METATISIC: PART THIRTEEN
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!
The noise of the robots was like a flock of cybro-geese cackling in excited nervousness. Cyclonus had been chosen for what they billed the 3rd unit Incredible! He could see the chief-general Sarterius patrolling the infantry and spreading the count to different sectors of the city's retainer walls. With such a Decepticon in charge, it was clearly a wonder, Cyclonus thought, how he'd not managed to be part of the first.
Sarterius, his Lord's steward and almighty co-commander. What was it about him really? Was the taunting just his fuel in the face of his enormous responsibility? High treason was serious. It had always been serious to Decepticons. For someone of Sarterius' rank, his suspicion was actually, despite its vicious, rabid flare, every bit justified. Cyclonus knew full well that if it had been him instead, he wouldn't act much differently. He would not think twice about deactivating Scourge if he thought he was a traitor.
Scourge. Cyclonus' attention strolled the collection of soldiers around him and didn't see him anywhere.
"Silence!" Sarterius snapped. "The next Decepticon to speak will get back down here and face me!"
In the sudden absence of chatter, they could again hear the screams and yells of the Rougeon horde rushing the metallic fields, taking their positions much faster than the Dourjer's police, and saturating ever closer towards the capital sprawl. They were ready and most likely had been. Knowing it worried the general.
"We need to listen to what is going on! Keep silent and keep a distance from the next mech along, so you can swing without cutting off his head."
The mechs shuffled apart from the little knots that had formed out of the need for contact. Still, Sarterius cursed himself. The best of his outfit were astro-miles away in-route from the Nin'ger passage where he had first dispatched them to back when he still believed that the renegades wouldn't dare oppose Bractos. He entertained the positive view that at least he had this mass of corruption choked. If they retreated, his legions there would be waiting there to sever the remains of their number.
But until then? Twenty good war mech from his own battalions and he could hold this wall until the next dawn. These were infants, 60% inexperienced, and armed with little more than sticks and socket wrenches! Sarian slaves and several femmes. How could he teach them the finer points of full scale warfare so quickly?!
"There is nowhere to run to." Sarterius tried to find some words to encourage them, "If the mob breaks past you, everyone in the capital will die. Your families! That is your responsibility. You must not leave your position --we are stretched thinly as it is. The retention walls of the city is 8 feet wide --one pace. Learn it quick or you will fall."
He watched as the 'cons shuffled around on the wall, checking the width for themselves. His expression tightened.
"Do not look down, even if you see your friends being killed before you. Take honor in their sacrifice and fight on!"
Fight on! They were the memorialized words of all Decepticons. Springing forth from this past, they latched hold onto its future. The 'future' that existed in Cyclonus. There was a flighted moment where the jet embraced that pride while he hunkered down checking the charge gauge of his weapon. Realization came to him like a flood that although the date on the calendar may have changed, the principal of Decepticon function had not --Fight on!
Sarterius had offered the best advice he could. The endless chains of runners were still. There was no more water to be carried, and the stockpiles of energo-arrows and artillery shot were all in position. Only the breathless footsteps of a messenger from another part of the wall broke the tension now.
Irritation spidered the general's face. It had grown quiet --much too quiet. He gripped the lip of the wall looking for any sign of a change.
He found only one. A lone renegade steamed up towards the retainer. "He's mad!" Sarterius favored a instant speculation, "Every one of them! They've all lost their logistics!"
He considered dropping the idiot where he stood. One single pitch could put a dol-laser spear straight through the fool's neck. His thoughts were interrupted as a cloaked messenger jostled by him. In that moment, the scene completely shifted. Sarterius watched in dawning horror as the robots on the closest section of the wall were suddenly overwhelmed from behind by their own companions! So rigorous were they on the swarm clamoring beyond the gates that scores fell in seconds. What they thought were gunners dropped the shells they held and sank sabers into the soldiers nearest them, murdering sentinels before they even realized they were already under attack.
"No!" Cyclonus spat. He didn't tap the militant next to him, he smacked him hard for his attention, "THEY'RE ALREADY INSIDE!"
Even as he lifted his pistol and felt rather than saw the Decepticon do the same, he caught sight of a flare launching up into the air. As it exploded into a brilliance of gold and fire, outside the retainer wall, the Rougeon horde roared as if hell had broken open. Cyclonus was sure he had heard this sound once before --when the chaos-bringer, Unicron drove his fist into the crust of Cybertron like a blacksmith stamping sheet metal.
