METATISIC: PART TWENTY-TWO
TITLE: Metatisic., Metatisic: Saga One
TYPE: Transformers G1 fiction
AUTHOR: Megan Seekings & A. Chandler
FIRST RELEASE: 1985, 1986, & 1987.
Revised edition 5/8/03, 2004-2008
SUMMERY: Unable to obtain it from their native planet of Cybertron, Decepticon leader, Galvatron resorts to excavating an asteroid particle that has tested positive for Cybertonium, dispatching a crew to retrieve it. But as the surface layers are removed, trace outline of an ancient staircase unintentionally leads the party on a sudden and very unexpected journey deep into Cybertronian history prior to the first Great War some 14 million years ago!
Bractos - PL-D4; Regent Quarters - The Iysurus
( Dourjer's quarters... )
Eleven was pleased as she worked to straighten the folds in Metatisic's cloak. Now clean and repaired, his plating almost shone with an inner glow that made her internals seize in a sort of silent rapture. It was her joy to be able to serve the Dourjer.
She was aware that the Mighty One watched her, though she did not raise her face to see. He was contemplative and Eleven did not wish to intrude. She would not venture to guess what sort of thoughts occupied the mind of a mech such as he, filled with Karna's everlasting light and the holy spark of Megadyne --nor question them.
Gently, she began to click the menat's snaps shut.
"Soldera." He said.
The small femme did not even look up from her task, though she did slow. Only he would call her by name and not by number. A part of her trembled as she remembered other occasions when her name had passed his lips in such a manner.
Again, Metatisic's timbre rumbled, "Soldera..."
She stopped her ministrations and then looked up at him hesitantly. As always, she was struck by his breathtaking majesty. "Have I displeased you?"
Cupping her cheek, he shook his head faintly. "Never have you ever displeased me."
Her features, cool and beautiful, blossomed in a smile that could almost be felt. She did not answer, but bravely put her hand over his.
"The hand of war is rough. Its weary work has tired me, my treasure..." He spoke softly, as he would to no other, his thumb tracing over her cheek plate again to stop at her chin.
Eleven could say nothing, his ache becoming hers, but she did not need to. Her feelings played across her features like jewels suspended in starlight. Each one was clear and unmistakable, almost glittering as if the heavens themselves had been captured in her ruby optics.
"Have you spoken yet with Megatron regarding his actions?" She asked.
"Yes." Arms sliding smoothly across her delicate frame, the hand on her cheek soon cradled her head, while the other wound it's way around her waist. "Yes I did. I'm just not so sure he understands the full severity of it. To go out onto the field like that? He's barely learned to control his state of transformation yet much less mastering his "
"You're tired, my Lord. Perhaps you should rest and not trouble yourself to deeply with it tonight?"
"Yes. I'll speak with him more tomorrow."
Soldera did not need an invitation to embrace the object of her devotion, the center of her universe, and returned his tender hold with delight. He smiled at last.
"I would that I could carry the caress of Love with me to soothe my lassitude. That by command I could invoke its gentle stroke as easily as you bestow it now " Metatisic whispered, purring into her audio.
"Highness? Please forgive my intrusion, Great Lord but we've received a transmission from the Herak."
Soldera tensed in her master's arms. The sudden feeling of loss made her look away from him rather than display her unhappiness. He did not need to be burdened with such things.
Sighing in frustration, he tapped his communicator. "This had best be important, Legate."
"I believe it is, Great Dourjer. Commander Coronach has intercepted the source of the interference from Exodus point " Legate's voice held just a faint note of almost disbelief.
Metatisic frowned. "Your tone does not fill me with confidence. What was the source?"
"Foreigners, Lord. They they claim to be Cybertronians."
Silence. Soldera glanced up at Metatisic. His attention was focused far away. His hold on her did not relax though. In fact, he seemed to draw her closer as he thought. The only sound was intermittent static over the communications band.
"Dourjer?" Legate ventured.
Metatisic seemed to come back to himself. "Where are they now, Legate?"
"They're on their way to the O'hiiden cantonment they will arrive here come Karna's apex."
"Excellent, Legate. This is important. We must have preparations made for their arrival and, as soon as they are settled, I will accept their audience immediately."
"By your command, Most Mighty." Legate's transmission crackled off.
Metatisic clicked his communications panel.
Soldera smiled. "Your vision the legend of the Cybertronian people is true." Her voice is filled with soft wonder.
"Did you have any doubts?" His tone held gentle amusement.
She lowered her gaze a bit, almost in shame. "The caravans tell many fantastic stories, my Lord." She paused, "I should not speak so freely. Forgive me."
