Categories > Cartoons > Transformers > Prime Effect 4

Chapter XXXIV

by Apollo-XL5 0 reviews

While the rest of the Normandy crew team up with an old acquaintance to try and find their missing friends, Orion and Liara meanwhile discover that they are at the mercy of the mysterious Shadow Br...

Category: Transformers - Rating: R - Genres: Crossover,Drama,Sci-fi - Warnings: [V] [?] - Published: 2015-07-24 - 8848 words - Complete

Minutes earlier…..

The situation was growing desperate onboard the Normandy which was still connected the to the unknown enemy ship. Down in the Shuttle-Bay, Quickstrike and the other Autobots stood around the explosive device, unsure of what to do while it's timer continued to count down towards zero and detonation.

"So, anyone here know bomb disposal?" Shen asked with a worried tone, making everyone else shake their heads in return.

"No. But even if any of us did, I don't see any openings or access of any kind for anyone to even try." Quickstrike replied as he knelt next to it and looked around the timer

"Well what do we do?" Nightracer said as she walked around the bomb, looking at it's base, noticing another problem for the team.

"The damn thing has been fused to the deck, I don't think any of us would be able to move it." she added before looking up at the Blonde Bot and noticing his thoughtful expression.

"What is it?" she asked him.

"We may not be able to move it, but I know someone who can." Quickstrike replied before looking behind him at both Grunt and Shen, making the Krogan narrow his eyes back at the Blonde Autobot.

"Don't look at me, I can't move it." he spat back, making the Blonde Autobot shake his head in response.

"I wasn't looking at you!" he replied as he pointed behind the pair at the back wall of the Shuttle-Bay, gaining the others attention as they looked back and noticed that it wasn't just a wall but closed blast door.

"Wait…that's the Cargo-Bay back there right." Shen stated, earning a nod from Quickstrike as he tapped his com-link.

"Jetstorm, do you read?"

"I'm here, what's going on down there. I have lost internal sensors across the Normandy." the pilot replied.

"How bad is the damage so far?" the Blonde Bot asked, while Nightracer gestured back to him about the timer,

"Engines and weapons are offline, not many systems are fully operational…why?" Jetstorm said back as he looked at the flashing images of the ship's schematics on his holo-interface.

"Tell me the Stealth-mode still works?" Quickstrike replied as he tapped his com-link again and let the rest of the team listen in.

"It is still active, but I don't think it would last long. But we still have that other ship hooked onto us, what good would it do?" the pilot answered.

"Just be ready to use it and wait for my say so, I am leaving this channel online…so standby." the Autobot said before looking back at the others.

"So you have a plan?" Grunt asked, gaining a nod back.

"Yeah, that Lockdown is expecting that explosive to destroy us right…" he said while Shen glanced down at the timer and noticed that it had passed the two minute margin, earning a gulp from the Turian before he activated his holo-tool and started a similar timer.

" we will let it go off." Quickstrike continued before activating his holo-tool.

"Say what?" Nightracer replied with a shocked look, earning similar reactions from the rest of the team. But the Blonde Bot ignored her and turned his attention to the Cargo-Bay door, and with a push of a button on his holo-interface made the door open with a grinding-like noise. And it opened to reveal Onyx Primal looking back at them while on his hands and knees.

"What in the All-Spark is going on here?" he asked back, his blue optics focusing on the group.

"We are under attack." Quickstrike replied, while Nightracer smiled as she figured out he friend's plan.

"Is it Predacons?" the Maximal said back, making the Blonde man shake his head in return and point over to the explosive device.

"No, but they have planted a bomb here that we cannot defuse or move."

"But I can." the Primal replied as he crawled through the open doorway and into the Shuttle-Bay.

"Right and since you don't need to breath oxygen, we will vacate the room and open up the bay doors so that you can throw the bomb into space…." he then said, before suddenly the ship shook again and cut him off mid sentence.

"The enemy ship has just pulled away from us." Jetstorm spoke back through the com-link.

"..Good, so as I was saying…Jetstorm, once the device explodes you will activate the stealth mode to fool the enemy into thinking we have been destroyed." Quickstrike then finished, gaining nods from everyone.

"Quite the plan you have there." Nightracer replied.

"Well lets get started." the Blonde Bot said back as he motioned everyone to follow him to the door way before tapping his com-link again.

"Orion, Liara you there?" he said but the only response was static as he made it to the exit and looked back at Onyx Primal, who nodded back before transforming into his dragon mode and grabbed the bomb in his jaws before pulling it free from the deck.

"Good luck." the Blonde Bot said before closing the door and moving over the to the control panel next to it as the others watched.

"You think this will work?" Grunt then asked but before Quickstrike or anyone else could answer, Jetstorm suddenly shouted down the com-link.

"They are firing a torpedo, hold on!"

And suddenly the Normandy was rocked by an explosion as the torpedo impacted another part of it, making the team lose their balance, also in the shuttle-bay Onyx too fall to the ground and dropped the bomb back onto the deck. His optics widened as he heard it make a strange noise after impacting on the ground, so he quickly grabbed it with his jaws again. Meanwhile outside the room, Quickstrike got back to his feet quickly, just as Shen looked at his holo-tool and gulped again.

