Ratchet finished showing Grimlock the video feed on the computer screen. With Airachnid in their base, Ratchet had convinced Prime to set up more security measures including video cameras. At the time, Ratchet felt he was acting like Red Alert, an old comrade of his who was in charge of security back on Cybertron. While the poor bot had a paranoid streak the size of Unicron, Ratchet did respect Red's attention to caution. Anyway, Ratchet had seen Swoop's little one-sided conversation with Airachnid and this really concerned him. This so called crush might instead be an unhealthy infatuation. While Swoop seemed to have good intentions, Ratchet did not see a pleasant end for the way things were going. Normally he would have told Optimus about this situation but he knew that was probably not a good idea. While Swoop was the nice guy of the Dinobots, even he had authority issues with Optimus Prime. So naturally Ratchet had gone to the one person Swoop would listen to: Grimlock.
"Well, Grimlock," Ratchet asked once he stopped the video feed.
Grimlock cupped his chin after seeing the video feed. "So that why he after Airachnid."
Ratchet looked at him. "You didn't know?"
"Him hunt her in secret," Grimlock replied. "We not find out till they fight. She sneak away. But it not Dinobots' business. Told Swoop to drop it."
"What?" Ratchet was outraged. "While Airachnid may not have done anything personal to your Dinobots, Grimlock, she is still responsible for the death of Tailgate, a good Autobot. Not to mention the physical and mental torment that Arcee went through because of her. I'm not saying that justifies Swoop's actions but at least he cared."
"It not Dinobots' fight, so we not get involved," Grimlock answered. "Swoop go off on own till me find out."
Ratchet growled to himself. While he had a dislike for the Dinobots' rebellious nature and arrogant personalities, they did have one redeemable quality in his eyes. They would fight for each other with a passion. In Grimlock's own words "Dynobots look after their own!" It reminded Ratchet of that human saying "All for one and one for all". Unfortunately the Dinobots took it a little too much to heart. They would look after each other like only brothers could but everyone who wasn't a Dinobot
not so much. That's what Ratchet hated most about them.
"Regardless," Ratchet said in an attempt to calm himself down less he lash out at Grimlock. "That's not what I wanted to tell you about. It's about Swoop's feelings for Arcee."
"Me think it pain in aft," Grimlock bluntly stated. "We at war. No time for love."
Ratchet rolled his optics. "That isn't the point, Grimlock. Swoop knows nothing about a relationship. If he does like Arcee, his actions would only cause him to appear like a stalker to her and ruin any chance he might have. He needs to be put in the right direction."
"Oh, him go in right direction," Grimlock said. "Me gonna tell him to drop this now."
Ratchet frowned. "Grimlock, that's being rather harsh."
"War harsh, Ratchet," Grimlock replied coolly.
"While I can't deny that," Ratchet conceded. "There's nothing wrong with Swoop and Arcee finding happiness with each other."
"Him, Swoop, no need Arcee," Grimlock stated plainly. "Him waste time looking for Airachnid when we need him. Almost get slagged many times. Him, Swoop, need to remember that he Dinobot."
"He does," Ratchet insisted. "He sees you and the others as his brothers and even said he would never turn his back on you. Not even if he and Arcee do become a couple."
Grimlock snorted. "Him ditch us for Arcee back on Cybertron."
Ratchet groaned. This was getting nowhere. He wanted to make sure that Swoop didn't become obsessed with Arcee and Grimlock was only concerned about him not loving anyone period. "Grimlock, this is why he needs guidance. With no one helping him, he's been acting on his feelings alone. It's not his fault. He just doesn't know any better."
Grimlock was about to argue when a third voice spoke up.
Grimlock and Ratchet looked down to see Jack walking towards them. Now out of the three kids, Jack interested Grimlock. While the leader of the Dinobots still considered humans to be small and weak, he was intrigued by Jack's courage. He and Swoop had been told stories about the kids' adventures with them. Raf was, in Grimlock's opinion, too much of what humans called an egghead so he didn't really pay much attention to him. Miko seemed pretty likeable. Brave, reckless, and loved a good fight. But she had several traits he found annoying. Her love of loud music was just one of them. Honestly, it almost made him miss the Communications Officer Blaster. Almost. And then there was Jack. The boy had guts and grit, so Grimlock was willing to give him the benefit of a doubt.
