METATISIC: PART TWELVE
TITLE: Metatisic., Metatisic: Saga One
TYPE: Transformers G1 fiction
AUTHOR: Megan Seekings & A. Chandler
FIRST RELEASE: 1985, 1986, & 1987.
Revised edition 5/8/03, 2004-2008
SUMMERY: Unable to obtain it from their native planet of Cybertron, Decepticon leader, Galvatron resorts to excavating an asteroid particle that has tested positive for Cybertonium, dispatching a crew to retrieve it. But as the surface layers are removed, trace outline of an ancient staircase unintentionally leads the party on a sudden and very unexpected journey deep into Cybertronian history prior to the first Great War some 14 million years ago!
CHAPTER 7: RENEGADE DECEPTICONS ATTACK!
Sarterius watched through narrowed, conservative optics as Rumble reached out to take his weapon back. Nothing new to be read in the general's iron clad expressions as he did the same for Scourge and Cyclonus. Obedient to his leader's order, but personally opposed to his desire, he feinted with a sudden shift of his shoulder half way between allowing the jet to completely take back his property.
It was like the teeth of a sharkticon when Sarterius grinned. "You may have found the king's momentary favor," he gnarled low so as not to alert Metatisic's attention. "But you'll find it a bit more challenging to persuade me."
His glare tensed with a scowl at Cyclonus' relative calm at the intimidation. Clearly not the response he was expecting. The blue jet appeared positive as ever.
"You're hiding something." Sarterius coasted from the insignia on the lieutenant's chest to his face, trying to read the hidden depths of the twin scarlet panes he found there. "I don't know what, but I know that you are hiding something. And I'll find it ...Yes, I will find it my fellow Decepticon."
"Father, I can fight them ...Father, I can fight the Rougeons too. Dad..."
Sarterius finally relinquished his grip on Cyclonus' rifle. He shoved it at him actually, and held the blue 'con in his sight for a moment longer until Megatron's repeated, bantering insistence became annoying enough to finally distract the war machine's attention. He spied the boy striking the bravest, most confident fight pose he could muster. Smiling, he was aiming his black canon making verbal explosion sounds. Pampered, cosseted boy! Mimicking a lot more than they could ever imagine themselves. The general dealt with waves of just such upstarts dozens of times before --and also busted a few of their mouths for their insolence and the stupid confidence of youth. The vornling would learn soon enough what killing was really like.
"You are to remain here with Shockwave." Metatisic dashed his son's hopes in a instant. The smile and battle pose disintegrated.
"But I'm brave enough" the vornling pouted. "Why not?"
Even though a small spell of pity coated his aspect, Metatisic shook his head. To the scum outside, Megatron would be little more than easy pickings rather than a serious threat to any of their function. Metatisic knew this very well. The rebels would demolish the child for no better purpose at all, except for delight in his grief.
"Bravery has even less to do with it, Megatron." Metatisic was firm and final on the matter. "You lack the wisdom and the necessary firepower --No more. You are to remain here with Shockwave."
"Sire, Rougeons!" One of the guardsmech pointed and implored the Dourjer's attention over to the precipice looking out over the stretch of the capital. A new darkness was creeping every rise of horizon just beyond the gates; a mobile mass of conflicting shade and pinpoint pricks of light, meeting and multiplying on the southern most ridge.
"Our late friend, Jhard has not come alone." Sarterius announced the obvious.
Directly below in the metropolis, troopers, with their calls, rushed the streets grouping in the square surrounding the temple mount. The clatter of their plate armor bled into the startled cries of suddenly frightened civilians. Haphazardly, they ducked and darted for cover wherever it could be found.
"What are they doing down there?!" Metatisic muttered in frustration. "Legate!" he hollered into his chest console. "Legate, acknowledge!"
"Legate... Go ahead, Metatisic."
The leader squint, inspecting the full scope of his cannon barrel as he cinched his mantle tighter to his neck. "I will not stand for this pestilent, banter fodder to be allowed to take the city, Legate" he fumed, locking the cuff, "But I will certainly even less have the soldiers to be allowed to incite panic within the streets. I want order! Professional, maintained order!"
"Yes sire, of course."
"Right now, Legate! --And you!," The Dourjer stabbed a sharp finger at one of three sentries positioned at the dome's main entrance when he chuckled. "Decepticons are you?!" Metatisic spat. "My circuitry seizes at the thought of constructs like you carrying on my heritage, my land, my people!"
