Anyone who has read the tech spec bios for the initial Beast Wars waves knows that the writers of these and the writers of the cartoon weren't on the same page. So while bored I decided to start a story that could fit with these tech spec bios (1996 & 1997). Like everything else I do, this will likely go unfinished. Chapter 1 He was fortunate to have such a home. It was a sentiment that had been fed to him his entire life, ever since his mother had managed to get hired on as a housekeeper and caretaker for the master of the house. It wasn't an out and out lie, Nick's life would have seemed charmed by 90 percent of the human population around the world; or at least he believed it would be. The fact was that ever since the age of mutation and the wars that followed, news from other parts of the world was in short supply. But the assumption that living on this compound, well fed, well educated, in good health and secure in knowing that he would not likely be cast out made his life far better than those of most others regardless of what portion of Earth they resided in was by no means outlandish, even now as he was stepping outside the security of the estate's electified perimeter fence. Nick Cavidge had been brought up to be a respectful and well-mannered young man by his mother, and would likely have been grateful to the man who had taken them in had he not firmly believed that this man played a large part in the current status of the planet. Like virtually everything else in the world during the 30's, all global interconnected information webs had been destroyed; just one of several calamities that defined the period, a period which initiated the downward spiral that the planet had been in ever since. So a great deal of the world's history was inaccessible to anyone who did not have access to this history in written form; and after the wars, there wasn't much of that left either. But there were those at the compound who claimed to know the history of the old man, the true history and not just the tales depicting him as Earth's savior. The man had always been a scientific prodigy, though the story didn't really start until about eleven decades ago, when he was already in his fifties. The planet was besieged by an alien war waged between different factions of giant robotic lifeforms capable of altering their shape to mimic objects common to the planet. According to the stories, the master of the house had entered into a pact with the more aggressive of the alien factions to provide them with new technology. The details are sketchy, but the belief is that in return he expected dominion of Earth. Whether overcome by conscience or the belief that he himself would be betrayed, the master turned on the aliens. He was crippled in the process, and was coupled for the first time with cybernetic enhancements. It was the start of a series of couplings over the decades that has allowed him to more than double the life expectancy of men of his generation, and more than triple the current life span. It would be more than another two decades before he would unleash his vengeance upon these alien combatants. This vengeace took the form of a tecno-biological virus that brought these aliens low and left them at our mercy, both the aggressors and those that claimed to be our defenders. Most of the aliens managed to escape the planet back to their own world, though according to the stories, many of them were captured by the governments of the world. The stigma of traitor was immediately forgotten as the world embraced its new hero. According to the tales, it was during this post alien warfare age that the seeds of chaos were either being planted or coming into bloom. The toxins that mankind had been spewing into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution had been causing environmental changes that were coming to a head. Scientists and religious leaders had slowly been reversing their levels of power and respect, which had led to a much needed balance for decades, but by the mid 20's many scientists felt they could do no wrong, and that since the world had been rescued by a scientist, they deserved a wide berth when practicing what all but they saw as their religion. This godless age of science nurtured a reckless urge to breech frontiers long believed either impossible or unethical. These priests in labcoats saw the term impossible as nothing more than a challenge; the idea of ethics as something confined to fools bowing before invented dieties. These scientists quickly evolved beyond the role of priests in the temple of science and began playing god. Genetic science was wielded more indiscriminately than Zues's lightning bolt, as current animals became larger, smarter, stronger; as long extinct species returned to the earth; as entirely new species left the labs and began an existence that Mother Earth had not seen fit to give them herself. Only one thing was considered sacred; the genetic altering of humans. According to the tales, the belief at the time was that it was the scientists' commensing of such endeavors that brought it all to an end. Global warming finally went from an intense inconvenience to a biblical-level disaster. Storms ravaged the planet, water levels rose, The vast majority of the land not swallowed up by the oceans was either perpetually flooded or in a state of perpetual drought. Nick remembered seeing the tops of buildings jutting