Swoop was accompanying Ratchet and Jack back to the computer room.
Needless to say he was surprised and confused to see the medic and
Arcee's partner show up asking for him. Not that Swoop minded. He didn't
have such a low view of the humans as his leader did. Plus, Jack was
Arcee's partner. The human had to be good if he was partnered with her.
When he asked what they wanted, they simply told him they needed to talk
and told him to follow. As they entered the computer room, Swoop was
even more confused when he saw Grimlock standing there with his arms
"Grimlock?" Swoop looked back and forth between Grimlock, Ratchet, and Jack. "Is something wrong?"
"Time to have talk, Swoop," Grimlock said.
"Talk?" Swoop asked. "About what?"
"About you and Arcee," Grimlock replied.
Swoop suddenly became nervous. Did his feelings for the femme finally get on Grimlock's last nerve? Was Grimlock going to tell him that he couldn't be with Arcee? And what did Ratchet and Jack have to do with anything?
Jack cleared his throat loudly, causing everyone to look over at him. "Maybe it would help if I explained things to him."
Grimlock looked at Jack for a moment before relenting. "Fine. You, Jack, tell him."
"Thanks, Grimlock," Jack said to the Dinobot leader before turning to look at Ratchet. "That okay with you, Ratchet?"
Ratchet shrugged. "You'd probably be better at explaining this than I would, Jack."
Jack nodded as he looked at the Dinobot flyer. "It's, kinda like this, Swoop. I mean, it's cool that you like Arcee and all…but if you really want to get with her, you're gonna have to take it slow."
Swoop scratched his head. "Slow? What do you mean, Jack?"
"Well," Jack tried to find a good way to word what he meant. "Well, you see...how much do you know about Arcee?"
Swoop, not sure where this was going, cupped his chin as he thought about it. "Well, she is a great fighter. She can trash a Con better than most bots I know. She's fast, she's got great aim, she's..."
"I mean personally," Jack cut Swoop off when he saw where this was going. "Do you know her likes and dislikes? What she does in her spare time?"
Swoop made face as he pondered on this unexpected question. "I don't think so. We've been so busy fighting in the war that I never got the chance."
"Exactly," Jack said to him. "Aside from how great she fights, you know absolutely nothing about her. If you tried to make a move on her...she wouldn't like it."
Swoop felt dejected at hearing this.
"Also, Swoop," Ratchet said as he started typing into his computer. "We need to talk about this."
Swoop turned to the medic so that he could ask what Ratchet meant but his words died in his throat as he saw the recording of him threatening Airachnid. He suddenly felt smaller than usual as Ratchet paused the video and, alongside Grimlock, looked at him sternly.
"You need clear head," Grimlock said to Swoop. "Not be obsessed with Arcee."
"O-obsess...Grimlock, I'm not obsessed with her!" Swoop argued with his leader.
"Oh?" Grimlock asked dubiously. "You ditch us for her on Cybertron. Remember?"
Swoop cringed when Grimlock brought that incident up.
"We need you, Swoop!" Grimlock shouted. "We need you and you ditch us! While you hunt for Airachnid, we get pinned down by Seekers. Could use your skills but you not there. Slag lose leg. Sludge lose eye and arm. Snarl in recovery for week. Me get armor reduced to slag."
Swoop stumbled back as Grimlock's words pounded into his mind. Grimlock had never told him about that. He just always assumed that the Dinobots were sore with him for going off on his own. So that was why none of them would talk to him for a while. The guilt was practically chomping on his spark. He never thought that…
"Maybe you not need us anymore?" Grimlock suggested.
Swoop's face was a look of horror. "Grimlock, no! You and the others are my brothers! You know I'd never turn my back on you guys!" He weakly added. "Dinobots look after their own, remember?"
"Not seem to care when hunt for Airachnid."
"I...I didn't know you guys needed my help," Swoop said, almost pleadingly. "Grimlock, I swear to Primus I didn't know."
Jack looked at Swoop. On the one hand, it was Swoop's crush on Arcee that caused his own teammates to get injured in the first place. But he could also see that Swoop never wanted something like that to happen. And judging from the look on his face, Swoop felt pretty banged up about it. He looked up at Grimlock. "Come on, Grimlock. Cut Swoop some slack already."
"Back off, Jack," Grimlock said firmly to the human boy. "This Dinobot business." He looked over at Swoop. "Well, Swoop?"
