Cyclonus : Fighting with shadows
I live here, In this lair that I have come to call home. I live here, amoungst the troops of this barracks, with my master and ward, Galvatron.
I find it so much easier to commit my scattered thoughts and recollections to paper, rather then use a computer, which is a non entity that lacks the gift that I have been given, to think and feel.
Due to the mental and emotional instabilities that he is going through, he feels a constant perpetual state of loss. Loss for what? I know not.
We often argue over what I have come to call the 'Noun', the person, place or thing he longs for. I too have a strange sense of loss, along with bad dreams. Flashes of something, somewhere, someone, something. I barely recall them upon awakening and this only makes my confusion worse.
I have no memory of being a Protoform. I have no memory of anything really. However I have the strange notion that I have known my teammates forever.
There are also largely derelict wings of this base that have been cordoned off due to the strange feelings and pangs of invisible and senseless pain that lay there.
Gone, are the big personalties that used to walk these halls. The rooms and personal effects of the infantry and the officers, whos names now adorn the Hall of Heros, are here. I've never walked the halls until now, looking for answers and I find nothing.
I can't remember, because there is nothing to remember.
I have never walked these halls until now.
All these things mean nothing to me. However I feel that lump in the pit of my chamber, the weird feeling that you have when you realise you have lost something important, or that sudden realisation that something has been stolen from you, by a silent and swift thief at night, who was so skilled at what he does, that he did not leave a single vestige of a clue.
Galvatron is, at best evasive, when I ask him about his 'Other life'. Apparently, he only has a flash, feeling or a notion here or there. Mostly an unyielding internal struggle with an unknown and unseen enemy, which tends to come for him at night, mostly.
He refuses to give me details as he feels that it will be 'a burden too hard to bear' and often refers to a deal made, yet only by those alive at the time to strike it. If you were not, then you are forever taunted and poked by the shadow of something that was, but is no more.
An unlikely source of information, came in the form of a surviving witness. He was one of the air infantry, who knew well, the former Air Commander and his Trine bound officers.
I met with a Seeker, a man called Dirge. He belonged to a simalar air team to the most popular one. He met me in the abandoned wing of the base. The largest commander room, now empty, was the Warlord Megatrons. An amazing piece of architectural work. A large office area, a living area and berth room with a massive berth which supplied him the huge amount of energy it took to recharge him.
In an adjoining room, joined by a door was the imfamously notorious Air Commander Starscreams quarters. Right beside was the smaller quarters of his Spark Trine fellow Seekers. The legendary officer Thundercracker, and the playful Trickster Skywarp.
"Do it like your life's on the fuckin' line."
Dirge seemed sullen as he walked down the long corridor with me. It seemed he was haunted too.
"Cyclonus, it's hard for me to do this." Dirge says as they walked down the echcoy Hall.
"I know. But to understand Galvatrons mental illness, I am grasping at straws to piece together something that I have no knowledge of."
"Here." Dirge stopped as he aimed the flashlight at the large Central door. "After a few months, Thrust, Ramjet and I broke into all these quarters.."
Cyclonus turned to Dirge with a curious expression of shock and intrigue. "Why?"
"To... Feel normal again. To feel close to... Them. The rooms are how they left them. They smell like them and everything. "
Cyclonus nodded respectfully as he followed Dirge into the main command room.
"This was Lord Megatrons room. Honestly, I can't believe I'm even standing in here. Only he and Starscream stayed here."
Cyclonus looked around, "Galvatron was once brought here, but he became hysterical and had to be sedated."
Dirge pushed open the door to Starscreams quarters. It was a mess with things scattered all over the floor and the room had an air of chaos to it. Now it smelt stale, musty and old. Starscreams abandoned possessions all over the place.
"He never came back here after the last mission. In fact, none of them did. I remember us in the canteen when we got the orders for, what was to become, the final mission. Megatron had, what he called, an eradication plan and I remember how excited Thundercracker was. I can still see him now... leaning over the table, looking over the large map and making a comment here or there, punctuated with profanity. " Dirge almost laughed as he stared forward blankly.
" What kind of man was he? "Cyclonus asked.
"Whoa... He was, incredible. A natural leader. The femmes flocked around him and he loved it. He always had a smile for the girls, a joke for Skywarp, and an ass-whoopin for us. He was legendary for his flamboyant flying style, expletive ridden sentences, foul temper and sexual appetite. Although a largely private person to his team mates, he was Lord Megatrons greatest officer."