"fifteen seconds!" he exclaimed as the Blonde Bot leaned against the panel and typed into it's keypad, before hitting the release button underneath. While inside the Shuttle-bay, Onyx Primal saw the landing ramp open up and expose the room to the vacuum of space with the atmosphere instantly starting to vacate that area of the ship. So the Maximal dug his claws into the deck and opened his jaws, letting go of the bomb and watched as it flew out of the ship but not before clipping the landing ramp on it's way out, which would have made the Primal bite his lip if he had one before transforming back into his Cybertronian mode.

"It's done!" he shouted into his com-link just before the atmosphere was completely sucked out of the exposed area as the ramp was nearly fully open. So Quickstrike immediately pressed the re-seal button to close and re-pressurize the cargo bay, while Shen tapped his com-link.

"Three, two, one…."

Suddenly the bomb exploded between the Normandy and the enemy ship and shielded it from Lockdown's view, though the energy and force of the blast damaged the Autobot ship and made everyone to lose their balance again. But Jetstorm was fully strapped into his chair and managed to activate the stealth mode which made the Normandy disappear seconds before the explosion dissipated to nothing.

"We are cloaked, though we have suffered more damage from being so close to the blast." the pilot replied, while Quickstrike helped Nightracer back onto her feet as Grunt did the same for Shen.

"But has it fooled Lockdown?" the Femme asked, earning an uncertain look from the Blonde Bot.

"We'll know if they open fire." he said back before everyone went quiet and waited for one of two outcomes, either Jetstorm would give the all clear or the ship would be destroyed by another volley of torpedoes. After what felt like an eternity, the pilot spoke again.

"The enemy ship has just left via a space-bridge, it worked." Jetstorm said, earning sighs of relief from everyone as Quickstrike put his hand to his ear.

"Orion….Liara, come in." he said into his com-link but again there was no answer, gaining a concerned look on his face which was shared by the others.

"Their on the crew deck right?" Nightracer asked, earning a nod from the Blonde Bot.

"Lets go then." she replied as he looked back at the others.

"Shen, head back to the CIC and help Jetstorm coordinate repairs. Grunt stay here and make sure Onyx is alright in the shuttle-bay." Quickstrike then said, earning a stare from the Krogan.

"Who put him in charge?"

The Blonde Bot though merely ignored him and gestured for Nightracer to follow, leaving Grunt with Shen.

"I don't want to get involved….so I will just head to the CIC." he said before walking off so that Grunt was the only one left, and he reluctantly looked over to see that the shuttle-bay had fully re-pressurized. So he opened the door and looked in to the Maximal staring back at him with a curious expression.

"So I guess it worked then." he said, earning a sigh from the Krogan.

A few minutes later and a hatch opened up in the floor of the crew deck, with both Quickstrike and Nightracer climbing out and looking around at the damaged corridor they had entered.

"Damn, look at this place. I hope they are alright." the Femme replied with a worried expression and tone, earning a similar look from the Blonde Bot as they began searching.

"Orion, Liara." they both took turns in shouting before spotting a force-field flickering just a head of them, so the pair moved toward it until the sight before them made Nightracer gasp in shock.

"No…" was all she could say as they stared through the force-field to see the entire section had a gaping hole going from one end of the corridor to the other, exposing the area to the vacuum of space.

"Surely they weren't here, but on some other part of the deck?" the Femme asked but when Quickstrike did not answer, she noticed he was looking in a certain place so did the same. What she saw made her eyes widen, as there in the center of the wrecked corridor was the Star-Saber, embedded into the metal deck.

"I will not believe they are dead?" the Blonde Bot then said with a hint defiance in his voice.

"This was where Jetstorm said that the enemy ship had locked onto us, so they forced their way on board here."

"You think they may have taken our friends, if so then why is the Star-Saber like that unless Orion left it so?" Nightracer asked while the Bot looked at the area with a thoughtful expression.

"What if they had tried to…but failed originally." he then said, earning a confused look from the Femme.

"I…what are you on about?"

"…whoever they are, Lockdown aside….they have space-bridge tech." Quickstrike added before tapping his com-link.

"Jet-storm you there?" he asked, hearing nothing but static for a moment before it finally cleared.

"Shen here, Jetstorm is back in the CIC helping some of the crew. So is Orion and Liara okay?" the Turian answered back.

"No, they are not here." the Blonde Bot replied, earning silence from Shen as Quickstrike looked over to Nightracer, seeing the worry in her face.

"You don't think…." the Turian began to say, only for the Autobot to cut him off.

"No I don't, so can you access the sensor logs during the attack from the cockpit for me?" the Bot replied.

"Yeah…..I guess, so what am I looking for?" the Turian said back.

"Check the external sensor logs for any ground-bridge activations outside of the ship."

"Looking at them now…..yes, there was a vortex just outside that area of the Normandy that you are in." Shen said back, gaining a nod from Quickstrike.

"Alright then, how are communications looking?"

"Our Communications are still operational." his friend replied.

"Good, Nightracer and I are on our way to the CIC now. See if you can get us contact with Autobot Intelligence and Matriarch Benezia." the Blonde Bot said back before deactivating his com-link and looking over to Nightracer, who was still staring at the Star-Saber.

"Come on Ni, there's no point standing around here." he said while placing a hand on her shoulder.

"But we can't just leave it here…" the Femme started to say, but the Bot cut her off.

