XMAS (W)RAPPING

It’s Christmas! Well, almost. And here’s a little extra gift for Transformers fans from my recently dredged Dreamwave archive of unpublished tidbits. Not a lot of people know this, but in the final months of Dreamwave (not that we were aware they were the final months at the time), circa November 2004, I was asked to prepare a one-issue fill in for Dreamwave’s G1 book (issue #14 to be precise). Regular G1 writers James McDonough and Adam Patyk had stepped away from the book. (Being closer to the heart of things, Dreamwave-wise, they clearly saw the writing on the wall, so to speak, and stopped pouring work into the rapidly expanding black hole that was Dreamwave.) In the splendid isolation of this sceptered isle, I just carried on regardless. Though it was shaped to stand alone, I wanted the story to both pick up on what James and Adam has already established and tie G1 and my War Within series tighter together. The outline (it was never scripted) for ‘The Enemy Within’ (yeah, I know, but it fitted) follows. Enjoy!
***
“I got out.”

The words echo in Jetfire’s cerebellum as consciousness slowly returns. He has no sense of where he is, or how long he’s been down here, just a numbing, overpowering feeling of dread. And familiarity. There’s something here with him… and it knows him! The last he remembers… he was battling Sunstorm (in G1 #6) high above planet Earth, an explosion… and then nothing. Jetfire’s rational mind refuses to believe he’s dead. But where exactly is he?

Finally, from the thick, viscous darkness, hard edges form, shapes emerge. Slowly, with mounting horror, Jetfire realises he’s back… in the Well of All Sparks! Only he can’t be! The chamber (deep within Cybertron) was sealed eons ago (at the end of War Within — The Dark Ages). Its location was lost, like their minds couldn’t or wouldn’t retain it for any span of time. Once more, its secrets became the stuff of myth and legend. But Jetfire remembers… like it was only yesterday: the final showdown with The Fallen. The seal broke, and… that’s where Jetfire’s rational mind shut down, and events unfolded from a surreal second person perspective. He watched as from the pit a being that couldn’t exist arose — and with a gesture deconstructed The Fallen! Primus: the sentient heart of Cybertron.

Now, Jetfire stands on the edge of that same pit, staring into it. The existence of Primus and all that he/it represents flies in the face of Jetfire’s deepest held scientific convictions. He… just can’t believe. He can’t. “Which is why you will fail,” says The Fallen, materializing like some dread reaper, “And I will rise once more!” Jetfire stares awestruck as The Fallen advances. Finally though, he unfreezes, raising and firing blasters. The Fallen shrugs off the attack and strikes Jetfire, blasting him off his feet. But when Jetfire crashes back to the ground, he’s somewhere else. Surface Cybertron… but far less evolved, more streamlined, functional… and spacegoing? The stars around him are in motion, a blur. And ahead, something huge and monstrous waits.

He barely has time to flinch aside as The Fallen attacks again, but this time Jetfire is not the target. Another Transformer, some ancient ancestor (bearing a passing resemblance to Optimus Prime), meets The Fallen’s attack. They clash, explosively, and following a titanic battle the Prime-like being falls. The Fallen turns, as if noticing Jetfire for the first time… and attacks, plunging them both into a burning ruin of Cybertron… different again (much more contemporary). Autobots and Decepticons lie three deep, dead or dying, and The Fallen strides among them, finishing off any with the will or means left to fight.

Jetfire leaps to their defense, attacking The Fallen… only to find that he is fighting himself! The two Jetfires, one cast in red and white, the other in red and black, fight to a standstill, and Jetfire realises that once again it’s The Fallen he’s facing. The Fallen laughs, and suddenly they’re back in the Well of All Sparks.

There, Jetfire watches as Shockwave enters, alone. Shockwave descends into the pit, using a drill/siphon to leech energy directly from the Well. “I got out!” The Fallen says, from directly behind Jetfire, and finally Jetfire understands. Shockwave broke the seal, both on the entrance to the chamber and the Well itself. He took what he needed to pursue his cloning experiments (see: War Within — The Age of Wrath) and in doing so unbound the beast within. Sunstorm spoke of a “crusade defiled by chaos,” and Jetfire realises Sunstorm sensed that his purity of purpose was tainted by the dark essence of The Fallen, and in the end it drove him mad. And when Sunstorm was destroyed? What then?

The scene fades, and reality at last reveals itself: Jetfire finds himself entombed in the polar ice on Earth, buried deep. And he’s not alone. The Fallen is within. Within him! When Sunstorm was destroyed, the Fallen’s undying life essence found a new home — in Jetfire’s spark!

Above, the earthbound Autobots (having followed a recently activated emergency signal) arrive, preparing to dig. Jetfire tries to scream a warning, an entreaty to leave him be, to leave him buried, but of course it goes unheard. And (as the ice cracks) within, in the recesses of Jetfire’s mind, The Fallen whispers a single word. “Out!”
***

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22 Responses to XMAS (W)RAPPING

  1. Franco says:

    Epic: one issue filled with ideas for an entire saga. There is the titanic feel of the story of the Transformers, here. I mean, they are Iliad-sized characters, living for millennia and going through unimaginable amounts of events… just the attempt at imagining their life is sense shattering, and this story just provides us with this intense feeling.
    I miss The War Within so much =___=

  2. Zac says:

    Very interesting story. I really wish we could have seen how it would have played out…

  3. Collecticon says:

    ahaha he definitely did get out, but tainted the spark of Michael Bay instead!

