only the time before it arrived at Lesuss, but even now that they have left." Vasir said back while motioning at the large holo-screen that had appeared overhead, making her shake her head before continuing. "No, you went down there to kill your Mother. I knew I should have called you back here the moment that Darby and her friends set course for that planet…" she added before looking back at Morinth who was no on her knees. "…you just couldn't help yourself, and in doing so have brought Leviathan and myself into the spotlight." Vasir then finished, earning a surprised look from the Ardat-Yakshi. "What, no. Myra has no idea of my connection to you, I swear." she replied with an urgent tone, which made the Leviathan Leader look back with a knowing expression. "Are you sure about that?" the Asari said back, earning a somewhat worried look from Morinth. "Well…I did tell that Superintendent before killing her but…no, there is no way that Myra or her friends would know." "You better be right about this, Morinth,…" Vasir then said with a cold-hearted stare, pointing her finger at the Ardat-Yakshi who began to look worried as Inferno smirked. "…because if you're wrong, then I will flay you alive. I already informed everyone in my organisation of your disobedience, so you will have to work extra hard to regain their and my trust." she added, gaining a grateful nod from the Murderer in return. "I understand." she replied with a sigh, while the Leviathan Leader turned her attention to the large holo-screen overhead. "You can start by assisting Inferno here in capturing the Autobots Elite Spectre…Ser-Ket." the Asari continued as she brought up the Femme's image on the screen, but then the Terracon gestured to Vasir and gained both Women's attention. "Actually, Vasir, I would prefer you not team Morinth with myself." he replied, not even trying to hide his discontent towards the Murderer. "And why is that?" the older Asari stated with a curious tone, which also earned a narrow eyed look from Morinth as she stared daggers at the Con. "Because I don't trust her. Never have, never will. And I do not need the help, for I already have at team of my own." "I was not aware that you had recruited anyone?" Vasir then asked, still looking at Inferno with a curious expression. "Every time I hunted down fellow Terracons for you, I gave them a choice first. Either work with me or die, though the latter was not going to happen till after you had experimented on them first." he replied before tapping his com-link and looking back to the CIC's entrance, which made both Vasir and Morinth look back too. And just as they did so, four Caucasian-looking Cybertronians walked in towards the trio. Three Cons and a single Femme, all wearing similar-looking armour though each had a different colour scheme. "We have Scylla…" Inferno started to say while gesturing to the female Terracon, who had a red pixie-cut hairstyle and wore silver and bronze light armour over her athletic frame. "…Hardhead…" he added as a Man long black hair in a ponytail stood beside the Femme, while wearing purple and blue armour over his rather built physique. "…Archadis…" Inferno then said while gesturing to another Man who had short blonde hair, and was wearing bronze and red armour. "…and finally…Devron, my second in Command." the Terracon finished as a rather calm and calculating Con with a shaven head joined the group, wearing black and orange armour. "These four believe as I do, that we Terracons were created for more than just guard duty, which over the last five hundred years is all we have been doing under the Autobots." Inferno then said, earning a nod from Vasir in return. "I see, and you think that you will be enough to capture Ser-Ket?" she asked while looking around the new group before her, which earned a confident smile from Devron. "Believe me…, Vasir, we would like nothing more than to bring you the 'one' that has led our kind astray." "It would be our genuine pleasure." Scylla added, gaining nods from both Hardhead and Archadis in return. This gained a smile from the Leviathan Leader as she looked at each of them, before returning her attention to Inferno. "Very well. So, you and your Terracon team…" she began to say, only for the Con to cut her off suddenly. "With all due respect, Vasir. But even though we are Terracons, that is not a name that we wish to be referred to from this moment onwards." he said, gaining a surprised yet curious expression from the older Asari. "So what should we all call you then?" she asked, which made Inferno look at the other Terracons standing with him, a thoughtful expression appearing on his face. "Over the centuries since our reawakening by the hands of Galvatron, we have managed to recover a fair amount of our memories from the time where we ruled Cybertron with our Predacon Masters. And there was a group made up of the only Terracons which Predaking himself considered the most fearless and ferocious of our kind, which we wish to honour now." he said, gaining a bored expression from Morinth. "And they were?" she replied while almost yawning in return, regaining the Con's attention as he looked back at the Asari pair. "Destrons, that is what we will be referred to now. And we will do the name proud by delivering ...this Predacon traitor Ser-Ket to you." "Very well, you have my support in this. But even all that confidence that you are exerting right now, would not be enough to get you near Ser-Ket. For her Command is situated on Unity Station, the current heart of the Federation." Vasir replied, gaining a knowing look from Morinth as the others watched. "And who was it that gave them the incentive to even build that floating community in space, I mean has as many defences as the Citadel used to. And only the Reapers had the strength for a full on assault." she said, earning an annoyed expression from the older Asari. "It may have been Leviathan and myself that helped create the circumstances that brought about it's construction, but you are right about it's defences Morinth. We can't reveal ourselves with an all-out attack, nor do I wish for us to attempt to kidnap Ser-Ket with a stealth mission." she replied, which made the Destrons and even Morinth look back with confused and curious stares. "And why is that? For it seems to be the most logical choice available to us." the Murderer asked. "Because I have interests on Unity that could be compromised with even the smallest mission taking place there so no, I will not sanction missions there since." Vasir answered, which made Inferno smile as he finally decided to speak. "Then in that case, how about we lure Ser-Ket away from the safety of Unity and ambush her at a place of our choosing." he said, earning a smile from the Leviathan Leader. "Now that is what I call a good idea, What did you have in mind?" she asked, making the Con's smile widen as he used his holo-tool to change the data on the large screen overhead. "Well let's start with..." he began to say as the group started to plot Ser-Ket's demise. PRIME EFFECT 5 Meanwhile, Myra, Kat and Crosscut stood around the heavily damaged husk of the Mech as it lied on the main table in the Eudora's workshop...or as the latter like to call it. He was currently scanning the wreck with his holo-tool while the Women watched, their attention solely on what was happening before them. "So you have been scanning this for a few minutes now, found anything of interest yet?" the Asari asked, which made the Bot tap his holo-tool again and transfer the data to the nearby screen. "Yes, not only was this thing fuelled by the stabilised Synthetic Energon formula, meaning that it could last for considerably longer than the average Mech. But it also allowed the robot to use far more upgrades than a design as it should have." he said while pointing to the data on-screen, which earned a curious look from Kat. "What kind of upgrades are we talking about here?" she asked, which made Crosscut bring up two sets of schematics onto the screen. "As you can see, the basic design is very bare and allows the Mech to be very quick and agile compared to the older Mech models. But this one we fought on Lesuss has been greatly upgraded, which gives it an unparalleled advantage. We are talking polarised armour, strength and agility enhancers, holo-weapon projectors and anti-biotics hardware, and that is only a third of the capabilities of this Mech. This thing is a real piece of work, you were lucky that you managed to beat it. If one of these things is that tough, imagine taking on a whole army of them." "So who apart from the ISF would have the resources to create this Mech." Kat then asked as she looked between her friends, knowing full well what the answer would be as Myra took her attention from the schematics and back to the others. "We all know who it is….Leviathan, I know from what Jethra told me before she died that Vasir is working with Morinth and she's the only person I believe would be able to build, let alone conceive this monstrosity of a Mech." she replied, gaining a nod from both Kat and Crosscut. But then the latter gave her a curious look. "I am sensing a 'but' coming." "But... what I don't get is when did anyone manage to complete the Synthetic Energon formula? I thought it was supposed to be impossible?" she then said, which made her friends look back in surprise. "Myra, no offence, but do you ever watch the news?" Crosscut replied before tapping his holo-tool controls and changing the data on the screen once more, earning a disinterested look from the Asari. "No I don't, I have too much on my mind to care about what goes on in the Galaxy." she said back before looking away, gaining a sympathetic stare from Kat. 'I know exactly what she is on about.' she thought, while the Bot continued as he gestured to the screen. "Well, it was not publicly broadcast throughout the Galactic community, but Doctors 'Felix Adle' and 'Alcazar' made the break-through with 'Synthergon' just over two years ago for the Federation before they then…simply disappeared. Now Adle was later found dead in a crashed ship on an island in the South Pacific and was ruled as an accident, but Alcazar was never found." "Wait, doesn't that sound…suspicious, I mean both Scientists die just after completing a formula that would give the galaxy a potentially unlimited source of energy." Kat then said, earning a nod from the Bot while Myra simply listened. "Yes, Autobot Intelligence suspected that Alcazar tried to sell the formula to another party, only for his colleague to get in the way…hence his life then became forfeit." "And how do you know this?" the Asari then asked, which made the Bot smirk back. "I had a friend in Autobot Intelligence for a while, but I lost contact with him a year ago. I guess he was found out." "Well, since we now know that Vasir has her hands on Synthergon, it would make sense that this Alcazar is the one to have handed it to her. But it would be good to confirm that first…" she started to say before activating her holo-tool, making her friends look back with confused expressions. "And how will we do that, I mean we can't exactly just call up the Autobots and request the Intel we need." Kat replied, which this time made the Rogue Spectre smile back knowingly. "I know someone who could give us the information we seek. Her family and mine have been close friends for a very long time. I just need to contact her…" Myra started to say, gaining a curious look from her Human friend. "Why have you rerouted the communications system to your quarters?" "Because my friend works in Autobot Intelligence and is quick to distrust others that she does not know, I will have to make the call in private. Don't worry, I know what I am doing." the Asari replied with a confident smile before turning around and leaving the room, leaving Kat and Crosscut with the wrecked Mech and unbeknownst to them, its optics flickered to life for just an instant before shutting back down.
  2. CHAPTER VIII Tolae could only stare in wide-eyed fear at what was happening before her, as the Monstrous Asari called Morinth held Evac in her grasp. She felt that this Cybertronian had the potential to be her first real friend in centuries, just as the sisters of the Murderer standing before her could have been until that same Asari had killed them, and it was about to happen all over again and there was nothing Tolae could do as Morinth spoke once more. "Then kiss me." she said in a seductive tone, one that the former Autobot could do nothing but obey. So he leaned his face into close towards hers with their lips only millimetres apart while his horrified friend watched. 'I can't let this happen, not again!' she thought while instinctively raising her arm up towards the embracing pair, which began to glow with biotic energy. The Mech took notice of this as it stood over her and raised its holo-arm blades, preparing to strike her down. Then suddenly something hit the robot, causing a small explosion of sparks to erupt from its armour as it was made to stumble backwards. "What!" Morinth snapped as she looked towards the Mech, her eyes though falling upon Tolae who simply narrowed her own back at the Ardat-Yakshi. She could not look at where the gunshot had come from, instead of remaining focused on getting the murderous wretch away from her friend. "Get away from him!" she spat before unloading a powerful biotic blast upon Morinth, which hit her hard and sent the Asari flying a few feet away while Evac then fell to his knees and held his head in his hands. "Evac, are you alright?" Tolae asked as she looked over to the Bot while slowly getting back to her feet, though unbeknownst to her. The Mech had recovered enough to reactivate its holo-arm blades and once more lunged at her, only for a barrage of weapons fire to strike its chest and send it back onto the ground. "What the..?" the Tolae said aloud as she looked round to see the robot on it's back, before turning back to see two new arrivals entering the scene. This made the Ardat-Yakshi feel nervous and so she raised a glowing biotic fist at the brown-haired Human woman approaching her, who lowered her weapon while looking down at the Asari with a friendly expression. "It's okay, we won't hurt you." she said while kneeling down beside Tolae and offering her hand, to which the Asari looked at it and then took it in her own. "I saw what you did to save Evac, so you're an ally in my eyes." the woman added, gaining a nod from the Ardat-Yakshi in return. "Even though you know what I am?" she asked with a slight hesitance in her voice. "Yes, like I said….actions speak louder than words, Tolae, and you can call me Kat." the Human replied before looking over to her friend, who had similarly knelt beside Evac. "How is he, Crosscut?" "He should be alright." the bot said back, gaining a relieved look from the Asari before she then noticed Morinth getting back to her feet. "Look out!" Tolae shouted, which made Kat and Crosscut look back to see the murderous Ardat-Yakshi who looked back at them with narrowed eyes while clenching her fists tightly. "Alright, let's see what you've got then." she replied while a blue glow surrounded her body, which made the pair aim their weapons at her. "Tolae, we've got this. Can you keep an eye on that Mech behind us?" the Human woman asked, gaining a nod from the other Asari as she got up and looked back at the robot, which had down the same. "Yes, but be careful. Don't underestimate Morinth." This earned a smirk from the murderer in return as she looked back, ignoring the two standing before her. "Don't worry, I will get back to you in a moment." the Ardat-Yakshi replied casually, which riled up Crosscut somewhat. "I don't think so, we have you dead to rights." he said while pointing his twin pistols at her, as did Kat with her rifle. "Enough talk!" the Human then said as she opened fire on Morinth, gaining the same reaction from her friend before a barrier appeared between them and their enemy. Their combined gunfire only impacting harmlessly against the energy field, which only made the Asari's smile widen in return. "You people and your guns, you never learn." she replied before punching a fist before her, which made the barrier collapse into pure energy that then flew into the pair and knocked them onto the ground. Meanwhile, Tolae had begun fighting with the Mech once more, with the droid swinging its blades at her. But the Asari dodged each and every attack, using small biotic fields to deflect and stop the blades from hitting her as she moved around the robot. Suddenly it lunged forward with one of its sharp weapons, which made her fall to her knees and lean back as far as she could so that the attack would go right over her. Tolae then focused all of her biotic energy into her hands which she then pushed into the Mech's armoured chest and released the energy. This created a blue explosion of light that sent the robot flying over her and into the side of the mountain behind her. 'I hope that was enough to stop it.' she thought while getting back to her feet and looking back at the droid which had fallen to the ground with a thud, before the sounds of gunfire and biotic energy blasts caused her to sin around to see Morinth fighting with both Kat and Crosscut. Tolae could tell that the Murderer was toying with the pair, playfully dodging their attacks and only hitting back when an opening appeared. As their adversary hit the Human Woman in the back and knocked her away, the former Autobot came back at her with his pistols firing. But Morinth simply covered herself in biotic energy again which deflected the bullets again, before hitting him with a biotic blast. Kat got back to her feet and equipped her combat knife while turning around just in time to see her friend hit the ground hard once more, so she gritted her teeth and lunged at the Ardat-Yakshi. Morinth, though, saw her coming and managed to duck below the attack and began to throw a biotic punch, only to be stopped mid-attack by Kat who kneed her in the face. This made the Asari stumble back while the Human then swiped her combat knife and sliced her enemy's arm, earning a grimace from her as she then threw a biotic blast in retaliation. Kat then spun around and backhanded Morinth in the face, knocking the Ardat-Yakshi onto the ground. "Stay down!" she warned while quickly re-equipping her rifle with her free hand, but the enemy Asari simply looked up at her and wiped the trickle of blood from her mouth with a smile. "There are so few others who have made me bleed, I like you." she replied with a seductive tone, but Kat simply stared back with disgust. "Save it. You're not my type." "Pity, the pleasures I could give you before you die." Morinth replied whilst slowly moving her left hand over her right while keeping her eyes on the woman in an effort to maintain her attention. 'That's it, look into my eyes.' she thought, but Kat noticed her sleight of hand and tightened her finger around the rifle's trigger. "Stop what you're doing, right now!" she said before suddenly Crosscut got up and grabbed the Ardat-Yakshi from behind. "That's it, I've got you now." he stated, earning a smile from Morinth as Kat looked on in surprise. "Have you now?" she asked with a curious tone while taking note that Tolae was moving towards them, so she tapped the top of her right hand and activated her holo-tool. And even though Kat and Crosscut both noticed this, they did not get a chance to say something as Morinth's nearby ship suddenly powered up and lifted off the ground. "What the..!" the Human exclaimed in both surprise and confusion at the craft, earning a smirk from the Ardat-Yakshi as it's weapons then targeted the two women and fired. "Get down!" Tolae shouted as she tackled Kat to the ground just in time as the shot hit the area where they had stood, sending snow and earth into the air. "Kat!" Crosscut shouted while holding onto Morinth who herself noticed that despite the strong-hold he had her in, that he was now more concerned with his friend and so his attention was elsewhere. So she channelled her biotics through her body, which then burst out like a pulse which electrocuted the Bot and sent him flying off the cliff behind her. "Crosscut!" Kat screamed as she watched with a horrified expression as he started to fall out of view, but then a blue light enveloped him and stopped his fall while Morinth was suddenly hit by a biotic blast from above, which knocked her onto her back. Everyone else looked up to see Myra and Jethra drop down to them, their bodies glowing as their biotics slowed their fall so they could land gracefully beside the others. "Myra, you made it!" Kat exclaimed while the Asari then brought Crosscut back onto solid ground, while the Superintendent kept her eyes on their enemy as she slowly recovered. "Get Evac to safety." Darby replied, gaining a nod from the Bot while the Human looked back at her questioningly. "But...?" "You guys are no match for her biotics, now go." the Asari said back, earning a reluctant nod from Kat before she joined Crosscut and picked up the Pilot while Tolae joined Jethra. "I wish to help, to make Morinth pay for murdering her 'entire' family." she said, gaining a friendly though stoic smile from the older Woman. "You should help your friend, let us deal with her." "Very well, be careful." the Asari replied before joining the others as they started to leave the area, so Jethra and Myra returned their attention to Morinth who was now on her knees. "Stay down, Morinth." the Superintendent said in a commanding tone, which gained a smirk from the Ardat-Yakshi in return as she looked at the pair. "Or what? You going to 'sucker punch' me again? I thought you Matriarchs were more civilised than that." "Why did you do it? Why kill your own Mother?" The young Darby asked, her voice laced with anger and a small slither of confusion. "Because she deserved it. Samara was not the woman who raised my sisters and me. She betrayed me, tried to kill me...so I just returned the favour...though one more permanent." she spat back. "We should not attempt to reason with her, Morinth is nothing more than a murderous animal now. Killing Samara...and her sisters as Tolae says shows that there can be no redemption in this life for her..." Jethra said back, earning a hateful stare from their adversary. "...All that is left is for us to deliver the justice upon her that her victims deserve." she added, making her fists glow as she clenched them. "Oh, but my dear Superintendent. Are you aware that you have not one, but 'two' fugitives in your midst..." Morinth then said with a knowing look, which earned a questioning look from Jethra as the Murderer slowly got to her feet and pointed at Myra. "...or do you not recognise Myra Darby, Rogue Spectre. Are you sure you even want her help?" she continued, hoping to inflict some doubt between the pair. But Jethra looked over to the young Darby, a slight smile appearing on her face. "I already knew who Myra was when she arrived..." she started to say, gaining a surprised look from the Rogue Spectre. "...Samara vouched for Myra and that was all I needed to know that she was not as the Autobots would have us believe, and I still have yet to see any evidence to contradict that view." she added, which made Myra nod back with an appreciative smile before they both returned their attention to the Ardat-Yakshi. "Nice try, Morinth. But you're not going to make this easier for yourself by taking our attention from stopping you." the younger Asari replied, which made the Ardat-Yakshi smirk back in return. "Like I need any help to beat you two. After all, I have my ship behind me with its guns aiming directly at you..." she started to reply, only for Jethra to cut her off. "That is only if you get the chance to program it with your holo-tool, which we will not give you." "Then let's get on with it!" Morinth then spat as she swiped her glowing arm up in an uppercut-like motion, sending snow up at the pair as a distraction. But as the two Asari brought up an arm each to protect their faces from the iced water, Myra fired another biotic blast which the Ardat-Yakshi narrowly escaped by leaping to her left. She ducked into a roll and finished in a kneeling position with her finger ready to activate her holo-tool, but then the Superintendent tackled her to the ground before she had a chance to. "I already told you that wasn't going to happen." she said again while holding down the younger Asari's hands, earning a grunt from Morinth as she gritted her teeth as she struggled. "Did you really think I would take you and that pathetic Darby on 'my own'?" she managed to say, earning a wide-eyed look expression from the older woman as she looked back to Myra. "Look out!" she shouted, noticing a figure walking up behind the Rogue Spectre. But just as the younger Darby started to around and face whoever it was, she was suddenly backhanded in the face and fell onto her back. This made Morinth smile as it was revealed to be the Mech, though ever so slightly damaged in it's chest armour as it then stormed at Jethra. The Matriarch had no choice but to let go of the Ardat-Yakshi and defend herself, with the droid swinging it's holo-arm blades at her. But she managed to defend herself by blocking each and every attack with her forearms which were surrounded by biotic energy, but the older Asari was so focused on keeping the relentless Mech's attacks at bay, Jethra unintentionally gave the Ardat-Yakshi the moment she needed as Morinth sprang up and grabbed the Superintendent's head. "What…!" she managed to say in surprise before the murderer began to focus her biotic energies around the older Asari's head. "Working for that Darby's 'enemy' really does have it's advantages, but there are things I like to do myself." she said while making her hands glow even brighter as they grasped either side of the older woman's head. This made Jethra grimace and moan in pain as it felt like her head was slowly being crushed, so she reached up with her hands and tried desperately to pry the others off her. But this left her at the mercy of the Mech, who simply attacked again and stabbed the Asari deeply in her stomach with one of its arm-blades. "Arrrgh!" she screamed in pain, earning a wide-eyed stare from Myra as she got back to her feet. "No!" the younger Darby exclaimed as Morinth then smiled back darkly, before throwing the fatally wounded Asari to the side with her biotics. "I do not always need to do things myself." she started to say as the Rogue Spectre lunged at her with a fist, only for the Mech to block and hit her back. "Keep her busy while I escape because unfortunately, I can't kill her." she said, earning a nod from the droid before then attacked Myra again. The Ardat-Yakshi then tapped her holo-tool and made her ship fly a little closer to the edge of the cliff, dropping its landing ramp as she watched the Darby and her Mech fight. "So long Myra." she then said loudly before jumping onto the ramp, gaining an angered look from the younger Asari as she looked over the druid's shoulder while grabbing a hold of it's right arm. She could do nothing but watch as Morinth disappeared into her ship before it pulled away from the cliff, before turning around and flying out of sight as it ascended high into the cloud-covered sky. Myra then turned her attention back to the Mech, who was staring back at her with its blue optics as it struggled against her hold which itself was being strengthened by her biotics. For her hand was glowing a bright blue as she gritted her teeth and then yanked her arm back, ripping the Mech's arm from its socket which exploded with sparks as it stumbled forward. Myra then swung the arm and smacked it against the Droid's head, making it stumble backwards before the Asari then made her left fist glow even brighter while her body became enveloped in biotic energy. The robot then corrected itself and immediately attempted to lunge back at her with its only remaining arm, but then suddenly the Rogue Spectre unleashed a biotic charge and punched her fist clear through its chest while using her inertial to send the droid smashing into the cliff face once more. She then stood there and watched Mech slump to the floor with a fist-sized hole in its armoured chest that had blue liquid spilling out of it, while its optics flickered to nothing. 'That droid took some killing.' she thought before a faint painful moan caught her attention, making the Asari turn around to see Jethra lying in the snow just away from her. "Jethra!" she exclaimed while joining the Superintendent's side, quickly taking out the medi-gel spray from her utility belt and treating the wound despite the amount of blood that was pouring out from it. "You're going to be alright." Myra said as she tended to the wound but then a hand grabbed hers gently, making her look at Jethra's face. "No, it's...too late for...me." she said with a little blood trickling from her mouth, while the younger Asari also noticed how bloodshot her eyes were. And then for an ever so quick moment, Myra froze as she looked down at her injured acquaintance. 'No, she looks just like…' she thought as the image of Jethra lying before her brought up a very painful memory of hers, one that has haunted the Rogue Spectre for most of her life as her eyes began to well up. 'No, not now!' she thought while refocusing on the present, burying the pain back beneath the surface as she activated her holo-tool and took a quick scan, looking ever more horrified as the results appeared before her. "Your skull...it's...your…haemorrhaging..." she started to say with a shocked tone, only for the Superintendent to cut her off with a splutter as she coughs up some more blood. "...Like I said...it's too late, for I will...be...dead before anything...can be done for...me..." Jethra started to say as she took Myra's arm in her hand, moving it and the Medi-Gel she was holding away from her wound and allowing it to remain open and bleed out, which made the younger Asari look back with a surprised and saddened expression. "...so you should...deal with Morinth, as...she will...lead you to...who you seek." the Matriarch added, making Myra double blink in return. "What do you..." she started say, only for the dying Asari to cut her off again. "She is…working for…Vasir…" The mention of that name made the young Darby's eyes widen, earning an ever so slight smile from Jethra despite the pain she was in. "…so…go after her. And take…Tolae with you, I…know she will…want to help." "But she's an Ardat-Yakshi too, shouldn't she stay here?" Myra replied with a curious tone, making the Superintendent shake her head slightly. "No, I have not…yet told her. But I was going…to let her…visit the Home-world…next month, Tolae more than deserves…that chance. For she is…unlike…most of…our residents, so…let her join…your crew…and tell her…that I…am…very…proud…of….." she started to say before her bloodshot eyes glazed over and her head tilted to the right, as she breathed one last time before finally succumbing to her injuries while Myra's holo-tool showed the flat-line on its screen. So the Rogue Spectre deactivated that function before turning her attention to the now-dead Asari, closing Jethra's eyes as her hand moved over them while the snow continued to fall around them. "I will honour your wish, Jethra, and Morinth will pay for what she has done… I swear." she said in a soft yet resolute tone before standing back up and looking out at the snowy mountains around her. 'No matter where I go, no matter what I do, someone always dies and…Vasir is always a part of it. This has to stop.' she thought when suddenly her holo-tool reactivated and beeped, snapping the Asari out of it as she looked down and gave a puzzled expression at what she saw. 'That's the Energon detector, why would that activate?' she thought while looking down at the screen which showed a map of the area she stood in with a bleeping blue dot just aways from her, making the Rogue Spectre turn around and face the direction it was in. 'How can I be getting an Energon reading, there has been none in this Galaxy for over five hundred years now.' But then her eyes fell upon the aqua blue liquid that now stained the body of the deactivated Mech while a small puddle lay at its feet, gaining a wide-eyed stare from Myra in return. "That's impossible.' she thought while running a scan of the liquid with her holo-tool, before tapping her com-link. "This is Myra, anyone reading me?" she said before a female voice spoke back a second later. "Kat here, are you alright? Did you stop that Asari?" her friend asked, which gained a sigh from the young Darby. "No, she got away…" she started to say before going quiet, which earned a worried tone from the Human in return. "Myra? What has happened?" "…Morinth killed Jethra, I couldn't save her." the Asari replied with a guilty tone. "I am so sorry, Myra, I really am. But whatever happened, please don't blame yourself for it is not your fault." Kat said back in a supportive tone, which the Rogue Spectre could not help but agree with. 'Kat is right, I should not feel responsible for what happened. Morinth is the one that should bear the weight of this, which is something I want to ensure she comes to know.' she thought before the Human woman's voice snapped her from her thoughts. "Myra?" "Yes, I'm still here and you are right." the Asari replied with an honest tone as she looked down at the Mech's body. "Of course I am, now are you on your way back?" Kat asked, making Myra shake her head. "No, I want to bring Jethra's body back with me and there is also something else….so if Evac is feeling better, then I need him to get back to the Eudora and activate a ground-bridge for me." "Yes, Evac can do that…..he is on his way now. What did you mean by there is something else?" Kat then asked with a curious tone. "That Mech Morinth had with her, there is something really off about it. I want to get it back to the ship for further study." Myra said back. "Okay, I'll get Crosscut to go through the vortex to help you when we get back to the Eudora. Will you be alright until then, because it will be another few minutes?" her friend asked, earning a nod from the young Asari. "Yes, I'll be alright. Myra out." she then said before deactivating the com-link and looking back out at the mountainous terrain that surrounded the Monastery, noticing that the cloud was clearing in the distance as the blue sky could just be seen through the snow fall. PRIME EFFECT 5 A few seconds later, Morinth's shuttle had left Lesuss's atmosphere and was now flying out of the system as fast as its sub-light engines would allow it, with the Ardat-Yakshi sitting in the Pilot's seat in its Cockpit as she worked its holo-controls. She was smiling to herself as she looked out at the vast expanse of stars just beyond the glass canopy before her, with the only real light in the room coming from the red and orange glow of the ship's interface. "Computer, how much time remains until the Space-Bridge Generator can be activated?" she asked while looking at a holo-screens being emitted to her right, showing that particular device powering up. "It will reach full power in approximately three standard minutes." a red holo-drone then replied as it appeared to the Asari's left, gaining an angered sigh from her in return. "Very well." 'Despite how good it felt to finally make my Mother pay for what she had me endure throughout my life, I just want to get away from this star-system and bring an end to the constant surveillance of that Darby Bitch…' she thought as she waved the right holo-screen away and brought up another one, this showing the modifications Morinth had made to the Eudora. '…After I tell Vasir of what I did down there, she will hopefully agree with me and allow me to finally do more with my abilities.' But then the holo-drone moved in front of the Asari and beeped, bringing Morinth out of her thoughts as she looked back at it with an annoyed expression. "What is it?" "You are receiving a coded transmission, should I recalibrate our communications array to make contact?" it asked in its synthesised and emotionless voice, earning a nod from the Pilot in return. "Very well, put it on screen." she said, which made the Drone move back to her left as another holo-screen appeared before her and activated to show the face of Vasir staring back with an aggressive tone. "Hello, Morinth. I want you to meet me at these coordinates. Because I think it is time we had a chat." she said with a calm tone, yet the Asari could tell that anger underlined her words. "What is this about? I am now heading back to base." the Ardat-Yakshi replied with a curious tone, but the Leviathan leader just stared back with a knowing expression. "Don't play coy with me, did you think I would not hear about what you did the moment you did it. Just meet me here, now!" Vasir replied with a commanding voice before her image fizzled to nothing on the screen, gaining an unsure look from the Asari. 'Oh shit.' she thought before the drone reappeared beside her, flashing a green light within its holo-form. "Space-Bridge Generator powered up and ready for use." it said back, earning a nod from the Ardat-Yakshi as she typed in the coordinates that Vasir had sent her. "Very well, opening a vortex in three, two, one…" she started to say before a green portal opened up before her shuttle which then flew right into it before closing again. Meanwhile, Vasir stood in the CIC of her ship, looking around at the various alien members of her crew that manned the stations around her. There were numerous Asari, Krogan, Turian, Salarian and even the odd Human or two. It had not been hard for the Asari to gain followers, especially since much of what had befallen the Federation and its members over the last five hundred years had been of her own doing, from behind the scenes of course. 'Thanks to Benezia's teachings of subterfuge and espionage from her time as the Shadow Broker, I have managed to build all of this in her name.' she thought while looking back out at the starfield just beyond the CIC's glass canopy, for Leviathan was very much the continuation of the work started by the Shadow Broker. Even most of the resources that had been built up under Benezia's leadership had been used by Vasir in her plan to not only bring about the downfall of the Cybertronians and their Federation but also bring an end to the one person who killed the Leviathan Leader's Mentor. 'Even after all this time, Liara T'Soni's death still brings a smile to my face. I know Benezia would feel the same.' she thought with a smile before one of her crew walked up to her and gained her attention, pulling Vasir from her thoughts. "Yes, what is it?" she asked, which made the Turian pass her a pad in return. "Here is the current status on all Leviathan projects…" he started to say, gaining a nod from the Asari as she looked at the pad before then switching the data to a holo-screen that covered the canopy. "…as you can see, they are all on schedule for the calculated completion times. Even Project: Titan is moving faster than our original projections, it should be completed within the next week or so." the Turian added, which brought a smile to Vasir's face. "Excellent, when it is completed I will be moving my flag to that then. In the meantime, how is Project: Crimson Rage progressing?" "Funny you should ask that?" another male voice spoke from just away, gaining the attention of the pair as they saw a man in red and aqua blue armour walking towards them with a pair of Mechs behind him. 'Inferno, my pet Terracon.' she thought as the Con stopped before them. "We have hit a snag in its development." he replied, gaining a widened stare from the Asari as she gestured for the Turian to leave. "What kind of snag are you talking about Inferno?" After all, you did say that the serum was coming along well." she replied with a questioning tone. "The serum as you know is a combination of the aspect of the narcotic 'Red Sand', namely the part that super stimulates an Asari's Biotic potential. As well as a formula that replicates the Terracon's ability to use its Beast mode, so anyone who uses this serum if used by Asari would overpower their biotics while also increasing their strength, stamina and endurance by one hundred percent. While if any non-Asari were to use it, then they would gain temporary Biotics as well as the rest of its benefits as well." Inferno started to explain, only for the Leviathan Leader to cut him off. "Yes, I know all of that. What is your point?" "Your lab has successfully synthesised the serum and it works, but only before the subjects are driven insane by their own increasing rage and savagery." the Man added, making Vasir slam her fist into the computer terminal beside her. "Damn it! All I want is to give Leviathan the advantages it requires to meet my goals, the Mechs infused with the fully refined Synthetic Energon are a start…" she then started to say while gesturing to the droids standing nearby. "…as well as our other 'discovery' on Tuchanka, which is nearly completed by the way. But this serum would ensure that Leviathan, an Organisation made up of those who wish to see a Galaxy run by them… is more than a match for the crumbling Federation and its Autobots." she continued to rant while activating her holo-tool and bringing up another larger screen before the pair, showing the Milky Way and numerous data about its separate Alien governments. "Look, the galaxy is at a tipping point. All of our patience and hard work is paying off, the galactic community is falling apart and is ready for war. The time for us to come in and take control is rapidly approaching. So please, tell me what it is that is currently bringing us up short of readiness?" Vasir finished, which made the Terracon smirk and activate his own holo-tool as he then transferred data to the main screen. "As you know, I, like my Terracon Brothers, am a clone. We were produced by the long-deceased Manic known as Galvatron to be mere cannon fodder for him during his personal war with the Autobots. And therein lies the problem…" he started to say, gaining a confused look from the Asari. "The problem being?" she replied. "…as clones, our CNA is not pure enough to fix the problem with our serum. We need a purer sample from an already existing Predacon. So we basically need….'hers'." he added while bringing up the image of a woman on the screen, which made Vasir stare back with wide eyes until a smile graced her face. "Well then, what are we waiting for? Let's go get her."
  3. CHAPTER VII The sun rose up over the mountains that surrounded the Monastery, shining it's warm light across the land as Night gave way to Day once again. In the Bots room, the sunlight shone through the window and broke through the tiny gap in it's closed curtains. "Crosscut, wake up..." Evac then said, making his friend open his eyes slightly and look up at the Pilot with a half-asleep expression. "...It's Nine AM, time for breakfast." he added, gaining a yawn from Crosscut who slowly sat up in his bed. "Wait…*Yawn*…I thought we were supposed to get up at eight-thirty AM?" he asked, which made the Pilot look back with a knowing look. "Well I did try, but you seem to be quite the heavy sleeper…and hypocrite." This earned a surprised look from Crosscut. "What did you say?" he asked with a hint of curiosity and anger in his voice at his friend's words. "I mean, when I got back from the Loo last night, you were already fast asleep…" Evac began to reply, only for the other Bot to interrupt him with a smirk. "Yeah, I remember it well. Peace and quiet…it was bliss." he said in a half joking-like way, only for the Pilot to shake his head slightly. "…well, I tried to get to sleep then…only for you to suddenly erupt into a snoring-fest that went on for over an hour…an hour." Evac added, which made his friend's eyes widen in shock. "That is a stone-cold lie, I am not a snorer!" he exclaimed defiantly, which made his room-mate smile as he activated his holo-tool. "Really? Then listen to this." he said before tapping the interface, which then played out a recording of Crosscut's snoring to the completely surprised Bot. "I…I did not know I did that…" Crosscut said as Evac then stopped the playback and deactivated the holo-tool, as a smirk grew on his face. "Well, I am just going to have to make a recording for you, and then play it for everyone to hear…" he said as his Pilot friend gave him a knowing smile, only for the Bot's expression to change to one more cautious. "…but I will have to wait until we have landed on a planet, because if I play it while we are on the Eudora whilst traveling, then it will shake the ship apart." "Very funny. Now could you please get dressed so we can get to breakfast already?" Evac replied, gaining a chuckle from Crosscut as he nodded back. "Okay, give me a moment then." he said as he picked up his trousers and t-shirt off the floor beside his bed, while the Pilot watched with a little impatience showing in his face. Meanwhile, in the Dining Hall, Myra and Kat sat at a table and were eating from the small buffet that was left for them. The Asari finished chewing and looked around the room with a puzzled expression, which gained her friend's attention. "Myra, what is it?" she asked while using her fork to move some of her food around the planet. "What is taking Crosscut and Evac? They were supposed to meet us here at Eight Thirty AM." the Rogue Spectre replied, which earned a confused look from Kat. "Yeah…, why was that again?" "So that we do not interact with the Ardat-Yakshi here, as they have already had breakfast and are now studying." Myra said back, making the Human Woman nod back in return. "That's right, I remember Samara telling us that and the other rules last night." she said before a person the entered the room via the North doorway and caught her attention as Mason looked over Myra's shoulder at the arrival. "Speak of the devil, here she is now." she added, making the Asari turn to see the Justicar who had the look of someone with a lot on their mind. "Good Morning, Samara. Care to join us?" "That is a most kind invitation, but please accept my apologies…for I am not hungry." the older woman replied as she started to walk past the pair on her way to the Southern exit, which made the Rogue Spectre nod back. "Okay, but we can always just talk some more…." Myra started to say, stopping the Justicar in her tracks as she turned round to face them with a stoic expression. "…for I know Kat would like to know more about the Justicars." the younger Asari added, gaining a friendly smile from her Human friend. But Samara ignored her and continued to look at the younger Darby. "I am also quite busy, perhaps we can talk later. Now if you would please excuse me?" "..uh, yes of course. Later." Myra replied, which earned a nod from the Justicar who then turned back around and continued out of the Dining Hall, leaving the pair by themselves again. The younger Asari fixed her attention back to her meal and was about to start eating again when she stopped and looked at Kat, who had a concerned look on her face. "Kat, something wrong?" "I don't know, I just felt that something was off with Samara for a moment there." the Human replied, making it Myra's turn to look back with a curious expression. "What do you mean?" "Well, you know Samara better than I do. Did anything seem off with her right now?" Kat asked, which made the Asari look away with a thoughtful stare for a second before returning her gaze back to her friend. "No. She just looked like she had something on her mind, that's all. Why do you ask?" "It's just when we all talked with her last night, Samara paid attention to each and every one of us. Like it was almost the height of bad manners to look like she was ignoring any one particular person." Kat replied, gaining a nod from Myra in return. "Yes, I know. Samara is a very well-spoken and polite individual. I would expect no less from someone who has had nearly a thousand years to perfect her social etiquette." "The short time that she stood here with us, I would completely agree." the Human Woman said back, though the tone in her voice sounded somewhat worried and this did not go unnoticed by the Asari. "Kat, what are you saying?" she replied with a patient and understanding tone, as the two of them looked into each others eyes. "Perhaps you didn't notice it because you have been friends for a long time, so some things get missed in the moment. Maybe it is because I have an Outsider's perspective, but it's just that last night when Crosscut, Evac, and I turned in for night, Samara looked at each one of us as she said good night. But just now when she left us, the Justicar blanked me out…" Kat said, which made her Asari friend look back down at her meal. "…now call me crazy, but even after only knowing Samara for one night. I never got the impression she would do that, it didn't seem like it was even in her character." Myra's friend continued, earning a nod from the Rogue Spectre. "Now that you mention it, that doesn't seem like her. I guess I missed that. Nice catch." she said back affectionately, earning a slight smile from Kat in return. "Thanks, so why don't we go and see what is bothering her then?" "Yes, that's a good idea. But first, we should find out what has happened to our friends." Myra replied, gaining a nod from her friend as she reached for her earpiece, only for the Asari to give her a knowing look. "Remember the rules. No unauthorized com-links or holo-tools to be used in the Monastery without the Superintendent's say so, as only the staff and Justicars are allowed to do so." "Right, so we do this the old-fashioned way then." Kat said back with a little agitation in her voice, gaining a smile from the Rogue Spectre. "Exactly….we look, or we can go to the Control Center at the south side of the Monastery and ask them to check their sensors." she replied, which made the Human Woman smirk at her. "Okay, that sounds better." she replied as the pair then left the Hall via the southern doorway. A few minutes after the ladies had left the room, both Crosscut and Evac stood in the Northern doorway to find themselves looking into the now-empty hall. "That's great, either Myra and Kat are late or we have missed breakfast." the former said with anger lacing the tone of his voice, which earned an innocent expression from the Pilot. "Hey don't blame me! I tried to wake you earlier. It's not my fault that you could sleep through a bomb explosion." "I would have had a full night's sleep and been able to get up on time, had it not been for your snoring." Crosscut said back, earning an eye roll from the Pilot as he walked ahead of his moaning friend, having noticed the buffet on the table. "Anyway,…at least there is something left to eat." he said before picking up what looked like a bagel from one of the plates, while the other Bot joined his side and looked down at what else was on offer. "I think I'll take the cherries." he said before picking up one of the fruit bowls and taking a bite from one, gaining a knowing look from Evac as he chewed slowly. "So that is how you sleep so well." "It can help, but I just prefer to have some fruit for my breakfast." Crosscut added. "So, are we going to try to and find the others? There are only two options available to us." the Pilot asked while gesturing to both doorways, earning his friend's attention as he was about to eat another cherry. "I guess we split up and check both directions, one of us should be able to find them." "Alright, I'll head back out this way then." Evac said as he gestured to the northern doorway, which made Crosscut nod back. "Okay, that leaves me with the south. Just remember not to speak to the residents, you don't want one of these Ardat-Yak-whatevers to kill you with a kiss…do you?" This made the other Bot look back at him with a knowing look, raising his left eyebrow as he did so. "I don't think it works exactly like that, Crosscut, besides if I happen to run into the Asari staff member I spoke to last night, then I think I will be okay." "You met an Asari last night, other than Samara? When was this? Because the only Asari I remember us meeting was the Justicar." his friend said back with a disbelieving tone, only for Evac to stare back with a smirk. "I met her on the way back to our room from the loo. She seemed nice and friendly if a little on the shy side." he said back with a slightly affectionate tone, which just fuelled Crosscut's disbelief even more. "Really? What's her name then?" "Tolae." the Pilot replied in an honest tone, but his friend just continued to look back at him with the same expression as before. "Tolae? Fair enough…" he said back while placing the bowl back on the table, though Evac did not feel that his friend totally believed him. "… let's get back to finding our friends okay." the Bot added, earning a nod from the Pilot as he turned around and walked out the other exit while finishing off the bagel. PRIME EFFECT 5 Meanwhile, Samara walked through one of the Monastery's identical-looking corridors, moving in the direction of the Landing pad as she came up to a crossroads. So the Justicar took a right turn and immediately stopped as she took note of the Asari Commando standing guard at said doorway, who saw her in turn. "Justicar Samara, what are you doing here?" the soldier asked as the older woman walked up to her. "I am in need of some fresh air, so if you would please allow me to pass.." she started to say, only for the Commando to look back at her with a stoic expression. "I apologise, Justicar, but this landing-pad is in use and no one but the crew of the ship standing out there may get access to it." "Yes, I know. It is the Eudora standing out there at this moment. I met its crew last night and I am also a good friend with its Captain. I am trusted by her." Samara replied, but still, the soldier would not move. "It is not a question of trust, Justicar. You have been a valued member of our staff for the last few centuries. But I still cannot let you passed, I am sorry." "I understand. but unlike my Mother…" the older Asari started to say with a different tone and accent as she began to turn away from the Commando, whose expression changed to one of confusion as she looked back. "..I don't follow the rules..." Samara added as she suddenly grabbed the soldier by her throat with a vice-like grip, making the other woman gasp for air as her eyes widened in shock. But the Justicar just tightened her grip more, making the Commando struggle even more as her killer leaned in close and looked directly into her wide-open eyes. "…for I am Morinth." she added before the other Asari's neck suddenly snapped, which made the Ardat-Yakshi drop her corpse to the floor and press the door controls on her left. The doorway then opened to reveal the Eudora on the landing pad just aways from her position, with the Murderer taking not that snow had just started to fall from the dark clouds overhead. 'I will never understand how anyone can choose to live their entire life on this snowball.' she thought before picking up the Commando's body and exiting the Monastery, feeling the cool breeze and snowflakes as they touched the bare skin of her face as walked over to the edge of the landing platform. 'This is a good a spot as any.' she thought before dropping the corpse of the side, watching it fall down into the river in the rocky valley below. But then just as she was about to turn her attention to the Eudora, a glowing object could be seen in the corner of her eye. So Morinth turned to see a holo-drone floating there beside her, looking as though it was about to scan her. But rather than look worried, the Asari merely smirked. "Go ahead, scan me." she said in a soft tone, with which the drone obliged as it then swept her whole body with a light beam. "No life form detected, continuing with patrol." it then said in a synthesized voice before flying off to another area, which made Morinth look down at the small metallic device that was clipped to her utility belt. 'Being part of Leviathan does have its perks.' she thought as she gently tapped it. 'This gizmo keeps me off all sensor grids that the Federation/Autobots have running all over their Empire…' she added while turning back to the Eudora. '…So then, back to the task at hand.' The Ardat-Yakshi then walked over to the Eudora and activated her holo-tool, pointing it up at where the boarding ramp was stored. "How does that Human saying go... open sesame." she then said while her holo-tool beeped, and the ship acknowledged by making a mechanical noise which was followed by the boarding ramp opening up and granting her access, gaining another smile from the Asari as she then walked up into the Eudora's interior. Once inside, Morinth walked directly into the Cockpit and sat in the Pilot's chair, which activated the holo-controls and interfaces around her. 'Let's see if Vasir's little tracking beacon is still working fine.' the Murderer thought as she typed a sequence of keys on the holo-interface and brought up a screen, earning a nod from her in response. 'Good, the tracker is still online and unnoticed by Darby and her friends.' Morinth then had a thoughtful expression appear on her face as an idea came to mind, so she started typing a new sequence into the computer. 'Let's just put another program in there, a guarantee that Myra shouldn't pose a problem in the future, Vasir should appreciate that.' she thought as she continued working away at the interface. Back in the Monastery, Evac had been searching for the last thirty minutes for any sign of Myra or Kat as he walked down the corridors, though they were not the only Women the Bot was hoping to come across. 'This would be so much easier if I could just use my com-link.' he thought as he walked past one door which had a window, and a figure inside caught his attention as the Pilot stopped in his tracks and looked through the transparent glass to the room's interior. For there was Tolae sitting on a couch at a small table, looking at a number of data-pads that were on top of it. "Tolae." he said with a sudden buzz to his spark as he gently knocked on the glass, earning the Asari's attention as she looked up at him. "Evac?" she replied with a surprised look, gaining a nod from the Bot as he looked back at her through the window. "Yes, it's me. What are you doing in there?" he asked with an interested tone, which made her get to her feet and walk over to the door and open it. "I am studying. What are you doing here?" she replied with a questioning tone. "I'm looking for my friends, a Human woman and another Asari. You didn't see them go past, did you?" the Pilot asked, to which Tolae shook her head in response. "Sorry, I have not seen anyone walk past in the last hour or so. But then again, I have had my head buried in those data-pads back there." she said back while gesturing to the pile on the table behind her. "Oh, okay. Thanks. But what are you reading over there anyway?" he asked, earning a sigh from the Asari. "You should carry on looking for your friends because you don't belong here." "Why not…?" he started to ask, before a noise from further down the corridor caught Tolae's attention, so she looked in its direction and spotted an Asari Tutor stepping out into view. "Great! Get in here." the Ardat-Yakshi then said as she opened the door and pulled Evac in, gaining a surprised look from the Bot. "Whoa, easy there. You have quite the grip." he replied, before being pushed out of view of the window. "Just do me a favour for a moment and stay here, please?" she asked with an almost pleading-like tone, which made the Pilot look back with an understanding expression. "Okay." he said in return, gaining a slight smile from the Asari before she returned to her table, picked up another data-pad and began to read it as she sat back down. 'What is she not telling me?' Evac thought as he watched her reading from the pad in her hands, before both their attention was caught by a knock on the window of the door to the room. "Just a second." Tolae then said as she got up and walked over to the door and opened it, earning a thoughtful expression from the Pilot as he heard another female voice speak. "Tolae, I just thought I would check on you and see how your studying is faring?" "It is going well, Tutor Gallae, I should have it all memorised for the classes this afternoon." she replied while keeping her attention from Evac, who continued to eavesdrop on their conversation. "That's good, very good in fact. And I spoke to Superintendent Jethra earlier, she told me that you are also well ahead with your meditations." Gallae replied, earning a nod from Tolae in return. "Thank you. That is kind of you to say." But as she and the Tutor spoke, Evac's eyes widened as something came to mind. Something that suddenly made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end, for he realised who his new friend really was. 'Oh no, I really am in trouble now.' he thought as he watched Tolae wave goodbye to the Tutor, feeling his spark beat somewhat quicker as his fear began to build. "Yes, alright. I will see you at the lesson, Tutor Gallae. Till then." she said before closing the door, turning back to the Pilot. "Sorry about that, Evac. But if you were caught here...with me." she started to say, only for her to stop as she noticed the way the Pilot was looking at her. "Evac? What's wrong?" Tolae asked with a taken aback tone. "You're... you're a Arad-Yakshi." was all he said in return, which made the Asari sigh in return and look down at the ground with an ashamed expression. "Yes...yes, I am." she replied, making the Bot look somewhat more worried as he stared at the door. "I have to go, I shouldn't be around you." Evac replied as he started to leave, only for the Ardat-Yakshi to step aside and sit down on the couch. "I did tell you." she said back as the tone of her voice started to sound slightly shaken, which gained the Pilot's attention as he stopped and looked down to her as she sat there, looking at the table. "Why didn't you tell me earlier?" he asked. "I wanted to, wanted you to keep away. But you just talked to me like I was a regular person, I forgot what that was like…" Tolae started to say as she kept her attention away from the Pilot, who then sat down beside her on the couch. "…so I guess I just wanted to feel normal again, if only for a moment…" she added before looking back at the Bot, and he found himself looking back as they stared at each other. "…and you also reminded me of someone I used to know." she finished with her voice sounding as though it was breaking ever so slightly with that last sentence, which did not go unnoticed by Evac. "Really? Who was that?" he asked with a sympathetic tone, but Tolae simply turned her attention back to the door. "If you don't mind, I would rather not talk about it." she simply said, before pointing to the door with her hand. "You should go before anyone sees you." But Evac just sat there and looked at her, as a friendly smile appeared on his face. "No, I am not going anywhere." he said back, earning a surprised look from the Asari. "Why?