"Jack?" Ratchet was surprised and felt a little awkward. "Uh...how much have you heard?"
"A lot," Jack said as he looked up at Grimlock. "And as Arcee's partner, I'd like to speak on her behalf."
Grimlock folded his arms. After a moment of silence, Jack decided to keep going.
"Grimlock," Jack said. "Swoop really likes Arcee. There's nothing wrong with that."
"Swoop not need Arcee," Grimlock said firmly.
"Why not?" Jack said. "Arcee is a great person...er bot and an awesome fighter. She can totally hold her own. I'm sure your Dinobots can respect that."
"Me not say that," Grimlock told him. "But Swoop not need distraction."
"It doesn't have to be a distraction," Jack told him. "I'm sure if you explained things to Swoop, he'd understand. Let me guess, you didn't actually bother talking it out with him, did you?"
Grimlock was about to argue back but stopped. Jack's words had apparently reached him.
"My mom would probably give better advice than me," Jack admitted. "But I think people, and bots, deserve a little happiness in their lives. Especially around war. Arcee...she's lost two of her partners. And I can tell that they were very close to her. I know she's a tough bot but it's obvious that she misses them. If Swoop can make Arcee happy...I say he should go for it."
Grimlock simply stood there, taking in what Jack said to him. Normally he would disregard such words as they reminded him all too much of Optimus' constant speeches of compassion and caring.
"Also," Jack added. "Think about how Swoop would feel if his own leader, the guy he looks up to, was being a jerk just because he likes someone."
Ratchet's optics widened. Very few people would call Grimlock names and live to tell the tale. But Grimlock did not make any violent actions towards Jack. In fact, Grimlock wasn't even moving at all. Grimlock was just staring at Jack, causing the human to wonder if he had crossed the line that time. But then, Grimlock threw back his head and laughed.
"You, Jack, have guts," Grimlock said. "Me like that." He looked over at Ratchet. "Fine. Me, Grimlock, say him, Swoop, can like Arcee. But you, Ratchet, explain things to him. Me not need him getting obsessed over her."
Ratchet nodded. "I'll go and get Swoop right now." With that, he walked to go and find the Dinobot flyer.
Jack let out a sigh of relief he didn't know he had been holding. "I'll come with you!" he said. Soon he ran after the medic, leaving Grimlock behind to ponder on all of this.
"Thanks for that, Jack," Ratchet said. "For a minute, I thought we'd never get through to Grimlock."
"Yeah well, like I said. If Swoop can make Arcee happy, I'm all up for it."
"Well, we've convinced Grimlock to let Swoop and Arcee get together," Ratchet said, although that had not been his original intentions. "Now we just need to convince Swoop to change his approach."
"I'm sure it will all work out," Jack said. "Swoop's a pretty nice bot so I don't think we have to worry about whether or not he treats her right."
"So it seems," Ratchet conceded. "And even though the Dinobots have rather questionable methods, even Swoop deserves a fair chance."
And so, the human and the Autobot went to go and get their Dinobot comrade.
By now you are probably wondering about the other three Dinobots. What has happened to them since they were captured by Shockwave? Well, you're about to find out.
After Shockwave had captured the Dinobots, he made sure they were locked up in the tightest security he could create. He learned from his past battles with the Dinobots, not mention when they had escaped shortly after he experimented on them. This time, when the Dinobots were locked up, they were going to stay put.
When Shockwave began his preparations to meet Megatron on Earth, he gathered the most powerful and most intelligent of his forces on the largest ship he could find. Before they left, he made modifications to the prison hold to prevent the Dinobots' escape. He brought them along so that he could continue his experiments to control them. Plus, he knew it was logical to keep the Dinobots under his watch now to prevent another escape attempt. Many of his men were not concerned though. Grimlock and Swoop were the smart ones out of the five. Sludge, Slug, and Snarl were more brawn than they were brain. Sludge and Snarl simply followed Grimlock's orders and Slug was far too violent to come up with a plan that didn't involve trying to smash everything in sight. Though Shockwave could understand his men's lack of concern, his logical mind refused to take chances. Especially with wild cards like the Dinobots. They were chaos in physical form and chaos was the one constant that could never be evaluated in any equation. So Shockwave did the best he could to keep the chaos at a minimum level.