  4. AL says:

    Hi simon, just heard you’re confirmed for Walescon in June, any chance you may bring copies of the War Wthin scripts with you? I was looking forward to the show before, now I’m over the moon!!!

  5. MistaTee says:

    Sounds like good stuff. Any ideas of where you planned to go with this, Simon? Did The Fallen somehow keep Jetfire from getting blown up? Sounds like it would have played well with the Autobots’ mistrust of Jetfire to begin with!

  6. Franco says:

    One more note: the first flashback experienced by Jetfire is connected to War Within vol 1.
    Not only for the obvious cosmic turbines re-discovered by Megatron, but also for the gigantic claw-like shape that can be seen on Cybertron surface at the beginning of issue #4.
    I suppose that this “scar” was caused by the battle against the unknown entity (Unicron, or something still to be revealed?).

  7. Liam Wolf says:

    absolutely love this, the energon write ups too, just delighted to have an inkling where the story was going! Was gutted when Dreamwave went A over T, was loving the stories. So thank you so much!

    although, and i hate to be greedy but…any chance of the same treatment for the age of wrath? oh, go on…

    thanks again though, and merry christmas!

  8. Franco says:

    Sorry, another note (with spoiler).
    After reading the outline for “Age Of Wrath” #4 (which appeared on tfw2005), I thought that Shockwave had recycled Grimlock’s Spark Core to give life to a cloned Aerospace Extrermination Squadron seeker.
    Now, “The Enemy Within” seems to suggest that Shockwave used Allspark energy to give life to his clones.
    Maybe Shockwave at first recycled Grimlock’ Spark Core and then, given the failure and “negative” resultrs of the experiment, he decided to exploit a less aggressive source of lifeforce.

  9. Damien Ghela says:

    I echo the comments made here. You’ve spent so long crafting Transformers lore that its a real shame that the opportunity has never arisen for you to bring it to the fore.

    I myself have always wanted to see Prima developed as a character. In fact I even drafted a rough synopsis for my idea of what the 13 would be.

    I’d always imagined Prima as like a Bodicia type female bot, with the compassion of Prime but the ruthlessness of Megatron. I wonder, what was your imagination of Prima?

  10. ladywreck says:

    This is simply EPIC! Thanks for this man! I really wish we had gotten this issue before Dreamwave had died! But praises to you for giving it to us now. Heaven knows we need it!!

  11. Andrew says:

    just to clarify……Jetfire’s alive, but buried under the ice. The Fallen has taken over his body and mind. The Autobots have located and are digging them out.

  12. mslack says:

    Awesome, as always. Would like to see similar treatments from McDonough and Patyk, if they had the time, as well as Age of Wrath, sir.

  13. J.Z. Belexes says:

    Holy freaking crap, this would have been the greatest thing EVER! I love The Fallen and would have absolutely LOVED seeing his mythos continued in the Dreamwave comics.

    Instead we got a watered-down generic villain whose dialogue consisted only of bad cliches a few years later.

    I am both inspired and saddened.

  14. Black Bumblebee says:

    Wow, I never even knew that you’d been tapped to return to the ongoing. Would have been so cool to see this play out. A Fallen possessed Jetfire, raking havoc across Earth. Perhaps some connection to that well that Sunstorm and Starscream find on Earth (?). Would have been good times….

    …so, when do we get you back on the ongoing G1 comic… (grin) ?

  15. Eddy P says:

    Merry Christmas, Simon. :)

  16. simon furman says:

    Be back soon with some answers and specific responses, but the moment — a very happy and healthy Xmas/holiday season to one and all!

    –Simon

  17. coptur says:

    again, again a big thanks for this would love to know where this would’ve gone.

    have a great christmas and a new year.

  18. omg… wow. (Sorry, can’t come up with anything more then a stunned response!) (A *good* kind of stunned…)

    Mr. Furman, you should take your talent and write Transformer novels too! That would be such a treasure for Fandom-kind.

    I played around with writing a comic script and I must say, writing novel-style is MUCH easier haha so you’d be a crack shot at doing that, with all of your experience as a Transformers writer.

    (Now I have to go and look up in “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves” to see if those commas were properly placed??)

    Merry Christmas!! Hopefully you and your loved ones are not trapped by the snow, seeing as how Britain is *frozen solid.* We’re on a farm in Scotland and struggling with burst pipes in the barns. Stay safe in this very unfamiliar weather ~ I’m from Alaska so I’m used to it but the Brits are not. :-((

    Here’s to spring! :-))

  19. bassbot says:

    AS ladywreck said, EPIC!!!

  20. Franco says:

    I have to say this… Simon had the Jetfire/Fallen relationship idea many years before Orci/Kurtzmann/Bay!

  21. Francesco says:

    Wow! This “immortal” Fallen trapped/infiltrated in Jetfire’s brain reminds me the beautiful story arc of UK Rodimus Vs Unicron! Once again, your Dreamwave works are(were) terrific!

    One request, if I may: is it possible to have the english translation of your comic-book “Unite for the Universe”? I bought the Takara MP Movie Starscream for this comic, but the text is only japanese ^_^

    Thanks, Mr Furman

  22. Graham says:

    It’s been amazing to read these, thanks for sharing them!

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