"Sixshot!" Perez and co. exclaimed at their ally, whose sudden arrival drastically stunned them. During which, the vessel's bow produced one enormous hole courtesy of an F-15 equipped with a Delta wing and front canard. Wasting no time, the fighter, like Diaclone's forces, swiftly transformed into a humanoid form heightened at 12 meters. The rear bearing scratched-up cobalt paint became its' bottom half, both chestnut wings residing on the lower legs' sides. Arms sprung out from the underside, equipping two shoulder-mounted laser cannons. Finally, its cockpit compressed into the body forming its chest, with its nose-cone eerily rotating 180 to reveal bright ruby orbs illuminating a dappled crooked face. Tonight's full-moon shined the canopy's yellow window, as Dirge hovered above with his thruster feet.
Both wings contained an ominous purple symbol painted prominently in their centers.
One angular face bearing two hollow eyes and four devilish horns pointing upward.
"That's a.....Seeker?" one female voice questioned.
"Oh right--you're new, Spychanger 4," Perez retorted. "You haven't seen what they can do, huh?"
"No, sir. Guess now's as good as ever."
Sixshot unfurled his arms. "It's been a while, Dirge. Life treating you well?"
"Well, well, well......", Dirge said, hovering up and down. "If it ain't Megatron's ultimate warrior. Perilous destroyer of worlds whose power alone frightened many fellow Decepticons. I'd never imagined you changed sides."
"How else am I to satisfy myself? War can only provide so much," Sixshot took out double long-range rifles.
"Betraying us wasn't enough, huh?", Dirge's resentful words seethed through. "You just had to side with humans. On top of that, you've joined the punks who offlined Ramjet and Thurst. Wanna know the pain inside my fists?"
"Did you ever particularly care for those two, Dirge? I certainly thought you held little attachment," Diaclone's companion aimed at the seeker, momentarily pondering on that question. Until he returned the favor by pointing his guns at Sixshot, triggering similar reactions from Diaclone.
"You're right--I never cared for them, nor did I hate them. But they were my brothers, regardless. And you're about to taste......", crimson eyes glowed hard. "...familial retribution."
The battle began.....
.....with Dirge opening squarish chest compartments, hailing an unpredicted rocket barrage unto them. Such firepower provoked an element of surprise--further enhanced by the missiles splitting wide, unleashing hailstorms of pellets onto the Spychangers. They scattered like ants, shielding themselves via their door wings. Luckily, the tucked-in windows weren't damaged.
Battle Convoy ran forward, activating its hover-tires to navigate swampy waters. The rusty deep azure seeker, bewildered by this moment, fired rapid bursts of red lasers hoping to quickly obtain revenge's lasting effect. Unfortunately, he didn't notice Sixshot transforming into his jet mode--until he glanced right-side, dodging the incoming fighter.
Before Dirge could change forms, bullets dented his armor as the Spychangers fired 3-round bursts on him. Charging forward on thruster feet and protecting himself with blocky arms, he converted into the specialized F-15 fiercely boosting towards them. Spychanger 1 was his primary target, only to get pushed aside by Number 4 whom he missed after initiating her rear thrusters, somersaulting over the jet landing directly on top.
Swerving upward attempting to release her capture, Dirge shook himself side-to-side while evading rifle fire. Battle convoy looked above witnessing this moment on-top of the vessel's bow, glancing behind as Sixshot closed in. The walking carrier jumps off, attaching to latches under his ally, effectively creating a jetpack.
As Dirge continued struggling against Number 4's grasp, he quickly noticed Battle Convoy's speedy ascent towards him. Without wasting time, he transformed into robot mode, knocking off number 4 to her untimely descent. Before that, Dirge grabbed the Spychanger's metal neck, firmly squeezing its solid nape. The humanoid Porsche took hold of the gray arm, dropping her rifle to focus on unhanding herself.
She never realized how strong Dirge's clutch was, nor could she imagine the nearly psychotic expression present. Despite bearing no possibilities for emotion, the seeker's ruby pupils glistened fiercely, oozing hardened resentment. Yet wickedness arose from his gray lips forming an eerie smile, delighting in tormenting Number 4. Has he finally done it? Will he now eliminate his brothers' killers?