…I mean,…I am a monster. Ardat-Yakshi even means Devil of the Night winds in Asari." she replied, but the Bot just continued to look at her with a smile. "Before coming here, I did not know much about the Ardat-Yakshi other than that they were killers, monsters that needed to be locked away. But then I met you…" he said in an understanding tone, while Tolae simply listened. "…and on first impressions, I would say that you are a kind and caring person. And now that I know what you are, that hasn't changed my impression of you." he added, which made the Asari sigh in return. "But.." she started to say, only for the Pilot to cut her off. "But what? You certainly do not look like the monster that your people want us all to think you are, you look more like someone who needs a friend." he replied, making her look back at him with widened eyes. "You…want to be…my friend? But you don't know me." she said. "But I want to, if you'll let me?" Evac replied, which made Tolae look back at the ground for a moment. 'I killed the last person who was a 'friend' to me…' she thought before feeling something touch her hand, and so looked over to see that the Bot had put his hand on hers in a supporting gesture. '…But maybe this could work since he knows what I am.' "So…if you want me to go, then I will go." Evac then said, making the Woman look at him as a slight smile graced her face. "No. I have lived for over three hundreds years without a friend, and if I let you walk out that door then I guess I won't have another chance." This made the Pilot's smile widen as he gently stroked the side of her hand with his thumb in an affectionate manner, which unbeknownst to him had made her heart warm slightly. "But if another Tutor heads this way, then you will have to hide again." Tolae then said with a more serious tone, gaining a nod from Evac in return. "Of course." "So what shall we talk about?" the Asari then said, which made the Pilot turn to look outside the window as it snowed outside. "I didn't realise that it snowed here." he said in a surprised tone while getting to his feet and walking over to the glass, earning a curious look from Tolae as she joined his side. "Yes, it does snow here a lot over the year. I would have thought that the snow-covered mountain tops would have given you a clue?" she asked with a slightly sarcastic tone, which earned a smirk from the Bot. "I did see them, but when my friends and I arrived it was not what I would have called cold, and the sky was completely clear. I had heard from Samara that this was generally the type of weather that Lesuss had during the year." "While that is true, we do still get snow storms a number of times a year. Do you like snow then?" she asked, having noticed how Evac was watching the snowflakes as they fell down before them. "I love snow. Back home where I was born, the entire area is covered by snow for almost the entire year." he said, earning a curious look from Tolae. "Where's that?" "A small town called Barrow in Alaska, back on Earth. Despite that, it can be bitterly cold almost all year round and we would have bouts of never-ending day and night in the Summer and Winter respectively each year, there was always a lot to love about the place. I mean there was so much life there, despite the harsh conditions. There were always Polar Bears and numerous types of birds to see like Snowy Owls and Eider Ducks, I even managed to spot a Whale or two during my youth there, watched them poke their heads up out of the holes in the ice to breathe before going back under and swimming to wherever they would go." he said, with the Asari remaining quiet as she watched him, taking note of the smile on his face as he reminisced. "You sound like you're a bit of an animal lover." she observed, making him look at her and smile. "Does it show? Well,…yes. I guess, I am. I mean, my family owned a couple of Alaskan Malamutes which my Dad would use for Dog Sledding, he even took me a couple of times and it was a lot of fun. I remember we did it one night and the sky was so clear that it was like you could see every single star in the galaxy overhead, then suddenly multiple waves of colour appeared above us. It was the Northern lights and my Dad stopped us and we watched it for a couple of hours with the Dogs, it was magical." he added, which made Tolae sigh in return. "Sounds nice. I always wanted to see other worlds. But..." she started to say, earning a saddened look from Evac in return. "But you then found out that you were an Ardat Yakshi." he added, gaining a nod from the Asari. "Kind of killed any chance of me exploring the galaxy. I mean, I did not even get the chance to leave Thessia." "How did you find out?" the Bot asked, which made her look back with an uncomfortable expression. "Can we talk about something else? I don't feel like speaking on this topic for the time being." she asked, earning a nod from the Pilot. "Okay then." It then went quiet between the two people as Evac looked out of the window, trying to find something to restart their conversation. "Wait? What's that?" he then said while pointing down below the window, gaining his friend's attention as she looked at what he had noticed. "What do you mean?" she said back as they both saw an object on the a cliff-side just below the monastery, which made the Bot narrow his eyes. "It looks like a ship." he replied, earning a confused expression from Tolae. "How and why would anyone land their ship down there, it's almost a suicidal act." "Perhaps whoever did it doesn't want the monastery to know they are there, and it isn't that difficult to land in a spot like that. I mean I could do it, for one." he said back with a knowing look, before turning his attention back to the Asari. "Want to go and check it out?" "You want to go out in that, to check out an unknown ship?" she asked with a worried tone, earning a smirk from the Bot. "Yeah, and I want you to join me." he replied, which made her look down at the object with a thoughtful expression. "I have been a model resident here for a long time and even though I have already broken the rules by even talking to you, I really do not want to break any more…" she then said, earning an unsure expression from the Bot. "…But that being said since we cannot just call up security and have them check it out. It would probably be more prudent of us to look into it ourselves." she added, which made Evac smile back at her. "That's the spirit, so shall we go now?" he asked, gaining a smile from Tolae in return. "Yes, let's go." she replied with an enthusiastic tone as they then turned and left the room, heading towards the nearest exterior door so they could investigate the unknown object. PRIME EFFECT 5 Inside the Monastery's Control Center, Jethra was overlooking the work of the other three Asari Commandos as they worked at their individual stations. "How is the detection grid holding up?" she asked, which made one of them turn to face her. "It is working at hundred percent capacity and we have had no disruptions since yesterday evening, which as you know was down to a pack of mountain Varen." "Yes, I do remember it well. We thought one of the residents was trying to escape the Monastery but found that all were accounted for with our internal sensors. I hope you have recalibrated the detection grid so that the local animals aren't curious to try that again?" the Superintendent replied, gaining a nod from one of the other two Commandos. "Yes, Sir, I have retuned the individual sensors to emit an ultrasonic frequency that should ward off the local wildlife." she said, gaining a nod from the older Asari in return. "Good, so now…." Jethra started to say before everyone's attention was caught by Myra and Kat who then entered the room, making the Superintendent turn around and face them. "Excuse me, but this area is off-limits to civilians. I will have to ask you to leave at once." she said in a stoic tone. "We were told by Samara last night that if we ever needed help, we were to come to the Control Center as it is the only place where we could get help." the Rogue Spectre replied, which made Jethra pause for a second as she considered it. "It will depend on what you want?" she replied in return, while the Commandos just watched. "We are looking for our two friends, Evac and Crosscut…" Kat said, before her Asari friend stepped forward. "And also Justicar Samara, since she seemed a little off earlier and we wanted to make sure she is alright." "We should be able to do that, though only because Samara had said so." the Superintendent replied before turning her attention to the Commando sitting closest to her. "Bring up the internal sensors for the Monastery." she then said, earning a nod from the other Asari as she typed on her holo-interface which made a screen appear which they could all see. "Well, it appears that Samara is in her room…" Jethra said, gaining a curious look from Myra in return. "But that is impossible, since her room is in the northern part of the Compound. Yet, we saw her leaving the Dining Hall from it's southern exit, but there can't be any way that she would have made it back there by the time we got here, could she?" she asked, earning thoughtful looks from the others in the room. "No, now that you mention it. It doesn't seem possible, wait…allow me to contact her." the Leader then said before tapping her com-link. "Jethra to Samara, come in please." she said, only to receive static in return. "Perhaps her com-link is malfunctioning." one of the Commandos said back, just as Crosscut then stood at the entrance. "Oh, there you are." he said with a relieved tone, earning everyone's attention as he walked over to Myra and Kat. "Crosscut, what are you doing here…..and where is Evac?" the Rogue Spectre asked as she looked either side of the Bot, gaining an annoyed stare from the Superintendent again. "Evac and I split up so that we had an equal chance of finding you. I guess, I was the lucky one." he replied before noticing the angry stare from Jethra. "What you guys doing here anyway?" "We're here to find out where Samara went too." Myra replied, regaining the Asari Leader's attention as she once more attempted to call the Justicar on her com-link, while Kat meanwhile looked back at Crosscut with a questioning expression. "You left Evac alone in this place?" "Nah, Evac told me that he would be alright if he ran into one of the staff here that he met last night. I thought he was making her up, but he was quite adamant about her." the Bot said back, gaining curious looks from his two female friends. "What's her name?" the Asari asked. "Tolae, he said her name was Tolae." Crosscut replied, which made Jethra turn back and look at him with widened eyes. "Tolae, how do you know that name?" she asked with an urgent tone to her voice, surprising the group. "My friend said he met one of your staff last night, goes by that name." he replied, making the Superintendent shake he head in return. "She is not one of my staff. Tolae is one of our residents!" she replied, gaining wide eyed stares from Myra and her friends. "You mean she is an…." the former Autobot started to say, only for Kat to cut him off. "..an Ardat-Yaksh!" "Yes. We must find and separate the pair at once. I mean, she has been one of our most well-behaved residents, but if she…." Jethra started to reply before Myra got her attention by pointing to the holo-screen. "We don't have time to waste then, you and I will head for Samara's room and find out what is going on there. Meanwhile, Kat and Crosscut can go and get Evac. Where are they now?" she said as she turned her attention to the Commando manning that station, who then typed away and brought up to signals at the Monastery's exterior. "We have them. Evac and Tolae are outside." the Asari said, making Myra look back at her friends with a purposeful stare. "Go and get him." she said, gaining nods from them both as the Bot and Human Woman turned and left the room in a hurry. "Jethra, after you." Darby then said, earning a respectful look from the Superintendent as the pair then left the Control Center themselves. Ten minutes passed before both Asari arrived at the door to Samara's room, with Myra reaching up to her com-link as she gave Jethra a questioning look and gained a nod in return. "Myra to Kat, you read me?" she said after tapping the device. "I read you. So we are allowed to use these now?" her human friend replied. "I think the situation has allowed it for now, anyway….where are you guys now? Because we have just reached Samara's room." Myra said back as the Superintendent pressed the door control at it's side and rang the chime. "We have just exited the building and are now heading down the path that Evac took with his 'friend'. Will keep you posted, Kat out." Once the com-link deactivated, the younger Asari turned her attention back to the Older one who had just rung the door chime again. "I do not understand. Our internal sensors read Samara as being in her room and yet she does not answer." Jethra said, which then made Myra activate her holo-tool and begin to hack the door control. This earned a surprised and somewhat disgusted expression from the Superintendent, who watched in disbelief. "You can't do that. I am the only one here with…." she started to say, though Myra simply kept her attention on the holo-tool which had three wheels of light spinning around her forearm, with one after another locking into place as the door unlocked and opened. "We needed to speed things along and I am not in the mood to apologise for that, not when one of my friends might be…..in trouble." she started to say before both hers and Jethra's eyes fell upon the interior of the Justicar's room, for it was in complete disarray. The pair entered the room which looked as if a war had been fought in it, as the furniture was in pieces and spread out around them. "By the Goddess! What happened here?" the Superintendent asked with a worried tone, while Myra just stared at there surroundings as there was still no sign of their friend. "Is Samara's signal still coming from here?" she asked, which made Jethra look down at the screen on her holo-tool and nod back. "Yes, she should be right in front of us." she said back while pointing down at the destroyed bed, so the younger Asari got down on her knees and started to lift parts of it up. "Help me." she said back with an authoritative tone, making the Superintendent join her side as she lifted a wooden plank and revealed a blue hand. "Samara!" Jethra said aloud with a worried tone as she then used her biotics to lift the rest of the bed up into the air, revealing the Justicar as Myra pulled her body out from under the rubble. "Is she alright?" the Leader replied as she dropped the broken bed back onto the ground, while the Rogue Spectre checked Samara's vital signs before shaking her head gently. "No, she is dead…" she said back with a saddened tone while looking down at the Justicar's body, before activating her holo-tool and taking a scan. "…My holo-tool says that she has been dead for hours." the younger Asari added, gaining a similar and yet confused look from the Superintendent in return. "But who were you talking to earlier? If Samara's body has been here all this time?" she asked, earning a thoughtful expression from Myra before she tapped her com-link. PRIME EFFECT 5 The snowfall had increased somewhat by the time Evac and Tolae had reached the cliff-side where the unknown ship was parked, but it was not enough to hinder the pair as could easily see their target. "We were lucky that the snow hasn't fallen at a faster rate, because that would have made our climb down somewhat more interesting." the bot said with a relieved tone, gaining a similar smile from the Asari, before she looked back up at the Monastery with an unsure stare. "What is it?" Evac asked, having noticed her expression. "It's just this is as far as I have ever been outside of the Monastery during my time here." she replied before looking back at the ship which was just aways from them, earning a nod from the Pilot as he looked in the same direction. "Well, considering your good behavior up until now, perhaps they will let you out more once we have uncovered what's going on with this ship?" the Bot said with an enthusiastic tone, which made Tolae look back with a hopeful yet restrained expression. "That would be nice, though I doubt it." she answered, before gesturing to the ship. "So, have you seen this type of craft before?" she asked as Evac activated his holo-tool and took a scan, earning a nod in return. "It looks like a standard one-man shuttle, but my sensor readings are picking up numerous upgrades to its systems." he replied, gaining a curious look from the Asari. "Can you tell what exactly has been altered?" she asked, making the Pilot shake his head in return. "Unfortunately, no. I am picking up a low-level energy field surrounding the vessel which appears to be hindering my scans. I can only tell you that improvements have been made to the ship, but no more detail than that." he replied, while the Ardat-Yakshi took a few steps closer to the shuttle, earning a wide-eyed look from Evac as he held his hand put to her. "Tolae, don't step any clos..." he started to warn, though the Pilot was suddenly cut off by the sound of the ship powering up, making them both look at it with surprised expressions. "...er, because it might be booby-trapped " he finished his sentence, gaining an embarrassed look from Tolae in return. "Sorry, I didn't..." she started to say back, only for Evac to give her an understanding look back. "It's okay, lets just get ready for whatever this ship is going to do next." he replied, earning a nod from the Asari in return as he equipped his pistol, with Tolae powering up her bitoics. But just as they were ready for the Shuttle to fire a hidden weapon back at them, the hatch opened up and granted them access. "Okay, was not expecting that to happen." Evac said with a bewildered tone, with Tolae looking back with a similar expression. "I might be somewhat new to this, but I thought booby traps were supposed to be harmful to trespassers. Not opening up what they were protecting without a fight?" "Perhaps it has malfunctioned, in which case...I'd call that a win..." the Bot began to reply, but found himself cut off by a Mech suddenly climbing out of the ship's hatch and revealing itself to the pair. "...but my luck has never been that great." he finished while looking the robot up and down, while it glared back with it's aqua blue optics. For this was not the standard version of Mech that he had been used to seeing around the galaxy, since it had a more armored form and yet it still looked like it could move fast, not being slowed down by its extra weight. "It's only a Mech, these things have never been much of a threat, even back before I was sent here." Tolae then said with a slither of over-confidence in her voice, before launching herself at it with a biotic charged punch. "Tolae, wait!" he shouted as suddenly the droid stepped to the left, dodging the Asari's attack before grabbing her arm and throwing the woman back to the ground hard in front of him. "Tolae!" the bot cried out as he rushed to her side, firing his pistol at the Mech. But it activated an energy barrier which deflected the bullets safely away, while the Asari recovered. "Never seen a Mech move like that before." she replied as Evac helped her to stand, all the while continuing to fire on the enemy and keep it on the defensive. "Yeah. Or one that has the ability to activate its own defenses, they don't have the power requirements for such things." he said back before his pistol stopped firing and began smoking, which earned worried looks from them both. "Great, now my pistol has overheated." he then added, before the droid then shut down its force-field and activated twin holo-armblades, one on each arm. "Okay, that's not good." Tolae said in return with a worried tone, gaining a similar look from the Pilot. "Yeah, looks like we going to get physical." he replied while activating his holo-blade before the Mech suddenly launched itself at the pair. Meanwhile, back at the Eudora, Morinth had just deactivated the Cockpit's holo-interface when her holo-tool activated and began beeping at her. 'That's interesting, no one has ever come across my shuttle before.' she thought with a curious expression, while looking at the warning screen that was being projected over her arm. 'I should get back, since it looks like I have overstayed my welcome.' she added as she tapped the holo-screen, bringing up another which showed the layout of the monastery. "Prepare to activate emergency Ground-bridge." she said, gaining a beep from the holo-tool before looking back at the interior of the Eudora. "Computer reinstate security lockdown, code shadow-Beta-two." she then said, making the ship power down once more. 'Now...back to my ship, I am done here.' she thought with a smile as she tapped her holo-tool's interface, which made a person-sized Ground-bridge portal appear in front of the Asari and illuminate the Eudora's interior. As that was happening, Evac and Tolae were still fighting with the Mech as it lunged at the Bot with its holo-arm blade. But he managed to deflect the attack with his holo-blade, which then left him open and allowed the droid to punch him in the face and knock him back. "Leave him alone!" the Asari spat as she threw a biotic projectile at their enemy, hitting it square on it's back and sending it to the ground. "That thing sure packs a wallop." Evac said while holding his jaw, as Tolae joined his side and helped him up. "Are you alright?" she asked with a concerned tone, which gained an appreciative smile back. "I have had worse, believe me." he replied before looking back at the Mech, who was recovering just a few feet ahead of them. "This thing fights like a person." she said back while readying for the next attack, gaining a nod from the Pilot in return. "Yeah, and it hits like a Terracon. But..." he started to say before the robot pounced at the pair again, but Tolae only just managed to stop it as she created a biotic barrier between them and it, which it stabbed with its holo-arm blades. "What the?" the Ardat-Yakshi said with a wide-eyed stare as she and the Bot watched as the Mech's arm blade suddenly penetrated the barrier, creating large cracks around the breach and weakened it considerably. "Holo-weapons have never been able to damage biotic constructs...never!" she said back in surprise before a green glowing vortex suddenly opened up just aways from them "What now?" Evac then said while the Mech continued to force it's weapon through the barrier before another Asari walked out of the portal, gaining relieved looks from the pair as they recognised her. "Samara, great timing!" the Bot exclaimed while Tolae sent the barrier crashing into the droid, making the energy field shatter into tiny glowing blue fragments that then disappeared as the enemy was sent onto its arse again. "Please, Justicar Samara, help us." Tolae pleaded to the newcomer, while the droid got back to it's feet and attacked them again. "I would if the Mech wasn't just defending my ship, and I do hate people who try to touch my stuff." the other Asari replied whilst staring back with narrowed eyes, gaining a surprised look from Evac while his friend sent the Mech to the ground again with a biotic charged kick. "That's not Samara." he said, earning a nod from the newcomer in return. "And what gave me away? The fact that I do not wear my mistakes and regrets like a badge of shame, or perhaps that I simply think for myself." she replied before throwing an energy ball between the pair, which then exploded and sent them both flying in separate directions. The Mech meanwhile joined the attacker's side as Evac got onto his knees, a look of confusion on his face as he stared back. "Who are you then, because you're the spitting image of Samara." he said, which made Tolae's eyes widen as she realised who this other Asari was. "You're Morinth, Samara's first daughter and an Ardat-Yakshi like myself." she said, gaining a nod from the Murderer as the Mech then leapt and tackled the Pilot back onto the floor. "That's correct. Did my mother tell you that?" she asked with a curious tone. "No, I learned of you via your sisters Rila and Falere. For they were kind to me when I first arrived here and I thought I had made some friends that day, but then the next day I found out that they had been killed during the night." Tolae replied with a regretful tone, which earned a smirk from Morinth in return. "That's right and I should know...for I killed them myself..." she started to say, gaining a horrified look from the younger Asari. "But they were your sisters! How could you do that!?" she spat while lunging at her fellow Ardat-Yakshi with a biotic charge which was suddenly intercepted by the Mech, who punched her in the face and followed though with a kick to her stomach that knocked the wind out of Tolae as she fell to her knees. "Because my sisters were more concerned with denying what they were and so betrayed me to my Mother. Of course, I killed them...and now Mother has joined them too at last." Morinth gloated as she looked down at the younger woman, who held on to her aching stomach and fought through the pain she was feeling to look back with a judging-like stare. "You killed Samara too! You're a monster!" she spat, which gained her a biotic slam into the ground from the Murderer who looked at her with a smile, while Tolae felt every part of her being throbbing in pain. "Yes, I am. That is what we Ardat-Yakshi are supposed to be…" she started to say back, as Evac tried to recover while under the observing optics of the Mech. "…the Alpha Predators, top of the food chain in this galaxy." she added before turning around and looking up at the Monastery. "If I had more time, I would rip this entire temple down and kill all the others like us here who have chosen to hide their true selves behind a doctrine of shame and fear. forced upon us by a Government who are afraid of the power we hold, for we are the next stage of Asari evolution." "Dear God, doesn't she love the sound of her own voice." the Pilot suddenly said with a hint of sarcasm to his voice, gaining Morinth's attention as she pulled him into the air with her biotics. "Yes, I do. But there is something I love more…" she started to say while stepping closer to the Bot, staring back with a seductive gaze. "…And that is to kill my victims with a kiss." she said, earning a wide-eyed stare from Tolae who realised what Morinth was about to do. "No, don't…." she said, raising her hand to the Arad-Yakshi as she tried to get back to her feet. But the Murderer simply swiped her hand beside her, knocking the younger Asari onto her back with a biotic backslap. "Stay out of this. It's only a little kiss." she said before looking back at Evac, her eyes turning black as the Bot suddenly found himself losing control as he stared into them. "So do you want me to kiss you, embrace you and…..blow your mind?" "Yes, I want you." he said in a toneless voice, which made her smile back. "Then kiss me." she replied before leaning in close, with the Pilot unable to do anything other than what she wanted as he leaned in to kiss her.
  4. CHAPTER VI As the sun had long descended past the mountains at the Monastery on Lesuss, the stars filled out the cloudless night sky. An Asari sat in the centre of the large gardens of the temple and mediated in almost complete silence except for the sounds of her own calm breathing, and the soft breeze which gently shook the leaves of the white blossom trees that stood around her. As she shut out everything around her and focused on her inner peace, another older Asari walked over to her from a doorway leading into the Monastery. She stopped beside the other and placed a hand on her shoulder. "It is time to come inside, Tolae. Curfew will begin in a few minutes and you should be in your room." she said, earning the younger Asari's attention as she opened her eyes and looked up at the older Woman. "I apologise, Superintendent Jethra. I completely lost track of time. I never felt so calm and in control, as I did just now, the hunger that has plagued me since my adolescent years was nowhere to be found." This made the older woman look down at her with an understanding smile in return. "I am very pleased with the progress you have made, Tolae. You're developing self-control is something to be commended. You are more than ready for the visit to Thessia in a month's time, but now it is time to retire for the evening…come." Jethra replied with an encouraging tone, gaining a nod from the younger Asari as she got to her feet. But just as both women had turned and began walking back towards the Monastery, the sound of a ship in the distance caught their attention, making them look back towards the mountain range that surrounded their home. "If I may ask, Superintendent Jethra, are we due another re-supply? Because I saw the previous one only a day ago when I was out here in the gardens." Tolae asked, making Jethra shake her head in response. "No, there is nothing scheduled until next week." she said as they spotted a ship on the horizon and fly towards them, making the Superintendent activate her holo-tool. "Tolae, please go to your room…" The younger Asari nodded and did as she was asked while Jethra tapped a button on her interface. "This is Jethra to Monastery Control, do you have an ID for the incoming ship?" "Yes we do, Superintendent. It is the Eudora. And it's Federation IFF has all the current codes, so should I allow it to land?" the female voice on the other end of the call spoke, earning a nod from the Superintendent in return. "That depends, what is their business here? Because we don't generally receive visitors unless it is relatives of our patients." she said back in a stoic tone. "The Eudora's Pilot said that they are here to see the Justicar currently stationed here." Monastery Control replied while Jethra stared up at the ship as it came ever closer to the Temple. "Very well, let them land and let our Justicar know she has visitors. I, meanwhile, will meet the new arrivals on the landing pad, Jethra out." she then answered before deactivating her holo-tool and re-entering the building, while the Eudora flew overhead. Meanwhile, in the ship's Cockpit, Myra stood behind Evac's chair and watched as the Pilot brought the Eudora around for one last pass. "Roger that, Monastery Control, we are landing now." he said before looking over to his Asari friend, who noticed the holo-irises over his eyes and could not help but look at him with an unsure expression. "I don't think I will ever get used to those they look..." she started to say, making the former Autobot smirk back knowingly. "Welcome to the future, Myra, it won't be long before ships are flown purely by the Pilots own thoughts." This made the Asari roll her eyes in return while Kat and Crosscut entered the room, joining them. "So how did it go? Did the codes pass?" the blonde Bot asked, gaining a nod from Evac in return. "Yep, they bought it. Where did you get authentic Autobot IFF codes from anyway?" he replied with a curious tone, which made Myra and Kat look over to him. "Can't say I am not interested, since as a Spectre...even a Rogue one, I know for a fact that Command holds all codes close to their chest." the Asari said in return. "Well, I have my resources." Crosscut said with a wink, while the Pilot just smiled and continued to fly the ship, despite having his back to the canopy and not looking at what exactly he was doing. "Landing the ship now." he said, earning the others attention as they looked back at him as he typed on the holo-interface in front of him. "Could you at least look at what you're doing please?" Crosscut then said with an agitated tone, making the pilot roll his eyes before turning back around. "...You just want to suck the fun out everything." he muttered whilst the Eudora then extended its landing struts as it hovered over the LP, its engines already turning into their vertical landing/take-off position. After another second, a gentle thud was felt by Myra and the others as Evac finished typing on his holo-interface. "Disengaging engines, we have landed." he said with a slight smugness to his voice, while the Asari turned to the others. "Alright, Everyone, time to stretch your legs..." she started to say, earning surprised looks from Crosscut and Evac. "We are all heading out?" the Pilot said, beating his friend to it. "Yes, the Superintendent who runs this Monastery will not allow anyone to stay on their ships. Instead, they are just to lock them down." Myra replied, making Evac look back with an unsure expression. "Why?" "Because this Monastery is home to a large number of Asari who are Ardat-Yakshi, and so the Superintendent does not want to give any of the more dangerous residents ideas." she said back, making the two Bots stare back with widened eyes in return. "Ardat-Yakshi? You mean the Asari that kill you by mating with you." Crosscut said with a surprised tone, gaining a nod from Myra. "That's correct. So when we leave the Eudora, I will need you to activate her security lockdown protocol." she said, earning a reluctant nod from the Pilot as he returned to his holo-interface.. "Myra, I have a question..." Kat then asked, gaining the Asari's attention. "Sure, Kat, what is it?" "With the fact that you're a Rogue Spectre and Lesuss is under Federation law, aren't you worried that they will report you the moment they realise who you are?" she asked with a slightly worried tone, gaining an appreciative smile from Myra. "I wouldn't worry about that, Kat, the person we are here to see will vouch for me and ensure it doesn't happen." "I see, so who exactly are we here to see?" she then asked. "Like I told Evac to tell the Monastery's Control, we are here to see an Asari Justicar. After my...partner and I faced an Ardat-Yakshi..." Myra then started to say before stopping for just a moment, a pensive look on her face which Kat had noticed...for she too knew why. "...we then sought the help of one who had centuries of experience in dealing with those Asari with cursed genes, because we wanted to be fully prepared in case we ever came upon one again." the Asari finished as Evac pointed out of the Cockpit's glass canopy. "We have our welcoming Committee outside." He said as two Asari exited the Monastery and walked over to the ship, so Myra gestured for her team-mates to follow. "Alright, let's go say hi." she said as they then left the confines of the Eudora, and met their hosts. The Rogue Spectre and her team walked down the landing ramp and saw the two Asari waiting at it's end, one was dressed in a formal-like dress while the other wore red and black light armour that complimented her athletic figure. "Hello, Samara, it's been a long time." Myra said in a friendly manner, earning a similar if ever so slight smile in return from the latter. "It's been too long, my Friend." the Justicar replied as she held out her hand to Myra, who took it in return and the pair shook hands before a rather bemused Jethra. "Excuse me Samara, but you know who these people are?" the Asari asked with a questioning tone, before looking at each of the new arrivals as though she was taking a mental photo of them. "…Because even though their ship has the correct codes to land here, I do not trust people who I do not know myself." she added, gaining an understanding look from the Justicar in return. "I understand your meaning, Jethra…" she began to reply, while giving Myra a knowing glance as she did so. "…But these are acquaintances of mine, so please allow me to take responsibility for them during their visit." Samara added with a calm tone, which earned a nod from the Superintendent. "Very well, Samara, just be sure that 'they' follow the rules for the duration of their stay, because I do not want them to interfere with the peace and tranquillity that we have made here for our residents." she replied before turning away and heading back to the Monestary, leaving the Justicar with Myra and her friends. "Please forgive Jethra's demeanour, she is usually very approachable." she said, gaining a nod from the younger Asari. "I understand, we did come here unannounced after all." "And why are you here, Myra Darby? Because as your friend, your appearance here has left me in somewhat of a tricky position." Samara said back with a conflicted expression. "I know, I'm a Rogue Spectre and your code dictates that you must either arrest me or kill me, depending on what I do next..." Myra replied, earning worried glances from Kat and the others as they watched their friend and the Justicar talk. "…but I believe that since we are both friends, who have watched out for each other on the battlefield can overlook my current predicament with the law." she added with a slight smile, gaining a nod and similar expression from Samara. "Indeed…if it was anyone other than you, Myra, then I would be compelled to bring them to justice. But since I know first hand that you are an honourable warrior, who was forced into this current 'predicament' by the very laws that govern our galaxy. I will there for not oblige the code at this time." This earned sighs of relief from the rest of the Eudora's Crew as Myra then turned her attention to them and gestured for her Justicar Friend to do the same. "Everyone, this is Samara. And Samara, this is Kat Mason, Crosscut and Evac." "Good evening and welcome to Lesuss, you must all be honourable warriors if you are working with Myra. Because I know she only works with the best after all." the Justicar said which made both Kat and Crosscut nearly blush with slight embarrassment, with only Evac looking somewhat proud with himself. "Well…I'm not one to blow my own trumpet…as the Human saying goes, but.." he started to say with a gloating-like tone, only for Kat to jump in. "Thank you, Samara, we are honoured by your words." she said which earned surprised looks from everyone there, including Myra. 'That was smoothly put.' she thought while Samara nodded back in appreciation. "You are most kind, now please if you will follow me. I will have a meal made for you before showing you to your rooms, for it is after Curfew…" she started to say while gesturing for them to follow her. "…And perhaps we can talk some more, Myra, for I am intrigued with your reappearance after nearly two hundred years." the Justicar added, earning a nod from the Rogue Spectre as she walked alongside Kat. "Nicely said back there." she whispered, which made her friend almost blush once again. "Thanks, Myra, but I can't take credit for that. I simply knew some things from my mother, who was a Diplomat." Kat replied back with a smile as the group walked towards the entrance to the Monastery, while their new Justicar friend started talking to the others. Meanwhile, in orbit around Lesuss, a space-bridge vortex quickly formed and then disappeared just as fast, though not before a small vessel flew out and began to slowly descend towards the planet's atmosphere. In its Cockpit sat a Woman who was looking at the holo-interface before her, which was the only source of light in the room. Her com-link began to beep, so she reached up to her eye and activated the device with a single tap. "Vasir, I have arrived at Lesuss." she said, before a recognisable voice spoke back. "Is the Eudora there?" the Leviathan Leader replied with a curious tone, earning a nod from her agent as she turned her attention from the view of the planet through the glass canopy and returned it to the holo-screen to her left. "Yes, it has landed at the Monastery there. But that is all can tell from here, perhaps I should go down and watch it's crew more closely?" the Agent asked with an enthusiastic tone. "Negative, you of all people should not go anywhere near that particular temple. Stay where you are and wait for them to leave, then purse course and report their next destination to me. For though I do not actively pursue that Darby's death, I will not have her catch me off guard. Not when we are so close to one of my goals." Vasir replied. "But….surely…" the Woman tried to say back, only for the former Spectre to interject. "No. You will do nothing to tip them off to us. You have your orders." Vasir then said before cutting off the call, leaving the Agent to look out at the planet and narrow her eyes. 'I am sorry, Vasir, but I cannot obey that order.' she thought defiantly as she took the vessel down into Lesuss's atmosphere. 'I will cloak the ship and land on the outskirts of the colony, they will not even know I am there.' she thought as a sly smile appeared on her face. PRIME EFFECT 5 Myra sat with Samara in the Dining Hall, the others had finished their meals and retired to their rooms for the rest of the evening, leaving the two Asari alone as they both watched the holo-light display which interacted with the fountain as it's patterns of light danced around the water that was shot up into the air and back down into its basin. It was now the brightest light source in the room since the wall lamps had dimmed somewhat as to show that the twilight hours were almost upon them. "Your friends are certainly a spirited group, Myra. It pleases me to see that you have a group that cares about you...especially Kat, she seems to care a great deal for you." Samara said before taking a sip from her glass, earning a nod from the younger Woman in return. "Kat's a good friend and a terrific soldier." she said in return, gaining a knowing smile from the Justicar as she put her glass down on the small table between them. "Indeed she is... and more." This made Myra look back with a curious expression. "More? What do you mean, Samara?" she asked, only for her Friend to continue staring with a growing smile on her face. "After the last time I saw you, I feared that you would lose yourself to the grief and rage brought on by the murders of your Family. But now you before me again and have surrounded yourself with people who care about you, I can see that my fears were misplaced." the Justicar replied, earning a calm look from Myra which betrayed nothing of the darkness that still ate at her heart. "I was in a dark place when we last stood together, Samara, but even after the last few centuries I can not say that anything has changed in that respect. Because I still want to tear Vasir's head from her body, giving my John and my Mother the justice they deserve." "I understand your feelings in this matter, Myra, for you know that I have suffered such a loss myself." Samara said, which earned an understanding expression from Myra. "Your Daughters..." "Yes, my three daughters…Morinth, Rila and Falere. As I reminded you long ago, Ardat-Yakshi have always been seen as Abominations in the eyes of our people. A mistake brought forth via copulation between two Asari, which is part of the reason why our people decided that mating with individuals from other Species was more beneficial to our civilisation, and would lessen the chance that another Ardat-Yakshi would be born…" the older Asari replied, earning a nod from the Darby in return as she listened intently. "…but it is a way that Asari have not fully embraced, as we still have the right to choose who we bond with…be that an Alien or another Asari." she continued, before taking another sip from her drink as she looked away towards the illuminated fountain. "When I began my Matron stage, I settled down with an Asari that I loved and we had our three Daughters to complete our Family. But to our horror, they were all Ardat-Yakshi." "You became a Justicar so that you could hunt down your eldest...Morinth, right?" Myra asked, earning a nod from Samara in return. "Yes, and after pursuing her across the galaxy for nearly three hundred years, I finally caught up to her on Lorek and killed her." "I remember you telling me, the two of you fought in one of the Planet's big power-stations, which takes advantage of the frequent thunderstorms and absorbs the lightning to power the colonies." Myra replied, gaining a nod from the older Asari. "That is correct. I threw Morinth into one of transformers there and the energy over-load disintegrated her. I found traces of her DNA in what was left of the transformer, but her body was no more." The Rogue Spectre gave her friend a sympathetic look, who looked back with a stoic but saddened expression. "Morinth was the strongest and smartest of my daughters, she never accepted the life that fate and our people demanded of her. I became a Justicar so that I could bring her to justice for the murders she committed, but still…I 'was' so very proud of her for fighting for what she believed." This brought a questioning expression to Myra's face, one that Samara noticed too. "You never told me that, and why did you say 'proud' in the past tense? And while I know of Morinth, you have never spoken about your other Daughters." the younger Asari replied, earning a nod from the Justicar. "Yes….like I said, I was proud of Morinth for standing up for what she believed in. But that all changed after she visited her sisters in this very temple…" "What happened?" the Rogue Spectre asked, feeling as though she could guess what her friend's answer would be. "My eldest daughter came here to free her sisters, believing that they should be like her and not bound by Asari laws. But Rila and Falere did not believe as Morinth did, for they wanted to isolate themselves and not tempt what they might do outside of the Monastery's walls, so they denied her request and tried to have her arrested. Morinth saw this as the deepest of betrayals, with her view of them now as enemies like myself….and so killed them." Samara answered as her voice carried the sadness and guilt that she felt inside. "I am….so sorry, Samara." Myra replied as she reached out to the older Asari's hand, only for the Justicar to pull away slightly. "I appreciate your concern, Myra, but I do not ask nor require your pity. For I know in my heart that what happened to my daughters was my fault, it was my disregard for our people's beliefs that brought them into the world as Ardat-Yakshi. And it is also my fault for what transpired afterwards, there is no redemption for what I did and I will live out the remainder of my days with the burden that knowledge brings." she said back, but the younger Asari shook her head in return. "You are wrong, Samara. I see it quite differently, your daughters were each given a tough choice in life by being born as Ardat-Yakshi. That was not your fault, because it cannot be detected until puberty amongst Pure-blood Asari. This all lies on the shoulders of your children, for they had two choices. Either give in to what they were born as or fight the urges and instincts that come with being Ardat-Yakshi, trying to be better than what they are…" As Myra spoke, Samara just found herself listening intently as she stared back. "…now Rila and Falere did this, they chose to turn their backs on what they were born as. Morinth did not, so in my eyes….they were stronger than her. So in the end, the only person to blame for what happened is her. Don't sully the memory of your younger daughters by taking the blame for something that was not your fault, your better than that, Samara." The younger Asari added as a thoughtful expression came over the Justicar's face as she looked down at the floor, while Myra took a sip of her own drink in return as several seconds of silence passed between them. "I have lived for almost a thousand years, and have witnessed the birth and death of my Family in that time. It is not something I would wish on another soul, for no Parent should outlive their children. I had become convinced that the fates of my daughters were my fault and my burden to bear, but you today have reminded me of how special and strong they were...thank you." the Justicar said with a humble smile, earning a nod from her friend. "You're welcome, Samara." Myra said back before the older Asari then stood up. "Well, it is late and we should now retire to our beds. I have much to ponder now since you opened my eyes..." Samara replied, with the Rogue Spectre watching her as she did so. "...but before I do, allow me to do the same for you." she continued, gaining a curious expression from the younger Asari. "What do you mean?" she asked, which made Samara stare back stoically. "You have been hunting Vasir for the last two and half centuries because she killed your mother and your husband to be. But even though you wish to avenge their deaths and brig Vasir to justice, you should be aware that there is a fine line between justice and vengeance. I pray that you stay on the right side of that line, my Friend, for it is easy to fall into the darkness that vengeance surrounds itself with….I should know, for I nearly fell into it myself." "How did you keep yourself from doing that? Because the only thought that is consistently on my mind is to find Vasir and tear her apart. I don't think I will really be able to rest until I've done that, and this is something that has driven me on for the last two hundred and fifty years, but still 'she' evades me. I don't know how Vasir does it, but it just frustrates me further and that feeling just continues to gnaw away at my very soul. It frightens to me to think of what I might become if this were to continue for even longer." Myra replied with a thoughtful and sad look over her own, but Samara merely looked down at her with a supportive smile. "Myra, the only thing that kept me from slipping into a vengeance fuelled rage was the Justicar's Code. It kept me centred, focused on what needed to be done. It was difficult, but I had given myself to the cause I believed in…and that was enough for me. But though you are not aware of it Myra, you have already taken steps to ensure that you don't fall into vengeful wrath..." she said back, while the younger Asari just listened intently with a curious look. "…because you chosen not to continue on alone, but instead surrounded yourself with friends. They care about you and wish to see you succeed, take strength and comfort in that." she added before holding her hand out to Myra, "Now come, we can talk on the way to our rooms." The young Spectre nodded with an understanding expression as she took her friend's hand and stood up, before they both walked out of the Hall and into one of the joining corridors. But even as they talked about what Myra had discovered about Barla's cause of death, the Darby could not help but feel that Samara's advice might be a little too late. 'I have already done things that I am not proud of in the last two centuries, things that I would never have considered before my life was turned upside down. And I guess that will not be changing any time soon.' she thought as the Justicar looked at the data on her holo-tool as they walked down the dimly lit corridor. "Yes, I can confirm that this Volus was indeed killed by an Ardat-Yakshi. Though this one must have been feeding and murdering for longer than any other, because it appears it is powerful enough to kill without attempting to mate with its victims." Samara said with what could only be described as a slither of worry in her voice, which Myra had never seen from he friend before that day. "So Vasir has an Ardat-Yakshi working for her and not just any Ardat-Yakshi, but a really strong and experienced one…..terrific." the young woman replied while the Justicar deactivated her holo-tool. "I find it hard to believe that Vasir would be able to control such a creature, let alone be able to use it in her plans." "Well…" Myra began to say before recognising the door to her room, as the pair stopped in front of it. "…I guess we can talk more about this in a couple of hours then, see you at breakfast." the younger Asari added as she opened her door. "Yes, we can. I'll see you then. It was good talking with you again, my Friend." Samara replied, gaining a nod from the Rogue Spectre. "As it was with you, Samara. Good night." "Good night." the Justicar said back before Myra stepped into her room, with the door closing behind her. Leaving Samara alone in the corridor as she carried on towards her own room. PRIME EFFECT 5 Crosscut was awoken by the sound of what could only be described as a wounded Varen crying out, which made the Bot sigh with a building annoyance as he looked over to see Evac snoring away in the bed on the other side of the room. 'For crying out loud! How is anyone supposed to get any sleep around here!' Crosscut thought as he picked up his spare pillow and threw it at his friend, hitting Evac squarely on his face and earning a spluttering cough from the Pilot. "Shut up already!" Crosscut spat with an agitated tone, earning the most bewildered expression from his friend who looked back with one eye closed. "What?…What hit me?…" Evac started to say before noticing the extra pillow, then looked back at the other Bot. "..Why?…did you throw that at me?" "Because your seismic snoring woke me up, that's why!" the angered Bot replied, earning an embarrassed expression from Evac in return. "Oh..., sorry. I didn't know...wait. Did it really sound that bad?" he asked as he gave Crosscut a curious look, which made the other Bot nod back. "Yes it did, I am actually surprised the Monastery hasn't been woken up by it now." "Okay, I'm sorry..." the Pilot said back with a slight smile, for he could not help but find Crosscut's annoyance amusing. "...Let's just try to get back to sleep." he added while throwing the pillow back to the other Bot, before lying back down on his bed, though Crosscut gave him an unconvinced look back in return. "Yeah, that's funny, considering once you get back to sleep, it will just start again." he said before doing the same, after repositioning his spare pillow. Then for a moment, the room went quiet as both Men attempted to fall back to sleep, but then just as Crosscut could feel himself slowly drifting back to unconsciousness, the sound of bed-sheets shuffling caught his attention and made him frown again. "What now?" he then asked, the tone of his voice getting increasingly annoyed while turning to see Evac getting out of bed. "Just heading to their loo, need to take a leak." the bot replied as he picked up his t-shirt and bottoms, gaining a confused expression from his friend. "I thought you already went before going to bed?" he asked, while the Pilot dressed himself. "Well, now I need to go again. Probably shouldn't have drunk so much of their fruit wine, though it was tasty." Evac said as he put on his T-shirt, before walking towards the door. "But we are supposed to stay in the room while curfew is in effect, can't you wait until tomorrow?" Crosscut asked, making the Pilot shake his head in return. "No can do, nature calls. But don't worry, I will be there and back before anyone even knows I am out there." The other bot then just watched as Evac opened the door and walked out. The door closed behind him, which earned a sigh from Crosscut. 'He will never learn.' It did not take Evac long to find the toilet despite how similar the corridors of the Monastery looked, especially since it was now night and all the lights were only just illuminating the place. But again, the Pilot was well-known for having a photographic memory...when it counted. The trip to the loo did not take very long, and then even less time had passed once he was in there and taken the 'leak'. So he reopened the door back into the corridor and looked down both it's directions, only to see no one either side. 'Yeah, I'm like a Ninja.' he thought to himself proudly while closing the door. But then when he turned back, he came face to face with an Asari, which made him almost jump. "Oh!" he gasped, earning a bewildered expression from the Woman standing in front of him. "I apologise, I did not mean to scare you." she said back, making Evac shake his head back at her in return. "Nah, you didn't scare me. Just caught me off guard a little. That's all." he said back reassuringly, though the Asari did not look completely convinced as she then looked him up and down. "You are one of the visitors?" she then asked. "Yes, my name is Evac." the former Autobot replied with a smile, having just noticed how beautiful she was, so held a hand out to Asari looked down at it with a little hesitance at first which did not go unnoticed by the Bot, but then she looked up at him and saw his kind smile so took it in her own hand and shook it. "…My name is Tolae, I feel that I must apologise again, for it has been a long time since we last had proper visitors here, not including those who re-supply this Monastery." the Asari said while returning his smile, looking as though she was starting to relax somewhat. "I see. Well, no biggy. So what are you doing out here? I mean I just came to use the Loo." Evac said with a curious tone, which earned a confused expression from Tolae. "Loo?" "Oh, I mean Toilet…" the Bot replied as he gestured to the door behind him, which made her look over his shoulder. "…It is Human-slang for Toilet." he added, which made the Asari nod back. "I see, well I came out here to find what was making that sound not long ago." "Sound, what sound?" Evac asked with an uncertain tone, fearing where this part of the conversation was heading. "Well, it sounded like a wounded creature, I could hear it from all the way from my room." Tolae added while pointing back down the corridor, which made the Bot gulp. 'Damn it, Crosscut was right!' he thought before she turned her attention back to him, and noticed his expression. "Are you okay?" "Yes, I am fine. And I never heard any sounds like that...nothing, nada." he replied, gaining an inquisitive look from the Asari. "Okay... well, whatever it was, it must have gone now since I haven't heard any more from it for the last few minutes." she then said, earning a nod from Evac. "Yeah, so..." he started to say before the sound of footsteps coming from the other end of the corridor caught their attention, making them both look that way. "By the Goddess, someone's coming. We have to get back to our rooms, now." Tolae said with an urgent tone, which made the former Autobot nod back. "Okay, well perhaps we can talk more tomorrow?" he asked with a hopeful tone, one that once again caught her by surprise. For this was a situation that the Asari had not counted on happening again, not in her lifetime. "Oh...you want to, I don't...know...if that would be possible." Tolae replied, the tone of her voice was full of uncertainty and shyness. Which Evac noticed right away, as he stared back in confusion. "Why not?" he asked as the footsteps in the distance got a little louder, making the Asari start to panic. "We will have to see... but for now, just get back in your room." she said in a hurried tone, making the Bot nod back in return. "Alright, I look forward to talking with you more tomorrow then." he replied with an enthusiastic tone and smile, earning an expression from Tolae that was both happy and worried. "Yes, till then." she said back before they then left each other's company, with the Asari heading away from the approaching footsteps and the former Autobot unfortunately towards them. 'Damn it, this is cutting it close.' he thought as he ran back to the door to his and Crosscut's room, with the footsteps sounding like they were right around the corner. The bot quickly pressed the lit panel beside the door and opened it before almost diving in, then quickly closed it again on the other side. He then heard whoever had walked towards him go past and sighed with relief. 'That was too close.' the Pilot thought before taking off his shirt and bottoms and getting back into bed, taking note of Crosscut who was now fast asleep. 'Got to say, looking forward to tomorrow now.' he thought with a smile, while he closed his eyes and drifted back to sleep. Elsewhere in the Monastery, Samara entered her candlelit room and placed her gun on the table beside her bed. The Justicar then sat on the bed with a thoughtful expression on her face, as she dwelled on her conversation with Myra earlier. So she looked down at the ground and closed her eyes, breathing in a calm and slow manner as she relaxed. "Dear Goddess… I hope that this prayer reaches my daughters, who are forever resting in the warmth of your loving embrace. For I wish to give them my most heartfelt apologies, as I have been proven wrong after so many centuries…" she said in a soft tone, only to be stopped by a familiar female voice. "A little late for that now, isn't it?" This made Samara look up to see a figure standing in the corner of her room, shrouded by the darkness that the candlelight had not extinguished. "That voice, it can't be…." the Justicar replied as her eyes widened as the person stepped into the light, making Samara's eyes widen in complete surprise as standing before the Asari was Morinth, her long believed dead Daughter. "But it is,….Mother!" the younger Asari replied as she narrowed her hateful eyes at Samara and clenched her hands into fists, which began to glow blue with biotic energy that lit up the room as her Mother watched in absolute shock. "And now you will pay for trying to kill me!" Morinth added before hurling a biotic projectile at the Justicar.
