Here's the eighth installment! STP 400 By: Bumblebee765 Denny Hamlin in the #11 car wins again! All the Autobots come out all right, but off the track is just as dangerous as on it… Speedstrike and Huntress were standing in their courtyard again, as they often did. There were relatively few times when they would go to the rest of the base. It was their private sanctum, their place to escape the thought of the war. As they always did they stood in silence, until they had a visitor. Charger entered the room on the other side of the giant tree, for the Spark-siblings were standing on the wall opposite the door. “Optimus Prime wants you two in the main room, and I’d hurry if I were you; it sounded urgent,” she said before leaving. Speedstrike looked at Huntress, said, “Guess we’d better go see what this is about,” and left, Huntress right next to him. They walked down the corridor connecting the courtyard to the main room, and when they entered the main room they saw Optimus standing in the middle of the ring of catwalks. Denier’s driver, Danica Patrick, along with Speedstrike and Huntress’s drivers, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin, were standing on the catwalks talking to Optimus Prime. “They will be busy, I am sorry. We planned ahead for this, however. If they don’t return by the next race then you still have your real cars to use. Of the teams, only you drivers know of our existence, so we needed a backup pla-,” Optimus noticed Speedstrike and Huntress at that moment and said, “Ah, good you two are here. I have a very important mission for you. Denier went to infiltrate the Decepticon base, which Megatron had relocated. We have suspected they are up to something, something big, and we needed somebody to find out what. Given Denier’s background Prowl and I had thought her the most capable. Sadly, she should have returned by now, and when we try to contact her we get no response. The Decepticon base must be shielded, for Denier’s Energon signature went offline as soon as she reached the location.” “How did you find out where the base is?” Speedstrike asked. “The tracking chip Bumblebee implanted in Slipstream. Prowl’s been recording her movements, and when she reached a rather secluded area in the Nevada desert it went offline. We had assumed that she had either found the chip, or the Decepticon base shielded it from our scanners. We had assumed the latter, and sent Denier to investigate,” Optimus added. “Couldn’t that be why she’s not responding to your communications?” Huntress asked. “No, we had thought of that, and Prowl and Ratchet invented an adaptation of her radio to overcome the shielding. However, we couldn’t make her Energon signature overcome the shielding.” “Alright, I guess we had better get moving then,” Speedstrike said, and he and his sister transformed and drove towards the transport jet hangar. *** Shortly after taking off in one of the jets the two Autobots were over the area where Optimus Prime had said the Decepticon base was located. They air dropped to the ground, both of them waiting until the last second, and then activating their parachutes in unison. They slammed into the ground and shed their chutes. They looked at each other and nodded. Optimus had told them that Denier had said the entrance to the base wasn’t very well hidden, and she had been right. There was a hatch in the ground, covered poorly be a hologram of the desert floor. Speedstrike activated, and hoping to make a quiet entrance, cut into the point where the hatch met the ground. Huntress held onto the hatch as Speedstrike cut it loose, and threw it to the side. They hopped down into the base silently and activated their guns. Speedstrike’s was a sniper rifle with a scope attachment on the top, and on the bottom was a laser sight. Huntress wielded a small machine gun. They were in a hallway, and they looked at each other. Speedstrike nodded to the right side and at the same time Huntress nodded to the left. We’ll be fine, Speedstrike thought to himself as he ran down the right side of the corridor, We’ll find Denier and get out of here safely… We have to… To his surprise he got an impulse from Huntress. She was thinking the same thing he was… He continued to run down the hallway, surprised he hadn’t run into any Decepticons yet. The hallway was scarcely lit, but that wasn’t a problem. Like the other Autobots he could switch his optics to night vision. Huntress had most likely done the same. Hopefully Huntress’s side of the hallway was a quiet as his, he didn’t want his sister to fall. He ran up to a fork in the hallway and decided to choose the right path. That’s when he got his first surprise. He ran around a bend and saw two identical Decepticons standing in front of a door. They hadn’t noticed him, and Speedstrike moved back around the corner. The similarities of the two Decepticons took him by surprise. They couldn’t be Spark-siblings like Huntress and him. Split-Sparks were so rare they almost didn’t exist. Either way, there must be something important behind the door. Speedstrike would just have to take the two Decepticons out. He turned a dial on the laser sight of his sniper rifle and to anybody else it would appear to not be on. To Speedstrike though there was a small dot on the wall where he was pointing his rifle. Wheeljack had created the special laser, and Ratchet had modified his optics so only he could see it. It was one of his favorite weapons. He aimed the laser sight at the Decepticon closest to him. The small dot was on the side of its head. Speedstrike pulled the trigger and in one shot the Decepticon fell to the ground. He hid back around the corner as the other Decepticon silently looked at its fallen comrade. It simply shrugged and went back to guarding the door. Speedstrike couldn’t have asked for anything better. He aimed at the other Decepticons head, and fired again. He ran up to the door and used his buzz saw again to slice it open. What waited inside made his optics open wide in surprise… *** While Speedstrike was fighting the two identical Decepticons Huntress was having her own problems. Five of the same identical Decepticons that Speedstrike had killed had taken her by surprise as she came around a corner in the side of the corridor she had taken. She had managed to slice one in half with her battle axe, but the other four were still operational. She converted her battle axe into a smaller axe that she then threw into the chest of an incoming Decepticon. She ran up to it and yanked it from the Decepticons dead body, and threw it at another one of the Decepticons, which missed. She kicked the Decepticon to the side and grabbed her axe, which she converted back into her