Categories > TV > Transformers > Prime Effect 3

Chapter XVI

by Apollo-XL5 0 reviews

The Defiant races to the Asari home world in the hope that Jack can retrieve the one item left that is needed to complete the Crucible, but the reapers now stand in their way as they begin purging ...

Category: Transformers - Rating: R - Genres: Crossover,Drama,Sci-fi - Warnings: [V] [?] - Published: 2015-04-23 - 10608 words - Complete

Stars continued to streak past the hull of the Defiant as it soared through hyperspace on it's course toward Thessia. On board everyone was rushing around as they prepared for the ship for combat, Arcee was in the CIC in command, Raf, Bumblebee and Airachnid were in the science lab going over all the data they had on the Reapers. Garrus was (unsurprisingly) running final calibration checks on the weapons, Tali was back in engineering, Smokescreen was keeping Tap-Out, Flareup and Trailbreaker company in the common room. Grimlock though had just exited the elevator and entered the shuttle bay, he saw Swoop near Shuttle one and walked over to him. The Dinobot pilot was working on an exposed panel of the shuttle when his friend called him.

"Swoop, I was told you were down here." Grimlock said as he stopped beside his friend, who looked over to him.

"Grimlock, just give me a second to finish this." he said as he had his hands in the inner workings of the shuttle, but within a moment he had pulled his hands out re-covered the panel.

"There all done." he said smugly while wiping his hands with a rag. The Dinobot leader looked at him with a confused expression.

"What are you doing?"

"I have just finished installing a device into shuttle one here, once activated it should imitate the reaper IFF that the Defiant has, and allow me to pilot Jack and his team down to Thessia without incident." Swoop replied.

"Your going to pilot them?" the big bot asked in surprise.

"The Defiant is running low on shuttle pilots, so Jack asked me to join the crew and I said yes. After hearing he stories of everything that this ship has accomplished, how could I say no. What about you Grimlock, aren't you going to join up?"

The Dinobot leader looked ahead for a second before looking back down to his friend.

"I don't know, Jack asked too. But I told him I would think about it."

"I see, hey if this is anything to do with what happened to the others, then you shouldn't blame yourself. It was MECH that attacked the colony remember, focus your anger at them." Swoop replied.

"I know and all I want to do is rip that Silas and his group apart for what they did." Grimlock said back as he clenched his fist so tight that it started to shake.

"Then say yes, because with this ship's record I bet we will be facing MECH again before long."

The big bot then nodded in return before turning around.

"Okay, thanks for chat Swoop." he replied before walking away.

"Any time Grimlock." the pilot replied before tuning back to the shuttle and running a diagnostic from his Holo-tool.

Meanwhile Jack was standing in the com room with the hologram of Councillor Tevos.

"I received the Admiral's message, but there is not a lot that we can do Prime, as we are currently trying to protect and evacuate our people from areas that the Reapers are currently purging." the Councillor said stoically.

"I am already on route to Thessia, we just need access to these coordinates." the Prime replied as he transmitted the data to Tevos who then looked it over on her side, her eyes widened a moment later.

"Really, I know this location Prime. It is a temple that is located in our capital city, how did you come about this data?"

"We received the data from a Lithone Scientist that awaken from stasis at Eden Prime, he is part of the team that built the Crucible. He said that the part we need to finish it would be at those coordinates." Jack replied.

"I see, well I know what I just said earlier. But if what you say is true, then I will make sure you have some help. I will arrange to have a group of scientists meet you when you land at this location." the Councillor said.

"Thank you, I appreciate you doing this." the Prime replied.

"I hope you find what you are looking for, because we are all in this together now. Good luck Prime." Tevos then said before her hologram disappeared.

Jack entered the corridor to find Chromia waiting for him outside the com room.

"Hey Jack." she said with a smile.

"Hey Chromia, were you waiting for me?" he asked as the door closed behind him.

"Yes, we never really got the chance to catch up after getting back from Eden Prime." the femme answered.

"That is true, so how are you Chromia?" the Prime asked as they began walking down the corridor.

"Well considering how things were back at the planet, I am happy to be alive." she answered but Jack could see that something was bothering her.

"What's wrong Chromia?" he asked, earning a surprised look from the femme before she sighed.

"I would like to ask for a transfer to the Defiant."

"Really, why is that? I mean I heard that Flareup was being transferred with Trailbreaker and Tap-Out to the Crucible, why aren't you going with them?" he asked as they turned a corner.

"Well for one Flareup wasn't transferred, she volunteered after hearing that Trailbreaker was being moved there."

Jack the looked at her confused.

"Is there something going o between those two?"

the femme rolled her eyes and lightly chuckled.

"Well one of them believes so. But anyway, with everything that happened recently. I want to be close to Sis." she said back honestly.

"I see, well I know it would do Arcee the world to good to have you on board." Jack relied with a slight smile, gaining a hopeful look from the young femme.

"Do you have a positions available?"

"Well the Defiant did have a security chief once, but I have yet to fill that post. Would you be interested?" the Prime asked.

"Yes, yes I would." she answered eagerly. Jack then held out his hand to her, which she accepted.

"Then welcome aboard the Defiant." he replied with a smile.

"Thank you sir." she replied with a salute which Jack waved down.

"Jack will do, we are practically family Chromia."

"Yeah I heard that the two of you were back together, I am happy for you both." she replied as Jack noticed Arcee and Airachnid walking towards them, gaining a smile from him. Chromia having noticed this looked to where his attention was and saw the raven haired femme. But as soon as she saw the purple eyes of said femme, she narrowed her eyes and gritted her teeth before launching herself at the former Con in anger.

"Airachnid!" she cried out.

"Chromia wait!" Jack called back, but Chromia had already tackled Airachnid to the floor. Arcee took a second to register what was going on as her younger sister started trying to strangle the former Con. Airachnid though narrowed her eyes at the femme before jabbing Chromia in the face, disorientating the femme as her grip weakened. Airachnid then clamped her legs around the young bot and rolled them both over, so that she was now on top and she raised her fist to strike. But then a hand grabbed hold making the femme look up to see Arcee staring back worriedly.