"Well other than Orion, none of us can even move it. Plus it is in a vacuum right now, it's not going anywhere." he replied, earning a nod from Nightracer before she looked out of the gapping hole in the hull at stars outside.

"I just hope they are alright."

"So do I Ni, so do I." Quickstrike said back before the pair started walking back the way they came.


In a system on the edge of the galaxy, a space-bridge vortex opened up and Lockdown's ship came through back into normal space. It's dark grey hull did not even reflect the light of the near by star as it flew towards a light green planet with heavy cloud cover. In the ship's CIC, Lockdown sat in the Commander's chair and watched as the planet appeared on the holo-screen while Hock watched at his side.

"Send the signal." he said, earning a nod from the Mech at the com station as it pressed a key combination into it's holo-interface.

"Signal sent." it replied, then a moment passed before a beeping could be heard from the Com station.

"Signal acknowledged, we are allowed to approach and land."

"Very well, lock onto the base's beacon and take us down." the Assassin then said to the Mech pilot, and then the ship descended into the planet's atmosphere.

"Where exactly are we?" Hock asked as the ship started to vibrate and shake around them, earning a worrying look from the weapon's dealer. But Lockdown just looked relaxed as he sat in his chair.

"Relax Hock, my ship can take a little turbulence." he said back before a lightning bolt struck the ship, causing it to rock which made Lockdown's new comrade grab at the arm of his chair to keep himself from falling over.

"You didn't answer my question Lockdown, where are we?" Hock replied with anger in his voice, gaining a smile from the former Decepticon.

"Well since you are now part of the organisation, I suppose you should know. This planet is Hagalaz, quite the hiding place wouldn't you agree."

"Hagalaz…" the Human replied as he looked out at the storm raging around them on the view-screen.

"It is known as a garden world, but is deemed too dangerous for colonisation because of it's highly volatile atmosphere…correct?"

"Yes, you see it has a far slower rotational period compared to planets like Earth or Thessia…ninety eight hours I believe. So this leaves the planet pretty much boiling during the daylight hours and then as soon as the sun goes down, the planet's surface snap freezes a few minutes later. It's at this point that highly volatile storms are created…of which we are through now." Lockdown replied which made Hock nod back as he listened with a curious expression.

"And the Shadow Broker's base is in this?"

"That is correct, though it is more of a ship and it follows the sunset, so it remains completely hidden in this storm system. So the only way to find it is to have access to it's beacon's frequency, because otherwise it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack…during a hurricane as you Humans say." the Assassin replied before noticing a shape in the storm clouds ahead of them.

"And there it is." he then said, making Hock look at the view-screen as the Shadow Broker's ship appeared before them. The vessel had a giant reflective shield on the side that was facing the setting sun, while the rest of the ship which looked like a battle cruiser.

"Impressive." Hock said as he looked at the giant ship, noticing that the vessel was getting it by multiple lightning strikes as the storm raged around it.

"I am no expert on ships you know, but it must be a pain to try to keep this ship from getting too damaged by the constant energy strikes it must receive?"

"Not at all since the entire ship except its heat shield, is covered in lightning rods which then draw the excess energy into capacitors that help power the ship. So the storm system not only hides the Shadow Broker, but also powers his vessel too." Lockdown said as he had the view-screen zoom in on the ship's hull, showing the lightning rods to Hock.

"A very efficient design, I must say." he replied before one of the Mechs turned to the Assassin.

"Commander, we have permission to dock."

"Very well, take us in with thrusters only." Lockdown said back as he and Hock watched.

Aboard the Shadow Broker's ship, Agent Zero watched from the landing-bay's control room while the arrow-head shaped vessel entered the large landing area, folding it's ventral and dorsal wings in as it extended it's landing struts just in time to touch the metal floor of the bay.

"I will go and welcome our guests." the Agent said to the Mech manning the control room's terminal before leaving the small room, just in time to see the ship's shuttle-bay ramp open up and reveal it's crew.

"Welcome back Lockdown." the female agent said, earning a nod from the Assassin as he walked down the ramp with Hock beside him.

"Thank you Agent Zero, the Shadow Broker will be pleased to know that our mission was a success." the former Decepticon replied while Hock stared back in confusion at the unknown female Agent, because she was still wearing her breather-helmet. This did not go unnoticed by her, as she turned her attention to him.

"I take it this is Donavon Hock." she said back before offering her hand to the arms dealer, who looked down at it before shaking it in his own.

"Yes and you are?" he asked in an inquisitive tone.

"Agent Zero." she replied, earning a smirk from the Human.

"Yes, that is your code name. But I make it a point to know who I am working with, so your name is….?"

"Agent Zero, that is all you need to know at this time." the female replied before pulling her hand away and stared back with narrowed eyes through the visor of her helmet.

"Okay.." Lockdown then said, making both Hock and Zero look at him before noticing the two mobile berths being moved down the ramp towards them. The female Agent saw that one carried an unconscious Liara T'Soni, while the other had a blue haired man strapped onto it which made her walk over to his side.

"I know this man, he was…." she began to say, earning Hock's attention before Lockdown stepped in.

"..this is Orion Darby, Autobot Spectre and son of Jackson Prime. You obviously recognise him from his profile." the former-Decepticon said to the female Agent with a knowing look, while Hock raised an eyebrow at the pair as they turned their backs to him.