There was still the matter of Grimlock and Swoop to consider though. When Shockwave had all five of the Dinobots in his grasp, Sludge had managed to buy the last two Dinobots enough time to escape at the cost of his own freedom. Apparently Sludge believed that if Grimlock was able to get away, he would come back and save them all. Such faith was admirable but misguided and in Shockwave's opinion, irrelevant. The most logical thing to do would be to accept one's loses and save yourself instead of putting your life on the line to save others. Why nearly all lifeforms entertained such foolish notions of nobility and emotional attachment was not something he understood. Some may consider it Shockwave's weakness, but he considered it his strength. With no loyalty to anything but logic, Shockwave was able to tackle situations to the best of his abilities in the most efficient way possible. And that was why Shockwave was so feared among the Decepticon ranks.
As for the Dinobots' themselves? Well they were in the lower prison hold of Shockwave's colossal flagship. Shockwave had decided to keep them separated though their cells were nearby each other. Slug and Snarl were in cells next to each other while Sludge was placed in a cell at the opposite wall. His was the one that Shockwave had to make the most modifications to. He and the Constructicons actually had to take down the wall between two separate cells in order to make enough room to fit the Dinobots' largest member. Currently Slug was doing what he had been doing since they took off. Slamming against the door in an attempt to knock it down. But the doors were triple layered and heat resistant. Slug would have attacked the cell bars but Shockwave had made them electrical to prevent such a thing.
"Slug, it's no use," Sludge said from his own cell. "You've been doing that ever since we've left. Give it a rest, already."
"Why?" Slug demanded from his fellow Dinobot as he prepared to charge yet again. "You expect me to just wait around so that Shockwave can do whatever the slag he wants to us again? No thanks!"
It's not like Sludge hadn't tried to break out of his cell either. All three of the Dinobots had tried it the moment they were thrown in. Now Sludge may not have been the smartest of the group, but even he had the common sense to know that they wouldn't be breaking out any time soon. Maybe if he could transform it was another story. But the cells were barely big enough for him to move, let alone transform.
"Don't worry, Slug," Sludge reassured the violent Dinobot. "I'm sure Grimlock will be able to get us out of here."
Slug growled. Of course...Sludge's unwavering devotion to their "beloved" leader. So certain was the second strongest member of the Dinobots that their leader would save them. Honestly it was enough to make Slug wish for Blurr's company more. At least that chatterbox would talk about something other than Grimlock. Needless to say, while the Dinobots did look after their own, you'll find Slug being the more reluctant out of the group.
"Grimlock, this. Grimlock, that. Make up and smell the energon, Sludge! Grimlock and Swoop ditched us! They decided to get while the going was good."
Sludge glared at Slug. "That's not true, Slug! Dinobots stick together! Grimlock and Swoop would never abandon us. Right, Snarl?"
The last Dinobot was never much of a talker but he had been eerily silent ever since he and the other two had been captured. He would just sit there and stare at the floor in his cell. Whether he was optimistic like Sludge or had resigned to his fate was anyone's guess.
"Come on, Snarl!" Slug called to the other Dinobot. "Even you've got to admit that Grimlock's not coming back for us."
"Don't listen to him, Snarl!" Sludge countered. "Grimlock's never quit on us before! Remember when Shockwave experimented on us?"
"How could any of us forget?" Slug asked, pointing to his head gear, which was the head and horns of his triceratops alt-mode.
"Well, Grimlock saved us then," Sludge reminded him. "So he's sure to do it again."
Slug frowned. "Sludge, did Shockwave shoot you in the head or are you really that dumb? Do you really think that just because Grimlock helped us out that time it means he'll help us whenever we're in trouble?"
"Dinobots look after their own," Sludge said firmly. "Grimlock will come and save us."
Slug threw his hands up in exasperation, causing him to make some pretty sizable dents in the ceiling. "I give up. I might as well be talking to...I don't know, Headstrong or something."
Just then, Snarl perked up as he heard the sound of foosteps approaching. "Speaking of the Predacons," He said, surprising Sludge and Slug by talking. "Here comes our jailer."
