Jack looked around as he found himself standing in a dark desolate forest, a soft but cold breeze blowing in between the trees. Brown leaves fell from above as Jack looks down to see that he is wearing his Prime armour. No sound can be heard except for whistling of the breeze as it makes him shiver from it's impact against his face. But then a sound of laughter can be heard just away from him, so Jack turns and walks in it's direction as he heads deeper into the forest.
Jack walks up to what looks like a park bench, only to find that it has been burnt to a cinder. He sees an object lying on it's seat and picks it up. It is the toy ship that he saw the little boy on Earth play with before he died. A feeling of guilt rises up in Jack as he looks down at the charred toy in his hands. Suddenly another sound of laughter brought the Prime out of his thoughts as he dropped the toy and started walking away and further into the darkness.
He then saw the boy cowering behind a tree, looking terrified. Jack walked over to the boy and held his hand out. The child looked up at the Prime, his face was stained by tears that he shed as he whimpered. He looked at Jack and saw that he did not mean him any harm, so the kid got up and started to walk over to him. But he then stopped suddenly as his attention was caught by a dark shadow appearing behind Jack. The boy's eyes widened in fear as he froze in place and looked past the Prime. Jack wondering what had frightened the child turned around but saw nothing but the forest behind him. He then looked back to see the kid running away, so Jack chased after him but everything seemed to slow down while he ran.
As he ran through the forest after the kid, he heard the roars of a Reaper coming from up ahead, but saw nothing but trees and the darkness that was behind them. He stopped when he lost track of the kid, looking around frantically as the sounds or a Reaper drew closer. He then looked to the floor and saw the same charred toy that he had dropped earlier. He picked it back up and felt a wetness to it, looking at his fingers he saw blood. The toy was covered in red blood and Jack dropped it back on to the ground in shock. He then again heard the kid's voice, but this time it a was scream. Jack ran in it's direction as fast as he could, yet still everything slowed down. He came to a clearing in the forest where the sky could be seen, only for it to be covered in storm clouds as rain started to fall on the area.
The rain drops felt cold and hard as they fell on the Prime while he scanned the area with his eyes. They then widened when he saw the child on his knees in the middle of the clearing. Jack immediately started running over to the kid, calling out to him yet no sound came out. The child looked up and saw the Prime approaching him with his hand out for the kid to take. But suddenly a black figure crawled up behind the kid, making Jack stop just a few meters away in shock. The black figure came into the light behind the kid and was revealed to be a husk, it's blue lifeless optics staring back coldly as it grabbed the kid firmly by both arms. Jack suddenly felt that he couldn't move as he helplessly watched as the Husk opened it's mouth, revealing jagged teeth and drool as it bit down hard on the kid's neck.
Blood ran freely as the kid just stared at Jack while the Husk continued to chew on his flesh. Then suddenly the Husk let go and the kid fell to his knees and looked to the ground as the skin around the wound changed from pale pink to grey and it spread all over the child's body as his hair began to fall out and tubes grew out of his skin. Jack took a step back as he watched in horror as the child got onto his feet and looked at the Prime. His face now devoid of the innocent humanity it had before, as it stared back with bright blue optics. Reaper roars could be heard all around Jack as the transformed child opened it's mouth and screamed the most unholy sound at the Prime. Then suddenly everything went black.
Jack opened his eyes to find himself in his bed. He sat up and looked around at the darkened surroundings of his quarters, the only light from the skylight above that showed the star field outside. The inter com activated and Arcee's voice came through, and it could not come soon enough for Jack after the nightmare he just had.
"Jack? You there, Partner?" she said as he rubbed his face with his hands and sighed.
"I'm here, Arcee." he answered sheepishly. There was silence for a second before the femme spoke again.
"Jack, are you alright?" she asked, concern evident in her voice. Jack smiled at that, she could always read him perfectly.
"I'm okay, just didn't sleep to well." he lied, hoping that she couldn't pick up on it.
"Alright, but anyway I thought you should know, Bryce is waiting for you in the com room." she replied.
"Right, I will be right there." Jack replied as he got of bed.
Arcee was standing next to the control console with the hologram of Bryce while they waited for Jack to appear. The Prime then entered the room briskly as he stopped next to the femme.
"Sorry, Admiral. I hope I didn't keep you waiting too long?" he said a little embarrassed. If Admiral Bryce was annoyed though, he didn't show it as he smirked and shook his head in response.
"Not at all, Prime, I have spoken with Primarch Victus, good work on getting the support of the Turian Hierarchy, their engineers have already arrived to start work on the weapon. I also hear that you will have Urdnot Wrex on side too."
Jack nodded as he and Arcee looked at the Admiral.
"Yes, but we have to cure the Genophage first." Jack replied, gaining a surprised look from the older man.
"Really, well that would appear to be a tall order wouldn't it." he replied.
"Soundwave doesn't think so, Sir. He is confident that he can develop it and we are on our way to Tuchunka now." the Prime answered.
"That's good, I also heard what happened with the Council. Sounds like they are running scared."
Jack's expression turned serious as he nodded in return.
"Yes, Sir, It seems that they are in denial about the Reapers and just want to protect their own territories."
Bryce suddenly looked agitated and shook his head in response.
"They will regret that, we need to stand together against this threat. Only as a united front can we take the offensive against the Reapers. You said you are heading to Tuchunka correct?" he asked.
"That is right, Sir. Why do you ask?" Jack replied curiously. The Admiral straightened his uniform before placing his hands behind his back.
"I don't want the Defiant taken off the mission to the Krogan Home world, but one of our deep space outposts has picked up a fragmented transmission from the planet Thrull over on the other side of the galaxy. It is from an Autobot, we can't tell who sent it exactly due to the fragmentation, but they did say that they had found signs of Reaper activity there. So I want you to check this out Prime, because if true this could be a bad omen that the Reapers are about to expand beyond Alliance spaceand we are not even ready for it yet." he said with a serious expression and tone. Both Jack and Arcee nodded in return before the Prime saluted the Admiral.
"You can count on me, Admiral." Jack replied.
"I know I can, Prime. Good luck, Bryce out." the older man finished before his hologram disappeared, leaving Jack and Arcee alone in the room.
"So you coming with me on this one partner?" Jack asked as he gave the femme a lop sided grin.
"You sure, Jack. I mean who will command the ship if both of us are gone." she then looked down a little embarrassed.
"I mean if you still want me as your XO that is?" she said as she looked back up at the Prime, though all she saw was him smiling back at her as he sighed.
"Arcee, the job was always your's." he answered as he held out his hand to her. She smiled at him as she took his hand in her own and they shook. She then softly stroked his hand with her thumb before they let go.
"Thanks, Jack. But still, who will command the ship= Because I don't think we can leave it to Smokescreen or Bumblebee."
Jack chuckled at the comment, making the femme chuckle too.
"Don't worry, I will ask Garrus to keep an eye on things here while we are away." the Commander replied. Arcee started for the door, only to stop and look at Jack with a right hand on her hip.
"Okay, so what are we waiting for." she said with a smile. The Prime smiled back as he joined her.
"Grab your gear and meet me at shuttle-one then." he replied before they both left the com room.
PRIME EFFECT 3
Shuttle one exited hyperspace as it drew near to the green and yellowish planet. Arcee ran a scan of the planet and the surrounding space as Jack piloted the shuttle to her left.
"No sign of any Reaper ships, Jack. But I am getting life signs on the planet. But they are sporadic." she replied while looking down at the holo-screen in front of her. Then there was another blip on the screen.
"Hang on, scanners have just picked up an Autobot signal on the southern continent."
"Alright then, I will land us several clicks away from it's source. Taking us in." Jack replied as the shuttle entered the planet's atmosphere.
Once on the ground, Jack and Arcee (both armoured) left the shuttle in a clearing of the forest that covered most of the planet. They started to trek through the dense foliage as they neared the source of the Autobot signal.
"Jack, I am still not getting anything of note on the scanners." the femme stated as she looked at the map on her holo-tool. Jack kept his weapon ready as he took point and scanned the area around them with his eyes. But he still did not see anything other than trees and bushes.
"Maybe they are hiding from something." he replied, when suddenly Arcee stopped and her eyes widened as she stared at her holo-tool.
"uhJack, you know that signal that we were closing in on.."
Jack turned round and looked at the femme, noticing her expression.
"Yeah, what is it, Arcee?" he replied as she looked back to him.
"It's just disappeared." the femme answered. Jack's face became stoic as he gestured to his partner.
"We should split up and search the area, I'll take this side." he said, gaining a nod from Arcee.
"I'll head this way then, be careful partner." she replied before they both split up and headed off in different directions.
Jack was now on his own as he slowly moved through the forest, keeping his weapon gripped firmly as he looked around him. Making sure not to miss a single detail, or else he might end up getting ambushed by whatever was on this planet. Though it was funny, Arcee had detected life signs on this planet. But apart from the trees and vegetation, they had not come across any wildlife at hoped his partner was having better luck than he was at this moment, when suddenly a branch snapped behind the Prime. Causing him to spin round and aim his weapon instinctively at what had made the noise, only to find that there was nothing there.
"Hi, Jack." a very familiar voice said, making the Prime's eyes widen before he turned back. Once he had, the Commander saw a woman with short black hair and purple eyes smiling back at him.
"Airachnid." he replied in surprise, making her smile widen. She started to walk towards the Prime as he noticed that she was wearing her black armour and the femme even had the Autobot insignia on the center of her chest plate. He knew how proud having that made her feel but then as she closed the distance between the two of them, his mind suddenly came to a horrific conclusion. 'What's Arcee going to do when she sees Airachnid'he thought as the femme wrapped her arms around the Prime and embraced him.
"I hoped it would be you that came here after I sent off that transmission Jack." she said in a soft tone as Jack instinctively returned the embrace. The Commander though felt conflicted because, while he did care about the femme. It was actually Arcee that he wanted to be with and this reunion was about to become very awkward. He pulled back enough to look Airachnid in the eyes but not enough to break the embrace as she looked back at him.
"Airachnid, what are you doing here on this planet?" he asked, gaining a hurt expression from her.
"I missed you too, Jack. So there's no time for catching up. Just straight down to business." she asked as her tone became slightly confrontational.
"It's not like that, but I didn't come here alone." he replied before they both felt another set of eyes on them. Jack and Airachnid looked to their right to see Arcee staring back, her azure blue eyes wide and her mouth agape.
"Jack..who is that?" his partner managed before she saw the femme's purple eyes and expression as she stared back. Arcee's eyes narrowed as she recognised her arch-enemy.
"Airachnid! What in the Allspark is she doing here?" she spat back before noticing how the two were holding each other. Jack and Airachnid then realised what they were doing and separated instantly as for the second time in a minute, Arcee's face became one of shocked confusion again.
"Why were you holding her like that, Jack?" she said in almost a whisper as the shock of seeing the man she loved holding her hated nemesis took hold in her mind. Jack though suddenly feeling really guilty, found that he couldn't come up with a good explanation.
"Look, Arcee. It's not what you think." he could only say while Airachnid herself kept quiet, the way she was looking at Arcee only confused the femme even more. Arcee looked at both of them when it suddenly dawned on her as her eyes widened again.
"You andher, Jack." she gasped before her expression became one of anger.
"How could you?" she spat back suddenly as she stared daggers at Jack who could not answer despite wanting too. After a few unbelievably long seconds passed as Arcee just stared at the two, she suddenly just turned around and ran in the opposite direction.
"Arcee!" Jack shouted back as he started to run after her, but then felt a hand grab his arm firmly. He looked back to see a stoic expression on Airachnid's face.
"Don't, Jack. I'll go after her." she said, gaining a concerned look from the Prime.
"I don't think that's a good idea." he said as he tried to reason with her, but the femme shook her head in response.
"Maybe, but she will not listen to you either. Look, we didn't do anything wrong that night, because she left you remember. But she wont see it like that, so let me speak to her since I might be able to get through to her in the same way I did to you." she replied in stoic tone. Jack though still did not like the idea, but he didn't really have much of a choice. So he accepted defeat and nodded to Airachnid who gave him a slight smile.
