Transformers Prime – 2nd Front: pt 2

Alert: Massive Energon spike detected at Gate of Primus

Activate secondary protocol: Conduct surveillance of Autobot activity. Alert Soundwave of all Autobot movement and effort in re-conquering Cybertron

These lines of code were the first activity RatBat had seen in untold millennia, so the Decepticon was at least pleased to be awakened again. The small flyer unfolded its blood-red wings and detached its talons from the rafters it had tucked itself in so long ago. Feeling the rush of air against its large audio sensors as it dropped was a pleasing rush as RatBat slowed to a hover, before darting out of a large gash carved in the side of its hiding place. 

The mini Energon scout pulled into a tight climb, using its small but powerful thrusters to push itself to the peak of the wrecked building that had been its nest. The night sky greeted its optics with a veil of darkness alive in the streaks of a thousand newborn sparks coming alive on a dead world. RatBat did not question why its master, the ever-vigilant spy Soundwave, had ordered it to remain behind, as it understood his master’s intention to be on guard for this moment. However, its simple programming also recognized the damage done by being stuck in standby mode for so long. RatBat needed fresh fuel and it needed it now.

And unlike most other Mini-Cons, RatBat was designed with that mission first and foremost. So at a great distance, its finely-tuned olfactory sensors picked up on the electrically-sweet scent of processed and cubed Energon. As well as a small Autobot gathering coming into a new existence from the nothingness of moments previous. Logging this observation for later, the fuel scout plotted and took to a course of stealth. Using small bursts of thrust to send it from wrecked building to wrecked building, it only used its sensors occasionally to verify its path, lest RatBat get lost in the infinite horizon of destruction. 

After hours of evasion and passive observation, RatBat was almost on top of the Energon signature when its ears picked up on a second Deception signature. Like itself, the signal was short-range and low power, but it had the mark of Soundwave buried in its coding. 

RatBat spun itself around and ascended quickly to pinpoint its source, which had concealed itself in the top level of what once was an armory tower. Finding a spot to perch, RatBat chittered a quick coded burst to respond to the signal, letting its source know that it was among friends. With a strong kick and the twist of its slender body, another Mini-Con uncovered itself, quickly leaping from the debris and up a higher perch of a broken rafter.

RatBat had not seen Ravage since the latter had been dispatched by their master, and it was clear that the quadruped stalker was surprised that it had been awoken in such a way. RatBat queried its fellow Mini-Con as to why it had been left behind, and Ravage responded with the same directive that had left the flyer in stasis. 

Finally curious beyond its assigned mission, RatBat gambled and sent a signal to its master. Ravage followed suit on its own channel, yet there was no immediate reply. While this was an issue of direction for the two Decepticons, the need for life-saving Energon was more pressing in the moment. As such, RatBat passed to Ravage where it was heading, and the ground-based hunter leapt from its perch to sprint down the side of the tower. RatBat followed from the air, maintaining its quieter approach, as Ravage had been better built for battle. Still, the sprinting across steel surface-work was rendered mostly silent thanks to Ravage’s own sneaking instincts. 

Unlike most of the surrounding city, the location of the located Energon was actually intact. A curious fact to RatBat and an inconvenience for Ravage, as now the stalker didn’t have debris to hide behind. Still, the rebuilt building also had rebuilt ventilation ducts and crawlways, which Ravage had been designed to thrive in. 

Carefully, RatBat took a perch on the highest ledge it could find, scanning as much of the structure as it could and feeding its Minicon partner the easiest directions it could compute. From there, the flying Energon hunter simply waited, keeping a persistent eye on Ravage as it worked though tight ducts, under flooring and across piping before coming to a sealed room where the Energon pile was secured. 

Naturally, a room containing such precious fuel was well-secured, locked behind a powered door. Another curiosity for the Energon hunter, as there should have been nothing left to power even the simple door mechanism on their dead world. 

Still, it only took a few microcycles for RatBat’s decryption processor to figure out the simple Autobot code and fool it, opening the vault to Ravage. In short order, the stalker had located the precious fuel and set to the task of cutting out a small section of wall with superheated claws. 

As soon as the cut-out piece of wall gave way, Ravage pulled it in and quietly set it aside, letting RatBat glide in equally undetected. Together, the MiniCons sank their teeth into precious Energon cubes, long-dormant systems suddenly sparking back online after eons of entropy. 

With its sensors now at full power, RatBat fluttered back outside to the top of the repaired tower, with Ravage slowly clawing its way back up the outside of the structure. Based on where they knew they were, the Well of All-Sparks was just over the horizon, the source of the flood that was showering their home-world with new life.

