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View Full Version : [FICTION] Reckoning, Part Fifteen


Warcry
2013-09-22, 03:06 AM
The story so far...

With Cybertron conquered by the Liege Maximo's forces, the few Autobots and Decepticons still free have retreated to emergency fallback positions, a set of impossible-to-find bolt holes that provide shelter, but little in the way of comforts or tactical capabilities. One group has taken cover in the Rad Zone, an uncomfortably radioactive part of Cybertron that was rendered uninhabitable during the Great War. But just because the Imperial forces can't find them doesn't mean they've given up looking...

Previous chapters:
Part One: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=35760
Part Two: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=36046
Part Three: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=36295
Part Four: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37186
Part Five: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37454
Part Six: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37623
Part Seven: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=38131
Part Eight: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=39173
Part Nine: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=41811
Part Ten: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?s=&threadid=44343
Part Eleven: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=48711
Part Twelve: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=49364
Part Thirteen: http://tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=50161
Part Fourteen: http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=51496
________________________________________

Transformers: Reckoning

Part Fifteen: Typecast

The rocks down here glowed.

At first Starscream thought it was just his imagination, something conjured by the ingrained fear that most Transformers felt when they heard the words "Rad Zone". The site of the largest of the nuclear exchanges that had characterized the early war, the Rad Zone made even the ruination of Stanix look tame by comparison. It had taken nearly a million years for the radiation levels to drop to the point where you could even walk into the area without melting, and another two million before a Transformer could withstand more than a couple hours of exposure without frying critical systems. Even now, more than four million years after the fact, just being here was enough to send Starscream's internal Geiger counters screaming.

But then, that was the point.

The radiation levels in the Rad Zone weren't lethal anymore, but they were still much higher than normal and more than enough to thoroughly scramble any sensor more sophisticated than simple visual scanning. That meant that it was almost impossible to track down someone unless you had a line of sight on them. And that in turn meant that it was the perfect place to hide when the entire planet had been overrun by a horde of enemies dead-set on killing you, especially if they don't know the lay of the land.

Starscream had been the first to arrive at the alliance's prearranged fallback point deep in the heart of the once-lethal ruins, mainly because he'd abandoned the fight for Polyhex as soon as it was obvious that they were going to lose. His comrades had followed in short order – or at least, the handful who had been resourceful enough to escape the Imperial occupation had. And to say they weren't happy to see him would have been an understatement. They'd called him a coward and a traitor, tossed him into this dank cave, sealed it up and left him to rot. He'd been there for days now, bound and low on Energon, unable to move or escape, with nothing to keep him company except for the glowing green rocks.

But even though the rocks weren't exactly sparkling conversationalists, they proved their worth in other ways. The light and heat they gave off allowed him to keep his fuel cells charged up as long as he didn't do anything strenuous. And perhaps even more importantly, they let him see when he had a visitor in his quaint little cell.

The faint green glow cast the other Transformer in a demonic light, but Starscream was still able to easily recognize him as one of Scorponok's Pretenders. And since three of them were dead and two others were offworld, that made identifying his visitor easy enough.

"Bugly," Starscream snarled. "What do you want?"

"I have a problem, Starscream," Bugly told him bluntly.

"Don't tell me, let me guess. You can't decide whether to shoot me or let the Constructicons disassemble me for spare parts?"

Bugly grunted, vaguely amused by the suggestion. "I'm sure Scrapper and Scavenger would be agreeable," he said offhandedly, "since your cowardice is part of the reason why the rest of their team are Imperial prisoners – or worse. But no." He leaned forward, an intent expression on his face. "Although you are the problem, in a sense. In spite of your pathetic, craven behaviour, you're still useful. But if I let you out of this hole in the ground, well, we all know how well that turned out for Megatron. And Shockwave. Ratbat. And Megatron again. And Scorponok. And then Megatron for a third time. I don't think he learns, that one."

"Are you getting to the point soon, or do you plan to bore me to death? Because I work with Soundwave. I'm immune to weaponized boredom."

Bugly scowled. Turning his back on the seeker, he leaned against one of glowing sections of cave wall. The green glow cast his silhouette in stark relief, a dramatic flair that Starscream himself would have indulged in had their positions been reversed. The jet managed to hold back a laugh, but just barely.

"My point, Starscream, is that the Decepticons are sick of you. As their leader, if I showed you even a hint of clemency they would be just as sick of me."

This time, Starscream couldn't hold it in. He let out a bark of scornful laughter, followed by, "Leader? You? If this is what the Decepticons have been reduced to we might as well give up and start hailing the Liege Maximo right now."

To his credit, Bugly didn't so much as twitch in the face of the insult. "Touchι," he said gamely. "But as much as I enjoy it, I didn't come here to trade insults with you. I have a job for you, Starscream."

"Oh, really? This should be good."

"It will," Bugly assured him, amusement evident in his posture. "But there is one small prerequisite that you're going to have to fulfil first."

"And what's that, exactly?"

Bugly turned around then, staring Starscream square in the eye.

"You're going to have to die."
________________________________________

Anyone with half a working processor had known what was going on as soon as the screaming started, but Skram was still shocked to see Starscream's blackened, melted body being dragged out of the cave where he'd been imprisoned. Bugly was holding the seeker's left shoulder, while his Pretender shell had the right. He stopped in the centre of the camp and dropped the body on the ground before disdainfully looking out at the small band of Decepticons who were camped on the other side of the mesa from the Autobots.

"You wanted him dead," Bugly told them. "Well, here you go. Ransack, get a hover-cart and take this to Scrapper. Starscream might have been a useless traitor in life, but in death he's going to help us whether he wants to or not."

"Of course, boss." The purple and green youth saluted Bugly smoothly, then grabbed Starscream by the leg and started dragging him off. Bugly, for his part, wandered away to talk with Pounce (or maybe Wingspan...who could tell?)

Skram just shook his head, turning away from the scene. He'd only taken a few paces toward the Autobots' makeshift barracks before he heard someone call out to him.

"Problem?"

"Nah," Skram said casually. Then, when he looked up and saw who was addressing him he added, "I mean, no sir!"

"Relax, lad," Kup said with a gruff chuckle. "I'm just an old soldier. You can save the 'sir' for when Optimus Prime comes back." Then he grew more serious. "But that doesn't mean you can lie to me and get away with it. You obviously didn't like what happened just now."

Skram thought about lying, but decided better of it. Shrugging, he said, "Killing someone in a fair fight is one thing, boss. What happened just now is murder. If I ever start being OK with that, I'll eat my gun."

Kup smiled slightly. "Good."

"'Good?' If you agree with me, why aren't you in Bugly's face? Hell, why didn't you stop him?"

"Because sometimes people can't do the right thing until they've gotten the wrong thing out of their systems."

Skram shook his head. "That doesn't make any sense!"

"Only because you're young." Kup straightened slightly, then headed toward the barracks himself. "Walk with me."