"Hock doesn't need to know that you were there when the Autobots crashed his party to rescue the Asari here…does he," he whispered to her, gaining a nod from Zero.

"Yes, of course. I just recall this particular Autobot being quite the annoyance to my mission then." she whispered back before her attention was caught by the Drell that stood behind both berths.

"Thane, I was not aware that you had been assigned to this mission." Zero said but before the Drell could respond, Lockdown beat him to it.

"I requested that he be put on my team, just on the off-chance that the forces under my command were not enough." he said before looking back at Thane.

"So how are 'our guests'?"

"They are both still unconscious, but we have healed any injuries that they had received during our mission." the Drell replied with a blank tone, gaining a nod from Zero.

"Good, though you could have just focused on the Asari. Since she was the only one that was supposed to be retrieved in the first place."

"So what should I do with the Autobot?" Thane asked back before looking down on the unconscious Bot.

"Have him put in the ship's detention area, we will let the Shadow Broker determine what happens to him." Lockdown replied, earning a nod from Agent Zero before her com-link activated.

"Excuse me." she said to the three before turning her back to them and receiving the call,

"Where do I go?" Hock then asked the Assassin, making him turn to the Human.

"One of the Mechs will take you to your quarters until the Shadow Broker is ready to see you." the former Decepticon said before gesturing to one of the nearby roBots.

"Please sir, if you will follow me." it then said, making the arms dealer follow it out of the Landing Bay as Thane took a step toward Lockdown.

"Since I have done everything asked of me as of late, maybe you can see if I can be allowed to see my son now?" the Drell asked.

"I do not know if that will be possible at this time Thane, you did after all fail to acquire the Asari the first time round." the former Decepticon replied.

"I was not the only one who failed in that task Lockdown…" Thane replied while gesturing to Agent Zero who was still on her com-link.

"…it has been several weeks since I joined this operation, which I only agreed too since the Shadow Broker promised to not only help protect my son from whoever killed my wife, but also discover the identity of her killer. But I have yet to have that evidence or see my son." the Drell replied with slight anger building in his voice, though Lockdown merely looked back calmly.

"I understand your frustration Thane, I do…..but there is nothing I can do at this time, as it is up to the Shadow Broker. Now can you take Orion Darby to the detention area please?" the Assassin replied, earning a reluctant nod from Thane, who then gestured to the Mech pushing Orion's berth to follow him out of the room. Agent Zero then deactivated her com-link and turned back to the former Decepticon.

"That was the Shadow Broker, he wants Dr T'Soni ready to meet him. But first he wants to see you in his sanctum." she said, gaining a surprise expression from the former Con before he nodded back.

"Very well, I will go see him immediately then." he replied before turning away from the Agent and leaving the room.

'He wants to see me, why would that be?' he thought as he entered the corridor and walked towards the ship's bow.

A few minutes later and the former Decepticon Assassin entered a large dimly lit room that had a sphere-like shape to it's structure, and a large power conduit running through it's center which was surrounded by large holo-screens. Lockdown looked down to the far end of the room and saw the silhouette of a large being standing there in what looked like m, as if waiting for him.

"Lockdown, please come closer." a beastly and commanding voice spoke, which made Lockdown feel somewhat nervous. But he took a breath and did as he was told and walked through the room towards the shadowy large being, stopping next to the power conduit when he could see this person more clearly. For what he saw was an alien being that he recognised only too well, with it's large mouth and eight black eyes. For it's massive frame and primitive look. For it's species has a terrible reputation known throughout the galaxy, since it annihilated the former Citadel Council's first contact teams decades ago.

'It's a Yahg, but how?' he thought as the beast took a step towards him.

"Did you complete your mission?" the Shadow Broker asked in a very calm and conservative tone, which earned a quick nod from the Assassin in return.

"Yes sir, we retrieved the Asari and captured Orion Darby too while also destroying the Normandy as you ordered." he said back while trying not to show how confused he was at the Beast's behaviour.

'How is it acting so sophisticated and calm, considering it's reputation? In fact how did 'it' become the Shadow Broker?'

But the Yahg activated his holo-tool and brought up a data-log on one of the large holo-screens.

"Is that so, then perhaps you can tell me how the Normandy managed to contact the Autobot Command only minutes ago?" he replied with a slither of anger in his voice while showing his sharp teeth.

"I do not understand sir, my crew and I witnessed the Normandy exploding before us." Lockdown said back in shock as he looked at the data flowing down the screen.

"Well, an Autobot by the name of Quickstrike informed ISF Command of the attack on the Normandy before naming you as one of the attackers. He also told them that he believes you have taken Orion Darby and Liara T'Soni as captives, this is not looking good for you Lockdown." the Broker replied again.

"Sir, I….can't really…come up with a good…excuse." the former Decepticon said back in a worried and confused tone, which earned a low growl from the Beast.

"If you could then I would kill you where you stand, because I can not stand liars. I prefer the truth, that is why I am the most powerful information Broker in the galaxy. Lies and deceit don't go well in this business."

"I understand sir, so what now?" Lockdown asked as if he was holding his breath at how the Shadow Broker would respond.

"Since you were truthful with me, and because this is the only time you have failed…..I am willing to give you another chance…..but only one chance, understand?" he replied, gaining a nod from the Assassin.

