Categories > Cartoons > Transformers > Prime Effect 2

Chapter VI

by Apollo-XL5 0 reviews

With the events on Cybertron behind them, Jack and his crew are sent on a mission to investigate a derelict Quintesson cruiser. But before the mission can begin, the Prime must first deal with the ...

Category: Transformers - Rating: R - Genres: Crossover,Drama,Sci-fi - Warnings: [V] [?] - Published: 2015-03-21 - 6935 words - Complete

Jack walked into his quarters and just sat down on the bed in his armour, he had only just returned from Cybertron with Airachnid. She had told him that she wanted to be alone and think about had happened there and so returned to her area at the bottom of the ship. Jack though was still feeling the effects from using the star saber on Shockwave earlier, though he was feeling much more stronger than he did then. He wondered if that was going to happen every time he used the weapon or if he would get used to it in time. As he sat there he couldn't help but let his thoughts dwell on the kiss that Airachnid had given him.

It had been a long time….for him anyway, since he last felt comfort that personal with another someone. It had been Arcee originally, but the femme though had pushed him away and yet he still loved her. But now there was Airachnid and after everything that he had learnt about her down on Cybertron, he had found that she was no different to Arcee. He shook his head as he tried to rid himself of such thoughts, he still had a job to do and so would concentrate on it and not on the loneliness he was feeling. His com link activated, gaining his full attention.

"Prime we have an incoming signal from the Citadel." the Autobot pilot informed him. Jack took a deep breath before he stood up and walked over to his desk.

"I'll take it in here Hotrod."

Jack then sat down and used the console so that the wall facing him activated showing the face of Optimus Prime staring back, surprise in his eyes.

"Jackson….. it is very good to see you again, after what happened to the Normandy. We all mourned your passing, so to see you here now fills my spark with joy." the elder Prime said happily, which made Jack relax a little.

"It's good to be back Optimus..." Jack replied, he hadn't felt like that comment was really true until recently, thanks to his talk with Airachnid on Cybertron. He had started to feel a little better about himself.

"...I just wish that it was under better circumstances."

Optimus nodded as his face became more serious.

"Yes, it is most disturbing to hear that MECH brought you back and that you are working for them." The Prime replied.

"I'm not working for them Optimus, I am working with them. Who told you that?"

Optimus's eyes closed for a moment.

"Arcee told us in her debriefing." he answered sadly.

Jack looked down at the desk as he thought back to the last time they saw each other. He could not help but feel bad for the way it had played out, but she should have trusted him. She had told him that she did before, so what had changed.

"How is she?" he asked as he looked back at the Autobot leader. Optimus could see the sincerity and pain in Jack's eyes as he spoke about her.

"She…..isn't taking it well Jackson. She doesn't believe that it is really you."

Jack's heart took another hit as he felt like sinking into his chair but kept himself from doing so while he had Optimus looking back at him.

"I'm sorry to hear that, I tried to explain to her…" Jack said before the elder Prime cut him off.

"We can talk more after but in the mean time, the Council would like to speak to you."

Jack then saw Optimus stand aside as the four Councillors stood before him.

"Jackson Prime I would like to say that it is good to see you again.." Perceptor said before he was cut off by Sparatus.

"But we have heard some rather unsettling news on how you were brought back and who you are working for." he cut in, his voice tinged with anger. Tevlos then stood forward in a stoic manner.

"We have called this meeting so that you can explain your actions, we do owe you that much. You did save the Citadel and our lives from Saren and the Geth army he had under his control." she answered calmly.

"Councillors, I was brought back by MECH because they needed my help in discovering who has been abducting Human colonies in the Terminus systems over the last two years." he then took a breath before continuing.

"We have found out that it is the Quintessons and that they are also working with the Reapers." Jack answered in calm manner, though he had an idea on how this conversation may turn out. If the way Sparatus was looking at him was any indication.

"The Terminus systems are outside our jurisdiction, your colonists knew this when they left Alliance and Council space." he replied while glaring at Jack.

Optimus decided to speak up for the young Prime and stepped forward.

