Here's part nine of my NASCAR fan fiction series! Capital City 400 By: Bumblebee765 Kyle Busch wins the race in the #18 car! The Autobots escape mostly unscathed, but Denier is still in critical condition… Speedstrike and Huntress were standing in the medical chamber on either side of Denier’s still form on the operating table. Ratchet was studying a monitor behind Huntress. They had been lying on tables earlier that week to take care of the injuries Huntress had sustained. Due to their split-Spark they both had to be put into stasis when even just one of them got seriously injured. Ratchet had managed to perform some miracles on Denier. Her chest was sealed up around her Spark, which Ratchet had assessed was fine, and her arm had been reattached. Her left optic had even been placed back into its socket, but Ratchet doubted if it would ever work properly again. Her left leg was still severely damaged, but it looked much better than when Speedstrike had found her. Her faceplate had also been repaired. Ratchet really could work miracles. Speedstrike looked up at Huntress and frowned. They were both thinking the same exact thing; what were those new Decepticons? They all looked identical, and Denier had been attached to one. More importantly, where had they come from? The Autobots doubted Megatron would have stored that many troops in there and sent out his higher-ranking soldiers. The identical Decepticons didn’t seem to be too valuable to Megatron, since there were so many of them. Had they even talked? Neither Speedstrike nor Huntress could remember. The two Spark-siblings tried to remember everything they could about the monsters. They seemed emotionless, with one single optic band, and no other facial features. Their face was just a sheet of smooth metal with that burning scarlet optic band. Whatever their story was Denier must know it. She probably got into one of the main Decepticon computers and somebody captured her. Maybe it was even one of the creatures she was researching. The door opened behind Speedstrike and he jumped slightly. Optimus Prime entered the room behind him, and Ratchet turned around to salute with Huntress. Speedstrike followed Ratchet’s example. “You two fought bravely,” Optimus addressed Huntress and her brother. “Unfortunately, with what happened to Denier we can send no more Autobots into their base. It would be far too dangerous to send anybody else. If she failed at infiltration, nobody else could ever hope to succeed. We can’t risk losing another ally. It would deplete our ranks, and I’m sure the emotional stress would take a high toll.” As Optimus finished his speech Speedstrike turned to look at Denier. Just the sight of her still and crippled form brought an expression of sadness to his face. “So what are we going to do?” Huntress asked her leader. “Until we have knowledge of Decepticon attacks, which Prowl is looking deeper into than ever, then we shall all stay here. Why don’t you two go to the training area? I believe Charger, Ironhide, and Death Track are already there.” The two Autobots nodded together and left the room. Optimus turned his attention to Ratchet as soon as the door closed, “Ratchet, how is she?” “Well, she’s not getting worse, but it doesn’t seem like she’s getting better…” Ratchet replied with a sad shake of his head. Optimus looked down on Denier with sadness in his eyes. He had lost so many lives during the war, how many more would be lost before it would be over? “Tell me if her condition changes,” he said to Ratchet before he walked back into the main room. *** Huntress and Speedstrike had joined Charger, Ironhide, and Death Track in the training area, just as Optimus Prime had said. Death Track was maneuvering some sort of blade around a training dummy. Finally he decided that the dummy had suffered enough and took off its head. Ironhide was blasting a row of dummies to smithereens with his homing missile-firing cannon. When he got to the last dummy he unsheathed a blade from his back and swiftly decapitated it. Charger was about to throw her pike at a moving target when she spotted the new arrivals. “Look who decided to show up!” she shouted across the room. Since the training area was so large she transformed quickly into her #2 stock car mode and raced over to the pair. Before she hit them she converted back into her robot mode, “So, what brings you two here?” “Prime said we have to wait for the Decepticons to show their ugly faces,” Huntress started, and Speedstrike added, “Since it’s too dangerous for any of us to infiltrate their base after what happened to Denier.” They were all silent for a moment, and then Charger noticed a dummy off to her right, and casually threw her pike at it, impaling its metal frame exactly where a Cybertronians Spark would be. Speedstrike and Huntress just looked at the dummy in amazement. “H-how did you do that?” they said, even stammering at the same time. Charger just shrugged and said one simple word, “Skill,” before she walked over to the dummy to retrieve her pike. When she came back a door opened and hardcore walked out of the shooting range, converting his Gatling gun back into the panels on his back. He walked up to the three friends and once he was within earshot Charger said, “I see our weapon is still serving you well.” “Oh yeah,” he replied. “It turns anything into scrap, targets, and Decepticons.” As usual his animosity for his former allies was high. Speedstrike turned to them all and jerked his thumb at Death Track, who had just taken out a dummy with his triple-belted machine gun, “Guess we just need Rev to complete our little combiner team.” “Speedstrike’s right-” Charger began, but Speedstrike cut her off by saying, “Of course I am!” He smirked as she glared at him. He promptly changed his expression to one of shame. She was always able to silence him with just a