Megatron and Shockwave did not make a move yet as the remainder of the
latter's troops gathered. While many had been taken out during the
Autobots intrusion, Shockwave had plenty to spare. Megatron looked at
the soldiers gathered and was satisfied with what he saw. As usual,
Shockwave did not disappoint. Megatron gave the troops a simple command:
"Hunt them down."
With that command, the troops filed out ready to pursue their intended targets.
"It should be easy to find them," Shockwave commented to his leader. "I am certain the Dinobots will be engaging the Predacons very soon."
"You are also certain the upgrades will be efficient, Shockwave?"
"Though the Dinobots are some of my finest experiments, they are also some of my earliest. I have learned much since then. Even if the Predacons are not able to defeat the Dinobots, the engagement will be just as beneficial if not greater. For now, the Predacons merely need to survive. I shall study the data of their battle with the sensors that I have installed on their bodies to see how they handle the changes they have undergone. If there is anything flawed, then I shall fix it."
Megatron nodded in satisfaction. "I'm looking forward to seeing how much deadlier my greatest hunters have become."
"After the final process the Predacon's combat capabilities will vastly exceed what they currently possess."
Megatron was intrigued. "Oh?"
"I am positive that you will be pleased with the end results once they are completed."
and the rest of the Team Prime were racing as fast as they could in
their vehicle modes. Shockwave's forces were scattering out of the ship.
They had to get out of here now.
"Ratchet!" Optimus called base. "We have managed to rescue all of the Dinobots."
"Woohoo! Rock on!" Miko's voice called over the com-link. Optimus would have smiled if he was in his robot mode.
"Great work, Optimus!" Ratchet cheered. "Do you want me to activate the Ground Bridge?"
"Not yet," Optimus told him. "We got separated from Grimlock and the other three. They went to help Swoop. He was engaged in combat with Divebomb."
"Divebomb?! Oh, Primus. You mean to tell me that the Predacons are here?! On Earth?!"
"Divebomb is the only one we have seen thus far but it is very likely that the other Predacons are here too."
"By the All-spark. Optimus, the humans, no...every living thing on Earth is in more danger with the Predacons than with any other Decepticon. To the Predacons, all life is fair game."
"I am well aware of the threat the Predacons pose to the life on this planet," Optimus told Ratchet. "We must locate the Dinobots and return to base as fast as we can. Can you pinpoint Grimlock and Swoop's signals?"
A brief moment passed as Ratchet worked on the computer. "Yes. I've picked up their signals. They're with eight unidentified others. I can assume three of them are the other Dinobots…while the other five must be the Predacons."
"Whoa! The Dinobots are in a fight?! Can we go see?" Obviously Miko.
"Absolutely not!" Ratchet snapped at her. "The Predacons are the last Decepticons you should encounter. And there's more, Optimus. Swoop's life signal is very faint. I think the Predacons did some extensive damage to him."
"Can you tell us where they are?" Optimus asked his medic.
Just then a loud roar like thunder boomed across the valley.
"What…was that?" Ratchet asked.
"Uh," Bulkhead perked up. "Something tells me finding the Dinobots isn't gonna be a problem."
Team Prime started riding toward the direction where the roar came from, putting as much pedal to the metal so as to hopefully lose Shockwave's troops.
the battle between the Dinobots and the Predacons was well under way.
Grimlock was locked in combat with Razorclaw. The lion transformer
leaped at Grimlock before the t-rex could move and slashed him across
the throat with his claws. Grimlock tried to snap at him with his jaws
but Razorclaw had leaped back before he could. Although the Predacon
leader's claws had only left scratches on Grimlock's neck, the fact that
they had managed to do anything to his durable body showed what his
enemy was capable of. Grimlock stomped towards Razorclaw and swung with
his tail. The smaller transformer leaped over Grimlock tail and chomped
down onto it. Grimlock gave a low grunt as the only sign that
Razorclaw's fangs had done anything. He swung his tail to dislodge his
foe but Razorclaw had already leaped off. He could see that Grimlock's
armor made his close range attacks nigh useless. He instead decided to
stick to long range and activated the cannons attached to his shoulder.
The leader of the Dinobots was knocked back by the powerful concussion
blasts that Razorclaw shot at him. He looked at his body and saw the
dents in them. His body had withstood the concussion blasts' full power
but if Razorclaw continued to hit him then he just might have a problem.
