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|Transformers Universe Featuring the Wreckers > Issue # 5|
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The final showdown between the Wreckers and Cryotek determines the fate of Cybertron.
Originally published: online exclusive for the Transformers Collectors' Club on November 30, 2007
Several hours ago...
One week after the reformatting of Cybertron, Derodomontatus orders the Quintessons to invade the newly technorganic world. Cryotek advises caution, but the Quintesson is dismissive; the newly-restored population will be disoriented and easily cowed, he claims. Cryotek reflects that such arrogance is typical of the Quintesson race.
Aboard the Wreckers' ship, tempers are wearing thin. Betrayal, false missions, and flawed leaders have taken their toll. Primal Prime, meanwhile, makes metaphysical contact with Alpha Trion, who reassures him that despite the Quintessons' treachery, Vector Sigma sometimes works in unexpected ways. But before the message is fulfilled, something interrupts the contact. Time has just run out.
The group arrives in orbit and is shocked by Cybertron's new decor. They note the Quintesson warship in orbit and take pains to avoid it. Ramulus is eager to get to the surface and start busting heads, but Al-Badur advises—passionately—that the invasion force is but a distraction from the true threat, that of Cryotek. Prime agrees, and the Wreckers begin their descent.
Cryotek has become a god, but he's still pretty shocked by the appearance of Sentinel Maximus. However, the reaction lasts only seconds. Derodomontatus is furious at the Predacon's betrayal, but Cryotek simply has Chro kill the annoying Quintesson.
Amid the surface battle against the Sharkticon legions, Cheetor receives a message from the Oracle, drawing him away from the battle. Snarl hears it as well and orders him to go. Snarls receives battle reports: The Dinobots are turning the tide here, but other Quintesson landing points are incommunicado.
At the former chemical processing center known as Ankmor, Judge Brinn discovers that the technorganic transformation has some unexpected side effects, like energon-producing fruit trees and Transformers invisible to Quintesson scanners. Night Viper and various other Maximals ambush Brinn's forces. Night Viper is incinerated, only for his technorganic form to rejuvenate itself mere seconds later. He kills the Judge effortlessly.
The Wreckers' shuttle, with Rodimus, Arcee, Skywarp and Tap-Out aboard, is damaged and plummets toward the surface. Rodimus orders the others to bail out, but Skywarp knocks him out and takes the helm instead. Arcee revives Rotorbolt, and they carry Fractyl out together. As they watch, Skywarp sends the ship crashing into a horde of Sharkticons, its ruptured core obliterating everything around it. The shocked Wreckers begin to eulogize their fallen foe-turned-ally...only for him to show up right behind them, having teleported free.
Over Rotorbolt's strategic observations, the group heads to find Cryotek. En route, they meet up with Cheetor, who's rather awestruck to meet Rodimus.
Quintesson Overseer Rexian discovers a portion of the planet unaffected by the reformatting, along with a ragtag group of fully-mechanical mechs claiming to be formerly imprisoned Decepticons—now untraceable in their new bodies. As they loudly argue over which one of them is the big-shot Decepticon hero Thundercracker, they tear Rexian's squad of Sharkticons to bits.
Ramulus, Tigatron and Devcon have their hands full with Cyclonus and Chro, especially after Cryotek uses his powers to mutate the Deployer into a monstrous weapons platform. Cryotek and Sentinel Maximus are evenly matched until Cryotek uses his powers to animate a series of ancient sculptures and defunct Sharkticons into zombie-like foes that attack Maximus. Maximus warns Cryotek that such flagrant use of Primus's power will draw Unicron's attention, but his concerns are met with dismissal.
As Cryotek gains the upper hand, Al-Badur contacts Maximus and advises him to lead Cyrotek to a particular subsurface chamber. En route there himself, Al-Badur is discovered by Rattrap, Botanica and Nightscream. To prove his good intentions, he uses his old control codes to shut down a segment of the Sharkticon forces—fully one-third, in fact.
In another reformatted city on the surface, Overseer Vashik is having great difficulty with a group of Predacons holed up in a partially completed fortress. Before Vashik can initiate a surprise attack, he's crushed under the heel of a massive purple dragon named Galvatron. Waspinator reports on Quintesson movements into the city's western canyons, and Galvatron gives an order for his brother to proceed. The Quintessons in the canyon are trapped and destroyed, and Galvatron takes great pleasure in telling Vashik that his base metals will be recycled into the new Predacon capital of Darkmount.
Rodimus, Tap-Out and Cheetor reach the tunnel where Cyclonus is holding off Tigatron and the others. Cyclonus taunts them, and Ramulus screams defiance—only to have Skywarp blast the floor out from under him, sending him tumbling away into darkness. Cyclonus gloats as Skywarp comes to his side; the Decepticon jet has been his to command ever since he was reformatted into Cyclonus's Armada. But Skywarp always hated that and hates Cyclonus. He takes the chance to blast Cyclonus, rallying the Wreckers to the attack. Cyclonus then unveils his trap: a few companies of Sharkticons. The Wreckers fight on. In the midst of the battle, a strange web of energy streaks in from nowhere, and Tap-Out and Skywarp vanish into nothingness. With the Sharkticons still on the attack, Cheetor orders Tigatron to go for reinforcements.
