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The Crash Of Reality

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The energy was growing agitated, swirling and forming visible glyphs on the walls. Megatron watched, made his optics focus and reach inside for the knowledge of how to read the more ancient symbols of their people. He had been in deep meditation, working through the martial arts that he preferred for such moments as when his patience wore thin. He knew he had to retain his grip on that patience, for none of his plans would come to fruition very quickly, save perhaps one.

Danger. Disruption. Discord.

In times gone by, and none that long ago, the glyphs would have brought a smile to his face. After all, mayhem had been his stock in trade.

Now, he knew anger. He had plans! Dreams! And someone dared to bring an intrusion into his wreaking?

His weapon heated and whined, the powerful cannon ready to set destruction on its terms, at its wielder's discretion.

`~`~`~`~`

::What are we up against?:: Blaster asked, even as Scorponok shared tracking data with the Autobot. His aerial communication form was similar enough to some of the human unmanned drones that Ratchet could almost forget that he was actively working with the enemy, instead of his allies.

Only, that was completely the point Chromia was missing, wasn't it? There were no more enemies and allies; they were supposed to be one race again.

::Explosives. At least four rogue Autobots with too much loss and not enough anchorage in the new reality of our existences.::

::And I'm not telling Soundwave because…::

Ratchet almost snapped off the kind of reply his Blaster would have gotten from him. It was actually uncanny, the way this rust-bit managed to seem so much like his namesake. Instead, he processed his reply as carefully as he could before saying it, just to make certain he did not cause the young mech to turn on him then and there. However, it was still a blunt fact of existence, and if the mechling didn't know it, he was in a world of trouble as a Decepticon.

::Because of all the mechs on this planet, there's only one with the ability to fully scan and touch every mind lacking in firewalls the strength of mine or Megatron's or possibly one of his own symbionts. I can't trust that he's not aware of the plot and using it to his own advantage.::

His shields were fully up, and he was slowly coaxing power back to his primary weapons system as they made their way along the path Scorponok showed them. He was fully prepared to use whatever it took to protect himself, if the scraplet decided to fight over that accusation of distrust.

Blaster surprised him though, by neither bridling nor getting a dig in of his own. ::I'd trust Scion, in this.::

That was both a good idea and a bad idea, in Ratchet's opinion. The Seekerling was devout in his obedience and loyalty to Megatron, but seeded through with all of Starscream's impulsiveness.

::Why don't you start trying to scan for the Autobots in question, and figure out how they plan to detonate the explosives? It's obvious the 'temple' reference I heard is where we are going. If me and you and your friend here can't handle them, then you call for Scion,:: Ratchet offered.

Blaster did a little dip in the air. ::That sounds like a plan, Ratchet.::

`~`~`~`~`

Megatron stepped out of the temple, the door sealing once more behind him, and he realized the drones were all inactive. That was enough for him to intensify his shields just before chaos snapped loose. As always, his processor broke the field apart in the form of threats, prioritizing his shots. To one side, he saw two mechs of the constructor class breaking from cover and running toward the temple wall. Scanning over that wall revealed devices he knew did not belong, and he fired an absent shot to disrupt their path. However, he was already tracking two far more dangerous threats, and the energy in that shot was just enough to disable, not kill.

His tactical display revealed a name for each of the two heavily armored and armed Cybertronians. Grimlock, a fighter that had risen up out of the population to become a formidable Autobot commander, eventually leading his own special team, was not one Megatron could dismiss lightly. It was said that Grimlock had contested Prime's authority once, and that Prime had only held his own by sheer stubborn will. The other was listed as Chromia, one of the elusive femme class, and known to be gifted with an incredibly powerful frame and weapons to match.

He was almost amused to learn both were listed as deactivated, via the files that Prime had been willing to share concerning known deactivations on both sides.

"You dare intrude?!" Megatron thundered at the pair already on temple grounds, but his optics never swayed from the oncoming fighters.

"We dare plenty, Megatron!" Grimlock roared back, rushing in behind the shots Chromia fired to keep him covered, his sword ready to meet the tyrant.

