The Secret Origin of Lord Madhammer

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by Lord Madhammer, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    This is reprinted from TFans where I originally posted it like a year and a half ago... so enjoy. Just don't take it entirely seriously... :D 

    The Secret Origin of Lord Madhammer

    Chapter I

    The Timely Arrival of Destiny


    It was a fateful evening, full of fatefulness. Portent hung in the sky like a pillow propped up on a stick. The sky grew orange as the sun slowly fell below the horizon. And the clouds were sort of pinkish too. Kind of a pretty sunset, actually.

    But Lord Madhammer had no time for pretty sunsets. Not this evening. No, this evening would be different. For this evening would be the evening that Lord Madhammer's life changed forever.

    The black car wound up the dusty drive towards the mansion on the hill. The iron gates closed behind the car, as it wound up the dusty drive towards the mansion on the hill. The gates were black too. The car stopped and an old man in one of those butler suits came out to the car to open the door. He was the butler. He opened the door and out stepped a man. Not just any man. This man was Lord Madhammer.

    "Good evening, sir," said Lord Madhammer's butler.

    Lord Madhammer's fingers twitched involuntarily, as if he would like nothing better than to strangle his butler, but he didn't do that. Instead, he said, "Evening, butler."

    Lord Madhammer instantly walked around the car and then went inside. The mansion was huge. One of the biggest mansions of any that had been built. And it contained many secrets. But none so secret as the big secret that Lord Madhammer knew all about, but which nobody else knew anything about. Especially that butler, because butlers don't really know about secret things. They just make tea and answer the door and take the pets for a walk, if it's not raining outside.

    Walking through the main hall, Lord Madhammer passed a large portrait of his father, hanging above the massive fireplace. There was a little brass plaque under the picture, and this is what it said:

    KEN MADHAMMER

    The family name, "Madhammer," had been in the Madhammer family since 1769, when Admiral Percy Squeamish, Viscount of Buxom-on-the-Green, had relocated his estate and his family and all of his servants, and his pets too, to a quaint little village called Madham.

    The village had previously been known as "Bungwater," since its humble beginnings in 1216. However, ever since the Pig Plague of 1675 (when hundreds of people all over the countryside had succumbed to the strange disease known as "the Pig Plague disease"), the town had been known as Mad-ham.

    Admiral Squeamish's firstborn son, Albert Squeamish, became known as "Albert the Madhammer" by his school friends. The name stuck, and was passed down from the generations to the next generations, for years to come. They didn't keep the "the" part, however. It was not fitting for one of such noble blood.


    Little did Albert the Madhammer know of the amazing but true fate that awaited his only living descendant, Lord Madhammer.

    (Lord Madhammer was born "Louis Bernard Madhammer" but shortened the first two names into one, because "Louis" in particular was the kind of word that would make Lord Madhammer twitch and quiver most strangely. And it was forbidden for any of Lord Madhammer's servants to use that name in his presence. So he became known as Lord Madhammer to all.)

    When Lord Madhammer reached the basement of his mansion, he turned on a light switch. Light instantly appeared, flooding the entire cavernous room with light. Before him stood the one thing that would alter his destiny forever. The great secret that he had been carefully hiding all his life. And now his life was leading up to this moment -- the moment when everything was about to change.
     
  2. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter II

    The Dawn Before the Storm



    Africa, 1997.

    A small village in the wilds of Kenya, Africa.

    A lone figure stands alone in the grassy plains of Africa. The sun is setting, and it makes long shadows that look like the ominous approach of fate. For today fate would approach this lone figure most ominously.

    The figure -- a young man in his twenties -- stands with a long knife in his hand. The knife is shiny and dull. Shiny with the sharpness of metal, and dull with the stain of blood. The blood is that of the savage and wild jungle cat, the mighty jaguar. At the young man's feet lies the dead animal, breathing no more. But the young man breathes heavily, in the way that soldiers breathe in the heat of battle.

    The stillness of the African evening is suddenly shattered by the imminent arrival of a small airplane, descending from the sky towards the man. When the plane lands, two men in army fatigues come out of the plane and run over towards the young man. One of them speaks to him in an urgent voice:

    "Lou -- er, Mr. Madhammer, sir -- that thing you wanted us to find, sir? Well.... we found it. You need to come right away, sir."

    Lord Madhammer, the young man with the knife, twirls that shiny, dull knife in the air one last time, and with a final thrust, plunges it into the dead jaguar's carcass at his feet.

    "Very well, then. Let us go, General."

    Lord Madhammer and the two army men head back into the small airplane, and it rockets off into the evening sky. As the plane disappears on the horizon, a lone villager slowly emerges from a nearby hut, and moves over to the dead animal.

    "Hmm," says the villager. "This may be the sign that we have been waiting for."

    The villager didn't actually say this because those are English words, and as a native of Kenya, he didn't know any English words other than "hello," and "we're all out of the blue ones." So instead he spoke them in his native Kenyan dialect. And, if it were possible, the words sounded even more portentious in that language.


    Aboard the small airplane, General Baco Contusion, the leader of a small yet militant band of rebels fighting government forces in one of those Central American countries, brought Lord Madhammer up to speed on what was going on.

    "Sir, as you know, you've been in the wilds of Africa for the past seven years now, honing your skills and transforming yourself from a child of privilege into a man of strength and power -- so strong that you have bested the mighty jaguar.

    "Now, it seems, sir, that your training is complete. For the first phase of the task you assigned us seven years ago -- the secret task of which we were to speak to no one else, upon pain of death -- is nearing the point of almost being completed.

    "When your parents died and left you as the sole heir to their estate and fortune, and all their jewels, you sought a life of solitude in the wilderness, much as Moses wandered in the wilderness so many years ago. And so you relocated to this remote location, with only a loincloth to protect you from the harsh elements and the unforgiving heat of the African sun.

    "We were your father's most trusted friends (having fought with him in many wars), and we had vowed to serve you always, because you were, and are, his son. So you decided to leave us -- myself and my faithful lieutenant, Lieutenant Braun Schweiger-Haggis -- as stewards of your estate and executors of your most secret plan.

    "Yes, I already know all of this," Lord Madhammer interjected. "So if phase one is complete, then where is it?"

    A silence fell in the cabin, except for the noise of the airplane's engine, and the sound of Lieutenant Schwieger-Haggis' short wave radio, currently tuned to Radio Free Kenya, which was airing another repeat of "Chicken Man."

    The lieutenant chuckled quietly to himself, not wishing to disturb the portentious mood.

    General Contusion looked out of the small windows of the airplane for a moment, as if pondering a great and terrible thought. It seemed as if the words that he would be about to speak would alter the course of destiny and the future of the world itself. Finally he cleared his throat and replied to Lord Madhammer's question.

    "It is in the Yukon, sir, outside of a small Canadian town. The town is known as 'Haines Junction.' "

    "'Haines Junction,' Contusion?"

    "We tried for Dawson City, sir, but the hotels were all full. Apparently they are having their annual Canada Day celebrations, and tourists from every nation on earth are converging on the city. But never fear, sir -- Haines Junction will do nicely.

    "And getting back to the point, sir, we have the specimen contained in an underground bunker, just as you specified. It will be in excellent condition when you arrive. All we need do now is fly to Nairobi, and hop on the next flight to Toronto. From there it's a simple matter of driving 3500 miles or so to Haines Junction.

    "And here, sir," General Contusion said, as with trembling hands he brought out an ornate silver key on a long golden keychain, "is the only key to the bunker."

    "Excellent, Contusion," said Lord Madhammer, as he slowly draped the chain around his neck. "You have served me well these many years. And now you will be rewarded."

    Quick as lightning, Lord Madhammer performed several very complex and difficult kung fu moves on General Contusion and Lieutenant Schweiger-Haggis. Both men slumped to the ground instantly, falling on their faces. They were unconscious before they knew that they were about to be attacked by the loincloth-clad son of their trusted friend.

    Lord Madhammer stood there above them, his loincloth remaining still and unmoved. He looked at the pilot and said, "You need to go now, Frank. Sorry, but you know how it is."

    And so Frank the pilot left the controls of the plane, went to the back of the cabin, put on the plane's sole parachute, opened the door, and jumped out. As Frank fell through the sky through the warm African air, Lord Madhammer calmly took the controls of the plane and continued piloting it towards Nairobi, and the first step of his long journey, for which he had been waiting all his life.

    "Haines Junction, eh?" Lord Madhammer said quietly to himself. "Sounds like I'm going to need a jacket."
     
  3. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter III

    Mystery and Madness



    Lord Madhammer drove along Highway 1 in a blinding flash of maroon. For he was no longer in Kenya. No, he was now in the wilds of Canada, on the final leg of his long journey from Toronto. It was snowing outside, in the way that it only snows in the majestic Yukon Territory. All around, all was white and powdery, and very cold. Not at all like Kenya, where it had been very hot, and where a loincloth had been far more comfortable.

    The Hertz rental office at the airport had been all out of blue cars.

    Blue had been Lord Madhammer's favorite color for years, ever since the day he first looked into the sky and said, "it looks like it might rain." Only then did he realize how much he missed the blue sky, home to birds and aviary mammals. From that day forward, he knew that blue would hold a special place in his heart.

    With no blue cars remaining, Lord Madhammer reluctantly chose a maroon Ford Taurus. He knew that his journey would be a long one, a long and arduous journey, and he was going to need adequate leg room, and many Twinkies. Little did the woman at the Hertz office know that Lord Madhammer was about to embark upon such a long journey into the wild. For he had told her that he was only going to be staying at a hotel in Mississauga for a couple of days, and not driving across Canada in a blinding flash, to begin the execution of a secret plan.

    And yet that was exactly what Lord Madhammer intended to do. And so he did.

    It was approaching morning on the fourth day out from Toronto, when Lord Madhammer saw the sign for Haines Junction in the distance, as he drove further on. Quickly he looked about and pulled the maroon Taurus off onto the shoulder. Turning on the hazard lights, Lord Madhammer opened the trunk with that little yellow trunk release button, stepped out of the car, and bounded to the open trunk, where he retrieved his new jacket and put it on. The sun rose above the horizon at that very moment, and the dark blue of his recently acquired Toronto Blue Jays jacket caught the light, illuminating the new morning with a dark blue glow.

    The snow was now falling gently, like many tiny white feathers gently falling from a large white comforter hung in the sky. Lord Madhammer smiled, because this change in the weather would be most fortuitous for him. For now it would be much easier to locate the location of that which he would be attempting to locate.

    Retrieving the large silver key from under his jacket, Lord Madhammer twisted the top of the key exactly 45 degrees counter-clockwise. As if in response, the key began to emanate a loud, screeching noise at regular intervals. For this was no ordinary key. No, this key was a key that Lord Madhammer's secretly funded team of laboratory scientists had developed several years ago, while Lord Madhammer himself was still becoming a man out in the sweltering Kenyan desert. This key would enable him to find that which he was seeking.

    Lord Madhammer turned himself around slowly in a complete circle. The key's piercing cries grew louder and more insistent as he turned towards the southeasterly direction. Smiling the smile of the man who knows that he is about to find what he is looking for, Lord Madhammer turned towards the northwest and started moving forward.

    Instantly the key immediately grew quieter. The further he trudged through the snow, the less annoying the key's noise became. Quite a clever device it was, as Lord Madhammer despised agitation and annoyance above all things.

    All things but one.

    And that thing, the thing which he most despised, was the reason for his secret plan. A plan that was set in motion fifteen years ago, when that thing -- the despised thing -- became the cause of the death of Lord Madhammer's parents. (That would be fifteen years ago from now, not from 1997. It would actually have been only eight years ago from 1997, which would have been 1989, by the way.)

    But in the meantime, the key was causing less and less agitation for Lord Madhammer with every step. Until finally, the key stopped making any noise at all and began to glow with a sort of turquoise color.

    "Ah," said Lord Madhammer, a smile creeping across half of his face, "blue."

    At his bare and chilly feet was a clump of snow, like any other clump of snow. But this clump was different. For under this clump would lie the secret entrance to the underground bunker wherein would lie another key. But this would not be literally a key, but a metaphorical one, as in a means to an end.

    Lord Madhammer quickly brushed away the snow, and saw underneath it uncovered a metal grate. The grate pulled away easily, for though Lord Madhammer was cold, he was yet both strong and mighty of limb. The grate was carefully set aside on another clump of snow, one that did not hide any secret metal objects of any kind.

    Underneath the grate, or the place where the grate had been until the point when it had been removed, was a square space also made of metal. It was recessed into the ground, and was flanked on all sides by more metal, forming a shape that resembled the inside of a small moving box. At the bottom of this box-like space was a small hole. A very special and very unique hole. A hole that would be one day seen as the hole that changed the very fabric of reality itself -- if not for the world, at least for one man.

