The streets of Cybertron blurred past Hot Rod as he sped through the region known simply as The Maze. His neural circuits blazing in anger.

“How dare he?!” he roared to himself, “How dare Kup treat me like some... Some stupid child?!”

In vehicle mode Hot Rod was one of the fastest Autobots, in fact he had only heard of one faster, a young bot from the other side of the planet, an appropriately named Blurr. He knew that Kup would be sending out recon bots to find him, Autobot recruits do not escape from the Iacon training camp, Ultra Magnus’ orders. Ever since Optimus Prime and the great Autobots vanished on an energy hunting mission the Autobot commander had been keeping a tight reign on the remaining few Autobots.

As Hot Rod spun round a corner he suddenly realized he was in a completely unknown part of The Maze.

“What the...?” he slammed on his breaks and transformed to his robot mode, his sidearm in hand.

“Autobotzzzzzzz...” came a hissing voice from the shadows, “Tazzzty...”

“Back off!” Hot Rod called levelling his gun at the voice, “I’m warning you!”

“Fooooood!” from the shadows leapt a skeletal metallic being, with razor like claws and swept back hors on it’s forehead.

Hot Rod spun, firing his weapon as he did, hitting the other bot and blowing away half of it’s chest.

The other bot spun with the force of the blow but still kept coming, “Won’t zzzzztop us!”

From above them all a deep metallic voice cried out, “Horsemen! Fire!”

All around Hot Rod bursts of fire hit the ground, the walls, the other bot and even Hot Rod himself!

“Hey! Whoa! Guys, watch the paint job!”

“Do not move!” the metallic voice called down as the firing ended, “You are an Autobot?”

Hot Rod looked puzzled, “Yeah, and who are you?”

“We are the Horsemen, you are free to go this time, but cross our paths again and you will be destroyed.”

Hot Rod heard a rustling above him and the shadows were gone.

A voice he knew well sounded from behind him, “Hot Rod!”

“Oh boy...”

Kup skidded to a halt behind Hot Rod, transforming as he did, “I’m putting you on report lad, running away from the compound is a court marshal offence.”

“Kup, this isn’t a safe place to be right now...”

The Autobot security officer looked at the young soldier, “What do you mean?”

Hot Rod just shook his head and pointed at the body of the skeletal being that had attacked him.

“What is that?” Kup bent over examining the body.

“I don’t know, I think it was one of the beings from legend, the Zcross.”

“No way lad, they’re a myth, not a legend.”

“Think about it Kup, the legend says that the Zcross are hunted day and night, by four Transformers, two Autobots, two Decepticons, called The Horsemen...”

“So...?” Kup prodded.

“They were here,” Hot Rod spun round on Kup, “The Horsemen were here!”

Kup looked at the young Autobot, “You’re crazy lad.”

“Airazor, we should have terminated that Autobot, he’s a danger to us now.”

“He has a destiny Slither, do you not know who he is?” the tall white and green horseman turned on his fellow.

“Should I care?” the medium sized dark coloured horseman snarled back.

“Yes, he’s Hot Rod, the Autobot who is fated to become Rodimus Prime! The Autobot leader who will lead the way till the great Optimus Prime returns, the one who will pave the way for the Autobot’s victory over the Decepticons, and the one who will spur the metamorphosis of the Autobots and Decepticons into the Maximals and Predicons! Into us!”

The two horsemen looked out the window next to them, a window that overlooked a training compound, a compound that didn’t exist... At least not yet...

The past is the greatest teacher.
- Kup