On the surface, T-Wrecks is puzzled, as Triceradon has likewise vanished into thin air. Elsewhere, Longhorn observes that Snarl has disappeared as well.
Arcee leaves Fractyl in the care of Rotorbolt, who contemplates shutting off Fractyl's life support to spare his fellow Predacon the indignity of weakness. Tigatron arrives and offers to heal him instead. But within Tigatron, the Vok—now bound to his Spark far longer than they'd intended—demand their freedom in exchange for this act of healing. Tigatron agrees, and Fractyl is restored, though Tigatron's god-like bearing is diminished with the Vok's departure.
The fleeing Cyclonus collapses a tunnel behind him, but Rodimus makes it through. The two lay into one another with weapons, fists and words. The fight ends with both blasting the other point-blank.
Aboard an orbiting Quintesson communication ship, Admiral Krahulik realizes he faces a lost cause and prepares for a last-ditch orbital bombardment of the planet's surface. Before he can do so, however, Cybertron's orbital defenses obliterate his ship, having been reactivated by Obsidian and Strika.
Cyclonus drags himself toward the disabled Rodimus, only to get blasted and stomped into deactivation by Rotorbolt.
With Cheetor down, Devcon is saved from destruction at Chro's hand by the timely arrival of Arcee and Tigatron. Provided a clear shot, the bounty hunter finally puts Chro down for good. Rattrap and company arrive as well, with Rattrap delighted at Tigatron's revival. Arcee and Rattrap share an awkward moment.
Meanwhile, on New Quintessa, Judge Heirodyus correctly interprets the loss of communications with Cybertron as heralding the failure of his brethren's invasion attempt. Before he can even begin to plot anew, he finds himself facing two tattered survivors of a recent judgment: the Mutants Icebird and Razorclaw! Commandeering the experimental technorganic garden, the two quickly crush Heirodyus's guards. Icebird pins the judge down as Heirodyus tries to make his escape. Suddenly Icebird glows blue, and Primus himself speaks to the fallen Quintesson, thanking him for helping His plans proceed more smoothly.
Within Cybertron, Al-Badur and the assembled Wreckers have arrived at their destination: the room where convicted Quintesson criminals were once exiled into other dimensions. Sentinel Maximus and Cryotek burst into the room, still battling. Al-Badur activates a dimensional portal, and as Sentinel Maximus holds Cryotek, the portal snares the Predacon while the Wreckers scramble to avoid it. Trapped by a force field, Maximus and Cryotek separately struggle to escape the portal's gravitational pull as Al-Badur switches it to send them to a dimension of formless void.
As the Wreckers try to figure out how to save Maximus, Al-Badur reveals the extent of his treachery: He will take command of Primus's power, with Cryotek's disposal to the nether-dimension drawing Unicron's eye away from his efforts, and cultivate the planet's new technorganic power into a weapon capable of besting the Chaos Bringer when he returns. He's accounted for every failing of the past....
...except for Ramulus's fist, which bashes him through the shielding, where the portal quickly sucks him away. It turns out Ramulus landed three levels below and located the battle by following all the racket to its source.
Fractyl observes that the Divine Light within Cryotek is Matrix energy. Rodimus theorizes that Matrix Templars—himself and Cheetor—should be able to reclaim that energy. As they begin to draw off the crystal's energy, the strain further taxing the badly damaged Rodimus, Cryotek raises more zombie creatures (including Cyclonus's corpse). Realizing he can't win that way, Cryotek smashes the Divine Light, cutting the connection and absorbing the remainder of its power into himself, where his foes cannot take it.
Maximus orders Ramulus to destroy the control panel, but Cryotek begins trying to force him down into the portal. Maximus changes tactics: He shuts down his thrusters, takes firm hold of Cryotek, and uses his transfer interlink to drop a giant anvil on them both. The pair vanish into the portal just as it shuts down.
On the surface, Longhorn's troops have driven the Quintessons into retreat. As their ships rise, some are brought down by sabotage, while others fly right into the reactivated planetary defense system.
Below, Rodimus has died, the damage and strain finally taking its toll. The assembled warriors pay their respects, and Arcee and Fractyl take his remains to hidden burial chambers for interment.
In the dimension of nothingness, Cryotek makes contact with Al-Badur—who disintegrates, his non-Primus-empowered form unable to be sustained in this non-dimension. Sentinel Maximus also drifts into view, and the two prepare to face off again. Suddenly, a voice declares that Maximus is needed, and he vanishes. Cyrotek, though stymied, reflects that escape is evidently possible, and that he will nurture the remaining power of Primus within him until he can do so as well. Still, he vaguely suspects he is not alone...