"But you are missing the point Councillor, the Reapers are involved in what has been happening in the Terminus systems in recent years." He spoke stoically.

Sparatus just shook his head before glaring between the elder Prime and the one on their screen.

"Ah yes, 'Reapers'. The nightmare biomechanical monsters that hide in dark space waiting for the right time to destroy us all." He then waved his arm in disgust. "We have already dismissed that claim."

Optimus turned to Jack's image on the monitor.

"Jackson, unfortunately no one has been able to speak to the hologram on Ilos. And you and your team were the only ones ever to speak to Sovereign." Optimus then gave Jack a slight smile.

"I believe you, but as there is no direct evidence to support you, the others will always believe that Saren was behind the attack."

Jack looked back at the council, his face as stoic as the elder Prime.

"Why would the Geth follow Saren, he was not a synthetic. They only listened to him because he was Sovereign's puppet." he answered back. But Tevlos shook her head in response.

"Saren was a highly charismatic and compelling man. He convinced the Geth that the Reapers were real as well as making you believe in them too." she replied.

"It was part of his plan to attack the Citadel. The Reapers are just a fairy tale, but one that you keep on reciprocating." Sparatus carried on.

"We believe that you think they are real. But we do not and that is the end of it."

Jack took a breath as he sighed.

"Just speak to Arblus on Ilos or better yet examine the remains of Sovereign, it is obviously not Geth technology since it is much more advanced."

The Councillors though just looked at Jack, their annoyance with the Prime growing.

"The Geth are capable of remarkable advances in technology, which is why Saren obviously recruited them. As for the VI on Ilos, it does not appear to function any more." Tevlos replied.

"This all proves your Reaper theory is flawed and just how gullible you really are. You were manipulated by Saren and now by MECH." Sparatus spat at the young Prime. Jack could feel his anger starting to boil as he clenched his fists.

"I cant believe this, after I stopped Saren from destroying the Citadel while losing friends and allies along the way. This is the thanks I get." he replied, trying to keep a lid on his anger.

"But you are leaving us in a difficult position Jackson Prime. You are now working with MECH, a terrorist organisation and an enemy of this council. That is treason under our laws."

Optimus was about to step forward when Perceptor suddenly found his voice.

"That is going too far, Jackson Darby is a Prime and it is his duty to protect this galaxy no matter what obstacles lie in his way. I am on this council too and will not allow you to sully his name anymore."

The other councillors looked at Perceptor dumbstruck by his outburst, Tevlos regained her composure and looked back at Jack.

"Well maybe we can come to a compromise, not a public acknowledgement considering your close ties with MECH. But something that shows that we support you personally." She answered before looking to Sparatus who then spoke.

"Jackson Prime, if you keep your activities to the Terminus systems. We will have the Alliance reinstate your rank of Commander."

Jack thought for a second as he looked away before looking back at the councillors.

"Perceptor, thank you for your support and know that I am in no way disrespecting you with what I am about to say." Jack told him in a stoic manner. He then looked back at the other councillors.

"I decline your offer. I did not need your help when I saved this Council from Sovereign and I don't need it now. Because you are all too stupid and scared to see the truth." Jack answered defiantly. He then saw the utter dumbstruck looks on the councillors faces except for Sparatus, who just let his anger boil over.

"Right, I should have known that this would happen, you cannot trust Humans even now. So we will warn you only once 'Prime'. If your ship so much as enters either Council or Alliance space, even for a second, then it will be captured or destroyed. You have been warned." he fumed as the Turian stormed out of the room as the other councillors followed. Perceptor stayed behind and joined Optimus's side. The elder Prime had a worried look on his face.

"Well, that could have gone a little better."

Jack shrugged as his expression became more casual.

"Politicians and bureaucrats are not going to stop the Reapers when they finally arrive. And also if I had said yes, they would have found a way to tie my hands behind my back, like they have done with the Alliance."

The elder Prime nodded in agreement as he sighed.

"That is true, do not worry about the Council. Perceptor and myself will find someway to keep them off your back. As long as you stay in the areas that the Council has no reach." he replied as Perceptor nodded to Jack. The young Prime then looked at Optimus a little confused.

