Transformers: Sovereign

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Transformers: Sovereign

Postby Transypoo » Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:05 pm

Chapter 1: The Crash

The Sovereign lurched and shook as its rear engine assembly erupted, radioactive smoke pouring out of the jagged wound into the Transwarp channel through which the ship was traveling. The Sovereign was an Autobot prisoner transport ship on its way to Phyrohex, a graviton penitentiary located in the mouth of a black hole. The ship was hauling over seven hundred Cybertronians of varying factions in its converted cargo hold. Many were Decepticons, some were Autobots, there were even some Maximals and Predacons in the mix. They were arranged in cells, three high, along a central hallway. The crew of the ship was divided into two teams, the ship's crew, which itself was divided into bridge crew and engineering divisions, and the prison guards. By design, the two sections were kept separate from each other with massive locked doors, different access tunnels to navigate the ship, sleeping quarters, and hierarchies. In practice, the doors were left part way open, and the teams had a friendly rivalry, often sharing recreational spaces and resources.

Today, though, the doors were closed. A small band of the prisoners managed to break out of their cells, releasing more of their comrades in an attempt to take the ship for themselves. As reinforcements swept in, the situation quickly escalated into a full blown prison riot. One unlucky Decepticon, Wrenchgear, had decided to disable the Transwarp drive and instead blew up the whole thing, himself, and the entire engineering deck.

“Report!” The Captain barked standing from her chair. Chromia was an old war horse form back in the day. At one point she'd been second in command of the all-fembot rebel group when the Decepticons had taken control of Cybertron in Optimus Prime and Megatron's absence. When the planet was retaken by Autobots her group was unceremoniously disbanded. Most of the rest had gone off and gotten themselves a Conjunx Endura. In the cases of some of the younger rebels, they'd hitched themselves to the first mech to come down the line. Chromia was never one for settling down and having Protoforms clinging to her struts. She worked hard to get her own command, even if she was just a glorified bus driver, at least in her position she could recruit fembots that would have been otherwise overlooked by the patriarchy.

“Engine deck's not responding, Ma’am!” Nautica called back. She, by all rights, should have been back there, calibrating plasma vent flows and adjusting the photon compressor rates, but it was her shift to be on the bridge staring at the gages and giving hourly reports. It was the worst job in the engineering division, but everyone had to do it. Turned out that today was the right day to be on the bridge.

“Scrap. Get me Sentinel Maximus!”

“No response, Captain.” Crystal Widow reported from the communications console. She had a naturally calming tone in her voice, a quiet nobility to her personality, and slow deliberate movements to her actions. She never liked to talk about where she came from, but if her frame was any indication, she was one of the Technorganic Maximals from the Vehicon invasion. “The Communications array seems to be down. Effecting repairs at once.” She rose from her chair and opened an access panel on the wall.

“Ma'am!” The navigator turned in his chair to the Captain. “The Transwarp channel is becoming unstable.”

“Well, fix it, Dion!”

“I can't, Ma'am. The Transwarp drive doesn't seem to be responding. We've only got a matter of Breems before it collapses and ejects us into normal space!”

“Where will we end up?”

“Uhh... at this rate... anywhere in time and space? Probably within our galaxy.”

“Widow?”

“There does not seem to be a problem on our end of the Communications network. Perhaps there is a malfunction with the cargo deck's system?”

Chromia turned around to face her first officer.“Pyra?”

“Yes, Ma'am?” Pyra Magna stood head and shoulders over the rest of the bridge crew. She was the eldest of five sisters from the Rust Sea. The barren waist was not the kind of place that was easy to grow up in, Pyra had to work herself down to the endo-structure helping out on various Energon farms just to scrape by. But when she heard that a fembot captain was hiring primarily fembots for her crew, Pyra gathered her sisters and took the next train to the Hydrax Plateau Spaceport. She found work on the ship for herself and her sisters. She brought her level of hard work to her duties and was quickly promoted from position to position before finally landing as First Officer.

“I need you to go down to the cargo deck and find out what in the blazing pit is going on down there!”

“Yes, Ma'am.”

-----

Sentinel Maximus, warden of the Sovereign's cell block, marched down the main hall of his domaine. Maximus was an imposing figure, almost as wide as he was tall. He had patterned much of himself off of Optimus Prime, but as he was growing older found himself agreeing with Megatron's philosophies more and more. Trailing behind him were his Deputy Warden, Tigatron, and Guard Captain, Depth Charge. The halls of the prison were filling with smoke, the deactivated frames of Guards and Prisoners littered the floor. Many were knocked into Stasis Lock by the explosion, others were off-lined in the riot.

“What in the slaggin' Pit happened?” Maximus bellowed. “How did they get out!?”