"Airachnid stop!" she said, as her friend's angry expression softened and she climbed off of the beaten Autobot. Chromia then got up, while never taking her eyes off of the former Con. She then went to strike at the black armoured femme again, only for Arcee to stand in the way.

"That's enough."

Chromia just gave her sister a confused expression.

"But that's Airachnid, after everything that she did. Killing Tailgate, the numerous times she tried to kill you and Jack. Not to mention all everything else. Airachnid deserves nothing but…." she said in an angry tone before stopping and just looking at her sister.

"…. Why are you defending her all of a sudden, in fact what is she doing onboard."

Arcee looked over to Airachnid and then to Jack, though the former Con just stayed quiet as the young femme's words .

"Chromia, Airachnid was not responsible for any of the deeds that she did during the war." Jack said, only confusing the blue femme more.

"Really, what was she under some kind of mind control?"

Arcee looked at her in a matter of fact way.

"That's exactly what happened, you remember all the bots who fell to Shockwave's experiments during the war. Well Airachnid was a victim of that as well, but at a very personal cost."

Chromia just stayed quiet and listened to her sister while Jack looked over to Airachnid and saw the look on her face, it was one of sadness and regret. He was going to say something when the inter com activated. "Jackson Prime, we be at the space bridge to Thessia in twenty minutes." Teletraan said gaining a nod from the Prime before he looked back at the femmes.

"Arcee, Airachnid your with me for this mission."

They both nodded in return, before Arcee looked at Chromia.

"We'll talk about this when we get back." she said gesturing to her sister and the femme. The younger bot nodding sheepishly.

"Chromia take your station." Jack then said in a stoic manner.

"Yes Jack."

And then she walked off to the elevator quietly, Airachnid then looked at Arcee.

"I am sorry." she said in a regretful tone.

"You don't have to apologise Airachnid." the blue femme replied.

"I guess that there are still bots out there that don't know what happened to me." the former Con said back, Arcee placed a hand on her shoulder in support.

"Airachnid, you are my friend and team mate, if anyone who doesn't know the truth tries anything against you, then I will put them straight."

The former Con looked at her with a slight smile before Jack also spoke.

"That makes both of us." he said with a smile, Airachnid finally relaxed somewhat.

"Thank you." she said to them before Jack gestured to the elevator.

"Come on, we've got a mission to prepare for." he said before the three of them walked over and entered it. The Prime then pulled out the octagonal dis from his pocket and activated his armour.


In the cockpit Hotrod was in his usual position piloting the ship, while to his right was Jazz who was running a last minute diagnostic of the sensors, Chromia then entered the cockpit and took her seat at the weapons/security station.

"So you joined the crew then Chromia, Arcee thought you would. I bet you she is really happy right now." Jazz said while looking back to the femme. But she looked down at the holo-controls in front of her, her expression becoming sheepish.

"I doubt that, not after what I just did." she replied, voice filled with regret. Jazz kept his attention on her as Hotrod looked over.

"What happened?" he asked, making Chromia look over to him.

"I attacked Airachnid just now, and just got put down by Jack and Sis."

Both Mechs gave each other knowing looks before looking back at Chromia.

"You didn't know The truth about her did you." The pilot replied, earning a nod from her.

"Hey I have to admit, when I first saw her last year. I wanted to shoot her too, but she had been placed on our team so I had to deal with it. But I noticed that she was acting differently to what we knew of her during the war. Then after she and Jack returned from Cybertron, Airachnid with Jack's support told me and the others the truth." Hotrod added.

"They told me that she was originally an Autobot that had been brainwashed by Shockwave and at a very personal cost, what did they mean?" Chromia then asked.

"Well, having fully reprogrammed Airachnid into a Decepticon, Shockwave needed proof that the conversion was successful, so he ordered her to kill her sparkmate - Esmeral and so she ripped her apart. But the real Airachnid was still aware of what she was doing and not only had to watch as her body murdered her love, but also had to endure all the horrors and atrocities that it did during the war."

Chromia just listened in complete shock at what Hotrod was telling her as she raised her hand to cover her mouth.

"Oh Primus, all the things she had to live through, I had no idea."

"No one did, Airachnid was just another victim of Shockwave and his inhuman science." the pilot replied as Chromia had a look of regret and understanding on her face.

"I will have to apologise to her, Arcee and Jack when they get back from Thessia."

Hotrod then looked forward and saw the space bridge a head of them.

"Activating this bridge's link to the one in the Parnitha system." he stated as he typed on the holo-keyboard that was part of his interface.

The space bridge in the Parnitha system came to life with a massive green vortex appearing at it's center, then the Defiant flew out of it's event horizon and entered the system. Jazz looked at the sudden influx of IFF signals appearing on the ships's sensor screen.

"Holy scrap, the Asari are getting annihilated out there."

"Yeah I can see that." Hotrod said as he looked out of the cockpit's canopy, he saw masses of Reaper vessels attacking various Asari ships in front of them. But most of the Reapers were situated around the blue planet of Thessia. The Defiant made its way through the battle as a passing Asari cruiser fired its cannons at the nearest Reaper, it's attack didn't even leaving a dent on ships's black hull. The Reaper then turned to face the cruiser and fired it's energy beam, which sliced through the Asari ship in one shot.

A group of Asari fighters then attacked another Reaper, flying so close to its hull that the behemoth could not get a target lock. But suddenly they found themselves under attack from a squadron of drones that had disengaged themselves from it's hull. Each and every fighter fell to the drones before they flew back round and reattached themselves to the Reaper which then carried on attacking any nearby Asari cruisers. The Defiant reached Thessia and amongst the chaos that was happening around it, the shuttle flew out of its shuttle bay the moment it's door had opened, and began its descent down to the planet's surface.

