A darkened room. An enclosed file. Two large silhouettes of large figures. That was how it began, that was how it ended. His story, the Dinobot, Swoop. He didn't know then what the universe had in store for him. He didn't know about the other him, and his protege. He didn't know about his unseen partner. He had no idea what was to be- what was to become of him. He had no say, only fate, he had no idea how much importance that secret meeting held... for him, and for all of Cybertron.
"This is the one?" A distinctly male voice quietly whispered to his accomplice. "I'm sure of it," she answered to him, just as quietly. "Let me look." The file was handed over to the male figure, who never took his eyes off of it.
Gleaming talons cutting through the seal delicately could barely be made out from the darkness. As it opened, two glowing red eyes grew wide with surprise, taking in the astonishing information. "Where did you find this?" He asked her, eyes darting to her for a moment before becoming fixed on the file once more.
"I didn't find it, my lord, it found me." He raised his brow, eyes peeking at her from the sides. "It showed up, still sealed. I noticed another one of us, out there, leaving. I called out to her, but she didn't even turn around."
He again looked confused, but didn't utter another word for a long while. "Have you read it?" He finally asked her after a long moment. She nodded silently and he handed her the file once more. "Then you know what must be done."
Whites of her teeth could barely be seen curled up into a smile. "With pleasure, my lord."
Part One: The Beginning Edit
Chapter I: Laboratory Edit
Quiet, graceful footsteps echoed off the walls of a stainless steel hallway, noise increasing tremendously as it continued down. Even the near-silent steps of the lab's visitor could be heard. The tunnel he stalked was built for testing sound and it's effects, so it was made to hear every sound, purposeful or not.
"Hello? Who is this?" An old Cybertronian, cleaning the floor called out to the sound approaching him. "It's alright, just me." A slightly more high pitched, but still fairly quiet voice called out to him, and the 'bot continued cleaning and let the other pass, footsteps still echoing.
The tunnel was quite long, and was built as the lab's main entrance just so that no one could enter without being heard first. After the tunnel was a large main room, a huge glass dome adorning the ceiling, several pathways diverging to different areas. It was lit up much more than other places in the lab, and was made for visitors like the one approaching now.
A desk for a receptionist was planted firmly in the middle, and a young Autobot was bent down, collecting her things, preparing to go. As she heard him enter the room, she stuck her head up, but, seeing who it was, she stuck her head back down and kept grabbing her things.
He went down one of the hallways, still walking at the same pace. He remembered the way to get to where he was going perfectly, and as such had no need to look at much but to stare straight ahead. The walls were barren here just as much as everywhere else, but were spread far away from one another so as to have a proficient amount of space to walk through, as they grew crowded during days, when tours were regularly given.
Where he was going was hidden off from the tours and visitors and was likely only going to be found if you knew where it was. The way was dimly lit, and as such made the circuit breaker to turn them off was difficult to see, as it blended in with the walls very well. He opened it and flipped a switch, which in turn made a small section of the wall open like a door into another hallway.
He shut the breaker and entered, shutting the wall behind him. The hallway had several hidden rooms in it, holding a large variety of things, but nothing potentially dangerous aside from a few armed guards defending the far end of the hall.
"Hold!" One of the guards held out a hand and the others aimed their guns at him. The one who spoke also raised his gun at him, but took a step forward. "Do we really have to do this every time I come here?" The intruder asked, sighing. "Sorry, Swoop, you know we've got to. Security and all that."
They quickly and silently looked him over, not to thoroughly though. "Alright, go ahead." Swoop nodded and entered the room, the door shutting with a loud click. High tech gadgetry filled the room, with a large console in the center, a small red and blue Autobot in the center. A large periscope sat over his shoulder, and his eyes radiated a kind of extreme intellect.
"Ah, Swoop." He spoke, voice parrying that of a stereotypical nerd. "I've been expecting you."
Chapter II: Perception Edit
The Autobot floated down, not stepping off of his pedestal which moved down for him. He floated down to be eye level with Swoop, who was taking in his new lab. "Been doing some remodeling, Perceptor?" He chuckled a bit, stopping beside the Dinobot. "I've had to, they just keep funding me more and more, and I keep inventing more and more. It's been difficult since Jetfire left, but I still create the same amount of things per every month."
The room was nearly filled to the brink with gadgets, technology, wires, and high-tech weaponry. Several other scientists of lesser importance buzzed about, fixing things, working on things. The place was resonating with a droning noise coming from all the saws, drills, and whatever other equipment was being used.
"If I didn't have most of it shipped back out towards Metroplex, New Spark would just be filled with this stuff, not to mention my lab." He shook his head, and his words had made Swoop think of something. "Who exactly does fund you?" Perceptor moved back over to his console and pulled something up on the computer.
"Most of it comes from Metroplex, in exchange for all this machinery, but some comes from New Spark and Autobot City." Swoop nodded before asking another question. "What did you say you wanted me for? I had to tell the other Dinobots that I had to come here and I couldn't go fishing with them. Reminds me of the time Grimlock ditched us to be smart."
The question lit up Perceptor, who held up a small little device, reminiscent of a camera. "This, Swoop, is what I called you for. A little private project of mine, built to help me better understand Dinobot behavior- purely confidential of course. I called you because I know just how much your Dino friends hate non-dinobots."
Swoop silently agreed with him, and reached out his hand for Perceptor to give him the device. "How do I put it on?" Perceptor shook his head. "You don't, I do." He stepped on his pedestal once more and moved over to Swoop, lining up three spikes, like a grappling hook.
"Also, this might hurt, just a little bit." Perceptor readied the hooks and thrust it down into Swoop's shoulder, who screamed out in pain. "Just a little bit?" he growled at Perceptor, who ignored his remark. "Now, Swoop. I can see exactly what you see, and I can communicate through its built in comm unit, right from my computer here."
Swoop was still a little angry, and he was ready to go. "That all?" Perceptor nodded. "Yes, Swoop, you're free to go."
Chapter III: The Search Edit
Swoop had only left Perceptor's laboratory when he began to grow tired of asking people where the Dinobots had gone. He checked their normal lake (on Earth, hidden in a tall valley through a spacebridge) but to no avail. The citizens of New Spark hadn't seen four large, lumbering dinosaurs (somehow) and as such, Swoop was more on his own than ever.
Another thing that was beginning to annoy the scrap out of him was Perceptor's camera. It slightly weighed down the right side of his neck and every time he looked to the right, searing pain raced down his body. It was rather likely Perceptor placed the camera beside a nerve just to mess with him.
Stupid scientists and their stupid research, Swoop bitterly thought. They don't care about us. Just their weird experiments. At the word experiments, Swoop shuddered. The word made him think of Shockwave, and Shockwave made him think about torture at his hands.
When the Dinobots weren't yet Dinobots, they were just regular, abnormally tough and dimwitted Autobots. Then there was Shockwave, mad with his yearning to know more. He tortured the five of them, to the point of nearly killing Sludge and Snarl. He implanted new bodies into them, forcing them into their new bodies, based on organic reptiles from Earth's prehistory.
He wasn't the only one to have tortured and broke them, however. Shockwave's other discovery, the Insecticons, lead by Kickback, Sharpshot, and Hardshell (two of which are definitely dead) also tortured them upon gaining their new bodies.
Sharpshot had nearly electrocuted Snarl to the point of death before being put down by Grimlock (with Swoop and Slug's assistance, of course), Kickback saw Grimlock's rage at being turned into a mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex first hand, and Hardshell tried to blow both Grimlock and Swoop to smithereens, before the two were saved by a recently escaped Slug, who crushed him with a door (not sure how he survived that one, but I doubt it really mattered.)
The four of them were also tortured by the belief that Sludge had died after Jazz found his near-lifeless body in the sewers below the Sea of Rust, before being miraculously revived by the wonders of Ratchet.
Not to mention the Forged and Swoop's brainwashing, but that was a story for another time. Swoop stopped thinking about his past as it was becoming to much for him to handle.
He turned back to his original task at hand, finding his friends. Racking his mind of everywhere they could have gone, he began to pace back and forth in public view of everyone. An older Autobot approached him and asked why he was pacing around so much. Swoop told him about the other Dinobots, and the old timer stopped him from saying anything else.
"Was one of 'em a big one with weird plates on 'is back, and a spiky tail?"
"Yeah, that's one of them, was he alone?" His conversational partner nodded. "Yep. 'e was talking about going to some spacebridge to 'imself."