glare. “As I was saying, maybe we should find Rev. We haven’t trained in our combination abilities since we were on the track at Phoenix,” she finished. Speedstrike put his hand to the side of his head to activate his radio and said, “Hey Rev, why don’t you come down into the training area?” “Oke doke!” was the response Speedstrike received. Moments later Rev walked into the room. “So, what’re we gonna do?” he asked with excitement. “Well, we’re going to call Death Track over here, and we’ll combine into our much larger form and surprise Ironhide. The Autobot weapons specialist didn’t even notice the five Autobots were talking about him; he was far too interested studying a gun, no doubt a new one he had designed. “Death Track!” Huntress called. Death Track converted his gun back into his arm and walked over to them. “What’s up?” he said with a grin. “We’re going to surprise Ironhide,” Rev said, barely containing himself. “Alright, how?” Death Track asked. “Just follow our lead,” Speedstrike and Huntress said. They held hands and merged into the torso and head of the giant Autobot combiner. The other Autobots converted into their vehicle modes, Ironhide still oblivious, and began the formation of the combiner. Death Track slammed into Huntress’s side of the torso while Rev attached to make the arm on Speedstrike’s side. Charger became the leg of Speedstrike’s side, and Hardcore became the other leg. Slowly the large form rose to its feet and walked towards Ironhide. Ironhide finally took notice of the “new arrival” and leaped back, aiming his cannons at the combiner. Slowly he realized what he was looking at and relaxed. “Is that really the only reason you did that?” he asked. “Naw,” it said in a combination of Huntress and Speedstrike’s voice, more connected then even when they speak in unison. “Prime said a few weeks ago that we’d have to train in this body, but all we had time for the first time was combining.” The Death Track arm reached onto the colossus’ back and pulled out a much larger version of Huntress’s axe. The fusion looked around the room and saw one of the dummies reserved for the larger Autobots and spun around on one foot, hurling the axe into the dummy. The axe spiraled through the air before chopping the dummy in half at the waist. Thankfully the walls of the training area were specially reinforced, so all that happened was a loud, echoing clanging from where the axe hit the metal wall. “I see you do have skills in that form,” Ironhide observed. “Why not have a little bit of a competition? We’ll see who can take out their dummies the fastest! I’ll take these eight on this side, and you can have the eight starting on that side.” He indicated the sides he was referring to with his finger as he said them. “You’re on!” the combiner shouted. They walked to their respective sides of the training area, and activated their weapons. Ironhide charged up his cannons, and the combiner converted its left arm into a much larger version of Death Track’s triple-belted machine gun. “One,” Ironhide said. “Two,” the combiner continued the countdown. “Three!” they said together. The combiner opened fire with its machine gun and cut one of the dummies in half with a stream of bullets. Just as it was moving on to target the next dummy Ironhide blew up his first dummy with a plasma blast from one of his cannons. The Rev arm of the combiner converted its hand into Speedstrike’s enlarged buzz saw and chopped down two dummies. Ironhide targeted three dummies with his remaining homing missiles and fired, blowing up all three of them. The combiner was now one dummy down, with six left. With its left arm the combiner targeted the last dummy on its side and put a belt of bullets through its head. Ironhide sliced one from his side with a sword he had drawn from his back. The combiner took two more dummies out with its buzz saw as Ironhide shot three of his dummies as it did that. Now they were even, with one left. The combiner was recovering from the swing with the buzz saw, and didn’t have time to react before Ironhide blasted the last of his dummies heads off. “Looks like I won,” he said with a smirk. The combiner converted its weapons back into its body and collected Huntress’s large axe, which it placed on its back again. Then, as it walked away, it turned to Ironhide and said, “Guess you did.” Then it converted a larger version of Charger’s pike out of the right side of its back and casually threw it at the last dummy, just as Charger had done before. “But we’d like to see you use skill like that,” it said with a smirk even bigger than Ironhide’s had been, before it faded from his face. “Nice,” the weapons specialist remarked. “You’ve definitely got style.” “Thanks,” the combiner said as it walked over to the pike and replaced it on its back. Then the combiner split into six smaller Autobots again. “Good job team,” Speedstrike said to them with his sister at his side. “Does this mean I can go back to what I was doing before?” Rev asked. “And what was that?” Huntress inquired. “Absolutely nothing!” Rev answered. The other Autobots laughed at Rev’s response, nobody had expected that to be the reply! Data File:Autobot Data File Death Track Technical Data: Strength: 9 Intelligence: 9 Speed: 9 Endurance: 9 Rank: 8 Courage: 9 Fireblast: 8 Skill: 9 Bio: Death Track tries to make the mood of any situation light. He never gets into a fight with any of the other Autobots, and always finds a way to resolve the arguments of the others. Out on the field though is a different story. His favored weapon is his triple-belted machine gun, invented early in the war by him and Speedstrike and integrated into his body; once one belt runs out the second takes over while he reloads the first. The only person who has known Speedstrike longer than him is Huntress, and it’s sort of hard to beat her at that.