Skram fell in beside the older Autobot, a bemused expression on his face.

"You need to realize something," Kup continued. "Starscream was our enemy. We expected him to try and kill us. But for these 'Cons, he was their ally. And let's be honest here – he's probably killed more of them than we have. Don't underestimate how much that would tick someone off."

"You're trying to say he got what was coming to him?" Skram shook his head. "Sorry, no sale. In no sane world is Bugly the ultimate arbiter of who gets to live and die."

Kup shrugged. "I'm not saying it was right or wrong, lad. Just that it was inevitable. Once you've survived been shot in the back by supposed 'teammates' as many times as I have, you'll understand the sentiment."

"Not in this lifetime," Skram told him defiantly. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have somewhere to be."

Without waiting for permission, the young Autobot turned and walked off in another direction. Behind him, he heard Kup mutter, "Great, just what I needed in my life. Another Hot Rod."
________________________________________

"Get moving, you scraplets!"

Slicer scowled at the abusive tone in his commander's voice, but he didn't do anything other than bristle at it.

"Scary guy, isn't he?"

Slicer glanced over at the small, winged Transformer who'd fluttered up next to him. "I guess," he admitted. "I try not to think about it too much, Turbo Master."

"No talking."

"Aye, sir." Slicer straightened out and nodded, looking straight at his commander for the first time since he'd been assigned to this patrol. It wasn't that he had an especially strong dislike for the other Transformer, but Nemesis unnerved him. Rumour travelled fast inside the Imperial occupation force, just like it did in any gathering of people, and it hadn't taken long for Slicer to hear that Nemesis didn't just look like the Autobots' strangely absent leader – he was their leader, made from a shell program installed on Optimus Prime's reanimated corpse. "Unnatural" didn't enter into the equation very often for robots that can change their form and upgrade their bodies at will, but if the rumours were true then Nemesis definitely qualified and it made Slicer very nervous.

"That was talking," Nemesis told him, annoyance clear in his commanding voice.

Slicer started to apologize, but stopped himself before he got a word out.

"That's better," Nemesis said in a low growl. "Now concentrate on what we're doing. We're looking for throwbacks, remember?"

Slicer just nodded. Ever since most of his squad had been wiped out pursuing a fleeing Autobot squad, he'd been asking his superiors for combat and patrol missions. They'd finally acquiesced and assigned him to a scout team that was being sent into the Rad Zone, probably hoping that Slicer would be able to either get his lust for revenge out of his system and stop pestering them, or at least have the decency to get himself killed. Their hopes were apparently in vain, though, because Nemesis and his quartet of hunters had so far found absolutely nothing. And although their leader had remained patient throughout the twenty-four days they'd been searching, the same could not be said for Slicer, Turbo Master, Take-Off and Snare.

No surprise there. Send a squad of stone cold killers on a scout mission with nothing to find and people are going to start getting jumpy.

Since it was impossible to use sensors in the Rad Zone, the Empire had gridded the entire region and sent in dozens of squads to slowly scour each sector for any sign of enemy encampments. So far they hadn't seen anything, but the region was too perfect a hiding spot to ignore. Slicer figured it was the first place he'd go if he needed to hide from an invading army...or it would have been, if he'd ever been willing to retreat from battle and hide for any reason at all. Which, it goes without saying, he wasn't.

Most people would say that Slicer was aggressive in the extreme, and he wouldn't argue with them. But after the squad he'd worked with since coming online had been almost entirely slaughtered, including his leader Archforce, Slicer's bad attitude had only grown worse. He'd been mouthing off to his new superiors, picking fights with other soldiers and generally making a menace of himself. And while he knew perfectly well that he shouldn't, he found that he simply couldn't control himself. In a more enlightened force, Slicer would have been taken off duty, perhaps even sent for counselling. But the Cybertronian Empire wasn't known for having much care and concern for it's footsoldiers' well-being, so he got sent into battle instead.

None of the other members of the unit were what you'd call the picture of mental health, either. Snare, a security and recon expert, was even more furious than Slicer over the loss of his own unit. Most of the Predators, including the intimidating air commandant Skyquake, had died in the Empire's siege of Darkmount. Snare himself had only narrowly survived being shot down by an enemy jet, although he'd taken the Decepticon fighter down with him. And if that wasn't bad enough, the former Liege Centuro Clench had murdered Stalker, the last of the Predators, as part of a mental breakdown that had apparently led him to defect to the Autobots. Snare had already been mad enough over the loss of his friends that he'd started taking insane risks during their cleanup raids in Polyhex and Iacon, but after Stalker's death at the hands of a supposed ally he'd gone completely off the handle. The last living Predator had dedicated his life to finding and killing Clench and simply didn't care what happened to him in the process or who he had to piss off, intimidate or kill to do it.

Slicer found that he couldn't help but admire him for that.

Take-Off was probably the most well-adjusted of the five, but that wasn't saying much. He'd lost a lot of comrades fighting a ridiculous, battlestation sized saurian Transformer on Pz-Zazz, but he didn't seem to care one bit about them. On the other hand, he didn't care one bit about his current team either. In fact, he didn't seem to care about much of anything...except for the chance to inflict horrible pain on as many living things as possible. His rampant sadism would have been more welcome in a street gang or a terrorist group than an organized military, though, and Slicer suspected the only reason that he hadn't been lined up against a wall and shot was that he was very good at aerial recon work when he decided not to just shoot everything in sight.

Turbo Master was probably the only one on the team who wasn't a violent head case. On the other hand, he made up for it by just being flat-out dumb. When he wasn't aimlessly hovering from place to place to look at whatever shiny thing had caught his attention, he was making blandly obvious comments with an attitude that made it seem like he thought they were the most insightful thing ever committed to words. Suffice it to say that didn't make him many friends. But he really liked to set stuff on fire, and he was really, really good at it, so they'd kept him around anyway.

And that just left Nemesis, whose brooding, domineering presence Slicer didn't even want to think about. As much as the other Transformer played the role of abusive bullying commander to a T, he couldn't quite hide the waves of revulsion that came off of him every time he saw his own reflection. He practically wallowed in his self-loathing, as if he loved the fact that he hated himself so much. That didn't stop him from taking that hatred out on every other living thing around them, though.

As the quintet of misfit hunters moved out for yet another day of fruitless searching, Slicer wished that he'd kept his mouth shut.
________________________________________

"How the hell did I get drafted into corpse-handling duty?" Turbofire grumbled loudly enough that everyone in the unit could hear.

"Because Long Haul isn't here," Scrapper told him, chuckling at his own joke. "Why else?"

"I fail to see the humour in this situation," Turbofire responded.

"A transport truck complaining about being used to transport something?" Scrapper responded. "Nope, not funny at all."

"I transport supplies," Turbofire said hotly. "I'm not a hearse."

"Correction: you weren't a hearse," Scrapper told him. "Now? Things change."

Having heard more than enough, Skram walked away from the discussion with a disgusted look on his face.