"I will bring her back, Jack. And then I will tell you two what I have found here, because I will need your help in stopping it." she said.
"Alright, I will wait here for the both of you to return, be careful." The Commander replied before the femme left the Prime, but not before taking one more look at him. She then turned and headed off in the same direction as his partner while Jack stood there in forest feeling like the world around him had collapsed.
PRIME EFFECT 3
Airachnid ran through the forest after Arcee, hoping once she had caught up that she could reason with the femme. Though that did seem highly unlikely, she still had to try. She followed the tracks that the bot had left and it took her into a glen as the ground sloped down to a stream that flowed through it's center. Airachnid looked along the ground for any more tracks or clues, but found none. She couldn't understand how Arcee had managed to lose her, the femme was a great scout, but she could not best the master hunter that Airachnid was.
She winced slightly at the thought of how she attained that particular skill set, the femme did not like remembering the eons that she was a reprogrammed murder for the Decepticons, but right now those skills would be the only way she would be able to find Jack's lover. As she closed her eyes and listened with her audio receptors for even the slightest sound that did not belong in that forest, she found her thoughts wandered between Arcee and her former lover Jack, well that might be exaggerating somewhat. They were only together one night, though it was a night that Airachnid would never forget. Jack had really surprised her during their time working together on the Defiant, and she not only gained a new respect for him, as a Prime and as man.
But also felt that she had developed an affinity for the Prime due to the to fact that both individuals had suffered from not only losing the ones they loved, but also feeling the pain and guilt of wrongs that were not really their own to bear. In Jack's case it was his death and resurrection, which had been overshadowed by the fact the his friends who had died had not been given the same fate as the Prime. For the femme, it had been murders and atrocities that she committed while under Shockwave's reprogramming, which had started with the sadistic killing of her spark mate Esmeral. But the Commander and former Con helped each other heal from their respective burdens and their friendship grew stronger because of it.
Airachnid was caught up so much in her own thoughts, that she didn't hear Arcee above her, balancing on one of the tree's thick branches. The femme's eyes narrowed as she looked down at her unsuspecting nemesis.
'What is she doing? Airachnid would never let me get the jump on her like this before. She must be up to something." she thought as she watched Airachnid below her. But after a moment of observing the femme, Arcee's anger got the better of her and she dived at Airachnid, who then spun around only to be greeted by the rage filled femme who tackled her and sent them both tumbling down the glen and into the stream with a splash. Arcee got up first and went to kick her enemy to keep her down, but Airachnid managed to block and push the femme back before performing a backward roll, ending up in a defensive stance a little away from Arcee. The Autobot started daggers at her quarry.
"Airachnid, I knew you were a vicious, sparkless wretch. But really.were you just bored of the 'killing my partners' goal of your life, and decided to screw them insteadliterally!" she spat as she deployed her arm blades and readied herself to pounce. Airachnid though kept a stoic expression on her face as she tried to reason with Arcee.
"I'm not here to fight, I'm here to talk." she said as she lowered arms in a gesture of surrender, this completely threw Arcee who just stared at her quarry for a long moment before shaking her head, and screaming at the femme as she charged at Airachnid. Arcee threw punches and kicks at her nemesis who blocked or evaded every last one before back flipping away to a safe distance.
"Fight me already." Arcee hissed as she ran at Airachnid again, who stopped another punch with her lower arm before pushing the femme back yet again.
"No, I don't want to fight you." Airachnid said calmly as the blue femme attacked again with a roundhouse kick that she ducked under and evaded.
"That's funny, because I want to rip your spark out for ruining my life yet again." Arcee spat back as she dived at her foe with an arm blade which cut past Airachnid's armour on her arm and caused her to wince as she was rolled out of the way and clutched at her wound, liquid seeping out of the gaps between her fingers as Arcee smiled back, satisfied that she drew first blood. But then something on her quarry's chest plate caught her attention, Arcee's eyes widened as she stared at the red Autobot insignia.
"Why the hell do you have that?" she asked angrily. "Was that a gift from Jack for being such a good whore!" she spat, before suddenly Airachnid's eyes narrowed and she gritted her teeth, as she finally snapped and lunged at the blue femme.
"You stupid, judgemental wretch!" she screamed at her while throwing a punch, which Arcee blocked easily. But then Airachnid threw another which connected with her enemy's face, knocking her back as the black haired femme continued to attack. Rage was now fuelling the former Con now as she had had enough of Arcee. The blue femme found herself on the defensive as Airachnid attacked with a flurry of blows that she could not defend, but then she managed to grab her nemesis's arm and she pulled Airachnid over her shoulder and threw her to the ground with a thud as water splashed around them. Arcee then pinned her down to the ground and held her head in the water, hoping to drown her enemy.
Airachnid tried to get free but found that Arcee had the advantage and she wasn't going to lose it. After several moments Airachnid's body became still as Arcee stood up, satisfied that she had finally killed her long time foe, looking down at her stoically. But as she stare down at the body, her satisfaction was replaced by confusion. Why, she had finally beaten and ended the life of the one person who had wrought so much pain in her life, why wasn't she ecstatic about it.
She then turned to walk away when suddenly her legs were kicked out from under her, sending the blue femme on to the ground face first. Her anger boiled up again as she quickly recovered to see Airachnid staring daggers back at her while completely soaked. The two then charged at each other and grappled when they suddenly stopped as they heard weapons fire a ways from them, they then both had the same thought as everything they had been doing at that point seemed unimportant.
"Jack!" they both said in unison as let go of each other and bolted back out of the glen and towards where they had left the Prime.
The two femmes made it back to the area where Jack was but saw no sign of him anyway.
"Jack!" Airachnid called out as Arcee looked around until her eyes fell upon his weapon lying on the ground.
"No." she said softly before she bent down and picked up the rifle. Airachnid walked alongside her and looked down at the rifle as both suddenly felt very guilty. As the blue femme stayed quiet, the former Con decided to be more proactive as she started looking around the ground to find any tracks. Arcee noticed this and walked over to her.
"What are you doing?" she asked coldly. Airachnid did not even bother to look at the femme as she answered.
"I am looking for tracks, to give us the direction that 'they' took Jack." she replied.
"Who's 'they'?" she asked confused, Airachnid felt herself flinch as the blue femme's question got under her skin.
"'They are the reason I called for help on this planet. But unfortunately for Jack, you could not put the past behind you." she spat at Arcee who surprised her back by staring at her stoically.
"Look, I hate you. Nothing you will say or do will ever make me forget the past, but right now Jack is in trouble and it is our fault. So why don't we.'work' together to rescue him. Then afterwards we can finish this." she said as Airachnid looked back at her, surprised by Arcee's attitude change.
"You're still not listening, Arcee. I don't want to fight you. But I agree that we need to find Jack, so I will help you." she said before noticing the trampled grass to the left of the pair.
"There, they took him that way. Back to their ship.the 'Tidal-Wave'."
Arcee's eyes widened as that she remembered that name.
"The 'Star Seekers'? But I heard they disappeared after attempting an attack on both the Ark and the Nemesis eons ago after we abandoned Cybertron."
"That's what I heard too, but it seems that they are now here, and worse they now have Reaper-tech on board their ship." Airachnid replied. But before Arcee could speak again, she was cut off.
"It's getting dark, we should head off now, try to close as much distance as we can." Airachnid said as she equipped her weapon. Arcee grudgingly agreed and the two then ran further into the forest as they followed the tracks.
PRIME EFFECT 3
Jack came too to find himself hanging by his arms from the ceiling, his hands binded by energy rings that floated above his wrists. He looked around to see that his surroundings looked very old as the metal walls were showing signs of corrosion and decay. The only natural light was coming from a small hole in the ceiling that shown down into the center of the lowly lit room. The Prime struggled to free himself, only wince when the energy rings started to shock him in reaction to his movements. He then saw a single person walk into the room and look at him. The man was wearing a long ragged black coat with rusted orange armour under it, he was Caucasian and wore purple shades. He walked over to Jack and slapped his face with the back of his hand.
"So, ya awake." he smirked as the Commander spat out some blood.
'Damn that guy can hit hard.' he thought as the man turned and looked down the corridor that the room was connected to.
"Captain, ya guest is awake." he shouted before Jack started to hear a loud clang of metal, and then again and again as it drew closer. Suddenly another figure entered the room, and this guy was far different in appearance to the one that the Commander had just met. This one was in faded silver armour with a long dark blue coat over it, his shoulder pads had golden claws sticking our out of them each. He also had a metal peg leg in place of his right leg. (that would explain the loud metal clangs) He was also Caucasian, but looked to be in his mid-fifties as well as sporting a grey beard to go along with his red eyes. And it was the eyes that caught the Prime's attention.
'Pretender bodies.. are these guys Cybertronian?' he thought as the Captain walked over to him.
"Thank you, Cannonball." he said before noticing the trickle of blood running down the Prime's chin.
"Cannonball, did you hit our guest?" he asked in a firm yet gentle voice. Cannonball walked up beside the Captain and nodded nervously, before he was sent flying by the Captain who flexed his hand afterwards as he looked down at his crewman.
"You don't lay a hand on our guest, otherwise we'll give him a bad impression." he said as his voice became firmer as he stared down at the cowering Cannonball.
"Of course, Captain." he grovelled, making Jack smirk slightly as he remembered seeing Megatron and Starscream in similar situations, but they were dead now and he was stuck in this situation and despite the Captain's nice manner, the Prime knew that he was in danger still. The Captain turned round and face Jack.
"So anyway I was wonder." he stopped as he spotted the Autobot insignia on Jack's chest plate and his eyes narrowed as they appeared to glow.
"Where did you get that armour?" he asked as his expression and posture took on a more aggressive manner. Jack though just attempted to shrug his shoulders as he hung there.
"Ebay, on a discount." he replied flatly. The Captain walked up to Jack so that they were only inches apart.
"My name is Thundertron and I do not like deceit, so I will ask again. Where did you get that armour from?" the Captain said again baring his teeth, which Jack noticed were sharpened into points.
"What does it matter to you?" Jack replied again just as flatly as before. Thundertron gritted his teeth as he stared daggers at the Prime.
"Because the people that that symbol belongs too destroyed my world, and I will have my revenge. And something tells me that you are affiliated with them, so tell me where I can find them or I will gut you." he threatened as he pulled a short blade out from his belt and held it at Jack, ready to strike. But the Commander wasn't about to give in that easily.
"I don't fear death if that's what your getting at. So go on, do your worst."
Thundertron smiled at the Prime's defiance.
"Very well." he answered as he stabbed Jack in the side, not deep enough to cause major damage, but enough that it hurt like hell. The Commander winced in response to the knife piercing his suit and the flesh beneath it. Thundertron then leaned in a spoke directly into Jack's ear as he pulled the knife out, causing Jack to grunt before showing the Prime the knife and his blood that covered it as it dripped off.
"I know that there are two females on this planet that were with you. If you tell me what I want to know, then I will spare them." he said before leaning back and observing Jack's expression. But Jack responded by spitting in the Captain's face which infuriated him and he reacted by stabbing the Prime again, who again winced, gritting his teeth this time. Thundertron then let go of the knife and left it buried in Jack's side as he turned to Cannonball.
"Make contact with Axor and Brimstone and tell them to bring the females to me now!" he commanded as Cannonball jumped to attention before activating his com link.
"And when you have contacted them, I want you to help me rip this armour off our guest, so that he can enjoy all of our hospitality." he ordered, but not before gesturing to the table to his left as Jack looked upon it and saw all sorts of knifes and blades.
"Lets get started shall we?" Thundertron said as he pulled the knife out and then stabbed the Prime again.
PRIME EFFECT 3
Night was falling on the two femmes as they continued to follow the tracks that Jack's captors had unknowingly left. Both hoped that they would find him before anything happened to him, but Airachnid also worried that Arcee might just attack her again, the moment that Jack was safe. As they ran between the trees, the blue femme was slightly behind her and yet Airachnid could feel the icy cold stare of her eyes on her back. After the fight that the two had had earlier, the femme had realised that this was going to be nigh impossible to do.
