"Flatline!" First Aid's assistant cried. "Damnit, we're losing him!"
First Aid scrambled to reconnect Roddi's systems to life support. He lost two connectors as his fingers fumbled under stress. The line lay dead on the scanner and Aid ordered his other assistant to start up the shock unit. It was dangerous. Rodimus' condition might not allot for such hostility. But it was all the poor doctor could think of at the time.
"Clear!" He announced and touched Roddi's bare open chassis with a pair of live wires. Rodimus' form wreathed in reaction, but laid just as still thereafter.
"Clear!" Aid called again and repeated the performance time and time . . . and time . . . and time . . .
He slowly suffocated, drowning in body and soul. Soon, he told himself, soon he would enter that gateway into the Matrix and pass through it. And then he would experience those things Optimus had no words for. He would be 'Home'.
It was beyond beautiful here where Rodimus stood. Whether he was in the Matrix, or at the Great Garden, Roddi could not tell. But all around him stood beauty and perfection as not seen in the temporal life. And he wished Rusti could see it too.
"It's not time for you, yet."
The words stung. Rodimus felt terribly disappointed. He wanted to be here where the words 'war' and 'death' had no meaning. Time stood still. Music was everywhere around him and a feeling of completion filled his capacitors. But . . .
"Your work isn't done yet. Don't be afraid. I will not leave you until the day you can walk again."
Roddi inwardly sighed. He could not feel his body. He could not hear any sounds. But he knew the others were around him. And he knew the alien was there beside him. The Autobot leader settled his mind for another long sleep. It wasn't time yet. Well, at least he would take comfort knowing he would still be around to watch Rusti grow up.
That at least was good.
It took nearly every shred of Magnus' strength to open the door. Years of use followed by centuries of disuse had caused the thing to rust tight. The Decepticons considered this area haunted and many would not tread here to the Dregs in Irex City. Long after the death of Decepticon Emperor Phasor II, the whole section of the city had been sealed off. Citizens claimed to hear things; people walking, the forms of known deceased Autobots would appear floating in the halls and their mournful pain-stricken groans could be heard through the streets. Phasor loved torture above everything else. He found it stimulating somehow. He was good to his own people, providing them with whatever they needed. But the Emperor had a vile hatred to all things not of his own kind and he did whatever it took to purge Cybertron of the hated Autobots. Magnus was grateful, very grateful he did not serve under Phasor's leadership.
But here that the device was kept. When the Cyberwraith attacked Cybertron, Decepticon scientists developed a crystalline device using a special sonic frequency that attracted the cyberwraith like metal to a magnet. But that's all it did. It was the Autobot's idea (well, Optimus', actually) to contain the wraith within the Matrix. Everyone thought he had lost his mind, daring to taint the Matrix with something so foul, so bitterly evil.
Unfortunately, the whole situation cost Prime his residency on Cybertron. The idiot politicians at Iaacon exiled him for centuries.
Magnus managed to open the huge ancient door. The room stank of stale, rusting metal. Meganiums of disuse and built-up deposits of nitrogen turned the walls yellow-green. The dark room revealed three sentinels buried alive. Their body shells sat against the wall, rusting right along with the rest of the room. Magnus pushed their empty carcasses aside and he and Jazz pressed forward.
Upon an alter stood a small dome of transparent titanium. For a moment Magnus wondered if Phasor wasn't mad enough to place a booby trap for supposed Autobot adventurers who might come to steal the artifact. Not that the device had any market value whatsoever. It was just a piece of crystaline enhanced with certain sonic frequencies, encased in hematite.
Jazz glanced around the room. There lay nothing else but the guards and the device.
"I don't think . . ." Magnus said slowly, " . . . that there is any potential booby traps here."
"Well, you know this place better than me." Jazz piped. "You're the 'con between the two of us."
Magnus shot him a surprised look, but said nothing. He took a step forward and Jazz moved with him and that was when Magnus realized what Jazz said. He held his hand back, keeping Jazz from advancing. "Wait." He said quietly. "I think that's what we have to watch for. Phasor was a bigot. Let me go first." He advanced alone and by the third step forward, a light shot right on him and a hologram appeared over the alter.
"WHO APPROACHES THE GREAT TREASURE OF LORD-EMPEROR PHASOR?"
Jazz set his fists on hips and frowned. "Hmph. Not a big fan on modesty, either." He muttered.