"Is...is yours always like...well, like this?"

Skram looked up to see who was addressing him, and found himself looking into the face of another of the Constructicons. "Scavenger, right?"

"Uh...yeah." Although he wasn't equipped for smiling, Scavenger's faceplate and eyes seemed to suggest a nervous one, as if he was ecstatic that someone knew who he was. "You're, uh, Skram, aren't you?"

"Yeah, that's me." Skram kept walking, hoping the Decepticon would catch on and leave him alone. But when the other Transformer followed him like a lost puppy, Skram just sighed and said, "Yeah, he's like this most of the time. He only really shuts up of someone is shooting at us. What about yours?"

"You mean Scrapper?" Scavenger cast a worried glance over his shoulder, assuring himself that they were out of earshot before he said, "Yeah. I mean, pretty much. He's a lot nicer than Hook though. He'll yell at you if you do something stupid, you know? But never just because he thinks he's better than you."

"Sounds a lot like Rapido, actually." Skram grudgingly praised his commander, although he was still more than a little teed off that his boss had volunteered two members of their platoon to help a Decepticon patrol dump Starscream's dead body somewhere in the Rad Zone deserts.

"Sounds like you've got a good boss," Scavenger said, oblivious to the subtext.

"Hmm," Skram answered noncommittally, wondering if the Constructicon would take the hint if he just flat-out stopped responding to anything he said.
________________________________________

Ransack heaved the dead seeker up into Turbofire's cargo bed and dragged him into the position that Scrapper wanted him. The Constructicon surgeon popped open Starscream's internal storage compartments and started rooting around, but the young Decepticon flier didn't stick around to see what he was looking for.

"You coming with us, kid?"

Ransack looked up in time to see Buzzsaw fly in and perch on his shoulder.

"I suppose I am," he replied in a friendly tone of voice.

"Good," Buzzsaw chuckled. "I can't tell you how good it is to have some new blood around here. I can only stand being surrounded by Insecticons and Seekers and Constructicons for so long before they all start to look the same."

Ransack nodded. "I know how that can feel. Luckily for you, the one thing I've never been accused of is blending in."

Buzzsaw clicked his beak. "I'm not sure about that," he said. "I notice you're spelling your name like a proper word now, at least."

Ransack sighed. "Yeah," he admitted. "It was that damned Insecticon. 'Ransack' is one of the most common Cybertronian names out there, but he was so dumb that he'd forget which room he was billeted in if he couldn't find it by looking for his name. Lunatic threatened to shoot me if I didn't spell mine differently. But luckily he's dead now...so...uh-oh."

The smallish Transformer's optics widened as he saw a hulking, green and yellow figure approach.

"You're speaking ill of the dead, you know," Barrage said menacingly. "Ransack was my partner. I should probably give you a good beating for that."

"I, uh...I'm...sorry?" the younger Ransack said, at a loss for words for once.

Barrage just laughed. "I'm not," he admitted. "My Ransack was a piece of ignorant trash. I like you a lot better. Insult away."

The Insecticon wandered off, still laughing cruelly to himself. Ransack just shook his head.

"The people you meet in this job..."

"Tell me about it," Buzzsaw agreed.
________________________________________

Wingspan paced across the room, doing his best not to take notice of the ramshackle state of the building he'd turned into an ad-hoc briefing room. There was only so much mental filtering one could do, though, so it was still patently obvious that he was outlining his plan in an old warehouse that had been built four million years ago and had spent most of the intervening years being slowly demolished by the forces of nature. The sunken floors, cracked walls, rusted chairs and the starlight shining through the roof all attested to it's age and poor condition.

"I suppose it still beats working in a cave," he muttered to himself, trying to take his mind off of what he had to do. Public speaking had never been his strong suit, and the fact that there would be Autobots in the room only made matters worse. It didn't help, either, that he was going to be explaining to these people their role in a dangerous covert operation. If he didn't do his job well enough he would be sending them to their deaths. So the Clone set his jaw, sat down at the head of the rickety table that he'd had dragged in and waited for his team to arrive.

Scavenger was there first, naturally, as desperate as ever for the approval of those around him. He was accompanied by a blue and orange Autobot that Wingspan had never met before, but who he recognized from the personnel dossiers that he'd been studying as Skram. The rest of the team arrived in ones and twos, with Scrapper and Turbofire the last to show. The latter remained in vehicle mode, unable to transform as long as their cargo rested inside his bed.

"Right," Wingspan began. "So. I'm sure you all know why you're here, but in case you don't...that is Starscream. He's dead now, obviously."

"Yes, Wingspan, we know that," Scrapper said impatiently. "Get to the point, please."

"As I was saying," Wingspan continued as if he hadn't been interrupted, "Starscream is dead. And because he's such a well-known traitor, Bugly thinks that the Imperials would be very interested if they stumbled upon his corpse. Our job is to make sure that they do."
________________________________________

Slicer was bored. After another wasted day of searching the seemingly-endless wastes, he was looking forward to the scant few hours of relaxation time that Nemesis allowed them with a passion that he'd rarely felt before. The fact that he didn't have anything to do didn't bother him – he wouldn't be wandering aimlessly through a radioactive metal desert for a few hours, and anything – even garden-variety boredom – was better than that.

"Hey, what's that?"

Slicer turned around to look at Turbo Master, ready to chastise the other Decepticon for wandering off to stare at another old warhead casing or "testing" to see if another of the ruined buildings were flammable. But instead, he found the other soldier frowning and squinting off into the distance. Slicer looked in the same direction, but wasn't sure what he was looking at.

"I don't know," he admitted. "But it's something."

"You're talking again," Nemesis growled at them from the front of the line.

"There's a flier out there, sir," Slicer told him. "Or at least, I think so. It's hard to tell, since we can't use anything more complicated than eyes in this place, but something's airborne out there!"

"Calm down," Nemesis told him, showing only mild annoyance at the outburst. "This is why we have fliers of our own. Snare, do you see anything?"

"No," the Predator told him, "but I'm a long way from your position. Can you give me a bearing?"

"Uh...that way?" Turbo Master said, unhelpfully.

It took a visible effort to keep Nemesis from snapping at him. "North by northwest, range about twenty kilometres, moving east."

"I'll check it out," Snare told him. "Take-Off, move in to back me up, please. He might try to make a run for it."

"Don't kill him," Nemesis growled. "I want a prisoner we can get information out of, not a corpse for the forensics team to strip down."

"No promises," Snare told him as he closed the channel before their commander could respond.
________________________________________

Ransack chuckled to himself as he saw a reddish airplane with forward-swept wings streaking in toward him from the south.

"Well, that was easy," he said to himself.
________________________________________

Snare followed the ridiculous purple propeller plane at a distance for a few minutes, curious to see where the Decepticon would lead him if he let him be. He wasn't disappointed. The idiot finished what looked like a preset patrol route, then turned around and returned a nest of his own kind. Snare followed him all the while, until he got close enough to see a cluster of throwbacks who seemed to be...what? Zooming his optical scanners in, the Imperial jet realized that they were unloading a dead body from the back of a truck.