" He sounds like a real firework. "
" Ohh he was, and he would go off at any time. I had my fair share of bad run ins with him, but not as many as Ramjet. This was Thundercrackers room." Dirge said as he pushed the old door open and they walked in. Cyclonus looked around at the posters and physics and engineering books in the shelves. He also noticed two large, old smartphones on the table, covered in dust.
" Those were his phones. The smaller one rang all the time. Always an excited young womans voice asking after him. We had to turn it off as we didn't have the heart to answer it anymore. A few months later, we turned it back on... But it never rang again..."
"It sounds like you looked up to this man." Cyclonus said solemnly.
"We all did. He was a big personality. Tall, deep voiced, insanely masculine and a real straight shooter. I never appreciated him then. But... What I wouldn't give to hear one of his rants now, or to have one last conversation with him." Dirge said staring at the phones.
"This must be hard to see. "
Dirge just nodded slowly," I mean, the day started...like any other day. Starscream was bickering with Megatron, Skywarp was in his quarters listening to love songs too loud, he loved those. Thundercracker got back to the base after what would become his final night out with a girl. He was ravenous and I met him in the canteen eating everything in sight. He always used to say 'Do it like your life is on the fuckin line'... "
"What happened to him? " Cyclonus asked pensivly
Dirge stared down." He was fatally wounded by being shot at point blank range by Optimus Prime as soon as he arrived during our assault on their base and the massive base battle. It was... a freak, one in a million shot directly into TCs chest, that ruptured the housing to his spark chamber, starting an irreversible catastrophic chain of internal injuries that sealed his fate, hours before he died, or so Knockout told me. Even he didn't realise how badly he was injured, and he always downplayed the pain."
" He died a hero, on the battle field?" Cyclonus asked as he picked up a small metal tin from the table and scanned the books on the Shelve and an unopened pile of letters on the desk.
" No... " Dirge said as he sat on Thundercrackers chair and carefully took the tin from Cyclonus and put it back where it belonged on the table, on the small dust free square it sat on.
"Where you there personally? Are you an eye witness?" Cyclonus asked, hopeful to finally hear an eyewitness account.
"Yes." Dirge seemed to take a large air intake as he spoke, lifting his head to cyclonus, yet not dragging his optics up to look at him. "I was on the ship when the fight broke out..."
Cyclonus kneeled on one knee next to the seated Dirge, "Fight?! Please, speak. Tell me what happened."
"We were all on Astrotrain retreating, after taking shocking casualties. The insecticons were all moaning in pain. Thundercracker was standing, but bent clutching his chest and then slide down the wall to the floor. Starscream had been fighting, yet again, with Megatron, who was now laying on the floor with global catastrophic injuries. But I heard them both...-"
"Megatron! You are in no condition to lead! Recognise my ascension to leadership immediately!"
"Never! Can you not see what has happened you fool?!" Megatron snapped back, shoving Starscream away from himself.
Starscream kneelt by Megatron, "I can fix this situation. I can look after you. Announce me as the New duly appointed leader now!" he begged with his hands out.
"You are incapable of leadership on such a grand scale! Sit down and shut up." Megatron rasped angrily as he winced in pain.
Starscream continued to plead, "Optimus Prime is dead! Now is the time for strong, young new leadership! I must succeed you now! Make the announcement!" he pressed.
"Never!" he answered, slapping Starscream across the face for his self centered impertinence.
On the other side of the shuttle, Skywarp was laying on the floor on his side, leaking Energon. He saw Thundercracker slumped against the wall, and he pulled himself across the floor on his right elbow and forearm to reach his Spark Bound Trine mate.
"TC...TC..." Skywarp said softly.
"Skywarp... Little buddy." He said as he placed a hand on Skywarps back.
"TC. Suddenly... I find, every part of me hurts. My onboard systems are reporting terminal damage across the board, Most of my systems are now unresponsive. Because of my bond with you, I know you're worse then I am. I'm gonna die bro." Skywarp said as he looked up at Thundercrackers dim optics.
Thundercracker straighted out his legs so Skywarp could crawl up and rest his head on his lap, "Not while there's still fuckin electricity runnin through my fuckin circuits. Let me go find you some help." he said as he cradled Skywarp.
"No! It's too late. If the end comes for me, I want to be with you, in your arms. You've always given me strength buddy, to face anything."
