So, I know it's been a while since the last update on September 10th back in 2020 and…
I'll just get straight to the point: This fic is now officially canceled.
I hate to do this, but I just don't have the time nor will to write these long stories as much as I used to anymore. I'm also not at all confident I can keep the story good anymore, as what I had written for chapter 16 was scrapped and rewritten several times, and because of that I just kept putting it off until we're at where we are now.
But, I didn't just want to leave the story abandoned as-is. So I'm doing 2 things.
In addition to including what I wrote of the unfinished next chapter, I am writing a summary of where the story was going to go to provide some closure to this now canceled and abandoned fic.
I know it's not what you wanted, but it's the least I can do. I'm sorry.
Anyway, let's get into it.
Thundercracker stood atop the cliff face looking over the area. He wasn't looking for any threats, the vehicons had that handled. He was taking the time to observe the scenery. The leaves rustled and swayed to the winds as small critters could be seen scurrying around. The soft ocean waves sparkled as they reflected the sunlight. Remnant was a beautiful world beyond its sharp contrast to Cybertron. Remnant could be made entirely of metal and it still would be livelier than his old home.
After a while, Thundercracker opened a comm channel. "Shockwave, do you copy?"
"I copy, Thundercracker," Shockwave responded. "Is something wrong?"
"Negative. I was just wondering how things are going. Are we getting what we need?"
"Somewhat. While it was not a lot, we did acquire an adequate amount of energon, enough so that we might be able to prolong our next raid."
"That's good," Thundercracker hummed. When their ship first crashed on the planet's moon, securing resources was their first objective. Shockwave, being the brilliant scientist he was, was quickly able to create a machine that was able to turn a natural resource of this world, called 'dust' by the locals, into pure energon.
"However, getting information from the shuttle's computer is proving... troublesome."
"I am able to get a data transfer going, but the transfer process is slow even by human standards."
"It's a miracle the computer is intact and functioning at all."
"The same can be said about this poor excuse for a ship. How it's still in one piece, let alone how they repaired one of the engines, is baffling to me. Regardless, the black box is intact, so all navigation data stored on it is as good as ours in several cycles."
"That is good news," Thundercracker hummed. "What are we going to do about Jaune, that human boy?"
"That is up for debate. His use was to get the Autobot to cooperate, but now that that's done," Thundercracker looked to the forest where Arcee was taken and executed, "there is little reason to keep him."
"So we're just going to execute him," he stated more than asked.
"That is the more likely outcome. I doubt he'll be conscious by the time we're done, and we can't guarantee his silence about us." It was a good point. If they let him go, there's a good chance he'll talk about being hurt by 'giant robots.' Whether or not he is believed is irrelevant, word would quickly reach a certain group that has been nothing but a nuisance to them.
"Understood, out." Thundercracker closed the comm and scowled.
If you were to tell Clover that the mission was going to evolve into helping an NBE, he would have looked at you as if you said Grimm are cuddly creatures that give children ice cream. Yet, here they are now working with one.
These 'Cybertronians' apparently had factions among them, Autobots and Decepticons. While he wasn't sure if he could take Arcee's information about them at face value, the fact of the matter was that the Decepticons have been a secret enemy of Atlas for years now, raiding their supplies and killing their people, while the Autobots have not. While he would welcome the help, he was prepared to act in case Arcee had malicious intent.
"Clover, I'm in position. Are you receiving?" Marrow, who went ahead to recon the area, whispered into his comm piece. Clover activated a holographic projection from his scroll, showing the rest of his team and Arcee everything Marrow's binoculars saw.
"We copy Marrow," Clover responded. "Hmm, doesn't look like much so far."
"That looks like the same amount as before," Arcee got on one knee next to him. "I see Thundercracker but I don't see Airachnid anymore."
"I'm sorry, who?" Clover raised an eyebrow at her.
"Oh, sorry. The blue one who turns into a jet and the one who disguised herself as a Grimm," Arcee explained.
"Ah," Clover nodded his head and looked back at the hologram. He repeated the names once or twice in his head. They were odd names to him, but when he thought about it 'Clover' was probably an odd name to the alien robots as well.
"Where's that other one?" Harriet spoke up. "The one that disguised himself as one of your friends."
"Shockwave is on my ship most likely," Arcee responded. "I meant to ask, how's your head doing?"
"Hurts like a bitch," Harriet replied, somewhat succeeding in hiding her sneer.