"Attack!" He commanded, hardly giving thought that the order was not his to ordain. What did it matter in the delirium? The inexperience of most of his comrades was immediately apparent. Beside him, a civilian was holding a sword out in front of him, but trembling so badly, he wasn't swinging at all. Cyclonus snapped his attention to the left pumping a rebel with five rounds just as the renegade was about to pull his weapon.
"Do you want to die?! I said attack!"
Through his field glasses, the Dourjer Metatisic could already make out the desperation mounting from the reserve post. He saw the teams dressed as runners were all armed and converging on where Sarterius stood. His hull was already speckled with the fushia and violet glow of his enemies' energon. Watching with alarm rich eyes, the general buried his gladius into another renegade while spinning to take off the head of another.
A fool! ...Dammit! They had taken him for a fool! Gnashing back boiling rage, it was perfectly clear now that the enemy was not only already within the capital, but it was equally apparent that it also meant the rebels were alert to the fact that most of his legions were not with him. The Dourjer's fleet had been hastily crafted of townspeople and slaves.
"Coronach!" Metatisic let the binoculars fall mid-chest. "Get every mech up to the barricades! Move! Triple the fleet on the line!"
The youth nodded and signaled to the messengers to carry the news to the outpost of the line as urgently as possible.
More flares popped overhead and suddenly the sky turned black with energo-arrow shafts, a stinging, humming swarm of death companioning a rainbow of photon and laser fire that pennant towards Bractos. Metatisic watched the hostility fall. He clenched his fist and tightened his jaw as they whirred towards his direction. Soldiers around him threw themselves down, but he stood straight and unblinking with his optics mirroring the fire like glitter.
The shafts rained and firecrackered around him. He turned and chuckled at his scrambling advisers and officers. Coronach was on his knees. Two others stared glassily at the sky unmoving.
"A good omen, don't you think?" Metatisic said, still smiling. "Aaaaaaattack!! He demanded.
Through the glare of return fire, Rougeons stormed the retainer. Metatisic's first blow took one of the runners as they slowed to negotiate scrambling groups of fighters. More of the sentries seemed to have woken up to the fact that the enemy was disguised and in the flashing colors and blows of combat, no Decepticon knew quite exactly which of the groups were friends and which were foes. It was a devastating ploy, and inside the walls everything was chaos.
Few had sabers. Most were armed, like the defenders, with whatever they could find (or had confiscated from the caravan trails) Some had no weapons except their frenzied rage, and Cyclonus dispatched the first of these with a slick shot to the neck, ignoring the quivering fingers that scrabbled at his breastplate. All along the line, screams rose above the crush of metal on metal and the droning hum of electric bullets and swinging energo-swords that met their armored targets with florets of white current. Cyclonus caught a glimpse of Scourge just then --or so it resembled, within the rush dizziness of hot pain.
The Saboteur hissed. His injury from the solar flux danced a twinkle of sparks upon his right knee joint although its blistering pain was thudding in his audios. He saw Sarterius to his left and, for a moment, on his right. The general had plugged the muzzle of his rifle deep into the gullet of a Rougeon rebel and pulled the trigger. Yellow colored slivers of iron plate and oil wet throat rods sprayed the ground and coated the shells of others nearby. He let the body fall back on its fellows and stamped on fingers that gained easier and easier holds on the retention wall as the bodies of the dead served as props for new attackers.
Cyclonus swore over the agony in his leg and clenched his jaw when he slammed his fist into a renegade's stomach, almost losing his footing when the Rougeon caught his wing tip when he toppled backwards. Another took his place and another, Cyclonus couldn't see a end to them.
He took a blow from a rod of steel that left him dazed for a second. He staggered back, reeling, trying to find the power to raise his blaster to meet the next one.
>>>Energon intact: 0030.04% 0000:0005000 >>>
Just perfect! "I'm to old for this" He told noone in particular and shoulder-barged a rebel mech as he fought to strengthen. The robot fell badly, toppling backward onto his head with a yell. The cargo slave from the temple mount was there to greet him with his socket wrench he was batting for all it was worth.
More flares arched the battlefield. Catapults of fire detonated to hurl twisted forms up into the air.
"Fire!" Cyclonus heard a guardsmech order from the right. "Fire!" More white-gold and scarlet sizzled across the sky. Within seconds, the explosions were raging into nets of flames and thick smoke.
