Long title is long, I know. :/ Just a little introduction before the story starts...! So, I don't normally write fanfic. In fact, this is my first time posting a TF story in a public place like this, so naturally I'm all self-conscious and nervous and all that. So... please be gentle? Anyway, I've found that many TF fics tend to be about the warriors of the war, or it's politicians, or its tragic casualties, and some even tackle the view of civilian life. This multi-part story that I'm posting is about an OC of mine who is basically a blue-collar cubicle slave called a 'desk jockey' during the Cybertronian war. In short, it's probably the most boring job in the universe, besides watching paint dry. TBS reports, anyone? It should be noted that I don't take anything too seriously. Arite, talking too much. On with the tale! -------------------------------- Dark comedy. Rated PG-17 for pseudo-swearing, suggestive comments, graphic violence, cruel and unusual punishment, and making stuff up as I go along. The Revenge of the Desk Jockeys of the Cybertronian War Targa-7 is that little white dot on the grey moon there. Part 1: The Invasion of Base Targa-7 By the time the Cybertronian War had spread out across the universe, being fought on other planets or by proxy planets, those non-aligned Neutral Cybertronians who had managed to escape the war just by being elsewhere, were thriving in rough little colonies on the outskirts of the local galaxy. These settlements were not solely Cybertronian of course; they shared their work and public spaces with other species and peoples, metallic and non, and in general got along rather peacefully. These colonies often took the form of space stations along major lanes of interstellar travel, or as way stations on remote planets or planetoids. One of these Neutral stations was a solitary administration hub called Targa-7, which was conveniently located on the seventh of several moons orbiting a gas giant made up of heavy elements, hydrogen, and helium. In addition to being a paperwork factory, Targa-7 also included a small mining facility nearby devoted to siphoning the main planet for gases, later to be refined into H-energon, a type of old-fashioned energon substitute. Targa-7 was also a well-kept secret, for it kept a low profile and was not worth much in the long view of things. But, sooner or later, someone was bound to follow one of numerous cargo transports to the station and discover that it was actually a secret Decepticon supply depot... * * * * * Corporal Rush was having a bad day. It had all started in the middle of the night. Some afthole had driven one of the heavy transports from the cargo bay and smashed it into the side of the south wing barracks, causing at least one injury and forcing the other personnel to bunk on the floor of the second barracks next door. Tired and unable to recharge properly, Rush had woken up on the floor of Epsilon barracks after being rudely tripped over in the early hours of the morning. After a lot of swearing and grumpy comments and groggy explanations, Rush then arrived at his office twenty cycles late to the tune of the bulky, high-shouldered Staff-Sergeant BigJaw delivering his usual diatribe on the ineffectiveness of other people. "RUSHLIGHT!" BigJaw bellowed as he stabbed a finger over in Rush's direction. At that moment, Rush was already sprinting into the main office, trying to dodge the other cubicles en route to his own. Telecoms were blaring, the desk jockeys were already at work processing mountains of transfer data, and BigJaw was ready to begin his first round of abuse. Rush nearly halted at the Staff-Sergeant's call, and slowed his run down to a jog when he realized that he had already been singled out. He winced. "You worthless piece of scrap! Why the frag are you late?! These forms are due in ten cycles, and then there's another batch coming in from Omicron-Three that'll take five of you to process by the end of today!" BigJaw was shouting. "Where is Twofist and Turbogear?! Why is Tarball the only desk-greaser here?" he demanded, now jabbing his finger at the hapless Tarball, who was doing his best to look frantically busy. Rush sidled in behind his desk and immediately sat down at his terminal. Before he could even call up his schedule, BigJaw was in his face. ''CORPORAL!" he bellowed again, causing Rush to startle. BigJaw slammed his large hands onto the desk, causing stacks of memory sticks and datapads to slide off onto the floor with a clatter. "All these forms are yours to finish in the next nine cycles! As soon as your other two boyfriends show up, they're going to start on the Omicron job! Now get to it or it's the mines for you!" Rush cringed again as BigJaw pushed himself off the desk with another thump. Another stack of data sticks tumbled off onto the floor in the wake of Staff-Sergeant's departure. In a moment, Rush was on his knees trying to collect the datapads and memory sticks before anyone else stepped on them. He tried not to steal a glance over at Tarball -- a