"... sorry about that," the Autobot winced.
Clover didn't pay attention to Harriet's reply as he observed their conversation.
"They're bringing something out of the ship." The projection zoomed in on a drone bringing a metal container out from the ship and opening it, revealing a glowing blue substance.
"Looks like they're bringing some cube-like substance out of the ship," Vine commented.
"Energon," Arcee said, gaining their attention. "It's called energon."
"Is it some kind of fuel source?" Clover asked.
"Kind of. Let me put it like this, my people need energon just as much as you need water, food, and air. It is hazardous to organics though, so don't touch it. Assume your aura won't help you."
"Noted, thank you."
That's all I had written down, now onto the summary of story arcs.
Arcee and the rest of the Ace-Ops would have some small talk, giving more clues as to how long the Decepticons have been on Remnant and their activities, which mostly consist of dust raids for unknown reasons. There are still some tensions between the two, which Arcee understands. You don't go fighting an alien race and then trust the first friendly one so quickly.
Eventually, Marrow report details on the Decepticon's perimeter, and they move towards the ship after making a plan of action. They get into position when they hear Shockwave start addressing the troops. Though they are still having difficulties accessing the corrupted files on the ship, they believe it to be navigational data so they could have a way home. Plus, they have seized an adequate amount of energon to solve their problems for a short while. He gives the order for the energon containers for the emergency space bridge retrieval… and orders Frenzy and Rumble to kill the human boy, he's of no use to them with the Autobot dead and they can't just let him go.
Colver tries to quickly change the strategy, but when Frenzy and Rumble get close to the ship, Arcee jumps the gun and opens fire before charging in. The Ace-Ops follow soon after.
The fighting is controlled chaos. The Vehicons fall quickly, but the Decepticons prove a tough fight. Arcee notes how the Ace-Ops fight: mostly evasive but getting quick and effective strikes in, and they're fighting with experience.
Colver gives her an opening and pins down Rumble. Arcee gets to the ship but Frenzy beat her to it and has Jaune hostage, bragging about all the pain he can give him before hilling him. Arcee, seeing the state he's in and getting flashbacks of her previous partner's cruel demises, she stands down as Thundercracker lands at the ship's entrance behind her. Still smug and taunting, Frenzy skirts around her to Thundercracker's side.
Frenzy's smugness dies when Thundercracker raises his arm cannon and blows his head off and then quickly catches Jaune before he hits the floor and gently lets him down. He then tells Arcee has orders to destroy the ship and tells her to hurry as he transforms and flies away. Arcee is stunned for a few moments before rushing to Jaune. She cradles him and apologies for all of this between sobs. She then hears the roar of jets approaching and runs but is blown off her feet from Thundercracker's strafing run on the shuttle, which falls into the ocean. The area is clear now, the Ace-Ops rush for Jaune. Arcee is the only one who notices Thundercracker hovering in his bi-pedal mode, staring at them before disappearing (much like how the Decepticons teleported in Transformers Armada.)
Jaune's condition is bad and Clover calls in an emergency medivac. They were initially cautious about letting Arcee near him but relented when she acted like a very concerned mother over him. Fluids leaking from her damaged face looked like tears, and they felt sympathy. Several black painted Manta gunships arrive. Jaune is loaded onto one by medics, soldiers come out of the others and they all have their weapons trained on Arcee. Clover says she'll have to come with them. She agrees, but promises they'll 'regret it' if they go back on their word of helping Jaune.
Meanwhile, Ironwood and Watts are debating about some dust deal. Weiss and Whitley watch for family business sake. Ironwood then gets a message and proclaims it's another spam call, the 7th one today. Spam. 7. S7. Jaques gets the hint and dismisses Weiss and Whitley for a 'day off.' They expect to read a report of a raid on a dust convoy, but get a report from the Ace-Ops about their incident. The reaction is mixed for both of them.
In an undisclosed location, Thundercracker and another Decepticon (I forgot who I planned for it to be) were the last two that didn't get into their stasis pods. The Decepticon says that before he was teleported out, he saw that the boy was alive. He didn't think it was important at first but now thinks he should inform Shockwave when he awakens Targeting the boy could be a good way to get to the Autobot. Thundercracker says he agrees and helps the Decepticon into his stasis pod, leaving just him to get into one. He then sabotages the pod in a way that everyone will think the pod just simply malfunctioned. The Decepticon's knowledge and plan die with him.