"Why come all the way out here to do that?" he wondered to himself, aloud.

"Why do what?" Nemesis demanded, his voice barely audible over the static-filled comm channel.

Impatiently, Snare responded, "They're dumping a body. Why they didn't just strip it for parts--"

"Whose body?" Nemesis demanded.

"Right. Because I can identify all of the enemy by sight," Snare replied snarkily. "Some seeker. Who cares, anyway?"

"'Some seeker'?" Nemesis repeated. "A silver, blue and red one?"

"Yeah. So what?"

"So that's Starscream," Nemesis explained irritably. "If they're throwing his body out, we want it. Secure the area immediately. We'll be there as soon as possible. Nemesis out."

"Because corpses are so useful, right?" Snare sighed. "Secure the area? Yeah, sure. Why not?"

Steeply diving toward the enemy troops, Snare started to launch missiles down at them. He aimed slightly away from the centre of the group though, so that he didn't blow up Nemesis's precious carcass.

"We couldn't have that..."
________________________________________

Scavenger ducked behind an outcropping as missiles flew overhead, then looked over at Wingspan and said, "Well, th-that was quick!" He glanced over at Starscream's body, which they'd just finished lugging out of Turbofire before the Imperial had arrived. "What now?"

"Now we get out of here!" Wingspan told him. "We came to dump a corpse. The corpse is dumped. That's that."

"Almost a shame," Turbofire complained. "To lure one of them out like this and not slag him. If we kill him they'll--"

"Never stop looking for us," Wingspan told him. "Precisely the opposite of what this operation was meant to accomplish. So we're leaving. Roll out, Autobot!" The clone transformed, spread his wings and leaped into the air. He fired a fusillade from his electro-burst rifles, deliberately missing the Imperial by a mile, then spoke over the comm. "Skram, Buzzsaw and Barrage, break off your patrols and return to base. Our job is done. Wingspan out."
________________________________________

Snare met Nemesis with a glare when the larger Transformer rolled up along with the rest of their team, transformed and strode over to the obviously dead Starscream. Turbo Master arrived with him, looked down at the corpse and made an unimpressed noise.

"That's a dead Decepticon, alright," the flyer said. "I'm not sure what's so special about it. Seen lots of 'em the last few weeks. In fact, made quite a few myself."

Nemesis ignored his prattle, stepping forward to examine the body.

"You heard how they made Nemesis, yeah?" Slicer asked the flyer quietly.

"I, uh...no, not really. He didn't bud?"

"Not quite," Slicer said. "I'm no good at the sciencey stuff. Take-Off?"

The other Imperial spoke up in an offhand tone. "He looks like Optimus Prime for a reason," he said. "He used to be him. Word is they found one of Prime's old bodies and brought it back to life as one of us. Got his memories and everything."

"Right," Turbo Master said. "Not sure what that's got to do with Starscream though."

"Nemesis was dead for a long time," Take-Off explained. "He knows lots and it's helpful, but also out of date. Starscream only died in the last few days. What he knows is fresh."

"I don't get it."

By now even the normally indifferent Take-Off was getting a bit annoyed. "Slicer is implying that they'll revive Starscream so that we can pump intel out of his brain."

"I still don't get it."

"I don't know why I let people trick me into trying to teach things to you." Take-Off threw his hands up in the air in frustration and might have said more before Nemesis cut him off.

"That's talking," he warned the soldier, looking up over his shoulder so that he could fix his troops with a glare. "I told you not to ta-agh!"

The scream came because as soon as Nemesis looked away, the supposedly dead Starscream shoved the Imperial off of him and got up to his feet. "Are my visual sensors damaged, Optimus?" he asked groggily. "You and Wheeljack have different colour...schemes..."

The Decepticon trailed off after he saw the Imperial insignias on Nemesis's shoulders.

"Ah. Right. I suppose this is where you line me up against a wall and shoot me?"

"It worked!" Turbo Master interjected gleefully. "They magicked him back to—ow!" Rubbing the back of his head, he turned to Snare and asked, "What's that for?"

"Too many different things to list," the Predator responded. "Shut up and listen to the boss."

"They magicked me back to ow?" Starscream asked contemptuously. "You thought I was dead?"

"No," Nemesis told him. "You were dead."

"I'm not usually one to argue with armed captors, but obviously I'm not," Starscream retorted.

"No," a confused Nemesis agreed, "but you were."

"He certainly looks dead," Turbo Master said, which prompted Starscream to look down at his badly-damaged torso and take in the collection of burns, punctures and tears that adorned his armour. For once, the seeker didn't disagree.

"We'll deal with that later," Nemesis told his troops. "Secure the prisoner and send for a transport to Iacon. Our scientists will want to take a look at him. If he tries to escape – or tries to talk – kill him again."
________________________________________

Pounce watched from the safety of a nearby debris hill as the Imperials collected Starscream, silently chuckling to himself as they reacted to the seeker's seeming revival. He remained motionless as one of their fliers left, presumably heading to the edge of the Rad Zone where they could send a clear transmission. An hour later a transport ship arrived, collecting Starscream, the Imperials and every scrap of physical evidence they found at the scene of the dumping.

As they worked, Pounce wasn't sure whether he should respect them for their rigorous investigation or look down on them for being so wildly uncreative that it never even occurred to them that they might be under surveillance. He eventually decided that he could do both, and to happily record every moment so that he could look for flaws in their security protocols later on with Wingspan.

Even once the transport and it's cargo were gone, Pounce still didn't move. Instead, he triggered a small sky spy drone that he'd secured several miles away before the operation began and sent it bobbing lazily through the area. When it didn't trigger any sensors that Pounce could detect or get blasted to pieces by a hidden sentry gun, the clone finally dug himself out of his cover, transformed to beast mode and headed back to base at a run.

As he moved, he had to admit to himself that, as much as he didn't care for his brother's attitude at times, Wingspan had devised a very, very successful operation.
________________________________________

Before

Bugly stared down at Starscream's corpse, an impatient expression on his usually stern face. He checked his internal chronometer, then felt a small rush of fear enter his processor as he wondered, What if I was wrong?

But he wasn't wrong. Bugly knew it, and Starscream quickly proved it to him. The other Decepticon, who had clearly been dead moments before, let out a loud gasp and sat bolt upright. Bugly allowed himself a small smile as he said, "There. That wasn't so hard, was it?"

"So this is how it's going to be?" Starscream asked angrily. "You're going to torture me?" He scoffed. "Just get it over with and kill me already, Pretender. You're not impressing anyone!"

"Actually, you're wrong," Bugly told him. "I'm going to impress one person: you."

"And how do you plan on doing that?"

"Easily," Bugly replied. "I'm going to point out one other thing you're wrong about." He smiled again. "I killed you five minutes ago."

