Author Archives: Crystine

Character Profile: Blast Off

Character name: Blast Off

Affiliation: Decepticon

RPG Stats:

Function: Transport
Rank: 4
Alignment: Loyal Good
Vital Points (Start) (Endurance x 10): 70

Alt mode: Combiner, space shuttle: +5
Strength: +4
Intelligence: +7
Agility/Speed: +8
Endurance: +7
Courage: +7
Skill: +7

Total Skills Points: +60

Weapons:
Ionic blaster: 10 uses available. +5
X-ray laser: 5 uses available. +10

Battle Stats:
Total Armor Class (12 + class bonus + armor bonus): 13
Attack Power (Skill + Speed): 15
Maximum (Start) Evasive Manoeuvres: 4

Class Feats (Transport):

  • Armor proficiency: +1 to Armor Class.
  • Crash and fall safely: The character does not gain damage during clash-landings and non-melee falls.
  • Resist radiation: Resistant to radiation emissions up to the equivalent of a sun’s surface.

Description:

Blast Off is a Combaticon, and combines with his fellow Combaticons to form Bruticus (right arm). Blast Off is a deep thinker as well as empath, though he does not outwardly demonstrate this easily. A complex character, he does enjoy quiet time pondering life’s great questions, though he is happiest when he can share his philosophical view points with others, particularly Onslaught, who shares similar interests. Blast Off possesses a powerful shuttle mode that makes him a formidable opponent in space.

Back Story:

Blast Off and the Combaticons first joined the Decepticons when they helped Starscream and his trine rescue Megatron from the cell block in Iacon’s Command Center, where they were also being held as prisoners. Blast Off’s early and pre-war experiences taught him that most mechs did not share his philosophy in life: to strive to live according to higher ideals. Many had proved themselves to be highly untrustworthy, and even manipulative – something which caused him to alienate himself from the populace at large. The only mechs he could completely trust were his fellow Combaticons. After joining the Decepticons, Blast Off discovered a larger circle of friends with whom he could share his deepest thoughts and feelings.

Motto:

“From above you can see the bigger picture.”

Character Profile: Brawl

Character name: Brawl

Affiliation: Decepticon

RPG Stats:

Function: Warrior
Rank: 4
Alignment: Loyal Good
Vital Points (Start) (Endurance x 10): 80

Alt mode: Combiner, tank: +5
Strength: +8
Intelligence: +6
Agility/Speed: +4
Endurance: +8
Courage: +8
Skill: +7

Total Skills Points: +60

Weapons:
Electron gun: 10 uses available. +7
Twin sonic cannon: 10 uses available. +7

Battle Stats:
Total Armor Class (12 + class bonus + armor bonus): 14
Attack Power (Skill + Speed): 11
Maximum (Start) Evasive Manoeuvres: 3

Class Feats (Warrior):

  • Weapon proficiency: Melee and Standard ranged weapons. Allows 3 attacks per round.
  • Improved armor proficiency: +2 to Armor Class.

Description:

Brawl is a Combaticon, and combines with his fellow Combaticons to form Bruticus (left leg). Brawl’s penchant for jumping into the middle of a battle without hesitation, all guns blazing, has earned him a reputation for being loud, violent and quick-tempered. His preference for blowing things up, combined with his impressive strength and his resistance to most forms of artillery, makes him a highly effective and dangerous ground assault warrior. However, among friends he is as loyal and compassionate as he is tough, and surprisingly he can also be an excellent listener.

Back Story:

Brawl and the Combaticons first joined the Decepticons when they helped Starscream and his trine rescue Megatron from the cell block in Iacon’s Command Center, where they were also being held as prisoners. Brawl’s strong physical build and battle-ready instincts have helped his fellow Combaticons fight their way out of many precarious situations, though since joining the Decepticons he has put his talents to use fighting for higher ideals.

Motto:

“I was built to be wild.”

Oooooooookaaaay… and Chapter 18 of Heroes is up! Whew. Thank you to all the readers who continue to show an interest in this story. It is far from being completed, so there’s still a lot more to happen and look forward to. At the risk of sounding cliché, if you have any comments, questions, criticisms, or words of encouragement, even if it’s just a single word, please don’t be shy to leave a review, or send me an email or private message. I welcome all honest feedback, mainly because it helps me know how the story is going and how much interest in it there is out there.

Alright, now, so what’s happening next? The next chapter of Before We Were Famous needs to be completed, so that’ll be next. Oh, and I might also add another art work on DeviantArt, and post some more stuff on my blog. What else… I’m working on a T.C.-centered one shot which I think you will find to be a little on the unusual side? Though enjoyable nonetheless, I hope. Then there’s the next episode of the Rise of the Decepticons series, as well as the beginning of a collection of ficlets based upon each Heroic Decepticon’s motto. Until then, however, I hope you enjoy Heroes: Chapter 18.

