METATISIC: PART SIX
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: In 2009, after a mission for Cybertonium uncovered several severely damaged ruins apparently belonging to ancient territory of Ta'nak, the Decepticons had hurriedly left the site racing back to Chaar in a attempt to outrun a powerful, galaxtical phenomena known as a solar flux. But the rare nebula has pulled Cyclonus, Scourge, and also Rumble as well into its vacuum! Have the three of them been destroyed, lost forever, or?!
CHAPTER 4: A WRINKLE IN TIME?
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The mosaic passed, slowly, but it did subside. It had exchanged with the pink before it fanned with a new, incredible and prolonged black. At long last the drifting --that might very well have been in his head-- had stopped, but a queer filter of light that hovered off to the left for the last 18-19 astro-minutes, always seemed too long a ways off. A faint scent of smoke hung on motionless air, although no smoke was visible.
>>000235:88700 beginning audio restoration ...Energon intact: 0053.64% Defrage sequence engaging 0000:0006400>>>>
Sprawled face down, Cyclonus did not move when he regained consciousness. He waited in the hope that his confusion would dissipate. The far-flung complex web grew glistening and bright as its core appeared to explode and all went dim again. Black, blacker, blackest. A cold beyond frozen. For a prolonged moment its numb coursed through his mainframe and he thought, "Ah, so, now I am dying. I'm surprised at just how content I am with its dark offering."
But when Cyclonus winked, trying to focus, the blackness had been nothing but veils within his own lenses, a product of his back-up modems that, at last, had engaged. Now he was exploding through the surface of the dark. Life thrust painfully back into his steel frame rather than gently.
Shadows loomed like a convocation of robed figures crowding around him. Gradually his vision cleared, but in his weakened spell, little was revealed other than the clear understanding he was now on dry land --not floating-- sucking its surface when he inhaled, but too feeble yet to muster the strength needed to turn over. Still weaker yet to begin guessing where they had landed.
They? ...Yes, Scourge. Cyclonus had watched the spinning monster swallow him whole before he too also became its unwitting prey. And little Rumble ...he fought so hard to hold on. Where were they now? Nearby? Perhaps the nova had jettisoned them elsewhere, or not let them free at all? Behind the lids of Cyclonus' eyes, he saw the bright disturbing hallucination again of the great web with so many twinkles and pulsing lights caught within them. The filter of light was there. It must have been there all along.
Breeze patted his face when he summoned the energy to turn his head. His optics openned with a new crimson glow flooding across the spheres, but still his vision was still drenched in the white. From somewhere else came a "Fum-fum-fum-fummm" sound. A large crop of rock six or nine feet from him, was so vague that for a moment it seemed ineffably strange. Cyclonus stared at it for a while before he realized what it was and focused on a stroke of violet sprawled amongst its jags. It appeared so out of place upon the tan colors.
"Unn..." Cyclonus sipped. "Unnerrooo... Ra ...rrRumble?" A arm was suddenly sliding beneath his, gripping tight and controlling him to his feet. "Cyclonus? Can you stand?"
No. He couldn't. Not even for just a moment. Cyclonus' legs knocked out from beneath him and he sagged in the arms of his helper --Scourge! So the pinked entity had spit them all out here in the same place after all. Slipping from the sweep to his knees, the lieutenant fought hard not to keel over completely again and stood on all fours.
Scourge... How could he be so full of vigor yet? Cyclonus thought about asking, but couldn't --not yet. Stupefied by the predicament, his logistics had yet to process what exactly was real, and what might be malfunction.
The noise was real enough though. It came from his intercom that was still open to the patch Razorclaw had established from inside the cargo unit. The connection was long lost. Now radio fuzz and atmospherics waved in and out seeking for the original bandwave, but not finding it.
The violet blotch mixed upon the neighboring rise turned out to Rumble. Scourge was towing his small purple body to level ground when the cassette coughed suddenly, "Uh ...I feel worse than a tossed molecular salad." Rumble rolled over. "Where are we?"
Left to right, Cyclonus searched for an object or an aspect of the scenery that he might recognize, anything for a anchor. When the scope offered nothing to reassure him, he turned his quest inward, seeking something familiar in himself, but his own data was even darker than the sprawl surrounding them.
"You ...er, offer an interesting question." Cyclonus turned to look behind him. Fum-fum-fum-fum Cyclonus snapped the intercom off as he finally lifted to his feet. The flash of pain when he flexed his right leg was gone so immediately that he might have imagined it. "I'm not entirely sure" he traced his gaze back to the cassetticon's face.
Scourge circled the landscape and drew a blank shaking his head. "I don't know. The storm completely fused my tracking units to the Kcerio district."
Cyclonus hissed at his leg again. He was damaged after all. Fuel was leaking from a crack in the armor just below the knee, rivering an oily pathway to the crannies of his peds. Around the gouge, a halo of sparks danced briefly.
"There's no telling where the flux has decided to release us." Ignoring the wound, the blue jet offered a quick pick of options, "We could be light years away from Chaar, an adjacent galaxy, or a different universe altogether." He paused, "If I had to guess at our situation, I believe it is safe to assume that the solar flux may have acted on the same operable merits as a black hole."