Fortunately, Battle Convoy interrupted the torture by shooting Dirge's thruster feet. The walking F-15 cried in pain, letting Number 4 go screaming while gripping his damaged left foot. Sixshot climbed high above the seeker, detaching Perez's unit. Then, utilizing its hover tires to balance gravity's pull, Battle Convoy pounced on the distracted seeker. Its right hand retracted inside to expose a sharpened chainsaw sword. Once revved up for slicing, the duo became entangled in mortal kombat whilst descending fast.
Meanwhile, Sixshot closed in on Spychanger 4, transforming and cutting off boosters to fall farther. Once underneath, the jet-former lifted himself upward, gently catching her in bridal fashion. He couldn't see it, but he knew the pilot blushed indebted from this action.
Battle Convoy's seeker fight continued with Perez stabbing Dirge's left squarish chest panel, earning louder painful cries. Its sword vertically and viciously cleaved through, spraying azure blood everywhere and destroying the cockpit chest to give precise visualization of his heart. Or rather, spark chambers. Battle Convoy drove its left fist into Drige's robotic insides, extracting the glowing blue spark then pushing the jet-former away--its large feet activating hover tires for smoother landing.
As the car-carrier roughly landed in murky waters, it spotted Dirge's corpse splatting only twelve feet upfront. Sixshot hovered down with a caught Number 4, setting her down into the lake. Soon, the other Spychangers regrouped on Drige's now functionless body.
All eyes stared down on one lonely Decepticon, seeing the internal short circuiting remains spewing out blue liquid spurs. Perez gave the spark to Sixshot, knowing it held better protection with him. Soon enough, his ally stored Dirge's heart within his chest, using an open cavity.
"Well done, everyone," Perez congratulated his team, wiping recent moisture off his forehead. "Target Dirge has been eliminated."
"First three Autobots, now four Decepticons," Lee reported. "We're on a roll this month, sir. At this point, we might catch 'em all."
"Don't get overly cocky, Lee," Sixshot pointed out. "Dirge was just another grunt. Sooner or later, we'll face tougher opponents who'd make any seeker look completely incompetent. Trust me, you don't wanna fight Trypticon."
"Please...." Lee subtly rolled his eyes. "If you're anything to go by, I'd say we'd have every right to fear you, world-destroyer."
Sixshot narrowed his ruby optics. "You picking a fight here?"
"Only reiterating current circumstances," Lee corrected. "You may fight with us, but you don't belong with us. If Diaclone decides to dissect you, nothing changes. You're just another melted machine."
"Is that right?" Sixshot got halted by Number 4 before he closed in.
"Let it go. He's not worth it," Number 4 interrupted an incoming fight, earning a groan from one pilot.
"Here we go. Ms. Defender of robot rights speaks," said female pilot complained. "Shouldn't you two be dating now?"
"That's enough, Number 3." Spychanger 2 concurred. "We are accomplishing zilch standing around. Let's load Dirge up then head home."
"Number 2's right. Time to call it a night. Clearly, our seeker friend gave us quite a fright." Spychanger 1 agreed.
"Don't forget...." Perez interjected. "Our little firefight might've alerted local authorities. We're already taking risks piloting giant robots, let alone ones derived from Transformers. Now stop arguing like children. That goes for you too, Lee."
"Yes, sir," Lee nodded apologetically
"Sixshot, help me load up Dirge. Spychangers, you go on ahead. Split into two teams so we delay potential search efforts. You all know the drill, people. Let's move out!" Perez ordered the team. All five members strolled outta swampy liquids, Spychanger 4 picking up her dropped gun along the way. Sixshot carried Dirge's corpse on his shoulder, unhindered by the wings.
"Don't you mean roll out, sir?", Spychanger 1 joked, all of them now on sturdy unwet soil with murky droplets on their feet marginally soaking it.
"What am I, Optimus Prime? I tell you what, I'm a better leader than he'll ever be. And that's a definitive fact, Captain," the Major retorted, earning him a few chuckles. Sixshot, as always, remained silent. Never one to loosen up, he knew. Perez always wondered why the jet-former chose Humanity over the Transformers. Perhaps it's like Dirge said--Sixshot needed other means to satisfy. What exactly, he understood as yearning for battle.
Since the war's end three years ago, all Decepticons were routed out, either scattered worldwide or converging in groups. Whatever the latter entailed--terrorists, 'rebels', future dictators like Megatron--Diaclone's here to cease their HERSEY! Not the official company tagline, no.
"Spychangers...." Perez started, looking towards the rocky road ahead. "Transform and Roll out!"