“We're still unsure.” Tigatron had a soft voice and a cool demeanor, but some how it only made him more intimidating. It also helped that he'd integrated twin Electro-shock blasters into his forearms.

“Well, find out what happened, and get the Captain on the Comm!”

“Comms seem to still be out.”

Maximus stopped before an incapacitated Vehicon bleeding energon on the floor. “Alright. Depth Charge, you go get the Comms back up.”

“Sir!” Depth Charge saluted and charged off the way they'd come.

“Tigatron, go down to Level Six. Make sure everything is secure down there.”

“I'll meet you at the rally point.”

Without saying another word the two bots turned and went their own ways.

-----

Pyra Magna, in her fire truck form, rolled down the wide ramp to the cargo hold. She braked before the massive double doors that took up the entire width of the hallway and divided the cargo hold from the rest of the ship. She contemplated the door for a moment, she knew the guards sealed the doors during riots and prisoner transfers so that none could escape and hijack the ship, but she'd never seen it herself. To the left of the doors was a guard station built into the wall, the top of which was slightly below eye level for her, with a similar station on the opposite wall on the other side of the door. They were both built to accommodate the smaller Transformers, Mini-cons, and Microns.

Currently, though, the shutters were closed. This was also unusual. She'd come down this way many times to speak with her sister Rust Dust. She was the smallest of the sisters, despite being only the second youngest, and has a bit of a complex about it, making her headstrong and loud. Very loud.

Pyra pressed the well worn Call button on the wall beside the guard station. She could faintly hear a buzzing from behind the shutters, which suddenly shot open.

“It's closed! Go back to- Oh, hey Pyra.” Rust Dust was sitting behind the control console legs crossed, feet on the desk, with a data pad in her lap.

“Rust Dust. Captain sent me to find out what's happening. Engineering isn't responding and we can't get Sentinel Maximus on the Comm. Widow thinks it's something on this end. You know what's going on down here?”

“I dunno, they closed the doors 'cause of the riot, I guess it must have gone bad. I'd open 'em for you, but Hatchback and I gotta push the buttons at the same time an', as you said, Comm's out.”

“Riot? What riot?”

-----

Sentinel Maximus arrived at the rally point where his guards had managed to corner the remaining rioters in the Mess Hall. They'd set up barricades staggered around the door allowing most bots to move about under cover, but Maximus was no ordinary bot, even crouching down on one knee his head and shoulders were fully exposed.

“Do we know the instigator yet?”

“No, Sir.” Windblade lowered her stun blaster and turned to the Warden in one motion. She was vastly overqualified for the guard position she occupied, and everyone knew it. Windblade graduated top of her class at the Cybertron Elite Guard. Top of any class if you dug into the archives. Maximus, Ultra Magnus, Prowl, and every other Autobot with a command position in law enforcement requested her. It continued to baffle them all, Maximus included, why she picked this job. He figured she wanted to see the sights, take a tour of the galaxy before ending up in a stuffy office, not expecting to be on a windowless vessel that spends 90% of its time in Transwarp space. But she was here, not patrolling the streets of Iacon, or leading up a crack team of anti-terrorist commandos. Hell, she could have been Optimus Prime's personal Bodyguard with her talents.

“But,” she continued, “seeing how it's now mostly Dread Pirates, we think Cannonball had something to do with it.”

Maximus grunted softly and activated the bullhorn function in this vocal processors. “Cannonball! Surrender now, there's nowhere for you to go!”

“Captain!” A voice called back.

“What?”

“I'm a captain! It's 'Captain Cannonball', to you!

“You were never a captain, you stole that ship!”

“It was still mine!”

“The Axalon belongs to the science branch of the Maximal Government!” Maximus paused, fully aware of the patronizing look Windblade was giving him. “Cannonball, surrender now, or we're coming in after you!”

“Dread Pirates never surrender!” Cannonball yelled back from his hiding place behind the the counter. Followed by his crew chanting: “Never Surrender! Never Surrender!”

The Dread Pirates were made up of a few individuals bolstered by a legion of drone warriors. The drones, collectively know as “The Crew”, were built according to stolen blueprints for new bodies for the Decepticons known as Pounce and Wingspan, they were then mixed with some Vehicon engineering and programing. The result was a near-identical crew of loyal drones split into a flying type and a driving type.

Ferak, Cannonball's first mate, whispered: “Captain, I don't think it's a good idea to antagonize them.” He was an old gladiator from back before the great war. One of the original followers of Megatron, commander of his own squadron, one of the famed Target Masters! But just because he hadn't been on the Nemesis when it crashed on Earth he'd been forgotten by his own faction. He ended up on the streets with his partner, Tornado, rebuilding memory modules from spare parts just to afford enough energon to survive. That was until he was picked up by the Dread Pirates. Now he was somebody. He was somebody hiding in a kitchen. “We should surrender!”