"Pits take it all, stop this!" came a voice that held little respect for either of them or anyone else in this skirmish. It did not stop Megatron from firing, his blast mostly deflected by the shielding of the other mech, nor did it keep him from changing his hand for the energy flail to meet the sword. His tactical display allowed for the medic, marking him out as a potential threat, but not immediate. Two smaller blips identified immediately as allies; Blaster and Scorponok were on scene, going to deal with the two constructors, it seemed. He would have to be wary of them; they were influenced by Soundwave, who still wished to take power for himself.

"Ratchet, I am warning you, stay back!" Chromia yelled at the brightly colored medic.

"Slag it, Chromia, I won't let you destroy our race by restarting the war!"

The words processed even as Grimlock and he met, flail wrapping around sword with a hiss of energy expended. Ratchet would take the peaceful route, if he had a choice. Megatron knew this, knew that his brother's emissary could do no less.

However, his temple had come under attack, when it was still focusing so much of his drive. He could not let that go unpunished!

His attention narrowed in, as Grimlock gave as much damage as he was taking. New injuries along his cannon side only served to further infuriate Megatron, driving him closer to the rage that had once fueled his need to conquer and destroy. Having finally taken up his position of protecting the future of his race, and these Autobots wished him destroyed.

As he fought, every cable and servo struggling to maintain his dominance against the powerful fighter, he was aware of Ratchet actually closing with the femme The medic was struggling to take Chromia down and keeping her from firing. Behind him, Scorponok and Blaster seemed to be handling the two they had engaged. All he needed was to find the right opening in Grimlock's strategy to exploit, and this battle would be his for the taking.

Grimlock pushed inside of the reach of his own weapon, closer to Megatron, thinking to minimize the use of the flail. That was the opening Megatron had been looking for, transforming his other hand into the devastating hook he liked for close-in fighting. He slammed it into the open side of his opponent, catching cabling, hydraulics, and circuitry to rip free in a vicious pull. It forced Grimlock back, stumbling, struggling to get his footing when that side was not responding correctly, and Megatron pressed his attack.

::NO! You PIT-SPAWNED MEGALOMANIAC!:: The communication came through strongly on the conversational band, one of the few that Autobots and Decepticons had kept sharing over the long war. ::Kill him, and where…: The send broke, and a sharp, breaking keen of static and noise erupted from the mech's vocalizer, even as he tried to use his mass against the femme who had just injured him severely. Megatron registered the shout, the attack, and the incredibly stupid attempt at continuing a fight to protect…

…to protect Megatron himself. Whispers of his plans, his dreams, and the counsel of those spirits already returned to the temple brought cold, sober logic into place, and Megatron saw the truth. By rights of the treaty, the four attacking Autobots were his to destroy at will. They had engaged in hostilities against his rule. In the past, he would have done just that.

Now, however, Megatron had no wish of such vengeful spirits in his temple. It suited him, on those grounds, to show mercy and make them continue to exist in their memory's prisons. Their continued existence would buy him more time, show the Autobots his new-found 'compassion', and work in his favor.

A careful shot at the femme who was overpowering the massive medic took her right leg's functions from her, cutting her balance and giving Ratchet the time he needed to use his craft against her. She slumped into a medical stasis as Ratchet managed to hardline into her and force her firewalls down long enough to initiate a hack. In the time that took him, Megatron did just enough damage to his opponent to force him offline as well, the fighter's spark still pulsing and calling, taunting him.

"Blaster, inform Bruticus he is to come and take the attackers into custody. They are not to be harmed, but they will rely solely on self-repair to recover," Megatron ordered, returning his weapons to their quiescent state, straightening to look at Ratchet as he said it. The medic grimaced, but he understood. It would delay the attackers from becoming a threat, and with any luck Path Finder would be back in orbit by that point.

"As you command, my lord," Blaster replied.

Megatron walked over to Ratchet, inspecting the damage. "I'm fairly certain you are not going to want Hook looking at that," he commented idly, taking in the smoke wafting up out of a hole in Ratchet's shoulder, and the one lower, around his waist.

"Do I get a choice?" Ratchet asked, letting Megatron see that he knew he had been aware of how close he came to taking his own life in his hands by being so defiant.

Megatron reached down and helped the medic to his feet with a mighty heave. "I wouldn't let him. But I would introduce you to Knock Out."

"He's still… of course he is. That one's more slippery than a glitch-mouse," Ratchet grumbled.

`~`~`~`~`