As the four Porsches drove first, Battle convoy changed into its car carrier mode. Perez lowered the lower ramp, allowing Sixshot to gently load Dirge in. After which, the jet-former jumped topside, transforming into a car now. A blocky, futuristic automobile, but one regardless.
The night began to shine with clouds unveiling glowing stars. Into the solace, they drove.
An hour passed on during their trip back home. Lee gazed into the darkness outside, pondering whatever thoughts roamed his mind. Perez focused on the road, albeit feeling quite exhausted. Occasionally, he'd steal a glance at Lee, wondering about him. That earlier outburst certainly made him look bad. Worse than he already is. Of course, that wasn't true. Sure, Lee definitely advocates for Transformer genocide--a position hardly anyone follows--but never would he outright brag to anyone.
Or maybe Perez didn't know him well as he thought. Perhaps even two years later, both have yet to truly invest in their friendship. Just because two individuals fight together doesn't automatically mean they'll be friends. At worse, both will still kill each other. At best, they'll become frenemies.
"Something you wanna say, Lee?" Perez broke the silence.
"Pertaining to what, sir?" the SIC said, now eyeing his CO. "My earlier outburst at Sixshot?"
"Good guess. How'd you know?"
"Figured as much."
"Then you know what I'm gonna say," Perez said. "Do you want me to?"
"I know my words earlier weren't-"
"Do you want me to?" Perez repeated, interrupting him.
"No," Lee complied. "I understand what you're gonna say. My earlier actions spoke louder than words. It'd be pointless to reiterate."
"Alright then. We have an understanding, that's good," Perez nodded. "Now can you tell me why you did it?"
Lee knew why. Explaining it isn't difficult. Just that it'd come off as an excuse. Perez didn't like excuses. Honesty mattered more to him. No way would Lee piss him off with bullshit excuses. It just wasn't right. "Because......" Lee started. "I hate Transformers, sir."
"So do I, so does everybody else," Perez retorted. "But do you hate Sixshot?"
"No," Lee shook his head. "I don't."
"Uh-huh," Perez understood. "So it's prejudice, then."
"Yeah. Shocking, isn't it?" the SIC became irritated. "I hate him purely on his species. But wait, so do you."
"Watch your tone, soldier."
"Am I wrong? Hmm? Is it truly criminal to despise someone based on their race?" Lee questioned. "We fought with those monsters for exactly three years. Created an entire organization dedicated to an eventually destroyed alliance, helping the 'heroic' Autobots fight the 'evil' Decepticons. Still remember Skywatch, Major? I do!"
"What'd I'd tell you about anger, Lee?" the CO wasn't having it.
"Face it, Ricardo. We'll never coexist with Transformers, no matter how many peace treaties we sign. Those monsters took away parts of our lives we can't take back. Autobot or Decepticon, they're all the same--every one of them. It's the very reason Diaclone now exists. People finally woke up, realizing our world had been invaded by both sides. Joining them was the only way I'll ever atone for my sister's passing." Lee elaborated.
"Noah, I swear to god..."
"Believe what you want. Ultimately, it doesn't matter," the SIC reasoned. "Playing nice to a former Decepticon won't fix things. You know that, Ricardo. Even Captain Diaz."
"Don't you dare bring her into this," Perez exclaimed sharply, still keeping eyes on the road.
"It's your fault for letting Andrea join," Lee retorted. "How could letting her into this mess solve anything? Losing your son was hard, trust me I know. But one day, she'll be gone. When that happens, guess who takes the blame!"
"Are you picking a fight with me?"
"Just reiterating the current circumstances, of which you made," the SIC seethed.
Perez took a breath. Getting increasingly irritated merely fuels the flames. Calm and rational must dominate, lest chaos runs rampant. "Noah."
"What, Ricardo?" Lee bluntly asked.
"I wholeheartedly regret bringing Andrea into Diaclone. Every moment she's fighting, I'm scared for her life. I tell myself every-day what an idiot I am, letting my own wife in," Perez admitted, heavily sighing and wiping off incoming waterworks. "But it was her choice. I understood and respected her choice, regardless of potential consequences. She's my wife, after all."
"Ricardo..." Lee felt immediately guilty.
"My sweet, introverted wife is fighting out here," Perez mumbled. "Frankly, I'm not mad at her. In fact, I'll never be. I'm just disappointed in myself. If I can't protect her, what am I good for?"
Brief silence fell upon them. "Am I okay with Sixshot being here? Hell no. That bastard can save three-thousand people from a falling building and nothing would change my mind. He's still the same scumbag who single handedly annihilated New York two years ago."