"Yes, thank you sir. I will not fail you again."

"You better not, now go." the Beast replied before turning his back to the former Con, who was about to move when he suddenly looked back at his employer.

"Sir, if I may ask. How did you find out about the Autobots?" he asked, regaining the Shadow Broker's attention as it looked back at him.

"I have contacts in both the ISF Senate and Autobot Command, I am the Shadow Broker after all."

"Of course sir, but what about Quickstrike and the other Autobots?" Lockdown replied.

"I have sent some of our forces to my contacts, they will have them deployed if the Autobots begin snooping where they shouldn't. Now go, I have another meeting to hold." the Broker said back, which made the former Decepticon nod in return before walking back to the room's exit.

"Of course sir." he said before reaching the door, which opened to reveal Agent Zero and the berth carrying a still unconscious Liara.

"Zero." Lockdown said as he passed them.

"Lockdown." the female replied before pushing the berth into the room as the door closed behind her.

"Agent Zero, how is our 'guest'?" the Yahg asked as the Agent stopped the berth just in front of it.

"Her injuries have been treated, but she is still unconscious. I was told by our medical Mechs that she should awaken soon." Zero replied, gaining a nod from the Broker.

"Good, I have looked forward to this moment for a long time."

"I know, do you think she will join us…once she knows the truth?" the Agent asked with a curious look, which made the Beast look back at her with a determined expression.

"For her sake, I hope so."


As the Normandy flew in orbit around a dead, crater covered planetoid in one of systems on the edge of galaxy. Nightracer entered the Communications room while Quickstrike deactivated the terminal before him and crossed his arms in frustration while turning around to the Femme.

"I take it by the look of you that it didn't go well?" she asked, gaining a nod from the Blonde Autobot as he sighed in return.

"I reported what had happened and who was responsible, but all Command could say was that they would pass our information to Autobot Intelligence, since they were more focused on dealing with the Predacons right now."

"So…..we are alone on this then?" Nightracer said back with a disheartened tone.

"No, we have been ordered back to join the seventh Autobot fleet in the Exodus cluster." the Bot replied, making the Femme's eyes widen in shock.

"But what about Orion and Liara, we can't just leave them to Lockdown and whoever he is working with." she said back with a defiant tone and expression, earning a nod from her friend.

"Hey, your preaching to the choir on that one. And I am sure the others would agree, so I am up for ignoring the order to return if you are." Quickstrike said back with a slight smile, earning a mirrored look from Nightracer in return.

"Sure why not, I'm certainly not willing to give up on our friends…." she said back before the Communications terminal began to beep, which made the pair look over to it with a curious expression.

"We're receiving a call?" the Femme stated with a confused tone, which made the Blonde Bot tap his com-link.

"Jetstorm, do you know anything about us receiving a transmission?"

"We are? Sorry, there is nothing on my system about it Quickstrike." the Pilot replied, which made Orion's cousin look down at the blinking light on the terminal with a thoughtful expression.

"Well, you better answer it before whoever it is gets tired of being ignored." Nightracer replied, making Quickstrike deactivate his com-link and place his hands over the terminal's surface, thus activating the holo-interface before connecting the call.

"This is Quickstrike of the Autobot Spectre vessel Normandy, who is this attempting contact?" he then said.

"Well that was certainly a very professional reply, and for me of people." a familiar female voice spoke, making Nightracer's eyes widen as she recognised it.

"Kasumi?" she said back before the holo-emitter behind the terminal activated and revealed the Autobot Informant and Thief.

"Hello Nightracer…and who is this?" she replied while looking at Quickstrike.

"This is Quickstrike, he is Orion's cousin." the Femme replied, gaining a nod from the Bot.

"I see, and where is Rodimus. He is still Commander of the Normandy…yes?" Kasumi asked in return.

"He was severely injured during our last engagement with the Predacons and is currently in our Medical Bay." Quickstrike replied, earning a worried and concerned look from the Thief.

"I see…. well I hope he recovers, he is a good man." she said back with a caring tone in her voice, which earned mirrored expressions from the pair.

"Yes….but now if I may ask, why have you contacted us Kasumi?" Nightracer asked.

"I was told to do so by Miranda Lawson, after she had heard about Lockdown's attack on your ship." Kasumi said back, gaining a curious look from Quickstrike.

"I only just contacted Autobot Command a few minutes ago, how did Commander Lawson hear about so quickly? Because I doubt our military leaders would have informed that fast."

"And you would be correct Quickstrike, lets just say that Miranda likes to know what is going on around her before anyone has the chance to tell her. Its her MECH training asserting itself. But either way, she knows that I am your best chance to find out where Lockdown and your friends are." the Thief replied with a confident expression.

"How is that?" Nightracer asked in return.

"Hello….professional Thief, lives in the criminal underworld. I would know where the best places to look would be." Kasumi said back with a slither of sarcasm in her voice, which made Nightracer tighten up a little.

"You don't have to remind me of that."

"Well, getting back on topic. Lockdown was quite the household name amongst Assassins and Mercenaries back in the day, when he suddenly just disappeared off the map. Only appearing for very short periods of time and it was rumoured that he had found himself a more permanent employer."

"Do you know who this 'employer' is?" the Blonde Bot then asked, making the female shake her head in return.