Swoop couldn't bear to look at his leader and stuck with just looking at the floor. "Grimlock, I'm sorry. I never meant-I mean I never wanted...I'm sorry."
Grimlock looked at Swoop for a moment. And then, somehow, it looked like his expression softened. He uncrossed his hands and gently put one on Swoop's shoulder. Not an easy feat, mind you, but he was able to pull it off.
"If you Swoop prove you can be with Dinobots and Arcee," He told Swoop. "Then me say you be with her."
Swoop looked up at him in utter surprise. "Really?"
Grimlock nodded. "Me want Dinobots happy. If she make you happy, then..."
Swoop smiled. "Thank you! Thank you so much, Grimlock!"
"But," Grimlock said. "Remember. Take things slow. Jack help you."
Jack did a double take when Grimlock said that. "M-me?"
"Dinobots know nothing about relationships," Grimlock explained to Jack. "You give Swoop advice. Help him win Arcee's spark."
Jack scratched the back of his head. "I don't know about this, you guys."
"We may not have a choice," Ratchet told Jack. "I know I couldn't be much help and I dare not think of what would happen if Swoop went to Bulkhead, Bumblebee or Wheeljack for advice. Raf's too young and I flat out refuse to have Swoop ask Miko."
"Well, Optimus have Elita," Grimlock pointed out.
"That is true," Ratchet admitted. "But I don't know if this is a good time for Optimus to be giving relationship advice."
"Elita?" Jack asked. "Who's Elita?"
"Er, I'll tell you later, Jack," Ratchet told the boy. "That aside, out of all of us, you're the one closest to Arcee. I'd say you're the best qualified for helping Swoop, Jack."
Jack looked at his shoes as he took all this in. He tried to think of a better solution but nothing he came up with came close. He sighed. "Fine. I'll help."
Swoop smiled at Jack now. "Thank you so much, Jack."
"But..." Jack said. "I think we might need to get my mom to help me on this too. She'd know more. Plus, she's a woman so..."
Ratchet cringed. June Darby was a strong but protective mother. He wasn't quite sure what would happen if she ever met the Dinobots. At least Slag and Snarl weren't here. The medic was certain that if June ever met those two, she would take the kids away and ban them from ever seeing the Autobots again. But, as she was a...er, longer lived human, she might indeed have the experience needed to help them with this situation.
Just then, the four heard footsteps. Turning around they saw Optimus walking towards them.
"Grimlock," Optimus addressed the Dinobot leader. "It is time for us to make preparations."
Grimlock and Swoop both looked at Optimus with full attention.
"You mean...?" Grimlock started to ask.
Optimus nodded in response. "We shall soon depart to free the other Dinobots."
Swoop let out a whoop of excitement. Grimlock nodded in satisfaction.
"Ratchet," Optimus said to his medic. "Wheeljack will be accompanying me, Grimlock, and Swoop. You, Arcee, Bulkhead, and Bumblebee will be staying here in case of Megatron."
Ratchet nodded. "I understand, Optimus."
"Are you leaving right now?" Jack asked the Autobot leader.
"The longer we wait," Optimus answered. "The longer those three are in Shockwave's clutches to do as he wishes. We cannot let that happen."
"Well, what we waiting for?" Grimlock asked. "Let's go!"
"Before we do that," Optimus said. "We need a plan."
Grimlock chuckled. "Me, Grimlock, know you like planning. So we get intel on Shockwave's base."
This caught everyone by surprise.
"Just cause we brawlers, not mean we stupid," Grimlock snarled irritably. He really hated that even before they were converted to dinosaurs, most of their fellow Autobots thought they were dumb muscle. Sure that was kind of true in Sludge's case but still…
"Grimlock, why didn't you tell us that you had this before?" Ratchet asked.
"You not ask," Grimlock replied casually.
Ratchet glared at Grimlock, who was unfazed. Jack was doing his best not to laugh.
Suddenly the computers in the room were alarming like there was no tomorrow. Ratchet was immediately at the keyboard and typing in furiously. In less than a minute, Bumblebee, Arcee, Bulkhead, Miko, and Raf came in.
"What's going on?" Arcee asked. "The sensors are blaring louder than usual."
"The sensors are picking up something," Ratchet explained to them. "Something big."
"The Nemesis on the move again?" Bulkhead asked.
"I'm not sure," Ratchet said as he typed. "I'm trying to verify that right now."
Grimlock growled in irritation. "Now of all times. We need to leave now!"
