Darkzeek: A Transformers Prime Story

By: Peter “Pierrimus” Phelps

    The Autobots emerged from the space bridge victoriously with their captured Dark Zeek and were greeted by their human allies. “Did you get to stomp those ‘cons good?” Miko asked.
    “Well, we snowballed ‘em for sure,” Bulkhead joked.
    “I have a lot of work to do,” Ratchet commented before he held up thecircuit trap to show Raf. “We caught one and now it is time to find out what it is made of.”
    “Dark Energon most likely,” Agent Fowler commented.
    “I was thinking about that,” Raf commented. “Remember how the Nemesis came to life after Megatron infused it with Dark Energon? What if the same thing happens to the Kremzeeks? How is Starscream controlling them?”
    “Most likely Starscream is keeping them on a tight leash through a supply of Dark Energon to fuel them,” Optimus Prime commented.
    “Um, like what happens if those flashy thinga-ma-bobs get into the core of Unicronto feed on his Dark Energon?” Miko asked.
    All the Autobots had a worried expression on their faces. “Unlimited replication, right doc?” Arcee replied. Ratchet nodded and they all knew that would spell doom for the Earth.
    “We won’t let that happen,” Optimus Prime tried to reassure them. “Let’s get to work” he commented before he followed Ratchet into the medical lab. Raf quickly followed them to see if he could help.
    “Don’t worry kids, when have our ‘bot friends let us down?” Agent Fowler tried to sound reassuring.
    “I’m going to get some Energon and refuel. Don’t want to be low if there is some action again soon,” Bulkhead commented. Arcee agreed and quickly tagged along.
    “Hey, Bee can you give me a lift back to work? I need to keep up appearances,” Jack asked. Bumblebee gave a thumbs-up and transformed into his car mode. Jack began to climb down the stairs.
    “Oh, no you don’t! You’re not leaving me here alone with the geezer. I’m heading into town with you,” Miko commented before she quickly followed.
    “Geezer? Sigh. Tell your mom hello for me and not to worry,” Agent Fowler said to Jack before Bumblebee sped off.

    Inside Knock Out’s medical bay there was an angry and resistant patient squirming to be free from the table. “My liege you must restrain yourself or your repairs will take even longer,” Knock Out insisted.  He pulled a burnt out circuit board from under Megatron’s side armor plate. The Decepticon supreme commander growls at him. “I am going as fast as possible Lord Megatron,” Knock Out commented.
    “Just get me off this table quickly doctor! Starscream will no doubt try to solidify his newpower and we must get ahead of him. Soudwave dispatch our forces to every known source of Dark Energon. We must stop him from feeding these Dark Zeeks and making more of them. They must not reach Unicron!” Megatron barked.
Soundwave nodded silently and gave a salute before he left the repair bay. Dreadwing approached the table, “Request permission to lead the force assigned to whenever my brother appears Lord Megatron.” He still held out hope that his brother’s spark might possibly be rejoined to his body somehow. He stood there waiting as Megatron suppressed a grunt while Knock Out inserted a replacement circuit board.
    “Negative, I can’t afford to lose you too at this point,” Megatron replied. “For now I want you to concentrate on helping Soundwave find Starscream. Once we take control of the Dark Kremzeeks away we can then free your brother’s body and you may send him to rest properly. Dismissed,” Megatron waved for Dreadwing to leave.
Once Dreadwing was out of range Knock Out commented, “We’re going to slag every Dark Kremzeek infected Transformer we find, Autobot or Decepticon I presume. We still need to figure out how to create an immunity to protect our troops. Of course, I will begin to work on that once I am through with your repairs, my liege.”
    “Don’t bother. The Autobots captured one of the Dark Kremzeeks and are most likely experimenting on it right now to solve that little problem. I think with a little guile and perhaps desperation they will come to share what they’ve learned with us,” Megatron commented with a wicked smile. “Now hurry up!”

