The Decepticons landed on grassy ground once they exited the tunnel. “Here we are! The Central Layer!” called Mole Dive. Everyone then saw a manor house for a Transformer.
“And, according to what I downloaded from Metroplex,” recalled Shockwave, “that’s where One of Twelve, the Convener, is living.”
“The Autobots are sure to be right behind,” remarked Megatron. “Mole Dive, Shockwave, with me! The rest of you, keep the Autobots at bay!” The three Cons then took off towards the manor house as the Autobots landed.
“NO! MOLE DIVE! STOP!” called Quickmix. Devastator then got between them, finally making the Autobots realize who he is.
“Prepare for extermination, Autobots!” laughed Devastator.
“And now that’s FOUR stable Combiners!” grunted Optimus. “We gotta take care of the big guy! Autobots, ATTACK!” Everyone fired on the Decepticons. The shots glanced off Devastator.
“Foolish Autobots!” he guffawed as he tore a huge chunk of ground out and hurled it at them.
“This is ridiculous!” growled Shadow. “It’s like Bruticus’ first fight all over again!”
“Any tips?” asked Optimus.
“There’s always the joints and lasting for half an hour, but I don’t know how long that Maximus lasts!”
“Well, we can, at least, distract the Cons long enough to allow Quickmix to go after Mole Dive.”
“Someone say my name?” asked Quickmix as he dashed over to Optimus and Shadow.
“Quickmix, you seem to be the only one who can attempt to stop Mole Dive. You go on ahead. We’ll keep the Cons off your back!”
“You got it!” Quickmix transformed and sped away from the battlefield. It was then Shadow noticed someone jumping onto Quickmix’s side, someone with long, yellow quills!
“MARIA, NO!” Shadow charged after them.
“So, Shockwave,” mused Megatron, “Mole Dive’s reasons for going after One of Twelve, I can understand, but what’s your stake in this?”
“Finally putting Xitran culture to bed,” replied Shockwave. Megatron’s optics flickered at her answer.
“Don’t you want Xitra to come back?”
“It’s too risky. Functionism would come back. I’ve decrypted all aspects of the message on the Omega Keys we’ve studied. One of Twelve left instructions on how to bring Xitra back so we can continue our war on Gigantion, continue our Functionist ways, and make it the center of the universe instead of the Decepticon Empire. Better to let it stay dead.”
“…Are you telling me that the Decepticons-?!”
“Wasted too much time on trying to bring back traitors. I already spoke with Ravage, Frenzy, and Laserbeak. They urged me to take this course of action. Mole Dive also suggested that he break him while I perform the killing blow. After that, we extract the Heart from his corpse.”
“Well, at least it’s not a TOTAL waste of time,” muttered Megatron. They arrived at the manor’s door. Shockwave typed in several keys until a green light flashed.
“Traps: disabled,” she reported. “We may now search as much as possible.”
“NO!” called Quickmix’s voice as he transformed and tackled Mole Dive. Shadow then leapt into the air.
“CHAOS SPEAR!” The attack struck Megatron in the chest. Maria then curled into a ball and charged herself with Chaos Energy.
“CHAOS CANNON!” She then sailed through the air and struck Shockwave in the face! Her cycloptic visor cracked upon impact and revealed her face. Maria was surprised. “Wait, that’s not your real face?”
“No, simply something I use to gather all available data,” answered Shockwave as she fired. Quickmix and Mole Dive grappled with each other.
“You say you want what’s best for this planet,” snarled Quickmix, “but it’s not gonna happen! NOT LIKE THIS!” Quickmix then punched Mole Dive through a wall into the next room where a bot with a single eye for a head got up from his chair. He looked to see the combatants standing there.
“…I though you Gigantians DON’T return to other layers of your world,” he remarked. He then saw Shockwave. “Ah HA! I thought you, of all bots would survive!”
“My shuttle and crew,” explained Shockwave, “didn’t die in Xitra’s explosion, Convener.”
“So Soundwave and his drones are alive?” asked One of Twelve, the Convener of the Functionist Council.
“They’ve had an encounter with the Allspark. They’re full-fledged Mini-cons.”
“…Well, Mini-cons still have a place in the Grand Taxonomy.”
“You, shut up!” snarled Mole Dive. He then turned to Quickmix. Quickmix sighed before speaking.
“I know I failed you, my son, but I tried to save your mother. And now…I’m trying to save you.” Mole Dive then grabbed One of Twelve with his claw hand and slammed him to the ground.
