The Autobot side.
The rectangular table was silent.
Evolution Prime stood in front of the window, hands clasped behind his back as he looked over the city while contemplating.
All the facts that his band of squad leaders had brought to his attention were true. The rumors of a new RDD leader had been
confirmed. His own Autobot troops switching over to the enemies side had, depressingly, been confirmed.
But while each of these worried the Prime, the one that bothered him the most at this point in time was the eerie silence
from the Decepticon army since the last battle. It was making everyone suspicious and edgy.
Crazyfist was the first to break the silence.
"We should send someone in to gather information."
"It will be an extremely hazardous mission with Soundwave there." Sharpwing commented in reply.
"I have downloaded some spy routines to Fast Forward," Hoistimus interjected. "His speed should get him in and, hopefully,
Overloaded sat forward in his chair. "Isn't there someone better suited for this? They have a whole army of cassettes!
Sending one of ours in there is more like... a suicide mission."
"If Hoistimus says Fast Forward can do it, I'll take it. I've seen him in action." Op looked over at Evolution Prime, who
had finally turned away from the window.
The Autobot commander crossed his arms. "Do it," he commanded. "It's been too long since we've heard so much as a sneeze
from their ranks. Our defeat of them in our last encounter wasn't that much of a win. We nearly lost the first part. And with
the sudden swelling of their ranks, I don't want to be surprised by an attack. If this new leader, Dynamax, wants to make
an impression on his troops, he is most certainly going to attempt something." He leaned forward and planted his fist on the
table. "We need to be prepared."
"After that close call I made preparations for such a thing." Hoistimus commented. "I have sent Fast Forward out as a scout
many times in the past to gather information on base locations and personnel listings."
Those sitting at the table nodded, some more reluctant then others. But they all agreed that they needed information before
they could do anything else. Hoistimus stood up.
"I will send him now."
"Excellent. I wan the rest of you to go through the defense protocols until we get word back." Straightening, Evolution
Prime headed towards the door. "I want to know the instant Fast Forward returns."
Without waiting for a response, the Prime vanished out the exit.
Hoistimus stood up a second later and exited the room, making his way down to the hanger where Fast Forward had already
been instructed to wait. He went over the coordinates with the cassette, stressing the danger of the mission and cautioning
the small Autobot to be careful. Fast Forward only squawked, bumped his head against Hoistimus' hand and launched up into
the air. Flapping his wings to himself into the air and fly out the hanger bay doors.
In the command room, Blaster followed the small cassette's movements on his monitor until he hit the Autobot/Decepticon
border where the signal went out of range of the base's radar.
Walking on all fours, the pterodactyl clambered through the ventilation system that led to the room that held the most
Decepticon signals, trying to keep his talons from making too much noise from walking on metal. A concentration of Decepticons
had to mean something.
He walked until he came to a vent grating above the Decepticons and then used his claws to pry the grating off. He quietly
set it aside so it wouldn't fall to the floor and then slipped through the opening, gliding silently downwards. Landing on
a lower beam, he scooted sideways until he was in a shadowed corner, and then settled down to watch the room was filled to
When the light came on, highlighting a Decepticon that Fast Forward recognized as the newly elected RDD leader, the cassette
turned his recording equipment on and recorded every word the Decepticon spoke.
He quickly turned it off when he saw movement near him. Cocking his head in the direction, he watched as an oddly colored
condor started nearing his position. Fast Forward hesitated for a second, but it was apparent that the Cassetticon was going
to discover his location - regardless of what he did.
A burst of lasers blasted the small Decepticon out of his way. At the same instant he thrusted himself off the beam and
towards the floor, knowing that with his cover blown speed was his only tool for survival. He swooped out of his dive; using
the burst of speed it gave him to head of the set of doors in front of him. But he had barely gotten a quarter way to them
when the began to close.
He would never make it that way.
He quickly lashed out with his tail, using the counterweight on the end to snap himself into a sharp u-turn, and headed
back the way he had entered the room. As he reached the vent opening there was two loud squawks behind him and he twisted
his head around to see that he had acquired two followers; Laserbeak and Buzzsaw.