    Lord Madhammer took the chain from around his neck, the chain that held the now-blue key. Instantly, holding his breath and shivering with a mixture of anticipation and impending hypothermia, Lord Madhammer gently thrust the key into the hole, the hole which had been built for the entry of this key. It was a moment full of tension and excitement, and all the world seemed to stand still.

    But suddenly that stillness was shattered. With a rising, clunking, whirring noise, a large metal opening appeared from under the snow, opening like a trap door. Lord Madhammer sprang to his feet at once, pulling the key from its hole, and leapt towards it. After running to the opening, he saw the stairs leading down into darkness -- the stairs that he himself had commanded be built at the entrance of this secret underground bunker.

    Running down the stairs in his haste and excitement, Lord Madhammer nearly forgot to turn the lights on. But he remembered at the last minute and flipped the master switch on the wall of the darkened staircase. At that, a light turned on at the base of the stairs -- a simple light, one that would not be found in the houses of the wealthy, but one that would rather be found hanging from the ceiling of a secret underground bunker.

    Lord Madhammer flipped another switch, and the trapdoor above his head closed with a resounding banging sound. There was no more sky above to see, and so Lord Madhammer now turned his mental attention to the hallway at the bottom of the stairs. His visual attention, however, was fixed on the door that stood between the stairs and that hallway. And so, wishing to think and see the same thing all at once, he ran to the bottom of the stairs and thrust the door open.

    There, in that hallway, was a row of cells, much like the kind one would find in a prison for elephants and angry gorillas. For the bars of these cells were thick and strong, and the cells themselves were more than twenty feet in height. They were also quite wide. And a dull humming noise emanated from the hallway, because the bars of these cells were also electrified with volt upon volt of deadly electricity.

    But only one cell was occupied -- the last cell on the right.

    Grinning the grin of the cat who has just cornered his helpless and juicy prey, Lord Madhammer slowly strolled down the hallway. When he reached the end, he turned to the right and said the two words that he had been longing to utter for years beyond count. Words which would resonate not only in that metal hallway, but through the years, for years to come. These are the words that Lord Madhammer said:


    "Hello, Megatron."
     
  4. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter IV

    The Intoxicated Stagger of Fate



    "Huh?"

    "I said, 'hello, Meg--'"

    The word died on Lord Madhammer's lips as he was about to complete its utterance, leaving a stinky and rotting smell in his brain. He looked up and then noticed several things about the captive in the cell at the end of the hallway on the right. The captive was a large humanoid figure. The captive was also clearly a robot, even a Transformer and a Decepticon. But there was one thing which the captive was most definitely not. One very unfortunate thing indeed.

    "I ain't Megatron."

    And indeed it was so. And not so. For indeed the figure in that electrified cell was not Megatron. Not one little bit.

    "Hey! Flesh bag! Get me outta here before I bring this stinkin' place down around you!"

    Lord Madhammer took a moment to think. When he was done thinking, he pondered. And once there was nothing more to ponder, his thoughts turned to General Contusion's most grievous and unfortunate error. "Unfortunate for him," thought Lord Madhammer to himself, in the first of many evil and diabolical thoughts he would soon entertain about General Contusion, along with his suddenly less competent lieutenant, Lieutenant Braun Schweiger-Haggis.

    "HEY!! MEAT SACK!"

    Lord Madhammer's reverie was interrupted most suddenly and permanently by the robot's insistent and indignant cries. They were the cries not of the crying, but rather the cries of the angry and cybernetic.

    "Well, if you aren't Megatron, then who are you?"

    If it had been possible for a robotic creature to roll its eyes, the captive would have done so. Perhaps he even did do so, for Lord Madhammer was unable to see behind the red visor shielding the captive's eyes.

    Transformers' eyes were never actually referred to as "eyes" by Transformers, nor by anyone familiar with them or their ways. They were referred to as "optics," because that sounded much less anthropomorphic. Decepticons in particular would become annoyed by the usage of such "biological" terms, which often led to violent rampages and the destruction of oil refineries. Autobots were not fond of such terms either, but they tended to let it slide. In their estimation, it was not yet time to fight that battle.

    "Okay, pal -- I got no time for you. You're done."

    With that the Transformer suddenly stood up to an impressive height of just over six feet. He then raised his arms as though he were about to do jumping jacks, or perhaps form the "Y" in that "YMCA" song. But he did neither, for instantly his arms immediately started to change shape, in the way that only Transformers' limbs can change shape. In an instant they were no longer arms, but huge pile drivers. The captive then proceeded to pound them into the ground with such force that the entire hallway echoed with the deafening sound of metal hitting metal with extreme force.

    This continued for several minutes, during which time Lord Madhammer covered his ears. He also rolled his eyes.

    Eventually the noise subsided, for the robot seemed to have lost interest and had stopped banging the floor.

    "Finished?" Lord Madhammer asked.

    "Hey, what's goin' on? How come nothin' happened?"

    "What are you talking about? You just banged your hands on the floor for the past three and a half minutes. What did you expect to happen -- the ground to split open and swallow me up, or something?"

    "These aren't 'hands,' Earth Boy. These are pile drivers... ...and yeah, actually, I was expecting the ground to open up. It usually works when I'm outside..."

    "Well, this is a solid steel bunker, you know. I really doubt that anything like that would happen in here."

    By now the robot was most definitely feeling very irritated, and yet was also feeling somewhat embarrassed as well. This only increased his irritation, of course. He looked around for a few wrathful moments, and finding nothing better to do, changed his pile drivers back into arms and sat down noisily on the floor.

    "Okay," said Lord Madhammer. "Now perhaps we can talk. I think I do recognize you now, after all. You're one of those Decepticons--"

    "How'd you figure that one out, stink bucket?"

    "You're one of those Decepticons who hangs around with Soundwave, aren't you?"

    "Hey, we're part of a sophisticated military operation -- we don't 'hang out' with nobody."

    "Yes, I think I do know who you are. I saw you on television once. You're Frenzy."

    At this, the robot rolled his eyes again, even more so than before. Of course, there may not have been any eyes behind that visor at all, or even optics. Nevertheless, Lord Madhammer became quite sure that his captive had reached a new level of irritation. As a man intimately familiar with the nature of irritation, Lord Madhammer became quite good at spotting it in others. And after the response that followed, Lord Madhammer was indeed sure that this robot was, indeed, highly cheesed off.

    "AAAAGGGHH!!!"

    "I'm sorry, did I say something to upset you?"

    "How many friggin' times do I have to go over this? Look, bacteria farm, I'm blue and purple, not red and black. I'm Rumble, okay? Frenzy is the red and black one, and I'm the blue and purple one. I don't get what's so hard about that!"

    Rumble concluded his remarks in a more petulant tone by saying, "He's also a lot whinier than I am."

    "I would have hardly thought that possible," muttered Lord Madhammer to himself in a rare moment of quiet levity. "But are you sure? I could have sworn that they said on the news that it was Frenzy who stole that race car back in '86. And I definitely remember seeing a blue and purple Decepticon driving off with it."

    "Well they were wrong, okay? Frenzy's completely incompetent anyway. Soundwave hardly ever lets him out of his chest."

    At this, Lord Madhammer's brain, which had already been feverishly looking for an exit from this wilderness of plans gone wrong, thought it discerned a sign saying "Plan B: Five Miles Ahead." His brow furrowed in that halfhearted sort of way that Lord Madhammer's brow would furrow whenever he was caught between frustration and no longer being frustrated.

    "But Megatron trusts you, I would imagine?"

    "Hey, I ain't tellin' you nothin, smart guy! The only thing I'm gonna talk about is you getting me outta this hole!"

    "He sent you out all alone to go get those cars, didn't he? The ones that he turned into Decepticons? Sounds like you're a pretty valuable player."

    "They're called 'Stunticons,' monkey man -- I came up with the name myself."

    "Really? I would have thought that Megatron would have named them. You must really be very important indeed," Lord Madhammer said as he inched towards the wall on his left. A wall which had a large square panel on it. A panel with a large hinge, that Lord Madhammer now swung open slowly. He reached inside for a strange-looking device, which looked strangely like a small vacuum cleaner with a large super soaker attached to the top.

    "Hey, what's that?", Rumble asked, looking very hard at Lord Madhammer, in that hard-looking way that only very suspicious Decepticons with visors over their optics can look.

    "Oh, this?" he said, trying to appear nonchalant and completely cool and calm and not at all about to do something quite nasty. "It's just a little invention of my own, one that I like to call the 'Decepti-zapper'."

    "Kind of a stupid name there, flesh bag."

    "No stupider than 'Stunticons'. And you already used 'flesh bag,' loser boy."

    And with that, a large zapping noise emanated from the Decepti-zapper in Lord Madhammer's hand. For the Decepti-zapper was indeed zapping Rumble, who was thrown against the back wall of his cell, and then fell to the ground with another annoyingly loud sound.

    Lord Madhammer turned the Decepti-zapper off, replacing the loud zapping noise with a much quieter popping and crunching sort of noise. He slowly leaned forward to examine Rumble's inert form, which was lying prone and still upon the cold metal floor. Smoke was rising from several of his joints, wafting gently towards the ceiling, where it was sucked into the air vents and pushed outside by the state-of-the art ventilation system.

    Lord Madhammer sighed, looked wistfully at the Decepti-zapper, and said, half to himself, half to the Decepti-zapper:

    "Well, I suppose we'll just have to improvise a bit from this point."
     
  5. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter V

    Metaphor and Meaning



    The snow was continuing to fall on the ground, just outside of Haines Junction, in the wild and treacherous Yukon Territory, in the wilds of northern Canada. Lord Madhammer was sitting on the ground near the trap door that had led to his destiny. Unfortunately, that destiny was nowhere to be found, and had been secretly replaced with a somewhat shoddy Korean knock-off of destiny. It wasn't even the right colors.

    It had taken Lord Madhammer the better part of the day to drag Rumble's non-functioning carcass out of the secret underground bunker -- the bunker wherein he had hoped to find Megatron, but instead had found someone else.

    But not for nothing did Lord Madhammer spend years at a Japanese dojo, learning the hidden art of mental improvisation. Nor was it for naught that he had trained his mind in Kenya to always seek the unexpected solution. And neither did he read "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" in vain. And it was at this moment that all of his training would be recalled -- that all of his skill would be drawn upon. For at this moment, Lord Madhammer would begin development of what became known in years to come as "Plan B."

    As he stared at Rumble's inert carcass, the metaphorical gears and whirry things spun and whirred in Lord Madhammer's brain. Were one to journey inside the brain of Lord Madhammer at this time, and were one able to see his thoughts projected in words upon an overhead projector, the projection that one would have seen might have looked something like this:

    "Okay. That wasn't Megatron."

    "No, you're right there. Definitely not Megatron."

    "All right, then. What do I do now? I've lost my general and my lieutenant."

    "I told you not to kung fu them on the plane."

    "Well, that's in the past. I need to work with what I have now."

    "Hmm. This little guy is a Decepticon. Maybe you could use him somehow."

    "Well, duh -- of course I'm going to use him somehow. But how?"

    "Don't get snippy with me -- I was just trying to help."

    "I wasn't getting snippy; you were stating the obvious."

    "Well, you could have been nicer about how you said it."

    "Ugh. I get so sick of having these arguments with you."

    "Fine -- in that case, maybe I'll just leave."

    "Fine. I'll think better anyway without you around."

    "Fine."

    "Fine."

    Lord Madhammer had, in truth, spent years at a Japanese dojo. He had also spent years in the African wilderness. And he had read that Covey book several times. However, none of this changes the fact that Lord Madhammer paid little attention to his sensei during the parts about "communicating effectively with your inner voice." In fact, Lord Madhammer, who had always been prone to irritation and annoyance, did very poorly in this aspect of his training. And now, sadly, it seemed that he was on his own.

    "Well, it seems that I'm on my own," Lord Madhammer said aloud. With that he picked himself up off of the ground and walked back over to his rental car. He got in, turned it on, and immediately cranked the heater. It was, after all, quite cold outside, and though Lord Madhammer was glad of his jacket, he now wished that he had also bought pants or even shoes.

    After a few minutes, feeling began to return to his buttocks and thighs. Unfortunately, along with that sensation of warmth came an attendant itchy prickliness, which made Lord Madhammer very irritated indeed. In fact, it made him so irritated that he took his fist to the car stereo, which had, up until that moment, been playing the third song in a Bryan Adams "rock block." Immediately the sound ceased, as his fist had fortuitously hit the power/volume knob rather than the bass/treble knob. But the sudden silence was not broken by one of Lord Madhammer's primal screams, which usually followed sudden outburts. Instead, the silence was followed by more silence. And then more silence yet followed after.