"So you think we're in a different galaxy?"
"This is weird--" Rumble had been standing on a mound just across from them. With a whirr, the plate that had been open on his left arm slide with a click back into place. "I could be damaged, but my tract data is telling me that we're on the planet Cybertron."
"What?!" Scourge snatched his wrist to see, pulling the smaller Decepticon off the ground in the process. "There's no way we could be on Cybertron!" He protested, "Cybertronian air defenses would have detected us by now!"
"And we also would have been surrounded by Autobots faster than we could re-program a wristwatch, Scourge --Don't you think I know that?!" Rumble wiggled. "That's why I ran my diagnostics in the first place! I thought the analyses was invalid!"
Looking to his left, Rumble frowned. All around them, the patches of stone quartz spears and sandy silicon drifts joining with stretched fields of metallic plates did, but did not, resemble the rudimentary surface of his ancestral home. It was clean of scars and much too void of the cracks and black aging derelict charred ruin clusters of a world that had been subjected to mega-vorns of civil war. The familiar collective steeples of steel megaliths --where were they at? Maybe he was wrong?!
"Eeh!" He spat at the estimation and now tried to laugh it off, "Tracking units must be malfunctioning. I'll check diagnostics again."
"What do you think, Cyclonus?" Scourge stepped towards him. He was gazing out across the hills and rise as puzzled astonishment eclipsed his lenses. His brows slanted. "This planet's composition is indeed similar to that of Cybertron."
"You know where we are?" Scourge asked.
Cyclonus shrugged, "My processors faired no better than the both of yours, so I have no exact reading. With all of our navigation tracks down in one form or another, we cannot activate a emergency patch in order to contact Decepticon Headquarters. We need to re-fuel, find some inhabitants.. It's a planet after all, so I'm sure there are some to be discovered."
"There is a considerable land mass just 27 or so mega-miles in that direction."
"Fine, Scourge. We head there."
"I don't care what direction we take. I just hope the natives are friendly" Rumble joked, "Not that we ar "
The words had barely left his lips when a sudden explosion behind the cassette knocked him flat. It powdered the stony crop where he had been only moments before.
"What the?!" Rumble skidded to his knees. "H-huh? WHOA!" He rolled quickly when a spray of phaser fire potted the ground beside him. More shots zipped over his left shoulder. "W-WE'RE UNDER ATTACK!"
Scourge flattened himself immediately to the ground. "We found the welcoming committee."
"I believe you mean that they have found us, Scourge. " Cyclonus pressed his back against a jag of metal beside him. One particularly hard blast landed a story above him, but the futuristic jet still couldn't see their attackers until a voice commanded them to Halt.
A form grew from the silicon mound directly in front of three --boots heavy, a red mantle swirling around the mech's battlements like a fluttering flag. When Cyclonus lowered his arms from his face to see the visitor, a chorus of metallic clangor and iron abrasion circled them with weapons drawn. They were surrounded.
What parts of him that were not olive drab was scratched; a orangery copper with accents of dulled silver plate. "Drop your weapons!" The battle machine commanded as more of his foot soldiers flanked his sides. The green robot pointed his shank at Rumble.
"Surrender by the order of the empire of Ta'nak, or be terminated!"
By the empire of Ta'nak?! That declaration tore Cyclonus' optics clean open just as the sweep leader leaned towards him. "Cyclonus--" Scourge whispered. "My data indicates that their weaponry is obsolete firepower. We should be able to take them."
"Silence!" The stranger marched towards them and stuffed the blunt of his cannon in Scourge's throat hard. He spied Cyclonus.
"General Sarterius--" One of the warriors with the mech snatching Rumble from the ground now also unwittingly gave identity to their captor. "He's not Rougeon, sir. This one is a Decepticon."
Two sets of strong arms yanked Cyclonus up to his feet. The green one called Sarterius, his artillery still shoved under Scourge's chin, came level with his eyes, although his helmet temporarily made him taller. The stance, though, was one that Galvatron's lieutenant recognized immediately --Power and potency. It was his own form; the strong fashion of a military charge. Issuing his orders to his robots in a admix dialect, he made no request. It was a command that was meant to be obeyed without any wait or delay. One of his fellow infantry was jerking Scourge to rise when Cyclonus spied the unusual, but familiar lavender crest of allegiance ornamenting the General Sarterius' breastplate.
"This one as well." Sarterius steadied himself, jotting a quick glance across the symbol upon Cyclonus' chest. Finally he pulled his weapon away from Scourge. "And just what are you three doing here?" he asked. "You Decepticons are in direct violation of the Dourjer's orders that no soldiers or civilians are permitted outside the borders until proper delegations have been established with the rumored, new robot race."
A new robot race? The mystery was deepening, adding another wonder to the steady flood of others. "Rougeons, for instance." Cyclonus thought to himself. The General Sarterius and his patrol originally thought that he, Scourge, and Rumble were some of them --whatever, whoever they were. He briefly entertained the possibility of asking the commander about it until logic reasoned that perhaps, as a Decepticon himself, he ought to know what Rougeons were. To ask might make all three of them look even more suspicious than they already were to them. Cyclonus hoped both Rumble and Scourge had come to the same conclusion.
