METATISIC: PART TWENTY-NINE
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!
CHAPTER 13: HAIL PRIMUS! FIRST OF ALL!
Bractos - PL-D1; The Great Dome of Beryl - The Iysurus
“Dourjer Beryl you say? Who was he?” Voyager asked curiously. Every single question began this way – they all had. They sounded so innocent, Steelheart knew from experience, but turned out to be little needles picking at your processors for answers. Pycon and Chamfer, she guessed, were not patient creatures by nature and they had even less of that quality to dispense after a few rounds with Voyager. Pycon, imparticular, seemed a mech of few words and it looked like most of them had been used up.
Quodlibet was about to answer when Chamfer snorted. “Who is Dourjer Beryl?” He repeated; his tone almost mocking.
Pycon narrowed his cerise optics. “Everyone knows of the Dourjer Beryl.”
“Well I don’t,” Voyager said innocently. “What…”
“It is in his name that this wondrous dome was constructed, narrow one.” Sarterius eyed Voyager with undisguised distaste.
The little Autobot was about to respond when a withering look from Coronach stopped him. Quodlibet noticed Voyager’s shoulders slump and a worried frown passed briefly over his pale face. He glanced at Steelheart, almost for permission, before he spoke to the foreign mech. “He was quite magnificent when he was still among us.” He offered in a hushed tone to the Cybertronian. “He is still spoken of today with greatest reverence, as you can see.”
Voyager perked up. “What were his achievements?”
Quodlibet smiled. “Shall I start with his military prowess?”
Steelheart half-listened to the conversation. History, while interesting, she had little use for and such things hadn’t been required in the factory. The architecture, the sense of power, in the place was immense and it lent a sense of unreality to her thoughts. She wondered if this was all some sort of glitch-- that in a few moments she’d be awakened with the sharp sting of an electroprod in her side and the barking of one of the Masters for her to wade into the acid fumes again.
The Great Dome of the Dourjer Beryl was that only in name. It was more like an ornate kiva that reached up and touched the heavens themselves. With the star still so high it made it look like a dome. It was as if it had a roof of blinding solid golden light. From the lower area, stairs led up into this light fading away into nothingness. Steelheart relaxed, truly relaxed for the first time since they’d come to Bractos. This was something she understood and something she’d clung to in all her darkest moments. Primus would dwell in such a beautiful place filled with light, if he dwelled anywhere.
Even the atmosphere was different here. The ionization rates had changed, giving the air a strange sweet odor-- though nothing as harsh as ozone or anything like that. Steelheart, even with her vast knowledge of chemical substances couldn’t quite place it. Most of the combinations she was familiar with were toxic or caustic in some way. This was anything but.
Sarterius kept a suspicious optic on Steelheart. She could feel the Decepticon’s disapproval like a heavy hand on her back. Not that she blamed him. Lowering her head just slightly, she turned it and saw that he indeed was glowering at her. Feeling bad enough as it was, she tried to lessen his disapproval with a small wave. No more than the raising of her dark fingers. Just to tell him that she wasn’t doing or planning anything stupid or dangerous. His optics narrowed and the frown turned into a scowl. She sighed. Relating to other people had never been her strong suit —and she’d made a dozy of a first impression on the poor General.
Folding her hands together, Steelheart started to count off the names of the Primes and each one, pulling on her fingers to punctuate every name. As she ran the recitation in the background, she felt a sense of calm return. The edge of a grimace formed on Coronach’s face. Steelheart wondered about him. Hadn’t he ever seen someone pray before? Why did he keep shooting those unhappy looks her direction? If he was angry with her, she wished he’d just say something.
A flash of a helmet caught her attention. Gridlock was leaning back, trying to see through the glare. She watched him squint, his polarized visor coming down over his optics, but shake his head. Not even he could see where those stairs went. The shafts of light down from the upper level began to shift more quickly, almost as if they were moving on their own. The big mech started in surprise and tried to follow them from underneath his visor. He wasn’t the only one. The rest of the crew was looking around and trying to find the source of the distortions.
Voyager, always ever curious, had his scanner out and was trying to take recordings. He banged it a couple times and then seemed to give up. “More interference. I can’t tell if it’s from the building or….” Voyager hissed into silence as a warning diode started to flash on his instruments. He was frantically trying to plug the scanner into his internal grid so he could take a secondary reading off his own sensors, but couldn’t seem to get the port cover off.