rather sticky individual with a considerable lack of personal hygiene -- who was already staring furtively back at him. Rush scowled at him and hastily threw his belongings back onto his desk. "Where the hell ARE Twofist and Turbogear," Rush muttered to himself, as he tried to arrange his datapads and disks in order. "They aren't in the same barracks as me, so I don't know what their excuse is." "Twofist is down at the refinery selling Syk to the miners," Tarball whispered, leaning sideways in his seat. "He didn't say when he'd be back. And I dunno where Pervogear is." Turbogear had an unfortunate reputation for dealing in shady materials as well, albeit a totally different kind from Twofist's wares. Rushlight made a face as he sat back down at his desk. "Don't call him that," he sighed, with a roll of his optics. "Why not? He's gross. I didn't know you liked him," Tarball sniffed. He wiped some stray lubricant leaking out from under his armpit. Rush didn't even bother to conceal his own disgust. "I don't," he replied, as he tried to balance the stack of datapads scattered all over his desk. "But it's thanks to him I got transferred to this place." "What? That afthole!" Tarball growled. "How could he do that to you?" "No, it was a favour," Rush insisted. "You obviously haven't even heard of E-Stalsem before." "Frag no." "The trench planet. Ion storms, sulphuric acid rain, sub-orbital debris bombardment. It was miserable. It was Turbogear who got me out of that place. Now I actually get to sit at a desk doing something normal instead of... whatever." Rush shrugged. Tarball at least seemed mollified, and leaned back in his seat again. "This boring scrap job? I'd rather be out scragging Autobots myself," said Tarball, with a derisive sneer. "S'gotta be better than being yelled at by Staff-Sergeant Scrap-jaw day in and day out." Rush didn't say anything. As he played Jenga with his datapad stack, the entire tower tipped over and splayed out all over his desk again. Rush groaned in exasperation. "Great, and now all of these are out of order... guess I'll start filing them first," he grumbled, and began sorting through the physical data. The first job of the day to file were recruitment forms. Each form detailed the name and details of various individuals who were useful to the Decepticon cause, as well as their expected paygrade. There were also three different kinds of forms: yellow ones were from the Iota-Koracs system and therefore weren't technically Cybertronian, and therefore needed to be filed under Mercenary Resources to be sent to Personnel Redistribution Resources who would then delegate these non-payroll members to various station commanders who needed non-Cybertronian personnel for assorted proxy regiments. The pink ones were new Decepticon recruits fresh from Basic that needed to be graded by their respective squad commanders and then redistributed based on their scores. Those needed to be filed to PRR in Section Delta Four, which was located across the hall. And then the blue forms were transfer sheets for troops, and the green forms were transfer sheets for goods. The white transfers were for basic equipment, the off-white transfers were for vehicles, and the orange transfers were for energon transport. Rush observed the unusually high stack of orange-lit data pads that were building up on the corner of his desk. Outgoing shipments were high this month. But first... the forms for PRR. Rush bent forward and began scanning the new data into the system. This was the backstage for the war, Rush knew. It was all... communications and orders and organized chaos. Somewhere out there, wherever the main front of the war was going on, soldiers were fighting and dying and screaming their intakes out for glory and the Cause, the Decepticon cause, and for Megatron. But that was so... far away. Elsewhere, life went on. Station commanders and battalion leaders and supply train coordinators had to send their acquisition requests somewhere, and someone had to respond to their needs. Someone had to take in all of that data and make sure things happened in the right order. This place, Targa-7, was where the guts of the war churned. Whatever got spat out the other end was someone else's problem, but at least it got there in an orderly fashion. Every cog in its place. Rush grumbled and continued his task. Time passed. The clock on the wall, which displayed time in various systems and ran stock tickers from those same systems, gradually counted down the kliks, cycles, and mega-cycles... And by the end of the third mega-cycle, Rush was buried under a pile of Twofist and Turbogear's Omicron files, fast asleep. Tarball, seated close by, had been listening to the snores for at least half a mega-cycle. "RUSHLIIIGHT!" BigJaw's voice rang in Rush's audios like cannon fire. Rush sat bolt up right like he'd been shocked, optics wide. "WHERE are your pathetic cube mates?!" BigJaw demanded, as he thrust a wide finger at the two empty terminals beside Rush's desk. "WHY isn't the the Omicron job