    Ratchet emerged from his lab with Raf close behind. “I don’t understand how it happened, but we did not capture a Dark Kremzeek. What we have here is a slightly altered standard Kremzeek which we’ve dealt with before. Maybe when it came into contact with enough regular Energon it was forced back to its original state,” Ratchet explained.
    “That’s the first good news we’ve heard,” Arcee commented.
    “It is the alterations that still concern us,” Raff commented while he hooked his laptop up to the main view screen.  It displayed the program coding they copied from the captured Kremzeek.     “Starscream wanted his next generation of Kremzeeks to be much more capable of independent thought without his guidance. This way they could possibly survive without him and continue his vengeance against Megatron at all costs. They have detailed maps to where Dark Energon was located on Earth embedded in their code like a fail-safe should Starscream become disabled. Each location is a direct conduit into Unicron,” Raf explained in a morose tone.
    “According to my sources, Prime, Megatron’s moving his forces to cover many of those same coordinates,” Agent Fowler commented. “He must have figured Starscream will try to go after them too. But he still doesn’t know how to defeat those critters. Do we?”
    Ratchet nodded. “I think I can create a coating that will insulate our systems from infection temporarily. We’ll need a large source of Energon to use to reverse the Dark Energon infusions. I can modify our weapons to act as injectors. But, to dissipate the Kremzeeks afterwards we’ll need Decepticon help. Soundwave captured the Resonance Blaster which has the ability to break the Kremzeek energy patterns,” Ratchet explained.
    “Raf, do you think we might be able to reprogram the regular Kremzeeks? I would rather we could save these creatures instead. The Autobot elders did not want their potential to go extinct and I am reluctant to extinguish their sparks without attempting to try other possibilities first,” Optimus Prime requested.
    “I can try,” Raf commented in a tone that held great doubt. “I’ll use our captive as a test subject,” he added. Ratchet was about to say something against the plan, but Optimus held up a hand and shook his head that the decision was final.
    “Ratchet can we produce enough insulation compound to protect a few key Decepticon troops? We are going to need Megatron’s cooperation and he’ll only do it if we give him something in return. It will help us if we can aid him in protecting the Dark Energon sites,” Optimus Prime explained.
    “Yes, we can produce enough and with Starscream’s circuit trap I’ve been able to get ours working well enough to capture Dark Kremzeeks. If we had more time I could figure out the right frequencies to create sonic grenades capable of disrupting the Kremzeek control over the infected,” Ratchet added.
    “Soundwave’s better suited to that task old friend,” Optimus commented. “Get to work, we’ll need to move quickly or we’ll have many more possessed Decepticons on our hands.”
    “I hate to point this out, but that well Starscream attacked was not a known Dark Energon source. What if Starscream hits other unknown sources before he tries to strike one Megatron is guarding?” Agent Fowler pondered.
    “It will give Starscream more Dark Kremzeeks to attack us with, but also more time for us to insulate more of the Decepticons. It will be Starscream’s ego that makes it unlikely for him to wait. He has lost the surprise factor and will be driven by revenge. He’ll strike as soon as he feels ready,” Arcee replied.
    “We can probably narrow the sites by the ones Starscream has programmed into the Kremzeeks. They’re the largest ones with the most potential hosts for the new Dark Kremzeeks,” Raf explained.
    “I hate to point this out, but what if Starscream splits up his new army and sends them to multiple sites at once? Wouldn’t he be able to infect more Decepticons that way much sooner?” Agent Fowler asked.
    Optimus Prime nodded, “That is why speed is of the essence. Optimus Prime to Bumblebee, return to base immediately. We’re going to need you to roll out as soon as possible. Ratchet contact Wheeljack and tell him the situation. We’ll need him to cover one of the sites. Then get Megatron on the main view screen. We have much to discuss.”

    Megatron smiled widely after the communication channel cut off and Optimus Prime’s image faded. “What did I tell you Knock Out? The Autobots are so predictable. We now have the formula for an insulator, know that Energon reverses the Dark Energon advantage, and that Soundwave’s Resonance Blaster is key to their destruction. We’ll allow the Autobots to have members at each location to play guinea bot, but once they’ve proved their usefulness I think we can divide and conquer,” Megatron laughed.
    Soundwave quickly interrupted by changing the main view screen to an image of South Africa highlighted in red. “And so it begins,” Megatron commented. “Send the coordinates to the Autobots and get the ship closer to the battle. We still need to protect ourselves first,” Megatron ordered. Soundwave nodded before two more sites appeared in red. “So Prime’s scenario that Starscream might spread his force was on target. Continue to the first site. Dreadwing send our Energon resources to all the target sites now. Disperse sonic grenades and weapons too. We have to work quickly,” Megatron ordered.