"Cool your pistons, Grimlock," Ratchet snapped. "I'm getting verification now." He frowned as the results starting show up. "Oh, scrap."
"What is it, Ratchet?" Optimus stood next to his medic.
"These readings are definitely Decepticon," Ratchet said slowly as he turned around to face the others. "But they don't match the Nemesis."
It took everyone a moment to process that. More Decepticons have come to Earth.
"Is it Shockwave?" Swoop asked anxiously.
"While I'm not certain," Ratchet admitted. "I wouldn't rule out that possibility yet."
Grimlock and Swoop looked at each other before Grimlock looked at Optimus.
"If it Shockwave then we move now!" Grimlock said. "This big chance!"
Optimus looked at Grimlock and nodded. "Ratchet, can you pinpoint the ship's intended destination?"
"I'm working on that right now, Optimus." Ratchet replied as he started working the keyboard again.
"But...if it is Shockwave," Raf said, drawing everyone's attention onto himself. "Why did he come to Earth?"
"Did he figure out that you guys came to Earth and he's after you?" Miko asked Grimlock and Swoop.
"Could be," Grimlock said casually. "Me not care as long as me kick aft."
"But if Megatron finds out ole One Eye's on Earth," Bulkhead pointed out. "They're obviously gonna team up. And as much as I hate to say it...Shockwave's the last con we need to deal with."
Miko looked at Bulkhead in shock. "What? You? Scared of some egghead?"
"Shockwave's more than an egghead, Miko," Bulkhead warned her. "He's the Decepticon's mad scientist. He's as twisted as they come. I mean, he's the one who made the Insecticons in the first place."
Miko froze when she heard that. "He made those guys?"
"That's not all," Bulkhead said. "I heard one time the Con was cut off from the rest. Completely surrounded by an entire squad of Autobots. And when it was all over...he was the only one left standing."
The kids all stared at Bulkhead. Even those like Arcee and Bumblebee were speechless when they heard this. They hadn't seen Shockwave in that kind of action before. Was he really that good?
"And remember what he did to us?" Swoop asked him. "Cause it wasn't exactly an electric massage what we went through."
Grimlock stomped his foot. "We wasting time. If Shockwave on Earth, we hurry!"
"I agree, Grimlock," Optimus turned to Ratchet. "Ratchet, the rest of us will go on ahead using Grimlock's ship. Once you have gotten a fix destination, rely the coordinates to us. And make sure to let Wheeljack know about this too."
"Yes, Optimus," Ratchet replied without looking up from the computer.
Optimus looked at the rest of his team. "Autobots, Dinobots, roll out!"
Optimus, Bulkhead, Arcee, Bumblebee and Swoop all transformed into their altmodes and drove out of the base. Grimlock just thundered out after them.
"Do you think they'll be okay?" Raf asked his friends.
Miko rolled her eyes. "Of course they'll be okay. Aside from the fact that Bulkhead is gonna be there, they've got Grimlock and Swoop with them. I don't care how bad this Shockwave guy is, he is going down."
Ratchet frowned at hearing Miko's words but said nothing about it. He could only hope that she was right about this.
Autobots made it to the ship, which Grimlock had parked on top of the
mountain that outpost was placed on. One by one they all dashed into the
ship and took seats.
"This is a little unexpected of you sir," Arcee couldn't help but grin at Optimus. "Usually you'd wait and plan things out first."
"Normally yes," Optimus said. "But if this indeed turns out to be Shockwave then we must act fast. Shockwave will be a dangerous addition to Megatron's forces. There is also the chance that he has brought reinforcements." Optimus looked at Grimlock now. "Do you recall any of Shockwave's forces when you and the Dinobots were hunting him."
"Well," Swoop answered Optimus as he went to the ship's controls. "There were the Predacons."
That drew the attention of all the Autobots.
"Scrap," Arcee hissed. "The Predacons. The last thing we need is to deal with them."
"Those guys are hunters," Bulkhead said as he delicately sat down. "Utterly ruthless. Even their fellow Cons were scared of them."
Grimlock snorted as he strapped himself in. "Them nothing but talk. All flash, no substance. Think they Dinobots equals. Ha! Dinobots have no equals."
Optimus sighed quietly to himself. Grimlock was one of his best troops but that arrogance of his was tiring. It was no doubt because of that very pride that caused Grimlock to lose three of his men."
Bumblebee began making a few beeps that got all the bots attention.