DONE?! And WHY are you sleeping on COMPANY TIME?!" Rush had to wait a moment for the ringing to die down in his hearing receptors before he could even speak. "Sorry, sir," he muttered dazedly. "Didn't get to recharge last night, sir." "RECHARGE IS FOR LOSERS!" BigJaw bellowed. "And THAT'S why you're here behind a desk, Corporal, instead of in the field like a PROPER Decepticon! Now FINISH that Omicron job in the next mega-cycle or you'll get worse than a desk you slag-eating, cogsucking, backended DRONE!" And with that, BigJaw stomped away again, leaving Rush feeling distinctly winded. He wasn't about to tell the Staff-Sergeant where he belonged. "You should... grab some energon or something, Rush," Tarball suggested. Rush watched a small, many-legged, ferro-scab cybertick crawl down the side of Tarball's face, and shuddered. Wordlessly he left his seat and quickly navigated the massive cube-farm towards the closest energon-cooler. The usual office wildlife was clustered around the energon cooler. There was Carbide the secretary, and with him was Artemia, a femmebot executive from upper management in Section Delta Five down the hall. There were some other office jockeys like Rush himself as well, but they didn't linger as they passed to and fro; they were too busy to stand around like some people. As Rush approached, he could hear the vapid conversation already in progress. "...the transport into Gamma barracks? Hilarious!" Carbide was chortling with a cup of energon in his hand. "It's a wonder she doesn't get fired. You know what they say about femmes, you can't trust one behind the wheel..." "Zark off, Carbide. You're one to talk," Artemia laughed, with a flap of her hand. "Anyway, I can't wait for tomorrow. I've got twenty orns of vacation time to kill and I fully intend on getting away to Ion-Rho for a facelift. Now that Cybertron's in the smelter, where am I supposed to go for my annual makeover, honestly..." Rush set his jaw and did his best to ignore the talk at the cooler as he plucked a cup from the dispenser beside them. He stood right between them and pushed the button to fill, and as he waited, the two gossip hounds continued talking right over him. "Oh, I totally know get what you mean!" Carbide said with a roll of his optics. "Not that this rock is any better. I'd follow you to Ion-Rho in a heartbeat." "You know, I'm almost glad Cybertron's in the compactor," Artemia sighed, as she sipped her energon. "Dull as it was, I just couldn't stand Autobot politics. It's all anyone ever talks about, even now! Primus, will you look at me, even I'm trying to sound all important and pretentious about it, ahaha...!" Suddenly, a splash of energon erupted into Artemia's face. To Rush's mild surprise, he was holding a dripping, empty cup. "Ex-CUSE me!" Artemia shrieked as she startled, optics wide as she stared down at the liquid energon dripping down the front of her chassis. "That was extremely uncalled-for!" "Uh," Rush stammered. He hastily dropped the evidence and began backing away. "Oh look, the comm on my desk is beeping. Bye." "What-- get back here!" Artemia screeched as Rush hurried away back to his cubicle, where indeed, the comm on his desk really was beeping insistently for his attention. Swiftly, Rush pushed the button. "Forms and Processing, Rushlight speaking," he said quickly, as he picked up the receiver. Out of the corner of his optic he could see Artemia and Carbide both storming down the aisles towards his terminal. "Uh huh. No, I, uh... the Omicron job is still here. Yes, just let me--" Rush turned to stare at his desk, only to find the Omicron stack missing. Alarmed, he whipped around to look over at Tarball, whose desk was not any more cluttered than it was before. "Tarball!" Rush snapped. "Where the hell did the Omicron files go?" "Huh?" Tarball pulled his finger out of his audio receptor with a greasy pop. "Umm, someone just came along and took it. I thought you were done." "What?! I-- scrag it," Rush snarled, with the receiver still held up to the side of his head. "Oh, er, sorry sir, not you. I'll... yes, I have them. They're still being entered. End of the day? In-- uhh, I don't know if... that's not really enough time to..." A shadow loomed over him. Rush recognized the silhouette falling across his desk, and braced himself. "Rush-LIIIGHT!" Staff-Sergeant BigJaw boomed behind him. "Are you finished with those Omicron files yet?!" Rush clapped a hand over the comm receiver and carefully turned around. "They're, uh." His gaze darted around. "Section... Twelve has them, sir," he lied. "YOU miserable cube-trash were supposed to have it done a mega-cycle ago!" BigJaw bellowed. "Where are Twofist and Turbogear?!" "I really don't know," Rush replied, wilting slightly. "Well you'd BETTER FIND OUT!" BigJaw was now going distinctly red in the face, as though a volcanic reaction was going on behind his faceplate. "OR ELSE I'M GOING TO--" Abruptly, all the lights and terminals in the office flickered and went out. * * * * * TO BE CONTINUED! Dun-dun-dunnnn!