Jack, Arcee and Airachnid were sitting down patiently in the shuttle as it was shaken by turbulence, Jack stood up and grabbed a hand hold on the ceiling to keep his balance before looking out of the window, he could see the capital of the Asari home world below him. The Asari had built one of the most beautiful architecture the Prime had ever seen, their whole planet was known as 'the jewel of the galaxy'. And yet here and now he saw nothing but detestation as multiple Reapers walked amongst the once beautiful buildings, still reflecting the sunset that had been cast over the landscape. Jack could also see multiple large scale fires scattered around the city, the black smoke being emitted from them rising high into the sky. Arcee got up and looked out of the window next to Jack.

"By Primus, the Reapers are hitting the Asari just as hard as they did Earth." she said with a shocked expression.

"Intel says that Surkesh (Salarian home world) and Palaven (Turian home world) are being hit by Reaper forces that don't even approach the same size as the fleet decimating the Asari right now." Jack replied.

"Maybe the Reapers consider the Asari to be the next biggest threat after Humanity." Airachnid added from her seat, gaining both her friends attention.

"Well the best way we can help is to find the Kranix Matrix as fast as possible because with out that. We will not complete the Crucible, the last real hope we have against the Reapers." Jack replied stoically, gaining an understanding nod from the femmes.

"We are coming up on the landing coordinates that were gwen to us." Swoop replied from he pilot's seat, as Jack walked in next to him.

"Then take us down."

The shuttle flew between two buildings as it approached a group of Asari commandos who were fighting off a horde of Husks that were encroaching on their position, the Alliance transport circled the area before landing on the ground and allowing Jack and his team to disembark. The Prime immediately walked over to one Asari who was barking orders at the rest.

"Keep an eye on our left flank, make sure our barriers are holding steady and will someone tell me when our air support will get here." she shouted around the group as Jack approached.

"What's the situation?" he asked, gaining her attention.

"The situation Jackson Prime, is that we are getting hammered over here, My unit was ordered to hold this location and make a path for you to the temple, but I have lost enough people already. So we will be pulling out now."

Arcee and Airachnid stood beside the Prime.

"You have to hold the line and help us get through." the blue femme said back, earning an angry stare from the commando.

"Why, what is so important about the temple that my people have to die for?"

"We are here to pickup something from there." Jack answered.

"Are you fucking kidding me, your here to get an artifact. That is what my unit is fighting for. Well I am sorry, but I am not willing to sacrifice my people for that.". The commando answered back before walking over to her soldiers, who were using their Biotics to seal up one of their fortifications with a barrier, Jack though followed her.

"I can see what your team is going through, I have been through it myself countless times. But what we are here for can help us defeat the Reapers, isn't that worth it?"

The Asari looked back at him, her expression softening slightly.

"is that true, can this 'thing' you are looking for really do that?"

"Let me put it this way, we find this and the Reapers are history." he added as the commando leader looked around for a moment at her troops, before looking at him. She could see the determination in his eyes and hear the confidence in his voice. This was Jackson Prime after all, and if he said that it was possible then who was she to not believe him.

"... Alright then Prime, we will hold back the Reaper forces back as long as we can."

She then gesture the Prime and the two femmes to follow her.

"Sent a team of my men to escort the scientists to the temple before you arrived, but I have not heard back from them. I don't think they got through." she said.

"We all keep an eye out for them." jack replied before the sound of an explosion caught their attention to a gunship that had just been attacked by a reaper harvester in the air. The ship was spiraling out of control as it fell towards their location.

"Take cover!" the commando shouted as everyone but the soldiers erecting the barrier jumped behind whatever they could find, the gunship then crashed into the ground outside of the area, sending flaming debris up into the air as the force of the impact as well as the explosion shattered the barrier and knocked over the troops there. The commando leader then saw the large gap in their defences and gained her team's attention by pointing at the area.

"We have a breach, get of their and help them out." she shouted to three other Asari who immediately ran over and help the ones locked down by the crashed gunship up and away to safety.

"Now you four, erect another force field." she ordered another group who were about to start when the team's lookout sniper then spotted something just a ways from them with her rifle scope.

"We have incoming." she called to the leader who then looked in he direction of the temple and saw a horde of Husks charging at them.

"Damn it, they will be here before we have the barriers up." she said a little hesitantly.

Let us through there and we will hold them off until you have the defences up again." Jack replied.

"Alright, give us what time you can Prime. We will do the rest." she said back as Jack and the two Autobots then left the compound in the direction of the temple. The four Asari behind then began to channel their energies into another barrier.

"Take positions." the Prime said as they took cover behind some debris and aimed their weapons at the horde that was at charging towards them.

"Use rifles until the Husks are close, then switch to your melee weapons." he said as the two Autobots readied their weapons before nodding back to him. Then just as the Husks drew nearer, Jack slipped his finger around the trigger of his avenger assault rifle.

"Open fire!" she shouted as he pulled he trigger and offloaded a burst of bullets into the horde, knocking down three creatures at once. Arcee and Airachnid did the same and more Husks fell to the ground dead. While they fired into the Reaper ground forces, behind them the Asari commando unit was busy repairing their fortifications. Using their Biotics to move large thick metallic panels into a make shift wall, while others were reinforcing it with barriers. The Commando leader looked over the makeshift wall at the Prime and his team.

"Just a few more minutes." she shouted over, Jack barely hearing her over the Husks screams and gunfire. But the horde was almost on top of them now.

"Switch now!"

He then sung his free arm at a husk as it launched itself through the air at him, only for the star saber to appear and with the force that he swung it with, he sliced the creature in two. Arcee deployed her arm blades and began taking apart Husks that were near her, Airachnid equipped her escrima sticks and mocked one Husk to he ground with one hit before pummelling another into submission. For nearly two minutes the three of them fought against the husks as they kept charging into the group while trying to get to the commando's position. The Prime impaled a husk that was trying to claw at him and then turned his attention to another that had vaulted over some debris, with his free hand he equipped his pistol and shot it cleanly through the head.

"Get down!" a familiar voice shouted out as loud as it could, forcing the three to stop and dive to the ground before the sound of a Gatling gun rang out into the air. The three soldiers then stayed there until the sound stopped, Jack then opened his eyes to see a Husk lying next to him dead.

"You can get up now." the voice called out again. The three soldiers then stood up and looked back to see the commando leader standing on the rebuilt fortification while holding onto a Gatling gun turret. She smiled at Jack and his friends.