"I thought you would be against my working with MECH?" he asked.

"Well I am not happy about it, not for a moment. But Perceptor is right about what it means to be a Prime, and I would be a hypocrite if I had sided with the Council on this. Especially since it was I who accepted an alliance with Megatron, many years ago when Unicron posed a threat to Earth."

Jack smiled and nodded back to the elder Prime. The Autobot councillor then said his goodbyes while offering Jack his best before leaving the room. Just Optimus was left who then turned back to the screen.

"Well Jackson I would like to speak to you more, but I have a feeling that our com link is about to be cut."

Jack gave Optimus a lop sided grin.

"Yeah I have that feeling too."

The Autobot leader gave Jack a warm smile.

"Well in that case Jackson Prime, I want to wish you good luck on your mission. But be mindful of your position with MECH, they can not be trusted."

Jack nodded in return.

"I will Optimus and thank you. Until next we meet." he replied.

"Farewell my friend." Optimus finished as the screen deactivated, leaving Jack to his thoughts.


Jack was walking toward the common room when Airachnid walked into him.

"Oh hi Jack." she said a little embarrassed as she smiled at him.

"Sorry about that." she carried on sheepishly.

"No need to apologise, that was my fault." he replied as he scratched the back of his head in equal embarrassment.

"I should have been looking where I was going."

The femme looked at him observantly.

"Have a lot on your mind?" she asked knowingly.

Jack didn't know how she could tell but he could see in her expression that she was just concerned for him. Funny that many years ago he had thought of her as a sadistic monster, but now that he knew the truth about her past. He couldn't help but feel like he knew her in a much better way now, though for the life of him he didn't know how.

"Want to talk about it?" she asked while looking over to the common room. Jack smiled in return.

"Sure, I was on my way there anyway."

She smiled back, not knowing that her smile had made Jack feel a little better inside at that moment.

"Well I haven't been in there yet, so this might interesting." she replied.

"Well no one on this ship really knows you Airachnid." Jack said in return.

She looked back at him, that knowing smile again gracing her lips.

"Well not like you do Jack."

Jack then placed a hand out In front of her.

"After you." he said to her in a polite manner.

"Thank you." she replied as she walked into the common room with him following behind her. They then collected their drinks and sat at the table at the far side of the room, facing each other. There were a number of crewmen relaxing in the room, though if any of them had noticed Airachnid, they didn't show it. The femme took a sip from her drink, and noticed Jack eyeing it curiously.

"What are you drinking?"

She placed the glass on the table and licked the traces of it off her lips.

"I believe you call it prune juice."

Jack tried his best not to look squeamish, but failed.

"What?" she replied a little disturbed by the Prime's expression.

"Well, I'm not really a fan of it, it's too thick and sweet for my tastes. But if you like it." he said, as she then looked down at his drink.

"Well, what are you drinking?" she asked trying to sound annoyed. Jack stirred his mug's contents with a tea spoon as hot steam rose from the brown liquid.

"Just coffee." he answered as he took the spoon out and took a sip before pulling back suddenly not realising how piping hot it still was, wincing in the process. Airachnid chuckled.

"Hot is it?" she asked with a grin.

"Yeah, it is." Jack replied, still wincing from slightly burned lips as he placed the mug on the table and started stirring it again.

"So are you going to tell me what's on your mind?" she asked. Jack gave her a lop sided grin.

"You first."

She raised an eye brow at the Prime evading her question, but shrugged.

"Okay then, ask away." she answered.

"When we got back you said you wanted to be alone, so why were you up here?" he asked curiously as Airachnid looked down at her drink.

"I thought I did want to be alone down there, but once I was I realised you were right. Esmeral wouldn't want me to be like that and be keep everyone at arms distance, so I came up here." she answered truthfully.

"But you were just hanging around outside still." Jack replied observantly. Airachnid sighed and looked away, before looking back at the Prime with her purple eyes.

"I guess I didn't want to go in alone." The femme replied as she smiled back at him.

Jack returned the smile.

