‘How did I end up here?’ Thinks a Blue and Black Autobot as he makes his way through the streets of the technological world of Cybertron. The War was winding down now that Supreme Commander Ultra Magnus had launched the Allspark into the depths of Space. Not that this mech was involved in that at all; he had flunked out of the academy due to an over reliance on mods to make up for his shortcomings. Those stupid instructors just never understood; The Decepticons were superior in every way, so winning meant taking every possible advantage; Heavier armor, bigger weapons, neural upgrades for aiming… All would make any Autobot warrior a better match, and he knew it. He would have graduated too, if his best friend Nightbeat hadn’t ratted him out. ‘I’m just concerned for you.’ He said. ‘Concerned my aft, he was jealous, and worried that his little sister would get involved.’ Tracks thinks bitterly to himself as he continues through the streets of Kaon. “Yo, Tracks! You finally gonna buy some of this Nuke off me, or just gonna grumble by as usual?” The voice breaking Tracks out of train of though. He glares over to the pair of slacker Autobots; one is tall and lanky; mostly red and orange with black stripe going down his chest. The other was shorter and on the bulky side; mostly an Aqua green with some teal. The voice belong to Rod, he preferred being called ‘Hot Rod’ to impress the chicks while Dealing and his occasional dances but Tracks was never one to stroke that waste of metal’s ego. His partner was known Kup; at least that’s what Rod always called him as Kup was apparently mute, or if he wasn’t Tracks has never heard him talk. “Would you two find some place else to peddle that slag?” Tracks growls softly trying to ignore the pair. “Heh, get a load of this poser, Kup. This modhead flunks out of the academy, and thinks he can tell us where we can and can’t go. Now all he’s good for is to protect the places no one gives a slag about.” Hot Rod says with a cruel laugh, Kup crosses his arms and glares as Tracks shaking his head as if ashamed of him. “At least I got a job. All you do is try to get people to buy that Nucleon hoping to rake in the credits, yet your still doing nothing with your lives. If you guys had any money you wouldn’t be hanging around in these slums either.” Tracks replies “You need to gain some slagging perspective! We only hang out in these slagholes because no one is going to call the Elite Guard on us. No one’s gonna bother if we get the losers like you messed up; because your already messed up in their eyes anyway. No one is ever gonna give any of you a real chance! So we at least try to make you guys try to forget your lives for a while with our products. Our only crime is trying to make people enjoy themselves!” Hot Rod yells as he walks over. Tracks growls and punches Hot Rod. “I’ll show messed up! I’ll mess you up big time!” He yells and states to lay into Hot Rod, having had it with the dealing Autobot. While he isn’t paying attention Kup walks over and grabs his arm. “Listen, beating him up isn’t going to solve any of you problems. My friend is right that you need some perspective; you need to stop dwelling on your past and try to make something of yourself. We have, regardless what you or anyone else thinks about us.” Kup says in a soft tone that betrays his bulk. Tracks is completely stunned at not only hearing Kup talk, but how much wiser he sounds then his friend. Tracks stands up, and just nods his head as she starts on his way again. Hot Rod stands up and spits oil before shaking his head and looking to Kup. “Come on, Lets get out of here, leave this slagging loser to his own problems. If we hurry we might be able to catch up with Beachcomber, at least he knows how to have fun.” Hot Rod says loud enough so Tracks will hear him as the pair walks off. Tracks doesn’t hear them, as Kup’s words continue to run though his processor as he makes his way to his place of employment. Vector Sigma Industries branch in this sector; It was an assembly plant that manufactured many things for the war effort; but had fallen by the wayside as bigger and more advanced factories were opened; it mostly remained in service to give bots like Tracks something to do to make them feel important. Tracks hated it with a passion, Nightbeat got him assigned here; telling him he had to pull some strings and was the best he could do. “The best you could have done, was mind your own business.” Tracks mutters to himself as he takes a seat in front of a row of monitors. “Not sure why they need anyone, not like anyone knows this place exists. I doubt even that Saboteur would even bother with this place.” Track says and props his feet up on the desk, for another long night alone, at least he could get in a Stasis nap without anyone noticing. ----- “I don’t see why Megatron is wasting my time with this assignment, but as long as he keeps providing me with top grade mods; I suppose it’s not so bad.” Says a lone poncho-wearing figure as he makes his way to the VSI branch in Kaon. “At least it’s allowed me to pick up on a few other bounties I’ve been meaning to catch up on while I’m in the area… I’m sure the new Electro Whip I picked