METATISIC: PART TWENTY
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 border - Destron Wastelands; The Exodus Point
(In the 'Dead Zone'....)
The silver male, more like a whip than a mech, held up a thin hand for the company to stop. Whining, the vardos' repulsors protested the sudden change in motion. Steelheart protested silently. All the endless boredom was not what she'd signed up for. She'd wanted adventure... this was like babysitting.
"I'm getting some sort of strange magnetic interference," he intoned nasally. "I suggest we wait here until my scans are finished."
Steelheart looked up to the sky and begged Primus for something, anything, to happen. It don't even have to be that spectacular. A vector hawk going over. A petro rabbit popping up on the dunes. Anything. Ah'm so tired of Voyager running his mouth about 'danger' that Ah could scream. Just give me a sign that yer as bored as Ah am...
Overhead, the red and ghost stars had been climbing towards each other as they did every day, to make their pass and continue on in their orbit. She watched the two for awhile, noticing, for the first time, how awfully close they were... in fact, the entire sky was brightening as the stars came within touching distance of coronas.
Well, Primus, this ain't too bad. She thought to herself wryly, enjoying the show.
"The stellar conjunction seems to be playing havoc with my sensors," Voyager muttered, doing a little percussive maintenance on the scanner box he held. He slapped the scanner a few more times then threw it to the dust with a petulant sigh. "I hate this place! I hate it!"
Steelheart could barely contain her laughter as two of the front guards had to overtake the silver male. He'd taken to stomping on his scanner and then bolted insanely into the direction of the hills.
"Too many logic upgrades fer his own good," she chuckled.
Just as the guards had subdued the still screaming Voyager, everything turned white... then violet... then some stage between the two. The dust shown like granulated silver, reflective and bright like mica. Looking up from tangle of robotic limbs before the first vardo, Steelheart shaded her optics with one hand, admiring the nuclear fireball of the carmine sun.
She squinted, wishing she had high-glare film on her optics. It seemed like there were some sort of dark spots descending through the shafts of cherry light. They... they looked like mechs!
Dashing out in front of the caravan, she looked up in awe.
-How did they get so far out into the Dead Zone?- Canticle demanded over their communications band.
-They don't appear hostile- Quodlibet transmitted.
Coronach had to agree and sent a wordless tone of assent. If anything, the scrabbling going on between three of the strange robots was amusing. Nor, did it seem, that they were rebels. In fact, they were emblazoned with unfamiliar brands in a red not unlike the color of normal optics. -Approach and be cautious.- The young commander counseled his wingmates. -If these robots have the ability to trek so far, they must have considerable ingenuity and stamina... and that could mean this is a trap-
As the trio of Herak alit, the fighting amongst the strange mechs settled down, as did the screaming of the silvery one. They drew back, all of them did, save one. Coronach scanned the foreigners quietly, then his optics fell upon what must have been the caravan leader --A tall red female, out in front. Seemingly fearless before all the others.
What reason a male would make a femme leader was beyond him. His wingmates were snickering and commenting rudely over their shared communications band. He ignored their jokes, but agreed with the sentiment. Females were best at home where they wouldn't be exposed to such things as to scratch their paint or...
She was staring at him still.
It was beginning to make him uncomfortable.
[ I am Coronach, Commander of His Majesty's Herak. Are you, in fact, the leader of this band? ] Coronach began, asking in her in Delepic tongue.
She continued to stare, without comprehension. Turning her head to one side and then the other, she gave the appearance of almost childlike fascination. It was starting to make Coronach's internal temperature fluctuate.
[ Madam, will you refrain from staring at me like that?! ] He finally snapped.
She jerked back and bowed her head.
[ Are you the leader? ] He tried again, in a softer tone.
Looking up, he was struck by the odd coloring of her eyes once more.
How did they make your optics like the sky? He caught himself wondering.
[ Is she deaf? ] Canticle asked.
Coronach stared right back at her this time and she quailed a bit. [ I don't believe so. I don't think she understands what I'm saying. ]
Quodlibet chuckled. [ Then we can say anything we want...]
Coronach glared at him. Quodlibet immediately held up his hands in submission.
Finally, with the blue spirit-mech looking away, Steelheart found that she could move. Primus had answered, and he'd given her a dozy of a response. Never in her life had she ever expected to see one of his servants, but here three of them stood-- wings and all.
They can fly! Her memory core reminded her again in disbelief, replaying their descent.
"What are they?" One of the other guards asked.
"No one can fly! Nobody!" Another insisted.
Voyager was struggling again with his captors. "Let me up, you dolts. I recognize bits of their language. It's from the ancient records..."