"Thanks for the help, now let us return the favour and cover your asses." she said.

"Your welcome, anything else we can assist you with?" the Prime asked back.

"Just find that thing quickly." she replied before turning to her troops.

"Because when this war is over, we want the galaxy to know that it was won on Thessia." she exclaimed proudly as her troops cheered in return. Jack smiled and nodded back before looking back to his friends.

"Alright let's go."

They hen headed away from the commandos position and in the direction that the temple was located.


The Prime and his team moved through the war zone with purpose and determination, they knew how close they were now to the goal, the one thing that they had been searching for the last three years….. The end of the Reapers. Jack took point as they moved through what now was a derelict building, though as Jack and his team looked around they saw that this used to be a school. They walked slowly down the corridor and looked into each room as they passed them, they were all the same. Desks scattered about the room, blood stains all over the place. Suddenly the team stopped and kept very quiet as they heard movement and grunting coming from the room just ahead of them.

Jack sneaked up to the doorway and leaned over slightly, what he saw was a half destroyed class room with the outer wall completely demolished as the sunset bathed the rest of the devastation in light. The Prime then saw that the noises were coming from four Husks that were squatting in the middle of the room, they were circling something that he could not see clearly. He then looked back to Arcee and Airachnid and gestured with hand signals the number of enemies and their location. The two femmes nodded as they clutched their weapons, Airachnid slowly and quietly moved to the other side of the doorway, doing her best not to alert the enemies nearby. But once she was in position, Jack signaled her and the two of them leaned in and fired a burst of bullets into the four creatures, killing them instantly.

The team then entered what was left of the room and Jack walked up to see what the Husks were squatting around, what he found was a little blue cuddly toy. He picked it up and showed it to the others, both femmes shook their heads at the thought that the Husks attacked defenceless children in such a manner. The Prime placed the toy on one of the desks that had not been knocked over and looked through the large opening that used to be a wall, from here he could see that more Reapers had landed and were walking around the vast city and destroying anyone that came into their view. He then spotted the temple just in the distance.

"Okay, not far to go now." he said back before the three of them left the ruins of the school behind them.

They made it down to another street when their attention was caught by the sight of a Husk flying through the air past them, before smacking into the concrete wall behind them.

"That looks like biotics, we should check it out. See if they need help." Arcee said to Jack.

"It might even be the scientists that the commandos told us about." Airachnid added.

"Alright, but be ready." the Prime replied as they walked down the alleyway that the Husk was hurled from.

"Don't... come any closer, I... I mean it" a female voice called out in fear."

They then saw a silhouette of person stand up from behind some containers in the shadowed area of the alley, her right fist glowing with blue energy.

Jack and the two femmes stopped, but kept their weapons equipped.

"Its alright, we are here to help." he said back as the figure lowered her fist and stared at them for a moment, like she didn't really believe they were there.

"By the goddess, your Jackson Prime." she replied before walking out of the shadows to reveal a beautiful blue skinned Asari dressed in black light combat armour.

"Yes, we were on our way to the temple just a ways from here when we heard you in trouble, thought you could use some help."

"Yes thank you, I too was on my way to the temple with the rest of my team." the Asari replied.

"Well what's your name?" Arcee asked as she stood beside Jack. The blue woman then looked somewhat guilty suddenly.

"My apologies, I should have introduced myself first. My name is Dr. Liara T'Soni."

"Doctor T'Soni what happened to your team?" Jack asked.

"We were on our way to the temple as per the orders we had received, and left with a group of commandos. But the route to the temple was crawling with Husks, and I was surprised we made it this far." Liara said as she recalled what happened.

"When we reached this area... that's when we... started to lose people."

"Why, what attacked you?" the Prime asked.

"At first it was Husks, we held them off without any trouble using our Biotics. But then something else turned up, it tore through our group with ease." the Asari continued.

"it could use Biotics and our attacks were ineffective against the creature."

"Your whole team is dead?" Airachnid said while Arcee turned around and watched the end of the alleyway they had entered. Liara just nodded sombrely.

"Yes, that... creature killed them all, I didn't get a good look at it. But it's scream will be something that I will never forget."

"How did you survive then?" Arcee asked while glancing back to them.

"I don't know, the last thing I remember was being knocked into a wall and fell behind those containers. I must have been knocked unconscious because when I woke up, the bodies of my friends were gone." Liara answered while pointing to the areas where her friends bodies were.

"There's no sign of the bodies being moved, it's like they just got up and walked away." Airachnid stated as she knelt by one area where a body had laid. Then the sound of a Reaper's roar sounded out just ways of their location, as they felt the tremors of it landing nearby.

"Okay, are you alright to move Liara? Because we can't stay here." Jack asked, the Asari nodded in return.

"Yes, we need to get to the temple. My code will gain us access." she said as she picked up her SMG.

"Right, we have to move now." Arcee suggested after noticing Husks approaching their location from across the street. So Jack again took point with Liara behind him, Arcee and Airachnid watching the rear as they left the alley and carried on towards the temple.

They had not gotten far before Jack stopped the group at the side of a building when he head an explosion just around the corner. He peeked around the corner and saw a squad of Asari Commandos engaging a horde of Husks on the balcony of the building across from them. Liara poked her head around the corner, her eyes widening at the sight.

"We have to help them."

Jack turned back to her with a stoic expression.

"We can't, our mission is too important for us to deviate from it. Surely you were told this before being deployed."

The Asari looked back at the commandos.

"Yes, but I can't just do nothing while my people are dying. There must be…"

"Look out!" Airachnid called back as a dragon like husk flew over them toward the commandos.

"That's a Harvester." Jack replied as the dragon fired on the commandos, overwhelming them with a white hot beam that burned the Asari right through. The Harvester then flapped its wings as it moved on, leaving the charred remains of the commandos there on the balcony.

"No, damn them." Liara cursed as Jack looked again down the street.

"We are clear, lets move." he said to the others before looking back at the Asari.

"Liara, I am sorry… I really am. But if we find what we are looking for at the temple, then this war is over. Do you understand?"