Just a heads up to let everyone know that I am in the process of going through my published stories, one by one, and updating them as needed. If you see a note at the top, something like this: *Revised 09/07/2019* it means that the story has been updated. Revisions may include:

  • Improvements in punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure (minor changes).
  • Minor changes in dialogue or descriptions, for clarity.
  • Minor story changes, for continuity.
  • All references to an Australian Decepticon base will be replaced with references to the North American mainland, or similar. I originally wanted the Decepticon base to be located in Australia, but for the reasons of reconciling continuity issues with other stories, as well as other reasons, I have now decided against this.
  • In the story Before We Were Famous, I have decided to replace the name “Windblade” with “Windspeed”. This is a major change which I was reluctant to make at first, but after giving it some thought I have decided that it will be for the best. The main reason for this change is basically to avoid any confusion with the Autobot canon character of the same name. The Windblade in this story is (or was) most definitely not the Autobot Windblade who is currently gracing our screens, but a Decepticon OC who happened to share her name. So unfortunately, she will no longer be using this name, so that there is no confusion in the minds of readers. (In a similar fashion, the character Knockout in this story is also an OC, and is not the Knockout from Prime, in case you were wondering.)

Character Profile: Vortex

Character name: Vortex

Affiliation: Decepticon

RPG Stats:

Function: Infiltrator/Warrior
Rank: 4
Alignment: Loyal Good
Vital Points (Start) (Endurance x 10): 70

Alt mode: Combiner, helicopter: +5
Strength: +7
Intelligence: +9
Agility/Speed: +5
Endurance: +7
Courage: +7
Skill: +8

Total Skills Points: +60

Weapons:
Semi-automatic glue gun: 10 uses available. +5
Cannon: 10 rounds available. +7

Battle Stats:
Total Armor Class (12 + class bonus + armor bonus): 14
Attack Power (Skill + Speed): 13
Maximum (Start) Evasive Manoeuvres: 5

Class Feats (Infiltrator):

  • Change signature: Can change sub-group signature at will (cannot have two signatures at the same time).

Class Feats (Warrior):

  • Weapon proficiency: Melee and Standard ranged weapons. Allows 3 attacks per round.
  • Improved armor proficiency: +2 to Armor Class.

Description:

Vortex is a Combaticon, and combines with his fellow Combaticons to form Bruticus (left arm). Vortex is highly intelligent and skilled in the art of interrogation, with a knack for uncovering the true motivations and mental states of his subjects. A little eccentric, yet also high-spirited, Vortex enjoys finding out what makes others tick – a very useful skill when dealing with the enemy, as he’ll often use their own weaknesses against them, and will also employ various tactics to influence them into giving up any secret. Often times, the enemy isn’t even aware of what is going on until it is too late! By the same token, he can use his special talents to help his fellow Decepticons deal with their own doubts or insecurities by revealing to them the psychological basis for their problems and then offering them pertinent advice.

Back Story:

Vortex and the Combaticons first joined the Decepticons when they helped Starscream and his trine rescue Megatron from the cell block in Iacon’s Command Center, where they were also being held as prisoners. Vortex’s willingness to experience life on the wilder side has landed him and his team mates in trouble on a number of occasions – that is, until they joined the Decepticons, where he was finally able to channel his high energy and naturally inquisitive mind into more constructive pursuits, such as helping the Decepticon cause.

Motto:

“Don’t let the enemy know you better than you know yourself.”

The “Heroic” in Heroic Decepticons Explained

Who, or what, are the Heroic Decepticons? How are the Heroic Decepticons heroic, exactly? Are they heroic in the same way that people generally consider the Autobots to be heroic? Are the alignment of the two factions reversed, and the Autobots are now evil? Does making Decepticons heroic mean that they lose that toughness that is normally associated with being a Decepticon? Finally, and perhaps most importantly: what does it mean to be a hero?

Allow me to answer each question in turn.

1. Who, or what, are the Heroic Decepticons?

Let me begin by saying that in the broadest sense, a hero is always aligned to “good” (there’s no such thing as a villainous hero, is there? Or an heroic villain, for that matter). Hence the Heroic Decepticons are “good”, though admittedly the term “Heroic” is rather cliché, in that it is only a very general description of who or what the Decepticons are, and is used primarily to distinguish them from the canonical Decepticons.

The kind of heroism I’m really talking about here is the truest kind of heroism.

