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Old 2017-09-12, 05:41 PM   #200
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Dig site

Furos smiled slightly at Stylor's unease, but considering the other choices had been a criminal, a stranger who'd somehow bonded with Ginrai and a bunch of Titan Masters whose names he hadn't had a chance to learn yet, it had been an easy choice.

"You'll do fine."

As they rolled towards Prime, the Titan Master told Convex, "Don't take it personally. He was like this before he became a Titan, too."

As they drew closer to Prime, Hardhead's turret started to track towards Scourge and Fracas. He wasn't aiming at them, yet, but he was obviously ready for trouble.

"Prime? Are you functional, sir?"

As it happened, Vorath didn't need to interrogate anyone. As he walked through the dig site, attracting no small amount of attention from the civilian scientists, he'd seen a familiar face. A neutral imaging scientist named Scatter, who he'd worked with a few years ago on a Decepticon-sponsored asteroid dig, had been happy to shared what he knew with the old friend who'd helped save the dig from the combiner menace.

Apparently, they were excavating an old battlefield. The main focus currently was a well-preserved Combiner body, sans head. But the scans had also shown larger structures farther south, the remains of what Scatter thought were old buildings.

But Vorath knew that they weren't simply old buildings. His friends in the Decepticon Science Directorate had slipped him some hints, suggestions about what the dig was really up to. And after what he'd heard from Scatter, it wasn't hard to guess what they were really after...

With that in mind, the Decepticon scientist took off across the site at a jog, looking for Doomshot.


The duty officer that Starscream had spoken to -- a midsized mech named Jetblade who'd pared his body down to a lean skeleton to keep under the tonnage limits that would have forced him to be rebuilt as a Titan -- entered the hangar and approached with a concerned look on his face.

"Air Commander Starscream? Is something wrong? Why have you returned to the ship?"


Mindwipe floated in a grey haze, his wings flapping absently even though there was nothing for them to push against. But it didn't really matter, because he wasn't here and none of this existed. It was just his brain's frail attempt to interpret the uninterpretable, as his psychic trance bridged his consciousness to that of the recently-dead combiner component.

Although he'd communed with the dead before, never had the experience been so intense, so real. In the past he'd only been able to feel the slightest wisp of a presence, to grasp the last few thoughts or memories that had gone through the dead mind before its life force had faded. But he'd never tasted a ghost so fresh, or one who'd died such a horrible, agonizing death.

Images floated around him, devoid of context. Broken plates. Parts being torn off from a whole robot. Pieces of a completed puzzle, falling away from one another in a jumble. But the opposite theme was visible too: those same puzzle pieces, jammed together into a whole that didn't fit, and made no sense. A person, if you could call it that, made up of bits and pieces that obviously belonged to a dozen different people.

The pain of being forced together.

The pain of being torn apart.

The wrongness of it all.

This poor, tortured creature -- he had been an Autobot once, Mindwipe grasped, an Autobot named Prefab -- had been volunteered for the combiner process by his commander. He hadn't had a choice, and even if he had, what the doctors said was going to happen was nothing like what actually did. His entire life had been stolen away.

And worst of all -- horrifying even to a night creature like Mindwipe -- was that he'd been conscious for all of it. They all had, every single one of them. Their twisted, circus-freak combined body hadn't had a mind of its own, not even a rudimentary one. Its headspace had been empty, save for what the component members could shout into it. And without a proper way to communicate -- the neural interfaces in his generation had been far less advanced than in some of the newer combiners -- Demolition's limited mind had been restricted to what all of the components could agree on: their fear, their hunger, and eventually, their rage.


And then, as quickly as it had come over him, the connection broke. The last ghosts of Prefab's life faded away and Mindwipe was himself again.


One did not commune with the dead and come away unchanged, especially when the experience was so intense. And so Mindwipe felt a new sense of purpose as he digested what he'd seen.

Now I know vhy fate led us here. Now I know vhat I must do.
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