Swoop told him thanks and left to head back on the spacebridge. He had already been there, but perhaps they had stopped on the way there, along this road and he hadn't noticed them.
Swoop decided he was much more likely to see them in the air, so he changed form, his legs flipping up into clawed little back talons, arms folding to his side, his chest engulfing his head, a toothed beak and a crest on the back taking its place, and the wings sticking out from his back becoming outstretched and moving to his side.
He soared up to the sky, rising above the skyscrapers of the more industrial districts of the city and looked down at the people below. Luckily, the day was sunny and their were little clouds, allowing for easy viewing of the ground below.
Denizens of the city moved around from market to market, skyscraper to skyscraper. A few Predacons were joining the sky with him, but they mostly just ignored each other. While he scoured the ground below from the sky, he traveled all over the city, but saw no indication of any of them. It wasn't until a quick moving Predacon crashed into him, and forced him to spin around, pointing his head at the outskirts of the city that he saw something suspicious.
A pair of three-toed footprints followed by two sets of five-pointers and two more much deeper imprinted ones, followed by a pair of much smaller three-toed prints, which wouldn't have belonged to any of the Dinobots Swoop knew.
He landed beside the tracks, and began to follow.
Chapter IV: Tracks Edit
Swoop followed the tracks for quite a while before becoming increasingly tired. They appeared to go on for miles, which wasn't all that uncommon for Dinobots, seeing as they had admirable amounts of stamina and nothing better to do with their time.
The small tracks matching Grimlock's had slight differences that Swoop was beginning to notice, indicating a different species of dinosaur was walking with his friends. They also seemed to be consistently beside Grimlock's which likely meant that the walked right alongside each other the whole way.
That's odd. Grimlock, being the leader, typically walked alongside no one except Swoop occasionally (who also happened to be his best friend) and normally chose to walk ahead to defend the other Dinobots, and lead them to where he wanted them to go.
This time, however, he appeared to be allowing this newcomer to walk alongside him. It made Swoop a bit suspicious that someone they had just met today could have gained enough respect and trust to walk alongside Grimlock, quite an impressive feat.
Behind him where the two sets of two pairs of prints, one deeper than the other (Snarl weighed a lot more than Slug did) but he also noticed two more pairs behind that, planted deeper than the four ahead of them combined.
These were definitely Sludge's. His alternate form of a mechanical Apatosaurus was much larger and heavier than the others, which could easily be seen in his footprints.
Another fact about the Dinobots: once they became attached to their new alternate forms, they would seldom ever been in their robot forms (aside from Swoop and the Dinobots' longtime friend Paddles, just because their beast modes weren't exactly built for walking.) It was likely due to their more savage nature now and the facts that it just felt much more natural to be in them, also, they were much more powerful than their robot modes and could easily take even the toughest foes (including Predacons.)
The tracks continued on for quite some time, before reaching a small settlement in the middle of nowhere. As Swoop neared it, he called out to them, hoping to get a response. No one called back and Swoop was beginning to have an eerie feeling about this place.
He picked up his pace, turning to a run eventually. Something wasn't right here, and he wanted to find out as quickly as possible. When he reached the gate to enter the camp, no one greeted him, adding to the eeriness. He pushed it open and again called out to anyone inside, but like the land surrounding it, this place was barren.
That was what was so creepy. There was no one there, the whole place was deserted. He searched through a few dimly lit buildings, and from what he saw, there was no one there, and there hadn't been for quite some time.
Deciding that he wasn't going to find anyone, he turned away from the camp and back to the tracks, before noticing that the tracks just lead right back inside. What would cause anyone to want to come here? Then he remembered the newcomer walking with his friends. They must have lead them here.
He continued to follow the tracks through the camp, before they lead up to a large building, likely used as a warehouse. he entered into darkness on the inside, and began to look for a light switch or other way to illuminate the place.
He fumbled around the wall for a while until his hand hit a switch, bathing the place in light. The warehouse had barren walls, like most everything else in the camp. There was nothing particularly special about the building, and there was nothing left in there to take.
Swoop looked over at the tracks again to follow them, but they led nowhere else in there. He turned around to go outside, but only saw tracks leading in, none leading out. he looked back in, seeing them only stop. He rushed over to the other side of the warehouse, but there was no other exit.
The Dinobots had disappeared.
Chapter V: Suspicions Edit
Swoop paced around again, stressing out over his friends' sudden disappearance. "How?" He muttered to himself, too confused to say anything else. "How? How?" He bent down and brushed his hands over the tracks, they were remarkably fresh.
Which means they must be around here somewhere. He looked around the warehouse for some sort of clue, something to help figure out what was happening. There was nothing but the occasional crate or box, and nothing else of any importance anywhere in the warehouse.
He kneeled beside the tracks, but again saw nothing. He didn't know what he was expecting to find, but he tried for something- anything.
"Did you check for any secret doors or walls?" The voice made Swoop jump into the air and scuttle backwards a bit before building the nerve to speak. "What?"
"A secret door." He whipped his head all around. The voice was familiar, but he couldn't tell who it came from or where. "Who is this?"
"It's Perceptor, Swoop. I'm on your comm, remember?" Swoop calmed down a bit and stood back up again. "Yeah, of course. That's what I figured."
There was a bit of chuckling and then Perceptor spoke again. "Well, did you look for any secret passages or doors?"
"No, I hadn't even thought of that." He started shuffling around on the wall, looking for anything he could press or pull. "What about the ground?" He turned himself over to where the tracks had ended, and kneeled beside him.
He pushed all around the ground, but found no secret plates or pulleys. "Hey, Swoop, what's that?"
"What's what?" He again looked around to find something. "On the floor, beside the tracks." He raised his brow but looked at the ground again, brushing the floor. A small indent was there and he managed to get his fingers beneath it, pulling up a trapdoor.
"How could you see that?"
"The camera, remember? I can pan it in any direction I choose. I see everything around you." Swoop shook his head. "That's not creepy at all."
"I told you you were being studied, did I not? Now, let's see what you found, shall we?"
He thrust open the door completely and stepped down a ladder into a deep room tunnel below. Several rooms branched out down there, but voices echoed from the far end. "Should we have told Swoop we were coming all the way over here? It's pretty unlikely he'll find us here."
Grimlock's voice spoke just after Snarl's. "Who cares what Swoop thinks? He wants to spend times with smarties, he doesn't care about us. Why should we care about him?" A distinctly female voice followed up Grimlock's, which was odd because all the Dinobots were male.
"Must be the new one." He said to himself as she spoke. "Precisely, Grimlock, who cares what Swoop thinks? Leave him out there, he isn't needed." The only one seeming to truly disagree was Sludge, who tried to argue on Swoop's behalf before being shut down by the others.
"Well, we must be going now. I have something else I'd like to show you before we must go back to the city." Swoop wanted to listen in more, but then Perceptor spoke up. "Swoop, that means they're coming your way. Get ready to explain yourself."
He wasn't ready. He was suspicious of this newcomer, he didn't trust her. He moved his way into a separate room, ducking down. "What are you doing?" Swoop hissed Perceptor silent as the Dinobots and the newcomer moved by. "The door's open, Slash. Someone's here."
Slash waved their worrying away, and lead them up. "One of you just forgot to shut it." They listened and followed her up and out of the warehouse. "Who was that?" Swoop stood up before answering. "I dunno, but I don't trust her."
Swoop took a few moments before he followed them out. He needed to make sure he hadn't been seen by them, and continued out of the warehouse, once again following their tracks. They led out into a field near the abandoned camp.
"What could she want to show them out here?" Perceptor asked to Swoop, who was looking to see if he could see them. It turned out he could and they just stood out in the field, all confused, aside from Slash.
A deafening boom filled their ears and they fell to the ground, just as Swoop did. "What was that?" Swoop again shook his head. The boom had changed to a loud droning, and a huge shadow began to descend over them. "Perceptor! What is that?"
"I don't know!" The Dinobots were just as confused as Swoop, but it didn't matter. Slash walked around with a medicine needle in her hand, stabbing it to each of the Dinobots necks before stepping away. A gigantic ship landed near her, and several Vehicon soldiers moved out from a loading bay, guns raised.
In between them stepped out the one who had organized the whole ordeal, Shockwave himself. "I apologize, Shockwave," Slash began to him. "I could not get all of them. Swoop is still out there somewhere." Shockwave didn't seem to care. "That does not matter now. We have these ones, and they will certainly suffice." The two of them entered the ship again, several soldiers leaving the ship, dragging the Dinobots onboard.