up from the center of the great sea as he and his mother had made their way here. She had told him that the submerged city had once been called Knoxville, and that her grandmother had fled it when the rivers first started spilling onto the streets. Given the horrific damage caused in such a relatively short time frame, one could reasonably assume that there would have been little the governments of the world could have done. Of course, had it not been for the Cybertronian plague mutating and attacking human computer networks, they'd have at least had a chance to do something. The techno-biological virus created by Nick's current benefactor, a virus created to save mankind, had turned on us and brought our already struggling civilizations to their knees. Vast communication networks were instantly rendered useless, people were dying in scores and not only were we unable to help them, but there was no way to alert their loved ones of their predicaments. From 2032 to 2039, the climate of the planet remained in a constant state of flux, and due to the emergence of new or previously extinct species, the ecology was as well. For the first time in countless centuries, human beings were now a prey species. But for some, this level of destruction was not enough. The United States had been the primary super-power for almost two centuries by that point, and the 'speak softly but carry a big stick' attitude that defined its foreign policy and garnered it world-wide respect in the early twentieth century had changed to 'be loud, opinionated and forceful, and brandish your big stick at anyone who glances at you sideways' by the early twenty-first century, which of course made many enemies and fostered a tremendous amount of resentment and fear among its allies. Like the rest of the world, the United States was left reeling by the attack of nature and the mutated computer virus, and its enemies scrambled to capitalized on this opportunity. Unable to launch missiles, suicide bombers detonated nuclear weapons in the hearts of several of the few surviving large American cities. Unable to conduct thorough investigations, the United States government commenced its retaliation based on assumptions and incomplete analysis, and sent teams of special forces units into the cities of its suspected enemies to plant even larger, more destructive weapons. In their defence, the American's probably guessed right about those nations that they attacked, but any chance of restoring the balance of the world was eliminated by these series of attacks. But at least the hostilities dwindled to conventional fighting, then to small arms skirmishes, and as each society seemed to be swallowed up by the myriad of other problems it faced, the fighting amounst ourselves slowly came to an end. Nick had heard these tales since childhood, and considered much of it true, but some aspects, especially those regarding the master as little more than myth. But whatever the actual truth may be, Doctor Archeville was little more than a head with decaying skin attached to a network of machinery, and they had just celebrated his 165th birthday a few weeks before. And he also had little doubt that Archeville wielded a tremendous amount of influence going into the age of mutation. Whatever the case, Cavidge's gut let him know that Archeville and his ilk had made the situation infinitely worse than it needed to be. Nick passed the large Cypress tree that marked the end of the relative safety offered by the compound's snipers and the beginning of the horrors that lay awaiting him in the dark reaches of the swamp. It was here, after weeks of traveling through sweltering swamps and keeping beasts of all sorts at bay with their dwindling ammunition that Nick thought they would be killed. The guards fired warning shots into the mud just inches from their feet and demanded that they turn back. Clothing and possessions from others that had come seeking sanctuary and who had refused to leave as ordered littered the ground around them, their remains having been removed by the scavenging monsters. It had been ten years since his mother had pleaded for the guards to allow she and her seven year old son entry, and had been fortunate enough that the previous caregiver to Dr. Archeville had recently passed away. Nick looked around and noted that the those seeking a safe place to live had stopped coming, but the opportunistic beasts still sat expectantly waiting for dinner. Above him sat a pair of pterosaurs, and in the water the eyes of an alligator peered up at him. Nick raised his uzi, he wasn't expecting them to attack, but he'd be a fool not to be ready. He approached the thick brush, and gripped his katana tightly, though he left it in its sheath. He stopped. Something didn't feel right. He stared intently into the leaves, but could discern nothing. He drew his katana and slowly stretched it forward to peel the leaves away to reveal the semi-clearing he knew to be beyond, keeping the uzi positioned forward to blast anything that could be waiting for him to riddled, lifeless pulp. Nothing. The teen pressed forward, he was uncharacteristically spooked, but he needed to earn his keep. Bannister, the sadistic jerk who also happened to be chief of security, wanted a large carnivore for his wedding feast tomorrow night, and it was Nick's job to kill the beast and either carry it back, or if it was too large, fire off a flare