And at the lip of that rebirth was the haggard wreck of the Deception’s flagship, the Nemesis. Its presence, paired with the lack of response from their master, began to paint a form picture for the MiniCons to process. 

But with the warship in sight, RatBat chittered out another hail, which was answered this time. Hidden within the trillions of code layers that enabled the Nemesis to operate, Soundwave had hidden away backup instructions for this eventuality, which the smaller Decepticons now received. 

Primary operation: failure. Status of Soundwave: displaced into alternate dimension due to GroundBridge sabotage.
Initiate Operation: Reprisal.

With the command, long-dormant logic circuits fired online for each MiniCon. Their new goal was simple; assassination. For those who had cut down their master deserved nothing less than death.
In aid to this assignment, the warship itself replayed the final moments of Soundwave’s existence, extrapolating and identifying all parties responsible for the feat. Neither Ravage nor RatBat had ever seen a Terran fleshling before, so having three human faces burned into their primary directive was a shock in itself. 

Target: Jack Darby
Target: Miko Nakadai
Target: Rafel Jorge Gonzales Esquivel

Three primates now marked for eradication. 

Along with their faces, the Nemsis’ data archive divulged all of Soundwave’s surveillance on the three, to include coordinates on their homeworld where they were known to reside, known affiliations, and most important of all, partial access to the wreck’s still-functional SpaceBridge control panel. Such capability was only for use from the warship to the Terran home-world of Earth, but that was of no matter to either MiniCon. 

Their primary concern now were the several Autobots around the wreck itself, a pair of which ambled around the warship’s bridge where their first goal was located. In order to get to Earth, they would both need to access the now-secured SpaceBridge targeting computer. Another scan of the most direct path revealed to the Decepticons that the ground path was not an option. Too many newly-forged Autobot proto-forms to evade or cut down, including a new creation of Autobot flyers. 

Instead, Ravage focused their attention on the subterranean approach, pointing out where one of the larger waste runoff pipelines was still intact all the way up to the crashed hulk of the warship’s belly. Although RatBat wasn’t built or fond of waddling through such a small enclosure, it acknowledged that their directive was most important, so the flying MiniCon clamped down onto Ravage’s backside and flattened itself as much as possible for the slow creep.

Carefully, silently, the MiniCon pair stalked their way to the mangled outer hull of the Nemesis, which allowed them no shortage of entry points into the lower decks of the vessel. Immediately, they could hear the labor and toil of multiple Vehicon drones working to restore the vessel. Though Ravage favored eviscerating these traitors to Megatron’s message, RatBat was more pragmatic, pointing out the exposed hull breaches they could easily navigate up to the SpaceBridge control. 

Once they reached the bridge hatchway, however, the command decision fell to the ground-walking hunter, as the two Autobots in the room were directly between them and the console they required. Quickly calculating the best ambush vector, Ravage unfolded the powerful boost rockets along its back hips, nodding for RatBat to ascend to the top of the hatch and prepare its scramjet booster. Their moves had to be synchronous, their attacks precise.

As soon as the hatch unlatched to open, both MiniCons engaged their top speeds, racing through the barely wide enough opening. Unfortunately for the two Autobots, they had been so engrossed in studying the available data displays that they didn’t process the incoming Deceptions until it was too late. With an aided leap, Ravage caught its target at the back of the cranium and bit down as hard as it could. The Autobot could only emit a brief shriek before its cranium and all the vital circuits therein were crushed by savage teeth.

Though a flyer, RatBat was a split-second behind Ravage, but its attack was just as effective. Shimmering Energon blades sparked to life along the leading edge of its wings, and with a mach-speed corkscrew, the MiniCon tunneled through the surprised Autobot, who collapsed to the ground trying to gather its now gutted inner wiring.

Now RatBat had the initiative, quickly hacking and overriding its way though the enemy security code to charge the SpaceBridge. As calculated, this sudden jolt of energy raised all kinds of alarms through the wrecked warship, but the MiniCons only needed millicycles.

And by the time the first responding Autobots arrived with guns armed, the SpaceBridge had been closed once more, arrival coordinates erased by RatBat’s override code.

*******

Part 2 of what I hope to make an ongoing little tertiary project. 1) because the Decepticons had some of the best Transformers of all the series, period. And 2) because Laserbeak hogged all the spotlight from the rest of Soundwave’s menagerie in TF: Prime.

I hope you all enjoy.

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