"I'm happy I could help."

For a moment they just smiled at one another, before Jack broke eye contact so that he could take a sip from his drink, though this time he didn't nearly burn his lips off.

"So, now it's your turn." Airachnid said gaining the Prime's attention as he put his mug down again, he then sighed and started talking. He told her about his talk with Optimus and the Council and how he turned away from them. The femme's expression changed to concern as she placed a hand gently on to Jack's.

"I'm sorry, they never really believed you about the Reapers did they."

She could see a tinge of anger on Jack's face.

"No and worse, they were actively trying to keep it all quiet. That's why I knew that I couldn't trust them to let me get on with my mission. If I had rejoined them, they would just try to slow me down." he replied sadly. Airachnid didn't realise it, but she had started to stroke Jack's hand with her thumb as she kept her hand over his. This hadn't gone unnoticed by Jack, who quietly enjoyed the comfort it was giving him.

"I know what you mean Jack. When the thirteen were created by Primus to combat Unicron, not all of them believed the danger he posed to the galaxy."

Jack looked at her curiously.

"Wait how do you know about that?"

She took a sip from her drink before continuing.

"Esmeral used to tell me, she was a historian before the war. Her favourite subject was the war between the thirteen primes and the chaos bringer." she said with affection in her voice for her sparkmate.

"Tell me about her?" Jack asked, gaining another smile from the femme as she looked away and remembered.

"Well, most nights I would return to our home in Crystal City and sit on our balcony and look out at he city skyline. Our system's star would just start to set as its light would reflect off he crystalline buildings giving the city this warm glow. Esmeral would then get back from her caste duties and sit with me, placing an arm around me and we would talk about how our days went. She would tell me everything that she researched or learnt. Esmeral could make anything sound interesting, she was that passionate about it." Arachnid replied.

"She sounds like a wonderful person, wish I could have met her." The Prime said, earning a smile from Arachnid.

"Yeah, she would have loved Earth. Especially your history, you know for a species that has barely lived a fraction of ours. You certainly have a rich past."

They then took a sip of heir drinks when they were suddenly interrupted.

"Oh, there you are."

They both looked up to see Garrus looking at them.

"Hey Airachnid, it's nice to see that you up and around with the rest of us."

Airachnid smirked at the Turian's comment.

"Thank you, it's nice to be here."

Jack gave Garrus a lopsided grin.

"Same could be said of you Garrus, since you spend most of each day calibrating the weapons." Jack said back with a tinge of sarcasm.

"What can I say, you can never be too careful. Plus we do end up in combat situations more times than I would like." Garrus shrugged as Jack pulled a chair out and gestured to the Turian to sit. His friend smiled back and joined them at the table before looking at their drinks.

"So, what are you two drinking?"

Airachnid finished off her drink before speaking.

"Well I just had a prune juice while Jack was burning his lips on a boiling mug of coffee." she finished with a chuckle. Garrus then looked over to the drinks counter and sighed.

"Damn, looks like chef hasn't restocked the dextro-protein drinks, oh well I have plenty in my quarters." he said disappointedly before turning back to Jack and Airachnid.

"So what are we talking about?"

The other two looked at each other for a second before being interrupted by Hotrod's voice over the inter com.

"Prime, we have an incoming call from the Director. He says it's urgent."

Jack sighed as he tapped his con link.

"Copy Hotrod, I'll take it in the briefing room." he replied before looking back to his friends.

"Sorry but duty calls, it was nice talking with you Airachnid." he replied warmly to the femme who smiled back with the same affection.

"Likewise Jack, we should do it again sometime."

Jack nodded in return before heading out of the common room, as Garrus smiled at the femme.

"So, what's new?" he asked curiously.

Silas stood in front of a hologram of the Quintesson cruiser, made up from the scans that Teletraan had taken when the Defiant was in orbit over Horizon. He looked over the ship as he admired the technical marvel that it was. Then Jackson prime appeared in the room via the holo-communicator. Slias turned to him, looking at the Prime with his yellow optics.

