The Decepticons quickly regained air supremacy, despite the Zoidian reinforcement. "Their commander is skilled; I'll give them that."
"Why do you think we've been on the losing side, birdy?" Roadbuster was on the top deck as he checked his arms and weaponry.
Before Rago could respond, someone else flew by shouting, "Those guns are really getting on my nerves!"
"Don't worry, they'll be gone soon enough. Broadside, remember our maneuver during the attack on Helix?"
"Do I? Don't tell me you're gonna do something that stupid again."
"Maybe. At least this time I've got a ramp to jump from." Roadbuster got into a run before transforming and driving off the ship. Roadbuster soon slammed through at least two Decepticons, launching a few missiles and shooting whatever looks like a Deception during his freefall.
Midfall, Roadbuster transformed again, with his arms outstretch. Broadside finally arrived, swooping in, and catching Roadbuster on his back. "You're crazy, you know that!"
Roadbuster slowly got his feet on Broadside's back, steadying himself, "We're Wreckers, it's in the job description. We need to take those guns out and none of you flyers have the firepower or armor to do it fast enough and survive. I do. Now get me closer."
Whirl got closer, "Now let's show them how Wreckers get things done!" He then moved ahead cutting a path through Decepticons, transforming for a moment to clip some wings with his claws. A few others also joined in trying to help clear the path.
Roadbuster kept his head low while all the Decepticons were distracted. The Decepticons themselves seemed too preoccupied with the Zoid reinforcement to notice their approach. Roadbuster stood up as both of his arms started changing into weapons. "Let's tear them to shreds!"
One of the Decepticon spotters noticed the strange scene, shaken at the sight, "Scrapmakers!" Not long after he shouted that the Autobot opened fire on the ship shredding through the hull and any unfortunate Decepticon or machinery in the way. Krok just barely managed to get Depth Charge down before the guns blazed through. "They could have at least warned us they had that kind of weaponry on hand!"
Depth Charge looked back to the carnage as burning bodies in the ruined gunnery station. "This is getting crazy."
Krok was quick to get up, dusting off the debris from his back and arms, "This is war. We need to rally the Preds and Vehicons. Get them to see this isn't what they signed up for."
"Gonna be honest, that'll be harder than you think seeing those Zoids reinforcing the Autobots."
Krok knew, and he already had that covered, "Remember why I asked for every Predacon and Vehicon signature who joined this farce of a cause? If you look out there right now and start scanning, you'll see, minus the Wreckers and Dinobots obviously, the Autobots are attempting to avoid any unnecessary casualties for your factions. Neutralizing at best, disabling at worse, but they are going the extra mechanomile to not outright kill them. I know we're relying on them to really shake up their faith in the Decepticons, but we need to start doing something now so when it hits them it hits hard."
Depth Charge nodded, "I think I have an idea on how to cause a stir."
Shockwave suddenly stopped telling his tale, "Fascinating. Apologies for the sudden interruption. One of our many side projects has produced results during the battle."
Vibes shrugged, not too disconcerted, "I'm sure it involves one of your former test subjects?"
Shockwave almost seemed proud of his work, "Yes. An admittedly dimwitted Decepticon, Kakuryu, renamed Grimmaster as an allusion to Grimlock, was subjected to code alterations and bonding to a set of mindless drones. Subjected to many alterations as Grimlock's team, one of the potential alterations was the attempt to formulate a more efficient form of creating new manageable combiners."
"Sadly, I don't have much experience with combiners. Are they so unstable that you'd subjugate one of your own to this?"
"As I'm sure you're familiar with the basis regarding combiners, you may not realize that their combined form blends their individual personas to form a new identity. Often this does not produce productive or psychologically stable personalities if even one component individual is not synced with the others." Shockwave stated to show images of Decepticon combiners, with some indiscriminately destroying everything around them, "Obviously not as strong in comparison, the viability of this new type of combiner could provide various tactical and technological avenues yet to truly be explored." Shockwave's projection waved off her growing misgivings on the ethics, "Progress should never be subject to moralistic ideology. We needed test subjects, and Kakuryu was willing to assist in forwarding progress. Even if he did not know what that meant in earnest."
Gash couldn't really keep up with everything being said, regardless, she did seem to at least understand some of what was being expressed. "Nasty one-eye won't be hurting others soon. Shred break you!"
"Grimlock's mental regression for augmented strength was applied but no behavioral restraints or inhibitors seemed to be implemented." Shockwave started to go through the records, "Ah, you were taken before they were installed, that would explain the instability in your processors, Shifter." Gash leapt at Shockwave, going through him as Shockwave continued to ignore her very presence, "Now, I believe that soon the rest of our plan will begin shortly."
"I'm not sure I see what you mean."
"That is because there are many moving components not on this world to being the unification." Shockwave disappeared as the monitors all focused on the battle, "If all has proceeded as planned, and our calculations regarding the temporal shift and timing are correct; in precisely three cycles a new portal should be opening approximately 20 hics from the battleground."