    The reason for this silence was that Lord Madhammer had been staring at the car stereo, as if it were the most beautiful and exotic insect that he had ever laid eyes on. After several minutes of staring, a word started to escape his lips. A word that contained all the hope and excitement that he had been longing to express for years now. That word was:

    "Yes..."

    The car door flew open and Lord Madhammer dashed out into the snow, once again heedless of the cold. But this time, he was even more heedless, for this time was different. He ran back to the trap door, jumped down the stairs, slipped two-thirds of the way down, fell on his recently thawed buttocks, picked himself up (still heedless of his physical condition), and ran down the hallway towards the forlorn Decepti-zapper, still laying dormant after its first and only use.

    He picked it up, turned it over, and turned a small dial on the base of the handle. There were several settings on the Decepti-zapper: "Zap," "Go Boom," and the third, most relevant setting of all: "Transform."

    Lord Madhammer was proudest of this setting -- he had spent years identifying the exact frequency that a Transformer's brain used to send signals to its transformation circuits. By exploiting this knowledge, and by using the zapping functions of the Decepti-zapper to bypass a Transformer's external defenses, Lord Madhammer had developed a weapon that would cause any Transformer he targeted -- and hit -- to instantly transform. Until this day, he had no firm knowledge that he would ever find any practical use for such a setting.

    Until this day.

    He ran back up the hallway, back up the stairs again, emerged from the secret underground bunker, and pointed the newly modified Decepti-zapper once again at Rumble. He pressed the trigger, and a searingly blinding arc of light erupted from the weapon and coarsed across Rumble's body. Lord Madhammer imagined that this would have hurt quite a bit, had Rumble been conscious.

    But then came a second emanation from the weapon -- a precisely calibrated signal that was sent into Rumble while the first emanation continued to emanate. A low humming noise was heard (the exact frequency was 244 Hz). At this, another noise became audible -- the loud, somewhat annoying noise of a Transformer transforming. Lord Madhammer also noted with interest that Rumble began to shrink before his eyes. When Rumble had finished transforming, he was the exact size and shape of a microcassette, and was just as light. In fact, had he not known better, Lord Madhammer might have confused Rumble for a microcassette altogether, and might never have suspected that he was in fact a Transformer.

    "Hmm. I guess they are pretty good at disguising themselves," he said to himself as he picked Rumble off the ground. He turned him over in his hand and then saw the familiar Decepticon symbol, along with the edges of some other recognizable parts of Rumble's body.

    "Figures," Lord Madhammer said.

    Placing Rumble in his pocket, he went back and, using his key once more, locked up the secret underground bunker, watching the trap door swing shut and clang loudly with the loud clang of metal, which, in Lord Madhammer's estimation, he had heard entirely too many times that day. He then put the grate back in place over the hole where he had inserted the key, and placed some snow over the grate for good measure.

    Soon Lord Madhammer was back in his warm car, driving casually down Highway 1 towards Toronto, Rumble still safely tucked away in the warm folds of his jacket. He did not have a gun in his pocket, but he was still happy. His original intent had been to capture and destroy Megatron, but now he realized two things. Things that perhaps he would have done well to consider in advance. These things were this:

    First, Megatron was probably too ambitious of a target for two incompetent pseudo-military people who, unbeknownst to Lord Madhammer, had mainly just sat around reading "Soldier of Fortune" and watched bass fishing on ESPN. Had Lord Madhammer known this, it might have better helped him to understand the colossal failure that his underlings had committed.

    Second, Lord Madhammer now realized that fate and destiny, who had at first appeared to be drunken louts, had in fact gone home together and were even now conceiving a more daring plan than any Lord Madhammer had heretofore ever dreamed of dreaming.

    This plan -- this dream -- involved more than just Megatron, the Transformer who had been responsible for the death of Lord Madhammer's parents. Now the plan -- the dream -- expanded to include all Transformers. He would conquer them all, and take his revenge upon all of Cybertron-kind.

    Lord Madhammer knew now that this was to be his plan. His dream. And his dream would become a reality, with the help of a little blue and purple microcassette he carried in his pocket.



    The maroon Ford Taurus sped down the highway into the oncoming night.
     
  6. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter VI

    When the Wind Howls, It Blows


    Wyoming, U.S.A.

    1998.

    The tour bus came to a slow halt outside the rest area outside the town of Sheridan. Sheridan was not a large town, nor did it have much to offer in the way of decent restaurants. It was this latter characteristic of the town of Sheridan that irritated one of the passengers on this tour bus. But it was not just any passenger. This passenger had to use the restroom. And so, he was grateful that the bus stopped outside of Sheridan. The only other option was to use the bathroom in the local Subway. The passenger was quite glad that he had not at least been reduced to that level.

    "Ladies and gentlemen," came a voice over the speaker, a voice full of oldness and plumpness, "we're gonna be stopping here for just a few minutes before we head on over to the Volcano. There's a few vending machines, and you can get yourself a soda or a snack before we go."

    The passenger followed the others off the tour bus, into the blinding light of the sun. As children with their parents, elderly persons, and other assorted kinds of folks departed the bus and ambled off to the rest area, the passenger stayed behind for a moment, looking around at the mountains and the sky. This passenger was Louis Bernard (though, of course, he preferred "Lord") Madhammer.

    Lord Madhammer had recently returned to America from the wilds of the Canadian frontier. There he had encountered a most disappointing sight; namely, one of the more extreme examples of mistaken identity that he had ever had the misfortune to experience. Instead of secretly holding the evil and despotic leader of the Decepticons as his own personal hostage, Lord Madhammer had been quite perturbed indeed to find that he was merely secretly holding one of the smaller minions of said evil and despotic leader. That had not been a good moment.

    Fortunately, Lord Madhammer had always been a big believer in living in the now. And now was where he was, even though it was in fact 1998. Though there was still one remnant of his past that he carried with him at all times. Not a metaphorical remnant, as in some painful memory or even an interestingly-shaped scar, but an actual physical, tangible remnant. Lord Madhammer had purchased a microcassette player.

    In this microcassette player was a microcassette. But this was no ordinary microcassette. It was quite extraordinary, in two ways. Firstly, it was almost entirely blue--two distinct shades of blue, to be precise, though he had to admit that in a certain light, one of the shades of blue almost looked purple. Secondly, and perhaps even more significant, it possessed a seemingly unlimited recording capacity. This, Lord Madhammer had found, had come in quite handy on a number of occasions. Lord Madhammer had never known himself to be the type of person to speak his every thought into a microcassette recorder; in fact, he always considered the very idea somewhat obnoxious, and rather beneath him. But that had all changed from the moment he had left Radio Shack with one. The strange device seemed to hold an immediate sway over him, so that he was nearly compelled to speak into it. He had intended merely to use it as a transport for his blue/purple microcassette, but that idea had been lost with the wind of yesterday's leaves.

    It is also worth mentioning that this microcassette was in fact a Decepticon named "Rumble."

    So now he spoke into his microcassette recorder, heedless of what he imagined to be the disdainful and scornful glances of the other tourists as they passed by. And these are the words that he said:

    "April 26th, 1998. Am standing outside the bus once again, next to a rest area. Once again. This painful ordeal has taught me many things, not the least of which being the need to always pack an extra pillow.

    "I digress. Am now nearing the crash site of the Autobot spaceship; am hopeful to engage in contact with Autobot Wheeljack and/or 'Sparkplug,' as he is apparently called. (A derogatory term among the Cybertronians, no doubt.)

    "It was indeed a long road that led me to this place. I started in my boyhood home so many years ago, then moved on to the wilds of Kenya, where I learned how to be a man. And then I spent a few months in Canada... Well, we all know how that ended." With this, Lord Madhammer's left eye involuntarily twitched. But he mastered himself and continued:

    "Perhaps it was all for the best. For now I know the true scope of my master plan, and it shall indeed be masterful. And now to use the toilet."



    It was approximately 15 minutes later when the tour bus got under way again. From there it was about 35 minutes further, and then -- they saw it.

    Most people had, of course, by the year 1998, seen the Autobot "Ark" before, in photographs or on television. Nevertheless, the actual sight of the colossal amber-hued spaceship projecting out of the sheer side of the mountain would always elicit nothing but the most awed and hushed reverential tones. This would usually be followed closely by the first person who would break the near-silence with a tourist-y kind of comment that seemed somehow inappropriate in the almost religious atmosphere.

    "Whoa! Kick ass!"

    This time it was a 19-year-old college student from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). Lord Madhammer was too focused now to be irritated, however -- too focused on his new goal. A goal which he feverishly hoped he could score. For if he were to score this goal, it would then lead to a great many more scores. And when the tally was complete, Lord Madhammer would have won the match. The match known as "Bloody Vengeance at the Hands of Lord Madhammer."

    Once more the bus stopped. Once more the driver made an announcement. But Lord Madhammer did not hear it. All he could do was stare out of his window at the looming structure to his right, which was embedded in an even more looming mountain. And then a distinctly robotic figure walked straight past the window, towards the front of the bus. It was small, almost as small as Rumble had been before he became even smaller after being forcibly transformed. It was also quite yellow.

    He could now hear the figure speak to those passengers who had already gotten off the bus. "Okay, everyone, welcome to Autobot headquarters. You may know it as the Ark, or the Volcano. My name is Bumblebee and I'll be your tour guide today. Why don't you all step forward so we can let the others off the bus. That's it."

    Lord Madhammer quietly arose from his seat and made his way in a snaky sort of way down the aisle and off the bus. Once again he blinked in the sunlight. He thought to himself that he would have to remember next time to purchase some sunglasses. He was about to enter this thought in his microcassette-based diary when he was interrupted by his tour guide.

    "Okay, folks. What I'd like to do is start off with any questions you may have about the Ark. After that, we'll take a tour of the main hall, including Teletran-1, the Dinobots' storage chamber, and if we're lucky, Ratchet might let us take a look at the repair bay. Once we're done there, we'll break for lunch. The kids can check out the gift shop, and we've arranged for several of us to make ourselves available to you during that time. So, let's get started! Does anyone have any questions?"

    Lord Madhammer stood at the back and smiled to himself as the tourists began to ask various questions, of the sort that tourists tend to ask. He smiled because he was pleasantly surprised. The surprise in question was the announcement about the repair bay. He had not been expecting that one. It looked as if it might turn out to be a good day after all.

    When the questions had all been asked by the tourists, and when they had all been answered by their yellow metallic tour guide, they were then escorted towards the Ark itself. Looking around, Lord Madhammer saw no one else -- apparently all the other Autobots were inside. Or perhaps they were somewhere else. Bumblebee kept talking as they walked along.

    "You'll notice that the Ark is at a 30-degree angle to the ground. This made it pretty difficult to use as a base of operations, so we had to rebuild and/or relocate much of our equipment. To be honest, this spaceship wasn't really designed to serve as a headquarters or anything. And that of course is the reason behind the proposed development of Autobot City. But I don't know that much about Earth politics, so we'll just move on."

    The group of tourists had slowly been getting closer and closer to the volcano, and there was a one-to-one ratio between their relative proximity to the volcano and Lord Madhammer's level of anticipation and sweaty-palmed excitement.

    "Okay, everyone. Here we are at the main entrance to the Ark. Not much going on here, so I thought I'd just take a moment to talk about the volcano. As you know, there aren't very many active volcanoes in Wyoming, but I guess the Autobots were just lucky that we crashed into this one here, and that it erupted when it did. Of course, it ended up being lucky for the Decepticons too..."

    By this point Lord Madhammer's attention had drifted completely. He could think of nothing but the repair bay, and what -- and/or whom -- may lie within. Or stand within.

    He paid no attention as Bumblebee showed Teletran-1 to the tourists, nor did he even raise a single eyebrow of interest when Bumblebee mentioned that Teletran-1 had almost accidentally reformatted the Transformers as animals rather than vehicles. He did notice, though, that Bumblebee used this as a semi-clever segue into a brief discussion of the Dinobots and their history. And suddenly Lord Madhammer was paying attention again.

    "So over here, this is where we keep the Dinobots when they're not in use." Bumblebee was pointing to the wall, and many of the tourists standing there were unsure of what exactly their guide was pointing to. Then Bumblebee pushed a button, and a huge door slid open in the wall.

    "Mmm," said a loud voice from the darkness within. "Me, Grimlock, ready to fight Decepti-"

    "Not today, guys," said Bumblebee as he closed the door again. Turning to the somewhat bemused earthlings, Bumblebee explained that the Dinobots were being kept in there so that they could learn to be more friendly and civilized. Much to the extreme disappointment of Lord Madhammer, that was all that Bumblebee mentioned about the Dinobots. But no matter, Lord Madhammer thought to himself. That was merely going to be a point of interest -- not the main point of greatest interest.

