Jazz, Slag, Chromia, Strongarm, Omega, Big, and Charmy arrived at an abandoned Eggman base, Chemical Plant Zone. Pink liquid flooded the area and gave the place a creepy aura. “I wonder what that stuff tastes like,” mused Charmy as he buzzed towards it. “It smells like…”
“I don’t care what it smells like, kid!” called Slag. “Don’t touch it! My scanners tell me it’s toxic to organic life!” Charmy immediately buzzed back to the group, holding Slag’s head in fear.
“Okay! Important safety tip! Pink water’s poison!”
“You can stay there if you want. Big, you pick another bot. Us machines can wade through it easily.”
“Lucky,” grumbled Omega. The E-series robot folded his arms in a grumpy fashion. Big sat on Strongarm’s shoulder and Jazz led the team through the poisonous lake. As they walked, the Autobots kept their sensors on alert for a Chaos Emerald’s energy signature.
“Man, this place has an eerie atmosphere!” shuddered Chromia.
“No kidding,” agreed Slag. “Sonic had to go through all this sl…”
“Language,” admonished Strongarm.
“I was gonna say ‘sludge’! Besides, it’s my name!”
“Couldn’t you have picked a better name?”
“Yeah, like Slug’s any better!”
“…Slug?” Slag sighed.
“That’s my real name.”
“…Your real name…is Slug?” asked Jazz.
“My parents took a few too many knocks to the head.”
“…If it’s any consolation, my real name’s Munka Spanka.” Charmy snorted as he held back a laugh from Jazz’s revelation. “Now you see why my friends are sworn to secrecy.”
“Secrecy about what?” asked Omega.
“You told us nothing,” said Strongarm.
“…I can get behind thaaaaAAAAAGUH!” Jazz’s scream was the result of seeing a body being held under the poisonous liquid. Everyone looked further ahead to see more of the same.
“Okay, that’s gruesome, even for a Dyno-bot!” shuddered Slag. Strongarm went into crime scene investigator mode and dove under the pink sea to examine the nearest body. After careful examination, she looked at a few more before returning to the surface, breaching carefully so she didn’t get her organic allies in the splash zone.
“It looks like the bodies were pierced so the poison could enter it and be more effective,” she reported.
“Who could do such a thing?!” asked Big, scared for his life.
“Perturbed by the whole scene?” asked a voice. Everyone looked behind them to see Red Pine, Soundwave, and Vortex wading through the poisons with Frenzy on Soundwave’s shoulders.
“Wait, Frenzy can’t go through this stuff, but Red Pine can?” asked Jazz.
“My suit’s air-tight enough,” answered Red Pine. “Besides, Frenzy needs to see.”
“Look, we’re just doing a normal patrol, nothing to see here,” assured Slag.
“Zero percent probability of truth,” droned Soundwave. “Chaos Emerald energy signature: detected. Probable reason for presence of G.U.N soldiers: securing it for Autobot collection.”
“So, what, you butchered them to secure it for yourselves?!” accused Slag.
“No facts support your thesis. Methods: too brutal. Prisoners: required to be executed on spot. Corpse disposal: required. Smelting pool or acid lake: most effective.”
“Then who…?!” Slag’s question was interrupted by someone else.
“Now, to be fair, they WOULD be tossed into the Smelting Pool of Polyhex, but that’s currently on Cybertron and we’re on Mobius now, so this will have to do.” Everyone turned their gazes upwards to see a well-dressed male human with a monocle, a hood, and a cane with a sharpened, curved handle holding a G.U.N. soldier over the poisonous lake. Soundwave and Strongarm saw a siege tank behind the man and found a Spark signature within it.
“…Straxus?!” yelped Strongarm.
“Orders were to stay on Cybertron,” droned Soundwave.
“Yes, listen to the former Autobot, that makes sense,” scoffed Straxus.
“Eh? Speak up, my boy. I’m a little deaf.”
“Who ARE you?” asked Charmy.
“Ah, a new face! Excellent! Allow me to introduce myself. I am Straxus, Governor of the Northern Decepticon Settlement of Polyhex and inhabitant of its capital fortress, Darkmount. I’m merely exercising a hobby here, a little bit of improv acting. Let me give you a demonstration. I’m going to play a merciless dictator and this man,” Straxus then grabbed the last soldier by the hair, “is going to be my hapless victim!”
“Please! Let me go! Have mercy!” wailed the poor soldier.
“Oh, starting already, are we? One moment, must get into character.” Straxus cleared his throat, then adopted an animalistic snarl. “Mercy is not dispensed here, fool! Only DEATH!” He swung the can into the soldier’s neck, point first, then threw him into the poison lake. Strongarm picked the body up and scanned it…but it was too late. “And scene!” Everyone adopted a snarl and glared at Straxus.
“Query: Repeated!” called Soundwave in a louder tone. “Explanation of presence on Mobius: Required.”
“There we go! You see, I was just in the solar system and I thought this place would be a delightful place for a summer WHAT IN THE PIT DO YOU THINK I’M HERE FOR?!”
“…Something that Unicron requires?”
“Ah, guessed I’m a Terrorcon, did we? Well, you’re correct. So, all kidding aside…where’s the Chaos Emerald?”
“We’re in the same boat as Soundwave,” called Strongarm.
“You know, I’d almost be inclined to believe you if the soldiers didn’t say the exact same thing, even as I tortured and subsequently killed them all like the one you just witnessed,” replied Straxus. “You know, it’s the darndest thing; you’re sounding a lot like them.”
“Reasons for you being upset: Nonexistent,” droned Soundwave.
“Okay, one: REAL sympathetic. Two: I thought that monotone was patched!”
“Reasons for you being upset…existent.”
“That’s it! STRAXUS, TRANSFORM!” As the holo-form vanished, the front treads of the tank unfolded and revealed arms while the rear treads became legs. Part of the barrel folded down and revealed Straxus’ head and hood while the gun itself detached from the assembly and extended a pick-axe style head. He leapt into the water and started swinging, his movements splashing it everywhere. Charmy and Big jumped out of the splash zone. Big swung his fishing rod and the line wrapped around Straxus’ weapon. He tugged hard and made Straxus fall backwards. The sudden splash brought something to the surface briefly, a flash of cyan!
“The Chaos Emerald!” called Charmy. Red Pine then dove for it and snatched it up.
“Got it! Get us home!” he shouted to Soundwave. Soundwave then opened a Bridge portal, and they made their escape. Straxus developed a twitch.
“An Emerald!” he hissed dangerously. “An Emerald right under my nose! A chance of victory and it was snatched away!” He turned to the Autobots. “A joint operation between your factions!”
“Straxus, I swear, the Decepticons are not our allies!” assured Strongarm, but Straxus wasn’t listening.
“You made me fail! Those responsible for this will pay with their lives! And I will collect the fee personally!” He charged his axe with energy and swung it, discharging an energy wave and knocking all Autobots down.
“Teletraan, we need a Bridge!” Charmy called. “Get us out of here!” A Ground Bridge opened, and our heroes ran into it. It closed before Straxus could even touch it.
“…Lord Unicron will NOT be happy about this,” he muttered to himself.