TFA Kaleidoscope (TFA AU Remake)

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by Emotwo, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Emotwo

    Emotwo Member

    Jan 28, 2011
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    Transformers Animated - Kaleidoscope
    AU. A retake on TFA with some characters and plotlines shuffled around. Some things are different. Some things are the same. A Repair-crew consisting of six Autobots will learn that when they stumble across the legendary AllSpark and... something else.


    Chapter 1: Transform and Roll Out, part 1

    <<Many millions of years ago, war raged between the forces of the heroic Autobots and the brutal Decepticons for control of the planet Cybertron.

    The Autobots battled valiantly in the name of honor. Their courageous exploits bringing hope and glory to a beleaguered war torn planet and inspiring countless generations of robots yet to come online.>>

    “What a load of scrap metal.” A red and white robot grunted as he walked onto the bridge of the spaceship. “Why do you waste your time with those old history-vids?”

    “Isn’t it obvious?” responded the smaller yellow robot who was seated before the monitor, feet propped up on the console. “If I want to pull my weight and kick some major skidplate in the future then it’s crucial that I learn from how you bots did it in the old days!”

    The red and white robot snorted.

    “Look around Bumblebee. The Great War ended centuries ago. Besides, those vids are nothing but sugarcoated propaganda at its finest. The real thing was far different.”

    "Then tell me, Ratchet." The yellow robot, Bumblebee, exclaimed as he turned around with his chair. "You were there, right? What were the Decepticons really like? And oh, oh! Did you ever meet one? Like, in person? Were they really as bad as everyone says they were?"

    "Sheesh, turbo down, will you? You're making my processor hurt." Ratchet groaned, rubbing his head.

    "Oh, come on, Ratchet." A pink and white female robot smiled as she walked onto the bridge. "Humor the young-bot when he's actually interested in listening to you for once."

    "Arcee! You're the one who's been acquiring all these vids for the kid, aren't you?" Ratchet accused, pointing at the femme.

    "I don't see what the harm is." Arcee replied casually, taking Ratchet's accusations with a smile. "If he's that interested in the Great War then by all means, allow him to study it."


    "Besides…" the femme continued, cutting him off. "I enjoy them too since I'm curious about the war myself." Arcee said, smiling sadly to herself.

    "Arcee…" Ratchet trailed off subdued.

    He then shook his head and brought his grumpy expression back in full force.

    "Well, while your sentiments are understandable, this brat's just interested in it for the excitement."

    "He-hee. Well that's part of being young, isn't it?" Arce giggled, not helping Ratchet's frown in the least.

    "You should just forget about it." He finally said, turning back to Bumblebee. "The Decepticons are not something anyone should want to bring up."

    "Yeah, right." Bumblebee snorted. "If you ask me, you old bots are probably blowing the whole thing out of proportion-ergh?" he went on but halted as Ratched suddenly got into his personal space, staring at him hard.

    "Trust me kid, the Decepticon were every bit as bad as you've been told and more. They were far, far worse than you could ever imagine."

    "…Seriously?" he gulped.

    "Do I look like I'm joking?" Ratched scoffed. He then finally got out of Bumblebee's face and began walking out of the bridge.

    As he made it to the doorway, he casually gestured to the windows beside Bumblebee. "Now get off your lazy can and get to work. You're needed outside."


    Turning to look at the rocky landscape outside the spaceship, Bumblebee could see a large, bulky silhouette dangling back and forth above ground, suspended by a wire extending from the figure's arm.

    "Bumblebee!" the figure grunted. "My wreaking ball's stuck again!"

    "Sheesh." Bumblebee sighed and shrugged resignedly. "Can't that guy go five nano-cycles without making a mess of things?"

    "YOU're one to talk." Ratched could be heard snorting as he left the bridge and walked down the hall.

    "Hey!" Bumblebee exclaimed indignant and followed Ratchet as Arcee's soft laughter trailed after them.


    Outside on the asteroid the Autobots' ship was docked at, two large figures were mulling about in front of a large hill of debris.

    "I don't like heights, guys!" the large, green bulky robot groaned as he dangled in mid-air.

    "Keep your calm, Bulkhead. I'll have you down in two nano-clicks." called another robot calmly.

    This one was white with green and red markings and a muscular physique. Most notably, he sported what looked like a metallic beard as well as a blue square on each side of his head that lit up whenever he talked.

    Said robot was tinkering with what seemed to look like a high-tech rifle.

    "Um, Wheeljack?" Bulkhead groaned from above. "If it's ok, I'd rather just wait for Bumblebee to get here."

    "Nonsense." Wheeljack said as he cocked the weapon. "My new pulse-rifle should be perfect to jar loose the rocks your wreaking ball's stuck to."

    "But you made that thing yourself, right?"

    "Yeeeah. And?" Wheeljack inquired, raising an eyebrow.

    "No offense man… But nine out of ten times your contraptions backfire. Badly. And I don't want to be on the wrong end of it."

    "I'll have you know, this "contraption" is perfectly safe." Wheeljack grumbled and mounted the rifle onto his shoulder. "Now, stay still. I wouldn't want to jar loose any of your limbs if I can help it."

    "Bumblebee! Heelp!"

    "Aaand, click." Wheeljack aimed and pressed the trigger.


    A birds eye view of the asteroid showed a small localized explosion taking place.


    In the middle of a small crater Wheeljack sat frizzled, more hurt in his dignity than anything else.

    "… See? Told you." Bulkhead stated from above.


    "Ok, what the heck just happened?" Ratched groaned as he and Bumblebee approached in vehicle mode.

    "Nothing. Nothing." Wheeljack muttered as he rubbed his head. "Just looks like I need to go over some of my schematics again."

    Ratchet and Bumblebee drove up to them and transformed back to robot-mode.

    "Tch. Another backfire, huh?" Ratched said and shook his head. "Most bots would've gotten a clue by now."

    "And what's THAT supposed to mean?" Wheeljack demanded, glaring.

    "I'm saying that maybe – just MAYBE – you're simply not cut out to be a science-bot." Ratchet's tone made it clear that he thought no two ways about it.

    "I'll have you know my genius took part in creating the weapon-project that helped the Autobots win the Great War!" he snarled, getting into Ratchet's face.

    "I know! I was dragged into that project myself, remember? And you "took part" in it! If you hadn't had Perceptor ironing out the messes in your wake, the projected would probably have been doomed from day one!" Ratched snarled right back.

    "Oh yeah?"


    "Sheesh. Those two never let up, do they?" Bumblebee deadpanned at the sidelines as the two older bots stood growling at each other, literally butting heads.

    "Um, guys? I'm still up here." Bulkhead half-whined from above.

    "Yeah, yeah, I hear you, buddy. Just hang on a nano-click."

    Leaping up, Bumblebee literally bounced up the hill of rocks and made his way to where Bulkhead's wreaking-ball was lodged next to a large orange pillar.

    Reaching the top of the hill, Bumblebee turned and transformed his left hand into one of his stingers. He then started blasting at the rocks surrounding the wreaking-ball.

    "Gh. Hurry, little buddy. I think I'm gonna blow a gasket." Bulkhead moaned, starting to look sick.

    "Try to hold it in a little bit longer." Bumblebee smiled as he transformed his hand back and then proceeded to kick at the rocks he'd been blasting, jarring the pieces loose.

    The reaction was bigger than he had expected though as the rocks he was standing on also started to fall apart, sending both him and Bulkhead falling down among the gravel.

    In less than seconds Bulkhead crash-landed on his back, followed shortly by Bumblebee landing on top of him. This was in turn followed by Bulkhead's wreaking-ball landing on top of him again.

    "Well…" Bumblebee wheezed as Bulkhead reached up to lift the wreaking-ball off of him "THAT could've gone better."

    "You didn't damage anything, did you?" Ratched asked as he and Wheeljack came walking up, their ire at each other gone if only for the moment.

    "Yup. As you can see, were fine and fully functional." Bumblebee replied in a chipper tone as he bounced off of Bulkhead and got to his feet.

    "That's cute, kid, but I was referring to the Space Bridge." Ratched smirked.

    "Oh. That." Bumblebee grumbled, his energy visually deflating. Turning to look up at the two orange pillars sticking out of the mountain of rocks behind them, Bumblebee summed it up. "I believe the technical term is: Hunk of giant rocks blocking Space Bridge."

    Bulkhead got to his feet and retracted the cable running from his arm to the wrecking-ball, transforming it into a hand as it retracted fully.

    "You know what I can't figure out; why would anyone want to transwarp to this spark-forsaken sector?" he said.

    "I have a better question." A new voice cut in, and suddenly the bots were forced to dodge a ninja-star, or a "shuriken" whooshing towards them. The bladed weapon sailed between the robots and imbedded itself into the rocks, causing them to crumble as it retracted and whizzed back the way it came straight into the waiting hand of its owner.

    Said owner was a sleek, black robot with yellow markings and optics that looked like fancy sunglasses.

    "If you two played such a big role in the war as you say you did," here the black robot gestured at Ratched and Wheeljack, "why are you stuck out here in nowhere on such a degrading mission like this?"

    "Prowl…" Ratchet voiced as the black robot came walking up to them.

    "Of course, I have no question to why these other two are here." Prowl commented casually.

    "Hey! What's that supposed to mean, Prowl?" Bumblebee ranted comically from the sideline.

    "Yeah, that's harsh, man." Bulkhead added.

    "Things happen…" Ratched muttered, shaking his head. "Sometimes standing up for what's right isn't taken kindly to."

    "…" Wheeljack silently nodded, agreeing.

    The three other bots blinked as silent depression seemed to hover over the two older bots. They were broken out of their reverie as a tedious beeping made itself heard.

    "Huh? What's that noise?" Bumblebee asked, looking around for the source.

    "Hm? Oh. That would be this." Wheeljack said as he realized the noise came from him. He then raised his arm as a computer-panel popped open on his forearm. "I rigged it to measure the energy levels my rifle would emit."

    "You mean that smoldering pile of debris over there?" Bulkhead said as he pointed to where the destroyed rifle lay.





    "Soo," Prowl began, "If it isn't your invention that's spiking in energy, then that would leave…"

    "EVERYONE HIT THE DECK!" Ratched shouted in alarm.

    Not a split-second later, the space bridge they were all standing in front of activated on its own accord and released a shockwave that sent everything surrounding it flying, be it boulders or Autobots.

    "I'm hitting it! Ow! I'm hitting it!" Bumblebee yelled as he tumbled across the asteroids surface.

    "Prowl!" Wheeljack called as he got his bearings just in time to sidestep an incoming boulder. "Shut it down!"

    Still airborne from the shockwave, Prowl twisted in midair and landed gracefully in a crouch before instantly leaping back the way he'd come like a spring. Twisting and turning, he wormed his way past the flying boulders and, as he got close enough, sent a single shuriken flying towards the control panel of the space bridge.

    The star hit dead-center and the space bridge powered down successfully.

    "Is everyone alright? Any injuries?" Ratched called as the chaos settled and the bots gingerly got to their feet.

    "Nope. We're a-ok." Wheeljack said as he brushed pebbles off his shoulders. "Well done, Prowl"

    "Hn." Prowl nodded, seemingly not thinking it was such a big deal.

    "Unhh. I think I hit my head." Bumblebee groaned as he was helped to his feet by Bulkhead.

    "I see. Nothing important then." Ratchet mused.


    "Ratchet! Boys! Come in! What happened out there?" Arcee could be heard over the bots' com-link.

    "Everything's fine, Arcee." Ratched responded grumbling as he touched the side of his helmet to activate his own com-link. "Just a minor hiccup with the space bridge controls… Probably due to you-know-who's track record."

    "Hm? Who's?" Wheeljack asked confused.

    "YOURS!" the other bots called in unison, annoyed.


    "Don't act innocent! Your pulse-weapon backfiring earlier got to be the thing that set off the space bridge!"

    "Whoa-whoa, hold on there, Ratchet. Ok, I admit my device may not have worked completely as it should have –"

    "That's putting it mildly."

    "Quiet, Bulkhead – But there's NO way it could have set off any outside-reactions like that. I should know. I BUILT the darn thing."

    "…" The bots were NOT reassured.


    "Well then… Just WHAT do you suggest it could have been instead?" Ratchet droned sarcastically whilst crossing his arms.

    Wheeljack assumed a thoughtful pose as he rubbed his chin.

    "Hmm. From a professional standpoint, I would guess… That thing."


    The bots turned the way Wheeljack casually pointed and started as they noticed a bright glow shine from beneath a pile of debris and rocks.

    Walking cautiously to the source, Bulkhead began to carefully clear away the rocks as the bots crowded around in a semi-circle.

    "Whoa…" Bulkhead breathed as he finally uncovered the object.

    "I can't believe it." Wheeljack whispered astonished.

    "What? What IS that thing?" Bumblebee exclaimed as he peaked around Bulkhead to get a good look.

    Before them a large orange container peaked out of the gravel shining radiantly with a blue electrical light. The Autobots gazed at it in awestruck silence until Bumblebee leaned forward to touch it.

    "Maybe we should…"

    "Leave it!" Ratched barked, causing Bumblebee's hand to jerk back. "Or better still; throw it back through the space bridge. This thing isn't meant to be found."

    "What's gotten you so spooked all of a sudden?" Prowl asked.

    Before anyone could say another word, the Autobot-symbols on their bodies started to blink as their comlink once again activated.

    "Guys! Get back to the ship this nano-sec!"

    "Whoa-whoa, Arcee, calm down! What is it?"

    "Teletran-1 has detected an unidentified spacecraft entering this sector! The energy-signature is – you're not going to believe this – the energy-signature is consistent with a Decepticon warship!"

    "What?" Ratchet exclaimed. "And now of all times! Khh! Bulkhead! Hurry and dig this thing out! We've can't leave it lying here! Arcee! We have precious cargo so you need to bring the ship to us!"

    "Roger. I'll be there immediately."

    "Whoa, Doc-bot!" Bumblebee exclaimed as Bulkhead got to work at uncovering the container completely. "Decepticons? Seriously? Weren't they defeated centuries ago?"

    "Defeated does not necessarily equal destroyed, kid." Wheeljack decided to answer. "But this is the first time they entered our territory in stellar cycles! What do you think is going on, Ratchet?"

    "I don't know, but I'm not staying to find out!" Ratchet said as he watched their ship hover close. "Now hurry and get that thing aboard the ship! Bulkhead! What's taking you?"

    Bulkhead was currently hunched over the glowing container, seemingly at loss at what to do.

    "Umm, Doc-bot? You might wanna look at this."

    "What?" Ratchet snapped as he and the others came to look. His next shout died in his throat as he saw that while Bulkhead might have digged the container out, it still wouldn't budge.

    The reason for that was because out of the gravel underneath the container, two mechanical arms stuck out keeping a death grip on its handles.

    "…Huh." Wheeljack mused. "Would you look at that."


    Minutes later, too many for Ratchet's taste, the Autobot ship's cargo hatch retracted and closed leaving the ship free to fly off.

    "What on Cybertron took you so long?" Arcee snapped as Wheeljack came running onto the bridge and sat down at the controls. "This isn't exactly the best time, you know!"

    "Sorry 'bout that, little lady. We kinda ran into complications."

    "Complications? Like what?"


    Back in the storage bay, the other Autobots grunted as they carefully propped their cargo against the wall.

    "Sheesh, what's WITH this guy?" Bumblebee said as they stood back to look at their findings.

    In front of them sat a large cybertronian – or rather, the remains of one – the glowing container on its lap as the robot's hands refused to let go of its handles.

    The container glowed with a soft blue light, creating a stark contrast with the cybertronian whose outer shell looked like it had been charcoaled and its features, its face in particular, were mangled and damaged beyond recognition.

    "He's…. he's offline, right?" Bulkhead asked unsurely.

    "Looking at the state he's in, anything else would be cruel." Prowl commented, crossing his arms thoughtfully.

    "But – But his grip on that thing wouldn't BUDGE at all. Can a dead guy really hang on like that?" Bumblebee said.

    "Oh, sure. Haven't you ever heard of post-deactivation rigidness?"

    "Ugh, I don't feel too good, guys." Bulkhead groaned, put out by the morbid conversation.

    "He's alive." Ratchet cut in.

    "What?" the three bots exclaimed, looking at the doctor examining the "body".

    "It's faint, but his spark still pulses." Ratchet explained as he got to his feet. "He's in stasis-lock though… and probably has been for a veeery long time. Just about every circuit he has is fried so I imagine that even if he were to wake up, the pain would instantly render him unconscious again."

    "Poor bot, man..." Bulkhead muttered.

    "And the container?" Prowl said, shifting the subject. "Judging by your earlier reaction – not to mention this guy's unwillingness to give up on it – I take it that it's something really important."

    "Oh, you don't know the half of it." A female voice joined in. The bots turned to see Arcee walking into the cargo bay, her optics glued to the comatose robot and the glowing container.

    "What? YOU know what it is, Arcee?" Bumblebee asked.

    "To put it this way…" Arcee began as she came up to them. "With all the war-journals you watch you surely must've heard of the AllSpark, right?"

    "Well, of course! It's the most powerful energy-source in the whole slagging universe!"

    "Not only that, but it's what gave the spark of life to all cybertronians." Prowl joined in, now personally interested.

    "Every bot knows that story." Bulkhead added.

    "Well, here's another one for you." Ratchet took over. "The only way we were able to win the Great War all those centuries ago was by keeping the AllSpark out of the Decepticons' hands.

    "So the Autobot council decided to send it through a space bridge in order to hide it in some far-flung corner of the galaxy. ..or that was the OFFICIAL story at least. Looking at our friend here I'm no longer sure that's exactly the way it went down."

    "S-so you're saying that we found the AllSpark? The real AllSpark?" Bumblebee said.

    "No. I'm saying; it found us!" Ratchet finished in a strict, ominous tone.

    "People! You might want to get to the bridge." Wheeljack's voice sounded over the ship's intercom. "The other craft is approaching and shows no signs of slowing down!"

    "..It appears it's not the only one that found us." Prowl said.


    The spaceship raced forward as the Autobots made it to their stations with Ratchet manning the largest consol in the middle of the bridge. Wheeljack and Arcee were seated on either side of him at smaller consoles, while Bumblebee, Prowl and Bulkhead's sat up front.

    Looking at the screens, the Decepticon ship's signature kept growing.

    "It's following us." Prowl reported.