At a Sector 7 base, Arcee is only allowed near Jaune under heavy guard, but many soldiers start to think it's not needed. He's still unconscious, and they fear some damage to his arms is permanent. Despite Clover's reassurances, Arcee still blames herself for this.
A visitor soon arrives in the infirmary to greet them: James Ironwood, General of the Atleasian Military, Headmaster of Atlas Academy, and one of the heads of the secret Non-Biological Extraterrestrial combat unit known as Sector 7. And he has some questions for her.
Ironwood and Arcee start conversing in another room. She explains what exactly she is, their home of Cybertron, how they've been in a civil war for Primus knows how long, and the events that led to her arrival on Remnant and how she met Jaune at that village. Ironwood in turn explains his situation with the Decepticons. They first showed up 8 years ago, wiping out an outpost on Solitas. A counter-attack showed they could be killed, and since then it's been a secret war of occasional skirmishes, with the Decepticons mostly hitting dust convoys and storage facilities for unknown reasons. Ironwood formed Sector 7 to combat them. Only a few know about them, not even Ozpin or the other headmasters know.
Their conversation is interrupted when a doctor enters the room to inform them about Jaune. Despite their best efforts, Jaune's arms have become extremely infected. They had to be amputated. Arcee, though at first feeling grief, now feels anger, and outright offers Ironwood anything she can to fight the cons.
The Ace-Ops later join them and they converse about everything they know about the Decepticons and their attacks. All they could really conclude is that Shockwave, the genius that he is, invented a way for dust to be converted into energon, which explains the dust raids, but not other things. On that subject, Ironwood informs Arcee that the Decepticons didn't get all of the energon. They recovered some and will give most back to Arcee since they want to study it.
Arcee then remembers Thundercracker and brought up how he helped save Jaune. Ironwood confirms some suspicions, saying that some survivors reported the blue flier Decepticon limiting casualties, only attacking drones, and helping some survivors stay alive by hiding them. Why is unknown. Arcee can't figure it out but recognizes there's something more going on.
It cuts to days later with Jaune sometime after he wakes up, armless and feeling like crap and having (somewhat) accepted his situation. He's then wheeled to another room where he's allowed to see Arcee again. The Autobot immediately rushes to him, embracing him and apologizing profusely about everything. Jaune doesn't blame her one bit but asks her to loosen the hug just a little bit.
Ironwood lets them have their moment and then some before butting in. He and Jaune converse about what's going on and brings something up: He's a target now. Whether he likes it or not, he's involved in this war now. The Decepticons haven't gone out of their way to kill witnesses since the beginning of this shadow war, but that could change because of his connection to the Autobot. It's still unlikely, but still a possibility he wants to make light of. It's debated for a good while and determined that while possible, they wouldn't risk it as long as Jaune was still in a populated area. Jaune could return home, but under watch from the Ace-Ops, at least for a while, and they want to do more medical tests to make sure he's ok first. Jaune asks an important question: Should his family know too?
Ironwood gets on a call with the rest of S7's leaders, which include the Atlas council, some military officers, and Jacques and Winter Schnee (she's not a leader but a key agent), and explains the situation. It's a relief to hear about a faction that opposes the now named Decepticons, but there's also caution that the 'Autobots' might not be as well-meaning as Arcee. But for now, they won't look a gift horse in the mouth.
The Arc family is devastated by Jaune's disappearance just over 2 weeks ago. Coincidentally, a bandit tribe that had a history of kidnapping and ransoming was taken out nearby, but Jaune was still missing. Even his sister from Beacon was allowed time off to come home and help search for him, but to no avail. All hope is lost, and just as the inevitable is setting in, there's a knock at the door. Jaune was brought home, flanked by the Ace-Ops. Jaune's return is a very emotional one thanks to the state he's in, but they're happy he's back.
After emotions simmer down, his family asks what happened and who is responsible for hurting their son (there's murder in his dad and one sister's eyes).
(I think this is a good place to point out I was going to retcon Jaune's family a little bit. Not too much though, just change around some of his family members' names and make Saphron canon so we could get Terra and Adrian later. I would have gone back and edited the chapters to do so but I lost the original files.)
The Ace-Ops answer is that it's Jaune's to tell and then bid farewell. The Arcs avoid the question for a while, making sure Jaune is well and fed, but the question of what happened had to be asked. Jaune brings them to the backyard, where Arcee rolls up and transforms.
"So that motorcycle I found turned out to be an alien robot. Who knew?"