He turned towards Razorclaw and unleashed his flame breath upon the
Predacon leader, prompting the lion to quickly move. While his body was
more durable now and could withstand hotter temperature, Razorclaw knew
better than to just stand there and let Grimlock turn the heat up.
But Grimlock saw his move and charged towards Razorclaw when the Predacon dodge his flames. He lowered his head and skull-bashed Razorclaw. The lion struck a nearby boulder. Grimlock moved on his disoriented opponent but Razorclaw recovered in time and rolled out of the way as Grimlock tried to chomp him. He instead chomped the boulder that had been next to Razorclaw and proceeded in irritation to crush said boulder into dust with one bite. The two combatants looked at each other before continuing their fight.
Sludge on the other hand was dealing with Rampage. The psychotic tiger had tried several times to get close to the apatosaurus but the latter's longer neck and tail gave him good range despite his large and slow body. Seeing his leader choose to gun down Grimlock instead of going tooth to claw, Rampage decided to stick with that strategy too, and began firing from the double barreled machine guns in his legs.
Sludge grunted as he felt his body pelted by Rampage's ammunition. No matter what he tried, he couldn't find a way to block the attacks. His large body made him too much of an easy target and he had no way to properly defend himself. But it also gave him something else in return. Raising one large leg, Sludge slammed it down on the ground. The blow sent a small quake in the area, and it was so powerful that Rampage lost his balance. As he struggled to regain it, Sludge saw it as his opportunity to attack. Rampage just managed to get all his legs straight when he saw Sludge barreling towards him! He quickly leaped out of the way before getting flattened by the Dinobot. He started firing again but Sludge repeated his stomping, knocking Rampage off balance for a second time. He barely had time to scramble before getting squished. He tried to shoot again but Sludge made a third quake. Honestly, unless one of the two thought of something new, this would take forever. Unfortunately, using their brains was not exactly Sludge and Rampage's strong points.
Next was Slag and Tantrum. The triceratops and the bull had put a lot of distance between them as they prepared for the main event. Kicking up the ground with their feet, the two combatants charged at each other. Their horns were lowered to gouge each other through. As the distance closed, the two were picking speed and fast. It was like two trains about to collide.
"I'm gonna gore you with my own horns DINOTRASH!" Tantrum bellowed.
The two collided, their horns interlocked with each other as they both grappled for the higher ground. At first the two were in a deadlock, neither one getting any hold over the other. And the stalemate was rallying up both of their tempers. They heaved and hoed, struggling so bad that dirt was being kicked up all over the place. Some of it got in their optics which only boosted their anger. It seemed that they would keep on going until they ran out of energy. But Tantrum had a trick up his sleeve. Before the charge, he had been generating electric volts within his horns. And they were pretty charged up about now. So he unleashed them. Slag howled in pain as the electricity surged through his body, causing him great agony. The flamethrower Dinobot began slacking, allowing Tantrum to start getting some more ground as he pushed his foe back. But while the electricity was hurting him, it still rallied up Slag's fury. With a primal roar he unleashed his flame breath on Tantrum. Now in pain too, Tantrum screamed out. Furiously he increased the charge in his electric attack. In retaliation, Slag turned up the heat of his flame breath. Tantrum could feel his armor melting from the intense heat. Meanwhile Slag could feel Tantrum's electricity damaging his internal systems. But both ignored the pains and injuries they were suffering as their thick armors and internal systems could take out more punishment than most Cybertronians could. It looked as if the two bots would wind up destroying each other in a gruesome tie.
After them was Snarl and Headstrong. Both had some pretty tough dents already but that didn't stop neither of them. Both were pretty stubborn in their own ways. Course, Headstrong was more vocal than Snarl was. He managed to get behind Snarl and prepared to ram him. Snarl raised his tail and got ready to swat the Predacon to the side.
Headstrong shot towards Snarl. "I'm going to knock you over!"