  5. CHAPTER V Evac flew the Eudora away from the scene of their last fight as fast as it's engines could take it, piloting the vessel like a master as he flew just over the rooftops, much to the chagrin of the others as they watched from behind his seat. "You know, Evac, you could fly a bit lower? I don't think my survival instincts have fully kicked in yet." Crosscut said with a sarcastic yet fearful tone, while gripping the back of the pilot's seat alongside Kat and Myra. "Quit your moaning, Crosscut. If the ship hadn't received the damage it had in our last battle, no matter how little it was…" the former Autobot Pilot began to reply as he took one hand off the controls, pointing over to the holo-screen on his left which showed a flashing red section of the Eudora." "…Then the cloak would not have been damaged, so I would not need to fly below the level that Autobot sensors work at." he continued, earning further wide-eyed stares from his friends. "For the love of God, Evac, don't take your hands off the controls." the white and red armoured Bot pleaded, earning an eye roll from his friend before placing both hands on his holo-interface. "Relax, I could fly this ship with one hand tied behind my back and both eyes closed." he replied confidently, which gained a nod from Kat. "I won't disagree with you there, Evac, but please tell me that we will be ascending a little higher soon?" "In the next ten seconds I can, just wanted to be sure that we were past the range of their own long-range sensors first." the Pilot replied, making the Human Woman look over at Crosscut. "Are you happy with that?" she asked, which made the Bot nod reluctantly in return. "Yeah… I guess." he replied sombrely before walking out of the Cockpit, making Kat roll her eyes in response before turning he attention to Myra. "Crosscut can be such a whiner at times, huh?" she asked, but the Asari just looked out of the canopy, as though she was just staring out into space. "Myra, you alright?" Kat then said, placing her hand on her friend's shoulder. "Yeah, I am fine. Just thinking..." the former Spectre replied as she looked back at her friend, who noticed the disinterested expression on the Asari's face. "I know you feeling disappointed that we have no further leads on Vasir, but I am sure something will come up." Kat added with a reassuring smile, but Myra merely looked back out of the canopy to the sky while Evac pulled the Eudora up and took it skywards once more. 'I know Kat is just trying to help, but….' she started to think before turning to the Pilot, ignoring her friend entirely. "You need to land somewhere to make repairs right?" she asked, gaining a nod from Evac in return. "Yeah, I was thinking of landing us at the City of Silver-Coast, which has an automated repair dock that doesn't ask questions." "Good." the Asari replied with a slightly cold undertone before looking back out of the canopy again, earning a concerned stare from her Human friend before she turned back to the Bot. "That's…a good idea, Evac…" Kat said, trying to make sure no one there noticed how agitated she was by Myra's snub just now. "…how long until we reach it?" she continued, focusing her attention on the Pilot while the Asari just continued to stare out of the canopy. "We should be there in a few minutes as it is the next closest City to Milgrom." Evac replied while keeping his focus on his flying, while the City in question appeared on one of his holo-screens as the Eudora continued to fly through the sky to its destination. Meanwhile, back at Milgrom, the Autobot forces had taken control of the affected area of the Industrial zone. There were Human, Cybertronian and Turian soldiers going over every square centimetre of the site, scanning away and checking for any clues as to who was fighting there. But just aways from the area, a hooded woman hid behind the wall of an alleyway and peeked out at the soldiers as she tapped her com-link. "It is done, Vasir. Barla Vonn is no more…. Yes, unfortunately, the Assassins failed in their mission to terminate Darby. Do you wish for me to continue shadowing her?…..very well." she said before activating her holo-tool and looking down at it's screen. "I still have a sensor lock on her ship, so I can still follow them...yes of course...yes, the armour our forces are using is still unidentifiable to the Autobots. So they have no idea that Leviathan was here, or that Barla had ties to us." the mystery Woman added before deactivating her holo-tool, turning away from the Autobots. "...I will get back to my original task and continue to follow the Eudora, you just have to ask if you need anything else." Then the call ended, and the hooded person walked away, exiting the alleyway at its other end and stepping into a sky-car which then took off and flew up into the sky. PRIME EFFECT 5 The Eudora had landed on one of the service platforms of the automated repair dock at Silver-Coast, and the Mechs there started scanning the ship immediately as Evac and Crosscut walked down the exit ramp and met the Mech that was waiting for them. "Dear, Sir, we are now running scans of your ship so that we can identify what needs to be repaired." it said while staring at the pair with its lifeless red optics, earning an eye roll from the Pilot in return. "I already told you what repairs we need while we were on approach, why are you even wasting time with this needless scanning?" But the Mech droid merely continued to stare back at him. "Please Sir, we have a schedule to create for your repairs, so please will you allow us to continue?" "Okay, get on with it then." Evac said as he waved the droid off, who turned around and walked back to the others as the Bot turned to his friend. "Man, I hate droids. If I had the choice, I would rather do the repairs myself." he said with an aggravated tone, making Crosscut look back with a slight smile. "You know, five hundred and…so years ago, our species weren't that different from them." "No, our ancestors were fully autonomous robotic life-forms. Nothing like those walking toaster-Ovens over there." Evac replied, his tone still laced with annoyance, but the other Bot simply smiled back. "Okay, whatever. But in the meantime what are you going to do, stand here and watch them while they repair the ship?" "Hell yes, I want to make sure they don't damage my baby." the Pilot replied before looking up at the Eudora with an affectionate stare, making Crosscut roll his eyes in return. "Okay, whatever. But please don't call the ship…'that'…ever again." he said back before walking back up the ramp, leaving the Pilot to stare daggers back at the druids as they worked. "I swear that Bot….." Crosscut started to mutter to himself before he was cut off mid-sentence by the appearance of Myra, who was walking down the ramp from the ship. "Myra, what's going on?" he asked as she approached him. "Just need some air, I will be back in a few hours." the Asari replied with a disinterested tone as she walked past and left the ship, earning a confused look from the Bot as he watched her disappear behind one of the large repair machines that surrounded the Eudora. "Myra?" Kat then called from inside, making Crosscut turn around and look back up the ramp to see her. "Our Rogue Spectre has left the ship, said she wanted to some air." he said back, noticing the concerned expression on the Human's face as she approached him. "How did she seem?" Kat then asked, which gained a knowing look from the Bot in return. "Exactly the same as Myra has been for the last few months, why do you even ask?" But the Woman just looked past him and towards the Repair Dock's exit, which connected directly with the City. "I am going after her." she said with a determined tone while walking past Crosscut, who started to follow. "I think she wants to be alone right now." he said back, earning the Human's attention as she stopped and looked back at him with a 'matter of fact' expression. "Tough." She then turned back and walked down the ramp, gaining Evac's attention as he looked away from the droids and at her instead. "Kat, I just saw Myra heading out of here and into the city. She looked kinda upset." he said, gaining a nod and smile of appreciation from her in return. "Thanks, Evac, I'm going to catch her up now." she said back, which made the Pilot look back with an understanding smile. "No problem, I'll make sure we are ready to fly by the time you two get back." he said before turning his attention back to the Mechs, shaking his head as he watched them. 'Oh come on, I could do better than that!' Neon lights shone down on Myra as she walked through the crowded streets of Silver-Coast, waves of coloured light spanning the entire spectrum danced around each other in a graceful display, much to the appreciation of the people below. But Myra merely carried on walking through the scores of people enjoying the show, not even acknowledging what was happening around her. She had a sad but thoughtful expression on her face while looking directly ahead of herself, and looked as if she was completely alone despite the amount of people surrounding her at that moment. 'I do not know how much more disappointment and failures I can take.' she thought as those who watched the display cheered as blue and yellow waves of light hit each other and caused an explosion of green light which showered everyone there. 'I have chased 'her' for two hundred and fifty years, and have jack squat to show for it.' But then something ahead of Myra caught her attention as red and blue waves blended into each other, making a purple light glow brightly and reveal a Human Man and an Asari talking to each other. This made the Rogue Spectre stop and stare as she watched the pair, who were quite clearly flirting with each other as the light show overhead brought about a romantic atmosphere. But Myra found herself engrossed by these two people, as it awakened memories of her own that came up to the surface of her mind. 'It was about two hundred and fifty-three years earlier as a younger Myra stood in a very simple but elegant looking office, with the Asari staring out of the large window that took up the entire length of the right wall of the room and looked out upon the beautiful gardens of The New Iacon Gardens. She smiled down at the sight which had such a wonderous mixture of colours as the flowers were now on full bloom. This made Myra feel peaceful and content as she stood there, which was not how she was feeling prior to being ordered to the Elite Spectre's office. 'Why was I called off my assignment whilst in the middle of it, it doesn't make sense.' she found herself thinking, but then the door to the office opened and snapped the young Asari from her thoughts as she looked over to the person entering the room. A Caucasian woman in green and yellow armour entered, and from her appearance looked to be in her mid-forties, due to silver streaks in her raven-black hair that came down to her shoulders. "Commander Ser-Ket." Myra said while saluting the older Woman, who returned the action in kind. "At ease, Major." the former Predacon replied, before stretching her arms out either side of the Asari. "Now come and give me a hug." she added with a warm smile, gaining one in return as Myra and the older Woman then entered and affectionate embrace. "Hi Aunt, Ser-Ket. Its good to see you." she replied before they both then pulled out of the hug. "Same here Myra, it has been too long." the Commander said back before walking to her desk and taking a seat there, while the young Asari looked back from the opposite end. "Now I am sorry for taking you off the assignment you were working in the Traverse…" she started to say before Myra cut her off. "With all due respect, I was very close to ending an operation involving smuggling large quantities of Red-Sand throughout the Federation by a yet not identified Mercenary group. I would have rather completed that mission first, before being handed another." she said with disappointment lacing the tone of her words, but Ser-Ket simply looked back with a stoic expression. "Myra, even though we are family. I would prefer for you to keep up your professionalism when we are on duty….and not interrupt me when I am talking." she said back, suddenly making the young Darby remember her place as she stood back to attention. "...yes, Sir, I apologise for my outburst. It was inappropriate of me." she replied with a sheepish tone, gaining a nod from the former Predacon. "Apology accepted. But believe me, I do understand your frustration. There were missions... where your Father's timing was well off the mark, when he wanted to change tactics or put me on something different altogether. But I did exactly as I was told, for he was not only my Cousin in law...but also my Commanding Officer." she said in her stoic tone, though there were hints of understanding present too which made the Asari nod back in return. "I understand." "And do not worry about the Mercs, I have already assigned another Spectre to take over that assignment." Ser-Ket replied, gaining a curious look from her Niece. "May I ask which Spectre?" "Lieutenant Williams." the Commander said back, which made Myra's eyes widen in surprise. "Ashley Williams, are you sure that is a good idea? I mean she is not a big fan of aliens, and I was working with some Salarian Intelligence Agents before being recalled." "Williams will just have to suck it up and deal with it, because I need you for something more important." Ser-Ket replied before picking up a pad that was lying on her desk, which Myra noticed was next to a photo of Quickstrike. The Autobot was her Father's Cousin, her Uncle and had been Ser-Ket's Spark-mate for many happy years until he passed away just a year after Orion. But before any of her happy memories of him could emerge in Myra's mind, she was snapped out of it as the Elite Spectre held out the pad to her. "Take a look at this." she said whilst handing it to the Asari, who began reading it instantly. "You can't be serious…." Myra replied with a surprised expression after reading the text on the pad, gaining a nod in return from the Commander. "I am afraid so, twenty-four hours ago the Turian Senator was found dead in the apartment he uses while staying here on Earth. There was no sign of forced entry or of any struggle inside the property, and his body showed no physical injuries that might explain his death." she explained, earning a confused expression from the younger Spectre. "Then what killed him? I mean you said it was murder…" "Yes, I did. That's because once the Senator's body went in for an autopsy. The Autobot Medics discovered that his entire nervous system had been fried, killing him almost instantly. They said it was like something had overpowered his body, dominating before it was completely overloaded." Ser-Ket answered, changing Myra's expression to a more thoughtful one which caught her Aunt's attention. "Myra?" "You...have no idea how this happened?" the young Darby replied, making the former Predacon nod back with an inquisitive expression. "Our Medics don't, no. What about you Myra, ever heard of something like this before?" "...Yes, I have..." the Asari started to say back, though reluctantly. But Ser-Ket just kept her focus on her Niece, waiting for her to carry on. "...but it is not a topic that we Asari like to discuss, as it is a controversial matter...more like a Taboo subject for our people. One that we do not wish to share with the Galactic community." "Do I have to order you to tell me what it is, Myra, or are you just being cute with me?" the Commander replied, with a stare that Myra could see meant that the Elite Spectre was very interested in what she had to say. "No, Sir, I will tell you." she said back, earning a hand gesture from Ser-Ket in return. "Then please, continue..." "Ardat-Yakshi." the young Asari then said, making her Aunt look back with a confused expression. "Come again?" So Myra told Ser-Ket about the Ardat-Yakshi, Pure blooded Asari that... despite the species being able to mate with either sex of any species in the Galaxy... are unable to do so. Because their own nervous systems do not gently meld with those they mate with, but in fact overpower and dominate it until their Mate's Brain haemorrhages, which more often than not...kills them. The young Darby went through every detail of the sterile Asari with her Aunt, who listened intently and only asked questions when she felt it was necessary. After Myra had finished, Ser-Ket gave her an understanding look in return. "I can see why the Asari Matriarchs would not wish for this information to be public knowledge, and it seems that the Turian Senator was a victim of one of these Ardat-Yakshi." she replied with a sigh, earning a nod from the younger Spectre. "The last murder by one was way before my time, my Mother told me about it along with everything else about the Ardat-Yakshi when I was a Teenager." "I see, well I want you and your partner to find this damaged Asari and bring her to justice. Because the murder of one of the Federation Senate is a crime that can not go unpunished, so find this killer and put her down...just like your people would if they had found her." Ser-Ket said back with a serious tone, though Myra merely looked back with a confused expression. "Sorry, but you lost me at 'Partner'?" This made the Spectre Commander roll her eyes and sigh in response, before reaching to the com-link in her ear. "Oh...yes, of course. He is waiting outside now..." "Who is waiting outside, and why do I need a Partner?" But Ser-Ket just gave the Asari a reassuring smile while holding her hand up to her com-link, ready to activate it there and then. "Myra, you are one of my best Spectres. You have done me and your Parents proud with your service to the Federation, and now I need you to partner a member to the Autobot Spectres who has been with us for the last year. He has the rank of Lieutenant Commander and already has a few missions under his belt, many of the Top Brass believes that he...like you will be an Elite Spectre in the not so distant future." she continued before tapping her earpiece. "Have you been listening...okay, come in." The Former Predacon then deactivated her Com-link while gesturing to Myra to look back at the door, earning a curious expression from her in return as she turned to see a Caucasian Human Male enter the Office. Myra gave him a curious look as he walked up to her side and saluted Ser-Ket, who returned the action. "Major Myra Darby, meet LieutenantCommander John Shepard." the former Predacon said as both Spectres turned to each other, with Myra taking a glancing look at the new arrival. For he looked to be in his early thirties with short black hair and blue eyes, he also had a stubbly chiselled jaw and looked like he had seen his fair share of combat if the scar that was on the left side of his hair-line was any indication. Shepard gave the Asari a friendly smile as he held out his hand to her, which she shook in return. "Major." he said, earning a nod in return as a slight smile graced her face. "Lieutenant Commander." 'Okay, he's cute.' she thought before turning her attention back to Ser-Ket, who had a knowing look on her face. "Right…so Commander Shepard, are you up to speed on the Ardat-Yakshi situation?" she asked. "Yes, Sir. I was listening to your whole conversation prior to being called in here." the Man replied, earning a look of surprise from Myra in return. "Good, so there is no need for us to go over it again. Okay, I will let you both get to know each other and stop wasting your time. Dismissed." Ser-Ket then said, earning a salute from the pair, though the younger Darby still looked somewhat confused and surprised as she turned away from her Aunt and headed for the exit with her new Partner, only for the former Predacon to catch their attention again. "Good luck, I know you two will do our ranks proud once again." she said back with a confident tone as she smiled at the pair, earning mirrored expressions from them in return. "Yes, Sir." Shepard replied as the door opened, stepping through first while Myra simply nodded back. "Good hunting." Ser-Ket added before her Niece then walked out of the office, with the door closing behind her. The moment the door shut, having noticed how the Asari had reacted to his earlier admission, Shepard looked over to her with an honest looking smile. "I won't tell anyone, Major…that's a promise." he said in a good-hearted tone, which earned a smile from Myra. "Thanks, I appreciate that. And you can call me...Myra." she replied in a friendly tone. "Myra,...okay, and I'm John...but my friends just call me Shepard." he said back with a slight grin, which felt like it had broken the ice even more between the pair. "Alright, so I guess we start at the crime scene. Let's grab a sky-car and get going." the Asari replied as the pair walked over to the nearby elevator, earning a gesture from the Human Spectre. "Sounds good..." he started to say as he pressed the button on the control panel next to the door, making it open to reveal the empty elevator interior. "...Ladies first." he then gestured, earning another smile from the Asari as she walked into the small room, with him following behind her. And it was at that moment, she would not admit it, but Shepard had made a good first impression with her.' Myra was then brought out of her thoughts when someone suddenly bumped into her shoulder, knocking the Asari forward slightly. "I'm walking here!" an inconsiderate and angered voice spat, making the Rogue Spectre grit her teeth and clench a fist tightly as it began to glow while noticing that the couple ahead were now gone. "What!" she said back with a wave of building anger in her voice whilst turning to face whoever it was, who suddenly floated off the ground as he was enveloped in blue energy. "Waaah...!" he suddenly cried out in fear as Myra came face to face with the man, who was nothing more than a terrified Human Man. The Asari stared daggers at him before noticing that everyone around the pair was watching, their attention completely focused on her. "Watch where your walking!" she instead in a threatening tone, gaining a quick nod from the Man in return. "Sure thing." he said in a panicky tone before the Asari let go of him, resulting in the Human falling onto his ass. But Myra had already turned away and walked away as nervous people stepping aside, creating a path for her through the crowds. Myra started walking in the direction of the harbour, though that meant navigating through more crowded streets as the light show continued overhead. But her mind drifted back to her memories of John Shepard, letting herself sink into the past once more. PRIME EFFECT 5 'The two Spectres travelled from one end of the Galaxy to the other as they attempted to locate and terminate the Ardat-Yakshi responsible for the Turian Senator's murder which it turned out was more difficult than first thought, since she was always one step ahead of them. It did not matter what leads they had or Intel, the killer Asari was always just out of reach. This went on for several months as Myra and Shepard worked closely together, with their partnership blossoming into a true friendship as they fought Mercs, Pirates and Slavers. No matter what the Galaxy threw in their path, attempting to hinder their mission at every turn. The Asari and Human Spectres dealt with each and every obstacle until finally they came upon one final lead, one that took them to the Planet Korar. Myra looked out of the window, which gave her a perfect view of the reddish-brown, barren landscape of Korar. It was a lifeless rock of a world, not exactly the jewel of what was once the supposedly great Omega Syndicate. But it did have large deposits of Thorium, a useful metal that is used in radiation shielding. So someone decided to build a Colony and Mine on this forsaken world, which unfortunately for the Asari was her and Shepard's current location. The place was a death trap, with it's barely functioning controlled interior atmosphere and it's heavily rusted metallic corridors. This made her sigh as she turned away from the glass to see Shepard back down the corridor towards her. "This place makes my skin crawl like I am going to catch something if I touch the walls." she said, gaining a nod from the Human in return as he joined her side. "Yeah, well that's what happens when you have a mining operation run by Mercs and not the Federation. They are running the mines with minimal staff right now, and they can't afford to upgrade the colony…" he started to say, only for Myra to cut him off as she looked at their surroundings. "Can't afford to, more like won't. This is after all a Merc operation, they aren't known for putting the welfare of their workers before their own. People who lose their way in the Federation, fall through the cracks down into this." she said while gesturing to the squalor, gaining a nod from Shepard in return. "Yes, I know. It's difficult to see people like this. But 'we' aren't here to help them, not that we could even if we wanted to." "Well, I can't stand seeing people living like this, so lets finally get this hunt over with and find that Ardat-Yakshi. That's as long as the Intel you picked up on Surkesh is reliable?" the Asari replied, earning an honest and taken back look from her Human Companion. "I got it straight from the Special Tasks Group, as I have a friend on the inside there. Apparently one of their Agents reported that he had come across an Asari who was about to murder one of the civilians here, he intervened and stopped her. But the Asari ran and he gave chase, then there was nothing but silence from him after that, which was two days ago." "Sounds to me like our target killed the unfortunate Salarian and ensured that no further information about her made it out, but that doesn't mean that she is still here. The Ardat-Yakshi could have left anytime between then and now." Myra replied, only for Shepard to shake his head in return while also sporting a slight smile. "I just got back from speaking to the Dock Master here, and he says that no ships have neither come nor left in the last two days. This means that our Asari should still be here, and she doesn't know that we are here either…so we have the advantage for a change." "I'm not sure…" Myra started to reply, giving her friend an unsure look. "…I mean given how she has eluded us for the past several months, this Ardat-Yakshi has obviously been at this for a very long time…centuries probably." "She sounds like a highly evolved Predator." he said back with an agreeable nod before a sudden noise from behind the pair caught their attention, making them both spin around and target the pile of crates stacked there, Shepard aiming his pistol and Myra with her glowing fist. "Come on out, we know you're there." the Asari said in an ever so slightly threatening tone, earning another noise from behind the pile before a scruffy, and filth covered Human Boy who looked about ten years old stepped out with his hands in the air. "Please don't kill me." he said in a fearful tone, earning a more understanding stare from the two Spectres as they stood down. "It's okay, we won't hurt you." Shepard said back reassuringly as he stepped toward the Boy, making him stumble backwards. "Wait, it's okay." Myra followed through in a similar manner, hoping to ease the Boy's fear. She could see that he had been severely mistreated as he had multiple bruises, also looking as though he was suffering from severe malnutrition. So as the child stared at the pair with fear in his eyes, unsure whether to stay or run, the Asari opened up one of the pouches on her utility belt and pulled out a ration bar. "Here, I think you need this." she said in a soft tone, as the boy's eyes fixed upon the wrapped food. "It's okay, take it." Shepard added with a slight smile, making the Boy step forward and take it from her hand before ripping the wrapper off and devouring the bar. "Wow, never thought I would see someone eat one of those things so fast. Especially since they taste like cardboard." the Human Male added as his smile widened, earning an understanding look from his Partner. "What's your name?" she asked with a caring tone lining her voice, making the boy look up at her as he chewed the food. "…David." he managed to say despite having a full mouth, earning a humorous expression from Shepard in return. "David, you can trust us. My name is Myra and this is Shepard, we are…" the Asari started to say as the child swallowed the food down and breathed. "You're Autobot Spectres." he replied while pointing at the insignia on her chest plate, earning nods from the pair in return. "That's right. We are here to…." Shepard added, only for the Boy to interrupt them again. "Find the Scary Asari. I overheard you talking while I was back there." "That's right, but what exactly were you doing behind those crates…other than hiding?" Myra replied. "I was looking for something to eat, but when you two appeared I decided to hide." David said back, making Shepard reach into one of his utility belt pouches and hand the kid another ration bar. "It's alright, David, here is another one. What do you know about the scary Asari?" he asked as the Boy gave the bar a hungry stare, before returning his attention to the Spectres. "I saw her in the Brown district a few days ago, I was there looking for something to eat. The place smelled bad..." David described, earning a disbelieving look from the pair in return. "Bad, really?" Myra replied while mimicking a sniff,which made the Boy nod in return. "Yes, it smelt worse than this...much worse. I had never smelt something so disgusting in my life, it smelt like death. I was about to leave when the Asari came out of nowhere and surrounded me in blue energy before throwing me out of the area." "She used her biotics on you." Myra said back. "Well if that didn't scare me, the look on her face certainly did. She had the most ferocious stare I have ever seen, and I have seen some bad guys while being here." David added. "How can we reach Brown District from here?" Shepard then asked, earning the Child's attention as he looks up at them. "I can show you if you have a map." he replied, to which the Human Spectre responded by activating his holo-tool and making a hologram of the colony's layout before them. "It's right here." David answered while pointing at a specific point, gaining a nod from Myra while her Partner planned the quickest path to the location for them. "Thank you, David. I only have one question for you now. Where are your parents?" The boy then sighed as he looked down at the ground. "They...they died some time ago, I have lived on the streets here ever since...just trying to stay alive." This made Myra look at Shepard with a slightly anxious expression, earning an understanding nod in return as he knew what she was thinking. This made her smile back before turning back to the homeless boy, who just looked up at them with a confused expression. "David..." she then started to say as she activated her holo-tool and brought up the map again. "...we are going to go and take care of that Asari but when we get back, how would you like to leave this place and come back with us to the Federation?" she asked, earning a wide-eyed stare from him in return. "What? Really, you would do that for me?" he asked in a stunned fashion, making the Spectres nod back with a warm smile each. "You've helped us, David. The least we can do is give you the chance for a better quality of life. This is not the sort of place for a nice kid like you to grow up." Shepard said, beating his Asari friend to it. "Yes, thank you. I would love to get away from the daily beatings and the never-ending hunger." the Boy replied eagerly. "...Alright, well our ship is in bay ninety four in the ship dock. Go there and wait for us." Myra continued as she showed David where their ship was, earning a nod from the ecstatic child. "Thanks, I will wait for you there... Good luck." he replied before running back down the corridor, leaving the Spectres to themselves. "It's like you said earlier, we can't change anything here..." the Asari then said while giving her Friend a knowing smile. "...but we can help one of them at least." she finished, earning a likewise smile from him in return. "Alright, so what's the plan with the Ardat-Yakshi, one of us act as bait to draw her out?" Shepard then asked, making Myra shake her head. "No, she probably knows what we both look like and can probably anticipate such a tactic. I have a better idea..." she said before looking back with a questioning look. "How's your acting skills? I mean I know from working with you for the past several months that you're not just a handsome face." she added, earning a surprised but appreciative smile from Shepard, who quickly recovered and looked at her with a confident grin. "You think I'm handsome?" he said back with a coy tone underlining his words, making Myra roll her eyes in return. "Don't let it go to your head. Come on, I will fill you in on my idea on the way." she then said as they both started walking in the opposite direction to David, heading towards the Brown district. And while Shepard walked beside his Asari friend as he let her lead the way, Myra could not help but let a smile grace her face. 'Yes, you certainly are...John Shepard.' Just a little over an hour later, both Spectres entered what was known as Brown District. And boy did it live up to the name, though neither of them thought that it was given the name on purpose. The place was in an even worse state than what they had already seen in the other areas of the mining colony, making Myra pinch her nose to stop the horrid smell from overwhelming her nostrils. "by the Goddess, that is horrendous." she said with a disgusted tone, earning a not so surprised look from Shepard as he turned to her and shrugged in return. "Hey, you wanted to check this area outright. So don't complain when you discover a fresh new smell, I did say we should have gone to blue District instead...but no, you wanted to come here." he said back in an aggravated tone, which made the Asari stare back angrily. "What? Afraid to get yourself a little dirty. After all these months of working with you and hearing you complain is really starting to annoy me." she replied, making the Human Spectre walk back up and point at her. "Annoy you? I annoy you?! No, no, no. I am in no way more annoying than you and your Asari superiority, looking down at me like some lower life form." he spat back, making Myra go right up at to his face, with both feeling each other's breath on their skin. "Well, if you are that offended by my presence, then why don't you just leave?!" she spat back, making Shepard narrow his eyes at her in return. "Oh no, you were the one moaning about this place...you leave. I can check it out on my own." he replied while unbeknownst to the two Spectres, someone was watching from the shadows with a smile gracing her face as she did so. "Fine, you think you can do this without me, then go ahead. I will go and check out Blue District instead." she spat before turning around abruptly and storming off, earning a huff from Shepard in return. "Fine, I am a Spectre too after all. I work better alone!" he shouted back as he watched her leave. "Fuck you!" she spat in return, earning a self-pleasing smile from Shepard as he turned his back to his partner and equipped his pistol. "Stuck up bitch." he said as he aimed the weapon in front of him and began to search the area, little knowing that he was still being watched. Several minutes past as Shepard continued to search through the filth that surrounded him, only to come up with nothing. "Oh come on, what's a guy got to do to get some attention around here?" he then said with an aggravated tone. "Not much really…" a feminine voice then spoke with a coy tone, making him turn around as an Asari with a slender figure appeared and looked at him with a piercing stare. "umm…you are handsome and from what I've seen, quite stubborn….just my type." "I don't think so…" he said as he aimed the pistol at her, but she merely looked back without a care as she slowly advanced towards him. "You can stay right there, because I know what you are." Shepard said back, only for the Asari to continue towards him. "Yes, just like I know what you are…Spectre. And you're here for little old me, I am very flattered." she replied while walking within a foot of him, with Shepard finding that he suddenly could not pull the trigger as he looked into her eyes, which had changed from blue to black and finding his resolve slowly leaving him. She then reached out with a hand and gently placed it on the barrel of his pistol, making him lower its aim at the ground. "You don't need that, not for what I want us to do…together." The Ardat-Yakshi then put slipped her arms around Shepard and pulled him closer, making him look more into her eyes. They were like miniature black holes that not only looked like they could draw in all light, but he could feel his sense of individuality and control being siphoned from him and into them too. "What is your name?" she asked with a curious tone, earning a stutter from the Spectre as he tried to fight it before finally succumbing. "….Shepard…" "Shepard, that's a strong name. My name is Yanis, it's my pleasure to meet you." she replied with a smile while continuing to hold him close, knowing that he was now under her control. "And now I am going to give pleasures that will blow your mind….literally, so kiss me." Shepard nodded and began leaning his face towards hers, making Yanis's smile widen ever so more devilishly as she did the same. Their lips came within millimetres of touching when suddenly the Spectre's eyes broke contact with hers, making the Asari's narrow in return. "What!" she spat in surprise as while noticing that he was looking over her shoulder, so spun around to see what could have pulled him out of her thrall. But before Yanis had the chance to see what it was, her eyes were blinded by a blue glow before she was sent flying onto the floor just aways from her prey. "Shepard!" Myra suddenly shouted as she ran over to her Partner, her fists still glowing with biotic energy as came up to him and put a hand on his shoulder. "Snap out of it, Partner. I need you." she added as her friend's eyes blinked while they remained focused on her. "…Myra?" he said slowly, earning a relieved smile from the Asari as she sighed, while Yanis recovered slowly on the floor to their left. "Yes it's me. Now pull yourself together because I need your help. We still have a fugitive to take care of." she replied before looking over to the Ardat-Yakshi, while earning a nod from, Shepard as he took a breath while kneeling to pick up his pistol. "So…was that all just for show, the falling out between you two?" Yanis asked as she got back to her feet, which made the Asari Spectre nod back with a satisfied smirk. "That's right." she said back while raising her right glowing fist at her quarry, who in return did the same. "You Spectres are as bad as the Justicars, you just can't leave us alone can you?" the Ardat Yakshi spat back as Shepard rejoined his friend's side and aimed his pistol at their enemy. "If you and your kind didn't have death following in your wake where ever you go, then there would be no need for us to do what needs to be done. But you and other Ardat-Yakshi, who aren't smart enough to live in peace and seclusion at the Lesuss Monastery deserve nothing but death. Because that is all that you can give the galaxy, and it has seen more than enough of that already." Myra replied with a stoic tone, making Yanis grit her teeth in return. "My kind and I are the genetic destiny of the Asari...or so another like myself has said, so I have no intention of dying with my back to the wall." she spat while taking on a threatening pose, making the Spectres react in return as Myra launched a biotic projectile and Shepard pulled the trigger of his pistol and fired three bullets at their quarry. But Yanis managed to bring up a biotic barrier that covered her entire skin that deflected the bullets, while also throwing a glowing blue projectile of her own which intercepted Myra's, merging them into one gigantic sphere of biotic energy that they both tried to push towards the other. "Let's see how powerful you are, Spectre." Yanis then said as she brought both hands before her and made them glow, slowly making the giant sphere move towards Myra. She in turn had to do the same just to make it stop as she bit her lip and focused, which did not go unnoticed by her Partner who then fired three more times. But the Ardat-Yakshi's biotic barrier merely deflected them again, earning a sly smile from her in return. "Nice try, Handsome. But I will have you later." she replied before waving her left hand and enveloping the Human in a blue glow, which then sent him flying into the wall just aways from the fight. "Shepard!" Myra shouted in return as she took her attention off what she was doing to look at her friend, making Yanis smile in return. "Now your mine." she replied before charging the energy of her barrier onto her hands and forcing the biotic sphere forward, making it impact the Asari Spectre and send her flying into the wall behind her with a thud. "Arrgh!" Myra cried out in pain as she fell to the ground, feeling as though she had just been hit in the stomach with a sledge-hammer. But as she tried to get back to her feet, she was knocked down onto her back, just in time to see Yanis leap onto her in a straddling position and look down at her in a predatory manner. "You are stronger than most Asari I have killed. But just like all the others, you have fallen to me...now look into my eyes." the Ardat Yakshi said as her eyes turned black, with Myra finding herself unable to look away. "No...I...won...t..." she struggled to say as her free will began to drain away, making Yanis smile at her coyly. "I am going to enjoy this..." she replied before leaning down to give the enthralled Asari a kiss, but then heard a noise from behind and turned her head to see Shepard who froze on the spot as he carried a broken piece of pipe. His eyes caught by the black stare of her own, making him lose control of his body again. "Wait your turn." she said back with a commanding tone, while Myra slowly began to come too and looked up to see her Partner. "...Shepard..." she whispered, which gained his attention as he glanced down at her as his eyes refocused. "Myra." he said back, making Yanis narrow her eyes and stare back at him in anger. "...N...N...No!" he stammered as he fought to regain control of his body, managing to take a step towards the Ardat-Yakshi. Making her exert more of herself to regain control of him, but in doing so. She forgot to watch Myra, who managed to reach up with her left hand and grab her throat. "..Now!" she shouted, earning a shocked look from Yanis as Shepard then broke free of the thrall and thrust the metallic pipe through Yanis's torso, spilling blue blood out of it's exit wound as her body went limp and fell to the ground beside the Asari Spectre. "Are you alright?" Shepard then asked, gaining Myra's attention as she looked up to see him standing over her with his hand held out to her. He gave her an affectionate smile as she took his hand in her own, allowing him to help her back onto her feet. "How...how did you manage to...?" she then started to ask, only for the Man to cut her off in return. "How did I fight off her thrall?" he replied, earning a nod from the Asari as she looked into his eyes. This made him look back with an honest expression and warm smile, which unbeknownst to him, made the Woman's heartbeat just a little faster. "I don't know, it's just that..." he started to say, before noticing that she was staring back in a curious yet peculiar way. "...every time you came into view, it was like whatever hold that other Asari had over me...just disappeared." he added, which made a smile slowly grace the beautiful blue woman's face as she stood before him. And then as if instinct had completely taken over, Myra then pulled Shepard into a kiss. Earning a shocked look from the Human Spectre, which lasted but only a split second before he let himself go and kissed her right back, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her more into him ad she did the same. Their lips pressing tightly against each other for what felt like a blissful eternity before the pair separated, pulling back just enough to look into each other's eyes. "What was that?" Shepard asked with a happy yet embarrassed tone, which made Myra blush slightly in return. "I wanted to...thank you, for saving my life. You understand?" she asked with a coy-like tone and smile, which made the Human Spectre look back with a mirrored expression. "No, I think you will have to run that by me again." he replied, making her smile grow wider. "Then come here." she said back with a seductive tone, and the two then kissed again. This time for a little longer as they locked lips, with Myra run her hands up onto the back of Shepard's head, with him doing the same. After a long moment the pair pulled back again, though this time so that they could both take a much-needed breath. "By the way, I didn't mean what I said when we were…." the Human Spectre then said with a worried expression, earning a knowing look from his Asari Partner. "It was only an act to fool the Ardat-Yakshi…and it was successful." she replied with a smile, earning a relieved sigh from Shepard as he now had a thoughtful look on his face. "So...doesn't our kiss sort or complicate our working relationship now?" he asked as they held each other's hands between them, looking into each other's eyes. "Does it matter? I for one, want to see where 'this' could go..." she said while gesturing between them with a finger. "...that is...if you want this as well?" she said back with a hopeful look, making him nod back in return with a loving smile. "Of course I do, Myra, I have wanted to for a few months now, since I felt that we had this connection between us. But I wasn't sure if I should make the first move..."he started to say back, his face became slightly more serious as the Asari's expression became more understanding. "You mean with your 'previous relationship'?" she said as she cut him off, gaining a nod from the Human Spectre in return. "Yes, like I confessed a while ago...I was previously in a relationship with a woman I worked alongside when I was in my early Twenties, but neither of us were ready for balancing our life with our work. And it was made even harder when she fell pregnant. In the end, she left me and I never saw our child again." he replied before looking away from the Asari, an ashamed expression on his face as he remembered the mistakes. But Myra could sympathise with him, after all the young Darby felt that she made her own fair share with her own family, and that was a burden that would remain with her for the rest of her life. "We all make mistakes in our lives, even me…" she replied as she cupped his face in her hand, bringing his eyes back to her own. "…but we can't let them dictate what we do with the days that are ahead of us, we can only learn from them so that we do not make those same mistakes again." she added as they looked into each other's eyes, earning a nod from Shepard. "..I want you, Myra." he replied, making the Asari smile again. "And I want you,…Shepard." This made the Human Spectre look back with a knowing smile, earning a curious look from her in return. "I think I would prefer it if you called me…..John." he replied, making Myra mirror his expression. "Alright,…John, now close your eyes." she said, with her Lover doing just that, showing that he trusted her completely. She could not help but feel her heart warm at this, while leaning her head towards his own and closing her eyes. "Embrace Eternity." Myra whispered before opening her eyes to show that they had turned black, while their minds joined together, with the pair starting down the road to becoming bond-mates and more.' PRIME EFFECT 5 As Myra continued to think of the time she spent with her beloved, the Asari had long since left the crowded party-like atmosphere of the light show behind her. It was now a peaceful quiet as she walked down a small street toward the harbour, which let her thoughts flow more coherently and easily. After the events on Korar, the Spectres took David back to the Federation where he was given a good home by their Adoption service. Meanwhile, Myra and Shepard continued with their roles as Autobot Spectres, working together to defend the ISF while also exploring where their relationship would take them next. They were together for a year and six months and was good times for the pair, filled with many happy memories. The Asari felt the warm glow of those memories as she allowed herself to experience them once more. But before Myra could lose herself to the happier times of her life, which now felt like an eternity ago. She came upon the view of the harbour and it was easy to see why the City was given the name of Silver-Coast, for it was definitely a beautiful sight. Even now at night, the ocean had a silver-like glow to it. The Asari walked up to the seafront and sat down on the bench, giving herself a view of the ocean. With the light-show now far behind her, the Rogue Spectre could see the clear night sky which was filled with stars. And this vista stirred up one of Myra's most treasured memories, which made her sigh as she looked into it once more. 'A full moon and a night sky full of stars shone down on the massive lake, the still water acting as a mirror as it reflected it back up. Myra and John Shepard walked along the Marina at Derwent Water in the Lake District of what was once called the United Kingdom. They had spent their much-earned shore-leave at the National Park, visiting each Lake and Town as they travelled from one to the next. And it was here on this Sunday evening with the stars and Moon shining down upon them, that the two Lovers stopped at the edge of a wooden walkway and turned to each other, as they had now come to a dead-end with nothing but the water of the lake ahead of them. John was wearing a smart-looking pair of light blue jeans, bike boots, white t-shirt with black leather jacket. While Myra wore a blue and white summer dress that came just past her knees, while showing her back and some cleavage. The two of them looked lovingly into each other's eyes, before the Asari sighed and turned her attention to he vistas ahead of them. "This is beautiful, John. I am so glad that you had the idea to come here for our shore-leave." she said, making the Human Spectre smile in return. "I knew you would like it, after all a little peace and quiet can be hard to come by these days." he replied, earning a nod from her. "You're not wrong there, everywhere else we've been to in the past has been busy, frantic and loud. I think we get enough of that with our day-jobs." she said back as she closed her eyes and listened to sounds of the boats tied to the walkway as they floated on the water, as well as the sound of her Man's calm breathing as he held her close. "That's why I chose this area since it has hardly changed in the past two hundred and forty-something years that Earth as been part of the ISF. Everywhere else has moved on with the times, keeping only some of its history. But here...it's like walking into the past, to a simpler time." he replied while joining his lover in admiring their surroundings, looking out at the lake and the wooded hills that surrounded it. Myra found herself looking down at the water, noticing the reflection of the night sky that made the lake look it was full pf diamonds. "You know, John, this would make a nice place to retire...don't you think?" She then said, making him look back at her. "Sure." he replied with a content tone to his voice, while the Asari then pointed out at the island which could be seen at the Lake's center. "We could build a house on that island, just for us and spend the rest of our days there in peace...together." she said with an optimistic tone, which made John smile in return. "Yeah, I could picture that. Except that the Island and most of the woodland area around the Lake is protected." he said back, making Myra look back at him with slight disappointment on her face. "You always have to pick holes in my fantasies, don't you?" she replied with a playful tone while trying to give him a meaningful scowl, but just gave up as he smiled back at her with a caring expression. "You are so cute when you try to act upset." he said back affectionately, earning a reluctant smile from the Asari in return. "That's only because I can never get mad at you." she replied, while he pointed over to the Town of Keswick that was to the east of their current location. "If we have a home here, why not just go for one of the houses on the outer edge on the lakeside of the town that has a good view of the lake." he asked, earning a surprised expression from Myra. "You're serious?" she said back, gaining a nod in return from John. "Well, it sounds like you've given this a lot of thought, retiring and everything that comes with it." he replied with a thoughtful expression, making the Asari stare back with a mirrored look. "Well I guess, I don't want to spend my entire life fighting, I mean it's been an honour...being an Autobot Spectre. But recently I have just started wanting something more than just that in my life..." she started to say while looking back out at the vistas, only for the Human Spectre to cut her off. "I know what you mean because I have thought the same thing...about the two of us." he said, which made Myra look back at him again. "Really? You have?" she asked, earning a nod from John in . "Yes, Myra, and I can't tell you how much it means for me to hear that you have thought the same." he started to say as he reached into the right-hand pocket of his jacket, before pulling out a small white box. The Asari noticed this, which made her feel a lump in her throat as she realised what this meant. John though held the box in his hands and looked back at her with a loving smile. "Because I love you more than anything else in this world, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you..." he then said, making Myra's heart beat faster with each and every word in that sentence as she watched him get down on one knee and hold the box before him, opening it to reveal a beautiful gold ring with perfectly cut sapphire firmly atop it. This made the Asari take a deep breath as John looked up at her with a loving yet slightly shy expression. "Myra, will you marry me?" he asked, but before he had time to take a breath and wait for an answer. The Asari suddenly leapt into his arms, barely giving the Man a chance to get back to his feet. "Yes!" she cried out ecstatically, as he spun they spun around in each other's arms before ending it with a passionate kiss. But before the need for air became a big enough issue for the two to separate from the said kiss, fireworks suddenly fired up from the Island at the center of the lake. Earning the pair's attention as they watched the small coloured rockets soar high into the night sky, only for them to then explode in a multitude of multi-coloured explosions that lit up the lake. "Was that your idea?" Myra asked as she watched the firework display, earning a nod from John as he held her in his arms. "Yes, I managed to get one or two of the locals to help me set that display up on the island, they have waited there most of the evening." he replied, gaining a little chuckle from Myra in return. "What would they have done if I said no?" she asked, but John merely looked back with a knowing smile. "I never doubted what your answer would be." he replied, which made Myra smile back lovingly. "I love you, John Shepard." the Asari said as she held out her right left hand to him, while he held her in his arms. "I love you." he said back before slipping the ring onto her wedding finger, and then they clasped their hands together and kissed once more as the firework display continued overhead.' No matter how many times she relieved that memory in her mind, Myra always felt exactly the same emotions as she did on the night each and every time, though it never lasted. Because just like someone pulling at a loose thread of a beautifully crafted tapestry, causing it to unravel and become ruined. The darker memories of her life would suddenly come to the surface, and so just as she had experienced one of the happiest moments in her long life, the Asari was again confronted by the darkest. 'Myra found herself limping into the center of a half-destroyed church, wearing a Wedding dress that was tattered and burnt and no longer the bright white it was supposed to be. She tried to take a deep breath, but nearly choked on the smoke that was still lingering in the air from the small fires that littered the building. So Myra attempted to breath again through her nose, only for the smell of burnt flesh and wood to overcome her. The Asari ached all over as she walked until coming to a stop, looking with wide eyes at what surrounded her. Because lying around her were the lifeless bodies of family friends and guests, all of them had died on what should have been a most wondrous day for all gathered there. But as she looked down at the ground in front of her, trying to focus on something other than the bodies that littered the large room. Myra took a breath and gasped in shock, as lying there at her feet was the corpse of her Mother...Liara Darby. Tears ran down the younger Asari's cheeks freely as she stared down at the body, her heart aching with despair and anguish. But then her attention was suddenly caught by the sound of a familiar male voice calling from behind her. "...Myra..." he called out with a painful tone to his voice, earning another gasp from her as the Asari recognised who it was in an instant. "John!" she cried out before turning around, blinking as she did so...' But When she opened her eyes, Myra found that she was still sitting on the bench and felt someone watching her, so looked up to see that Kat was standing beside her. "Myra,...are you alright?" she asked with a caring tone, to which the Asari nodded in return. "I just wanted to get some air, and I ended up..." she started to reply, only for her friend to cut her off. "Thinking about the past?" Kat said back with an understanding tone, which made the Rogue Spectre nod once more. "Yes." Her Human Friend then sat down beside the Asari and looked out at the ocean view. "Want to talk some more?" she asked, earning an ever so slight smile from Myra. 'Kat, you never give up. I like that.' she thought before nodding in return. "Alright." "We talked about your parents the last time we spoke alone, but I know there is more to what..." Kat started to say before their com-links activated simultaneously, earning a sigh from the Human. "Kat, Myra. Its Crosscut. You there?" "Yes." they both said at the same time, though the Asari could not help but be thankful for the timely distraction. "I took our scan of Barla's corpse and ran it against Autobot records..." he started to say, while both Women listened intently. "...and I came up with a match. Funny thing is….that your name comes up on the file in question, Myra." the Bot added, making her eyes widen as she remembered something in return. 'Of course, why didn't I see that the first time.' she thought before raising her hand to her earpiece, gaining a curious stare from Kat. "Are the Eudora's repairs nearly complete?" the Asari asked in return, to which she then heard Crosscut speaking to someone else off mic for a moment. "Evac says the 'blasted toasters' should be done by the time you get back." the Bot then replied, earning a smile from Myra. "Good. Tell him to set a flight course for Lesuss. We'll head there the moment Kat and I return, Myra out." she then said before deactivating the com-link and standing up, though her friend simply looked back with a questioning expression. "Myra, what's going on?" "I might know someone who can help us, it's a long shot. But it's better than nothing." the Asari replied with a hopeful tone, earning a smile from Kat. "Then what are we waiting for? Let's go." she said before getting to her feet and walking back the way they came, in the direction of the Eudora.