"Aww Skywarp... Skywarp." Thundercracker sighed, forcing a strained and painful smile.
They all heard Astrotrain's voice, booming around them, "Jettison some weight or I'll never make it to Cybertron..."
"TC, I want you to know...before its too late... " Skywarp said as he looked up, the Energon running from his optics and mouth.
"What, Sky?" Thundercracker asked in his familiar deep tone, which now seemed soothing yet breathless and weak, as he stroked Skywarps face.
"I love ya brother... No Homo." Skywarp almost whispered, managing a slight smile.
Thundercracker tilted his head as he looked down upon his battered Trine mate with a look of affection. "Absolutely, No motherfuckin Homo, but I love ya too Skywarp." Thundercracker said softly while he ran his thumb down Skywarps face before he rested his head back against the wall.
Across the room, Starscream seethed in humiliation, after being slapped and disregarded. He stood up, cradling his face and looked down on Megatron. "Fine..." he announced in a hushed, bitter way.
Starscream walked to the centre of the crowd and announced, "Fellow Decepticons, Astrotrain has requested that we lighten our burden."
Hook stepped in, confronting Starscream before anymore bullshit could occur and spoke up, "In that case I say it is survival of the fittest!"
Starscream grinned back smugly at Hook before shouting, "Do I hear a second on that?
All the uninjured Decepticons shouted" Aye!"
Starscream held his arms out " ...and against?"
All the battle damaged Decepticons shouted "Nay!", including the insecticons who were conherant for a change.
Starscream jumped up and down before annoucing, "The ayes have it!",and walking over to open the airlock door.
Skywarp suddenly felt something change within him. Something missing, something renched away, a large and important part of him gone. A warmth he had felt for the longest time, now absent, and it left him cold. He looked up to see Thundercrackers optics out and his brilliant blue finish, that he laboured over during his life, was now grey and black. He was dead.
"TC.. TC?! Oohh no... Ohh no-no-no, NO! Come back to me TC! Don't leave me! Don't leave me alone here..." He said weakly as he reached up to touch Thundercrackers face, coolant running from his optics, "-..Xal help us! Guide TC safey back to the Allspark. He'll show me the way... TC... " Skywarp said before he too succumbed, and his head fell back against Thundercrackers lap as his gift of life-force left his body.
All the healthy Decepticons approached the damaged ones. Soundwave's optics were downcast as he assisted his teammates in tackling the struggling Insecticons. Being careful not to take part in the removal of Megatron, but then... No one touched him.
Frenzy tried shouting above the noise, "Hey! Screamer! What bout ya Trine mates! Hey! Screamer!" But Starscream couldn't hear him over the noise and, when frenzy looked, he was having a heated conversation with Hook. Frenzy shrugged and then turned to look at his dead colleagues, Skywarp in thundercrackers arms, and dragged the dead, limp body of Skywarp off the lifeless Thundercracker.
The mob of Decepticons stomped towards the injured and dead. "Get... Make room for others..."
"Brothers, don't!" Came the feeble response from those close to death.
Starscream turned his head slowly behind him, seeing Megatron in a pool of Energon. Nobody had even dared try to remove him. Starscream then slow walked with his slight arrogant bounce right up to where Megatron lay, fatally injured.
He slowly knelt down and carefully scooped Megatron up in his arms. He looked down upon him as he swayed right and left almost as if he was soothing him. Then he grinned and spin around to face the airlock, before locking optics with Soundwave.
Starscream hesitated just a moment as he stood before the void of deep space before Sarcastically announcing "Ohh! How it pains me to do this..." almost as if he had to justify his actions later.
Megatron, still cradled in Starscreams arms laboured to lift his head, "Wait... I still function." he said with a strange conviction, as if he could still defend his claim to leadership, or that he expected loyalty at the eleventh hour.
Starscream, still grinning replied back, "Wanna bet?" as he delicately let go of Megatron and then punched the button to slam shut the airlock door. All around him the open mouthed shock on the faces of his team. This was the most outrageous stunt he had ever pulled.
"Staaarscreaaam!" Megatron screamed out with the last energy he could muster.
Starscream finally thought everything was in the bag after that show and he comically dusted himself off after a job well done. "As Megatron has, how shall we say, departed... I nominate myself as the new leader!" he announced, believing he finally had the credibility to execute the next phase of his plan.
Hook shoved Scrapper forward to call Starscream out. "Wait! The Constructicons form Devastator, the most powerful robot. We should rule!"