    "You wanted to see some action didn't you, kid? Be careful what you wish for." Ratchet said grimly, causing a cold shiver to run down Bumblebee's body.

    "H-Hello, we're a repair-crew. Please tell me you're not actually thinking of taking on Decepticons!"

    "Not so attracting when it's staring you in the face, is it?" Prowl stated flatly, causing Bumblebee to glare lamely at him.

    "Quiet! At the very least we'll make sure to have back-up." Ratchet barked before turning to Wheeljack. "Patch me trough to Cyberton Command Headquarters!"

    "On the double." Wheeljack responded, somehow managing to give a thumbs-up between his furious typing on the console.

    "Wow." Bulkhead exclaimed as he turned to look back at Ratchet. "When you want back-up you go straight to the top."

    Ratchet managed a weak smile at the younger bot's amazement. That smile was wiped away in an instant however as he saw the face greeting him on the monitor.

    "Well, well, if it isn't old Ratchet and his band of rejects." A blue, buff robot with a gigantic chin stated, his attitude stuck-up and condescending. "Who would've thought you'd still be online after all these cycles, old bot."

    "Sentinel Prime," Ratchet began, intent on not dignifying the mocking with a response. "Put me through to Ultra Magnus. Immediately."

    "Now how could a lowly repair-crew warrant the Autobot Supreme Commander's attention?"

    "Why you stuck-up, ignorant little-" Arcee stood up angrily from her console, but halted as Ratchet's held his arm in front of her.

    "Wheeljack. Display cargo hold visual." Ratchet ordered grimly.

    Not a second later an image of the glowing Allspark container appeared on the screen as well, causing Sentinel Prime to simply balk at the sight.

    "I… I'll put you through right away." He said nervously and his image disappeared from the screen.

    Ratchet gave a reassuring nod to Arcee, and the fembot sat down, placated.

    A new image appeared on the main-screen, this time of a more regal looking dark blue robot. At the sight of him, Ratchet and his crew all stood up and saluted respectfully.

    "Ultra Magnus here, field medic Ratchet." The commander began, speaking in a calm no-nonsense tone. "We're tracking your Decepticon signal. Probably just a lost scout ship.

    "Ever since we drove them off Cybertron, the 'Cons have been wandering the periphery. They'd never be so foolish as to invade Autobot-space. Still, I'm sending out a strike force to intercept if necessary. Meantime, you and your bots just sit tight."

    "Sir." The crew responded, affirmative.

    "And make sure you don't take unneeded risks." Ultra Magnus added as an after-thought, his optics lingering at Ratchet and Wheeljack as he said this. "That is all. Ultra Magnus out."

    With that, the Supreme Commander's image disappeared from the screen and the Autobots sat back down.

    They had no time to rest however.

    "Decepticons still on our tail and closing in fast." Prowl reported from his monitor.

    "Sooo, why don't we see them?" Bumblebee asked nervously as he looked back and forth between his monitor and the bridge window.

    "Wheeljack, Arcee, set course for the nearest functional space bridge." Ratchet barked.

    "Roger." The two replied without missing a beat and began typing away.

    "Say what?" Bulkhead swivelled around in his chair. "But Ultra Magnus said to sit tight."

    "Well yeah, but Ultra Magnus is not carrying the AllSpark." Ratchet stated grimly and joined the other two in their typing.

    The younger bots stared up at their seniors in silent bewilderment before Prowl finally broke the silence.

    "… Unneeded risks, was it?" he said, exchanging looks with his peers.

    "We'll make a bee-line for the nearest space bridge and blast through whatever debris that's in our way." Ratchet said as the spaceship changed course and increased its velocity.

    Manoeuvring easily through a mild asteroid-belt, the Autobots seemed to be in the clear until a gigantic shadow suddenly rose up ahead of them.

    "Um… Doc-bot? I don't think we can blast through THAT." Bulkhead stated nervously as the Decepticon spaceship was now right in front of the Autobots, dwarfing their ship spectacularly.

    The Decepticon spaceship had a sleek, intimidating design with a large cannon mounted underneath it. Just the cannon alone was bigger than the entirety of the Autobots' ship which spoke volumes of the Decepticon ship itself.

    "I… I've never seen a Decepticon ship up close." Bulkhead breathed.

    "It-It's slagging HUGE!" Bumblebee exclaimed, slack-jawed.

    Prowl turned in his seat to face the seniors.

    "Is that a Warship?"

    "Worse." Arcee hissed as she examined the footage of the ship on her console. "It's a Command ship! I recognise the markings. It's…"

    "Megatron." Ratchet breathed in solemn realization.

    "Megatron?" Bumblebee repeated loudly. "As in the cruel and vicious Decepticon leader – who eats Autobot protoforms for breakfast?"


    Aboard the bridge of the Decepticon ship, the Nemesis, a group of shadowed figures stood gazing down on the Autobots' ship through the bridge window.

    "Megatron is a fool who's been chasing a ghost for centuries!" One of the shadows haughtily spouted, causing the other shadows to turn towards him. "I highly doubt we will find this…"AllSpark" aboard such an insignificant vessel."

    "STARSCREAM!" A larger, bulkier shadow roared as he marched up to the first speaker. "HOW DARE YOU SPEAK SUCH TREACHEROUS WORDS ABOUT OUR ESTEEMED LEADER?"

    "Indoor-voize please, Lugnut." A Decepticon with a German accent stated nonchalantly from the sidelines.


    "Oh please." Starscream spat into Lugnut's cycloptic face . "Instead of destroying the Autobots for good, all our "glorious" leader has done for stellar cycles is scavenging the universe in search of a long-lost pipedream. If I'D been in charge however, the Decepticons would actually see some RESULTS."

    "Negative." A synthetic and monotone voice butted in. "If Megatron prioritize retrieval of the AllSpark then it is 97 point 93 percent sure to be the best course of action. Your failure to see that speaks only of your inability."

    "What did you say?" Starscream exclaimed, glaring at the taller robot.

    "Summary – Megatron: superior. Starscream: inferior."

    "WHAT? You blasted heap of-!"



    "WAH!" Starscream screamed as he stepped back from the two animal-like Decepticon snarling at him. "Soundwave! Keep those filthy pets of yours on a leash, you hear?"

    "Ravage. Laserbeak. Come."



    Grunting in affirmation, the two returned to their master's side, Laserbeak nesting on Soundwave's shoulder while Ravage heeled at his side.

    "Heh-hehe. Freaking out like that just because of the darling little ones. You're truly the cut of a true leader, Starscream." A female Decepticon gestured snidely as she crouched down and began petting Ravage on the head. The feline-like robot leaned into her touch affectionately.

    "Grr." Starscream glowered.

    "But if you don't mind…" the female went on as she continued to pet Ravage, "I think I'd rather place my bet with Megatron for now."


    "And WIPE our homeland clean of the STENCH of Autobot-tyranny, etcetera, etcetera…" The femme groaned as she stood up to face the large Decepticon. "Primus! Did you memorize that speech, Lugnut? Or is it just HARDWIRED into that THICK one-track processor of yours?" she accused while gesturing to her temple.

    The next second a beam shot past her, covering her raised arm in a block of ice.

    "Az usual, Blackarachnia, your demeanour is unpleazant az that accurzed organic mode of yourz." Blitzwing, the bot with a German accent and a left eye resembling a monocle said as he stepped forward. Small shards of ice fell off the nozzles of his shoulder-cannons as they returned from vertical to an upright position.

    "Oh, blow it out your actuator, three-face." Blackarachnia deadpanned, and with a hiss flexed the ice off her arm.

    "The name is Blitzwing, inzect!" Blitzwing barked as his face literally changed into a different, angrier one with an eyeshield. "Remember it! Cause it's the lazt thing you're going to hear before I—" The face changed yet again, " my feelings in SONG."

    This third, jack-o-lantern-looking persona of Blitzwing then proceeded to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider while he danced in front of his gobsmacked fellow officers.

    Their silence didn't last long though as they all proceeded to rant at each other simultaneously, filling the bridge with an incomprehensible noise. The only odd-man-out, Soundwave, was left to shake his head in annoyance.

    The shouting-match screeched to a sudden stop however as the door to the bridge slid open and another Decepticon walked in. As the newcomer walked by the now utterly quiet and saluting officers, one could see he towered over almost all of them.

    "Soundwave, report." He ordered calmly, his eyes fixed on the Autobot-ship outside.

    "Yes, Lord Megatron." Soundwave answered respectfully. "Energy-readings are off-scale. Do we open fire?"

    "Cripple their ship, but do not destroy it. Yet."

    "As you command."

    "Yes, yes, yes! Brilliant strategy, oh wise and great leader." Starscream came up, brownnosing like a true professional.

    Megatron didn't even dignify him with a look.


    "Teletran-1, evasive maneuvers!" Arcee shouted as the Decepticon ship opened fire.

    "Awknowledged." The female voice of the ship's computer replied. The Autobots' ship narrowly avoided the first blast, but more were obviously coming.

    "Activate emergency defence systems, codename Omega!" Ratchet ordered.

    "Um, no can do, Ratchet." Wheeljack replied, scratching his cheek awkwardly. "That function has been, well, disabled."


    Ratchet immediately reached over and shook Wheeljack by the shoulders.

    "What in Primus name do you mean "disabled"?"

    "Disabled, as in deactivated. Non-available. A.."

    "I KNOW what the word means!" Ratchet snarled and began shaking him harder. "What I want to know is WHY it's deactivated, you slagging idiot!"

    "It was in compliance with Cybertron's ongoing efforts to conserve energon. It was a direct order, I couldn't help it." Wheeljack responded normally despite being shaken like a ragdoll.

    "What? Then why didn't you tell me?"

    "I thought I did!"

    "Ratchet! Wheeljack! Please get back to your consoles!" Arcee cut in, trying to break the two up.

    Staring blankly at the display, Bumblebee exchanged looks with Prowl and Bulkhead.

    "…We're all gonna die, aren't we?" he stated flatly.

    The Autobots' ship made its way along the length of the Nemesis, avoiding the lasers by a fraction each time. As it passed clear, its jets revved and it shot forward into space. The next obstacle came immediately however.

    "Warning. Asteroid field." Teletran-1 reported. "Initiating alternate route."

    "No! Override!" Arcee ordered as she sprang back to her seat.

    The ship continued forward into the asteroid field, narrowly avoiding the next laser shot from the Nemesis by using one of the larger asteroids for a shield.

    The large ship would not be deterred however and ploughed its way after them, disregarding the rocks entirely.


    On the bridge of the Nemesis, Megatron sat on a throne overlooking his officers manning their consoles.

    "I've got a match on the energy-reading." Blackarachnia stated as she looked up from her monitor. "If it's not the AllSpark, it's something just as powerful."

    "I volunteer me and my troops to deploy and breach the Autobot ship." Starscream offered greasily as he bowed in front of the Decepticon overlord.

    Megatron's fist clenched in annoyance.

    "I didn't spend the last four million stellar cycles searching the galaxy just so you could lay your greasy wings on the AllSpark." he sneered and reached out to grab the wing protruding from Starscream's back.

    "Ow-ow!" Starscream groaned pathetically as he was pulled in to face Megatron up-close.

    "I will harness its energy into the ultimate weapon, and crush the Autobots for good."

    "Y-Yes, sir! Brilliant, sir!"

    "Hnfh. Soundwave, open the gate. I will head out personally."

    "Acknowledged." The synthetic voice responded as the bot kept typing on his console.


    "… When I want your assistance, Lugnut, I will ask for it."

    "WHU-WHY YES, OF COURSE! FORGIVE MY INSOLENCE, OH GREAT AND FEARLESS LEADER." Lugnut clamoured and tossed himself on his knees, bowing in shame.


    With that, Megatron released Starscream from his grip and rose from his throne, marching off the bridge.

    "…Well, I'll just get this fixed then." Starscream muttered as he looked at the dents his wing had received from Megatron's harsh grip.


    Ploughing its way through the asteroid field, the Nemesis had caught up with the Autobots' ship and began to position itself above it.

    Meanwhile, Megatron stood waiting while one of the ship's outer ports opened before him.

    At the sound of footsteps behind him, Megatron addressed his company without turning.

    "What do you want now, Starscream."

    "Only to wish you luck, my liege." Starscream said as he patted him on the back and then bowed.

    "I do not believe in luck." Megatron sneered and transformed into an alien spacecraft as he exited the Nemesis and flew into space.

    Unbeknownst to him, a small blinking device had been attached to Megatron when Starscream had "encouragingly" patted him on the back.

    Starscream grinned sinisterly as he watched his leader fly off.

    "What a coincidence. Neither do I."



    Author's notes:

    First half of the first "episode".

    TFA Kaleidoscope will be a story loosely based on TFA's original series. While the first two chapters are basically direct quotations of the original episode, things will take on a more original turn as soon as the Autobots reach the earth.
  2. Honorbound

    Honorbound The Reclusive Semi-Lurker

    May 23, 2010
    Trophy Points:
    So far, this is looking pretty good. I like how you added Arcee to the crew - it didn't make sense that Ratchet would leave her in stasis for those millions of years. I also like how you added Wheeljack - it gives someone for Ratchet to play off of. Bumblebee's interest in the Great War adds a new dimension to him, which this incarnation could definitely use.

    There wasn't much changed with the Decepticons other than Soundwave, but Blackarachnia's interaction with Ravage hints at a more pleasant side of her nature.

    I like that you altered the story of how the Allspark wound up out there, making the offical story a coverup. I'm also willing to guess that the poor bastard clutching the Allspark is Optimus.
  3. Black Oracle

    Black Oracle Black Convoy's Dark Angel

    Jul 2, 2002
    News Credits:
    Trophy Points:
    An intriguing re-imagining of TFA here. Interesting is the inclusion of Wheeljack and Arcee in the crew and the absence of Optimus Prime. And it's good that despite some rearrangement in roles, such as Bumblebee in Prime's position watching the history vids at the beginning, you've kept characters accurate to what they were in the series. Good writing.

    I'm curious what exactly prompted this TFA retake fic idea for you? Guess I may find out in later chapters.
  4. Emotwo

    Emotwo Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Trophy Points:
    Chapter 2: Transform and Roll Out, Part 2


    Flying through the space cleared by the Nemesis, Megatron made a beeline towards the Autobots' ship, transforming back to robot-mode as came close.

    The Autobot saw the menacing figure approach on the bridge's main monitor.

    "Is that… Megatron?" Prowl breathed.

    Ratchet nodded solemnly.

    "You never said he was so big." Bulkhead stated.

    "You never said he could fly!" Bumblebee half-shouted.

    Megatron sailed past the Autobots' ship, and suddenly… he was gone.

    The Autobots sat bracing for impact, blinking in surprise when none came.

    "Huh." Bulkhead blinked. "Maybe he wasn't coming for us."

    The very next second, the bots had to hold on tightly as something impacted with the ship.

    On top of the ship stood Megatron, his Fusion Cannon projecting a continuous beam in order to melt a hole through the ship's hull.

    Looking at the ceiling of the bridge, it was apparent to the Autobots that he'd be through in just a matter of seconds.

    "Ah! Wheeljack! Seal the hull breach!" Ratchet shouted as he began giving orders.

    "Already on it." He replied, his hands a blur on the console.

    "Arcee, hold the ship steady!"

    "Roger that." The femme replied, her actions mirroring Wheeljack.

    Ratchet's console opened to reveal two handlebars as he continued to bark orders.

    "Bulkhead, Bumblebee, guard the AllSpark! I'll hold off Megatron! Prowl, be ready to back me up if needed!"

    "Roger." The ninja-bot saluted as the other two youngsters made their way towards the cargo bay.

    "B-but… We're repair-bots!" Bumblebee halted in the door leading off the bridge. "We're not programmed for this kind of action!"

    "We don't have time for reformatting you now, kid! Just consider this an upgrade!" Ratchet said and began to work with the handlebars.

    Atop the ship, two portals opened to release a huge grapple-crane each. They extended out to their full length and as Ratchet manipulated the handlebars, the cranes moved to grab Megatron, catching him off guard.

    Megatron immediately attempted to wrestle free of the grapplers hold on him. His strength was so intense that Ratchet had to use all the force he could muster just keeping the handlebars in place.

    The battle of strengths ended without warning however as the device Starscream had placed on Megatron's back began blinking fiercely and then detonated, exploding with enough force to rock the Autobots' entire ship.

    The Autobots were tossed around from the impact and the ship cringed over, a large column of smoke and debris trailing from the damaged hull.

    In between the fire and smoke, the only sign left of Megatron was his severed right hand, still clinging on to the ship by itself.


    Aboard the Nemesis, still standing at the port Megatron had exited; Starscream saw the Autobots' ship spiral downwards in a trail of smoke.

    "Yyyess!" Starscream celebrated with glee, pumping his fist.

    He quickly regained his posture however as he turned and began walking towards the bridge.

    "Right-right... Solemn face. Solemn face." He muttered to himself with poorly repressed glee.


    The Autobots' ship kept losing altitude as the smoke still ran thick off from it.

    "Warning. Warning. Hull breach. Sealing hatches Alpha, Omega and Epsilon." Teletran-1 reported as several damaged areas were sealed off with metal doors.

    On the bridge, turrets extended from the walls and began blowing foam at the ceiling to snuff out the fire caused by the explosion.

    "Warning: Planetary impact imminent." Teletran-1 reported as the ship was now on a collision-course towards one of the larger asteroids.

    Struggling to get back to his console, Ratchet barked at the computer. "Go to manual override."

    "Can you even do that?" Prowl asked from his position on the floor, raising a figurative eyebrow.

    "Oh, you'd be surprised at what this ship can do." Wheeljack groaned with pride as he was steadied on his feet by Arcee.

    A sudden jolt rocked the ship however, and the bearded scientist was sent wheeling over.

    "Ah, Wheeljack!" Arcee eeked.

    "I'm alright!" he called jovially off-screen as Arcee ran to help him again.

    A manual steering appeared on the main-console and Ratchet grabbed hold, using all his might to divert the ship's trajectory from direct collision course.

    Even still, the ship was unable to clear the asteroid completely and went skimming across its surface until it ran off its edge, flying towards a Space Bridge mounted on a lone stationary asteroid.


    In the cargo bay, Bumblebee and Bulkhead were doing their best to secure the large comatose robot (and by default, the AllSpark) to the wall.

    "Hurry, Bulkhead!" Bumblebee groaned as he secured the cables. "We've gotta finish before the next impact sends this guy flying."