"I!" Magnus answered the hologram. "Major-general Ultra Magnus, Division Theta-Ninety-two, SIR!"
Silence frightened them both. If the program had been updated to include Magnus' defection, the two of them would most certainly be killed.
But the hologram smiled.
"WELCOME, GREATEST ONLY TO LORD MEGATRON. WELCOME TO MY PRESENCE. DO WHAT YOU MUST TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT THE MIGHT OF THE DECEPTICON EMPIRE."
Jazz breathed a quiet sigh of relief while Magnus collected the device.
Magnus was sorry he had to depart so soon. He and Jazz had been unable to really communicate in several months. Jazz's workload was heavy. Many former Paratrons had made Cybertron their home and Rodimus had given them freedom to set up their own rules and governments. However, Optimus forbade them to set up any councils or groups to "handle" anything to do with the two Autobot leaders. There was some protest, but Optimus firmly told them that was the way of things-the Bearers of the Matrix had the last word.
And seeing how all Earth's city commanders fully supported Optimus and Rodimus, the Paratrons agreed to the one conditional clause in their constitution.
Jazz acted as mediator between Cybertron and Earth. Optimus would not bother with Cybertronian politics, and since he never bothered to visit, either, it meant someone else had to keep an optic on things.
Not that there were ever any incidents. The Paratrons were a pacifistic people and their democratic regulations gave them all the freedom they needed-even their so-called 'quiet riots'.
Jazz never complained about his self-appointed role of emissary. He'd leave Fort Sonix in capable hands, disappear for three months out of the year and come back, still happy as a mechana-clam.
But for Magnus, this was the first visit in nearly ten years. He was sorry to just come and leave again. He stepped up the plank of his ship while Sunstreaker warmed the engines for take-off.
"I'm sorry, Jazz, to just go like this." He shouldered the pack containing his precious device.
Jazz shook his head. "Gotta get that thing, Mags. Tell ol' Rodimus he's gotta git hisself a new body guard. Seems the one he had, didn't do the trick."
It was a joke because like Magnus, Jazz fussed over how Optimus and Roddi would not bother with things like body guards or body shields. It was as ludicrous as it was maddening. Why did the two leaders felt their lives were so dispensable? Jazz figured with Optimus it was just habit. But with Roddi, well, at this point, who could tell. He watched Magnus board the shuttle and waved as it disappeared from Cybertron's dark sky.
Jazz took another look around. The planet was paradise. The cities gleamed clean and vibrated with endless energy.
But through it all, there was something missing. Cybertron looked like a puzzle all put together nicely, but something just wasn't quite right. Something very important was missing. And Jazz wondered if it wasn't that emptiness, the missing part that drove Optimus Prime away from accepting the fact that Cybertron was supposed to be his home world.
Who could tell.
The trip back to Earth remained uneventful. Magnus produced his little treasure as he waited to land. The device was actually so simple in design, they could have made it on Earth. But there were no crystals on Earth large enough to handle the kind of power required to capture the cyberwraith. Ultra Magnus had no doubt the device still worked, but he wondered if it would still work on the wraith. He vaguely recalled the last time he dealt with the creature. It had eaten a huge chunk out of Cybertron, leaving a torn dead zone going down several levels. Many attempts by Decepticons and Autobots alike to repair the great gap failed.
The Major-general frowned outwardly. He remembered how one race accused the Transformers of being so hostile, so obsessed over their war, that they were willing to destroy their planet for it. And while that may be true in some cases, Decepticons loved their home world just as much as Autobots. But the Great Gap had nothing to do with their war. The wraith tried to devour their planet-and all of them.
And if Optimus had not taken the Matrix from Alpha Trion right at that moment, the wraith would have reached a major energon facility on level Thirty-three and there would have been no stopping it.
Magnus recalled the battle with the cyberwraith as one of the very few occasions Autobots and Decepticons worked together.
What a pity, he thought. If only the two races could see how much they need each other.
The shuttle landed at one in the morning. Magnus found himself slightly worn from the long journey and after thanking Sunstreaker and Outback, disembarked and headed for his quarters.
It loomed in the air like a god, hungry for sacrifice. Its brown hide glowed with the power of devoured Autobot souls. They could see faces on that terrible body made of rusted patchwork from Lower Levels. The only thing greater than the Cyberwraith that Magnus could recall, was Unicron. The difference being that Unicron tried to devour Cybertron from the outside. The wraith tried to devour it from the inside, acting like a disease.
