Megatron had multiple mini-processors designated strictly to the functions of tactics, analysis, and decision-making in battle. This meant that even as he held his own against the organized fleet, he had more than enough attention span to clearly note the warriors that fought by themselves. He could make educated guesses as to the crew of the leviathan ship that had been brought to bear in the carnage. He would remember each and every name, as he fought for the first time in so many long eons as the Lord High Protector.
The Junkion attack had been nothing more than a nuisance. They had been unprepared to face a true resistance. This? This was his planet under attack, the future of his dream hinging on the outcome. His people were now clearly marked out to the frayed but still present coding of protectorship, and they were threatened by the insurrection that came to a head in the form of Astrotrain.
::Starscream, aim to disable and accept surrenders.:: Megatron had to actually filter the ensuing squawks of profanity and disbelief, but his lieutenant would see sense in the end. Raw, uncontaminated code was needed to diversify the coming generations, and any one of these deep space fighters might hold that code. He let loose a barrage of weapon-fire, preventing Astrotrain from getting the proper angle for an atmosphere entry. He was closing fast on the leader, but already knew fighters were making it through to assist the rebellion on the ground. ::The exception, my lieutenant, is Astrotrain himself. Should any engage him other than myself, feel free to destroy him.:: That soothed the Air Commander somewhat, and the Flights arrayed themselves according to the disabling strategy.
Starscream himself angled to clear the space that separated himself from Megatron… or Astrotrain, more likely.
Inwardly, Megatron smiled. His kind, the inheritors of Cybertron, were on the cusp of their inheritance, with one last crucible to forge their metal into the purity he desired.
Scion streaked in, wings folded back for the more narrow passages, until he had to give up flight and tumble into a run on the decking. ::Powerglide! Powerglide, I want you!::
The sends were directed and pointed, but the Autobot sectors always seemed to muffle his communications to a slight degree. Finally, when he had almost reached the dwelling of his friend, he saw the smaller flier exit a building that was quickly barricaded on his exit.
"Friend or no friend, if you've brought trouble down on us…" Powerglide began, raising a fist threateningly. "This is your war, not ours!"
"You know!?" How had they known when his lord had been caught off guard?
Powerglide caught that stunned surprise, the creeping edge of suspicion, and relaxed his fist to rest it on the young Seeker's wrist. "Soundcreep set off a signal of some kind, some kind of processor-manipulation. We're not going to help you, but I'll tell you that much, knowing you hate him much as any of us. Only, we had ways to safeguard ourselves, ever since Chief Medical was here, and guessed what was up. Only a few tried to go, and we stopped them, to keep them safe."
That… made a strange amount of sense. Especially since Blaster had left with the medic. Blaster would have held clues on how to combat Soundwave's perversions. But that also meant Powerglide and his people were proof, solid proof, that Soundwave was involved. That put them at risk.
"Powerglide, you can't just barricade yourselves in here. Lord Megatron estimates that most of the ground forces are under control of the subversives, and my kind have to keep the skies clear. We need your help!" Scion would consider the fact he had thrown both truth and passion into those words later, when they felt more like an admittance of weakness. Already he was rationalizing the fact that he counted Powerglide as a friend, the relationship built during all the cycles since Megatron assigned him as Autobot Liaison Officer.
"What does it matter to us, which of those power-glitched mechs are in charge? We're just the crazy source of extra labor to either of them, and life goes on as it ever does, Scion," Powerglide explained. "We fought our war. Against your people."
"So you'd go with the mech that tried to use you as mindless soldiers over the one who made certain you had a place, peace, and a way to get any concerns to him immediately? Or didn't you think Megatron had a hand in encouraging me to come down here? I'm his personal guard!"
"You make me doubt our friendship when you put it that way," Powerglide said in a rumble of a threat. Distantly, they heard pulse-fire, indicating the war on the ground did have at least some resistance to the entrenched grounders.
Scion covered the hand that had never left his wrist. "It was an assignment, but Megatron is right! We are one people, and you have done more to show me that than anyone else on this planet!" Desperately, Scion lowered his shields enough to flick his personal fields along Powerglide's, leaving himself vulnerable. There was resistance, and then Powerglide stepped close enough to throw his own shields around the young Seeker. "I trust in you," Scion said, as an answer to the wordless challenge he had thrown out by giving his defense to another. "Help us make one world united."
