So most of you who know me probably know me from my stories, Transformers: Hellbound and Transformers: Legion, the latter of which is still a WIP. This is something of a side project (I actually write quite a bit, several stories at once), NOT intended to replace my main two (future trilogy). I know Animated Season 4's been done several times, but I feel like I've got some pretty solid ideas here, and I also have the advantage of being the only one (as far as I've noticed) that can use the AllSpark Almanac II. But anyway, here it is. I hope you enjoy it! (Rated PG) Episode One: Dark Awakening, Pt. 1 Sparks flew from beneath the yellow, red, and gray mass that was Omega Supreme. The massive Autobot, in his alternate form, grunted. “That hurt a little,” he boomed. “Sorry, Omega,” Ratchet said. “You really did a number on those Lugnut Supremes, though, old friend. It's taken some time to get you all patched up, but I think we're done.” Ratchet retracted his welding iron and flexed his fingers, popping the knuckles. “Thank you, Ratchet,” Omega replied. “It was my pleasure. It's good to have you back in action.” Ratchet crawled out from beneath Omega's frame and stood. “Don't get too bored sitting here all day.” “Boredom is not among my programming,” Omega said. “Oh, err... right. Well, I'm heading back to base now. Gotta make sure those turbo-revvin' young punks don't trash my equipment,” Ratchet said, transforming and speeding out of the holographic garage that Isaac Sumdac had provided to cover Omega's presence. ***** Much to Ratchet's chagrin, it was almost exactly as he'd expected. His tools were scattered across the floor, one of the cots was laying on its side, and some of the new recruits were buzzing wildly around the room. A mostly white Autobot sharing the same mold as Arcee looked up at him when he arrived. “Oh, I'm so sorry, Ratchet, they just burst in here!” she explained, grabbing up several of the tools and replacing them. “It's not your fault, Minerva,” Ratchet said. Then one of the new recruits, a particularly wild blue Autobot medic-in-training, crashed into a machine, sending it toppling onto the floor. “Jolt! I needed that!” Ratchet exclaimed, hurrying over and shooing the blue Autobot away. “I am Wreck-Gar! I needed that!” declared another, this one orange and much larger than Jolt. “Get out of here, you bucket of bolts!” Ratchet said, waving him out of the room after Jolt. “I am Wreck-Gar! I am a bucket-” Wreck-Gar began, before the door hissed shut behind him. “Jolt's a little hard getting used to,” Minerva said, picking up the last of Ratchet's tools and replacing them before up-righting the overturned cot. “He's reckless, but he means well.” “I've met too many 'bots like that,” Ratchet sighed, rolling his optics. “We've been back on this planet for two hundred cycles, and my lab's already been trashed twice. Wish the kid would get a handle on those two.” “Optimus hasn't had it easy lately,” Minerva said. “He's the hero he's always wanted to be, but I don't think he expected all the responsibilities that came with it.” Ratchet sighed. “I guess you're right, Minerva. Kid's got a lot on his plate now.” ***** “Ironhide, can you give me a hand?” Optimus Prime asked, grunting under the strain of the new defense system he was trying to push into place in the corner of the main room of the Autobots' warehouse. “You bet, Prime,” Ironhide said, walking over and bracing himself against the massive block of machinery. “Now, what exactly'd you say this thing's gonna do?” Ironhide grunted, pushing against the block. “It's part of a sensor array,” Optimus answered. “There are smaller ones all over the base. They allow us to spot and track any intruders.” With one last push, the machine was shoved into place, and many pieces of it shifted in order to attach itself to the network of wiring inside the wall. Optimus stood back to admire their handiwork. “Everything seems to be in order,” he said. “Of course it is!” someone behind them said. “I designed it to do that on its own, after all!” Optimus and Ironhide turned to see a bulky white and green Autobot standing behind them. Gray panels on either side of his face lit up blue with each syllable he spoke. “Don't get ahead of yourself,” Ratchet grumbled, walking into the room with Minerva in tow. “The last thing you designed just happened to explode.” “It just needed a little tweaking is all. A little more coolant and a little less Nucleon...” Wheeljack said, muttering the second sentence to himself, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. “Don't try it,” Ratchet said, obviously irritated. “Ratchet, let's just try to get along, okay?” Optimus said. “I know you two don't mesh well, but we're a team, and we've got a job to do. If the High Council thinks Wheeljack can help us track down and capture the remaining Decepticons, then I trust him completely.” “I know, Prime. I know,” Ratchet said. “I'd just prefer not having our base blown up.” At that moment, Jolt streaked through the room with Wreck-Gar following on his heels. There was an annoyed beeping, and a tiny blue Autobot balancing on a single wheel rolled in after them, shaking his fist. “Highwire, what is it?” Wheeljack asked. Highwire gesticulated