The city commander recalled a terrible fight among the Autobots. One group shot at another as the second made their way toward the Decepticon front lines. It was Optimus Prime and a rag-tag group of renegades who approached the Decepticon bivouac to attempt some form of cooperation between the two races long enough to accomplish a common objective.
Magnus sprang up from his recharge unit with a gasp. "What am I doing?" He shouted out loud. Time was short and he realized there really was no time for resting.
He ordered the light on and gathered his gear, changing out the regular ion-pulse laser rod in his own weapon and set it to recharge. He strapped together two other weapons that would come in handy as one; an ultrasound frequency rifle used to distract the 'beast' and a 'hot' laser rifle used in short, powerful bursts of light to allow Magnus enough time to see the miserable thing in the dark shadows where it often lurked.
He added a small tool kit, several small two-bladed knives of pure silver and a good four-day supply of energon.
It was time to go.
Magnus left his quarters, watching proudly as Strikeback drilled the troops in the early morning hour. Strikeback was a good soldier, his lasercore lay in all the right places. But he was sometimes a little soft. However, it had become something Magnus almost expected from former Paratrons. And while it was nice to have an addition to the Autobot species, Paratrons in some cases were useless to the society as a whole. Magnus would never disclose his thoughts and feelings to Optimus or Roddi. But should war erupt, the Decepticons come back and pick a fight, Paratron pacifism could cripple the entire Autobot population.
He was about to leave the city when Magnus remembered he promised Optimus he would take Steeljaw. He silently radioed the Autobot cassette and informed him of a rendevous point on the outskirts of Central City-the Deadzone.
"Oh!" he turned to Dialer as she sat at the gate, jotting down Magnus' departure time. "Where's Prime? He didn't call me this morning."
"He's taking a break, sir. Out by the riverbank."
Magnus looked confused. Optimus taking a break? He shrugged, and without another word to her, transformed, hit reverse and headed south-west of the city.
But it wasn't Optimus who was 'breaking'. Magnus trudged up the hillside and greeted a recuperating Rodimus as he sat propped by a low-level chair, tapping into a digipad. About three-quarters of his body was covered in reinforced grafting bars, the worst places were bolted tightly in a temporary exoskeleton. Rodimus looked terrible.
"Hey, Mags." He greeted quietly, not looking up.
"Thought you were in med bay." Magnus stood straight, fists on hip plates.
Rodimus tore his weary optics from the pad and stared at Magnus as the seven o'clock sun climbed over the Cascade mountain range. "Got tired of Aid's nit-picking and decided to go out for a walk."
It was a joke. It had to be. Rodimus didn't look like he could walk at all.
Magnus shook his head. "Well, I'm leaving, now-"
"Mags." Rodimus interrupted quietly.
He gained the city commander's attention. "Thank you." he said with emphasis. Prime watched as Magnus let slip a smile.
"Get some rest, Rodimus." He ordered. "I'll be in touch."
Magnus greeted Steeljaw in the Deadzone about eight-thirty. Traffic was unusually heavy in Central City for some reason. Magnus hated being late but there was nothing he could do about it. He arrived, greeting the lion at what was once called Robertson Bridge. The two crossed and Magnus transformed once they approached what was left of the great factory complex where the City Commander last detected the Cyberwraith. He would have started back at Fort Max, but that turned into a dead end as the wraith's physical form had been destroyed. It would have to return to some place of considered origin to attain a new form.
The factory stood like a corpse not permitted to lie flat. Its metal and steel reinforced walls rounded and bended as though they were made of putty. There came no doubt to Magnus' mind that energon had exploded from within-Decepticon formula energon had a few 'kicks' in it.
Steeljaw scampered about, sniffing everything like a dog. He made no detectable sound while Magnus returned to the one point where he found evidence of the Cyberwraith's activities. The blot of discoloring on the wall might have been dismissed by someone else as a water stain. But under UV vision, it glowed menacingly with potent radiation. Magnus made a note on a digipad to have Perceptor and Quazar isolate the whole wall and ship it off the planet. This must have been the very place the Cyberwraith gained its form.
Thirty degrees due west, Steeljaw snarled noisily and scratched the dirt. Silently, Magnus rose to his feet and activated a scanner. "What did you find?" he asked aloud.
