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Old 2017-10-10, 10:27 PM   #239
Likes Beast Wars toys. A lot.
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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

(OOC: The cities couldn't have disappeared that long ago, guys. This one's buried on the same battlefield as a modern combiner, after all. They're ancient history to be sure, but still HISTORY, not myth.)

Decepticon Meeting

"Head on."

The activation phrase was unnecessary, of course. It had been decades since Titan technology has been so primitive. But old habits, and all that. Yes...

Doomshot folded up, his body taking on a cuboid form as his head sunk into Megatron's neck socket. Neural shunts extruded out of his temples and locked into place on Megatron's connector sockets, prompting similar connectors to connect from Megatron into Doomshot at the same time as the Decepticon leader's socket clamps set him into place. As the connections initialized and data began to pass between the two of them, Doomshot had a few moments to scrutinize the memories that he'd had Necro dredge up. He was not disappointed.

Then Megatron's processors finished booting up, and the shouting started. Thankfully, Doomshot had been prepared for this eventuality, and the shouting remained internal. He wasn't sure if Megatron's explosion of rage would have translated into anything but an inchoate roar of fury. Doomshot allowed Megatron's wrath to wash over him, galvanizing him for what was to come. And once the white-hot anger began to burn out, as all anger did, the Titan Master tossed a though of his own into their shared mind-space.

You brought this on yourself.

You dare--

No, Megatron. I don't "dare". I am doing what a Titan Master is supposed to do. The fact that I have to resort to such extreme measures simply illustrates how petty and childish your behaviour is. Whether you like it or not, Megatron, we are two parts of the same whole now. Indivisible.

Megatron's rage flared yet again. You are just the latest in a line of replaceable widgets, Doomshot. You won't "master" me, no more than any of the others. How are they doing, anyway?

You say that, Doomshot told him. You don't truly believe it. I am not afraid of you. Your attempted mental assaults don't phase me. Every day, you feel less and less in control of our shared mind. So you act out like a child, yes, spitefully trying to fight me off without any regard for how it is impacting the cause that you created.

So you would have me give up? Surrender the sovereignty of my own thoughts that the High Command tried to steal from me against my will? Never! Who would follow such a Megatron?

Who follows you now? Doomshot asked coldly. I didn't do what I did solely to get the information that you withheld from me, no. Nor did I do it to hurt you. I did it to illustrate that I can. But not as a petty power game, no. To show you how far you have fallen in the eyes of your own troops. Search my memories and tell me, did anyone actually try to stop me from violating either the mind or the body of our once-beloved leader? This is what your enemies in High Command have made of you -- a shadow of your former self with no authority and no loyalty from your men.

Megatron's returned snarl was halfhearted at best. And you care why, exactly?

Because your enemies are my enemies, Doomshot responded. Literally, since I'm your head, but in spirit as well. High Command cares not for victory. All they want is to maintain the status quo as they squabble amongst themselves for power. They need to be removed. I cannot do that. In your current state, neither can you. Ah, but together...

What do you propose?

Doomshot would have smiled if they were having this conversation in reality. High Command expects me to, as you say, be one in a long line...a distraction, nothing more, to keep you from achieving the mental clarity to see what they have done to you. One among their number, Astrotrain, seems to be playing his own game. He wants me to dispose of your mind entirely so that I can become leader.

Megatron scoffed.

"Indeed, Doomshot agreed. So we need to do what none of our enemies expect. Allow our minds to merge, Megatron. We need to become a true Titan Master partnership. We need to stop fighting each other...and start fighting them.

Megatron was clearly unconvinced, but he wasn't exploding with refusal either. And what exactly do you offer that I cannot do by myself?

Aside from the fact that you need a head? Doomshot did his best not to allow his smug self-satisfaction to show. You are a very direct being Megatron, yes. You thrive on situations where you can plow through a challenge using your strength and charisma. But you are not at home in the arena of politics, no. You lack the insight to see when your enemies are scheming behind your back, plotting out your doom eight steps ahead. Don't deny it, no. If that wasn't true, we wouldn't be here. With your raw power and my cunning and insight, there will be no blind spots, no avenues left unguarded for our enemies to attack unseen.

And if you need evidence of that, simply search my mind for what I've discovered about the real target of our mission here, and the lies that the Science Directorate told you.

Megatron lowered his guard and allowed Doomshot's knowledge to flow into them. Whether due to the surprise of what he found there or simple acceptance and agreement, the mental shields that kept their mental bond from fully forming came down a short moment later. Doomshot felt himself melting away into becoming a part of another being altogether, the merging of himself and Megatron that their robot mode had always been meant to be. And in the last moments of separate consciousness before the two truly became one, he felt a rush of triumph.

As Megatron -- a new Megatron, one that hoped to be greater than the sum of his parts -- rose from the ground where he'd been worked on, he did his best not to inspect his new paintwork. He wasn't entirely fond of he change, but he understood the motivation behind it. Astrotrain wanted Doomshot to take charge, and what better way to play along than to be seen literally "branding" Megatron has his possession? It was just one more slight that Astrotrain and his council friends would pay for in the end.

"Ah, my Decepticons," he said. "How truly loyal you must be to gather by your leader's sickbed like this." The steel in his expression made it clear that he knew exactly what they'd been doing. "But the time for convalescing has passed. You have questions for me, yes?"

He emphasized the last word in an attempt to proverbially perk up Astrotrain's ears with evidence that his scheme was succeeding.

Then he addressed Deathsaurus. "The purple," he said, "is irrelevant. Choosing to hire a questionably trustworthy criminal like Straxus is not. If he proves to be less than loyal, the consequences shall be yours. So keep a close eye on him."

Mindwipe shook his head. "They are too fragile to survive very long as Vorath's lab rats, Sixshot, and their anatomies are too different to us anyway. And they lack a proper brain for my own talents to influence, blah."

Battlestation Ginrai

"I fought alongside them in my youth," Hardhead told Hot Rod darkly. "And against them. I was there when Gigastorm vaporized half of the 12th Autobot Army with a single volley at Yuss. They are the farthest thing from a myth. The very first combiners were created long ago as desperate countermeasures to those gigantic menaces, lest we forget."

Furos interjected, "I remember them as well. But I would caution all of you from thinking of them as some mere 'weapon'. They were as alive as you or I."

As he walked towards his Titan, the two of them reflexively transformed to robot mode and continued their shared thought, "Indeed, if it is somehow still alive after all this time, it may not be interested in cooperating with us." The old soldier repressed a shiver. "I can't say I'd be keen on crossing paths with a truculent Mega-Titan. But like Perceptor, I'd be very skeptical at the prospect of actually finding one even remotely functional. The last one fell...probably centuries before we had to evacuate Cybertron. And, bluntly, good riddance."
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