    "Yeah, I know! That'd be a pain. Um... No offense, man."

    The comatose robot made no reply.

    "Um, Bumblebee. Look!"

    "What? …oh."

    The two bots backed away nervously as the AllSpark container suddenly began glowing brighter and brighter with each passing second.

    "Hey! What's that thing doing?"

    Bumblebee's question went unanswered as blue light exploded from the AllSpark, enveloping the entirety of the ship.

    Its light then shot forward through space and into the Space Bridge, activating it just in time for the Autobots' ship to enter and disappear through a sphere of dark blue energy.

    The Space Bridge continued powering up however, and within seconds it exploded from the overload, enveloping the surrounding area in a slowly expanding explosion.


    "This is a dark day in Decepticon history." Starscream spoke as he watched the explosion from the bridge of the Nemesis. "May the legacy of our fallen leader Megatron live in our memory-cores… for all eternity.

    "As I appoint myself new leader, I solemnly pledge to…"

    Starscream's speech came to a halt as he turned away from the window to address his fellow officers, only to find himself the sole occupant of the bridge.

    "Hey… Where's everybody gone?"

    At that moment, several smaller ships shot out from the stern of the Nemesis, racing away as fast as they could.

    Back on the bridge, Starscream looked back out the window and realized all too late that the explosion from the Space Bridge was still growing and was now overtaking the ship.

    Starscream could do naught but scream futilely as he and the Nemesis disappeared in a sea of light.


    In an area of Space a long, long distance away; a sphere of dark blue energy appeared and dispersed, leaving behind the Autobots' ship. It drifted onwards on its slow momentum, heading towards a blue and green planet in the distance.

    On the ship's bridge everything was a mess with plumes of smoke rising from several short-circuited consoles and the Autobots themselves strewn haphazardly.

    The first to make it to her feet was Arcee, rubbing her head in pain before she took in the situation.

    "Ratchet! Prowl! Are you alright?" she called as she went over to them.

    "Grmm. I've been better." Ratchet groaned bitterly, but softened as he was helped up by Arcee. "Thanks."

    "Yes… Thank you." Prowl mumbled softly as he was helped up as well.

    "Bulkhead! Bumblebee! Report! Is the AllSpark alright?" Ratched called as he activated the com-link on the main-console. He then looked around the bridge in bewilderment. "And where the scrapheap is Wheeljack?"

    Neither question was answered because in the next instant, a large shadow rose in the smoke behind him, sharp red eyes glowing ominously.

    "Ratchet, look out!"

    "Huh? AGH!"

    Ratchet was grabbed by the neck and thrust against a wall. As his optics regained focus, he saw a towering figure holding him with his left arm, the other arm naught but a metallic skeleton that ended at the wrist.

    "Grgl… Mega…tron." Ratchet gargled, futilely trying to pry himself lose from the overlord's iron grip.

    "The AllSpark. Where is it?" Megatron demanded sinisterly.

    "Let go of him!" Arcee shouted as she and Prowl dashed forward to assist.

    As she leaped through the air, Arcee made to grab the swords mounted in the kibbles on her back, but was cut short as Megatron swung around and knocked her out of the air by using Ratchet as a battering ram.

    "Unfh!" Arcee groaned as she crashed harshly into the floor.

    "Arcee!" Ratchet called in alarm before Megatron swung around again, this time leaping over a low attack from Prowl. Megatron quickly came down again and pinned Prowl helplessly beneath his foot.

    Ratchet could do nothing but stare in shock as Megatron had downed his allies without effort. He was then banged against another wall as Megatron once again got into his face.

    "I grow impatient." The large Decepticon threatened in a calm, sinister voice.

    "Ghk." Ratchet gurgled as Megatron grip around his neck tightened.

    The thick atmosphere was shattered as Wheeljack suddenly climbed into view from behind a console on the other side of the bridge.

    "Urgh, is everyone alright? What's the status?" he exclaimed while rubbing his head.

    He then blinked and took in the situation.

    "Oh…" he stated slowly as he saw Megatron and Ratchet staring back at him. "That bad, huh?"

    "…" Megatron and Ratchet blinked.

    "Well then… I guess it can't get any worse if I were to suddenly do this!" Wheeljack smiled and cheerfully flipped a lever on the console he was leaning over.

    "Artificial gravity disabled." Teletran-1 reported, and the next moment the robots suddenly began to float off from the floor.

    Ratchet took the opportunity to brace his back against the wall and kick Megatron in the chest, freeing himself from the overlord's grasp.

    "Good thinking, Wheeljack!" Ratchet called as he floated upwards. "This puts us on even footing, so to speak."

    "Heh-heh, well what do you know… You CAN compliment people." Wheeljack smirked as he floated, spinning lazily.

    "Don't think it'll become a habit." Ratchet snorted as he twisted around. Ratchet's feet began to crackle with electricity as he activated a magnetic field, enabling him to stick to the ceiling.

    Across the room, Megatron resumed some footing by jamming his skeletonised wrist into a small gap in the ceiling structure.

    Before anyone could make a move, the bridge door opened, allowing Bumblebee to float in. The yellow bot flailed in the air as if he was trying to swim through water.

    "Hey! Who turned off the… Oufh!" He managed before something knocked into and sent him tumbling forward.

    "Sorry. My bad." Bulkhead called from the bridge door.

    Bumblebee came to a stop as he clanged into a larger figure. He backed up slowly, finding himself looking up the imposing Decepticon overlord.

    "You know what? You're even uglier from this angle."

    Megatron sneered, non-amused, and reached onto his back to produce a double-edged sword.

    "Yow! Scarier too." Bumblebee exclaimed as he narrowly dodged the sword in his weightless state.

    As Bumblebee did his best not to get sliced into pieces, Prowl suddenly shot through the air with his jetpack, flying towards Megatron.

    "Prowl, no!" Ratchet called, unable to do anything but look on in horror as Megatron turned and sliced cleanly through Prowl's body. ..A little too cleanly in fact.

    Prowl's body instantly dissolved, revealing to have been a holographic distraction which allowed the real Prowl to sneak behind Megatron. Wielding one of his shuriken in his hand - its alternate form being a cutting-disc, or a "chakram" – Prowl slashed forward, slicing off Megatron's skeletonised arm at the shoulder.

    Electricity sparked from the amputated limb and Megatron growled in agony. Now that his "footing" had been severed, he was once again drifting weightlessly through the bridge.

    "Sweet trick, man!" Bumblebee smiled as Prowl landed next to him, crouching on the wall.

    "Hn." Prowl responded in his typical, non-committal fashion.

    "Indeed it was, but don't get cocky, people! Make sure to keep out of his reach." Ratchet called as he moved around on the ceiling.

    "I say let's do the opposite." Prowl retorted as he gripped chakrams in both hands. "We mustn't let him have a moment's respite."

    "Darn it, Prowl, he may be injured, but this is still slagging Megatron we're facing! We can't just – Kid, listen to me!"

    Ratchet's orders fell on deaf ears as Prowl was already rocketing towards Megatron again.

    Megatron blocked Prowl's charge with his sword, but the force of the clash made them both fly apart, with Megatron drifting right towards the waiting Bulkhead.

    "Hnh! I've got him!" Bulkhead called out as he grabbed around Megatron to restrain his arms and body.

    Prowl on his end landed expectedly in a crouch on the main monitor and immediately rocketed back towards the overlord.

    "He's defenceless now!" Prowl called as shot forward. "Everyone, this is our chance!"

    In his wake, Arcee and Wheeljack made to follow, weapons at the ready.

    "For sparks sake, stop right now, Prowl!" Ratchet called franticly but in vain.

    Megatron on his end smirked as he watched the incoming Prowl.

    "You should've listened to the old bot, cyberninja. I may be injured, but I am Megatron. I —"

    The thrusters under Megatron's feet roared to life and he quickly looped forward, causing Bulkhead to rocket off his back and straight towards Prowl.

    Prowl twisted in the air, managing to bypass the larger Autobot by a hair. However, this left him distracted and he received a thruster-powered roundhouse kick to his head as Megatron finished his sentence.

    "— am NEVER helpless!"

    Prowl's was sent crashing into a console, breaking it into pieces. Megatron wouldn't let up and flew towards him like a missile, his sword aiming towards the prone Autobot in a large overhead swing.

    Groggy from kick, Prowl's vision returned just in time to see something pink come between him and the charging Megatron.


    "UHNG!" Arcee grunted as she intercepted Megatron's blade with her own twin short-swords, her legs planted heavily on the floor under the force despite the lack of gravity. Accustomed with fighting physically stronger opponents, she had aimed to deflect the blade to the side rather than blocking it head-on.

    Megatron was just too strong however, and as his blade crashed into the floor instead of Prowl, one of Arcee's swords drifted through the air in pieces… as well as something more.

    "AAAah!" Arcee cried out in pain as her right hand had been cut in half from the base of her thumb to her index finger, and her arm had cracked and splintered under the pressure.

    "Arcee —" Prowl breathed in horrid realization.

    Arcee gritted her teeth together and attempted to give Prowl a reassuring smile over her shoulder. That she went so far as to even try such an action just made Prowl feel worse about himself.

    "Impressive, little Autobot." Megatron remarked, giving credit where credit was due. "Never before have such a diminutive warrior been able to deflect my blade in close combat. And never again…" he finished ominously as he raised his sword to strike again.

    "Get away from her!" Ratchet roared and crashed into Megatron like a missile, having used his wrist-magnets to grab onto structure ahead and slingshot himself forward.

    The overlord flew towards the far-end wall but was able to break his momentum with his feet-thrusters.

    He was about to boost himself forward again when electric voltage shot into the exposed circuitry of his right shoulder. Gritting his teeth in pain and anger, he turned to the right and saw Bumblebee with his stingers sparking.

    "Don't you know it's rude to hurt a lady?" Bumblebee smirked, but his eyes were angry.

    He made to charge against the yellow youngster, but found himself suddenly immobile and unable to control his momentum.

    Looking behind him he now spotted Wheeljack, the scientist smirking as he wielded the "weapon" that had just extinguished Megatron's thrusters.

    "Fire-extinguishers: A must have for any spacecraft bridge." Wheeljack stated.

    Megatron was floating in the air, close to the bridge-exit. He slowly turned his head back and forth to watch five of the six Autobots surrounding him in a wide half-circle, weapons at the ready.

    "You're a persistent little bunch." Megatron sneered.

    "Urgh… Hang tight, guys! I'm coming!" Bulkhead groaned as he pulled himself up from where he crashed earlier and made to climb over a console. As he did, he ended up switching a lever and the ship began to rumble.


    All the control-screens lighted up and the ship's rocket-turbines roared to life, causing the ship to roar forward through space, rapidly heading towards the blue and green little planet.

    Even though the artificial gravity had returned, the sudden increase in speed caused everyone to fly against the back of the bridge. But while Ratchet, Wheeljack and Arcee crashed into the wall, the three younger bots went sailing through the bridge door, careering through the ship until they crashed into the cargo bay.

    As Bumblebee gingerly tried to get up from where he'd crashed into a stack of containers, something large came down upon him and crushed him against the floor.

    "Now bring me the AllSpark and I may spare your miserable Autobot lives." Megatron threatened as he stood over him, pinning him down beneath his left foot.

    "Little buddy!" Bulkhead called in alarm from further back in the cargo bay.

    Instantly, the massive Autobot was on his feet and charging.

    "You get away from him!" he roared and with a throwing motion sent his wreaking-ball flying forward.

    Megatron ducked under the wreaking-ball and cocked his leg before he kicked Bumblebee towards the charging Autobot. As Bulkhead skidded to a halt in order to secure Bumblebee with his free hand, Megatron made to move forward but was halted as Prowl delivered a kick to the back of his head.

    Stumbling, the overlord corrected himself against a stack of containers and whirled around to deflect Prowl's shuriken with his sword. He grunted in alarm as he was once again caught off guard and struck in the back, this time by Bumblebee's stinger.

    "You just don't know when to quit!" Megatron snarled as the three youngsters charged him from all sides.

    Deflecting and blocking most of the attacks, Megatron swung his sword low, cutting into Bulkhead's right knee. As the large Autobot stumbled over and fell, Megatron by-stepped him and lashed out against Bumblebee, sending the small bot flying through the air and crashing into the far off wall.

    Prowl, now the only Autobot standing, leapt towards Megatron as he let several shuriken fly, but Megatron deflected the throwing-stars expertly with a few quick sword swings and then punched Prowl in the chest.

    As Prowl crashed into and collapsed on the floor, Megatron took the moment to survey the cargo bay. Noticing something in the corner of his optic, he turned towards a wall where a blue light was shining, its source obstructed by the various stacks of containers spread across the room.

    Mesmerised by the glow, Megatron made his way towards it, knocking aside the containers rather then walk around the stacks. Bulkhead attempted to get up and stop him, but fell down groaning in pain as he put weight on his damaged knee.

    Knocking the last stack of containers aside, Megatron finally had clear view to the AllSpark as it sat glowing in the lap of some totalled robot strapped to the wall. While the robot was of no consequence, Megatron paused as he drank in the sight of the item he had sought for so very long.

    It was but a second, but a critical second none the less as on the other side of the room, Bumblebee got to his feet and acted on impulse, slamming the switch mounted on the wall behind him.

    "Warning: Docking tunnel deployed." Teletran-1 reported as the ship was now roaring through the stratosphere of the blue planet. As the docking tunnel extended out of the ship, its corresponding door in the cargo bay opened, causing everything that wasn't mounted down to instantly begin being sucked out by the vacuum.

    Beginning to slide towards the door, Bulkhead grabbed the dazed Prowl and transformed his free hand into a buzzsaw used for construction work. With it he quickly cut into the floor, turning it off when it was deep enough down to serve as a holding point for him.

    Megatron had no such luck however and flew backwards across the room, roaring in anger and disbelief as he watched the AllSpark remain mounted to the wall and out of his reach.

    Bumblebee did his best to keep his grip on the wall, but as Megatron crashed against the edges of the gate as he was sucked into the docking tunnel, the tremors caused Bumblebee's grip to slip and he was sucked into the gate as well.

    "In hindsight, maybe this wasn't such a bright move after all!" Bumblebee hollered as he hung horizontally in the gateway, clinging on for dear life.

    Hearing a metallic screech and clang behind him, Bumblebee looked down the docking tunnel and saw that Megatron had grid to a halt by using his sword on the tunnel wall.

    "This guy's like something from a nightmare…" Bumblebee breathed amazed as the Decepticon overlord was now actually working his way back up.

    He turned his head back towards the cargo bay and hollered.

    "Bulkhead! Give me a hand!"

    "Hang on!" the large Autobot called back as he secured Prowl under the buzzsaw-arm he had wedged into the floor. He then aimed the freed arm towards the docking tunnel and let one of his wreaking-balls fly.

    "Whoa-whoa! Not at me! Not AT me!" Bumblebee screamed as the wreaking-ball shot straight towards him.

    Letting go of the ledge, he was able to twist around the wreaking-ball in the air and grab around the cable trailing it. Megatron however had no room to dodge and the wreaking ball hit him straight in the chest.

    Clinging onto the wreaking-ball cable, Bumblebee watched wide-eyed as the overlord fell out of the ship and ignited in the stratosphere, screaming all the way.

    As Bulkhead reeled the cable in, Bumblebee pulled his feet up as the gate suddenly closed without warning.

    "Oof!" Bumblebee grunted as he and the wreaking-ball fell to the floor when the vacuum-effect cut off.

    Blinking, Bulkhead relaxed and pulled up his buzzsaw from where it was embedded in the floor.

    "What in tarnation is going on here?" Ratchet hollered as he stood in the gate of the pathway leading back to the bridge, his hand resting on a control-switch on the wall.

    "Boys, are you alright? Where's Megatron?" Arcee called as she came running into the cargo bay, sword ready in her one good hand.

    "Uhnn, yeah. We're alright." Prowl said, rubbing his acing head while Bulkhead helped him to his feet.

    "We're also glad to announce that that the Big Bad has flown the coup." Bumblebee grinned as he got up as well.

    "What about the AllSpark?" Ratchet pressed. "Did he take it?"

    "Don't worry, Doc-bot. It's safe." Bulkhead replied and gestured to the wall where the damaged robot sat.

    Sure enough, the AllSpark was still sitting snug in the robot's lap.

    "Good thing that guy's got such a tough grip." Bulkhead commented as Ratchet visually relaxed.

    "We have the AllSpark and we got away from the Decepticons." Bumblebee stated, summarizing their situation. "Heck, Megatron's probably gone for good! Looks like we're all in the clear!"

    Bumblebee's wide smile froze as Teletran-1's voice was heard over the speakers.

    "Warning: Planetary impact imminent." The ship's computer reported.

    "… Oh, give me a slagging break." The yellow bot muttered deflated.


    Down on the blue planet - some distance outside the city called Detriot - a satellite dish and telescope-adorned barn stood with a large sign above its door reading "Sumdac". Inside sat a young human boy of Indian descent with a worktable, busy tinkering with mechanical equipment.

    Suddenly, he spotted a streak of light flash across the night sky and crash just a short distance away from his home. Running out with a flashlight, the boy headed towards the crash site and followed a deep trail in the ground leading across the field.

    When he finally came to the trail's end, he adjusted his flashlight and gasped as he stared into the gigantic face of an unresponsive Megatron.


    The Autobots' ship was hurtling through the night sky, ablaze like a proverbial fireball and descending at alarming speeds.

    Inside, the bridge gate opened and the bots came running in.

    "What the heck are you doing, Wheeljack? At this rate we'll crash!" Ratchet called as he approached the robot at the main-console.

    "Ghh! It's no good, Ratchet!" he replied as he struggled with the steering. "We're coming in too fast. I can't get the ship to level!"


    "Guys, look!" Bulkhead called and pointed towards the front.

    Through the front glass a city could be seen, and the Autobots' ship was heading straight towards it.

    "Oh, that's not good." Wheeljack commented with a misleadingly calm tone. "That is extremely very not good."

    Ratchet snapped to attention and leapt forward, grabbing the steering together with Wheeljack.

    "Arcee, get the kids to the stasis-pods!" he shouted over his shoulder as he and Wheeljack struggled.


    "We're going to crash in just a few cycles, so hurry!" Ratchet snapped, cutting her off.

    "And we need to make sure the ship steers clear of this populated sector." Wheeljack added, grunting in effort.

    Arcee lingered in place for half-a-second before she grit her teeth in determination.