She sighed in response before looking at the Prime.

"Yes, yes I do."

The group then carried on toward the temple as the battle raged around the city, numerous Reapers were now positioned all over the capital as Husks swarmed through every street, attacking any Asari on sight. Gun ships carpet bombed entire areas where there was nothing but the creatures roaming them now, the explosions running up almost a quarter of a mile. The destruction was immense, but all this did was gain the attention of the giant behemoths who then fired on the bombers, either blowing them out of the sky or sending them spiralling out of control into the streets below.

Jack saw this and couldn't help but remember that day on Earth over two months ago, he tried to push that memory into the back of his mind but that wasn't going to work. When he had picked up that stuffed toy earlier, he thought of the child that had died while he managed to escape. That child had since plagued his dreams nearly each and every night, but if they were successful today then, maybe they could stop any more children suffering the same fate. Jack was then pulled back from his thoughts by a hand on his shoulder. He looked back to see Liara looking at him.

"I am sorry, but you seemed to be elsewhere for a moment."

The Prime then looked back out at the devastation around him.

"This is all bringing back bad memories for me."

"You mean the attack on Earth, I am sorry. I didn't think earlier when I spoke about my people. I should have known better." she replied sheepishly. The group then came up to the entrance of the pyramid-shaped temple.

"The Temple of Athame." Liara stated as they walked up the steps to the large doors, which had pictographs depicting ancient Asari.

"Wow, this is amazing." Airachnid said as she looked up at the structure.

"This temple is the oldest on our planet." the Asari replied before activating her holo-tool.

"Let me just access the security override with my code."

Suddenly an ungodly scream pierced the air and made Liara's blood run cold as she froze on the spot. Jack saw this and placed a hand on her shoulders while Arcee and Airachnid looked around for the source of the noise.

Over there." Airachnid said as she pointed over to a twisted looking Husk coming towards them slowly. The way it moved made it look like it was in tremendous pain as it stepped ever closer. The group then stared wide eyed as they recognised what this Husk used to be.

"That looks like an Asari." Arcee said.

"That was what attacked my colleagues." Liara replied, before the creature started to glow with a bright blue light.

"Biotics!" Airachnid warned them before the Husk launched an energy attack at the group, knocking them on their backs. While both femmes managed to recover, both Jack and Liara fell down the stairs to the ground only a few feet from the creature.

"Jack!" Arcee cried out as she fired her SMG, but the bullets bounced harmlessly off the biotic barrier that was being emitted from the Husk. It then looked down at the Prime and Asari and screamed into their faces, the high pitched sound nearly deafening them as their clutched at their ears. It then raised an arm and was about to strike down on the pair, but Jack recovered quickly enough to activate the sky boom shield which then deflected the attack, protecting both Liara and himself. The Prime then activated the star saber and swung it at the monster, slicing it's mid section open. Black blood spilled out of the wound and ran down the dark grey skin as the Husk cowered in reaction to the hit, it's barrier now heavy damaged from the saber's attack.

"Kill it." Jack then called back to the Autobots on the stairs as they both fired their weapons at the transformed Asari, riddling it with bullets. But this just seemed to make it madder as the blue energy returned and began spiralling around the Husk before being shot of it in all directions, sending the group flying back even more. Jack landed on his back and grimaced in response before he recovered himself and saw his friends lying against the stairs and Liara on her back just a few feet from him.

A familiar scream regained his attention back to the Husk as it's biotic field was now at it's strongest, it then took a stance with one foot in front of the other like it was about to launch itself at him. So Jack re-equipped the Star saber and began to swing it as the Husk moved at almost light speed at him with a 'biotic charge', his blade sliced right through the middle of the energy that passed beside him, before it changed back into the form of the Asari Husk which then split into two parts and fell to the ground dead. Jack then ran over to Liara and helped her to her feet.

"You alright?" he asked, gaining a smile from the Asari.

"Yes, thank you for saving me. For a moment I thought that I was going to join my colleagues."

The Prime smiled back before looking up to see Arcee and Airachnid standing on the stairs, and fully recovered.

"You two okay?"

"We are fine Jack." Arcee stated with a smile before she then gestured for the two to join the femmes at the top of the stairs.

"Come on, we need to get inside." she said as Liara climbed the stairs and activated her holo-tool again.

"This will just take a moment." she replied as she transferred her code into the control panel beside the large doors. A few seconds later and the sounds of a large locking device coming undone could be heard before the large doors began to open and reveal the temple's interior to the group. There was a long walkway with a number of benches on either side, but just beyond that was a massive chamber that held a giant statue of an Asari.

"Hello, is anyone there?" Liara called out, her voice echoing slightly within the walls of the temple.

"I don't like this Jack." Airachnid added as she scanned the room with her gun ready.

"Everyone spread out and search, we need to find the Kranix matrix before the Reapers decide to return this way." the Prime said as he walked down the center with his holo-tool activated. Arcee and Airachnid headed down the left side, while Liara down the right, their holo-tools too were being used to scan the artefacts. Jack looked at the statue.

"Who's that supposed to be?"

Liara looked up from her scanning.

"That is the Goddess Athame, we Asari believed that she gave our species life and so worshipped her as a god. But the religion slowly died out after we started to explore the galaxy."

"Jack, do we have any idea what we are supposed to be looking for?" Airachnid called back with a slightly irritated voice.

"Kranix didn't give us particular details." Arcee replied to the femme while scanning an artefact.

"Wait, who is Kranix?" Liara asked with a curious tone.

"He is a Lithone that we found in stasis on Eden Prime, he is also part of the team who were building the Crucible in his own cycle." Jack answered.

The Asari's eyes widened at what the Prime had said.

"You met a living Lithone, by the goddess. What is he like, did he tell you anything about his people, what did he?…" she started to ask, gaining an annoyed look from the femmes.

"Liara, focus on the task at hand." Jack stopped the Asari in her tracks, earning an embarrassed look from her.

"I apologize, it's just that I have studied the Lithone for most of my life so far and I never thought in my wildest dreams that we would find a real Lithone, alive and well."

