Somewhere over Polyhex...1 vorn ago...
"Do you have confirmation on the enemies' positions?"
"Yeah. One on the roof and two others standing guard in front of the entrance. I assume there's a couple more inside the compound, enough to form at least a single squadron."
"You sure about that? You know what Climaxx always says, Caliburst. Never assume because you make an af-"
"Shut the slag up, Xenon. I know what I'm doing."
"Oh really? And what would that be?"
"Gathering intel on the enemy in order to save your sorry aft from getting blown up into smithereens. That's what."
The bickering duo's chatter was present in the linked radio wave that the entire squad was currently sharing and they all were pinching the bridge of their noses in exasperation. The femme in charge of the band of mixed rookies and veterans had her optics closed as she and the rest of them stood in an abandoned warehouse after having allowed the two young scouts to scourge ahead into enemy territory.
She didn't particularly like the idea of having those two younglings be their optics and audioreceptors during such a crucial mission but they were the smallest of them all and they had the best chances of completeing the task at hand than any other member of the team.
Climaxx let out a heavy sigh and pressed her digit against her audioreceptor, trying to amplify the signal between herself and her two subordinates.
"Delta-4, Delta-5, this is Delta-1."
The femme could hear a muffled curse on the femme's behalf and a small chuckle on that of the mech's. "We're here, Climaxx." Caliburst sounded as if she were seconds away from offlining of embarrassment.
Climaxx smiled without any humor, "I could tell, Climaxx. I'm sure every Decepticon in your area is well aware of that fact."
Caliburst groaned, "I'm sorry, Climaxx. It's just that Xenon is being a huge pain in the aft. He doesn't listen to anything I say and he-"
"I do listen!" Xenon's hushed whisper broke in, interrupting Caliburst before she could even finish her sentence. "It's just that most of the things she's said just aren't worth listening to."
The bickering slowly began between the two and Climaxx suddenly began to think that her choice of soldiers was suddenly lacking. Casting an exasperated glance at the sky, Climaxx sternly broke up the fighting through the comm link: "Look you two. I sent you two out there because I trusted you to be the most capable of completing this mission; the entire battle is hanging in the balance and if we don't pull through, the rest of the forces won't be able to pull through the Decepticon's ray shield neither. I suggest you quit acting like younglings, grow some major brass bearings and clear us a path into the enemy compound." She added then, "Without any casualties."
A brief silence ensued and it was broken by Caliburst and Xenon mutually saying, "Yes, sir."
Climaxx smiled wryly, "You see? You can work together when you don't waste your time arguing."
Before either youngling could reply, Climaxx shut the communication line with them and let out a heavy sigh. Those two were beginning to get on her last nerve.
Her squad's lieutenant came up to her, a smile on his faceplates. "Those two. Man, sometimes I wonder why they haven't been killed yet."
Maxxie scoffed, "It's because we're always covering their backs, Cronos. They could have a hoard of Decepticons bearing down on them and they wouldn't even notice because of their constant bickering." She glanced at the rest of the bots in the room and she couldn't help but smile lightly. She would have added that luck played a major role in their survival but she knew that her previous statement held the majority of the truth.
Whatever others might say, Climaxx knew she had one of the best squads in the entirety of the Autobot army. A fair mix of experience, skill and intelligence, there was very little to complain about Squad Delta.
Cronos was a brilliant strategist and it was all thanks to his battlefield savvy that nearly all of their plans worked out. He was a robust mech with a gleaming black color scheme; his left optic had been replaced recently so he bore two different shades of optical colors: blue and gold. Scars lined his forearms and his faceplates were no exception. Regardless of his intimidating looks, however, the veteran had a gentle Spark and his congenial personality seemed to bind everyone together, creating an atmosphere of familial camaraderie.
Adjoining to him, Squad Delta also had the privilege of housing Titanos and Titania, a set of twins that were anything but ordinary. Hailing from the Badlands, they were fierce fighters who grew up together on the rugged streets of their home city, pilfering from wandering merchants the necessities that they needed to remain online. One may question their choice of allegiance, but Climaxx would be the first to vouch for them and say that they were perhaps the most deserving of their place amongst the ranks.
Titania and Titanos were quite the tag team and, thanks to a non-fatal split Spark connection, their actions were more in sync than anyone else's.
Adeon and Klis were a pair of admirable soldiers that, if given the chance, probably would be able to work alongside Perceptor and Ratchet as heads of the Scientific and Medical Departments. However, Adeon preferred to be on the battlefield than stuck in a laboratory. Klis followed him wherever he went and thus, she was stuck on the battlefield with him.
