Chapter 1: Kids With Guns The plane was a small one, but comfy. He had to hand it to his allies; they knew how to keep comfort up. Looking at the other passengers and staff, he smiled. They knew where the flight was going, that he was to speak to an important archeological site, but they didn’t know why. He made a silent prayer to the Thirteen for a safe flight. They were over the Pacific, and nearing their destination. He relaxed and prepared to take a nap, happy to be of use and well-known, even if it was in certain circles and not publicly. Upon waking, he found that they were over some Japanese mountains. How long was I out? He wondered. He was enjoying the view, when he saw a distinct flash. That couldn’t be good. Thank Solus the plane be short. He made it to the pilot’s cabin. “What in the name of Solus and the Thirteen is going on here?!” Directing them down, just as the flak round burst where their plane should have been, not where is actually was. He decided to drop the mission and give them new orders. “Okay, I’m getting my Parachute and some weapons, then jumping out. After that, have one o’dem Stewardesses close the door, and land in the nearest airport. I’ll keep in contact with my headset. Get going!” Walking back, he felt, rather than saw, the plane dodge more gunfire. He got out of his briefcases (a gift from his allies), and popped it open. He took out a pistol, and holstered it in his right pocket. He closed the briefcase and put on his parachute. Just then, a shot almost hit, and one of the stewardesses grabbed a hold of him, almost like he was her sanity filter. “Ishmael, what is going on?” “Nothing much Arcee, but the plane’s getting shot at. Nothing serious.” “Brother, you better not be planning on jumping out. Not at this height!” Life can be funny like that sometimes. He briefly tightened the hold, and reassured her things would work out. Stepping out of the oddly uncomfortable (awkward/unpleasant) embrace, he prepared to open a door, but looked down. He was still too high! He activated his headset (he had been wearing it and listening to music, but he stopped once he saw the flak round). “Pilots, get us lower, if I jump now, I die.” He said in a somewhat calm voice. The plane dipped, and started to turn, bleeding speed and altitude. He glanced at the door, briefcase in one hand, walking stick in the other. He looked down; the walking stick would fit in the briefcase, and that would open up a hand for the jump. “Brother… you’d better not ditch that plane!” “Sorry, what? I can’t hear you!” “Brother, don’t you dare!” “Okay, we are low enough that you can jump. Go, go, go!” He needed no more reason. Opening the door, he swung around it, let go, and swung it shut just before falling under the plane. 1… A flak round burst beside him, the smoke a stain against the world 2… The plane rose and gained speed, flying off, dodging smoke and shrapnel 3… He saw the snowstorm below, not knowing what lay inside 4… The plane had gotten shot, but now he was the target. 5… He opened the chute, and began a somewhat gentle descent, the white canvas blending in well. His suit? Not so much. I could really use a jacket. He thought. It was cold, but his suit kept him from freezing, his gloves and shoes kept his limbs from bleeding heat, but he had no facial protection. In the freezing cold of the storm, he found that his consciousness was fading fast. As he blacked out, he thought he saw a city below, a city made of ice… ~~~ “Ishmael. Come in Ishmael!” He stirred. Who was calling him? “Ishmael, come in NOW! What’s the status of the plane?” Oh, it was Arcee. “Ohai Arcee. Plane’s fine. Got shot down via flak cannon. I jumped. Now, I’m in a city of ice. Good looking city, want a vacation home here.” He heard her sigh (odd, for a mechanical being, but she could disguise as either a human or motorbike, so she had more human mannerisms than normal.) “Okay, you’re fine. Jolt’s in the area, do you want me to send him to your position? And you’re NOT going to be doing that again, capische?” “No, not yet. I need to do some exploring first. I’ll put on my HUD Glasses, so you can see what I’m doing. Even if you decide to berate me, you’ve always said that I act more like a Wrecker than an Autobot sometimes.” “Brother… don’t make me hurt you.” He felt around his suit, looking for the parachute’s clasps. Finding them, he opened it and got up. The briefcase had been next to him, by pure luck. Opening it, he got out his glasses, and put them on. As they merged with his headset (thank Wheeljack that it worked for once), he contacted