up will be an excellent addition to my trophy shelf.” The bounty hunter Lockdown chuckles as he pats a small cylindrical device on his hip. Lockdown strolls through the front door, a panel pulling back as his favorite trophy an EMP generator slides out and into place. The place is dead inside. “I’m probably not even going to get a good challenge this time.” Lockdown sighs and opens the door to the security room, and his optics brighten. A security guard; maybe he could have a little fun after all. Until he notices the blue robot is in sleep mode. “I always knew the Elite Guard was cheap, and it seems they spared no expense choosing this guy. I’m not even gonna waste the energy on him.” Lockdown sighs as the EMP device returns to its hiding place inside his arm and exits the room, and heads further into the factory, eventually getting a bit careless as he trips an alarm camera, he quickly deploys the EMP generator and fires making the camera short circuit. Back in the Security room, the klaxon causing Tracks to snap out of sleep mode and fall out of his seat. “What?” he says as eh recovers and notices the figure on a screen before it goes out. “The Saboteur!” He says and rushes out. “Maybe I will make something out of myself. Prove myself to the guard and get promoted. Today’s gonna be my lucky day, I can feel it in my gears!” He exclaims as he transforms into a Cybertronian roadster and races through the factory. As Tracks drives through the hallways, his headlights switch from white to a pale red color; allowing him the see the large footsteps of the Saboteur. “He’s a big one, but he won’t escape me. This will defiantly show those stiffs in the Elite Guard what I’m really capable of!” It isn’t long before Tracks spots the large Bounty Hunter and quickly transforms. His hands reaches toward his legs, and tries to grasp something that isn’t there. “Blast it. They just had to take my normal weapons along with the mods, didn’t they?” He mumbles to himself, starting to realize this may be harder then he thought. “Can’t back down now…” He says and lunges at Lockdown, colliding with the larger robot and knocks him off balance as well as making Lockdown’s new trophy fall to the ground unnoticed. “What’s this?” Lockdown chuckles shaking his head as he regains his balance and looks down to the dazed Autobot. “I guess you’re not as sound a sleep as you appear kid. Too bad for you.” Lockdown laughs softly and deploys him EMP generator and fires, barely missing Tracks as he recovers enough to roll out of the way. Its then he notices a small device on the ground and lunges towards it scooping it up. “A weapon core! YES!” Tracks cheers happily, and quickly installs it in his arm; knowing anything will be useful against the larger opponent. “That’s my new trophy.” Lockdown says with a soft growl. “Looks like I’ll have to collect it again…” As Lockdown speaks his other arm shifts into a chainsaw and he lunges at the Autobot. Track ducks quickly, the Chainsaw going overhead and cutting into the wall behind him. “Come on, power up already!” Tracks says and pounds the arm he installed it; and a sudden surge rocks through him, sending him into a slight daze. His hand retracts and a long tendril slithers out before electrifying. “Whoa…” Tracks says with a pleasant smile on his face, as he twitches a bit. Had it really be that long? No matter, now he was ready to rumble! Cracking the whip once he gets Lockdowns attention. “This time your not going to get away. I’ll beat you down and then turn you into the Elite Guard!” “You don’t have the lug nuts for that Kid.” Lockdown smirks; amused that the Autobot is challenging him with one of his own trophies. “We’ll see about that bolthole!” Tracks explains and snaps the electrowhip around Lockdown’s left arm and pulls him closer. “Can’t use that chainsaw now, can you?” Tracks grins. “No, but I can still use this!” Lockdown replies and slashes with the hook on his right arm, making Tracks cry out in pain and let go. The young Autobot falling to the floor, a scar across one eye is heavily leaking lubricants. “Your going to have to do much better then that if your going to bring me in.” Lockdown chuckles and turns away from the Autobot “You just lay there, I need to finish this job, then I’ll be back for my trophy. But just to make sure you don’t go anywhere…” Lockdown says with a rather sadistic grin; he’d normally use the EMP on a bot, but this one wanted to fight so he wasn’t going to go easy on him and so he jams his Chainsaw through Track’s right leg; and another cry of pain tears through the bot’s vocal unit before walking off. Tracks gasps and struggles to his feet, grabbing a pipe on the wall to keep upright. “Stupid.” He mutters to himself, as he breaks the pipe from the wall to use it as makeshift cane. “But I’m not going to let him win…” Tracks’ small lights on the side of his helmet turn on displaying the same faint red as his headlights as he once against begins to track the bounty hunter; leaning to his left to keep presses off his injured right leg as much as possible. On his way he notices something that might give him a slight advantage: An arc-welder. “This could work…” He says, picking