and defend the corpse until they could get a crew there to transport it. Nick's mother had passed away three years before, but as long as he proved himself to be a proficient hunter, his place was secure. Nick pressed through the foliage and caught sight of a utahraptor on the far end of the clearing picking at the corpse of a gigantopithicus. The giant raptor glanced up and caught site of the boy, but ignored him and returned to the far larger ape at his feet. Nick however was not going to live and let live. Maintaining his grip of the katana, the boy slipped the uzi over his shoulder. That gun was for his defense, it was the elephant rifle slung across his back that was to take down tomorrow's dinner. But for the moment both firearms were out of his hands, and the reason for his uneasy feeling emerged from the bushes to his right. A deinonychus leapt from a low hanging branch of the tree to his right. Though without firearm, Nick was far from helpless, and had trained for this sort of situation since he was seven. In a single, fluid motion Nick leapt forward, away from the dinosaur's attack, and swung back at the beast, slicing the slightly smaller raptor's belly open. The deinonychus landed on its feet, but did cry out in pain as it examined its wound. But the examination was quick as it spun to face its prey. The only thing the animal tasted though were the three rounds blasting through its mouth and out the back of its head. Nick watched the smaller raptor drop before jumping to his feet and aiming the uzi at the vastly larger utahraptor. The giant beast merely grunted its annoyance before continuing with its meal; the occurance of a mid-sized ape killing a mid-sized raptor in the presence of the largest of raptors killing the largest of natural apes seemed unworthy of his attention. Nick scanned his surroundings to be sure nothing else would come jumping out at him. He had been told that at the time these creatures were cloned back into existence, the general impression was that the raptor species would be pack hunters, but that proved not to be the case. But it never hurt to be sure. Nick once again stowed the uzi, and this time managed to get the hunting rifle out, as well as tossing a flare to the ground near his foot; this would something he'd definitely need help getting back to the compound. He smiled as he got the giant beast's head in his sights. Most animals, even mutations of chronically correct animals, had an ingraned fear of humans developed over the course of hundreds of generations. But these dinosaurs merely saw a small, harmless creature standing around; a prey species that was easy to catch. They didn't have the experience to know that the most deadly predator to ever set foot on this planet was... An explosion from the nearby river sent a spray of water into the treetops, and as soon as Nick shook off the initial shock he took in the sight of a thirty-foot alligator with its jaws clamped around the neck of the utahraptor. "What the hell?" Nick exclaimed as he raised the rifle at the alligator's head. The blast of gunpowder echoed through the swamp as expected, but the metal clang that followed it a second later was a surprise to Nick. His aim had been true, he knew it. He hadn't missed a shot in years, and even if he had, there was nothing made of metal in this area anyway. The alligator released its grip of the raptor, who slumped dead on the spot. Nick couldn't believe it; animals had been mutating for six decades, so a gator twice as large as it should be wasn't that big an issue, but even a monster gator like that should have had to struggle with a utahraptor a great deal before killing it. Yet there the raptor lay, the single bite from the crocodilian leaving it almost decapitated. Nick then realized that the gator was coming at him. The boy positioned his rifle once again and fired. The shot impacted right between the eyes, yet the same loud metal clang echoed throughout the swamp. Nick tossed the rifle to the ground and hastily pulled out the uzi. The moment the small machine gun was pointing forward a spray of lead slammed into the head of the gator. The only reaction from the animal was that of laughter. Nick was stunned, with all the natural and un-natural biodiversity on the planet, the only creature to ever laugh was human. Even that half-eaten gigantopithicus didn't laugh. Nick emptied the clip into the beast and turned to run. The gator spun and whipped his tail around so that it curved and blocked the path back through the foliage that Nick had come through. The boy tossed the uzi to the ground and gripped his sword tightly in both hands. The gator righted itself, and stared up at Nick. "Relax boy, if I wanted to kill you...well, I suppose I would like to see you dead, but not yet. In fact, I might be persuaded to leave you unharmed if you assist me." "No, no this is impossible." Nick sputtered as he took a step toward the massive alligator. "As tweaked as DNA got back in the thirties, there's no way an alligator can speak, much less learn English. An ape, sure, maybe even a raccoon, but not a crocodillian. Its brain just doesn't have the potential for that sort of evolution." "I suppose I'd take offense." The alligator smiled, or at least attempted a smile. "But there's two things keeping me from doing that. First, you're right, alligators don't have anywhere near the tools for speech. Second, I'm not really