"Good point, Bee," Bulkhead agreed. "If Shockwave is there, then what? We don't know for sure if he's got the Dinobots with him."
"The Dinobots would be too risky to leave in the hands of someone else," Optimus explained as Swoop started up the ship. "It is highly possible that he has decided to keep them close to him."
"Which means…" Swoop realized.
"We find him," Grimlock finished. "We finds others. Hang on, Sludge, Slag, Snarl. We be there soon. Punch it, Swoop!"
"You got it, Grimlock," Swoop answered. "Maximum thrust!"
The Autobots all felt themselves pushed back in their seats as the ship blasted off. As they all felt the powerful force, Optimus looked at Grimlock.
"I'm sorry your intel will possibly be for not, Grimlock," Optimus said.
"Me not care," Grimlock replied casually. "If Shockwave on Earth, then this got easier."
Back on board the Nemesis, Megatron was preparing for his meeting with Shockwave.
"My lord," Dreadwing said to Megatron. "Allow me to accompany you."
"After your miserable failure to not only obtain one of the relics but also capture one measly Autobot?" Megatron asked him.
"My lord," Dreadwing defended himself. "Had I known that Grimlock of all bots would be on Earth I would have prepared accordingly."
"Enough of your excuses," Megatron said. "Soundwave shall accompany me. You and Knock Out shall remain here. I will find a suitable punishment for your latest failure when I return."
Dreadwing tried to say something in response but fell silent. He knew that Lord Megatron was right to doubt his abilities so. He failed in achieving the Apex Armor and let it fall into the hands of that snake Starscream. Then, he failed to capture Arcee thanks to those Dinobots.
Just then, Megatron and Dreadwing's attention was drawn to the sound of stomping. They turned as the fierce Insecticon Hardshell stepped into the room. Hardshell had been under fire too from Megatron as he failed to get the Tox-N. However, since the Tox-N was destroyed and the Autobots couldn't use it, Megatron was not as harsh on him as he was with Dreadwing and Knock Out.
"Yes, Hardshell?" Megatron looked at the Insecticon leader.
"I have heard talk among the ship, my lord," Hardshell said to Megatron. "And I now know that the destroyer of my kind has come to Earth."
Dreadwing looked at Hardshell with confusion but comprehension dawned on Megatron. "Ah, so even you have encountered Grimlock."
"Many Insecticons were slain by him," Hardshell replied darkly. "Whether it be by sword, hand, teeth, tail, or fire. Grimlock has slaughtered countless. And I would gladly pay him in kind."
Megatron nodded. Unlike most of his soldiers, at least someone was willing to face the Dinobot leader. "I admire your spirit, Hardshell. We will discuss this when I return from greeting Shockwave."
Here Hardshell froze. "The creator? He is on Earth as well?"
"Arriving," Megatron replied. "If you wish to see him again, you shall accompany me with Soundwave."
"It shall be good to see Shockwave again," Hardshell admitted. "And I am sure he will be pleased to know that the Dinobots are on Earth. He too has a score to settle with them."
"Yes," Megatron agreed as he scratched his chin. "Shockwave was not very pleased when the Dinobots rebelled against him. And after it was he who gave them their stronger alt-modes."
Dreadwing frowned. That, was a mistake in his opinion. Shockwave had a wide range of Decepticon soldiers to choose from for his little experiments. In fact, Dreadwing wouldn't have said no if that traitorous two faced piece of slag Starscream had been one of them. But no. Not only did Shockwave use Autobots, but he had to use one of their best commando squads. For a Decepticon who followed logic, Shockwave made a really stupid move in Dreadwing's mind. But he kept this to himself as he did not want to anger his lord more than he already had.
Soon, Megatron, Soundwave, and Hardshell left the Nemesis and flew to the rendezvous point that Shockwave had told them to meet at. Megatron looked around once he transformed out of his altmode. They were meeting in a clearing of a forest area. No human life forms were in the vicinity and it was far from any civilization. Shockwave's logical reasoning must have told him to meet up with Megatron at an area where they were unlikely to be spotted by humans.
"Shockwave should be arriving shortly," Megatron said as he looked for any signs of his scientist.
Just then he heard the sounds of a jet engine. Looking up he saw a purplish jet soaring through the sky in their direction. He smiled as he noticed the design. That and the colossal cannon that was attached to it. Shockwave's alternate mode. As the jet drew nearer, it transformed into Shockwave. He stood before the trio.