    "You two better make it to the pods as well, or I swear I'll fix you up JUST so I can tear you both apart again!" she called, and with that she whirled around and led the younger bots off the bridge. Bumblebee sent the two older bots a last nervous glance over his shoulder before he exited.

    "Hehe." Wheeljack chuckled when they were alone on the bridge. "Gotta love a girl with some proverbial steel bearings."

    "I swear, Wheeljack; if I weren't busy right now, I'd kick your blasted tailpipe in!"

    The ship roared like a comet above the city, getting closer to clipping the taller buildings by the second.

    "Pull, you strutless fool!"

    "I'm pulling, I'm pulling!"

    Groaning in effort, the two bots finally managed to pull the steering back and the ship's nose rose. The ship was still going down, but now it would at least go clear of the city and hit the ocean instead.

    Locking the steering, the two bots gave each other a brief nod and then left the bridge.

    Running back through the ship, they entered a room with several giant capsules propped up against the wall. Through the capsules' transparent doors, the other Autobots could be seen inside in what could be described as a sleeping state.

    Ratchet and Wheeljack wasted no time and hurried to climb inside two stasis-pods themselves.

    "Initiating Emergency Stasis Lock." Teletran-1 sounded and the pods activated fully, the robots disappearing from view as the insides of the pods froze over.

    Seconds later, the Autobots' ship crashed violently into the ocean and sank like a stone, disappearing into the dark, dark depths.

    And thus, 50 years passed.



    Author's notes:

    These chapters were originally posted on last year.

    Bulkhead's buzzsaw is a feature his "Leader-class" toy has so I decided to throw it into the mix since it seems like a reasonable feature.

    This fic is the result of several different small ideas rolled into one after festering in the back of my head over a year. Optimus will of course play a very large role in this story, even though he doesn't show straight away.

    Next Chapter: Sari, Captain Fanzone and Police Drones, oh my.
  5. Honorbound

    Honorbound The Reclusive Semi-Lurker

    May 23, 2010
    Trophy Points:
    So far, this is looking pretty good. I was half-expecting the comatose 'bot to heal and join the fight.
  6. Emotwo

    Emotwo Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Trophy Points:
    Chapter 3: Who Polices the Police Drones? - Part 1.


    Back in the early 20th century, Detroit was known as the "Motor-city", the automobile manufacturing capital of the world. Today, Detroit is once again the world's leading manufacturer. Not of automobiles, but of automatons. Robots.

    Coming in all shapes and sizes, we have robots for everything. Robots for physical labor, for cleaning, even robots to keep our streets free of garbage. One can not walk a minute in our beautiful city without spotting one.

    Ever reliable. Never complaining. No task to mundane or unpleasant. They are unencumbered by fears and phobias and are also able to survive and withstand extreme and dangerous environments far beyond the capacity of us mere humans.

    Doing everything to make our city – and our lives more pleasant, there is no wonder Isaac Sumdac used to refer to them as "our tireless, mechanical partners".

    Today marks the date for when the man who revolutionized the city, the genius roboticists Isaac Sumdac, passed away due to an accident that took place in his private lab two years ago. As not even his closest associates knew the nature of his experiments at the time, the details surrounding said accident were never completely uncovered.

    No matter the cause, a great man was gone. However, his company – Sumdac Systems – kept powering onwards as its former Chairman of the Board, Porter C. Powell, boldly stood up to steer the reins of the company.

    "Professor Sumdac's passing left a hole in the heart of all his employees, and for a moment prospects looked grim for our company. But fear not, Detroit, as we will now take up the mantle he entrusted us with. We will make sure that Sumdac's legacy lives on!"

    These were the words of Mister Powell at a press-conference only a week after the incident.

    True to his word, Mister Powell – now the CEO of Sumdac Systems – has not only kept the business alive, but Sumdac Systems flourish as much as it ever did.

    Powell's Latest project – the much advertised new and improved Police Drone model – will today be unveiled in front of Sumdac Systems' robot-plant in Monroe before the police and the press, as well as anyone else wishing to witness the event.

    Isaac Sumdac may have left no official successor or heir, but it appears Sumdac Systems - and New Detroit – will be in good hands.

    As the footage rounded off on the window-displayed TVs, a thrown tomato splattered onto the store window.


    On the loud and busy city-streets, a long and gaudy limousine made its way through the traffic.

    In the back of the limo, basking in luxury sat a stout, tanned man with a white suit, pink glasses and a mullet. While the limousine was a class-act, the man's current demeanor was not.

    "What do you mean you're not ready?" he hollered angrily into his cell phone. "Do you have any idea how much money is riding on this project?"

    "I'm sorry, Mr. Powell, but I feel we have yet to properly test all the systems. Professor Sumdac's original designs were unfinished, and even if they were, unfavorable results are always a possibility." A nervous scientist responded over the phone. "Perhaps if we were given a few more days to properly experiment with the…"

    "The unveiling is in less than an hour and you want to cancel it based on nothing but a hunch?! You'd better see that everything runs according to program, or you're FIRED!" Powell roared and angrily hung up the phone.

    "Complications?" a smug voice asked.

    Looking up, Powell stared at a video-screen that hung in the ceiling. The screen displayed the image of a sleekly built blond man who was wearing a white suit and stylish square shades.

    "Nothing that's your concern, Prometheus!" Powell waved off. "The unveiling of our new unit will go as scheduled."

    "I still say you should have gone with my designs to create a bio-manipulated police force. Surely you can see the benefits of actual living human-beings being in charge instead of…"

    "Enough! Perhaps we'll have a look at your angles in the future, but for now we'll invest in robotics. Do I make myself clear?"

    "..Crystal." the blond man frowned and terminated the connection.


    At the bay area of New Detroit, quite a gathering was taking place. Police-officials, the press and curious citizens had shown up in front of the robot-plant factory to witness the revealing of Sumdac Industries new project. There were even people that looked like government big-wigs present.

    However, while most of the people displayed at least some level of interest or excitement about the event, one man stood off to the side next to a yellow hatchback car looking like he wanted to be anywhere else but there. The man had a bulky but obviously powerful build and sported a blond mustache on his face.

    The man glanced up and arched an eyebrow as he saw one of the older and by now common Police drone models roll by. The drone was the size of a small car and had a bulky appearance with short arms and tank tread legs.

    "Sigh. This is why I hate machines." the man harrumphed. "These metallic clowns were bad enough when we first got them, and now even more officers are going to be replaced by over-glorified jukeboxes? Bah! What is this city coming to?"

    "Oh, Captain Fanzone, you've got it all wrong." someone called jovially from behind. Turning around, Fanzone saw Porter C. Powell himself step out of his limousine and approach him.

    Fiddling with his tie, the businessman sported a greasy superior smirk that made the Police Captain's blood curdle.

    "The drones Sumdac Systems provides your force are not meant to replace the good men and women protecting Detroit, but to aid them."

    "Humph. Be that as it may, Powell… If this little project of yours succeeds then there will undeniably be layoffs among the already acting the police force."

    "Well, yes, perhaps. But that's a small prize to pay for keeping our beautiful city safe, wouldn't you agree?"

    "To be honest, I.."

    "By the end of the day I'll be sure to have swayed your mind." Powell cut him off haughtily. "Now, if you will excuse me… I must go prepare to speak to the press."

    And with that, the businessman walked off, raising his arms to greet the incoming wave of reporters and flashing photographers.

    Watching the man saunter away, Captain Fanzone frowned deeply.

    "Hmph. In hindsight, I guess machines aren't the worst things around here."


    Powel waved to the masses as he walked past them and up to his factory. Reaching the podium that had been prepared for the event; he climbed up the steps and approached the employees that were waiting for him.

    "I trust everything's been taken care of?" he discreetly growled to one of the scientists while still waving to the audience.

    The scientist was a thin and fidgety man with thick swirly-eyed spectacles, and even though he couldn't have been older than thirty he was already growing a bald spot on his head.

    "Um, yes sir. We're clear to start at any moment." He responded nervously.

    "Really… Are you sure you don't have any hunches you feel the need to delay us with?"

    "N-No-no-no. None, sir! None."


    Reassuming his business-smile in full, Powell walked to the front of the podium where a microphone stood. Coughing softly into his hand, he picked up the mike and began his presentation.

    "Honoured officials and good people of New Detroit. I —"

    That was as far he got before his world suddenly exploded into red.

    Tomatoes – very, very rotten tomatoes – came crashing down on his position with several of them hitting him directly on the head.

    As Powell stumbled and spluttered before the bewildered crowd, Fanzone sharply gazed up towards the roof of the factory just in time to see a small head disappear behind the edge.


    "Yes! Success!" a small girl grinned as she ran across the factory roof, tossing aside a now-empty bag. She was dark skinned with fiery red hair, and she was wearing a black sweater over a yellow dress.

    Grinning at the sound of the commotion from in front of the factory – especially since Powell was sputtering and cursing into the mike – she climbed over the opposite edge of the roof and slid down the downspout of a rain gutter like a true pro.

    As she touched down on solid ground, the girl saw a Police Drone wheel around the corner of the factory and approach her.

    "Halt. You're under arrest." it commanded in a flat, synthetic voice.

    Undaunted in the least, she ran straight towards the drone and threw herself to the ground, sliding between its tank tread legs. As the drone ground to a halt and began to turn, the girl ran towards the factory's adjoining storage-houses and slid into a narrow gap between two of the buildings.

    "Engaging pursuit." Clang! "Engaging pursuit." Clang! "Engaging pursuit." Clang!

    The drone, being far too large to follow, could do nothing but bang into the two buildings over and over as it futilely tried to enter the gap.

    "Hehe. Stuuupid~" the girl singsonged as she left the drone behind.

    After zigzagging between several buildings, the girl finally slowed down and began walking normally, smiling in triumph as she dusted off her hands.

    "Heh-heh! I'd say that's one piece of work well done." she snickered as she walked out of the alley and onto the street.

    However, the second she came out in the open, a large hand shot down and picked her up by the scruff of her sweater.

    "Ah, hey! Let go!" she exclaimed in surprise and panic as she was hoisted off the ground.

    Swinging around, the girl was brought face to face with a bulky man with a yellow mustache.

    "Hey there, kid." Fanzone stated calmly while the girl squirmed in his grip. "I know that Powell is a big creep and all, but that doesn't make it alright to throw rotten tomatoes at him."

    "Hmph! My only regret is that I couldn't find rotten EGGS to throw as well." The girl muttered as she crossed her arms and looked away with an angry pout on her face.

    The girl's acts of defiance looked quite comical as she dangled in the Captain's grip.

    "Hm?" Fanzone suddenly raised an eyebrow. "Don't I know you, kid?"

    "Wha-? Ah, no-no, not at all!" the girl protested rather vehemently. "I guess I just have one of those faces. Eh-hehehee."

    "…." Fanzone wasn't convinced but decided to let it slide.

    The girl blinked and looked up at him in confusion as he lowered her to the ground and knelt before her.

    "… Listen kid, I'm gonna look away this once because, undeniably, that guy deserved it. However, you'd better not let me catch you doing something like this again, alright?"


    "Do you swear?"

    "I swear." The girl smiled. "I swear I won't let you catch me doing something like this ever again."

    Fanzone almost smiled, but something about the way she said it made him pause.

    "Mhe, forget it." He eventually muttered and stood back up. "Just get out of here already."

    "Thank you, sir. Going now, sir. Bye-bye, sir." She smiled and ran off.

    Fanzone watched her go until she cornered a building and disappeared from sight. Snorting, he then began to make his way back to the factory at the edge of the docks.

    "Hmm. I could've sworn I've seen that kid somewhere before."

    He suddenly paused. Something felt wrong,

    "Hey!" he exclaimed as he checked his pockets. "My wallet's gone!"


    "Glack! Ptui!"

    "Here's your towel, sir."

    "GIVE me that!" Powell snarled as he rose from the sink and tore the object out of the assistant's hands. He then proceeded to wipe off water and remains of tomato-fluids off his face.

    Powell had momentarily taken refuge inside the factory in order to clean himself in peace as well as be able to throw a tantrum without adding any more to his public humiliation.

    "Grah! When I get my hands on the ones responsible, I'll make them regret ever being born!"

    "Yes sir." The assistant dully answered.

    "No, I mean it!" Powell snapped and turned to glare at his listless aide as if challenged. "I'll grind them to a pulp! Have them strung up by their toenails! I'll… I'll…"

    "I'd rather you wouldn't unless YOU want to be towed in for brutality." A new voice commented dryly as the door behind them opened.

    "Fanzone!" Powell exclaimed as the Captain entered the factory restroom. "Did you get the perpetrators? Where are they? I'm going to…"

    "Sheesh. Simmer down, will you? First of all, the "perpetrator" was just one girl, and I think that…"

    "I'm not asking you to THINK!" Powell snarled, getting into Fanzone's face. "What I ask of you is to do your job and do it right! Girl or not, I DEMAND that you throw the book at her!"

    "Whoa, whoa, hold your horses there." Fanzone said while raising his hands in a warding gesture. "It's not like we're dealing with some hard-boiled criminal here. It was just some little kid playing a prank."

    "A prank?" Powell repeated quietly before exploding. "A PRANK? A stunt like that isn't just an insult towards me, but an insult to the entire city of New Detroit! If you won't see to that she's properly punished then I'll go straight to the Mayor! Now: Where IS she?"

    "That's what I've been trying to tell ya. We don't have her."

    "What? Are you saying you and your men are incapable of even catching a single child?"

    "Hey now. With all the warehouses and whatnot, the buildings are standing pretty close together around here. A little kid can sneak between them easily, but an adult? Not so much. So it's hardly surprising she was able to give us the slip."

    "You… YOU… You incompetent wreck!" Powell seethed at Fanzone's dismissive behavior. He then walked around the larger man and made towards the door.

    As he exited the restroom along with his aide, he paused and threw a last tantrum over his shoulder.

    "Just you wait, Fanzone… I'll see to it that after the reveal today, you – as well as your men – will be Obsolete!"

    And with that he slammed the door after himself, leaving Fanzone standing alone in the restroom with a raised eyebrow.

    "Hmph." He snorted and began walking towards the door himself. "Next time I should probably consider bringing my own tomatoes…"


    Powell disdainfully tossed the towel over his shoulder, hitting his aide in the face, before he exited the factory and made his way back up the podium.

    As he climbed the steps, he once again caught the audience's attention. Powell adjusted his tie and smiled greasily towards them as several camera-flashes went off, but his left eye ticked when he heard several poorly contained snickers float up from the crowd.

    Powering on through, Powell made his way to the centre of the podium and reassumed his place in front of the microphone.

    "Ahem… I apologize for the delay, people. Without further ado, we will now skip right to the presentation."

    At a gesture from Powell, the factory's main cargo door rose upwards and a shadow began approaching from inside.

    "Ladies and gentlemen and honored officials." Powell spoke in the mike as the audience watched the approaching machine mesmerized. "You are all familiar with Sumdac Systems' very own Police Drones. Well here is the next stage in their cybernetic evolution: The Drone-Lieutenant Unit, the CMX-01!"

    The machine that rolled out looked quite similar to the common Police Drones with one of the exceptions being its sheer size. The CMX-01 was almost three times bigger and pretty much looked like a round and massive Tank with police-lights mounted on top.

    As it stopped, it folded out from its compact form and rose to its full size. Much like the regular drones, the CMX-01 lower body stood on tank treads, but its upper body was more massive – almost muscular in impression. It had long and flexible arms that ended in large stubby claws, but perhaps its most unique trait was the perfectly round and cycloptic head that extended from its torso with a multitude of cables running down its neck.

    All in all, it made an imposing sight, causing a wave of awe to settle over the gather crowd.

    Pleased with the crowd's reaction, Powell began describing the robot.

    "As one can tell from just a glance, the CMX-01 is a powered-up version of the regular Police drones, but people, it is also so much more! Its defensive and offensive-capabilities are through the roof, making it capable of performing in extreme situations as well as carrying and utilizing high grade weaponry. However, its true strength is that of a Field Commander.

    "As you probably know, the common drones that Isaac Sumdac himself designed can be a little unreliable at times – perhaps clumsy even – but the CMX-series will rectify this. Each unit will have a highly sophisticated processor and transceiver which will allow them to function as a hub and more importantly; a master-unit between several lesser drones, monitoring AND commanding them with great efficiency in the city or on a battlefield."

    At Powell's choice of words, an uneasy murmur went through the crowd.

    "Mr. Powell!" One reported at the front of the crowd finally raised his hand and called out.

    Before he could ask a question however, he was knocked aside by a diminutive and slightly chubby man with black hair, a small beard and rectangular black sunglasses. As people watched the first reporter stumble off and, by the sound of it, crash into something, the man who pushed him turned to face the podium.

    As his cameraman, a robot with a camera for a head appeared, the small man made a show of clearing his throat before he spoke up in an excessively showman-like tone of voice.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, this is Animated Personality VANGELUS, reporting to you from Sumdac Systems' robot-plant in Monroe."

    Up on the podium, Powell cringed in annoyance, his sentiment clear on his face:

    'Oh, no. Not THIS guy…'

    "Mister Powell," the man began. "As you might know, my network have reviewed, well, ALL of your company's models so far, and there's been a noticeable drop in the quality of your products over the last two years. While it would be understandable if it only concerned your new models, it is also the case with those of Mr. Sumdac's own models that have been assembled after his passing.

    "It is rumored that since you took over as CEO, several corners have been cut in productions. Do you admit to or deny these statements?"

    "No comment." Powell replied annoyed. He then looked across the crowd, eager to change focus. "Now, is there anyone who has questions regarding the matter at hand?"

    "Mister Powell." the man called Vangelus went on, completely undaunted by the CEO's attempt to ignore him. "Just now you made references to things such as advanced weaponry and battlefield-capabilities… Are you implying these units are to be used in military situations?"

    At Vangelus' statement, the normal citizens in the audience started.

    "Why, yes." Powell replied, apparently unperturbed by the crowds' disbelief. "The CMX-series is indeed a model that can potentially be modified and equipped to function in a military situation with great efficiency."

    "Is that why you've even invited government officials for this unveiling?" Vangelus pressed.

    "Why yes, that is exactly correct."

    "I thought Sumdac Systems had a distinct policy against producing military machinations?"

    "That might've been true at one point, but as you can see it is a policy we're now revising..."

    "But Mr. Sumdac always —"

    "Well Mr. Sumdac isn't exactly WITH us anymore, is he?" Powell snarled, finally loosing his patience with the man.