  6. CHAPTER IV Both Crosscut and Evac were busy with their attention completely focused on the holo-map that was being emitted from the pilot's interface as Myra and Kat entered the Cockpit, the Bots did not even look over to the two Women as they joined them. "So what do you have?" the Asari asked as she looked at the holo-image, which showed a particular area of the galaxy. "We have managed to narrow down the window to two possible locations in the 'Serpent Nebula'…" the White and Red armoured Bot said as he typed on his holo-tool and zoomed into the image to reveal the two areas. "Well, the first of the two locations is 'Unity', you know the space station built two hundred and fifty years ago by the ISF, to replace the long destroyed Citadel." he added, earning a nod from Myra. "Yeah, I know it. I was there with my Mother, the day it was brought online…" she started to say as everyone listened, with Kat noticing her friend take a breath as she mentioned Liara. "…It took over as the political, cultural and financial capital of the Federation…since the majority of Senate was no longer happy at remaining at New Iacon, despite them having done so for the previous two hundred and fifty years." she added with a touch of resentment to her voice, earning a curious look from Evac, but before he could ask why Evac jumped in. "And the other place is Milgrom, Capital city on the planet Bekenstein. Which despite its location in Federation space, continues to be a safe haven for the criminal element." he added while bringing up the other planet on the holo-display, which Myra looked at with a thoughtful expression. "Well, considering the first is the Capital of the Federation and the other has a more shady rep. Then I am going to say…. Bekenstein, it is…" she replied, gaining nods from the others. "…since I doubt that Leviathan would be able to hide on the Unity station without the Autobots knowing about it." "Okay, I will set course for Bekenstein and activate our stealth mode. We wouldn't want to alert any Autobots to our presence there now, would we?" Evac asked with a knowing look, earning a smile from Myra. "Of course not." she replied as both Kat and Crosscut shook their heads in unison. "We'll see about that." the Human Woman added with a knowing smile, while the pilot returned to his controls and started typing on it's holo-interface. "Charging up the space-bridge drive now." "Okay, take us there, Evac." Myra then said as she looked out of the canopy to the void ahead, before the pilot then gave the Asari a curious look. "When you mentioned Unity earlier, you didn't sound like you were happy with the Senate's decision Myra?" he asked, gaining the Asari's attention. "And you are right, Evac, my Mother and I were not exactly jumping for joy at the decision. We felt that they were betraying the Human and Cybertronian societies that had brought them together in the first place. I mean if it hadn't been for their Alliance, then the Reapers would have destroyed everyone and we wouldn't be here to talk about it." she replied, earning understanding looks from the rest. "Well ever since the last Prime passed away centuries ago, the Senate has unfortunately not been as good at their job of holding the Federation together as they should have been." Yeah, look at how many members have jumped ship in the last couple of centuries. The Asari, the Krogan, the Hanar, the Volus and recently the Salarians." Evac added, gaining a nod from the other Bot. "Three of the founding members left inside of the few centuries that 'Unity' has been in operation, as well as several others of which some have already been mentioned." Crosscut said while gesturing to his friend. This earned a serious look from Myra suddenly. "Well, that is all in the past, and we have a job to do. So let's get to it…" she said in a commanding tone before turning around and heading for the door, stopping at it as she looked back at the team. "Kat and I will take to the ground and see if we can find our little Volus…" she said, earning a nod from her Human friend who walked over and joined her. "Ready when you are." she said, gaining a smile from the Asari who then looked back to the bots. "Crosscut, you stay on board with Evac. We will call if we need any back-up." "Roger that, Myra." he added, while the Pilot turned around and gave the leaving pair a knowing look. "I can also sweep through the Com-channels to see if I get a location or my Intel for you." Myra gave him an appreciative smile in return. "Good thinking." she replied before looking back to Kat. "Let's suit up." This earned a nod from her friend before they then both left the cockpit as Evac turned back to his controls, while Crosscut sat down at the station behind him. "Opening a space-bridge in four….three…two…one." the pilot then said before a big green vortex appeared in front of the Eudora, which the ship then flew straight into. PRIME EFFECT 5 Meanwhile, in the Bekenstein Capital, a group of Mercs in matching jet-black armour stood together in the centre of an old, abandoned-looking warehouse, speaking amongst themselves. This all came to a stop when the main door was opened, gaining their attention as they turned around to see Barla Vonn walking in. The Volus felt his heartbeat and breathing hasten as he looked at the group, for this was not what Barla had expected considering the call he made earlier. The group of Mercs were made up of Vorcha, Krogan and two Humans. But as the new arrival neared them, they separated to reveal a Batarian in their centre, who then took a step toward the Volus and gave him a narrow-eyed stare. "What...is...going on here? I was told I would meet Vasir at this location." Barla asked with a slight stammer, unintentionally revealing his growing fear to the Men, who all grinned in return. "And you will, but our Boss wanted to make sure she had some protective measures in place first." the Batarian leader replied, while the Volus stared back and breathed a little heavier. "What do you mean?" Barla asked, which made the Batarian take a metallic orb out from a pouch on his utility belt and tap it on its top, activating it as it glowed in his hands. "Here she is..." he started to say before letting go of the orb, which then floated in towards the Volus before an energy field suddenly appeared around it and formed the silhouette of a person. "You disappoint me, Barla.." a familiar voice began to say as the holo-image formed the perfect projection of Tela Vasir, who stopped right in front of the Volus and glared down at him. "But..., Vasir, I do not understand. What did I…?" he said back in a worried tone, unsure of what the Asari would say next. But she merely held her hand up, making him stop mid-sentence. "First you get captured by the enemy, and now I hear that they are on their way to this very planet. Tell me, how does this look to you?" she replied, earning a gasp from the Volus who noticed that the Mercs were readying their weapons behind the hologram. "But, there is no way that Darby managed to follow me. I mean her group were still fighting when I left, and there are no tracking devices on my shi…." he said in a panicked tone as he defended himself, but Vasir despite being a hologram, simply replied by kicking him in the chest and sending the little Alien onto his back. "I do love this new hard-light hologram, now shut it, Barla, and listen." she said while narrowing her eyes at the pathetic Volus, who got onto his knees in a grovelling position. "I did not turn up here today in person, because I have far more pressing matters to deal with…" Meanwhile, at a secret location, the Asari stood in a large dimly lit area with a spotlight shining down upon her. "…like trying to destabilise the Federation even more than it has already become." Vasir added as other Leviathan Agents took readings from what looked like a group of Cybertronians, who were all strapped down onto metallic semi-upright berths and hooked up to medical-looking equipment. "So to prove you are still worthy of working in my organisation, I will have you stay here and set a trap for dear Myra Darby." she said with a slight smile, earning a gulp from Barla in return. "Me…but I…" he started to stammer in return, gaining an eye roll from the Asari in return. "For goddesses sake, Barla, spit it out." she said in return as he looked over at the Mercs standing behind her. "…I don't think…these Mercs will be enough." The soldiers gave him an angry stare in return, which made the Volus feel as though he was about to fill his pants. But Vasir sighed in return, before looking back at the men. "They are not the only soldiers I have sent to help…." she started to say before clicking her fingers, making the door behind the group open and reveal another group of Mercs who then entered the room. Barla looked over at them and saw an Asari, a Turian, two Krogan and a Salarian. This made Vasir smile as she looked back at them, gesturing for the group to come closer. "Barla, I would like for you to meet Alestia, Kuril, Salamul, Jax and Menos." she added, earning a nod from each member before they turned their attention to the Volus. "They are amongst the best Assassins and Mercs this galaxy has to offer." the Asari added, noticing that Barla looked a little less nervous as his posture changed. "Alright...but I would like a ready means of escape, just on the off chance that these Mercs aren't as good as you say." he replied with an unconvinced tone, one that made Vasir stare back at him with a blank expression before looking away from the Volus. This was because one of the Asari's Agents had gained her attention as he stepped beside her. "Good, I will be right there..." she said before looking back at Barla. "...I am needed elsewhere, so will I leave the details of Myra's trap in your hands Barla. Vasir out." the Former Spectre added before her image faded to nothing, revealing the metallic orb which then flew back into the Batarian's hands. "Right then, so what's the plan?" the Volus then said in what was supposed to be an enthusiastic tone, but came off as just half-hearted as the Mercs all rolled their eyes and sighed in return. As this was happening, Vasir stepped out of the spotlight and looked at the Agent who had gained her attention earlier. "Patch my com-link into the long-range comm-relay, I have another call to make." she said, earning a nod from him in return before he turned away and left the area. So the Asari looked over at the people who were strapped down to the medical berths around her like lab-rats before her holo-tool activated and beeped. 'Excellent, time to tie up a loose end.' she thought before linking it to her com-link and tapping the device in her ear. "It's Vasir, have you arrived on Bekenstien... good. Now even if that little Volus manages to snuff out Darby, I want you to end him...I am glad we see eye to eye on this. I will leave it to you on how to deal with him, call me when it's done...Vasir out." she said before ending the call and deactivating her holo-tool, and looking ahead as a devious smile appeared on her face. PRIME EFFECT 5 Meanwhile, down in the outskirts of the city, Mira and Kat walked down the Eudora's landing ramp and joined a large grouping of people queuing up to enter the city. "Okay, we are on the ground. You better take off before someone decides to give the ship a real sensor scan." the latter said into her com-link, which then made the Eudora re-ignite its engines and lift off the ground as it closed its ramp. "Roger that, Ground team. We will be close by if you require assistance. Good luck." Evac replied before the ship turned its engines back into a horizontal position and flew back up into the sky, leaving the pair on their own. So now what? Queue up and get our IDs scanned so that they can then arrest us?" Kat then said to her Asari friend with a sarcastic tone, earning a lopsided grin from her. "Of course not, that would be stupid." Myra replied before activating her holo-tool in front of the Human Woman, while two Salarians looked back at them. "We use this, now hold my hand." she added while holding the hand out that had the holo-tool emitted around it, to which Kat smiled and took it in her own. Then suddenly she felt a fuzzy feeling come over her skin like a low voltage electrical current, and then the pair shimmered away right before the Salarians, making them wipe their eyes in disbelief. A moment later, after passing through the customs checkpoint and turning down into an alleyway just aways from it. The two friends suddenly shimmered back into view, with both looking in either direction to see if anyone had noticed, but no one at either side of the small back street had seen them as they continued to walk past. "Well, that was fun, sneaking past the guards like that." Kat said as Myra smiled back, before deactivating her holo-tool. "I am just glad that this personal cloak of mine is still top of the line, or else we would never have gotten past the sensor grid that surrounds that Autobot checkpoint." "I know what you mean, but how do you even have that device?" her human friend asked with a curious expression. "I originally received this from my Dad, it sort of been passed down the Family. I got it upgraded five years ago so that I could pass through Autobot outposts undetected, I am just glad that they haven't cottoned on to it yet." the Asari replied, earning a nod from Kat. "Okay, so any idea on where we should start looking?" "Last time we found Barla, he was located in what could only be described as 'a slum'. But Milgrom has nothing like that, it's too much like Ilium, so…." Myra started to say before her and Kat's com-links activated. "Myra, Kat, its Evac. I thought you should know that while going through the local com-frequencies, I have picked up something interesting. Take a listen of this…"he said before an unknown male voice suddenly spoke. "I have set up security around the perimeter of your location, leaving a minimal force to guard your escape route on the south side should anyone attack." "Very good, make sure my shuttle is ready to fly on a moment's notice." another more familiar voice spoke, making Myra's eyes widen in response. "Barla!" she said, gaining a nod from Kat in return. "Yep, that's him. But something doesn't feel right." "I agree..." Evac began to reply, earning a thoughtful look from the Asari as she listened. "...I mean the little Volus has his place all bottled up tight, except for his escape route." he continued before Kat spoke up again. "It screams of a trap, giving us the perfect little way to get in there and block off Barla's escape." This made Myra nod in return. "Yes, I agree. Did they speak about anything else?" she asked. "No, that's all I managed to hear before the signal cut off." the former Autobot Pilot replied. "That's convenient, so we get just the right Intel we need. But did you manage to track the signal to its source?" Kat jumped in. "Yes, it is in the Industrial sector about four kilometres to the west of your current position. Sending the data to your holo-tool now Myra." Evac replied as her holo-tool activated, revealing the location on its map. Okay, Kat and I will head there now. And I think it will be a good idea for you to bring the Eudora too, add some firepower to our attack." she said, earning a curious look from her Human friend. "You have something in mind?" the Pilot asked, making the Asari smile back confidently in return. "We are going to spring the trap, just not in the way that Barla thinks. Now I will tell you on the way." she replied before gesturing to Kat to follow as the pair then walked out of the alley, back into the main streets. Thirty minutes later, two of the black armoured Human Mercs stood on the roof of a building and looked over at another which looked same. "I still can't believe that little shit called in more men, like our team was not enough to protect his Enviro-suited ass." one said to the other, who nodded in return. "Well we're just as good and professional as any other Merc team, but he would rather have those 'Elite ones' with him right now." This made his friend look back in a surprised state, shaking his head in response. "Keep it down, we don't know if we totally alone at the mome..." he started to say before someone suddenly grabbed him by his head, twisting and snapping his neck in quick succession. This made his mate turn around to see a Human Woman letting go of the man's head, with his body falling to the ground in a heap. "...you're not, what a shock." she replied, earning a dumbfounded expression from the other guy. "What!" he gasped as he looked between the now dead body of his friend and the intruder, then quickly re-composing himself and activating his holo-blade. "You'll pay for that bitch." he snarled, while the Woman unsheathed a combat knife from her utility belt and held it before her. "Well, let's find out then." she replied in a calm confident tone before the Merc suddenly swung his blade at her, making the Human pull back and deflect it with her knife. But then she grabbed his arm and quickly stabbed it through his elbow, making him cry out before she kicked him in the knee and forced the Merc down on to it. And then the Woman pulled the knife out of his arm and dug it into his neck and sliced from one side to another, making him bleed out and die in seconds as she let his body fall to the ground. "Guess today's not the day." she muttered to herself before activating her holo-tool, making a holo-visor appear over her eyes as her com-link activated. "Kat, I just received your signal. So you activated your 'Sentry Interface' then." Evac said, gaining a nod from her while she looked back at the adjacent building. "Yeah, so can you see what I am seeing right now?" "Of course I can." the pilot replied, earning a sigh from Kat. "So, we can see numerous enemy contacts around the building in front of me." "And I just found what we need for that distraction Myra wants." the pilot said as he highlighted what looked like fuel tanks just west of the building. "Right, let Myra know then while I will get myself set up here." Kat replied as she equipped her sniper-rifle and looked through its scope. "Just did, she is making her move now." Evac said before the Human Woman tapped her com-link to end the call, so she could focus on her next task. Meanwhile, down at the building's south entrance, another Human Male and a Batarian stood guard with their weapons ready while looking ahead at Barla's escape ship, which was just aways from them as the latter tapped his com-link. "Nothing yet, everything is quiet." the Batarian reported in a cold tone though unbeknownst to either him or his comrade, a long piece of metal cable was slowly moving up into the air behind them like a snake while dimly glowing with biotic energy. "Did you hear that?" the Human then said as the very bottom end of the cable scrapped itself over the floor, gaining a nod from his comrade as they both turned to see to investigate the noise. Their eyes widened in disbelief at what they saw, while the blue glowing cable floated in the air before them. But before either man could say a word, the cable moved with lightning-fast speed as it wrapped around their necks and constricted like a Python, making them gasp for air as both Mercs grabbed at the cable and tried to pull it off. Then just as their eyes started bulging from their sockets as they opened their mouths wide in a vain effort to breath. The cable tightened one last time, earn a loud snap from their necks before both men fell to the ground dead with the cable still wrapped around them. Then as both bodies lied there on the concrete floor, with their faces permanently fixed in the expressions of their last moments. A shimmer suddenly appeared over them and changed to reveal Myra, who stood and looked down at them while her blue glowing hand died down as she tapped her com-link. "I'm in." she whispered, before looking down at her holo-tool which had a red blip on it's screen. 'Looks like the cloak s put of use until it recharges.' she thought before deactivating the tool and looking back into the open door entrance. 'I don't need it now anyway.' she added while taking a breath and then entered the building. PRIME EFFECT 5 Barla stood in the very centre of the room, with two more Mercs standing either side of him while the little Volus typed on his holo-tool. Both soldiers kept their attention on the perimeter of the building as they held their rifles ready before the one on his right turned to him. "Mr Vonn..." he started to say, before he was suddenly flung off into the far right wall in a flash of blue energy. This made Barla jump almost out of his enviro-suit as he spotted Myra, pointing at her in a panicked state. "There she is!" he spat, making the other Merc turn and aimed his weapon at the Asari. But she simply waved her glowing blue hand to her left, suddenly flinging him in the said direction like a rag doll until he hit the wall there with a cracking sound. "So..., Darby, you've... found me." Barla stuttered through his breather helmet, earning a smirk from Myra in return. "Did you really think I wouldn't?…" she asked in a knowing tone, before clenching her fist and making it glow. "So I'll give you two choices..." she carried on as Barla's heartbeat quickened again, making him breath faster and heavier. "...you can either tell me everything you know about Vasir and I will kill you quickly, or you can stay silent and I will slowly flay you alive...with my mind." she added with a cold stare, one that brought a chill down the Volus's spine as the Asari walked right up to him. "Do it now!" he suddenly shouted, earning a curious look from the Rogue Spectre before she was hit by a biotic blast, sending her to the ground hard. "Not so fast, Darby!" a feminine voice spoke as Myra recovered from the hit, turning around to see another Asari walk over from the other side of the room to her. This made the Spectre smile as she recognised this new arrival. "Better stay down, Myra, unless you want more of this." the Asari warned while clenching both her hands into glowing fists. "Why's that, Alestia?" Myra asked in return as she got back onto her feet, wiping a trickle of blood from her mouth. "I know your biotics are good, but they don't match mine." she added as her skin started to glow blue in return, but her attention was then caught by two red dots that appeared on her chest. "Perhaps... but unlike you, I didn't come alone." Alestia replied as two shimmers appeared on either side of her and revealed themselves to be a pair of Krogan, each had a perfect aim on the Rogue Spectre's heart. "Don't move, Darby, or else we riddle you with bullets." the right one snarled, making the Asari Assassin gesture to both. "Jax, Salamul, just keep her in your sights." This made Myra's eyes widen a little in surprise as she looked at the three of them, which did not go unnoticed by them. "Alestia, Jax and Salamul. Somehow I doubt Barla could afford your help, even if he sold everything he owned." she said as she gave the Volus a knowing stare. But before he could say anything, a Turian shimmered into view right behind Myra and held his holo-blade to her throat. "You're right, Myra, he couldn't afford us." he said, gaining a glare from the Asari in return. "You remember me, dont you?" he added with a smirk. "Kuril, you bastard. After you killed those civilians on Horzion and pinned it on me, I'll bury you six feet under." she spat while gritting her teeth. "Let her go Kuril, we already have someone who can hold her." Alestia said with a slither of authority in her voice, making the Turian reluctantly release the Spectre. "I would say that your lucky Myra, but we have something more imaginative planned for you." he sneered while removing the blade, earning breath from her in return. "We will see about tha..." she started to reply before out of nowhere, holo restraints appeared around her feet and arms, with the former being lifted into the air. "What the..." Myra spat as a Salarian walked around to her Left side into view, his attention focused on his holo-tool. "I believe you know Menos?" Alestia then said while gesturing to the Salarian, earning a nod from Myra in return. "Of course, he is a Tech expert and the only Salarian to hack the Federation's financial accounts and killed the ." "Pleasure to meet you, Myra Darby. I admire your work...despite it being against our employer." he said in a matter of fact tone. "Honour among thieves, right?" the Asari replied, gaining a nod from him in return as the five Assassins stood before her. "Five of the best Assassins in the galaxy...and they are after little old me, I'm flattered." Myra said with a sarcastic tone, while Barla walked around to join the others. "So, since the little shit there could not afford one of you...let alone five. I know that there is only one that could." she then said with a knowing expression on her face, earning a playful stare from Kuril. "I think she wants us to talk..." he started to say, only for Alestia to cut him off. "We don't need to, you already know who it is." "Yeah, Vasir,...so tell me where she is." Myra replied with little to no worry in the tone of her voice, gaining a surprised look from both Krogan. "The Asari is demanding answers from us?" Jax asked, earning a curious stare from Alestia. "Myra, what do you think is going to happen here? I mean, you came here alone and are now completely helpless before us." But the Rogue Spectre simply gave her and the others a lopsided smile in return. "Who said I came here alone?" she said before Kuril noticed her clench one of her hands, making her fingers tap a holo-button that appeared on it's palm. "What was that!" he spat while pointing at the Asari's hand, but suddenly there was an explosion outside which shocked the Assassins as their com-links activated. "We are under attack, I repeat we are under attack..." one of the soldiers guarding the perimeter shouted down the com-link, which made Barla gasp as he noticed a knowing grin from Myra. "...a ship has destroyed this building's fuel tanks and is now firing on u..." the Merc continued before he was suddenly silenced by the sound of a rifle-shot, which made Alestia stare at their Asari prisoner with a questioning look. "Who do you have with you?" she spat with anger lacing her words, but Myra simply stayed mute and smiled back. When suddenly the skylight overhead was shattered into pieces as Crosscut dropped while hooked on a line from the Eudora. "Hello!" he cried out in a happy tone as he opened fire on the Assassins, making Alestia form a barrier before her as the others opened fire back. But the Bot had noticed that his friend was in a Tech-trap and spotted the Salarian with his holo-tool, so fired his right gun and took the Tech expert down via shot to his gut. This deactivated the holo-restraints and freed Myra, who performed a quick biotic flare that blew out energy around her and made the Assassins drop back as Crosscut joined her side. "Is this a private party, or can anyone join in?" he joked while firing at the two Krogan, who dived out of the way. "Thanks for the save." she replied while Kuril looked over at Alestia. "Get that little shit out of here, we will handle Darby." he said as he activated his holo-blades, making one appear on both arms. "But I am the only Biotic here, so I should..." she started to say before the Turian cut her off as Salamul was taken down by a shot to the head. "Just go!" he spat as he turned round to see the Rogue Spectre launch herself at Jax, before wrapping a biotic lash around his neck and snapping it. "Come on!" the Asari spat as she grabbed the Volus's hand and pulled him away from the fight, towards the south exit. "Yes, get me out of here." he spat with a cowardly tone as Kuril turned his attention to Myra. "So you going to have your friend just shoot me, or do you have the guts to face me yourself?" he said, making her gesture back to Crosscut. "Kuril's mine, go after the other two and slow them down." she said, earning a nod from the former Autobot before he gave chase and left his Asari friend with the Turian. "Come on!" he then spat while launching himself at her. Meanwhile, outside the building, Alestia and Barla neared his escape transport. Only stopping when the sound of a bullet hitting the floor behind them gained their attention, turning around to see Crosscut catching up. "Freeze!" he shouted, making the Asari smile before throwing a biotic blast his way. This made the Bot dive to the ground, just missing the projectile as it impacted the floor where he once stood. But he performed a forward roll and ended up back in a kneeling position, before firing back at her. Alestia though quickly erected a barrier between her, the Volus in her protection and their attacker. "Enough of this!" she spat before launching two more biotic projectiles at Crosscut from behind her barrier, with the first hitting the ground next to him and stopping his attempt at evasion. This allowed the second to hit the Bot directly in his chest, winding him as he was knocked to the floor hard. "Move!" Alestia then snapped, gaining a fearful nod from the Volus as he ran up the landing ramp of his vessel, with the Asari close behind while her barrier faded to nothing. Once inside the ship, Barla hurried through the passenger room to the cockpit as he saw his Mech pilot sitting there at the controls, its back to him. "Power the engines and prepare for launch." he said while Alestia stood in the cockpit's entrance, looking back towards the ship's exit ramp. "You're good now, right? Because I should head back and help Kuril." she asked, earning a nod from the Volus as he kept his attention on the Mech. "Yes, yes, go if you must." he said before noticing that the Pilot had done nothing yet, so grabbed it's seat and spun it round to face him. "What's wrong with...you...?" Barla began to say, as Alestia turned back to see what he was on about. Only for both their eyes to widen in response to what they saw, as the Mech pilot was completely deactivated with its chest blown open and internal circuitry fried. "What! That's not possible." he spat, while the Asari began to turn around as she clenched her fist and made it glow. "Maybe Myra's team already..." she started to say before her attention was caught by someone standing directly behind her in the passenger room, her eyes widening in surprise as she recognised the new arrival. "It was you? But I thought we were on the ..." Alestia started to say before she was suddenly silenced as she was cut off by the other person, who spoke with a feminine voice while grabbing the Asari's head with lightning-fast reflexes. "Not anymore." she said before snapping the Assassin's neck and earning a cowardly squeal from the Volus, who saw the whole thing and fell on his arse in fear while fumbling around. But the unidentified female simply dropped Alestia's now dead corpse to the floor and entered the Cockpit, stopping directly in front of the scared Barla and looking down at him. "Please…I…can prove…myself to her, just give…me…another…" he stuttered before she grabbed him by the throat, and lifted him off the ground. "You have been given enough chances Barla, now all there is for you to do…." the Woman said as held them with a vice-like grip around his enviro-suited neck. "…is to look into my eyes." she continued before the Volus suddenly screamed in pain, which could be heard from even outside of the ship. Back inside the building and Myra and Kuril clashed again as the Asari blocked yet another attack from the Turian, as his holo-blade hit the biotic barrier which covered her entire body. "I am getting sick and tired of your cowardly biotics…." the Assassin sneered as he leaned in towards the Rogue Spectre, but she simply responded by knocking him back on his ass with a biotic punch to the stomach. "…why don't you face me without them." Kuril added as he got back onto his feet, earning a smirk from the Asari in return. "Okay, have it your way." she replied before the blue glow of her barrier faded away, leaving Myra completely defenceless as she took up a defensive stance. "Finally." the Turian said before launching himself at the Rogue Spectre, swinging his blades left and right which she evaded with dodges, and making Kuril grit his teeth more with each and every miss as his anger started to build. But then he lunged with his right holo-blade, with Myra responding by stepping aside so that his inertia would carry him past her. She then turned around and elbowed him in the back, knocking onto his hands and knees with a grunt. "Bitch!" he spat before quickly getting back to his feet and spinning around with his holo-blades, catching the Asari on her arm and drawing blood as a little spurted out and onto the floor, which this time made the Assassin grin in return. "One cut down, and I have plenty more like that to give you." he said, earning a cold stare from Myra in return. "Oh no, you won't." she replied before rushing at the Turian, making him attack in return as he tried to slash her again. But the Asari kicked his right arm away and got in close so that his left arm could not strike her, before grabbing it with his right arm. "This ends now!" she added while punching at his stomach with her left arm, which was met by the sound of something sharp stabbing through his armour and the flesh underneath it. This made Kuril suddenly cough up some blood before looking down to see a glowing blue holo-blade stuck in his gut, before looking back at the Asari's face with a surprised expression. "That's a biotic blade, you Turian Bastard." Myra said back before twisting it in his wound, making him grimace as his blood spilled out onto the floor even faster. "You….Bit…" he tried to say before his life slipped away, which the Rogue Spectre replied by pulling her blade out and letting the Assassin's body fall to the ground. 'Now time for Barla.' she thought while turning around and running back out of the south exit, while the biotic blade disappeared from her arm. The Asari's eyes widened as she exited the building, for just ahead of her was Crosscut who was just getting back to his feet. "What happened?" she asked with a look of urgency on her face, while the Bot dusted himself down. "That Alestia knocked me out with her biotics, I told you I should have handled the Turian." he said in return, earning an annoyed look from the Asari who was about to answer before her eyes fell upon the ship which was still there before them. "What? How is the ship still here? I mean…" the Rogue Spectre asked in a confused tone, only to be cut off by the Bot. "Maybe the ship's broke down and Barla's cowering in there." But the Asari ignored him and tapped her com-link. "Kat, how's it going up there?" "Evac and I have cleared the area of Mercs." her human friend replied, gaining a calm nod from Myra. "Good work, Crosscut and I have the Volus trapped in his ship. Finish up and come join us." "On our way." Kat said back before the call ended, making the Asari look back at the former Autobot. "Let's go get him." she said before turning away and walking toward the ship, earning a sigh from Crosscut in return. "You're the boss." And together the pair walked up the landing ramp of the ship and into its interior which was dimly lit, so the Cybertronian activated his torch which cut through the darkness and revealed two bodies lying just beyond the entrance to the Cockpit. "Myra…" he started to say, but the Asari had already noticed as she made her left hand glow brightly, illuminating the ship's interior with blue light as she walked into the cockpit and knelt beside both bodies. "What in the goddess?" she exclaimed in a shocked tone, while Crosscut joined her side and activated his holo-tool before taking a scan of the Asari and Volus bodies. "Myra...they are both dead." he replied while reading the data appearing on the holo-screen above the tool. but when his friend did not answer, he looked up and saw the confused and agitated expression on her face as the Rogue Spectre stared down at both bodies. "How...?" Myra asked, only for Crosscut to quickly cut her off with his answer. "Alestia's neck was snapped, so she died instantly." "And what about Barla, I mean there is no signs of damage to his enviro-suit?" the Asari replied while looking over the Volus' still form. "My scanner confirms that his suit is in full working order, but his entire nervous system is completely fried. I haven't seen anything like it." the Bot said back, earning Myra's attention as she looked at him and then at his screen, her eyes going over every detail on screen. "I have..." the Asari began to say before she was cut off by the others arriving on the scene. "The remaining Leviathan Mercs have retreated, so this place is now under..." Kat started to say, before her eyes fell upon the two corpses. "What happened?" she then asked, gaining a similar look from Evac as he stood behind her. "Barla and Alestia were already like this when we got here, looks like someone beat us to them." Crosscut replied as he deactivated his holo-tool and stood up, but Kat took note that Myra was still knelt down beside the body of her quarry, looking back down at it with a hard to read expression. 'Once again Vasir has somehow managed to get the upper hand on me, it's like she knows my every move.' the Asari thought, before Evac's holo-tool activated and gave off a warning sound. "Guys, we have to move. The Autobots are on the way here, I guess someone alerted them to what was happening here." he said, earning a nod from Kat. "Okay, I think we have overstayed our welcome. Let's get back to the Eudora and get out of here." She said, earning a nod from the guys before they turned and walked out of the Cockpit. Kat was about to follow them but looked back to see that Myra was still looking at Barla's body. "Myra, it's time to go." she said in an understanding tone while placing a hand on her friend's shoulder, which earned a nod from the Asari. "We will find another way to get Vasir." the Human added with a somewhat confident tone, but the Rogue Spectre merely sighed in return as she walked past Kat and out of the ship, earning a worried expression from her before she followed and left the bodies where they lied.
  7. CHAPTER III Several seconds had passed and Myra was still staring down at the corpse of the Human Merc she had planned on interrogating, only for someone nearby to put a bullet through that plan. 'I am sick of this!' she thought as her patience snapped and her anger took control, making the Asari spin around and glare at the area around her team, trying to spot who fired the shot. But instead, she saw nothing as sirens began blaring in the distance, earning concerned looks from Crosscut and Kat. "That's the Authorities on the way, we need to buck." the Bot stated, gaining a nod from Kat who was looking over at the smoke billowing from the explosion Myra had caused at the Dock's entrance when she killed the other two Human Mercs. "Yeah, we can't stay." she replied while turning her attention to the Asari. "What are you doing, Myra?" "The bastard that killed our lead is still here, we should go after them." the Rogue Spectre said back in a cold tone, which rang alarm bells in her friend's mind as she walked over and placed her hand on the other's shoulder. "We can't let the Authorities know that we were here, so the Eudora will be here to extract us momentarily." gaining the Asari's attention with her looking back at the Human, all the while the sounds of the sirens grew ever closer. "Okay." was all she could say before the Eudora suddenly appeared and turned its engines vertical while it landed next to them, lowering its boarding ramp for the trio. "Here's our ride, let's go." Crosscut said as he led the way and entered the ship, while Myra nodded back to Kat before they both followed. Meanwhile, the unknown woman who had watched them from the nearby alley, was still there as the Eudora then retracted the ramp and lifted itself back into the air before turning the engines back and blasting itself back up into the sky. 'I'll see you soon, Myra.' she thought before noticing the local security forces entering the landing zone, so un-equipped her sniper-rifle and turned around, disappearing into the shadows as though she had never been there. As the Eudora left Yamm's atmosphere and headed out into space, Crosscut and Kat were packing away their weapons and armour as did Myra, storing it in their lockers in the ship's Armoury "Okay, so Evac and I will start going over the sensor data and come up with a list of probable destinations that Barla may have gone to." the Bot said, earning a nod from the Human Woman. "Hopefully it will small list." she replied while giving Myra an enthusiastic look, but the Asari merely nodded back with a disinterested expression. "Yeah, lets hope so." she replied before turning away from the pair, who just watched her with concerned stares. "I am going to my quarters, let me know when we have something okay?" Myra added, earning a nod from Kat in return. "Yeah, sure." she added while the Rogue Spectre walked out of the Armoury, leaving the pair on their own. "So I guess we won't be seeing Myra again until we find our next destination, isn't this becoming a common thing now?" Crosscut asked with an inquisitive tone, earning a knowing and concerned look from Kat. "Let's just leave her be, okay?" "Alright, but what is this like…the twelfth time now." the Bot replied with an annoyed look, which made the Human nod reluctantly in return. "I know… when we started this team, Myra was very proactive in everything we did. But now….." she started to say before trailing off as she just looked out at the open door that her friend had walked out of. 'I can't begin to understand what Myra is going through, and it pains me that I can't help her. Not as long as she recoils into herself every time we get back here.' she thought while Crosscut looked back with a concerned expression. "Kat, you alright?" he asked, snapping the Woman out of her thoughts. "Yeah, I'm okay." she replied, gaining a nod from the Bot as he placed a hand on her shoulder. "Well, I am going to the cockpit and start analyzing the data with Evac. Join us?" he asked with a slight smile. "Go on ahead, I will join you in a bit," Kat replied, to which Crosscut smiled before walking out of the room and leaving the Human to stand there with a thoughtful expression. PRIME EFFECT 5 Meanwhile, Myra opened an old Metallic door and stepped inside, which was a small dimly lit room with a cylinder-like layout. There was a single bed-like berth connected to the wall running down the length of the room, with two shelves above that looked tobe growing out of the bulkhead. On the Asari's right there was a small desk with fold-up chair which was fixed to the structure's underside, while in the wall next to it was what looked like a cupboard. So she just lied down on the bed, not even bothering to get under the cover as she did so. And while she lied there and looked up at the ceiling, making the female sigh before looking up at the control panel directly next to her on the same bulkhead as the two shelves. So she then pressed one of it's buttons and made part of the bulkhead directly next to her open up and reveal another shelf, which slide out of the opening and allowed her access as she then took the holo-imager out of one of the pockets on her utility belt and placed it on the shelf. Myra turned onto her side and stared at the device as it then activated and projected a blue orb, which reflected in her eyes as she stared at it. But the Asari wanted to see something else and so raised her hand and waved it through the hologram, making it switch to another image. This one was of a man and a woman, the former was Human and the latter Asari. 'Mom and Dad, Goddess... how I miss you.' she thought while feeling her eyes starting to tingle, which was a sign that they were going to well up, which made her take a breath as she looked at the image and thought of her parents. It was then that the ocean of her memories washed over her, with Myra losing herself to them. 'The sun shone down brightly from the cloudless blue sky over the white sand of the beach that ran past one side of the Darby residence, but someone was watching it from the grass field on the house's other side and it was an eight-year old Myra who was lying on her belly, trying to hide in the grass which moved gently to one side as the breeze carried on through the area. 'They'll never find me here.' she whispered enthusiastically with a smile as she looked toward the house and saw an aging Ravage standing on the porch and looking out towards the grass, though had not seen her. "Have you found her yet?" a familiar voice spoke as her Grandfather, an old Jack Darby walked around the corner and stood beside the aging Feline, who looked up at him and shook its head. "You'll find her, Ravage. Old or not, you still have it." he said as he stroked the top of old beast's head with his synthetic arm, making it purr in return. "Okay, the little tyke has been hiding long enough. Go get her." The Feline then looked up and nodded back before taking off around the other side of the house, much to the little Asari's amusement. 'He won't find me over there.' she whispered before her attention was caught by the sight of her Grandmother exiting the house and joining Jack's side. "Is our Granddaughter still evading you both?" she asked with a playful grin, gaining an embarrassed smile from him in return. "Really, Arcee? You expect a seventy-three-year-old man and his aging Feline companion to keep up with an eight-year-old girl at 'hide and seek'." Jack replied. "Men,…you give up too easily." she joked, gaining a surprised look from her Spark-mate. "Do you remember me having such an attitude against the Decepticons, Quintessons or Reapers?" "No, but you've let our Eight-year-old Granddaughter beat you when it is quite clear where she is." the Femme replied as she looked out at the grass field in front of them with a knowing look. "What do you mean?" Jack asked, making her point out ahead of them which made Myra gasp as she pushed herself down further into the grass. 'Oh no, Grandma knows.' she thought while listening to them. "Myra is definitely out there since the beach is too exposed when you compare it to that long-grass field ahead which has enough cover to hide in…" the Grandmother added before Jack thought of something. "But what if she…" he started to say, but Arcee simply cut him off by shaking her head. "No, Jack. Myra is not back in the house. I wouldn't put it past her to do something like that, but I have already checked." The Grandfather nodded in return before looking out at the field, noticing a movement in the grass that made him smile. "What?" Arcee asked, having noticed his expression. "I think you are right.." he replied, gaining a smile from the Femme. "Of course I am right, call it ' a Woman's intuition'." she replied as Jack continued to watch the disturbance in the long grass, noticing that it was moving toward the field's center. "Yeah, but I think our Granddaughter is about to be found." Meanwhile, Myra simply watched her Grandparents from her hiding spot with a confused look on her young face, unsure if they had seen her or not. 'I should try to move to another spot.' she thought before suddenly hearing something move through the grass to her right. 'What was that?' she thought while looking in the direction of the noise when suddenly the blades of grass were suddenly parted as the familiar face of Ravage appeared beside her and sniffed the air around her.. "Clever, Ravage. You found me." she said before the Feline then licked her face with his tongue, making her giggle as she wrapped her arms around him in an affectionate hug. This earned the attention of both Jack and Arcee as they heard their Granddaughter's laugh, making them smile in return. "Congrats, Ravage. We knew you could do it." the Prime said, making the Feline look up over the grass at his Master which also revealed the little Asari, who was still giggling as she hugged it. "Aww.., how cute is that." Arcee said with a loving tone as Jack put his synthetic arm around her back and held the Femme close, earning her attention as they both smiled at each other. "Yeah, it sure is." he said before they both noticed something approaching the house in the distance, something that made them both smile in return. Myra sat beside Ravage and stroked the fur on top of its head, earning a long and affectionate purr from the Feline as the Asari continued to cheerfully giggle. But then she stopped as her hearing caught the sound of an approaching vehicle, so the little girl turned round and saw a sky-car flying down towards the farm. This made Myra's smile grow wider, for she knew who was arriving at the house as the vehicle flew overhead and then landed in front of the house, while her Grandparents walked down the porch stairs to greet the new arrivals as its canopy opened to reveal Orion and Liara. "Welcome back. Hope you had a good time?" Jack asked as he gave his Son an affectionate hug while Arcee and her Daughter in Law did the same. "Yes, we had a lovely weekend together on Thessia." the Asari replied with a warm smile, while her Bond-mate put his arm around her lower back. "So how has Myra been doing? I hope she has been behaving herself?" he asked, gaining a smile from his Parents. "Myra has been as good as gold, we have enjoyed having her here again." Arcee replied, before his Father looked toward the field. "Speaking of which…." he started to say with a loving stare, making Orion and Liara turn round to see their young Daughter running towards them. "Mommy, Daddy!" she called happily while Ravage ran behind her, breathing heavily as he tried to keep up with the excited youngster. This made Orion run past the front of the sky-car towards his daughter before scooping her up in his arms, a big happy smile on his face as Liara watched lovingly. "My little Princess." he exclaimed while scooping the child up in his arms and hugging her, making the little Asari's face light up as she hugged him back while Liara happily sighed as she walked over to them both. "Miss us, Myra?" she asked, gaining a nod from their little girl as her Father planted a gentle kiss on her cheek, making her close her eyes and giggle. "Yes, I did…" she started to say as Ravage lied down on his belly at their feet, panting as he did so while the Grandparents joined their side. "…but I had a really fun time with Grandma and Granddad." Myra added, making both their smiles widen some more. "Like I have said many times before, it was a pleasure to have little Myra with us." Jack said back, earning a nod from Asari while their Feline Companion let out a yawn, earning everyone's attention. "..She even gave Ravage the most exercise he has had in a long time." Arcee added, gaining a curious look from Liara. "You okay, Ravage?" she asked, making the former Decepticon Beast look up and yawn again. "We were just playing a game of hide and seek before you got here, Myra is very good at it…..but Ravage still found her." Jack said, gaining a nod from his Son who looked at his Daughter with a proud smile. "I know she is, but even at his advanced age…Ravage still has the touch." "He sure does, but I think we should give him the rest of the night off..." the Femme replied, while her Spark-mate beckoned the others inside. "...So let's leave him be and go back in the house, I'll make some tea for everyone…" she started to say before noticing her Granddaughter's confused look. "…and hot chocolate for you, Myra." the older Femme added, turning Myra's expression into a happy smile as both Orion and Liara nodded in return. "Sounds great. Let's go." the former said as he carried his Daughter in his arms and followed the others inside, leaving Ravage who had already fallen asleep as he gently purred on the balcony. Myra though was just happy to be surrounded by her family, feeling the warmth and safety of her Father's arms as she just closed her eyes and rested her head on his shoulder.' This warm feeling filled the Asari's heart as she fondly remembered the moment while lying down on her bed, it was one moment of many that she shared with her Parents. Myra's childhood was a happy one, one that she would not trade in for anything. She had a wonderful relationship with both her Parents, but it was with her Father that she felt the most connection to, as her Mother often said. "Myra may have inherited my biotic prowess and natural beauty, but she has your stubbornness and drive to do exactly what she desires too. The two of you are so alike." And her Mother was right, for Myra was as the old saying goes….'a chip of the old block' when it came to her and her Father, Orion made sure he was there for his Daughter no matter what. Even when something came up that required the attention of the Prime, he always made time for her. 'I miss you so much, Dad. Why can't you be here now?' she thought as her mind began to drift as a more painful memory surfaced and took a hold of her attention. 'Myra stood in the Hospital corridor looking at her reflection in the window, which gave her a view of the city of New Iacon at night. She was now fifty years old though you would not know it to look at her, for Asari retain their youthful appearance for most of their thousand-year lifespan. And even as she stared at the Capital City of the Federation which was still the jewel of Galactic Alliance after all this time, Myra still felt her attention wavering as her thoughts returned to her Father. For he had been a resident of the Hospital for the last six months due to the fact that old age had finally caught up to the Eighty-year-old Prime. This was a difficult time for the Darby Family since both Myra and her Mother, Liara, were not used to seeing the most important person in their lives slowly deteriorate before their eyes. Orion had been such a prominent figure in their lives as a loving Husband and Father, not to mention finding a balance with his responsibilities as Leader of the Autobots. The fact that he managed such a feat was just another example of the type of man he had become since taking his Father's place as the next Prime, for under his guidance the Federation had prospered even more and truly had become what its Founders had planned all decades ago. But right at this moment, none of that mattered to Myra. For all she wanted now was to see her Father, not only due to the fact that she had not set eyes on him in six months but also because she had a lot to tell him. Because the young Asari had been under assessment of whether she should join the ranks of the Autobot Spectres and had been training under the tutelage of Aunt Ser-Ket who also held the rank of Elite Spectre. The former Predacon had really thrown herself into the job since the passing of her spark-mate Quickstrike, who died a few years earlier. The Femme had just thrown herself into her work since then, Myra originally thought that this was so that she would not have the time to really let her loss sink in and cause her pain. But Ser-Ket later had told the Asari that she and her Spark-mate had been well aware of what was going to happen since her spark inhabited a Pretender body that had not been touched by the Primus wave that had converted the entire Cybertronian species at the end of the Reaper War. So she was always going to outlive him, and Quickstrike had asked Ser-Ket to promise him that she would continue to live her life and not let his absence pull her down. It was then that Myra knew that both she and her Mother would have to do the same, when it came for Orion to become one with the Allspark…. as the saying goes. And that weighed heavily on her mind now while she looked out of the window. The Asari thoughts were then interrupted by the sound of a door sliding open behind her, so she turned around to see her Mother standing there. "Myra, your Father is awake and wants to see you." she said with a light smile, earning a mirrored expression from the younger Asari who nodded and walked past her and into the room. 'My Mother has spent nearly every waking moment with my Father since he fell ill, makes me feel somewhat guilty for not visiting more. But Orion Prime had told her when this all began that he wanted her to continue with her training because he knew how important it had been for Myra. For her Father did not want his Daughter to watch him slowly deteriorate d before her. Once inside, Myra noticed that the room was dimly lit and that there was only one bed with a chair either side of it as well as a life support machine on it's right side, and lying there was the frail form of her Father who was hooked up to it. "Myra,….hello….., Princess." he said in a soft but pained voice as he smiled, which made the young Asari smile back slightly. "Hi, Dad." she replied as she sat down at his bedside, taking a hold of his hand as she did so. "Its good to see you." the Prime then said as he gently squeezed her hand in his. "Same here, I would have come sooner…" she started to answer, only for her Father to shake his head slightly. "There's…no need…to explain yourself,…Myra, I was….the one…who…told you…to keep at your training." Myra merely sighed as she watched Orion struggle to speak for it was so hard for her to see him this way as he was so weak and fragile, the complete opposite of the Man she remembered him to be and was inspired by throughout her life up to that point. "I know, Dad, but still…" Myra tried to argue, but again her Father simply cut her off with a loving smile. "How…did it go…..with…your training?" he asked, which made his Daughter smile as she reached into a pouch on her utility belt and pulled out an Autobot Spectre Insignia, which made Orion smile back proudly. "Oh, Myra, I knew you could do it." he said back warmly, as Liara joined the young Asari's side and mirrored her Husband's expression. "Your Father always knew you would become a Spectre, Myra. We are so proud of you." she said, earning a nod from the bed stricken Prime. "Yes,…we are. But then again….we .have always….been so proud of…you, Myra." Orion added with a content and loving smile, one shared by both his Daughter and his Wife. But then,, his life-support machine suddenly began blaring an alarm, which earned wide-eyed looks of shock from both Asari as Orion suddenly began coughing and breathing heavily at an increasing rate, like every breath he was taking was his last. "Dad!" the younger one shouted, while her Mother ran to the door and opened it in a panic. "We need a Doctor, somebody get a Doctor!" she shouted down the corridor, making the Hospital staff rush over to the panicking Asari. "It's...going...be...alright,...Myra." Orion said between gasps of air as he looked into his distraught Daughter's eyes, which were starting to well up and distort her vision as everything around her was dulled out and all she could hear was her own breathing and that of her Father. "...Dad?..." she started to say in return before she suddenly felt a hand grab her shoulder, snapping the young Asari out of it. "Get her out of here and... Stat!" the Salarian Doctor snapped as he pulled Myra out of the way, handing her to a Human Nurse who took her out of the room to her Mother. Both watched in shock as another Doctor and several Nurses entered Orion's room before the door slid shut, blocking their sight as they both suddenly felt their breath caught between their lungs and their mouths. "Your Father's going to be fine, Myra. The Doctors will look after him." Liara said as she put her arm around the younger Asari, pulling her into a hug. But as Mother and Daughter hugged, Myra could tell the tone of Liara's voice betrayed the words she had said, for she did not believe their meaning...so how could her Daughter. It had grown very quiet in the hallway as the pair waited, which was in spite of how busy it had become with Hospital staff and other Patients loved ones walking past in either direction. For all Myra and her Mother could think of was Orion and whether he would be alright once that door slid open, for the waiting was slowly killing them inside as each and every minute that passed felt like another nail in the coffin which held their hope. But then after what felt like an eternity, the door slid open and the Salarian Doctor stepped out and faced the Asari. His face was stoic and expressionless like a robot as he looked at them. "Mrs Darby..." he started to say, which made a lump appear in both hers and Myra's throats as they found themselves between hope and dread, unsure of what was about to come. "...I am very sorry." he then said which immediately Deafened the Daughter as her grief and guilt suddenly over took her senses. She started to cry while Liara just remained shocked as she listened to the Doctor, unable to even speak in return. "...We did everything we could to stabilise your Husband, but I am afraid that his body is starting to shut itself down. I am afraid that there is nothing more we can do for him, I am very sorry." the Doctor added, his tone both sad and respectful which made Liara look up at him. 'Orion is still alive?' she thought, earning a hopeful look from her daughter. "Can we see him?" the older Asari then asked with a slither of hope to her voice, gaining a solemn nod back from the Salarian. "Yes, but he does not have long, so go now." he replied before stepping aside and gesturing for the pair to enter the room. Liara then turned to Myra, who had tears running down her face. "Myra, we can see your Father now." she said in a soft voice, snapping her Daughter out of the silent grief that had surrounded her as she stopped crying and looked back, wiping her face as she calmed down. "...we can." she said back, earning a nod back from her Mother before the pair walked past the Doctor and back into the room, while the other staff quickly left the room and left the Family alone in the room. So Myra and Liara walked over to the bed and saw Orion lying there with his eyes closed, looking at peace. "Dad?" his Daughter then asked with a gentle tone, making the Prime open his eyes and smile as he gazed upon both the most important Women in his life. "Are…you both…alright?" he asked with his breath still sounding weak and slowing, which made Liara's lip tremble as her building grief threatened to overcome her in the sight of her Bond-mate. But Myra took notice of her Mother's expression and quickly stepped in as she took her hand and gently squeezed it in support. "We are both just relieved to see that you are okay, you gave us both a scare back there, Dad." she said as Orion looked over to Liara with a loving gaze. "Sorry for….scaring you…" he started to say, earning an understanding nod from her in return as she smiled back, but his expression lessened a little. "…But…I guess….the Doctor…has spoken to…you." Mother and Daughter nodded back, their smiles lessening as they both knew what he was about to say. "…yes,…my Love, …he did." Liara replied a little shakily while a single tear ran down her cheek. "Then…you…know…that the last thing….I wish…to see is…you grieving for….me.." Orion said back with a pained expression as he breathed deeply, making the older Asari nod slowly in return. "I know, Orion. I remember our talk." she replied, earning a confused look from Myra as her Mother leaned in close to her Father. "I want to be strong…for you and our Daughter, but the thought of living my life without you in it is…." Liara began to say, only for the dying Prime to lift his hand up and cup her cheek affectionately, stopping her mid-sentence as she close her eyes and enjoyed his touch. "You are… and have always… been the love of my life,… Liara. That will never… change, not even after… I have joined the… Allspark. Because I will… always be with… you…." he said while moving his hand down to her chest. "…right here." he finished with a lopsided smile, earning a smile back from the Asari, who then leaned in and gently kissed him before pulling away enough to look Orion in the eyes. "You always had a way with words. I love you, Orion." she said softly. "As I do…you." he replied in a mirrored tone before his Bond-mate then pulled back, allowing the Prime to look over to his Daughter. "Dad…" she said with a sad and yet guilty smile, earning nothing but a loving expression from him in return. "Myra, oh…my darling Daughter, I know…that face." he said with a soft and knowing tone as he held out his open hand to her, so she took it in her own and held it gently. "I do not…want you to…burden yourself with…unnecessary guilt, for not…being here…for me." "But, Dad, I…" she started to say in return, only for her Father to cut her off. "I…did not want you to…put your life…on hold for me, because I…know how important…it was for…you…to become…a Spectre. And no Father…could be…any happier…nor prouder…of you…than…I am." Orion replied, which made the young Asari feel as though she was going to well up again. But she held that off and continued to listen as her Father spoke. "For you…have given me…so much joy and…happiness,…Myra, that even…as I feel…my life…slipping away from me…I can…pass into the…Allspark…knowing that…your Mother and I…have given…this world…a truly special…woman…that has left…me feeling truly….content and peaceful." The younger Asari merely looked back at her dying Father, but could not help but feel a smile appear on her face. Despite what was happening and already knowing how he felt about her, to hear him say this warmed her heart. "I love you, Dad." she said softly, making him slowly smile back in return. "I….love….you….t…o…" Orion then said before he suddenly closed his eyes and appeared to drift off to sleep, which made both Asari look down at him with widened eyes as the heart-beat monitor on his life-support suddenly flat-lined. "Dad…" Myra suddenly found herself saying as she looked down at the Prime's body, noting how peaceful he looked in his eternal slumber. Liara though stepped closer and leaned over him and planted a kiss on his forehead. "Goodbye, my Love. You rest now." she said softly, while her Daughter just watched from behind as something caught her attention. "Mom?" This made Liara pull back and was about to turn around to look at her Daughter, but the older Asari's attention was caught by the same thing as they both noticed a white light glowing under the blanket that covered Orion's body. It was coming from his chest and began to glow somewhat brighter, before suddenly floating up as the cover draped over it. "What the?" Myra said as the pair watched the covers suddenly split apart and expose the Matrix of Leadership, which shown it's light throughout the room as it hovered over the now Former Prime's body. "The Matrix…" Liara found herself saying, while her Daughter just stared at it for a moment as the light had her in some kind of trance. But then suddenly it glow became so bright, that it made the Asari cover their eyes as they and the entire room was enveloped in the white light. It even caught the attention of the Hospital staff outside in the corridor, who noticed the bright light seeping out of the frame of the door. "What's going on in there?" the Salarian said before he went to open the door, when just as quickly as the light had appeared it was then gone. So he opened the door to find Liara and Myra standing beside the bedside of Orion Prime, with only the flat-lining sound of his life-support the only thing anyone could hear. "What happened in here?" the Doctor asked, gaining their attention as both Asari looked at him. He immediately noticed that their eyes were welling up and so he sighed in return and gave them a sympathetic expression in return. "The Matrix has gone…and will not appear until the one that is worthy is ready for it." Liara replied, making Myra look back to her with a curious expression as she listened. "Orion told me that this would happen, once he became one with the Allspark." the older Asari continued before turning to her Daughter, looking her in the eyes. "Come here." she said before both Mother and Daughter embraced each other in a hug and quietly sobbed, ignoring the Doctor and his staff as they entered the room and surrounded Orion's bed. PRIME EFFECT 5 All of a sudden, Myra was awoken by the sound of a chime-like noise coming from her door. This made the Asari rise up into a sitting position on her bed, having realised that she had fallen asleep. "Come in." she said, before the door slid open to reveal Kat standing there in the doorway. "Are you alright?" she asked, having noticed the single tear that had ran down the Asari's cheek. But Myra was quick to wipe it away as she looked down at the ground. "Yes, I am fine." she replied, earning a slightly aggravated look from the Human Woman as she stepped into the room and stood in front of the Asari. "You do realise that you are a terrible liar, as I can tell that there is something you have kept to yourself since the first day we met..." Myra looked up from the ground to meet her friend's stare, with a curious expression on her face as Kat continued. "…because the four of us are supposed to be a 'team' and I know only too well that secrets can only create trouble, so I decided to hack the Autobot mainframe and look up your personal file." This made the Rogue Spectre's eyes widen as she looked up with a shocked expression, making her friend hold her hands up in a non-threatening gesture. "I did it because I wanted to know what it is you don't want to talk about…" she started to say, only to stop as Myra got up and looked at her with an angry stare. "How could you?" she spat, but Kat just looked back to her friend with a sorry but curious expression. "I'm sorry for going behind your back, Myra, I really am. But I had to do something because whatever is bothering…'haunting' you is slowly becoming a problem, one that we have all noticed.." the Human Woman said, while the Asari just remained quiet and listened. "..I mean we all came together so that we could help you take down Vasir, because we knew that the Autobots were not going to be able to do it while their hands tied behind their backs by rules and regulations, but you with your 'Rogue' status were able to act…so we joined your side." "I already know this." Myra quickly jumped in before turning away from her friend and looking down at the holo-image of her parents which was still active, glowing a light blue as it offered a low illumination to the rest of the room. Kat noticed too and went quiet for a second, looking down to the ground and sighing in return. "I know what happened to your Mother….Liara Darby." she then said, regaining Myra's attention as she turned back to her friend who looked back up at her with a sympathetic expression. But as the two looked at each other, the Asari's memories were once again stirred back up from the recesses of her mind. 'Myra opened her eyes to find herself lying on the ground with her legs pinned under some charred debris, but she looked around to see that the once beautiful church around her now looked as if it was something from a post-apocalyptic nightmare. The last thing she remembered was saying her wedding vows before…, before a great force suddenly erupted from the ceiling and knocked her out. Every part of her was aching as Myra felt blood trickle down her face from a cut on her forehead, but she could still feel her legs despite them being pinned by what looked like parts of the wooden beams that made up the ceiling. 'What about the others?" she suddenly thought, making her look around at the rest of the Church's interior. But as she looked around and tried to make sense of what had happened around her, a gunshot blared over to her right and made the Asari look in that direction to see the silhouette of someone standing over her Mother, pointing a pistol down at her head. "That was for Benezia, you traitorous pure-blooded bitch." the unknown person said though by the sound of their voice, it was definitely female. But that did not matter at this moment to Myra as her eyes widened at the image of Liara, who now had a smoking hole between her eyes. "Mom!" she screamed at the top of her voice as she descended into turmoil and despair while the stranger looked over to her and gave off a small chuckle before walking towards the injured Asari. "So, you're still with us are you." she said, with a voice that was familiar to Myra who narrowed her eyes and looked up as her Mother's killer stepped into view. "..Vasir!" the younger Asari said in an angered and yet pained tone, while the woman smirked back. "I promised your Mother that this day would come and now it is here, all that is left is for you to join her." she said while aiming her pistol at Myra's head, while the injured Spectre simply kept her eyes on Vasir as she stared back with a hateful glare. But just as she was about to pull the trigger, sirens began to blare in the distance. This made Vasir turn and look in their direction, earning a sigh from her before re-holstering her pistol. "It's your lucky day, Kid." she said in a cold tone before turning her back on Myra and walking away, but this made the young Spectre grit her teeth as she then focused her biotics into lifting the debris off her legs, making purple energy surround the beam and slowly lift it up in the air before dropping it onto the ground beside her. But just as she was about to lift herself into a sitting position while looking in the direction that Vasir had left, another very familiar male voice suddenly spoke up. "Myra." This made the Asari's eyes widen as she looked in around until her eyes widened at what she saw.' "Myra?" Kat then said, snapping the Asari Spectre out of her thoughts to find her Human friend staring back with a confused expression. "Sorry, I…" she started to say before wiping another tear from her cheek, earning a sympathetic sigh from Kat. "You just remembered it didn't you? How your Mother died?" "Yes, I can still see it like it was yesterday. 'Everything' I cared about was ripped from me that day, and I intend to make sure Vasir pays for it with her life." Myra replied as her facial expression became cold and feared, something that the Human Woman had seen more than a few times over the course of their friendship. "I know, for having read your file. I mean, I now understand what it is that drives you in your hunt for Vasir. And I want to continue to help, anyway I can." Kat said back, earning a slight smile from Myra in return. "Thanks, Kat. I appreciate that and I am sorry for not confiding in you sooner…" she started to say, before her Human Friend cut her off. "There's no need to apologise, Myra, because I understand why you didn't mention it. But I know that keeping that kind of pain bottled up inside will do more harm than good in the long run." The Rogue Spectre nodded in return, sighing as she did so. "Yes, I guess you are right there…" the Asari said as she looked back at Kat. 'Perhaps I can confide in Kat, after all. Maybe with her help, I can lighten the weight that I have felt pushing down on me ever since that day.' she thought before continuing. "..and if we can keep this between us for now, then I would be willing to talk more with you about my past." Myra continued as she sat on the edge of the bed and deactivated the holo-image device, earning an understanding smile from Kat in return. "Of course, Myra, I won't say a word. It's your choice when you want the others to know, I am fine with just one of us knowing at this time." she replied, before sitting beside her friend, who had just gestured for her to do so. "So what else did you learn from my file?" the Asari asked, having an idea where this would go next. But Kat looked back at her with an unsure expression. "There is no need to rush with this, Myra. Take your time." she replied, but Myra gently shook her head in return. "You obviously read it to competition, to when I broke away from the Autobot Spectres?" she asked with an inquisitive tone, earning a nod from the Human Woman in return. "Yes…yes, I did." "So you know about…." the Asari began to say before trailing off as she saw the image of a Human Man in her mind, earning a nod from Kat. "Yes I know, that you lost more than your Mother on that day." she said with a sad expression as Myra simply looked ahead of herself at the wall in front of her. 'I guess I am going there then.' she thought before opening her mouth to continue speaking. "His name was John S…" she started to say before the ship's Inter-com activated. "Myra, Kat, Crosscut here. I think you should get up here to the Cockpit, for I am sure we have Barla's location." the Autobot spoke, earning both Women's attention as Myra was the first to stand up. "Alright, we are on our way." she replied before deactivating the call with her holo-tool, while looking back at her Human Friend. "We should see what the others have…" she said as her facial expression changed to the more familiar professional that Kat was used to seeing. "…Continue this later?" she then added, surprising her Friend who gave her an understanding smile in return. "Sure, Myra. Lets go." she replied before getting to her feet and following the Asari out of the room, with the door sliding shut behind them both.