wildly after the two, beeping in explanation. Ratchet sighed. “I'll get it.” He turned away and stomped down the hall Jolt and Wreck-Gar had fled down. “Come back here and give me that prototype!” he demanded. “I am Wreck-Gar!” Wreck-Gar could be heard saying. “I am coming back there!” Optimus chuckled. “It's like the humans say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.” ***** "Woah, woah, woah. Lemme get this straight," Captain Fanzone said, holding half of a doughnut in his hand. "You say there are more Decepticons here? I thought you got rid of 'em all." "Well, yeah, man, we thought so, too. But there are some missing, and our scans have shown that when Prowl and I rebuilt the All Spark, it left a lot of Energon deposits around town, dig? We figure the leftover 'cons will be attracted to the Energon," Jazz explained, kneeling down to come as close to the Captain's level as he could. The effect was that Fanzone felt more uncomfortable than if the Autobot were standing up. "So you're here to round 'em up, eh? Do me a favor, and try not to destroy half the city. You guys are still all right with me, but I can't say the city's too happy right now. We're still doing major reconstruction." "That's another reason we're here. We'll help out in any way we can," Jazz said. "Oh, thank you, but that won't be necessary," Professor Isaac Sumdac said, joining Captain Fanzone and Jazz in the lobby of Sumdac Tower, to Fanzone's relief. "We have a contract with the city to provide robotic labor," Sumdac explained. "Yeah, besides, I'd rather have you guys watchin' out for Decepticons twenty-four-seven anyhow," Fanzone said, before taking another bite of his doughnut. "Well, we'll be on stand-by if you need anything, all right?" "Yeah, thanks," Fanzone said. Jazz turned to leave. "Hey, wait a minute!" Fanzone called, stopping him. "Yeah?" Jazz said, turning back. "Why don't you, uh, bring me along. I oughtta meet the new guys anyway," Fanzone said. "And now that I think about it, I got a few things t' tell Optimus." Jazz flashed a grin. "Cool. Professor?" "Oh, no, no, but thank you. I have enough work here to occupy me for some time," Professor Sumdac said. "All right," Jazz said, waving. "Catch ya later, then." He turned back toward the door, transformed, drove through them, and let Captain Fanzone climb into the passenger seat, before speeding off toward the Autobots' warehouse. ***** “All right, listen up, you turbo-revvin' young punks!” shouted the green Autobot standing rigidly in front of the gathered group, “Alpha Trion and Sentinel Prime asked me personally to lead you in our mission, so make no mistake: I will tolerate no nonsense from any of you! I've been training Autobots in combat since before any of you were protoforms!” “This rust bucket is our commander?” Bumblebee whispered to Bulkhead, getting a chuckle out of him. The Autobot glared at Bumblebee, snarling, “Do you have a problem with my leadership skills!? These moons aren't Earth! There is no Optimus Prime to get you out of trouble! Do you understand!?” “Yes sir, Kup, sir!” Bumblebee blurted, immediately at attention and saluting. “That's what I thought,” Kup growled. “Now, I retired stellar cycles ago, but I cannot refuse a mission this important when it's been entrusted to me, so that's why I'm here!” Kup chomped on his cy-gar for a moment before continuing. “My job is to make sure none of you end up like Ultra Magnus or Rodimus Prime!” A red and white medic nearby briefly looked down, catching Bumblebee's eye. Her name was Red Alert, and he'd heard she was a member of Rodimus' team before he'd gone down with a case of Cosmic Rust. Sari, standing next to him and coming up to his waist, seemed to notice this, too. Sari had been shellshocked when she first arrive on Cybertron, but by now, she seemed fine. Not to mention she'd volunteered for this job. “Now, I know some of you are familiar with the Decepticons, but I can assure you that this will be nothing like your previous encounters,” Kup said, now pacing up and down the line of Autobots, “because they have no central leadership, and they are desperate. Thanks to someone in power, they all know where Megatron is.” Bumblebee rolled his optics. They all knew what Kup was referring to. In an attempt to demoralize the Decepticon forces, he'd broadcast footage of Megatron in high-security prison across the galaxy. Their reaction, judging by certain captured Decepticons', was just the opposite. “These moons contain some of Cybertron's most valuable resources,” Kup said, stopping and holding up two fingers. “One: the Energon farms; and two: the Elite Guard's early detection network's main sensors are located here. Both are prime targets for Decepticons, and that's why we're here. Any questions?” ***** “Captain Fanzone, it's good to see a familiar face around here,” Optimus Prime said, kneeling down and greeting the human cheerily. “Eh, I guess I could say the same about you. But these new guys...” Fanzone trailed off, staring at Jolt and Wreck-Gar, who were now playing keep-away from Ratchet with what looked like some sort of rocket launcher. “Oh, give me that!” Ratchet said, lunging for the device, which barely eluded him. Wreck-Gar's throw was off, however, and