"Greetings, Shockwave," Megatron said in what could be considered warmly from someone like him. "It is good to see you again."
"It is good to see you as well, Lord Megatron," Shockwave replied. He noticed Soundwave. "Greetings, Soundwave."
Soundwave nodded at Shockwave. Shockwave turned to look at the third Decepticon and actually looked taken aback. However he quickly recovered. "So, Hardshell. I did not expect to see you here."
"The arrival towards this planet was a little...uneasy at best," Hardshell admitted. "But many of my swarm are alive and well."
Shockwave nodded. "Excellent. It is good to know that the Insecticons still thrive. I am certain that Sharpshot and Kickback will welcome your company."
Hardshall's attention was caught. "My brothers? They were with you this entire time?"
"Their talents were necessary for me, Hardshell," Shockwave said. "But I had brought them with me."
"Excellent," Megatron was greatly pleased. "How many others have you brought with you?"
"I have just sent Astrotrain and Blitzwing to find alt-modes for this world," Shockwave replied.
"The Triple-Changers? Here?" Megatron smirked wickedly. "Wonderful. Their abilities will be most useful."
"I have also brought some others," Shockwave said. He turned around and seemed to be waiting for something to arrive. Megatron and Hardshell were confused while Soundwave was impassive as ever.
And then, the Predacons arrived. Megatron and Hardshell were taken aback by this sudden appearance. Razorclaw looked at Megatron and bowed his head.
"Greetings, Lord Megatron. It has been some time."
Megatron blinked in surprise at the lion's voice. "Razorclaw?"
Razorclaw looked at his comrades. "Predacons! Transform!"
The five animals transformed into the five Predacons. Megatron stared at them for a moment as he took in their altered appearances. He felt a grin growing on his face.
"Shockwave, you have done wonderfully. The five greatest hunters in all of Cybertron. And you have already given them new alt-modes for this planet. Though I must admit that they do not offer much as disguises."
"I am quite aware of this, Lord Megatron," Shockwave admitted though his voice had no malice or aggravation. "The Predacons and their new transformations were chosen as a counter-balance to the Dinobots."
Megatron looked at Shockwave again. "So...you knew the Dinobots were on Earth?"
"Not at first," Shockwave replied. "But it was logical that they would come here in hopes of finding Optimus Prime."
"Then you knew the Autobots were on Earth?" Megatron asked.
"Correct," Shockwave confirmed. "And as such, I have prepared accordingly to deal with Grimlock and Optimus. Grimlock intends to free the other three Dinobots who are currently my prisoners."
"You have the other Dinobots with you?" Megatron asked in amazement.
"They are within my ship's holding cells," Shockwave answered. "I have made modifications to the cells to prevent the Dinobots from escaping.
"It seems that you have been quite busy over the mega-cycles, Shockwave," Megatron said pleasantly. "Where is your ship? I would like to see the once great warriors personally."
"I have my ship stationed a good distance from here," Shockwave replied. "I shall lead you to it." Shockwave transformed into his jet mode. "Razorclaw, you and the other Predacons will form a perimeter guard. Keep your sensors out for any intruders. It is highly possible that the Autobots know we have arrived.
Razorclaw chuckled, thrilled at the idea of hunting Autobots again. Especially Optimus Prime. "I will be glad to."
"Excellent. Lord Megatron, follow me." Shockwave flew off. Megatron, Soundwave, and Hardshell transformed and flew after him.
Razorclaw turned to the other Predacons. "You heard Shockwave. If he thinks the Autobots are coming, then they most likely are. All of you spread out."
"I'll spread out when I feel like it!" Headstrong snorted as he started to stomp off.
"Ugh, I hate this planet!" Tantrum howled. "All these plants and rocks. Not a single piece of metal in sight! How can anyone live in a place like this?"
"Those Autobots better get here fast," Rampage hissed. "I need something to tear these new claws into."
Divebomb was the only one who said nothing. All that mattered to him was whether or not Swoop would be with the Autobots when they came. A reencounter with his old enemy was something Divebomb was looking forward to.
"Calm yourselves," Razorclaw said to his men. "We are here on a new planet with terrain that is perfect for our new alt-modes. And think…creatures that we have never hunted before. New prey."
The Predacons all brightened up when they heard that. A day without prey to hunt was like a day without sunshine for the Predacons. New prey, new challenges, not to mention that this world might actually offer them some new places to explore. While they still thought Earth left much to be desired, perhaps some parts about it would actually be quite enjoyable.