    And so time wore on. Lord Madhammer's iron stomach was growling, and he knew that it must be near lunchtime. At least he assumed so -- he had not eaten in at least a day, because his iron stomach had been filled with stainless steel butterflies since the night before last. And then came the words that Lord Madhammer had not thought that he was going to hear:

    "Oh, hey, guys -- looks like we went a bit long on the tour. It's about five 'til right now, and I think we should break for lunch. I know that some of you wanted to see the repair bay, but maybe I can make it up to you. When we get outside I'll talk to Ironhide and see if I can arrange to have you guys meet Optimus Prime. Would that work?"

    One of the smaller children gasped, and the same 19-year-old college student that had made the tourist-y exclamation involuntarily exclaimed, "oh, shit!" This was followed by a small amount of semi-awkward laughter, and Bumblebee said, "Great! I'll see if we can round up the big guy for you. Let's head back outside."

    But they were so close. So close. Lord Madhammer knew that they were standing not far from the repair bay, for the signs were posted in both Cybertronian and English, and there was a sign just ahead that read, "Repair Bay." It also had an arrow pointing left, indicating the direction of the area in question. And when he had laid eyes on that arrow, Lord Madhammer knew that he must follow it to its final destination. It had to be. He had come so close.

    Bumblebee turned to escort the group outside. Lord Madhammer stepped backwards quickly with a deft movement of his limber frame, just as he used to do in Kenya when he was trying to avoid being seen by the wild, carnivorous beasts of the African plains. As the tourists and their guide moved away, Lord Madhammer turned and ran towards the sign, and the arrow.

    Then he turned left.

    Perhaps it would indeed turn out to be a good day after all.
     
  7. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter VII

    Sanity and Silence



    It didn't take long for Lord Madhammer to discover the real reason why his yellow tour guide hadn't led them into the repair bay. When he had turned the corner, Lord Madhammer had planned on sneaking in unobtrusively, mimicking the wild monkeys of Nepal, the most sneaky of all sneaking mammals. That way detection could be avoided. However, no sneaking was necessary that day, as there was already a significant distraction taking place at the far end of the repair bay. Several large Autobots (for so they seemed to Lord Madhammer -- he had, after all, only ever seen Rumble and Bumblebee face to face up to this point, and they were both on the puny side, at least for transforming robots) were standing in a group around something much smaller and louder. As he looked and listened more closely, Lord Madhammer saw and heard that the something was actually two somethings, and only one of them was loud. Both of them were definitely human, however.

    For the moment, Lord Madhammer paid no attention to the identities of the Autobots present, though if he had, and if he had been better about placing names with faces (robotic or otherwise), he would have instantly recognized Ratchet, Hoist, Wheeljack, and Grapple. There was actually another, much larger Autobot there as well, and even if Lord Madhammer had been paying attention to them, and had been better about names and faces, he still wouldn't have recognized who it was. That Autobot's name was Ultra Magnus.

    But none of that was important to Lord Madhammer at the moment. He was occupied with his now-keen observations of the two humans standing there. One was an older man, about 60 years of age, with graying hair and the sort of look that told you that he had once played football -- most likely fullback -- and would probably have been a useful friend in highschool if you had needed someone to protect you from the school bully. Lord Madhammer thought that he would have made a good Fred Flintstone at a Halloween party or some other occasion that called for fancy dress and costuming. But there were no exultant cries of "yabba dabba doo" to be heard today. The man was quite agitated and upset, and seemed to be moving back and forth just a bit more than one would normally move back and forth, though not very quickly.

    The other human was a younger man, who looked to be in his early thirties. This man was smaller of frame and lighter of limb, but bore the kind of partial resemblance to the older man that sons often bear to their fathers. This was accentuated by the fact that both men were wearing the same clothing -- yellow rubber boots, blue jeans, and tan or perhaps khaki-colored work shirts. Lord Madhammer was reminded suddenly of a movie he had once seen about the dangerous and exciting lives of men who worked on oil rigs. These two would probably have done well as extras, he mused.

    Lord Madhammer's musings were interrupted, however, by another outburst from the older man. This man was clearly not going to shut up anytime soon. And this is what he said, as he continued to not shut up:

    "...You only trot out that tired old line about protecting humanity when it's convenient for you. If I didn't know better, I'd say you were in it together, trying to pull the wool over all our eyes!"

    "Dad, you're upset right now," said the younger man. "Can we please talk about this later?"

    "No, Spike, we're not going to talk about it later! I've been working my tail off for these ...things for years. I never asked for anything. Everyone said that I was crazy to help the Autobots, but I always said that we had to give them a chance. They had saved us once, and I thought we owed them for it. But no more. This is going too far now."

    The tallest Autobot, whom Lord Madhammer had never seen before, but whose name was Ultra Magnus, spoke now for the first time. "Sparkplug, you must believe that our intentions are noble. We are not interested in controlling you or the people of Earth."

    "But you'll lie to them, won't you!" Sparkplug continued, a look of moral outrage covering his face like a ski mask that had been put on backwards. "All these years I gave you the benefit of the doubt. All these years I assumed that you were as desperate for Energon as the Decepti-goons. I should have known."

    Sparkplug now stopped speaking, and immediately started to leave. Spike said to him as he left, "Dad! Wait!" But he did not wait, and instead continued marching down the length of the repair bay, coming ever closer to Lord Madhammer, who was still unnoticed by anyone inside. As Sparkplug passed by, Lord Madhammer silently turned, grateful that he would still have the chance to use his Nepalese monkey stealth powers. He quietly followed Sparkplug out of the repair bay and into the main hall. As he did so, he heard the last few remnants of the conversation that now continued within the repair bay.

    "Guys, I'm sorry," said Spike. "Dad's been having a hard time lately, and..."

    "We understand, Spike," said Ultra Magnus. "This has proven to be a controversial endeavor, and your father has been in the middle of this for so long. Maybe it's best to give him some time."

    "Yeah, I guess you're right," Spike said as he looked towards the entrance to the repair bay.




    Outside, Sparkplug blinked in the light of the sun, though not as long as Lord Madhammer had blinked, for there were more clouds in the sky now than there had been when he had stepped off of the tour bus. He muttered something under his breath, and producing a pack of cigarettes from his shirt pocket, pulled one out, lit it, and began to puff with the angry, intense puffing that only a man used to long years of releasing tension through tobacco can achieve. He paced back and forth, looking over at the crowd of people milling around the gift shop and the adjacent cafeteria every now and then. Finally he found a nearby rock and sat down on it with a noise that sounded like the result of a love affair between a sigh and a grunt.

    Lord Madhammer had watched all of this very closely. And his excitement level, which up until now had already been high, was now gaining altitude and heading towards metaphorical orbit. For it seemed that what he had just witnessed was more than luck. More than chance. More than an amazing, nearly statistically impossible coincidence.

    It was the strong, guiding hand of destiny, which was no longer mocking Lord Madhammer but now seemed to be his biggest fan. Destiny was smiling upon Lord Madhammer and bestowing bounteous gifts upon him.

    And so he seized this golden opportunity. Slowly and casually he approached Sparkplug. When he had reached a distance that was as close as he could get without seeming like a creepy stalking kind of person, he cleared his throat.

    Sparkplug turned around with a curious look on his face. When he saw Lord Madhammer, he said, "Hey, buddy, how's it going. I think you're looking for something over in that direction." With that, Sparkplug pointed his cigarette-holding hand towards the gift shop and nodded, also in the direction of the gift shop.

    "No, I'm just walking around a bit, actually," Lord Madhammer said. "Though I don't want to disturb you..." He made a sort of pretending movement, as though he were about to leave and walk over to the gift shop, to purchase one of the more popular items.

    "Nah, it's all right. Just got a few things on my mind right now."

    "Really?"

    "Yeah.... nothing I can really talk about, though." Sparkplug's face suddenly changed after saying this, however, displaying a mixture of rebelliousness, fatigue and frustration, as well as certain other emotions in smaller quantities. It seemed to Lord Madhammer as if he had just been engaged in an internal struggle, and the part of him that wanted to keep quiet had been beaten by two falls and a submission. "Actually... maybe I could ask your advice about something. You got a minute, buddy?"

    If Lord Madhammer were the kind of person to display emotion publicly and spontaneously, he would have met Sparkplug with the largest, most satisfied grin that a human could stretch onto his face, and a hungry look of desire in his cold, gleaming eyes. But Lord Madhammer was too self-controlled for that, which is just as well; he would probably have seriously weirded Sparkplug out if he'd shown him that face.

    Instead, Lord Madhammer casually turned back to Sparkplug and said, in the most nonchalant of phony nonchalant voices,

    "Sure."
     
  8. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter VIII

    The Cafeteria of Doom (Adjacent to the Gift Shop of Lesser Portent)



    Lord Madhammer had invited Sparkplug over to the cafeteria next to the gift shop. There, the two of them began talking about the things that were weighing heavily on Sparkplug's mind. Truth be told, Sparkplug was the one who did most of the talking, with Lord Madhammer filling the role of conversational facilitator. Every now and then he would interject the kind of pseudo-verbal grunts that indicated that he would love nothing more than to listen to Sparkplug ramble on for all eternity. This is some of that conversation.

    "Yeah, it's almost been fifteen years. Can you believe it? I never woulda thought my life would have turned out like this. I guess in a way I should be grateful. The Autobots rescued me and Spike the first time we met, so...

    "I dunno. It's just not the same anymore. Back when we first met the Autobots, everything was different. Now I wonder whose side they're really on." At this Sparkplug indulged in a small moment of rueful laughter. "Ah, who am I kidding? I know whose side they're on. They're on the Autobots' side. All they care about is setting up their bases all over Earth and taking the place over.

    "Did you ever notice how there always seem to be more of 'em running around? When they first showed up, there was maybe twenty of 'em. Now it's more like thirty or forty. No one ever says anything about it, and no one's supposed to notice that they're doubling the size of their army right under our noses. You think they want to leave Earth? Don't bet on it, pal. They're moving in."

    Suddenly, with a furtive glance around, a lowering of his voice, and a leaning forward of his head, Sparkplug said, "Lemme tell you something that nobody knows about. You remember how back in '84 the Autobots had beaten the Decepti-goons and were gonna go back home? How every single government in the world donated to the cause? Remember that?"

    "Yes, I do," said Lord Madhammer. "It was a tragic lost opportunity. The Autobots had enough energy to return to Cybertron and end their war. I think we both wish that they had left then."

    "You ever wonder why they didn't leave?" Sparkplug said, with a strange, conspiratorial gleam in his eye.

    "Well, no," said Lord Madhammer, "because they couldn't leave. The Decepticons destroyed their energon stockpiles, right?"

    At this, Sparkplug's conspiratorial gleam spread to both eyes like spilled Kool-Aid in a paper towel. After dropping his voice even further, he looked straight at Lord Madhammer and said:

    "Wrong."

    Lord Madhammer was completely nonplussed. "Wrong?" How could that be true? If the Autobots' energon hadn't been destroyed...

    Sparkplug, sensing that Lord Madhammer's thought process had led him to the point of being nonplussed, continued.

    "You ever wonder how they support all these Autobots here? I mean food, or what we'd call food anyway. But not just that -- weapons, equipment, repairs, you name it. That stuff doesn't come cheap. And now -- well you know what they're doing now. This place isn't big enough for them anymore. Now they want to build their own city. Right here on Earth! How are they going to get the resources to build an Autobot-sized city, if they're just scraping by, like they want you to believe?

    "It's all a lie. They took that energy that the world -- the world -- gave them, and when they found out that Megatron wasn't as dead as they thought, they made up this story about how they got attacked and it was all destroyed. Hey, I went along with it at first. They all told me that Megatron couldn't know about it and it was better this way. But then they started using it. They built these Dinobots, and then along came Jetfire, and then all these other guys started showing up. Like I said, it's pretty much a full house right now. And now they got this Ultra Magnus guy heading up the Autobot City proposal.

    "How many more cities are there gonna be? How many more Transformers running around little old planet Earth, sucking up its resources? I'm telling ya, buddy, this whole thing has gotten way too political for me. I don't think they're here to help us fight the Decepti-creeps; I think they're here to take over the planet. Cybertron is pretty much a loss. (Trust me, I've seen it.) Why wouldn't they want to start over, on a new planet? Oh sure, they can protect us against the Decepti-goons, but lemme clue you in on something. Without Decepticons, there's no reason for the Autobots to be here. You get what I'm saying?"

    The thoughts in Lord Madhammer's head were many. His perception of the Autobots had changed in a moment, from a perception causing -- at least in theory -- warm, happy thoughts, to a less agreeable perception causing anxiety, fatigue and nausea. And yet all of this formed the matte painting upon which the drawing of Lord Madhammer's primary interest would be superimposed. He knew that he had made a profound and fateful discovery -- a man who knew as much as any man knew about the Autobots, and who was ready to desert them. "Well, perhaps not quite ready," thought Lord Madhammer. "But we'll soon change that."