“Ah… Ah’ve never seen anything like it,” she mumbled in awe. Gridlock nodded.
Coronach shook his head and held up his finger for them to be silent. He turned his head. “Canticle, announce us to the Master.”
The red Herak bowed, “Commander.” For the first time in awhile, he was pleased. He even wore a faint smile.
As he ascended Steelheart expected him to become shadowy against the light. This was not the case. Rather, the light seemed to enter him the closer he came making his scarlet hull glow brighter and brighter. He was a winged flame rising up towards the brilliance until he just… came apart! There were gasps from the other Cybertronians. Almost unnoticed, the Heraks, the General and his guards took up a semi-circular arc around the stairs, between them and the Autobot mechs. Steelheart put a hand over her intake. It was almost as if Canticle had disintegrated. It set something into motion though. Photons were separating, moving on their own. The light seemed to dance and pool, bent in a thousand different directions. Colors bloomed from the gold, then returned to the blinding white heart. The Karna, the Alpha Centauri, t-the star, was ALIVE! It was venting just like a mech or femme!
From the light burst Canticle. Brilliance streamed from his wings as he descended like ribbons of fire off a living flame. He became a solid mech again as he approached them. Far above, the light rippled. It fused into a golden-white form following Canticle at a more stately pace.
Steelheart’s optics grew huge.
“On your knees before the Dourjer! Hail Metatisic!" bellowed the General. He fell to one knee, bending his head. Pycon and Chamfer, Coronach and Quodlibet did the same.
Voyager shrilled something almost unintelligible about his readings that ended in dumbstruck silence.
“P--Primus.” The voice wasn’t hers. It was Gridlock. With that, the tinkers threw themselves to the ground. They tried reciting the words Coronach had taught them. To lesser and greater degrees, they were successful.
The seekers and the General began to chant the greeting that Steelheart had thought so pretty. Echoing here it was… consuming. The sound vibrated the very walls.
She couldn't really see him yet; only a fractured form in the intense glare, but seeing Coronach in the great bow beside her compelled her into action herself. Steelheart fell to her knees. “Ah-wall, awk im Kar-nah, Metateesic kahm neb!” She repeated it as she placed her forehead on the floor, louder. “Ah-wall, awk im Kar-nah, Metateesic kahm neb. Primus! HAIL PRIMUS!”
The tinkers shouted in response. Primus! It HAD to be him! “ALL HAIL PRIMUS!”
As she trembled, overcome with the golden glory, she heard Voyager faintly apologizing. “Primus, forgive me. I have optics but I did not see… I did not see…”
She heard Canticle alight. His feet made the same short clip-clang the other flyer’s did. Then there was a heavy note of metal striking the flooring. It was a solid sound-- the sound of a great being stepping into the world of metal from the world of sparks. Steelheart trembled. She had been right. The winged mechs were servants of Primus himself. She’d actually tried to strike the General of Primus. She shivered in fear and hoped that he would be lenient.
“You may rise.”
There would be many ways she could describe the voice of Primus, but the best she could approximate it to was a warm shammy slipping over paneling. It was smooth and welcoming.
Breathing out a sigh, she obeyed and heard the sounds of the others doing the same. Primus had become a mech of burgundy wine and black-- the colors one saw when they were blinded and unable to compensate for the brightness. She could see his feet were very large. “Ah-wall, awk im Kar-nah, Metateesic kahm neb.” Steelheart said again. This time the others were quiet.
A long pause caused her to quail. She half felt as if she should fall on her knees and beg forgiveness. Then that wonderful voice echoed again. “You are the leader I am told.” It wasn’t a question, but she nodded anyway. “Raise your face and let me look on you, Lady of the Envoy.”
Coronach had said to watch the floor or his feet unless invited to look. This was probably the most direct invitation she was going to get. Too affrighted to look upon him before, she now summoned her courage. Voyager was terrified. Even now still asking softly for the god's mercy, he looked at his own feet-— not even daring a glance at His.