The door to the prison hold opened and in stepped one of the Predacons, a redish bot of a pretty fair build. Now the Predacons were one of the most feared Decepticon Factions back on Cybertron. They viewed themselves as hunters and their enemies the hunted. They were dedicated to the Decepticon cause but had no loyalty to leaders like Megatron or Shockwave. They instead operated as a mercenary group, offering their services to the highest bidder. And Shockwave happened to the be the highest bidder.
The Predacon in question right now is Tantrum, the Predacon's fueler. While just as deadly as the other Predacons, Tantrum had one major problem; he was always angry and preferred using sheer brute force when even the simplest action would have gotten the job done. It was said that his fellow Predacons had actually come up with different classifications for his angry moods. The Dinobots weren't sure which mood he was in right now but he seemed pretty ticked all the same.
"Hey!" Tantrum yelled at the three Dinobots. "Will you keep it down in here? You're making too much noise!"
Slug sneered at Tantrum. "What's the matter, Tantrum? Wake up on the wrong side of the berth?"
Tantrum clenched his fists in anger. "A bot can barely think with all that noise you're making, Slug!"
This made Slug grin. "Shouldn't be a problem for you then, Tantrum, considering you don't think!"
Tantrum stomped his feet in anger. "That's it, you Dinodolt! You're just lucky that stupid cage is keeping you safe otherwise I'd tear you apart!"
Slug laughed. "Oh, scary. Big bad Tantrum gonna's beat me up. Oh no!"
Tantrum was getting so mad that steam was starting to shoot out of his head. "That's it! I'm gonna come in there and tear out your vocal processors!"
"I'd like to see you try."
"You don't think I will? Alright, I'll show you!" Tantrum started walking to Slug's cell. "I'm gonna..."
"You'll do nothing, Tantrum."
Tantrum froze when he heard that voice. Slowly, ever so slowly he turned to face the golden bot that was glaring at him through a red visor. It was Razorclaw, leader of the Predacons. "R-razorclaw!"
"What are you doing here, Tantrum?" Razorclaw asked. His voice sounded calm and patient but Tantrum knew that was usually when Razorclaw was at his most vicious. "Divebomb was supposed to watching the Dinobots, not you."
Tantrum was confused now. "But...but Divebomb said you wanted me to take over."
Razorclaw growled in annoyance. "So Divebomb is shirking duty again. I'm gonna have a talk with him. But before that, I'll see if Blitzwing or Astrotrain can take up the shift. Even though you weren't supposed to be on guard duty, it's obvious you're unfit to do so, Tantrum."
"But Razorclaw," Tantrum tried to argue. "Slug, he..."
"He was using you like a puppet on strings!" Razorclaw snapped. "Your anger blinded you to the fact that Slug wanted you to open the cage to his cell so that he could escape."
"Like he would have!" Tantrum argued. "I would have reduced him to a pile of scrap before he got the chance."
Slug snorted in annoyance. That was the one thing about the Predacons that really irked him. Although the two groups had never fought before, the Predacons believed they were the one group out of all the Decepticons who could best the Dinobots. Slug snorted. He could take on all the Predacons with both hands tied behind his back.
"Need I remind you that Shockwave wants them fully functional?" Razorclaw asked his fueler. "We can't afford for the Dinobots to be damaged. And since you prefer to destroy everything in your path, I cannot allow this! Get out now! I will deal with you after I have dealt with Divebomb."
Tantrum dashed out of there as fast as he could. Razorclaw could make him forget his anger faster than any other bot could. Not even Megatron or Optimus Prime had that effect on him. Once Razorclaw was certain that Tantrum was out, he turned to face the Dinobots.
"You should be grateful that I arrived, Slug," Razorclaw told him. "Otherwise he would have reduced you to scrap metal."
Slug growled. "That short tempered tin can? Please, I've seen Minicons tougher than him."
Razorclaw tightened his fists. "You would do better than to mock your superiors, Dinobots."
Snarl snorted at hearing this. "We Dinobots could kick your pathetic Predacon afts all the way from here to Cybertron, Razorclaw. These cells are the only things stopping us."
Sludge and Slug both snickered at Snarl's insult to Razorclaw. The Predacons leader knew they were trying to provoke him. Fortunately he was not so easily riled up like Tantrum was. But he knew that words were useless against these three, so he decided to turn around and leave. But Slug decided to have a parting shot.