“What? No. Ferak, no. No, no, no. They're bluffing. Bluffing! They wouldn't-”

The bulkhead on the far wall of the mess, where most of the drones were hiding behind tables flipped on their sides, exploded, sending those same drones flying forward. The now gaping hole in the wall looked directly out into the Transwarp stream and what atmosphere there was on a Cybertronian ship rushed out the hole with the force of six hurricanes, pulling several of The Crew out into the void.

Cannonball poked his head over the counter yelling for his crew to “HOLD ON!”A Micron whizzed past him screaming as it was flung out into the Transwarp stream. He watched the poor creature as its body bounced off a part of the ship, veering off into the stream and disappearing.

“Alright! We surrender! Stop shooting!” Cannonball yelled, desperately clinging to the counter. The Crew chanting “We surrender!” as one of their own lost his grip and shared the same fate as the Micron.

“Hold your fire!” Maximus switched off the vocal magnifier. “Was that us?”

“No, sir. We only have Stun Blasters and Stasis Initiators, no ordnance. I don't know what that was. If the Comms were working we could ask the bridge.”

“Ugh. What's taking Depth Charge so long?”

-----

Depth Charge opened the door into the dark maintenance room behind the Warden's office. He searched around behind the racks of non-lethal weaponry and Stasis Cuff, past crates of emergency Energon rations surrounded by Turborat traps, he found the Communication Network access panel.

Before being a guard on the ship, Depth Charge had been a cop with the Maximal Security Force. He was known for his 'by the book' methods and dogged pursuit of criminals. But one day, while he was out on assignment to a Maximal Colony, his home town of Nova Cornum had been destroyed. Every shingle inhabitant killed by a creature called Protoform X. Built secretly in a laboratory, Protoform X was meant to tip the favor of the Maximal-Predacon War in their favor, but instead they had created an unstoppable killing machine with no loyalty to anyone. It swept across Cybertron, destroying everything in its path, and seemingly only growing in power. The media call it “The Rampage”. Depth Charge became obsessed with finding a way to finally stop the creature. He'd been told by everyone in the Security Force to give it up, leave it to the military. He was frequently suspended for insubordination, and finally discharged. But he did not give up, hunting the creature across all of Cybertron-explored space. But it was ultimately an Autobot weapon that took out Protoform X, vaporizing him in space. With nothing left, Depth Charge took a scrap job guarding convicts on a prison transport ship; and now, apparently, they wanted him to be a communications technician.

Depth Charge pulled the access panel off the wall. He stared into the charred remains of the complex electronic equipment he only barely understood when it was working.

“Scrap.” he grunted, poking around. The rusted gears in his detective's mind began to creak to life. His first instinct was that the burnout was caused by some kind of feed back from the explosion on the engineering deck. But something was-

“Hey, Depth-y what're yah doin' back here? Shouldn't you be, I dunno, guarding something?”

Depth Charge glanced over his shoulder, Shadow Striker was leaning against the door frame. She was the newest and worst guard on the ship, she'd only been given the job because her sister Roulette, who had been on two voyages previous, had vouched for her. The second they got back to Cybertron she was going to personally throw her off the ship no matter what Roulette said.

“Official business, Striker, get back to work.”

“Can't. I'm on break.” She smirked. “Besides, Ol' 'Wingblade' told me I wasn't helping and to come up here and watch the doors.” She gestured behind her.

“So do that.”

“I was, but Hatchback also said I wasn't helping and told me to take a break. So, I am.”

“Then do it somewhere else, Striker. I'm busy.” Depth Charge grunted and turned back to the charred Comm system. Faulty wiring could have burned out some of it, but that'd be pretty localized. He contemplated sabotage, but how could a prisoner get into the Warden's office let alone the closet on the other side. Even if it was, who could have- “When was the last time anyone saw Wrenchgear? Is he still in his cell?”

“I dunno. I'm on break.”

Depth Charge glanced back at the destroyed Comm system, then strutted to the door. “Move.”

“Make me.” But he didn't have to as the second explosion shook the office Almost sending the two bots to the floor. “What the-” Shadow Striker and Depth Charge ran to the large windows that over looked the entirety of the Prison section. From their position neither could see the mess hall but they could see the debris being sucked towards the hole.

“A hull breach?”

“Whoa, wait. A hull breach? What could breach the hull? Wait isn't that where the barricade was? Roulette's down there!”

-----

“Captain, a plasma conduit has ruptured, we have a hull breach on the cargo deck! Aft section! We're venting atmosphere! Containment shields are not engaging!” Nautica reported, wishing she could go down and fix all this mess herself.

“The Transwarp channel is collapsing!” Dion helplessly mashed at his controls. “We're being pulled back into normal space!”