Swoop began to stir and transform. "Swoop, what are you doing?" He took to the air and got into a diveboming position. "Going in."
Part II: New Dawn Edit
Chapter VI: Infiltration Edit
Luckily enough, the soldiers were to preoccupied with taking in Swoop's comrades that they failed to notice him swoop behind their heads and into the cargo bay.
Despite its enormous size, it had very little places to hide, as there were no hallways or rooms branching from there aside from going straight towards the bridge. Swoop noticed his only chance of hiding here was behind Snarl's limp body.
Forced into a corner and darkness, Swoop could only listen and hope none of the Vehicons noticed him there and would just leave. Suddenly, several footsteps came onboard at the same time.
"Hey, what's that one?" One of them said to his fellow soldiers, referring to Swoop's body. "It looks like one of them. Why should we care, just throw this one on top."
With that, Swoop was engulfed in darkness, heavy weight thrown on top of him, probably Grimlock. One of the troopers called out to the bridge, "They're here!" Before leaving the room, and Swoop, in darkness.
After a bit of time, when Swoop figured they were all gone, he lifted himself and narrowly managed to lift Grimlock off of him, before quietly setting down his body.
"What now?" Perceptor asked. "You're on here, what are you going to do now?" Swoop had to think about the question for a little bit. "Figure out what's going on."
Perceptor sighed before replying. "Alright then. Lead on, friend."
Swoop moved to leave, but noise from outside scared him back. He ran over to another room he hadn't noticed before running adjacent to the loading bay. Hiding behind a corner at the doorway, several troopers walked past him, into the room with the Dinobots.
A gruff male voice spoke up. "Wake up, Dinobots." He heard a clanging of metal and a snap of some sort of handcuff. Three more of the same noises happened and then a roaring from the now-awakened Grimlock.
Swoop decided to peek around to see what was happening, but it had turned out some sort of small collar-like device was around each of the Dinobots' necks, preventing them from doing much of anything. One of the soldiers started to push them along, back outside the room, and Swoop ducked back behind the wall.
"Perceptor, what was that around the Dinobots' necks?" There was a bit of static before Perceptor said something. "Some sort of technology, likely very recent. I don't know what exactly it is, but it seems to have been able to subdue the Dinobots, so that's something."
The Dinobots walked by the room Swoop was in, down a dark hallway that Swoop couldn't see the end of. "No doubt it was Shockwave's creation." Swoop silently agreed, but his mind was on other things.
He was remembered all the things the Dinobots had said about him through the years, their insults, their attacks, their scorn. Then he remembered his time on Cybertron, after its mass exodus. Of when he was captured and turned into a member of the Forged.
The Dinobots risked their lives- and their minds to save him. He wasn't going to let some maniacal scientist take his friends, no matter what they thought of him most of the time.
"Perceptor," Swoop called. "I'm getting the Dinobots back."
"Swoop, that's suicidal! You don't know what's in that ship with you. It isn't too late to exit the ship and return to the city. We can get reinforcements to help you." Swoop was ignoring him and flew up to the rafters above his head, his pteranodon mode being naturally acrobatic and agile, made him able to easily walk along the slim supports.
"The ship would be long gone by then." Perceptor tried to argue something, but Swoop interrupted him. "They would have done the same for me, Perceptor. They have done the same for me."
"They're all idiots too. What's you're point?" Swoop was tired of this argument. "I'm getting my friends, Perceptor. This discussion is over."
He kept moving before finishing. "And you're going to help me."
Chapter VII: Deserted Edit
Despite his large size, Swoop was quite adept at moving stealthily when he wanted to. As the troopers prodded the Dinobots on farther, Swoop was jumping silently from rafter to rafter, his small claws working like a bat's, giving him great maneuverability, silence, speed, and efficiency.
The Dinobots failed to resist or struggle against their captors, which was odd, as their rage never seemed to cease, especially around Decepticons.
"What do you think's wrong with them?" Swoop whispered to Perceptor.
"The Dinobots? I'm not sure." Perceptor took a moment to analyze them again. "My hypothesis is that those collars around their neck seem to be doing something to them, making them calmer. As a matter of fact, they look willing to be held captive and forced onward."
The Vehicons lead the Dinobots down a corner where the rafters didn't follow, and with them, Swoop. "Now what?" He angrily said, rather loudly. He swerved his beak around, sure he'd been heard, but there was no one around.
"I say we follow the vents onward," Perceptor said without any hesitation. "They have to loop around to wherever those troopers are going."
Turning in the direction opposite of where they'd gone, Swoop continued to follow the rafters, above the heads of more Vehicons, into darker hallways, turning in all random directions that he figured would get him where he was going.
"I have a feeling you have no idea you know what you're doing."
"Really?" Swoop answered sarcastically. "Because I'm pretty sure I know the exact layout of this ship I've never been on before in my life." The rafters forked at a hallway, one direction leading more into darkness, the other into a much brighter room.
"Which way?" Perceptor ignored him, instead asking a question of his own. "Where can we find a diagram of the ship?"
"I dunno, why?" Static buzzed through the comm. "Perceptor?" After a few more moments of silence, Swoop silently descended from his perch in the rafters. "Great. Now what?" He said to himself, steadily moving into the darkness, hoping for the dark to shroud him better as he moved along.
As he began to adjust to the darkness, he began to notice just how barren and deserted the huge ship was. With any vessel this size, Swoop knew (from experience) that typically there was quite a large crew to operate it, both soldiers and those who were truly important occupied the place, creating huge masses.
Adding to how strange that was, was the fact that this ship was huge. this corridor in on itself seemed to stretch for miles, so long in fact, that Swoop was thinking about turning back before he went too far.
As he decided to turn back, he came up on a long tunnel going off to his left, that was even darker than the one he'd been on, with no light to illuminate it at all, and the straight hallway ahead. He sighed, and took a deep breath. "Well, I have no where better to go." And he turned into darkness.
Chapter VIII: Creation Edit
The turn was a mistake.
Swoop knew that as soon as he had started to walk down it. The scarcity of any light had left him dazed and confused. Then, as he walked down farther, he realised that there were more tunnels leading in all directions.
He took a few of the brightest ones, hoping that they would end up leading to something or someone useful. Unfortunately for him, this meant that everything pretty much looked the same. There was no hope of turning back now-there was nowhere he could go except get himself even more lost.
He was beginning to see exactly why Perceptor had wanted him to find some sort of diagram of the ship. Of course, neither of them had any idea that the ship could be this complex, with no identifiable markings, but nonetheless, it probably would've been a good idea to get some sort of map, or anything really that could help him navigate the place better.
Still utterly lost, Swoop decided that it would probably be a good idea to change forms. His wings were beginning to grow weary from all this walking, and he could move on the ground far faster as a robot than he could a pteranodon.
Now in his humanoid mode, Swoop continued on, dissapearing into a void of seemingly endless darkness.
Then the seemingly endless hallways ended.
Swoop emerged into a huge room, well lit and filled to the brim with Decepticons. They weren't carrying guns, or any form of weaponry, but there were still too many of them for him to just go in, guns blazing. Besides, they were defensless and appeared to just be lowly scientists.
What they were working on was still unbeknownst to him, which wasn't a surprise, but they all seemed too hard at work to notice him standing there. When one eventually turned around, he changd forms out of reflex, but the scientist just passed him by, as if he didn't even exist.
Another one did the same, but mumbled something under her breath as she walked by.
Still finding this strange, Swoop walked himself up to the center of the room, which was surrounded by several computers, and scientists, all with images of Predacons and other beast-like creatures on screen. In the middle of the consoles were several large tubes, similar in appearance to a cocoon of a butterfly, which were filled with some sort of liquid and what appeared to be embryos of Predacons.
A few scientists, with bodies painted shades of chrome, indicating their superiority of the others, stood there at small control panels just beside the tanks, where they appeared to be typing something in.
One of them turned around to him and spoke. "I do not remember you being requested to be brought to us. What are you doing here?"
Swoop opened his beak to say something, but shut it, unsure of what to say. "I am lost, Sir. I was instructed to find Shockwave, but I ended up here instead." The scientist eyed him over. "Yes, I believe I do remember your creation. You are fairly recent, correct?"
Swoop, again unsure of what to say, just nodded. "That would explain how you have gotten lost. You will find Lord Shockwave that way." He pointed down one of the branching hallways.
As Swoop thanked him, and turned to leave, the scientist spoke again, prompting him to turn back around. "But first answer me a question."
"Yes, my Creator?"