"Prime, I think we caught a break. I intercepted a distress call from an Asari patrol. They had a run in with a Quintesson cruiser. The patrol was destroyed but not before crippling the cruiser." He said before picking up his drink from the stand next to him and taking a sip.

"How did an Asari patrol manage to disable a Quintesson ship?"

Silas then pressed a finger against the Quintesson ship's image and it changed to a screen showing its location on the galaxy map.

"I'm not sure, but this might be our best chance to gain Intel on the Quintessons. Especially on how they manage to use the Omega four subspace rift to reach their home world. I want you to take the Defiant to these coordinates and board the cruiser and allow teletraan access to its computer core."

Jack cocked his head and gave the director a sceptical look before pointing toward the map.

"I don't know if your aware but neither myself or my ship is exactly welcome in Council space."

Silas gave Jack a stoic look.

"I know what happened during your meeting with the Council. Everything that goes on in 'my ship' is reported back to me."

Jack crossed his arms and gave the director a stern look.

"I don't like being spied on Silas."

Silas ignored the Prime's look and took another drink from his glass.

"Don't think of it as spying, more like keeping an eye on my investment. We share the same goals here after all. And I need to know that you and your team will be ready when the time is right."

Jack looked away and wondered what else Silas had seen while spying on him. Did he know what Jack did for Airachnid earlier. But then the Director spoke and that brought Jack back to his attention.

"Prime, time is precious. The Quintessons are obviously either repairing the cruiser or sending another ship to help. The Asari too will send another patrol to find out what happened. And I know you will not want to be around when they show up."

Jack nodded as he knew that after how his meeting with the council had gone, they would more likely shoot the Defiant out of the sky as soon as they saw them.

"Alright send me the coordinates, we will head there immediately."

The Briefing room changed back to its original look as the holo-communicator deactivated.

"Prime to Hotrod, did you receive the coordinates?" He asked as he started for the exit to the CIC.

"Sure did, lets go find us a Quintesson ship." Hotrod answered.


In the middle of nowhere, the Quinesson cruiser drifted through the vast void of space as the Defiant appeared out of hyperspace and flew past the debris that was once the Asari patrol and toward it's target.

"God look at the size of it." Hotrod exclaimed as he looked out at the colossus in front of them. Jack stood beside him in his armour with his arms crossed as he looked at it too.

"Teletraan, what can you tell us?" he asked as Hotrod nervously piloted the ship closer.

"I have ran a scan on the cruiser Jackson Prime, its power core is offline and I am not detecting any life signs on board, organic or synthetic."

Jack placed a hand on his pilot's shoulder.

"Hey, its going to be alright Hotrod." he said reassuringly.

The Autobot looked up at him.

"Sorry, I just had a moment of déjà vu from the last time I piloted a ship against that thing." he answered hesitantly.

Jack gave him a supportive smile before turning around and heading to the elevator.

As the Defiant got within a couple hundred meters of the cruiser's hull. The shuttle bay door opened and shuttle one flew out and toward the Quintesson's ship. The shuttle then spotted an opening in the hull, obviously created by the damage done by the Asari. The shuttle then flew in and landed on the other side.

The hatch opened and Jack, Miranda and Soundwave exited the craft and entered the surroundings of the Quintesson cruiser. All three were wearing their breather helmets. All three had their weapons ready as they started down into the metallic corridors. Jack couldn't help but notice how much the décor looked like Cybertronian architecture. He looked back to see Soundwave just as in awe of it.

"Soundwave, you alright?" Jack asked. The spymaster simply nodded in return, as Jack turned back to Miranda.

"So have any idea where to start?"

Miranda activated her holo-tool and brought up a map of the cruiser.

"According to scans taken by Teletraan, the computer core is only a short distance away, once there we can have it connect with the core and download the information we need."

She then deactivated it and looked back at Jack.

"Sounds like a plan, lets get moving." the Prime replied.

The three then walked deeper into the ship.

After several minutes of searching through the corridors Jack and his team entered a large room filled with pods, each pod was the basic height of a humanoid. Jack looked closely at one of the pods as his mind came to a terrible conclusion.