As soon as he got within range, Snarl bashed him to the side with his tail, knocking Headstrong a good distance. He was certain that this was gonna go on forever when he felt a sharp pain in his side. He looked behind and saw some sort of substance eating away at it. Acid! But...how? He looked over at Headstrong and saw the cause. He could just make out what was obviously acid secreting from Headstrong's horn. He had managed to get some on Snarl when they attacked each other. Snarl hissed as he felt the acid eating away at him. he shook his body furiously and luckily managed to get some off. But now he had a nasty wound to go with the dent he had put in Headstrong's head. Growling, he looked up. The battle between him and the rhino Predacon had taken them into the forest area. A think canopy of trees looked down at him. With the canopy hanging over them, Snarl couldn't use his plates to absorb sunlight and boost his power. And he could really use some sun-powered amplification right now. Cause if Headstrong got him with anymore of that acid, it might eat away until it got to his insides. And that was not something he wanted to experience.
Swoop knew that something was wrong. Something was very wrong. Divebomb was not putting as much effort as he did before the other Predacons butted in. The two of them kept circling each other, neither one making any move to take the offensive in case the other had some trick up his sleeve. Or at least that's what Swoop first thought. Instead, it looked like Divebomb was feeling very…lackluster. As if he wasn't even trying to fight. Angered now, Swoop shot towards his foe. Divebomb made no effort to stop him and the two collided.
"What is wrong with you?!" Swoop demanded. "Fight me!"
"What would be the point?" Divebomb asked.
"Point?!" Swoop repeated incredulous. "Point?! After what you did to me, after what we were just doing, you suddenly think there's no point?!"
Divebomb managed to disentangle himself from Swoop and slammed into him. The blow was more than the badly injured bombardier could handle and he was knocked backwards into the trees behind them. Squawking in pain, Swoop slid down until he hit the ground with a loud thunk! Divebomb descended to the ground and landed.
"Look at you," the Predacon's flyer said. "You're too banged up to put up any kind of a fight, let alone a good one."
"As long as I'm breathing, I'll fight!" Swoop said as he struggled to get back up. "Never give up, never surrender!"
"Another one of your preachy Dinobot mottos?" Divebomb asked. "I'm not going to fight you while you're in this condition."
"Why?!" Swoop shouted. "You were so eager to fight me before!"
"That was before the others decided to butt into my fight and started attacking my prey. If anyone is to end you, it shall be me and me alone. I'm quite certain that you too wish for me to die by your hands and no one else's?"
Swoop couldn't believe his receptors. Was this really happening?
"You have proven yourself a worthy opponent, Swoop. And when I fight a worthy opponent, I want our fight to be a great one. You were unfairly outnumbered and are now near incapacitated. I could take advantage of this and offline you, but then we would never know if you really did have what it takes to beat me. And I find no thrill in prey that can barely fight back. So, I shall wait until you are fully recovered. Once you are, we shall pick up where we left off. Then we'll see who's the better flyer."
Swoop was too busy trying to process all of this to actually reply back to Divebomb. The eagle predacon took that as his cue to leave and began flying off. Swoop stayed on the ground, his processor still trying to take everything in. Divebomb really did have him at his mercy, but was willing to spare Swoop so that the two could have a better fight in the future.
We will, Divebomb. Swoop vowed right then and there. And next time I will blast you out of the sky!
struck Razorclaw with his tail. The lion flew through the air but
managed to twist his body around so that he landed back on his feet.
Grimlock unleashed his fire breath but Razorclaw dashed to the side, ran
behind Grimlock and leaped. He landed on top of Grimlock's head.
Feeling the unwelcome guest, Grimlock prepared to shake his head but
Razorclaw shot him point with his concussion blasters. Even with his
more durable body, the close range of the attack was painful. Grimlock
threw back his head as he roared in pain, knocking the Predacon leader
off of him. Razorclaw was about to move when Grimlock's tail hit him
again, knocking him further away from the Dinobot. Raozrclaw decided to
go for the high ground and keep his distance. Point blank was more
effective for damage but getting up close to Grimlock was a very risky
was getting frustrated with his opponent too. Rampage was running all
over the place, not once letting up on his machine gun barrage. Sludge's
new body was powerful, but also very slow. He raised his foot and began
bringing it down for another seismic stomp, but Rampage saw his chance
and jumped in the air just as Sludge slammed his foot down. He leaped at
Sludge's neck and began firing point blank. Sludge howled as he swung
his neck, striking Rampage with it. This knocked the tiger to the
ground. Sludge went in to finish him off but Rampage was already on the
and Tantrum were still going at it. Who knew how much longer the two
could last. Slag was stubborn but definitely not stupid. He then caught
Tantrum off guard by stopping his frontal assault and actually titling
himself backwars. The sudden lack of resistance caused Tantrum to go
forward, flipping over Slag, who had landed flat on his back. With some
effort, Slag managed to roll to roll himself back onto his feet just as
Tantrum was. Slag immediately charged into him. The still frazzled bull
didn't know what hit him. Hurt but still just as angry, Tantrum began
electrocuting Slag again.