"Then... then Primus must've sent them!" Steelheart concluded aloud.
Voyager's angry denial was drowned out by the intake of so much atmosphere at once. The entire caravan seemed to agree with Steelheart.
The blue one was making optic-contact with her again. He was speaking that strange language very slowly. Unable to do much else, she listened, trying to make some sort of sense out of it. He'd narrowed his ruby optics as he enunciated each syllable firmly.
Suddenly shy for the first time in a long time, Steelheart ducked her head again. Perhaps... perhaps they weren't being respectful enough...
Coronach's voice trailed away into nothingness as the leader of the strange robots kneeled... and all the rest followed suit. As the light of the evening conjunction faded, he found he was looking over a sea of bent heads and bowed frames.
[ Well, I think they just surrendered. ] Quodlibet chuckled.
[ That was the shortest battle I've ever been in. ] Canticle added.
[ Coronach, you're our new secret weapon. Just give you a megaphone and you can talk the enemy into submission...] Quodlibet smiled.
Coronach harrumphed and his comrades laughed.
Sensing the female's distress, he leaned down to help her back up. [ It is good you respect the agents of the Dourjer, but this is excessive... ]
"Get up you cretins! They're no more servants of Primus than I am!" Voyager shrieked.
The guards holding him down slapped him and forced his head down too.
"Let me go!"
Steelheart, looking into the face of the leader of the spirit-mechs as he again tried to talk with her, frowned. Anger rising at being interrupted, she turned. Pulling her blaster out of her hip compartment, she narrowed her optics and leveled it at the shrieking mech.
"If'n you don't shut yer fuel-hole, Ah'm gonna blow yer logic processors all over the place."
Voyager howled. "You're making a mistake!"
"And yer crazy! Running around like a some sort of vibro hen with a turbo fox after it, screamin about how you hate this place." She gestured with the gun to the guards that still had Voyager pinned, "You two, keep him quiet."
"Alright, Steelheart." And, "Yes, ma'am." Were the responses.
[ Un! She's armed! ] Canticle blurted.
[ I think we can all see that. It's not like she has it pointed at us. ] Quodlibet sighed.
Canticle hissed. [ Femmes don't carry weapons! ]
Coronach looked at them, and then back at the red female who had taken on an air of fierce authority. [ Apparently, this one does. ]
The young commander reached over and lowered her blaster by placing a hand over the atmospheric breach. She looked at him and a frown crossed her features again. Her odd eye color was starting to become less disconcerting. Asking him something in that sloe voice of hers, he was at a loss to respond for a moment. [ Perhaps you'd better let me have this... ] He spoke as he lifted up on the weapon.
She tugged on it once and shouted something, but, when he narrowed his optics at her, she relented. Taking the gun, he turned it over in his hands and checked the power cell. [ This is very similar to the blasters that the Infantry carry. ]
[ Really? ] Quodlibet walked over and took a look at the strange firearm. [ It is... but the markers are all wrong. And what is this red symbol that is stamped on everything and painted on them? ] He gestured to the caravan.
Canticle snorted, his concern evaporating. Those weapons weren't worth the slag they were made from compared to a Herak's. [ I don't care. Let's just take them back and let the linguists deal with them. ]
[ Why? I think this has gone far enough. Why not ask them and satisfy 'Libet's curiosity? ] Coronach replied.
"I've played this ruse a little too long, I think." Coronach said, "You're obviously no rebels, though your language is rather odd. I am Coronach, Commander of His Majesty's Herak."
Steelheart's optics snapped to his. She wore a look of distinct astonishment.
"They can talk normal!" One of the tinkers blurted.
Beginning to rise, the others broke into wild conversation. They came forward in a mass, trying to communicate with the winged mechs.
"How do you fly?"
"What's a Herak?"
"Who's His Majesty?"
"Is there a city near here?"
"Yeah, like a city with fuel?"
"Do you guys have some spare fuel?"
Voyager laughed snidely. "That's what I've been trying to tell you all. They're obviously examples of a divergent form of robotic life. They probably adapted to flight because of this hideous mess all around us..."
The big red fembot rounded on the now free Voyager, "Shut up."
"You're just ashamed... And rightly so! Believing that you, a guard, knows more than one of the brightest minds ever produced on Cybertron. Besides, what are you going to do? Drawl at me?" The slim silver mech laughed.
"No. Ah ain't. But you think about something, runt. Ah'm taller than you and Ah'm stronger than you... and Ah've got a lot bigger fists than you do..." She growled. "And Ah don't appreciate being talked down to by mealy mouthed little freaks."
Voyager pulled back, his optics widening in horror.