    Seeing the startled crowd, Powell realized his faux pas and desperately tried to smooth over his callous attitude. "Um, a-and we're all still quite saddened by this loss."

    "But like any successful corporation, we must evolve if we want to survive." He continued. "If Isaac Sumdac were here today, I assure you he would agree and see the logic in my words."

    "Oh I'm suure." Captain Fanzone snorted to himself in the crowd.

    "N-now, let us allow the CMX-01 to demonstrate its abilities." Powell said, set on continuing the presentation.

    As Powell nodded over his shoulder, the three scientists seated on the back of the podium began typing on their laptops, all screens displaying the various specs of the CMX-unit.

    "Dear citizens of Detroit, will you please take a look to your far left." Powell said and pointed towards the far end of the factory.

    A good distance away, one of the Sumdac Systems employees held up a briefcase above his head, making sure the crowd got a good look at it before he placed it on the ground and walked away.

    Powell then walked to the edge of the podium and called the drone's attention. "CMX-01! Bring me that suitcase over there as quick and effectively as you can!"

    "As you command, Mr. Powell." The drone replied obediently as it turned its round head and identified its target.

    The drone didn't even move from the spot. Instead it simply raised its flexible arm and extended it, quickly covering the length of the factory and grabbed the briefcase with its stubby claws. Powell smirked as the awed crowd watched the drone reel its arm back and then turn towards the man.

    "Here you go, Mister Powell, sir." The drone said mechanically as it placed the briefcase on the podium.

    Holding up the briefcase by its sides, Powell displayed it to the audience, garnering applause on the drone's quick delivery. However, the applause suddenly turned to silence and then to laughter as the briefcase suddenly grew cracks and fell to pieces between Powell's hands.

    His eyebrow twitching in annoyance, Powell was quick to grab the microphone. "A minor shortcoming in finesse, people. Nothing that can't be easily amended… Although, it's not like delicacy is something the CMX will actually need in the first place."

    After coughing into his hand, Powell carried on the show. "Now; moving on to the next demonstration of its abilities…"


    Meanwhile, in a dark room in an unknown location, several monitors were lit displaying the event taking place in front of the robot-plant. The odd part was that several of the screens illustrated the proceedings from strange angles, as if someone had hacked into a multitude of surveillance-cameras.

    The room itself was near pitch-black, the monitors and tv-screens providing the only source of illumination. Even with the poor lighting however, one could spot computers and lab-equipment that had collected a fair amount of dust.

    And in the darkest corner of the room, something unseen watched the monitors and waited.

    But for what?


    Back at the docks, the event continued its course. While there had been a few snags every so often, the CMX-01 did indeed manage to impress the crowd by displaying an impressive amount of versatility and abilities.

    Pleased that the crowd was finally eating out of his hand again, Powell decided to have the CMX-01 demonstrate its main feature.

    "Excellent, CMX-01. Now for the main event: Locate five available Police drones and summon them here."

    "Acknowledged." The advanced drone responded, its large cycloptic eye glowing green.

    A few seconds passed in silence for the anticipating crowd until a soft rumbling could be heard from various locations.

    Looking around, the crowd saw two Police drones approaching from the east while another two came from the west. A final one rolled out from inside the factory. Within moments the five drones had lined up before the CMX-01, standing on line and awaiting orders like disciplined soldiers.

    "Alright then! Lets begin the demonstration!"

    Powell then had the CMX-01 guide the drones through a series of tests. From working together to pick up and carry large crates and vehicles or running laps through a small course prepared on the parking lot, under the watchful eye of the CMX-01 the drones managed to display a level of synchronicity, finesse and elegance that had previously been unheard of in the common Police drones.

    As they continuously weaved their way around the parking lot, Powell spoke into the mike.

    "As you can see, the CMX-01 function as a master-unit is quite effective. Under its guidance, the competence and performance of the older drones are increased greatly, allowing them to perform their tasks better than ever bef.. Hm, what? Why are yo…"

    Once again hearing the sound of stifled laughter, Powell blinked in confusion before taking a closer look at the parking lot.

    As the Police drones continued with their demonstration, it became increasingly obvious that one of them was listing out of order, wobbling unsteadily from side to side and knocking into cars at each turn much to the crowds' amusement.

    Placing a palm over the microphone, Powell snarled over his shoulder. "Hey! Would you get that thing under control already?"

    "Y-yes, just a second!" The scientist with the swirly-eyed spectacles squeaked nervously. "It's probably too many drones for the CMX-01 to oversee at once. I'll increase the strength of its command frequency to compensate." He said and began typing furiously on his computer.

    On his screen, the bars illustrating the radio-signals output rose slowly.


    In the mysterious room with the monitors, a red circular light suddenly lit up in the darkest corner and began glowing ominously.


    As if mirroring this, The CMX's optic began glowing stronger. Within seconds the unruly drone got its act together and began performing as well as its companions.

    The drones then completed the last laps successfully and rolled quietly and orderly back into a line before the CMX. The crowd applauded ecstatically as Powell stood on top of the podium and soaked up the praise.

    Among the crowd, even Fanzone admitted to be begrudgingly impressed.

    He suddenly blinked as he noticed something odd about the CMX-01. The prototype was slowly beginning to shake violently and the glow of its optic increased and decreased in strength repeatedly.

    As the rest of the crowd began to catch on as well, Powell stomped over to the scientists on the platform.

    "What in the blazes is that thing doing?" he barked at them.

    "I don't know, sir." The one with swirly-eyed spectacles responded. "For some reason the radio-signals it emits keeps increasing in strength. I can't get them to stop!"

    As the bars for the CMX's radio-signals on his laptop climbed rapidly, several of the camera-teams present as well as anyone speaking in a cell phone or Bluetooth flinched and removed their earphones as a buzzing and unbearable static sounded in them.

    The shaking CMX then suddenly ground to a halt and stood eerily still for several seconds.

    It then began moving forward, rolling away from the factory in a straight line like it was in a trance. The crowd immediately moved to let the large drone through as it no longer seemed to show any consideration for anything standing in its path.

    This impression proved to be correct as it with complete disregard knocked Powell's limousine out of its path as it rolled by.

    Exclaiming in anger and surprise, Powell quickly made his way down from the podium and ran after the prototype.

    As he finally caught up with it, he started chewing it out severely.

    "What do you think you're doing, you fool? That was my CAR, you lousy bucket of bolts!"

    The CMX rolled on, giving no impression of even having heard him. Flustering in anger, Powell began shouting even louder.

    "CMX-01, you're programmed to listen to me and I ORDER you to stop!"

    At that, the prototype finally ground to a halt. Slowly, the CMX turned around and rolled back towards Powell where it stood to attention.

    Nodding in satisfaction, Powell turned back to address the crowd.

    "It's alright, just a little glitch, people. It's as to be expected from a prototype, but don't worry, we'll have it straightened out in short order."

    As Powell did his best to win back the crowd, the CMX-01 tilted its head down, focusing directly on the businessman.

    Its optic began to glow oddly.

    Fanzone was the first in the crowd to react. "Powell! Hurry up and get away from that thing!"

    Powell, annoyed at being interrupted mid-speech – and by Fanzone no less – was about to retort when he suddenly noticed a shadow falling over him. Peeking over his shoulder, he saw the CMX-01 had raised one of its clawed arms into the air poised to strike.

    The crowd gasped collectively in horror as the CMX-01 rammed its hand into the ground towards Powell, clouding the immediate area in dust as it impacted.

    "Powell!" Fanzone called as he ran forward, only to suddenly get barreled over as a stocky shadow shot out of the dust cloud.

    "Th-That thing just tried to kill me!" Powell exclaimed, visually shock up from the close-call.

    "I suppose that "glitch" of yours ain't so little now, is it?" Fanzone droned sarcastically to the man lying on top of him. "Now Get Off."


    As Fanzone kicked the stocky businessman off himself and got to his feet, the CMX-01 stood regarding him silently. Fanzone noted that its optic had changed color from earlier, having gone from a clear green to crimson red.

    Fanzone got pulled out of his musings as two police cars suddenly came screeching to a halt in front of him, creating a barricade between the two men and the dangerous drone.

    "Captain Fanzone!" an officer called as the drivers exited the cars. The dozen or so policemen that had been present for the event came running up to join him.

    "Everyone! This machine obviously has a screw loose!" Fanzone called as he and the other cops drew their handguns. "Let's take it down before it goes after real civilians! Fire at will!"

    Lined up behind the police cars, Fanzone and his men began shooting at the CMX-01. But even though they emptied several clips at it, the large prototype drone just stood there staring blankly at them while the bullets bounced off its armor harmlessly.

    Light flickered in its optic as it finally moved, raising its head to stare past the policemen.

    "Bah! This isn't working!" Fanzone barked as he finished emptying yet another clip. "Someone get the SWAT van we have stationed in the back! We need more firepower if we want to – Hey! Where's that thing going?"

    The CMX-01 had started moving around the policemen, ignoring them as something in front of the factory had caught its interest. Up on the podium the spectacled scientist was crouched over his laptop, furiously typing away.

    The man was desperately trying to regain control over the rogue prototype, something the drone had apparently noticed.

    It didn't like that.

    It didn't like that at all.

    Stopping approximately 50 feet away from the podium, the drone's optic began shining in a more concentrated manner.

    The scientist blinked as the light reflected off his glasses and then froze when he noticed the light was concentrating on his laptop like a laser pointer… or more accurately, a laser sight.

    A panel opened on the CMX-01's left shoulder allowing a large barrel to rise up. Seeing it, the scientist paled and bolted as with a large "THUNK"-noise the drone shot a large grenade towards the abandoned laptop.

    The scientist threw himself off the side of the podium just in time as the whole thing erupted into a ball of flame.


    A few blocks away, the little girl that earlier had pelted Powell with rotten tomatoes was about to cross one of the bridges that connected the bay area with the rest of the city. At the sound of a distant explosion and subsequent rumbling, she turned around and saw a column of smoke rise into the sky from behind the factories.

    Now, some people would take this as a sign to get as far away as possible until they had it on good credit that the area was safe.

    This child however was a slave to her own curiosity and was off towards the source in a heartbeat.


    The crowd that was gathered in front of the robot plant had so far kept themselves quite composed – no doubt accustomed to one or three things going slightly off-kilter whenever a new Sumdac Systems invention was being tested out.

    Seeing this large machination toss around lethal weapons however was enough to finally get the good people of New Detroit to panic completely, howling at the height of their lungs while running past Fanzone and his men as the CMX-01 no longer were between them and their cars.

    As the screaming people ran past him, Fanzone's slack jaw at the CMX's display of ridiculous firepower finally snapped shut. He angrily whirled to the side and hoisted the still floored Powell onto his feet by the collar of his suit.

    "You!" Fanzone roared into the businessman's face. "Mind telling me why the Heck a robot meant to operate in the city is carrying THAT kind of weaponry?"

    "T-The prototype was given few special features…!" The shivering man stuttered. "I-It was an extra we added to sh-show off the models Potential to the Government Officials we invited…"

    "And thanks to that, we now have a deathmachine on the loose!" Fanzone snarled. "Sumdac used to screw up with his new robots all the time, but at least He knew better than to equip them with Military WEAPONRY!"

    "L-Look! If you have something you want to say to me then you can take it up with my lawyer! Now let GO of me!"

    Wrestling out of Fanzone's grip, Powell stumbled away and ran towards his limo, uncaringly pushing other fleeing civilians out of his way.

    Snarling, Fanzone turned away from the sight and looked towards the factory where the CMX-01 was now standing in front of the burning remains of the podium. The drone slowly whirled around in place and stood there silently, watching the panicking masses from afar with a strange glow in its visor.

    Eyes narrowing, Fanzone for some inexplicable reason got the impression it was… concentrating?

    A screech of large tires came behind him as someone had in the managed to fetch the large green SWAT-van. The backdoors opened, allowing all the officers to quickly equip themselves with high-tech weapons and protective gear. Without turning to look, Fanzone nonchalantly accepted the laser-rifle he was offered from behind.

    A female officer positioned herself next to Fanzone and lifted the visor of her helmet. "There is some kind of interference on the radio, Captain! All we get is a horrible static. We can't contact reinforcements!"

    "What are your orders, Fanzone?" Another officer asked.

    "Focus on making sure that the civilians make it away safely! If that thing moves against them then it will have to go through US first!"

    The surrounding officers swallowed nervously, but nodded none the less. "Yes, sir!"

    As the panic and sheer number of people caused most of the fleeing drivers to crash into and block one another, most of them took to abandoning their vehicles and simply run away on foot instead.

    As a few officers attempted to make the panicked masses escape in an orderly fashion - a futile attempt at best - Fanzone and the rest stood at the ready, not taking their eyes off the concentrating CMX-01 as the last stragglers of the crowd passed them.

    The last of them was the scientist with swirly-eyed spectacles who had taken a nosedive off the podium earlier. While he was a little fried at the edges of his lab coat and hair, he luckily had no serious injuries.

    "Hey-hey, hold up, you!" Fanzone called and grabbed the diminutive scientist as he tried to pass by.

    "AaH!" the young man exclaimed as he was whirled around. "C-Captain Fanzone! W-what is it?"

    "You worked on putting that atrocity together, right? Tell me, is it doing what I think it is doing?"

    "H-Huh? Doing what?"

    The CMX-01 still stood immobile in front of the factory, but the glow of its optic was now pulsating continuously. As this went on, the five Police Drones buzzed to life and lined themselves up in front of the larger drone.

    Blinking, the scientist awkwardly looked up at Fanzone.

    "…That?" he asked for confirmation.

    "That." Fanzone deadpanned, nodding. "At least the regular drones are easy to deal with as long as you take them one by one. Just tell me that it can't control more drones than That!"

    "No-no, you don't have to worry about that." The scientist stuttered, pushing his slipping glasses back in place. "Five drones should be its maximum capa-ci-ty…"

    The young scientist trailed off as a rumbling sound could be heard. It started softly but grew in volume with every passing second. The eyes of Fanzone and the others widened as behind the CMX, the silhouettes of several – dozens – of Police Drones appeared in the factory's cargo door.

    Eventually managing to drag his eyebrows down from his forehead, Fanzone sported an annoyed deadpan-expression.

    "Ugh… THIS is why I hate machines."

    He cocked his rifle.


    Needless to say, the out-of-control radio-signal that allowed the CMX to highjack the lesser drones was the same that was responsible for the static on every other frequency in the area.

    But the radio-signal didn't just spread across the docks. A short distance away (and a fair way down) at the bottom of Lake Erie, an alien ship picked up the signal and was roused from its sleep. And as most things in its figurative shoes, it woke grumpily.

    "Unidentified Signal. Unidentified Signal. Unknown. Unknown." Teletran-1 droned as a light flashed repeatedly on the computer-console.

    As the ship's computer had finally awoken, it immediately began tending to its duties. Before long, six stasis pods were warmed up and opened, releasing steam as well as six groggy robots. The Autobots stumbled out groaning, all of them bringing their hands up to clasp the sides of their heads.

    "How long have we been in stasis?" Prowl was the first one to say as he looked about.

    "And what's with that horrible noise?" Bumblebee complained loudly. "My audio-receptors are gonna blow!"

    "It's not your audio-receptors, it's your com-link!" Ratchet hollered over the sound. "Some kind of horrible static is forcing its way through! Deactivate your com-links, people!"

    All the bots tapped the left side of their helmets and did as told. The sudden silence that followed was a welcome exchange.

    "Aah, that's better." Bulkhead breathed out in relief.

    "As for the earlier question…" Wheeljack began and accessed a nearby console. After a few seconds, he found the data he was looking for. "We've been out approximately… Huh. Fifty Stellar Cycles."

    "Fifty Stellar Cycles?" Bumblebee repeated in shock.

    "Teletran-1 must've gotten damaged in the crash." Wheeljack continued calmly as he typed away on the console. "I guess the mangled signal we heard just now gave the computer a rude awakening as well."

    "What do you make of the signal itself?" Ratchet asked.

    "Hang on, I'm bringing it up."

    Two seconds later, the radio signal sounded from the computer as its codes and wavelengths were displayed on-screen.

    "What is that?" Bulkhead exclaimed, leaning slightly forward.

    "Something very odd." Arcee answered. "It's Cybertronian-code, no doubt, but it's completely garbled and nonsensical."

    "And loud." Prowl added.

    "Like a bot who's had too much oil to drink." Bumblebee commented sideways to Bulkhead.

    "More like a bot who's had his central processor caved in with a very blunt and very, very hard object." Wheeljack said. "No offense, kiddo."

    "Ah, none taken." Bumblebee smiled.

    A blink.

    "..Heeey." Bumblebee exclaimed while Bulkhead and Prowl chuckled.

    "Now-now, bots. Play nice." Arcee chided with a smile.

    "Yes, Ma'am." Wheeljack replied jovially.

    "IF we could move it along," Ratchet cut in annoyed. "We should determine the signal's orgin, not to mention getting to know the lay of the land!"

    "On it!" Wheeljack responded and pressed a button on the console as he gave the computer a verbal order. "Teletran-1, please scan the area."


    At Wheeljacks request, a small hatch opened outside on the ship and released a small satellite-drone. The satellite rose through the water until it finally breeched the surface and shot into the air.

    "Bzz. Scanning."

    On the live video-feed, the Autobots were treated to a birdseye-view of the New Detroit bay-area. What little they could make out of it at least as the image suffered from horrid static as well.

    "The radio-signal is more of a mess than I thought." Wheeljack said as they studied the screen. "It's disturbing our equipment so much that I can't even pinpoint it."

    "Looks like some kind of battle have taken place." Prowl commented as he watched the screen. Through the static one could barely make out the chaos and damages the amuck drones had left in their wake.

    "Or a bar-fight."

    "Maybe we should go out and, I dunno, investigate?" Bulkhead tried in an unsure voice.

    "Forget it, kid." Ratchet harrumphed. "We're on an unknown planet, remember? Whatever's been going on out there, not a bolt of it is any of our business. Let's just fix up the ship and be on our merry way."

    The younger bots made to argue, but Arcee beat them to it.

    "I'd beg to differ, Ratchet. Degenerate though it may be, that signal is Cybertronian. It might have a lot to do with us. Maybe everything."

    "And with that signal scrambling our broadcasting systems, I doubt I'd be able to repair the ship successfully." Wheeljack added while examining his nonexistent nails, though there was a suspiciously gleeful tone in his voice.