"Did you really think you could fool me, Dinobot?" Swoop was taken aback by the accusation. "What is a Dinobot?" The scientist ignored him, and rather than answering, he pushed a button on the wall, and an extremely loud alarm began to blare. With that done, he raised a finger to his head, talking through his comm unit.
"Lord Shockwave," he began. "We have a situation."
Chapter IX: Predation Edit
Swoop decided now wasn't the best time to stand in one place and watch as Shockwave arrived to handle him. So he transformed, and turned to run. But before he did, he turned to look the scientist in the eye.
"Thanks a lot, you sorry piece of slag!" Then he punched him in the face and started to run.
Click, click, click.
The sound was following him. A sharp, penetrating noise had filled his ears a while back, but he'd thought it'd gone away. He was sadly mistaken. The sound picked up again recently, and this time he heard a voice with them.
"Where is he?" A few snarls followed up after that, and some growls, like those of some ferocious animal. "I thought Shockwave said you creatures were supposed to be skilled hunters! Superweapons and all that. Well, you don't seem to be too great at tracking things. One Dinobot, and you couldn't even handle that! Predators? Ha! Shockwave really got ahead of himself naming you that."
So he is talking about me.
The gruff voice continued on. "Enough, enough! Calm yourselves, beasts. I am not the enemy, he is. Now, you idiots go tear him apart or I will be forced to tear you apart. Shockwave wouldn't like that too much, his prized creations being torn apart by an 'inferior' Predacon, now would he? So get moving!"
The clicks began to increase in magnitude, coming at him at an extremely quick pace. Swoop turned himself back again and kept running, but the more he ran, the more he realised how quick the beasts were catching up to him. There was no way he would be able to outrun them on the ground, and he knew that it would be foolish to try.
But, seeing no alternative, he kept going, taking as many turns as he could, attempting to throw his pursuers off. No matter how many he took, however they just kept on coming, as if there was some sort of scent to follow.
Then he saw that there was. Energon, on his fist from earlier, when he had punched the scientist. As he kept going, anyways, he saw that running wasn't so great an idea. The tunnels had turned into one long corridor, and Swoop hadn't seen anywhere that he could turn to get away.
Eventually, the walls opened up to another large chamber, but this time with one big difference: a giant vat of acid, on the ground like a gigantic swimming pool.
All around it were machinations pushing boxes of metal into new shapes, compressing scrap metal into useful items and weapons, and even some recognizable parts from fallen Autobots and Decepticons were being pulled out from the wreckage and put onto large conveyer belts, leading elsewhere by long crane arms, which appeared to be autonomous. These parts from his former comrades were likely being recycled into new bodies for Shockwave's experiments.
That was what this place was, a recycling pit. Swoop could only hope that he wasn't going to be transformed into a robotic dragon or whatnot. Even worse than that thought came the realisation that this was a dead end. There was nowhere left to run, and whatever had been chasing him would be here any second.
And come they did.
Three dark black dragon-like Predacons arrived to face Swoop. But they weren't just like normal ones. Their bodies were rather small and appeared to be made for enhanced agility and speed. The silver claws on their feet were long and sharp, clearly made for tearing and thrashing, made to be efficiently quick and ravenous, obviously designed for inflicting extreme pain in a few moments.
Beside the claws on the feet, there was one that was sticking up taller, like those of a dromaeosaurid dinosaur, a sickle claw, as it was named.
Long, sharp teeth lined the inside of their maws, and were curved inward, too made for inflicting massive damage- all the while making the victim feel intolerable pain. Two long fangs snapped out from the roof of the mouth, and a drop of a purple substance fell from them, certainly some type of venom or poison. A forked metal tongue flicked out, which was most likely there to improve their senses.
Thick, whiplike tails curved inward, arching above their backs, with a thick barb on the end. Silver colored spines ran down from the back of the head all the way down to the tail, in between the wings. They too, were coated in a purple substance, likely the same venom as on the fangs.
Two large silver horns ejected from each of their heads, but they looked like larger versions of the spines, and their only purpose appeared to look intimidating and to balance the skull. Two small black wings, outlined in silver, protruded from their backs, with silver membranes.
Their heads were streamlined, and very aerodynamic, likely to help against wind resistance when they were flying, and to make them move faster. Both of the eyes were amethyst in color, unsurprisingly, and were similar in appearance to that of a snake's, with the pupils black slits.The only other variation of color was the silver markings forking from the snouts, around their eyes, and to the back of the head, to the base of the horns and spines.
Aside from their physical appearance, there was one thing that separated them from normal Predacons: they were bipedal, like a wyvern, with two small clawed arms tucked beneath their wings
Swoop watched in horror as he eyed the beauties of Shockwave's twisted mind come slowly towards him, ready for their next meal.
The three weapons crept towards Swoop slowly, as if investigating him for a moment. He decided just to take a few steps backwards, not wanting to come too close to the beasts. At his movement, one of the Predacons snarled over at him, before leaping into the air.
Swoop dodged to the left, and another one tried to slash at him, but this time he punched the Predacon to the ground. Unfortunately, this meant he was open to an attack from the other one, who jumped on him, slashing at his back before jumping off and emitting a loud growl, like it was laughing at him.
"Big mistake, buddy."
A crimson sword ejected from each of his fists, and he turned to face the Predacon that attacked him. "What'd your friend call you? Predators? Well," he chuckled a bit before continuing. "It looks like the Predators just became prey."
Chapter X: of Predators and Prey Edit
Swoop was getting overrun. Two more had shown up as he was dodging the first three Predators, and their quick speed and agility was keeping him from being able to actually do anything to them. They each attacked him in a sort of formation, with a strange pattern between them.
As Swoop had just noticed, one of the original three, the one that had been standing in the middle, had markings on its face that were purple rather than silver like the others. This one appeared to be female, as indicated by a slightly different physique and a growl of a different frequency than the others.
She also had two sickle claws per foot, and her fangs dripped down lower than the others, and ended in a point that looked far sharper than the others. She appeared to be ordering the others around with her growls and snarls, which indicated some sort of Alpha status.
With that in mind, Swoop took to calling the leader Alpha, and the one that seemed to stick around her as Beta. Behind them were the other three, which Swoop labeled by physical and behavioral features.
One of them had claws that looked a bit sharper and seemed more aggressive than the others. He called that one Ravenous, followed by Saboteur, a smaller one than the others that moved much quicker, and finally, Pyro, one that would occassional send out a small burst of flame, which seemed indicative of his personality.
Saboteur moved to a sprint, circling around Swoop, at a speed he couldn't keep up with, before turning and charging. Swoop wasn't fast enough to react before Ravenous joined in as well, with Pyro flanking from the side.
Between the three of them, Swoop was unable to even land any hits, while being scratched and stabbed all over his body.
Then he felt more weight on his back, and as he spun around, trying to get them off, Alpha was just sitting there, watching, her lip curled up into a sort of smile. Seeing her enraged him, and Swoop changed forms, seeing three of them on his back go flying off.
The remaining one, which felt light enough to be Saboteur, had managed to avoid getting caught in any moving gears as Swoop turned back into his Pteranodon mode.
Still enraged by Alpha sitting there, staring at him with a slightly amused look plastered on her mechanical jaw, he bent his head back and grabbed Saboteur by the leg, throwing him into the pit of acid in the middle of the room, and shot a quick glance at the creature, struggling to get out while also shrieking out in agony as the acid bore through his plating. Swoop felt slightly bad for it, but only for a moment, as he remembered all the damage the little thing had done to his back, and his now shredded wing.
Alpha now looked just a bit worried, but still didn't stand up, and instead began to growl at the others, certainly barking them orders. When she finished, Ravenous was charging towards him, but was flinged away by the weight of his wing hitting him across the face.
As he looked back at where the other Predators had been, it appeared they had left. He heard a clattering noise from above him, and as he looked up, he saw Pyro and Beta above him, preparing to attempt an ambush.
He heard Ravenous once again on the ground, and turned to look, but his decision was nearly fatal. When he looked for that split second, Beta descended from the rafters above, and attempted a strike on his head. He landed just in front of Swoop, by his wing, and moved for his beak, but was stopped by Swoop's powerful wings, and held, as Swoop was unable to cast him aside.
He bit at Swoop's face before turning and attacking the wings. He screamed out in rage and pain as he was blasted with fire from above from Pyro, and as he was, he rolled over the ground, and released one wing from Beta, before stabbing back into his chest, and throwing him off to one of the pits where the scrap metal was being compressed. The Predator tried to get himself free, but had gotten caught tangled up with his wing beneath a piece of metal that had fallen on him.