Caliburst and Xenon were the youngest of the group. The femme had been the sole survivor of the bombing of Praxus and Climaxx had taken her under her wing since then; Climaxx cared very much about the femme and Silverwing went as far as saying that she was their adopted creation.
Not that Climaxx would go as far as admitting that, of course.
Xenon had a similar story; he was the creation of two bots who had been revolutionaries from the start and it was obvious that their ideals had influenced his way of thinking. He believed strongly in the abolition of the caste system but yet he abhorred the formats in which the Decepticons had gone about doing so. When his creators joined the Decepticons and Xenon had turned his back on them and gone with the Autobots. It wasn't a particularly easy decision to make but for Xenon it had been the right one and that was what really mattered to him.
Climaxx could feel her Spark swell with pride when she cast a sweeping glance over her comrades. They always performed admirably and she couldn't help but smile whenever her squad was complimented more than that of Euroscope and Jumpdrive, who both belonged to Squad Theta, a special operations corp lead by the enigmatic Revo.
Titania glanced up from the conversation she was having with her brother and she raised an optic ridge in question, "Is there anything we can do to help?" We, of course, referred to her and her brother. Those two never really thought of themselves as separate individuals and it was visible in that fact that they always used plural nouns whenever they spoke.
Shaking her head, Climaxx replied, "I'm afraid not, Titania. The rest of us have no choice but to wait until Xenon and Caliburst report in."
Titanos let out a dreary sigh and looked up, his expression irked. "So what you're saying is that we left the fate of Polyhex, which is tentatively hanging in the balance as it already is, in the servos of two inexperienced rookies who don't even know how to work together on the battlefield?"
Cronos laughed lightly at the mech's remark and Climaxx couldn't help but smile at the sarcastic comeback. "In short, yes, Titanos." She paused, "However, when you put it that way, it sounds like we're paving the way for an apocalyptic end of this war. I prefer thinking of this as a form of placing our trust in two aspiring individuals who have a glimmer of potential."
Titanos stayed silent for a few seconds, intently listening to the femme's explanation. However, when she finished, the mech shook his helm and threw his hands up in exasperation, "Great. We're doomed."
His sister punched his arm, shooting him a disapproving glare. The mech rubbed his arm and shrugged in response as if saying, Hey, it's true.
And it was partly true.
Climaxx didn't blame them for having their doubts. She felt the same way. She didn't like having to send in those two younglings, mainly because she didn't want anything to happen to them, but also because their lack of inexperience made them very unpredictable. With the war taking unprecedented turns at each battle, a bit of stability was something that everyone desperately needed. However, it was a luxury that no one would have the privilege of enjoying any time soon.
"Give the two kids a break, would you?" All optics turned to the red mech behind them who was standing guard by the door with Klis. Adeon had his arms crossed over his chassis but after he brought attention to himself, he relaxed his posture and raised his hands up in an almost pleading gesture.
"Don't forget that all of us used to be in their place, Titanos. I specifically remember you and Titania were excluded from several missions with the original Squad Delta for being way too reckless; if you two made it this far, I have little doubt that Xenon and Caliburst will have much trouble."
Klis rolled her optics at her bondmate's sarcastic retort but she remained silent, preferring to observe the twins as they pondered over how to respond.
Titania had a smirk on her faceplates but Titanos bore a grimace of annoyance. It was obvious that Adeon's remark had hit home and the prideful mech as quickly trying to conjure up a viable comeback. However, before anyone could even think of responding, their commlinks began to beep simultaneously and everyone pressed their digits to their audioreceptors, all humor leaving their facades.
Climaxx was the one to respond first.
"This is Delta-1. Status report, over."
A small length of static followed Climaxx's sentence and for a second, the femme thought she had lost communication with the two scouts. But the hadn't fully gone through her mind when a small beep was heard and Xenon's voice came through, slow and unexpectedly serene.
Climaxx couldn't really explain why but the tone of the youngling immediately caught her attention and she quickly scanned the communication channel, a strange feeling causing her vitals to twist in apprehension.
It wasn't the secure channel that everyone used to communicate. In fact, it didn't come up as Xenon's own personal communication line. It was an entirely new line that had an unidentifiable communication code.
Why the slag would Xenon call her by her name on a completely unsecured communication line? He knew better than to take such a risk; Caliburst was always the one to reprimand him for any mistakes and seeing that the femme wasn't cutting into his communication line to discipline him was quite the surprise.