Soundwave finally stepped forward, "Soundwave, Superior. Constructicons, inferior." believing that the most logical choice should be considered. Even though he felt that now the only outcome was going to be a massive punch up, and he was prepared to defend and back up his leadership bid with brute force. However, Soundwave knew his first command as leader would be to turn back and fetch Megatron.
Bonecrusher was insulted by Soundwaves audacity. "Who are you calling inferior?!"
Hook was again, sick of this shit and shouted "No one would follow an uncharismatic bore like you!"
Soundwave calmly, yet savagely, ejected some cassettes in anticipation of the impending attack.
Rumble shouted "Hey! Nobody calls Soundwave "unchrasimatic".
Frenzy shouted a rally cry, "Yeah! Let's kick tailgate!
Hook commanded" Constructicons, unite!"
As the constructicons formed Devastator, Starscreams optics widened in shock and fear and he took a step back into the shadows of a corner as a brawl broke out amongst his entire team.
Rumble and Frenzy shouted" No way! As they used their pile drivers, to disrupt the joining sequence, causing Devastator to disengage and fell apart.
All friendships and loyalties were out the window as punches were thrown in every direction. The only person with co-ordinated assistance was Soundwave.
Hook had enough of the bullshit dished out to him over the years from everyone and was certain to secure leadership for his group. Suddenly Blitzwing flew in with tactical punches and swift attacks, focusing on Soundwave, but was soon gang attacked by Ravage and the cassettes.
The Constructicons were only strongest when joined. Singularly they were disorganised and lacked forsight and unity and were soon felled by Soundwaves strategy.
The remaining seekers were in total disarray. Dirge, Ramjet and Thrust indiscriminately attacked anyone around them. Ramjet even threw a punch at Soundwave, who ducked, and he ending up decking Thrust.
Starscream cowered in a shadowy corner, nervous that it may be noticed that he was basically hiding and if that were noticed, the entire team would concentrate attacks on him. It was only then that he took stock of who was left on Astrotrain. He too had felt a renching disconnect. The panic he felt at the very real threat of massive physical violence and the knowledge that he was now truly alone in the world weighed heavy on him as his knees buckled and he fell to the floor on his hands and knees as he watched the fight progress and the terrible damage sustained by team mates.
Soundwave was still in with his leadership bid after most of the Constructicons, Ramjet and Thrust were defeated. Dirge was locked in a fistfight with Hook and everyone was either crying out in pain or shouting threats and expletives.
After Dirge and Hook nearly beat each other to death, Hook fell to the ground and Soundwave went straight for the biggest threat, Dirge, with flying kick.
Suddenly it was a one on one between Blitzwing and Soundwave. They stared at each other a moment and laid into each other with a force and steely determination to rein supreme.
Soundwave was already badly damaged as the Constructicons had largely focused on him to try and eliminate him early, then he had Thrust and Ramjet both beating on him. Finally, Blitzwing landed a final blow which rendered Soundwave unconscious.
Blitzwing struggled to stand on his shaking knees after well over an hour of hard physical fighting. He looked around at all the mechs on the floor in various stages of consciousness.
Blitzwing announced with a quivering voice, "Its me... It is me. I am the last man standing. I now, through show of force, as is the custom, assume leadership of the Decept... -"
"That's what you think..."
There was a large boom as a hole appeared in Blitzwings shoulder. Blitzwings hands shoke as he touched the sudden and inexplicable damage. With all the firepower he could muster, Starscream had shot him in the back.
Starscream ventured out from the shadows and, stepping over teammates bodies, he walked to the centre of the shuttle and survyed the carnage around him. He looked around in total disbelief, then his expression changed from pensive surprise to elation.
"Megatron is dead. All others have fallen. I accend to leadership. If anyone here seeks to challenge me, then speak now and face your own destruction!" he shouted with a grin as he aimed his shoulder gun around, "I'm not hearing anything..." he taunted in a musical tone. "Then it is decided!" he said as he kicked Soundwaves body before stepping over him.
"That's... What happened. Once Starscream was in control everything deteriorated and turned to shit. Skywarp was right... About everything. Megatron was the cohesive force that kept everything together and in its place. Without him, chaos reined under Starscream, who launched himself into politics in the time before his gaudy Coronation. But, when his end came, and you were there for that, I legged it off that bloody podium faster then that Autobot can talk. i saw you for the first time and I locked optics on your Leader and...it wasn't Megatron. Because he would have never murdered Starscream."