up the tool and starts to adapt it to work with his body “Wire it into my own power source, turn its output all the way up and…” as he finishes, a long powerful electric arc sizzles in atmosphere; Tracks has to deploy his battle mask to protect his optics from the brightness. “Nice.” He says with a grin and cuts it off. ‘That bounty hunter won’t know what hit him…’ ----- Lockdown is further into the factory; setting up several small devices when once again Lockdown finds one of his arms wrapped up in Tracks’ new electrowhip. “You are a stubborn little pest, aren’t you?” Lockdown smirks softly as he turns to look at the smaller Autobot. “I almost have to admire you tenacity. Almost, but not quite!” He says and yanks his hook arm back as she shifts his other into the chainsaw. “This time when I put you down, your going to stay down!” “Not this time!” Tracks replies as his battle mask shifts into place and his other hand is replaced by the arc-welder; the electricity cuts across Lockdown’s saw arm, causing him to cry out in pain. “You’re a very resourceful bot, you know that? Your able to find me anywhere in this large factory and you’ve stolen a weapon and adapted a tool into another. You really could go places; with a little training.” Lockdown says as he holds his wounded arm, starting to respect the nuisance; it wasn’t often that someone was able to actually injure him. “You’re only saying that because I’ve got you on the run.” Tracks replies cockily. “Don’t overestimate yourself, kid. You’re far from winning this. But I like you. You show more promise then any one else I’ve encountered that isn’t an Elite Guard member. So I’m wondering what your doing in a place like this. I bet those errors higher up don’t know what they got here. Come with me, and I’ll hone your skills.” Lockdown says as he starts to lay on a bit of charisma. “I’m here because those errors in the high command, couldn’t handle my tactics. Didn’t believe in modding one’s self to become a more credible threat. I would have graduated the academy if Nightbeat didn’t turn me in.” Tracks says bitterly “Then he has the gaul to tell me he gets me this job out in the middle of no where to help me. He’s jealous and just wants me out of the way.” “And I bet this Nightbeat is a member of the Elite Guard now isn’t he? Probably on the road to become a Prime for turning in his poor modhead friend; just more reason to come with me. They put you here to rust, to be forgotten like all the other failures. They want to pretend they’re a utopia; but they’re even more rotten then the Decepticons are. Even you can see that. So why put up with it?” Tracks pauses for a moment as he thinks about this; the arc-welder and whip retracting as his battle mask slides away. The bounty hunter’s word ringing true in the delusional Autobot’s audio receptors; But still, he was proud to be an Autobot and there were some good things about it. He is about to reject when he remembers his encounter with Hot Rod and Kup earlier. ‘No one’s gonna bother if we get the losers like you messed up; because your already messed up in their eyes anyway. No one is ever gonna give any of you a real chance!’ ‘My friend is right that you need some perspective; you need to stop dwelling on your past and try to make something of yourself.’ Here was someone that actually seemed to care, and was offering him probably the only chance he’ll ever get to show everyone what he is really capable of. Not that the Elite Guard could knock him down much further, anyway. “Alright, I’ll come with you. Better then anything I’ll ever get here.” “Wise move kid. Now I won’t have to offline ya. Help me finish setting up these devices; we can celebrate your new career move with a bang.” Lockdown says and tosses a few of the devices to Tracks. “If I’m going to be your partner, you could at least use my name; Tracks.” Tracks says as he starts to set the devices up. Lockdown gives a soft chuckle. “Never said anything about you being my partner, kid. You’re still too basic for that position. You’re going to be more of an apprentice. You continue to impress me, and we’ll see about partnership and maybe then I’ll learn your name.” Lockdown says as he finishes up. Tracks grumbles softly, but its still better then any of the alternatives. “If you’re done kid, lets go.” Lockdown calls out before transforming and driving out. “Yeah, I’m coming.” Tracks replies as he finishes up and transforms to follow Lockdown out and back to his ship. Arrives on the ship; Tracks finds himself hit with a mixture of admiration and revulsion at the sight of Lockdown’s trophy’s and mods. Lockdown walks over to one of the shelves and tosses and black box to Tracks. “Your gonna need something better then an Arc-welder in real fights, kid. That’s a nice little blaster I got for cheap off of a rather conniving arms dealer. I haven’t had the chance to use it, since I got my EMP Generator. Consider it the proof of you being my apprentice. Now lets get off this rustball, we have a nice bounty to collect on.” Lockdown says with a soft chuckle walking over to the controls. Lockdown’s ship decloaks and takes off; right as the VSI Factory blows up rather spectacularly.