But she wasn't one to quit at the first hurdle. Arcee in the meantime could not keep her eyes off of her nemesis, the blue femme still could not figure out Airachnid's angle and why she was acting so out of character for her. But right now, Arcee had to concentrate on finding Jack. Yet she could not help but wonder what had gone on between him and the former Con. She suddenly had to stop all this wondering when Airachnid stopped ahead of them and gestured for her to do the same.
"What? What is it?" Arcee asked as the other femme bent down and looked at the ground, a worried expression on her face.
"The tracks stop right here." she answered as she stood back up and looked around them, but all she could see now was darkness creeping up on them from beyond the trees.
"Well what do we do now?" the blue femme asked.
Airachnid stayed quiet for a moment as she continued to stare out at the trees. Arcee stood beside her and looked around as her instincts kicked in.
"We're being watched aren't we." she said, earning a nod from the other femme.
"They have been following us for the last several miles. Get ready." Airachnid replied as she equipped her pistol, the blue femme held her SMG ready while deploying an arm blade with her free arm. They then went back to back as the two waited for the inevitable attack, which came instantly as gunfire filled the area, both femmes dived to the ground before returning fire as two figures could be seen just behind tree line. One was wearing purple armour with a black/yellow jacket over it and next to him was another who wore blue armour with a long silver coat over it. Both were firing at the two bots who looked at each other.
"I think it is time we went on the offensive." Arcee said over the gunfire.
"I couldn't agree more." Airachnid replied as they both fired at the enemies while getting up and rushing them.
As they kept firing on the femmes, both men suddenly had to take cover as their quarries started firing back, missing the two by mere inches as they hid behind the trees.
"Wow, these two have some fight in them? Don't they, Axor?" the one in the black/yellow jacket said.
"They sure do, Brimstone. I can't wait till we get them back to the Tidal-wave. It sure has been a long time since we had some femme action." he chuckled as he winked back. But before they could return fire, both femmes were already on top of them as the two star seekers suddenly found them selves on their backs, while staring directly at their quarry looking down at them sternly.
"Wow, I am so hot for you two right now!" Brimstone said as he attempted to flirt with them. Arcee and Airachnid just looked at them.
"Sorry, but you're not our type." Airachnid replied dryly. But then both Star seekers just kept grinning at them, which confused both femmes.
"What are you grinning at?" Arcee said back to them. Axor just pointed to their right as a familiar roar echoed from that direction, before a massive beast like creature launched itself through the trees at the two who dived out of the way, narrowly missing it's massive claws as it tore up the trees around them. Arcee and Airachnid ended up on either side of the creature as the both got a good look at it.
"An Insecticon!" Arcee shouted, gaining it's attention as it roared and charged at her. It was about to hit her when an escrima stick hit it's face, making it yelp as Airachnid fired at it from the side. Arcee then took advantage of this and jumped at the creature and slashed across it's face with her arm blade before landing perfectly next to her foe. The Insecticon was still recovering and whimpering as the two femmes then realised that they had forgotten about the two seekers. They were then hit from behind by two energy beams that made knocked them both unconscious as their bodies fell to the floor, Brimstone and Axor walked up to them as the Insecticon stood on the other side and hissed at pair.
"Stay!" Axor commanded as the beast stopped and kept quiet, he then turned to Brimstone.
"Call Thundertron and tell him that we have the femmes and are on our way."
The other Star-Seekers nodded in return before activating his com link. He then heard a male voice wincing and grunting in pain, as what sounded like a knife cutting through flesh came through the com channel.
"What is it? I am very busy at this moment." Thundertron's voice boomed back.
"Captain, we have the femmes and are now on our way back." Brimstone replied.
"Excellent." the Star seeker leader said as the knife was heard piercing flesh again, earning another wince and grunt from their prisoner. Both men then picked the femmes and walked into the darkness of the forest, as the massive Insecticon followed them from behind.
Arcee woke up and was greeted by a terrible sight.
"Jack!" she gasped as she saw his half naked body hanging in front of her, blood running down from wounds that covered most of his torso. The femme tried to move but found that she was in a similar state, hanging from the ceiling with her hands bound by energy rings.
"Arcee, Jack's alive." Airachnid said gaining the blue femme's attention who saw that she was bound too.
"Of course he's alive" a deep voice spoke from their right as the femmes looked to see a man that both femmes recognised. He saw the looks on their faces and smiled at the fact that they knew him.
"It's good to know that after all these eons that I am still remembered.and feared." he gloated as Arcee looked back at Jack who was unconscious and still bleeding.
"What have you done to him?" she said, as Thundertron's grin widened as he heard the emotion in her voice. He left Airachnid and stood in front of Arcee.
"Well when he wouldn't answer my questions I had little choice but to take more enjoyable measures. I stabbed him, not deep enough to damage him internally, but enough that he would lose the red substance of his. And yet he would not yield, so I kept stabbing him until he passed out." He said while looking at the human, before he then sighed and looked back to Arcee.
"Am I going to have to do the same thing to you and your friend here."
Arcee cringed at that last part as he got closer to her and stroked her cheek with his fingers.
"If you tell me what I want to know, I will spare him and let you two live as my personal servants, it has been a very long time since my crew and I had the pleasure of entertaining a femme or two." he said as he looked her up and down in delight, making her cringe even more.
"Get fragged!" she spat back, gaining a chuckle from Airachnid which infuriated the Star seeker, who stomped over to the left of them and deactivated a energy shield there that revealed an object that made the femmes eyes widen as they looked upon a black artefact that pulsed with a blue energy that resembled flame.
"What are you doing with Reaper tech?" Arcee questioned again, but Thundertron shook his head in response.
"You need not worry about the trinket that I found on this planet, but of this instead." he spoke as he gestured at the large device to it's far left.
"Cortical psychic patch!" the blue femme muttered as Thundertron walked towards her again with one of it's cables.
"Yes, you see this wouldn't work on him over there because he is organic, but the two of you will be just fine." he replied as he placed headset that the cable was connected too onto Arcee's head, before doing the same to Airachnid. He then walked over to the controls and activated the machine, tiny spikes dug into the sides of the femmes heads as it made a connection to their minds. Both femmes winced due to the pain that the connection caused, but Thundertron just smiled.
"Lets begin shall we." he said as he enabled the device, both femmes eyes widened as they gasped and froze where they hung as data could be seen moving down the cable and into the main computer. Thundertron looked at the main screen as their memories played out in front of him. His grin was getting wider and wider with every memory he saw. But unbeknownst to the Captain, the cortical patch was also allowing both femmes to witness each others memories. And at this very moment Arcee herself was witnessing a truth that she would not have believed if she had heard it spoken aloud.
Once the show and tell was over, Thundertron removed the headsets from the femmes and grinned at both of them.
"Well this is certainly a joyous occasion. Not only do I now know what is going on out there in the galaxy, with this Reaper threat and what not. But also I now have something to bargain with.for real power in my hands."
Arcee though did not even acknowledge him, she just looked down at the ground while she replayed what she had seen through the patch. The femme looked over to Airachnid and the former Con instantly noticed a change in the way that Arcee was looking at her. It was like she now had an understanding as she watched the blue femme close her eyes and hang her head in shame. Airachnid sighed and looked back at the Captain.
"What are you talking about Thundertron?" she asked, trying to sound curious. He looked at her intrigued by her question.
"Isn't it obvious, these Reapers are very powerful. If I was to give them a gift, worm my way into their favour. Then not only would my crew and I survive this purge that they have planned for this galaxy, but also I would be able to witness the end of the Cybertronians once and for all." He then looked at the Reaper artefact.
"And this thing I have come to believe is some sort of communication device, so all I have to do is speak to them." he finished saying as he walked over to the black artefact and placed his hands on each side. He then looked into the surface of the object as the blue energy covered his hands and slowly grew up his arms.
"I am Thundertron and I ask for an audience with the Reapers." he said aloud, but nothing happened for a long moment. Suddenly a golden hologram of a Reaper appeared above the artefact and looked down at the Star seeker, this gained both Airachnid's and Arcee's attention, as Thundertron looked into the Reaper's six yellow eyes as they glowed fiercely.
"We are Harbinger, who dares to summon us here?"it replied, it's voice echoing through the room and down the corridor's of the ship. Brimstone, Axor and Cannonball looked up and started to walk back to the main room where the voice originated from.
Thundertron felt somewhat overwhelmed by the Reaper's presence, but carried on regardless.
"I wish to make a trade my dearest Harbinger." he said in an almost grovelling tone, though he tried to hide it.
"And what does a lower being such as yourself, believe to have that would even interest us?"
Thundertron pointed over to the unconscious form of Jack Darby as he hung from the ceiling.
"I offer Jackson Prime of course. As well as Arcee, she helped him end the life of Sovereign. And also Airachnid, who aided the Prime in the destruction of the Quintesson race."
Harbinger's eyes looked over at the femmes and then narrowed as they fell on the still form of the Commander, before looking back at the Captain.
"You have done well, keep them alive and await our arrival."
And then Harbinger's form faded to nothing and Thundertron stood back up and looked rather pleased with himself as he looked back at his prisoners.
"Well I have a guest to prepare for, so I will leave you to take this time to say your goodbyes." he smiled before leaving the room.
Arcee then looked over to Airachnid who was trying to free herself but still could not move due to the energy rings. The blue femme then watched as the former con closed her eyes and concentrated.
"What are you doing?" Arcee asked, gaining a annoyed stare back.
"I am trying to see if one of the abilities that Shockwave gave me is still available to me in this body." she replied before she cleared her mind and focused her thoughts on the Insecticon down on the lower levels of the Tidal Wave. The beast was just standing there in the large corridor when a strange ringing was caught in it's audio receptors, it growled before suddenly becoming docile as Airachnid's voice echoed in it's mind.
"Listen to my voice, obey my command."The giant creature suddenly purred, its mandibles shook in delight as it enjoyed the seductive and sensual presence of the femme in it's mind.
"Help us escape by destroying those who are our enemies. Go and do this for me.my soldier."
The Insecticon roared so loud before it started tearing the bulkheads apart as it stomped down the corridor towards its enemies.
PRIME EFFECT 3
In the ship's engine room both Brimstone and Axor were busy making repairs when suddenly the beast burst through the doors and attacked the pair.
"What the" was all Axor could say before being sliced in half by the Insecticon in one swipe of it's razor sharp claws. The Star seeker's bottom half fell to the ground as it's blood like substance spilled over the floor. Brimstone could only watch in horror as his friend's torso was flung over to the other side of the room, fear taking control of him as he tried to run for the exit. But the beast grabbed a hold of the star seeker and looked at him for a moment. It then opened it's jaws and Brimstone screamed only to have it cut short as the Insecticon bit his head off and swallowed in one go before tossing his now headless body to the floor, where it flinched for several seconds before coming to a stop.
"Destroy the power core, my soldier."
The creature nodded and purred as it walked over to the core and pulled at the power cables, yanking them apart as the core shut down, silencing the engine room.
Back in the chamber the power went offline causing the energy rings that held the three prisoners up to disappear, Jack fell to the ground with a thud while Arcee and Airachnid landed on their feet. The former ran straight to the Prime's side while Airachnid looked at the pair and smiled, but she suddenly hid it back behind a stoic expression when the blue femme turned to her.
"We need to get Jack out of here fast, or..he's not going to make it." she said as her voice filled with emotion while looking down at her Commander as he lied there, covered in his own blood.
"I'll have the Insecticon clear a path for us to one of the shuttle's that are here on the ship." Arachnid replied.
"How do you know there are shuttles here?" Arcee asked back curiously while applying medi-gel to Jack's wounds.
"From the Insecticon of course, but it's taking a lot to control it. Since Thundertron has been feeding it Synthergon."
Arcee looked back in shock.
"You mean synthetic energon?"
The former con nodded in return as she picked up jack's octagonal disc before walking over to the entrance.