“Is that what you think this is about?! That you let Ma die?! I don’t know what clouds your judgement worse; your guilt or your antiquated sense of morality! …Dad, I forgive you for not saving her, but why, why in Primus’ name-” he then put his foot onto One of Twelve- “is this murderer still alive?!” One of Twelve then realized Shockwave wasn’t making a move to save his life.
“…Did you not see the message?!”
“I did,” answered Shockwave. “I simply deemed it better that all remnants of Functionism die. It is only logical for long-term evolution.”
“WHAT?! HOW DARE-!” His angry proclamation was interrupted as Mole Dive put a little more weight on his foot.
“You’ll be as quiet as possible,” he threatened, “or I’ll have Shockwave put one in your lap first!”
“Like I give a rip about reproduction anymore!” hissed One of Twelve. Mole Dive returned his attention to Quickmix.
“Ignoring what he’s done in the past,” he growled, “blindly, STUPIDLY disregarding the entire graveyards he’s filled, the millions who’ve suffered both on AND off his planet, the friends he’s crippled! …You know, I thought…I thought members of your family would be the last people you’d ever let him hurt! If it had been you that he’d beat to scrap, if he had taken you from her, I know Ma would have joined me as I do nothing but scour the universe for this pathetic pile of evil, death-worshipping garbage…AND SEND HIM OFF TO THE PIT!”
“…You don’t understand,” replied Quickmix. “I don’t think you’ve ever understood.”
“What? What, your moral code just won’t allow for that?! It’s too hard to cross that line?!”
“NO! PRIMUS ALMIGHTY, NO! …It’d be too damned easy. All I’ve ever wanted to do was kill him. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think about subjecting him to every horrendous torture he and his fellow Councilors dealt out to others and then…end him.”
“Some moral paragon of virtue you are!” scoffed One of Twelve. Quickmix went on.
“But if I do that, if I allow myself to go down into that place…I’ll never come back.” Mole Dive was silent for a few seconds, then he spoke.
“Why? I’m not talking about killing Shockwave or Soundwave or Blaster or other innocent Xitrans like them…I’m talking about him! Just him! And doing it because…because he took Ma away from you!”
“…I can’t, I won’t. I already promised your mother I won’t seek revenge. It was part of her will. …I’m sorry.”
“…Well, you won’t have a choice!” Mole Dive pressed down hard, causing One of Twelve to scream as his spinal strut snapped. Mole Dive then tossed the Xitran Councilor to Shockwave. She wrapped her left arm around his neck and leveled her gun arm at his head. “THIS is what it’s all been about!” declared Mole Dive. “This, you, me, her, and HIM! Now is the time you decide! If you won’t kill the psychotic piece of filth, or let me do it, then SHE will!”
“Mole Dive’s right,” confirmed Shockwave. “If you want to stop me, you’re going to have to kill me.”
“I won’t take another-!” protested Quickmix. Shockwave still continued.
“I’m going to reduce his head to non-functional scrap at this range. If you want this to stop, you’re going to have to shoot me right between the optics.”
“Shockwave, my child, wait!” begged One of Twelve. “You were alt-mode exempt, weren’t you?! We took it away when you protested the use of the Master Blaster, right?! Well, if you let me live, you can be alt-mode exempt again! I’ll even make you the new Eight of Twelve! Yes! You can be the new Disseminator! Let me live and I’ll give you anything you want!”
“…Anything I want?” Shockwave then, for once, decided it was logical to get angry. She threw One of Twelve into a wall. “I WANT THE GRAND TAXONOMY TO STAY DEAD!” She then tore wires out of his chest unit. “I WANT TO CONDUCT MY LIFE ACCORDING TO MY DESIGN!” She then sliced his arm off. “I WANT MY PEOPLE TO ENJOY THEIR REMAINING LIVES IN FREEDOM!” She then punched his head repeatedly, her blows punctuating her sentences. “AND I WANT YOU! OUT! OF! MY! LIFE!”
“HEART ACCESS: TOTAL!” shouted One of Twelve. A green, pointed jewel on his chest then glowed and enveloped him in a gold aura. The resulting energy shockwave knocked his tormentor and the rest of the group off their feet. He then raised his one arm and commanded the aura to envelop his severed one. It then flew back to the shoulder and all of his wounds then vanished. “Child!” he snarled. “Spoiled with power, blind to reality, WITH NO VISION FOR THE FUTURE!”