Vibes immediately turned to Shred, who frantically tried working faster, "Why can't you be a normal cypher and stop shifting so often and irregularly!"
Vibes suspected Shockwave wasn't exactly going easy on her, but now it wasn't too hard to believe that he was just toying with her this whole time. "You never intended to play fair, did you?"
"Utilizing one's advantages is simply logical when faced with a foe." Shockwave's monitors had shifted to the Zoidians bombarding the battlefield to support the Autobots, "I must apologies once again. My processes are focused on more pressing matters and have misplaced our last discussion."
Vibes was about ready now, "We were just about to discuss how we were going to be leaving this place."
"And how, pray tell, do you plan to do that?"
Shred finally got up, "Like you said, you've been a very busy bot. While I was 'attacking' your defenses, I've been slipping in little presents that should just about finished reconstituting itself right about…now!" Before Shockwave could respond all the monitors started to glitch up. Before long the door unlocked as the trio finally made a break for it. "I don't think the virus will keep him busy for long!"
"Did you grab the data?"
"More than I thought was there. What about your conversation?"
Vibes' 'ears' twitched, "I didn't expect him to be so longwinded about the details."
"Alright Gnash, no need to hold back. Let's get out of here!" Gnash rushed forward; head lowered as she smashed her way through the door. "I just hope Thrash is ready on her end."
Thrashclaw moved through the street finally reaching the archives, knowing the forgotten fact that the archives building was converted from one of the decommission ship's communication array. With the evacuation signaled there shouldn't be anyone to get in her way, or so she had hoped. One of the curators was still working or something, and Thrash didn't have the time to do things subtly.
Arming her missile and readying her weapon, Thrashclaw rushed into the room, "I'm in a rush so fight if you want, but you aren't going to last."
Thrash's threat seemed to have fallen on deaf audio receptors, that was until the white tiger Predacon finally turned to her, "Please do not disturb me. I need to save as much of our archives as possible."
Thrash lowered her weapons, slightly disgusted at his dedication, "Right, continue the propaganda spread by this new council…"
"While that may be true, my focus is on the sordid history that has been buried by time and bureaucracy. If you have any intention of stopping me," his eyes glaring her down, "than I will fight back."
Thrashclaw eased up a little, "That's not really why I'm here." She started looking around, "Since you're focused on that, if you know, mind directing me to where the old comm's array controls are hiding?"
"Why would you want access to that?"
"Well, depending on your stance on various situations, we're aiming to knock quite a few powers down hard."
The curator remained silent for some time, even pausing his work. "I must ask you a very specific question. Is it the council themselves or someone else that you are targeting?"
"Someone else. The councilors may end up as collateral from the fallout sooner or later, but if things go well, we might see a very dramatic shift soon."
The white tiger bot gently placed down a stack of datapads, moving toward a wall, "I hope by the spark of Primus that I am not making a mistake."
Thrashclaw nodded, "You're not. I've got some friends who I'm expecting soon. They should have everything we want to transmit the world over."
Thundercracker got in another sonic boom, causing the giant scorpion to real back even more. "This is it everyone. We almost have it in retreat."
Before his next pass an explosion erupted from the sea. The comms started to suddenly fill with screams and panic as a massive wave of Zoids started assaulting the evacuation. "How did that massive force of enemies get past us?"
"We need to get back there!"
As some Maximals were starting to turn, the scorpion took advantage of their distraction and shot them down. "Calm down everyone! We're tied down here as is…" Thundercracker surveyed who was left as he started to formulate a plan. "Alright, Maximals, as soon as I make my next attack you'll break off and help the evacuees. Sunspot, once the Maximals are out of range I'll need support fire from your group if I hope to get out of there alive."
"You've got our support, Thundercracker!"
Thundercracker was starting to get a little annoyed now that he told Sunspot his real name, but hearing the others muttering could mean that they're all inspired or at the very least motivated not to mess up. Thundercracker started to dive now as he started blasting away at the giant Zoid, "Now!" As expected, the Zoid focused on him because he was the biggest threat. A few aerial maneuvers and some fancy flying that he's picked up from watching Starscream and Skywarp was surprisingly helpful now.
Thundercracker zoned himself completely on the enemy in front of him, losing sight of the Maximals and Vehicons behind him as dodged and weaved between shots. As much as he hated the exhilaration coursing through his circuitry, he knew this was what was helping keep his processors focused on surviving this nearly unprecedented encounter. The situation couldn't possibly get any worse…
Lio Convoy led the Maximals against the enemy, charging headlong against them personally. Even with Lio on their side, the enemy's numbers were far too many for them to handle while also leading the evacuation. "Primal? How goes the evacuation?"
"Not good, Lio. Panic is spreading quickly, and their appears to be someone spreading rumors about traitors causing all of this."
Lio lifted one Zoid with his hands and tossed it into another, "Longrack, Armordillo, can we create a fire wall or trench to keep them at bay?"
"Not with what few armaments we currently have."
"And even digging a ditch would take too long and take too many of us away from the fighting. Our plans are completely skewed because of that giant Zoid."