"Here." Steeljaw answered via internal commlines. "Hot."
Magnus scanned the dirt and sure enough, radiation footprints registered right off the scale.
But there was something else that disturbed the commander. He rested the scanner's edge against his chin and thought for a long moment. It seemed the wraith might have made a detour. If it was here, attacking Rusti then attacked her again in the forest, why didn't it try to follow her through the city, too? Unless it knew where she was heading.
Or, that maybe it found other prey along the way.
Magnus stood straight. "What's the predicted trajectory, Steeljaw?" He asked out loud.
The metalic lion sniffed about the place, using scanners, audios and ol factory sensors to pick up even the tiniest of fragments. He circled the area about Magnus twice before picking up something else. The lion discharged dust and lint from his scanner plates and started over. At that point, he made a path north by northwest toward a ravine. Magnus followed him, aiming his scanner in the general direction. But he didn't get any radiation readings and wondered why the lion cassette aimed this way.
They reached the ravine behind the destroyed factory and found a terrible burial site.
Ashes. Ashes everywhere. The dead figures of Doppleganger twins lay like so many stone figures in a Chinese grave yard. Their soft faces now disfigured by the weather, slowly eroded by the onset summer winds.
Magnus was amazed to see so many of them. No wonder they had so many problems with the cult a few months ago!(1)
But apparently that's not why Steeljaw came here. The metal lion snarled and plunged right into the sea of ash, his moves causing more dead Dopp twins to disintegrate into powder.
"Steeljaw!" Magnus called, "Wait! Where are you going?"
And he too plunged into the pool of ashes. He was horrified when the amount of ash rose to his hips in some places. Steeljaw made it to the other side and shook himself free of grey powder. Magnus followed, fully regretting following the cassette across the very material that annoyingly ground between his joints.
He repeated his question and the only word Steeljaw gave him was 'Con'. Magnus about growled himself at that point.
"There are no Decepticons here, Steeljaw." He snarled. "Let's just head back to the Deadzone and start over."
But the lion would not listen. It dashed up the nearby hills, levering himself between trees and rocks, effortlessly climbing up the steep hill.
At first Magnus resolutely refused to follow the lion over the mountain. But upon watching Steeljaw's persistence, the City Commander decided to join him. He trudged up the slope in huge, powerful strides, breaking foliage and brush underneath. He made it to the top of the hill and gazed into the next valley below. It stretched on into a short distance, this part of Douglas County now off limits to urban/suburban development. Trees both tall and old dotted the small valley before it swept up into another mountain. Large rocks nestled among grass and brush and vine. And in a bed of crumbling boulders, Steeljaw snarled and kicked at the formation. Magnus snarled again, swearing he was going to assign the lion to dog obedience school for the next two months. He slid down the slope, half tempted to transform and bulldoze the trees standing between he and the annoying lion. This, he swore, was the last time he'd agree to one of Prime's ideas!
He tramped across the valley and up the next slope, his mood worsening with each step.
Steeljaw met him along the dirt and boulders in the 'naked' area of the mountainside. Magnus was not impressed. "What's gotten into you?" He demanded. "We have a job to do! Now let's get going!"
But Steeljaw turned away, frisky almost like a puppy rather proud of itself. Magnus softly swore and stomped after the lion, meaning to grab it round the backside and drag it back to headquarters and chain it to Optimus' desk.
But the sight Magnus came upon made him forget even the bed of ashes he had to cross to get here. He stood, staring as though seeing death naked for the very first time. He kept staring as if what he saw was death in a very tangible form.
"Sh-Shockwave . . ." He could almost not even whisper it.
It lay-he lay like a car wasting away, forgotten by time and memory. A clump of rusting, deformed metal lay exposing inner circuitry and components that should not be displayed to the elements. His gun-arm was naught but a few strips of wiring and a single infrastructural rod. His once shiny boots now mangled beyond use. Part of his head had been crushed in, now exposing part of the cranial chamber; a rather gruesome sight. His chest and abdomen were covered in overgrowing vines and branches from the nearby ground covering. The lump of scrap, a once-proud loyal servant to Megatron now lay like a beer can, discarded, waiting to be crushed by oncoming traffic.
The one terrible thing about the sight Magnus witnessed, the one very horrible thing about the display was that Shockwave, by some terribly unjust means, still lived.