"Yes, it is making it hard to keep it's thoughts on me, but I believe that I can control it long enough to make it count." she said as she opened the door. But as the door opened, a hand grabbed the femme's throat.
"Well looky here, ya got out!" Cannonball said before slamming Airachnid into the bulkhead. She tried to fight back, but found that her concentrating on the Insecticon was hampering her ability to fight as the Star seeker quickly subdued her with another slam against the wall. He then looked down at her body and grinned before leaning in close to her face.
"I think it's time I taught ya a lesson." he said as he reached up with his other hand for the femme's chest. Airachnid tried to free herself but her strength was nowhere to be found and she could not give up control of the Insecticon now, even with what was about to happen. Or else none of them would escape. But before Cannonball could do anymore, a sudden slice could be heard as his expression changed to that of complete shock as he stared at the femme in his hands. Airachnid looked down at his neck as line could be seen growing across it's width. His head then slid off and fell to the floor as Airachnid saw Arcee standing there with her arm blade deployed, now stained with the blood of the star seeker. The femme unequipped the melee weapon and looked at the former con with concern.
"Are you okay?" she asked, which surprised Airachnid, but she nodded in return.
"Yes thank you?" she replied, gaining a slight smile from the blue femme before she went back to Jack. Then both of them lifted the Prime up and carried him out of the room and down the corridor, following Airachnid's directions.
They had moved slowly down the corridors and Airachnid said that they were only one corner away from the shuttle bay. But as they turned the corner, they came face to face with Thundertron. His expression was one of pure rage as he unsheathed his sword and walked slowly toward the group.
"Did you think that it would be that easy, you will be given to Harbinger and I will see my reward. Now stand down or this will become most unpleasant for you."
Arcee looked over to Airachnid and saw that she was smiling and it dawned on the femme what was about to happen, so she smiled back at Thundertron.
"Well, that's nice of you but I think we will pass, no get the frag out of our way." she replied sternly. The femme's comment enraged the Star seeker who charged at the three, but before he could get any closer, the wall next to him broke apart as the Insecticon appeared in his way and roared at him. Airachnid smiled at the beast.
"Good boy..now sick him."
The creature then charged at the Captain as he readied himself for it's attack, Arcee and Airachnid carried Jack into the shuttle bay as Thundertron dived out of the Insecticon's way before slicing at the creature's side, a large gash appearing where he hit it. The creature yelped before turning around and knocking him flying into a bulkhead. As their fight went on, the shuttle now carrying the three escapees suddenly took off and flew out of the bay and out of the ship as it lay on the planet's surface, surrounded by forest. The shuttle flew up and out of the atmosphere before jumping to hyperspace only moments before Harbinger appeared in orbit and started it's descent.
Meanwhile Thundertron had suddenly gained an advantage over the Insecticon, as it stopped and looked around confused. The Star seeker wasn't going to let this creature live any longer as he attacked and sliced off the right leg of the beast which screamed in pain as it lost it's balance and fell to the ground. Thundertron then sliced off the arm closest to him, synthergon spilling out of the wound as the creature yelped again. Then the Captain walked round to the front of the beast as it lied on the floor, unable to move properly. He then smiled as he raised the sword above his head and swung down hard, cleaving it's head from it's body.
He then stood there in silence for a moment as he breathed heavily and reveled in his victory over the Insecticon. But then everything started to shake as he felt a presence around him, so Thundertron hobbled out hull of the Tidal wave via the shuttle bay and was greeted by the overwhelming sight of Harbinger hovering above his ship. The Reaper cast a shadow that covered the immediate area, the captain looked up at the yellow eyes as they stared back coldly.
"Where is the Prime?"Harbinger's voice boomed, causing Thundertron to lose his composure slightly.
"My dearest Harbinger, I am ashamed to say that the Prime has managed to escape." he answered hesitantly. For a moment there was nothing but silence as the Captain looked up at the Reaper. But then he noticed a red light start glowing on the underside of the black behemoth, it didn't take long for him to realise what it was.
"You have failed.. and now you will die!"the Reaper answered as it's main weapon approached firing strength as Thundertron just stood there and waited for the inevitable to happen, knowing full well that he could do nothing to stop it.
The door to the medical bay opened and Jack walked through carrying the unconscious Arcee in his arms. A Caucasian man in his fifties with grey hair turned around and a look of shock appeared on his face as he looked at them.
"Jack, what happened to Arcee?"
Jack placed her gently on the berth as the man walked over and scanned her with his holo-tool.
"She was attacked by another Cybertronian down on Mars, Ratchet." the Prime replied, not taking his eyes off of the still form of the femme, as the Autobot medic finished his scan and deactivated the holo-tool. He then looked up and saw the look on Jack's face. He was just staring at Arcee who lied on the berth completely still, her face looked completely peaceful. Betraying the seriousness of the situation.
"Jack, Arcee will be fine. I will start work on her this very moment." Ratchet said as the intercom activated, gaining the Commander's attention.
"Prime, Teletraan here. I am receiving a signal from Admiral Bryce, I will forward it to the Com-room." the AI said.
"Roger that, and tell Hotrod to set course for the Citadel." Jack replied.
"Will do." Teletraan finished off. Jack looked back down at Arcee and placed his hand on hers.
"You are going to be fine, Arcee." he said in an encouraging tone. He then looked up at Ratchet who nodded back, then the Prime turned and left the room.
Jack entered the com room and stopped by a console that was in front of a large circular platform that was built into the floor, not unlike how Silas used to communicate with the Prime back when the Defiant was a MECH ship. The hologram of Bryce was already active.
"Commander, glad to see you got out of Sol in one piece. Did you get to the data core?"
The Prime nodded.
"I got there, but so did Silas."
The Admiral raised his hand to chin and stroked his beard.
"I thought that MECH might try something, did you retrieve the information that Soundwave was looking into?" Bryce asked.
"We downloaded most of the data, but MECH managed to get their hands on some of it. I have Soundwave and Teletraan analysing it as we speak." Jack replied as Soundwave entered the room and joined the Prime. Bryce looked at the spymaster.
"Soundwave, please tell me that it was worth the effort?"
The bot nodded before activating his holo-tool.
"Yes, I believe so. The data contains blueprints for a Lithone device."
As the spymaster spoke, he showed the two Humans a holographic model of the device.
"It appears to be a weapon, massive in size and scope. That is capable of unquantifiable levels of destructive power."
Bryce smiled at the image.
"Send me the data, we will perform our own analysis. If Soundwave is right, then this could be the key to the Reapers defeat." the Admiral said.
"I hope so, we have set course for the Citadel and will meet with the Council." Jack replied trying to sound enthusiastic. Bryce placed his hands behind his back and looked at the Prime.
"Commander, show the council what you have found, that should convince them to help us."
Jack gave Bryce a sceptical look.
"And if they don't?"
"Then do whatever it takes to bring them on board." Bryce replied firmly. Jack then saluted the Admiral before he ended the transmission. Jack then turned to Soundwave.
"Did you find anything useful inside of that femme's head?"
The bot shook his head in response.
"Sorry, Jack, there was nothing in her mind when I linked with it. It wasn't Flamewar anymore, her mind was more like a blank slate. It would appear that she was reprogrammed."
Jack looked at him as he took in what the spymaster had said.
"Wait, that would mean that MECH has managed to obtain some of the tech that Sideways used back on Tuchunka." he replied worriedly.
"It would seem that way though I detected no traces of the Reaper code in her memory matrix."
Jack looked away for a moment, mulling over the thought that Silas now had the ability to indoctrinate Cybertronians. He wasn't kidding with his speech about control, and that made the Prime all the more determined to stop him and MECH.
"Okay, Soundwave, I will want you with me when I speak to the council." he said to the bot who nodded in return.
"Of course, Jack, I will be ready and waiting." he replied before leaving the com room. The Prime then received a call on his com link.
"Prime, you should go down to main engineering, there is someone down there who wants to see you." Hotrod said.
"Roger that, Hotrod." Jack said as he left the com room and headed for the lift.
As he entered Engineering Jack saw a familiar face working at the main console in front of the ship's power core. Well you say face, but he could not see it behind the visor of her helmet. She looked to be calibrating the core's integrity field as the large spherical device hummed and vibrated with energy as it powered the Defiant.
"Tali." the Commander called out, gaining the Quarian's attention as she turned around and looked at him.
"Jack." she replied before walking over to him and embracing him in a warm hug, he returned the embrace before they pulled away. She looked at him with her white eyes.
"Jack, I am happy to see you made it off Earth." she said before looking down at the ground.
"I am so sorry about your home world. That is a fate I would not wish on anyone."
Jack gave her a soft smile.
"Thank you, how are you anyway? The last time I saw you"
"...was before you left for the Sparta system, I was taking Ravage for a walk." she replied. Jack looked at the core as she spoke.
"I met Legion on the crew deck." she continued.
That last comment made the Prime look back to her a little concerned.
"Oh, can I ask how that went. I mean I understand that you don't exactly" he said gently but Tali then cut him off.
"It's okay, Jack. We talked and I thanked it for saving my life back on the Quintesson planet."
Jack looked at her, trying to hide his surprise. But only barely.
"Really.why?" he asked curiously. The Quarian leaned back against the railing that surrounded the core and relaxed.
"Well for one, it deserved to thanked. And two it should me something, something that has made me question everything I was brought up to believe."
Jack just watched her as she spoke, his curiosity peaked.
"I was brought up to believe that the Geth were monsters that drove us from our home world, but Legion showed me the memory files of the Geth, of what really happened after they were created. Did you know that the Geth's only crime was to ask about it's existence, my people became afraid of that and retaliated against our creations. But that wasn't the end of it."
Jack placed a hand on her shoulder in support when he noticed that she was quietly sobbing.
"Something close to a civil war nearly broke out on my world when people started to defend the Geth and were killed by the military for that choice. My own people were the creators of their fate that day and it was their fault that we were finally exiled from our world."
Tali took a breath as she fought back the tears as she looked back at her Commander.
"Makes me feel that Quarians and Cybertronians have more in common than we once thought."
"What makes you say that?" the Prime asked.
"Well because of our prejudices and beliefs of what we thought to be right, we both ended up losing our home worlds." she said. Jack though shook his head in disagreement.
"No, the Cybertronians ended up ruining their home world to the point of now return, but the same can not be said of Rannoch. According to Legion, the Geth have kept the planet in perfect condition for the last three hundred years."
Tali looked over to Jack surprise.
"Really, it didn't tell me that, and we have talked a lot in the last several months."
Jack smiled at her.
"Sounds like you are warming up to Legion." he replied warmly, she simply shrugged in response. Jack then looked around before returning his attention to the Quarian.
"Where is Legion anyway, he said he had joined us to stop the Reapers. But I have not seen him since I got back on board."
"Legion received a transmission from the Geth consensus three weeks ago. He left straight away after that." Tali replied. Jack gave her a concerned look in reply.
"Why?" he asked, before noticing the Quarian tense up.
"It told me that there has been a number of skirmishes between the Flotilla and Geth forces near the home system, the Geth believe that my people maybe readying an offensive." she replied, sadness and remorse tinged her voice.
"I'm sorry, Tali. I would understand if you need to head back there." Jack replied, but she shook her head in response.
"I can't, Jack. I am exiled remember. They wouldn't listen to me anyway, especially since their hate of the Geth has spanned three hundred years." she said as she hung her head. But Jack placed a finger under the chin of her helmet and brought her eyes to meets his.
"Tali, if you can learn to see past all of that, then why not them?" he asked as the Quarian just looked at him, blinking a few times.
"The Defiant's mission right now is to build Alliances with the other major powers in this galaxy as we attempt to build a strong counter attack against the Reapers at Earth. Now that will include us heading to the Flotilla, and I promise you that when we go there that you, Legion (if he is alright) and I will show them the truth and hopefully convince them to end this conflict with the Geth." he told her in a stoic manner, she nodded in return.
"Thank you, Jack."
Jack looked at the time on his holo-tool.
"Well I should be on in CIC, we will be reaching the Citadel soon." he said before turning to walk out, but Tali stopped him.