Turns out the blunt and direct approach could have been done better… a lot better.
It would then cut to Arcee being cartoonishly cramped in the Arc house. They converse about the situation, which the Arcs still have trouble wrapping their heads around, but they start to slowly accept it. The sisters ask Arcee many questions, some valid, some ridiculous (no, she didn't plan to kidnap him to become an alien robot princess). Mom and Dad ask the more important questions, but are relieved to hear their son would be ok and thank her for keeping him safe and looking out for him. They converse a little bit more before June gets tired.
Cut to next week at school, a teacher is helping carry Jaune's backpack to his motorcycle. Jaune became a mini-celebrity for surviving against bandits. As he leaves (the excuse is that the motorcycle has an auto-drive function) Jaune asks Arcee how come it looked the bikes of some of the guys who were bullying him were smashed. Arcee just says it's 'unfortunate' there were no cameras around and that the windows were closed.
They return home and find WInter Schnee. She reports that the Decepticons have been completely quiet and S7 has a gift for him: state-of-the-art prosthetic arms. It's a happy moment for everyone, despite a moment where Jaune's controls are inverted for a moment. They're very grateful, Arcee included.
Sometime later, Jaune's dad and Arcee take him into the forest so Arcee could get some energon rations and so they could test Jaune's prosthetics in some sparing. Thundercracker watches them from a distance, seemingly happy at the boy's recovery. Knockout ( the Decepticon medic -from TF Prime) is with him and notes that they're supposed to be scouting for good targets to gather dust, not watch the kid. Thundercracker counters that Knockout spends most of his time immersing himself in Remnant's culture instead of his job. If Shockwave or Arachnid ever find out what they're really up to, they'll be executed.
Time skip development:
The next arc of chapters are less refined in concrete ideas, but they genuinely are chapters that go like this.
The Ace-Ops still pop up from time to time to keep an eye on Jaune as a form of R&R. They end up forming a family-like relationship with him over time (like older siblings or unofficial aunts and uncles) and help him with some training occasionally. Winter also joins occasionally too.
Jaune and Arcee still hang around after school, bonding over movies/shows, books/comic books, and other pop culture things. She ends up picking up an exquisite taste for metal music.
… and no, Arcee and Jaune will not be shipped together. Just good friends.
Arcee occasionally joins Sector 7 occasionally to help investigate possible Decepticon activity. Sometimes instead of being with the Ac-Ops and Winter, she's with other Sector 7 troops and agents, which include Lieutenant Schwarz William Lennox and Winter Schnee. Half the time they disrupt Decepticon raids, other times it's just Grimm. Keeping Arcee a secret is easy, but sometimes rumors of an advanced prototype circulate but never gain any traction. Arcee being around also helps give the Ace-Ops and other agents in anti-Decepticon training.
She also meets with Dr. Authur Watts on more than one occasion. Watts has been tasked with creating energon-based weapons now that they have ample samples of it (the Decepticons take their dead when they can, which is almost always). Arcee is hesitant to help until she gets reassurances from Ironwood. Arcee can't help but see him as Ultra Magnus in human form and gives him the utmost respect, but she still buts heads from time to time.
Meanwhile, Shockwave tries to piece together the shuttle's navigation data but to no avail. Thundercracker and Knockout partake in some dust raids, but Arcee notices they try and limit human and faunus casualties. There are also moments of them enjoying some of Remnant's culture at times.
Ironwood also contacts Arcee with information about their energon research. They are able to replicate the process of dust conversion for her, so her energon supply should not a problem for her anymore.
Arcee's aura, other projects, and a real girl:
Timewise, it's now been almost 2 years since the start of the story.
There have been some unusual Grimm activity around Jaune's home. He, his father, and Arcee volunteer to patrol one area outside the town. They end up finding the main horde of Grimm. Jaune and his dad do their fair share of fighting but Arcee takes the brunt of it. There are a lot of Grimm, but when the horde starts dying down, 2 Geist appear and possess several objects to form monsters twice Arcee's size. It was a hard fight. They manage to take 1 down, but the second severely damages Arcee before Jaune and his dad take it down. Her wounds appear fatal and she's slipping to non-function.
Jaune panics, and either in an irrational panic or in some stroke of brilliant thinking, tries to do to her what Joan did for him: climb on top of her, position her arms, and utter the right phrase.