Metatisic smiled and tipped her chin up so that she would look directly at him. "Feh.." He spat at the very idea, "My treasure, dear. You never have my wrath to fear. I've always valued your thoughts."
Soldera was caught by the expression on his face and she could not reply. She knew that he must feel her awe, because it rippled through her form like fire --even as she lay down beside him.
CHAPTER 10: THE LEGENDS ARE TRUE?
The O'hiiden Cantonment; Ta'nak
(coming in for a landing ... )
Steelheart's first impression of O'hiiden was the way it appeared to spring up from nothing. It was a little island of civilization in an otherwise bare expanse of the Quartz Flats. Rough, she admitted, but mighty welcome after the Dead Zone. Here there would be fuel and, more importantly, some place to get cleaned up at. She had so much dust in her plating that it made crunching noises if she bent too far one way or the other.
"What! What are you staring at?" Voyager demanded.
She shrugged. "We're landing in that camp the Commander's friend mentioned. O-high-den."
"Lift me up so I can see!"
"You better not kick me, or so help me Ah'll boot your narrow aft all the way back to Cybertron."
"UP! UP! Lift me UP!"
Steelheart frowned. She bent and boosted the still bound Voyager high enough to see out the transparisteel window.
The little silver mech immediately started muttering to himself. His semi-silent speculation was complete with various "Hmmms" and "Ahas".
Steelheart watched the runway pass by at a speed faster than she'd ever driven. Buildings along either side were almost a blur as her visual processors struggled to keep up with the data input.
With a small jolt, Coronach touched down. He taxied to a small circular pad, turning so that the other Herak were in full view. A faint chime indicated that they had come to a full stop, and then the troop door opened. The Cantonment, in the slowly gathering dusk, was almost intimidating. The dark buildings were lit from without and within by sodium lights and mercury lamps, casting weird gold and green pools of light over everything.
"This is fantastic " Voyager bubbled to himself.
For once, she was in total agreement with Voyager. Steelheart tucked him under her arm and he didn't even seem to notice.
As they disembarked, so did the other Autobots. Gridlock was standing in the middle of the landing pad, turning round and round, just gaping. Steelheart thought he'd either overbalance because of his jaw-- or fall over because his equilibrium stabilizers must be completely compromised with all that spinning. She herself, once she was towards the center of the pad, had to admit the Cantonment was exotic.
The whip thin mech under her arm began to squirm. "Enough of this, put me down! PUT ME DOWN! I can walk for myself, Primus damn you!"
Steelheart was about to reply, or drop him --she hadn't decided-- when the sound of several transformations taking place caused her to turn her attention back to the Herak. All three mass-shifted again, and folded into their sleek robot forms.
Voyager didn't say anything for a single blessed moment then he started howling again. "Put me DOWN!"
She didn't get a chance to comply. The red seeker was already there. He yanked Voyager out of Steelheart's arms by the cables he was tied in.
"Help!" Voyager shrieked.
"Don't look at me none. Ah'm not going to help you." Steelheart crossed her arms and glared at the dangling mech.
Gridlock's laughter echoed with that of the other Cybertronians until it sounded like thunder.
His captor gave Voyager a vicious shake. "This grows tiresome! I do not know whom you think you are "
"Canticle!" Quodlibet shouted in disgust. He was restrained from further action by his commander's hand on his shoulder.
"Put him down, Canticle," Coronach commanded. "These foreigners are the Dourjer's guests and should be treated accordingly."
The red Herak fought a moment of loathing so tangible that it seemed to ripple across his face. Then he set Voyager down purposefully. [ I apologize, my Commander the stress of this discovery is taxing. ] He had reverted to speaking Delepic.
[ We were all surprised. It's not every day you meet legends. ] Quodlibet offered, relaxing his posture.
[ Regardless of our personal opinions, we must continue performing our duties. ] Coronach cautioned. [ I will see that the female is conducted to the Perim Enu. Take the others to refuel. I will be along shortly. ]
[ Yes, Commander. ] Both seekers chorused.
The blue Herak turned to Steelheart. "Your men will be conducted to a local cantina for refueling. I will escort you to the Perim Enu so that you may be cared for. While you are indisposed, I will arrange for lodgings." He gave a clipped wave to Quodlibet and Canticle so that they would round up the foreign robots.
Gridlock snatched up Voyager before he could do anything silly.
"Perim what? What're you talking about?" She frowned.
"A there is no word for it in the common speech." Gesturing that the mechs should be led away, Coronach looked distant for a moment. It was as if he was trying to put the idea into easy words. When he finally answered, he did so with some degree of confidence. "It is the place that specializes in the tending and comfort of females. Surely you have such a thing back home?"
Shrugging, the red fembot responded, "If'n we do, Ah've never heard tell of it."