  8. CHAPTER II The mercenary soldiers charged up the exterior metallic stairs on their way up to the top of the Observation Tower, clenching their rifles tightly as they did so. Their hearts were beating hard with their step they took as their ascended up the tower, for they had heard the screams of their comrades as they had fallen to their deaths moments earlier. "Alright, we are nearing the top. I want you ready to open fire the second we enter the room, that bitch killed your comrades and our Commander. So let's not give her an inch, shoot to kill." the lead soldier said back to the others as they neared the top of the stairs, with them nodding in acknowledgment. The moment they got to the open door, the lead soldier could see the Asari waiting for them inside the room as he and his men approached. "Kill her!" he shouted before they all opened fire on her, forcig Myra to create biotic shield in front of her person just seconds before, causing the barrage of bullets to harmlessly impact against it and leave small vibrations with each and every hit to ripple along it's smooth blue surface. "We can overload her with this!" one of the soldiers next to the leader said as he readied the grenade launcher on his rifle, gaining a nod from him in return. "Do it." So the other soldier took aim and prepared to fire, but the Asari noticed this and held out her hand and made the shield suddenly move towards the door while the troops continued to fire their rifles at it. "You're in my way." she said as the shield began to shrink and reshape itself into a ball as it picked up speed, gaining a concerned and confused look from the leader. "What the hel...!" he said before the biotic projectile came shooting out of the door and hit him and his men, exploding with enough energy that it sent the troops flying off the stairs and down to the ground, like their comrades before. Myra then ran out onto the stairs and quickly took in her surroundings, just as the screams from the soldiers that had just attacked her had stopped with them hitting th concrete below. 'I need a way out of here.' she thought as she scanned the area around her before her eyes then focused on something of interest. 'They have a cargo transport parked at the back of this building.' she thought while looking out at the ship which was less than thirty yards from the aft of the building, before suddenly looking down to her right and spotting three Mercenary soldiers with RPGs aimed at her. 'Time to go.' she thought as they opened fire and launched the rockets that hurtled up towards her location at speed, which made the Asari jump off the stairs and fall to the ground as the rockets shot overhead and hit the stairs, destroying them in an explosion as she continued to fall. But then Myra began to glow with biotic energy as her fall slowed down and allowed her to land elegantly onto the concrete roof, while part of the stairs crashed onto the area directly behind her. "Get her!" one of the soldiers said as they switched to their rifles and started firing at the Asari, who reactivated her biotic barrier that covered her body. 'Got to make this fast.' Myra thought as she started to sprint across the rooftop, while bullets harmlessly impacted against the blue energy shield protecting her. But as she ran, more soldiers appeared on her left as they climbed out of an opening in the roof, joining the others' gunfire with their own as alarms blared out around the facility. But the Asari stretched out her left hand towards the new group and sent knocked them into the air, making them fly off the roof and onto the ground further back. As Myra returned her attention to directly ahead of her, she saw that she did not have much roof left before her. So she performed a biotic charge and accelerated into a blue blur before jumping right at the edge of the aft end of the factory, making her soar into the sky before coming down fast again. But just like the last time, she started to glow blue before landing on the ground like a leaf kissing the surface of a pond while being stared at by another group of Mercs. "Wow, look at that." one of the soldiers said as they witnessed the Asari, before having his arm hit by his friend who looked at him with an annoyed expression. "Quit gawking and start firing." he spat as opened fire on her, with the others doing the same. This made Myra roll out of the way, before throwing a biotic projectile at the group which exploded in the centre of them and flung them up into the air and then back down to the ground hard. 'Okay, now to get to that transport.' she thought while running towards the vehicle again, before tapping the com-link in her ear. "I hope you guys are monitoring this?" the Asari said with a glimmer of hope in her voice as more troops exited the factory's back door and gave pursuit. "Read you loud and clear Myra, need a ride?" a female voice spoke back, earning an ever so slight grin from the Rogue Spectre as she listened. "Yeah, Kat, I think I have over-stayed my welcome here." "Roger that, we will be there in just a few minutes." the voice replied, making the Asari shake her head in return as she reached the transport. "No, it's too hot here. I am getting out on a small transport they have here, you can meet me halfway for pickup." she replied as she brought up a biotic barrier between her and the approaching soldiers, with their gunfire harmlessly impacting while she opened the hatch and got in. Once she had locked the hatch, Myra then climbed into the cockpit and began launch sequence as multiple holo-screens and an interface appeared before her. The gunfire could now be heard impacting against the hull as the enemies had now reached the transport as the biotic barrier had failed. 'Okay, it been a while. But my Dad always said flying was like riding a bike, you never forget.' she thought as she worked the controls and lifted the vessel off the ground, while the Mercs continued to fire upon it in vain as their weapons were not strong enough to penetrate the hull 'Here we go.' the Asari thought as the Transport then flew off away from the factory and back toward the grouping of mountains she had passed earlier to reach there, while activating her holo-tool and syncing its scanner to that of the ship's, revealing the direction of and heading of her friend's ship which was approaching from the south. 'Looks like I am home fre…..' she started to think before the transport's proximity alarm began to blare out, making the Rogue look over to the sensor screen and notice a blip heading towards her from the factory. 'Terrific...' Myra thought as she recognised the readout of the blip coming up fast on her rear. '...they have a gunship, and I have no weapons whatsoever.' she added as she looked at the stats of the vessel she had acquired. But before she could do anything else, the lock-on alarm suddenly blared out. "Scrap it!." She spat with an aggravated tone as she suddenly made the transport perform a barrel roll as she veered it around a nearby mountain, just as the gunship launched a missile which then hit that same rock formation and exploded. 'I don't think that I can do that again.' The Asari thought with a worried expression as the interface before her began flashing red lights over the screen that had the Transport's stats on 'Damn it! I put too much pressure on this old ship when I did that trick. Where are you guys?.' But then the lock-on alarm activated again, making Myra look back in anticipation of the following attack, even though all she could see was the aft of the interior. But suddenly another blip appeared on the scanner as it approached the gunship's rear, making the Asari sigh with relief as she recognized the new arrival. 'Thank the goddess.' Meanwhile, the new ship descended through the sky and began to chase the Gunship, and it had a horizontal diamond-shaped main hull with two engines on either side and a cockpit module connected to the pointed side of its hull. And it quickly activated its cannons which slide out of openings on the ventral side of the hull and opened fire, destroying the enemy vessel as it exploded and showered the ground with its debris. "Looks like that transport of yours is about to blow, want to jump ship." the female voice spoke through Myra's com-link, gaining a nod from the Asari as she left the cockpit and rushed over to the hatch while the ship began to shake around her. "You read my mind, I am at the hatch now. Open the dorsal hatch and bring the ship into formation just beneath me." she replied as she opened the hatch, suddenly feeling the strong currents of air that were blowing hard against the ship as it kept moving. "Alright, moving into position and opening hatch now." her friend said back while Myra watched the other ship did exactly that, earning a breath from her as the Asari readied herself for the jump. When suddenly one of the Transport's engines exploded, making the entire ship shake violently. "Jump!" the other woman shouted, and the Rogue Spectre did just that as she launched herself out of the hatch. And her body began to glow with biotic energy as she controlled her velocity before landing safely on top of the other ship, while the Transport dropped out of the sky and crashed in a fireball at the base of the snow-covered mountains. PRIME EFFECT 5 "I'm in." Myra then said as she closed the hatch behind her and climbed down into the ship's interior to find a Caucasian Human woman waiting for her, who had shoulder-length chocolate Brown hair and green eyes. She also had an athletic figure as she stood with one hand on her hip while giving the Asari a knowing smile. "Told you that this mission would get messy." 'Katrina Mason, always the realist.' Myra thought as she returned the smile with a sigh. "Yes, you were… and to top it off, Vasir was not even there." Kat noticed the disappointment that appeared on her friend's face as she spoke so placed a hand on her shoulder while looking back with a sympathetic expression. "I'm sorry, Myra…" she started to say before they were interrupted, as another man walked in on them. He was a Caucasian man in his late thirties with dark hair and yellow eyes and was wearing white and red armour. He gave both Women a friendly smile as he entered the room and approached them, earning a mirrored expression from the pair. "So how many Merc bases does that make now Myra?" he asked with a curious but playful tone. "I have no idea since I have been doing this for so long now that I've lost count." the Asari replied honestly with a slight smile which then gradually faded away as a more serious look, one they were more than used to seeing appear on her face. "But 'she' was not there…again, so it's still not over." she added before walking past Kat and Crosscut and leaving the room, leaving them to look at each other with worried expressions before the former then glanced in the direction that her friend had left. 'I know that Vasir did something terrible to Myra, but what was it?' she thought while giving out a sigh. Myra walked slowly down the corridor towards the cockpit of the ship, her mind wandering as she dwelled on the failure back at the Factory with the words of the Batarian Commander haunting her every thought. 'I am afraid that our fearless leader is not here, though I am sure she would have been overjoyed to see you again….so she can reunite you with your Mother!' This re-ignited a wave of burning anger from deep within the Asari's heart. It was an anger that had been there for so long now that it now felt completely natural to her. 'To be so close, only to end up empty-handed… yet again.' she thought while stopping and clenching her left hand into a fist, the Asari's thoughts right now acting like fuel to the flames of her building rage. 'I will get Vasir, I swear to Goddess, I will kill her!' Then Myra saw red as her enemy's face appeared in her mind's eye, making the Asari suddenly slam her fist into the corridor's wall, making her flinch slightly as a sharp pain erupted from her hand. This made her look down at her hand, which had begun to shake slightly as the sudden pain snapped the Asari out of her thoughts. "Did that help?" The voice made Myra turn round to find Kat standing there and looking back with a concerned expression, her arms folded over her chest. "Not really, not like it will when I get my hands around Vasir's throat." she replied as her Human friend's eyes focused on her injured hand, making her reach down into the pocket on the right side of her utility belt and pull out a Medi-gel spray. "Here, use this." Kat said back before holding out the small can to her friend, which the Asari took with a slightly embarrassed smile. "Thanks." "So…are you going to keep taking your anger out on 'our' ship? Because I don't think that the others will appreciate that." Kat then said with a joking-like tone, trying to defuse the situation further, which made Myra's smile widen a little more. "Don't worry, I've been living with this anger of mine for a long time and have yet to destroy a ship that I was travelling on." she said back while spraying the Medi-gel on her hand, earning instant results as it healed the injury. The Brown-haired Woman took this moment as an opportunity and stepped toward the Asari, who was focused on treating her injured hand. "Myra, we have worked together for a good while now…" she began to say in a supportive tone, to which her friend then jumped in. "..nearly a year," she added, gaining a nod from Kat. "Yes, a year. And in that time I have felt that we have become good friends, in the same way as I count the others." This made the Asari look up at her with slightly widened eyes, completely caught off guard by the Brown-haired Woman's words. "Yes, I feel the same, Kat." she replied with a warm smile. 'You are a good friend and an excellent soldier, there aren't many people who I can trust with my life. But why can't I just come out and say that?' she thought as the other Woman smiled back before her expression returned to a more concerned one. "So…I know I have said this before, but if you ever want to talk…about anything at all that's on your mind, then you can confide in me." Kat said back in a supportive and caring tone, which made Myra feel a little uncomfortable as she knew what her friend was actually on about. But instead of showing this, the Asari smiled back. "I know.." she replied before her eyes widened slightly as she remembered something, earning a curious look from Kat. "What is it?" "There was a reason I was heading to the cockpit..." Myra said with a knowing tone as she walked past her friend, before stopping and looking past at her. "…I want us to go back to the city and corner Barla Vonn before he has a chance to leave the planet." "Well, let's go then." Kat said in return as the pair then walked together down the corridor to the door at the far end, with the Asari pressing the button on the control panel on its left side which then opened the door and allowed them access. Once in the cockpit, the two women walked up to a blonde-haired Caucasian Man, who was wearing blue and yellow armour. He was currently piloting the ship as it was now flying over the hilly terrain as it had cleared the mountainous region already, which the three of them could see from the glass canopy that was in front of them. "Evac, how is our ship?" Myra asked, making the Bot turn round in his chair and smile at her. "The 'Eudora' is fine, all systems are a go." he replied while keeping his hands on the holo-controls in front of him, earning a disconcerting look from Kat. "I still can't help but worry each time I see you doing that, piloting the ship without even seeing where you're going." she said, making him look up at her and show off his eyes which had what looked like holograms in his irises. "Kat, I already told you. The upgrades I had done to my eyes allow me to see everything the Eudora's sensors do.." he said as he then activated his holo-tool. "..and I can even pilot the ship when I am not even on it with this..." "Alright, that's enough showing off ." the Asari then said, interrupting Evac as he and Kat turned their attention to her. "Set course for the port-city that's near here, I have a Volus to catch up with." she added, gaining a nod from Evac. "Roger that." he replied as he turned his seat back around and made the Eudora veer to the left as it headed back towards New Karnak. PRIME EFFECT 5 Myra marched up to the swinging doors of the Tavern and with a flick of her hand which was glowing blue, she flung the pieces of wood from their hinges like they were made of cardboard. This made the Hanar bartender jump in shock as he quickly squatted behind the bar, fearing another attack. The Asari then entered the building with Kat and Crosscut flanking either side of her, a completely serious expression on her face as she looked around the main room and noticing that Barla and his men had gone. "Looks like he ran for it." the Bot said while Kat looked over to the bar, noticing a tip of what looked like jelly shaking silently behind it. So she tapped Myra on the shoulder and gestured to that spot, making her stretch out her glowing hand and focus. Suddenly the Hanar was surrounded by biotic energy and lifted off the ground, making it flap it's tentacles around in a panic as the trio walked over to it. "Looks like we caught a live one." Crosscut joked while Kat and the Asari kept their attention on the bartender. "Where is the Volus?" Myra asked as she held the jellyfish up in the air, while Kat and Crosscut watched. "He already left, please...this one does not know anything else." it said in a slow but obviously fearful tone, not that it mattered to the Asari who just stared back coldly. "Really, I'm not so sure. You might be more cooperative after I pull off every one of your tentacles..." she started to say in return in a serious manner, making the Hanar make a squeal-like noise while Kat looked over to Myra with an unsure expression. "No, this one swears by the Enkindlers that it knows nothing, the Volus simply left and quickly...but.." it said as it was turned upside down by Myra, earning a curious look from her as she caught the end of its sentence. "But?" "...I did see which direction he left in, i was south towards the dock." it replied, earning a smile from Myra as Crosscut looked at his holo-tool. "I am detecting trace amounts of ammonia in the air." This made the Asari drop the jellyfish, making it fall to the ground hard while her attention was caught by the Bot. "That's what the Volus breathe, I must have damaged his breathing apparatus earlier." she replied before activating her own holo-tool, which gained a curious look from Kat. "What is it, Myra?" "If he is leaking ammonia, then we can track him…" the Asari said back before looking back at the Hanar, who had just lifted itself back onto its tentacles. "…How long has he been gone?" "…the Volus was quite shaken by your handling of him and only left inside of the last hour." it replied, making Myra turn back to her companions. "Then we can still catch him, let's go." she said while heading toward the exit, completely ignoring the Bartender. This earned him a sympathetic look from Kat, while Crosscut simply followed the Asari out. "Thank you for your cooperation, sorry for…." she started to say before the Hanar interrupted her. "Please, just leave this one alone now." it answered in a toneless voice, earning a nod from the Human Woman before she turned around and joined her friends outside. "Okay, I have a lock on the Ammonia traces and they appear to be heading in the direction the Hanar told us." she said while Kat walked right up beside her. "Did you really need to do that to the Hanar?" This made Myra look back at her with a puzzled expression in return "I was only trying to scare it, otherwise that stupid Jellyfish would have remained tight-lipped, which is funny considering Hanar do not have lips." she replied with an almost cold tone, which made Kat look back with a disappointed expression, but the Asari ignored it as she looked back down at he holo-tool. "Right let's get going, I do not want to lose him." she said while heading towards her new speeder, earning a shoulder shrug from Crosscut as he looked back at Kat before joining their leader on his own which was parked beside hers. But the Human Woman just shook her head in response as she sighed, but then reluctantly joined them as she walked to her own speeder too. PRIME EFFECT 5 Down at the Karnak's Docks, Barla Vonn waited anxiously by his ship as the local Droids were finishing the final checks on it. "Come on you worthless scrap-heaps, surely my ship is ready to fly." One of the mechanical dock-workers close to him heard the Volus' whining and turned to face him with its one red optic. "Sir, your ship will be ready momentarily." it replied in a singular monotone voice, making the short pressure suited Alien to clench his fists in anger. "That's what you said nearly an hour ago when I got here." he spat back before noticing three of his henchmen walking over to him, so Barla turned around and faced him while choosing to ignore the Droid. "There is still no sign of the Asari that caught up to us earlier, so I have left the others to keep watch at the Dock's entrance." the Human Male said while being flanked by both Vorcha, gaining a nod from the Volus. "Very well, but I can't shake the feeling that Darby will still come here. Because after seeing how easily she handled us, I have my doubts that the contingent of soldiers that Vasir purposely stationed on Yamm to trap her will be enough." "I had heard stories of her as a Rogue Spectre, but this was the first time I had come up against the Asari, and she certainly lived up to those stories." the Merc replied, which made Barla nod again before looking back at the Droids. "Can't these mindless robots hurry up?" he snapped as they continued to work around him, while the Human Merc simply shook his head in return. "Just calm down, everything will be….." he started to say before an explosion erupted just aways from them, at the entrance to the Docks. Making him, Barla and the two Vorcha who had remained quiet the whole time, turn around and look at it with widened eyes. "What in the hell was that?" the Merc added with a questioning tone, while the Volus started to breath more heavily. "It's her, it has to be….Is my ship ready yet?" he spat at the Droids as panic started to take a hold over him, but his friend simply tapped his com-link while equipping his rifle. "What's going on over there?" he asked, but all he could hear was static on the other end. So he took the rifle in both hands and looked back at Barla. "Better board your ship, we'll cover you." he said while gesturing to both Vorcha, who nodded and took positions behind two nearby metal cargo boxes and readied their rifles. But the Volus meanwhile just looked up at the lead Merc. "But…the Droids….. have yet…. to finish." he stammered while pointing at the mechanical workers, earning a grunt from the Human Male who then suddenly fired at them, causing sparks to erupt from their bodies as he riddled them bullets before they fell to the ground dead. "There, they are finished. Just get onto the shi…." he started to reply when at the far end of the landing pad, the doors on the surrounding metal fence were suddenly ripped from their hinges and flung back towards the group, landing on either side of the ship. "Right!" he simply said back before turning and running toward the boarding ramp of his ship, just as the Merc leader and two Vorcha spotted three figures walking into the area through the damaged entrance. "Looks like we got here just in time." Crosscut said as Myra, Kati and himself saw the ship, with the Asari taking notice of the Volus now running up the boarding ramp as the three remaining Mercs open fired on them. "We have to stop that ship from leaving." she said while creating a biotic barrier in front of them, absorbing the gunfire as her friends took cover and fired back. "Well, go get them. We've got your back." Kat said back while looking down the sights of her rifle, firing at one of the Vorcha who only just managed to duck in time to miss the bullets that flew over its head. "Thanks." Myra said back as she then thrust both her glowing hands in front of her, suddenly making the barrier move towards the enemies as the began to run behind it. This made the Mercs panic as the boarding ramp of Barla's ship started to retract itself up into its hull, which did not go unnoticed by the Asari. 'No, he's not getting away!' she thought as the ship fired it's engines, slowly rising off the ground as it began to take off. So as Myra continued to run at the vessel, she brought her hands together in a clasp. This made the barrier revert into a ball of biotic energy, which then the Asari sent flying as she thrust her clasped hands in front of her. The ball suddenly hit the area between the three Mercs and exploded, with the energy spreading out and knocking them to the ground as they became enveloped in blue light. While the Human Merc team leader remained on his back, both Vorcha had already begun to recover. But they were quickly taken down by precision shots to their hearts from both Crosscut and Kat while Myra stopped right in front of the ship which was now several feet above her, this made the Rogue Spectre reach up with her hands and focus on the vessel which became engulfed in the blue light of her biotics. Both Kat and Crosscut could only watch shocked surprise at what their friend was attempting to do as she grunted while slowly pulling her clenched hands down towards her, trying to reel the ship back down to the ground. The vessel started to shake as in the vessel's cockpit, Barla increased the power of the engines in hope that he could break the Asari's hold over it. "Come on, let me go!" he said as he reached over to the holo-interface for the ship's weapons and pressed one of its buttons. This made a small hatch open on the underside of the vessel, exposing a small laser turret that descended and locked onto Myra, who noticed it and narrowed her eyes as she continued to pull at the ship. 'I can block that laser, but to do so would mean letting go of the ship. I can't do that, I have to pull him down.' she thought while not budging from her spot, even though the Asari could see the turret charging up as a red light could be seen inside its barrel. "I won't let go!" she said defiantly while forcing the ship to descend slightly as it buckled, much to Barla's dismay. "Fine, take this!" he said while pressing the firing button, making the weapon discharge. "Myra, no!" Kat suddenly shouted while tackling the Asari to the ground just as the red blast sailed past and hit the ground behind them, leaving a scorched patch where she was standing. But the ship was released from Myra's biotics and flew up into the sky as Barla made his escape, much to Myra's frustration as she and Kat recovered as the latter watched her friend perform a biotic punch into the floor, leaving a small crater where she hit. "Damn it!" she spat before looking over to her rescuer who just stared back with a supportive expression, making the Asari's face soften ever so slightly. "Sorry….thank you." she said, earning a slight smile from Kat in return as she reached up to her com-link. "Your welcome, now let's get a trace on that ship." the Human woman replied while tapping the earpiece. "Eudora, come in? Evac, can you get a sensor lock on that ship that just left the Docks?" "I am trying now, Kat, but I can tell you that it is already powering up its space-bridge driver…" he said as Myra just stared at her friend, hoping to hear good news. "..Okay, I have a lock and…scrap! It jumped away, I got only a partial lock." the Bot replied, earning a disappointed look from Kat, one that the Asari could read instantly as she mirrored it. "Evac could only get a partial lock on Barla's ship…" she started to say while Myra simply sighed before turning round to look down at the Human Merc, who was just coming too. "Well, let's see what this guy has to say." the Rogue Spectre replied as he looked up and saw the Asari standing over him, her fists glowing with biotic energy. "Forget it, Darby. I won't talk." he said back with finality to his words that earned worried looks from both Kat and Crosscut though Myra just smirked before squatting down beside him. "Really? Because I have heard that kind of talk a lot…" she started to say back as she then raised one of her clenched fists and made it glow brightly, making the Man shield his eyes with his right hand. "…but did you know that I can surround your brain with a biotic field and crush it, either quickly and painlessly or…..slowly and excruciatingly painfully." This made the Merc's eyes widen in fear as contemplated his choices, taking a deep breath before speaking. This also gained similar reactions from both Myra's friends as they looked at their friend. But then just as he was about to speak, the Man was silenced by a bullet bursting his head open. Blood splattered everywhere, earning shocked looks from Myra, Crosscut and Kat. With the two companions turning around and looking at their surroundings for the shooter, but Myra simply stared down at the dead Merc as he lay with a large puddle of blood and mushy flesh where his head used to be. 'Will I ever catch a break with this?' she thought as Kat turned back to look down at her friend, while their Bot friend kept his eyes and rifle set on the area around them. "Eudora, better come and pick us up." the Human Woman said after tapping her com-link. "On the way, ETA….two minutes." Evac replied. Meanwhile, an armoured woman stood in a small alleyway in between two buildings on the edge of the landing area of the Docks, which had a perfect view of the trio. Her face could not be seen as the area was well concealed by the shadows, while she looked through the scope of her Widow Sniper Rifle which at this moment was locked in on Myra's forehead. "Vasir, I have silenced the Merc and Barla has escaped….no, they do not know that I am here." she said into her com-link, before listening to the female voice on the other end. "Okay, I will continue to shadow them and make sure that they do not find you." she finished before deactivating her Com-link and watching them from the safety of her hiding spot.
  9. A/N: Here is the first chapter of the final instalment of the main series. Enjoy. PRIME EFFECT 5 CHAPTER I "Since the beginning of time, we have been here…" a stoic and commanding voice spoke as lightning struck down from the storm clouds that had blackened out the sky, hitting the wind-swept plains as smoke billowed out of the burning wrecks of the Aeonian tanks that were scattered throughout the battlefield. "…for our species was the first sentient life in this universe, gradually evolving and growing into the bio-mechanical beings we felt that we had to become to earn our place in the heavens." Then as wind-swept through the long grass, blowing the smoke to the south, footfalls could be heard as more Aeonian troops and tanks arrived on the scene. They stopped just inside of the area of where the original battle was fought, though none of the soldiers could believe what they could see with their optics as two Commanders walked out from within the large gathering to the forefront. One was male with orange optics, and wearing orange and black armour. While the other was female with green optics, and wearing armour which was green and silver as they looked out at the landscape that was littered with burning wrecks before the latter knelt down on one knee and looked at the ground below her. "Our thirst for knowledge and advancement rapidly overtook our common sense and we quickly found ourselves outgrowing our world, moving out amongst the stars." She then reached with her gloved hand and raked it through the dried-out soil, collecting some in her palm as she inspected its contents. "It was here that we discovered that we were not alone in the cosmos, as many other worlds held life upon them. But these were organic life forms and each new race we came across was completely different from the next. It was an inspiring time for us Aeonians as we met more and more new species." The Bot looked down at his Female companion, his optics focusing on the soil that she was looking at in her hand. And both their optics widened when they noticed that there was another substance mixed in with the soil. "These life forms were nowhere near our level of evolution, though they were not the Neanderthals that we once were a few eons earlier either. But it was obvious that they did not understand what we truly were. For in their eyes, we Aeonians were as gods and so began to worship us as such." In the grains of soil were black dust which made the Femme's face become pained and full of anguish, as did the male's for they then knew what had happened to their comrades just some hours earlier. So the Femme then opened her hand fully and let the soil and dust fall back to the ground before she got back to her feet. "And despite ourselves being more evolved and advanced, we lost ourselves to our pride and began to see ourselves as those below us did. So once we had discovered all that the universe could enlighten us with at that time, making followers of all younger species we had met, we decided to find a way to make ourselves truly what all believed we already were, though we never thought of what the consequences of achieving that would bring upon us." Then the attention of the Commanders and their troops were caught by a deafening roar that made them all look to their right, and stare in disbelief at the jet-black giant who swiping the air in front of it with its hands, whilst stomping its feet onto the ground as though trying to squash something underfoot. The Male Aeonian then raised his hand in the air, earning the attention of all those behind him, whilst the Femme drew her blade and stood ready as they all stared at what was rising up before them. "We had discovered a way to draw energy from another dimension, energy that would grant us the very godhood that we believed we were entitled too. But we were so eager to become the very beings others saw us as, but we did not think about what dimension we were opening a door to and what we may be letting into our own." The entity now stood over one thousand feet tall and was still growing as it stood before the Aeonian reinforcements, as it's glowing purple eyes and mouth were visible to them as it roared, which sounded louder than a clap of thunder as it echoed through the very air to them, earning worried looks from the troops. But both the Male and Female Commanders narrowed their optics at it, letting the pain and hate for this being and the massacre it had committed fill their sparks. "What came through was something we had never encountered before. A form of evil so strong, that it began affecting the sentient life not only in our home galaxy but the entirety of the cosmos. It's very presence in our reality affected their hearts and minds, feeding on their anger and hate as they started to fight and butcher each other. We at first could only watch as we fell victim to the pain and anguish we felt for what we had done. But as the cycle of life that began with us and had expanded outwards into the universe slowly came to an end, we chose to fight…." "But it was to be a futile attempt, for the being had become too powerful for us and our advanced technology. So it slaughtered our armies and fed on their life force until only our few reinforcements remained." Then just as the troops gripped their weapons tightly, awaiting the Male Commander's order to engage the Darkness. Suddenly, a blue energy wave shot up from the ground and hit the monster's chest, causing it to cry out in pain. "…But there was suddenly hope in the form of two Brothers, who stood alone against the monster. And their names…were Primus and Unicron." Right there with the entity, both siblings stood with their entire bodies glowing as they let the energy flow over them. The monster then swung his fist down at Unicron who narrowed his purple eyes and rolled out of the way, just before it hit the ground. The gold and bronze armoured Aeonian then quickly recovered and thrust his glowing red Chaos Edge into the side of its fist and held on for dear life as the creature then pulled it's arm back high into the air. Meanwhile, Primus continued to unleash energy waves with his glowing blue sword, each one impacting on a different area of the entity which made it grimace and cry out in pain, as it's jet black skin reacted like a stone being dropped into a pond as ripples expanded out and over its form. "Together, they embraced the very power that we Aeonians had gained, the power that we tried to ignore in the face of the travesty unleashed upon our reality by our hubris. And this power gave them the edge in the following battle." Unicron then climbed onto the arm, before running up it toward the Entity's shoulder. All the while small tentacle-like tendrils rose up from its surface and attacked the Aeonian, but he cut them all down as he ran with his optics glowing a bright purple. Back on the ground, Primus came under attack from more of the shadow-clones as they grew out of the drops of the black liquid-like substance that dropped to the ground from his Brother's fighting. The clones pounced at him, but Primus swung his blade around him and created a barrier of blue energy which made them disintegrate the moment they came in contact with it. And he followed through from that with another energy wave which cut through the Entity's leg, which made it lose its balance a little as Unicron climbed up the shoulder, nearly losing his grip as the giant swayed a little and being under constant attack from more tentacles. But he kept them at bay and reached the top, before running up to its head and driving the Chaos Edge into its neck. This made the monster cry out in pain, causing lightning strikes and thunder from the surrounding storm clouds spiralled overhead. Primus then took this as his cue and spun around, making his blade glow even brighter before unleashing another energy wave which flew up into the air and hit the Dark one right in it's face. This made it lose it's footing completely and topple backwards towards the ground, while Unicron leapt up high into the air. He was glowing with a purple/red like hue as he floated high above the ground and watched him and his Brother's Adversary fall onto it's back. Primus then bent his knees and focused his power into his legs before launching himself high into the air to join his sibling, and together they both then flew down towards the Entity with their glowing blades thrust out before them. The Aeonian reinforcements and their two Commanders could only watch as the Brothers buried their blades into the Monster's face, which suddenly made it cry out such a deafening scream, that the entire universe would have heard it. And then the giant being exploded in a blinding flash of light, releasing a shockwave that spread out across the planet. "Together, Primus and Unicron defeated our enemy and brought it's reign of terror and destruction to an end. And showed us that we had to embrace the very power that cost us so much to gain." Once the shockwave dissipated, the other Aeonians were surprised to find that they were still standing there. They looked at each other and found that all of their eyes were glowing, even the two Commanders before looking back over to where the explosion to find what looked like a giant, wide mountain. After climbing up the new rock formation, both Commanders stood and looked on in awe at what was before them. For the mountain was nothing more than the ejecta of a massive crater, one that was very deep snd at the bottom Primus and Unicron stood beside their blades which were embedded in the crater's centre, each glowing blue and red. "With this victory, the brothers had not killed the Entity but instead trapped it inside the sealed breach between our reality and the one it came from. Their blades had absorbed some of the power we had received and became a lock of sorts, for as long as Primus and Unicron were alive then the breach would remain sealed." Then as the remaining Aeons joined the two brothers, Primus looked over to Unicron and noticed his sibling's optics flicker from red to purple and back again, earning a concerned expression from him in return. "Not long after this, we soon shed our physical bodies and became the very beings we had striven to become. But as it had come at such a heavy price with the first cycle of sentient life throughout the universe wiped out, one that almost included our own people, we decided that the only way to atone for our great sin was to watch over the next cycle of life that would soon begin to spread throughout the galaxy, with two of our brethren to watch and protect each galaxy in this cosmos." But as Unicron had noticed this look from his brother, the gold and bronze armoured Bot sneered and turned away and narrowed his optics as though disgusted by Primus's look of worry at him as if he saw it as a sign of weakness. "But we have learnt that even back then, we had already failed in our cause. For we had not noticed the seed of corruption which Unicron had been infected with for it would become the seed that would blossom an age of Chaos for the galaxy now called 'the Milky Way'. But over the time that both brothers watched over that particular galaxy, Primus had taken notice of Unicron's changing behaviour and set out to stop him. Creating something that could stop the self-titled Chaos Bringer and safeguard the galaxy while preparing for the inevitable return of the darkness. This was named the 'Trinity of Primes'…" Then suddenly the orange and black armoured male Aeonian turned and looked as though he was staring at someone, his expression was calm and stoic. "…and it is up to you to unite them!" he said in a commanding tone before everything then went white. -PRIME EFFECT 5- Suddenly, a woman covered head to toe in battle-worn black and red armour rose up on her seat, as though she had just woken from a nightmare. Her face could not be seen due to the helmet she was wearing, but she looked through its visor to see that she was still in her passenger seat aboard a transport. A Turian on the other seat in front of her and an Elcor both stared at her with puzzled expressions, but the female just ignored them and looked out of the window to her right, watching the star-filled void on the other side of the glass. 'Another crazy dream.' she thought as she sighed and looked down at the small table in front of her, with her eyes quickly coming across the holo-image device that was currently active. 'I forgot about that.' she thought as this image quickly changed her mood, making her reach down and deactivate the device, making the image of what looked like a man and a woman fade to nothing as a lone tear ran down her cheek from her left eye as it began to well up. 'Damn it. But I can't afford to take this off as I might get recognised.' she thought as she placed the holo-imager in one of the pockets on her utility belt and just leaned back into her chair. The woman then just tried to listen to the silence and relax before the Turian suddenly activated his holo-tool and brought up a screen in front of him, earning a sigh from her as she looked at the screen while a news report appeared on it. "…And in other news, it seems that the five hundredth anniversary of the Inter-Stellar Federation will again be somewhat of a sombre affair, as the once-powerful Alliance continues to slowly fall apart. It has lost members at a steady pace for the last century or so, mainly due to the lack of strong leadership from it's ever-shrinking Senate. But do we here in the Traverse care, can't say that we do…" the newscaster said, with the last part in an almost happy tone as the woman sighed and looked back out of her window, before the inter-com activated and gained everyone's attention with a chime. "If I may have your attention please, this is the pilot speaking. We are now on final approach to Yamm, so may I ask that everyone now remain in your seats until we have landed, thank you." the male voice spoke before the message came to an end with the sound of another chime. So unknown female just continued to look out of the window, now seeing the oceanic world of Yamm now clearly from her viewpoint. As the transport began its descent through the planet's atmosphere, the armoured woman looked away from the window as all that could be seen was a dense cloud. She instead just closed her eyes and focused her thoughts on the reason she was on this vessel, to begin with. 'Go see Barla Vonn and find out where 'she' will be recruiting more Mercs to her 'Leviathan' group.' And though she had tried to stay calm, just thinking of 'her' made the Woman's temper begin to boil. For 'she' was the main cause for the deep hole in this Woman's soul, one that she felt could never be healed. For she had lost everything, because of 'her'. And now after so many escapes and near misses, the 'bitch' was now in her sights. So the helmeted woman opened her eyes and looked back out of the window, noticing that they were now over a metal and concrete city surrounded by ocean. The Woman suddenly felt the transport begin descending again as she watched the ground get closer, while the buildings grew taller before it suddenly touched the ground with a slight thud. 'Not exactly the most delicate of landings.' she thought as the others around her began to pick up their bags and walk toward the exit, except for the guy in front who was still looking at the news reel playing out on his holo-screen. The woman stood up and picked up her brown long coat before noticing a familiar face that appeared on the screen, "There have been reports of this….." the newscaster then began to say before the Woman tapped the Turian on the shoulder, earning his attention just as the person on-screen was being described. "Huh, can I help you?" he asked with a slightly annoyed expression as he looked up at the helmeted person, who had been quiet for their entire voyage. "We've landed." she replied, taking note that the video was still focused on someone who looked a lot like her, even going into detail about her armour and clothes looked like. "Really!" the Turian replied in a surprised tone before looking around and noticing that most the people had already disembarked. "Oh spirits, thanks for letting me know." he added while quickly getting up of his seat and deactivating his holo-tool without really looking at it, much to the relief of the Woman. "You're welcome." she said back as she watched the Turian quickly grab his bags and leave the room, leaving her in there alone as she put on her coat and raised its hood over her helmet before exiting the ship too. As she left the ship, the armoured Woman looked around at the city that surrounded her. 'New Karnak, Capital of Yamm. The city that floats on the ocean.' she thought while activating her holo-tool and bringing up a map of the city, revealing that the majority of it was in fact on the planet's body of water, connected to what passed as the mainland by three bridges which led to New Karnak's outskirts. In fact, it that was where she needed to go, as Barla Vonn's last confirmed sighting was in its slums. 'He better be there.' she thought while walking over to a Human Male in a fashionable suit, who was renting out the hover-speeders which were positioned next to him. They looked like futuristic versions of the motorbikes from twenty-first century Earth, except without wheels and far more aerodynamic. So she began speaking to the Man, who in return smiled back and activated his holo-tool. A few moments later and the Woman was flying through the air on one of the man's very own speeders, zipping between the skyscrapers as she headed for the mainland. She had always enjoyed using such vehicles in the past, but now with everything that has happened in her life since those days, she just couldn't find it in herself to enjoy the moment now. All that mattered was finding her, and this Volus was now the only link she had to that person's whereabouts. So she instead just remained focused on what she had to do as her speeder carried out of the city's centre and over the ocean, giving her a perfect view of the two bridges that connected it to the mainland. It wasn't a long ride to the slums as she descended down to the streets, which looked like they had just survived a war with the rusted and dirty look the small buildings had, a world away from the futuristic skyscrapers that were less than a few miles away. In fact, they could be clearly seen on the horizon from that area, as the armoured Woman landed her speeder outside of a building that looked somewhat like a Tavern, though a very run down one that looked like it should have been a derelict. She took in her surroundings and noticed the people in the area, mostly Humans by the look of them. They all had the look of people who live in the slums with their ragged clothes and look of poor malnutrition, especially the children. There were three sitting up against the front wall of the building next to the Tavern, on it's right. They were just sitting there and playing with the objects lying in the dirt, looking as though they had not had a good meal in days. This once would have made the Woman feel for them and want to help, but at this time she had bigger things to deal with and so blocked it out as she climbed off the speeder and walked over to the Tavern's entrance, which was basically a flimsy saloon style door. So she put both hands on either lightweight doors, pushing them away from them as she entered the building. This made those inside the building stare directly back at her with an unsure but certainly aggravated expression, as though her entrance had interfered with whatever they had done but since she still had her helmet on, they could not tell who she was or what she was likely thinking. So she simply looked around the room in one fluid motion, taking note of everyone that was in there and their exact positions. Like the two Vorcha who stood either side of her, both already had their right hands slowly moving down to the holstered pistols on their utility belts. There was also the Hanar Bartender and two Turians standing at the bar, while to her right there was three Human Males playing a game of Poker. But sitting in the centre of the room directly ahead of her was the Volus in question, who was seated at a table that had a few pads on it. So she walked directly up to his table, looking at him through her visor while never forgetting the two Krogan behind her. 'They must be his muscle.' she thought as she stopped at the opposite side of the table to him, hearing the heavy breathing sound of his respirator coming from his pressure suit as he looked up at her with the yellow optics of his breather helmet. "Ugh…this is a private table." he said in an unsure tone as he looked the armoured Woman up and down, taking notice that she was still wearing her breather helmet and had it covered by the hood of her long coat, which only showed some of her armour, but from how well it covered her obviously athletic figure there could not be any hidden weapons on her person. "Are you Barla Vonn?" she asked while looking down at him through her visor, which made the Volus' posture change as he looked a little more agitated at the mention of his name. "Ugh,,who? I am sorry but I am very busy, so can you leave me alone please?" he replied as he picked up one of the pads in front of him and began looking at it, trying to ignore this strange who had just walked up to him. But the armoured Woman was not going to take this for an answer so she placed both hands on the table and leant down towards him in and swiped the pad from his hand in a more aggressive manner, making him look back at her in shock. "Hey, give that back!" he shouted, but she ignored it and tossed the pad over her shoulder. "Now that I have your attention, perhaps you will answer my question now. Are you Barla Vonn?" But the Volus merely scoffed and looked behind her to the two Vorcha who then nodded and equipped their pistols and start walking toward her. "Step back from…" the one on the right started to say, but the Woman just held her left hand in the air which began to glow with blue energy as she clenched it into a fist. This suddenly pulled both guards into the air, earning gasps from everyone in the room as the Vorcha flapped their arms about in a panic. Then the armoured stranger opened her hand and they were then instantly flung out of the Tavern through the window directly behind them, earning gasps from the people in the street. "You're a Biotic, but that means…" the Volus stammered before he then looked over to the three Humans playing poker and nodded, earning her attention as she turned to see them quickly get up and point their pistols at her. "Really..." she began to say in an unsurprised tone as her other hand started to glow while she raised it at the men, who looked at other with unsure expressions as they aimed their pistols at her. "Well, shoot her then, you fools!" the Volus spat as he was now off his seat and slowly moving towards the back door, but then the men's table shimmered with blue energy before it and all that was on it began to float off the floor. This caught their attention as they glanced at the wood-like structure and the cards and glasses that were in the air with it, making the armoured Woman smirk behind her visor as she then clenched her hand into a fist and made their chairs suddenly fly up from the ground and hit them all in the face hard, knocking the men out in one hit. She then quickly lifted another chair off the ground and flung it at the Volus, knocking him to the ground as she looked over at the Turians at the bar. "We...just...came in...for a...drink!" one said in a fear tinged tone as he stared back with widened eyes, while his friend's hand shook as he took a sip of his drink. "Get out!" the Woman said in a commanding tone, which made the pair suddenly bolt out of the Tavern. Even the Hanar-Barman had made a quick exit through the nearby door into the back of the building, leaving the armoured stranger with the Volus. 'That was fast for a jellyfish.' she thought as she looked back at the little fat pressure suited person, who was currently getting back to his feet. "Perhaps now you will answer my questions?" she then said, which made him look around the room and then back at her. "...Okay, you win." "So, Barla Vonn." the Woman said back, earning a nod from him as he looked up at her. "I am. So, what do you want?" "I am looking for someone, someone that you apparently know….very well." she replied, earning what could only be described as a curious look from the Volus, who tilted his head slightly. "I will need a little more than that." "She is the leader of Leviathan." the Woman said back, instantly making Barla gasp as he took a step back. "Then that makes you….!" he started to say, to which he stepped closer and looked down at him. And even though her face was hidden by the visor of her helmet, the Volus could imagine what she looked like now that he knew who it was. "Yes, and now you know who I am, that should make this much easier." she said, interrupting him while clenching her fist as biotic energy began to glow around it, making Barla gulp when he saw it. "I would help…but if I tell you, then she will kill me." he replied, making her lean over slightly and stare down at him as she raised her clenched fist slightly. "And what do you think will happen to you if you don't tell me what I want to know." she said before suddenly the Volus became enveloped in biotic energy and lifted off the ground, making him panic as he flapped his arms and legs around. "Arrgh….wait….wait…" he cried out. "Now tell me, or I will flay the skin from your body." the armoured Woman replied with a serious and final tone to her voice, which made him nod back in a panic. "Alright, Alright." So she released him and made the Volus fall back to the ground with a thud, earning a grimace from him in return. "So…?" she asked as the pressure suited alien looked up at her, while slowly getting back to his feet. "She is here on Yamm, at an abandoned factory several kilometres from here in a mountainous area. It is being used as a meeting spot for the recruitment of another mercenary group into Leviathan." he said as he activated his holo-tool and showed her the location on a map of the continent. This made the Woman look away from Barla, a thoughtful expression on her face under the visor. 'Finally, I've got her.' "So…..are we done here? Because if she finds out that I helped you then there will be nowhere I can hide, so I should make myself scarce." he added, gaining a nod from the Woman as she turned her back on him and began to walk out. "But just so that you know, but if I find out that she has been alerted in any way whatsoever or was not there, to begin with. Then I will find and kill you well before she even knows of your betrayal." she said in cold tone before walking out of the Tavern, leaving Barla standing there and physically shaking inside his pressure suit. -PRIME EFFECT 5- The journey to the location given to her by the Volus took a few hours as the Woman flew between two snow-capped mountains, but the change in climate did not even bother the armoured woman as she already felt that cold inside. It was even snowing heavily as thick cloud overhead began showering iced water down upon her, hitting the visor of her helmet hard. But the Woman did not even flinch as she remained focused on the one goal that has been her only priority for all these years. 'Today, I will finally give that 'bitch' the justice that 'she' has been evading, ever since…..' she thought before suddenly stop, as she could not bring herself to think of what she had lost because of that 'woman', as she would just find herself crying once again. But luckily for the armoured stranger and her thoughts, the factory suddenly appeared just ahead as she could just make it out through the onslaught of snow, with its towering observation tower and smokestacks. 'There it is.' she thought as she tightened her grip on the accelerator and gave her a sudden speed boost, making the snow hit her armour even more as her long brown coat was blown around behind her. And in a matter of seconds, she had landed the speeder on the snow-covered ground and just as the snowstorm had stopped as the cloud had passed over and revealed the blue sky overhead. She climbed off the speeder and looked at the factory which looked like it had been derelict for decades, with its concrete walls on either side of the large rusted metal door looking damaged and weathered. As she stood there before it, there was no sound around her. Not even that of the wind as the storm had already died down and past by. 'It's too quiet.' she thought while slowly walking over to the door before an RPG was suddenly fired down from unknown location which hit the ground directly in front of the armoured Woman and exploded, engulfing her in flames. But she simply walked through and came out the other side of the flames of the billowing fire, with only her long coat on fire as the rest of her was covered by biotic energy. This made her simply rip off the coat and fling it aside, leaving it to the fire as it slowly burnt to ashes on the snow behind her. But the armoured stranger then stopped and looked up at the observation tower, as that was the only place that the rocket could have been fired. But she then simply took a breath before squatting a little as she put both hands together and held them behind her as she turned on her hips away from the door. And suddenly the woman began to glow with biotic energy before she focused and made it traverse from her body and into her hands, making a ball of energy appear as she slowly began to pull them away. As she did this, the armoured stranger could hear shouting coming from just behind the factory's metal door as she felt the tremendous power building up between her hands. 'My turn.' she thought before she then twisted her body back, thrusting both hands forward as she released the biotic energy ball which then flew towards the door at speed and hit it with such force that it blew them wide open. And then the Woman instantly performed a biotic charge and sprinted through the now open doorway in a blue flash to find that the metal doors were still flying through the air, as was numerous mercs wearing grey and black armour. So she finished her charge by running directly into three soldiers, and the force of the impact flung them high into the air before they hit two of three columns behind them. The Woman then turned around and found that she was standing in the interior of factory's main structure which was littered with numerous columns, as well as many mercenary troops already raising their weapons at her as their hurt comrades recovered. "Freeze!" one of the soldiers shouted as they looked down the scopes of their rifles at the armoured stranger, but she simply charged her biotics and covered her entire body. "Make me!" she spat before swinging her right arm before her, creating a biotic whip which ploughed through several of the troops and knocked them flying. "Let her have it!" another enemy shouted as they opened fire on her, only for the bullets to harmlessly impact against the biotic barrier that was hugging close to her body. She then launched herself at the troops and hit the one she thought was the leader with a glowing fist to the face, shattering his helmet as he revealed to have a grimaced expression before forming a biotic whip and swinging it around her, swatting away several more troops like they were flies. "Take her down!" a voice then echoed from the factory's inter-com as the Woman took down more and more of the troops, either with punches to the face of kicks to the chest and back or from more swings of her biotic whip. And then she made another energy whip appear on her other hand and spun it around, hitting them all with both whips as she did so. After she came to a stop, the woman looked around to see that all the Merc soldiers were now on the floor, groaning as they withered around in pain. 'That can't be all there is…' she thought before the sound of many footfalls behind her, so the armoured Woman turned around and saw even more Mercenary troops rushing at her. 'That's more like it.' she thought as she readied herself for another round and looked back at them, as the soldiers began to surround her and aim their weapons. "Open fire!" one of the newcomers shouted, instantly making his teammates unleash a barrage of gunfire on the woman, but once again her biotic barrier absorbed their impacts as the bullets then fell to the ground around her. 'They never learn.' she thought as a sly grin appeared behind he visor as she then reached up with one arm before thrusting down at the ground, hitting it with a tremendous amount of biotic energy that suddenly expanded out around her in a wave that knocked them all flying. As the troops all hit the ground hard, she was still in a kneeling position with her fist on the floor so she looked up and around her to see that the reinforcements had joined their comrades, but just as she turned her attention to the area in front of her, she suddenly stopped and stared in wide-eyed confusion. For standing amongst the defeated soldiers was the man she had seen from her dream earlier, the Man in orange and black armour. He was just staring at her with a stoic-like expression, which made her feel uncomfortable before suddenly feeling the most aggravating pain in her back as she felt fifty thousand volts pass through her body. For her attention had been distracted from the enemies around her and one of them hit her with a burst of stun bullets while her back was turned, making her fall to the ground, spasming as she lost control of her body while the soldiers that were still alive had recovered and surrounded her before she lost consciousness. When the armoured stranger came too, she felt the armour on her knees scraping against the floor as two soldiers dragged her while holding onto her arms. She looked through her visor to see that she was now in a circular room with quite a view. 'Must be the observation tower.' she thought before noticing that along with the two soldiers holding her, there were three more on either side of the room as well as a Batarian directly in front to which she was being taken to. 'Must be their Commander, but where is 'she'?' she thought as the soldiers and she stopped directly before him. "Drop her." the Batarian said, earning a nod from both soldiers as they let the armoured woman go who then fell onto the ground face first, cracking the visor of her helmet. the masked woman had to admit, she was still feeling the effects of the stun bullets and was a little out of it. "Get up on your feet!" he snarled but the Woman would not comply, so he gestured to the two soldiers who grabbed her by the arms again and pulled her back onto her feet so that their Commander could look at her at eye level. "Take off that helmet." The Mercenary on her right then grabbed her breather-helmet on both sides and lifted it off the Woman's head, revealing a beautiful Asari who simply stared back at the Batarian with a cold stare. "Ah, Myra Darby. Well, this is a surprise…." the leader said with a smile as he looked back at her. "…don't you have something better to do than break into my operation?" he added before shaking his head. "Oh wait, no you don't. Because you're a Rogue Autobot Spectre now, put on the disavowed list by the Federation for becoming obsessed with murdering my Boss." "Where is Vasir!" she then spat back as she pushed herself forward, only for the two soldiers to pull her back as they held on to her arms. This made the Batarian's smile grow wider in return. "I am afraid that our fearless leader is not here, though I am sure she would have been overjoyed to see you again…." he started to say before turning away from her and looking down at the Factory's exterior through the window that surrounded interior of the observation room. "….so she can reunite you with your mother!" he added before quickly pulling his pistol from the holster on his utility belt and aiming it directly at the centre of her forehead, to which the Asari just stared back with not even an acknowledgement to this. "But instead, I will get this honour. Putting an end to what basically has been an annoying thorn in Vasir's side for the last couple of centuries….Farewell." he then finished as before slowly pulling the trigger and firing the gun, which then earned a confused wide-eyed look from him and the soldiers. For what they saw was the bullet floating directly in front of the Asari's forehead, with only the flickering of a small biotic field between her and instant death. "What the hell?" he then said as the bullet then dropped to the ground, earning a smile from Myra. So the Batarian went to fire his gun again, but then the female Darby's arms began to glow with a fiery biotic look to them and made the soldiers let go as it burnt their hands. "Arrgh!" they cried out in unison as she then grabbed the Commander's arm and hit him in the stomach with a biotic punch, winding him as he fell backwards. This also made the Batarian drop his pistol which she then caught in her hand as she turned around unleashed a biotic wave that sent every other soldier there flying out of the windows to their deaths on the ground far below. The Commander could hear his men's screaming before they were silenced a moment later by the sounds of their bodies hitting concrete below, but this only angered him more as he activated his holo-blade. But Myra was ready for this as she then waved a glowing hand in front of him and encased his arm in a biotic field, before then clenching her fist tightly and shattering the bones in that appendage. "Arrrgh! You Asari Bitch!" he spat back with a venomous stare as his holo-blade flickered to nothing, but blue Darby just looked down at him with an uncaring stare. "Please, I have heard far worse than that from others like you." she said while kneeling down and looking at him, as he sat up and cradled his broken arm. "And you should know that my Mother was not the only person that Vasir murdered, and for that, I will make her pay. Now where she is?" she added with a mirrored look as she then tightened her glowing fist even more, making the Batarian grimace and squeal with pain as the inside of his broken arm felt like it was being crushed into dust. "You…will….get….nothing…out….of….me!" he spat as the pain took hold of him, making the Asari shake her head in return. "Too bad. Then you have no further use for me." she replied as she let go of his arm, making him take a deep sigh of relief as the pain numbed down considerably. But Myra just stood back up and waved her glowing arm over him, flexing her fingers a little as he was suddenly enveloped by blue energy and lifted off the ground. "Wait! What are you doing?" the Batarian Commander said in a worried tone as he floated in front of her. "Seeing if you can fly." she just replied coldly before pushing her hand forward and sending him out of the broken window, letting gravity take hold as he began hurtling down toward the roof of the factory. But Myra simply turned around and barely acknowledged the sound of his body hitting the concrete roof of the main structure below her. 'I have to get out of here and find that Volus weasel and make him pay for lying to me. she thought before lifting her hand to the com-link in her ear, but stopped suddenly as the sounds of shouting came from the floors below which were quickly followed by many footfalls that were coming from the stairs leading up to the room she was in. 'Alright, looks like I will have to fight my way out of here.' she thought as she clenched both her fists and made them glow with biotic energy as she looked at the main entrance to the observation room, and waited for the Merc reinforcements to appear.