Arcee wakes up shortly after and feels strangely yet refreshingly revigorated. She then panics when she sees Jaune unconscious. Jaune's dad explains what happened: that Jaune unlocked her aura, which took a lot of energy out of him and he passed out. The two are flabbergasted at how this is possible, but with the Grimm taken care of, they bring Jaune back for his safety.
In place of the Ace-Ops, Schwar Lennox and Winter Schnee arrive when Arcee reported the new events. Quick tests show she does indeed have aura and appears to now be faster and stronger because of it. Sector 7 requests Arcee and Jaune visit Atlas for testing as well as 'other projects of interest.'
When they arrive in Atlas, Sector 7 officials, including Schwar, Ironwood, Jacques, and Winter, escort them to an SDC mine and they enter a hidden elevator. Once they reach the bottom, Arcee recognizes the hull of a Decepticon warship… half of a warship at least. They found this ship shortly after the shadow war began. Progress on it was slow, (so as not to accidentally activate a self-destruct or SOS signal), but recently they found something… interesting.
They enter the cargo area and find rows upon rows of deactivated Decepticons. There are different variants but multiple of each. Arcee thinks they are some kind of Vehicon variants but she can't be sure. (They are the Decepticlones from the 2004 game, as they'll find out later). After some conversing and investigating, Arcee advise they are either left alone or destroyed if possible. Given the proximity to the actual dust mine, they leave it alone.
Next, they are brought to a lab Atlas. They salvaged parts of something from the ship and wanted her to see them. Arcee recognizes it as parts of a space bridge, a rare piece of technology on Cybertron. But, other than what it does, she doesn't know anything about it.
Finally, they are requested to meet Dr. Pietro Polendina, a man who is too giddy to interact with her for his own good. With him is Penny, a pale, terminally ill-looking girl in a wheelchair who is looked after by others as they enter Pietro's lab. Pietro explains they have been researching aura as a science and he has a project of creating artificial life with aura. He was having trouble and got stonewalled, but Arcee, a robotic-organic organism, could help him greatly. Jaune puts 2&2 together quickly and realizes what this project is really for. Acree agrees to help him save his daughter.
I don't fully remember what I had planned for this but it would have been 2-3 chapters of Arcee helping Pietro and Ironwood with aura research and occasionally with other projects, Jaune and Penny becoming 'the bestest of friends'. Watts and Pietro but heads from time to time, but it's only mild banter (this was to show he's not joining Salem anytime soon since his own projects aren't getting neglected).
Several weeks later they think they have a breakthrough when Ironwood enters with bad news: The Decepticons hit a mine and occupied it. Hundreds are feared dead.
The Mine Crisis:
Shockwave recovered what he could from the corrupted navigation data. Though not as precise as he likes, they have a proximate location of where they are and where Cybertron is. All they need now is supplies and more energon. They plot a raid on one of Atlas' larger mines, that exports both dust and raw metals. This will be the largest raid they've ever done. Airachnid is sent as the forward force to clear the mine. Thundercracker and Knockout share a look and quietly agree on something unspoken before going to Shockwave for a proposal.
Over a few days, Airachnid sabotages communication relays, places a jammer, and makes guards and wandering workers 'disappear'. Once the fear sets in and attracts some Grimm, then she strikes. If an alarm goes out, then Atlas will think it's a Grimm attack. The rest of the Decepticons show up and clear the Grimm and any other surviving miners and guards. There would have been a moment where Ilia Amitola's parents try to get one last call to their daughter but are unable to before Airachnid butchers them. One wounded guard manages to escape and runs into Schwar's squad on patrol and gives testimony before she dies from her injuries.
An emergency meeting is declared with the heads of S7 and their agents, Arcee and Jaune included. Drones and CCTV from the mines show large amounts of dust and metals being taken out and teleported away. They don't know the Decepticon's plans but this has to be stopped now. A force including 2 battleships is sent. Jaune managed to convince Ironwood to let him be included in the force but gets put on the perimeter to keep Grimm out.
Arcee leads the first charge and establishes a perimeter around the mine. There is a counterattack but it's repelled, but not before some S7 personnel are captured and dragged into the mines, Jaune included. Arcee wants to head in immediately, but Ironwoods wants to hold her for fear of the hostages being executed. Schwar and the Ace-Ops agree that the prisoners would be executed anyway and the Decepticons taking prisoners is a sign they are vulnerable, earning Ironwood's go-ahead.