"Well once we find our target, then you can interview him yourself." the Prime replied with a smile.

"I would be very grateful Prime." she said back. But suddenly Jack's attention was drawn away from the Asari as he started to look at the statue, he walked over to it and held his hand out to the air in front of him. He closed his eyes and stood there, earning strange looks from the rest of his group.

"Jack what is it?" Arcee asked somewhat concerned.

"There is a Lithone beacon here." he replied stoically.

"Wait, are you sure?" the femme replied.

"Yes, I can sense it. The beacon is inside the statue."

"Interesting, I had heard that you had come into contact with two beacons before Prime. One on Eden Prime and the other on Virmire." Liara said, before Jack looked at her.

"Liara, use your biotics to shatter the statue and free the beacon."

"I don't condone vandalism, but with the moment being so dire. I see no alternative." she replied before she began to glow as the Asari channeled her biotic energy, she then threw her arms forward and the statue began to shake where it stood as cracks appeared over it'surface. Then one piece fell to the ground revealing part of the beacon underneath.

"Nearly Liara, just a little more." Jack said encouragingly. Liara then gritted her teeth and pushed even more as the statue then crumbled to the ground, leaving the Lithone beacon standing in its place.

"By the goddess, I don't understand why they hid it?" the Asari asked.

"Are you that naive?" Airachnid asked giving Liara a knowing look.

"So that they could hoard the knowledge of an advanced race for themselves, to give them power and influence." the femme added.

Liara shook her head as she looked back to the artifact.

"I don't believe that, why would my people keep this secret?" she replied, her voice tinged with denial.

"A beacon like this would explain why the Asari are at level with the Cybertronians as an advanced civilization." Jack added while Airachnid took a scan with her holo-tool.

"This temple is several thousand years old, your people would have made serious progress in that t ime with this beacon in their hands. I mean just a small amount of data would have given you an advantage. And with us in the middle of a civil war, you would have been able to place yourselves above the rest of the galaxy."

Arcee kept quiet as both Jack and Airachnid kept their attention on Liara.

"Well if it is true, then the Asari should have shared this knowledge. We may have been able to stop the Reapers before they even had a chance to attack." Jack said in a stoic manner.

"You don't know that Prime, we don't really know what is going on here." Liara replied calmly.

"I do know that we don't have much time to find out." the Commander replied before turning back round to the beacon and walking closer to it. He then felt a familiar tingling sensation coursing through his body, he felt this before. The last time was when he was in front of the beacon on Eden Prime. Jack then reached out and placed his hand on the beacon's surface, which then began to power up as the glyphs carved into it's surface started to glow with a green light.

"Jack I think you got it." Arcee said as she stood beside Airachnid and Liara. Then as Jack began to step back, a green glowing holo-orb appeared and floated down to the ground between him and his friends.

"It's another Lithone VI." the blue femme observed.

"Obtaining chronological marker…. Timescale established, post-Lithone cycle confirmed." a synthetic voice suddenly called out from the orb. It then floated just above the group as it saw the silhouette of a Reaper on the horizon through the open door of the temple.

"Reaper presence detected, this galactic cycle is already at it's extinction terminus. Preparing to shut down." it continued as it floated back down to the ground.

"Wait a minute, we want some answers." Jack said to it.

"Warning, indoctrinated presence detected… hold ….. error." it then replied, gaining a puzzled look from the Prime and the others.

"What? We are the only ones here."

"Error, restarting scan…. Negative presence of indoctrinated persons. To what question would you want an answer?" the VI asked.

"Are you the Kranix matrix?" Jack asked.

"Yes, my name is Bagu and I was created by Kranix approximately one hundred thousand years ago."

"So you are all we need to complete the Crucible then." the Prime replied.

"Negative, my program is simply a support mechanism. To connect the Crucible to the 'Catalyst'."

"The Catalyst, what is that?" Airachnid asked in confusion. The orb then shifted into a lifelike hologram of Kranix.

"The Catalyst is what the Crucible requires to complete its purpose. I will bridge them both and unify them to that end."

"Why doesn't it just tell us what this Catalyst is?" Arcee asked with an annoyed tone, but Bagu just ignored her.

"What happened to the Crucible in your time, why didn't the Lithone deploy it?" Jack asked.

"We were sabotaged from within our own ranks, a group that believed that we should control the Reapers rather than destroy them broke away and fractured our order of battle. We later found out that the splinter group were indoctrinated." Bagu replied.

"And now we are facing the same problem with MECH." the Prime said, before the VI shifted it's form again. This time into a reconstruction of the galaxy.

"Our studies of the past led us to believe that time is cyclical. Many patterns repeat themselves..."

"You mean the Reaper attacks." Jack said as the galaxy began to glow red from its outer edges through to its core.

"...And beyond, the same peaks in evolution, the same valleys of dissolution. These same conflicts are expressed in every cycle but in a different order. The repetition is too prevalent to be merely chance." the VI explained.

"We thought that the Reapers were responsible for the pattern." Airachnid replied.

"Maybe, but I believe that the Reapers are only servants of the pattern, they are not it's 'master'."

"Then who is the master?" Jack asked.

"Unknown, it's presence is only inferred rather than observed. The only certainty is it's intention." Bagu replied as it shifted back into the form of Kranix.

"And that is?" Arcee asked.

"Galactic annihilation, you now stand at its precipice."

"This cycle is not done with yet, you say that this Catalyst is required. So tell us what it is and where we can find it, trillions of lives depend on it." the Prime said stoically.

"Trillions of lives are always at risk, but if the Reapers have arrived to end your cycle. Then this discussion is too late." the VI replied as it shifted into a representation of the planet and the Reaper forces surrounding it.

"We can end the Reaper threat, we found your plans for the Crucible. It's construction is almost complete." Jack said back.

"The Crucible is not of Lithone design, it is the work of countless galactic cycles stretching back millions of years." Bagu replied as the holo-form changed to a reconstruction of the Crucible, as more parts were being added to it.

"Each cycle adds to it and improves it, but thus far no cycle has successfully defeated the Reapers with it." the VI continued.

