((If Silverbolt will forgive me for controlling his characters just a little bit, what i'm about to say means that Blackbolt was NOT captured by his own team. i think something interesting could be done with the fact that Blackbolt's first/best guess as to what happened to him was a betrayal by his closest teammates... especially since that guess was WRONG... at least this time.))
"Yes, indeed," says the little old lady known simply as "Gran". "Time to pay for your sins."
Gran--one of the Decepticons' Human recruits--has Blackbolt's team aboard her enormous Transtector/starship, which is called Ximus. ((Ximus resembles the starship Enterprise
, transforming similarly to Universe/Legends/Henkei/Gentei/whatever Cosmos
but with the Enterprise
's engines becoming over-the-shoulder cannons in robot mode. Ximus also has a crab mode, with the Enterprise
's engines becoming the crab's main claws/arms and the crab's legs unfurling from sections of the circumference of Enterprise
's saucer. In robot mode, the crab's legs can wrap surreptitiously along the edge of the robot's arms or flare out to serve as guns
. Note that Ximus is a Triple Changer like G1 Scorponok, with a robot mode, a beast mode (inspired by a creature with claws, many legs, and an exoskeleton), and a battle-ready, city-sized mode capable of space flight--at least, Scorponok flew while in city/base mode in "The Rebirth".))
Ximus is one of Gran's two Transtectors; at present, she is only combined with her more normal-sized Transtector, Grandma. ((About the same size as G1 Mirage in robot mode, Grandma resembles Tonka's GoBot Pathfinder
, and possesses its own secondary head/face even when Gran is absent, similarly to Energon Omega Supreme without Omega, or Armada Sideways without Crosswise or Rook. Gran combines with Grandma the way a Brain Robo combines with a Brainmaster Transtector rather than the way traditional Headmaster heads and bodies combine.)) In combined form, Gran, Grandma, and Ximus are called "Grandma Ximus". (("Grandma Ximus" is pronounced like the phrase "grand moxie muss". Ximus has her own head, like a Powermaster Transtector instead of a Headmaster Transtector, but Gran and/or Grandma can become ornamentation on Ximus's helmet. As a not-to-scale analogy, imagine if the antennae on the helmets of Cab, Hosehead, Minerva, Nightbeat, Shuta Go, and Siren could also transform like Targetmaster weapons.))
Standing next to Grandma is Grandma's Pretender shell, "Annie" (or "Granny", as it is called when Gran and/or Grandma is inside). ((Annie's appearance is based on Josie "Circuit Breaker" Beller and/or the "Star Trek: Voyager" character Seven of Nine when she was still a Borg drone. An irrelevant coincidence i found amusing: After
i named Granny/Annie, i remembered that before Seven of Nine was assimilated by the Borg, she was named Anni
ka Hansen.)) Speaking now through Annie, Gran says, "You did tell Cambreaker to bring it on... but you brought this on yourself. And now, I'm going to bring you in."
What Gran does not tell Blackbolt is that he and his minions never even flew out like they thought they did. Instead, Gran tricked them into a flying aboard Ximus, where Ximus's holodeck team created a simulation--holomatter illusions by Hound, and (when necessary) with NiteBeat7 supplying the sound effects, Windcharger using his magnetic powers to simulate the effects of gravity, inertia, and so forth, Safeguard providing heat (using Jetfire's ability) and wind (using Jetstorm's ability), and the Twins (Mudflap and Skids) providing cold (using the refrigeration systems of their combined vehicle mode, an ice cream truck)--all designed to make the planes think
they were following Slingshot's trail. Under orders from Gran, Omega Supreme (who's useless as a warrior anyway and therefore far less likely to be noticed missing than Blackbolt and company) continued on the same course Blackbolt had been taking, sending back sensor data to Ximus for the holodeck team to use as a basis for their holographic cage. The simulation showed Blackbolt and his cohorts what they would have seen, heard, felt, or otherwise detected had they actually gone where they believed they were going; whenever they responded to any such stimuli, Omega Supreme responded accordingly so that the holodeck team would receive the data necessary to continue creating an accurate illusion for the captives.
Even without Slingshot, Blackbolt's team is too valuable in combat to let them fly off on some wild gizmo chase, and Gran knows that. But if one of them does
know where Slingshot has gone--or knows how to find out--Gran wants that information... and preferably
A) before Blackbolt or any of his minions get that information,
B) without Blackbolt or any of his minions knowing she has that information, and
C) with Gran in a better position to do something with that information (via Omega Supreme) than Blackbolt or any of his minions.
Thus the holodeck trickery. But Blackbolt and his underlings have no way of knowing that they were fooled by Gran and her team. Cambreaker might discover what Gran and company have done, but from the transmissions he keeps sending asking where Blackbolt is, telling Blackbolt to get himself and his men to their stations, Gran can tell that the Decepticon leader is, at least for now, ignorant of Gran's scheme. Keeping him that way would be a simple matter of blasting the four jets unconscious, dropping the illusion in which they had been immersed, locking them up, and letting them awake in Ximus's brig thinking that Ximus followed and captured them.
Ximus's crew puts Blackbolt, Fireflight, Air Raid, and Skydive each in their own cells. Gran assigns Hound to guard Blackbolt, NiteBeat7 and Windcharger to guard Fireflight, Skids and Mudflap to guard Air Raid, and Jetstorm and Jetfire to guard Skydive. Gran, through her mental connection to Ximus, watches all of them, as well as more visibly watching Blackbolt via Grandma and Fireflight via Annie.
Gran sets Ximus a course for the Netherspite
. As Ximus approaches Cambreaker's flagship, Gran activates Grandma's communications systems. (Although Ximus has its own powerful communications array, Grandma transforms into Ximus's primary communications array, in addition to transforming into a sort of shuttle pod.) "Gran to Netherspite
," Grandma says. Looking Blackbolt straight in the optics, Grandma says, "Inform Cambreaker that I have Blackbolt and the three goons he has left in custody and under guard here aboard Ximus."