"No, but since whoever it is must be extremely secretive to keep themselves out of the public eye for so long. So they will be monitoring the entire galaxy for signs that their prized Assassin is being searched for, so we bait them into revealing themselves or at least someone who can lead us to them properly." Kasumi replied, earning a smile from Quickstrike and Nightracer.

"I like it, so where do we meet to set this trap?" the Femme said back.

"I will be in the city of Joughin on the planet Benning, I am sending you the coordinates now to meet me there. It is a more grimier section of the city where lowlifes and other unpleasant individuals like to congregate, and be sure to dress more incognito when you arrive, as the saying goes 'when in Rome..'." Kasumi replied while typing on her holo-tool.

"Do as the Romans do', Understood. We are on our way, Normandy out." Quickstrike said back before ending the transmission and making the holo-image of the Thief fade to nothing, he then turned back to Nightracer.

"As soon as we arrive at Benning, we will take a ground bridge down to the city a click away from Kasumi's coordinates. So inform Shen and Grunt that they need to suit up with us for this mission."

"Okay, will do. But there is one thing I want to ask before doing so." the Femme replied, gaining a nod from the Blonde Bot.

"Alright, what is it?"

"I know you contacted Autobot Command, but what of Matriarch Benezia? Did you tell her what has happened to her daughter?" Nightracer then asked, making Quickstrike shake his head in return.

"I tried, but I was told that she was not available at this time by her aide." he replied with a defeated tone to his voice.

"Surely you explained what had happened to Liara." the Femme said back with a disbelieving tone of her own.

"Her aide would not give me the time of day, she just repeated that Benezia was not available." the Bot replied, which made Nightracer sigh in return.

"Makes you wonder if the rumours of the Asari Matriarch's distrust of Autobots is true huh? She could be no more different to her Daughter could she."

"Yes, now lets work on getting both Orion and Liara back." Quickstrike replied, gaining a nod from the Femme.

"Yeah, I'll see you in the armoury with Shen and Grunt then." she said back before leaving the Communications room, as the Blonde Autobot tapped his com-link.

"Jetstorm, open a space-bridge vortex to Benning and activate our stealth mode before taking us through." he said as he then exited the room, with the door closing behind him.


The sun was halfway through its descent behind the large skyscrapers of Joughin, the Capital city of the planet Benning. Quickstrike looked up at the large glass covered buildings which seemed like a miles away from where he was standing right now alongside Nightracer and Grunt, as the group made their way amongst the busy crowds of what was called the 'Flea trap Market'. It was a name that felt somewhat deserved as it looked nothing like the more wealthier part of the city where those sky scrapers were standing, since the buildings here were basically minimum standard living trailers no bigger than industrial shipping crates, which had then been stacked on top of each other.

The whole area had a bad vibe emanating from it as the Autobots walked through the streets, though no one could guess that the new arrivals were anything more than your basic mercenaries. Grunt was wearing basic Krogan combat armour with a brown rusted look to it, while Nightracer wore black leather jean-like Bottoms and matching coloured tank top with faded leather jacket over that. Quickstrike though wore black heavily worn jeans and faded red t-shirt under a long brownish red coat, a far cry from their usual high quality Autobot armour.

"Anyone spot Kasumi yet?" Grunt asked with an annoyed tone to his voice as another person bumped into him as he walked past, earning a growl from he Krogan.

"I swear if another person walks in my way or bumps into me again, I will shoot them." he added, making both Quickstrike and Nightracer roll their eyes in response.

"Cool it Grunt, we are all getting bumped around here. Its not just you." the Blonde Bot replied as he looked through the thick haze of people surrounding them, while Nightracer looked at her holo-tool.

"We are in a ten metre radius of the coordinates Kasumi gave us, but where is she?" the Femme said with a confused tone as she looked up and around her, while the Bot tapped his com-link as Grunt pushed away another civilian who had accidentally bumped into him.

"Don't make me…." the Krogan spat back.

Meanwhile on one of the higher makeshift balconies, Shen was in a kneeling position as he watched the crowds in the street below with his sniper rifle.

"Shen, can you see Kasumi from your vantage point?" Quickstrike's voice suddenly came through on the Turian's com-link.

"Let me see…" he replied as he scanned the area through the weapon's scope, looking at every face down there until he came upon his team mates.

"No, don't see any….wait." he added before spotting a shimmer of light behind the Blonde Bot, which suddenly revealed the female Thief.

"…she's behind you." he added with an impressed tone in his voice as he saw Quickstrike turn around to come face to face with Kasumi.

"Well you don't stick out too much now do you." the Thief said with a sarcastic tone, earning annoyed looks from the Autobots.

"You were with us the whole time weren't you?" Nightracer said back, gaining a nod from Kasumi.

"I have been shadowing your group since you entered this district so I could see how well you blend in, and by the fact that you have several undesirables eyeing your group at this very moment shows that you stick out like a sore thumb." she replied with a stern expression.

"Well we are sort of in a hurry Kasumi, with wanting to find our friends. We don't have the luxury of playing it slow and safe, so why don't we just get on with it already." the Femme said back before the group's com-links activated simultaneously.

"Guys, you have a group of six….maybe seven individuals heading right for you from the North." Shen suddenly said, making Quickstrike look over his shoulder and spot the gathering of Humans, Vorcha and Turians moving toward them through the crowds.