A set of metal tubes connected to an energon cube drip-fed the Decepticon. Shockwave could not move. He could not repair himself and Magnus doubted that he could be repaired without risking further damage. And from the look of a weather-worn paint job, the amount of plant growth over his chassis, Magnus judged Shockwave must have been here for at least several years.
"And what are you staring at . . . Autobot?" His soft voice dripped with hate and bitterness. "Come to see the end of a monster's career? Come to stare at the demise of a murderer?"
"Shockwave." Magnus only repeated. "You-you're alive."
"Of course I'm alive, fool. Did you think all Decepticons merely give up their sparks because their bodies won't function? Unlike you, I still have the pride of a warrior's power core. I still exist."
Magnus found words hard to come by. He stumbled even for a thought, shocked by the very idea that Shockwave, who was supposedly on Cybertron during Unicron's attack, could still be alive-and on Earth. He sank to his knees, unable to stare at the 'Con's 'face'.
"Ahh!" Shockwave barely gasped. "You weren't expecting to find me at all, were you, Ultra Magnus? Looking for something else, perhaps?"
Magnus squared his shoulders, now looking at the battered disfigured form of the former Guardian of Cybertron. "I was hunting the Cyberwraith. My hunt led me here."
Shockwave remained silent for a long moment. The fingers of his remaining hand twitched, although Magnus could tell by the grass and vine growth beneath and around, Shockwave could not use it. The Decepticon's single optic flickered when he finally spoke again:
"It was here. It wanted to devour me. But as you know, Decepticon lifeblood leaves a bitter taste in its mouth. It seeks the weak of soul and body. It is a scavenger, a coward at heart. It fears the mighty and the undaunted."
"It also can't read Decepticon DNA and brainwave patterns." Magnus added, knowing that what Shockwave was saying was slag.
Shockwave grunted, unimpressed. A moment's silence passed uneasily between them. Magnus guessed the Decepticon expected to be executed at any time now. But Magnus had already decided to simply let him lie. Shockwave could do nothing at this point.
"I'm willing to wager you wonder how I came here. To Earth." The Decepticon almost seemed to smile behind the totally emotionless face. "I can see it in your face plates, Ultra Magnus. You're wondering how the pit I survived."
"Yes." Magnus answered honestly.
"Yes. No doubt you're curious. Unicron attacked, leaving my body much the condition you see it now. I managed to crawl to one of the remaining space bridge pads and aimed for Zoxes, which, as you know, is a Decepticon stronghold on Patu. I assumed our allies there would repair me. But the attack changed the location on the space bridge and I and two energon cubes ended up right here. Right here."
Magnus almost couldn't believe what he was hearing. He didn't know what to say and figured it was best to simply turn and walk away, never revealing the location of Shockwave's soon-to-be grave.
"You know . . ." Shockwave called with his ever quiet voice, "Lying here like this over the years has caused me to consider many things, Ultra Magnus. Many, many things."
Magnus really wasn't interested in this Decepticon's twisted version of reality. Shockwave wasn't just some simple subordinate to Megatron. Shockwave was a murderer. The only reason Megatron permitted this soft-spoken sadist to function was that Shockwave was good at what he did and that meant two areas: A.) he was one of the finest bounty hunters and B.) he was a good aft-kisser.
"For example:" Shockwave continued, "all the things we as a people and as a species did. All the cleansing and the reorganizing of other worlds. The wondrous things we did to improve on the universe around us."
"You mean the slaughter and theft of other worlds and the populations on them." Magnus growled.
Somehow Shockwave managed to shake his damaged head. "You have been so disillusioned by Autobot propaganda that no matter what I say, you will refute my point of view."
"It's not just a point of view when people living on their own world, minding their own business, are ruthlessly obliterated because we want their resources." Magnus snarled.
"Oh. You're still bitter of all that, Magnus?" Shockwave's soft voice taunted and mocked the Major-General. "You know, I listen to local news to help pass the time. I will say that over the years, the Primes have made some impressive accomplishments. Developments on Mars . . . new space platforms, trade agreements with formerly hostile races . . . very impressive indeed. But you . . . you've taken a back seat to all that glory."
"I don't need glory to be happy." Magnus answered in a quieter tone.
"No. I suppose not. But you're so much better than that. Look at what you were given, Ultra Magnus. You were to be the first and the finest in a new line of Decepticon commanders. You were going to be appointed Lord Governor. Even Megatron began to take notice of your accomplishments. And what happened? You meet this rouge Autobot leader and changed your mind."