"Jack, wait, there is one more thing." she said as he stopped and turned to her.
"I thought you would like to know that this ship has become my home (much like the Normandy was) and you, Arcee, Garrus and the others are the only family that I have left. So while you were incarcerated, Admiral Bryce made me the Chief Engineer of the Defiant."
Jack smiled as he looked at the Quarian.
"But there is a Quarian tradition that I would like to ask you to perform, if you will indulge me." she asked, a hint of nervousness in her voice.
"What is it, Tali." he asked as what she had just told him warmed his heart.
"Well before I was exiled my name had 'nar Raya' at the end, which was the ship I was born on." she said, which gained a slightly shocked look from Jack.
"I'm sorry, Tali, I thought that was your surname." he replied sheepishly, but she chuckled in response.
"That's alright, Jack. The fact is now that I am in exile, I have lost that title. But as a crew member of the Defiant, if you will let me. I would have the title of 'vas Defiant' to add to the end of my name."
Jack gave her a warm look as he smiled.
"Tali, I have always considered you not only a close friend and team member, but also a member of my crew. But if you need to hear it, then I would be honoured as captain of this vessel to have as a member of it's crew, Tali'zorah vas Defiant."
As he said this, he saw a beautiful smile grace her lips behind her visor.
"Thank you, my Captain." she replied, attempting to hide the feeling of joy that was in her voice and some what failing.
"That's alright, Tali. Now how about we get back to work." he said in a teasing tone.
"Of course, Captain." she replied, gaining a knowing look from the Prime.
"No need to be formal now." he said as she held up her hands and chuckled.
"Okay, Jack." she said, before Jack nodded and turned round walked out of Engineering.
PRIME EFFECT 3
The Defiant flew out of the open vortex of the space bridge and flew up to the gigantic station of the Citadel, flying between the five long arms of the station that held the city like wards. The ship then docked with the presidium ring as it joined numerous other ships that were connected to the Citadel.
As Jack and Soundwave exited the airlock and entered the Citadel's arrivals area, the Prime looked out of the large window that showed the Defiant outside and activated his com link.
"Ratchet, how is Arcee?" he asked, not attempting to hide his concern. The Autobot Medic's grumpy voice came through.
"She is going to be fine, Jack. I have repaired the damage and she is resting now. I will let you know when she wakes. Ratchet out." he said before cutting the transmission. Jack looked at the spymaster and raised an eyebrow as the bot smirked back, they then walked towards the elevator.
Back in the Defiant's medical bay, Ratchet was just tidying up his instruments as Arcee rested on the berth. He was about to walk over to his station when he heard the femme say something under her breath, it would be barely audible if not for the enhanced audio receptors that Cybertronians have. He walked back over and bent down slightly to hear what she was saying while asleep.
".Jack" she said faintly, causing the Medic to groan as he stood back up and rolled his eyes in response. He then walked over to his station and carried on working.
'Young people!' he thought to himself.
In the Citadel Chamber, the councillors were in session as the purple light of the nebula shone through the large glass window behind them.
"We have not received any news from Earth in the last day. But what was last sent to us said that a massive force had entered Earth space." Perceptor said as the two councillors looked back at him. He felt he knew how this was going to play out, but had to keep at it in hope that something might come of it.
"Perceptor, surely you realise that we can not just react because of some rumours and whispers that may or may not be true." Valern replied sceptically.
"But even if Earth is the Human home-world, it is also the home of the Cybertronian race and so is a Council world and that deserves the attention of the Citadel fleet." the Autobot argued back.
"But we can't just send our fleet to Earth based on assumptions. We have brought the matter up with the leaders of our respective races who are aboard the Citadel right now for the annual summit, the Krogan are also being represented for the first time in over a thousand years." Tevos replied.
"But we need to act now, billions of lives are at stake." Perceptor said back.
"Perceptor is right." came a voice from the room's entrance, making the councillors look to the person who spoke out. They looked surprised as Jack and Soundwave entered the room and walked up to the box.
"Earth is under attack.from the Reapers." Jack said, earning a further look of shock from the councillors, apart from Perceptor who just looked relieved that the Prime was now here.
A long moment of silence followed Jack's last comment and he looked over to Soundwave who gave him an encouraging smile.
"This is just the beginning, our home-world is facing the full force of the Reapers assault and we need your help, everything you can spare."
Valern looked over to Tevos who mulled over the Prime's words and she looked like she was about to answer when she suddenly placed a hand up to her com link, after a moment she looked back to Human Commander.
"Jackson Prime, it is not that simple. I have just had confirmation from our individual leaders that none of our territories have been attacked and that it looks like the Reapers are concentrating on Alliance space alone at this moment in time. If we were to offer any of our ships in aid to the Alliance, then that would leave our defences weakened substantially should the Reapers attack our own worlds. That is something that we can not take a chance on." she replied honestly.
"We need to fight this threat together." Perceptor interjected as he felt the other councillors were trying to close down the subject, but Valern jumped in and looked at Jack.
"So you want us to drop everything and follow you to Earth?
"No, I am not asking you in joining me in a straight up counterattack against the Reapers, we do have a plan." he said in a stoic tone, before nodding to Soundwave who then activated his holo-tool.
"Dear councillors, we have found blueprints for a weapon. A weapon that was created by the Lithone during their war with the Reapers." he said as a hologram of the device appeared next to him.
"A weapon capable of destroying the 'Reapers'?" Valern asked curiously. The spymaster nodded in response.
"Yes I believe so."
Valern looked at the data on the hologram of the Lithone device.
"This would be a colossal undertaking, given the scale and scope of the device." he answered hesitantly.
"No, we have already sent copies of the blueprints to the remnants of the Alliance fleet and they are gathering resources to begin construction, Admiral Bryce is overseeing it as we speak." Jack replied.
"By my calculations and the simplicity of the plans, I would say that is will be very easy to build. The Lithone seemed to want the device to be feasible to build, so that it would not take a long amount of time." the spymaster continued.
"If we work together." Jack finished as the pair looked back to the councillors, waiting for their response. They didn't need to wait long as Tevos gave them a sceptical look.
"Yet the Reapers eliminated the Lithone. What good could this weapon do for us, if it didn't work for them?"
Soundwave used his holo-tool and searched through the hologram of the device.
"The Device was incomplete at the time, there was a missing component. Here, something called the Kranix matrix. But the Lithone ran out of time before they could upload it and finish the weapon."
Valern looked at Jack.
"Do you believe that this weapon could help us defeat the Reapers?"
Jack remained stoic as he stepped forward.
"Soundwave believes it will work and so do I."
He then took a breath.
"And though I know we have had our disagreements in the past, the current threat to the galaxy requires us to work together. Now more then ever."
The councillors just watched and took in what the Prime was saying.
"The Reapers may be concentrating on Alliance space right now, but they will not limit themselves to it. They will destroy every organic being in the galaxy if we don't find a way to stop them."
Tevos looked at Valern who shook his head before looking back at Jack, completely ignoring Perceptor in the process.
"The cruel and unfortunate truth is that while the Reapers concentrate on Earth, we can strengthen our own borders and prepare. I am sorry but that is all we have to say on the matter."
Tevos and Valern then walked out of the room leaving the Cybertronian councillor, Jack and Soundwave alone in the chamber.
"Meet me in the Gardens, Prime." Perceptor said before leaving the podium.
Once outside of the chamber and in the calming surroundings of the Citadel gardens, Jack and Soundwave stood with Perceptor who looked aggravated to say the least.
"What a waste of time that was." he said harshly, surprising Jack who had never seen the Autobot lose his temper before. Soundwave just looked on as the Prime spoke in return.
"How can the Council be so blind to the danger, the Reapers are here for all of us."
Perceptor crossed his arms and vented some more.
"They are scared and are looking out for them selves." he replied before looking out at the fountains. It was quiet for a long moment before Soundwave decided to speak.
"If we can not convince the Council, then why don't we speak directly to the leaders. They are here right now at that summit."
Both Jack and Perceptor looked at the spymaster.
"Now that's a good idea, why bother with the Council. Let's bypass them and speak directly with their leaders." the Prime said gaining a nod from the spymaster.
"Yes, they are currently here for the annual summit and will discuss everything from galactic politics to the economy. There is Primarch Victus who is the leader of the Turian Hierarchy. Then there is Dalatrass Linron and she leads the Salarian Union. The Asari do not have a single elected official, so Councillor Tevos will be there to represent them. Your friend Urdnot Wrex will be there for the Krogan and Optimus Prime would have been there to represent us but" Perceptor said as he looked down and thought of his friend who was fighting for his life back on Earth.
"Perceptor, Optimus is there doing what needs to be done. But even he cannot hold out forever against the Reapers without help, that is why we are here. Now where is this summit being held?" Jack said as the Autobot Councillor looked up to him.
"It is being held here in the Citadel tower, floor eighteen, conference room seven."
Soundwave placed a hand on Jack's shoulder, gaining his attention.
"Jack, we can't just gatecrash a summit, though I do like the idea." he said.
"Well I am a Prime, that should count for something." Jack replied. Perceptor's eyes widened at his comment.
"Yes you are, you can fill Optimus's place and represent the Alliance." he said eagerly. The Commander smiled as he nodded back.
"Good, well we should get going then. Thank you for the help Perceptor." Jack said as he and the Councillor shook hands.
"You are welcome, Prime. I will continue to pressure the other Councillors to help. Something has to break eventually, I just hope that happens before the Reapers start attacking the rest of the galaxy."
Jack and Soundwave nodded in return before turning around and heading off the to the elevator as Perceptor watched them leave.
PRIME EFFECT 3
In the conference room there was a large circular table with a Turian at one side with a Krogan to his right and to his left was a Salarian. There was still two empty seats as the three waited, though one of them was not being patient about it.
"Where is Tevos, she was supposed to be here already." Linron said. The Asari commando who was standing at the entrance to room, activated her com link and spoke into it for a second before looking back at the Salarian leader.
"I am sorry, but I have to inform you that Councillor Tevos will not be able to attend this summit as she has more urgent matters to attend too."
Linron threw her hands in the air in frustration before glaring at Wrex from across the table.
"Well that is just perfect, now I am left here with this brute staring at me." she spat as Wrex narrowed his eyes at her an growled.
"My name is Urdnot Wrex and I am not some old pyjak that you can speak too like shit." the Krogan spat in return.
"Please, try to keep this civil at least. We have important matters to discuss." Victus said trying to be the voice of reason. Linron stared daggers at him.
"Why? Why do we have this Krogan here, they are not a part of the Council?" she said angrily, but then the Asari commando spoke, gaining the leaders attention.
" The Cybertronian/Alliance representative has arrived, Jackson Prime." she announced as Jack and Soundwave walked into the conference room. The Prime took his seat between Wrex and Linron, the former smiling back at him.
"And what is he doing here, isn't he a traitor to the council?" Linron raged as Jack sat down and looked at her.
"I am here on behalf of Optimus Prime who unfortunately can not be here due to the Reapers attacking our world." the Commander replied, the Salarian just looked at him before shaking her head in response.
"What nonsense, are you just trying to spread your lies and propaganda about the Reapers again. Especially since the Council will no longer hear of it." she said as she stared at him. Jack though returned the stare in kind as he remained stoic in the Salarian's presence. But Victus spoke up, gaining their attention.
"Enough, Linron! I would very much like to discuss the Reaper threat. We Turians take the defence of this Council and the galaxy in general very seriously, and after being briefed on the Reapers by my new adviser. I feel that we need to work together." Victus said, gaining a smile from Jack.
"Primarch Victus, thank you. May I ask who your advisor is?" Jack asked curiously, the Primarch smiled and gestured to the Prime to look behind him. Jack turned and looked as another person entered the conference room, he felt a smile grow on his face as he recognised the new arrival.
"Garrus." Jack said happily as the Turian entered the room and smiled back before taking his place just behind Victus.
"Jackson Prime, we have been told that the Reapers have not left Alliance space at this time. But we can not just assume that they will stay there. We have also heard that you are building a weapon that can destroy them, that is correct yes." Victus said.