"Kasumi's right, lets get off the streets and take care of this group before we continue any further." he said before looking back at the thief.

"Conceal yourself Kasumi, this shouldn't take long." the Bot added, gaining a nod as she reactivated her cloak.

"Head for the alleyway several metres south of here…"Kasumi then said as she pointed to the alley's entrance just away from the group just before disappearing from sight before them.

"Let's go." Nightracer said as the trio made their way through the oncoming crowds and entered the smaller street, being quickly followed by the others that blocked off the way they had came.

"Are you people lost, cause we could help you." a slimy sounding voice called back, which made Quickstrike and his friends turn round to face the other group, who all looked like common thieves with their dirty and ragged looking clothes.

"We…just took a wrong turn." the Blonde Bot replied while standing there with a casual demeanor. But the lead Human, who had a shaven head and scar over his left eye looked at Quickstrike and smiled, revealing his dirty teeth.

"But you are not from around these parts, are you?" he asked as his friends stood around the Autobots, looking at both Grunt and Nightracer….especially at the latter.

"We have watched you for a while now…" he said as he walked up to the Blonde Bot and placed a hand on his shoulder, gaining a knowing stare from Quickstrike.

"…You may dress like us, but you are certainly not like us."

"What are you staring at?" Nightracer said to the Turian standing next to her, after noticing that he had leered at her. Which only made the Turian smile back, making the Femme feel sick to her stomach. But the main attention of the group was on Quickstrike as the lead Human tightened his grip on the Bot's shoulder while equipping his knife, with the others readying their own.

"Give us all the valuables you have on you, and this won't have to get nasty." he said in a very casual way, making the Blonde Bot smile back.

'Knifes are you kidding.' he thought before noticing a slight shimmer appear behind the Vorcha at the back of the group, making his smile widen.

"What?" the lead Human asked with a confused tone when suddenly the Vorcha screamed out in pain, making the leader look back to see an invisible force beat down his friend.

"What?…" he started to say before Quickstrike grabbed at the guy's arm that was still on his shoulder, quickly pulling it off and twisting it. This made the Human grimace while Grunt and Nightracer made short work of the thieves standing next to them. The Blonde Bot then looked down at the man he was now holding in an arm lock, who looked back with a blend of anger and confusion.

"You picked on the wrong people." the Autobot then said before punching the Leader hard in the face wit his free hand, knocking him out cold. He then looked round to see the Human's friends all in the same condition as the Krogan and Femme stood over them, before looking at the alley's entrance just as Kasumi uncloaked before him.

"Nicely done, so lets going shall we." she said while gesturing to the group to follow her.

"So where are we going?" Nightracer asked as the group exited the alleyway and rejoined the busy crowds, who had not even noticed the scuffle which transpired nearby.

"There is a local bar nearby, a real dive compared to most similar places around here. But it can be a good source of information, for those with the right credentials." the Thief replied as she led them through the streets, while Shen followed very the balconies and rooftops overhead.

After walking down several similar looking streets, the group entered a seedy looking bar that was bustling with people not unlike the ones that they had encountered in the alley earlier.

"You think we can get something here?" Quickstrike asked with an unconvinced tone, earning a nod from Kasumi.

"Trust me, this will work. Now be ready for anything." she said before walking over to a table occupied by Humans, Batarians, Vorcha and Turians who had all but one of it's seats filled, as those sitting there had just begun a game of poker. So the Thief pulled out the remaining chair and sat herself down amongst them, earning confused looks from all.

"What are you doing Kasumi?" a Batarian sitting opposite her asked as Kasumi took the deck of cards from the Human beside her and began shuffling them.

"I just saw that you had a spare seat and thought I might join in." she replied while the rest of table looked at her with a distrusting stare.

"Your well known for cheating whenever you play a game of poker here Kasumi, so why the hell would we want you to join this game." the Batarian sneered back earning nods from everyone else before noticing Quickstrike, Nightracer and Grunt all watching them.

"Who are they, friends of yours?"

The Thief glanced over to her acquaintances and nodded in return.

"Yes they are, you see my friends and I are looking for someone…" she answered before placing the deck back in front of the Human beside her and staring back at the Batarian.

"…so if I can't join your game, perhaps you can tell us if you have seen this person we are looking for?"

The men all looked at each other before the lead Batarian narrowed all four of his eyes at Kasumi.

"That will depend on who it is your looking for?"

"…we are looking for Lockdown." she then said casually, earning wide eyed stares from everyone at the table he, as the whole room then went quiet at the mention of that name.

"Well that is someone we have not seen for a long time." the Batarian replied, as Nightracer noticed a black haired Human in mercenary combat armour suddenly look over at the group suspiciously along with the others around him.

"Orion, at my ten o'clock." the Femme whispered, making the Blonde Bot glance over to see the man slowly get to his feet with his friends.

"I see them." he replied while inconspicuously moving his hand down to his holstered pistol as he returned his attention to Kasumi.

"So don't I get an answer to that question?" she asked, feeling the dagger like stares everyone around the table was giving her at that very moment.

"I think you should leave Kasumi, we only wanted to have nice friendly game of poker here." the Batarian replied before noticing the same black haired Human and his group equipped their weapons and slowly aimed them at the Thief's friends.