"No." Magnus objected. "I had changed my mind long before I met Optimus Prime. I already had doubts. When I met and talked with Ironhide and Kup I realized where my life was headed."
Shockwave grunted. "Not even tainted by an Autobot leader. You were so easily persuaded. You've surrendered all the great gifts we gave you for a bitter dish of values, morals and standards."
"Gifts?' Magnus shot. "Gifts? I lost my life!"
"We gave you a new one. And a new form to go with it. And you discarded our generosity like a pan of used oil. And what are you now, Ultra Magnus? Prime's secretary? Is it worth it?"
Ultra Magnus shook his head, now. "No. City Commander. what the Humans call 'town sheriff'. I love what I do."
"Whatever." Shockwave snorted.
"No." Magnus objected. "There's no shame in my position."
"Liar." Shockwave snarled in turn. "We gave you more! We gave you one of the finest forms ever designed by Decepticon science. Now, now you've tossed it away, rolling all along the ground like a groveling maintenance droid. We decorated you and praised your name and where are you now? A stepping stool for Prime's filthy feet. He doesn't know your greatness. He doesn't know your power. Only a Decepticon can appreciate and honor a Decepticon. The Autobots are rejected slag wasting away in the dregs of refinery waste pools. Pathetic weak scrap metal with no sense of power or honor."
Magnus did not know what to say in turn. Shockwave was a liar himself, slandering the Autobot leader in such a fashion. At least, if nothing else, Shockwave should have enough respect for Prime to recognize that Optimus was among the few Autobot leaders to survive this long, and not because of the Ark's crashing into Earth. And considering Shockwave's words, Magnus realized he had no respect for this pathetic pile of waste. "It's interesting you should say all that, Shockwave." Magnus finally said at length, "Considering you're the only Decepticon to be in this quadrant in over thirty Earth years."
The former guardian of Cybertron fell silent. A soft drizzle tumbled from the sky, adding to the somber mood of the moment. Finally Shockwave lifted his pitiful single hand. His crushed fingers would not move, but the movement was enough to make Magnus understand Shockwave was using body language for emphasis:
"End my life here, Ultra Magnus. I implore you one last act as a Decepticon who would honor a fellow Decepticon by not allowing such a useless death. End my life and my suffering."
Magnus stared, his optics bearing down on the miserable Decepticon. He finally shook his head. "No."
"No?" Shockwave echoed in surprise.
"No. You deserve nothing more than what you have right now. You're asking me to put an end to your misery, to this just punishment for your crimes. You want me to end your pain and suffering. But I see it as a fit ending for someone who has ruthlessly murdered millions. Thanks to your grotesque pride, there are few Autobot femmes and no female Decepticons."
"Liar! They were a disease among the strong."
"They were the strength of the Decepticon Empire. It was the ladies who reminded us of civility. Had I been Megatron, I would have made you live out your life in a torture chamber. I would have watched every day as you slipped into insanity. And then, Shockwave, I might even have enjoyed it."
"The Femmes are nothing but weak links."
Magnus' mind boiled with anger. But his face reflected nothing until his optics narrowed: "One of those 'weak links' was my wife!"
Only the rain made any sound at the moment. Apparently Shockwave had no answer. How many other Cons lost their mates, their loves to this creepy pile of rejected scrap? Magnus remembered the wrath, the outrage that rocked the Decepticon Empire. It bred hatred among the warriors until Megatron lied about the whole ordeal: that the Autobots had reprogrammed Shockwave, thereby making him do their evil bidding. It was one of the greatest lies in Cybertronian history.
And what was worse, was that the Decepticons, already full of hatred for the Autobots, bought the lie.
Fuel for the fire.
The tense moment broke when Magnus stood. "I've decided to leave you with the rest of your life, Shockwave. Have a nice one."
"You can't do this!" Shockwave called as Magnus' great form stepped away. "Surely you have enough honor to grant me the one request! Ultra Magnus! Ultra Magnus!"
But the city commander tramped down the hill, tuning out Shockwave's calls. Had another Decepticon been there, any one of Megatron's thugs, they most likely would have done the same thing. As an Autobot, Magnus supposed he should have granted Shockwave's request. But for the moment, he was not an Autobot. And he never looked back. And he never returned. And he never revealed this dark moment to another spark.