Slowly, Steelheart raised her gaze up to His. She finally allowed her eyes to focus upon the trail of flowing violet that ended in a rippling banner wrapped around his heavy shoulders. The god was crowned and collared in brightest gold, like the light he had been. She looked down guiltily and then glanced back, to see if he was angry. His face was not harsh, nor did he scowl. He wore a paternal expression, in fact. Almost amused. Remembering her manners, she offered. “Bantrah Metateesic, Bantrah! Meta-sah Rom! Upawset neb Reel neb Oraymeeenis neb Megadyne! Bantrah per sa et ka shurikah Karna.” Thinking on her feet, she added, “Hail Primus, First of All.”
“Hail Primus, First of All!” The tinkers repeated.
“Primus.” He repeated his name in that fantastic voice. It resonated when he said it.
Coronach offered, “The Karna, Mighty One.”
“Is that a fact? ... Enchanting.” Metatisic smiled and Steelheart felt herself smiling in response. She didn’t even question why Coronach had added his own prayer. It didn’t matter. She doubted she’d ever been so happy. Earlier, The Aerial commander had gone over other things he felt, drilled in fact, were important for them to say when addressing the Dourjer. But instead of invoking the Exceptional Engender, Primus caught her entirely off guard with something more mundane. It was an almost personal question.
"As none of you can fly, I trust the journey up was not too difficult for any of you?" The ruler continued before she mount a reply, "But your trek across the border must have been most arduous. It is a testament to your endurance… most of my Decepticons cannot bear such a task, much less mechanoids unable to fly. ”
A moment of hesitation
“I am impressed.”
He wasn't supposed to be asking this ... was he? What happened to the Bentra Megadyne, Bentra Rail and the invoking of the Exceptional Engender?! ... Steelheart's mouth moved slightly, but she couldn't speak. The valves in her fuel-line closed and opened reflexively, her throat contracting in a nervous swallow. She must have looked like a turbo-fox in someone’s headlights.
"It's alright. You are permitted to speak."
“We… we were fine until Ah… mistook your General for a monster.” Her voice was tiny. “Ah’m powerful sorry about that too.”
If the last two questions weren't unexpected enough, the third one was a ever further throw, "A monster, eh?" He chuckled, "Well you would hardly be the first. Thirsty?"
It was as if he had read her mind. Then again, this was Primus. He probably had read her mind. She nodded. “Ah am at that, Lord,” her voice gained a little strength.
Metatisic clapped his hands. As if by magic, two servants rushed up to his side. Bowing deeply, they received orders to have drinks brought to more appropriate surroundings. “Come, let us adjourn to the Long Hall for refreshments. The light fades here and it is best to leave the powers to their holy work.”
Unsure of exactly where to stand when the great god began to walk, Steelheart merely bowed as he passed flanked by the General and Coronach. Or he almost passed. He paused a moment and gestured that she should walk near so he could speak to her. Voyager quivered, still frightened in the great Lord’s presence, grabbing her hand almost out of reflex. She allowed it, leading him close at her side. She, in turn, followed at Coronach’s side within Primus’ line of sight. Sarterius didn’t bother looking at her, but she could hear the Heraks and the Guards behind, rounding up the others and keeping an optic on them.
The hall turned right and descended at a comfortable pace. Arches were everywhere, keyed and not, each a gateway to a new corridor. Endless corridors that meant endless possibilities-- not even one darkened or foreboding. Steelheart was still in a state of near disbelief. But then why should she be? She glanced back at Him. “Ah never in mah whole life, since Ah was activated, ever thought Ah’d get ta see you, Primus. Ah mean…” She said, nervously, as they continued to walk.
He held up a hand. “Indeed. Am I to understand that you and your envoy traversed the full stretch of the zone without the assistance of flight in any form? On foot? Your troupe has faced great peril in the Zone. All this way just to see me?”
Steelheart became tense. “Well, we had to walk on account that none of us can fly… but we weren’t exactly aiming for meeting you, Primus-sir. No disrespect’in meant on my account, Lord. Ah… Ah think Voyager could tell ya better.” She motioned for the little mech to speak.
“Indeed. Voyager? Why did you travel so far?”
He snuck a quick look at the Dourjer before he started to talk. Then the rail had the guiltiest expression on his face for a moment or two, but he answered anyway. “We weren’t sure anything was beyond the Zone, O’ Magnificent One. There were legends we were sent to investigate… Wordplay wasn’t specific as to whom gave the initial command, but the orders came directly from the Assembly. Probably the Emirate himself.”