Newscaster Rook reports from Mount Megatron that the Quintessons have been routed, then harasses Cheetor and company as they emerge from the tunnels. Devcon departs to retrieve his abandoned partner—whom he left adrift in with a pressure suit, a survival kit, and a tracking beacon—reflecting as he does that maybe there's something to the whole "teamwork" thing.
On New Quintessa, the technorganic plant life from the Quintessons' vineyard is spreading, and the two surviving Mutants ponder what to do with the remaining Sharkticons. They opt for spreading hope and joy to the oppressed creatures, transforming them from the godless killing machines they had been.
Somewhere in the void, Sentinel Maximus finds himself face-to-face with the time-lost Windrazor, preserved by Primus after Apelinq carried him through his dimensional portal. Windrazor offers to act as a spirit guide of sorts before moving on to other tasks in other dimensions, other realms where Primus is under attack. Windrazor offers reassurance, then vanishes, leaving Maximus to emerge into the real world of another Cybertron, where Alpha Trion and another mechanoid await him, as do still more labors to come...
"My dear Derodomontatus, a contract is simply an agreement bound in law. In order for it to have binding power, you must be capable of enforcing it."
- —Cryotek tells Derodomontatus that he's dead.
"Desssign flaw? No, no, no... It'sss a feature, ssstupid."
- —Night Viper doesn't mind being incinerated.
"Prepare plasma arrays for orbital bombardment."
"But what of our forces still remaining on the surface?"
"I am certain our brethren will appreciate our proactive solution to the unexpected impediment to our forward progression in this unparalleled business opportunity."
- —Admiral Krahulik totally went to PR school.
"I said, that was for stabbing me in the back on Archa Nine! And this... this is for making me repeat myself!"
- —a dying Cyclonus and a vengeful Rotorbolt
"Goodbye, Heirodyus. I will call your people to meet me again the next time I have need of an evolutionary crisis."
- —Primus, Lord of Light, wise in all things...turns out to be something of a smartass.
"I have known quite a few geniuses, Quintesson. I have killed quite a few of them, in fact. Your inclusion in their number speaks poorly for all of them."
- —Cryotek doesn't think much of Al-Badur.
"I... I don't know how! I don't fraggin' read Quintesson!"
"Just start hitting things!"
"That's a language I understand!"
- —Ramulus and Sentinel Maximus
- Other named Quintessons in the story include scientist Extempaxia and Overseer(?) In-Saba Nur.
- Primus's energy usually makes people better, but this time it killed poor Rodimus.
- So Devcon left Slizardo floating in space... for three hundred years?
- The story gives a name to the plant world that Botanica and crew were studying: Regalis V.
- This story occurs one week after the reformatting of Cybertron in the Beast Machines episode "Endgame Pt. III: Seeds of the Future".
- Unnamed Cybertronians described in the story include
- The story offers a new take on the whole "Cyclonus's Armada" debate, with Skywarp's original personality returning when he's reformatted into his current Vehicon body.
- The disappearance of Skywarp, Tap-Out, Snarl and Triceradon (and a contingent of Sharkticons, apparently), is them being kidnapped by Unicron. They would be freed in the Universe story "Escape".
- Obsidian and Strika were launched into orbit near the end of Beast Machines, in "Endgame Pt. II: When Legends Fall".
- The formless dimension, along with the Quintesson banishment chamber, originated in the Generation One Season 3 episode "Madman's Paradise".
- Rook reports from the "Cybernet Space Cube". This was a reference/gag that Glen Hallit had wanted to put into an issue of the Wreckers or Universe comics, but was ultimately unable to when the license was revoked and both comic series were canceled.
- Windrazor was last seen at the conclusion of "Reaching the Omega Point". For Apelinq/Sentinel Maximus, it's only been a few weeks or months, but for real-world readers, that story concluded almost 8 years earlier, with no information on Windrazor's fate.
- Struck by Unicron's bolts, Tap-Out and Skywarp "screamed and were suddenly silenced."
- Admiral Krahulik is named after some dude.
- "He makes me laugh," says Botanica of Rattrap—echoing Jessica Rabbit's reason for marrying Roger Rabbit of Who Framed Roger Rabbit fame.
- Ramulus riffs on a famous movie title in dubbing Rattrap "Cheesy Rider".
- He may be a bear, but Icebird is not a godless killing machine.
- Page 2: Mish-mash, not mish-mashed
- Page 17: Cyclonus hovered in the tunnel between the Wreckers and their goal. His missiles trained on the warriors before him.
- Page 18: "the chamber it up"
- Page 23: "I said; that was for..." Colon, or comma, but not a semi-colon.
- Apparently the shield in the portal chamber somehow protected Al-Badur from the Wreckers, but it's not quite clear how.