Then Headstrong spoke up. "Hey, Razorclaw. You think we're gonna run into Airachnid here. Ratbat said she had been last spotted on Earth, right?"
Razorclaw growled deeply when Headstrong mentioned her name. "If we do, I shall teach my…former apprentice how disappointed I am in her."
Slag, and Snarl were now feeling a little apprehensive. Judging from
all the commotion and bumping around lately, they figured they must have
come to their destination. Astrotrain, out of boredom, had told them
that they had been taken to some planet called Earth. He also didn't
mind rubbing in the Dinobots' faces that it was on this very planet that
Shockwave had discovered the creatures that he based their alt-modes
off of. That didn't bode well with the trio. But why did they come here?
What did Shockwave want from this planet now? Was it somehow connected
with whatever plan he had to get them under control? Or was he just
using it as a greater insult to them? Either way, Shockwave had left,
taking the Predacons, Astrotrain, and Astrotrain's buddy, Blitzwing,
with him. But Shockwave had left a decent amount of guards to keep them
in order. And to make matters worse, he had left that annoying piece of
slag, Ratbat, behind too.
"My, my," Ratbat said teasingly as he watched the three Dinobots from the ceiling. "How the mighty have fallen."
"You're one to talk, Ratbat," Slag snapped. "Hard to believe that you were once one of those stupid senators. It was guys like you that made Megatron turn all warmonger in the first place."
Ratbat frowned. He hated being reminded of what a great position he used to have before Megatron had that little kiss up Soundwave modify him into this simple fuel scout. It wasn't just an insulting condition, Ratbat could barely fight! So he had weaponry but they were better against smaller, weaker species. Against any Cybertronian, he'd be slagged. The only comforting thought Ratbat had was that Megatron had seen him as a threat and that was why he had gone from a Senator to this. Well, if Megatron thought that he was harmless, Ratbat was gonna make him see otherwise. And with Shockwave's help, Ratbat was certain of it.
"As if you have the right to talk to me that way," Ratbat said, trying his best to keep his temper in check. "Without Megatron taking over, you and your precious Grimlock would have been simply gladiators fighting in Kaon. Actually, Slag I believe you were there when Megatron started rallying followers. Of all the gladiators there, I actually thought you would join the Decepticons."
Slag snorted. "Maybe. Got to admit that Megatron spoke pretty sweet. But Grimlock proved better."
Ratbat snorted. He looked over at Snarl and Sludge. "And what of you two?"
Snarl didn't say anything. As usual. Snarl only spoke when he felt like it and he never felt like speaking to Ratbat despite finding time to make some sort of insult against the other Decepticons. Ratbat didn't know if he should be insulted that Snarl didn't think him worthy enough to talk to. Sludge on the other hand, glared.
"I would sooner be scrapped then serve the Decepticons," Sludge said. "I don't care what you guys stand for. If Grimlock doesn't like you, then I don't like you!"
Ratbat threw back his head with laughter. "Your stupid loyalty to Grimlock is astounding, Sludge. If Grimlock told you to jump off a cliff, would you?"
Sludge was about to snap back when the group heard heavy footsteps coming towards the room. The door opened up and Shockwave stepped in. Ratbat was about to detach from the ceiling and talk to him but then he saw who just walked in with him.
The Dinobots stared in shock for a moment. Then Slag recovered first. "Megatron!"
Megatron said nothing as he stepped into the room and took a look around at the three prisoners. All three were glaring and snarling at him. He was quite certain the if the bars and cells weren't in the way, they would have attacked him by now.
It was laughable.
"Well, well," Megatron said as he took a look around. "Sludge, Slag, Snarl. It's been some time hasn't it?
Slag snorted. "I was just thinking about you, Megatron. Thinking about how nice it would be to slam my fist into your face. In fact, as soon as I get out of here, that's just what I'll do."
Megatron only chuckled. "I see the cycles have not dulled that violent streak of yours, Slag." He walked over to the other Dinobots. Snarl kept glaring at him. But unlike Slag, he said nothing. He wasn't gonna waste words on the Decepticon leader. If he wasn't locked up, he'd just let his fists do the talking instead. "What's wrong, Snarl? No witty threats like your dear comrade? You never were much of a talker back on Cybertron, were you?"
Snarl growled at Megatron. Megatron moved away from him to look at Sludge. It looked like the Dinobots' demolitions fighter was doing everything he could not to lash out against Megatron.