Cyclonus was silent, staring at the floor." These stories must never be forgotten." he started, "I don't know this Megatron, even though Galvatron has spoken of retaining some memories, but... Most of everything, is gone. He suffers constant pain and internal struggle, sometimes something of his former self will come out, but it is not often."
Dirge shook his head, "I don't know him. He's someone else, not at all the person I knew as Megatron." Dirge said as he got up from the chair and looked around Thundercrackers room. "You know, Galvatron told me something once, but it didn't make much sense."
Cyclonus looked at the phones on the table. "Tell me."
"He was writhing in pain once, and said out of the blue that he struck the best deal he could, whereas, his teammates were dead, so could not consent to sell their Sparks into servitude." Dirge muttered.
Cyclonus looked up at Dirge.
"Galvatron also told me, that... He witnessed Thundercrackers dead body magically reformat into a totally new person, the man you call Scourge. It is good that Thundercracker was dead. He would not be able to live if he knew what he was. The loss of his Seekerhood, looks and all came with it would have been a torture for him."
"This is why... We only know life as it is now. There was no before, and I was not someone else...in another life. I am Unicronian and I was born of an evil deity... " Cyclonus said as he respectfully picked up one of the phones and turned it on.
"I'm haunted, Cyclonus. Every day worse then the last. I miss these guys." Dirge said as he watched Cyclonus try to operate the smart phone.
"These are certainly very... Interesting messages." Cyclonus muttered.
"DON'T! You may accidentally erase them. They were the last messages Thundercracker received and sent. The last girl he was with made a fortune selling a tell-all book, she made a lot of money on one night, and TC became No.1 on that website he used to bang on about." Dirge said as he turned off the phone and placed it back in exactly the same position it has always been in.
They walked into the next quarters. "This was Skywarps room. We all would have such a laugh here.. In the past." Dirge said.
"I take it he liked purple." Cyclonus said.
"Yeah, he did." Dirge said as he looked around the room, having flashbacks of laughter, sounds, music and conversations.
"This man was your friend too?"
Cyclonus looked at the once impeccably clean and orderly room.
"Skywarp was blindly loyal to Megatron. He also could teleport, no one knew how. He loved life, love and psychology. He had a very easygoing nature, and was playful and was romantically inclined."
Cyclonus carefully picked up one of the Origami creatures from the Shelf," I imagine he was a patient man. "
"Yeah... Very. Though he idolised Thundercracker and admired Starscreams clout." Dirge added.
Cyclonus looked at two of the pictures on the desk. One was of the Trine together, the other was the Trine with Skyfire standing beside Starscream. "Who is this?"
Dirge calmly turned the picture down facing the desk. "That was a man called Skyfire. After Starscream was murdered... He,... I... Don't want to talk about him."
Cyclonus picked up a book of Cybertronian poetry, and sat down flicking through the pages until the silence became deafening.
"Please put that back where you got it." Dirge asked.
"All this has only raised more questions. It's all so unnecessary. The war, all this loss and death. What was the point of it all." Cyclonus asked.
"Megatron was a visionary and a tactician, or so Starscream once told me. He wanted to change the world and create a new society, and the peoples army was a way to realise that. Megatron walked these corridors with authority and we were all in awe of that. Galvatron just stumbles into rooms seemingly at random, sits and rocks like the insane until he flys into a fury and attacks one of his team. Soundwave avoids him like the plague. "
"Soundwave is not loyal to him like I am. I serve him completely and without reservation. "
" That's the kind of answer Soundwave would have given regarding Megatron. " Dirge pointed out.
"Galvatron is so powerful, yet he struggles to control that power. His psychic issues involving his mental health and depression, don't help. I assist as best I can but he refutes that there is such a great issue. I think this Skywarp would have been of great assistance now." Cyclonus said as he looked around the dark room, at the volumes of love poetry, music and psychology volumes.
Dirge looked at the neat berth and origami animals on a Shelve. "Yeah, Galvatron scares me, in a different way to how Megatron did. Skywarp would have known what to do. He was such a nice guy, always ready to follow TC And Starscream into mischief. Those three were really something. The most independent was always Starscream, but where ever Thundercracker was... You'd find Skywarp." Dirge remarked as he carefully placed back the paper animal on the Shelve and looked at the picture of them all smiling together.