Lio punched a hole through a Zoid's cockpit, not finding an organic in it. "Snapper, how is our evacuation route looking?"
"I'm not liking it. Something's scrambling our sensors just after I spotted something approaching. If I didn't know any better, I'd almost believe that traitor nonsense, especially with how easily they seem to know how we'd react."
Almost too well… And seeing as these things are unmanned, it begs to question who and why they are doing this. "We can't be distracted now. We must do what we can to protect the citizens! Don't let up and hold fast!"
"Our starboard cannons are being knocked out."
"Multiple hull breaches and fires spreading through the ship."
"Our ground forces are getting slaughtered by the Dinobots."
Sixshot finally reached the bridge, armaments reequipped, "Why haven't our forces deployed?"
Nightbird glanced to Sixshot, in part to show she was aware of his presence and to show her composure. "We have little to gain to save everyone down there, and even more to lose if we deploy recklessly. Something I think Slipstream barely cares for. Not that the Predacons or Vehicons were ever a priority for any of us," knowing how much care Sixshot had actual put into training them.
"Sister, we're picking up a new signal. A major energy surge."
"Unknown at this moment. Bringing it up on the monitors."
The energy that was detected appears to be similar to a space bridge opening, or at least it might have been before a legion of Zoid-like Cybertronians started pouring through. They had no brand of any kind to discern any faction affiliation. They transformed into their Zoid forms and charged toward the battlefield.
Many of the bridge were obviously intimidated by the sheer numbers they were seeing, Demolisher even speculating, "If those are Autobot reinforcements, then we can't possibly win even if we all fought. We might consider retreating…"
Sixshot was studying this new force's movement, uncertain of their intention. "They do not appear to be moving to flank us; however, we shouldn't accept them as allies so swiftly. Prepare all forces to deploy immediately when this new force joins the battle. I'll lead them personally. Demolisher, seeing as Nightbird and her sisters have things covered on the bridge, join us on the ground."
"We'll have the remaining cannons provide as much cover as possible when you're ready." Sixshot nodded to Nightbird, leaving the rest to her and her sister to manage.
Once Sixshot and Demolisher left the bridge, Sixshot spoke up, "Do not trust those human made bots."
"Eh…sorry. They sort of took control when I tried commanding…and err…"
"Understandable. You were unprepared for battle. And for you, tactical shifting like that is not easy. However, you should have been ready for combat given Slipstream's desire to wipe out the Autobots. Just the same, you should be careful with any secrets you may share around them. I hesitate to question Megatron's belief in them, however their creation by humans is what concerns me, even if we did wipe those humans out. I at least trust them more than I do Slipstream in some regards. Especially now at a battle like this."
Shockwave finally destroyed the virus; it was just unfortunate that his guests managed to escape before he could reconstitute himself enough to reactivate the local defenses. "I underestimated them. That shall not happen again." He swiftly started to go through what he could still see or control. Monitoring the situation beyond the city was going to be difficult and contact with his other operations was going not an option until he finished reconstituting fully.
The Zoids were assaulting the evacuees as laid out by Deluge's emergency plan. The force attacking the Death Stinger have divided in an effort to help only to end up being overwhelmed when the Seismosaurus surfaces. It'll be unfortunate that their sparks won't be salvageable for the next generation, but the Zoid cores will have to suffice until new sparks can naturally emerge from the modified core hot spots that have been experimented with.
"Now to find our little pests." Shockwave quickly shifted through all the monitors until he spotted them the trio moving through the streets. "It would seem they have underestimated my surveillance capabilities even in this deplorable state. Judging by movement patterns they are proceeding with a mix of Autobot maneuver 2174-218 and maneuver 5190-421. If that is correct, then their route should lead them… to the Council Chamber. I see, with the evacuation they will have no one blocking access to what the Council could control. I must turn my attention elsewhere until I am fully functional. Activating the automated defenses should provide enough time for me to turn my full attention to them when they arrive. Now to focus on my part in the current assault against the Autobots."
Aiding the Decepticons now will even out the battle so that preparations for the merge can begin. It was a shame to sacrifice so many experimental Gen 3 units, and future experimentation prospects, but for the master plan to proceed toward the ultimate goal, no unexpected aberration could be left to chance. The survival and evolution of the species depends on this clean slate to be created.
"The fools are so focused on these ancient squabbles that they'll be unable to see the coming wave striking this world and all on it. These hinderances to my systems are only delaying the eventuality of their destruction. I must not blind myself to my task of coordinating our Zoid forces. Based their maneuvers, I estimate they'll arrive at the defenses within the next megacycle. I will set a timer to ensure no further deception is at play. You Autobots have learned well from your ex-Decepticon cohorts. We will see how much you've really learned. I'm starting to understand why Shockwave Prime allow that small group of Autobots to survive. Beyond their contribution in creating the Maximals, they have a rather obnoxious ability to keep persisting despite any challenge placed before them. But I suppose putting forth an obstacle of which they cannot overcome is what needed to be utilized."