"Could it be possible that this ship is the same one that attacked Horizon?" he asked as he looked at his team mates.

Soundwave looked back at Jack, his face completely blank. While Miranda looked at her holo-tool. Suddenly Jack's com link activated.

"Jackson Prime, I have been monitoring your team and in response I ran a scan of the ship and compared it to the scans I performed to the ship that attacked Horizon. They are an exact match." Teletraan said in a direct manner.

Jack eyes widened at the comment.

"Well it looks like our mission objectives have just changed. We have to see if the colonists who were taken are here and rescue them if we can."

Both his team mates looked away for a second as Teletraan spoke again.

"Prime, as I said earlier, I have detected no life signs. If I was to make a thesis, it would be that this cruiser transported the colonists to their home world and then came back to attack another colony, only for the ship to come under attack by the Asari patrol."

Jack looked down to the ground as he felt his heart sink at the realisation that the colonists were gone.

"Okay then lets carry on with our original mission." he said before noticing Soundwave pointing to the left. Jack turned round and saw another pod hooked up to what looked like a computer console. As the three walked over to get a closer look, they saw that one of the Quintesson drones was inside.

"Were they experimenting on their own?" Miranda questioned as Jack connected Teletraan to the computer via his holo-tool.

"I am going through their data files now. It would appear that they were trying to compare the human physiology with their own." the AI stated.

Jack looked over the data that had appeared on his holo-tool while Teletraan had been speaking.

"Why, the Quintessons are obviously synthetic. Why bother?

Soundwave and Miranda kept an eye out as Jack continued to look at the body in the pod.

" I do not have enough data to make an accurate assessment. But I have ran their DNA pattern against all other races in our database and only one match was found." the AI replied.

"Okay what is it then? Jack asked, his curiosity peaked.

"It is of a race long since thought dead, purged by the Reapers."

Jack's eyes widened and his mouth slightly open at Teletraan's words as his vision from two years previously now made perfect sense.

"My god..." he said gaining the attention of Miranda and Soundwave.

"...The Lithone weren't wiped out, they are just working for the Reapers now."

Miranda looked down at the body and then at Jack in total shock.

"Are you sure?" she asked before Teletraan spoke again.

"It would appear that the Reapers could not harvest them like the strongest races of previous cycles so made use of them in another capacity."

Jack looked away from the body as he thought on what he would say in return.

"Is there anyway we can help them?" he asked, a slight pleading tone in his voice.

"Unfortunately the Reapers have made to many changes to the Lithone, both mentally and physically. They no longer have any of the traits or attributes that we would expect the Lithone to have. They are merely shadows of their former selves."

Jack looked down at the Quintesson body and felt sorry for it.

"That is a terrible fate for anyone to have to endure, but they are now working for the Reapers. Which means that we have to stop them." he said to his team.

"The computer core is at the far end of another large room that spans most of the length of the ship. The entrance is at the north end of the room you are in now." the AI responded.

"Thanks Teletraan, Prime out." Jack replied before closing the com link and headed in the direction of the computer core with Miranda and Soundwave following.

They then entered the larger room and were floored by the sight before them. The room was like a gigantic tunnel, and the walls were covered in pods.

"They could take all the humans in the Terminus systems and still have plenty of room for more." Miranda stated as she looked at the sight around her.

"They are going for Earth." Jack replied as he saw what looked like the control centre up ahead. He gestured the others to follow him as Hotrod's voice came over the con link.

"Prime, I had a thought and asked Teletraan to match up the scans we have now with the ones that the Normandy made two year ago. They are an exact match."

Jack stopped in his tracks and looked back at the others who were listening in.

"Wait are you saying that this ship has been shadowing me for two years, that seems way to much to be a coincidence." Jack replied.

"Yeah, something doesn't add up, just watch your back okay." Hotrod finished as the team made their way to the heart of the ship. There was just a large slab in the middle of the room with a computer screen in its center. Jack walked up to it and immediately set up a link with Teletraan on his holo-tool. The holo-image of it appearing on the screen.