Two more rebels breasted the wall at once, leaping from the pile of bodies that were now half as high as the top. The first swung a sword at Sarterius, who let his own slid into the mech's chest from the side, letting the wild lunge carry the destroyed sentry onto the collapse of others below. The second one however, Cyclonus pegged off quick with a shot that caught the soldier eye level just before he could reach the general.
"Are you hurt?" Cyclonus asked, without taking his eyes off the retainer. His chest pulsed with pain and he cringed fighting hard not to let it show. Sarterius, on the contrary, looked somewhat surprised.
"No ...Stand in your post, Decepticon Cyclonus."
Cyclonus looked at him for a long moment. "I think I'll stay here awhile longer with all apologies, commander," He said softly.
"Yes. To help you with them!" Cyclonus just pointed with his gun. More rebel mechs surged over the wall and Sarterius flicked left just in time to dance his energo-saber from one throat and cranium to the next unstoppably.
Galvatron's lieutenant barely noticed those who fell beneath his rounds. Their antique weaponry was no match against 21st century technology. He fought as he had been trained: thrust, fire, guard, reverse. The hulls mostly thickened at the lean of the gate and had become like stairs to both their comrades and Metatisic's army. The straight lines were long gone. Soldiers rushed everywhere in every direction.
It seemed as if they threw themselves into his range of fire. Shot after shot drenching the wall with the gush of fluids, saturating him at the same time. Why wouldn't they just quit? Draw back? Was it blind faith? Blind faith did have the habit of possessing souls into believing they could do anything in the face of impossible odds. These renegades were Decepticons after all, the principal of 'fight on!' was certainly no less valuable to any of them. But they couldn't possibly win this. How could they think too?
One Rougeon clearly didn't realize he was dying. His energon poured from his chest with thick bleeds of black oil. One of his arms was already blown clean, but he still kept hacking away with a broken dol-spear, his face maniac. Infantry poured down the corpse built steps charging onto the field. Several swings from a dozen fresh sentries of the 9th unit butchered the robot to pieces.
Thrust, fire, guard, and reverse, Cyclonus was locked in the soldier's rhythm of destruction as he zig-zagged out onto the field. Sarterius, who had been beside him, welded in the flood, lost from his sight. On the battle stretch, Cyclonus could finally take notice that the eastern most walls had faired a lot worse, in fact he couldn't make it out at all. The gate was alive with fire that was climbing as high as the silos they were meant to protect. Through the blankets of smoke, few figures were still moving.
Spears of gold shot out of the ash plumes pecking off Rougeon soldiers nearest the torched retainer. The all too familiar 'crick-crack' sound alerted Cyclonus' attention to a form distorted for a moment in the ebony puffs; Metatisic transformed back into his robot mode and crashed his boot into the crown of one of the mechanisms as it collapsed. It touched off a demonic grin from the Decepticon leader feeling satisfaction at the linkages popping under his weight. He spun and shot another.
That's when it happened! Whatever remained of the east gate was gone in one instantaneous concussion that palpitated the entire length of the battlefield. Flames and heat had caught up to the pyramids of artillery shells and they detonated into a thunderous, far-flung copper-tinted hell mushrooming high above the site of the outpost. Knocked to all fours by the shockwave, Cyclonus instinctively brought his arms up to shield his face as foundation, metal, and chunks of fire rained down all around him. It pelted his back with a chorus of dings. His thoughts wandered away and back, fogged by the impact. He lost consciousness, he thought only for a few seconds.
There was nothing to be seen, only heard. The sounds of battle cradling him swelled with screams and ripe torment. For a while, it appeared, either he was oblivious to the enemy, or they were just as oblivious to him wanting only to escape the carnage. Survivors ran past him while others only managed a few more steps before they dropped. Cyclonus blinked away the fuzz momentarily infecting his visuals, allowing the realization to dawn that some of still falling rubble was not the gate's substructure, but the wreckage of shattered robot frames.
Cyclonus gagged on the smoke. One body slumped near what used to be the post was too familiar. At the sight of it, horror crested in the Decepticon's widening optics. He jerked: "Metatisic!"
He struggled to try to walk.