"Hey, Razorclaw! Don't worry. When we're done with your team, we'll spare you so Grimlock can have you all to himself. The big guy could use a little snack."
Razorclaw closed the door to the cell but the Dinobots could tell that they managed to get under his plating. Once he left, Sludge and Slug roared with laughter. Snarl tried not to but even he felt a smile forming.
"Ah, I needed that," Slug said. "Not as fun as punching a Con right in the face but hey, right now I'll take what I can get."
Sludge chuckled. "Once we get out of here, we're gonna teach those Predacons who are the best."
Slug nodded. "Got that right. Anyone who thinks they're tougher than the Dinobots is in for a world of hurt."
"But first we'll deal with Shockwave," Snarl reminded his comrades. "He needs to pay for all he's put us through."
Slug and Sludge nodded in agreement. "I'm looking forward to reducing that guy to a puddle of slag." Slug said.
"And I'm gonna crush him under me feet," Sludge said pleasantly.
"He put us through a world of pain," Snarl said. "It's only fair that we return the favor."
Slug looked at Sludge. "So...you really think Grimlock's gonna come looking for us?"
Sludge smiled. "I know he will, Slug. Grimlock's our leader. He was always there when we needed him before."
Slug couldn't deny that, unfortunately. Grimlock had always looked out for them in the past. Not that he was going to admit it. Sure liked being with other Autobots were preferred doing things their way instead of being told what to do by others...but he didn't do the whole "Band of Brothers" schtick. That was more for Sludge and Swoop. Still, in the deep depths of his spark...he was willing to admit that he did feel a certain little...something for the other four Dinobots. But if someone was to say that he actually cared about them, he'd be sure to scorch the offender with one nasty fire breath.
"Alright," Slug consented. "I'll go along with your crazy idea, Sludge. For now. But if Grimlock is gonna save us, he'd better hurry. Otherwise I'm gonna go stir-crazy. Sitting around and not getting to smash Decepticons does not to me."
Meanwhile, Razorclaw was looking for his aerial fighter, Divebomb. That bird-brain had a lot of explaining to do, giving Tantrum his shift to do Primus knows what. Finally he spotted Divebomb...just sitting there.
"Divebomb," Razorclaw growled.
Divebomb looked at Razorclaw, completely unfazed at seeing his leader. "Yes, Razorclaw?"
"You were supposed to be on guard duty for the Dinobots and I find out that you told Tantrum it was his turn. What is the meaning of this?"
Divebomb frowned at his leader. "I have no interest in simply guard watching some prisoners. Not even if it's the Dinobots."
Razorclaw grabbed Divebomb and pulled him so that their faces were inches apart. "When I give you an order, Divebomb, you will carry it out, regardless of your personal feelings. We are the most elite group of hunters in the whole Decepticon army and I will not have you ruining our reputation."
Out of all the Predacons, Divebomb was the biggest problem. He cared nothing for the other Predacons and tolerated them at best, preferring instead to be alone.
Divebomb was a little more cautious now. While more defiant than the other Predacons, even he knew better than to push Razorclaw too far. "Perhaps Shockwave could let the Dinobots run free for a bit and allow us to hunt them down just for the fun of it. We could guarantee that we won't damage them too much."
"Tempting," Razorclaw admitted. "But Shockwave would not agree after finally capturing at least three of the Dinobots. Besides, the Dinobots would take full advantage of their freedom and we would waste precious energy and resources hunting them down."
Divebomb sighed. "A pity. We haven't had a good hunt since the war ended. Too bad Shockwave didn't manage to capture Swoop. I was looking forward to fighting him again."
"You may get your chance, Divebomb," Razorclaw said. "Shockwave is heading to Earth to reunite with Megatron. He suspects Optimus Prime is on Earth as well."
"Optimus Prime?" This caught Divebomb's attention. The leader of the Autobots. There was no greater prey than that.
Razorclaw knew that the thrill of the hunt had stirred in Divebomb. "And that's not all. Shockwave is certain that Grimlock will have gone to Optimus for help in saving the other Dinobots."
"Grimlock?" Divebomb asked skeptically. "Asking Optimus Prime for help?"