"Is that meant to be a threat? "You're already dead, so do what I say?" It'll take more than--"

Bugly cut him off. "No, I meant that literally. Look at your chest."

Starscream did as he was told, then gasped when he saw the massive hole in it...a hole that was slowly stitching itself shut as he watched.

"What...what have you done to me?"

"I didn't do anything. Well, anything aside from killing you. You've done this to yourself, Starscream." Bugly shook his head. "A year ago you bonded with the Matrix on a more fundamental level than anyone ever has, even the Primes. Did you honestly think there wouldn't be consequences?"

Starscream was visibly uncertain now, as if he'd anticipated dozens of possible retorts but didn't have a clue how to deal with that. "What do you mean?"

"I've been a student of Circuit-Su for over a thousand vorns, Starscream." Bugly stared down at the seeker. "Do you know anything about the discipline?"

"I know it's nonsense made up by mystics to make themselves feel more powerful," Starscream told him, clear contempt for the supernatural evident in his every word.

"An interesting take," Bugly told him. "And not entirely wrong. But don't be too quick to write it off, either. The old masters might have been grasping in the dark, but that doesn't mean that they didn't find anything. Every Transformer has a unique personal energy, did you know that? A small echo of the power of the Matrix or Matrix Flame that birthed them. Call it a spark or a life force or whatever you want, but it's there. Scientists have spent a lot of time studying it, but to no avail. Masters of Circuit-Su, on the other hand..." Bugly smiled. "We've had a bit more luck."

"And this has what to do with me, exactly?"

"When I'm trying to," Bugly said, "I can see the auras, the life forces, of everyone around me. It's hard. It takes a lot of discipline and practice, because the energies that you're looking for are so faint that they're barely even there to begin with. Except for yours, Starscream. Ever since you came back from the Warworld, your aura has been so bright that I can see it without even looking. You might have left the Matrix, Starscream, but it didn't leave you. Not entirely. It became one with your life force, and when the two of you were pulled apart some of the Matrix stayed behind."

"And that's what's doing...this?" Starscream asked, pointing at his chest. When Bugly nodded, Starscream couldn't help but laugh. "You mean I can't die? That I've got a mini-Matrix inside of me repairing my every wound?"

"Not quite," Bugly told him. "You have to understand...our bodies are designed to accommodate a very, very small amount of this energy. The reason why you're glowing so bright, Starscream, is because the Matrix energy you absorbed is slowly but surely bleeding back off into the universe around you. It will protect you for now, but in the not too distant future..." Bugly shook his head.

"You mean eventually I'll go back to normal? That's not too bad, I suppose," Starscream told him.

"Again, not quite." Bugly made a sympathetic face, though it was just for show. The Pretender truly believed that Starscream completely and utterly deserved what was happening to him. "The Matrix energy and your own life are one, Starscream. While it lasts, nothing can hurt you. But when it's gone...so are you. I'm sorry to have to tell you Starscream, but you're dying and there's absolutely nothing you can do to stop it."

Starscream's expression was one of abject horror, as if he was looking his long life's greatest fear straight in the face. "How...how long?"

"It's not an exact science," Bugly admitted. "But the rate of decay has been steady so far. I would say you have a year left at most. And after what I just saw...the more often the energy needs to heal you, the quicker your time runs out. Which makes what I've got to say next a bit awkward."

Starscream glared at him. "Oh, go on. I can tell you're just getting to the good part."

"In a manner of speaking," Bugly admitted. "You can't be killed, at least for a little while, which makes you the perfect tool for the mission I'm going to give you. You're going to infiltrate the Imperials for us."

"How does that add up?"

"That's where the awkward part comes in," Bugly told him. "I'm going to kill you again. Worse, this time, so it will take a lot longer for you to recover. Then I'm going to have you dumped somewhere that the Imperials will find you. When you wake up, they'll be baffled. They might even kill you a few more times until they catch on, but once they realize what you are, they're going to take you for study. And that means hauling you back to Iacon where they've set up a lab to study all the other things we have that they don't understand." Bugly's optic band glowed a bit more brightly. "Like Headmasters and Targetmasters...and Pretender shells. In particular, your Pretender shell, which you always left sitting in a closet in Darkmount because it wasn't stylish enough for you."

"And once I'm in range of the shell I'll be able to use it to spy on them and sabotage their operations without leaving my cell." Starscream nodded. "A good plan, I have to say. But what's in it for me?"

"If I thought it would make a difference I'd try to appeal to your loyalty," Bugly said sarcastically. "But since you're Starscream...remember when we talked about the old Circuit-Su masters?"

Starscream nodded.

"Thousands of vorns ago, the Autobots' church declared them a dangerous cult. It destroyed their temples, killed most of their followers and seized their writings. Writings that, according to legend, documented far, far more about the inner workings of a Transformer's life force than we know now. Writings that, according to legend, could even teach a learned practitioner how to keep a damaged life force from flickering out. Writings that are, even now, stored in an ancient secured vault of the Iacon Central Library." Bugly crossed his arms. "I've been looking for those writings for most of my life, Starscream. And since we're finally at peace with the Autobots, their bureaucracy was willing to tell me where they'd been stored. But before I could go look for them, the attack came. If I had them, I could heal you. But the only way that happens, Starscream – the only way – is if we drive the Imperials off of Cybertron before your clock runs out.

"So you have two choices. Either you can stay in this cave, run down your remaining days and hope that we win and I'm nice enough to help you even though you refused to help me...or you can agree to my plan and do something to fight back."

Starscream's pained expression told the whole story. Bugly knew that the other Decepticon hated being backed into a corner like this, just as much as Bugly himself loved having him there. But he also knew that the other Decepticon didn't have a choice. Nobody else, not Decepticon or Autobot or Imperial, would be able to help Starscream in the time he had left. Which means that the choice he'd been given was no choice at all.

"Alright," Starscream told him. "I'm in. What do we do now?"

"Now?" Bugly shrugged. "Now you die again. I suggest you get used to it."

NEXT: Apex Predator!
________________________________________

Thanks for reading! Hopefully you enjoyed it.

This chapter was a lot less action-packed than the previous one (and also, not coincidentally, a whole lot shorter). It's it first time that I've used Starscream as a major character in the narrative, though. The direction I've taken the character in isn't one that I embraced initially, but eventually I came around -- it just feels right that he should have to face some consequences after defiling the Matrix the way he did.

Next chapter we'll be paying a visit to Spinister, Springer, Grimlock and their crew.

Blackjack
2013-09-22, 05:05 AM
New Reckoning chapter out of nowhere! :up:

Great stuff! Kinda short, but very nice. Probably have to reread the Clench stuff again, I remember that to be very entertaining.

Bugly and Slicer are pretty well-rounded for their large roles here, and all the other characters (Constructicons, Wingspan, Pounce, Turbo Master, Buzzsaw) are well done as well. Particularly happy with Ransack getting a lot more screentime, and his little lampshading about his alternate naming scheme -- and Barrage! Barrage is awesome -- is pretty fun too. Also liked to see Buzzsaw.

