* * *
Onslaught studied his targets with an exacting patience. Poor intelligence had ruined more plans than he cared to count, and this particular idea hovered on the edge of the impossible. He suspected that if he could find the right angles into their minds, he could sway the Stunticons to his ideas, could fire their souls with the true potential of their species.
The problem was that he had no idea what was in their pretty, empty-seeming heads. They were a gestalt who barely seemed like they should be able to survive a merge with their minds intact. Two sets of polar opposites and their thuggish commander? Impossible, most engineers would have said. Could their love of violence and this pitiful dustball really tie them together so well?
He sought diligently for every file on them, but they were barely five years old. There just wasn't enough data available for him to sift, and all that there was available hinted strongly that the person recording the data lacked a key piece of understanding.
By extension, Onslaught himself lacked a key piece of understanding.
"What is missing?" He murmurred. "What am I overlooking?"
He pinged the base for the location of all on-Earth Decepticon forces and picked out the one Stunticon he thought best to approach first. Curiously enough, Breakdown was alone with Dead End, the two of them on a very small Pacific island. Hardly more than a sand bar, compared to some of the islands he had seen on this planet.
Dead End was the most intelligent of the Stunticons, by Onslaught's interpretation, but Breakdown was just behind him. Whereas Dead End was apathetic and would likely have to be brought along by his brothers to the cause, Breakdown was proactive if he was certain no one would see him being so. Or sometimes if someone would. The Lamborghini was the first to sway to his cause, and the one that would most likely react best to simple reason.
Onslaught very carefully weighed the possible consequences of simply going to examine the two Stunticons for himself. He preferred not to deal with them outside of combat situations, but that did prevent him from understanding them in a more social context.
Yes, he decided. He would go and observe them. Dead End had that very impressive combat radar, so he would have to pay his respects to them in-person instead of simply lurking nearby.
A pity. He often found the way people interacted far more enlightening if they didn't know he was around. Though, a good contrast study proved just as useful.
Before he stepped out of the room, he requested Blast Off to do a very quick fly-over so that he had some context of what they were up to.
The shuttle's answer caused his visor to flash. That was... an unexpected tidbit of information. He would have to consider how it changed his understanding of the Stunticons.
Idly, he wondered if they found it worth getting so much sand in their joints.