Swoop decided not to look, both because it would be far too gruesome to watch what would happen next, and because Pyro and Ravenous were still both threats.
While he had been busy with Beta, Ravenous had made it back over to him, and climbed back up to his back, but continued on to his neck, likely looking for an exposed part of him to inject the venom into. But Swoop, finally becoming angry enough, turned his head around to face the Predator on his back. As his rage increased, a burning hatred billowed in his throat, and fire erupted, blasting Ravenous off of him and to the ground, all the while still being burned.
Swoop continued concentrating the fire onto Ravenous, and watched as the creature was burned into nothingness. With only Pyro and Alpha left, he turned back to them. Alpha was gone, but he noticed Pyro still up in the rafters above him.
He blasted a bout of fire back up at him, but he jumped out of the way and back down to the ground with him. The two blasted at each other with their fire, but Pyro knew he couldn't win on the ground, so he used the very small wings he had, and moved to the roof of the room, circling above him.
Swoop attempted to do the same, but his wings were still tore from earlier, and he had no way of flying. Pyro dived down at him, and bit into his throat, but his fangs missed the intended target, and instead hit a hard membrane that kept them out.
Still, the teeth did their intended purpose, and inflicted extreme pain on him. He shrieked out in pain, energon leaking out from his wounds, but he hardly felt it over the metal being torn from his neck.
He swung his head backwards into Pyro, impaling his chest with his crest, and threw the little thing to the ground ahead of him. Swoop placed his feet on the Predator's chest, and pushed them down on him.
"You chose the wrong side, friend."
Fire poured from his gaping maw, engulfing the little Predacon, and roasting him to nothing more than a burnt crisp.
Swoop stood up from the deceased Predators all around him. They had nearly killed him, just the four of them, and the Alpha was still out there somewhere. As a matter of fact, Swoop began to look around for her before hearing the loud gruff voice from earlier.
He wasn't done yet.
Chapter XI: Triple the Fear Edit
Fear.An ancient, primal feeling, imbued within us all. A primal feeling, as old as our world itself. It has the power to save our lives, and to tear them apart. Never had this much fear been felt within Swoop.
As he hid behind the several metallic crates in the recycling center, he heard the booming footsteps of something so large, that whenever it took a step, the very ground beneath him tremored. A thundering boom increased its audacity as the creature moved itself closer to Swoop.
"I know you are here, Dinobot." The gruff, now angry voice was saying. "I can see the remains of what used to be Shockwave's prized creatures." The voice turned itself into something that sounded a lot like admiration. "You achieved quite an impressive vy`kon-feat, defeating them like that."
The voice continued to come closer to where Swoop was hiding. He saw a shadow pass just beside him, and it strangely looked like the Predacon searching for him had three heads. The shadow abruptly ended, and then he heard a crash as something fell to the ground.
A noise thundered closer over to him, and then suddenly, it stopped. There was an eerie silence for a moment, and Swoop breathed out as quietly as he could. Apparently, it wasn't quietly enough. The box was flung off to the side, and a towering shape hung over him, engulfing him in darkness.
Swoop rolled himself away just as a thundering crash hit where he just was, narrowly missing him. It was then that he truly got a look at the Predacon, and immediately wished he hadn't.
The Predacon was huge, and towered over him. As a matter of fact, he was nearly reaching the ceiling of the room with his enormous height.
Drab green, with a dull brown accent stretching across the whole of his back, and dripping down as an odd design to his legs, and across his body, made this Predacon someone who wasn't too great to look at.
He stood on four large legs, but had pushed himself up onto his back two, letting out a ferocious roar. His three long, thick tails and pair of huge wings just added to making him look intimidating and huge.
But by far the most terrifying part of him were his heads. Three snake-like terrors came from the base of his chest, each with large, dragon-esque heads situated on top of them. Each lined with several hundred teeth, the heads on their own looked like a force to be reckoned with.
Five long, silver and crimson horns poured out from the middle head, extending out into the air, going back at least a few feet. On each of the heads, from the snout to the base of the horns rose a large crest, similar in size and appearance to the horns, but remained on the head until it reached the horns, and then rising up to the sky.
Two more of the same crests hinged on the side of each head, although they were nowhere near the size of the other one and the horns. All three of the necks had spines that went down until they reached the body, and then abrubtly stopping.
A pair of crimson eyes on each head shone brightly from the Predacon, and were the only things that weren't dull about him. They looked oddly perceptive for something his size, but also radiated an aura of fear and hate.
He smiled down at Swoop, and the three heads spoke in unison. "You must be Swoop. I am TriStrach." Swoop took a step back from the much larger Predacon, who still smiled down at him. The middle head spoke without the others. "My name roughly translates to 'three fear' in your tongue. You see, I am from the Earth country of Slovakia. My English is not as good as it perhaps should be. But I can still komunikovat`-communicate, fluently."
"That's nice. I see you already figured out I was Swoop." He was in no shape to fight this guy. He was far too weak from the battle with the Predators, and this TriStrach looked a little out of his league in terms of power and strength.
"I arrived on the human populated planet several centuries ago, during the medieval times. I was the inspiration for a Slovakian drak-or dragon, known as the Zmey Gorynych, which was apparently bested by a knight, and killed. As you can tell, that was a lie. I managed to escape him, and he returned back with a lie, holding one of my heads as evidence."
Two heads looked over at the right one. "It regrew eventually. Anyways, a few centuries later, I was brought onto this ship by Shockwave and placed in command of those things you killed. I applaud you for zabíjanie-killing them. They were beginning to become quite frustrating, as that female began to sway them over to her leadership rather than mine."
He thought for a moment, and Swoop didn't know why, but he didn't leave. He was absolutely terrified of the beast, but for the moment he seemed to just be telling his story rather than attacking him. "If it were up to me, Swoop, I would have you at my side already, but that is not Shockwave's wish, unfortunately. Ospravedlňujem sa, Swoop- I apologize."
The other two heads showed the emotions for the middle one, looking sadly at the ground. "But I must obey my Master's commands." Swoop was beginning to get a little afraid again.
"S ľútosťou, musím ťa zabiť- With regret," He began to translate, two heads still looking solemnly at the ground.
"I must kill you."
Chapter XII: Honor or Death Edit
The two heads around TriStrach's central one looked up from the ground and stared down at Swoop, still saying nothing. The central one spoke again to Swoop, but still refused to attack him.
"I give you two choices, Dinobot. You allow me to kill you, and I shall promise to make it swift and painless. Or, you face me in čestný boj- honorable combat." Swoop looked up at him, too awestruck to say anything. This guy seriously wasn't just gonna kill him. "Honorable combat?" He asked, and the Predacon smiled before beginning to explain.
"We shall duel to the death, just you and I. The winner survives, while the loser dies. I shall fight you fairly, on even terms."
The huge Predacon transformed, his heads merging together as one, before sliding down onto his back. The wings came together as well, before flipping down backwards, and going to his back, sliding under the heads, and back up to his neck, curving outward, before stopping and resting there.
His monstrous hind legs splitting in half, before heading to the back of the leg and folding outward, with the back claws acting as his feet, and the larger frontal one acting as a heel.
The arms changed as well, but instead just slid back up the arm, and folded down, clamping on. Two large hands remained where the claws had once been, that had been hidden below them.
The tails merged themselves together just like the heads, curving into a sharp point. They folded upwards, with one of the tails flipping itself backwards, and connecting to the much smaller base, looking like some sort of handle for a giant sword.
He reached his hands back, and pulled it up, easily detaching from the body. As Swoop looked at it, it really did appear to be some sort of huge curved sword, easily his size. It was so large and heavy, that TriStrach had been forced to use both of his hands to even lift it.
A large head had emerged from where the three had once been, with the crimson eyes remaining there, although this time less beastial and more humanoid. A daunting mouth sat there, but, like the eyes, was relatively humanoid. A giant green crest, similar to a Trojan helmet sat perched atop his head.
Swoop changed forms as well, with his dual blades once again emerging. They were only about the length of his arm, whereas TriStrach had a sword nearly as large as his whole body. Even in his robot mode, TriStrach towered over Swoop, and it was fairly obvious that one hit from that sword would be enough to kill him, or at least come close.
"Yeah, totally even." Swoop remarked, which lead to TriStrach emitting a laugh. "I have heard of the strength Dinobots possess. I believe you shall be a worthy combatant." Swoop felt a little more respect for this Predacon after that remark, but he argued anyway. "You're probably thinking of Grimlock... or maybe Snarl, but definitely not me."