was in a tougher jam. He couldn't let Headstrong hit him with that acid
oozing horn but his body wasn't all that fast. He quickly struck a
nearby tree with his tail. The force knocked the tree off its roots and
falling down towards the rhino Predacon. Having better agility than
Snarl, Headstrong dodged the tree.
"What's with you? Too scared to fight me now!" Headstrong mocked. Snarl didn't bother replying back. He looked up at the sky. Knocking that tree down managed to open a small hole in the canopy of trees. But the ray of sun peeking through wouldn't be enough to give him the boost he desperately needed. Right now he had to make as much distance between him and Headstrong as possible.
But Headstrong had other plans and was preparing for another charge. As the Predacon ground assaulter came charging, Snarl readied himself. Just as Headstrong was in range, Snarl spun his body around. His tail hitting Headstrong in the side of his head and sending the Predacon crashing into another tree. The tree itself fell over from Headstrong crashing into it. Snarl looked at his tail and winced when he noticed that some splashes of acid had gotten on it.
And so the fights went. The Dinobots and the Predacons seemed evenly matched with each other. If things kept going the way they were, the battle could take Primus knew how long. Grimlock was about to give the order for his troops to transform and continue the fight in robot mode, when a sudden horn noise blared through the area. The Predacons and Dinobots all turned their heads to see the rest of Team Prime drive into view. Optimus transformed into his robot mode and aimed his gun at Razorclaw. Bulkhead transformed and aimed his cannons at Rampage and Tantrum. Bumblebee and Arcee went into the woods. Bumblebee transformed into his robot mode and aimed his cannons at Headstrong.
Razorclaw fixed his optics at Optimus. "Optimus Prime. I was wondering when we would cross paths with each other."
"Do you like our new forms, Optimus? Courtesy of Shockwave. The Dinobots have been a problem for a long time and now we are the solution."
"Stay out of this, Prime!" Grimlock snapped at Optimus. "This our fight."
Optimus focuses his attention on Grimlock. "Grimlock, we can't waste anymore time. We need to leave."
"No! You always run when you should fight, Optimus! Just like Cybertron! Not this time. We stand and fight!"
Optimus would have argued against Grimlock's claims but not at a time like this. "Grimlock, Shockwave's forces are closing in on us. If we stay here any longer, we'll risk getting captured. If you do this, then all our work will be for nothing. Do you want that to happen?"
Grimlock growled. On the one hand, he could continue battling the Predacons and risk getting killed or captured. On the other hand, they could run away and fight another day. And as much as Grimlock would rather fight and die than live with the knowledge that he ran away, he was not going to force the other Dinobots to go down with him.
"Fine. We fall back. For now. Dinobots! Time to retreat!"
The other Dinobots all snapped their heads in shock at Grimlock. Their leader? Ordering a retreat?
"We not afford getting caught again! We fight another time!"
"What makes you think we'll let you leave?!" Tantrum bellowed. He transformed into his robot mode and aimed his weapon, a cataylic carbine, at the Autobots and began to fire. Optimus dodged as a stream of chemicals shot went past him. If that had hit him, it would have begun to corrode his armor.
Rampage saw what was going on and transformed too. He aimed his lightning rifle and fired. The Autobots had to dodge as 60,000 volts of electricity fired from his weapon.
"Ratchet!" Optimus communicated the medic. "We need a ground bridge now!"
"Stop them!" Razorclaw ordered. "We cannot allow them to escape!"
The other Predacons obeyed and transformed into their robot modes. Headstrong started firing with his plasma sphere launcher as Razorclaw continued using his concussion rifles. Divebomb flew overhead, transforming into his robot mode and pulling one of his guns from his wings and firing at the Autobots. Everyone tried their best to duck and find cover.
"Where were you, Divebomb?" Razorclaw demanded.