    "Ghaah." Ratchet groaned in recognition. "Alright, alright, I get it already. We'll investigate."

    "Alright, Ratchet!" Arcee cheered. "Come on, boys. We're heading out!"

    Arcee was suddenly halted by a hand on her shoulder. Turning, she saw Ratchet meeting her optics with a serious expression.

    "…What's wrong?" she asked.

    "I'm sorry, but you're not going, Arcee."

    "WHAT?" Arcee cried out indignant. Reigning herself in after the initial outburst, she continued in a softer tone. "Um… I mean what? Why?"

    Ratchet reached out and grabbed her right arm, taking caution to do it gently as he raised it up to eye-level.

    "If you think I'll let you explore an unknown, possibly hostile planet with an injury such as this then I'm sorely disappointed. You should know me better than that, Arcee."

    Most of Arcee's right hand was missing, only two of her digits remaining, and her entire upper arm was mangled and contorted. Blinking, the femme's eyes trailed from Ratchet to her damaged appendage and back again.

    "W-what, this? T-this is nothing, really. Just a dent. A scratch, that's all." Arcee smiled awkwardly, doing a remarkably poor job at faking nonchalance.

    "Arcee…" Ratchet reprimanded softly, still holding her arm up.

    "I-it's true!" she continued adamantly. "It's not something that can't wait until later. To be honest, it doesn't even hurt at all."

    "Hey, Arcee!" Wheeljack suddenly cut in. "High-five!"

    "What?" she managed dumbly just before Wheeljack smacked the remains of her raised hand with his own.


    In the depths of Lake Erie, all the nearby marine wildlife jerked in surprise and swam away as fast as they could when a cry of intense pain reverberated from the spaceship located at the bottom.


    Inside the ship, Bumblebee, Bulkhead and Prowl watched in shock and concern as Arcee sat crouched on the floor, cradling her right arm and cussing up a storm while Ratchet hovered over her worriedly.

    "SLAAG! Slag-slag-slag! Slagging SLAG! Slagging, slagged, slaggedy… SLAG!"

    "Tut-tut, what language." Wheeljack chided. "Words like that are unbecoming of a lady such as yourself, you know. I blame Ratchet for being a bad influence."

    Arcee took a break in her tirade to toss Wheeljack a glare that could have melted metal.

    "Right-right." Wheeljack commented calmly and then pointed to the far side of the room. "I think I'm gonna go stand way over there now."

    "Arcee…" Ratchet said as he crouched down next to her.

    The femme had resumed nursing her arm, her eyes shut as she winced in pain.

    "While I don't approve of what the idiot just did, he DID manage to illustrate the point pretty clearly. You're sitting this one out and that's that."

    "B-but…" she muttered weakly, looking at him.

    "As soon as the others are off, I'll start the repairs. At the very least, you'll need both your hands if you want to be able to wring that moron's neck."

    "I can feel the love!" said moron tossed jovially from the other side of the room.

    "Shut your crankcase, Wheeljack!" Ratchet barked over his shoulder, going from soft-spoken medic to enraged grouch in an instant, an act that caused Arcee to giggle despite herself.

    "Fine, fine… You win." She finally said. "I'll stay."

    With a resigned smile, Arcee took the hand Ratchet was offering and allowed him to help her up. Once they were standing upright, the two bots shared a nod between each other.

    "Alright then, Bulkhead." Ratchet said as he began walking towards the large youngsters. "Take a seat so I can fix that knee of yours."

    "Huh, what?" the large Autobot blinked in surprise as he was led to a medic-table "B-but what about Arcee? Shouldn't you see to her first?"

    Ignoring his protests, Ratchet forced Bulkhead to sit on the table. He then whipped out several medical tools out of his body and crouched down, immediately beginning to work on the damage.

    "I'll have plenty of time to repair her while you guys are outside investigating. And for you to do that, I need to patch up your knee first." The large bot looked like he wanted to protest again, but the medic cut him off. "An injury like this won't even take me five cycles. Arcee's a big girl. She can wait that long."

    Bulkhead still looked around flustered, but after a reassuring nod from Arcee, Bulkhead calmed down and waited as the medic worked his magic. As the bots watched Ratchet do his work in silence, no one seemed to catch the remorseful look Prowl regarded Arcee with.

    A short moment passed before Ratchet finally broke the silence.

    "If you're planning on heading out then you don't want to attract attention." He said, addressing the room as he continued to work. "For all we know there could even be things like Decepticons out there."

    "Leave that to me." Wheeljack smiled and turned back to the computer-console. "Teletran-1. Scan the local life forms. Find some suited for the crew so we can blend in."

    "Acknowledged." The female voice replied.

    Floating above the streets, the satellite from earlier picked out certain vehicles and projected a yellow digital "box" of light around them as it scanned their data one by one.

    After a few minutes the satellite had acquired the needed information and left the docks. In order to deliver the information without the radio-signal's disturbance, it dived underwater and returned to the ship.

    Seconds after it had returned successfully, a cylindrical chamber rose out of the floor before the Autobots. A hatch opened on it and Wheeljack calmly stepped inside.

    The yellow digital "box" rose around it, feeding the information into the cylinder. As it finished Wheeljack walked out with a slightly altered body and stepped aside, allowing the next Autobot to go through the process.

    First went Bumblebee, then Prowl and finally Bulkhead as Ratchet finished his work and gave him the okay. One by one their bodies were altered and the four Autobots now sported slight changes to fit their new alt-modes.

    The bots stood there, silently taking in their new appearance before Ratchet stepped forward with a military air about him that caused them to give him their full attention.

    "Ok, listen up." He began. "Your main priority is to track down and identify whatever's causing that blasted interference. Remember, this is a reconnaissance mission only!" Here he gave Bumblebee and Wheeljack a pointed look. "Until we get the lay of the land, discretion is crucial. Do not blow your cover unless absolutely necessary. Got it?"

    Various sounds and levels of acknowledgement were heard from the group.

    "Good luck, boys." Arcee supplied.

    "You are to report back at the ship at the latest in three mega-cycles. Alright people! Transform and Roll Out!"

    "Yes, sir!"


    Down at the docks of Detroit, four cars surfaced from the water and drove onto land.

    As they gathered around, they turned back and forth in a manner similar to a person taking in his surroundings.

    The immediate vicinity was an utter mess as several wooden crates and other structures had been upturned, banged up or outright crushed beneath tank treads.

    The area as utterly devoid of life.

    "Man, it must've been some party." A small yellow hatchback car – Bumblebee – said as he turned to the others. "I'd hate to be the one stuck behind with the bill though."

    "This was done quite recently." A black police motorbike – Prowl – deduced. "Whoever – or whatever – did this can't be far away."

    An explosion rose above the rooftops a few blocks down.

    "… You think?" A green armored van – Bulkhead – said sarcastically.

    "Judging by the noise I'd say they're this way too." A white sports car with red and green markings – Wheeljack – noted as he turned in place to face the opposite direction.

    "What should we do, Wheeljack?" Bulkhead asked, turning to the older 'bot for orders.

    "Ok, listen up." The sports car began as the other vehicles turned towards him. "Since we need to locate what's causing that interference, we'll split up in order to cover more ground."

    "Is that really such a good idea?" Bumblebee muttered. "We have no idea what may be out there? Like Ratchet said, maybe Decepticons…"

    "Or worse." Prowl droned, causing the yellow car to shudder.

    "Look, we're disguised as the natives. As long as we don't call attention to ourselves, we should be alright."

    "I guess…"

    "Now, Bumblebee and Bulkhead, you two are accustomed with working together so you two will investigate east."


    "Leave it to us."

    "Which means Prowl and I will investigate west."


    "Since our com-links are down, use your emergency-flares if you discover anything or are in need of back-up. That's all."

    "Let's roll!" Bumblebee said, turning to Bulkhead. The large van "nodded" in agreement.

    "Be careful not to blow your cover!" Wheeljack called jovially over his "shoulder" as the four vehicles split and drove off in two different directions.

    "Right back at ya, Beardo!" Bumblebee tossed back.


    "Are you certain that was wise?" The black motorcycle asked as they drove between the storage houses littering the docks.

    "Hm? Whatever do you mean, Prowl."

    "Sending those two on their own. Sure, they may be able to work well together if the need arises, but they aren't exactly good at Preventing such a need from rising in the first place."

    "If that's the way you feel, why didn't you speak up back there then?"

    "I… kind of had something else on my mind."

    "Hmm. Really now?" The sports car droned suspiciously.

    The two drove on in silence for a few moments before the sports car spoke up again.

    "This seems like a good a place as any."

    Before the motorcycle had the chance to respond, the sports car drove in front of the cycle and blocked its path. A series of metal-parts contorted and Wheeljack stood there in robot-mode with his hand on his hips, waiting for the motorcycle to follow his lead.

    Two seconds later, the sleek cyber-ninja robot stood upright before him.

    "What do you mean?" Prowl finally questioned, confused by the older bot's actions. "A good a place for what?"

    Wheeljack seemed to smirk as he regarded the cyber-ninja.

    "We need to talk."



    Author's notes:
    As promised, the story is a little more different from canon now (though a lot of it is still directly from the show).

    "Animated Personality Vangelus" is the cameo of an internet reviewer who paradoxically enough has received fan art of himself by Derrick J. Wyatt, the Art Director of TFA. As such, you can find Vangelus in the 2nd AllSpark Almanac.
  7. Emotwo

    Emotwo Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Trophy Points:
    Chapter 4: Who Polices the Police Drones? - Part 2.


    The bay-area of New Detroit was in a state of mass evacuation as people ran desperately to escape the rampaging Police Drones. More and more people had been forced to evacuate as the havoc had spread across the docks and involved not only the Sumdac Systems' facilities, but also the wharfs, shipyards and warehouses located in the surrounding area.

    The mass of people were all running in one specific direction, trying to make it further inland and into the main city as yellow lasers flew above their heads.

    One dock-worker stumbled and tripped, falling flat on the asphalt and was left behind. Propping himself onto his knees, the burly man froze as a shadow fell over him. Looking behind him, he saw a drone carefully train its laser gun-arms down at him.

    The paralyzed man flinched as the sound of a shot went through the air.

    Carefully – as he realized he hadn't been blasted – he opened his eyes and saw the drone shake and fall onto its back as sparks and smoke trailed out of a hole in its chest. Blinking in confusion, the dock-worker was shocked out of his stupor as a police officer in a flak vest and helmet stood above him, wisps of smoked trailing from the officer's weapon indicating that it had just been fired.

    Lifting the helmet's visor, the female officer barked at the man. "What the heck are you doing? Get to stepping!"

    After nodding dumbly, the man scrambled to his feet and took off. The woman fired a few rounds at approaching drones, downing a few, before she turned and ran herself, tossing the weapon's empty clip on the ground.

    Further up the road, other policemen dressed in similar gear stood and waved the running civilians past a makeshift barricade of upturned cars and downed drones. One of the policemen noticed the female officer approaching and greeted her.

    "I think that's the last of them." she said as she joined the others. "Any word yet?"

    "No, Lieutenant, but hopefully those leading the evacuation has made it clear of the interference and contacted the station for back-up."

    "And hopefully Captain Fanzone will successfully evacuate the west-side. But until we're sure the people have made it to safety, we must hold them back as long as we can."

    "Yes, Lieutenant."

    Taking position behind the barricade, the policemen watched dust rise up in the distance as a horde of drones rolled down the road towards them.

    "Here they come".


    Elsewhere, the red-haired little girl whom had pelted Powell with tomatoes stood at the edge of an alley, watching the streets with trepidation.

    "Fer cryin' out loud, what kind of mess have they created now?" she muttered to herself.

    Earlier she had heard all those screams and now, all around, Police drones stumbled clumsily about, knocking down trashcans and clanging into each other as they overcrowded the streets.

    The girl 'eeped' as a drone suddenly clanged into the corner of the alley. It made to grab her, but the drones proved once again too large to fit in between the buildings. Watching the stubby claw continue to grasp air a few inches from her face with a deadpan expression, the girl shrugged and decided to disappear down the alley before it actually mustered up the brainpower to use its lasers or something.


    Bumblebee and Bulkhead drove along the edge of the harbor, opting to investigate the outer perimeter first.

    So far they had yet to encounter anything special, but like the area where they had initially surfaced, crushed crates and various kinds of debris littered the ground while a specific tread mark pattern reoccurred every which way.

    "You'd think some kind of swarm has pushed its way through here. This place is a mess!" The armored van – Bulkhead – commented as he took in his surroundings.

    "No kidding." his partner responded. "If not for those track marks, I would've assumed YOU had been the one rushing through here."

    "Yeah…" A blink. "Hey!"

    "You have to admit, there are similarities." the yellow hatchback noted playfully.

    The large van harrumphed but let it slide. This kind of banter was completely normal between the two and they both knew no real harm was intended.

    Driving in the small space cleared between the buildings and the water, the two had to drive slowly to avoid Bumblebee being knocked into the drink.

    "Man. Considering all these buildings, you'd think we would've encountered some signs of life by now." Bulkhead said.

    Just as he finished his sentence, the two passed the length of a building and entered an open clearing by the docks. The two vehicles instantly ground to a halt as they saw the parking lot located in the clearing. Or rather, the remains of it.

    Like everything else they'd seen so far, the cars before them had been knocked over, crushed and trampled flat, and broken glass and twisted metal was strewn all around. Some of the totaled vehicles were even on fire with small plumes of smoke rising up from them.

    To a human it was an utter mess – but to the 'bots, it looked like a bloody carnage.

    Finally, Bumblebee turned to his friend and muttered hesitantly.

    "W-well… We've finally come across something… Though I wouldn't exactly call it signs of life."

    "A-Are they all dead?"

    "Looking at the state they're in, I don't really want to imagine the alternative."

    The two cautiously drove forward to take a closer look at the wreckages.

    "Sheesh – Whatever scrapped these guys, they didn't stand a chance." Bumblebee noted, driving past a car that had had its roof crushed down under the familiar tread mark pattern.

    The same car suddenly collapsed on its damaged axels and fell flat on the ground, causing its hood to pop open from the shock and the car horn to make one final bitter sound of agony.

    "Oh man, I feel sick." the armored van commented nauseously as the horn fizzled out. "Let's hurry up and leave, alright?"

    "Y-yeah, ok. We still need to search some more before we return to the… Hm?" Bumblebee paused as he heard some kind of grinding sound grow closer.

    Looking further in-land, he saw a strange robot roughly the size of his own vehicle-mode roll into view from behind a factory.

    "H-Hey, look. There's somebody there!" Bumblebee exclaimed to his friend and then turned towards the foreign 'bot, shouting. "Hey! Hey, you! Over here!"

    The robot paused in place and then slowly turned to regard Bumblebee and Bulkhead.

    "Whew, thank goodness we finally found someone! We're, eh, travelers! And we were hoping you could help us get the lay of the land!" Bumblebee called across the clearing.

    "But before that, what happened here! What kind of thing would DO this?" Bulkhead called, gesturing to the carnage and once again balked at the sight. "Are… Are there Decepticons on this planet or something?"

    The robot stood perfectly still, regarding them, blankly.

    "Um, hello? Do you hear us?" Bulkhead called unsurely before turning towards Bumblebee. "Maybe he can't understand us."

    "Cybertronian, foo'! Do - you - speak - it?"

    Nothing. The robot didn't give them any response whatsoever.

    The two Autobots were about to approach the robot when suddenly the same grinding noise its tread wheels had been making sounded again, only on a much louder scale. The very next moment, an identical robot rolled into view from the same place as the first one.

    Then another.

    And another!

    One by one the robots rolled out, positioning themselves behind the first one which had slowly begun to advance towards the Autobots. The two Autobots in question were starting to back up as they began putting together two-and-two.

    "Um, Bumblebee?" The larger vehicle mumbled nervously. "Do you get the feeling that these guys…"

    "..might've been the ones that slagged the other guys in the first place? Why, yes." Bumblebee replied in a flat tone. "I will indeed admit it's starting to cross my mind."

    "Maybe we should…"

    "Yeah. I agree."

    "RUN!" The two Autobot cried in unison and whirled around to drive back the way they came.

    They halted in their tracks immediately however as they saw more of the identical robots roll towards them on that very path.

    "Ah!" Bumblebee exclaimed.

    "Quick! This way!" Bulkhead hollered and drove the pathway left between the approaching groups, leading the Autobots further in-land among the factories.

    The Police drones, now in active pursuit, began firing their hand-mounted weapons.

    "Gha! They're shooting at us!" Bumblebee exclaimed as he weaved between a hail of lasers.

    As the two drove up through the harbor, more and more of the Police drones slid out of the woodworks, emerging from between the buildings and joining the pursuit.

    "How many of these things ARE there?" Bulkhead exclaimed exasperated as they were now being tailed by dozens of drones.

    "They're everywhere! GHA-!" Just at that moment a drone turned the corner of a building ahead of the Autobots, placing it directly in the path of the speeding Bumblebee.

    Reacting in an instant, the yellow car contorted and became a whirl of movements as it turned into a yellow humanoid robot. Going with his momentum, Bumblebee placed his hands on top of the drone and somersaulted over it, transformed back into vehicle-mode before he even touched the ground.

    The confused drone turned to follow, but one of the drones that had been chasing them slammed forcefully into its back, causing the two to fall to the ground in a cluttered mess as the rest of them rolled by.

    "Haha! Did you see that?" Bumblebee gloated as they sped off. "Now THAT was stylish!"

    "Bumblebee, we weren't supposed to blow our cover, remember?" Bulkhead chided from his side.

    "Oh, come on." Bumblebee deadpanned as he sidestepped another volley of lasers. "How could it possibly make our situation worse at this point?"


    Not far away, the CMX prototype suddenly swung its head around in alarm as it received a stream of data from the drones.

    Its crimson-tinted visor shined ominously.


    Back with the two Autobots, Bumblebee and Bulkhead had managed to gain a lead on the slower-moving drones. They both figured it wouldn't last long however as everywhere they went, more drones were literally just around the corner.

    "Man, what are we supposed to do?" Bulkhead moaned as the two turned a corner and for once entered a street that didn't have drones already waiting.

    As they passed yet another concrete building, this one with a large entrance in the middle, Bumblebee screeched to a halt.

    "Huh? What are you doing, little buddy?" Bulkhead called as he noticed and came to a stop himself. "We've got to keep going or they'll catch up to us!"