In the minds, Airachnid and Rumble mock and threaten the prisoners, Jaune especially, until Knockout relieves them of their duty. Knockout does get close and behind Jaune and tells him to cease struggling or there'd be consequences, revving up his buzzsaw right behind him for emphasis, before going to the outside door to guard it. Jaune then realizes Knockout cut Airachnid's webbing on him enough for him to break free and free the others.
Arcee and the Ace-Ops get through and engage the Decepticons in a large hallow in the mine (like the Geist fight in vol 7). Arcee's aura makes her more powerful, but they are outnumbered. The fight turns to S7's favor and Jaune manages to take out one of Airachnid's eyes by luck. During the fight, Arcee slashes Knockout, and when he falls, looks her in the eyes as he drops a box and rolls away. Shockwave soon gives the order to retreat. Rumble starts causing a cave-in. Knockout grabs Thundercracker and they teleport away. Arcee grabs the box Knockout dropped and reaches for Jaune, but Airachnid beats her and teleports away with him. She doesn't have time to scream as rocks fall all around her.
It would then cut to after the battle at night. The Decepticons retreated and S7 took light casualties. It's a victory, but Arcee laments at Jaune's capture fearing the worst.
The official story is that the mine suffered an accident and a cave-in.
In the Decepticon's base, Jaune was quickly placed in a containment cube so he wouldn't die. Shockwave made that after their first attempt at prisoners ended… badly, but they never attempted to take any again until now. Jaune would be valuable alive to get to the Autobot, at least mentally.
The Final Strike:
Pietro, Watts, and other scientists studied the contents of the box. Inside is a device that allowed the teleportation the Decepticons used to retreat, which could be used to get to the Decepticon's base. Ironwood congratulates them on their quick work, but Pietro explains that their quick success was because of a data packet explaining most of it and they had to fill the pieces. Also in the box was also the receiving end of a tracker. When traced, it revealed its location on the moon. Close study with telescopes reveals what they believe to be the Decepticon base hidden mostly below the surface (what they believed to be marks from small asteroids bouncing off the surface is now actually the marks of a ship crashing and moon sand moved to cover the ship).
It's now obvious Knockout gave them this data intentionally, combine this with reports of the rescued prisoners that Thundercracker suggested to take them prisoner instead of executing them… even Arcee is confused at these events, believe it has to be some artier motive, but...
Ironwood quickly devises a plan. While Atlas's best prepare the teleportation device, they will make a power energon/dust hybrid bomb. Arcee will teleport to the Decepticon base, place the bomb, rescue Jaune if possible, and then teleport back before detonation. She will also be given a fake bomb as a diversion. Arcee would have to go alone thanks to the moon's lack of atmosphere and Atlas' lack of spacesuit technology/knowledge. Ironwood tells her to, as much as he hates to admit it, be prepared for the possibility she won't be able to save Jaune, if he is even still alive.
On the Decepticon ship, the raw metals are being processed to repair parts of the ship. Jaune is kept in the transparent box. All he has for food and water are the rations he had on him. He used them sparingly and is low on energy, and hope. Rumble and Airachnid constantly mock him and say how they'll be having fun when the time is right. Shockwave interrogates Jaune on a few occasions but doesn't get much (both because Jaune holds firm and doesn't give away anything useful). Knockout and Thundercracker are surprisingly the kindest to him when no one else is around, striking casual conversations.
Days later, Arcee is equipped and prepared to do the mission. After several rounds of good luck and salutes, they activate the teleporting device and is soon on the Decepticon warship, right on the unguarded teleportation pad. She manages to set the decoy bomb where they store the dust and energon before she's spotted and soon has to fight her way through the ship. She tears through the Vehicons in her way trying to find Jaune.
The alarms start blaring. Jaune's newfound hope is diminished when the Shockwave orders Jaune killed. Rumble is more than happy to oblige before getting buzz sawed in half by Knockout. He grabs Jaune's cube and starts running.
Arcee places the real bomb at a critical point in the ship (that she knows from memory of a past boarding action) and then runs into Shockwave and Airachnid. Thundercracker arrives not soon after and shows his true colors and a 2v2 brawl commences. Meanwhile Knockout is trying to fight off Vehicons in pursuit while keeping Jaune's cube intact. If it cracks, Jaune will die in the vacuum.
I don't fully remember how most of the fighting was supposed to go, but the end result is. Thundercracker flying out of the ship, Jaune safely in his cockpit while Arcee and Knockout hanging on his wings as the Decepticon ship is utterly obliterated, all hands (seemingly) lost.