large battle axe. She drew her rifle out from her back again and fired at another Decepticon, who got hit in the head and fell limp. She placed her rifle back on her back and turned around to face the two remaining Decepticons. “Guess it’s just us now,” Huntress said with a smirk. She charged at the Decepticon on the right and swung her axe, which made contact with the Decepticons razor-edged sword that came out of its left arm. She sliced her axe to the right and spun around to face the Decepticon again, which was on the ground. She brought her axe down on its head a cleaved it in half. The last remaining Decepticon had gotten behind her and took her by surprise by shooting a bullet into her back. Thankfully it had bounced off her armor, but she would still have to get Ratchet to look at it. She was still functioning, but she was in too much pain to rise… *** Elsewhere Speedstrike was about to enter the room the two identical Decepticons had been guarding when he suddenly fell to his knees in pain. He managed to look over his shoulder and saw nothing except the two dead bodies of the Decepticons. Only one thought was crossing his mind in that moment, Huntress! *** Huntress knew Speedstrike was worrying about her. She knew she had to be strong. The mission had to go on. Denier needed them, and she wouldn’t let an ally down. No matter how much pain she was in she ignored it, if she resisted it, if she pretended not to feel it then Speedstrike wouldn’t feel it at all. She had done that before. The Decepticon that had shot her was slowly approaching her, cocking its rifle arm. She wouldn’t let it get another shot on her. She whipped around and fired at the Decepticons head. Its body fell down in front of her, a huge hole in its head. I’m coming bro, Huntress thought before transforming into her vehicle mode and racing down the hallway in the direction she had came from. She was going to find Speedstrike. *** Back outside the room Speedstrike had suddenly felt the pain lift from him moments before and now knew that Huntress was coming for him. He looked at what had initially surprised him when he opened to door to the room. A body like the two Decepticons he had killed was hanging by some chains on the ceiling. That wasn’t the most surprising part however. Speedstrike had found Denier, but not in the condition he had hoped. Denier was hooked up to a machine that had wires running into the Decepticons body. Her chest was ripped open to reveal her Spark inside. The faceplate that usually covered her mouth, even in the Autobot base, was ripped off and just barely hanging onto her head. Her right arm was lying on the floor at her feet, and her left leg was bent backwards and barely attached to her torso. There were tubes attached to her Spark that led to the empty Spark chamber of the Decepticons body. Her left optic was hanging out of her head. Speedstrike ran up to Denier’s still form and ripped the tubes from her faintly glowing Spark. He said, “Sorry if this hurts,” and bent her chest armor around her Spark to protect it. He took her off of the machine a detached the wires connecting her to it. He felt Huntress’s presence and seconds after his Spark-sibling skidded into the room and transformed into her robot mode. “Great timing sis,” he told her. “Grab Denier’s arm, I’ll carry her body out.” After the initial shock struck her Huntress went to pick up Denier’s dismembered arm and followed Speedstrike to the door of the room. They peered out of the doorway, Speedstrike looked to the left and Huntress to the right before they got back in the room. “Now we just need to get out,” they said in unison. “I’ll go out ahead and make sure the path is clear,” Huntress said. “Hopefully it’ll be clear. We killed all the Decepticons we saw on the way, so there was nobody to raise an alarm.” Huntress ran out of the room, her rifle in her right hand and Denier’s arm in her left. Speedstrike followed shortly after, Denier in his arms. They finally got back to the first fork Speedstrike had encountered with no Decepticon encounters on the way. Speedstrike and Huntress weren’t sure if they should be thankful or worried. They got to the point where they had entered the base and still hadn’t seen any Decepticons. The two Autobots looked up and saw the hatch above them. Speedstrike put Denier’s body over his shoulder and started to climb out of the hole in the ceiling. Huntress followed him out shortly after. Speedstrike put his hand to the side of his head and said, “Optimus Prime, this is Speedstrike. We’ve got Denier and need a transport plane to take us out of here.” Over the radio Speedstrike heard Optimus’s response, “Alright, I’m sending one now.” Speedstrike turned to Huntress and opened his mouth. Before he could say anything she said, “I know, they’re on their way.” He should have known she would know. *** When Speedstrike and Huntress returned with Denier she was rushed instantly to the medical chamber. Ratchet put her on an operating table and got to work. Everybody in the base, both Autobots and their drivers, hoped that she would make it through… Data File:Autobot Data File Speedstrike Technical Data: Strength: 8 Intelligence: 9 Speed: 10 Endurance: 10 Rank: 9 Courage: 10 Fireblast: 8 Skill: 9 Bio: Speedstrike is a loyal second-in-command to Optimus Prime. He got to that position not by being the best warrior in the ranks, but by being an Autobot the others could look up to. The Decepticons can knock him down, and they have many times, but he gets back up every time. His biggest fear is not being there when the Cybertronians he cares about need him the most. Speedstrike shares a split-Spark with his Spark-sister Huntress. She always knows what he’s feeling, and sometimes even what he’s thinking. Of course, that gift extends to Speedstrike as well. On the battlefield he can always be seen wielding his buzz saw, which is highly maneuverable. He never allows the scars to be cleaned off of his weapon, claiming that they’re evidence of all that not only he has been through, but also what the other Autobots under his command have had to endure. Another one of Speedstrike’s most valued weapons is his sniper rifle. Specially designed by him, there are many attachments stored in the stock to be attached to various points for different situations, like different colored laser sights, scopes, longer silencers, and larger ammo clips to name a few. Speedstrike is like Rev in some ways. He will sometimes sit in a secluded area of the battlefield sniping off Decepticons. The only difference between him and Rev is the situations; Rev handles his work on his own outside the battlefield, Speedstrike hides and snipes during the heat of battle.