The Predacon laughed again, a deep, booming sound that filled the whole room. "You hold more power within yourself than even you know, Dinobot. Now, make your choice, cti alebo smrť-" He raised himself to his full height, and stared down at the much smaller Dinobot.
"Honor or death."
Chapter XIII: An Affair of Honor Edit
Honor or death.The words rang throughout Swoop's whole body. An odd creed, but overall very logical. He knew he had no choice, and with it, no chance at survival. But he knew he would have to accept it. Denying the duel would certainly result in his death, and likely so would accepting it. What TriStrach had said however was remarkably true. It would be better to die with honor than with shame.
"I accept." Swoop said, almost choking on the words. TriStrach immediately smiled at his words. "Good. I knew you were honorable the moment I laid my eyes on you. If I must fall, let it be by your blade." He bowed and took a step backwards, preparing his sword.
Swoop bowed as well. "Let us do battle, Dinobot. Nech je to najlepšie v boji- may your prowess in battle best me."
Swoop nodded and the huge Predacon raised his blade, and stood to his full height. "Let the battle begin." With Swoop's approval, TriStrach charged forward at his much smaller opponent, who dodged to the side, the blade narrowly missing his chest.
One hit from that thing and I'm dead.
Swoop ensured his blades were ready before he ran at TriStrach as well. He moved his blade to an angle and took a step back, shaking the very ground around him. As Swoop neared him, he swung the sword, prompting Swoop to slide beneath it, rolling around to the side and unleashing his fury.
Swoop slashed at the giant several times, but his swords did nothing. His body was so powerful and thick that Swoop could barely pierce it. So this is what those Predators felt like. TriStrach barely seemed to even register that he was being attacked, but when he finally looked down to find Swoop, he kicked his leg out and he flew backwards.
There was a fierce tearing noise as Swoop dug his blades into the ground, trying to slow himself from being thrown into the acid. As he regrouped to gather his thoughts and calm his heavy breathing, he turned to thinking about how he could bring TriStrach down. His blades did little to nothing against his powerful hide, no matter how many times he stabbed him.
Swoop took to eying him down one more time, looking for anything he could use to defeat him. Every part of his body looked nigh impenetrable by normal means, and it was pretty likely that the acid wouldn't even do anything to him.
He would need to get closer to find any spot of weakness to harm him, but how could he even manage to do that? TriStrach was already coming towards him, with a smile plastered over his face. "You are doing better than I had expected of you, Dinobot. You truly are a dôstojný súper- worthy opponent."
The words made Swoop smile. "Good to know." He thrusted himself at top speed towards TriStrach, who swung his sword at him again. That was when Swoop discovered his weakness, he was too slow. His speed was the only thing that could be used to defeat him. The only problem was that he didn't know where to hit.
Swoop dodged around the sword's edge, rolling behind TriStrach. He ran at him and grabbed onto the wings, holding on as long as he could. He thrusted the sword down as hard is he could, somehow managing to pierce the skin. The Predacon roared out in pain, before swatting back at him.
Swoop grabbed the blade from his back as he was thrown off. It slid out, and a blue liquid flowed out where the blade had once been. Energon. Swoop pulled himself up from the ground, feeling stronger than he had before. He had somehow been able to hurt the Predacon he had just thought invincible. If he could do it once, he could do it again.
Just as Swoop looked up, TriStrach had swung his enormous sword at him, but Swoop raised his blades in defence. There was a clashing of metal as the blades hit each other. TriStrach continued to push down with the sword, and Swoop lifted up.
Even with his extreme strength, TriStrach was at a stalemate with his enemy. Swoop was sliding back, and his strength was beginning to feign. He couldn't hold out forever. Swoop cried out in agony, still managing to hold TriStrach back.
The Predacon's eyes bore down on him, and he snarled out words in Slavic, which he didn't translate. "Vylila si moju krv, teraz vyskúšate svoju čepel? Neprijal som ťa za blázna." Swoop ignored him, but still held up his blades. His energy was getting sapped. His legs were threatening to buckle beneath him, and his arms were beginning to falter.
If he failed now his friends would be lost. Everything he had worked on had come down to this, and he was losing. "You are weak, Dinobot. Why do you persist? You have done your part. You have already battled and proven your honor. What more do you need?"
Swoop still didn't let up. "My friends!" With those words, he felt his power return. He wasn't going to let Shockwave hurt his friends, not again. He stood himself back up again, and put all of his power into one last push, which made TriStrach recoil, and drop the sword.
Swoop jumped up and kicked at his body, pushing off and spiraling back. TriStrach picked up his sword, and Swoop raised his blades one last time.
He ran at him again, but TriStrach had his blade ready that time. His sword swung at Swoop's feet, but he couldn't swing it fast enough to hit him. Swoop was fast enough to jump atop the sword, which was being lifted again, being prepared for another swing.
Swoop continued his motion, jumping upwards again as soon as he hit the top of the blade, and then the resulting force lifted him high enough to slice at the Predacon's large head with one blade. The other was changed back to a hand and was used to hold onto his neck.
The slash from Swoop's blade was enough to send his opponent backwards, roaring out in agony. He roared in fury, and yelled up at Swoop. "Enough!"
He rolled to the ground, and Swoop tumbled off before the two stared each other down one more time.
"It is time we end this, Dinobot!" Swoop got up from the ground, but before he could collect himself, he was hit backwards by the blunt side of TriStrach's blade. Energon leaked out from all over his body, but he still somehow managed to stand up.
"It is over, Dinobot! Vzdať sa- give up!" Swoop pulled out his blades, but almost fainted as he stood up completely.
"It isn't over till I'm dead!"
He prepared to attack again, but was too weak to even move. TriStrach grabbed him by his neck, but Swoop looked up one more time. The Predacon looked into his eyes and smiled. "Then I guess I'll just have to kill you!"
He lifted Swoop's nearly lifeless body up and prepared to slam it down, but before he did, he fell to his knees. TriStrach's body went limp, and he let out a gasp. Swoop managed to lift his head once again and looked at the crimson blade that had been jabbed into TriStrach's skull.
One of the blades from his hand was missing, and Swoop crawled over to retrieve the blade from TriStrach's dead body. He willed himself to have the strength to pull the blade out from TriStrach's head before finally collapsing to the ground.
Before his body went into stasis, he uttered one sentence. "I did it." He let himself start to break into a laugh.
"I killed TriStrach."
Part III: Welcome to Arkhos Edit
Chapter XIV: Transformation Edit
"Internal repairs complete."
A voice sounded near Swoop's body, but it had certainly been spoken by someone nearby, and hadn't come from anywhere inside him. The voice just reeked of arrogance and superiority, but at the same time, had a friendly tone to it.
They spoke again, this time directly speaking to Swoop. "Wake up, Dinobot." They said it in a slightly demanding tone, as if ordering him to wake up.
Swoop's eyes opened and he rolled his head over to see who had spoken, but he saw no one in the direction where they had spoke before. Another voice sounded from the other side of his head. "I'm over here, idiot." The voice said that with a sigh, as if he had been hoping that Swoop would have been a little smarter than he was.
He flipped his head around, and clearly saw a figure standing there. They were a small bird-like creature, mimicking the appearance of a condor, but bright orange, with markings that looked like representations of the sun across his body.
Two blue eyes shone down on Swoop, and a flash of bright yellow as he turned his brightly colored beak. "Who-" The little bird cut him off. "I ask the questions, Dinobot." The hints of arrogance rang louder as he said that, and Swoop kept finding himself getting annoyed by the little thing.
"Now then, what is your name?" For that moment his voice changed to being a bit friendlier to him, as if he actually cared what Swoop's name was. "Swoop. My name is Swoop."
The little condor squawked a laugh. "You're Swoop? The Swoop? You're the one whose been causing all that trouble on this ship? You don't look like much to me. Anyways, Swoop. I, am Sundor." He spoke his own name with such respect and dignity that it was hard to take him seriously.
"Sunder?" At Swoop's question, Sundor shot a glare at him, his blue eyes flashing red before flashing back.
"You dare confuse me with that insolent little bird! We are nothing alike!" Swoop coughed and sat back.
"Except you're both orange birds with names that are one letter apart." Sundor slashed at Swoop with his feet, which were surprisingly sharp.
"Never mind! You just pretend that he doesn't exist." He was actually sounding a bit offended that he'd been compared to Sunder. "Now, Swoop, get up." He once again used that commanding tone on Swoop, but was just ignored. "Sorry, little birdie, but I don't take orders from you."