"That is correct, Primarch." Jack replied. The Turian leader placed his hands together and rested them on the table.
"Well, considering everything I have been told about the Reapers and what we have heard from the subspace communications coming out of Alliance space. I hereby place our fleets and resources to your aid, Prime."
Jack looked at him in surprise.
"Thank you, Primarch, but may I ask why?" he asked, finding it hard to hide his surprise. Victus gave him a slight smile.
"Because, Prime, soon or later the Reapers will expand across the galaxy and god help us all when that happens. I would rather we struck back at them while they are all in one place. So in the meantime we will gather our fleets and prepare for the taking back of Earth and I will speak to Admiral Bryce about allowing our best engineers and Scientists to help build the weapon."
Jack nodded in return as Wrex decided to weigh in on the topic.
"Jack, I would like to offer the full support of the Krogan to your cause as well. But we need something first." he said as the three representatives looked at him.
"What do you require, Wrex?" Victus asked.
"A cure.for the Genophage." he said plainly. Linron just let loose her rage at that comment.
"What, that's going too far. The Krogan were a menace to this galaxy before the Decepticons managed to break them, and now they want to be cured. If you allow this Victus then you will lose the support of the Salarian Union." she said as she stood up and stormed out of the room. Victus just shook his head in disgust at her behaviour before looking to Wrex.
"Wrex, I am sorry but I do not know how we are going to cure the Genophage." he replied sadly. Wrex though smiled.
"Several months ago a former Decepticon called Sideways based himself on Tuchunka and was experimenting on my people for the Reapers. He had created a cure for the genophage but had altered it to take control of the Krogan." he said as he activated his holo-tool and showed them the data on a screen that appeared from the middle of the table.
"Wrex, we can't use that cure remember." Jack replied as he remembered the events that happened there.
"Yes, but I know of only other person who was responsible for producing the Genophage." the Krogan said as he pointed over to Soundwave. Jack, Victus and Garrus looked to the spymaster.
"Soundwave, could a cure be developed using the version that Sideways created?" the Prime asked.
"It might be possible, but I would require tissue samples from a male and a female Krogan, Krogan who have not been affected by the Genophage."
Wrex smiled and gestured to another Krogan who was standing behind him.
"Both myself and Urdnot Bakara here are clean of the wretched disease. The Genophage effects seventy percent of the Krogan population, but luckily myself and Bakara are part of the thirty percent that is still fertile."
Bakara stood beside Wrex, she was wearing a gown that covered her complete figure. The only part of her you could see were her eyes and she looked around at the people sitting at the table. Jack then looked back to Soundwave.
"Well, I think it's worth a try. Soundwave how long would it take for you to develop the cure?"
The spymaster just looked straight ahead while he ran the numbers in his mind.
"With the lab back on the Defiant and no interruptions, I believe that I could have the cure ready in a week or so." he replied in fairly confident tone. Wrex smiled at the bot's answer and stood up.
"Well, I think that we should get right on with it then, don't you?" he said looking at Victus and then Jack.
"Agreed, I will speak to Bryce and then I will try to get through to Linron. She can't ignore the threat that the Reapers represent." Victus said as he stood and nodded to the Prime before leaving the room. Jack stood up as Wrex, Bakara and Garrus walked over to him.
"It's good to be working with you again Jack." Wrex said as he shook hands with the Prime.
"Same here, Wrex. Garrus will you be joining us on the Defiant?" Jack asked, the Turian smiled in return.
"Of course I will, Jack. I asked Victus to let me join your team should the things go well with this summit. I will be the Turian Hierarchy's representative to the Alliance while this conflict with the Reapers continues." Garrus replied.
"I wouldn't have it any other way, Garrus." Jack said before looking at everyone.
"Well I guess we should head back to the Defiant then." he said before leading the group out of the conference room and towards the elevator.
When they reached the airlock to the Defiant, Bakara looked astounded as she looked at the ship in front of them.
"Wrex, this is the Defiant?" she asked as Wrex stood beside and chuckled.
"I believe it is, I have never seen this particular ship. It was the Normandy that I worked on with Jack nearly three years ago. Now that was a ship." he said, not noticing Garrus joining him at his side.
"Don't go writing off the Defiant, Wrex. It might not be the Normandy, but she is in every way a true successor." he replied as they looked out at the ships flying to and from the Citadel. Jack was about to join them when
"Jack." a familiar voice called out to him, causing him to look round. When his eyes fell on a person he had not seen in years, he could not help but smile. He saw a young man with glasses and brown hair walk over and wave. Walking alongside him was another young Caucasian man with blonde hair and blue eyes, he was also wearing yellow and black armour with the Autobot insignia on his chest.
"Raf, Bumblebee. What are you guys doing here?" Jack asked as he walked over to them.
"Well we originally here to promote the new hyperspace engines that I was developing with Jetfire. But just as we were about to catch a transport back to Earth, we heard that it was under attack. It is what you were warning everyone about right..the Reapers?" Raf asked. Jack nodded in return sombrely.
"Yes, I was there. The Reapers were devastating, considering everything we saw the Decepticons do during the war. It pales in comparison to what the Reapers did in the first wave of their attack."
Raf looked at his friend before placing his hand on Jack's shoulder in support.
"Well, Jack, Bumblebee and I heard that you were here and so came looking for you in hope that we could join you in the fight." the young man said, making Jack look at him and the Autobot who nodded while smiling at the Prime.
"You sure about this?" Jack asked, unsure of putting more of his friends lives at risk.
"Of course we are, Jack." Bumblebee said surprising the Commander. Even after all these years, he was still surprised to hear the scout speak. Considering that for several years all he could do was beep and whistle. That had been due to the fact that earlier in the war, Megatron had ripped out his voice box. But everything changed for Bumblebee after he gained a pretender body and everyone could not be happier for him.
"I mean we are still Team Prime, even if Optimus is not with us at the moment. Because well, you are our Prime now." Bumblebee continued, Jack could not help but smile at his friends as he suddenly did not know what to say. He then took a breath.
"Thanks, guys. Well we were about to head off." he replied as he pointed over to the others while they entered the Defiant's airlock.
"Well what are we waiting for then?" Bumblebee said while Raf readjusted his glasses. The three of them then walked over and joined the rest in the airlock. Then once everyone was aboard the Defiant disconnected from the Citadel and flew away from the station.
PRIME EFFECT 3
As they stood in the CIC, Raf and Bumblebee looked around amazed at the sights surrounding them, Garrus though had told Jack that he would be looking at the ship's weapons system which made Jack smirk. Soundwave had taken Wrex and Bakara to the medical lab, wanting to get started on the cure. This left Jack with his two newest crew members.
"Jack where is the science lab on this ship, I would like to get to know the ship better and get myself up to speed on the Reapers." Raf asked while looking over one of the holo-control stations. Jack activated his holo-tool and showed his friend a map of the ship and the location of the lab.
"Thanks, Jack. Let's go, Bee." he said as he and his best friend walked over to the elevator. Jack himself walked up to the cockpit to see his pilot.
"Hey, Prime. Was that Bumblebee I just saw?" Hotrod asked as he gestured back to the CIC.
"Yeah, he and Raf have joined us on our mission." Jack replied.
"Hey, I heard you managed to get the Turian's onboard for our counterattack, that's great." The Autobot said.
"Yeah, and possibly the Krogan too. If we can cure the Genophage that is." Jack answered while looking out of the window to the star field outside.
"Hey, we have Soundwave on the case. If anyone can solve that problem, it is him." Hotrod replied with a smile.
"Thanks, Hotrod, set course for Tuchunka." he said before walking back to the CIC.
"Aye Aye, Prime." the pilot said as he guided the Defiant into the open vortex of the space bridge.
Jack was about to head to his quarters when Ratchet's voice came over the inter com.
"Jack, Ratchet here. I thought you would like to know that I am releasing Arcee from the medical bay. You may come and see her if you like." the Autobot said.
"I'm on my way." Jack said as he entered the elevator and pressed the button for deck three.
Jack entered the medical bay to see Ratchet and Soundwave talking while Wrex was helping Bakara onto a berth. He walked past them when he saw Arcee sitting on her own berth in the corner of the room, she looked up and smiled at him as he approached her.
"Hi, Jack." she said as he stopped next to her.
"It's good to see you up and about, Arcee. You really had me worried back on Mars." he said, not even trying to hide his affection. She blushed slightly before she looked down towards the ground.
"That was my fault, I shouldn't have gone after her alone like that." the femme replied sheepishly.
"No it's not Arcee. If you hadn't chased after her, Flamewar might have gotten away with our shuttle and left us stranded. I'm just really glad that you were not seriously hurt." he said. Arcee looked back up at Jack and smiled.
Thanks, Jack. But anyway Ratchet has given me a clean bill of health and I am ready to get back to work." she said as she prepared to get off the bed, only for Jack to stop her.
"What's the rush, I mean we haven't really had a chance to talk." he said as he stood in front of her, surprising the femme.
" I wasn't sure you wanted to, I mean you made things pretty clear back on Mars about where things stood." she replied, gaining a look of confusion from the Prime.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"You are not a part of MECH anymore, you cut all ties. End of story." she said. Jack looked at her and sighed.
"It's the truth." he answered, never taking his eyes off of her. She then patted the spot next to her and Jack sat beside her.
"And I believe you." she replied before taking a breath and looking away towards the others for a moment before turning back to Jack.
"But where do 'we' stand, Jack? Have we cut all ties?" she asked as she looked back at him with her azure blue eyes. Jack's expression softened as he looked at her,
" Arcee,it's always been you. When you left me back on Horizon, it hurt but I never stopped thinking about you. And I don't want to carry on without you. So if you want to, I would like to try again?" he said as he looked her in the eyes lovingly. Arcee didn't know how to react to that as she simply looked at him surprised.
"Jack, I want that too. But lets take things slow okay, get to know each other again?" she said as she felt her spark warm at how the situation between them had changed. Jack smiled at her.
"As I said before, I will wait as long as it takes Arcee. Because you are worth it." he said, gaining a beautiful smile from the femme, the kind of smile that would make him go weak at the knees.
"Okay, Jack, thank you." she replied as Jack got back off the berth and stood in front of her.
"Well I am going to call it a night, see you tomorrow." he said before leaving.
"Definitely, sweet dreams." Arcee replied, Jack smiled at her before leaving the medical bay and heading to his quarters.
As the Defiant left Earth to the Reaper forces that now occupied it, Arcee was looking at the Prime octagonal disc as Jazz was checking their combat gear. But their attention was drawn to an argument as Jack and Smokescreen walked over to them.
"What the in Allspark is going on, Jack. Where is Optimus?" Smokescreen said while Jack carried on walking.
"He's staying behind, but not before giving us a mission." The Prime answered. Smokescreen looked at him confused.
"Mission?!What mission? The fight's back there on Earth."
Jack walked over to a console and activated it. Smokescreen walked around it and faced Jack while the others watched.
"I was robbed of my chance to help fight for Cybertron and I'll be damned if I am stopped from fighting to protect my new home. So you can turn around and drop me off." the Autobot replied right in the Prime's face. Jack though had just about enough of Smokescreen's attitude as he looked up him, his stoic expression quickly changing.
"Stow it, Smokescreen." Jack answered angrily as he walked right round the console and pointed at him.
"I get it, you don't want to leave. You are not the only one here that feels that way, but Optimus gave us an order and I will see it through. Because we don't stand a chance against the Reapers, not without the help of the Citadel fleets."
Jack then walked past him towards Arcee and Jazz, the femme could see that he was seething.
"If you want to go back, you can board a transport from there." the Prime finished without even looking back at the young bot. Smokescreen just stood there and looked down to the ground as if he was mopping. Arcee and Jazz didn't know where to look as Jack joined them but before the Commander could say anything the inter com activated.
"Jackson Prime, we are receiving a transmission from Admiral Bryce." Teletraan said, making Jack walk back to the console he activated earlier, completely ignoring Smokescreen in the process.