  10. CHAPTER XLIII Liara stared up at the summit of the pyramid-like platform, her eyes wide and full of grief as she saw Orion Darby, her friend, her Lover being run through by Galvatron's blade. And at that very moment, all sound around her was drowned out by the beating of her own heart. She did not even register her own scream as she cried out Orion's name and apart from the feeling her same heart being ripped from her body, the Asari felt numb all over. She suddenly tried to move toward the platform, but was stopped as both Quickstrike and Shen had grabbed her arms and held her back. "Liara, you can't help..." the blonde Bot said whilst a tear ran down his face, his voice full of emotion. "He's right." the Turian replied in a mirrored tone , as Nightracer and Ser-Ket just looked on in complete shock. Jack meanwhile was holding an inconsolable Arcee, tears flowing freely from her eyes as she sobbed into his shoulder. He too had tears running down his cheeks as he looked up at the Predacon Leader, a look of pure hate and grief in his stare to which their enemy only smirked back before sliding the Chaos Edge back out of the blue haired Bot, letting his limp body fall back onto the platform's cold metallic floor. "I win!" he then roared up at the heavens while walking toward the center of the platform, before pointing his sword up at what he seeked, knowing that the Aeons were watching. "Now if you would be so kind, give me the Matrix!" he added with an evil smile, which was met by the glowing Autobot Relic suddenly floating down to him very slowly. But Galvatron just stared at it with a gleeful hunger as he held his outstretched hand to it, eager to feel it in his grasp. 'At last, our destiny is in our hands Unicron.' he thought feverishly, as he felt the Chaos Bringer's presence once more. "Yes, my Herald, the age of Chaos is upon us." he replied in a hopeful tone. Meanwhile Liara had just witnessed her Lover's body casually dropped to the floor by the Predacon Leader, before he walked out of sight. This combined with been held back by her friends finally pushing her over the edge of grief and into anger. "Let go of me!" she spat as her biotics flared, covering her body in a blue glow which gave both Quickstrike and Shen a painful shock. "Oww!" they said in unison as they released the Asari who bolted up the stairs to the pyramid-like structure's summit, not giving a damn that she had just hurt her friends. This had gained the attention of both Jack and Arcee, with the Femme looking up at the summit before her desperate expression returned as she faced her Spark-mate. "I…want to see him." she asked in an almost pleading like tone, as more tears ran down her already soaked cheeks. "Alright." the Prime replied as the pair began to walk over to the pyramid, before he looked back at the others. "Stay here." he said, earning understanding looks from all but Nightracer, who had a mirrored look to her former Lover's Mother. "Please…stay." he added, gaining a nod from the Femme as she looked down at the ground. 'I know Nightracer and Orion were close, but this is diff…..' he tried to think, but found his thoughts wavering as his own grief threatened to overwhelm him completely. So he looked away from the others and instead helped Arcee up the stairs. As the pair ascended up the stairs towards the summit, the trepidation of knowing what they were about to see when they reached the top hung over them, making their spark/heart sink further into the despair. But they continued upwards, for they had to see their Son with their own eyes, no matter how painful it would be. When they reached the summit, Jack could see Galvatron near the arena's center with his hand outstretched towards the Matrix which was descending towards him. But then the Prime's attention fell to the body lying only a metre or two away, earning a gasp from Arcee who started to sob again as she turned and pressed her face into his chest. Jack though kept his eyes on the body of his dead son, as another tear ran down his face. "Oh Jack…tell me… it isn't… so." the Femme stammered between sobs, but all he could do was hold her as he watched Liara on her knees and leaning over Orion's body. "This isn't how it's supposed to end?" he muttered faintly. Liara lifted Orion's upper half of his body from the ground and pulled it into an embrace, his limp head resting on her shoulder as she wept freely. "You can't be dead, you just can't. I don't believe it, not after…." she said in a grief-stricken tone, as her tears continued to flow. "…you said you had a destiny, how can this happen if it was true," she added as she then lay her head on his and just held his body close, feeling how cold his skin was to touch. "I need you my love." she whispered. Orion opened his eyes to find himself staring at what looked like a beautiful night sky, one without a cloud in sight as the thousands of stars that filled it were shining back brightly. 'Okay, that's pretty and all. But where did the temple go?' he thought to himself before getting into a sitting position and noticing that the ground beneath him looked and felt like crystal. The Bot then continued to look around to see that his entire surroundings, including the mountains in the distance were all crystalline in their look. It all looked so beautiful to Orion, but then his thoughts were suddenly drawn back to himself as he instantly remembered what had happened only a moment earlier, quickly placing his hand on his chest to feel the wound that Galvatron had caused him by running the Chaos Edge through the Bot's chest. 'What the?' the young Darby thought as he ran his fingers over the spot on his chest, but found nothing. The chest-plate of his armour had the damage, but his skin underneath was perfectly fine. 'How is that possible?' he thought with a confused expression as he stared down at his chest, only for his mind to come up blank. So he got to his feet and took a better look at his surroundings, but everything was crystalline as far as the eye could see. "Where am I?" he said in worried and confused tone. "You are with us." a deep commanding and yet noble voice spoke, which made the Bot turn around to see that he was no longer standing there alone. For thirteen giant beings stood there before him, all of them looked like the Cybertronians he had learnt about as a child. The same ones that his own Mother used to look like before taking on humanoid form with the Pretender Tech. Each one of these thirteen looked to be wearing some sort of armour, though they all looked different from one another. One Cybertronian floated above the others while surrounded by an energy field, while another had a pair of wings on their back. But they all stared down at Orion with their blue optics, making him feel more than a little nervous as they towered over him. 'They are the Thirteen.' he thought as one of them, a Bot who had blue coloured legs and a red torso stepped toward him and knelt on one knee. His armour looked more like the exterior of one of Earth's large ground vehicles, and Orion's eyes widened as he recognised who it was. "Your Optimus Prime." he gasped, gaining a nod from the former Autobot Leader as he looked down at the young Darby. "Yes. And you are Orion Darby, Son of my good friend Jackson Prime. The rest of the Thirteen and I have watched you for your entire life, observing the decisions and choices you have made." This made Orion gulp as he looked up at the Prime and listened, feeling the optics of the others watching him as he stood there. "You have been watching me, why?" "Because before Primus sacrificed himself to defeat Unicron and his Reapers, he chose two people who would succeed your Father as the next Primes. And the first was to be you." The blue haired Bot could have sworn that his spark stopped beating for a moment after hearing that sentence, taking a deep breath as his mind began to fill with questions. "Me, I don't understand. I mean…I guess I kind of do, since I can hold Star-Saber, but….why me?" he asked in a humbling tone, but Optimus just looked back at him with a knowing smile. "I know you feel that you are not worthy of being a Prime, neither your Father or I wished for such a fate either for ourselves either. But it is the choices made on our journey through life that shaped who and what we are. And like us, you have shown that you are courageous and willing to sacrifice yourself for the protection of all. These are the traits of a Prime, making you worthy to carry on our legacy." The young Bot nodded back as he gave the Prime a serious look, pushing aside the doubts that had plagued him though out his life. "Very well, I will accept this honour with all that I am." he answered in stoic tone, earning a nod from Optimus and the others. "You will now become the new Leader of the Autobots, you shall continue to lead and protect this galaxy in Primus's name, though that is not all that you must do, but there is not enough time to explain that. So wake up now and take the Matrix in your hands….and rise…..Orion Prime." the older Bot said, while a bright light started to surround Orion, blinding him as everything went white. PRIME EFFECT 4 Back in the temple, Liara continued to hold Orion close before she suddenly felt his chest rise and fall, making her eyes widen as the Bot suddenly opened his eyes and take a breath. "Orion!" he gasped as she pulled away just enough to look at him, gaining his attention as he looked into her eyes. Arcee and Jack both looked down at the pair, complete surprise and relief on their faces as they saw their son. "Hi." Orion said, almost making the Asari and his Parents mouths drop in return. "Hi." she said back in total surprise before pulling him back into a warm embrace, the blue haired Bot returning it in kind as Jack smiled back at Arcee. But before any more could be said, the younger Darby pulled away from his Lover, who noticed his expression becoming more serious. "I have a job to do." he said in a cryptic manner, which made her and Arcee look back with a slightly confuse stare. But Jack knew what he meant as the two gave each other a knowing look as his Son got back to his feet. Everyone watching from the ground saw this and breathed a collective sigh of relief as they looked up and saw this. Meanwhile Galvatron was completely oblivious to what was happening behind him, as his attention was focused on the Matrix as it descended towards him. "At long las..." he started to say as the Matrix was just inches from his grasp, when it suddenly changed direction and floated past him. "What?" he spat in confusion as he turned around, his eyes following it like a Hawk. That was when he spotted Orion, who was standing at the platform edge with his hand outstretched towards the relic as it moved towards him. "Impossible!" the Predacon Leader exclaimed as he unsheathed the Chaos Edge and started running at the Bot. "Guys stand back." Orion then said, earning a nod from Liara and his Parents who backed away as they watched him. But just as the Matrix came within his grasp, Galvatron leaped and swung his blade down at him. "No!" he exclaimed in desperation as he brought the blade down on him, but just as the Chaos Edge came within a centimetre of the Autobot. The Matrix floated into his hand, causing Orion to become engulfed in a blinding white energy, one that knocked the Predacon Lord onto his back with a grunt as he dropped the Chaos Edge. But no one else was even slightly interested as they were all focused on the blue haired Bot, who they could barely see through the blinding white light that had surrounded him, making them shield their eyes with their hands. Liara through keep her fingers separated just enough to peek through despite the light's strength, and could just make out the silhouette of her Lover while noticing that the armour that he was wearing was being transformed. And then in the blink of an eye the light vanished, and there standing before them all was Orion in a familiar and yet new version of the Prime armour. It had a dark navy blue colour, and was still very sleek and lightweight in it's design. The recognisable red stripes with their thick silver outlines remained, still running down his arms from the new more sleeker shoulder guards all the way to his gloves. And on center of his chest plate was the Silver Autobot insignia with Red outline. "Wow." the Asari said, as she and the others looked back at him in awe. The blue haired Prime then held out his hand to the Star-Saber, and the sword suddenly rose off the ground and into his grasp, with his grip tightening around it's hilt as it's blade began to glow a bright blue. He then turned his attention to Galvatron, staring at him with a stoic expression as the Predacon Leader got back to his feet. "This is the end of the road for you Galvatron." Orion said, earning a hateful glare from his adversary as he picked up his blade. "I killed you once…boy, Prime or not…I will do it again!" the Predacon Lord spat as he lunged at the new Prime, who deflected the attack with the Star-Saber. And for a long moment, the two clashed their blades multiple times. Though this time, Orion was the more focused and controlled one as his adversary was becoming more desperate. But then Galvatron attacked with a an overhead strike, which the young Darby stopped by raising his weapon up to block it before following through with a kick to the Predacon's stomach, making him stumble backwards as he grunted. Everyone watched as the clone recovered and attacked the Prime again, their blue and red blades clashing several more times before the young Darby spin kicked Galvatron in the face, sending him down to the ground hard, "It is over….surrender." the blue haired Bot said in a serious tone, but the Predacon shook his head as he got up again and charged at him. "Never!" he exclaimed in a fanatical tone as he attacked with both his claws on one hand, and the Chaos Edge in the other. But Orion was way ahead of him as he dodged one attack and deflected another, before spinning around and unleashing an energy wave that hit Galvatron and sent him flying across the arena. "That's our son, Jack." Arcee said in a proud tone and smile, earning a mirrored look and nod from the older Darby as they and Liara watched Orion walk over to the Predacon, who was again picking himself off the ground. "This was my destiny!" the Clone spat as he thrust the Chaos Edge at the Prime, but the blue haired Bot dodged it as he threw the Star-Saber in the air and grabbed Galvatron's attacking arm and twisted it, making him drop the blade before the Prime then back-handed him with his free hand. The Predacon was spun around by the force of the hit, while Orion reached up and catched his own Saber again after it fell back toward him, before looking back at his adversary. "You don't get it Galvatron…" he replied as the clone turned back round and stared daggers back at him before leaping back at him with claws bared, roaring as he did so. But Orion in a calm and professional manner, thrust the Star-Saber forward and impaled the Predacon Lord through his chest, making him spit up blood as he had a shocked expression on his face. Jack, Arcee and Liara had similar expressions on their faces as the others joined them from the ground floor, watching as Orion had given Galvatron the killing blow. But even with an audience watching, the new Prime just looked the Clone in his eyes with a stoic and honest expression. "…you never had a destiny." he added before twisting the blade while it was in Predacon's chest, making him grimace in pain as he looked down at it. "And you have something that doesn't belong to you…." the Prime then said, which then caught Galvatron's attention as he looked back with a worried expression. "….time to give it back." the blue haired Bot finished before ripping the blade from the Clone's chest, making his blood spray out and pour down his chest as he cried out in pain, before falling to his knees in front of Orion. Then as everyone watched, a purple glowing swirl of energy began to seep out of the Predacon's chest, making all but the new Prime stare back with widened eyes. "That's Unicron!" Jack said as the remnant started to float up towards the floating parts of the mountain, which were being held up there by the bolts energy striking them from the temple. And for one instance, the entire group could swear something from the energy. "Noooooo!" the remnant cried out as it suddenly stopped between the two Aeons, before finally fading to nothing in the light shone from their glowing eyes. "No…Unicron, that was my….des..tiny.!" Galvatron managed to say with a defeated expression before his eyes glazed over, his body then went limp and slumped to the ground in a heap. "Farewell Galvatron." Orion said with a stoic tone as he looked down at the corpse, and breathed a sigh of relief. 'It is finally over.' he thought before simply blinking, to which his eyes then widened in surprise. For he was no longer standing in the Infinite Combinatoric, but was back in the crystalline world and surrounded by the beauty and marvel of the glacier like mountains and vista. PRIME EFFECT 4 "Optimus?" he called out while looking at his surroundings, but there was no answer as the Bot could see that he was alone. All he could hear was the sound of a breeze blowing through the air around him. "Where is Optimus?" he said to himself, before another voice spoke behind him. "Optimus was here?" The blue haired Bot turned around to see his Dad standing there, looking back at him with a curious expression. "Dad?" "Yeah its me…" the older Darby replied as he looked around at their surroundings with a smile, marvelling at the sight once more. "…you know, I always knew I would see this place one more time." he added, which made his Son look back with a questioning expression. "What do you mean by that?" But before the former Prime could answer, both their attention was diverted to two bright orbs of light that suddenly appeared on their right side. "So it is done, the remnant of our Brother has chosen his next Disciple." Vok spoke as his orange orb shifted into the form of a humanoid, though one that looked more like a Cybertronian. He had orange and black robes with armoured shoulders and fore-arms, as well as armoured boots. His optics were bright orange and he also had a small metallic beard, which he stroked as he looked at Orion. "Yes, everything now is exactly as Primus wanted. Just like we witnessed in his thoughts and memories." Garuda replied as her green orb shifted into a wise and noble looking femme, with green and silver armoured robes covering her athletic figure. Her optics were a bright green, which gave the Father and Son a curious stare while they looked confused at each other. "Uh, excuse me. But what are you talking about?" the blue haired Prime asked, which made Jack shake his head in return. 'My Son needs to learn to be more respectful around the Aeons.' he thought, whilst Vok looked back at Orion. "This insolence must be a trait of the young, and if you had not already impressed what remains of Primus, I would seriously consider punishing you for that disrespect." "But Orion Prime does have a legitimate question Vok, one that we can answer." the female Aeon replied, before looking back at the blue haired Bot. "You must understand Orion, before we came here. We have not had seen either Primus or Unicron, not since before what was left of our species separated to watch over our chosen galaxies." Both Jack and his Son stood and listened as Garuda continued, ignoring the unsure stare coming from Vok. "When we reached into the remnants of both, we saw everything that they had done since they had taken to watching over the Milky Way...as you call it. We saw their disagreements that led to Unicron taking it upon himself to rid the galaxy of the weak, what he turned himself into to achieve it. And we saw Primus's solution, the creation of the Cybertronians and their Primes. We witnessed their war and the creation of the Reapers and everything else that happened up to this very point, including Primus's pain at watching his creations fight while Unicron's Reapers obeyed him, doing exactly what he had commanded them too. For a while it looked as through he was correct, with his Reapers wiping out the weak whilst assimilating the strong into their numbers every hundred thousand years. Because Primus's idea of free will and cooperation was failing as his Cybertronians continued to war with each other..." she said while turning her attention to the horizon. "...but that changed when his creations brought their conflict to a small unassuming planet, called Earth." Garuda finished, allowing Vok to take a step toward both Jack and Orion. "Here a chaotic young organic species, one of many that Unicron would have wiped out in a spark-beat, was pulled into the Cybertronians conflict. But having learnt so much from their own Wars and bloody history, helped to end the eons long feud and bring Primus's children back together. And then the new friends and allies went out into he galaxy and helped the rest of its inhabitants cooperate with each other, just as our Brother would have wanted. And he saw great potential in Humanity for the continuing legacy of the Primes." Vok said before looking at Jack. "That is why he chose you to be the first of a new generation of his disciples, because you were the best of your generation." he continued as Garuda looked at Orion. "Once we saw all of this, we knew that we could not interfere. That we had to let the Matrix choose it's next bearer, and so we let you and the abomination called Galvatron fight. Because we knew that you would be the eventual victor, succeeding your Father in the process." she said, earning a nod from Orion in return. "I see, but how did you know that I would defeat Galvatron. I mean he killed me." "He did so by using the power that Unicron had given him, but you fought him regardless. Willing to put your life on the line to protect others, exactly as Primus would. This along with your natural ability to lead others made you the right choice to become a Prime, just as he had foreseen." Garuda replied, earning a nod from Jack as he stepped beside his Son proudly. "I too had seen that in you Son, throughout your life. With how you were always the leader amongst your friends when you were younger, the many occasions you ended up being in charge as an adult. And yet you walked away from every chance of promotion given to you, well...before the Normandy." Orion though turned to his Dad, giving him a curious look. "But Dad, there is more to it. I mean its like you already knew what my life was going to turn out like?" he said, but the older Darby shook his head in return. "I..always had a feeling that you were meant for more than you were aiming for Orion, that's part of being a Parent." he said back in a hopeful tone. "Orion, what your Father does or does not know is not for him to reveal. Because no one can know what their destiny is going to be, for they have to experience it for themselves." Vok said in return, while Jack looked over to the nearby glacial mountains with a thoughtful expression. 'It was more than just a feeling I had though, but I can't for the life of me remember.' he thought as the blue haired Prime kept his attention on the Aeons. "Alright, so you ended up believing in me like Primus did. But how did you know I would win?" he asked. "Well with the power that we Aeons possess.." Vok began to say, earning a regretful look from Garuda. "Power that we paid a heavy price to obtain." she replied, earning a thoughtful nod from the male Aeon. "Yes, but still. We now exist as beings of energy, with the ability to transcend space and time. After we viewed our Brothers memories, we took a look into the future….both the imminent and far." Vok added, earning an understanding nod from the Prime. "So, you saw that I would be brought back and so just let fate play it's hand." "Yes." Garuda replied. "Okay, so what happens now?" Orion then asked. "Now you are the Leader of the Autobots, it is your duty and calling to continue to help shape the future of this galaxy. But.." Garuda began to explain, gaining a curious look from Orion. "But?" he asked. "..we have also seen what Primus was planning for when he created the Primes, for it was not just to defeat his Brother Unicron and lead the others." the female Aeon added. "It was also to prepare for the return of a threat that we Aeons have long since believed was gone, but Primus knew better for he had seen it within Unicron's behaviour." Vok carried on, as both Primes listened intently. "What is that?" Orion asked. "It is a very powerful force that once threatened not only the galaxy, but the entire universe itself." the orange Aeon added in a cryptic tone as a sudden gust of wind blew through the area they were standing in, earning an uncomfortable look from the younger Darby. "Well that's ominous." he said before returning his attention back to the Aeons. "This dark force is the result of a mistake that we made long before we took on these forms, it is the reason we chose to watch over the galaxies of this universe." Garuda replied. "You mean in how you obtained this power that you now have?" Jack asked with a curious tone, earning a nod from her. "Yes, that is correct. You certainly are an inquisitive creature, Orion Prime." Garuda said back. "It is not yet time for everything to be revealed to you, though all we can say is that we made ourselves silent guardians to the universe. In an effort to make up for the damage that we had done." she added as look of regret appeared on her face. "But it seems that we have still failed in that regards, for we did not foresee this great darkness's return. "But Primus has, and his solution is you and the 'Trinity of Primes'." Vok then said as he looked directly at Orion, who just stared back at them with a curious expression. "I saw that in the Convent of Primus, what is that?" he asked, but both Aeons gave him a knowing look in return. "As we said before Prime, you cannot know all that is meant to be and what will be." Garuda replied, gaining an understanding look from the blue haired Bot as he sighed. "Yes I know, I have to experience it." "Now it is time for you to return to your plane of existence Orion, but you visit this place and see us again when the Trinity is called upon. We cannot tell when that will be or more about what you will face, but we believe that you will be ready when the time comes. For with you becoming a Prime, you have already begun to connect the Trinity together." Vok then said, earning a nod from Orion before he suddenly felt everything around start to fade away. "Until we meet again." Garuda said, and then the new Prime was gone. Now only Jack was left, standing with the two Aeons. "For you though Jackson Prime, we can tell you that this is the last time that you will see this place." Vok said, earning a nod from the older Darby before he took another look at his crystalline surroundings. "I don't know why, but I had a feeling that this might be it." he replied with a tinge of disappointment in his voice. "We know you do not truly remember what has already transpired, but we have seen the future and can tell you that your part in this is now over." Garuda replied. "So you have you seen how this will all end?" the former Prime asked, giving them a curious expression. "We have seen to a point, time is forever fluid. But you have done exactly as you were meant to, so you can now go back and enjoy the rest of your life…you have earned it." the female Aeon continued, to which Jack gave them a thankful smile and nodded back before giving the place one last look, another disappointed expression appearing on his face. "What is it?" Vok asked, curious to why the Human was looking around. "I just thought that I might have seen Optimus one last time, since I know that he and others exist in this plane." "Your friend and Mentor will always be with you Jackson Prime, but now it is time for you to leave." "Okay, so….Goodbye." Jack replied with a wave, earning a nod from both Aeons as everything slowly went white around him. "Farewell." Garuda replied as they faded into the bright white light as it enveloped the older Darby. PRIME EFFECT 4 - Epilogue Suddenly Orion found himself standing over Galvatron's corpse like nothing had happened, which made him take a breath and sheathing the Star-Saber on his back before looking up to see his Dad standing just away from him, an extremely proud look on his face as he smile and nodded to him. Jack then looked to his Son's right, making the blue haired Bot turn and see his Mother smiling at him as she walked up to him, wrapping her arms around him in a loving embrace before he could even react. "By the All-Spark, Orion I am so proud of you." Arcee said as she hugged him tightly, earning an embarrassed but mirrored smile back as he returned the hug. "Sorry to scare you like that." he replied while noticing Quickstrike, Ser-Ket and the others smiling back at him as his Mother pulled away enough to look her Son in the eyes with a knowing expression. "You would think I'd be more used to this by now, like Father like Son." she said back with a smile before her attention was drawn to over the new Prime's shoulder, making her let go of him and step back. "Anyway, I believe there is someone who wants to see you." Arcee said before gesturing to him, which made Orion turn around and see Liara standing there just away from him. His eyes widened as he instantly left his Mother's side and walked over to the Asari, while Arcee just sighed as Jack stepped beside her and took her hand in his, earning a happy smile from her before they watched their Son go to reunite with his Asari lover who was walking towards him too. "Orion." Liara said as they stopped right in front of each other, earning a smile from the Bot as she looked him up and down. "Yeah." he replied while she placed a hand on the chest-plate of his Prime armour, and looked up into his eyes with a relieved expression. "I thought I lost you earlier.." she said, which made Orion take her hand in his as he looked her in her blue eyes. "I'm sorry about that, I promise it won't happen again." he replied with a lop-sided grin, which made the Asari smile back as she pulled him into an embrace. "Yeah…like you can make that promise, come here." she said back with tinge of a joking tone in her voice as the two embraced. "I love you." Liara then said as they held each other close, making the Bot's spark heat up as he rested his forehead against hers. "I love you too." he replied before they then kissed, both losing themselves in the moment as they pressed their lips together. But then the moment was spoilt as Orion's com-link activated, making the Bot pull away and tap his ear-piece. "Orion, this is General Obsidian. I don't know what you guys did in there, but you should come and see this." the voice on the other end said, making the Prime look at everyone else. "What is it Cuz?" Quickstrike asked as the others joined the pair. "Time we left, Autobots…lets roll." he then said in a commanding tone, which gained nods from the rest of the team. But Jack and Arcee just gave each other knowing smiles as they followed their Son and Liara down the stairs and back to the ground. "What about this temple…and the Chaos Edge over there?" Nightracer asked, which made the blue haired Prime place his hand on the center of his chest plate as he felt the matrix underneath. "I'll have the fleet bomb this location from orbit and completely destroy it, I have a feeling that is what Primus would want." he replied, earning a confused look from Liara as they reached the bottom of the stairs. "Are you sure that is good idea Orion, I mean the historical importance of this place alone…" she began to say, only for the Bot to cut her off with an understanding look. "I know, but once this place is gone. There will be no chance that anyone could ever again attempt to resurrect Unicron, we should make sure of that." "I agree with Orion." Jack seconded as he and Arcee stood beside him and Liara, earning a nod from the Asari in return. "That does make sense." she replied, which made the younger Darby turn and give her a slight smile. "Yeah, but before we do though. I will have the Normandy take thorough scans of this temple, so that we at least have something of it on file to be studied." This made the Asari look a little less disappointed, before smiling back and gently squeezing his hand in her own affectionately. Oh...by the way." the blue haired Prime said as he looked over to his parents, like something important had just came to mind. "Mum, Dad, this is Liara T'Soni….. sorry for the delay." he said with a slightly embarrassed tone and look, but his parents just smiled back as they left the temple and walked back up the tunnel. "No need to apologise Orion." Jack said back whilst gently shaking his head. "Yes, the end of the galaxy totally gets you out of jail when it comes to introducing your girlfriend to us." Arcee added with a lopsided grin, before holding a hand out to the Asari. "It's very nice to meet you Liara, welcome to the family. Though we have met before haven't we?" the Femme asked, earning a nod from Liara. "Yes, we previously met back during the Reaper War, on Thessia when we worked together. It is an honour to meet you again." This earned a smile from both his Parents, as Arcee suddenly left Jack and walked along-side the Asari. "Liara, since this is a long tunnel. I thought we could have a chat as we walk it, get to know each other a bit more." she said in a friendly manner, which made her smile and nod back. "Sure, I would like that." Then both women began to walk away from Orion, which made him stare back with a confused look while his Father joined his left and his Cousin on his right. "Bad move Cuz, if you think that having your Ex hanging out with Liara was trouble, now she's making friends with your Mother." Quickstrike said with a grin on his face, earning a nod from Jack. "Yeah, Quickstrike is right there..." his Dad said as they watched the women ahead. "Same thing happened to me when your Mother and Grandmother were friends." he added as Orion watched while Arcee said something to Liara that he could not make out, but then the Asari burst into an uncontrolled laughter. This made the Bot's spark sink a little, as he could only guess what his Mother had just said. "Oh great," was all he could say as the group continued back up through the tunnel towards the light. PRIME EFFECT 4 After leaving the remains of the mountain and walking back past the smouldering wreck of the Nemesis while moonlight shone down from the clear night sky, which was full of twinkling stars too. Liara, Arcee and even Nightracer were talking and laughing as they walked together, while Orion, Jack and Shen followed as the Father and Son had unsure looks on their faces. Meanwhile Quickstrike and Ser-Ket were lingering just a bit further back as a curious expression was on the Femme's face. "I guess once your Mother wakes from her coma, I will be getting this treatment that Liara is receiving now from Orion's Mother and Ex?" she asked, earning a nod from the blonde Bot as they walked hand in hand. "Yeah, I was told she should be waking up any day now. But thinking about what I said earlier now. I probably shouldn't have taken the micky out of Orion now." he replied with a slight smile, while the former Predacon looked at him with an unsure expression. "I wonder how she will react to the fact that I was among the enemy ranks and had a part to play in…." she started to say, making Quickstrike look directly at her with a caring but serious stare. "I have already said that will not matter, you were not physically a part of the attack. You and the other Predacons were pretty much brain-washed to follow Galvatron…who turned out to be nothing more than a Clone. You even questioned the tactics and needless slaughter, the fact that you turned away from them and helped us to end this war…" he said as they stopped and he held her hands in his, while looking into her eyes. "…that is what it important, not the least that you saved my life. That is what my Mother will care about, so please stop worrying about it." he said, earning a sigh from the Femme who nodded back. "Alright, but there is something about me that you should know. Something I found out while I was being held prisoner aboard the Nemesis." Quickstrike just looked at her with an affectionate smile, as he remembered that she had tried to tell him this earlier only for him to stop her. It was true that whatever had happened in her past was not going to change what he thought of her now. But if she needed to get it off her chest, he wasn't going to stop her anymore. "What is it?" he asked in a gentle tone. "I found out that I am not a Predacon since I was not cloned like the others, I was in fact originally a Decepticon…" she said before stopping abruptly with that final word, gaining a curious look from her lover. "A Decepticon….but who?" "Her name was Strika." the Femme replied, as the blonde Bot recognised that name as his expression changed to a thoughtful one. "I remember reading about her in history class when I was kid, she was considered a monster who disappeared early in the civil War." Ser-Ket took a breath and sighed before looking to the ground as he said that line, making the Autobot realise what he had said as he gently raised her face back to his with a finger under her chin. "I am sorry Ser-Ket, but she is not you. Not even by a long shot." "I know…" she started to say as a single tear ran down her chin, to which Quickstrike wiped it away with a finger gently. "…I only had a glimpse of her memories and while they did feel familiar, they ultimately appalled me and I think I know why." she added, which made the Bot stare back curiously as he listened. "Shockwave told me that the Decepticon I was had volunteered to have her CNA spliced with that of a Predacon, in the hopes of creating a hybrid of sorts. But he later found that the sample was not Predacon, but was from 'another faction'." she continued. "Another Faction? You mean Maximal?" Quickstrike then said with a knowing look, which earned a confused expression from the Femme. "Maximal?" "When you let yourself get captured, so we could escape from Omicron,.." the blonde Bot said, trying to not remember the pain he felt in that moment. "…you told us to go to Cybertron, well we did and found what we thought was a Predacon down in the mines under Shockwave's facility. Except he was not one of them at all." "What was he?" she only asked in return, keeping her eyes focused on her Lover as she listened intently. "He called himself a Maximal, an enemy of the Predacons and his name was Onyx Primal." This made Ser-Ket's eyes widen as though something had switched on in her mind. "Was he that big black dragon that I saw fly into the Nemesis with Predaking?" "Yes, he sacrificed himself to give us the opening we needed to get to the mountain." the blonde Bot said with a sad tone as he remembered his friend, the Femme noticed this and gently squeezed the Bot's hand affectionately. "I am sorry Quickstrike, but if had not done so, then we may not be here now. I understand why he did this, for I did it myself…and I would do it again." she replied, earning a nod from him. "Yeah…" he replied as a thoughtful look appeared on his face. "…Remember when we were on Omicron, and you told me about your dreams." "Yes I remember, I thought they might have been memories…." she started to answer as she thought about it. "…in fact, when I saw Onyx Primal as you call him. I felt that I had seen him before." Quickstrike then gave his lover a knowing look in return. "Perhaps you did..." he said back with a slight smile. "…I mean since your CNA is not Predacon but in fact Maximal, then that means you are actually the latter, I think that explains a lot." he finished as he put his arms around his lover and embraced her, with Ser-Ket doing the same as she enjoyed being in his arms. "Okay, your right. I don't have anything to worry about." she confessed with smile as they looked into each other's eyes. "I told you." he replied with a lopsided smile as they leaned in close. "I love you Quickstrike." the Femme said in a soft voice, which made the Bot's spark tingle in return. "I love you." he replied as they almost kissed. "Hey guys, you should see this." Shen then shouted back, snapping the pair out of their moment as they looked back at the Turian who was waving them over to him and the others. What it is,,,it?" Quickstrike asked as he Ser-Ket rejoined the others, but stopped with wide-eyed looks at what they and the rest of the group could see. For in front of them was the remaining soldiers of the Autobots and the Terracon forces of the now defeated Predacons. "What are they doing?" Jack asked they all looked upon the enemy troops, who were down on one knee with their heads bowed while the remaining ISF soldiers stood there in confused surprise. "Take the words right out of my mouth.." Orion replied before his attention turned to General Obsidian, who was walking up to them and looking the blue haired Bot up and down curiously. "So Spectre Darby, I assume that you are the new Prime?" he asked, gaining a nod from both him and his Father. "That is correct General, my son now carries the Matrix and succeeds me as Leader of the Autobots." Jack replied proudly. "Well congratulations…sir…" Obsidian said back with a nod, before looking back out at the Terracons. "..but I assume you noticed this." he added. "Yeah, what are they doing?" the Prime replied in return with a curious tone. "Well, they just stopped fighting and knelt all of a sudden. Their ships even stopped fighting up in orbit over the planet." the General explained, earning a curious look from Shen. "What, even the mercenary cruisers?" "No, the former Omega ships retreated as soon as the Predacons own ships stopped. I don't know what to do with them, should we just shoot them?" Obsidian asked, which made Ser-Ket step toward him and Orion. "No, there is no need for that." she replied, making everyone look back at her. "Who is this?" the Autobot asked. "This is Ser-Ket, she is a former Predacon who turned against Galvatron and helped us defeat him both here and back on Omicron." the young Darby said back with respect in his voice as he gave her a smile. "I see, well can you explain what they are doing?" Obisdian then asked, with the Femme looking between him and Orion. "They have surrendered because you have killed Galvatron, they are now awaiting your orders." she replied, gaining a thoughtful look from Liara. "Just like you said earlier, when that Terracon joined us after Rip-Claw was killed." "Exactly Liara..." Ser-Ket replied before looking back at the Prime. "...The Terracons are nothing more than weapons. They have sentience, but are completely loyal to their Alpha, which now is you….Orion Prime." This made Orion take a breath as he thought on what she just said, while Shen and Quickstrike made their voices heard. "They could come in handy, might not want to just off them like that." the blonde Bot said, gaining a nod from their Turian friend. "Yeah, they are nearly unstoppable too." The blue haired bot gave them both an appreciative nod, before looking back at his Dad and the General. "I will support any decision you make Prime." Obsidian then said, so Orion looked back at the Terracons with a thoughtful expression before a slight smile graced his face. "Okay…" he replied before walking between his team and the remaining armies, with the Autobots recognising his Prime armour and saluting him in return. While the Terracons all just stood and looked at him in a synchronised movement. And suddenly the Bot felt a little out of his element as he felt everyone's eyes on him, but he looked back at his friends and family who all gave him encouraging smiles back. 'Okay, lets do this.' he thought as he activated his holo-tool and synced his com-link to the Predacon ships in orbit, before looking back at the Terracons. "My name is Orion Prime and I am the new Leader of the Autobots. I defeated and killed the one you called Galvatron, and now I want to know what you will do now that your Master is gone." he said in a stoic and commanding tone, one that Jack and Arcee were rather proud of as they watched. "We are here to serve you, our new Master." they replied in unison, which gave chills to Orion's friends as they watched him. "Very well, and you will follow any order given in my name?" he asked, and they all nodded again in unison. "Yes." "In that case, Ser-Ket will lead you….in my name." the blue haired Bot said as he pointed up at the Femme, who looked back with a surprised expression as the Terracons turned to face her. "Ser-Ket will be your Commander, and I assure you that she speaks for myself. Will you follow her in my name?" Orion continued as he looked back at the beastial troops. "Yes, we will." they replied as the Prime gestured for her to join him, making the Femme leave Quickstrike's side and walk down to him. And as she did so, the Terracons suddenly dropped to one knee and bowed their heads again. "Commander!" they replied, earning a shocked nod from Ser-Ket before she turned her attention to the young Darby. "What are you doing?" "I can't think of anyone more qualified to lead these soldiers." he replied while looking at her stoically. "But I am not a Predacon." she replied, earning a smile from Orion. "Then that makes you a Maximal, doesn't it." he said with a knowing tone and look, which made her eyes widen more. "How did you….did you hear us?" she asked in shock, thinking that he had somehow heard her and Quickstrike's conversation, but he simply shook his head in return as he continued smiling. "No I didn't. But after working with a Maximal, you remind me more of him than any of the Predacons I have met." This made Ser-Ket smile back as she sighed in return. "Well I guess I am a Maximal." "Good, so will you lead these troops for me? I am counting on you." he replied, gaining a nod from the Femme. "Yes, I will." she said, which made the Prime smile back. "Then by all means, command your troops." Ser-Ket then faced the Terracons, who were looking at her and waiting for what they should do next. "Terracons, stand down and revert." the Femme commanded, and the soldiers nodded back before shrinking back down to their human-like forms. Prime, I have the Apollo on my Com-link and they report that the Predacon ships have received and acknowledged Ser-Ket's order." Obsidian stated, earning Orion's and Ser-Ket's attention. "Good, now let's get everyone on the transports and back up to the fleet. And once everyone is on board, have the ships target and destroy this temple." the blue haired Bot said as he pointed at the Infinite Combinatoric in the near distance, earning a nod from the General. "I will inform Admiral Hackett of your orders sir, again...congratulations." he then said before saluting Orion and walking back to his troops. "Okay Autobots, we are leaving. Let's move out." he commanded as he joined them. "Terracons, please follow the Autobots back to the transports. Thank you." Ser-Ket added, gaining nods from her new troops as they bowed to her before turning around and following the rest away, leaving her and Orion as the rest of their friends joined them. "I think you going to be fine as the new Prime, Orion." Quickstrike said as he patted his Cousin on the shoulder. "Yeah, that armour suits you." Nightracer added, earning a smile from the Bot as he looked first at his parents who looked back proudly and then finally to Liara. "Thanks, now let's go home." he said before tapping his com-link. "Orion to Normandy." "This is Rodimus, I hear congratulations are in order." the Commander said back. "You have heard already?" the young Darby asked with a slightly disbelieving tone to his voice. "Yes we have, and I can't think of anyone more deserving, well done." he said back. "Thank you Rodimus, now could you send us down a shuttle please and give the temple a full detailed scan with our sensors?" "I'll have Jetstorm do it right now and as for the shuttle, it is already on the way. I'll see you in a few minutes, Normandy out." the Commander replied before ending the link, leaving Orion and the group to watch as the Autobot transports began lifting off the ground and flying back up into the sky. PRIME EFFECT 4 It had been almost forty minutes since their shuttle had docked with the Normandy as it continued to orbit Virmire with the rest of the fleet, and Orion, Rodimus and Jack had gone to the Communications room to speak with Autobot Command. This left everyone else to talk amongst themselves in the CIC, while they waited for the others to return. Liara was talking with Arcee and Red-Alert, while Nightracer and Shen spoke with Quickstrike and Ser-Ket. The blonde Bot was looking very happy as he deactivated his holo-tool and returning his attention to the others. "I have just been communicating with my Mum, she is now awake and waiting to see me." he said with a happy relief in his voice, which made Arcee turn and look at him with an equally relieved face. "My Sister's okay, thank the Allspark. That is great news." she said in an ecstatic tone, earning an appreciative nod from him in return. "Mum is looking forward to seeing all of us…." he started to say before returning his attention back to Ser-Ket. "…especially you Ser-Ket." he added with a loving smile, which made the Femme mirror his expression in return. "I am looking forward to meeting her too." she replied as she took his hand and gently squeezed it affectionately. "So Liara, I hope you and Orion will be able to stay with us at the house for the next few days?" Arcee asked as she returned her attention to the Asari, earning a nod from her. "Of course, I'd love too. And I know Orion would want to spend some time with you both as well." This made the Femme smile back before everyone's attention was drawn to the elevator as its doors opened and out came Jack and Rodimus, with the Autobot still in his hover-chair. "Where's Orion?" Liara asked with a curious tone, gaining the former Prime's attention. "He is just finishing his conversation with the Federation Senate and Autobot Command, and should be down in a few minutes." "And we have been given confirmation from the Apollo that the Infinite Combinatoric has been destroyed, but not before we took some very detailed scans of the temple." Rodimus added, as the Turian looked at the pair. "So now that Orion is in charge of the Autobots, I guess that means he has a choice of which ship he wants as his flagship?" Shen then asked with a knowing look, earning everyone's attention. "I wouldn't be surprised if he waited for the next Battleship class to be built, I am sure they will still build one after the Nemesis." Red-Alert replied, though Nightracer shook her head in return. "I don't know, I think he might prefer the one he has already." she said with a knowing tone to her voice, earning nods from Liara, Quickstrike and Arcee. Which in turn made Jack smile. "He has chosen the Normandy, and Autobot command acknowledged this." the Prime said, making Shen look at Rodimus with a puzzled expression. "What's going to happen to you then, sir?" "I will be staying on as Orion's XO, he requested so." the Commander replied. "Really Rodimus, I thought you might have now settled for a desk job now?" Quickstrike teased, earning a smirk from the Elite Spectre as he looked up at him. "Why, because I am in this hover-chair still? I'll be out of it in another few days, and I will never go for a desk job anyway." he said, earning a smile from Jack. "Besides, I wasn't going to turn my back on my friend. He needs my help and I am happy to oblige him." Rodimus continued. "Plus Orion is a young Prime, younger than I was when I took on the role. It makes sense for him to have his mentor by his side still." the former Prime added, while Arcee smiled at Rodimus. "I am glad that Orion will be able to count on you to help him still." she said, earning a nod from the Commander as he smiled back appreciatively. "My experience and knowledge have and always shall be at his disposal." he replied, which gained a knowing smile from Quickstrike. "As will we as his close friends and colleagues," he said, which made everyone smile as Rodimus then turned and faced the crew members currently working around the team. "Anyway….Orion's already given the rest of the fleet the order to leave for Earth, and they are waiting on us to lead the way so…" he said as he tapped his com-link and synced it for the entire ship. "…Everyone to their stations and prepare to leave orbit." he said, which made the entire crew focus on their individual tasks as the CIC became abuzz with activity while the Commander than tapped his com-link again as he looked toward the Cockpit. "Jetstorm, prep the hyper-drive and set it's course for the nearest space-bridge. We will be leading the fleet straight home, no jumping ahead with ours." he said, earning a curious look from the gang around him. "Can't say I am used to moving that slow." Shen replied, gaining Rodimus's attention just as the elevator doors opened to reveal Orion. "Prime on deck." one of the crewmen said as the Prime stepped into the CIC, quickly acknowledging him before joining the others. "That's because it will be morale boosting for the folks back home to see the entire fleet return in triumph with our victory over the Predacons, the celebrations are already being planned for our arrival in just over fifteen hours time." he said, earning welcoming nods from his friends and family as Rodimus then motioned him to the galaxy map stand. "The CIC is yours Prime." Orion nodded back before walking over to the holographic representation of the galaxy, looking down at it's massive swirling shape and the millions of stars that encompassed it. 'I do not know what lies a head for us with the Trinity of Primes, or what this darkness that the Aeons say is coming..' he thought as a slight smile appeared on his face, while the others gave him a curious look which made Liara walk over to his side. '..but since we have defeated Unicron, the Reapers and now Galvatron and his forces. I think that no matter what comes our way, we will be more than able to handle it.' he added before he felt a hand on his shoulder, making the Bot turn to see the Asari looking back at him lovingly. "You alright?" she asked while taking notice of the matrix crystal that hung around his neck, its light shining dimly under his shirt. "Yeah, I am fine." he added with a reassuring and loving smile back, earning a mirrored expression from the Femme. "Good." Orion then gave his friends and family a smile, with them doing the same before he turned his attention to the Cockpit, activating his com-link as he did so. "Jetstorm, take us home." the blue haired Prime said before he sighed, a hopeful expression on his face. "Aye, Aye. We are on our way." the pilot replied before the Normandy suddenly broke out of orbit with the entire fleet following behind it, before they all suddenly jumped into hyperspace just as Virmire's star appeared from behind the planet and shone it's light into the surrounding void. THE END? Sometime after the dawn of the Universe, on the uninhabited planet of Scissio... The tanks and heavy artillery fired up into the continually expanding dark liquid-like mass which now covered the entire area in shadow, as it blotted out the sky overhead. Meanwhile Primus and Unicron charged forward with their Aeonian brothers towards the center of the unknown entity, when all of a sudden purple lightning bolts shot down from with it. Each one that fell to the ground either struck a tank and destroyed it in one it, leaving it a burning wreck within a few seconds. Or struck the center of a score of Aeonians, channelling it's energy through them as they were electrocuted on the ground they stood. In the matter of moments hundreds of the warriors were killed, while their tanks and weapons barely seemed to make a dent in the entity as their continuing fire just seemed to be absorbed into the liquid-like mass. Meanwhile funnel like tendrils suddenly flew down from the entity and begun sweeping through the army, decimating even more troops as it rapidly spread out in all directions. One such tendril swooped down and almost hit Primus, but for Unicron to pull his brother down to the ground as it flew past by mere inches. The former looked over to his sibling and gave him an appreciative smile before suddenly noticing another tendril coming up close behind Unicron who was oblivious as he nodded back. So Primus quickly got back to his feet and pushed him aside before swinging his blade at the strange appendage, slicing it in half and spilling black goo-like blood onto the ground around them. As both brothers looked around to see their own men doing the same kind of action to this threat, they both suddenly noticed that the spots of blood suddenly began to grow and form bodies before them which looked like shadow versions of the Aeonian soldiers around them. So Primus and Unicron began to fight the dark clones of their comrades, slicing and dicing the enemies as they attacked. The dark gold and bronze armoured Unicron sliced off the head of one enemy, before spinning around and hacking down another that came up from behind. While Primus in his gold and silver armour, deflected the dark blade of a shadow with his own before kicking it in the side and then running it through, spilling yet more blood onto the floor, blood that again changed into more familiar looking soldiers. As both Brothers continued to fight against the ever increasing army that the darkness was creating, they could not help but notice as their army was still being overrun and wiped out by either the tendrils or purple lightning strikes attacked with. But just as Primus killed yet another foe with his sword, suddenly another appeared from behind and took a swipe at him. But his attack was suddenly stopped by a blade, which made both the gold and silver warrior and his sibling turn to see a blue and silver armoured femme standing between them and the enemy. She then quickly took out with two quick slices of her katana-like blade, before turning back and giving Primus a warm smile which he mirrored in return. But then the strangest thing happened as the trio found themselves beneath the very center of the darkness, as several of the shadow-clones suddenly joined together and formed one overall body, which was then hit by the same purple energy bolts that had been raining down upon the Aeonian forces. This one form had glowing purple eyes as it's only characteristic, as they narrowed and stared at the Femme and the Brothers. It then roared and lunged at them with it's right arm, that suddenly stretched out like it was elastic and hit the ground where they had been standing, since they just narrowly dived out of the way. The Femme was the first to recover as she then countered with several slashes that did no damage whatsoever, Primus got back to his feet just in time to see the being backhand her in the face and send her to the ground. The Bot screamed 'No!' at the dark entity as he charged at it and buried his blade into it's chest, only for it look back at him curiously while he twisted it in it's apparent wound. Unicron meanwhile had circled around it and charged it from behind, but it suddenly grew another arm out of it's black liquid-like body and grabbed him, stopping him where was a it lifted him off the ground. Primus's eyes widened as he saw this before being swatted away by the dark form, moving the blade out of it's body with it dropping the weapon to the ground without even a look as it then picked up the Femme with another of it's arms. The gold and silver Bot found himself watching in horror as the darkness suddenly had every remaining Aeonian soldier in it's grasp, as another tendril shot out from the mass at him. But Primus rolled over to his blade and quickly sliced it in half before getting back to his feet. And that was when he saw it, making his optics widen as purple energy suddenly shot down from the massive liquid-like mass of the darkness and into it's captives. So Primus on instinct suddenly moved to Unicron who was nearest to him and sliced the arm that was holding him in half, making his sibling fall to the ground as some of the purple energy was absorbed into his body. But just as the gold and silver Bot turned to help the Femme, he then cried out in anguish as she as well as every soldier around them was suddenly burnt to a crisp in the entity's grasps, becoming nothing more than ash that was then blown away in the growing breeze that swept across the plains. The entity then drew back all of it's tendrils and shadow-clones who were absorbed by the said tendrils as they retreated, which included the purple eyed larger clone that had just murdered the blue and silver Femme. The Darkness then retracted into itself to form a perfect jet-black liquid-like sphere which floated in the air above the brothers as Primus helped his brother back to his feet. They both watched as the sphere then dropped to the ground and suddenly morphed into a giant version of the form they had just fought, with its purples eyes looking down at them as it took on a more detailed appearance with what looked like Aeonian armour. Primus though looked over to where the Femme had been, only to see nothing there as Unicron placed his hand on his Brother's shoulder in support, making him look back and show the anguish that was written on his face. But then Unicron gave Primus a knowing look, which gained a reluctant nod back as though the latter knew what his sibling had in mind. So they both got to their feet and gripped the hilts of their blades tightly before their optics suddenly glowed brightly, as did the joints and engravings on their armour before finally their very blades glowed too, Unicron's was red as Primus's glowed blue. This made the Darkness roar back at them as it's own purple eyes flared, while the Brothers suddenly charged back toward the monster as they cried out a battle cry. But just as the Entity lunged down at them with it's massive fist, Unicron's optics suddenly changed from glowing red…..to purple. TO BE CONCLUDED IN PRIME EFFECT V A/N: Well this is it, Prime Effect 4 is finished. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have writing it. And thank you for reading.