Thundercracker gives them a rough landing on Solitas, where the wounds he sustained in battle are more severe than they appear. Knockout starts treating him and offers their surrender.
Prisoners of War:
Sector 7 celebrates its victory, the Decepticon threat is no more. Ironwood, the Ace-Ops, Jaune, and Arcee don't and more and want answers as to what Knockout and Thundercracker want. Why betray their own kind?
Knockout and Thundercracker explain: The explosion of the Heart of Cybertron sent them all here. Though they don't know how long it's been, they have received old transmissions. From Cybertron. The planet is destroyed. Megatron's many attempts to end the war once and for all left the planet in ruins, to the point where the planet's core got corrupted and became unable to support life anymore. Few were able to escape the planet thanks to Megatron, if anywhere able to. As far as they know, the 3 of them are the last Cybertronians alive.
They didn't give up and decided to use the planet's resources to stay alive, using small and precision strikes since Remnant's forces are sufficient to engage and kill them. When Shockwave got Arcee's navigation data from her shuttle, they got a good location of where to travel to return to Cybertron. Even if Cybertron was there, they knew Shockwave would find something to bring back to Remnant to subjugate the planet for their own.
Thundercracker and Knockout became weary of the Decepticon's actions during the war. The Decepticon cause was perverted, they became the very thing they fought against when the war started. (Deep down they knew they'd be hunted down by the Decepticon Justice Division if they tried to leave.) When they were accidentally sent to Remnant, they had to stick with Shockwave and the other Decepticons as they were their only source of energon. But seeing them show total disregard and some enjoyment in killing the humans and faunus, just like they did the Autobots… it was a tipping point. Thundercrack admits he was directly responsible for the death of some humans... one that haunts him was a mother that held a locket and pleaded for her daughter, Pyrrha, to stay strong without her. (Yep, that happened.) They resisted where they could, a little bit of false intel here, a little less dust salvage so humans and faunus can escape there, but there wasn't much else they could do, then Arcee showed up. They thought she was proof other Cybertronians were alive and around. But when that turned out to be false… well…
It's a lot of info to take in. Arcee even leaves and has a breakdown. Her home, friends, everything she fought for and everyone she knew is gone. In her emotional outbreak, she wants to kill them. Thundercracker submitting himself to a deserved fate and Jaune pleading with her calms her rage.
Sector 7 debates on the issue until it's decided that Knockout and Thundercracker will be in Atlas's service for the time being.
That's all I had in terms of the set-in-stone plotline I had. There are other plot points I had but those are less refined. They are as followed:
Start of Redemption:
Knockout and Thundercracker are placed under Ironwood's command and take orders only from him. They slowly gain respect from the S7 personnel, including Arcee's. Thundercracker is slower to open up but does so thanks to help from Knockout, Jaune, and surprisingly (and mostly) Penny.
The Decepticlones and other tech:
Ironwood and Winter bring Thundercracker and Knockout to the buried Decepticon ship and ask them about the deactivated Cons. They recognize them as Decepticlones, an attempt by Megatron to get additional soldiers in the war. Though they are better than Vehicons, they are mentally dumb drones by comparison. Thundercracker remembers them in pre-pre prototype phases, for them to be complete in these numbers now… maybe the navigation data on the main console is still active?
They run the idea by Ironwood that Atlas and the rest of Remnant could use the Decepticlones against the Grimm. Everyone is cautious about it, but the plan is greenlight and Pietro and Watts are tasked with greeting the programming. In a few years (and new paint jobs), the Decepticlones are Atlas' staple combat droids, lent and sold to the other kingdoms as well.
Thundercracker and Knockout also share some data/ideas Shockwave tried to cook up, mostly regarding power to compensate for energon rationing. Don't remember all the tech ideas, but one of the big ones was solar panels, (named Watts panels since Authur Watts pattens the product first). Jacques isn't too happy until gets partial ownership of Watts panel production and maintenance.
Some other tech includes a better-refined version Shockwave's dust to energon converter, which helps the slow development of energon powered weapons and engines for ships. They also try to create a space bridge for travel and trade directly between the kingdoms (I wasn't sure how far they get. It depends on where I took the story in the future.)
With all other distractions out of the way, they get back to Penny. Despite a concerning hiccup, the aura/soul transfer is a success. Penny is now in an android body.