the device bounced off of Jolt's outstretched fingertips, and spun through the air toward Fanzone, who recoiled and screamed. Just as the device was inches from his face, it was surrounded by a crackling, purple aura, and returned to its apparent owner, who was standing in a doorway, watching the game with a terrified expression. Ratchet retracted his magnets and gave Fanzone a wave. Jolt and Wreck-Gar had already disappeared. Fanzone returned the wave and sighed, “This is why I hate machines.” “Don't worry about them, Captain. I'll straighten them out sooner or later,” Ratchet said, approaching him. “Yeah, I think you'd better. The city wasn't so happy with the way it came out of the last battle. We don't need any of you guys running around and breaking everything,” Fanzone said. “But, uh, who're the new guys?” he asked, directing his question to both of the Autobots. “You remember Wreck-Gar, the one who helped out with the garbage crisis. The hyperactive little blue one is Jolt,” Ratchet pointed to a slender white and red Autobot standing in a corner, who smiled and gave a courteous wave, “and that's Minerva. They're my trainees.” “The red one over there is Ironhide,” Optimus said, pointing to a red-orange Autobot who was built like a linebacker, “you already know Jazz. Wheeljack was in here earlier. Jolt and Wreck-Gar were playing with one of his experimental prototypes. He has three assistants, Minicons named Highwire, Sureshock, and Grindor. And...” Optimus glanced around the room, “Hot Shot!” Seconds later, a mostly yellow Autobot with a blue chest and red accents walked in. “You rang?” “This is Hot Shot. He and Ironhide are soldiers the Elite Guard transferred onto my team. Wheeljack's a scientist assigned to develop weaponry for us to use,” Optimus said. “Everybody, this is Captain Fanzone, of the Detroit Police. He'll be an important ally while we're here on Earth.” “You mean that little organic?” Hot Shot scoffed. Prime rose to his full height and gave Hot Shot a stare that froze the young Autobot in his tracks. “These 'little organics' are the only reason we were so successful. In fact, a former member of my team just so happens to have been raised by them.” “Oh. Sorry, sir,” Hot Shot said, drooping. “Now, when you say that, uh, Jackwheel's here to make weapons, you're not gonna be blowin' anything up, are ya?” “No, Captain. I promise, we'll keep collateral damage to a minimum while we're here,” Optimus said. “Good. Now, I have a few things to tell you, Optimus,” Fanzone said. “We have Starscream's body locked up under high security in Sumdac Tower. The Professor's been usin' it for research. Hope it doesn't turn out like last time, but I can't think of a better use for it.” “Did you ever recover his first body? The one the Headmaster stole?” Optimus asked. “Nah, the river took care of that,” Fanzone said. “But, eh, one other thing. We never found your lady friend and the bug.” “You mean Blackarachnia. She wasn't...” Optimus said, looking down at the floor. “Oh,” Fanzone said, hesitating. “Sorry. I didn't mean-” “It's all right,” Optimus said. He stood, turned, and walked away, out of sight. Ratchet sighed. “Blackarachnia was one of Optimus' best friends back on Cybertron. Before the accident. And he has a lot on his plate right now with the new leadership position he's been thrust into.” ***** “Optimus! Optimus!” Ratchet shouted, barging into Optimus' darkened quarters, finding his commander hunched over a computer, poring over a message. “What is it, Ratchet? I've received a very important message from Sentinel, about possible targets Cliffjumper has identified in my area of jurisdiction,” Optimus responded. “Well, Captain Fanzone's received an even more important message from Professor Sumdac! Starscream's body is missing!” Optimus' eyes widened. “Missing?” “Somebody smashed their way in and took off with it!” “Get the new arrivals Earth modes and tell Wheeljack we'll be needing some weapons, preferably non-fatal. I want any Decepticons behind this taken alive. We roll out in ten cycles.” ***** There was nothing, as far as the optic could see. Nothing, that is, but metal bars and walls. Megatron sat patiently, relaxed, in his electrified restraints. One wrong move and they would send an electric charge through his body at just the right frequency to induce stasis. Wretched Autobots. As if Cybertron hadn't been damaged enough during the Great War, everything had been completely remade. The city of Kaon was nothing like Megatron had known it: where gleaming silver skyscrapers once stood, rusting ruins now loomed against the reddened sky. The once proud metropolis was now nothing but a sprawling prison complex. “Shockwave,” Megatron called. “My Lord, I am here,” Shockwave replied, from a cell further down, out of sight. Good. At least one thing was going right. The Autobots had made the mistake of placing at least one of Megatron's most loyal servants within his master's midst. “Are you still able to access the Autobots' communications frequencies?” Megatron asked. “Yes, my liege. Shall I access them now?” “Yes. But you must avoid detection. I will require your services in the future.” “As you command, Lord Megatron,” Shockwave replied. Megatron smirked.