    Bumblebee however was regarding something on the wall. A sign that identified the large building in front of them as a multi-storied parking facility. The sign also displayed pictograms of different types of vehicles.

    "Hey, Bulkhead, I Think I've found something! I can't read the symbols, but I think it means this a building meant for the kind of bots we're disguised as. Come on! Maybe we can find some help in here! Or a place to hide at least…!"

    "Okay, but let's hurry! I can hear them right around the corner now."

    As they hurried towards the entrance, an alarming sound suddenly erupted behind them. Swerving, Bumblebee narrowly dodged a small missile that followed him through the entrance. Missing its intended target, the missile arched upwards and detonated, causing the ceiling to cave in.

    "Bumblebee!" Bulkhead called as the entrance was blocked with rock and concrete, cutting the two Autobots off from each other.

    Transforming into a large stocky robot, Bulkhead immediately began pulling at the rubble.

    "Don't worry, little buddy! I'll be there in a nano-cli-GHAA!" he exclaimed as a grenade suddenly shot into the back of his head and exploded.

    Nursing his scalp but undamaged, Bulkhead turned around and spotted the thing that had fired both of the explosive weapons.

    Exiting an alley and standing across the road was a robot similar to the ones that had been chasing them but far larger, almost rivaling Bulkhead in size, and unlike the others it sported a round head with a beady crimson optic. Small rockets were visible inside an open panel on its long clawed forearm and a large but short barrel extended from its opposite shoulder.

    As Bulkhead regarded the thing cautiously, he noticed that the other drones were spilling out all around them, surrounding the street.

    "Look…" Bulkhead attempted when none of the robots made an immediate move against him. "I have no quarrel with you guys and I have NO idea what's going on here on this planet, but my buddy is in there and if you get in my way then I'm not gonna hold back!"

    The robots stood quiet.

    "Okay…" Bulkhead attempted. "We good?"

    The response he received was the CMX-01's crimson optic flashing brighter, followed by a horde of Police drones charging him.


    On the other side of the debris, Bumblebee regarded the large chunks of concrete that piled up and blocked the entrance before him. As they had only missed his hood by a hair, the yellow car was somewhat frozen in place from the scare.

    A small chunk of concrete suddenly loosened from the damaged ceiling and fell, bouncing off of Bumblebee's roof.

    "Ow!" He said, being effectively shaken out of his stupor. "Oh, man! What the slag just happened?"

    In a second, the Autobot changed from a car into a robot.

    "Bulkhead? Yo, Bulky, can you hear me?" he called loudly. Pressing his head against the debris, he could hear the muffled noises of the tank treads belonging to those infernal robots. He also heard lasers being continuously fired and what sounded like Bulkhead grunting.

    Eyes widening in realization, Bumblebee began lifting and pushing aside the rubble separating him from his friend.

    "Hang on, Bulky! I'll be there in a nano-click!"

    Grabbing one of the larger chunks of concrete, Bumblebee grunted and groaned as he couldn't seem to lift the blasted thing out of the way. Repositioning himself, he leaned his entire frame against it and tried pushing instead.

    "Urgh! Okay…! Make that TWO nano-clicks…!" he groaned as the large chunk moved across the ground inch by inch.


    "Get. OFF!" Bulkhead roared as he threw his mighty arms outwards, violently shrugging off the drones clamoring him.

    A multitude of drones crashed flat on their backs onto the pavement, but several kept themselves out of Bulkhead's reach and kept a solid stream of lasers firing at him. The lasers weren't able to penetrate or even dent Bulkhead's thick armor, but it restricted his movements as he had to protect his face at least from the onslaught.

    Peeking out from behind his arm, Bulkhead released the wrecking-ball on his other arm and swung it by its cable vertically to build up momentum. Deciding on his target, he let the wrecking-ball fly and smashed it into the ground among a cluster of drones, caving in the pavement. The shock from the impact caused half a dozen drones to tip and fall over, rendering them pretty much harmless due to their clumsy bodies.

    Instead of retracting the ball immediately, Bulkhead tugged on the cable and whipped it in a half circle around him, knocking down over ten this time with the cable rather than the ball itself.

    As he retracted the cable, Bulkhead took a second to gather his thoughts. So far he'd managed to disable the drones without harming them too much – because for all he knew, they were actual life forms – but he didn't know how long he could keep this up.

    'This isn't good.' he thought frantically. 'I've never been in real combat before. What the heck am I supposed to do?'

    As a drone charged, Bulkhead quickly sidestepped and pushed on its back, making it whizz harmlessly by.

    'Man. And people say I'm clumsy.' He sweatdropped as the drone fell forward and skidded across the ground. The undynamic drones were making even Bulkhead look graceful by comparison.

    Snapping back to attention, Bulkhead tried to think what the elder bots – the ones that had actually experienced war – would do in his place.

    'Hmm, Arcee would probably try to reason with them first.' he thought, picturing the pink and white femme. 'Tried that. Didn't work.'

    He backhanded another drone casually.

    'Ratchet would probably yell at them until they got scared and backed off. That won't work for me either.'

    Charging into a laser barricade, Bulkhead grabbed onto two shooting drones and slammed them together.

    'As for Wheeljack,' he went on as he let the drones collapse onto the ground. 'He would probably just blow everything up, first by accident, then on purpose. And after that, blow stuff up some more.'

    The drones were easy enough to merely incapacitate, but no matter how many he knocked down more just kept coming. At his lack of progress, both in battle and strategy, he grabbed the sides of his head and groaned in frustration.

    "Nuts and bolts! This is getting me nowhere! How am I supposed to stop these guys?"

    Blinking, he suddenly turned to look past the crowd of drones.

    There, standing on the far end of the street was the CMX-01, still standing where it had emerged earlier as it watched the struggle from the sidelines.

    A drone made an attempt at assaulting the Autobot from behind only to be knocked down by an absentminded backhand as Bulkhead's eyes never left the CMX.

    "Hold on, I know…" he finally said and transformed into vehicle mode.

    The armored van then raced forward, plowing past the drones in its path. Clearing the mass of drones, Bulkhead transformed back to robot mode and ran straight at the CMX-drone.

    "In a situation like this, if I take down the leader then the other guys should back off!" he exclaimed as he charged at the prototype drone with both wreaking-balls swinging from his arms.

    The CMX-01 was finally prompted to participate personally in the battle and fired a double-volley consisting of both a rocket launched from its forearm and a grenade fired from its shoulder-barrel.

    Both explosives detonated against Bulkhead's chest with less than a second in-between and the Autobot was enveloped in black smoke. Dazed from the explosions, Bulkhead staggered back a step or two, but he then shook his head and refocused on the large drone.

    "Not good enough!" he called as he immediately resumed his charge.

    The drone kept firing grenades from the barrel on its shoulder, but the Autobot powered on through, shrugging off the continuous explosions as he advanced upon it.

    He was now only sixty feet away.

    Fifty feet.


    During the barrage, the drone raised its other arm and fired a rocket from it as well, but this one was aimed slightly downwards.

    As Bulkhead swiped aside a grenade-explosion with his arm, the rocket split open and released a capture net which tangled around Bulkhead's legs. It was instantly torn apart under the robots powerful steps, but it was enough to upset his balance and Bulkhead belly flopped harshly onto the ground in front of the CMX-01.

    "Hngh! Don't think you're going to…" Bulkhead glared up at his opponent and was about to push himself to his feet when several weights crashed onto his back. The Police drones had all followed and were now crashing onto and piling on top of the prone Autobot, pinning him down with the weight from their sheer numbers.

    So close and yet so far.

    "Hey! Get off!" Bulkhead complained as more and more drones piled onto him. While the Autobot's brute strength was impressive, his pinned limbs prevented him from getting any leverage and the drones just kept piling on, eventually hiding his entire body from view.

    As the Police drones in the plaza – approximately over 70 of them – were now creating an impromptu hill on top of the struggling Autobot, the CMX-01 approached them, raised a clawed arm and smashed it into the back of the closest drone.

    Data flickered across the CMX-01's optic and then, panels on the stabbed drone's body burst open as dozens of thick cables shot out and latched onto the surrounding drones.

    Electric currents arched across the bodies of those drones and they released cables of their own, creating a process that repeated itself until every single drone were wired up among each other.

    Retracting its massive arm, the CMX-01 backed away as energy ran rampant between the linked drones with thick electric currents dancing across the pile as the energy just kept building and building. The drones turned positively white-glowing before shifting to a dark red and finally; overloaded simultaneously, creating a large explosion that shook the entire plaza.

    As small bits of drone-debris rained down from above, the CMX-01 rolled forward to inspect the large figure lying prone at ground zero.

    Bulkhead lay flat on his stomach, frazzled. The bot was still in one piece, but his armor was smoldering.

    "Urgh… That hurt…" he moaned as he weakly looked up at the prototype drone.

    As Bulkhead fell unconscious, the CMX-01's red optic created a stark contrast within his darkening vision, glowing brightly as the rest of the world turned black.


    Bumblebee stopped digging and pressed the side of his head against the rubble. He had heard several explosions but it was the loud one just now that actually had him worried.

    "Bulkhead? Are you alright?" he called.

    Listening closely, he tried to discern any sign of his friend's wellbeing.

    Finally, he heard a scratching noise as something began shifting through the other side of the rubble. Bumblebee smiled and was about to call out before the scratching sounds grew in number as if several things were digging together.

    Realizing that what was trying to reach him wasn't his friend, Bumblebee stepped back and regarded the rubble with a worried look.

    He then donned a determined expression and transformed into his vehicle mode.

    "Don't worry, old buddy. I'll be back for you. Count on it!"

    The yellow hatchback then drove deeper into the building, disappearing down a sloping pathway spiraling downwards.


    "Blast it all! And we had almost made it to the bridge and everything!" Captain Fanzone growled, standing with rifle in-hand. His group was once again under fire by rampaging drones and the policemen were hunkered down behind the upturned swat car to avoid the continuous lasers.

    Frowning, Fanzone analyzed the situation.

    They had rounded up any stragglers they could find on the west-side of the harbor and had block-by-block guided them towards one of the two bridges leading into the main city. It had been a slow and excruciating process as they had been accosted by small groups of drones on seemingly every corner, but now they only had to cross one final intersection before they were seemingly home-free. This T-shaped crossroad was the last place the drones could cut into the road before them on their way to the bridge.

    And of course, this is exactly where they ended up running into the largest group of drones yet.

    "This is why I HATE machines." Fanzone grumbled.

    Leaning around the side of the van, Fanzone managed to fire three shots before he was forced to resume cover. He managed to hit and incapacitate two drones, but more just kept coming as they heedlessly rolled over their fallen on their tank treads.

    The swat van lied in the middle of the T-shaped intersection as the drones peppered it with lasers from the side-road. Dozens of scared civilians cowered behind the corner of the building on the street behind Fanzone and his men, unable to cross the intersection and run the final blocks to safety because of the continuous lasers that whizzed past the swat van.

    Fanzone's eyes narrowed. Every second they wasted here increased the risk of drones catching up to them from behind as well. They needed to get the people moving. Now.


    "Interesting." Wheeljack commented as he and Prowl stood parked in a nearby alley, observing the skirmish. "It appears there's some kind of dispute taking place between two different tribes on this planet. Heh – Ain't that always the case?"

    "What ARE those little ones though?" Prowl asked. "They don't look like anything I've ever seen before."

    The motorcycle turned its front wheel as if to regard the sports car.

    "Can't you scan them to find out what they are? Like you did with those quote-unquote Lifeforms earlier?"

    "Hey, no need for sarcasm. Teletran-1 was the one who jumped to conclusions and assumed that the vehicles we're camouflaged as were the actual inhabitants of this world. That blasted interference probably had something to do with that as well…" Wheeljack trailed off, grumbling.

    "As for your question, I can't. With that horrendous broadcast floating through the air, I need to be completely up-close in order for it to work." he continued. "Buut, if I were to hazard a guess; I'd say they are organics."

    The motorcycle turned to regard the sports car again. "What? Organics? Are you sure?"

    "Like I said, I'm guessing here. But taking into account their overall build and appearance, not to mention the moisture on this planet – like that stuff the Orion is currently submerged in – I'd say it's a valid bet."

    "Why is the "moisture" important?"

    "Organics are partially composed of liquids, y'see. And if this planet has it in abundance then it would make sense for organic life to evolve."

    "I see... Fascinating."

    The two watched the skirmish in silence for a few more seconds. Finally, Wheeljack spoke up.

    "Well, interesting though it may be – this isn't getting us anywhere. Let's keep looking for the source of that signal, shall we?" Wheeljack stated and began backing up.

    "What? We're not going to do anything about this?" Prowl exclaimed in surprise as he spun one-eighty in order to face the retreating sports car.

    "Like what? That over there isn't any of our business, kid. Besides, we know Nothing about how this planet and its inhabitants works. Just how would we even know which group we should side with?"

    "Well… I…"

    At a loss of words, the cycle turned back to regard the scene outside the alley.

    He saw how a couple of the organics leapt into the danger zone, risking themselves in order to guide their kin to safer ground.

    He also saw how the Police Drones simply crushed their own comrades underfoot, caring about nothing besides getting at the organics.

    In an odd display of expression (for a motorcycle), Prowl's headlights seemed to glow focused.

    "Well, are you coming?" Wheeljack called as he was exiting the other side of alley.

    "I've decided."

    "Huh? Decided what?"

    "Whom to side with."

    With that declaration, Prowl revved his engine and raced out of the alley and towards the battle.

    "Kid, wait! Ratchet told us to lay low, remember?"

    The sports car stood rooted as it watched the cycle leave.

    "Oh, who am I kidding?" Wheeljack snorted and revved his own engines. "I've never been good at listening to his instructions."


    "Are you Done yet?" Fanzone hollered over the gunfire as he and several officers provided cover fire for the ones guiding the civilians in groups across the dangerous street.

    "Not by a longshot, sir! We need more time!"

    "Fer crying out loud…" Fanzone grumbled beneath his breath. The drone he'd been focusing his fire on finally collapsed and he barked over his shoulder, "Just hurry it up!"

    Despite the excessive gunfire, the drones were relentlessly gaining ground, coming closer and closer.

    Fanzone jerked as his weapon suddenly jammed.

    "Oh typical. I need another weapon here!"

    Before Fanzone got a reply, a shadow loomed over him. He turned and saw a drone had closed the distance completely and was about to grab him.

    Fanzone was not one to roll over though and immediately shifted his weapon to wield as a club, batting the outstretched arm away. The drone stalled and examined its hand for a few seconds, as if surprised, before turning back towards Fanzone. The Police Captain readied his "club" as the drone this time trained its laser at him.

    However, they were both distracted by the sudden roar of a motorcycle engine. Fanzone turned his head leftwards to see a police-cycle – an unmanned police-cycle – race towards them at full throttle.

    "Holy!" Fanzone exclaimed as the police-cycle twisted and contorted in motion, turning into a sleek humanoid-looking robot that leapt through the air and flying-kicked the drone with full force. The drone was sent rolling across the street until it crashed into a building and collapsed against the wall.

    With the immediate threat dealt with, the robot turned to face Fanzone, causing him to step back in alarm as he and the other officers regarded it cautiously.

    "Easy." The robot said while raising its arms in a pacifying gesture. "My name is Prowl. I'm an Autobot. I'm… I'm here to help."

    The humans blinked in surprise, not quite sure what to make of this situation.

    As man and machine stood there facing each other, another Police Drone managed to close in, this one targeting Prowl.

    He made to counter the incoming drone, but before he had made it halfway around, the drone was sent flying as a white sports car rammed it. The sports car then followed the cycle-robot's lead and changed shape, turning into a buff-looking humanoid.

    "Sorry! Sorry." the white robot called after the drone he just sent flying. "Nothing personal, you hear?"

    "Wheeljack." Prowl stated, turning to face the car-robot.

    'Wheeljack' wasted no time and immediately turned to the confounded humans.

    "Greetings! Bah weep graaaaagnah weep ni ni bong." he said. Immediately, he turned to face the drones, repeating the odd message; "Bah weep graaaaagnah weep ni ni bong."

    Complete and utter silence.

    "…ni ni? …Bong?" He tried helplessly, looking back and forth between the nonplussed drones and the stupefied humans.

    Heck, even Prowl looked at him oddly.

    "…Anybody?" Wheeljack let out, apparently expecting a bigger reaction than he was getting or any kind of reaction for that matter.

    "Wheeljack…" Prowl began in a flat tone. "What kind of nonsense was that?"

    "What do you mean 'nonsense?" he replied, whirling around to face Prowl. "That was the Universal Greeting. Don't they teach you youngbots anything these days?"

    Prowl's expression was a flat look of skepticism.

    As the two robots quarreled, Captain Fanzone grabbed another officer's laser-rifle and aimed it towards Wheeljack. The Autobots failed to notice his actions until it was too late.

    Without hesitation, Fanzone pulled the trigger.


    "Hellooo? Anybody?" a distraught voice sounded throughout the parking basement.

    Bumblebee was slowly driving around and prodding various cars in hope of a response.

    "Seriously. Anyone home?" he asked as he nudged a van with his bumper. "Can't anyone TALK on this planet?"

    The only sign of life in the garage was the sound of his own motor running.

    "Oh slag…" Bumblebee finally breathed as something seemed to dawn on him. "I'm in a mortuary, aren't I?"

    Paling in fear, he began to back away from the van he'd been nudging. He halted immediately as he realized he was about to back into the row of cars behind him. Bumblebee wheeled around, now feeling quite uneasy about being surrounded by so many rows of cars.

    "Okay… Okay… Calm down, Bumblebee." he muttered to himself. "There's nothing to be afraid of here. Just be respectful and find your way out as quickly as you ca…"

    "Is somebody there?"

    "GYAH!" Bumblebee screamed in shock as a different voice floated through the basement. Slowly, he wheeled around to face the direction the voice had come from.

    "H-hello?" he tried nervously.

    "Ah, so someone IS there." the voice exclaimed in a relieved tone. "Did you come down here to hide from those crazy drones too?"

    "Y-yeah, pretty much." Bumblebee answered, his nerve returning to him as he figured it was someone in the same shoes as himself. "Um… Where are you?"

    "The large red truck by the far wall." The voice replied.

    "Okay, I'll be right there."

    Doing his best to restrain himself from just racing forward, Bumblebee drove past multiple rows until he reached the cars lined up next to a concrete wall. Spotting a large red vehicle, he hurried over.