an alligator." The beast lunged forward a little and snapped its teeth inches in front of the human. "But thanks to this cursed procedure I was forced to endure, I'm not entirely not-an-alligator! The DNA of this lifeform is integrated into my circuitry, and worse, it's influencing it! I'm not completely myself, so I suggest doing what I say when I say, because if I lose it, I may really lose it; and then you'd lose it. You know what I mean?" The seventeen year old was scared, but he had been dealing with fear his entire life, and had been its master since putting his mother to rest. But while brave, he still had not desire to die. "Alright, what do you want from me?" The boy calmly asked. "Your lord and master, Archeville." The gator replied. "Ah, circuitry, I get it now." Nick replied. "So, the stories are true." "Yes boy, they are." The gator snarled. "It was a techno-biological virus that needed a techno-biological treatment. But the treatment requires significant modifications, and even beyond that has certain side effects." "I see, so you want the old man to help you throw together a better cure, is that it?" "That's the primary objective, yes." "The secondary objective being the conquest of Earth, is that right?" "I grow impatient child, but I'll answer you none the less." The gator hissed. "The conquest of Earth is not the secondary objective. More like the third or fourth. But you need not concern yourself with any objectives beyond helping me achieve the first." "OK." Nick replied. "Though I don't see why you don't just go in and take him." "Do you think I didn't intend to do just that when I first arrived?" The gator snapped. "But a quick scan of the compound made it clear that storming the gates wasn't an option. It seems the good doctor has surrounded himself with sensory equipment that would notify him of the presence of my kind the moment I got within a hundred feet of him, and his systems seem to have access to caustic chemicals that have no reason to be there other than for potential suicide." "So you need me to disable these systems and wheel him on out." Nick whispered. He had come to resent the old doctor, and the confirmation of his collusion with alien invaders didn't raise his opinion of the man, but as bad as things were, being ruled by alien overlords could only be worse. "Alright, I'll go in and see what I can do." "You're not going in until I've been convinced you're on the level." The gator replied. "Alright, I know full well that if I don't do what you say you'll kill me." Nick started. "Also, I hate that withering old...thing in there, and we'd all be happy to be rid of him." "No you gooey twit, while I expect your voice to be the one that lets me know whether to believe you or not, I need some assurance that what you say is the truth." The gator replied, while behind him a black widow spider the size of a horse emerged from the trees. "Holy..., I assume that thing is with you?" Nick pointed at the spider. "She is. She will be injecting you with a chemical that will force you to tell the truth." The gator replied. "If I can count on you, I'll let you live. I may even reward you beyond that. If I can not, well, I guess I'll be leaving my fellow reptiles something to feast on." Nick nodded as he stared at the approaching arachnid, but suddenly lunged forward and down and thrust his katana into the left eye of the alligator. It penetrated about two inches before hitting something metal. "Idiot." The gator sneered as the boy wrenched his sword free, sprinted away and disappeared through the low hanging branches. "Go get him." The black widow leapt into the trees and disappeared after the human. Nick darted through the thick brush, branches scraping his face and other portions of exposed skin. He had to get back. He had to let them know, probably contact what was left of the government, and if a decent defense couldn't be formulated, maybe kill the old man himself. He had killed lots of things in his life, but never a man. Maybe he could convince himself that it wasn't killing a man, it was breaking a machine. Of course, all this planning was likely pointless as he heard something crashing through the tree limbs high above, something that was closing on him quickly. Nick burst forth through the foliage and fell as the ground gave way beneath him. He slid down through the mud until he splashed into a large puddle. He gripped his sword tightly as he heard a large splash just a few feet behind him. The boy lunged and spun blindly, though he instinctively knew he was on track to cut whatever it was in half. A slender but unweildingly rigid spider leg swatted the sword from his hands, breaking several small bones in Nick's fingers and hands. The boy stumbled back and fell, but continued scampering away. "I'd tell you to relax, but I have a feeling you'll be giving the wrong answer once the chemicals take effect. And there's no consolation prize in this game." "Back off!" Nick spat as he kicked up at the spider's head, but the strike had no effect on the black widow and left his foot terribly bruised. "Look, this won't hurt a bit." The spider said in a feminine voice. "I don't intend to start the hurting part until much later." "He said..." A gigantic light gray bat swooped out of the sky and locked onto the back of the spider, lifting her off the ground and tossing her hard against the trunk of a tree. "Back off!" Nick then