No ...No! It's not him! Not him! His visuals toyed with double vision, sometimes triple. He cursed and wrestled with his weakness towards the direction again. Maybe it wasn't anything. With all the litter and deformed ruin, and his optics betraying him with phantoms, there was a likely opportunity that it was. Pain buckled his right leg from under him --Primus, dammit! He would drag the limb if he had too.
A Rougeon tank shell soared overhead and collided with the already ravaged east retainer. Shards of its dilapidated husk avalanched in defeat setting free what he hoped up until then was just a knot of steel beams --it wasn't. The body shifted and then flip-flopped down the slope of debris to collect with other casualties at the base.
It was Metatisic! His once polished wine construction was painted with thick unartistic smears of creosote, crude oil, and smudging drools of other robots' drainage. Ironically, the Dourjer came to rest against the lifeless wreck of a rebel militant he had destroyed moments before the blast.
Another plosion as Cyclonus limbered towards the monarch. This time it came from a flame-gutted silo overhead the carnage. Its iron frame groaned in protest as it came crashing down.
"Metatisic?" Cyclonus pawed at his leg clamoring for a hold.
He's dead ...Great god and Cybertron, he's dead!
"Meta eh! isic?" The second-in-command slammed his eyes shut hissing over a volley of anguish. Metatisic was wedged tight in a crush of body shells and jagged ruins. With his diagnostics pealing stressfully about his systematics forlorn condition, Cyclonus feared he might not be able to pull him free from the wreck. He absolutely had to refuel.
"Metatisic?!" He straddled one corpse, then another, kicking a stubborn jag of crumpled plate armor out of the way in order to grasp the leader's hand at last.
He's dead already, you fool! He's dead! And you're dying too ..
But I got ... I must!
Cyclonus yanked hard and finally Metatisic slide lifelessly from the tangled mutilation. Puffing what he was sure was the last ounce of energy he had left, the lieutenant dropped across him searching for a motor purr, the tick of a gear shift, a spark ...anything at all that would hint some presence of life.
Illuminance flickered from the twin rouge windows of his optics like a faulty bulb and when Metatisic gurgled suddenly, trying to cough, Cyclonus' weathered expression brightened. He was functional --scarcely, but it was the indication the futuristic jet fighter wanted so badly to see. Where was Scourge? Sarterius? Were they even alive? Screening his immediate surroundings, everything that looked like a robot was dead. He picked out moving forms in the calamity Rougeon forms!
There would be no question at all that if the rebellion found them now he might have the glimmer of a chance, but Metatisic would be murdered immediately. He was their enemies' king and their leader. His death would be a satisfying moment of triumph. Cyclonus had to get him out of here!
Against the nauseating ping of physical drain, Cyclonus hissed, tugging a dead Decepticon over top of Metatisic to camouflage him briefly from view then spun, crouching to engage the Rougeons. They spotted him before he could locate them again in the scrolls of smoke and flame and shouted out orders in Delepic that Cyclonus did not need Rumble's help in order to translate: "Kraku! ...Vaars! Vaars!"
He threw himself down into the tangles just as the renegades riddled the area around him with heavy fire. Bullets clipped off pieces of debris sending pockets of dust floating up into the air.
The wreckage of the east retainer gave him the cover he wanted to crawl left undetected. While the Rougeon sentries inched close to inspect their damage from one direction, Cyclonus came up on one knee from the other and fired full force into the network of soldiers. Three of them took hits grunting as they dropped. A fourth held his volley a moment longer, when his optics shifted suddenly from Cyclonus to a second floor tower mount behind him. In that same moment Cyclonus saw the rebel warrior's cranium shake and bounce back --a thin line of energon trickled from the Rougeon's forehead. Still for only a instant, the robot fell face up to his death. Cyclonus was puzzled. What had happened?! The jet flashed a quick confused glance to the spaces above him, but saw nothing directly to indicate were the mysterious blast had come from...
The young mech had one optic squinted shut and focused his other down the trigger line of his ebony cannon. Steady, steady --just like he had been taught. Just like he had observed hundreds of times before. Only those targets weren't moving. These ones were, and they also had weapons of their own to return fire! Using the whips of flame and ash for cover, the vornling stiffened his upper body, pressed his lips tight and squeezed down on the trigger, the recoil jerked his shoulder back.
He had killed him! He killed that Rougeon soldier.
A slender bar of shade criss-crossed the adolescent. A breeze of smoke was still fanning from his black shank.
"Revenge" Megatron said, "Just like I swore I would, Soundwave."