"Your doubts are understandable, Divebomb," Razorclaw said. "But don't mistaken Grimlock's arrogance for stupidity. Even he knows that he would require some assistance and Optimus Prime is the best option. Of course it will not matter as they will all fall before our might."
"But if Grimlock's looking for Optimus," Divebomb said as he put two and two together. "There's a chance Swoop will be there too, right?"
"Shockwave is certain. The Dinobots are a very close knit group and I am certain that Grimlock would want the last free Dinobot with him to be certain."
Divebomb smiled. How good it would be to see his old foe again. The two of them had a score they needed to settle. And it was one Divebomb was really looking forward to.
Just then, Shockwave's voice was heard on the ship's intercom.
"Razorclaw. Gather the Predacons and meet me in the lab. It is time."
Razorclaw and Divebomb looked at each other. Divebomb smirked. Razorclaw would have if he had a mouth.
Soon, Razorclaw had gathered Tantrum and the last two Predacons. First there was Rampage, the Predacon gunner. Rampage was little more than a murderous psychopath. But his effectiveness in battle made him more than a worthy member to the their group. But for some odd reason that not even Shockwave understood, Rampage was fascinated by Earth television. He had discovered it during Shockwave's current study on modern Earth. Shockwave had decided to know the planet in advance before heading to it, just in case it may prove to be a threat. But Shockwave did not find Earth to be a threat and was certain that without the Autobots to protect them, the humans would be all but conquered. Anyway, during his study of Earth, Shockwave had been studying the various forms of human entertainment including television. He found it useless but Rampage had taken an instant liking to it. While this actually calmed him down and made him more agreeable, he was very nasty if you interrupted him during one of his favorite reality shows.
The last one was Headstrong, the ground assault fighter. While Headstrong was also a good fighter, he was also as stubborn as his name. He refused to listen to anyone's advice but his own. While this made Headstrong a very diligent and determined warrior, he also had a habit of landing himself in ridiculous situations that would have been avoided if he had bothered listening to others. But what no one else knew was that the stubborness was actually a facade. Headstrong felt very insecure as Razorclaw, Rampage, and Tantrum were all stronger than he was. He also wasn't very smart like Razorclaw was and didn't fly like Divebomb did. So he acted stubborn to hide his fears from the other Predacons.
The five of them gathered in Shockwave's colossal lab where the Decepticon scientist himself was waiting. Shockwave was a colossal being of purople metal. Everything about him made him look like a walking juggernaut. He had no face but instead a large, cycloptic eye in the center of his head. However this gave him a menacing appearance. Not to mention it suited him. A face perfect for one who had no care for emotions. A powerful laser cannon had he on his right arm instead of a hand.
"The time has come, Predacons," Shockwave said. "Where I failed with the Dinobots, I shall succeed with the five of you."
"This had better work, Shockwave," Rampage growled at Shockwave.
"Yeah!" Headstrong snorted. "This better not blow us up or something."
"If it did, you wouldn't be in a position to complain," Shockwave replied. "It will work. While the Dinobots were a success in granting Transformers new alt-modes, they were still prototypes at best. It seems using these dinosaurs as the humans called them was too much. So, I have studied the various other life forms on Earth. While you five will lack the sheer brute force that the Dinobots gained from their alt-modes, yours will grant you a more strategical approach."
Rampage huffed. "Strategy? Why should we waste our time on something as stupid as a strategy. We beat our opponents by ripping them to shreds. You promised me an alt-mode with bite, Shockwave."
"Quiet, Rampage," Razorclaw told his gunner before looking at Shockwave. "Continue."
"I have gathered data on all known animal life on the planet Earth," Shockwave said as he typed on his massive computer. The screen came alive showing a variety of different animals. "I will allow you to chose which animal you want for your alt-mode and prepare the equipment accordingly."
The five Predacons gathered around the screen and began looking at the various Earth animals. They were not really interested in any personal information about the animals, they just wanted to know if they were vicious and powerful. Soon, the five had selected their alt-modes. Divebomb had chosen an eagle, Headstrong had chosen a rhinoceros, Rampage had chosen a tiger, Razorclaw had chosen a lion, and Tantrum had chosen a bull. The gathered around the special pods that Shockwave had invented. They would remodify the Predacons to suit their new alt-modes.