"You are all fortunate that your cogs remain intact." A crude smile sliced across Sarterius' face plate. He butted his weapon against Scourge's abdomen making himself clear on how easily they could have be deactivated moments before. "--But your identity as fellow mech does not alleviate the truth of your being here in Destron. Disobedience of the Dourjer's orders is acquainted with treason!" He brushed the barrel of his shank down Cyclonus' right cheek, "And that, O' friend, is also equally acquainted with death!"
"Pardon, comrade." Cyclonus drummed up his first response with hopeful perfection. "--But I was unaware of such an order, m'lord."
Politeness did little to dull Sarterius's ridged glower. His weapon may have sagged somewhat, but the shade underneath the helmet slide. "Think to take me for a fool?!" He growled. "The command was given four and quarter unaths ago --Yet here the three of you are in territories well known to be occupied by Rougeon insurrection!"
Okay ...So the Rougeons are rebels. One mystery down
Sarterius was grinning again, "Yesssss ...perhaps that IS the truth, Decepticon! COLLABORATING WITH THE REBEL SCUM YOU MIGHT BE?!"
"We were on a personal scout mission, m'Lord General ...in-in at the Cybertron border" Cyclonus lied instantly. "We were returning with our findings when we were stopped by your patrols."
"Hmph.." The general's chuckle sounded scarcely amused. Interrogation infected his swine smile. "Is that a fact?" he mused. The luster behind twin rouge panes darkened and skirted the three Decepticons, "--Then you certainly wouldn't have any concerns about reporting your fantastic adventures to the Dourjer himself?"
He stepped backward and Sarterius signaled at his soldiers at once.
"Seize them! All of these mech!!"
A cell --A prison cell on wheels. The electro-cuffs that Sarterius had ordered to bind the three Decepticons' wrist was apparently not enough. To dull any further ideas of escape, the general herded them aboard the goliath hulk of a contraption full of dirty gears hissing steam and whining ligaments. As its mammoth roller track ground across meadows of admix bedrock, steel and silver fields jerking it's robot cargo, black exhaust puffed in between the bars with the overpowering stench of tar and burnt oil.
Rumble coughed. "Rather primitive" He gagged. Bound at the wrist, he could barely manage to stand as the cell jimmied the uneven landscape.
"Primitive, but effective." Scourge panned the bars across from him. Another tremor made them pop just then. "The bars are electrified." He looked over at his commander, "Cyclonus, how come we just didn't attack them? The caliber of their arms was weak enough that "
"Their weaponry might have been obsolete by our standards, Scourge, but there was far more of them than us." Rumble injected immediately. "They would have annihilated us."
"I wasn't asking you, Rumble!"
"No Scourge, Rumble is correct. My weapon was neutralized by the solar flux." Cyclonus studied the cuffs tightened around his wrist before his optics flicked to the Sweep leader. "Besides," he added quickly, "Attacking them would have been admission of the guilt that they had already charged us with."
Rumble huffed, sagging to a seat upon the cell floor and peered through the neon sparking grid to the line of soldiers marching in union beside the rolling cage. "Did you see the symbols upon their armor?" he quizzed.
"Yes" Scourge nodded, "Somehow they are Decepticon like us." His vision crossed the infantry and fell upon the exhausted frames of five other prisoners. Frail to the brink of deactivation, every few moments one of the soldiers would strike the rear one commanding him to 'Get back in line!'
"Those robots aren't."
"They're not Autobots neither." Rumble squint at the weakest one; the third from the middle. His plating was zig-zagged with cracks, wide fishers, and popped seams. Coolant oozed down his forehead puddling into his optics. The mech's mouth hinged open. At least eight times he had fallen already and each time he did, one of the soldiers would beat him mercilessly with the butt of his rifle. The ninth time however, the Transformer collapsed permanently and no amount of assault from the beating now offered much response, save for a weak twist of the prisoner's lips. Now the rolling cell jerked to a stop.
"What is it?"
"This prisoner is not responding to orders, sir."
Leaning, Sarterius palmed the captive's shoulder and smacked his cheek once. Nothing --nothing but a parched heave. The general spoke nothing at all except a quick signal in sign language his platoon apparently understood. Through the electro-bars of their prison cell, the three Decepticons watched the scene unfold in all its fabulous brutality. Five sets of arms yanked the crippled robot to his feet. He tensed in his shackles only once, long passed the ability to scream any longer, before his substructure was pumped full of laser rounds.
"Move out!" "Move out!" The dictation repeated from battle mech to battle mech as the cell jutted forward again. Ordering the four remaining prisoners to continue marching as they were, the wreckage of the destroyed Transformer dragged the ground several feet before the body was chopped free from the string. Rumble gulped as it flopped pathetically down the embankment.
"I sincerely hope that's not our future, Cyclonus." Scourge's lenses broadened on the second-in-command.