Crimson Destiny



    There is darkness at first. Then a gradual light as the world begins to come back into focus.
    I realize I am stuck alone in the darkness. Immobile. There is something striking me in the head, bouncing off the strong metal that protects my cerebral circuitry. The consistency of its  strikes suggests it is a primitive automaton of some sort.
    I attempt to move and find my arms and legs are willing to function despite great wear on their joints. According to my internal systems, my power reserves are dangerously low but adequate for me to remove myself from confinement.
    The effort is great and despite my best attempts, the stone about me will not budge sufficiently to allow freedom. I realize continuing this course of action is illogical and I will need to formulate an alternate plan.
    The automaton is small and able to drill through rock. However, I have to means with which to communicate with it and order it to free myself. A simple scan of the electromagnetic frequencies indicates it unable to accept remote communication. I conclude it must be pre-programmed to perform its task with no ability to be altered en route.
    I switch to the emergency Decepticon frequencies and attempt to contact my vessel. I have been dormant for some time and my internal chronometer systems are off-line. I have no way of knowing if I have been here months or years. The thickness of the rock about me would infer years.
    I get a response although the signal is weak. I initiate emergency protocol four-seventeen and await a response to my query.
    There is a short wait but I am patient. Even if I chose otherwise, my present position prevents me from acting in any other fashion. I am stuck until or unless I am freed by an external force.
    The rock above me begins to heat abruptly and I am aware that the probe I sent for has arrived and begun its work. I wait and anticipate the conclusion of my predicament...
    After sufficient time has passed I order the probe to pause and await further instruction. The small device that initially struck me is now dormant, likely overheated by my probe’s energy bursts. I feel it resting lifelessly atop my head module.
    I summon all of my remaining energy and channel it through my foot thrusters. The rock and debris beneath me begins to heat and melt from the exhaust. According to my calculations, the energy output is sufficient for completion of the task my probe commenced.
    Abruptly I begin to move and find myself tearing upward through the stone and soil about me. The eruption into the atmosphere is sudden and exhilarating, even for one such as myself who is not inclined toward such emotion. I live for logic first and foremost. Emotion is a needless and cumbersome concept for lesser beings.
    Still, I am free now and I find my current state much more agreeable then the previous one. I set myself down gently on the rough soil and scan my surroundings. The area is desert, a mixture of stone outcroppings with large mounds of softer soil dotting the landscape. There are small clumps of green vegetation scattered about and a series of stone canyons to my west.
    A solitary creature soars through the skies near my position. It appears to be some sort of organic life form. It is tiny compared to me and its flight pattern poses no threat to my security so I give it a cursory scan before paying it no further attention.
    The small machine that awoke me from slumber was developed by intelligent life. There is no mistaking this fact. It was a probe of some kind, sent to search for something. Perhaps for mineral deposits or some other resource of value to its makers.
    The device lays in ruin several feet from my point of emergence. The force of my escape destroyed it. I scan it briefly but its debris is of no assistance to my efforts to discover its origin.
    I must be careful. There is no way of being certain how many life forms are present on this world or what their intentions would be to a Decepticon warrior. I must assume they would react in fear or hostility to my presence.
    With good reason. Megatron drove the organic races from our world as he attempted to purify it for our kind. Several of their worlds were mined for resources later on, as the Great War commenced. I must assume this race would know my faction sigil and react with requisite hostility.
    The probe I signaled earlier is still hovering in the vicinity. The signal is strong now–there is no distance or rock to obscure it any longer. It is a utility probe–far too small for any usage other then the one I appropriated it for. It is, however, connected to the main vessel and I can utilize its uplink to access the data banks. If all is as I left it, the ship will aid in updating my tactical and logistic information so that I can better assess the threat level.
    The access is seamless and I instantly learn that the ship is in excellent shape and still docked safely on this world’s moon. The solar reserve system has kept the ship powered while I have been dormant.
    There is a lot of information and I am surprised to learn I have been dormant not only for mere years but millennia. This is fascinating but only the beginning of many revelations.
    There are millions of intelligent organic life forms on this world and they have constructed an advanced civilization. The ship tells me there are dozens of satellites orbiting the planet transmitting data as well as somewhat primitive computer systems routing data back and forth across the globe.
    Needless to say, I am... intrigued.
    When I first examined this world all those years ago there was literally no life at all. Not even on a microscopic level. Did another species colonize this world in the interim? Did life somehow evolve here in so little time? If so, how is it possible it became so advanced so suddenly? It is a quandary and a fascinating one at that.
    The sound of the air being split catches my attention and I discover three aircraft approaching from the east. My systems are low and my defensive capabilities at a minimum, however, I believe these craft to be little danger against my firepower.
    I raise my gun arm–
    A wave of nausea strikes me and I realize too late that an electromagnetic pulse weapon has been deployed against me. My systems start to shut down. In my weakened state I am helpless to counter the effect.
    The world goes dark...