"Then we will be the first, tell us what the Catalyst is." Jack said, his voice sounded agitated with the VI.

"We also have found Kranix himself. He is helping us as we speak." Airachnid added.

"Very well. If you have followed the plans for the Crucible, then I will interface with it's systems to assist the Catalyst with…." Bagu replied before turning around and looking to the temple's entrance.

"Indoctrinated presence detected, activating security protocol." it said before shifting back into it's orb form and floating back to the beacon. Jack and the others attention was caught by the sound of a gunship's engines outside the temple as a figure approached them from the entrance. Jack's eyes narrowed as he recognized the man.

"Sideways, what do you want?" he replied as he and the others equipped their weapons and pointed them at the former Con.

"For you to shut up and listen Prime, there is someone who wants to talk with you." he replied with anger lacing his words. He then activated his holo-tool just before a holo-form appeared before him, walking towards the group. It then took on the image of a man with yellow optics.

"Darby." he said in an uninterested tone.


"Silas, how did you find this place?" Jack asked back.

"The archives on Mars, or did Soundwave miss that one. Pity he died to save the Krogan, a worthwhile endeavour to be sure, but not one that is going to help you." the Director replied.

"Soundwave had more courage and honor than you and MECH combined." the Prime replied as he remembered his fallen friend, but Silas just walked past Jack towards the Kranix matrix.

"None of that matters, because he helped us uncover the means to dominating the Reapers." he added as he reached up with a holographic hand and touched the orb.

"Or destroying them." Jack interjected.

"Damn it Darby." Silas replied angrily as he turned to the Prime.

"Destroying them gains us nothing." he added.

"How about peace?" Jack said back.

"They are just trying to control the life of the galaxy, think about it. If they really wanted to destroy all life, they could do it. There would be nothing left, I mean why haven't they wiped out the Cybertronians?" Silas said with a slightly agitated tone.

"What are you going on about?" Jack asked with a confused look.

"I have studied them up close Darby, I know how they think."

"I think you have gotten a little to close to the Reapers." the Prime said coldly.

"No, the Reapers have got it right. Why destroy when you can control." Silas replied.

"You have been spending too much time with the enemy. Your being dragged over to their side, to their way of thinking." Jack said as he tried to get through to him.

"No, that is not true. I just….. see things differently." Silas replied hesitantly.

"If you really cared about Humanity, then you will stop fighting me. You will join me against our real enemy." Jack said back with a stoic expression.

"Don't you ever question my intentions again Darby, I have sacrificed more for the benefit of Humanity than you will ever know. And don't assume that you know me." Silas said back with an aggressive tone underlining his words.

"My methods for handling the Reapers are far more refined than yours." he added, Jack then felt his self-control start to break as he felt that he was talking to a brick wall.

"You have forgotten everything that you stood for. MECH were meant to protect Humanity from outside threats, not hand us over on silver platter."

"Interesting words Prime. But the world is grey, not black and white." the Director replied as Sideways paced back and forth with an agitated swagger as Arcee and Airachnid kept their weapons on him.

"With the data from this beacon. I can end this war, once and for all. Your either with me or against me, that looks like black and white to me." Jack said back.

"Well you have a point there Darby." Silas replied before turning around and walking towards the exit.

"Sideways, the Prime has something I need. Take it from him." he said before his hologram faded away, the former con then unsheathed his blade which glowed the purple colour of dark energon.

"Well it's about time." he replied eagerly as he took up a defensive stance. He then immediately launched himself into the air with a battle cry before slicing his blade down on the Prime, who blocked it with the star saber. The two blades creating an energy field around them as they clashed.

"I have looked forward to this." Sideways said with a chuckle before pulling back and then swinging his blade at Jack again who deflected it.

"You have been looking forward to getting beaten again." Jack said back sarcastically as Arcee and Airachnid took up positions around the two. The former con then spun the blade in his hand before spinning around and back kicking the Prime in the face, knocking Jack onto his back.

"Well, I didn't really get to show off my upgrades the last time." he replied before both femmes opened fire on him with their guns, but he just back flipped out of the way before landing gracefully and smiling at them.

"You will have to try better than that." he retorted.

"How about this." Liara said as she glowed with biotic energy before picking up Sideways off the ground and hurling him back several feet. But he then suddenly stopped himself midway and landing on the ground like nothing had happened.

"Biotics, how interesting." he replied before he too began to glow.

"What do you think of mine?" he said as he punched the air in front of him, and knocked the Asari from where she stood into the wall behind her. Airachnid then took this chance to fire on him again, but Sideways just raised his hand to it and deflected the bullets with a barrier. He kept smiling as he then clicked his fingers with the same hand, which froze the femme to the spot.

"I really love these upgrades."

Suddenly Arcee screamed at him as she flew through the air with her arm blades deployed, but he dodged the attack. She then landed next to him and through a punch and then a kick at the former Con. And he dodged both of them. She then made a flurry of attacks at him, but with his increased speed and dexterity. Sideways blocked and dodged each and every one before he caught her fist in his free hand.

"Arcee, you never did learn did you?" he said to her before spinning the blade in his hand and jabbing her in the stomach with its hilt.

"You can not beat me without your boyfriend's help." he added as he elbowed her in the back, sending her onto the ground face first and then kicking her in the side, the strength of it making her roll across the ground.

"Is this the best you can do?" he then gloated before a bright blue light caught his attention from behind, he saw that it was a wave of energy that was closing on him and he somersaulted over it and landed near Jack who had become weak from using the star saber.

"Really Darby, this day just keeps getting better and better."

Sideways then grabbed the Prime by the throat and tossed him into the benches nearby, Jack felt a rib crack as he fell over one bench and landed on his front in the aisle between. Sideways then looked to see Jack and his friends all defeated and smiled as he felt quite satisfied with himself before sheathing his blade, the former Con then walked over to the beacon where the Kranix matrix was hovering. He activated his holo-tool but before he could download the VI, Airachnid tackled him to the ground, ma.

"Where do you think your going?" she spat at him as the femme began to punch the enemy repeatedly in the face. But this only made him more angry as his hand glowed.