    With the most careful of careful responses, Lord Madhammer carefully responded to Sparkplug. "Yes. I think I do get what you're saying."

    He continued, carefully. "As it happens, Mr. Witwicky, I am myself a person of substantial resources. However, I, unlike the Autobots, prefer to use my resources to effect change, rather than to prevent it. It seems that the Autobots are proceeding with a certain agenda, and are able to do so because of the threat of the Decepticons. But what if there were no threat? What if that threat could be removed? As you said, there would then be no reason for the Autobots to be here. They could go home to Cybertron, and leave us all alone in peace."

    "Don't I wish," replied Sparkplug. "Now I got nothing against Optimus Prime, but I'm not so sure that he's even calling the shots down here anymore. There's other people -- or 'robots,' I guess -- behind the scenes, pulling the strings. Like I said, it's just not the same anymore." And then with another odd look, he continued, in a slightly questioning sort of voice. "But what are you talking about, anyway? Heh -- are you gonna go whack Megatron or something?"

    "Actually, that was my idea."

    There was a moment of silence. But not the reverential kind. This moment was a moment of incredulity on the part of Sparkplug, and calm solemnity on the part of Lord Madhammer.

    "Look, buddy. I don't even know if you're serious, but in case you are, you need to rethink what you just said. I've seen this guy, and he's tough. You're beyond crazy to think you could get rid of him. I admire the thought, but I think we're both just going to have to stick this one out and see what happens."

    "Well," Lord Madhammer continued, "I wasn't exactly thinking about attacking the Decepticon headquarters with a snorkel and a pair of flippers. As I said, I'm a man with many resources, and one of those resources just happens to be a Decepticon named Rumble."

    "What are you talking about?", Sparkplug said, jumping like someone who knows little about electricity and who has just touched a live wire while installing a new switch in their kitchen.

    Lord Madhammer continued as if there had been no moment of startlement. "It turns out that this 'Rumble' has kept quite a thorough log of Decepticon activity on Earth. And among the many records stored on his (now) very small person is a most intriguing entry about one 'Autobot Spike.' It seems that at one point, the Autobots had actually constructed a robot and had implanted a human consciousness inside it. And if I'm not mistaken, Spike is the name of your son."

    Lord Madhammer continued to ignore the many changing, but consistently and increasingly startled, looks on Sparkplug's face; he was on a roll now.

    "My question, Mr. Witwicky, is this: assuming that you were somehow involved in the process that temporarily transplanted your son's consciousness to an Autobot body, what would you say to... attempting the procedure again?"

    At this, Sparkplug's desire to speak overcame his desire to keep sitting there, gaping at Lord Madhammer. "Now hold on just a minute, pal. You might be a smart guy and you might be rich, and who knows how you even got hold of Rumble. But this isn't something you want to think about. It was an experiment. An experiment that went bad. Real bad. Think "Frankenstein" and you'll get the idea. Spike nearly went crazy. It's a miracle that he even survived."

    After saying this, Sparkplug thought for a moment. "Why would you even want to do something like this in the first place?"

    "Why, to remove the reason for the Autobots to be here, of course," replied Lord Madhammer with a slight grin. He then stood up abruptly.

    "I realize that this is a lot to think about, and my tour bus is about to leave, so why don't you take my card and give me a call if you'd like to talk some more." Lord Madhammer offered a very professional-looking business card to Sparkplug, complete with gold leaf and the crest of the Madhammer family. And leaning forward, he offered Sparkplug one final thought:

    "You and I both know that this war will never end unless something is done. You are in a unique position to affect the outcome of that war. Think about it, Sparkplug. Think about it, for the sake of the people of Earth. And all the little children yet to be born."

    With that, Lord Madhammer left the cafeteria, stopped at the gift shop to buy a Transformers coloring book and some colored pencils, and walked back to the bus, leaving Sparkplug sitting in the cafeteria with his thoughts.
     
  9. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter IX

    Waiting and Wonderment



    June, 2002. The family estate of the Madhammer family. Dusk.

    Lord Madhammer sat on a very expensive leather couch in one of his many sitting rooms, looking absently out of the very large window across from him. The sun had just set below the low hills, changing the evening sky from orange to a deep blue.

    "Ah," said Lord Madhammer quietly to himself. "Blue."

    But even the sight of his favorite color was not enough to lighten Lord Madhammer's mood. He pulled a small microcassette recorder out of his pocket, one that had been used so many times before in happier days, as well as sadder days. Pressing the well-worn "Record" button once again, he spoke slowly and deliberately into the device, as the bluish-purple tape within picked up his every word.

    "June, 2002. Am still at family estate. My hopes, once held aloft so high, seem now to be falling to earth with the deliberate falling motion of a heavy thing that is caught in the inescapable grip of cruel gravity. Has been more than four years since Operation 'Recruit Disgruntled Human Companion of the Autobots' was set in motion. Am having to face harsh reality that the past four years of studious research and diligent preparations have been for naught."

    After this last utterance, Lord Madhammer sighed ever so slightly and audibly. He continued, almost as an afterthought:

    "And I ripped out the basement for this too. Father would be most displeased. And Mother would say, 'look at the mess you've made!'" After another silent pause, he added,

    "I suppose I'm going to have to cancel my subspace account too. And I never even used it... Well, can't be helped. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise; it may yet give me more time to solve that dratted mass change problem.

    "But whom am I kidding? All is lost. It is only left to me now to stare out of this window and devise new, less meaningful and significant ways to squander my family's substantial fortune."

    Lord Madhammer now switched off the microcassette recorder and set it down on the ornately carved oak table next to the leather couch upon which he was reclining. He then picked up a glass from the table, which contained the remnants of his gin martini with two olives, and began to languidly sip upon it with a slow, methodical sipping sound. Once he had sipped as much as he wished, he placed the glass back on the table, heedless of the water mark it would leave, and folded his hands upon his chest and closed his eyes.

    But just at that very moment -- the moment at which Lord Madhammer was about to resign himself to slumber -- something most unexpected happened. A thing for which Lord Madhammer had been waiting for the past four years and two and a half months.

    The telephone rang.

    Lord Madhammer's eyes flew open in an instant, and he jumped from the couch as if he had just been attacked by the wild dogs of Sri Lanka while wearing nothing but a pair of running shoes. He ran towards the telephone and, staring at it with telephonic desire, yelled, "Butler! Telephone!"

    Ring.

    "Butler! Telephone!"

    Ring.

    "Butler! TELEPHONE!"

    Ring.

    Sensing that the routing of the call into the Madhammer voice mail system was imminent, and daring to risk all on a final chance to reach his glorious goal, Lord Madhammer did something he had never done before. He picked up the telephone.

    "Er, hello?" Lord Madhammer said, in the calmest voice he could muster, pretending that he hadn't just done somethnig he hadn't ever done before, and that he wasn't desperately expecting a return call from the one person who could redeem the years of labor he had spent on his most secret and ambitious project ever.

    "Yeah, hello, uh, Mister Madhammer? ...uh, sir?" came a voice from the other end, obscured occasionally by static and white noise. Unfortunately, the caller had called from a cellular telephone. The caller continued:

    "This is tsssshhh Witwicky. You may not remember me but tsssshhh a few years ago at the Autobot volcano. Anyway, I wanted to know if you tsssshhh about your offer. I can't talk long so tsssshhh okay with you, I'll head out to see you. tsssshhh address from your business card, so I should be able to find the place. I guess I decided tsssshhh were right after all."

    Not wishing to listen much longer to the static from Sparkplug's cellular telephone (which was causing violence-inducing fits of annoyance in Lord Madhammer), and also because he felt it was time for a long-overdue dance of victory, Lord Madhammer simply replied by saying,

    "Yes, Mr. Witwicky, that sounds excellent. I will be more than happy to reimburse you for any travel expenses you may encounter. We can discuss the matter in question in further detail when you arrive. Thank you very much."

    The reply from the other end came quickly: "Great -- thanks, Mister. Hey, look -- sorry I can't say more right now, but it's kinda tsssshhh around here right now. Uh, well, I guess I'll talk with you later. Goodbye."

    Lord Madhammer slowly hung the very expensive telephone back up, just as his butler entered the room, looking slightly flustered.

    "My apologies, Sir. I was occupied in the lavatory with a particularly stubborn bit of refuse, and--"

    "Do not fret, butler -- all is forgiven," Lord Madhammer said, now unable to contain the spread of enthusiasm that was now spreading from his loins to the top of his head. It was a great enthusiasm, all the greater for having brought Lord Madhammer from the brink of chronic annoyance. He turned from the telephone towards his butler, and continued to speak in a most unusual tone:

    "Reinstate my subspace account at once, butler! Go back to the library and fetch me those books on mass change! And make me some coffee!"

    "Very good, Sir," the butler replied, with only the slightest of hesitations in his old, stately voice. "However, Sir, I was not under the impression that you had cancelled your subspace account. And, as I recall, those books you mention are still resting upon the table in the basement. Also, as your lordship will no doubt recall, there is a pot of coffee in the kitchen, which I had brewed from the finest Columbian beans not twenty minutes ago."

    "Oh. I see," said Lord Madhammer, with a less slight hesitation in his voice. "Well, fair play to you, butler. Remind me to increase your salary. You may leave now."

    "Very good, sir," said the butler, who bowed in a butler-y fashion and left the room in a flurry of sophistication.

    Buoyed by this sudden change in his fortunes, Lord Madhammer performed a small victory dance, one which had been taught to him by the elders of that quaint Kenyan village in which he had spent so many formative years. He left the room himself soon after, and bounded down to the (now) gutted basement of Madhammer Manor. After blundering about in the dark for a few moments, he found the pull chain that he had been seeking, and pulled it. Instantly the area around him was bathed in a not overly bright incandescent light, but it was enough to see by. And what he saw was a wooden table, though not one made of oak or other fine woods. This one was made of plywood and pine lumber, and had many water marks upon its surface. Also resting upon the table was a large stack of large books, and Lord Madhammer reached immediately for two of them, as well as a magazine.

    The first book, entitled Mass Change for Dummies, he gripped in his right hand. The second book, entitled Randolph's Exhaustive Guide to Police Weaponry in Postwar Germany, he gripped in his left. The "Ranger Rick" magazine he simply tucked under his arm.

    With these three volumes in hand, he retired to a nearby couch, one which also faced a large window. But this couch was not one of the Madhammer family's many priceless heirlooms. It had been bought at IKEA two years ago, and had only been assembled within the past few months.

    Lord Madhammer was glad of this couch now. For upon it he sat now, refreshing his memory and doing some last-minute studying. As he read, alternating between reading about mass change, German handguns, and how to help keep the woods free of litter, Lord Madhammer could not suppress the growing sensation within him -- a sensation that his life was about to change for him forever.

    Outside, the stars began to twinkle in the cloudless night sky.
     
  10. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter X

    Dreams, Visions, and Drugs



    It had been a long night. The Ranger Rick magazine lay on the floor, and the two books were both laying open on his chest. Lord Madhammer drifted off fitfully to a restless sleep.

    The sky was ripped open in a haze of blues and purples. The rain came pouring in like knives with sharp teeth. Monsters of all shapes and sizes crawled out of the floor, the walls, and in through the window, blood dripping from their fangs, the smell of rotting flesh attending them. The roof began to sag under the weight of the storm that was now pressing in.

    Lord Madhammer leapt to his feet and steadied himself against the oncoming attackers. The first one, a slimy reptilian creature with no eyes, lunged at his throat. Without blinking, Lord Madhammer ducked down and to the right, pivoting at the same time. He grabbed the horrible creature by the torso and flung it across the room, where it exploded like a bloated carcass. The entrails spattered his face, but it only encouraged him further. Now they all came at once, snapping with fangs and slashing with claws.

    Lord Madhammer felt the agony of his skin and muscles being torn as he was smothered by creature after creature. Soon it was all he could do to stand under their growing weight. Finally he collapsed and was crushed, the air knocked out of his lungs. As he lay there dying, he became aware of a sweet melody, being played softly as if from a great distance. The sound haunted him so much that he lost all concern or care for his life. He could feel his blood spilling out onto the floor, he could taste it as it trickled out of his mouth; but it did not matter. Not anymore.

    He turned his head and the monsters were gone. He was sitting alone in a room with no windows and a single door. When the door opened, Lord Madhammer saw himself bloodied and torn apart, his flesh hanging off his bones. He spoke in a sickly, painful voice, though his eyes stared straight ahead. He only said, "Farewell," and then fell to the ground, instantly turning into a pile of gray ashes. The floor fell beneath him and he tumbled down a dark shaft, as black as anything Lord Madhammer had ever seen.