Powerglide shook his helm. "You're asking me and mine to forget how many classes he decimated, how many no longer exist because he didn't have enough power standing at the temple with his equal."
"No. I'm asking you to make it clear to him that he was wrong then, and right now, to trust in the power of our species as one," Scion told his friend, even as the battle sounds wafted in more clearly. "This is your home, that you have built. Do you really think Soundwave will let you keep it, considering how he already tried to turn you into unwitting cannon fodder?"
The moment that defined the life Blitzwing wanted to have came in the flash of a realization that Megatron, well-known to be ruthless and unforgiving, was not shooting to deactivate. The triple-changer had been holding back, providing cover for the smaller space-worthy Decepticons, while he considered the situation. Seeing that, his partner Octane had also held himself back to the rear of the armada, trying to keep the Seeker fleet from attaining hull-breaches on their one leviathan.
::This is wrong.::
The send from Blitzwing to Octane was filled with layers of meaning, from attacking their own home-world to Megatron's determined fighting that left mechs on the verge of stasis but not deactivated.
Before Blitzwing could answer that, Megatron finally engaged Astrotrain directly, and Starscream was none too far from him. Blitzwing weighed all options, especially his own feelings, and made his decision.
::Start convincing as many of them as we can to fall back or surrender.::
Octane tried very hard not to send back all the shock he felt, but it leaked through anyway. ::Blitz?::
::They won't destroy us. He'd be doing it now, if that was his intent. But I have a feeling it will go a lot better for anyone who stops fighting than those that are forced to submit,:: the elder triple-changer told his partner.
Longarm crashed into Scion within moments of the Seeker finally appearing on the battlefield. Devastator was locked in combat with Bruticus, with no clear victor in the making. Around them, the pitiful forces loyal to Megatron among the Decepticons were being corralled and overwhelmed by the forces under Longarm's command.
::Submit, and I will allow you to be my pet Seeker. Not such a change for you, is it brother?:: Longarm sent through the tactile link as he grappled with the lithe, smaller mech.
::I am no pet!:: The Seeker's rage provided what his skill could not, fueling the fight. Scion was at a disadvantage and knew it, as Longarm had taken his full course of upgrades and out-massed him by a third. However, Scion was just as gifted as the mech he had been patterned from when it came to designing weaponry, a factor he had used in creating the last upgrade Ratchet had installed for him. When Longarm's punching blade penetrated Scion's torso, electricity arced back down the blade and into the aggressive mech, pushing Longarm to fall back and allowing Scion a chance to recover some distance.
"You cannot win! We have all the resources! We built this city! WE WILL TAKE IT FOR OURSELVES!" Longarm thundered at his opponent. Scion, trying to both stem his energon loss and bring up his modified nullification rays, did not bother to answer.
The roar of Powerglide's followers did it for him as the Autobots and even the broken, near-mindless survivors of the Cataclysm poured toward the battle.
"Terrans have a saying, my Lord once said," Scion managed to spit out as Longarm tried to react to the changing odds. "Even vermin will fight back when cornered, and those? Are veterans of a war you nor I can comprehend as more than a textual fact."
The grounded mech could not react fast enough as Scion leaped up, ignoring the pain to transform, and joined his friend in the skies to bring about an end to the fight for their world.
Soundwave, distant from the melee, was not impressed that neither his careful conditioning of the Autobots had worked, nor that his plans were failing to come to successful fruition. He felt the tide of battle, above and on the planet itself turning away from his own odds, and moved to go toward the launcher. If he could escape the planet quickly enough, all was not lost.
His path was impeded by Ravage, whose optics gleamed with predatory interest. In a brief push against the supposed symbiont's firewalls, Soundwave knew that his fate had been sealed the day Megatron introduced him to the dangerous survivor
He brought up his shields and weapons to prepare for the fight, knowing Buzzsaw was lurking, and unsure if the bonding or the wish for freedom would win in the flier's coding.