"Once the alt-modes have been set," Shockwave told Razorclaw before the Predacon leader went into his pod. "We can begin the installation of the combiner technology."
"And you are certain that we will be the most powerful gestalt in the Decepticon army?" Razoclaw asked.
"Bruticus is a greater success than Devastator could ever be," Shockwave said. "But while his brute force is impressive, he is lacking in brain power. However, you five Predacons share the thrill of the hunt. I am certain that your gestalt form will be the most successful combiner in Transformers history. More powerful than all the Dinobots, more cunning than Bruticus. Your combined form will be the greatest predator. You Predacons will become...Predaking."
"Predaking?" Razorclaw tested the name out. "I like the sound of that." He went into the pod.
Shockwave went over to the computer. "Now Operation Superior...commences." He pressed a button.
The pods began to surge and glow with energy. Shockwave watched as this all took place. He knew that he would not fail. The Dinobots had finally met their match. With their new dinosaur alt-modes, the Dinobots power made them the greatest of warriors. But now the Predacons' new alt-modes would allow them to fight back against them. After all, it was logical to fight beasts...with beasts.
After some time had passed, Shockwave pressed the activation button again, ending the sequence.
"It is done," Shockwave said. He turned to the pods. "Predacons...emerge."
The pods all opened up at once. Slowly, the five Predacons emerged. It was a success. The Predacons' bodies had adjusted to being reformatted. They looked at each other and noticed the various differences in each other. Razorclaw had the head of a lion on his chest plate, Divebomb's head piece looked like a bird's beak, Rampage had claws, Tantrum had horns prodding from his head, and Headstrong had a rhino's horn sticking out the back of his.
"Now...to be certain. Predacons! Transform!"
Instantly the five Predacons all transformed. The five robot warriors transformed into a colossal lion, tiger, bull, rhino, and eagle.
"The reformatting was a success," Shockwave said with satisfaction. "Now the five of you truly are Predacons."
"Wonderful," Razorclaw said as he looked at his new lion form. "Now we are more than a match for the Dinobots."
"Now the five of you, get ready," Shockwave said to them. "We will be nearing Earth soon and I must prepare for my meeting with Megatron."
The five Predacons all left the room, still in their new alt-modes.
"So...Operation Superior was a success,"
Shockwave did not turn to the direction of the voice. He knew who it was.
"It has only been halfway confirmed," Shockwave replied. "We have yet to see if Predaking will be as successful once the combiner technology has been installed into the Predacons."
"I am quite certain it will," the voice replied. "You have succeeded with the Predacons where you failed with the Dinobots. I am sure the Predacons are more than a match for them."
Shockwave shook his head. "The Dinobots still have the advantage in strength. It would be illogical for the Predacons to believe that they can defeat the Dinobots in a sheer battle of blows. As I have already told them, they must use their new beast modes strategically if they are to obtain victory."
"You can worry about that later, Shockwave," The voice told him. "I have some useful information for you. Grimlock is indeed on Earth and he has allied himself with Optimus Prime just as you said he would."
"Have you been able to locate Prime's base of operations?" Shockwave asked.
"No luck. Wherever Prime is, his location is heavily shielded. Not even Megatron has managed to locate it."
"And you are certain that Soundwave has not found out about you?"
"In the old days he would have, but thanks to your modifications to me, I am invisible even to him."
Shockwave nodded his head. "You have done well...Ratbat."
A Decepticon that resembled a large (for humans) bat flew from the shadows of the ceiling and next to Shockwave.
"It was thanks to Megatron and Soundwave that I have been reduced from a high ranking member of the Senate to this measly body," Ratbat replied. "I will make the two of them suffer for this humiliation."
"I will allow you to have your desire for revenge only if Megatron proves to be no longer competent to lead the Decepticons," Shockwave told the former Senator. "Right now it is logical to see if Megatron can redeem himself. As of yet, his capabilities are varied."
"So that's what your meeting with Megatron is all about," Ratbat realized. "You've decided to keep a close watch on Megatron. And if he proves to be useless."
Shockwave looked at him. "Then I will allow you to properly dispose of him."
Ratbat hissed with glee. "Shockwave, for a Decepticon who looks down on emotions, you have a delicious sense of humor."
End of Chapter