    Eventually a light appeared to his left. Lord Madhammer turned in that direction, slowly and deliberately. The light became brighter, and was now accompanied by a noise. He recognized that noise. It was the sound of footsteps.

    "Excuse me, Sir -- there is a Mr. Witwicky here to see you."

    Sight came back to Lord Madhammer. He was in the basement, still lying on his couch. It was late morning -- perhaps close to lunchtime. He got up and shook his head.

    "Excellent, butler. Go fetch him at once."

    "Very good, sir."

    "And butler... make me a sandwich."

    "Very good, sir," said the butler, and left to go upstairs.

    The day seemed suspiciously calm to Lord Madhammer. He was, by nature, a superstitious man, though he had always tried to ignore this side of himself. And as he looked out the window, he saw a black bird in the tree outside in the garden. It was a crow.

    "Curious," thought Lord Madhammer. At that moment, the crow turned its head towards Lord Madhammer slowly, seeming to gaze upon him for a moment. But then it plucked a ripe red berry from the tree, piercing its skin in the process so that the juice ran down the bird's beak. It then flew off into the southern sky.

    Just then, the butler returned to the basement with Mr. Witwicky behind him. As the butler stared malevolently at Lord Madhammer, he began to laugh in a somewhat disturbing way. Mr. Witwicky, who was dressed in a suit, did not respond at all and simply looked at his feet. The butler then stopped laughing and said to Lord Madhammer,

    "You are too late, Louis."

    Suddenly the room pitched backwards violently, and Lord Madhammer felt himself falling towards the back wall of the basement, which had become the floor. As the butler stood over him with a very large serrated-edge knife, he now began to weep uncontrollably. The butler then thrust the knife into his abdomen with a shriek, and slid up the floor to the basement door. He tumbled through the garden and fell into a pit, which scruffy-looking diggers outside began to fill immediately. When they were done, a crow landed on the mound of earth and began to caw. The diggers tipped their hats to Lord Madhammer, smiling perversely, and walked away through the gate.

    Down, down he was falling. Through mists and shadows he blundered, wading through pools of water and climbing up steep cliffs. His body was torn apart and his limbs were replaced with metal rods. They grew hot and burned him, but he could not remove them. Soon his brain felt as though it were on fire itself. The pain would consume him, and he would die alone.

    "Sir!"

    Lord Madhammer jumped as one terrified. His butler was standing over him.

    "Sir, I apologize for the intrusion, but you have a visitor."

    "What?"

    "A visitor, Sir. To see you."

    "Oh, very well then, butler. Show him in. I will be upstairs momentarily."

    "Very good, sir," said the butler, and left to go upstairs.

    Lord Madhammer sat on the couch, his brow sweaty and his hands trembling. Slowly he raised himself up and went to the basement door, to go upstairs and meet his new guest.
     
  11. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter XI

    After the Foreshadowing



    Lord Madhammer stumbled up the stairs leading from his basement to the great hall above; all the while clutching his head with his hand as if to keep his brain from falling out. He was shaken to his core, in a way that he had not been shaken since he had found himself in the iron grip of an African lion years ago. It was like that now, but with less blood. Lord Madhammer wondered what it could all mean. Did it mean anything? And why had he been unable to wake from his dream?

    One of the many mind-disciplining techniques Lord Madhammer had learned in his youth was the Waking From Dream technique. It enabled one to control the outcome of a dream, and to bring oneself to consciousness if necessary. He had become quite good at it, to be honest, which is why he found himself to be so unsettled at the present moment.

    He opened the door to the great hall, and was almost blinded by the light streaming in from the front of Madhammer Manor. The manor faced eastward, and the rising sun was casting its many rays in through the many windows of Madhammer Manor. One particularly large ray was being cast through the front door, which stood open. Lord Madhammer's butler walked in the door with a pair of suitcases, but all that could be seen of him, or the suitcases, was a dark silhouette. That was also all that could be seen of the other figure standing in the hall. But Lord Madhammer was still able to identify the owner of that silhouette. It was Sparkplug.

    "Ah, Mr. Witwicky. I am glad that you could finally join us. Welcome to my humble home."

    "Humble?", said Sparkplug, half laughing with an incredulous sort of laughter. "I'd say this was a pretty impressive place."

    "Well, thank you," said Lord Madhammer with a slight nod of his still-twitching head. "My butler will take your things to your room; everything has already been arranged for you. Please, take your time and get settled in. After that, we can adjourn to the basement and talk."

    "All right buddy," said Sparkplug, as he looked around. "Boy, you sure got a nice place here."

    "Yes, well, it has been in the family for quite some time. Please follow my butler; he will help you to your room. I will remain in the kitchen and make myself some breakfast; perhaps a bowl of cereal or a bagel. After that, I shall retire to the basement. You will find me there."

    "Sounds good," said Sparkplug, with the slightest of strange, questioning looks in his eye, as he followed Lord Madhammer's butler up the large wooden staircase.

    As soon as Sparkplug was out of sight, Lord Madhammer bounded to the basement door and ran down the stairs as fast as he was able. Upon reaching the bottom, he hastened to tidy up, placing the books and magazine on a small end table in the corner. He also picked up his drink from last night, opened a window, and threw it outside into the yard, along with the glass. He had not intended to throw the glass; it had slipped from his hand in the attempt to empty it.

    "Blasted foreshadowing," mumbled Lord Madhammer to himself, as he returned to the basement stairs.

    Once he reached the great hall, he went to the servant's kitchen and helped himself to some orange juice and a bowl of cereal. He did not bother to eat in the dining room; he simply pulled up a stool and started slurping down his Golden Grahams at a large, shiny metal table. A table for the preparation of food.

    Lord Madhammer knew that he was not himself that morning, for several reasons. Sitting at the top of that list of reasons was the fact that he had made his own breakfast, a thing which he was not wont to do in the comfort of his family home. To be sure, in the wilds of Africa, he had been forced to rely upon his strength and his spear to find sustenance, but that had been a character-building exercise. Here in Madhammer Manor, character-building was seldom a high priority.

    And yet Lord Madhammer sat there still, eating the cereal and drinking the orange juice that he himself had prepared. He didn't clean up after himself, however; he felt that that would be crossing the line.

    He returned to the great hall to find Sparkplug standing there, looking at one of the many large paintings on the large and luxurious walls of Madhammer Manor. He seemed to be attempting to read an inscription on a plaque underneath the picture.

    "It's my great-grandfather, Nicholas Egbert Madhammer."

    Sparkplug turned quickly towards Lord Madhammer, who had been the one to speak. Now Sparkplug spoke in turn. "Yeah, that sure is a big picture. I think I might have a photo of my grandparents somewhere, but nothing like this."

    "Indeed. Shall we adjourn to the basement, Mr. Witwicky?"

    "Oh, yeah. Sure."

    And so the two of them walked down to the basement. The very air seemed full of great potential for foreshadowing and grand metaphor about hubris and man's Sisyphean desire for glory. But none of that mattered to Lord Madhammer at the moment, who was intentionally focusing on things that would most likely not foreshadow anything, such as his favorite flavor of ice cream. Lord Madhammer spoke quietly to himself. "Mmm... Rocky Road... oh, damn." Sparkplug, meanwhile, was looking around the basement with a much more relaxed and comfortable look on his face.

    "Now this is more like it! You still got a big place here -- heck, even your basement is huge -- but this is more my style here. None of that fancy stuff, ya know?"

    "Indeed," said Lord Madhammer, who now sat down quite slowly onto his couch. He beckoned Sparkplug to pull up a chair, which he did so.

    "And now, Mr. Witwicky, we can finally talk. Tell me, what prompted you to leave the Autobots and join me here at Madhammer Manor?"

    At this, Sparkplug bristled slightly and looked a bit uncomfortable, but nonetheless answered the question.

    "Well... to tell you the truth, I don't really say that I've 'left' the Autobots. I don't know that I could ever do that. But I don't know. Maybe I already have. I do know that they're not looking to slow up their colonization anytime soon."

    With that he shook his head with a sort of resigned, slow shake. "Do you know that I've got a grandkid? He's not even six years old. What kind of a world is he gonna grow up in? A world ruled by robots? Sometimes I ... I dream that he's been turned into a robot. I know that sounds crazy, but I'm worried, ya know. And Spike... well, he's not looking back. He's back and forth between here and those Cybertron moon bases so often, he never has time for his family. And let me tell you, when you've lost someone, you get a better understanding of how important your family is. But Spike..."

    Sparkplug just shook his head again. "Well, anyway, I didn't come here to talk about my kid. But I guess since you asked, that's why I'm here. I let Spike grow up around these guys, and now he's practically one of them. But it's not too late for Daniel. At least I hope not. And I still don't know what you can do about any of this, Mr. Madhammer, but I'm willing to try anything at this point."

    Lord Madhammer's eyes narrowed only slightly, and his head turned to the right by less than five degrees. But inside his mind, things were different. He knew that Sparkplug was exactly where he needed to be -- desperate and highly motivated.

    "I understand what you mean, Mr. Witwicky," said Lord Madhammer. "I too have suffered loss. And I wish no more than you do to allow such needless tragedies to continue. So that is the reason why both of us are here."

    Lord Madhammer involuntarily moved his hand toward the table to pick up his drink, and then remembered that it was no longer there. "Damn portent," he thought to himself. But, using all of his discipline and mighty internal power, he brought himself under control again, and spoke out loud this time.

    "Mr. Witwicky, when last we spoke I mentioned to you that I was interested in the idea of transferring a human consciousness into a robotic body. I did not elaborate at the time, but now I feel I should do so. My plan is simple: I desire to implant myself in a robotic clone of Megatron, and use my new body to lead the Decepticons to their destruction. Once the Decepticons are gone, there will be no more reason for the Autobots to remain on Earth, and this war will be over. And then we can go back to killing ourselves rather than having these Cybertronians do it for us, which is of course as it should be."

    Sparkplug sat in his chair, stunned at the audacity of Lord Madhammer's plan. For a long while he said nothing. And then the long while ended. Sparkplug spoke:

    "Wow. Well, I'll hand it to you, Mr. Madhammer. You sure have some crazy dreams."

    The twitching in Lord Madhammer's eye and left hand, which had thus far been abating, now flared up again momentarily.

    "Look, buddy, I don't know if you can do this. If you're going to actually turn into Megatron, you need to look like him, talk like him, and, well, transform like him. And from what I've heard, he's a tricky one. You know that he's one of those shrinking guys, like Soundwave and... well, actually, like Rumble, if you still have him somewhere.

    "Now most Transformers just have a preset mass change setting. Not Megatron. He doesn't just shrink; he manually controls how much he shrinks, depending on who's gonna be using him. I've seen that guy attach himself to the bottom of an airplane without shrinking a bit. And then he turns around and--bang--he's a genuine human-sized handgun. I'm telling you, he's got some advanced cybernetics, and I've been working on Transformers for almost twenty years, so I oughta know."

    Lord Madhammer's eyes dimmed slightly, perhaps about 8%. "In your estimation, Mr. Witwicky, is it possible to replicate this functionality?"

    "Well, like I said, it's not something you can really build. Megatron's got the same circuits as any other Transformer; he just doesn't have that preset function in his mass change circuits. It's all in his mind. Something in his brain somewhere enables him to adjust his mass change algorithms on the fly. But it sure uses up a lot of energon to do all that. That's why none of the Autobots do that -- they think it's too risky."

    Lord Madhammer was about to express his frustration with many loud utterances, but was unable to because Sparkplug continued talking.

    "And I haven't even told you about the antimatter thing. Optimus Prime told me once that Megatron somehow found a way to draw antimatter into his cannon. We don't know exactly how he did it, but it's one of the most destructive weapons I've ever seen. It's weird -- according to Wheeljack, Transformers don't have enough energy reserves to be able to pull something like that off. But it's just another one of those weird Decepti-creep secrets that they've been trying to figure out."

    With every word that Sparkplug spoke, the precious, beautiful idea that had blossomed in Lord Madhammer's mind seemed to take a boot to the head. Eventually he was left with a metaphorical puddle of mud. Lord Madhammer took a moment to regroup his thoughts.

    "All right, then. You seem to be telling me that replicating Megatron's body is not probable, or perhaps even possible. I must share with you my disappointment, as I have been planning this for quite some time. Do you see that thing in the corner?" Lord Madhammer pointed to what looked like an armchair covered in a white sheet. "I made that myself, in anticipation of this project succeeding."

    With that. Lord Madhammer went over to the corner and pulled the sheet off the armchair. But it was no armchair. It was a large robotic head, shaped in the likeness of Megatron.

    "Wow, buddy," said Sparkplug. "You must have worked a long time on that. ...But I don't think he looks exactly like that."