Coronach looked faintly surprised. Shaking his head, he gestured, "How strange Do not be concerned though. If the reactions of other femmes are anything to judge by, you will enjoy yourself."
Steelheart pretended a confidence she did not feel as the Commander gently steered her towards a tall, mosaicked building. She could not decipher the pictures made in tile, especially not in the growing dusk, but they were all beautiful. Coronach's calm, unthreatening manner was comforting, especially in this alien environment.
At the door, they were met by an elderly golden femme who greeted them in the same strange musical language the Heraks had spoken when they'd descended and again when Canticle had that little "moment". The blue seeker did all the talking, even introducing the ancient female as 'Nubet'. The lyrical words made little sense to Steelheart, but she did notice what she thought to be her name translated: 'Autibet-tari'.
Coronach took Steelheart's hand in his, startling her, and then passed the hold off to Nubet.
The old woman smiled gently at Steelheart. Her tangible kindness stretched even to the warm ruby optics, long ago clouded by age, set in her pale yellow face.
"You will be fine. Mistress Nubet will accompany you to the cantina when everything is finished." Coronach assured.
As he stepped away, Steelheart felt a quartex of complete panic. Quelling it, she watched the blue Herak as he took to the air in the growing darkness. It still astounded her that he could fly in both forms. At the gentle tug on her hand, she looked again to Nubet. The old female smiled.
"Do not fear, m'lady. Come inside." Nubet prompted in her softly accented voice.
"Ah'm sorry Ah'm gawking, Ma'am. It's just that all this is very new."
"I understand. All things are new at one time or another." She gently drew Steelheart into the building.
Gently lit, tastefully appointed with different potted crystals and various pieces of furniture that looked like works of art, the large circular waiting room could be called opulent only if you were blind. If you had optics it was automatically upgraded to decadent. Steelheart had never seen anything quite like it.
"Wow. This place is real purdy " She sighed.
Nubet nodded, releasing her hand. "We are honored that you think so, Autibet-tari. If you will please wait here a moment, I will summon your maids and see to the other preparations."
Steelheart blinked. "Maids?"
The red femme was confused, but nodded faintly. She hadn't a clue why she'd need maids --short of some heavy repair, she could handle just about anything herself.
Nubet smiled and inclined her head, "I will only be a little while."
The elderly female turned and disappeared behind a beaded curtain. Each bead chimed against the other as if they'd been tuned to sound like bells and the impromptu song slowly dwindled until the curtain stilled. In the silence, Steelheart shook her head. She had never ever been in a place like this.
She turned around sharply, silently cursing Coronach for taking her blaster. Her fighting stance startled the two willowy green femmes that had called to her. They quailed, throwing their arms over their heads.
"Oh, Ah'm sorry. Ah'm not gonna hurt ya'll Ah'm just not used to being snuck up on."
The women still didn't move.
"Please. Ah'm sorry." Steelheart moved towards the femmes and tugged on their arms. "Come on. There ain't no reason to be afrighted of me."
Slowly the two handmaidens relaxed.
"Forgive us, m'lady, we did no know what to expect." One maid offered.
The other added, "We've never seen one like you before, m'lady." Mortified by her own boldness, the femme hid her expression behind one graceful hand.
"Ah don't imagine y'all have at that " Steelheart glanced at her own fingers, which could have easily crushed the maid's entire slim hand.
The two handmaidens bobbed their heads pleasantly. "Follow us."
Steelheart was led through another curtain. It also chimed softly as Nubet's had. This new circular room had a sunken floor which seemed to be carved from a single huge piece of the shocked quartz. The maids situated her in the center then drifted off, speaking softly to each other in that musical language again as they began assembling some sort of equipment. The Cybertronian watched them, at something of a loss until they turned with something like a vacuum hoisted between them.
The Commander sent me to a high-price detail shop Steelheart smiled to herself. Well if that just don't beat all.
"Here, let me make it a little easier for y'all " the Cybertronian hazmat transport said, taking position to transform.
"No, no. Do not transform yet, m'lady! The dust will scratch your alloy!" One of the femmes shouted. The maid covered her own mouth with her hand for her audacity.
She shrugged at the delicate maidservant. "Ain't nothin that hadn't happened a'fore. Ah got scratches and dings in places Ah can't even reach..."
The maid's optics widened a moment and then she bowed her head. "Please, m'lady. The Commander gave specific orders..."
"Orders? What kinda orders?" Steelheart asked as the two maids approached and began vacuuming the dust from her joints.
One of the maids opened her mouth to reply, but a narrow-opticked look from the other silenced her. "It is not our place to say, m'lady."
Everything around here is so dang powerful mysterious. Steelheart mused to herself.