"Ah, Sludge. I remember you well. Your strength, I've heard, is second only to your loyalty. Admirable, but saddening. I could use a warrior like you on my side."
"I'd never join someone like you, Megatron!" Sludge yelled.
"Really?" Megatron asked mockingly. "Your own leader is quite something in his own right. In fact, I'd say that Grimlock is much like myself. I remember him well from my gladiator days in Kaon. We never fought each other though I am quite certain the crowd would have loved such a thing. But I had seen his matches. An admirable warrior. In fact, when I was first recruiting, I was actually disappointed that Grimlock chose to side with the Autobots instead of me. He and I would have made such a great team together."
Sludge yelled as he charged at Megatron only to be electrocuted by the bars. But he didn't care. He was too angry to care.
"Grimlock would never join you!" Sludge roared. "You nothing compared to him, Megatron! Nothing!"
Megatron ignored him as he turned towards Shockwave again.
"So, Shockwave, you have captured three of your lost experiments. I take it that you plan on capturing the last two?"
"Correct." Shockwave answered. "It would be more logical for me to capture and control all five Dinobots rather than control these three and risk Grimlock trying to restore their free will again."
Megatron gave a single nod in acknowledgement as he turned back to the Dinobots again. "That's right. Your leader and flyer on Earth too."
The Dinobots all looked at Megatron in shock.
"Grimlock's here?" Slag asked.
"He came to Earth, no doubt in search of Optimus Prime so that he could free all of you."
"Optimus Prime?" Slag and Sludge both asked simultaneously. They shared a confused look with each other and Snarl. Their leader? Going to Optimus Prime?
"I'm well aware that the two didn't truly see eye to eye," Megatron went on. "Apparently his dedication to you is so great that he would swallow his pride and go to Optimus Prime for help."
The three Dinobots took this information in. None of them really liked Optimus Prime and his way of thinking. Slag thought that Optimus was too much of a softy to be a leader worth following. Sludge thought that Optimus wasn't strong enough to actually end the war with the Decepticons. Snarl…Snarl just didn't like him. No particular reason. But even they couldn't deny that Prime did have some skills. And if their leader was willing to go to him for help just so Grimlock could rescue them was astounding.
"There's a possibility that your ship has been detected by the Autobots, Shockwave," Megatron said as he looked at the one eyed Decepticon.
"It is almost certain that they are aware of my presence on Earth now," Shockwave said. "I had deliberately allowed my ship to be detected by all Cybertronian sensors in the hopes of baiting Grimlock. And now that the Autobots know that I am here, he will absolutely take immediate action. If Grimlock is so eager to see me again, then I shall not disappoint him. Since Hardshell is here, I shall allow him to get reacquainted with Sharpshot and Kickback. And the Predacons are patrolling the area so we will be alerted when the Autobots arrive. I shall contact Astrotrain and Blitzwing and see if they have acquired their new alt-modes yet. Although I have technology that allows one to obtain their alt-modes directly from the ship, the two of them insisted on exploring the planet while obtaining their new forms."
"Proceed, Shockwave," Megatron said as he started leaving the room. "With you and your men by my side, Optimus is guaranteed to fall."
"Also, Lord Megatron," Shockwave said as he followed the Decepticon leader. "There is something else I wish to discuss with you."
And so the two Decepticons were gone. As the door closed behind them, the three Dinobots looked at each other.
"See, Slag?" Sludge said to his pal. "I told you Grimlock wouldn't let us down."
Slag snorted. "Alright, fine. You were right, Sludge. Happy now?"
Sludge smiled in satisfaction.
"Well, Grimlock better hurry up." Slag grumbled. "So many good Decepticons to trash and I'm stuck in this stupid cage. I need to slag some Cons."
Snarl grinned at the idea of trashing some Decepticons too. "Let's save the Predacons for last, Slag. It'll make it more fun when we get pay back for the way they've been treating us."
Ratbat said nothing as the three Dinobots talk amongst themselves. He had been silent the entire time Megatron had been in the room. All the while he had been seething with anger at him. He was certain that Megatron knew he was there. He was absolutely certain of it. And yet Megatron had not addressed him or did anything to indicate that he knew Ratbat was in the room. But Ratbat knew he knew. And it made him even angrier with the Decepticon's leader. There was going to be a reckoning for this. Yes there was.
(Outside the room)
"I noticed you brought Ratbat with you," Megatron commented to Shockwave.