The entire basis for the Decepticon cause – it’s whole reason for being – is integrity and honour, and thus it must always exemplify the highest values possible, whether expressed through an individual’s or through the group’s thoughts, words or deeds. This is where their alignment of “good” really comes in. It’s all about embodying personal integrity, which in turn translates to an inner heroism – and that’s really what the Heroic Decepticons are all about – something that is virtually non-existent in the canon – but which is the primary reason for the creation of the Heroic Decepticons. Other than this issue of integrity, everything else about the Heroic Decepticons is as near to G1 canon as possible (though it may also include elements from any other continuity).

2. How are the Heroic Decepticons heroic, exactly?

Other than the character traits I pointed out above – those of integrity and honour – the Heroic Decepticons are heroic in a few different ways. For example, they genuinely care for one another, are completely loyal and show a deep level of trust – not only to one another but also to their cause. Also, whether individually or as a group, their purpose is always based upon the highest values. Oh, and yes, sometimes they do the “hero” thing and save those in need, but it’s never a contrived thing. In essence, the Heroic Decepticons demonstrate their heroism through who they naturally are, and through their leadership, which in turn dictates what they do, rather than the other way around – performing acts of heroism in order to prove to everyone else (or themselves) of their goodness and then revelling in the acclaim (not specifically looking at the Autobots here or anything…).

3. Are they heroic in the same way that people generally consider the Autobots to be heroic?

Well, in all honesty… no, not really. But again, refer to the points above; it’s not so much that they can’t or won’t do what the Autobots do (being the “good guys”), it’s more that they don’t like to be typecast in that way. Again, it’s all about being true to who they are – that thing called integrity – and sharing their truth with others of the same ilk, rather than fitting into a limiting mould that pigeon-holes them into the “perfect super heroes, defenders of the weak”.

Because after all, those kinds of heroes need victims to exist in order to play the hero – one can’t exist without the other. They also tend to have an air of superiority about them (this is very true about the Autobots, have you ever noticed?), while some even need to be praised or even worshipped to feel good about themselves. The Decepticons are definitely not this type of heroes.

4. Are the alignment of the two factions reversed, and the Autobots are now evil?

No. Compared to canon, the Decepticons’ alignment is flipped from evil to good, however only those canonical elements that are necessary to achieve this have been altered for the Heroic Decepticons multiverse and nothing more, which means that the Autobots’ alignment remains unchanged. It’s not a mirror verse, or Shattered Glass.

5. Does making Decepticons heroic mean that they lose that toughness that is normally associated with being a Decepticon?

Nope. I’ve purposely made sure that the characters retain their distinct Decepticon “bad boy” appeal. In other words, they haven’t become Autobots – and never will be.

6. Finally, and perhaps most importantly: what does it mean to be a hero?

This is a question that really needs to be appreciated beyond the scope of the Heroic Decepticons, but I have touched upon a bit of it already. A hero, to most people, is a personal saviour, or someone they admire or look up to (but at the same time see them as better than). However, a true hero, in my view, is not so much someone who saves others in an external sense, but someone who is able to show others, usually through example, that the real hero is the strength and courage found within ourselves, and not in others. The best way to do this is to have integrity. Only by having integrity in oneself, to be able to exemplify strength and leadership rather than victim-ness, is one able to help others realize those same virtues in themselves – the truth of who they really are – rather than highlighting their weaknesses by “saving” them.

But I think more importantly, the mark of a true hero is one who possesses the courage to see the truth, and act accordingly. This is never an easy task because of the ease in which one can be deceived, but also because those who actually do manage to see past all the convincing lies and brainwashing to get to the truth are invariably always vilified, persecuted or attacked in some way. Yet they will always stand up for truth, even when it means having to do so in the midst of adversity, or at the risk of suffering. This is the true meaning of “Heroic” in “Heroic Decepticons”.

Heroic Decepticon Starscream

One of the most blatantly abused and often misrepresented characters in the entirety of the Transformers fandom is Starscream (second is Megatron, but I will discuss him in a separate blog post). In the canon, Starscream is never anything but treacherous, arrogant, manipulative, selfish, egotistical, self-centered, you get the picture. So how can he be anything else? Well, he can be, and is. Allow me to introduce you to Heroic Decepticon Starscream.

So who is Starscream? Well, he is certainly ambitious, yes. But is he a traitor? No, absolutely not. Is he arrogant, egotistical and self-centered? Again, no, although he is passionate, strong-willed, up front, and stands up for what he believes in. Most people (or mechs) probably could not tolerate his straightforward, don’t-care-what-you-think attitude, and may even find him abrasive or intimidating. But that is precisely the reason why he is Air Commander, and second-in-command of the Decepticons. I want to be absolutely clear here; he’s no pansy, and he is definitely no weakling. He does not tolerate victim-ness, or cowardice, or abuse. He is quite the opposite, in fact, to the way that canon portrays him, or most fan fiction writes him.