Sundor once again raked at Swoop's face with his talons. "As far as I see it, you do. You see, I saved your life, even gave you a new body, just as a token of my appreciation for your servitude. Servitude that you are going to give me, whether you like it or not."
Swoop scoffed at that notion. "Not sure how you're gonna make that happen, birdie. Just be lucky you're an Autobot, or I would've gutted you by now."
Sundor got more enraged as Swoop said that. "I said, get up!"
Swoop once again ignored him. "Like I said, I don't take orders from you."
"We'll see." Suddenly an electric shock jolted Swoop up, and off the medical table that he'd been resting on. "That's better."
Swoop glared over at him. "What was that?"
The little bird shrugged at him. "That was punishment for disobeying me. I engineered you a new body, remember? That's one of my favorite parts. That and the new color scheme."
"New body?" A few small computers were situated around the room that Swoop was in, with several body parts from the recycling center, and several medical supplies. "Where am I?"
Sundor curved his beak into a smile. "One of Shockwave's old laboratories. It's mine now, and you're in luck that I found you. If it were someone else, your psyche would likely have been corrupted, or your parts would be turned into something else, like this unfortunate fool that's being used for you."
A computer screen was turned off, and on it he could see his own figure standing there, with Sundor looking at him in the background, smiling. Strangely enough, he was in his Pteranodon mode, rather than his robot mode he had been in during the duel with TriStrach.
Sundor smiled again. "Well, do you like it?" In his honesty, Swoop really did like his new color scheme. His silver parts had been replaced with a dark black, his red had turned to a dark blue, that was almost black. The tips of his wings had been changed to the black accents, with the blue filling up the rest.
Along with his new colors, his body had been slightly changed as well. His tail was now longer, but thinner, and reminded him of a whip. It ended in a sharp metallic tip, like a spike, coated in black. His wings were smaller now, but still looked far more powerful tan his old ones, and were thinner, making him far more aerodynamic.
His beak was dark black, and was a little more streamlined than it had been before. More teeth now lined the inside, and the beak itself ended in an extremely sharp point, like the tail. The crest on the back was black as well, with a few splotches of blue.
He looked back at Sundor. "Yeah, I like it. I like it a lot."
The condor smiled. "Good. Now, I need you to remember that you cannot transform. Your body is not accustomed to my changes as of yet. It may take a few hours."
Swoop sighed at that, but nodded. "All right. How do I leave?"
Sundor scoffed at that. "Leave? I'll let you go." He paused for a moment.
"When you pledge your allegiance to me."
Chapter XV: A Question of Loyalty Edit
Swoop hissed at Sundor. "You are going to let me leave, whether you want to or not. The most I have to do is step on you and then-" Sundor cut him off. "And then what? You can't leave here without my help. I'm the only one who knows how to open this door, and if you kill me, who will be left to open it?"
"I'll find a way."
Sundor shook his head. "I wouldn't be so sure..." Swoop grabbed the little bird by his neck, and brought him up to his eye level.
"You're going to open this door, whether you want to or not." Sundor let out a small smile, and managed to gurgle out a few words.
"I wouldn't have done that."
Swoop's body fell to the ground, and dropped the condor, who watched as Swoop's body convulsed, lightning arcing up and down his body. He stayed smiling, and spoke again. "Have you had enough yet, Swoop?"
Swoop attempted to resist the pain, and stand himself up, but just fell back down. "You... don't seem... like much of... an... Autobot."
Sundor shrugged. "Depends on what you consider Autobot-like. I don't think I'm Decepticon level bad, at least, if you're on my good side."
"I don't exactly think I'm ever going to be on your good side." He exclaimed through gritted teeth.
"Alright, I think you learned your lesson." He shut off the electricity, and Swoop fell back to his knees, gasping. Sundor just stood there watching him.
"Am I?" He let out a chuckle. "You're the one who just will not obey. It isn't that hard. You just kneel before me and do whatever I say, and I stop electrocuting you. Seems pretty fair to me." He flew up to a perch above Swoop, and watched him.
"But if you really must insist, I have far more where that one came from. And it is so much fun to watch you squirm and wriggle under me. This little bird knows just how to break you in a number of seconds, and there is absolutely nothing you can do. The most I must do is press a button, and you will fall under my might. It is quite fun, honestly."
He shrugged again. "But, if you would just announce your new allegiance, I wouldn't have to do that to you. Really, as much as I enjoy doing this, I don't, because it means that your body gets weaker and is harder to be used for anything. If I can't use you, I have no purpose for keeping you, can't you see that? I don't want to shock my personal Dinobot to death, now do I?"
Swoop stared up at him. "And you're a sociopath."
He laughed down at him again. "Am I? I have a conscious- I care about you. I can't have you getting hurt, I need you. A little bird can't get too far without his own personal slave, now can he?"
Swoop hissed at him. "I'm not your slave." A blast of fire was shot up at the little bird, who jumped down from his perch, and onto a computer nearby. "You will break, Swoop. Why do you keep trying to resist me? Acknowledge your new master, and I won't have to hurt you anymore."
"I'd rather die." Another burst of fire lit the room, but Swoop once again collapsed on the ground. Sundor stopped shocking him for a moment, and Swoop shot a glare at him. "I will... not bow." He once again fell down, and more painful lightning arced up and down his spine. Sundor stopped again and let out a long laugh as he increased the voltage.
Swoop roared out in pain again, and once again fell down, clutching his head. "Enough..." He sobbed out. "Enough."
Sundor just curled his beak up once more, and spoke down to him. "I do not think that you have had enough. Swoop is still the one in control, isn't he?"
Swoop couldn't look at Sundor anymore. "Yes." Higher voltage raced down his body, and he clutched his beak once again, placing his wings over his head. "Stop... please." He begged, but Sundor still continued. "Please..." The lightning stopped. The pain ended. "So, have you truly had enough."
"Yes. I have had enough, Sundor." He croaked out, and Sundor smiled at him.
"What of your allegiance to Swoop?"
Swoop raised his eyes and looked at Sundor. "Swoop is dead." Sundor lifted his wings, as if motioning Swoop to stand.
"Then rise, Strafe."
Chapter XVI: Gliese 667 Cc Edit
Swoop's body ached from all the pain delivered through Sundor's torture, but he obeyed anyways.
He stood up, and looked over at his master, who remained perched at his terminal, which Swoop had just noticed looked a bit like a very odd throne. His thoughts were clouded and foggy. The electrocution must have altered his thoughts.
He couldn't think clearly, and that was Sundor's intention. Swoop could no longer resist Sundor's commands, as hew couldn't even remember who he was. The only person he knew himself as was Strafe, but in the back of his mind, there was always the knowledge that he wasn't Strafe, but he couldn't figure out who he really was.
He only knew that he was a loyal servant of Sundor, and that he would serve him until his last breath. He couldn't remember how he'd gotten there though. He couldn't remember what he had been doing. He just assumed that he had been serving Sundor forever.
His master swept a wing towards the door. "Alright, Strafe. It is time I allow you to leave, just like I promised, but with a catch..." Sundor had his beak curled up into a smile. "I'm coming with you." He looked up at the door and spoke again. "Open."
It slid open in a matter of moments, and a bright light filled the room. Swoop pulled the wing to cover his eyes, now being blinded by the light. Sundor led him out of the room, and Swoop followed, but as he did, he immediately knew something was wrong.
He cast a look up at the sky, and eyed real light- not artificial light, but direct sunlight. A sun beat down on the two of them, and Swoop looked back down at his talons. Red dirt, similar to clay on Earth squashed beneath him, and he quickly realised he was on a new planet.
"Sundor, where are we?"
Sundor flicked his eyes up to the much larger Dinobot before gesturing around to the rest of the world with his wing. "Gliese 667 Cc- an exoplanet circling the red dwarf star of Gliese 667 C. It was named and discovered in 2011 by the humans of Earth, but, unlike they predicted, is not habitable."
He pointed off to something in the horizon, gesturing for Swoop to look as well. "Do you see that?" From their distance, a building could be seen as nothing larger than a dot, several miles away, resting on a large hill.
"That is a Decepticon outpost, marking the location of a Decepticon base. That is where we are headed." He flew up onto Swoop's shoulder and sat there, his sharp tail feathers curving up to point towards the sky. "Lead on."