Everyone was completely silent; all optics were on Climaxx, who stood frozen in place, her processor trying to come up with an answer to the vexing situation.
"Xenon." Climaxx tried to hide the surprise in her voice, "This is Climaxx. What's your current situation?"
The mech hesitated then he slowly answered, "We've disarmed the Decepticon ray shield, Climaxx. Caliburst and I are currently being pursued by a couple Con coalitions and I'm afraid we may require some backup." He paused, "I'm sending you the coordinates now. Please hurry, we don't have much time."
The line went dead and their audioreceptors went static.
Adeon and Klis exchanged puzzled glances as did Titanos and his sister. Cronus' smile disappeared from his face and his optics narrowed into slits, his gaze hardening.
Climaxx bit her lip. What the slag just happened?
Taking a deep breath, Climaxx turned to her squadron, who had all risen to their pedes, armed and ready to roll, as usual. The determination lighting up their optics made a shiver run down her spinal strut and for a second she almost forgot the strange feeling nagging at her vitals.
Cronos seemed impatient to go. "The kids need our help, Climaxx. Let's head and give it to them."
The others murmured agreement and Climaxx knew for a fact that they did not detect anything strange from the previous communication. For a second she thought about telling them about it but she knew that doing so would take up too much time and the last thing she wanted was to ignore the youngling's pleads for help.
Perhaps something was off about Xenon's call but Climaxx knew the mech had a reputation of being dramatic. His call was probably a format of getting them worked up needlessly so they would hurry up to help them.
Yes. That was probably the answer to it all.
Without stopping to think about it any further, Climaxx quickly pointed towards the exit, putting on her commanding facade. "Let's move," She replied, "Formation 47-A. It's time to win back Polyhex."
5 Megacycles later.....
Delta Commander Climaxx, this is extraction unit 47-9, coming per emergency request on your behalf. What is your current location, over?
Climaxx strained to open her optics, the very act causing her processor to explode in a frenzy of electrifying pain. The heat around her was intense and it made her internal cooling system whir erratically, causing warnings to flash across her HUD. She tried to lift herself up from the debris covered ground but it was no use.
Her entire frame was too tired to even comply.
The voice voice continued to ask for her location and Climaxx tried to speak but found that she could not. Her vocal cords were caked in dust and she had no strength to cough and expel it.
Once more, the voice buzzed in her ear but the line went static before the mech on the other line could finish her sentence. The sound of static was loud in her audioreceptors but Climaxx ignored it, too intent on trying to piece together what had occurred in the past few megacycles.
Everything was a blur. One second, they had been answering a distress call from Xenon and then the next, the entire building around them erupts into flames and the bots are all scattered. They manage to find each other again and they begin to fight....but then, Caliburst had been taken captive...and then....
What went wrong?
Climaxx tensed, suddenly recalling. There had been forewarning of an Autobot bombing....and then....
And then Climaxx had decided to go back and rescue Caliburst instead of retreating. She could recall the searing heat as the bomb shells exploded around her and then the screams of her team echoing in her audioreceptors....
Her team! Climaxx felt a jolt go through her body, as if the information were a surge of energy that pumped a bit of life and motion into her exhausted and injured limbs.
Ignoring the pain in her frame, she forced herself to prop herself up on her elbows. Her leg components screamed in protest as she slid them towards her chest in an effort to gain some proper footing from whence to lift herself up into an upright position but she did so anyway, her dental plates grinding together in response to the pain.
A small gasp escaped her as she slowly and shakily rose to her pedes and she wrapped her arms around her midsection, covering the bruised and peeling armor in hopes of keeping it in place.
Her optical sensors were glitching a bit but she was able to make out the distinct features of the landscape around her. Everywhere was littered with debris that was engulfed in smoldering flames and the smell of burning ore burned her noseplate, causing it to twitch reflexively. The femme shuttered her optics, trying to focus in on anything that might resemble her fallen comrades. Paranoia took a hold of her and every little piece of twisted metal began to look like a mangled frame, every small bolt, a broken digit, every screw, a dislocated servo.
Opening her lips, she tried to call out to them but all she could hear was the static crackling of her voice box; the sound was so horrendous that it made her cringe and she closed her mouth and instead focused on her sight instead. Her pedes trudges through the rubble, too intent on finding her comrades, she ignored the large obstructions as they nicked at her ankle struts, which caused small indentations to painfully appear along the length of her legs.
Nanokliks passed and Climaxx began to grow more and more desperate as time began to pass.
Where were they? Did they manage to escape the blast radius? Or were they all...