Lee offered no response. "But god damn it, let him try. Doesn't work, we smoke him. Simple as Andrea's cherry pie."
"Those were delicious, huh?" Noah reminisced, now calmed down.
"And they still are, Noah. Never forget that." Ricardo enforced his unwritten rule: never dismiss homemade cooking, especially by his wife. Break that rule, may God have mercy on anyone who did.
"Sorry about that, Ricardo," Noah uttered. "I didn't mean to get so heated up."
"I know," the Major understood. "Save it for Sixshot. You've done more to hurt him than me."
"That won't be necessary, Major Perez," Conveniently, their ally's voice surfaced from the cab radio, startling both of them. Noah grabbed the mic.
"Sixshot, were you listening in on us?" he inquired.
"Of course, I always do. It helps to know whether or not you're trustworthy." Sixshot explained.
"Are you joking?" Ricardo wanted to know.
"I never joke about serious matters," he calmly retorted. "Even if I was, you wouldn't understand."
"Dude. You don't seem like a comedian," Noah pointed out.
"On the contrary, my sense of humor requires highly sophisticated minds to truly grasp the context. Mainly due to it being derived from experiences of obliterating worlds beyond your solar system. Better yet if one shares similar passions for intergalactic annihilation."
"Oh my god..." Ricardo facepalmed at the blatant ego-stroking.
"Still, I'm hoping we don't allow further distrust," Sixshot desired. "Coexisting with organics peacefully will never pass on official terms. But on a personal level, I believe we should tolerate each other. Getting along isn't necessary, yet allies we shall remain."
"Then..." Noah cut in. "I'll do the same. At the very least, it's better than being friends. Also.....sorry about earlier. Things were pretty heated."
"It's okay, Lt. Lee," Sixshot replied. "Apology accepted. I too wouldn't want our beef to last. Corporal Griffith certainly shares my opinion." he mentioned Number 4.
"Sounds good to me," Noah smiled.
"Breaking news: Wisconsin awakened by nightly battle!" ANN interrupted regular morning programming nationwide. "Now to tell the tale, here's Mark Teller for ANN 6:00 news."
Mark was now on people's screens. "Good morning, everyone. I'm Mark Teller for ANN 6:00 news. Our top story today follows disturbances reported by Wisconsin residents. In the small town of Culter, police have been getting numerous noise complaints of fireworks, which apparently originated from one of their local monuments. On the scene now is our news correspondent, Stella Howley. Take it away, Stella."
Now a beautiful oriental woman appeared in the box, standing nearby caution tape blocking entrance into the swampy lake. Her face was covered with a mask for anonymity. "Thank you, Mark. Behind me is local police investigating last night's disturbances near Culter's very own 'Titanic 2.0', one of few local monuments. It turns out, however, to have been much, much bigger," the cameraman zoomed out for a clearer view of the vessel's enormous void.
"Yes, you're not seeing this, folks. That ship has a hole on its bow. Police have stated this wasn't there before. County Sheriff Robert Furman suspects unwanted intruders vandalized this piece for unknown reasons. Or rather, large intruders," she raised an eyebrow.
"Police has discovered several metal plates painted with a very familiar insignia," the symbol appeared next to her. It revealed a crimson squared face with hollowed-out eyes spurting tear-like lines and a triangle-shaped forehead. Four lines converge down on flat horns pointing upwards.
"Could the intruder have been a Transformers fan? Or......," she paused for dramatic effect. "Have the Transformers themselves returned? Stella Howley for Culter, Wisconsin," the feed switched back to Mark.
"Thank you, Stella," he said. "For further updates, please check out our website. I will continue to monitor the situation as new information arrives. Personally, from my experience, the Transformers haven't entirely left our homeworld. Either wandering stragglers living anonymously or greater forces puppeteering behind closed doors. For your safety, America, keep watch, and stay alert. I fear the Autobots won't be this time."
Suddenly, the screen shuts off the office TV hanging above. It's dark glassy shows a middle-aged man at a wooden desk gently placing the remote down with his robotic arm. Milky white hair kept nicely grown illuminated under sunlight from the blinded window behind. His pasty lab coat worn over a pallid dress shirt containing no ties also brightened. Rusty glasses protect menacing yellow eyes gazing into electrical nothingness. An expression filled with disappointment prompted a rubbing of his orbs, wondering now what to do.