"My troops were in need of Energon," Shockwave replied. "Ratbat's talents at finding fuel have been most vital."
"Good," Megatron complimented him. "Though I believe Soundwave may appreciate having one of his workers reunited with him.
Shockwave didn't say anything on that. Ratbat despised Soundwave as much as he did Megatron. Megatron was still logically important to keep alive for the time being. Soundwave on the other hand was debatable. While the Communications Officer was a vital and excellent worker, he was as loyal to Megatron as Grimlock was to Sludge. Ratbat once told him about how Airachnid had tried to take control of the Decepticons on Earth in Megatron's absence. Soundwave refused and made quick work of her. That would be problematic. But for now, Shockwave would wait and see how those events played out. His current objective was to regain control of the Dinobots. All of them.
It took Optimus a
while, but he finally convinced Swoop to slow the ship down a bit. While
he wanted to help save the Dinobots as soon as possible, he didn't want
them to cause trouble with the humans either. Ratchet had managed to
pinpoint the ship's location and had sent the coordinates to the ship.
His next task was to contact Wheeljack and let him know about what was
going on. His help was going to be much appreciated.
Grimlock and Swoop were both excited. They would soon reunite with their comrades again and take their revenge on Shockwave. Optimus was more anxious. They weren't certain what sort of defenses Shockwave had brought with him. Bulkhead was pretty nervous too but eager to trash some Cons. Bumblebee was eager. And Arcee was on high alert in case the Cons were up to something.
Which was right now as the entire ship got blasted by something. It rocked them for a moment but Swoop was able to get the ship stead again.
"What the Pit was that?" Bulkhead asked.
"We're under attack," Optimus stated.
"No, really?" Grimlock snorted. "Thanks for pointing out obvious."
"But who's attacking us?" Arcee asked.
Just then something flew in front of the ship. The Autobots looked at it in confusion.
"Is that…an eagle?" Arcee asked as she squint her optics at it.
"A really big eagle," Bulkhead commented. "And it looks...metallic."
"Oh, Autobots," The eagle taunted. "Come out and plaaaay!"
Swoop clenched his fists tightly. The color scheme had already been ringing bells but the voice confirmed it. "It's Divebomb!"
"Swoop!" Divebomb called. "Are you in there? Come on out, old friend. We have so much catching up to do!"
"I don't believe it," Bulkhead said as he stared. "Divebomb's modified himself."
"And it is highly possible that the other Predacons have done so as well," Optimus theorized as he looked at Divebomb.
"Well, Swoop," Divebomb called. "If you won't come out and face me bot to bot, I'll just have to make you." Divebomb began shooting at the ship with the gun turrets under each wing.
"He's crazy," Arcee commented. "His weapons might have rocked the ship but they won't do any significant damage."
"He's challenging me," Swoop said. He looked back at the others. "Someone take the controls."
"What?" Bulkhead and Aree both cried while Bumblebee just beeped. Grimlock got up and took the controls.
"Me got controls. You got him, Swoop?"
Swoop nodded as he started stomping off.
"Swoop, no!" Optimus ordered as he started to get up.
"This between him and Divebomb," Grimlock said as he readied the controls. "Swoop."
Swoop turned to look at his leader. "Yeah, Grimlock?"
"Be careful," Grimlock said kindly to his subordinate. Grimlock cared deeply about his team and didn't anything else bad to happen to them.
Swoop grinned. "Make sure to wait till I get there before you start trashing Shockwave."
Grimlock laughed. "Will do, Swoop. Opening hatch now!"
Swoop went to the hatch part of the ship. As it started to open, he jumped out of it and transformed in was the last the others saw of him as they continued on towards Shockwave's ship.
"Will he be alright?" Arcee asked in concern.
Grimlock laughed. "No worries. Him, Swoop, have this. Besides, him looking for some payback."
As for Swoop? When the ship went off in the distance, Swoop looked around for his foe. He heard a whizzing noise coming from behind and veered off to the side just as Divebomb zoomed past him. The mechanical Pteranodon faced the mechanical eagle. Both flapping their wings as they stared each other down.
"Swoop!" Divebomb said cheerfully. "And here I was starting to think you were too scared to face me."
"Scared? Of you, Divebomb?" Swoop snorted. "Never!"
"So, Swoop. Shall we pick up where we left off back on Cybertron?"
With war shrieks, the two aerial combatants flew at each other. It was a fight to the death and both bots were determined to be the last one standing.
End Of Chapter