"I'll take it down here, Teletraan." he replied before the screen came to life and Admiral Bryce appeared on the screen as interference messed with the image.
"Commander..seventh fleet.nochance..Reapers.out.nowhere." the Admiral said between the jamming that was fragmenting the transmission.
"Teletraan, any chance you could clean this up." the Prime asked.
"I will try Prime." the AI replied. Suddenly the image on the screen cleared up, and the Admiral continued.
"They had us completely outnumbered, thousands of ships in the first wave alone. We suffered heavy losses. The Reapers can not be defeated conventionally."
"Optimus has already ordered me to go to the Citadel and speak with the Council." Jack replied.
"First, I need you to go our Lithone dig site on Mars before we lose the sol system completely. Our scientists found something there, something that can stop the Reapers, the only thing that can. So I sent Soundwave there to confirm and retrieve it. But we have lost contact with the dig site." Bryce said.
Jack saluted the Admiral in response.
"We will head to Mars and pick up Soundwave, Sir."
"Very well, Bryce out." the Admiral finished as the transmission cut. Jack then activated his com link.
"Hotrod, set course for Mars." he said.
"Aye aye, Commander. It's good to have you back." Hotrod replied, Jack smiled as he went back over to the others.
"Why Mars, what does Bryce think we will find?" Jazz asked as Arcee handed Jack the octagonal disc.
"I believe that this is your's." she said with a smile.
"Thanks." he replied as he accepted it before looking back at Jazz.
"I don't know, but if it can help us win this war" He then placed the Prime disc on his chest and the others watched as the armour expanded over his body.
"Jazz, I need you up in the cockpit with Hotrod. Arcee and Smokescreen, grab your gear." he said before the two bots walked over to the armoury and suited up, Jazz then saluted Jack and headed to the elevator.
PRIME EFFECT 3
The Defiant flew out of the darkness of space and entered orbit above the red planet as it's shuttle bay door opened and shuttle one shot out and descended down into Mars's atmosphere. Smokescreen was piloting the shuttle while Jack and Arcee were sitting in the back.
"Commander, I have tried contacting the dig site, but have received no answer." Hotrod said over the com.
"Any sign of Reaper activity, Teletraan?" the Prime asked.
"No, Prime. But the facility appears to be online. I have detected life signs, but not enough to account for all the personnel that is stationed there." the AI replied.
Okay, we'll find out soon enough, just make sure the ship is ready,Prime out." he answered as both he and Arcee put on their breather helmets.
"We are almost there." Smokescreen commented from the cockpit as the shuttle headed down to the dig site, landing just outside the facility as Smokescreen put on his own breather helmet.
"The base is still not answering our hails." the young Autobot stated as Jack opened up the hatch, letting the light enter the shuttle as Jack stepped out and looked around at the red landscape. Arcee and Smokescreen joined him as they started towards the facility.
"Never been to Mars before." Arcee commented as Smokescreen looked back to her.
"Well, since I was stuck in a stasis cell for most of the war, the only place I have seen a lot of is Earth." he replied before going quiet. Arcee noticed this and placed a hand on his shoulder in support.
"Hey, chin up. We will make it through this and we see our home again."
The young Bot nodded as the three suddenly heard a gun shot echoe around them. They ran around a small hill to see several soldiers standing over some Alliance personal who were on their knees. Jack and his team took cover behind some rocks as they watched them execute their prisoners one after the other. Smokescreen looked at the soldiers who were wearing black/gold and green armour.
"What the hell, they are executing them." Arcee said gritting her teeth. Jack though aimed his weapon at the soldier right in the center and fired, blowing a hole through the enemy's helmet and spraying blood all over the side of the truck behind him. The soldiers all turned around and instantly started firing at the group.
"Well, they know we are here now." Smokescreen said sarcastically as the three of them fired back at the enemies. Though the solder's attempted to find cover, one by one they were all killed. Jack and the others then walked down and looked at the corpses. Smokescreen bent down over one of the enemy bodies and recognised the symbol on it's chest-plate.
"These guys are MECH, right?"
Jack looked back at him.
"Certainly looks that way." he replied. Arcee though looked worried, he could not see her face fully, but Jack could see her azure blue eyes staring back and he knew what she was about to say.
"What are MECH doing on Mars?"
The Prime shrugged his shoulders in response.
"That's a good question." he replied.
"You don't know?" Arcee asked back a little inquisitively, causing Jack to look back at her.
"No, how should I know why they are here." he said as the three of them walked over to the facility's entrance.
"But you worked with them, I mean it is a bit convenient that they show up here at the same time as us." Arcee argued back.
They walked into the loading bay and Smokescreen closed the bay door behind them, then activated the depressurization mode. Arcee walked straight up to Jack as the oxygen started flowing around the room.
"Jack, I need to hear you say that you don't know why MECH are here." she said in a serious tone.
"Why, why would I know what they are up to?" he replied in confused manner. She though looked away and walked over to the other side of the room.
"You worked for them, for Primus's sake. How am I not supposed to think it?" she replied. Jack though shook his head and walked over to her as Smokescreen watched the two of them.
"We worked together to take down the Quintessons, that was it. I cut all ties with them after that was done."
The femme just carried on looking away from him, not wanting to look Jack in the eyes.
"But there is more to it than that, they brought you back from the dead, gave you a new ship, a crew"
Jack took a chance and stood directly in front of Arcee and made eye contact, hoping that he would get the message through.
"Look, I have not had any contact with MECH since the Quintesson home world was destroyed. I also have no idea why they are here or what they want."
Smokescreen took a breath before adding his voice to the argument.
"Commander Darby has been in lock-down and under constant watch since he was arrested, there is no way that they could have communicated with him since."
Arcee finally just sighed as she admitted defeat, just as the room finished pressurising.
"I'm sorry, Jack, I" she replied as they took off their helmets, Jack looked back at her with his blue eyes.
"I shouldn't have to explain myself to you Arcee." he answered honestly as the door opened to reveal hollowed out tunnels and ancient stone work, Arcee though just looked down to the floor as she gently raked her fingers through her blue hair. She then looked back to the Prime and saw his expression soften.
"Please.trust me?" he said as they started walking through the tunnel. Arcee looked back at Jack.
"I want to, Jack, believe me. It's just" she replied before being cut off by the sounds of fighting up ahead. The three then ran down a tunnel and into a large room and took cover before looking over to see a man in dark blue armour with purple neon lights standing in the middle of a group of MECH soldiers, he was in a defensive stance as they looked at him nervously. Suddenly one of the soldiers made a move and attacked with an electrically charged escrima stick. The man though grabbed the stick and pulled it from the enemy's hand before sticking it right through the soldier's helmet, making his body go into a spasm before falling onto the ground.
The other MECH troops looked at him shocked before the man raised his hand and gestured them to try again. The troops suddenly angered, charged at him and he roundhouse kicked one in the face, sending the soldier to the ground before grabbing another in mid attack and snapping his neck before sweeping the last one off of his feet. He then got back up and equipped his pistol, before looking down at the troops still alive and shooting them in the head, one bullet each. Jack then gestured his two companions to follow him as they left cover and walked over to the man. Smokescreen raised his gun, only for Jack to stop him.
"Easy, Smokescreen. He is with us." he said smiling as the man looked back and smiled in return.
"Jack, it's good to see you my friend." the man said.
"Soundwave." the Prime replied.
"I heard about Earth, I am sorry." Soundwave said as Jack looked down for a second with regret. But he looked up as Arcee walked toward the spymaster.
"What is he" she said before spotting the Autobot insignia on his chest plate.
"Why is Soundwave an Autobot all of a sudden and why.." she was cut off by Jack who stood between the two.
"Arcee, it's alright. Soundwave helped me take down the Quintessons, so I made him an Autobot in return. The war has been over for nearly twenty years now.remember?"
Arcee looked at Soundwave a little unsure before looking back at Jack, the two looking at each other for a second, She then sighed and nodded back.
Jack could see she wasn't completely comfortable with the situation, but now wasn't the time for old grievances, not with the Reapers now holding Earth and threatening to spread out into the galaxy. Jack turned back to Soundwave.
"Bryce told us you have found something here that can help us."
Soundwave looked at Jack and a slight smile grew on his face. This surprised both Arcee and Smokescreen who had never seen the former con even blink before. The young Bot stood close to the femme and whispered in her ear.
"Hey, maybe Jack's right about Soundwave."
Arcee nodded in return.
"Soundwave wouldn't be the first Cybertronian that Jack has helped change." she whispered back as she remembered how she had changed because of him. The two bots then walked forward and joined the Prime and the spymaster.
"I have looked through the information that was stored in the databanks here and have found what looks like a weapon, a weapon that can kill the Reapers."
Jack and the others looked at each other and then back to Soundwave in disbelief.
"Here? On Mars?" Smokescreen asked.
The spymaster nodded in return.
"Yes, in the Lithone databanks that are stored in the outpost here."
"But haven't we only just discovered this Lithone outpost like nearly a year ago, seems like a bit of a coincidence." Jack replied sceptically.
"Well, I think the Archaeologists were surprised when they discovered this place and the information in the data core, so Admiral Bryce asked me to take a look into it and tell him if it is the real thing."
"And is it?" the Prime asked.
"I believe so, I have deciphered a set of blue prints for the device."
Arcee stepped forward.
"So where are these plans?" the femme asked.
"Just a few levels below us." Soundwave replied.
"Okay, then lets get going. Soundwave, lead the way." Jack finished as the group walked into the main tunnel that was heading further underground.
As they headed further down the tunnels, the only light coming from the small light cables that lined it's corners, Jack and his team came across more bodies of Alliance soldiers. Soundwave and Arcee activated their holo-tools and scanned the corpses.
"Jack, these men were killed by a single attack to the head." the spymaster replied as he looked at his holo-tool.
"Yeah, I would say that from the way they fell to the ground, that they did not even know that they were under attack." Arcee carried on.
Smokescreen kept an eye out as he looked further down the tunnel with his weapon ready.
"Whoever did this was extremely stealthy, huh?" the young Bot asked.
The femme nodded while before looking at Jack.
"So we have another player here then, especially since the MECH soldiers seem to be rather trigger happy. Okay, let's keep moving, but keep an eye out." The Prime replied as the group carried on down the tunnel, leaving the dead soldiers behind.
PRIME EFFECT 3
They soon came into a large cavern that was filled with numerous mining tools and supply crates, when they suddenly heard voices the group took cover as four MECH soldiers came into view from the other side of the room.
"We have this passage protected, what about Bravo team?" one soldier said to the others.
"Bravo team has sealed off the data core at the other end of this tunnel and will defend it until given orders from the Director."
Jack looked over to the Arcee and Smokescreen, Arcee nodded as she could tell what he was thinking. But unfortunately Smokescreen didn't as he nodded back before jumping out of cover and firing at the enemies. The MECH soldiers fired back as they took cover, while Jack silently cursed before he, Soundwave and Arcee joined in. Smokescreen saw this as he killed two of the enemies.
"I've got this!" he said confidently, not noticing the three other MECH troops enter the room from behind him and they were about to fire when Jack grabbed the young Bot and pulled him behind cover as the spymaster and the Femme shot them. Jack then came back out of cover and killed the final two soldiers. Once they were all dead, Smokescreen sat on the floor, leaning against the crate and looking at the ground with a sullen look. He knew that everyone else was staring daggers at him at that moment.
"What the hell was that?" Arcee said with her anger evident.
"Didn't you see the other group of enemies entering the room, Jack did.."
The femme stopped when she felt Jack place his hand on her shoulder. He then stepped beside her and looked down at the bot, his face stoic.
"Smokescreen, no heroics. We work as a team, understand?" he said before offering his hand to him. The Autobot looked at his hand and then back up to the Prime, he then nodded and took his hand, as Jack helped him to his feet.
"I understand, it won't happen againit's funny, I remember the first time we worked together and how that turned out. But now I look at you and can't help but notice how much you remind me of Optimus."