"Taking care of business," was all Divebomb said. Razorclaw assumed that meant dealing with Swoop so he didn't press further.
"Dinobots!" Grimlock ordered. "Transform!"
Grimlock, Sludge, Slag and Snarl quickly transformed into their robots modes and armed themselves. Sludge was now carrying a massive warhammer. Snarl was armed with his stegosaurus spines, holding them like daggers. Slag was carrying a large club. And Grimlock was armed with his energon sword. He quickly pulled out his energon shield and used block against the Predacons' attacks.
"Where Swoop?" Grimlock asked as he held the shield steady.
"I'm coming, Grimlock!"
Everyone turned to see Swoop limping towards them. Sludge quickly stomped over and scooped his pal up before the Predacons could start targeting him. The Autobots winced when they saw how banged up he was.
"What happened?" Bulkhead asked.
"Preds ganged up on him," Slag growled angrily. "Razorclaw was about to cut his head off if we hadn't showed up."
"Ratchet!" Optimus called again. "We need the ground bridge now!"
"I apologize, Optimus," Ratchet replied back. "Wheeljack just came in and he brought some bad news. I'll open the ground bridge and tell you when you got here."
"And prepare a sick bay," Optimus added. "Swoop's in need of medical attention."
The ground bridge opened up right in front of Team Prime and the Dinobots, who quickly ran into it.
"Slag! Swoop! Cover fire!" Grimlock ordered.
Slag pulled out a laser rifle while Swoop detached one of his missile launcher. The two began firing at the Predacons, who were forced to dodge for cover. Razorclaw and Rampage ducked behind some trees.
"We can't allow them to get away!" Razorclaw ordered. "Rampage! Prepare to attack!"
Optimus went into the bridge first, followed by Arcee, Bumblebee, Bulkhead, then Snarl. Swoop fired one more missile towards the Predacons as Sludge carried him through the bridge.
"Grimlock!" Slag called to his leader. "Go on ahead!"
Grimlock nodded as he put his shield away and ran towards the Ground Bridge. Slag fired a few more times for good measure then followed after his team.
Rampage and Razorclaw jumped towards the ground bridge but it closed before they could reach it, causing them to hit the dirt. As Razorclaw picked himself up he angrily punched the ground. "They got away!"
Just then the rest of Shockwave's troops began filling the area. They looked around but could see no sign of Team Prime or the Dinobots. One of them approached Razorclaw.
"Commander Razorclaw. What happened here, sir?"
"Take me to Shockwave. I have a report for him."
at Outpost Omega One, Team Prime and the Dinobots all filled in. But,
the Dinobots had to make some space as their sheer sizes made things
slightly crowded. Ratchet walked over to them. Sludge didn't bother
greeting the medic, simply handing Swoop over to him. "Save Swoop!" he
Ratchet nodded as he helped Swoop to his feet. "Come on. Let's get you fixed up."
As Swoop was led to the med bay, Optimus looked at the rest of the Dinobots. "Dinobots. This is is Autobot Outpost Omega One. This has been our base during our time on Earth. And now, it is yours too."
"Hmm. Looks nice but feels a little small," Sludge commented as he looked around the base.
"Sure the Decepticons don't know about this place?" Slag asked.
"The entire base is shielded from most forms of communication. The only way anyone would know of our base is if we allowed them to."
"So...now that we're all here," Snarl said. "What do we do now?"
"Whoohoo!" a happy voice boomed, startling Sludge, Slag, and Snarl. They looked around, thinking they were under attack. Grimlock simply brought a hand to his head and groaned. "Look at you guys. You must be the other Dinobots!"
The three looked at a small railing next to them to see Miko, Jack, and Raf looking up at them. Miko was all smiles as she looked up and down at the three of them. "Man. You guys look like some serious bruisers. No wonder Bulkhead liked you guys so much. And look at your armors! They're all banged up. Was there a fight? I bet you guys were a fight weren't you? Did you transform into your dinosaur forms? Oh, man. I really wanted to see that. Can you transform right here? Please, please, please!"
Slag was struck dumb by the little, bubbly organic. "Uh...who and what are you?"
"That's Miko." Bulkhead said proudly. "My partner. She's a good a Wrecker as any."
"She's a human, Slag," Arcee said. "They're the dominant species on this planet. This is my partner, Jack."