    "What do you mean?" interjected Lord Madhammer.

    "Well... his face is the same color as his helmet, and this face kinda looks... sort of purple. And his helmet is rounder than that; yours is more angular. And what are those tube things on the front?"

    "They were aesthetic decisions!" roared Lord Madhammer, now unable to contain his frustration any longer. "I didn't like the way it looked before, all right? I thought he would look better this way! I'm sorry that this meets with your disapproval, and I'm sorry that I am wasting your time with something that is obviously nothing more than a fool's errand! I had an idea of how this conflict could be ended once and for all, and now it seems that it will just keep on going, despite everything I have done! Perhaps it would have been better if I had never even attempted this in the first place!"

    Sparkplug sat there, listening. Lord Madhammer found this to be a most unexpected response. He had anticipated anger in return, or perhaps that Sparkplug would simply get up and walk out. But neither of those happened, and Lord Madhammer became confused. Sparkplug then did something most unexpected -- he smiled at Lord Madhammer in a knowing way, as if there were some sort of shared experience between them that he was about to explain, which would help Lord Madhammer to understand his most curious reponse.

    "Mr. Madhammer, I know you really want to make this happen. I wouldn't have come out here if I didn't believe in what you were saying. I've done some thinking of my own, and I happened to bring along a few ideas. When you told me about getting rid of the reason for the Autobots to be here, the first thing I thought about was wiping out the Decepticons. I figured, how else are you gonna do it? And all that talk about Spike and that robot body transfer... Hey, I may not be a college grad, but I know how to put two and two together. Don't worry about the mass change or any of that stuff, Mr. Madhammer. I think we can create the strongest Transformer those Decepti-goons ever laid eyes on, and I think you can defeat them." He paused, and then added: "You have to."

    "Really?"

    "Yeah, really. Like I said, I brought along some ideas of my own. Let me get my papers out of my suitcase upstairs, and I'll show you what I was thinking about. Does that sound good to you, Mr. Madhammer?"

    "Mr. Witwicky," said Lord Madhammer, a smile once again creeping across his face, "that sounds excellent."
     
  12. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter XII

    The Timely Arrival of Destiny (Reprise)


    September, 2004.

    It was a fateful evening, full of fatefulness. Portent hung in the sky like a pillow propped up on a stick. The sky grew orange as the sun slowly fell below the horizon. And the clouds were sort of pinkish too. Kind of a pretty sunset, actually.

    But Lord Madhammer had no time for pretty sunsets. Not this evening. No, this evening would be different. For this evening would be the evening that Lord Madhammer's life changed forever...



    When Lord Madhammer reached the basement of his mansion, he turned on a light switch. Light instantly appeared, flooding the entire cavernous room with light. Before him stood the one thing that would alter his destiny forever. The great secret that he had been carefully hiding all his life. And now his life was leading up to this moment -- the moment when everything was about to change.

    It was finished. Finally. After years of labor, and numerous late night trips to the take-out at the local Taco Bell, it was finished. The many lights in the ceiling shone down upon an immense purple, black, and blue object, with just a splash of orange. But it was the blue that made Lord Madhammer smile the most.

    "Ah. Blue."

    This large object would normally have been described as a very large tank, but there were several differences preventing one from making that immediate identification. For one thing, the tank was purple, black, blue and orange. For another, it was about three times the size of a normal military tank. It also carried large surface-to-enemy-object missiles on either side of its turret.

    "Damnable subspace account," Lord Madhammer muttered.

    With the arrival of the Transformers on the planet Earth, and the cooperation of the Autobots with various world governments, human technology soon found itself increasing at an exponential rate. By the mid-1990's, the Transformers' subspace technology had found its way into the private sector. Many technology companies began to offer private subspace accounts to subscribers, which would allow them to instantly teleport various materials to another dimension, for retrieval at a later time. Naturally, since subspace itself is a limited commodity, limits had been placed on how much subspace storage any one person could possess. Lord Madhammer had found this out the hard way when he had attempted to upload 500 surface-to-enemy-object missiles into his account.

    A figure appeared above the turret of the tank, hearing Lord Madhammer's utterance. "Hey there, Mr. Madhammer. Looks like she's about ready to go."

    "Excellent, Sparkplug. How is the Decepti-zapper coming along?"

    "Well, I had a bit of trouble integrating it into your main cannon, because it kept shorting the whole body out. But I did come up with something you might appreciate."

    With that, Sparkplug retrieved a remote control device from his shirt pocket, a device that looked strangely like a garage door opener. He pushed a button on the device and something appeared on the floor at Lord Madhammer's feet. It was what appeared to be a sword, about twenty feet long by the looks of it. It had a large rubber hilt, from which protruded several flexible metal tubes that all ran into the blade of the sword itself.

    "A sword, Sparkplug?"

    "Yeah, I know -- you were probably expecting a gun or something. But I tell ya, some of those Autobots are pretty handy with swords, and I got to thinking, 'why not try it with the Decepti-zapper?' The whole thing has been engineered into the rubber handle, and the ray is trapped within the blade of the sword itself. That way you won't get zapped, and the Decepti-creeps will. So it actually works out pretty well. It can also absorb the output from energy weapons -- that was a little touch of my own."

    "Well done, Sparkplug. Well done indeed. I assume that this at least is small enough for my subspace account to handle? If I get one more of those "bandwidth exceeded" letters, I swear..."

    "Yeah, that won't be a problem," Sparkplug said. "Well, looks like we're set to go, so... well, I guess this is the big moment."

    And it was indeed. Lord Madhammer picked up his faithful microcassette recorder one final time, and spoke into it for the final time.

    "Am about to embark on the final stage of Operation 'Purple Tank'. Emotions are running high and the excitement is at a fever pitch. Now I record my final words as a human."

    Sparkplug gave Lord Madhammer a puzzled look, which led him to correct himself: "My final words as a human... before I return to my body, of course."

    He continued. "May this mission succeed beyond my wildest imagination, and may it be the first step in the final defeat of the Decepticons and the end of the Cybertronian War." Sparkplug clearly approved of those words, as he gave Lord Madhammer the "thumbs-up" sign as they were uttered.

    Returning the microcassette recorder to his pocket, he now strode purposefully to the far end of the basement, which was a good distance away from the stairs (it was, after all, the basement of a large ancestral home). At the far end stood a simple table, upon which he laid himself. He picked up a round metal bowl-shaped helmet and placed it upon his head. The helmet was connected by several long wires to another device which had been clamped to the purple tank, just in front of the turret. But between both tank and man stood a large metal console, which Sparkplug now manned.

    "Ready, Mr. Madhammer?" Sparkplug said.

    "Ready, Sparkplug," Lord Madhammer replied.

    Sparkplug flipped a large switch, and the whole room exploded with sound. A loud, crackling sound. This sound would normally have sent Lord Madhammer into apoplectic fits of annoyance, but not this day. This day was different. This day was the day in which he would become a Transformer.

    "OKAY," shouted Sparkplug above the din and racket of the crackling sound. "ON THREE. ONE..."

    Lord Madhammer felt his body tense up. He closed his eyes and tried to think about small, furry animals.

    "TWO..."

    The furry animals thoughts weren't helping at all. Lord Madhammer tried to think of how cool he would look with his new body, not to mention his twenty-foot sword. He wished he would be able to record his thoughts afterwards, but he felt certain that his microcassette recorder would be a bit small for his new hands.

    His microcassette recorder...

    "THREE!"

    Everything disappeared in a blinding flash of white light. Lord Madhammer felt as if he had just been electrocuted. Pain wracked his body, and he started to scream. No sound came out, but as if in response to his cry, a new sensation awoke in him. His flesh felt as if it were being torn apart from within; not just his body, but his mind as well. He was going to die. There was no one else but him, and he was going to die alone.

    His arms and legs were pulled out of their sockets, and his chest was split open. Lord Madhammer's back arched, and from out of his chest emerged a burning liquid. It covered his torso, and then his limbs and head. He felt himself loosening, and was able to move again, this time with more fluidity than he ever had before. The pain gradually started to subside, and as Lord Madhammer began to breathe again, he realized that what he was doing was not in fact breathing. He felt a cooling sensation coursing throughout his entire body, and the more he breathed, the more he began to relax and recover.

    His mind became clear again. He was looking at the wall of his large basement. He turned to the right, and saw the table in the corner upon which he laid. Almost in shock, he strained to see closer and found that he was able to move his eyes forward out of his head. But no -- he knew what was happening. He turned his head back to the wall and spoke, and his voice boomed across the room.

    "Sparkplug? Where are you?"

    A small, wet-sounding voice came in response: "I'm here, Mr. Madhammer." Lord Madhammer turned and saw a horrible creature in front of him. He almost appeared to be a human sponge; he was constantly inhaling and exhaling the air, and had a sickening, glistening sheen about him. Lord Madhammer felt repelled, but then found the feeling being replaced with recognition and understanding. This was just Sparkplug, as he had always been. He had never before realized just how disgusting humans were.

    "Mr. Madhammer, are you all right?"

    "Yes, Sparkplug, I am well," came Lord Madhammer's voice. Suddenly he realized that he was sitting down, and he felt the desire to stand up. As he did so, he heard a loud noise coming from within his own body. He moved his shoulders outward and stretched his legs. He raised his head and extended his arms. Only after he found himself looking at his new hands did he realize that he had transformed. But he still felt cramped. Looking around, he soon discovered why. Even with an eighteen-foot ceiling, the basement of Madhammer Manor was not tall enough anymore. Not for Lord Madhammer. He was bent almost double, and decided that he did not much like that. He took a step forward, feeling as though he had just pushed a freight train with the tips of his fingers. He moved again and realized that in a few steps he had covered the distance between where he originally stood and the door to the outside.

    Even though the door had been refit to accomodate larger personages, Lord Madhammer was still too wide for it. He crouched and then sprang forward, smashing through the frame and sending debris and dust flying all over his family's expansive gardens. At last he stood up to his full height.

    He now moved slowly but gracefully and purposefully. He twisted his torso and head back to the gaping hole in the basement wall of Madhammer Manor, and saw his sword. Raising his hand slightly, he said, "Sword, home." Instantly the sword disappeared again.

    Lord Madhammer then saw Sparkplug run out into the gardens with a look of alarm on his face. "Mr. Madhammer, sir! Something's wrong! It's Rumble! He's gotten loose--"

    Sparkplug never finished his sentence. A beam of light struck him in the back, sending Sparkplug's body into spastic convulsions. He looked as if he were in the midst of an earthquake, except that he was the only person moving. He fell to the ground with a sickening snapping noise, and Lord Madhammer knew that he was dead.

    Just at that moment, a small person ran out of the hole. No... it was a Transformer. It was Rumble. He looked up at Lord Madhammer and fired his weapon straight at his chest. The weapon had no effect on him.

    Lord Madhammer instantly felt a change inside him, as though his body had anticipated what he was about to do. He felt hardened and strengthened, and his mind became completely focused on Rumble. At his command, Lord Madhammer's sword appeared in his hand, and he aimed a blow straight at him. Rumble jumped out of the way, returned his weapon to his back, and took off into the sky as fast as he could.

    Lord Madhammer's vision abruptly changed -- he found himself looking through a telescopic sight, as he watched the retreating Decepticon flying through the evening sky. He aimed at Rumble and fired. But the small Decepticon had been in many battles before this, and he expertly dodged the attack and was soon lost to sight.

    "Blast," said Lord Madhammer to himself. Then with a terrible shock he realized that Rumble carried with him every recorded word Lord Madhammer had ever spoken into his microcassette recorder. Rumble would reach Megatron, and Megatron would learn of Lord Madhammer's plans. He would know where to find him.

    Lord Madhammer knew that he could not remain at home any longer. Calling to his butler, and vaguely hoping that he would hear, Lord Madhammer said, "Butler! You are immediately dismissed from my service! Please leave at once!"

    With that, Lord Madhammer transformed and fell to the earth, once more a large tank. The sound of his impact was heard and felt for miles around. He moved himself forward at top speed, heedless of the terrain he was crashing over or the lawns he was destroying. All his thought was fixed on one goal, one destination. Thankfully he had been able to deduce from Rumble's recordings where that goal / destination would appear next, and he headed towards it with single-minded determination.

    "Utah," thought Lord Madhammer to himself. "If I can make it there in the next three days, I should be able to locate the Decepticon space bridge."
     
  13. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    Chapter XIII

    Revelation and Rebirth



    September, 2004.

    The Utah Salt Flats.

    3:00 P.M.

    The wind howled across the flats, and there were no creatures to be seen. It was a bright but not overly warm September afternoon in the deserts of Utah. A lone vehicle rolled over the ground, traveling at approximately 85 miles per hour. This was not a camper, or a Winnebago. Nor was it a motorcycle or any other human-driven vehicle. This was an immense purple tank, decorated with black, blue and orange accents. It drove on in a straight line, as if it knew exactly where it needed to go.