“Your Emirate must have had great trust in you to send you so far, alone.” The Dourjer’s tone indicated it was not an observation to be answered. It was just a thought he’d seen fit to share aloud. When he did speak again, they were already in the Long Hall and being seen to by the servants. Each femme wore the faintest of smiles and they were girded in beautiful trailing ribbons of red, gold and violet. Never did they dare look on the awesome majesty of Primus, but they gave the impression that they saw all- nevertheless. He took his fantastic grail from a golden tray and then the Cybertronians were allowed theirs. The servers disappeared like breezes, light and without word.
“Tell me of your Cybertron.”
Steelheart looked awkward as she took hers. The cup reminded her of Nubet and her ladies and the effort they’d taken to clean her up. She had some scratches now from that scene she’d made. She tried to contain her feelings by taking a sip of energon before talking. “Well… the tallest golden spire of Iacon ain’t near as big as this place.”
Metatisic nodded, a thoughtful expression on his face, but it was Sarterius who spoke. “Iacon is a building such as this then?” He directed the question to Voyager.
“It is the capital city, Sir General.” The slim mech replied, nodding with reverence before he took a sip from his goblet.
“Home of the Cybertronian...” The Dourjer let the word hang.
“Assembly, Your Highness,” Canticle supplied.
Coronach nodded. “Yes. And to their Emirate.”
“Yes, Xaaron.” The Decepticon emperor pondered the new information and took a sip of his energon. An odd noise startled Steelheart and caused the tinkers to look at each other in confusion, though Primus and his robots didn’t react much at all. Sarterius gave a disinterested glance in the direction of the sound, but dismissed whatever it was as unthreatening. The acoustics of the Long Hall were such that the floor was tuned towards the rear and along the sides. Plating shifted gently with each footfall, creating an almost musical whispering. Voyager immediately engaged his recorder to catch the sighing song the floor played. He made a frustrated cluck when the song stopped. Steelheart, though she appreciated the skill it must have taken to fit the floor panels in such a manner wasn’t so upset. She found her attention absorbed by a sight far more stunning than the song:
In the colonnade on the right, peeking around a pillar, was a beautiful little boy!
She found herself shocked into complete silence. He held eye contact with her a long moment. His little optics were round rubicund pools filled with astonishment almost as great as the amazement Steelheart felt herself. Here he was, proud and curious, if she even held another doubt. He was perfect, silvery and smooth, unmarked by whip or manacles-- the sort of creation a femme might dream of having part in.
The musical floors announced two more visitors and the child looked away guiltily. One had a very heavy footfall, striking deep notes, the other a faint one. A great amethyst mech strode into view behind the boy. His face was simple, a spot of bright golden light, a single optic, in an octagon. It reminded her of the Karna. Steelheart decided he must be very highly placed by the god to have such a blatant symbol of his authority consume his entire faceplate. After making eye contact with Steelheart, he took a step before the vornling and half-turned. He was a grand, tall creature with a broad figure that looked as if he could hold six to eight times his own weight over his head without even a single cable straining or servo complaining. The vornling looked tiny next to him, only coming up to his waist.
Leaning down, the Decepticon spoke to the boy. Obviously the youth did not like what he was being told because his face fell into an pout and he crossed his arms stubbornly. "I wanted to see the aliens too." She thought she heard. The empurpled warrior spoke more insistently, putting his only hand on the child’s shoulder. Then the other visitor came into view. Steelheart could not believe how finely made she was, all delicate silver and soft white and copper detailing. The beautiful, dainty fem-con put her hands out to the lad and smiled gently. He huffed, but allowed himself to be hoisted up in her arms. She walked away slowly and as long as the vornling could, he looked over the femme’s shoulder-- still staring with wonder at the Autobots.
The purple warrior’s expression was grave. Steelheart couldn’t understand how she knew. It may have been something in the slight dimming of his optic and the way he held his head as he strode into the room. “Hail Metatisic!” He cried.
Steelheart noticed a marked change in Primus’ expression. A tiny smile curled at the corner of his mouth. Yes, surely, this mech was favored before all others. “Welcome Shockwave. I thought that might be you.”
Shockwave turned his head as he walked to the god’s side. “So they do have blue eyes.”
General Sarterius snickered. “I said the same thing.”