Jack just waved nervously with a sheepish smile on his face at the three Dinobots. Sure they didn't look as scary as Grimlock but it was hard to tell if they were friendly.
"He's a good kid...and he's a good partner too." Arcee gave Jack a small smile.
Bumblebee began his beeps, clicks, and various hand motions as he introduced Raf to the Dinobots. He told them about what a great pal Raf was and how smart and helpful he had been to the Autobots. Sludge walked over to the three.
"Hi, there. I'm Sludge." He offered his hand out to them. Miko took his smallest finger with both hands and they gently shook. She looked over at Snarl, who was feeling a little awkward. These humans were so tiny. Probably around the same size as Minicons if not smaller than them. And the way she was looking at him with those wide eyes. It really unsettled him.
"Sweet! Nice to meet you!" She looked at Slag now. "Judging from the horns, I'd say you're Slag, right?"
"Awesome!" Miko cheered. Then she looked at Snarl. "I guess that means you're Snarl, right?"
"...yeah," was all Snarl said.
"Hmm, not much a talker are ya?" Miko grinned. "Don't worry. We'll soon fix that!" She dashed off to get something. The three Dinobots just stared.
"Sorry about that," Jack said as he walked over to the Dinobots. "She gets really excited. Especially when it comes to giant robots."
"But we're not giants," Sludge pointed out.
Arcee grinned. "To them you are, Sludge."
The Dinobots looked at each other, wondering how their stay here was going to be.
"Hey, Slag! Good to see ya!"
Slag turned to see Wheeljack walking towards them.
"Wheeljack!" Slag actually laughed. "How are ya?
"Better now that you guys are here," Wheeljack grinned. But then he turned serious. "So...the Preds really are on Earth?"
"What do you think did this to us?" Slag asked as he pointed to his blackened armor. "It wasn't turbofoxes."
Wheeljack looked at the floor. "I had a nasty little run with the Triple-changers earlier. Guess Shockwave decided to bring the calvarly."
"Our enemies have grown in number," Optimus said as he walked over to the group. "But so have we. Although we may be outnumbered, we cannot allow our hopes to falter. For if we do, then our enemies will truly win."
Grimlock shook his head. "That sappy, Prime."
Optimus looked at Grimlock with a nostalgic smile. "You never change, Grimlock."
Ratchet came back into the room. The Dinobots' attention was instantly upon him.
"How Swoop?" Grimlock asked.
"He was severely damaged but he should make a full recovery." Ratchet took a look at the Dinobots, who all relaxed when they heard their brother was going to be alright. "Once he's done, I'll take care of the rest of you next. I want to see exactly what Shockwave's experiments did to each of you as well as the full extent of the damage he caused. " He sighed as he looked their armors over. "The Predacons. On Earth. This is not good."
"Why? How come the Predacons are so bad?" Jack asked. "At least...compared to any other Decepticons?"
"The Predacons are ruthless hunters," Arcee explained. "Once they have you in their sights, they hunt you down, even to the ends of the universe, and they won't stop until they rip you apart. And if they find you a challenge, that just gives them a bigger thrill of the hunt."
Jack felt a shiver run down his spine. It reminded him a little too much of Airachnid.
"The Predacons have new alt-modes," Bulkhead said. "Seems they based themselves off some of the animals on Earth."
"So...basically they're like the Decepticons' Dinobots?" Raf asked.
"Not exactly," Bulkhead answered. "They're way different. The Dinobots are like a commando squad. The Predacons are more like a surgical strike team."
"Uh...I think Raf was just talking about their alt-modes," Jack told the Wrecker.
Bulkhead froze when he realized his blunder. "Oh, ya."
Just then the sound of an electric guitar boomed all through the room. All attention was on Miko, who was holding said electric guitar and had plugged it into some nearby speakers.
"Come on, you guys. We just got the Dinobots back. It's time to party!"
Sludge, Slag, and Snarl all looked at Grimlock for confirmation. Their leader looked at the ground now. He simply shrugged as he too was unable to comprehend the hyper human.
the Predacons had returned to Shockwave's ship, where Shockwave and
Megatron were both waiting. Megatron gave them all a hard glare.
"Yes, Lord Megatron." Razorclaw admitted. "We have no excuse."