Starscream is a magnanimous character. He is one of those truly great characters, who possesses a larger-than-life persona and a very strong personality. Intelligent, skilled, fast – yes, he’s all those things, too – but there is also a strong sense of royalness about him, both in a spiritual and a symbolic sense (remember the coronation – you think that’s just a coincidence?). And I think that is the real reason why he’s such a controversial character who finds himself perpetually in the spotlight (and either much adored or much despised). He can’t help but reappear again and again and again, no matter how many times the official authors or the fandom attempts to kill him off for good or permanently replace him (immortal spark – another coincidence?). They can’t get rid of him that easily – he’s simply too strong and has too much of an impact.

What about the relationship between Starscream and the rest of the Decepticons, in particular Megatron? Well, again, I don’t agree with the canon. Watching the early G1 cartoon episodes, it’s blatantly obvious to me that the attempt to portray Starscream and Megatron in a constant power play against one other just feels very contrived. The spoken lines and motives presented in those early episodes in which they endeavour to establish rivalry between the two just feels forced and unnatural. But it’s difficult to suggest the true nature of their relationship without first delving into Megatron’s character as well, so for now I’ll just say that as Heroic Decepticons, no such rivalrous relationship exists. Instead, we have two very different, yet two very powerful characters in their own right coming together in a common cause that forms the basis of an extremely strong and loyal bond of friendship between them. Prequel: Origins in the Rise of the Decepticons series delves into their individual  backgrounds a little bit and shows how the two of them both played an equally important role in bringing about the rise of the new Decepticon faction, out of necessity as well as a mutual desire to conquer their enemies and assert their fundamental freedoms as Cybertronians. Here, Megatron is Starscream’s long-time mentor, but is also a most loyal and trustworthy friend who is willing to do whatever it takes to assure the ambitious seeker’s safety and well-being. Very different to the canon, I know, but I feel that a friendship built upon loyalty and trust is a far better representation of the true nature of their relationship.

Another manufactured aspect of Starscream’s character that the official material loves to repeatedly present to us is that he is incompetent. In almost every episode he appears in, he fails in one way or another, or is the one who chooses to work against Megatron or the other Decepticons, or indulges in some selfish plot or another which ultimately backfires. In fan fiction, his portrayal tends to be even worse, because in fan fiction his incompetence is allowed to extend into personal relationships and all sorts of other (questionable) grey areas that are never touched upon in the official stories. I struggle to find a story that depicts him as the strong, competent and highly intelligent Decepticon Air Commander that he actually is.

Starscream’s natural leadership and stubborn determination are exemplified in Trouble in Paradise, where he plays a crucial role in helping the Decepticons earn the Paridisians’ trust. In most Heroic Decepticon stories that Starscream has starred in, he has been cast in a leading role, or is an important part of the story. Even in Heroes, his personality can’t be diminished nor can his spirit be dampened, no matter the situation he finds himself in or the trials he must go through. But nowhere are these character traits more highlighted than in Last Mech Standing, a fast-paced psychological thriller in which Starscream is forced to deal with a situation that requires all of his courage, skill and heroism if he is to save himself and his friend from certain death.

His relationship with the other Decepticons, particularly his trine mates, is another point that leaves a bad taste for me when it comes to his public portrayal. It is the basis of one of the major differences between the canon character and the Heroic Decepticon Starscream: the issue of loyalty. Starscream is completely loyal, not only to the Decepticon cause but also to his Decepticon companions. He would never dream of usurping Megatron, or betraying his wing mates. Thundercracker and Skywarp are not just fellow seekers, they are like brothers to him.

And what about that thing with Skyfire that many fans can’t seem to lay to rest. Once again, however, we can thank canon for encouraging the ridiculous notion that Starscream has some sort of intimate relationship with, or deep feelings for, Skyfire. It’s just a terrible idea that doesn’t really make sense. In the Heroic Decepticons main timeline, Skyfire does appear as a fellow scientist who worked at the same research facility that Starscream did, and yes they were even amicable towards one another. Eventually, however, after many vorns pass and countless battles are fought on many fronts, Skyfire is just another Autobot who is wary of all Decepticons by the time they arrive on Earth with the rest of the Ark crew (unlike canon, he is not found trapped under the ice after eons), and for him Starscream is no exception (as hinted at in Last Stop Station).

In terms of his physical appearance, Heroic Decepticon Starscream is identical to the G1 version. I hope to come up with some art work that I can post here at a later date.