"I am searching through their database now." the AI said as Jack and the others kept an eye out on their surroundings.

"Ever get the feeling you are being watched?" Miranda mentioned to Soundwave who nodded back. He then tapped what looked like a metallic cylinder that was on his back. It opened up to reveal Laserbeak as it spread its wings and took flight above them, searching the area around them.

"I have found the information we are looking for and downloaded additional data."

Jack smiled at the image of Teletraan.

"Good work, we'll make our way back now." he replied.

"Wait, I have run into a problem, my connection is being terminated I….." the com link died and Teletraan disappeared as a shot was fired which ripped through Laserbeak. The bird fell to the ground and Soundwave ran over and scooped up his friend in his arms. Miranda and Jack both readied their weapons. The sound of something powering up could be heard as the room began to shake.

"Prime, Teletraan has been shut out of the system and I am picking up a power signature from the Cruiser, looks like it is coming online, you should head back to the shuttle." Hotrod warned over the com link. Jack then looked at Soundwave, who's expression changed from sadness to anger.

"We have to go Soundwave." he said as the former con nodded and equipped his sonic blaster. The three then backed out of the control-center before a voice boomed around them.

"You are not going anywhere!" a monstrous voice called out. The team turned around to see a figure crawl out from the shadows into view. It had the body of a snake and numerous tentacles for arms, and its head was inside a helmet that looked like a serpent's head. It opened its mouth to reveal a face, its bright green eyes staring at the Prime.

"You fell for our trap, our master will be pleased." it gloated as its face shifted from angry to happy, before switching to a blank expression.

"Who are you?" Jack asked while keeping his weapon aimed at the creature.

"I am Alpha Q and I control the Quintessons for my master." the creature replied. Miranda and Soundwave noticed Quintesson drones appear from the shadows around them.

"Let me guess, your masters are the Reapers."

Alpha Q's face shifted to happy again as it laughed.

"No, No. Our master is called Harbinger, we have no other masters." It said. Jack looked behind him to see that the exit was only guarded by two drones, before looking back to Alpha Q. He noticed that it was standing in front of what looked like fuel tanks.

"Well, thanks for the Intel and you have been a wonderful host. But we should be making tracks." Jack replied. The Quintesson leader's face shifted to angry again.

"Like I said before, you are not going anywhere!" It spat back. Jack though winked at it confidently.

"We'll see about that." he replied before firing a burst of bullets that narrowly missed Alpha Q before impacting the tanks. The Quintesson looked back at the Prime.

"You have pathetic aim, Prime." he gloated back with his happy face. Jack though just smirked back at him.

"I wasn't aiming at you." he answered sarcastically. Alpha Q's face shifted again to shocked as it turned round just in time for the tanks to explode, knocking it to the ground. The Drones then began firing on the group, Jack bringing up the Skyboom shield to cover his team mates who provided covering fire while he fired on the two drones guarding the exit.

"We are clear, make a run for the shuttle." he shouted as they ran out of the control centre and made their way back to the shuttle with more drones closing on them from behind. As they ran and fired back at the Quintessons chasing them, Jack activated his com link.

"Hotrod, I hope you have the engines fired because we will be coming in hot." Jack said as he fired back at the enemy, taking three more down as Soundwave knocked another into the wall with his sonic blaster.

"We are already waiting for you with Shuttle bay doors open. Just make it quick, because the cruiser is powering up quickly." the Autobot pleaded as Jack used the Skyboom shield to protect Miranda who was reloading her SMG.

"Roger that, we are nearly there." Jack answered back as Miranda gave the Prime a thankful smile for the assist. The three had finally reached the area where the shuttle was as legions of Drones were now on their tail. Jack covered the others who entered the shuttle's hatch before he too climbed in and closed it behind them. The drones fired on the shuttle as it took off and flew out of the ship and towards the Defiant. The Quintesson Cruiser started to light up as the shuttle entered the Defiant's shuttle bay which closed behind them.

"We are aboard, now go!" Jack said over the comm as Hotrod pulled the ship away, just as the cruiser powered up its main cannon which fired a powerful yellow beam at the frigate which evaded it by spinning around it and veering away.