So the dudes killed by Darkwing and Dreadwind really killed the Predators, huh? Shame that we don't get to see Skyquake. :(

Really like to see Nemesis Prime back again! I missed him. We hadn't seem him, Kup and the Accelerators since, well, whichever chapter they showed up in. Liked Skram and Kup's debates about morality.

Starscream! I honestly expected you to kill him off after that first sequence, considering you never made your dislike of Starscream hidden, but I suppose with you taking up Starscream in the new RPG he's grown to you? Like the little bait-and-switch, and I absolutely love the 'before' segment between Starscream and Bugly. Really loved Bugly, by the way.

Shame it's so short, but next chapter we're going to Team Nuke Hub, which I think contains most of my favourite characters (it's the one with Sixshot!), so yeay!

Warcry
2013-09-23, 02:45 AM
Really like to see Nemesis Prime back again! I missed him. We hadn't seem him, Kup and the Accelerators since, well, whichever chapter they showed up in. Liked Skram and Kup's debates about morality.
We haven't seen Kup since part 9 and Nemesis since part 10, if memory serves, so you're right that it's been a while -- since 2007 and 2008!

God, I write slowly. It's a good thing I'm not a pro, I'd starve to death.

Nemesis will show up again in part 17, which I've already written but which absolutely has to come after these last few stories (and especially part 16). Initially it was going to be part 14, but...well, when you read it you'll see why it couldn't be without spoiling stuff.

Starscream! I honestly expected you to kill him off after that first sequence, considering you never made your dislike of Starscream hidden, but I suppose with you taking up Starscream in the new RPG he's grown to you? Like the little bait-and-switch, and I absolutely love the 'before' segment between Starscream and Bugly. Really loved Bugly, by the way.
This predates me playing him in the RPG by a fair while, actually. Actually, the time that I put into figuring out how to play Starscream without being totally reprehensible to me, but still feeling like Starscream, is probably part of the reason why I eventually picked him up in the game.

Shame it's so short, but next chapter we're going to Team Nuke Hub, which I think contains most of my favourite characters (it's the one with Sixshot!), so yeay!
And Sixshot will play a key role in it, too.

Blackjack
2013-09-23, 07:35 AM
We haven't seen Kup since part 9 and Nemesis since part 10, if memory serves, so you're right that it's been a while -- since 2007 and 2008!

Holy shit! :lol:

I think I read all of Reckoning in... 2009-ish? Still pretty damn impressed how you manage to keep track of 100+ characters and still manage to make most of them pretty distinctive, even bit characters like Turbofire and Turbo Master.

(Is Turbo Master that small? I vaguely remember him as an Action Master Elite version of Bruticus...)

God, I write slowly. It's a good thing I'm not a pro, I'd starve to death.

The RPG disagrees with you.

Nemesis will show up again in part 17, which I've already written but which absolutely has to come after these last few stories (and especially part 16). Initially it was going to be part 14, but...well, when you read it you'll see why it couldn't be without spoiling stuff.

I'm waiting for the inevitable battle of Nemesis versus the resistance. Nemesis intrigues me a lot for some reason. Maybe it's because his toy has been on my desk for a while now (and thanks to this chapter he's joined by 'Slicer'), but I've always liked your take on Nemesis.

This predates me playing him in the RPG by a fair while, actually. Actually, the time that I put into figuring out how to play Starscream without being totally reprehensible to me, but still feeling like Starscream, is probably part of the reason why I eventually picked him up in the game.

Well you're doing a pretty good job of it. He's slightly... Prime-y (as in the series, not the character) too in his behavior, which isn't a bad thing. Really like the new take on his immortality powers.

Warcry
2013-09-23, 07:05 PM
Holy shit! :lol:
I still have a hard time fathoming how long I've been working on this story. I started in 2006. I was still in university and hadn't even met my now-wife when I posted the first chapter.

I think I read all of Reckoning in... 2009-ish? Still pretty damn impressed how you manage to keep track of 100+ characters and still manage to make most of them pretty distinctive, even bit characters like Turbofire and Turbo Master.
I think it's more like three hundred, if you count everyone who's dead.

I need something like four spreadsheets of data to keep track of anyone beyond the lead characters and my favourites, though.

(Is Turbo Master that small? I vaguely remember him as an Action Master Elite version of Bruticus...)
You could ignore the perfunctory alt-mode and characterize him as a Bruticus redeco I suppose, but truth be told his box art looks a lot more like Bruticus than the actual toy does. So I just assume he's some poor sap with terrible colours and a really bad twin-rotor copter mode.

The RPG disagrees with you.
No, see, the RPG is part of the problem. I have so many dozens of things on the go at any one time, writing-wise and otherwise, that I find it impossible to sit down and concentrate on one thing until it's done. Which is fine when it's a hobby, but not so much if you're trying to make a living at it.

Which is why I'm glad it's just a hobby for me.

I'm waiting for the inevitable battle of Nemesis versus the resistance. Nemesis intrigues me a lot for some reason. Maybe it's because his toy has been on my desk for a while now (and thanks to this chapter he's joined by 'Slicer'), but I've always liked your take on Nemesis.
Which Nemesis Prime do you have? It's almost certainly not the one I have in mind, since the only all-black version of the G1 Optimus toy I know of is a rare Japanese convention exclusive from 13 years ago (http://www.tfu.info/2000/Cybertron/JAFConvoy/jafconvoy.htm).

Nemesis is definitely an interesting character, though. No matter how much you try to program him with loyalty to your side and contempt for the Autobots, he's still Optimus Prime, so...it's just not going to be a comfortable fit for him.

Blackjack
2013-09-24, 10:30 AM
I think it's more like three hundred, if you count everyone who's dead.

I need something like four spreadsheets of data to keep track of anyone beyond the lead characters and my favourites, though.

True, but On the Edge of Extinction and Generation Two culled a good chunk off that number, and you have a higher casualty rate than Simon Furman ever did. :p

Which Nemesis Prime do you have? It's almost certainly not the one I have in mind, since the only all-black version of the G1 Optimus toy I know of is a rare Japanese convention exclusive from 13 years ago (http://www.tfu.info/2000/Cybertron/JAFConvoy/jafconvoy.htm).

Universe. The Classics Voyager redeco that has some nice-looking teal on it. Other than the silly windbreaker weapon and rather sub-par arms I actually like the mold quite a bit.

I definitely don't have that rare Japanese exclusive thing. First I've ever heard of it too.

Nemesis is definitely an interesting character, though. No matter how much you try to program him with loyalty to your side and contempt for the Autobots, he's still Optimus Prime, so...it's just not going to be a comfortable fit for him.

I certainly find him far more interesting than Generic Competent Villain #21 RID Scourge, if anything because you don't immediately play on the 'evil counterpart' angle but not make him look like he doesn't suffer from being an Optimus clone, so to speak.