"Get the frag off me, you filthy wretch." he growled at her before punching the Autobot in the stomach, the force of the biotic punch sending her flying. He then got back to his feet as she hit the floor hard, wincing in pain. The Former Con then started back to the VI, but was stopped by a gun shot that narrowly missed him and hit the beacon. Sideways sighed before looking back to see the femme getting to her feet with her pistol aimed at him.

"Really, are you that eager to die today?" he asked her, Airachnid gave a quick glance to the others and saw that they were still on the floor before looking back to the enemy.

"I am not letting you leave with that." she answered with a determined tone between heavy breaths.

"Very well…." he replied as he unsheathed his blade and began to run at her. The femme threw her now empty gun to the ground and equipped her escrima sticks before rushing back at Sideways.

"…then die Autobot!" he finished say as he swung the blade at her, but Airachnid blocked the attack with one escrima stick before hitting him in the face with the other. She then put together a combination of hits with her sticks and a few kicks, each one connecting with a part of Sideways body as he failed to defend against them. But just as it looked like she was getting the upper hand, the former Con glowed with biotic energy.

"ENOUGH!" he cried out as he launched her up into the air, freezing her several metres above him. She tried to move but felt an invisible force holding her in place. She then looked down to see Sideways smiling darkly at her before pulling his glowing fist down making her plummet to the ground, only for him to raise his blade up over him and let it impale the femme through the chest. Fluid spilled out of the wound as Airachnid screamed in agony, the former Con then swung the blade down. The Autobot sliding off the blade and hitting the ground.

"And stay down this time." he retorted before swinging his blade again, rinsing it of the femme's blood before sheathing it again. Sideways then began to walk back to the VI, when he noticed the others getting to their feet.

"That means you too!" he added as he clicked his fingers, causing a biotic slam to hit the Prime and the two women, knocking them back to the ground. He then used his holo-tool and downloaded the Kranix matrix and then turned to leave, taking a look at Jack who was trying to get to his feet again.

"Next time we meet, I will kill you Darby." he gloated before walking back to the gun ship at the entrance. Jack, pushing his aching body to its limit got to his feet and picked up his pistol, before running after the former con. Arcee then came too and looked over to see Airachnid lying just a ways from her as her partner ran after their enemy. Sideways had just started to enter the gun ship's rear ramp as Jack fired a few rounds at him, but the enemy just waved his hand back and deflected the shots with a barrier. He then smiled at Jack before the ramp lifted up and closed. The Prime watched hopelessly as the MECH vessel then took off into the distance with their last hope. But before he had time to lose himself to defeat, the Commander was snapped back to reality.

"Jack!" Arcee called back with fear overwhelming her voice. Jack turned round to see the femme and Liara kneeling next to Airachnid's still body, his eyes widened before he started to run back to them.

"She has been stabbed through the chest and is losing a lot of fluid, the medi-gel is not stabilizing her." Arcee said panicky while she tried to deal with her friend's wounds. Jack tapped his com link.

"Swoop, bring in the shuttle. We need an evac."

"Prime, that area is getting too hot." the Dinobot replied.

"We have a medical emergency, get here now!" the Prime said back angrily.

"Okay, on my way. ETA sixty seconds."

Jack then picked up Airachnid in his arms and headed for the temple's entrance as Arcee and Liara followed. The moment they got outside they could see Shuttle one closing in on their location, but then a deafening roar echoed from behind them. They turned to see a Reaper standing right behind the temple, it's beam weapon charging up. Swoop though landed the shuttle next to them and opened the hatch.

"Get in!" he called to them as the group climbed onboard, lifting off the moment the last person in and pulled away just as the Reaper fired it's beam which hit the ground just milliseconds after they left. As the vessel flew over the war zone, Jack and Arcee frantically tried to stop the bleeding as Airachnid grimaced at the pain from her chest wound.

"It's no use, we are losing her" the femme replied as her fluid soaked hands applied pressure to the wound. Airachnid then looked at both of them with her purple eyes.

"It's….. okay, I am… ready." she said before looking at Arcee.

"I do.. have one wish."

"What is it Airachnid?" the blue femme replied as she felt grief beginning to surface from within her spark.

"I want you…. to kiss me Jack." Airachnid said as her eyes lined up with the Prime's. Jack then looked up at Arcee, the femme had a look of sadness and understanding on her face before she closed her eyes and nodded. The Prime then looked at his former lover and leaned down until their lips met, allowing the femme to taste him one last time. After a moment Jack pulled back just far enough to look into Airachnid's eyes.

"I don't….. want you… to blame yourself…. Jack." she said as the Prime took a deep breath.

"I welcome this….. because I will get to….. see Esmeral again." the dying femme added with a slight smile.

"Then go to her Airachnid, and thank you for everything." Jack replied as he returned the smile, but the femme shook her head slightly while continuing to smile at him.

"No Jack…., thank you for… giving me the…. chance to..ato…."

Airachnid then took her last breath before her eyes glazed over, her body then going limp. Liara looked down to her holo-tool and saw the beats from the femme's spark go into one long tone.

"She's gone." the Asari stated with regret. Silence fell inside of the shuttle as Arcee didn't know where to look as a single tear ran down her cheek. Jack then got up and turned to look out of the window at the carnage that the Reapers were continuing to unleash on the planet, his mind being overrun with thoughts of his friend. The shuttle's com system then came to life as the voice of the commando Leader could be heard.

"… is there anyone on this frequency, my unit is trapped!"

But Jack and the others remained quiet as they let sorrow overcome them.

"I repeat is there anyone on this frequency."

A gun shot was then heard before another Asari spoke.

"The Lieutenant is down! Our whole zone is collapsing. What happened to the Prime, did his team make it to the temple." the voice said.

"We saw them… Wait, we have a Reaper inbound, AAAARRRGGGHHH!"

Jack saw a Reaper land on the area they had started from earlier and fire it's beam weapon down, making the radio chatter turn to static. The Prime then closed his eyes and hung his head in shame as their shuttle took off for high orbit, leaving the Asari in the hands of the Reapers.
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