"Activating the hyper-drive in five, four, three, two, one…" Hotrod said as the Defiant Jumped away just as the Quintesson ship fired again, hitting nothing but open space.

Jack and the others exited the shuttle as he noticed Soundwave looking down at the corpse of Laserbeak in his hands.

"I'm sorry Soundwave." Jack said sadly as he looked at the spymaster. The former Con looked up from Laserbeak to Jack and nodded before walking toward the elevator. Jack then turned to Miranda.

"Is it just me or did the Quintessons stage that whole thing." he asked in a sarcastic manner.

Miranda looked back at him.

"Yes, but I doubt the Director would have known about it, otherwise he would not have sent us on such a mission." she replied honestly.

"You sure about that, because the Silas I know would have no qualms about sending people on such missions." Jack responded in a matter of fact tone which made Miranda look away.

"No he wouldn't do that, not to me." she said, catching Jack off guard.

"What do you mean?" he asked curiously. But Miranda waved him off.

"Nothing Prime, I am kind of tired. Can we do this later." she asked in a evading way. Jack simply nodded and she left for the elevator. Jack though just stood there for a moment before he activated his com link.

"Teletraan, can you look into the Asari distress signal for me?" he asked.

"Of course Prime, but what do you hope to find? The AI asked curiously.

"I'm not sure, just let me know what you find when you are finished." he replied as he then entered the elevator after it returned his floor.

"Very well." Teletraan responded.

Once he was back in the CIC, Jack walked up to the cockpit to see a smiling Hotrod looking back.

"Now how was that for an escape?" he asked happily. Jack stood beside him patted the Autobot's shoulder.

"Great flying Hotrod, what is our current status?"

The pilot looked at his screen as he kept his hands on the controls.

"We are about to enter the space bridge and leave Council space. You will be glad to hear that no council ships detected us while we were trespassing."

Jack looked down at his friend with a troubled expression.

"Yeah about that Hotrod…" he said before being interrupted by the pilot who gave him a warm smile.

"Don't worry about it Prime. I trust your judgement and plus those Councillors, not including Perceptor of course. Are a bunch of idiots for not taking you seriously about the Reapers, so I say good riddance."

Jack smiled back at Hotrod as he felt much better.

"Thanks I appreciate that." he replied as they both looked ahead to see the vortex of the space bridge surround their ship as they entered it.

Jack turned away and was about to leave when teletraan's holo-form appeared next to him.

"Prime, I have found something that I find quite disturbing if I am to be frank about it."

Jack looked at Teletraan, crossing his arms in process.

"Why, what did you find?" he asked curiously.

"Well, after looking through all the code that made up the distress signal I found several anomalies that I identified as Quintesson in nature."

Jack nodded at the AI.

"So the Quintessons manufactured the message to set a trap up for us." he replied.

"Yes, but what puzzles me is that the Director should have spotted it."

Jack's eyes widened at the comment.

"What are you saying Teletraan?" he asked, feeling anger building up inside.

"MECH uses highly advanced decoding software in its communication and intelligence gathering programs. The Director would have given the distress signal a complete scan and would have seen that it was a fake."

Jack clenched his fists as he started to breath a little heavier.

"So you are saying that Silas sent us on that mission, knowing fully well that it was a trap." he said.

"That is the only conclusion that I can come up with that would explain this whole situation. Though you expected me to find this didn't you, why else would you ask me to check the signal?" the AI said.

"I had a hunch, kind of hoped that it would not be true. But anyway thank you for looking Teletraan." Jack replied looking at the AI.

"You are welcome Jackson Prime." it responded before shutting down its holo-form. Hotrod though had been eves dropping on their conversation, and now turned to look at the Prime.

"And wouldn't you know it, the Director is calling right now for your report on the mission."

Jack turned to the pilot and gave him a stoic expression, trying to hide the building in anger within himself.

"Well then, lets not keep him waiting." he replied as he walked off towards the briefing room. Hotrod smiled as he turned back to his station, knowing that for Silas, the shit had just hit the fan.
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