"Sire!" In unison, they snapped off a crisp salutes.
"The rest of you--" He strode before them while he spoke. The ruler's voice was cutting, but it was necessary that every single one of them comprehend the magnitude of the situation they were faced with.
"There are droids and there are Decepticons," he said. "To allow the capital to be breeched by any means is not only unforgivable, but it is unthinkable! Bractos is the Vector Sigma of our race! If it should perish, so too will the millions of years spent, the travail of your antecedents who's eternal sparks watch your very actions now. Your children, your brothers, and your fathers will ask: 'Decepticons, how well was your pride?' ...Be sure you can look them all in the eye."
"Master!" More salutes. Heads bowed.
Sarterius and a soldier near him lowered their brows and Metatisic whirled in their direction. His center of attention filtered from his son to the commander. "Sarterius, you stated you had four units?"
"What is their proximity within the city?" Metatisic marched the full length of the viaduct to the transit with only a few strides; confident measures that were as crystal clear as his desire to finalize this whole matter once and for all.
"They are stationed at the northern gate, sire."
"Order that one unit be moved to the south and another on reserve to the west border." The Decepticon leader tapped a sentinel on the shoulder as he passed the robot. "Follow me."
"But, my master, the rebels are to the south. We should maintain more than one century."
"On the contrary, Sarterius, the resistance tends to remind me a lot of retro-rats. They like to sneak in through the tiniest of gaps in the wall. It would be just their benefit to have us move the lot of our warriors to their front leaving our backs exposed to their fire --You!," Metatisic hastily elected another troop. Then Scourge, and then Cyclonus. "You and you. Come now! --If the damned fools are any thought remote to Jhard, Sarterius, then they are trusting that we will fall for just such a folly."
"You --there." The leader picked another sentinel. "Follow me! --Shockwave?"
The gold orb of the transformer's lens flashed with recognition.
"Shockwave you have your first command. Keep the others here with you and divided them between Legate and yourself! Any trustworthy servant who can fight, arm them and have them take up defense measures within the Iysurus, and for all the rest, order a lock down. I won't have this nuisance stirring up a possible revolt."
"Of course, Metatisic."
Satisfied and assured that no possible harm could befall the Iysurus, a faint stroke of a smile tugged at the corners of the wine-colored monarch's lips. With half a nod, he scanned his chosen ones beside him, took note of their number, and paraded toward the transporter.
More than experienced infantry dotted the avenues of the Bractos. A simple medi-droid, though not experienced in the art of warfare, unwrapped a bandage to spread vicious-looking tools upon one of the empty merchant booths in the market terrace. He did not have half the knowledge nor function of a sentry, but he certainly had every ounce of their pride.
"You two stay with me." He collared two of his fellow attendants as they were grabbing cleavers to help in the battle.
"You'll get your fill of spilt energon right here if the riff-raff is foolish enough to enter into the city."
The first of the associates had just bobbed his head in compliance, when a soldier neighboring his flank stretched his right hand to the sky. The signal was relayed with great horns suddenly blaring throughout the district that set off responses all the way down great snakes of soldiers. Hundreds of fighting robots and half as many again in support, the noise was rhythmic as it was deafening.
The medi-droid spotted the reason --toward the fortification of the temple foundation, through the nooks and crannies of chrome and steel, the jaws of the transit opened exposing their god.
Metatisic paused three-fourths of the way across the adjoining bridge that anchored the plaza in order to inspect the gathered pockets of troops. It was clear that civilians and slaves alike were in their number --Good. He knew he was going to need the extra hardware.
"Those of you who are not enlisted Decepticons," Sarterius announced panning the crowd, "Step forward now!"
A few dozen looked at each other before they took a step and Metatisic tallied the number with studious optics. Fifty-nine mech in this lot and several fem-cons.
"How many of you have been in the army?" Sarterius requested.
Eleven or thirteen hands rose Pitiful.
"You Decepticons have priority for firearms. The rest of you go and find anything that will cut or crush. Run!"
The last word shocked the frightened men and women out of their lethargy and they scattered. Those who already found weapons remained. Most of them robbed the merchants no doubt. Metatisic walked up to one of them, a stone faced lad with slab-muscled shoulders potted with dings and dents. He was armed with a large wrench and stank of petroleum and old grease.