    "Ah, there you are. Thank goodness, I thought I was alone down here." he breathed in relief as he faced the red truck.

    The truck was unresponsive.

    "Um, hello?" he prodded. "Are you listening?"

    "I'm down here."


    Before Bumblebee managed to react, something opened his passenger-door.

    "Phew, I'm so glad you came." A little girl with dark skin and red hair tied up in two pigtails muttered as she jumped into the passenger-seat and began fussing with the seatbelt. "For a moment I thought I would have to stay here all ni-"

    She trailed off as she turned to face the driver, only to find the seat next to her empty.

    A pause.

    "Aaaahh!" two voices screamed in synch as the girl leapt out of the car and the two backed away from each other.

    "Wh-What in the world?" the two shouted, yet again in synch. "Wh-What are you?"

    Car and girl faced each other, both vary of the other.

    After several seconds the girl was the first one to speak.

    "You… You can talk?" she asked, breathing nervously.

    "O-Of course I can." Bumblebee replied, equally as nervous. "Ever since I was first activated."

    "Activated…?" The girl repeated, chewing on the word. "Then… That means you're some kind of robot, right?"

    "Of course I am. The question here is; what are you?"

    "Me? I'm a human. What? You've never seen one before?"

    "Can't say that I have, no."

    While the two were still cautious, they managed to relax just a little.

    "Um, hi. I'm Bumblebee." the yellow car introduced himself.

    "I'm Sari."

    "Oh, don't be." The car seemed to 'shrug'. "I like my name."

    "No-no-no, I mean my name is Sari." The girl corrected.

    "Oh, sari, Sorry. I mean Sorry, Sari. I mean, umm, My bad."

    The girl giggled as the car kept tripping over its proverbial tongue.

    They both flinched as they suddenly heard a clamor from the other side of the garage.

    "Wh-what was that?" Bumblebee exclaimed, wheeling to face towards where the noise came from.

    "Hold on, let me check."

    Sari climbed atop of a car hood and peeked over the car. On the other side of the parking basement she could see that numerous police drones had entered and where now inspecting the rows of cars.

    "Oh rats! It's those crazy bots again."

    "Oh slag. They must've finished digging through the debris." Bumblebee stated. "We need to get out of here."

    "But how? They're blocking the exit."

    "Aren't there any others?"

    "Hmm, it's a long shot but I think we can get out if we go that way." Sari said and pointed further into the basement.

    "Then what are we waiting for?"

    "Whoah!" Sari exclaimed as a robotic hand extended from the car and placed her back in the passenger-seat.

    "Let's go!" Bumblebee exclaimed and began driving.

    After a short moment, they reached the innermost part of the garage where they found an open door leading to a stairway.

    "Oh no." Sari exclaimed as she looked at the size of the doorway. "I figured you'd might be able to drive up the stairs, but the door is too small for you to even get through."

    Bumblebee stared at the doorway silently for a few seconds.

    "… Sari? Get out."

    "What? But I can't just run away on my own."

    "Don't worry. I've got a little trick I can use."

    "A trick?"

    "You'll see." the car audibly "smiled".

    As she exited the car, Bumblebee backed away a few feet.

    "Okay, here we go."

    Sari's eyes widened as she watched the car contort and shift shape, changing from a small car into a humanoid robot that towered above her.

    "Whoaaah." she breathed amazed.

    "I should manage to squeeze through like this, don't you think?" Bumblebee said as he placed his hands on his hips and smiled down at her.


    "Whoa!" Wheeljack exclaimed as the laser Captain Fanzone fired whizzed by him and hit a Police Drone right behind the Autobot. The drone was blasted right in the center of its body and collapsed, the energy in its charged laser-arms dissipating.

    "In case you people haven't noticed..." Fanzone barked as the Autobots turned from the downed drone to the human. "..this ISN'T exactly the time or place for a Tea-party! Continue with the evacuation and providing cover fire! We need to get the last of the civilians out of here!"

    "Y-Yes,sir!" the officers called, snapping back into action.

    Fanzone then pointed at the Autobots. "And you two! You guys say you want to help? Then try to pay attention to the situation!"

    The two robots blinked as they saw the rapidly approaching drones.

    "Um... Yes. Quite right." The white robot nodded and the two prepared for the incoming wave.

    Exploding into action, Prowl jumped forward and nimbly turned upside down, supporting himself on his hands while performing a rotating kick. Three drones were tossed backwards and fell to the ground unresponsive.

    Wheeljack's fighting style was quite different from the ninja's stylish movements. Pulling his fists up close to his chest, he rocked slightly on the balls of his feet before he leapt forward and quickly jabbed a drone three times in succession before knocking it flat on its back with a powerful uppercut. He then turned and bobbed to the side to avoid an incoming laser shot. Closing in on the drone that fired, Wheeljack delivered a left overhand punch that sent it crashing front first into the pavement.

    Between Prowl's high kicks, Wheeljack's boxing and the policemen's laser-fire, the drones were efficiently distracted allowing the rest of the officers to help the civilians make it across the dangerous street quickly and in one piece. When they reached the cover of the buildings on the other side the officers waved them onward, telling them to keep running to the bridge. However, some of the reporters like that Vangelus-fellow had to be pushed along as they were completely mesmerized with the humanoid robots fighting the Sumdac drones.

    "So, you mechanic shape shifters working for Sumdac Systems?" Fanzone questioned as he made a drone fall flat on its front as he took out its tank treads.

    "Well, no." Prowl replied as he sent a shuriken into a drone's lasergun-arm, causing it to blow up and topple the drone. "We're sort of from out of town."

    "WAY out of town." Wheeljack added as he clocked another drone.

    "Humph, just as well." Fanzone stated, quickly reloading. "Seeing as this is Powell and his company's mess in the first place!"

    "Is that so…" Prowl trailed off, saving the names to memory. While he did, he casually tripped a drone and stepped on its weapons for good measure.

    The three were making tremendous headway, thinning out the herd at a rapid rate. It was then Wheeljack suddenly called over to Prowl.

    "Hey! You think you can handle the rest from here?"

    "No problem." Prowl waved casually. "Do your thing."

    "What?" Fanzone questioned, holding his fire as he did. "What's he going to do?"

    Meanwhile, Wheeljack walked around, a hand on his chin in a thoughtful manner as he regarded some of the toppled drones. Many were lying completely inactive while others were flailing on the ground like stranded fish. One of them was even trying to raise an arm and train its laser at Wheeljack from its prone position.

    Seeing this, Wheeljack's eyes lit up and he walked over to it with a slight bounce in his step.

    "You seem quite lively." he smiled while casually crushing the weapon underfoot.

    He then knelt down, leaning over the drone as a scope lowered from underneath his helmet and settled over his left eye.

    "Now… Let's see what makes you guys tick."


    Elsewhere, video-feeds of the battle played across the CMX-drone's optic. It had returned to Sumdac Systems' robot-plant at the end of the harbor, and was currently passing an assembly-line that produced new Police drones continuously.

    The Autobots were starting to become a nuisance, and whatever the CMX was up to, it needed more time to do it.

    Entering a control-room, it interfaced with the main computer and began changing the schematics of the drones being produced in the factory.


    Before long, the commotion settled as Prowl felled the last drone with a kick to its front. They were all spread across the street disabled, but considerably few seemed to be broken beyond repair.

    He then turned towards Fanzone . The last of the civilians had long gotten away so the man stood casually with the few remaining officers, his rifle held behind his head and across his shoulders.

    "You know, you do pretty good work… for a machine." he said, half-smirking at the cyberninja. "How about it? Wanna come work for our Police Department?"

    Blinking, Prowl regarded him for a few seconds before letting out an amused chuckle. "Heh. I'll think about it."

    "Well this is interesting." Wheeljack remarked from where he sat on a pile of drones.

    "What is?" Prowl asked as he walked over to him. Fanzone slowly trailed after out of curiosity.

    "Apparently, we didn't need to be as cautious as we were." Wheeljack said as he tinkered inside one of the drones' circuitry. "I've been checking them several times over, and I'm certain that like those vehicles earlier these things aren't life forms at all."

    "What? Are you sure?" Prowl questioned while Fanzone raised an eyebrow.

    "Absolutely. No Spark nor any sense of self or emotions. Not even a hint of A.I, just programs and parameters. In short; they're nothing but your typical run of the mill drones."

    "So we restrained ourselves for no good reason then."

    "Hahaha – yeah." Wheeljack guffawed as he stood up, dusting off his hands. "Funny, isn't it?"

    "Hold up, hold up!" Fanzone cut in, prompting the two to look at him. "Are you telling me you were holding back during the fight? And because you thought they were Alive? They're robots!"

    "WE're robots." Wheeljack said simply.

    "And very much alive." Prowl added while crossing his arms. "And one of the creeds of our kind is to respect and preserve life to the extent of our abilities."

    Fanzone frowned and looked at them silently. After a few seconds, he somewhat nervously asked; "You guys… What ARE you really?"

    "We are Cybertronians. Autonomous robotic organisms, also known as 'Autobots'." Wheeljack declared proudly, puffing out his chest. "There exists a different faction from our planet as well, but the less said about them, the better."

    Prowl snorted in agreement.

    Fanzone's eyebrows were high on his forehead as he mutely watched them with wide eyes. Seeing that the robots were quite serious, he finally reassumed his regular expression and groaned.

    "Aw, man. Paperwork is going to be a Nightmare tonight."

    A distant grinding noise suddenly caught their attention and they turned to look down the road Fanzone and the civilians had originally travelled.

    Down the road, a new group of Police Drones came into view, their tank treads grinding noisily as they rolled towards them.

    "Captain!" the officers called as they ran up to join them.

    "Yeah… Looks like we got the people away just in time," Fanzone said as he prepared his rifle. "We should hurry and make ourselves scarce as well."

    "If that's the case, then allow us to give you a lift."

    Before Fanzone could respond, Wheeljack contorted and transformed back into a white sports car with colored markings.

    His doors then popped open as he addressed the officers. "You four, you can ride with me."

    The officers looked at Fanzone who nodded noncommittally. As they got into the car, Fanzone and Prowl regarded each other with raised eyebrows until he transformed as well, turning into a Police cycle that the Captain got on.

    As they began driving the last blocks to the bridge, Fanzone looked over his shoulder at the drones.

    "Hopefully, they've gotten around to putting up a barricade at the bridge! We need to have it sealed shut before those tin cans can enter the city!"

    "Oh, I wouldn't worry too much." The sports car said in an amused tone. "I think you'll have the time."

    The motorcycle spoke up, suspicious. "Wheeljack... What did you do?"

    "Weeell – seeing as they aren't living beings and all, I felt no qualms about leaving behind a little something special."

    Behind them, the drones had reached and were crossing the intersection. As they continued on forward, a metallic orb with a blue blinking light went unnoticed on the ground.

    Finally, one of the drones nudged it as it rolled by. The blue blinking light suddenly turned to a glowing green and the orb opened, sending a pile of small metallic marbles rolling in all directions between the drones.

    Back up ahead, Wheeljack and Prowl picked up speed as they raced along.

    "Say it with me, my friends…" Wheeljack said humorously. "Wheeljack wants a big boom."

    Blocks behind them, a chain of small continuous explosions began rising into the air.


    Back in the multi-storied parking house, Police Drones rolled along investigating the different floors. Scrutinizing the rows of parked cars, they missed the movement in the small rectangular window above the emergency-exit door.

    "No good. They're on this floor too." Sari said as she carefully peeked through the glass.

    Bumblebee was hunched down beneath her so that he couldn't be seen through the window.

    "How many are there?"

    "Too many, I think. We should just keep going up."


    Bumblebee stepped away from the door and stood up, Sari sitting on his shoulder as he continued up the stairs. The bot was tiptoeing as well as supporting himself on the walls in order to climb the stairs successfully

    "Sheesh." He grumbled. "How do they expect a bot to walk on these tiny steps?"

    "Well, it's not like they're made for feet like yours. See?" Sari smiled and wiggled her feet in Bumblebee's view.

    "But what about all those guys in the basement? How do they get around?"

    "Guys in the…? Um, Bumblebee, those cars aren't exactly 'alive' like you."

    Bumblebee halted in his step.

    "Oh slag…" he muttered, looking unwell. "That WAS a mortuary down there, wasn't it?"

    "Mortuary?" Sari repeated, raising an eyebrow.

    "Oh man. I nudged dead bots. I think I'm gonna be sick." The yellow robot muttered, shuddering.

    "Bumblebee? Bumblebee!"


    "Look! Those "guys" were just vehicles. Means of transportation! Not robots!" Sari explained. "They don't have a computer-brain like yours or that ability to change form – which is so awesome by the way. They never did."

    "So…" Bumblebee began uneasily. "They're not bots that have lost their spark?"


    "Yeah, you know… Life-force and stuff."

    "M-hm. No... No they're not."

    Bumblebee's shoulders visually eased up and the bot sighed. "Phew. I was worried there for a sec."

    Sari just sat there, staring at him thoughtfully.

    "Tell me, what are you really?" she finally asked.

    "Me? I'm an Autobot. Actually, my friends and I sorta crash-landed on this planet a while back. We didn't wake up until recently though."

    "Whoa, hold up. You're from Space? That's so cool!" Sari exclaimed, her eyes literally sparkling.

    She then suddenly assumed a thoughtful pose.

    "And that would also explain why you seem so clueless." she grinned


    "No offense. No offense." She snickered, smiling at him.

    "So… Are there many "hjuuh-mens" like you on this planet?" Bumblebee asked as he proceeded to tip-toe up the stairs.

    "Oh yeah, tons. We're what you would call the "dominant species" on this planet."

    "That so? Then what's with all those crazy bots outside?"

    "Ah. Well... They're supposed to help make the city safe for us, but they seem to have short circuited or something cuz they're completely out of control." Sari explained. She then assumed a grim look as she muttered to herself. "It's definitely that Powell-jerk's fault."

    "Who?" Bumblebee asked, put off by the change in demeanor.

    "Never mind. It's not important to you." She replied dully with a downcast head.

    Bumblebee looked at her silently before he decided to change the subject.

    Anyway… My friends and I came out to investigate some kind of weird radio signal. It's messing with our systems so we can't fix our ship while it's broadcasting."

    "Signal…" Sari repeated, looking up slowly.

    She shook her head and then smacked her cheeks with her hands. It was probably and attempt to rid herself of her sullen mood, and a successful one too because when she turned back to face Bumblebee her eyes were full of life again.

    "I've got it! Powell's presentation! He was showing off some kind of new drone earlier. I bet it's that thing that's making all the other ones go crazy."

    "So, if we stop that guy…" Bumblebee smiled, catching on. "The radio signal should cease."

    "And then all the crazy drones should return to normal." Sari finished.

    The two grinned at each other in earnest.

    "To the roof!" They both exclaimed in synch, pointing upwards dramatically.


    Meanwhile, in the Autobots' ship at the bottom of Lake Erie, Ratchet was busy at work with repairing Arcee. The femme was lying flat on a medic-table in stasis for the finer parts of the operation while Ratchet sat on a chair by her side, dutifully working on assembling and attaching her new arm. Sparks and cinders flew as he carefully used his tools to weld in place her new elbow.

    Retracting that particular tool back into his backpack, Ratchet picked up some of the loose wires running out of her open elbow and examined them critically with the scope mounted on his right eye.

    "Hmm, looks like even your nerve-endings were damaged." he commented to the unconscious femme as he studied the damaged wires. "Must've happened from the pressure of your armor splintering. This must've been hurting like a glitch. And you actually tried to shrug this off as trivial? Dummy! Please make an old friend worry a little less about you from now on, would you?"

    Arcee laid still, unresponsive despite Ratchet's ranting. After glaring for a few seconds at her peaceful sleeping face, Ratchet's own face softened and he sighed deeply.

    He then retracted the rest of his tools into his body, as well as the scope on his eye.

    "I need to get some more parts in the in the cargo bay. But don't worry, Arcee. I'll be back before you know it." Ratchet said, reassuring the unconscious 'bot as he stood up and walked out of the room.

    Reaching the cargo bay, he pressed a panel at the side of the wall and the doors slid open. He stood there regarding the room before his eyes assumed a half-lidded deadpan stare.

    "Oh yeah. Forgot about that." he muttered.

    The room was a complete mess as containers were strewn around haphazardly after the tussle with Megatron. Grumbling under his breath, Ratchet stepped into the room and bent down to examine the various containers.

    "Hopefully, we didn't loose too much stuff when the airlock was opened." He commented as he dismissed a container as not the one he needed and went to check the next. "I can't imagine they have too much of the parts we Cybertronians need on this moisture-ridden planet."

    Blinking, he looked at one of the corners of the room where the damaged Cybertronian they had dug up sat with the AllSpark snug on his lap.

    "You're still with us, huh?" Ratchet commented, not expecting an answer from this 'bot either. "I guess fifty more stellar cycles sitting still is just another drive around the parking lot for you at this point. But if you would excuse me, I've got a friend to attend to."

    And with that, Ratchet resumed his search digging through the disorganized containers.

    Had he stepped closer to the comatose 'bot, he might've noticed the muffled static sounding from the com-link in its helmet. It was the same garbled interference that had given the ship's computer and the Autobots such a rude awakening and it was playing loudly and undeterred straight into the comatose robot's audio-sensors.

    The noise was horrible.

    A small cracking-sound was heard as joints that hadn't moved in a long, long time loosened and an unsteady, shaking hand reached up and tapped the side of the helmet, terminating the unbearable transmission.

    Having shifted through the mess at the other side of the room, Ratchet had finally found the container he was looking for and was currently busy digging through its inventory. Distracted as he was, he didn't notice anything was amiss until a large shadow suddenly fell over him.

    Looking behind him, Ratchet barely had time to see the raised massive arm before it slammed into the side of his head and knocked him flat onto the floor, unconscious.

    Regarding the still Autobot carefully, the large robot picked up a stray container and raised it above his head with both arms, apparently intending to finish the medic off completely.

    A few minutes later, metal doors slid open and the robot limped into the docking tunnel. Closing the door behind him, he then pressed the panel to open the exterior doors of the ship.

    As they opened, water rushed in and washed over the robots legs. Painful electric sparks seemed to arc across the robots body as the docking tunnel was filled with water and connected with his exposed circuitry. The robot stumbled for a second but then stomped down heavily with his foot and steeled himself, bearing the pain as he exited the Autobots' ship with the AllSpark container tucked under his arm.


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