  11. CHAPTER XLII When the light died down, everyone walked through the now open doorway and found themselves standing inside what looked like a massive domed hall, which was the size of at least ten combined football fields. The interior had the same writing decorated on it's surface as it had on it's exterior, glowing with energy now as though the matrix had given it that sudden spark of power. Galvatron marvelled at the sight now around him as took in every detail of the temple, with its massive curved ceiling overhead. "This is incredible." he said as Lazerback raised his hand and pointed over to the very center of the hall, at the giant circular pattern on the floor which all of a sudden began to rise up out of the ground, in with a structure to it similar to an Aztec pyramid. That was what Jack thought it looked like as he and Arcee watched alongside the Terracons, as the ground rose up to at least the half way point of the height of the entire temple. The Femme could not believe what she was seeing, her eyes wide as she looked at it. "Jack, that is amazing. You could fit Omega Supreme on that platform and still have room above him for more." she said before looking over at the Prime, who had a worried expression on his face. "Jack? What is it you're not telling me?" she asked with a concerned tone, not noticing Galvatron now standing in front of the pair as she looked at the older Darby. "It's because the Prime here knows what this place is. This 'Infinite Combinatoric'." he said, earning the Femme's attention while Jack just looked back at the Predacon Leader with a self righteous stare, though Galvatron just smirked back at him. "It's a place that will give us Predacons our ultimate victory, and all we need is the Matrix of a Prime...namely your Spark-mate." the Predacon Leader added before looking over to Jack and motioning him to come forward, as a staircase appeared on the raise platform allowing access to its summit. "After you, Prime." The one-armed Man sighed as he took the lead of the group, with Galvatron and Arcee behind him. Lazerback and the other Terracons followed them as the group began walking up the stairs towards the summit, as more of the temple started to life as Jack held the matrix in his hand. The Autobot Leader was the first to step onto the summit of the circular platform, which itself was at least four football fields in width and length. And the ceiling was still quite the distance overhead as Galvatron and Arcee joined him, with Lazerback and the soldiers remaining on the stairs. The Predacon Leader looked over to the center of the platform, noticing a small glowing circle at the very center which began to pulse, and so made the older Darby's matrix pulse in unison. "Now, Jackson Prime…." Galvatron said as he equipped the Chaos Edge and pointed at the platform's center. "..you and I will walk together to that spot, where we will activate this temple and use it for the purpose it was built for." But Jack just narrowed his eyes at the Predacon Lord, a knowing look on his face. "Why? So you can resurrect Unicon, the Chaos Bringer." This earned a shocked look from Arcee and all the Terracons, including Lazerback as they heard this. "Unicron." the Femme gasped, not expecting to hear that name again after what had happened twenty-five years earlier. "My Lord, what is the Prime on about?" his Lieutenant asked with a puzzled expression, which made Galvatron stare daggers back at Jack. But the older Darby just smirked at him. "Didn't want them to know….did you." he said, making the Predacon Lord grit his teeth as he raised his arm in preparation to back hand the prisoner. "Leave him alone!" a voice suddenly called out from the direction of the Temple's entrance, making Galvatron pause as he and everyone in the group looked down at the doorway to see another group standing just in front of it. The Predacon's eyes narrowed as he recognised Orion and his friends, which made him grip the hilt of the Chaos Edge ever more tighter, while both Jack and Arcee's eyes widened as they saw their son standing there. "By the All-Spark! Jack, Orion's alive!" the Femme said with a disbelieving expression, which quickly changed to a thankful smile that was mirrored on her Spark-mate's face too. "And he is carrying the Star-Saber." he said in surprise as he looked at his Son, who had the ancient Autobot relic in his hand. But the pair were the only ones in the group that were happy to see him, as the Terracons and Lazerback all aimed their weapons at the Alpha team. "What the hell is Ser-Ket and one of our own doing with the Autbots?" the Lieutenant asked, though Galvatron did not answer as he simply looked down at the blue haired Bot, his anger building with every second that passed. Meanwhile, on the ground, Orion looked up at the summit and saw that his parents were alive, though not well by the look of them, and this made his spark burn as Liara stood beside him. "Mum,…Dad." he muttered as he looked up at them, gaining the Asari's attention. "Your parents are right there, Orion. We can rescue them." she said in supportive tone, earning a nod from him in return. "Yeah, and Galvatron is going to pay for what he has put them through." he said, earning a concerned look from his cousin who was on his other side with Ser-Ket. "Don't forget the mission, Cuz." he said, earning a nod from the blue haired Bot. "I know…" he replied before glancing at all his friends on either side of him. "..so I am going straight for Galvatron." he added, gaining nods from the others as Ser-Ket looked over to him. "We will cover you." she replied, before their attention was caught by the sight of the Predacon Lord pointing down at them as everything went quiet for a moment. "Crush them!" he then spat, with his voice echoing through the vast temple, as his Terracons began to pull the triggers of their weapons. "Lets Move!" Orion shouted in return as he and his team rushed at the pyramid, with Shen staying back to use his sniper-rifle on the enemies who returned fire, showering the Autobots in gun fire which impacted the ground around them causing sparks while the Alpha team continued to run an toward the raised platform. More than half of the Terracons mirrored them as they ran down to the ground to meet their enemy and stop there advance, while the remaining Cons stayed on the high ground and fired covering shots. But one after another was taken down by the Turian Sniper's weapons fire, as he could see his friends take on the Predacon soldier's before them. Galvatron and Lazerback watched from the summit of the pyramid-like platform, with their Autobot prisoners keeping their attention on their son, who their saw charging toward their position with the Star-Saber in one hand and his pistol in the other, shooting down any Terracon who got in his way. Though as he shot one in the leg, making it fall to it's knees so he could cleave it's head off in one move with his Saber, three more suddenly rushed him. But before they could pounce, one of their number was suddenly covered in blue energy and then thrown into his comrades, knocking them down like bowling pins. This made the blue-haired Bot glance back to see Liara, seeing the Asari hold up one Terracon with her biotics while stretching out her other hand toward him, a supportive smile on her face. "Go get them, Orion." she shouted over, gaining a mirrored expression from him. "Thanks, Liara." he said back in an affectionate tone before turning around to see another Terracon before him, so he cut it down and ran past. Meanwhile, Quickstrike was busy taking down a enemy with two shots into it's legs, making it fall to it's knees before he slit it's throat with his holo-blade. He then turned to his left to see Ser-Ket and her Terracon minion in it's beast mode as she kicked another enemy into it's hands, before lifting him into the air and tearing his stomach out as she shot another in the face with her pistol. So he looked back to his right and saw his Cousin nearing the pyramid-like platform as another hulking Terracon stood in his way. "Ser-Ket, over there!" Quickstrike shouted, gaining a nod from the Femme who gestured to her beastial friend who then threw the heavy body of it's kill at the oncoming Terracon, with it impacting the enemy and sending it crashing to the ground. Orion looked back and gave a thumbs up to both his Cousin and the former Predacon as they then teamed up to fight another enemy that closed in on them. Meanwhile, Nightracer was close to the blue haired Bot as she used he holo-Bo staff to trip up a Terracon, who fell onto it's back and then ran rammed it through the enemy's open mouth and out through the back of it's head. "Nice kill." she heard Shen say through her com-link, earning a smile from the Femme as she pulled the staff back out and turned to look back at him, smacking another Terracon in the face and sending it onto it's back. She then gave the Turian an appreciative smile, that he saw through the scope of his rifle before he then looked over to see two more enemies in front of blue haired friend, as he got even closer to the stairs. Orion knew he was close as he charged at the two enemies that stood before him and the foot of the pyramid-like platform, so he spun the Star-Saber in his hand and fired his pistol at them both, hoping to hurt them enough for him to finish them up close. But suddenly both their heads ruptured as a two bullets passed through them, spilling out blood as they fell down to the ground. So the younger Darby looked back to see his Turian friend and saluted him before running up the stairs. "I've got you covered, Orion." Shen replied as he then shot down the last two remaining Terracons who stood on the slope either side of the Spectre, who then began running up the stairs while his friends were still tied up in fighting the remaining enemies, though Liara managed to catch a glance of her Lover while stopping another Con with her biotics. 'Good luck, my Love.' she thought before slamming it down onto the hard ground. Both Jack and Arcee watched their son as he started up the stairs, and they could not help but smile as they felt nothing but pride for their child, though their attention was then cruelly snatched away as Galvatron grabbed both of them while he looked over to his Lieutenant. "Lazerback, kill him!" he spat as he started to drag the parents towards the circular platform's center, gaining a nod from the Predacon who then looked back down the stairs at the young Bot. He then roared as he let his body transform into it's beastial mode and launched himself at his enemy, bolting down the stairs at the Autobot. But Orion was over a quarter of the way up the stairs when he noticed this, so he dropped his pistol and grasped the Star Saber's hilt with both hands and held it over his head, concentrating on it as the blade began to glow. And just as Lazerback got close enough, he launched pounced at the blue haired Bot who then swung the Saber down in front of him and sliced the Predacon in half, killing him instantly as both his halves fell either side of the young Darby while continued running up the stairs unhindered. "Wow." Quickstrike said as he caught the moment while looking up at his Cousin, who then reached the top of the stairs, "Galvatron!" Orion shouted as he ran towards the Predacon Leader, who turned round and looked at him with a disbelieving stare which quickly changed as he smirked back. "Very well…" he replied while casually pushing both Jack and Arcee to the ground either side of him and re-equipping the Chaos Edge, taking a defensive stance as the Bot got closer. "…show me what you've got boy." he added as Orion began to swing the Star-Saber at Galvatron's head, as the Con quickly brought his blade up to block it. But just as both swords were about to touch, suddenly the entire Temple became enveloped in a plasma storm. Green and Orange energy bolts shot through the structure and hit every single person currently engaged in battle, knocking down Liara, Quickstrike, Ser-Ket, Nightracer and Shen as well as any Terracons still standing. They all cried out in pain as the energy hit them and passed through their bodies, causing them to fall to the ground and spasm with wide-eyed stares as they saw the storm rage around them. At the summit of the pyramid-like platform, Jack and Arcee were on their knees when they saw the colourful bolts of energy suddenly envelope themselves and Orion and Galvatron. But only the two combatants were struck by the bolts, earning similar reactions as the pair fell to their knees and dropped their blades. Both the Prime and his Spark-mate watched in both surprise and disbelief as the storm continually hit their son and the Predacon leader, it was as if it was intentionally taking pleasure in causing them pain with each bolt. But the storm was not confined to the interior of the temple as it completely surrounded the planet Virmire in all its entirety, its bolts of energy quickly bringing an end to battle both on the ground and the one in orbit as the lightning hit each and every ship on both sides, as well as the troops on the ground. But while his friends had been quickly subdued by the bolts of energy, Orion gritted his teeth and tried to get onto his knees while reaching over to the Star-Saber, and Galvatron did the same as he kept his attention on the young Bot. "You're…not…going...to have…this day,…Galvatron." the Spectre managed to say without biting his tongue as he gripped the hilt of his weapon, but just as he tried to get back to his feet which was extra difficult because all of his being felt as if it was on fire. He was suddenly hit by another bolt of energy. "Arrrragh!" he screamed before falling down onto his back, earning a look of anger and regret from Galvatron as he gripped the hilt of the Chaos Edge and got to his knees. "No….I….will….not…be...denied!" he spat while holding the blade up in the air as if he was ready to strike, but it was for nothing as another green and orange bolt of energy struck it, passing the energy down into the Predacon Leader and cause him to seize up. "Nooooo!" he cried before falling back onto the floor, leaving Jack and Arcee as the only two people unaffected, like they were of no interest to it. "Orion!" Arcee shouted in a concerned tone while attempting to move to her injured Son's side, as he lied on the floor motionless. But Jack stopped her, as he suddenly saw two pairs of bright lights looking down at them from just below the ceiling. One pair was orange and the other was green. "They look like optics." the Prime said aloud in a fearful and yet curious tone, earning his spark-mate's attention as well as those of the lights, which appeared to look down at them. "Fleshings, your fighting here has ended!" a female voice suddenly boomed from the green optics, which could be heard not only in the temple but all over the planet. Orion managed to open his eyes despite the pain, and looked up at the optics staring down at them. "We only have one question before we destroy you?" a male voice spoke angrily from the orange pair of eyes, which appeared to narrow as they looked down at them. "What have you done to our 'brothers'?" he asked before everything suddenly went dark around the Bot as though unconsciousness had taken him. PRIME EFFECT 4 All of a sudden, the fire and pain that Orion had felt encompass every fibre of his being was gone and replaced by a calmness that felt alien to him. The Bot found it difficult to describe, but he felt as though he was either floating with his arms and legs stretch out in the middle of a lake, or floating in mid-air. "It is time for you to open your eyes." the female voice suddenly spoke out of nowhere, breaking the Spectre's calmness and making him open his eyes. "What the?" he said in a confused tone as he quickly rose up to his feet, finding that there was nothing but darkness around him. "Orion!" a familiar voice suddenly spoke, making the blue haired Bot spin around to see Liara standing there looking just as lost as he was. "Liara." he replied as the pair quickly pulled each other into an hug, taking what little comfort they could in the fact that they were real. "I was in so much pain, more than I thought possible." the Asari said, gaining a nod from Orion as he held her close. "Me too." the Bot said back as she then looked over his shoulder with a wide-eyed expression. "Orion, your parents." she said, making him pull back and turn around to see both Jack and Arcee standing there. "Mum! Dad!" he exclaimed as he then left Liara and ran over to his parents, his lover watching him with a thankful smile as he first hug his Mother. "Orion, thank the All-Spark your alright." the Femme replied before pulling away so that he could then do the same to his Father, which earned a surprised but loving expression from Jack as they hugged. "It's good to see you, Orion." he said back with a proud tone to his voice. "You too, Dad." the Bot replied before they separated, which let their Son see the damage that had been done to his Father. "Wait…are you?" he started to say, as concern filled his voice as he looked down at the stump which was all that was left of Jack's arm. "I'm okay…but we have bigger problems right now." he replied as he looked around at the darkness surrounding them. "Who is this, Orion? She looks familiar." Arcee then asked as she looked at Liara with a curious expression, which made the blue haired Bot gesture to the Asari to join his side. "This is Liara, we are…" he began to say before his father suddenly cut him, unintentionally so. "I feel like I have been here before, or at least somewhere similar." he said aloud, gaining curious looks from the others. "What do you mean, Dad?" Orion replied, trying to refocus on the matter on hand as now was not the time to introduce his parents to his girlfriend, while his Mother gave Liara a reassuring and yet perceptive smile. "Well, last time, the surroundings were crystallized and not in this state of darkness." the Prime said back, gaining a nod from his Spark-mate. "You mean when you spoke to…" she started to say before another voice spat at them from behind. "You Bastards!" Everyone spun around to see Galvatron standing behind Orion and before anyone could react, the Predacon Lord thrust his fist into the Bot's chest. "Orion!" Liara cried out, as she was found wrong footed and unable to help. But in that instance, everyone including the new arrival had looks of confusion on their faces as Galvatron's fist had passed right through the Autobot Spectre as though he was a hologram or a ghost. "What in the pit!" he spat as he pulled his fist back out and stepped back from the blue haired Bot. "There will be no violence committed for as long as you are in this place." the disembodied female voice suddenly spoke out, as the two pairs of green and orange balls of light appeared overhead, looking down upon the group. "No one tells me what to do!" Galvatron spat before the orange pair of eyes narrowed at him angrily. "You will do exactly what we tell you to do, Abomination." he spat back, gaining curious looks from both Jack and his Son as that last part of the voice's sentence did not go unnoticed by the pair. But then a look of understanding suddenly appeared on the Prime's face as he took a step forward, looking up at the lights as Arcee gave him a worried expression of her own. "Jack, be careful." she said, but her spark-mate ignored her as he stood under the glowing eyes. "You're Aeons, aren't you?" he asked with an insightful tone. "You know of our kind?" the female voice spoke back from the green orbs. "Yes, I knew Primus." the Prime replied, which made the orange eyes narrow as they stared daggers back at him. "And you killed him, didn't you?" the male voice spat, making Jack take a step backwards, taken aback by what was just said. "No, I didn't." he replied. "Do not lie to us! We heard our 'brothers' screams and travelled here to this galaxy, following what remained of their individual life-forces. And what do we find, that you carry the last of Primus around your neck, and that which is left of Unicron has been blended with the life-force of this abomination here." the male voice continued to rage, making everyone look at Galvatron who just stared angrily back but remained quiet. "What do they mean….abomination?" Liara asked, before Jack looked at the Predacon Leader. "He's a clone. A clone of Megatron. That's it, isn't it." he said, making Galvatron grit his teeth and narrow his eyes at the Prime. "You and your entire Predacon army, except for the Mercs of course,….are clones." he continued, making their adversary step towards them and point his finger with a building anger in his spark. "Clone or not, I have taken a hold of my own destiny and shaped it in a way that Megatron never did." he spat back. "And you did this with Unicron whispering in your mind, we can him even now." the female voice spoke from the green lights, while the orange ones floated down to eye level with Jack and Galvatron. "They have yet to answer our question, what happened to our Brothers?" "And we will tell you, but first who are you?" Jack replied. "My name is Garuda and this is Vok." the female voice replied as the lights remained over head. "We are Aeons as you have already guessed. And we are here to find out what happened to our brothers Primus and Unicron, since this galaxy was under their joint guardianship." she added, gaining a nod from Jack as the others listened though Galvatron looked as if he had heard enough. "Yes, and we find their last embers here at this mechanism which is of our technology." Vok said in return, earning a curious look from Orion. "What does this place do exactly?" He asked and before the Aeons could speak, his Father stepped in. "Orion, from what I can gather..." he started while holding the Matrix in his hand. "...this place or 'Infinite Combinatoric' as Galvatron called it, was built by Solus Prime using knowledge given to her by Primus. It's exact purpose is to resurrect a deceased Aeon using a remaining piece of it's CNA, or that of a sibling or a family member." the Prime replied. "That is correct." Vok said, regaining the two Darby's attention. "You know of us through the knowledge that this piece of Primus has granted you." he added as his orange glowing eyes focused on the Matrix, gaining a nod from the Autobot Leader. "Yes, it carries the knowledge and wisdom of not only Primus, but also that of his Primes." "Primes? We do not know of that term." Garuda replied with a curious tone. "Then perhaps you should see for yourself then." Jack said back as he held up the matrix for the Aeons to see, but then Galvatron suddenly stepped forward and held up his arms. "Please, mighty Aeons, do not fall for this Autobot trick. They wish to deceive you from what is really happening here." he said, gaining the attention of both pairs of lights as they looked at him. "Then by all means speak and enlighten us, prove that you are more than an Abomination." Vok replied, which made the Predacon Leader smirk a little as he glanced over to Jack. "As you already know, I carry the remaining slither of Unicron's essence within my spark. I am doing this not because it just happened to be, but because it is my destiny to do so. To bring the Aeon back to life after his own brother and those that followed him brutally ended his life, just when he was about to bring great change to the galaxy." "That's a lie!" Orion spat, which made his Father old out his hand to him in a restraining-like fashion. Though all this did was make Galvatron smile back at the blue haired Bot before returning his attention to the Aeons above him. "I am here to use this temple to revive Unicron, and for that I require the last part of his traitorous brother's spark...that Matrix." the Predacon Leader added as he pointed to the glowing crystal relic in Jack's hand. "But even if what you say is true, none of it makes sense." Garuda replied with an unconvinced tone. "Our way has always been to watch over and nurture life in the galaxies, not to make any changes to it. That has never been our way, ever since the great tragedy..." she started to say before trailing off, which Orion noticed and looked curiously at. 'What great tragedy?' he thought while Vok looked down at them. "But we did arrive here to find the two parties fighting over this place, perhaps what the Abomination says is true. That Unicron was betrayed by Primus, they did not always see eye to eye on all matters." "When do we ever make decisions without knowing both sides of the story first Vok?" Guaruda said back, with everyone below them just listening and waiting. "Of course you are right, Garuda. We need to know the exact details." Then both Aeons turned to the two leaders, Garuda with Jack, while Vok looked at Galvatron. "Will you let me see our fallen brother's memories please?" the female asked, earning a nod from the Prime in return. "Of course." he said back, before holding out the Matrix to her. "I am going to enter your spark and witness Unicron's memories. You will feel some discomfort." Vok said to the Predacon Lord, who nodded and held his out his hands T his sides. "If that is what you require, then do it." Then both sets of lights merged into two separate energy streams, with the green one flying into the Matrix crystal and the orange one flew directly into the center of Galvatron's chest, which made him grimace and spasm for a long moment. The Aeons minds mixed into the two remnants of their brothers, their thoughts and memories joining until everything was revealed to them. Images and sounds flowed over the minds of both Karuda and Vok, enlightening them on the eons that had passed between the two Brothers. And a long moment later and it was over as both Aeons remerging from both the Matrix and Galvatron, with the Predacon stumbling backwards a little as he readjusted himself. "We have seen enough, and find that there is only one option for you to take." Garuda said as she and Vok looked back down at the group, earning looks of trepidation from Liara, Arcee and Orion while Jack simply remained calm. "And what is that?" he replied with a curious tone, gaining a similar look fro Galvatron as he kept his attention between the Prime and the Aeons. "Your sides have fought over this place for the right to use it, we have decided that your battle should continue." Vok said back, earning a smile from the Predacon Leader. "Excellent, I shall have more troops here momentarily…" he said while raising his hand to his ear-piece, only for the green lights to shine down on him brighter. "You will find that impossible, nor is it necessary." the female Aeon replied, gaining an angered and confused expression from him. "What do you mean?" "We have already neutralised the forces of both your sides and we are now communing with you via your minds, which we have joined temporarily." Vok carried on, as Orion looked at his parents and Liara, before turning his attention back to the Aeons. 'I wondered why the others aren't here?' he thought. "We can hear everything you can think of.' the Aeon added, making the blue haired Bot stare back with a wide-eyed stare of surprise. "Oh..okay, so…?" "They were not necessary for this conversation…as you called it, so they are all left unconscious. The ones called Jackson Prime and Galvatron were chosen because they are the bearers of the remaining life-forces of our brothers, you yourself were chosen because you wish to save the Prime and stop your enemy. The Females called Liara and Arcee were chosen because of how important they are to you and him." Karuda said, gaining curious looks from Orion's parents, making them look between their Son and the Asari. "Yes, Liara is very important to me…" he said back in both an affectionate and determined tone, which made Liara smile back as she watched him. "…so know that we know why we are here, what happens now?" he continued. "Your conflict will be concluded, but the only combatants will be Primus and Unicron's bearers, in a fight to the death." Vok replied, which made Orion, Arcee and Liara stare back in a wide-eyed look of shock before turning their attention to the Prime, who nodded in return as a content expression appeared on his face. "….Very well. Galvatron simply smiled, as though he knew that his victory had just all but been garenteed, though Orion quickly walked in front of his Dad and held his hands up to the Aeons. "No, wait. You can't choose my Dad." the Bot said, stealing the thunder from his Mother who no doubt was about to say the same thing. "Orion…" Jack replied as he placed his hand on his Son's shoulder, gaining his attention as the blue haired Bot turned and looked at him with a worried and concerned expression. "It's okay, this is my job…remember?" "No. You are in condition to take on Galvatron in a fight to the death…" he started to say with his voice heavy with emotion, before turning back to the Aeons. "…you can't ask or tell him to do this." "If he is their choice, who are we to question?" the Predacon Leader cut in, gaining a narrowed eye stare from the Bot, who clenched his fists tightly. "Nobody asked you." the blue-haired young Man said back, while the green lights focused on him. "But Jackson Prime is the bearer of Primus, who would you have take his place?" Garuda replied, which all of a sudden brought a thoughtful expression to Orion's face as he looked ahead. "Orion…?" Jack asked as he attempted to gain his son's attention, but Liara saw the look on her lover's face and began to shake her head slightly as though she knew what he was thinking. "I'll take his place." the Spectre said, earning wide-eyed looks from all there including Galvatron, though his was more of surprise than the trepidation that was clearly written on the faces of the Asari and his Mother. "Are you sure?" Vok said back in a questioning tone. "Orion,…..no." the blue-skinned woman said in a quiet and fearful voice as she moved to his side, while Arcee looked at Jack to do something. But as Orion turned round to face his parents with a content and determined look on his face. "I won't let you fight and die in a battle you had no chance of winning…" he said as he glanced at where his Father's lost arm used to be, before his eyes then met Jack's as the Prime stared back with an look of understanding on his face. "..I have to do this. I mean, I can carry the Star-Saber after all. That has to mean something?" the Bot added, gaining a nod from the older Darby. "Alright." he said while smiling proudly at his son, as he placed his remaining hand on the younger Bot's shoulder. The young blue-haired Man then looked at his Mother, who looked as though she was fighting to keep the tears at bay as her eyes began to well up. "You look after yourself out there, you hear me? Don't even give 'him' an inch." the Femme said, her voice full of emotion as she gestured toward the Predacon Leader who had crossed his arms while waiting for the fight to start. "I promise." Orion said before he and his mother then hugged, the blue haired woman holding him tightly as though she never wanted to let him go. "I love you, Orion." "I love you and Dad." he said before glancing to his Father, who nodded back." "Same here, Son." The Spectre then let go of his mother and turned to face Liara who had a single tear running down her cheek, so he stepped in close and wiped it off with a finger. "Orion…" she started to say as he leaned in close, until their foreheads almost touched. "Ssshh, it's going to be alright, Liara." he replied in an attempt to calm her down, though she simply looked him in the eye with a disbelieving stare. "The last time you faced Galvatron…..he almost killed you." The Bot's parents watched as their son and his lover talked while the Aeons remained overhead and watched them all. "I already said I won't make the same mistakes as last time. Do you trust me?" Orion asked in a quietly confident and calm tone, earning a nod from the Asari who looked down, only for him to gently lift her face back to his with a finger on her chin so that their eyes met each other again. "So trust me now." he added before gently pressing his lips against hers in a kiss, which made Arcee's widen a little as she watched before the pair pulled back enough to look at each other again. "I'll be back before you know it." he added with a lop-sided grin, one which made Liara smile back gently before he turned and faced the Aeons. "I am ready." he said in a calm and accepting tone, while ignoring the smirk that Galvatron was giving him from a few feet away, "So you will fight for Primus, while Galvatron fights for Unicron." Vok then said, earning a nod from both Men. "Yes," they answered in unison, while the Bot's parents stepped beside his Lover and watched. "We will power up the 'Infinite Combinatoric' in preparation for the victor." the male Aeon continued as Garuda looked down at the two men. "Let the fight begin." Garuda added before everyone was suddenly enveloped in a blinding white light. PRIME EFFECT 4 Orion opened his eyes to find himself standing at the outer edge of the pyramid-like platform, and immediately his attention was caught by the sight of the Temple around him, which was suddenly alive as energy vibrated through it's walls and up into the ceiling. But as his eyes followed the energy up, they widened as he found that the ceiling was no longer there. In fact, the mountain which had been overhead was now broken up into large chunks that were floating in the air above, being held up by the bolts of energy shooting out of the walls of the temple. "Wow…" he whispered in disbelief as he then saw the Matrix floating at the very center of where the ceiling used to be, being held in place by four beams of energy which were being emitted by the four quadrent points of the structure. It appeared to be powering the temple, which looked more like a giant mechnism now then it had before, but then he was pulled out from his thoughts as he looked down from the platform to see Liara and his Parents alongside the others, who were watching from the safety of the ground. He nodded at them before turning back round and looking over at the center of the circular platform, slowly walking toward it as he glanced up to see the cloud building over the floating mountain chucks and energy bolts that ran through them. The night had fallen over their side of Virmire and yet he could just make out both the green and orange sets of glowing eyes, knowing fully well that the Aeons were still watching. "Orion!" a voice suddenly called from the other side of the arena, which made the Bot look in that direction to see Galvatron standing there with his Chaos Edge in hand. "So all that stands between myself and Unicron…is you. This is going to be too easy." the Predacon Leader taunted, though the blue-haired Bot simply stared back as he unsheathed the Star-Saber from the back of his armour, holding it at his side. "No. It will certainly not be easy, Galvatron. You are going to pay for every atrocity you have committed, that is a promise." he replied in a determined and yet calm manner, which made Galvatron's smirk grow a little wider in return. "Then by all means….give me your best shot,…Boy!" he spat back before holding his blade with both hands and running at the Bot, making Orion hold his blade just behind him as he did the same. He quickly ran out of the view of his friends and family who watched from below, earning a fearful sigh from Liara, who might have said a prayer for her lover had she been religious. But as the Combatants charged at each other, quickly lessening the distance between them as they sprinted. Galvatron quickly moved his blade behind him in preperation to swing it at his foe, but Orion just kept his own ready behind him as they both entered attacking range. This made the Predacon swing his weapon at him, only for the blue haired Spectre to suddenly dive into a roll as the blade cut through the air above him. "What!" Galvatron spat as Orion quickly sprung back to his feet and spun around with his blade, making his adversary quickly bring up the Chaos Edge to block it. The two then clashed their swords several times, causing small red and blue sparks with each hit before the Autobot deflected one hit and punched the Predacon Leader in the face, making him step back slightly. So Orion smirked as he then concentrated and spun around on the spot, making the Star-Saber glow blue before he then hit Galvatron square in the chest and sent him flying through the air to the far side of the platform. The Predacon hit the floor hard and felt a burning pain under the chest-plate of his armour, making him grit his teeth as he forced himself back to his knees. 'What in the pit was that?' he thought before suddenly feeling the need to look up and saw Orion swinging his glowing Saber down upon him, so quickly brought his own up in time for their blades to clash, which resulted in a blue energy wave expanding out from the pair and quickly absorbed by the walls of the temple. Galvatron then pushed the Spectre back, forcing him to stumble slightly as the Predacon got back to his feet. Then both Bot and Con then charged into each other again, duelling with their blades for another long moment before the Predacon managed to kick Orion in the chest and send him onto his back a few yards away. "Lets see how you like it!" Galvatron spat before he held up the Chaos Edge, which began to glow red as the blue haired Bot got back to his feet. "Take this!" he roared as he swung the blade around and unleashed an energy wave that hurtled toward the Autobot, but Orion quickly raised the Star-Saber over his head as it glowed a bright blue again while he focused and brought it down just in time to cut the wave in half, passing by him harmlessly. As the energy hit the walls behind him and again was absorbed into the mechanism, the blue-haired Bot suddenly felt weak as though that one action with the blade had drained him somehow. But before he could process any of it, Galvatron was suddenly right in front of him and punched the Spectre hard in the chest which knocked the Autobot to the ground hard, making him drop the Star-Saber which clanged loudly as it followed suit. "You are putting up a better fight than last time, Boy." the Predacon Leader then said as he stood over the young Darby, looking down at him with what almost looked like respect. "But you must have known that you did not stand a chance against me, so…yield and I can promise you a swift death?" he added, gaining Orion's attention as he looked up at his adversary. "What? So that you can bring back Unicron and unleash Chaos over the galaxy…..never!" he spat, making the Predacon Lord stare back with a surprised but angering expression. "I will never yield to you. Not now or ever." he added as he raised himself onto his knees, while Galvatron glared down at him. "Have it your way then, but know that I will make everyone you care for suffer terribly before I kill them…" he replied with a knowing look, which the Spectre could guess who he meant. 'My family and friends…..and Liara!' he thought, which made his spark burn with anger as he looked into the red eyes of his enemy. "….starting with you!" Galvatron continued before thrusting the Chaos Edge down at Orion, who just managed to move aside just enough for the blade to miss him and embed it self into the ground. This made the Predacon's face suddenly show a shocked expression as he tried to pull the sword from the ground, but it was quite deep as Orion calmly got back to his feet and looked back at him with a slight smile. "My turn…" he started to say before placing one foot onto the Chaos Edge and used it to launch himself into the air and jump kick the Predacon Lord in the face, making him stumble back as the blue-haired Bot landed and took up a fighting stance as he remembered the martial arts training that he had learnt from Master Prowl. "Why you little…"Galvatron started to say in a enraged tone before he was suddenly stopped by a fist to the face, as Orion took advantage of the situation and launched himself at the Predacon. This made his adversary recoil but then the blue-haired Bot punched him in the stomach and again in the face, making Galvatron spit out some blood as he stumbled back again before the Spectre then hit him with a roundhouse kick to the same spot, which knocked him to the ground. Then as the Predacon Leader attempted to get back to his feet, while his bruised face stung from multiple hits, Orion quickly picked up the Star-Saber and began to charge it again. "..you will pay for…." the Clone began to slur before his sight focused enough to see Orion charging at him with the bright blue Saber, but could not move fast enough as the Autobot slashed him again, sending the Predacon flying back across the arena and hit the ground hard on the other side. Orion then stood on his side of the platform where his family and friends could see him as they looked up from their position at its base, while he watched Galvatron pick himself up yet again. "Galvatron, you can end this quickly if you just use my power and your beast mode together." Unicron's voice suddenly spoke, echoing in the Predacon Leader's mind as he looked at his enemy. 'Very well.' he thought before he suddenly roared to the heavens as his body began to deform and change right in front of the Autobot's eyes, which widened as he took note of what was happening. 'Oh shit..' he thought while down on the ground floor, Ser-Ket could not help but recognise the roar that echoed throughout the Temple, earning a worried look from the Femme which was noticed by Arcee and Liara. "Oh no." the Asari whispered as she clenched her hands in worry. "I will have your spark!" Galvatron then spat as he in his beastial-form charged at Orion, with the Choas Edge in one hand and his other being extremely sharp claws. This made Orion dive into a roll as he got out of the way, just as the Predacon was about to strike which just angered his enemy even more as he turned around. "Fight me!" he roared while lunging with the Chaos Edge, which the blue-haired Bot managed to deflect with his own Saber. But Galvatron then swiped the Autobot's chest plate, cutting through it and ripping some flesh which made the Bot grimace. Even as the sharp burning pain throbbed in the wounds, the Spectre stood his ground and managed to block another attack from the enraged Predacon Lord as he deflected the Chaos Edge and also his claws in quick motion. But the young Darby had now found himself on the constant defensive, as Galvatron just kept coming. And with each and every attack, he began to glow with a purple hue which just seemed to make him stronger as each of his blows and strikes felt like a wrecking ball. Despite his best efforts, Orion was being quickly weakening from the heavy hits and strikes that Galvatron was dealing to him, despite deflecting each and every one of them, for it felt like each successful block was tiring him some more. "He is nearly beaten, finish him, my Herald,….now!" the Chaos Bringer said with a joyous tone as the Predacon Leader managed to slash the Bot's cheek, spilling blood as he was forced to stumble back into view of his friends and family. They saw him stumble and this made everyone's eyes widen as they helplessly watched the Predacon then hit Orion in the chest with his fist, making Orion nearly keel over. "Orion!" Liara and Arcee shouted in unified horror as the Bot stopped himself from falling by using the Star-Saber as a stop-gap. Galvatron smirked as he then prepared to hit the young Darby again, who looked virtually beaten as he breathed heavily. But just as he threw his punch, the Spectre suddenly brought his remaining strength to bare and swung the Star-Saber up, slashing the Predacon across his chest. This action brought cheers from his Parents and friends who were watching from behind him as well as a cry of pain from Galvatron, who was now bleeding from a wound across his chest. "Enough!" the Clone then cried out as he clenched his fist and back-handed the Bot so hard, it spun him around to face his friends and family who looked back in horror as he dropped the Star-Saber, which fell down the side of the pyramid-like structure with several clang-like sounds. Everyone's eyes widened in shock as they then witnessed Galvatron raise the Chaos Edge up behind the Bot and thrust it through his back, making it burst through his chest as the blue-haired Spectre then cried out as his nervous system was overloaded by a white hot pain that was too much for him to take. "You lose!" Galvatron spat as he then twist the blade while it was in the Autobot's chest, making the blood pour out more which made Orion look down at the sword which was sticking out of his chest. His eyes widened at the shock of it before he started to feel extremely weak as everything around him started to darken as the last of his life bled away. But as darkness began to take him, the last sound he heard was Liara screaming his name and then everything went silent.