"What is your name?"
"I don't have one, master," came the reply. "I am a slave."
It was difficult for the Dourjer not to crack a smile at the bizarre answer, but it was also very apparent the mech was being respectfully honest. "Very well," Metatisic accepted. "Nameless slave. Where do you labor?"
"Cargo, Lord. I work the B dock repairing ships and subways."
"I see. Have you ever taken a life?"
The youth appeared a little worried, "N-no" he replied. "But if the need presented itself."
"It has presented itself now. Don't hesitate with the choice as you did your answer. The throat and cerebrum. Find something to block a blow --some sort of shield."
"Yes, master, directly."
"All of you listen up!" Metatisic snapped away from the slave to the masses surrounding him. "The rebels are opportunist at best, so they will be on the lookout for easy targets to plunder! The numbers of our legions within Bractos are minimal," he revealed. "If our enemy becomes aware of this they will no doubt attempt to use every bit of that fact to their advantage in order to seize the city and destroy your way of life!"
A stunned gasp exhaled from those gathered.
"I want every battalion to fan out across the capital. Make the sound a hundred mechs each! One strong Decepticon, whether he is programmed for conflict or not, with a good sword arm and a ruthless temperament can handle hostilities as well as any other."
A luster of neon cued within the monarch's crimson eyes just then. It arced there, speeding the diamonds of each panel until they shone like flashlights. A witness to his urgency, Cyclonus' shoulders lifted a little straighter.
A genius --that is what Rumble told him and Scourge. The smaller 'con was left behind to Shockwave's orders now somewhere still within the Iysurus Temple. But the cassetticon left 'grandeur' out of his description menu. Megatron's parent was heavily laden with pride as though it had been hot-wired directly into his central processing unit. Nothing he transmitted was forced. With respect triggering a grin from the lieutenant, it was clearly apparent to him that Metatisic was not a 'god' because he, or national law said it was so. He was a god because his Decepticons willingly believed it.
Throughout the audience, heads and helmets bowed with reverence as Metatisic lifted his to the still brilliant disk far above the estate. The zenith of the Alpha-Centauri had passed its daily cycle, but its splendor still reigned with evanescing thoroughfares catapulted across the Ta'nakian sky.
"Exceptional engender--" The tone of the Decepticon leader was discretional in his esteem. His eyes were closed as he prayed. "Be with your offspring. Powerful and mighty Megadyne Hail to you, firstborn ray of Karna."
"Hail, Megadyne!" Some voices who heard him reiterated. "We will not forget!"
"Illuminate within me your wisdom as I am of the son of your sons." Metatisic requested. "To be your resurrection! Allow the greatness that was your armies to be with my own now on this day. Become as one within me, great, eternal Dourjer of the horizon."
As he solicited the favor of his god, Scourge's eyes flicked back and forth conjecturally between his comrade and a warrior he didn't know at his side. He did not know this prayer (neither did Cyclonus by the looks of his mute face) but shouldn't they answer like the others around them? Wouldn't it be a sacrilege if they did not? After all, Sarterius was already looking for any right or reason to rip their throat rods out!
"Steady, Scourge." Cyclonus must have sensed his worry. He didn't say anything else, only jutted his chin while the last words roll off the monarch's lips like the oily mech fluid sliding down his left cheek just then. It was final. From here on, only time would tell if his deities heard him at all.
"You --there ...You, over there. You're in that group."
Cyclonus recognized the voice as belonging to one of the soldier from back at the Ohiiden camp. He was the one that had given him and his fellows energon, and now he was deciding their fates. Cyclonus knew exactly what 'that group' meant; could tell by the wash of fear in the optics of the chosen. 'that group' would the first to be sent out. The first in line.
"Sacrifice." He muttered out the corner of mouth at the sweep leader.
"You, over there! In that line! In that line! Order! Order!"
"For the better good of the Decepticon cause." Scourge replied.
"Yes. Not much has changed."
The foraging continued. Cyclonus allowed his focus to slide to the right over to where Megatron's father had been in prayer. He was gone. Suffocated in the dividing pillars of the spendable stock, sentries, and civilians. It was easy to tell who was who with each call and point of a sword or finger: "You're in that group."