"You have a tendency of bringing trouble with you." he answered back, earning a curious look from Kasumi who noticed the Batarian's attention drifting away to her right.

'I hope you are ready guys?' she thought as she took a breath, knowing exactly what was about to happen…when suddenly.

"Have you people ever heard of what curiosity did to the cat?" a unfamiliar voice suddenly spoke, making Orion and the Autobots suddenly turn round with their weapons ready and aimed at the others.

"What's a Cat? I don't get it." Grunt replied with a confused tone as the Femme and Bot ignored him.

"Looks like we have ourselves a little Mexican stand-off." Nightracer observed as the entire room went quiet, while the rest of the customers got up and slowly backed up towards the room's walls.

"Drop your weapons." Quickstrike ordered as Kasumi shrugged at the Batarian before suddenly disappearing in front of him and the other poker players, earning confused looks from them as they returned their attention to her friends.

"I told you she was trouble." the Human player then said.

But this was ignored by everyone else as their attention stayed with the Autobots and their stand off against their unknown adversaries.

"Where did she go?" the black haired man then said as he noticed her disappear, but before anyone could say something back. Suddenly one of his men was electrocuted from behind by an unseen force, making him and the others look back in shock.

"What…that….not compute!" he said back in a confused tone, earning a curious look from Quickstrike as Kasumi suddenly reappeared behind the leader and electrocuted him with her holo-tool before pulling him to the ground, leaving the rest of the men open to attack.

"Now!" the Blonde Bot shouted before he and his friends opened fire and riddled the other men with bullets, which made them all look on in surprise and confusion as all the enemies body's began jerking awkwardly with electric bolts flowing around them before falling to the ground.

"Their roBots?" Nightracer said in disbelief as Kasumi knelt beside the Leader and looked up at the team.

"I had no idea, I was merely trying to apprehend him for us to question, I had no idea that he and the others were Mechs."

As the Autobots surrounded the Thief and the disabled Leader Mech, everyone in the place except for the Hanar-Barman left in a quiet but quick fashion. The jellyfish just sunk back down behind the bar.

"They look to life-like to be Mechs." Grunt said back, earning a nod from the Femme while Quickstrike activated his holo-tool and took a scan of the body.

"No, Kasumi's right. it's a Mech, but a real advanced one. Still….I have no idea who sent it and the other ones."

"I might….I mean there is a rumour that a particular person likes to use Mechs as soldiers but…" Kasumi began to say before Grunt glanced through the windows of the building, his eyes widening at what he could see.

"Everybody down!" he then shouted before the enter room was flooded with gun fire, shattering the windows and showering the team with glass as they all dived to the floor. But the attack did not stop as outside in the street there were several dozen Mechs firing their weapons into the building, hoping to eliminate the Autobot team in one foul swoop.


"I believe she is coming to." a somewhat familiar voice spoke as Liara felt herself slowly regain consciousness, opening her eyes to see the metallic curved ceiling above her.

'Where am I?' she started to think before it all came back to her, making her rise up into a sitting position quickly as her thoughts filled with only one thought.

"Orion!" she shouted before looking down at her surroundings and discovering that she was sitting on a berth in a large room with a spherical design to it, with a bright glowing power conduit in it's center and being orbited by large blue holo-screens.

"Orion?" Liara asked again, as she found that her lover was nowhere to be found in her immediate area. But before the Asari could move to look for her Autobot, her attention was caught by a female soldier walking over to her side whilst wearing blue and white armour. And though the person's face was covered by a breather helmet, that didn't stop Liara recognising her.

"Agent Zero!" the Asari spat as she quickly got off the berth and clenched her hands into fists, which began to glow with biotic energy.

"It's been a while Miss T'Soni." the Agent replied in her disguised voice, though Liara just narrowed her eyes at her would be adversary.

"Where is Orion?"

"Your friend is in one of our Detention cells, and will remain there….and unharmed as long as you behave yourself. So don't do anything foolish now." Zero said back in a firm tone, which made the Asari stare back with disdain before cooling down her biotics.

"What do you want?" she said back, not attempting to hide the anger in her voice.

"My employer and mentor wishes to meet you, which was the same reason I was sent for you the first time." the Agent replied.

"And just who is it that wants to meet me?" Liara asked, while crossing her arms over her chest, not even budging a little in the anger she was feeling right now.

"….The Shadow Broker." Zero replied before pointing to the area behind the Asari, making her turn round to see a large creature walking towards her.

'By the Goddess!' she thought while recognising it's species, which seemed impossible considering it's reputation.

"The Shadow Broker's a Yahg, that's impossible!" she said as the larger being stopped in front of the Asari and looked down at her.

"It is not impossible…'Little Wing'." the Broker replied as his voice changed from heavy and monstrous to that of feminine and wise. It was a voice that Liara recognised even quicker than she had with Agent Zero, for it was a voice of someone she had known all her life. Her eyes widened as she stood there in complete shock as the Yahg suddenly began to glow, revealing itself to be nothing more than a holo-image before fading to nothing and revealing an Asari standing in it's place. This female was wearing a black formal-like dress, and her skin tone was the same shade of blue as Liara's.

"…Mother!…." she gasped in shock as she looked upon Matriarch Benezia, who smiled back at her.

"…you're the..." Liara continued, only for the older Asari to cut her off.

"Yes, Liara. I am the Shadow Broker."
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