Penny would spend much time with the gang and become the little sister to almost everyone (and became the Arc's unofficial 8th sister when she meets them). Penny starts out like her chibi-self but becomes like her vol 7-8 self rather quickly (physically and mentally). Arcee actually inspires her to become a huntress/protector.
Android bodies and in-between time:
Penny's success, along with Arcee proving Cybertronians can have aura, brought up another theory: Could you also make human-android bodies for the Cybertronians? The answer is yes. Through a similar process they did with Penny, they could transfer the souls of the Cybertronians into android bodies and vice-versa. They look fully human even to the touch and this allows them to mingle with Remnant's society directly like they couldn't do before.
They make the most of it when they can. Thundercracker takes up scriptwriting after seeing some cinema and shows (like he does in the IDW comics), Knockout becomes a car enthusiast, especially with higher-end models, and Arcee… her development is mostly the same/what it is alongside Jaune as the story progresses (though an idea was tossed around that in her 'human' form, she'd adopt a little feminine side like Veronica from Fallout New Vegas. I'm not sure how serious I considered that idea). She also would (accidentally) corrupt Penny into liking metal music.
Heart of Cybertron Fragment:
This is an arc I wasn't sure of keeping in, but I'll share it regardless. it goes like this:
While Jaune, Arcee, Thundercracker, and Knockout are investigating a lead in Argus, the cybertronian's android bodies malfunction. Knockout recognizes that the same thing happened before the incident that sent them Remnant, and it was because of a piece of the Heart of Cybertron when it fragmented. A quick investigation revealed that a jewel in the tiara of a local resident, Pyrrha Nikos, is the fragment. (The Heart of Cybertron is not like the allspark, which is why random technology doesn't turn into transformers.)
They decide to retrieve it, but Jaune is the only one who can get close. The retrieval unintentionally turns into a fight and all hell breaks loose, but they escape with the tiara. Thundercracker doubles back and sees Pyrrha start breaking down. Adding on to the guilt of being the one to kill her mother many years ago, he uses what funds he has to get a replacement gem and delivers it back to her with an apology note.
The use of the Heart of Cybertron would have been used in one of three ways.
A: It would have been used as a power source for Atlas and Mantle.
B: It would be used to keep Atlas afloat to free the relic.
C: In possible combination with the first 2 options, it would have been what was needed to awaken the Decepticlones for Atlas'/Remnant's use and lead to the production of more Decepticlones.
Shockwave and Airachnid's survival:
Shockwave survived the destruction of the ship on the moon. Shockwave wakes up years later (during Vol 1) on a mountain top in Salem's domain. He wakes up and finds her, and soon the 2 of them realize they have similar enemies.
Airachnid managed to escape and took refuge in Anima. There, she had a refuge she made with energon supplies. During her time on Remnant, she hunted and killed many people and taxidermied most of them as trophies. These include huntsmen and huntresses, and residents from Kuroyuri, Ren's parents included. Depending on how the story went, she would have replaced the Nuckelavee in Vol 4. Speaking of…
From here, depending on how I was feeling, the story would have diverged into one of 2 paths.
Either A: S7 would intercept a message from space from Optimus Prime calling all Autobots back to Cybertron to rebuild now that Megatron is slain and the war is over. Tracing the signal with some data from the Decepticone ship, they find Cybertron's location. And with energon-based engines, they can make the journey. It's a hard decision, but they eventually choose to return home to build. Thundercracker decides to stay and fulfill his atonement.
It's a very emotional goodbye.
Arcee and Knockout would later return to Atlas some years later, during the events of Vol 6. And the story would have continued from there. Arcee and Knockout would have brought other Autobots with them and they would have greatly helped change things for the better.
Or B: Time passes as normal until cannon arrives with a few divergences. The biggest early one would be Thundercracker fighting Blake and Adam on the train, and Jaune being less of a pushover.
Divergences really begin in volume 2 when the paladin is actually a Vehicon, prompting a secret S7 investigation. Other key divergences include cybernetic Grimm during the brach and fall, Pyrrha being crippled instead of killed, Airachnid is killed instead of the Nuckelavee, and in vol 7 Jaune tells Ironwood the truth almost immediately when everyone leaves.
And there we have it. There are some more plot points in plot B but that's all I remember.
Again, I'm sorry about this, I really feel bad about letting you all down. But, I hope at least this provides some closure to the story.
Thank you all for sticking around, I hope you all enjoyed it while it lasted.
I hope you have a good rest of your day :)