Megatron led everyone into an area with a massive chasm spanned by a narrow bridge. Everyone could walk across it two by two. “So, what’s Misfire’s deal?” asked Optimus. “Why is he here?”
“Most likely the same reason as Krok,” answered Megatron. “To be sacrificed to Unicron.”
“Who IS Krok, anyway? I only read snippets of him in history.”
“He’s a Decepticon Strategist,” explained Windblade, “also, he’s the basis for my comic’s main nemesis, Destroygar. They just ramped up his Triple-M tendencies.”
“Triple-M? He’s a Monoformer?” asked Optimus.
“Yep. He and I always traded barbs as well as blasts.”
“Er, does he have an air of quiet desperation around him?” asked Victorion.
“Why do you ask?”
“Because I think I see him with two others!”
“Halt, prisoners of the Decepticon Empire!” called Krok’s voice as he, Crankcase, and Flywheels approached them, weapons leveled at the group.
“Oh boy, here we go!” groaned Megatron.
“Krok!” called Windblade. “I should like to declare that, under the terms of the 29th treaty, I and all of my associates are to be declared combatants on a greater quest and, as such, exempt from Martial Jurisdiction.”
“Marshal Juriz Dikshun?” asked Crankcase. “Who is Marshal Juriz Dikshun?!”
“Our ‘Marshal’ is Governor Straxus, Lord of Poly…!” continued Flywheels.
“Enough!” ordered Krok. “You’re a Camien, correct? What do Camiens know of the 29th treaty? Camiens never attended treaty signings, they believed it against their religious sensibilities to ‘give anything to evil’!”
“Well, if you would let me explain…” replied Windblade.
“She’s saying we’re dealing with more important matters, Small one!” interrupted Victorion.
“Okay, thank you!” hissed Windblade.
“And if Windblade says we’re exempt from your jurisdiction, we’re exempt from your jurisdiction!”
“I said, THANK YOU, VICTORION!”
“Windblade?!” gasped Krok. “Flywheels! Facial analysis!” Flywheels pulled out a device and scanned Windblade’s face. He found a match.
“It IS Windblade! She’s just wearing the usual Camien make-up!”
“Then these must have been my orders, Flywheels!”
“No doubt about it in my mind, Sir!”
“My orders: to seek out, capture, and execute my sworn enemy, the Camien City-speaker designated…Windblade!”
“Me and my big mouth,” gulped Victorion.
“You Combiners really are all mouth and no ears, aren’t you?” muttered Megatron.
“Flywheels! Crankcase! Prepare arms!” ordered Krok.
“Hold on!” called Stormfront. “You can’t just shoot us!”
“I want to see good, clean shots to the head and the Spark!” Krok outlined to his mechs. “Think you can manage that?”
“Easily, Sir!” replied Crankcase.
“If anyone has bright ideas…” gulped Optimus.
“Allow me,” called Windblade. “Better make that ‘Sparks’, Krok. The behemoth behind us is a Combiner and thus has the Sparks of all six of her components.”
“…She has a point, Sir,” said Flywheels.
“Indeed. So, how do you want to do this with her? One shot in each part, then six in the head?”
“That will do!” replied Krok. “Prepare arms!” The three Cons raised their weapons again.
“Some soldier you are!” laughed Megatron. “Your weapons packs only last so long!”
“And I would think that your ability to recharge your weapons is compromised,” supplied Optimus. Windblade grinned at her boys catching on to her plan.
“Your ship WAS downed by Scarship, yes?” asked Megatron.
“…They’re right,” muttered Flywheels. “Standing orders dictate that, on a field mission, conservation of weapons energy remains a priority.”
“So, I’ll take the shot alone!” declared Krok as he leveled his weapon. “Three! Two!”
“Is that advisable, Sir?”
“What now, Flywheels?!”
“Protocol dictates that the minimum number of Decepticons required to form an execution party…is three.”
“Of course. You’re not savages,” snarked Megatron.
“Ah, but, in this instance, Flywheels,” countered Krok, “Windblade is a viable target because…because…she is attempting to evade capture!”
“No, she’s not!” spluttered Ratchet. “She’s not even trying to make a run for it, for some reason!”
“Again, her compatriots have a point,” agreed Flywheels.
“Well…run then, Windblade! Run!” growled Krok, his annoyance getting larger by the minute.
“No, I think I’d much sooner surrender, if it’s all the same to you.” Krok groaned in frustration and turned to his team to discuss what to do next.
“Windblade, what in Primus’ name do you think you’re doing?!” yelped Ratchet.
“Krok has two sets of weaknesses,” explained Windblade. “One is the usual bodily weak spots.”
“The other is his love for military protocol. I’m guessing that the rules covering surrendered prisoners are more involved than those covering fugitive combatants.”
“Ah, fighting without fighting!” realized Yoketron. “You HAVE mastered it!”
“I’ve no reason to believe we’ll be executed, so let’s see if we can tie them in knots first.” Just then, a communicator crackled to life.
“…Who’s was that?” asked Optimus.
“Pick it up, Flywheels,” ordered Krok.
“This is Flywheels,” called Flywheels over the communicator. “Come in.”
“Misfire, reporting,” replied the caller. “Spinister, Fulcrum, and I have captured a small platoon of Autobots and organics.”
“Oh, not more,” groaned Krok.
“Autobot/Organic platoon confirmed,” said Flywheels. “Are they attempting anything?”
“No, Sir, they’re not attempting anything,” answered Misfire. “Their Nebulan friend held them all back.”
“Nebulan?! What’s a Nebulan doing with Autobots?!”
“Unknown. She keeps repeating her name and that she’s a Witch of the Green Order. There were more Autobots, but a yellow runt took off in one direction and the others went down a tunnel. I believe one of them is a United Combiner.”
“United Combiner confirmed. We have them.”
“I have sent Fulcrum after the yellow runt and Spinister after your prisoners.”
“…Spinister isn’t here. Our prisoners must have evaded him.”
“Flywheels, tell Misfire to bring his prisoners here,” ordered Krok. “We shall interrogate them all together.”
“And the yellow one?” asked Optimus.
“Another of your platoon? He’s attempting to evade capture. Tell Misfire that, as soon as he is sighted, he is to be shot immediately!”
“Understood, Sir,” replied Flywheels.
On the surface, Bruticus’ declaration left everyone stunned. “I’m…sorry…WHAT?!” shouted Galvatron.
“You and your friends have enslaved us to your desires!” explained Bruticus. “My components and I are sick of it and want to show you all who’s REALLY the top of the heap here! Right down to you putting up with a little experimentation…of me speaking in the third person.”
“No soldier of mine is gonna be THAT arrogant!” roared Galvatron as he charged at Bruticus. Bruticus grabbed Galvatron in mid-air.
“Bruticus is NOT your soldier!” He then tossed Galvatron to the ground.
“It’s still one against a lot, you monster!” shouted Galvatron as he recovered, and everyone rallied to him.
“Monster? Bruticus is not a monster! Bruticus is…um…”
“A genuine demon?” asked Rouge.
“A true freak?” quizzed Shadow.
“…Bruticus is the DEVIL!”
“…I know of worse,” remarked Shockwave. Bruticus laughed.
“None as inventive as Bruticus!” Bruticus then clenched his right fist as Blast-off’s thrusters activated. He then swung his fist into the ground and created a massive crater, knocking everyone’s blocks off in the process. He then laughed like a madman. Bruticus was certain of his victory and felt he could toy with his prey.