    It did know.

    This tank was a Transformer, known as Lord Madhammer. He had previously been a human, but through advanced science techniques (and the assistance of his now-deceased partner), he had managed to transfer his consciousness into the machine that now rolled towards its Utah destination.

    His original plan had been to destroy Megatron, the Decepticon responsible for the deaths of his parents. When that had failed, and when his intentions had become known to the Decepticons, he had immediately fled. Lord Madhammer was quite gifted at improvisation.

    But he knew now that he must not attack Megatron. He would be expected, and would more than likely be destroyed. Instead, he did the only thing he could do. In a last desperate attempt to carry out the final stages of his mission -- his life's purpose -- Lord Madhammer decided that he must travel to Cybertron. He would make his stand there, obliterating as many Transformers as he could in the time that remained to him. It may not end the war, but at least he would be able to avenge himself on some of the race that had been responsible for so much devastation on the planet Earth for so many years.

    Looking ahead, Lord Madhammer now discerned a shiny object on the horizon. Switching to his long-range scope, he zoomed in for a closer look. He had found what he had been looking for. The Decepticon space bridge. By his estimates, it had materialized approximately 30 minutes ago, and would remain in place for another four to five hours. It was all the time Lord Madhammer would need.

    He now increased his speed and sped towards the space bridge. As he drew closer to it, he was able to make out its shape more distinctly. It was in appearance a great metal wall, in the shape of a circle. All Lord Madhammer would have to do is drive through the single opening in the wall, and he would be instantly teleported to Cybertron.

    He hardly slowed down as he approached it. When he had come within one hundred meters of it, he quickly transformed and ran towards it at the same pace he had been keeping before. He was about to enter when he passed by a small console on his right side. Quickly he dug his heels into the ground, turned about, and went back to examine the console. Sparkplug had done an excellent job with Lord Madhammer's new body -- he was able to read the console immediately, and pressed the button that read "Activate in Ten Seconds."

    He then ran through the open entryway into the space bridge and waited. Soon the top of the wall began to glow and pulsate, and he noticed that clouds were forming above his head. The patterns of light on the walls started to rotate, and then brilliant rays of light suddenly shot up from the space bridge into the sky, and Lord Madhammer felt himself growing lighter. He looked down and saw that he was slowly rising off the ground, along with some surrounding debris. The next minute the Earth had fallen beneath him and was gone.

    He was in a beam of light, traveling at near-light speed towards Cybertron. Looking up, he saw a silver speck in the blackness. The speck ballooned into a small metal planet, and Lord Madhammer saw himself head upwards to a small tower. Suddenly his orientation changed, and he was inside the tower with the planet beneath him. The light faded, and a door slid open in front of him.

    Here, no doubt, was the headquarters of the Decepticons on Cybertron. Everything was made of various metals, and lining the walls of the large room into which he stepped were consoles of all shapes and sizes. He was too preoccupied with the strange yet welcome sight of the foreign yet familiar room to notice the sound behind him. It was the sound of footsteps.

    "Who are you?" a challenging voice called out.

    Lord Madhammer pivoted around and found himself face-to-face with a Decepticon he had heard of, but whom he had never seen before. He was a lighter shade of purple, and seemed to have no face, except for a single eye in the center of his head. His name was Shockwave. When Lord Madhammer had turned all the way around, Shockwave stepped back reflexively.

    "Lord... Megatron?" the robot asked, questioningly.

    "'Madhammer' will do, Decepticon," said Lord Madhammer, as his sword materialized in his hand. He swung it immediately at the robot's torso. Shockwave, already on guard, leaned backwards and at the same time aimed the laser cannon on his left arm at Lord Madhammer. He fired and hit him directly in the chest. Lord Madhammer felt somehow that he had been damaged, though he did not feel much pain. He suspected that the blast had not fully penetrated his armor.

    He had been knocked off-balance, however, and Shockwave took this opportunity to fire again. But suddenly Lord Madhammer's instincts, which had nearly been driven from him after being transferred to his robotic body, returned faithfully to him like a long-lost friend. He crouched down and raised his sword, allowing it to absorb the impact of the blast. The sword began to glow a bright blue color, and Lord Madhammer smiled. He was now prepared.

    Without pausing, he stood up again and ran straight at Shockwave, swinging his sword in arcs from left to right. The first blow glanced off Shockwave's chest, the second one missed, the third one went just to the right of Shockwave's head, but the fourth came down on his laser cannon. With a sickeningly grating sound, Shockwave's arm was cut near the elbow and fell to the ground. Lord Madhammer's sword was undamaged, however.

    But Shockwave was no stranger to combat. Without a second look at his arm, he stepped back from Lord Madhammer and transformed into an even larger laser cannon.

    "Oh I see," said Lord Madhammer. "No mass change for you, then."

    "None indeed," said Shockwave as he pulled his own trigger.

    Lord Madhammer then ducked and turned around, and thrust his sword over and behind his head into the barrel of Shockwave's cannon, just as the beam was about to shoot out of the cannon. The energy was absorbed by Lord Madhammer's sword, which he swung upwards, slicing through Shockwave's cannon. Shockwave fell to the ground with a cry, but before he could transform, Lord Madhammer was on top of him. With a final thrust, he plunged his sword into Shockwave, causing an explosion of sparks and noises.

    Lord Madhammer did not move at first, but looked closely at Shockwave, to make sure that he wouldn't be getting up anytime soon. When that had been verified, Lord Madhammer withdrew his sword and it disappeared.

    He then became interested in the consoles lining the walls of the room. One in particular with a large viewing screen caught his eye. He walked over to it and again found that he was able to understand the writing on the console. He pressed a button that read "Cybertron Planetary Settings", and looked at the screen. It displayed several menu items:

    CURRENT POPULATION (BY REGION)

    COMMAND (BY REGION)

    ENERGON RESERVES (BY REGION)


    Lord Madhammer looked at these options curiously for a moment. He then selected "Current Population." The view screen then displayed the following data:

    POPULATION, ALPHA QUADRANT: 0
    POPULATION, BETA QUADRANT: 0
    POPULATION, GAMMA QUADRANT: 0
    POPULATION, DELTA QUADRANT: 0
    POPULATION, EPSILON QUADRANT: 0
    POPULATION, ZETA QUADRANT: 2
    POPULATION, ETA QUADRANT: 0
    POPULATION, THETA QUADRANT: 0


    Lord Madhammer was stunned. If what he was seeing was true, there were only two inhabitants on the entire planet of Cybertron. He had not realized the degree to which Cybertron was a "dead" planet. Noting the relatively dense population of the Zeta quadrant, and harboring a slight suspicion, Lord Madhammer typed in the following:

    DISPLAY CURRENT QUADRANT

    The answer came as no suprise:

    CURRENT QUADRANT = ZETA QUADRANT

    "Real-time population updating, I see," said Lord Madhammer. "Impressive. And it means that lump of metal over there isn't dead yet."

    Continuing on, Lord Madhammer selected "Command." The information displayed on the screen was displayed in a similar format:

    COMMANDER, ALPHA QUADRANT: N/A
    COMMANDER, BETA QUADRANT: N/A
    COMMANDER, GAMMA QUADRANT: N/A
    COMMANDER, DELTA QUADRANT: N/A
    COMMANDER, EPSILON QUADRANT: N/A
    COMMANDER, ZETA QUADRANT: DECEPTICON (SHOCKWAVE)
    COMMANDER, ETA QUADRANT: N/A
    COMMANDER, THETA QUADRANT: N/A

    EDIT / RETURN


    Lord Madhammer could hardly believe his eyes. On the one hand, he supposed that it would make sense that if there were no inhabitants of Cybertron, there would be no one to command the various regions of the planet. But seeing it up there on the screen was still something of a shock. And then it occurred to him that he had just dispatched the only remaining commander on all of Cybertron. A thrill of excitement came over him, and he selected the "Edit" function and typed the following words:

    CHANGE: COMMANDER, ALPHA QUADRANT = LORD MADHAMMER

    The computer responded with a very satisfying response.

    CHANGE ACCEPTED. NOW REPLICATING ACROSS CYBERTRON COMMAND STRUCTURE. CONGRATULATIONS, FACTION UNKNOWN (LORD MADHAMMER).

    Approximately twenty-five seconds later, Lord Madhammer had become the official ruler of all Cybertron. "If only I had known it would be this easy!" he exclaimed, now positively gleeful. And then he noticed the final option on the main screen, and selected "Energon Reserves." Again the computer spat out its information.

    ENERGON RESERVES, ALPHA QUADRANT: 3%
    ENERGON RESERVES, BETA QUADRANT: 1%
    ENERGON RESERVES, GAMMA QUADRANT: 0%
    ENERGON RESERVES, DELTA QUADRANT: 0%
    ENERGON RESERVES, EPSILON QUADRANT: 2%
    ENERGON RESERVES, ZETA QUADRANT: 25%
    ENERGON RESERVES, ETA QUADRANT: 1%
    ENERGON RESERVES, THETA QUADRANT: 0%


    "You sneaky bastard..." Lord Madhammer muttered, glancing again in the direction of his fallen enemy. "What are you hiding?"

    "A good question -- one that will be answered in due time," came a voice behind him. Lord Madhammer wheeled around to find himself staring at Megatron and at least ten other Decepticons, all with their weapons pointed at him. At the front of the pack he noticed several smaller Decepticons, one of whom was a bluish-purple color.

    "Remember me, meat sack?" Rumble said. "You may have gotten yourself a new body, but you're still a stink bag inside that shell. And now you're gonna pay."

    "Enough, Rumble!" said Megatron, his gaze never leaving Lord Madhammer. "I want a word with this treacherous slime before I terminate him."

    "Well, what is it, Mega-creep?"

    Lord Madhammer was not given to such earthy pejoratives, but he knew that they annoyed most Transformers immensely. Unfortunately, Megatron did not seem at all annoyed by this, and simply smiled and -- strangest of all -- gave a slight bow.

    "I only wished to thank you, flesh creature. For you have advanced the Decepticon cause far beyond anything we have thus far been able to accomplish on your miserable planet."

    At this, Frenzy, who was standing next to Rumble, broke in. "Yeah! Can you believe it? In all the time we've been on Earth, Megatron never thought of just going back to Cybertron and reclaiming it! It was always 'oil refineries' and 'energy weapons,' and--"

    "Silence, Rumble!" Megatron shouted, and knocked the small red and black Decepticon across the room. "Hey, I'm Rumble!" said Rumble, looking somewhat put out.

    Megatron ignored this, and continued. "Now, Earth germ, thanks to you, the Decepticons can reclaim their rightful place as rulers of Cybertron! The Autobots will perish, AND WE WILL REIGN SUPREME!"

    Megatron raised his fist into the air, and the other Decepticons followed suit, exclaiming various "hurrah" noises as they did.

    It was at this moment that Lord Madhammer began to understand the depth of his folly. There was nothing he could do. He was surrounded, and in all likelihood he was about to die. The Decepticons would then conquer Cybertron, and the Autobots would lose. The war would be over.

    The war would be over...

    In the midst of his despair, Lord Madhammer smiled. He turned to face the Decepticons, and stood there ready for what would come. It did not matter to him anymore. If he had done anything -- anything at all -- to put an end to the killing and destruction, his death would be worth it. It did not bother him that the wrong side had emerged victorious. What mattered was that his own people would finally be left alone.

    "Decepticons, ready... aim... FIRE!"

    Lord Madhammer's chest exploded in a burst of fire and light. His vision faded as he tumbled to the ground in a heap of metal and wires.

    Megatron, smiling callously, turned from the smoking wreckage and said, "Decepticons, I want Shockwave operational as soon as possible. He has some explaining to do. And as for this flesh creature... I want to see no traces of his miserable existence within the next sixty thousand astro-seconds." With that, Megatron turned and left the control room.

    The other Decepticons crowded around the fallen form of Lord Madhammer. One of them said: "Well. You have to hand it to the flesh creature -- he did more for us than Megatron has done in the last four million years."

    "Shut up, Starscream," another Decepticon said. "He just got lucky."

    "Lucky for us," said a third. "Come on, let's get him out of here."



    THE END
     
  14. Lord Madhammer

    Lord Madhammer Just a simple man

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    EPILOGUE



    Cybertron. 300 years in the future.

    The tyrannical rule of the Predacon leader, Megatron, has ended, and the captive sparks of all Cybertronians have been released.

    A lone spark descends into the depths of Cybertron, where it finds the rusted and burnt-out shell of an old Transformer. The spark moves slowly towards it and disappears inside. A light begins to emanate from the fallen warrior's body as it takes new shape...
     

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