Coronach, assaulted by the questions of the others, barely heard what was said, but he did take notice. He smirked. Leaving the excited crowd to Quodlibet and Canticle, he singled the woman out and steered her away from the small silver male. When the presumptuous little robot tried to follow, Coronach glared at him until he slunk away to join the group pumping the amused Quodlibet and the irritated Canticle for information.
"Why did you string me along like that?" Steelheart asked. "'Voyager's right. Ah looked like a damn fool."
"As I said, we cannot be too careful. The renegades are--" Coronach began.
"What renegades? Are you folks fighting a war too?" Steelheart asked pointedly.
Coronach glanced at her with narrowed optics. "Too? Who are your people fighting?"
"Some nasty creatures that call themselves Quintessons." She drew the last word out in a disgusted hiss. "Big ugly critters with tentacles and five-faces..."
"Five?" Coronach shook his head. Impossible. Those creatures were fairy tales... "Hmph. Well the renegades are the Rougeons. They're like us, but have turned their back on their Dourjer. Pathetic constructs really...trying to turn others against the rays of Karna's light."
"Light... oh... you must mean Primus." Steelheart said.
Coronach mouthed the unfamiliar word and then looked at her. "You mentioned that name before. Um, ..Pr-rymmis?"
"Primus, you know, he made us all and he leads us through..."
Coronach stopped short and frowned. "What do your people call themselves?"
Steelheart paused next to him. "Cybertronians."
"Then the reports are true! You are the foreigners from beyond the Dead Zone!" He intoned solemnly. "And you call Megadyne by a strange name."
Steelheart blinked. "Well, Ah figure Primus is a busy guy. He's probably got a bunch of names."
The young commander kept his thoughtful frown, but started to walk again. "Perhaps."
"Look. Maybe you should be talking to Voyager." Her tone was worried.
"No," Coronach insisted.
"He's a little long-winded, but a heap smarter than Ah am, Commander." She protested.
Coronach gestured. "Do not be kind. He is annoying. You are not." His words had a ring of finality about them. "Now, tell me about the other side of the Zone..."
"We're in the middle of a war, so it's none too pretty." Steelheart sighed, "Cybertron could be beautiful though... if'n we had the time to make it that way."
"That's true of any place in a conflicted area. Not even our holiest city was spared. Bractos was recently assaulted by Rougeons..." Coronach glanced at her, "But enough of troubles. There will be time enough to muse over battles and mourn losses later. What I wish to know is what are your people like?"
Steelheart shrugged. "They're just people, I'd reckon. All sorts. There're some that are small like Voyager, and some that are big like Gridlock-- he's the fella that punched Voyager in the back of the head "
Coronach couldn't stifle a smile. "Do females command often or are you unique?"
"Command? Oh no. Ah'm not the leader of the expedition. Voyager is-- even though he's a mite screwy back home there are female commanders though. Like Beta. She's second-in-command of the Iacon militia."
He looked at her a moment, his face expressionless. "You ordered the others to attack your leader?"
"Well, Ah couldn't have him hurt'in himself or none of y'all now could Ah?" She frowned at him in confusion.
"I doubt that he could have harmed us," the seeker commander stated flatly. "Why did the others obey you?"
"Well, Ah've been head of security a-ways since Firestarter turned back with his brother and the other two femmes. Ah suppose the others figure since Voyager can't be trusted on account of his problems, that Ah'm next in line to tell 'em what to do."
Before Coronach could respond there was a frustrated noise from a few paces away. He looked up to find Canticle staring at him.
"Commander, the stars sink lower on the horizon. Would it not be best to make for O'hiiden for the night?" The red Herak asked.
In the background, he could see that even Quodlibet --whose good humor was legendary-- was becoming irritated with the constant endless questions from the foreign robots. With a glance at Steelheart, he nodded to Canticle. "Yes. That seems appropriate. Since I do not relish trudging through this " He gestured to the dunes. "Wasteland. We will air-lift the Cybertronians."
Canticle's optics brightened for a moment in astonishment. "You mean, carry them like transports?"
"That is what I said."
The red Herak nodded curtly. "If that is your command." He turned on his heel to inform the inundated Quodlibet.
Coronach turned to Steelheart. "Notify the others in your party that they may only take what may fit in their paneling, or carry in their hands. Everything else must be abandoned."
She nodded. "No problem, but Voyager is gonna have a fit."
With a sharp gesture, the seeker Commander dismissed the statement. "I will deal with him if he creates a scene."
The tall red femme shrugged. "Alright." Steelheart turned to the slowly dispersing group, whistling to get their attention.
Coronach watched her through slitted optics.