The voice was soft, barely audible, but Climaxx could hear it as if it were distinctively next to her audioreceptor. She glanced around her wildly and caught sight of a familiar teal and yellow frame lying among the rubble a few feet away.
Klis! The name of her comrade escaped her lips, jarbled but relatively recognizable.
The femme appeared to be alright, but when Climaxx came close, she saw that the femme's entire left half was buried beneath a large concrete slab. Energon was caked around the femme's mouth and Climaxx couldn't help but stifle a gasp of utter horror.
Klis closed optic slowly opened and Climaxx limped over to her, collapsing on her knees in both exhaustion and concern.
Her medical officer smiled lightly, the only visible corner of her lips twitching upwards. "Climaxx..." Her voice was strained, like that of an amateur ventriloquist on the eve of his big debut.
Climaxx could feel tears well up in her optics once she took in the full extent of the femme's damage and she bowed her head in shame.
"Kl-s." Her voice cracked but Climaxx made an effort to talk to the injured femme. "-R. Uh-l-ght."
Klis blinked slowly, her chassis rising and falling slowere with each passing second. "Don't stress yourself, Climaxx. You'll blow out your voice box like that." There was humor in her voice and Climaxx admired her attitude in spite of the dreadful circumstance.
Climaxx shook her head, indicating that she did not care about her own injuries. They were trivial in comparison to Klis'.
Klis closed her optics briefly. "I'm fine, Climaxx. Really. My entire left half is completely crushed. I can't feel a thing."
Biting her lip, Climaxx attempted to tell the femme that she would be looking for help but the femme stopped her with a soft "No" in response to her frantic gesturing.
"This is it for me, Climaxx. Even if you went to find help, I wouldn't make it." She paused, her optic ridges furrowing, as if she were experiencing a small bout of internal pain. Once she recovered, she glanced back up at Climaxx and smiled lightly. "It's okay, though. I...I saw a pillar of green smoke in the distance somewhere. I think that the Autobots won back Polyhex. My sacrifice....was worth it."
The word left a bitter sweet taste in Climaxx's mouth and she longed to switch places with her fallen comrade. If there was anything Climaxx hated more than the war, it was seeing her comrades die in front of her. The tears began to escape her optics and they cascaded down her cheekplates, falling onto the bloody face of Klis.
Klis chuckled hoarsely, "Don't cry for me, Climaxx. I can't bear to go out like that."
Climaxx felt her fists clench. There was no need for her to go out at all. If Climaxx had chosen some different course of action, then maybe they wouldn't be in this situation. Squad Delta would be back on a transport shuttle, laughing and joking around; Klis would be back with Adeon, safe and sound.
The thought of Klis' bondmate made her vitals churn in despair. It didn't matter if the mech was dead or alive; either way, the pain would be too great. His absence would leave a gaping hole in Climaxx's Spark...and yet if he survived, she could not imagine how he would feel once he learned of his bondmate's death.
Digits suddenly snaked around her servo and Climaxx glanced down and her Spark raced upon seeing the urgency in Klis' gaze. Her breathing was rapid and her alloy was turning a deep gray. Climaxx held onto her friend's digits, as if doing so she would be able to hold onto the life that was slowly seeping out of the frame of her companion.
"Climaxx-" Klis voice was faint, "I need you to take care of Adeon...."
"He's still alive, Climaxx. I can feel his presence still lingering. You need to find him and anyone else who survived the blast. Take them away from here...and take care of them, Maxxie."
With those last words, the femme's Spark flickered once and then was gone. Climaxx couldn't recall how long she stood beside the femme, mourning her loss. Eventually, however, she rose from her resting place and scourged the area for the rest of her squad. The blows dealt to her Spark rose with each find and even she can't recall how she was able to keep on going after each one.
Caliburst and Xenon were obliterated in the blast. The had been right above the shell as it exploded and their charred remains was all that was left. Cronos suuffered a similar fate.
Titania and Titano survived along with Adeon, but the twins were shaken up more than anyone else. Titania had collapsed and Titanos was the only thing supporting her, his own optics opaque and gazing at nothing. Adeon was in ruins once he learned of the death of his bondmate and Climaxx couldn't tell him how sorry she was for their losses.
From that day on, there was no moe Squad Delta. Every bot went their seperate ways. Climaxx joined Sideswipe's special operation battalion, Adeon retired as the weapon specialist in Kalis and Titanos and Titania defected to the opposing side.
An entire squad, a collection of dreams and aspirations...decimated by an Autobot sub commander who believed that sacrifices, regardless of their morality, were ethical when done for what appeared to be a 'greater good.'