  12. CHAPTER XLI Meanwhile, under the mountain, Galvatron and his party were still walking through the dark tunnel, following the light of their torches as it cut through the darkness and showed them the way. But suddenly the entire area shook like an earthquake had hit, making the ceiling of the tunnel crumble as dislodged rocks fell down around the group. "What in the All-Spark was that?" the Predacon Leader spat as he looked back at Lazerback, who gave him a confused expression in return. "I do not know, my Lord. Sounds like something had impacted the mountain above us maybe." he replied in an unsure tone, which made Galvatron narrow his eyes at him before tapping his com-link. "Rip-Claw, what in the scrap was that?" he spat in an impatient tone, before the sounds of fighting could be heard on the other end. "Lord Galvatron, we have lost the Nemesis. Its been destroyed." the Femme replied in a shocked voice, making the Predacon Lord's eyes widen in response. "What!" "The Autobot's own Predacon just flew himself and Predaking into it's engines and caused it to explode, that's what we saw." she said back. "Get Skystalker and Grimwing to head for the tunnel's opening." Galvatron replied with a worried tone, one that did not escape the attention of both Jack and Arcee. With the Prime smirking back to his spark-mate. "Sounds like the Autobots are giving them a hard time." he whispered, gaining a nod from the Femme as they looked back at the Predacon leader, who was still on his com-link. "Then you better send as many Terracons as you can to the mountain, because I have a feeling that the Autobots are on their way." he said back in an angry and commanding tone. "Yes, my Lord, I will despatch a squad now." she replied before ending the link, as Galvatron looked back into the black of the tunnel ahead. "Move!" he spat as they carried on. After a few more minutes of walking through the darkness, Galvatron suddenly raised his arm and made the group stop again. "We are here." was all he said as the beam of light shone upon a metallic wall which looked completely alien to the rest of the rock around them. "What is it?" Lazerback asked as he joined his Lord's side, with the Predacon Leader walking up to the wall and touching it's smooth and cold surface with his hand. "It is what I have been looking for…" he said in return before noticing what looked like hieroglyphics which covered it's entirety, but they could not have been engraved onto the metal surface as he would have felt it with his hand. "That writing looks almost like Cybertronian?" the Lieutenant said with a curious look, earning a similar look from Galvatron. "It's from the time of the Thirteen, and what is behind this wall will win us this war." he said before looking back at the Terracons standing around both Jack and Arcee. "Find me a way in….now!" he ordered, gaining nods from the minions as they then spread out around the wall and began searching as the blue haired Femme looked between the wall and her spark-mate. "Jack, do you know what this is?" she asked in a worried tone, but the Prime shook his head slightly. "No I don't, but yet it does feel familiar to me." he replied in an almost cryptic voice, as unbeknownst to either him,Arcee or any of the enemies that were with them, a dim light began to shine just below his neck, under his shirt. PRIME EFFECT 4 Meanwhile, Ser-Ket found herself in the middle of the battle, surrounded by Autobots and Predacons who were to busy fighting each other to notice. She had calmed down back into her normal frame of body and mind, and was now focused on getting away so she could try and find Quickstrike. But after witnessing that black dragon perform a kamikaze on the Nemesis, which was now a smouldering wreck. She could not help but wonder about the beast, as it looked really familiar to her. 'That looked like that black dragon from my dream.' she thought before suddenly being pulled out of her thoughts as her attention was drawn to Rip-Claw, who was leading several Terracons away from the battle. 'Where is she going?' the Femme thought before she suddenly felt a hand grab her shoulder, making her look back to see a beasted-out Vertabreak behind her. "Ser-Ket, what the hell are you…." he started to ask before she grabbed his arm and pulled him into a throw, sending him flying as she made some space between them. "Sorry, but I don't have time for questions." The yellow armoured Predacon got back to his feet and activated his holo-blade, preparing for a fight as he stepped between the Femme and her sister. "You're supposed to be under lock and key in Shockblast's lab, I guess I should put you back in there then." he replied, which made Ser-Ket shake her head in return. "Leave me be, or suffer Shockblast's fate." she warned, but this just made the Con smirk back at her. "I think I can handle you….since I am not exactly alone." Vertabreak replied as several Terracons surrounded him and the Femme. "Really?" was all she said in return before then firing her pistols at each and every one of them, hitting them all directly between the eyes before their bodies fell to the ground like dominoes. "What the?" he spat before growling back at Ser-Ket, who took on a more defensive stance as she readied herself for a fight. "I think you will need to become beast-like if you want to beat me." Vertabreak then said as he raised his claws and prepared to attack, but the Femme merely smiled back at him confidently. "I don't need to, certainly not against the likes of you." she replied with an unimpressed tone, earning a look of anger from the Predacon who narrowed his eyes at her before roaring and launching himself towards her. Elsewhere, Alpha team had managed to keep themselves out of the continuing battle which had started to become less one sided, as the destruction of the Nemesis seemed to have had an effect on the Predacon ground-force. This had given the Autobots more of a fighting chance, not that it mattered to Orion and his friends. For that battle was to them was a distraction, something to keep the enemy busy while they attacked their leader. And that was what they were going to do by chopping off the head of the Predaon war machine, and stopping them before they unleashed whatever horrible things was on this planet. That was what Orion was thinking right now as he lead the others towards the lone mountain, which was now directly in front them. They all looked so small when compared to the giant rock formation, as the sun started to descend to the horizon behind it, casting it's shadow over the team as they could now see the entrance to the tunnel ahead of them. "Is it me or has it just gotten a little cooler around here." Nightracer said as the sky over them began to change from blue to red as night started to descend over the planet. "Yeah, certainly helps with setting the mood for this place doesn't it." Shen replied as Liara looked around the group with a puzzled expression, gaining Orion's attention as he looked back to her. "Liara, what is it?" he asked before suddenly the Asari brought up a biotic barrier behind them. "Watch out!" she shouted before an RPG came out of nowhere and hit the field, harmlessly exploding away from the team. But Orion noticed that Liara had been physically effected by the sudden attack as she grimaced, causing her barrier to begin cracking. So as the others took cover behind some nearby large rocks, he grabbed the Asari and pulled her down behind cover beside him, which made the barrier disappear while Shen took a peek though his sniper scope. "What do you see?" the blue haired Bot asked while he checked his lover, who gave him an appreciative nod in return. "I see a full squad of Terracons and a woman in light blue and red armour, she looks like thier Leader and is carrying the RPG." the Turian replied, earning an angered expression from Quickstrike which caught the others attention. "What is it Quickstrike?" Nightracer asked him while Orion gave the Sniper a nod, which made him start firing back at the enemies and made them scatter behind cover. "That's Rip-Claw, she was the bitch that tortured me back on Omicron and she claims to be Ser-Ket's Sister." he replied, his growing anger evident in his voice. "You're kidding right. I don't see much of a family resemblance." Shen replied as he took a shot at the Femme, making her duck behind cover. "Ser-Ket doesn't believe it either. But anyway, that bitch knows what has become of Ser-Ket...and I will beat it out of her." the blonde Bot said as he got ready to move, only for Orion to stop him by placing his hand on his shoulder. "We are with you, Quickstrike, but to go out there now would be suicide." he said to his Cousin, earning a knowing nod from him. "Then how should we go about this?" Quickstrike replied, which made Orion look around at the team. "We have enough cover around us to keep them at bay, but..." he said back while looking at his Cousin. "...we don't have the time for that, so Quickstrike and I will take them on. While the rest of you give us covering fire." he added while turning his attention to Shen, Nightracer and Liara, noticing the look of concern on his lover's face "I am still feeling a little off from that RPG, I don't think I can create another barrier yet." she said with a regretful tone, but the young Darby smiled back at her as he handed his rifle to her. "Don't worry, you can use this..." he replied as he equipped his pistol and began reaching over his shoulder. "I have..." he added while grasping the hilt of the Star-Saber and pulling it free of it's holster. "...this." Quickstrike looked at the blade, before shaking his head in return. "I forgot that you had that." "I picked it up before meeting you in the shuttle, it was exactly where I left it." the blue haired Bot replied. "On the crew deck where we got sucked out into space." Liara questioned, gaining a nod from her lover in return. "Yep, the repair crew couldn't remove it. So they left there, wish they could have seen me pull it out of the deck with no problem." "Hey guys, how about some help here?" Shen suddenly jumped in, regaining the others attention as he continued to fire at the enemy, taking down two of them as he spoke. "Right, Quickstrike,...let's go." Orion said as he tapped his Cousin on the shoulder, both of them moving off. "Good luck." Liara then said, making the young Darby look back with a loving expression. "You too." he replied before the cousins moved away, using the large rocks as cover. "Okay, covering fire." Nightracer said in a commanding tone as she, Shen and Liara began firing on the Terracons, causing them to halt their advance once again. PRIME EFFECT 4 "What are you waiting for, get down there and kill them!" Rip-Claw spat as her Terracons took cover behind the nearby large rocks, just in time to miss the onslaught of bullets that the Autobots fired back. "It's no use, Commander, they have a good defensive line over there. We cannot simply rush them, as they would most likely rip us apart." the Terracon beside her said back, earning an angry stare from the Femme as she grabbed him by the throat. "Why are you hesitating, just beast out and rush them." she replied while tightening her grip around his neck, making him gasp for air. "But….we….can't,,,,all….." the minion tried to say before his neck snapped in her hands, to which Rip-Claw merely dropped his body back to the ground uncaringly. "Terracons….Terrorise!" she roared as the other soldiers looked back at her for a second before nodding back and roaring, as they engaged their beast-modes. Their bodies grew slightly larger and more muscular, while their overall looks became more ferocious. And then all of them charged towards the Autobots, unknowingly passing Orion and Quickstrike who were sneaking past while using the rock formations as cover. "Err, they are charging right at us." Shen stated with a nervous tone growing in his voice while continuing to fire at them, only for the shots to the bodies only slowing them down and not stopping them for good. "Aim for their heads then." Nightracer replied as she fired short bursts with her rifle, taking down two in quick success as blood spilled out of their head wounds. The Turian quickly nodded and re-corrected his aim, taking down three in just as many shots. Liara too killed one, but yet there were still six left and they were over the halfway point towards the group. "They'll be on us in seconds." the young Vakarian said while gunning down another, as Liara looked down at the Femme's utility belt. "I have an idea." she said in return as she took a hand off her rifle and grabbed a grenade from it, before then focusing her biotics so that her hand and the grenade began to glow with blue energy. "What are you….?" Nightracer began to say before the Asari lobbed the explosive into the path of the charging Terracons, who took no notice of the glowing blue object before it suddenly exploded, filling the immediate area with an expanding blue light as every Terracon in range was suddenly catapulted into the air before landing hard on the rocks. "How did you?" the Femme began to ask, only for Liara to cut her off. "I charged the grenade with biotic energy, call it a 'lift grenade'." "Great work, Liara, now let's take them down quickly!" Shen replied as the three of them then stood up and fired back while the enemy troops tried to recover. Meanwhile, Rip-Claw looked on in complete disbelief as she watched her troops fighting the Autobots, her anger growing to boiling point at how their enemy was able to resist. But just then, the Predacon's attention was caught by a familiar scent. "I recognise that smell…" she said aloud before quickly ducking under Quickstrike's attack as he swung his holo-blade at her and in one move, quickly turned around and punched him in the stomach, sending the Bot flying to the ground as she activated her beast mode. The Bot quickly recovered as he watched Rip-Claw transform before him, a confident smile appeared on her face as she looked down at him. "Are you really that eager for another beating? I mean you didn't stand a chance against me the first time we met, and I do miss our little torture sessions." she said while flexing her claws, looking down at the Bot who activated his other holo-blade and took a defensive stance. "That's not going to happen this time…" he said before launching himself at the Predacon, swinging his blades at her and making the Femme go on the defensive, as she dodged each and every one of the attacks before one sliced her cheek. But this just served to anger her more as Rip-Claw then went on the offensive and with one hit, broke through Quickstrike's attack and stunned him before grabbing him by the throat. "You were saying?" she replied with a growl, while holding his head close to hers. "…I…meant…because…" he tried to say while the Femme tightened her grip around his neck, which made her ease it slightly as a curious expression appeared on her face. "Go on?" "..because I didn't come alone." he then managed to say, making Rip-Claw's eyes widen in shock, before spinning around just in time to see a silver and blue armoured man with blue hair lunge a Cybertronian blade at her, which ran through her stomach and made the Predacon grimace and groan in pain as she dropped the blonde Bot. "Didn't see that coming, did you?" he said before nodding at his Cousin. "Thanks, Orion." "Don't mention it." the young Darby replied before pulling the Star-Saber back out, making Rip-Claw fall to one knee in front of them. "Now, tell me what has happened to Ser-Ket and we will make this quick." Quickstrike then said in a serious and threatening tone as the Femme looked up at him with a disgusted expression. "That's it? After everything I did to you at Omicron, the torture and murdering the people you knew, that wretch is the only thing on your mind?" she answered with a painful laugh, while holding a hand to her stab wound which was slowly bleeding out. The blonde Bot though let his anger get the better of him as he then grabbed her by the hair with one hand and held his holo-blade to her throat. "WHERE IS SHE!" he spat while his eyes narrowed at her in an enraged stare, while she continued to laugh before spitting out a slither of blood. "That traitorous wretch is dead, you hear me?" she said back with an almost gleeful tone. "You lie!" Quickstrike quickly replied as Orion looked on, holding the Star-Saber ready as he watched as a worried expression grew on his face. "She was being held prisoner on the Nemesis, now look at it and tell me that she survived that?" Rip-Claw answered back, which made Quickstrike glance over to Orion with disbelieving expression before looking back at the burning husk of the Predacon battleship. "No, she can't be…." he said as the Femme observed his anguish, taking delight in it as she smiled. "It's what she deserved. I just wish I could have seen her final moments." This made the blonde Bot look back at her, his expression quickly changing back to enraged as his anger took control again, but the Predacon continued her taunting. "She no doubt called your name." So Quickstrike quickly held his holo-blade at the injured Con's neck again, looking completely ready to end her life. "I will send you to the pit!" he spat, before she smiled back with a knowing expression and suddenly took the Cousins by surprise and in one quick motion, got to her feet and grabbed them both by their throats, making Orion drop the Star-Saber which fell to the ground below him. "Did you really think that wound would be enough to stop me?" she asked while looking at both Autobots in her grip, which was tightening so much around their wind pipes that they were quickly gasping for air. The Femme then slammed their heads together before dropping them back to the ground, observing the Bots as they tried to recover. "I will send you to see Ser-Ket very soon…" Rip-Claw said to the blonde Bot, who was still on his back and holding his hand to his forehead as a cut bled from the area. But she then turned her attention to the blue haired Bot who had managed to roll over onto his front and look back to the others, but his vision was blurring from suffering a concussion. And he could just make out Liara and Nightracer as they were fighting hand to hand against two remaining Terracons, while Shen was lying on the floor. "..but you look familiar to me." the Predacon added before kicking Orion in the side and making him roll onto his back again, before taking a deep sniff of the air over him. "You smell like the Prime and that wretch of his. Well, that is a surprise." she said in delighted tone. "Well, before I kill you, you should know that they are still alive…..well just…." she started to say, earning the Bot's attention as he looked back at her, his vision slowly starting to correct itself. But what he saw next was Rip-Claw pinning him down to the floor with her foot on his chest, slowly applying extra pressure on his armour as she tried to push her foot through his body and onto the ground beneath him. "…but they will join you, as soon as Lord Galvatron gets whatever he wants from them." she taunted with a smile before raising her claws above her, readying herself for the killing blow. "Rip-Claw, leave them alone!" a female voice suddenly shouted, earning both the Predacon's and Quickstrike's attention as it sounded so familiar to them. The blonde Bot rolled over onto his stomach and looked up at the ridge to see the most beautiful sight he had seen in a good while, as standing there in yellow and green armour was Ser-Ket, who was aiming an avenger rifle directly at the surprised Rip-Claw. "What? But you were on board…" was all the Femme could say as she stepped off the young Darby, as her former Sister cut her off. "I managed to get off the ship before it was destroyed, killing Shockblast before doing so." she said which made the Predacon narrow her eyes back at her, making Ser-Ket smile. "..And also Vertabreak on the way here." "You really are not my ister any-more, are you? Since it is now so easy for you to kill your brethren." Rip-Claw spat as she left Orion and Quickstrike, walking towards the new arrival while the latter was still looking at his lover with a disbelieving expression. "If I have learnt anything in thse last few days, it is that I am not related to you or any Predacon." Ser-Ket replied as she took a fighting stance and activated her holo-blades, gaining a smile from the Beastial Femme. "You're going to fight me like that? Didn't you learn anything from our last encounter?" "I did actually, but I am not about to lower myself to your standards to win a fight." the former Predacon answered, gaining an enraged roar from Rip-Claw who lunged at her. Ser-Ket quickly dodged the attack before slicing at her adversary, cutting the Beastial across the chest. "Arrragh!" the light blue and red armoured woman cried as blood began seeping from the wound, staining her armour. But even though she was still bleeding out from the gut wound Orion had given her, Rip-Claw let her growing anger continue to fuel her body. The Femme looked down at the blood before returning her attention to her former sister, gritting her teeth as she narrowed her eyes, "I will kill you!" she spat while lunging at Ser-Ket again and again, with the Femme dodging each attack. Using her smaller and more athletic figure to her advantage, as Rip-Claw now was far larger and slightly slower 'I can't let her hit me in her current state, or else it will knock me senseless like last time.' she thoughtwhile ducked under a swing of the Predacon's claws, following through with a roll to make some distance between them, ending up back on her feet as she turned to face her. Meanwhile, Quickstrike had managed to get up onto never his knees as his head had finally stopped spinning, never taking his eyes off his lover as she fought their common enemy. 'Kick her ass Ser-Ket.' he thought as he watched her gain another strike on Rip-Claw, as she made another deep cut on the Predacon's chest-plate. This further enraged the Beastial who then swung her right arm at her former Sister, which made her duck again. But then the blonde Bot's eyes widened as he watched the Predacon swing an uppercut with his left arm, catching Ser-Ket by surprise as it made contact with her chin. The strength of the hit took the Femme right off her feet and sent her flying back on to the ground hard. "SER-KET!" He shouted in a panicked tone, earning the Beastial's attention as she looked over to him. "Wait your turn." she taunted before looking back at her Ser-Ket, who was lying on her back and bleeding from her mouth. But just as she was about to walk up to her, Rip-Claw suddenly stopped and looked between the two with a thoughtful expression, one that ended with a sinister smile. "Actually, now that I think about it…" the Predacon started to say as she turned round and walked over to Quickstrike, as the Bot slowly got to his feet. "..There will be nothing more painful for you, than to watch your Autobot die." she finished, as the blonde Man threw a punch at her that the Beastial easily blocked, before grabbing him by the throat yet again. "No…" Ser-Ket cried weakly as she looked over to see her lover in the grips of her former Sister, who was intent on ending his life. 'I can't watch him die, I have to do something.' she thought, realising that just like Shockwave, there was only one way she could save him and their friends. "You can close your eyes if you want, this will only hurt a lot." Rip-Claw said as she looked into the Bot's eyes while raising her free hand, readying her claws for one final blow. But he just looked back at her with a defiant stare before his attention was suddenly caught by something behind her, making Rip-Claw turn around and see Ser-Ket getting to her feet whilst changing into her own Beastial form. "Finally, I knew you still had some Predacon in you." the light blue and red armoured woman said in a delighted tone, while her former Sister narrowed her eyes at her and pointed a claw at her. "You hurt him again…..and I will make you suffer." she growled while bearing her sharp teeth. "What….like this?" Rip-Claw replied before throwing the Bot away, letting him land on one of the rock formations that littered the area. "You Bitch!" Ser-Ket roared as she charged at the Predacon, who looked back just in time to see the Traitor tackle her to the ground. The yellow and green armoured Femme than slashed continuously at Rip-Claw, spilling so much blood as she drove her claws deep into her adversary's chest. The Predacon then replied by grabbing her enemy's right shoulder and digging her claws in deep, making Ser-Ket cry out in pain while blood spilled out of the wounds. This made her pause as Rip-Claw then punched her in the face hard with her free hand, knocking the Femme off and back onto the ground. Ser-Ket tried to recover quickly, only for the Predacon to kick her in the face and and back to the ground. And then she slashed at her former Sister's back, dragging her claws over the armour and cutting deep into her flesh. This made the Femme grimace and yelp as she felt a sharp white hot pain in her back, but that was quickly replaced by even more agonising pain as Rip-Claw kicked her in the side several times. Ser-Ket winced and gasped as it felt like her insides were being destroyed by the Predacon's continuous strikes, it only stopped when the former sister rolled over onto her back which only made the pain feel worse. Rip-Claw looked down at her adversary, smiling down at the Femme as she withered in pain. So she leaped onto Ser-Ket and pinned her to the spot, holding her arms in vice-like grips. "You never had a chance, you traitorous wretch." the Predacon said while looking down at her with a self righteous stare, before she then looked over to the blonde Bot who was only just now beginning to recover as he tried to sit up, no matter how much pain he felt. "Look at him Ser-Ket, at the Autobot you chose over us." she said with a venomous tone, making the former Predacon look over and lock her eyes onto Quickstrike's as the two just looked at each other. "Do you realise how weak you have become, how his influence has changed you? When our Lord Galvatron re-awoke us, you were strong like the rest of us...like me..." Rip-Claw said as looked back down at the Femme with pity in her eyes. "But that Autobot has poisoned your spark, ripping you from the rest of us...your family." she added before looking over at the two Terracons, taking not that hey had beaten the other Autobots as Liara and Nightracer joined their Turian friend on the ground. With the two Beastials staring down at them. "You, soldier!" the Predacon called, gaining the attention of both as the looked over to her." "Yes, you...come here." she said as she nodded to the Terracon standing on the right, with him nodding back in return before walking towards her as she looked back down at Ser-Ket. "He has made you weak, of body and mind." she said, as her former Sister looked back with a pained and unsure expression. "Don't listen to her, Ser-Ket." Quickstrike suddenly said, gaining the attention of both her and Rip-Claw. The former looking at him with a wide eyed stare, while the latter merely narrowed her eyes back before turning her attention to the Beastial that was approaching them. "Restrain him." she said, gaining a nod from the Terracon while Ser-Ket quickly looked back at the Predacon with a shocked and despaired expression. "He needs to die..." Rip-Claw then said with a cold malice to her voice as the Terracon then grabbed Quickstrike by his arms and twisted them behind his back, before lifting him onto his knees and stood over him. "...and with his poisonous influence gone, the damage he has caused between us will heal. And you can once more be a Sister to me, ...and a Predacon again." Rip-Claw added as Ser-Ket kept her attention on Quickstrike, who struggled against the Terracon's hold, only for it to tighten it's grip and growl at him, making him stop and look back at her. "Ser-Ket, you told me that you never really felt like you were a Predacon in your spark, that you were something else...arrrgh!" he then managed to say before the Beastial's tightened it's grip more, throwing him off his sentence in an attempt to shut him up. But the Blonde Autobot kept his attention on his lover, looking at her with a determined and yet caring expression. "...but I don't care what that is...because I love you regardless of any of it...arrrgh!" he cried again as the Terracon inflicted pain on him again. "Let's silence him for good, kill him." Rip-Claw then said, which made Ser-Ket look directly at her former Sister with a dagger like stare as her beastial eyes narrowed. The Terracon nodded back before opening his jaws and lowering them toward the side of the Autobot's neck, readying itself for the kill. Rip-Claw smiled as she watched, but that expression soon changed to one of confusion as she suddenly felt her hands moving off the floor with they were still gripping Ser-Ket's arms. She looked down to see the Femme gritting her teeth, and growling deeply as she focused all her strength into her arms, lifting the Predacon away from her. "Rip-Claw...Get OFF!" she roared before throwing her sister off herself, with the Predacon landing on the ground with a thud a few metres away, which made the Terracon stop and look back in surprise. But Ser-Ket was quickly back on her feet before launching herself at him, ripping the Beastial from her Lover before sinking her teeth into the it's throat and tearing it out, spraying a blood-like liquid onto the floor. Orion and the others watched with wide-eyed expressions as Ser-Ket turned her attention back to Rip-Claw, while the Terracon bled to death on the floor beside her. "Rip-Claw, I never felt like I was one of you and certainly not like your Sister. But I know now without a doubt, that I am not nor will I ever be...a Predacon." she spat before launching herself at the surprised Femme, who tried to defend herself as the enraged Beastial lunged at her with her claws bared. But Ser-Ket was too much for Rip-Claw, slashing at her arms and legs which made the Predacon fall to her knees in front of her. "What...?" was all she could say back, while her former Sister looked down at her. "What? I'll tell you 'what' I want right now. For you to shut up and die!" she spat while grabbing both sides of Rip-Claw's head with an extremely tight grip, that made the defeated Femme stare back with widened eyes and an expression of agony. Ser-Ket then pulled the Predacon's head right off her body in one swift action, with blood spraying everywhere as Rip-Claw' spine dangled from the underside of the decapitated head. "Wow." Orion said in a wide-eyed stare, as the former Predacon then held the head in one hand and roared at the top of her voice in to the heavens above them all. It was at this moment, the only remaining Terracon suddenly fell to his knees and bowed his head in what could only be described as a submissive gesture. "What the hell?" Shen said as he noticed this, while Liara and Nightracer getting back to their feet and joining his side. Meanwhile, the Terracons battling the Autobots at the nearest edge of the massive ground-War then heard the roar, suddenly stopping what they were doing and looking over to the area it echoed from. This finally gave those ISF soldiers, made up of numerous member species including Krogans, Turians and Asari the chance they needed, and they took it as one after another, the distracted enemies were taken down. As that was happening, the younger Darby was still staring at Ser-Ket, his expression was one of both marvel and fear at the sheer ferocity and raw power that he had witnessed from both her and the now deceased enemy, who's head she was now holding in her hands. But his attention suddenly changed to his cousin, who had got back to his feet and was now approaching Ser-Ket while still in her beastial form. "Quickstrike?" he called over, only for the blonde Bot to wave him off. "It's okay Orion." he said, as Ser-Ket turned her attention to him. But despite her almost monstrous appearance, she looked at him with an affectionate stare. "Ser-Ket?" "Are you alright?" she asked as he stood before her, with her larger and more muscular figure overshadowing him. "Yes, thank you." Quickstrike replied as they pair looked into each other's eyes before leaning in close and touch their foreheads, with him gently stroking her cheek as she closed her eyes and enjoyed his touch. "I thought I lost you." he said softly with relief in his voice as he let her sweet scent flow over him again, with her sighing sweetly in return. "So did I." Ser-Ket replied before her eyes widened and she pulled away, turning from him with an ashamed reaction. "What's wrong?" Quickstrike asked in a surprised tone, while everyone just stood and watched them. "I don't want you to see me like this." the Femme replied, but then she again felt his touch, as the Bot cupped her face with his hand and gently brought her eyes to his again. "As I said earlier, whether you're beast-like or not, I love you." the blonde Bot said back with a soft and affectionate tone, which made the former Predacon smile back slightly as a single tear ran down her cheek. "I love you." she said as Quickstrike wiped the tear away before leaning in close, making her do the same until they kissed. And once again their sparks were ignited in the pleasure of being together again, and they wrapped their arms around each other and intensified their embrace. And as it felt like time was slowing down around them, Ser-Ket calmed down and reverted to her normal athletic human-like figure, which allowed Quickstrike to fully wrap his arms around her. "Hey, Guys." Shen then spoke, earning the pair's attention as they stopped and looked at him with what the others could only describe as an annoyed stare, which made the Turian feel slightly embarrassed. "Thanks for the save, Ser-Ket." Orion then said with an appreciative smile, with the Femme giving a nod in return as she looked around at the others, all who had mirrored expressions to his own. "Yes….its good to see you again." Liara added before Shen, who was still slightly embarrassed had now turned his attention to the submissive Terracon. "What is it with this guy?" This then made the rest of the team look in his direction as he kept his weapon aimed at the enemy, who was still on his knees with his head bowed. Ser-Ket let go of Quickstrike and began walking over to the Terracon, a knowing expression appeared on her face as she stopped directly in front of him. This made the soldier, bend down more as though he was frightened of her which did not go unnoticed by Orion and his Cousin. "He's afraid of you." the blonde Bot stated, earning a nod from the Femme. "He is, because I killed his Commander. So he now hopes that I will accept him as my minion." "You mean its like with a group of animals, where the strongest leads the group. But if he/she is challenged and killed, then the others will follow the victor." Nightracer asked. "Yes, exactly." the former Predacon replied. "Then all we need to do now is kill Galvatron, which should then stop his Terracons and end this conflict completely." Orion said. "That is correct, Orion…." Ser-Ket replied, though Shen sighed in return as he shook his head. "Why do I feel a…..'but' coming on." This earned another annoyed look from Nightracer, while Orion and Quickstrike ignored him and kept their attention on the latter's lover. "It will not be easy." she said in a matter of fact-like tone, earning a nod from the young Darby. "Yeah, I know. I fought him before." "And he nearly killed you." Liara replied with a concerned voice, gaining his attention as he looked back and saw the growing worry in her eyes, "I underestimated Galvatron before, allowed my anger to get the better of me. I will not make that mistake again." he said back, gaining nods from everyone including the Asari. Though she looked a little more hesitant than the rest, though Orion tried to reassure her with a smile before turning his attention to Ser-Ket and the Terracon. "Will he help us?" he asked as the Femme looked down at the submissive minion. "Will you follow my orders?" she asked in a commanding tone, earning a nod from him as he continued to look a the ground. "Yes, Commander. My life is yours to do as you wish." he replied. "Then stand and fight with us." she said, which made the Terracon look up at her and stand back up, earning a smile from the blue haired Bot. "Good, then let's get going. I just hope we are not too late." he said before the group started for the tunnel's entrance as Ser-Ket walked side by side with her lover. "Quickstrike, while I was being held aboard the Nemesis, I found out some rather disturbing truths about my past…" she started to say, making the Bot stop himself and her before he put his hands on her shoulders in a supporting and caring gesture. "Whatever it is, we can talk about it when this is done.." he began to say while looking into her eyes. "..but no matter what it is, there is no way that it will change the way I feel about you…..okay?" he added in a soft and loving voice, which made the Femme sigh in return as she nodded back. "Okay, thanks, Quickstrike." she said back. "Come on, before the others think that we are falling behind." he said before holding out his hand to her, which the former Predacon took in her own as the pair carried on to the mountain to catch up with their friends. PRIME EFFECT 4 Meanwhile, Galvatron was becoming more and more aggravated as he stood and watched Lazerback and the Terracons at his side, fumbling around the ancient wall as they searched for a way in. "How much longer will this take? We have already been here far too long." the Predacon Lord said in an increasingly angry tone, which made his Lieutenant turn back to him. "I apologise, my Lord, but there does not seem to be any way into it. The wall is without any gaps or cracks, as the surface is completely intact and without seals. Can't that blade you recovered from Scissio help in any way?" Galvatron unsheathed the Chaos Edge from the back of his armour and held in before him, but the blade remained dark, not even remotely glowing like it had in the past. "I do not believe that this will be of hel…" he started to say before finding himself stopping, as he felt a familiar presence surround him. "Look at the Prime, Galvatron. He is the key." Unicron's voice spoke into his mind, making the Predacon Leader turn and look back at Jack. "Bring the Prime to me." he ordered the two Terracons who restraining Jack, who both nodded before escorting him to their leader. Galvatron then looked the older Darby up and down, wondering what it could be that could help. "I brought you here for a purpose, now what could it…." he said before his eyes suddenly focused on the dim light, which could just be seen under the Human's shirt. This made the Predacon Lord's eyes widen as a hopeful expression appeared on his face. "Of course, your Matrix. Take it in your hands and approach that wall." he commanded while pointing at the metallic blockade ahead of them. But the Prime just stood there, looking back at him with a uncooperative stare. "Fine, have it your way…." Galvatron replied as he walked past Jack and pointed the Chaos Edge right at Arcee's throat. "..if you don't do as I say, I will kill your spark-mate. So that she can be reunited with those you have already lost." "Jack…." the Femme managed to say as she felt the sharp tip of the blade touching the bare skin of her throat, but the Prime shook his head and reached down under his shirt and pulled out the glowing Matrix crystal. "Alright, don't hurt her." he said in a reluctant tone, knowing that he already had lost his son and did not want to see his spark-mate killed. So he held the glowing crystal in his hand, which then mass shifted into the recognisable gold and silver relic with a bright shining crystal at its heart. Jack then sighed before walking toward the ancient wall, with the Terracons and Lazerback stepping aside as he did so. And with every step closer he came, the matrix would shine that much brighter until the hieroglyphics on the wall began to glow brightly as he got closer. "This is it." Galvatron stated with a dark smile as the mountain was suddenly hit by another tremor. Shaking their surroundings as Jack stopped right before the wall, which now had all of it's writing lit up. The older Darby then had a look of both complete understanding and dread, fully understanding what this could be. 'I know what this place is now, Primus forgive me.' he thought as a bright white light suddenly appeared from the top of the wall and went all the way down it's center to the ground in a straight line, before wall began to separate, revealing a blinding white light that enveloped the entire group and expanded through the tunnel.
  13. CHAPTER XL The CIC of the Achilles was rocked by several direct hits to the ship as Blight look around him at as two stations exploded, sending the Terracons near them to the floor hard. "Shields down to eighty five percent." the soldier to his right shouted over the sounds the red alert blaring from the room's speakers, which made the Lieutenant look over to his helmsman in front of him. "Evasive manoeuvres, get us out of the line of fire and cover our ventral side." he spat, gaining a nod from the Terracon before he then turned his attention to another on his right. "Fire our torpedoes on that Autobot dreadnought the moment you have a clear shot, understood?" he said in a commanding tone, gaining a nod from the Terracon before he looked back to the helmsman who had started his manoeuvres. So as the battle continued to play out around the Achilles which was still taking fire from the enemy in front of it, suddenly turned starboard, looking as if it was attempting to pull away. So the dreadnought maintained its fire on the Predacon ship, hitting its shields with numerous cannon blasts that made the Achilles shake with each and every hit. But the weapons Terracon maintained his cool and stared at the holo-screen of his terminal as the enemy ship entered the center of his targeting HUD and turned green, which made the Con press the firing button in return. This made the torpedo launchers on that side of the ship activate and fire a spread of glowing projectiles back at their enemy, who spotted this move... though a little late and attempted to evade it by turning away. But the torpedoes hit their mark, shattering the shields of the Dreadnought in that section. The Achilles then launched another spread of torpedoes, these ones passed through unchallenged and impacted on the front of the Autobot ship, causing heavy damage as the Predacon ship moved away. "Sir, the dreadnought has suffered substantial damage." the Terracon manning the sensors then said, earning Blight's attention. "Very good." he replied before looking at the Communications operator. "Send an alert to any Predacon ship in range of that dreadnought, and tell them to destroy it." he said, gaining a nod from the minion in return. "Take us to the other side of Virmire, our lines are weakening a little over there." the Lieutenant then said while looking at the holo-image of the battle on his interface, which made the pilot nod back. "Yes, Sir." he replied before the Achilles turned away from the damaged Dreadnought which had come under fire from nearby Predacon cruisers. Meanwhile, on the other side of the planet, more Autobot dreadnoughts hit the enemy lines there hard, with several cruisers fell before them. Admiral Hackett stood on the bridge of the Apollo and watched the battle unfold, using multiple holo-screens around his personal station. "Dreadnought and Cruiser wings seventeen and twelve have managed to punch a hole in the Predacons defensive line, I want Kalros Carrier group to begin landings now with cruiser wing thirteen and their fighter squadrons to cover them." he said into his com-link. "Roger that, Admiral, we are making our run now." a voice spoke back over the com. With that the carrier group which was made up of the Krogan designed Kalros troop carriers, heavily armoured cruisers that were somewhat larger than other ships of the same class began descending towards the planet's surface, firing their flak cannons and creating a buffer zone between themselves and the Predacon fighters that were trying to stop them. Several enemy cruisers also attempted to block their path, only to come under attack from the ISF cruisers Undaunted, Farragut on the carrier group's starboard side while the Furies, Selani and Nefrane fired from the port side, their combined torpedo and cannon fire destroying the incoming cruisers and further clearing the way as the Kalros ships entered the planet's atmosphere. After several seconds of atmospheric entry, the carriers broke through the cloud cover to see the dark blue ocean of Virmire beneath them while the fighter squadron flew in formation alongside them. "This is Lead carrier Urdnot, we are approaching the landmass where our target is situated. Carriers Zeus and Verallas will land either side of us, while the Hyperion and the Bulkhead will offload their troops a quarter mile away." the Urdnot's Krogan Commander said over the com-link, while the large vessels flew toward the mainland. "Aye, Aye, Urdnot. We will stay in formation with you and stop any enemy fighters from harassing you, Zeta squadron out." one of the fighter pilots replied. Back at the mountain, Galvatron and his party had entered the tunnel and were making their way into the darkness it held, with nothing but torches to light the path ahead. "Lord Galvatron, this is Rip-Claw. Come in please." the femme spoke over the Com-link, gaining her Leader's attention as stopped and gestured to the others to do the same, before tapping his earpiece. "Rip-Claw, report." "The Autobots have broken through our defensive lines and are now landing ground-forces less than a click away from the Nemesis's position." she said back with a concerned tone, which made the Predacon Lord grit his teeth in return. "Then I hope you are adequately prepared for the ground battle because if any Autobots make it to our position, I will be sure to take it out of yours and Blight's hides. Do you understand me?" he spat, earning a gasp from the Femme who sounded a little rattled by his outburst. "Understood Lord Galvatron, no one will make it to you. I will see to it." she said back, though the Predacon Leader merely scowled at her reply. "Just get on with it, Galvatron out." he said before deactivating his com-link, earning a worried look from Lazerback. "My Lord, should I send some of our Terracons back to help?" he asked, gaining his Master's attention. "No, we carry on." The Lieutenant nodded back, then looked over to the score of Terracons who stood behind them. "You heard Lord Galvatron, let's move out." he ordered as the whole group continued into the tunnel, with the Predacon Lord leading the way. As they did so, Jack and Arcee were being escorted too with a Terracon at either side of them. "Sounds to me like our friends are giving them a hard time, Jack." the blue-haired Femme whispered back in a hopeful tone as she looked back to him, but her face fell a little as she noticed the worried expression of her spark-mate. "I don't think it will matter if the Autobots get here or not, Arcee." he said back. "What do you mean?" she asked in return, gaining his attention. "Because the more we move into this mountain, the more I feel that whatever is at its heart will spell doom for all of us." he replied, fear underlining his words as they carried on walking. The battle in orbit was still very intense, with ships on both sides falling one after another but with no clear advantage given to either side. But that was nothing compared to what was now happening on the ground as the Autobot carriers deployed their MAKOs and troops, who began advancing on the Predacon defences. Thousands of soldiers from all over the Federation, ranging from Human and Turian to Asari and Cybertronian were again fighting side by side under the Autobot banner. The vehicles fired their cannons into the enemy fortifications, killing numerous Terracons. But they fired back with their own, returning the favour and ending the lives of Federation soldiers with each and every blast. The Turian snipers looked through the scopes of their rifles, taking down any of the Cannon controllers who were unlucky enough to find themselves caught in their crosshairs while Asari brought up biotic barriers to defend their comrades from any further incoming fire. "Lets take them!" a Krogan Commander shouted before he then lead Autobot Commandos in a charge toward the Predacon line, to which the Terracons followed suit while others let their beast modes take over and charged at their attackers, as the already unhinged Stalkers were let loose. Both sides clashed in the center of the field in violent fashion, Beastial Cons and Stalkers ripping into their adversaries with primal rage. But the Autobots fought back with just as much determination and courage, refusing to buckle under the savagery of the Predacons. Watching from the Autobot front lines, a grey and red armoured Japanese Man looked out at the battle with a pair of binoculars before activating his com-link. "This is General Obsidian, we have engaged the Predacon forces. I repeat, we have engaged the Predacons on the ground." "Roger that, Obsidian, we also have their fleet focused on us in orbit…." Hackett began to reply. "…Normandy, it's now or never." he then added while the General listened and looked up at the sky. "Normandy here, we read you loud and clear." Rodimus replied as he sat in his hover-chair inside the cockpit, just behind the pilot's seat. Then the Commander tapped his earpiece again as he turned his attention to Jetstorm, who was looking back over his shoulder. "Alpha squad and Onyx Primal, you have a go. Jetstorm, execute attack pattern 'Hotrod Zero One'." "Aye, Aye..." the pilot started to reply as he began typed away at the terminals of his holo-interface, opening a space bridge portal directly ahead of the shi "...Prepare for atmospheric entry, I am taking us in." he added as the Normandy flew into the vortex, which closed up behind it. PRIME EFFECT 4 Meanwhile, down on the ground, Rip-Claw was in the middle of the escalating battle, revelling in savagery of her Terracon brothers as they slaughtered all the Autobots they could get their hands on. She looked down at the dying Turian that she was currently holding by his neck and snapped it like a twig, before throwing his body away like a rag doll. "Anterus!" a Krogan shouted, earning the Femme's attention as she looked back with evil smirk. "Arrragggh!" the soldier then spat as he charged at her with his holo-blades, but the beastial Predacon simply grabbed both his arms and stopped the attack instantly. "I always heard Krogan were the strongest in the Federation physically…" she said back, earning a grunt from the Krogan as he gritted his teeth and tried to fight back against her strength which was like trying to push down a reinforced concrete wall. But Rip-Claw just smiled back and held him there without much effort. "..But I guess whoever told me that was just exaggerating, weren't they?" she added before snapping both his arms, earning a painful yelp from the Krogan as she then picked him up and threw him into the middle of a pack of bloody Stalkers, who then hungrily ripped him apart in front of the Femme. "Vertabreak, how are you faring?" she then said, having spotted the yellow armoured Con fighting with his twin holo-axes. Slicing off the head from one Asari, while impaling his other in the chest of a Geth and spilling it's liquids on to the already blood soaked ground. "This is gloriously easy, its more like sport." he said back in a gleeful tone before spotting another few Autobots ahead and charging over at them, leaving Rip-Claw to look around for her next kill though she did have a lot of options. But just as she saw a group of Geth and Quarian soldiers nearing her position, she suddenly found herself looking up into the sky as a space-bridge vortex opened up above them. "What the…..Skystalker, Grimwing, investigate." she shouted into her com-link while turning to face the two Predacon dragons, who were had been preoccupied by a group of MAKOs that they were destroying. Then suddenly the Normandy flew out of the vortex like a bullet out a gun, as it descended towards the ground at full speed. In the Cockpit, Jetstorm kept his complete and undivided attention on his flying as the ground was rushing towards him through the glass canopy before him and the ship. "We're less than twenty seconds from the deck, opening the shuttle-bay now." he said, gaining a nod from Rodimus who was sitting behind him and clutching onto his armrests as the rest of the ship shook around them, then suddenly a shuttle and jet black dragon shot out of the ship towards the ground, with the Beast's wings folded in so it would gain speed. Onboard the shuttle, Orion was in the pilot's seat with Quickstrike in the passenger seat, while Liara, Nightracer and Shen sat behind them. "You guys are clear, we are heading back to the fleet, good luck." Rodimus added as the Normandy pulled up and ascended back into high orbit, while the shuttle and Onyx continued down. "You too." the blue haired Bot replied as the interior of the vessel shook as the G-force began to overrule the inertial dampeners, pulling everyone back. "This…is….fun." Quickstrike managed to say while Shen didn't look happy. "No….it….isn't." he replied as the team Leader then reactivated the shuttle's engines and levelled it back out before turning it so that the Nemesis was now directly ahead, the Maximal following suit as it spread out its wings and allowed it to glide alongside. Everyone onboard breathed a sigh of relief as they started to feel better, with Liara placing a hand on her lover's shoulder in support. "Nice flying." she said with an affectionate tone. "Thanks, Liara." he replied while keeping his attention on what he was doing. "So you think that drop might have kept us off the Predacons sensors?" Nightracer asked, earning a nod from the blonde Bot as he looked back at her. "We only used a quick burst of our engines so we could get out of the Normandy's shuttle-bay and give us a boost of speed, then let gravity pull us most of the way down before turning them back on. So the enemy sensors should not be able to pick us up before we reach our landing coordinates." Shen though placed his hand on his forehead and sighed. "Well….FYI, I nearly threw up back here. I hope we don't have any more major manoeuvres before we land." Suddenly an alarm began to beep loudly and flash on the holo-interface Orion was using, making him shake his head in return. "You shouldn't have said that, Shen." he replied with a concerned tone, earning everyone's attention. "Why? What is it?" Nightracer asked, while the Turian simply shrug his shoulders in reply. "Because we have incoming." the Spectre added as he gestured in front of them, seeing both Skystalker and Grimwing approaching. "I really shouldn't have had that big breakfast this morning." Shen said with a sigh, while Orion nodded over to Quickstrike who tapped his com-link. "Onyx, we have two of your old friends heading this way. Think you could distract them for us?" The Maximal dragon roared in return before flapping its wings and flying ahead of the shuttle, trying to intercept the two Predacons. Meanwhile the shuttle descended closer to the ground, so it could use a gorge located there as cover. "Onyx should keep that pair busy long enough for us to sneak past the Nemesis and land nearer that mountain." Quickstrike said as he looked up at the sky to see the Maximal engaging the Predacon pair, but Orion merely nodded in return as he began weaving the shuttle through broken ground, much to the dismay of Shen who sat in his seat and clung onto his armrests. Liara noticed this and turned her attention to her blue haired lover. "Orion, are we…" she began to ask, when suddenly the shuttle was hit from below and sent spinning into the air, "What the!" Quickstrike shouted as he and the others all grabbed onto their armrest and held on for dear life while the lead Spectre fought to regain control of the vessel. It spun for several seconds before Orion brought it back under his control and steadied it, earning sighs of relief from them all. "Something hit us from behind." he then said before everything around them darkened, like heavy cloud had just blotted out the sun. This made his cousin look up through the glass canopy above them and gulp at what he could see, gaining worried expressions from everyone around him. "What is it?" Nightracer asked in return, but the blonde Bot ignored her and looked back at Orion. "Get us out of here, Cuz, because we have Predaking directly above us." he stated, but the blue haired Bot shook his head in return. "That hit has damaged the engines and made helm control sluggish…" he started to say before a targeting alarm blared out through the shuttle's speakers, stopping the Bot short as he looked at the sensor screen and then back out of the canopy. "Oh scrap." "What now?" Shen asked with a worrying tone to his voice, like he could guess what was about to happen. "We are being targeted by the Nemesis, Predaking knocked us back into range of its sensors." Orion replied as Quickstrike looked out to see the black battleship ahead, with three flashes from the top of it's hull. "We have incoming!" the pilot added before pulling the shuttle into a sharp ascent, as the three missiles locked in on them, with the first exploding just metres under them. "They are flak missiles, two left." the blonde Bot said as he kept his attention on his holo-interface while Orion then made the vessel dive, just as the second missile exploded above them. "One left." he said in return before the final one suddenly exploded near them, damaging the shuttle and causing it to fall out of the sky. "Attempting crash landing, everyone hold on!" he said as he attempted to level out the damaged ship as smoke bellowed out of its rear as it continued its fast and erratic descent towards the ground, which at this time was closer to the Nemesis and the battle than it was to the mountain. Everyone was thrown from their seats as the shuttle hit the ground hard and ploughed through the field, digging up earth and grass, throwing it up into the air as it slid along before finally slowing to a stop. Orion opened his eyes to see that his torso and head and were sprawled over the now defunct pilot terminal, with it's holo-interface shut down. So he got to his feet, his body ached from the close encounter with the terminal's hard surface. "Is everyone alright?" he asked while turning around to find the others slowly getting to their feet, Quickstrike found himself lying on the floor between the aft passenger seats and got up with a helping hand from Shen who was sitting over him. "Yeah, don't know how I got flung back here. But I am thankful you didn't feel the need to vomit, Shen." the blonde Bot replied as he stood up beside the Turian. "Well, I guess the thought that we might not survive this crash actually hindered my usual motion sickness." "I'm fine, Orion, thanks." Liara said as the Blue-haired Bot helped the Asari to her feet, before she looked over at Nightracer who was standing beside the escape hatch and attempting to open it. "A little help here please?" the Femme said, gaining Orion's attention as he went to her side.. "The mechanism for this hatch is damaged, we have to open this manually," she added, earning a knowing look from Shen. "That was probably from the crash landing." he said back as both Bot and Femme stopped mid action to look back at him. "We are all still here, so as the saying goes 'any landing you can walk away from is a good one'." Nightracer replied, gaining mirrored expressions of gratitude from both Orion and Liara. "We will have to get to the mountain by foot now. And that means crossing over the ground-battle near the Nemesis." Quickstrike said as he looked out of the dirt smudged canopy, earning a nod from his Cousin as he and the Femme pushed open the hatch. "You're right, so let's get out and….." he started to say when suddenly Predaking landed right before them, spreading it's wings out and roaring to the heavens before looking down at them. "Take cover!" the Nightracer shouted as they all moved away from the open hatch, remaining inside the damaged shuttle. "Where's Onyx when you need him?" Shen said as they felt the heavy footfalls of the orange and black Predacon as it moved closer to them before another small earthquake suddenly happened, gaining their attention as they saw that the blue and white Skystalker had just landed on the other side of the shuttle. "Alright, I guess that's it then." the Turian added, which earned sombre looks from everyone else. "There is no way this shuttle will protect us from two of those Predacons out there." Quickstrike then said, gaining a nod from Orion who looked over to Liara and placed his arm around her as they all waited for the inevitable. Which looked to be happening in any moment as they could see Skystalker looking in on them through the glass canopy, opening it's mouth and charged it's ice breath as it did so. "I'm sorry." Orion said to the Asari and his friends in an apologetic tone before looking back into her eyes, as if making it the final image he could see before the end as she took his hand in her own. But before the blue and white Predacon and his larger friend could deliver the killing blow, they were suddenly interrupted by Grimwing being slammed into Skystalker, making him yelp as Predaking looked up to see what had caused it. Alpha team did the same as they all looked up through the glass canopy to see Onyx Prime swoop down into the area and smash into both Predacons before they had a chance to recover. Predaking then roared and tried to rush the Maximal, but simply spun around and it the orange and black dragon directly in the face with his tail, knocking him over. "Yeah, kick their asses!" Quickstrike cheered as he and the others watched Onyx keep Skystalker pinned under his claws, while both Grimwing and Predaking recovered and began to circle the Maximal, their optics narrowing as they then opened their mouths and let loose with their fire-breath. But before the onslaught of white hot plasma fire could reach the jet black dragon, he suddenly launched himself back into the air, leaving the blue and white Predacon to get incinerated as the fire enveloped him. Both dragons suddenly stopped when they saw what they were doing, leaving the ground around Skystalker scorched with burns as was his body and armour, earning agonising screeches from him. But before Predaking or his green friend could do anything, the sound of transforming caught their attention and looked up to see Onyx shift into robot mode as he fell gracefully back to the ground, landing directly on Skystalker's head, which was crushed instantly under his right foot. Both Predacons could only watch as their blue and white comrade died, with only his body and wings flinching for a moment before going limp. "Good work, Onyx!" Quickstrike shouted back to his ancient friend, before looking back at his Cousin and the others. "Now's our chance, we should make our move and head for the mountain." he said eagerly as he tried to climb out, but Orion placed his hand on the blonde Bot's shoulder and stopped him. "Wait, we can't go yet." he said before looking back at what was transpiring before them. "Orion is right, Quickstrike, I have to level out the battlefield first." Onyx said back as he then reached over his shoulders with both hands and pulled out two swords that had been holstered on his back, between his folded up wings, never taking his optics off of Predaking or forgetting that Grimwing was still behind him. "Wait for my signal." he said before both Predacons charged at him, so he charged directly at the orange and black dragon while shouting out a battle-cry. But a split second before he and his enemy clashed, Onyx then dodged him and the other Dragon as he spun around with his blades outstretched. Both blades sliced through the wings of both Predacons, earning grimaces of pain from them as their wings fell to the ground. Predaking and Grimwing had now switched sides as the Maximal Leader was once again between them, so they turned back round and pounced at the Bot once more as he swung both blades at them. PRIME EFFECT 4 Meanwhile, the battle in orbit was continuing at a frantic pace as the Apollo came under fire from the Achilles, its main cannons ripping through the Autobot Cruiser's defences with ease. In the CIC, Admiral Hackett watched as his crew continued to focus on their duties as fires broke out across the room, while the ship shook around them with every hit it took. "Sir, we have lost shields on our port-side…" one crewman shouted over the sounds of explosions that were rattling the ship while numerous terminals exploded around the CIC, sending their operators flying onto the floor, "…we are sustaining considerable damage to the hull." he added, which made the Admiral look back to his helmsman, "Evasive manoeuvres, and keep our starboard side to the Achilles." he said, earning a nod from the officer as he looked over to the weapons station. "Keep our weapons locked in on that ship, it's the lead vessel of the Predacon fleet. If we can take it out, that should destabilise the rest of the enemies and give us that extra advantage." "Aye, Sir." the officer replied as the Apollo began to spin while the Predacon cruiser continued its barrage, with its weapon fire lighting up the shields of the Autobot ship as it manoeuvred itself so that its other side was now facing it's enemy, while whichever weapons turrets were now facing it continued to fire back. "Admiral, we are weakening the shield grid around it's engines. If we can punch through it with say….a spread of torpedoes, then we could set of a chain reaction…." the crewmen manning the sensors terminal then began to say, earning a nod from Hackett who cut him off. "…which would destroy that ship, good idea." He then looked between the Helmsman and his weapons operator. "Move us around to give us a clear target, and prepare to fire on my mark." he said in a commanding tone, gaining nods of agreement from the officers. "Yes, Sir." they said in unison as the cruiser attempted to move around it's Predacon equal, while the battle raged on around them. But no matter what manoeuvre the Apollo tried to use against the Achilles, it would just outmaneuver them. Both ships continued this for a while longer as they fired everything they had at each other, until two torpedoes fired from the Predacon cruiser hit part of the Apollo's engines, which slowed the ship to almost a crawl. On board the Achilles, Blight smiled as he looked out at the crippled Autobot cruiser through the CIC's main glass canopy. "We have them now, target all cannons and launchers at their weakened side." he said as the Predacon ship's weapons moved into position, taking what looked like a final aim at the Apollo. "Once this ship is down, the rest of their fleet will panic and divide." the Lieutenant added, while the Terracon manning the weapons terminal looked over to him. "All weapons locked on target." "Fire!" Blight replied as a smirk grew on his face, keeping his attention firmly on what was sure to be the turning point of this battle. But just as the cannons barrel's lit up inside as they prepared to fire, suddenly a spread of torpedoes came out of nowhere and hit the top of the Achilles, exploding against it's hull and causing the ship to shake around the Predacon and his crew as they looked around with shocked expressions. "What in the scrap was that?" he spat as the Terracon manning the sensor array station looked at his holo-interface. "We have another ship inbound, it's the Normandy!" he said back, which made Blight stare out of the ship with an angry look as he narrowed his eyes. The Autobot frigate fired another spread of torpedoes, damaging the area of the Achilles they hit as it flew between them and the Apollo. "Hackett, Its Rodimus. Looks like you could use a hand." the Elite Spectre said into his com-link as he sat behind Jetstorm, who kept his attention on evading the weapons fire coming from the Achilles. "Yes, thanks for the save. Now between our two ships, we can probably take this Predacon cruiser out." the Admiral replied, earning a nod from the Commander. "Way ahead of you, get yourselves ready while we keep them busy." he said back before turning his attention to his pilot. "Get us as close as you can to the Achilles and fire at any and all targets you have a clear shot at." "Yes, Sir." Jetstorm replied as he veered the Normandy to the right sharply, just in time to miss some more weapons fire before turning the ship around and flying directly at the Predacon cruiser. "Take this." he then said as the Normandy flew tightly around the enemy cruiser and fired it's weapons at every part of the ship, causing massive damage to all quarters. "Destroy that damn ship!" Blight spat at his crew, earning a frustrated headshake from the weapons controller. "It's no use, Sir, the Normandy is flying too close to our hull for us to get a clear target lock, its just too fast and manoeuvrable." he replied, which made the Predacon lieutenant equip his pistol and shoot the Terracon in the back. This earned shocked and horrified looks from the other minions as they looked down at their now dead comrade, as smoke billowed out of the bullet hole in his back. "Get back to work, I will handle the weapons!" he spat before storming over to the weapons station and began working the holo-interface, gritting his teeth with a building rage as the ship continued to shake with each and every hit it took from the Autobot frigate. 'Scrap!' he thoughtwhile trying to target the ship, finding it as hard as his now deceased comrade had stated. The Apollo had gotten itself to a safe distance from Achilles, turning around to see the Predacon ship now in flames as the Normandy continued it's assault. "Alright Rodimus, we are ready on our end." Hackett said into his com-link. "Roger that." the Commander replied, and instantly the Admiral witnessed the small frigate pull away from the heavily damaged cruiser before turning back around to face it. "Ready when you are." Rodimus then said over the com-link, as Hackett looked back at the lead Predacon ship. "Fire!" he said as both the Apollo and the Normandy fired everything they had at the Achilles, from their torpedo launchers to their Thanix cannons. Every shot hit the target perfectly, causing the ship to be covered in external explosions which shook everyone onboard as if they were caught in an earthquake. "Commander Blight..., we are taking too much damage. Our power-core is breaching, we have to evacuate." one of the Terracons said with a panicked tone, but the lieutenant merely stood at his station with an accepting look on his face as the CIC fell apart around him. "There is nowhere to go." he said back, gaining confused and worried expressions from the crew around him as the ship shook hard once again, knocking a few of them off their feet. "We have to take that chance." another said as he helped his comrade back onto his feet before running out of the room, leaving Blight standing there alone. But just as the Terracons got outside into the corridor, they were quickly engulfed in a fireball that spread up through the hallway and into the CIC. Then everything slowed down around Blight as if time hard come to an standstill almost, as he looked out of the glass canopy at the planet below. "I am sorry, Lord Galvatron, we have..." he started to say before he too was enveloped by the fireball which then destroyed the CIC, before the Achilles suddenly exploded and sent out bits of debris in all directions. This earned cheers from the crews of both the Normandy and the Apollo as they watched the lead Predacon Cruiser become no more. "Great work, now let's finish this battle." Admiral Hackett said in a confident tone as he looked at his crew around him. "We are with you all the way." Rodimus replied while the Admiral looked out at the Normandy as it began attacking the nearest Predacon ship, completely ignoring the holo-screen on his right which showed the sensor readings and the plasma storm which had just entered the system and was heading their way. PRIME EFFECT 4 As this was happening, Onyx Primal was holding his own down on Virmire as he knocked away Predaking and grabbed Grimwing in a head lock. The green dragon roared and tried to break free as it struggled against the Maximal but since he was in his robot mode, this gave Onyx an advantage over the Preda-Clones. The large orange and black beast recovered and turned around just in time to see his enemy bring his sword down upon Grimwing, separating his head from his body and killing him once and for all. Predaking's yellow optics widened as it watched it's friend's body drop to the floor in a heap, before looking back at the Maximal responsible and growling back as it bared its teeth. "Come on!" Onyx goaded as he gestures at the beast, who responded with a deafening roar before pouncing at the Bot, with the stubs that were all that was left of his wings twitching as he did so. But the Maximal Leader was counting on this as he put his hands up in front of him ans caught the Predacon on his underbelly, and using his inertia threw him over onto the other side of the area, with the Dragon landing on it's back and yelping. "That was great, Onyx, now finish him." Quickstrike shouted as he, Orion and the others were still watching from the safety of the shuttle, gaining the giant Bot's attention as he looked over to them. "You should run now, I will take care of Predaking." he said in a noble and yet telling manner before looking over to the Nemesis, which was busy shooting Autobot fighters out of the air. Orion and his cousin noticed this, their eyes widening as it dawned on them what he was planning to do. "You don't need to do this!" the blonde Bot said back with a concerned tone, but Onyx looked back with a knowing expression as Predaking slowly rolled over onto it's belly. "You know I do." he replied before looking over at Orion. "Take care of your people, Orion." he said, earning a nod from the blue haired Darby who then gestured to the others. "Let's go guys." he said as they began exiting the shuttle via the opened hatch, while Quickstrike and the Primal looked at each other. "Go Quickstrike and find your spark-mate. I believe in my spark that she is still alive." The blonde Bot's face was one of saddened acceptance as he nodded back slowly before leaving with the rest of Alpha team, as Orion took one last look at the Maximal Leader. "Thank you." he said, gaining a nod from the larger Bot. "We will see each other again...Prime." Onyx replied with a cryptic tone before turning his attention back to the orange and black dragon, who was now on his feet and roaring back. So the Maximal swung his swords in his hands and charged at the beast. "Let's finish this, Predaking!" he roared while the Predacon followed suit, making the ground shake with each and every footfall they did as they ran at each other. But before the dragon could strike, Onyx threw both his swords at Predaking which embedded themselves in his chest. This made the Beast cry out in pain as it lifted itself on lt's back legs and began to stumble back, so the Maximal Leader followed this through with a shoulder barge to it's underbelly, making it fall onto its back hard. He jumped in the air and transformed back into his jet-black dragon mode, landing on top of his defenceless adversary and digging his claws into the beast's skin. Orion and the others had stopped just watching as Onyx then spread out his wings and beat them, launching both him and Predaking into the air. And from there the Maximal turned around and flew in the direction of the Nemesis, beating his wings to gain more altitude before he and his enemy were right above it. Then he suddenly went into a steep dive, tightly holding onto Predaking as they descended quickly toward the Predacon battleship. 'This is where it ends for us..., Brother.' Onyx thought before both he and Predaking then smashed into the engines of the Nemesis, resulting in a giant explosion which took out the entire aft of the ship. But the explosion did not end there, as it then began to spread through out the rest of the ship until it was all engulfed in fire as it was destroyed. Alpha team looked on at it's firey husk as smoke billowed high into the air. "We have to keep moving, let's go." Orion said as he looked back from the wreck to his team, a saddened expression on his face. Everyone nodded back with mirrored expressions before they all moved away, but Quickstrike stopped and looked back at the inferno. 'Goodbye, Onyx Primal, I hope you find peace at last.' he thought before turning back to his friends and following them toward the mountain.
  14. CHAPTER XXXIX 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. PRIME EFFECT 4 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. PRIME EFFECT 4 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. PRIME EFFECT 4 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.
  15. CHAPTER XXXVIII '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.' PRIME EFFECT 4 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. PRIME EFFECT 4 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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