Swoop walked on for most of the rest of the day. Sundor had explained to him that the reason he wouldn't allow Swoop to transform was because of all the anti-air defenses the Decepticons set up. If they attempted to take to the air, they would be shot down in a matter of minutes.
The two of them neared the outpost, and looked up at the tower situated on the hill. It could easily be seen in its full glory now, and it rose into the sky higher than Swoop thought he even could fly. Sundor rose up a little to speak into Swoop's ear.
"That is not only there to mark the location of the Decepticon base, but is also a lookout center. We are lucky they have not noticed us yet, but if we stay here, they certainly will." As Sundor said that, fottsteps echoed towards them.
"Decepticons," Swoop said, and Sundor nodded. Thinking fast, Swoop dived into the shadow of the tower, and he quickly found how helpful his new design was. The Decepticon patrol stormed by them, without any second thoughts.
Sundor had dived behind Swoop, for fear that his bright colors would give them away. Swoop left the shadow, and continued into the base, but as he did, one of the soldiers at the top of the tower saw him, and began to scream out about them, but the second he opened his mouth, a blast of orange and yellow light descended from the sky and he fell to the ground, just beside them.
His body was charred and burned, as though he'd been struck by lightning, but when Swoop looked up, only the sun shone. There were no clouds, or anything other than the sun in the sky at all. Sundor's face looked grim, but he said nothing, only pointing to the body, and then to the shadow of the tower, nestled in a hidden corner.
Swoop immediately understood his order, and carried out his will, pulling the body back, and hiding it from sight. Sundor nodded and the two moved onto the base. Swoop occasionally hid behind some of the large purple, black, and blue buildings and bunker, using his colors to hide from sight of the few patrols.
Right in the middle of the huge base, the shuttle from earlier stood, and right on the side he could clearly read the name: New Dawn. Sundor whispered in his ears again. "I had to pull you out before the Decepticons found you."
Just as he spoke, more voices emerged from its general vicinity. "Have the prisoners been removed from the vessel?" Swoop could clearly discern the voice. It was Shockwave, there was no doubt about it. A voice spoke, one he recognized as Slash.
"They have all been removed and taken to where you requested."
"Then all is as it should be. I shall be heading to the research center. I am placing you in command of the vessel. You are to leave as I do."
There was the shuffling of footsteps heading in Swoop's direction. Sundor screeched loudly in surprise as he saw who it was. Shockwave passed by them, but miraculously didn't hear him. "There." Sundor pointed at the nearest entrance to a building, and Swoop headed inside.
"Barricade the door," Sundor commanded, his arrogance and demand once again coming out in his voice. Swoop did as instructed, and blocked the door, just as he heard the loud clamoring of a shuttle taking off. The rumble grew louder, and the place began to vibrate violently before it stopped, and Swoop assumed that the ship had taken off.
Swoop felt Sundor moving about on his neck, and then heard him speak as the little bird grabbed something in his talons. "Now that that has been taken care of," he began, smiling. "I no longer need you." Swoop felt cold metal forcefully striking his neck, and he collapsed to the ground. Sundor let out a few laughs before speaking the last words Swoop would hear before going unconscious.
"Sweet dreams, Strafe."
Chapter XVII: Prisoner Edit
It wasn't long before Swoop felt a cold dampness seep down onto his neck, sending a shock down his central processor and sending him jolting up in surprise.
As his blurry vision returned, he could barely make out the presence of glowing crimson bars of light ahead of him. Swoop payed these no mind, instead deciding to clutch his throbbing head.
His neck still stung from where it had been hit, and was rather sore to any form of stimuli, but the pain from that was nothing compared to the intense pain in his head. Headaches just kept coming, but he couldn't even remember why. Something... shocking? Electricity in its most painful form arced across his body in memory.
That fragging bird! The next time I see him, I'll-
Wait? Where am I?
Swoop finally managed to ignore his aching head and anger towards his favorite psychotic bird, taking in his surroundings. He was in some sort of jail cell, with crimson lasers acting as bars, and the only adornment along the walls was a small window, barricaded by the same crimson lasers keeping him inside of the cell.
The rest of the walls were dull and gray, barren and old. They were obviously damp, and they were certainly not well kept. The paint was peeling off the walls as muddy water dropped from the ceiling and collected on the ground across from him, where it flooded out around the rest of the cell, before getting kept in by the force field emanating from the lazer-like bars.
Swoop flexed his wings in a stretch, and lifted one to tenderly touch his sore neck, letting out a grimace of pain across his beak. Lifting his wing back to the muddy water, he let out a sigh at the reflection in the murky water.
Along his neck was a bright blue splotch, slightly dulled. It was obviously his dried energon from where Sundor had struck him, and he had already known about it, but the sheer sight of what that bird had done (no matter how small) drove him into a near frenzy.
Without thinking, his clawed wing was driven into the damp was beside him, which lead it to splinter and crack from the force, seemingly threatening to collapse.
Breathing heavily, Swoop took a step back and turned to stare out the window that sat adjacent to him. The sight was stunningly beautiful, quite contrary to what he had seen of this planet before. If he was still on that planet, of course. This sight was certainly raising his doubts.
A enormous, shimmering waterfall, several hundred feet tall, poured down from somewhere far above him, pouring down into a naturally flowing lake, which in turn flowed outwards in a few directions, one being over the side of another waterfall, this one far smaller than the one rushing out from above him.
A few man-made structures surrounded the large lake, all of which were made of a silvery metal, contrasting with the clear blue water perfectly. One of these structures rimmed the smaller waterfall's edge, floating just above it as the water gushed out underneath. From what Swoop could see, it appeared that there were people moving about down there, and they did not appear to be sporting Decepticon colors.
Beside the large platform that sat by the water's edge, a walkway lead outward, around the lake, leading to some gargantuan number of stairs, leading to somewhere high above Swoop's line of sight, with another path leading out to one of the several rivers flowing away from the larger lake. These paths were bustling with life, with many Cybertronian-esque pedestrians milling about their lives, merchants trying to force passerby to buy what they were selling, and what appeared to be some sort of guards patrolling along repeated routes.
While the sun bore down upon everyone with its searing intensity and blazing heat, its rays were reflected off of the silvery-black armor of these guards, making them stand out against all others in the crowd. Upon some of them sat a full helmet, covering their faces and obscuring their visage. Upon others sat an open helmet, and much thinner, lighter armor.
Suddenly, from behind him, a voice pulled Swoop away from watching the groups of people milling about, and caused him to stumble backwards in surprise.
"Hey!" The voice was sharp, but not angry. It suddenly softened a bit as he watched the Dinobot fall over. "Hey, Scale-Skin, calm down. I'm not gonna hurt you."
The speaker appeared to be one of the same manner of the guards that Swoop had seen before. A sword, of an obsidian design matching the armor on its wielder, was sheathed by his side. Like the other soldiers that Swoop had seen, this one wore a helmet, although his was open, revealing his face and eyes.
Swoop payed his remarks no mind, immediately swinging upwards into a defensive position. "What did you just call me?" Swoop didn't give the soldier any time to answer, instead pushing further for more information. "Say, who are you anyway? And where I am? What are you-"
The soldier cut him off. "Look, I'll answer all your questions in a little bit. For right now, though, I need you to come with me. Altgrave Sterben would wish to see you. You're the first Scale-Skin that we've seen to haven't have been anything more than a feral monster."
Swoop suddenly threw his wing out, as if he were lashing out at something. "And how would you know that I am no feral monster?"
For a moment, the soldier put on an expression of fear, before breaking out in a slight chuckle. "You? A feral monster? That's hilarious!"
Confusion overwhelmed Swoop, who just stared at the soldier awkwardly. "What?"
"Your eyes, Scale-Skin. Eyes can give away a lot, and in yours, I don't see a feral monster. I see a lonely bot who just wants to be a hero." The soldier paused a moment, smiling. "That, and the fact that you haven't tried to brutally murder anyone yet," the soldier stopped and looked over at the cracked wall. "Except maybe our prison."
Swoop sighed and moved back to a more relaxed state, before walking over to the grid of lasers that kept him caged. "So," he stated, almost matter-of-factly. "It's time for me to come out of here, right?"
The soldier nodded, and the lasers came down. Swoop tried to walk out, but the soldier held him up, motioning for him to turn around. Despite not knowing exactly why the soldier wished for him to do this, Swoop obliged, turning his wings to the soldier.
"I apologize," the soldier began, grabbing something metallic. "But I'm afraid that for the safety of my people and my city, I am going to be forced to make sure that you won't be able to harm any of them- or anyone, ever again."