    Bumblebee and Arcee emerged from the blue portal of the groundbridge to walk atop hot yellow sand. Arcee pointed her weapons about checking for any potential attackers. A few giraffe were spooked by their sudden appearance and ran away. They looked all around before she retracted her weapons. They could only see grass patches and a few trees. “You certain Ratchet sent us to the right place? I don’t see any Decepticons around here, do you Bee?” Arcee asked.
    Bumblebee was carrying two very large containers with nozzles that looked like what the humans would use for fire extinguishers. He moved them both up and down in a shrug. Bumblebee carefully set the containers down on the ground. Bumblebee then noticed a vibration in the earth below them. He began to beep and chirp at Arcee just a moment before the ground began to sink below them.
    “Quicksand, but that requires water,” Arcee commented while they were being drug into the ground. “Sinkhole is probably more like it,” she added before she tried to transform and drive out. It was too late and they fell down through the sand into a series of underground tunnels.
    “About time you Autobots showed up,” Knock Out stated sarcastically before he turned on his headlights. “I abhor the sand and the lack of humidity is causing my wax job to peel.” He was escorted by several large Insecticons. “Insecticons secure the insulator and go spray as many Vehicons as possible. I’ll show our guests to the Energon stockpile,” Knock Out ordered.
    “Let them take it Bee,” Arcee ordered when Bumblebee was reluctant to release the canisters. Bumblebee made a few noises before he let them go. “For now we’re on the same side so we have to trust them until they give us reason not to. Let’s go,” Arcee stated.
    Knock Out transformed into his racecar mode. “Follow me Autobots and please try to keep up. I won’t wait for you if a Kremzeek infected attacks us,” Knock Out tainted. He then sped away down a tunnel. Bumblebee transformed and took lead while Arcee followed. They soon emerged from the tunnel into a larger cavern where there were crates of Energon and the violet glow of Dark Energon in the rock walls. Vehicons and Insecticons were fighting with each other all around the cavern. The Insecticons with the canisters of insulation agent were having trouble discerning which Decepticons were uninfected. Knock Out let out a sigh. “Good help is so hard to find,” Knock Out stated. They neared the Energon crates and transformed to robot mode. “Try not to waste it Autobots. I am going to help them,” Knock Out commented.
    “I am glad Ratchet gave us an optic sensor algorithm to make telling our foes apart. Let’s load up and get to it,” Arcee commented. Bumblebee gave her two thumbs up. She tossed him a couple of the crates and they snaked tubes from their weapons into the Energon crates. They began to fireEnergon directly into the Dark Kremzeek infected Decepticon warriors throughout the cavern.
It did not take long before the Kremzeeks of both types realized they were in danger. The Dark Kremzeeks began to grab as much Dark Energon as possible before fleeing the mine. The other Kremzeeks were lured toward the Energon stockpile where they were disturbed by sonic grenades Soundwave designed to replicate the Resonance Blaster’s effect.
    Once the Kremzeeks were routed the Decepticons quickly turned on the Autobots. “I can’t say it’s been a pleasure Autobots. It hasn’t. Now I have orders to make sure you don’t get back to your base,” Knock Out stated. He brought up a hand and was about to signal an attack.
    “Ah, ah, ah. I don’t think that’s a good idea ‘con. See this? It’s a detonator switch to an explosive I planted in the Energon crates. Do you know what kind of explosion will occur if the Dark Energon and regular Energon mix? I don’t think it will be pretty for any of us. Now me and Bee here are going to groundbridge home or we all get vaped! You got me?” Arcee asked forcefully.
Knock Out hesitated and then nodded before he gave the stand down signal instead. “This isn’t over Autobots,” he commented.
    The blue glow of the groundbridge appeared and Bumblebee went first. Arcee paused at the threshold, “It’s over for this mine. The explosive’s on a timer too. Bye bye.” She transformed and drove through the groundbridge.
    “Slag! Insecticons get me out of here now!” Knock Out ordered. They quickly grabbed him and all the Decepticons headed out through the tunnels toward the surface as quickly as they could. Knock Out barely escaped out of the sink hole the Autobots fell in when the mine exploded. Few other Decepticons made it clear. A crater many miles wide opened up in the African desert. “Argh! Just look at my finish, sandblasted and pitted. Oh, you’ll pay Autobots!” Knock Out exclaimed. He looked over the damage and whispered to himself, “If Megatron doesn’t slag me first.”

    “This is embarrassing, if any of the other Wreckers could see me now…” Bulkhead commented. He was in vehicle mode and slowly rolled along the hillside completely disguised as a grass hut. He drove past several large stone heads. There was a smaller stone head that moved along behind him just as slowly.
    “These disguises and the covert stuff was your human’s idea. This certainly isn’t my style at all,” Wheeljack replied. “This Styrofoam costume is itchy by the way,” Wheeljack added. They were slowly approaching the entrance to a Decepticon Dark Energon mine. “Got to wonder about a species that builds giant disembodied heads looking out like watchmen over the oceans,” Wheeljack commented.
    “Maybe they didn’t work so sell to keep the evil spirits away. Optimus agreed that we need to be subtle on this mission and try not to destroy the human artifacts. I’m not really the subtle type either,” Bulkhead added.
    “Yea, pal, I hear you. There’s a reason we’re called the Wreckers. Let’s get this over with,” Wheeljack commented. They reached the mine entrance with no sign of Decepticon guards. “The Decepticons might be inside fighting with Starscream’s possessions. We’re supposed to meet up with Dreadwing. I don’t trust this alliance,” Wheeljack commented before he slipped the fake Easter Island costume off. Bulkhead transformed and his hut costume ended up looking like he was wearing a large grass skirt which caused Wheeljack to laugh loudly.
    Bulkhead frowned and tore the costume off. “Not another word,” Bulkhead threatened. They quickly began walking into the mine with their weapons drawn. “Dreadwing may have destroyed Seaspray, but this isn’t the time for vengeance pal. We’ll swat him after we’ve taken care of our little Kremzeek issue,” Bulkhead promised.
    “You mean you’re not going to say Dreadwing got into a scrape with a possessed Insecticon that rubbed off enough insulator to allow him to get possessed and I had to cut him up to protect you? You wound my Energon pump,” Wheeljack joked with half a smile. They could hear the sounds of metal clashing against metal echo in the tunnel. “I guess that’s our cue,” Wheeljack laughed.
    They both began to run down the tunnel that twisted a couple more times before they came into a non-natural cavern. “Wreck and rule!” they both yelled before Bulkhead began blasting at the Dark Zeekes and Wheeljack slashed through the closest with his swords. They quickly found Dreadwing where he was protecting the Energon crates.