Warcry
2013-09-24, 07:42 PM
True, but On the Edge of Extinction and Generation Two culled a good chunk off that number, and you have a higher casualty rate than Simon Furman ever did. :p
I want to argue that point but I'm not entirely sure I can. Between Overlord's invasion and Galvatron, I've killed a lot of people in this story.

On the other hand I've introduced lots of guys like Gunrunner, Sixshot, Pounce, Wingspan, Counterpunch and all of the G2ers to the mix at the same time, so the cast is still really, really huge. I like it that way, though. One of the most fun things about G1 to me, and especially the Marvel universe, was how huge the cast was and how random characters could take the spotlight at any given time.

Universe. The Classics Voyager redeco that has some nice-looking teal on it. Other than the silly windbreaker weapon and rather sub-par arms I actually like the mold quite a bit.
This thing? (http://tfu.info/2008/Decepticon/SDCCNemesisPrime/nemesisprime.htm) Where'd you find an SDCC-exclusive figure without breaking the bank?

I definitely don't have that rare Japanese exclusive thing. First I've ever heard of it too.
I didn't even realize it was an exclusive until I looked it up just now. It's an Optimus Prime figure...I just assumed of course Takara's released it in black.

Though it's been bootlegged rather heavily nowadays, so it's probably not all that difficult to track down these days for someone with your geography.

I certainly find him far more interesting than Generic Competent Villain #21 RID Scourge, if anything because you don't immediately play on the 'evil counterpart' angle but not make him look like he doesn't suffer from being an Optimus clone, so to speak.
Never really gotten behind the whole Scourge/Nemesis Prime thing honestly, because I've never understood the direction they've taken the character in. Official versions of the character are always treated as either generically evil or (in Scourge's case) a unique villian with no resemblance to Optimus, but that's never really made sense to me. If Nemesis is made from Optimus, he should be like Optimus -- obviously not exactly or he'd be a good guy, but he needs to have enough in common that you can see where things went wrong, so to speak. He'd either be a tireless paladin of evil or a worn-down, self-doubting champion of the bad guys' cause depending on which version of Optimus you're trying to mirror, because Optimus is who he is and flipping his alignment wouldn't rewrite his entire personality.

tahukanuva
2013-09-25, 02:01 AM
Somehow I've managed to not see any of these before, ("Warcry wrote a fanfic? And he's on chapter fifteen?!") but I'm glad I found this one. That was a really enjoyable read. Especially the mopey Starscream bits. I love mopey Starscream bits.

Also, I don't know if this was a deliberate effort or not, but you've certainly done a good job of letting new readers jump on. All the necessary backstory's covered, but just vaguely enough to make me want to go back and read the previous chapters. Good job, War.

Blackjack
2013-09-25, 01:12 PM
I want to argue that point but I'm not entirely sure I can. Between Overlord's invasion and Galvatron, I've killed a lot of people in this story.

Eh, the Cameron system missions had a high death toll, just not as concentrated as the Imperial invasion or Galvatron.

On the other hand I've introduced lots of guys like Gunrunner, Sixshot, Pounce, Wingspan, Counterpunch and all of the G2ers to the mix at the same time, so the cast is still really, really huge. I like it that way, though. One of the most fun things about G1 to me, and especially the Marvel universe, was how huge the cast was and how random characters could take the spotlight at any given time.

Don't have to tell me that, the RPG's kind of a perfect example of how that can work well.

Though out of the characters in Reckoning you took from nothing and turned into something, my favourite is still Whirl. Skyjack, Rage, Grotusque, Sixshot, Counterpunch, Clench and Gunrunner are all great as well, but I always have an inordinate love for your Whirl.

This thing? (http://tfu.info/2008/Decepticon/SDCCNemesisPrime/nemesisprime.htm) Where'd you find an SDCC-exclusive figure without breaking the bank?

Yeah, that thing. Though not the SDCC version. This one (http://tfarchive.com/toys/reviews/cla_nemesis.php).

(God, that was one of the reviews written during my days as a hyper-excitable everything-is-awesome fanboy. I need to rewrite that. He's a great toy but probably deserves a 7 or 8 at best)

Nemesis was released as well in the 2008 Universe line as a Toys'R'Us exclusive thing, basically identical to the SDCC Nemesis Prime except, well, it's retail. And I got it at clearance as well as with a discount card and the resulting end result is a toy that was almost as cheap as a deluxe class.

Though it's been bootlegged rather heavily nowadays, so it's probably not all that difficult to track down these days for someone with your geography.

Why would I want a black version of the G1 toy when I already have SDCC Universe Nemesis in my collection?

Never really gotten behind the whole Scourge/Nemesis Prime thing honestly, because I've never understood the direction they've taken the character in.

Agreed. RID Scourge is pretty distinct, but make him look like his G1 counterpart and give him a different origin and no one would bat an eyelash. Whereas SG Optimus Prime just went straight-up 'crazy stupid Bond villain' with it, basically making him cartoon Megatron. The other Nemesis Primes that appear in fiction, well... the Armada and Prime versions aren't even sentient, whereas IDW's Novamesis Prime and Fun Publications' Mammoth Nemesis Prime are just evil dudes who happen to look like Optimus Prime instead of actually being an evil counterpart.

Somehow I've managed to not see any of these before, ("Warcry wrote a fanfic? And he's on chapter fifteen?!") but I'm glad I found this one. That was a really enjoyable read. Especially the mopey Starscream bits. I love mopey Starscream bits.

Also, I don't know if this was a deliberate effort or not, but you've certainly done a good job of letting new readers jump on. All the necessary backstory's covered, but just vaguely enough to make me want to go back and read the previous chapters. Good job, War.

Read everything, Tahukanuva! It's a great series of fanfiction, and even the earlier chapters stand out really well even now.

Warcry
2013-09-25, 06:12 PM
Somehow I've managed to not see any of these before, ("Warcry wrote a fanfic? And he's on chapter fifteen?!") but I'm glad I found this one. That was a really enjoyable read. Especially the mopey Starscream bits. I love mopey Starscream bits.
I've been working on this since...2006, I think? And the first half of the chapters came in the first year and a half of that when I was in university, not working and had huge amounts of time on my hands. It's definitely been slow going since, so no surprise that you haven't seen it before...when I only post one or two chapters a year, it's easy to miss.

I'm glad you're enjoying it. I'm having fun writing Starscream like this, as well. I think Blackjack's spot on with the TF:Prime comparison, because Prime Starscream is (IMO obviously) the most relateable and enjoyable version of the character. The sort of torture I'm planning on putting him through over his next few appearances wouldn't be out of place happening to Prime Screamer either, considering all the horrifying things he's done to himself (or had done to him).