"How did you fare against them, Razorclaw?" Shockwave asked the Predacon leader.
"Our fight was interrupted by Optimus' group but we were able to fight evenly with the Dinobots until then."
Even though Shockwave was not one for emotions, he couldn't help but feel great satisfaction that the Predacons were able to fight on par with the Dinobots. The fact that he didn't need to reroute energon circuitry from most of Razorclaw's mental functions like he did with Grimlock showed just how impressive the feat was. With the last finishing touches, the Predacons would soon render the Dinobots obsolete.
Despite his anger at the Predacons falling to capture or destroy at least one of the Autobots, Megatron was intrigued by this news. He had never recieved the full details of Shockwave's experiments nor had he bothered much in the past. He had faith in Shockwave's calculations and left him to his own devices. But recent events caused Megatron to consider taking a look at the scientist's work.
Then Shockwave turned to address Megatron."Now my lord even though I still have a project I must discuss with you, I now need to prepare my lab for the final stages of my project with the Predacons. Now that the Autobots have the Dinobots I must prioritize my plans to finish Operation Superior."
"Very well, Shockwave. I am looking forward to the completion of your project with great interest. Proceed."
With a bow, Shockwave left to return to his lab. Razorclaw stepped forward.
"Lord Megatron, I have a request."
"It has come to my attention that my former apprentice, Airachnid, has been on Earth. And if Shockwave's sources are true, she has tried to usurp power from you on more than one occasion."
"Indeed," Megatron replied. "I must admit that while such treachery was expected from Starscream, I did not think Airachnid would commit treachery as well."
"I must apologize for what my former student did and that I wasn't able to warn you about her behavior. As you have no doubt realized, she has an extreme dislike of authority and she viewed any form of honor or agreements to be pointless. I didn't foresee that this would have compelled her to try to usurp you and attack fellow Decepticons. Once her training was complete and having eventually left the Decepticons forces I tracked what she did. I cannot begin to say how her actions did through out her...EXPEDITION did to disgrace what I taught her. Megatron, if she was still standing here as your second I would have ripped her fuel pump out where she stood." Then Razorclaw actually showed that he was in extreme rage in his stance as he remembered the things he discovered Arachnid did during her hunts.
Megatron was surprised at this. Of all the Predacons, Razorclaw was the one with the coolest head. A good trait for a leader, especially one with the Predacons under his command. For Airachnid to enrage him clearly showed the contempt and hatred the Predacon leader had for his former pupil.
The Predacons backed away nervously. Their boss angry was something scary, even for the psychotic Rampage or the constantly angry Tantrum. Course they understood their leader's anger. They had often watched Airachnid train with Razorclaw. She was vicious, very sure of herself, and most of all deadly. She would have made a fine Predacon if not for some of her more...disturbing quirks. It soon became clear that she was not interested in becoming a Predacon. She was just interested to knowing all the different ways to kill someone. Or make them suffer.
"My lord, allow me to hunt her down," Razorclaw offered. "She has disgraced all I have taught her. I will hunt her down...and I will ensure that she is punished accordingly."
Megatron pondered this as he turned around, put his hands behind his back, and began pacing. "Airachnid has not been seen for cycles but I cannot overlook her. She is a wildcard that could prove a hindrance in my plans. As you are the best hunter in my army, I will allow you to find her and deal with her as you see fit, Razorclaw. I am confident that you will at least get the job done."
Razorclaw bowed his head. "I shall not fail you, Lord Megatron."
of Airachnid, Arcee had gone back to the storage room that contained
her foe. She looked at Airachnid's shocked, frozen face.
"Hello, Airachnid," Arcee said acidly. "Normally I wouldn't set foot in this room, but I was asked to give you a message. I think you'd be interested to know that your teacher Razorclaw is on Earth." Arcee turned around and made a little distance between her and the stasis pod. "I never imagined you were actually trained by the Predacons...but now it seems kinda obvious. Anyway, the message is pretty much that Razorclaw's coming after you. Seems you disgraced what he taught you and he's not happy about it. So it looks like you've got someone else to add to the list of people gunning for you. And sadly enough...that stasis pod is probably the safest place you could be right now. So be grateful. Cause if you somehow managed to get out you'll have more to worry about than just me."
Having said her peace, Arcee left the room and closed the door behind her. Her enemy was not aware of what was going on around her so there'd be no point in waiting for a reply.