“Dear Primus, brace for impact!”

-----

Normally a Transwarp ship slips out of its stream through a rippling opening in space, emerging as if stepping out of a lake on to the shore. The Sovereign, on the other hand, burst into the fabric of space-time through a violent tear in reality that cast thousand foot long bolts of energy in all directions. The ragged wound closed instantaneously behind the ship, which was rocked by a series of catastrophic explosions as volatile systems failed to withstand the transition from near-infinite speed to a dead stop.

-----

“Status report! Now!” Chromia barked, pulling herself back up onto her feet.

“We're back in normal space. But I can't tell you where, or even when!”

Nautica hesitated, looking at her console. “Uhh, m-multi-system failure, most everything is off line. We-we're more hole than hull.”

“Send a distress signal!”

“External Communications array is gone, Madam!” Crystal Widow said, wiping Energon from the corner of her mouth.

“Do we have movement?”

Dion quickly assess his displays. “Barely, we've got maneuvering thrusters only.”

“Alright. Find us a safe harbor. Let's get this tub ship shape again.”

“Ma'am, we have another problem!”

“What now, Dion?”

“We-we seem to be caught in the gravitational pull of a nearby planet. We don't have the power, or time to pull out. We are going down.”

“Then...” She paused. “Let's land her.”

“Ma'am?!” Dion turned to look at the Captain, his eyes wide with fear. Everyone on the bridge knew the ship was never designed to be grounded, not even on its best day. As a cargo ship, it was made to go from docking port to docking port, it wasn't even equipped with landing struts. Straight out of the factory it could've skimmed an atmosphere, but that was 500 years, and about 50 explosions ago.

“We-we're going- you want me to land her?”

“Dion, did I stutter?”

“No, Ma'am!” Dion turned back to his console and began punching in commands.

-----

Maneuvering thrusters fired intermittently, realigning The Sovereign for the optimum atmospheric entry angle. Bits of the ship broke off as it began to burn though the atmosphere. The ship groaned with the effort as Dion carefully readjusted the trajectory to keep the whole thing from turning into a flaming ball of metal. “Easy girl, you got it.” Dion pitched the nose up by another fraction of a degree. The ship creaked in response.

The Sovereign streaked across the sky of the lush world as a brilliant shooting star, its fiery wake sparkling like champagne. A few of the native animals looked up to witness the event, returning to their business as if nothing happened.

Dion bit his lip adjusting the pitch and yaw of the vessel, the uneven surfaces adorning the exterior coupled with the gaping maws in the hull, were causing the ship to want to go into a death spiral.

The surface of the planet rapidly approached on the monitors that were still displaying the intended information. The bottom of the ship, breaking the tops of the tallest trees as it roared over the abundant forests. Then, deep in the structure of the ship, a girder weakened by the many explosions, snaps in two despite its valiant efforts not to. Freed from its bonds, the right side of the aft portion of the cargo deck pulls away and twists, shearing the entire ship in two. Several inmates are crushed in their cells as the rending mental collapses around them.

Sentinel Maximus grips the edge of a distorted wall panel as he watches the front of the ship fly wildly away from him. The ground whizzing past the massive opening, then sky, then the ground growing ever closer, then sky again. He catches one of the Dread Pirates by the leg before it could be hurled out of the ship by centrifugal force. Maximus pulled the Pirate in, the others clinging to his body reaching out to help the drone find a grip. Maximus had turned into something like a port in a storm.

The back half of the ship hit the ground with a roll, then bounced into the air again, sailing over the tree tops in a horrible shredding spin before falling to the ground again. Trampling the forest in its path, as it skidded to a halt, finally, coming to rest in swamplands.

-----

“Oh Primus, we've lost the cargo deck!” Nautica gasped.

Chromia didn't care, she did have the luxury or the time. If all the convicts were instantaneously off-lined, she would not care. If Sentinel Maximus were off-lined directly in front of her, she wouldn't care. The only thing she cared about in that instant was the mountain sailing over the horizon. “Stop. Stop! Dion, Stop! STOP!”

“What the frag do you think I'm trying to do?!” He screamed, slamming the forward facing thrusters to maximum burn. He knew this was a bad idea, but he had not choice in the matter. The thrusters popped one at a time, causing jets of burning fuel to uselessly spew forth. Smoke and fire filled the one remaining monitor. The belly of the ship screamed as it made contact with the ground, the hull tearing away instantly. Plowing through trees and hills, the Sovereign did not seem to want to stop; It bounced off the top of a low hill, taking to the air for a single, horrendous nano-click before slamming itself face-first into the side of the mountain, crumpling like an aluminum can. The Sovereign was grounded for the first, and last, time.
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Transypoo
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