Howdy All! First time I've published in the writers forum. Hopefully, it's not too disappointing for you. I intend this to be an ongoing story with small episodic updates. It should tie into something else that I'm doing eventually. Hope you feel like its worth reading. Shades of Darkness New Beginnings In the darkness, I awaken. There is a small ‘thing’ bustling about me. It makes strange vibrations that flow across, and into my-- head. It is a bizarre sensation. Then I realize that I am making similar vibrations. What is called a—howl(?) escapes me. How odd it is to communicate externally rather than mentally. It is quite slow, and cumbersome. “Mistress –“ “Do NoT SaY mY nAmE--- iMp.” The sound of my own voice shocks(?) me. nEvEr SaY iT hErE!” I slam the bothersome worm aside, and try to gain my cognizance. So many voices in my—head. I seem to be lieing down(?). The worm has regained his footing, and actually tries to re-approach me. The audacity! “Mistress, I did not mean to defile you with my touch, but it was necessary.” “WhAt Do YoU MeAn, ‘DeFiLe Me?’” I feel what is called distress(?). Then a revulsion that this creature would even place a digit on me. “WhAt HaVe YoU dOnE?!” His voice sounds panicked(?). “I—you materialized from the Astral Plane too close to a star in this plane of existence. Your body was—horribly disfigured, and I was-- forced to do what I did. You-- are much smaller than you once were. There was just so much damage-- It took a very long time to revive you-- I am so sorry! Please forgive my inability!” My hand(?) closes on the now not seemingly so small creature, and grasps his mid-section tightly. “Please Mistress! I did my best! Ahhhhhh!!!!!” --------------------------- In the lowlands of Cybertron (Dregathon City-District) “Where am I going?” Ha! Now I’m talking to myself. There was so much elation when I first escaped from Shockwave’s lab. Now… “I’m nowhere.” “Watch it mech! I have errands to attend to for the Decepticon High Council! Get out of my way!” The larger Decepticon shoulders me into the wall next to the sidewalk. I suppress the urge to level the ‘mech’. Not knowing where my next drop of energon is coming from has made me cautious. I watch as he quickly tromps off with a sneer, and a streamer of laughter taunts my audio receptors. Then something very odd happens. Two smaller Decepticons jump him. I’ve got to hand it to them. Even with tag-teaming, the larger Decepticon would seem to be way out of their league. Maybe a little cooperation on my part will net me at least with some info on fuel. Plus…. THAT CON HAS IT COMING TO HIM! The large Decepticon has one of them (a blue cat-like creature) pinned down with his heal. The other is darting around blasting at him while in some sort of avian mode. I approach from behind, and thump the back of the larger Con’s head. He swivels around in time for me to see some recognition in his optics before I clock his sorry tin can of a head. He stumbles off the cat-con, who then blasts him in the chest with a surprisingly powerful missile. She then enacts some sort of suppression field over him as he topples. The cat-con turns on me, and growls. The bird perches itself on some nearby wreckage, and stares. There is a bizarre vocal exchange between the two of them. The bird then hovers toward me, transforms into some sort of data cartridge, and lands at my feet. The cat-con growls, then looks at the cartridge, then at me. “What?” I ask. The cat seems to loose patience, and without warning leaps at me. She claws my shoulder before I have a chance to respond. My chest pops open. She transformers into a similar looking data cartridge, and inserts herself inside. My chest shuts, and I feel a strange surge of data. Needless to say, this is pretty freaky, but then something even weirder happens. The cartridge on the ground transforms back into a bird, and starts talking. “Maybe this guy isn’t as smart as he looks Feedback. He doesn’t even know how to operate himself!” “I don’t understand. What?—“ My confusion would be embarrassing, if I weren’t so thrown off kilter by being invaded internally. The cat’s voice resonates from my chest, “I have downloaded the security encryption that allows you to decode what we are saying. You should feel privileged. Not just anyone can communicate with those of the Cobalt Sentry Secret Police. We are a highly select group. Okay, eject me.” “But—,” I exclaim, still confused. “You have been given an order,” squawked the bird. “I don’t know who you are, which is odd in and of itself, but you would do well to do what we say, when we say.” I push the same button on my shoulder that the cat-con had pushed. She flies out, and transforms to her previous form. She then takes on an interrogative tone. “I’ll only ask this once. Who are you, and why have you supposedly assisted us?” “I-- I believe my name is—Soundblaster.” The bird breaks in, “He ‘believes’ he is… Other than coloration, this Con looks strikingly like the Decepticon Communicator Soundwave. The one under Megatron’s command. Although, this Con’s circuitry looks slightly more advanced.” The bird’s voice then takes on a more suspicious tone, “I’ve never heard of a Soundblaster. I’ve made a point of memorizing everyone who should be in this sector. Where were you manufactured? Be quick!” Agitation begins to creep into my voice, “Why should I tell you anything? I’ve assisted you with—whoever this rusting carcass is. That should count for something.” “I don’t like your tone ‘Soundblaster’,” the bird said in his own condescending, and grating voice. The cat-con cut in, “Enough! We really don’t have time for idle chatter. Is payment what you want Soundblaster? Perhaps fuel? We can offer such amenities, but trust is another matter entirely. One deed is hardly enough…. However-,” frustration edges her voice. “With the death of our courier, our mission stands to be compromised, and the penalty for failure will surely mean our deaths… You are a fellow Decepticon. Though I don’t know your caliber, and have yet to see your metal tested, I offer you a post with us if you will continue to assist in our mission.” Chargoyle cuts in, “You can’t mean to use this low-life street dweller! How can someone be trusted we just met?” The cat-con spat back, “We have been compromised! If you have a better idea other than having our rivets ripped from their sockets, I’m open to suggestions!” The bird fell silent at this in introspection with an unreadable look. The cat-con continued, “Now, your name is Soundblaster. I am Feedback. The pluckish bird, here, is Chargoyle. We can get you out of here- if you wish, and get you fuel. We are-- grateful for your assistance, and… ask that you join us in our mission. Do you accept?” This last is said, in such a way that I can tell Feedback’s level of pride is being lowered. I ponder the situation for the moment. Though risky, opportunity seems to have knocked. “I will be your new courier, but under condition.” “Ha! What’s that?” squawked the bird. I turn on the bird, “I will not be ordered around like some errand Autobot.” With a more level glance, I include Feedback, “Even though I know little of your mission as yet, I will be your equal partner, and subject to my share of whatever reward there is.” “Is that it?” mocked Chargoyle. “No!” I said emphatically. “I want music!” Feedback smirked. “I think that can be arranged. But first—the interrogation.” I almost had forgotten about the Decepticon we tackled moments ago. With a gleam in her eye Feedback partially opens the suppression field holding the chump-con. Chargoyle chuckles, and I begin to serve my new function (as long as it gets me out of this place).