In the main room, Ratchet had completed his checkup on the Dinobots. Optimus approached him for a debriefing on them,
"Well, Ratchet?" Optimus asked.
Ratchet sighed as he looked over his notes. "I am both fascinated and disgusted at the same time. The Dinobots are much stronger and more durable than they have ever been. But what was done to them to achieve this... it's as if Shockwave had taken the Dinobots apart and put them back together again. And I'm afraid that may very well be true in Grimlock's case."
Optimus felt apprehensive at Ratchet's words. "How so?"
"Much of Grimlock's energon flows have been redirected away from his brain for better physical performance. Roughly around 98.7% at least. To be honest, Optimus...I'm amazed Grimlock's still able to even think let alone talk."
Optimus growled softly. "What Shockwave has done to the Dinobots is inexcusable. They are living beings, not lab experiments."
"And since when have morals mattered to Shockwave?" Ratchet reminded Optimus. "To him, no sacrifice is too great in the name of science."
"Can you reverse what has been done to them?" Optimus asked the medic.
Ratchet shook his head sadly. "Shockwave did a very thorough job on the Dinobots when he gave them their new forms. Changing them maybe impossible. And even if such a thing was possible, I lack the proper equipment and energon to do something of that caliber. Besides...I think the Dinobots don't want anyone else messing with their bodies anymore."
Optimus looked over at the Dinobots. Grimlock, Sludge, Slag, and Snarl were all just standing there while Swoop was having a chat with the humans.
"Regardless of what their alt-modes are," Optimus said "They are still Autobots. And we will not turn our backs on them. No matter what."
"Hey, Grimlock!" Miko called to the Dinobot leader. "Can I see you transform now? Pleeeeeeeease! I wanna see what you turn into!"
"Is she always like this?" Slag asked.
"Uh, Miko," Bulkhead interrupted. "How about we watch some monster truck rallying instead?"
Miko pouted. "Fine." She started heading over to the tv. But she turned around with mischevious grin. "But I am gonna see you transform one of these days, Grimlock."
"Stubborn, isn't she?" Snarl observed.
Slag chuckled. "Kinda like you, Snarl."
"Oooh!" Miko snapped her fingers. "Almost forgot." She wiped out her cell phone and aimed it at the Dinobots. "I am so getting pictures of you guys." She then realized that the Dinobots were so big that she couldn't get full pictures. She started backing up some and aimed her camera at them. "Now let's see. Which of you should I get first?"
"What's she doing?" Sludge asked, looking closer at the phone.
"Sludge!" Miko frowned. "Move back some. You're blocking the screen."
"Oh! Sorry," Sludge said sheepishly as he started taking steps back.
"What is she doing, Swoop?" Snarl asked the flyer.
"Taking your picture," Swoop explained. "She already got one of me and Grimlock. Now she's taking ones of you guys."
Miko struggled to get a good shot in. "Okay, you guys. Could you all bunch up together?"
Sludge, Slag, and Snarl looked at each other in confusion. This was something completely new to them.
"Good ahead, guys," Swoop assured them. "It's not bad."
Shrugging, the three Dinobots got closer together.
"Perfect!" Miko chirped. "Now, go for the fearsome look. Show me your grr face. Like you're about to rip some Decepticons to shreds!"
The three Dinobots followed in suit and gave Miko fierce looks.
"Oh that is perfect. Hold that!" Miko pressed her phone and the small flash went off. Miko looked at the picture and nodded in satisfaction. "Sweet!" She put her phone away. "Can you tell us about some of your adventures on Cybertron? Were you guys really the baddest of the bad? What did you turn into before you could turn into dinosaurs? Did you really fight off Insecticons like they were nothing."
"The Insecticons? heh!" Slag snorted. "Sure those guys gave us trouble when we first ran into them. But after Shockwave gave us our little upgrades, we tore those bugs apart like they were beryllium baloney."
"You mean Cesium Salami," Grimlock corrected.
"No, Beryllium Baloney!"
Swoop shrugged but grinned. "Here they go again."
Arcee and Jack both chuckled as they watched Grimlock and Slag arguing with each other. "Something tells me things are gonna get pretty interesting around here." Jack told his partner.
"What? And things weren't interesting before?"
End of Chapter