watched open-mouthed as the bat descended to the ground and shifted shapes until a large blue and gray winged robot stood in front of him. "What the..." "Are you alright?" The robot asked. Nick didn't bother answering as he twisted in the mud, got to his feet and started to run, but came to a halt as a massive African lion stood in his intended path. He then felt a tremendous wind beat down on him, then it passed, then returned, a wind strong enough to kick up all material not rooted in the ground. The human looked up to see an enormous bald eagle flapping its thunderous wings to lower what appeared to be a regularly sized African elephant to the ground. "Don't fret, we're here to help." The lion said just as the ground shuddered due to the elephant landing. The boy chanced a look back at the spider, and watched as it transformed into a robot with a somewhat feminine form underneath the spider limbs. The new robot raised her wrist to her face and spoke into what appeared to be a radio of some sort. "We've got company." "So we do!" The alligator announced from the treeline above them that Nick had emerged from prior to falling. "Greetings Optimus Primal. I expected you to track me here, though not so soon." The gator then transformed into a robot as large and powerful looking as the bat-bot. This Optimus Primal, the bat-bot, drew two swords and raised them threateningly at the gator-bot. "I'll be forever on your tail until you're either in a cell or you cease functioning. I used to find the former the more appealing end, but recent years have narrowed the gap significantly." "Why, you are so much angrier and more violent than your namesake." The gator-bot observed as he drew a cannon hidden in his gator tail and fired at Optimus Primal. Primal took to the air and charged the gator-bot, deflecting shots with his swords. "And you're every bit as despicable as yours, Megatron!" Primal had almost reached his enemy, but a shot bypassed his swords and blasted him in the chest, knocking him back several dozen yards. Just as he seemed to recover another shot impacted him in the back, and he plummeted to the ground. The spider-bot began firing repeating projectiles from the end of her spider legs, as well as firing small missiles from a hand-held launcher at the other three animals. Nick dove for cover in the mud as the animals transformed. The robot formed from the elephant used cannons attached to the insides of his elephant ears to blast the area around this Megatron, while the robot formed from the eagle utilized a veritable arsenal of weapons hidden inside his wings to send the spider-bot retreating for cover. The robot formed from the lion ran out to attend to Optimus Primal. While the spider-bot ran from the superior firepower, Megatron seemed to have little difficulty enduring the elephant-bot's pounding. Megatron aimed his weapon and returned fire, blasting the hulking gray and orange robot in the chest. The shot knocked him down, but the large robot got back up and resumed fire, now aided by his winged companion. Megatron seemed to be enduring the additional firepower as well, but determined that the point of this whole mission was lost. He looked down at the mud-covered human and sneered. "We could have been great together." The robot took aim and fired. Nick expected to see his life flash before his eyes. Instead it was the blue and gray form of Optimus Primal taking the shot intended for him. The blast of the impact was almost deafening, almost as he was still able to hear Megatron laughing. "Even better! Pathetic fool, you should know that helping humans only gets you killed Primal!" The other robots were immediately above them peeling Primal away from the boy. "Optimus!" The eagle-bot called out. "Give me room Silverbolt!" The lion-bot ordered to the bird-bot. "Slag it all!" The elephant-bot growled and then glared down at Nick. "Sacrifice is great, but not for such useless, ungrateful, traitorous, pieces of..." "That's enough Ironhide!" The lion-bot called out as he began working on the wounds to Primal. "This boy wasn't even born then. Heck, we weren't even born then." "Don't give me a history lesson Prowl!" Ironhide snapped. "Or I'll be forced to remind you that we still have prisoners of war on this planet!" "And we'll get those POW's, I assure you." Prowl answered. "But the priority is keeping the Predacons from discovering a full blown cure, or retrieving their POW's." "Yeah yeah, we remember when Primal told us this...like ten minutes ago!" Silverbolt replied. "Just tell me whether he's going to live or not." "He'll live, but it'll require a major overhaul to his frame." Prowl replied. "Well, since we're rebuilding him, might I suggest enhancing the firepower that's built into his frame?" Ironhide replied. "He's got the close quarters combat stuff down, but his long-range game is pathetic." "I...I heard that." Primal muttered weakly. "Heh, I figured you'd have gone off line after the beating you took." Ironhide answered. "So, any orders before you go under for repairs?" "Ye...yes. Summon Wolfang to bring me back to the ship." Primal answered. "Return the boy to his compound and guard it against the Predacons." "What?" Ironhide roared. "You want us to protect Archeville?" "You will do as I say!" Primal struggled to get out. "Now do it!" "You've got it, Optimus." Prowl replied as Silverbolt raised his speaker to his face to summon Wolfang.