Also, I don't know if this was a deliberate effort or not, but you've certainly done a good job of letting new readers jump on. All the necessary backstory's covered, but just vaguely enough to make me want to go back and read the previous chapters. Good job, War.
I try my best for sure, but (since I'm obviously not a new reader myself) I'm never quite sure if it's working or not. Glad to hear that it worked for you. :up:

Nemesis was released as well in the 2008 Universe line as a Toys'R'Us exclusive thing, basically identical to the SDCC Nemesis Prime except, well, it's retail. And I got it at clearance as well as with a discount card and the resulting end result is a toy that was almost as cheap as a deluxe class.
Ah, cool. I don't think it ever came out around these parts. It might have been supposed to, but my local stores skipped over a lot of the later-run Universe exclusives (no TRU Darkwing or Countdown, no Walmart Hardhead, Powerglide or Skyjack, etc...) so they'd have more room for ROTF toys.

Why would I want a black version of the G1 toy when I already have SDCC Universe Nemesis in my collection?
Owning the Classics mold is hardly a reason not to buy a fancy-coloured G1 Prime. You'd be buying them for totally different reasons most likely, one as a toy and one to look pretty on a shelf.

Blackjack
2013-09-26, 01:35 PM
The sort of torture I'm planning on putting him through over his next few appearances wouldn't be out of place happening to Prime Screamer either, considering all the horrifying things he's done to himself (or had done to him).

Am I the only person who actually felt sorry for Starscream when he gets reduced to being the boot of physical comedy or being highlighted for his incompetence in season three? Surely there are others out there?

Team Starscream? No?

Ah, cool. I don't think it ever came out around these parts. It might have been supposed to, but my local stores skipped over a lot of the later-run Universe exclusives (no TRU Darkwing or Countdown, no Walmart Hardhead, Powerglide or Skyjack, etc...) so they'd have more room for ROTF toys.

I honestly didn't care for any of the larger exclusives. I mean, Countdown would probably be nice to have because I like Micromasters, and I would trade my normal-retail Powerglide for a red Powerglide in a heartbeat, but the rest of the later-wave Voyager/Ultra repaints didn't really interest me that much, being rather quick and rather lazy repaints of the Ultra toys.

I didn't even plan on getting Nemesis until I actually saw him at retail. I don't think I even know he existed until then either.

Actually I'm kind of surprised you didn't know I have a Nemesis, I think we had a conversation about Nemesis the toy and character via PM once before.

Owning the Classics mold is hardly a reason not to buy a fancy-coloured G1 Prime. You'd be buying them for totally different reasons most likely, one as a toy and one to look pretty on a shelf.

I already have a fancy-coloured G1 Prime. He's anemic and pale and stuff. The catch is, of course, he's supposed to be a nice, bright red reissue.

I'm actually not really a big fan of the G1 Optimus Prime mold, certainly not big enough to bother hunting down a super-rare and most likely super-expensive black Takara-exclusive thing. If I see a cheap knockoff somewhere, sure, but unless I find a cheap reissue Ultra Magnus I'm happy with just owning Anemia Prime.

Warcry
2013-09-26, 03:50 PM
Am I the only person who actually felt sorry for Starscream when he gets reduced to being the boot of physical comedy or being highlighted for his incompetence in season three? Surely there are others out there?
Nope. The writers did a very, very good job of making sure that Starscream no matter how pathetic Starscream got, he'd still be just as hatable as he was previously. I couldn't quite help but feel bad for him anyway though.

I honestly didn't care for any of the larger exclusives. I mean, Countdown would probably be nice to have because I like Micromasters, and I would trade my normal-retail Powerglide for a red Powerglide in a heartbeat, but the rest of the later-wave Voyager/Ultra repaints didn't really interest me that much, being rather quick and rather lazy repaints of the Ultra toys.
I actually agree, for the most part. Hardhead is the only one I was interested in, since I'm such a fan of the Universe Onslaught design. But I'm really surprised that none of them showed up, since we usually get piles of any TRU or Walmart exclusive that comes out.

Actually I'm kind of surprised you didn't know I have a Nemesis, I think we had a conversation about Nemesis the toy and character via PM once before.
You know, now that you mention it I don't think I've ever actually seen a Nemesis Prime in person, any version of it. BM was so awful that I basically stopped paying attention to official Transformers stuff until mid-2002, so I missed out on RiD Scourge (still the best IMO). The Armada guy and Universe mammoth never showed here, neither did the Classics redeco and I'm struggling to think of any more Nemesises that came out at retail rather than as a crazy exclusive in Japan or to a US store we don't have up here.

I do like the aesthetics of a black Optimus though, I have to admit.

I'm actually not really a big fan of the G1 Optimus Prime mold, certainly not big enough to bother hunting down a super-rare and most likely super-expensive black Takara-exclusive thing. If I see a cheap knockoff somewhere, sure, but unless I find a cheap reissue Ultra Magnus I'm happy with just owning Anemia Prime.
You're young, so you're allowed to be wrong. ;)

G1 Prime isn't the greatest, admittedly. I actually prefer Ultra Magnus and Powermaster Optimus if we're talking about toys. But I don't think it's a stretch to say the mold is iconic, and it does look great in vehicle mode alongside the early cars.

redman prime
2014-02-05, 10:19 PM
I come to this site sporadically now, and this is one of the main reasons.

I can't remember the last chapter I read, and am working from home cause I tore my ACL and am doing rehab currently, so I'm catching up from the start. Just wanted to drop you a line and say thanks for keeping up on these, and hope all is well!

Warcry
2014-02-06, 10:55 PM
Yay, you're still alive! :)

Hope you feel better soon. Ouch to ligament tears. :(

You actually picked a great time to come back, because I have the next two chapters queued up and ready to go. Just need to edit them into a postable format. Maybe I'll get to it on the weekend if things go well.

redman prime
2014-02-09, 07:46 PM
Ha, yeah, still alive!

Things have been hectic, what with chasing a three year old boy around to rehab to that whole pesky Day-to-Day routine stuff.

Anyway, to the story:

Fantastic, as usual. I re-read every chapter to make sure I was familiar with the material and.. that took four days.

Fun to see that this chapter brought in several of the main characters that I utilized in the RPG years ago. Ahh, Nostalgia.

Warcry
2014-02-09, 11:19 PM
New chapter! (http://www.tfarchive.com/community/showthread.php?t=52309)

Things have been hectic, what with chasing a three year old boy around to rehab to that whole pesky Day-to-Day routine stuff.
Wait, wait. Three years old? It seems like just a few months ago you told me you had one on the way. Time sure does fly...

Fun to see that this chapter brought in several of the main characters that I utilized in the RPG years ago. Ahh, Nostalgia.
I'm ashamed to say I can't remember the characters you used to play, other than Starscream, Apeface and Snapdragon. :( Who am I forgetting that I used in this chapter?

redman prime
2014-05-29, 08:59 PM
Those guys, and Slicer...

I don't know why, but a Decepticon Wheeljack lookalike always tugged at my heartstrings.

Warcry
2014-06-02, 12:14 AM
Slicer is pretty much the coolest thing ever. I'm still holding out hope that Takara go crazy and made a Masterpiece of him from their new Wheeljack toy.