He folded his wings against his back and hauled himself through the opening and proceeded to scramble as fast as he could
through the system, forsaking stealth for all the speed he could. He knew that the condors wouldn't be able to fly in the
small space, and used that advantage to put a large gap between him and them.
When he saw the light ahead of him he knew he had finally reached the exit and put on a burst of speed, hopping a few times
into the air before lunging out the opening and flaring out his wings, flapping madly. Too soon, Buzzsaw and Laserbeak emerged
from the opening as well and within moments caught up to the pterodactyl and started firing their lasers at him.
Fast Forward veered and swerved but a bolt still managed to strike him on his tail, another following a moment later to
slice through the edge of his wing and he cried out in pain. Once he got going though, his speed was greater then the 'Cons
and so he pressed on even though he was continuously leaking fuel.
He was able to ignore that fact until he was nearing the border and his resources began to wane and his speed to slow.
But he had managed to set a rather large gap between him and his two followers and now it was a gamble as to who would reach
him first once he crossed the border. His fellow Autobots... or the swiftly approaching Decepticons.
Blaster had continued to monitor the border after Fast Forward had disappeared into enemy territory. Now, three hours later,
Fast Forward's signal finally reappeared. It was faint though, and seemed to flutter in and out of the scanner. The Autobot
quickly called for Sharpwing, the commander on duty at this time.
"It's Fast Forward," he told Sharpwing when the other Autobot had arrived. "And it looks like he's in trouble."
Suddenly two more signals appeared on the screen, strong, fast and unmistakably closing in on the first faint signal. Blaster
recognized them instantly. "Laserbeak and Buzzsaw..." he murmured.
"I'll go get him." Sharpwing rumbled. "Those little vultures have no chance against me."
The Autobot spun on his heal and ran out of the command room.
At full speed, it didn't take him long to reach the injured cassette. At the sight of the much, much larger Autobot, Buzzsaw
and Laserbeak broke off their pursuit with angry cries before they flew back to Decepticon territory.
He couldn't have arrived any later. With a warble call of welcome, Fast Forwards blue optics flickered, then went dim as
his body, pushed to its limits, decided to shut down.
Sharpwing transformed in mid-air and swooped to catch the falling Fast Forward. He gently cradled the smoking frame in
his large hands, shielding the Cassettibot from the wind and he flew back to the base at full speed.
He didn't stop until he had reached the infirmary.
"He had a recorded message..." Hoistimus told Evolution half a mega-cycle later in the Prime's office. "But it's been damaged."
He placed a copy of the recording into his player.
"...Deceptic-! ...you are well aware, there has been a ra-... -f defections to our side of the war.
Many of...-ung Autobots... -ar is really about. And they weren't...rsuaded either... these new recruits will get a chance
t... found loyalty. Their missions will be... backup to these missions...I am sure they... wind of the change in leadership...k
to a full-scale invasio-... we will be attacking their main sector Altigon, head on. We will need...Lay of the land out there,
i... likely we are going... small battles...will be a fight from the... beginning as our target is deep...the Autobots territory
and is hea... uarded...end our newly formed...m beat their ex-team...tes...show the Autobots what...re capable of...goal is
to make ...eir base...hey shou... so busy with...terwards they won't be abl...egin to worry about...ur plans for ga...tic
Hoistimus stopped the recording. "That is all we were able to recover. Fast Forward was pretty damaged when he took blasts
from the Decepticon Cassettes..." his voice trailed off as his face became troubled.
"I understand." Evolution nodded to his officer. "Send the word out. I don't want one Decepticon setting one step inside
this base. Deploy our troops around the sector to cover the border entrances."
The Prime paused for a moment, rubbing his chin in thought. "And make sure our new recruits are prepared for this."
Hoistimus nodded and stood up. As he exited the room Evolution tapped a button on his desk to open up the base's intercom.
"Attention; the Decepticons will be planning a full assault on our base. Man your stations, prepare for anything and be
prepared to give them a counter attack!"