As Smokescreen and Jack spoke, Arcee looked away as she too remembered that day and how angry she was at Smokescreen for taking Jack into danger like that, and also at the young human for going along with the Autobot. She also remembered the talk they had the next day, he had told her the reasons why he had gone along and she couldn't help but feel the anger she had held inside seep away from her being.
Jack told her that he only went because he didn't want Smokescreen to go alone and that he also kept his distance from the fight, and was just unlucky that the Insecticon had found him. He was also the one who contacted Ratchet and told them know about the Star-saber. When Arcee had heard these reasons, she found it very hard to be angry at him. It wasn't like he was doing a Miko.
The femme was brought out of her memories by Jack who was looking at her curiously.
"You okay?" he asked. She smiled and looked at the tunnel that the MECH troops were protecting.
"Yes I am fine, Jack. I think we should see about getting through that door?"
Jack smiled at her.
"You just read my mind, have any ideas?" the Prime replied.
Arcee looked around.
"Well, we can't just attack. But maybe we can trick them into opening the door for us." She then looked at one of the MECH soldiers and knelt down beside it.
"What are you looking for?" Jack asked as he stood over her.
"This soldier has a two way radio, I almost have it." she answered as she pulled the helmet off the dead enemy's head, she then almost jumped back with a gasp at the sight before them. Jack himself looked down at it in shock. What they saw was the soldier's face which was horribly transformed. His eyes were blue optics with tiny tubes running down either side of his face.
"By Primus, he looks like a Husk." Arcee stated as Jack knelt down and took a closer look.
"Yeah, but not quite. It looks like they stopped the transformation only a quarter of the way."
Arcee looked down at it before looking back to Jack.
"And by they.you mean MECH? They did this to their own people?"
Jack got back to his feet as the femme looked at him worriedly.
"Jack, that could have been you. I mean for all I knew, that's what MECH had done."
The Commander looked at her, his expression was one of hurt and of shock.
"What.how can you compare me to that thing?" he said taken aback by her comment. Arcee though looked away.
"I.I don't know what you are, not since they rebuilt you." she answered honestly, her voice becoming emotional. She stood with her back to him and looked out into the tunnel.
"Is it really you? Do you even know. I mean Silas could be controlling you even now."
Jack cocked his head and looked over to her.
"Arcee" he said in a soft voice. She turned around and looked at him.
"You don't need to say anything, I just need some time to get used to this." she then looked down to the ground.
" So I just want you to be honest with meis the man that I loved still in there?" she asked as she looked back at the Prime with her azure blue eyes. Jack smiled and walked closer to her.
"Arcee, it's still me, I am the same person I always was. And I will wait for you, however long it takes."
Jack watched as the same beautiful smile that he remembered graced her lips again.
"Thanks, Jack, I needed to hear that." she replied.
"Good, lets see if we can get them to let us in." he said with a smile as he activated the radio.
"This is Gamma team, anyone there?"
They both waited for a moment as Soundwave and Smokescreen joined them. Suddenly another voice could be heard on the other end.
"Where the hell have you been..wait forget it. What is your status?" the soldier asked.
"We are at the corridor leading to the data core, all enemies eliminated." The Prime replied.
"Roger that, Delta team will join you momentarily." the MECH soldier finished. Jack then threw the radio away as they all equipped their weapons.
"Do you think they believed you?" Arcee asked.
"Well, I think we are about to find out." The Prime replied as they heard the door at the end of the tunnel start to open. Jack signalled everyone to take cover before he jumped over a crate next to Arcee who smiled back at him while he readied his weapon just moments before the MECH troops walked in.
"Where's Gamma team?" the lead soldier said to the others. Suddenly Jack stood up, startling the troops.
"Looking for me?" he said with a slight smile before opening fire on the group, Arcee and Smokescreen joining him as they riddled the troops with bullets.
"Soundwave, now!" Jack shouted over the gunfire, the spymaster was hiding by the tunnel's entrance and he threw a flash bang grenade in there, as the last trooper that Jack and the others had killed fell to the ground. The tunnel then filled with a bright white light, that blinded the MECH trooper who was standing at the doorway at the other end. Soundwave then moved into the corridor while the light continued to shine brightly for another moment, it was then quiet as the light died down and the others uncovered their eyes with their hands to hear an echo of a neck snapping .
Jack, Arcee and Smokescreen walked into the tunnel's entrance to see Soundwave standing at the other end as he let go of the trooper's body and watched it hit the floor and go limp.
"Not bad." Arcee said, gaining a nod from the spymaster. The others quickly joined him as they entered the data core. The room was massive and in the center was makeshift Alliance computer terminal which was connected by data cables to what looked like the Lithone beacon that Jack had come into contact with back on Eden Prime nearly three year ago.
"Smokescreen." he said, and the young bot nodded in return before he started searching the outer section of the room while the Prime and the others walked up to the core, walking past a hologram of the data core that was just beside the computer console. Soundwave started working the holo-controls as Jack and Arcee watched, unaware that the hologram behind them started shifting and changed into the form of a man.
"Darby!" a familiar voice called out. Arcee and Jack spun around with pistols ready to see a hologram of Silas standing in front of them. The MECH Director looking rather smug as he took a sip from the drink in his hand.
"Silas." the Femme spat at him as she gritted her teeth, but Silas just ignored her and looked directly at the Prime. His yellow optics glowing brightly.
"Tell your femme to back down, Darby." he replied coolly. Jack lowered his gun and gave him a lop sided grin.
"I don't take orders from you, Silas, or had you forgotten." he said before looking over to the femme.
"Arcee you alright?" he asked softly, gaining a smile from her.
"I'm fine, Jack, thanks for asking. Just wish he was really here so I could put a bullet through his head." she replied staring coldly at the MECH director. Jack looked back at Silas just a coldly.
"I know what you mean. So what do you want, Silas?"
The Director looked up at the data core and smiled.
"What I have always wanted, the data in this core holds the key to solving the Reaper threat, thanks to the Lithone. They are certainly an interesting race, they left this all here for us to find. But thanks to the Autobots, it took a while finding it."
Jack looked at him cynically.
"I have seen your solution, you are turning your people into Husks."
Silas shrugged off the Prime's reply.
"Hardly, I have improved them."
Jack continued to stare at the Director.
"Improved?" Jack asked back.
"That's the difference between us, Darby. You always destroy what you do not understand and fear, while I always aim to control and dominate. And with this data I can do the same to the Reapers, to harness their power for the good of Humanity. Imagine how strong we would be if we can control the Reapers." Silas replied.
Jack felt his patience disappear as he stepped forward, giving Silas a judgmental look.
"Earth is under Reaper control and you are trying to find a way to control them."
Suddenly another hologram appeared next to Silas, taking the form of the Quintesson planet.
"You know for a Prime, you are really short sighted and hasty, just like Optimus. You proved that when you destroyed the Quintesson home world." he said looking at the hologram.
"That planet was an abomination, hundreds of thousands of Humans were murdered there." Jack replied, feeling his anger growing by the second.
"You know you can not defeat the Reapers, Darby, even with the data from this Lithone core." Silas responded. Jack though had to try and get through to the MECH director and so took a breath.
"Then work with me, give me MECH's resources and I 'will' stop the Reapers." he said confidently.
Silas gave him a knowing look as he sipped his drink.
"You would do better then most, but the odds are not in your favour. More importantly I don't want the Reapers destroyed. We can control them, harness their power to our will as we evolve ourselves and become the dominant species in this galaxy."
Jack had finally had enough of Silas's ramblings.
"It doesn't matter how hard you try, Silas, you will never control the Reapers, but it sounds to me like they are already controlling you."
Silas's expression remained stoic, but Jack could see that Silas was getting angry.
"No one's controlling me, Darby, you will never understand what I am trying to accomplish and I am certainly not looking for your approval." he said, his optics narrowing at the Prime.
"You were just a tool to me, an agent with a single purpose. But you served it well despite our differences, but now your time is over."
Jack looked defiantly at Silas.
"I have heard enough. Soundwave, download the data."
The spymaster nodded before continuing to work as Silas pointed at Jack.
"Stay out of MECH's way, Darby, I will not warn you again." Silas finished.
"Go to hell." Jack replied as Soundwave looked back at the Prime.
"Jack, I have a problem here." he said gaining the Commander's attention as Silas smiled before his hologram disappeared.
"What is it?" he replied as Arcee joined him at the spymaster's side.
"The data, it is not here. It is being erased." Soundwave answered.
"Damn it, how are they doing it" Jack asked irritably.
Soundwave worked the controls and saw the problem.
"They are downloading the copy from a local terminal."
As they spoke Smokescreen came across a woman standing over a computer, she was wearing red and black armour.
"Hey, stop what you are doing and step away from the terminal." the Autobot ordered. The woman stopped and looked over her shoulders at Smokescreen, her red eyes narrowing at him.
"Move away Now!" he repeated.
But before he could stop her, she attacked him and knocked him to the floor with a back kick before slamming her fist into the terminal with her holo-tool activated, causing the data core to lose power. She then ran as Jack and Soundwave reached Smokescreen who was still on his back.
"I've got her." Arcee stated as she ran after the woman who was already in the tunnel. The femme entered the tunnel just behind her, 'Damn she is fast' she thought as she sprinted from one tunnel to the next, hoping to catch up to the unknown female.
PRIME EFFECT 3
When she got back outside (having placed her breather helmet on) she saw the shuttle ahead but no sign of the woman. She slowly walked toward the shuttle while scanning around her with her weapon. 'Where are you?' she thought as she turned around and looked back to the facility's entrance. The woman then appeared on top of the shuttle and dived at Arcee, who just managed to dive out of the way, landing on her hands before flipping back on to her feet.
She spun round with her weapon ready, only for the woman to grab her arm and knock the pistol out of the femme's hands before kicking her in the stomach, making Arcee back step and recover. She looked at the woman and her eyes widened as she recognised her. Apart from her red and black armour (she also had a breather over her mouth), the woman also had a pale complexion and red hair with blue highlights. She just stared at Arcee blankly.
"Flamewar!" Arcee gasped as the woman grunted and attacked the femme, throwing punches and kicks while Arcee deflected and blocked them while trying to counterattack. Meanwhile Jack and the others arrived to witness the two femmes fighting and Arcee noticed this, Flamewar took advantage of the femme's distracted state and grabbed her by the throat and lifted her into the air, tightening her grip as the femme struggled. This caused Arcee to choke as she tried in vain to breath.
"ARCEE!" Jack shouted as he trained his weapon on Flamewar, who ignored him and tapped the com link on her ear.
"Orders?" she said in a seductive but dark tone.
"Kill her!" came Silas's voice from the other end and Flamewar smiled as she pulled Arcee back before slamming her into the side of the shuttle, knocking her unconscious and cracking the visor on her helmet. Flamewar then pulled her free hand back and clenched it into a fist and was about to smash the Autobot's face in when suddenly a bullet shot straight through one side of her head, before exploding out the other side with liquid spraying everywhere as she fell to the ground along side Arcee.
Jack then looked at Arcee's prone form lying on the floor as his instincts kicked in and before he knew it he was running to her side, hoping that she would be alright. He knelt down beside her and looked down at her cracked visor, his heart skipped a beat when he saw no movement in her face, but then she murmured something and the Prime breathed a sigh of relief as he scooped her up in his arms.
"Come on, Arcee, I am getting you out of here." he said softly as he walked over with her towards the shuttle as Smokescreen powered up it's engines. Jack then looked over to Flamewar's corpse.
"Soundwave, grab that thing. We are taking it with us."
The Spymaster knelt down over her head and ripped it off in one clean motion.
"I only need the head, Jack." he said stoically before he joined them in the shuttle, the hatch closing behind them as the com link activated and a worried sounding Hotrod could be heard.
"We have to leave, guys. Reaper signatures have just appeared in orbit."
"Roger that, Defiant. Smokescreen, get us out of here." Jack ordered.
The shuttle then lifted off and flew up out of the atmosphere before re-entering the Defiant's shuttle bay. Once onboard, the Alliance ship then pulled out of Mars's gravity and flew to the outer area of the sol system before the Reaper ships had a chance to react.