Arcee again. “Okay, sync with the HUD, and we can get exploring, find anyone else. If I need Jolt’s help, I’ll tell you.” “Roger that, syncing now… Odd, it appears that the city you’re in doesn’t appear in any Japanese databases, though their mythology references it a few times. Also, our satellites can’t see it, only a snowstorm. Okay, get moving, as I’m detecting biosigns near your position. Use the subspace pocket in your briefcase and get out your FAL, as well as a few grenades. You might need them.” He set down the briefcase, getting out his burst rifle, and got ready to enter the spired building he landed next to. Upon entering the spire building, he found that it was almost a ceremonial place. Feeling guilty, he tried to sneak out as quietly as he could, not wanting to disturb the mystic feel. Making it to a corridor, he saw a few guards approaching. Ducking into a niche, the guards walked past, oblivious. “The conquest of the village goes well, and now all we have to do is begin processing of the villagers.” This piqued his interest. He wasn’t one for conquest, so he figured he’d shadow these goons. They had on light body armor, and he swore one was an elf. “Excellent. I can’t wait to have my pick of the women.” They laughed, and his gut ran cold. He checked to make sure the channel was still open. “Arcee, are you getting this?” “Yes. Hold on… Okay, take them out, and try to find some of the villagers. No wonder this place was deserted.” He got up, and snuck behind the elf. Taking out his pistol, he turned off the safety, and put it behind the bishie’s head. Fire. The other whipped around, preparing to strike; he ducked it, and retaliated with a gut punch. As the guard keeled over, he stuck his pistol under the guard’s chin and fired. Two down. “Arcee, is there any way to the roof of this building? I figure that I’ll be able to see more that way.” “Hmm, I can’t tell. However, by modifying the specs of our satellites, I have pinpointed a few Biosigns nearby, I’ve sent Jolt to hover, but you’ll need to meet up with him and form a plan.” “Roger I’m flowing on over. What do I do about these mercs? I can’t just leave then here.” She had no comment, so he left the dead bodies behind. Back through the ceremonial room (he had tears in his eyes, as he knew he was defiling the room, and this place filled him with awe in its beauty), and out into that hallway. He found stairs, and made it to some streets. He saw a house with an open door, and went into it to place his box. Along the way, he saw a snowmobile. Looked to be an Oztsu Yuki, but at the same time looked a bit off. He paid it no heed. ~~~ Once in the house, he quickly put his briefcase in a safe and hidden (so he hoped, if not the protective measures would keep it safe) place, he sat down in a chair and opened his comm. channel. “Arcee come in, this is Ishmael.” He waited for a bit, and then got a response. “Ishmael this is Arcee, what’s your situation? Have you met up with Jolt yet?” He gave some thought for how to respond for a moment. “No, stashed the briefcase in a house, but I’ll meet up soon. Can you round up the mechs and prepare for a combat drop? I don’t know the situation, but this could be serious. If you can’t get everyone, I’ll take Ironfist and Pyro.” He waited for her to process this information. When she had, she gave a terse reply. “This must be serious if you want all eight of us. I’ll make the call, but I want updates every chance you get. Arcee out.” He nodded, even if she couldn’t see it. The chick knew her tactics, so he knew that sitreps were a must if he wanted their help. He went upstairs to get a better look around. Being a two-story house, there wasn’t actually that much of a vantage point. He got onto a balcony, and looked for the Blue Ampera that was Jolt. While there weren’t many automobiles to begin with (mostly snowmobiles), the few that were here were varied. Finding him was easy enough, so he left the house to meet up with him. ~~~ Jolt was quiet as Ishmael walked up, and this disturbed him; Jolt was hyperactive on the best of days, so his being quiet was very bad news. He patted his hood, code for transformation. Jolt proceeded to stand up, with his door windows and lower bumper becoming an X-shaped set of wings. The rest of him was fairly Turian-like, but his face also had some communication arrays on it. He crouched and looked at Ishmael. “What do you need, bro?” He said, for some reason he decided to download a Jamaican accent upon arriving on earth. “Any new data? I need to find some biosigns and see if they’re friend or foe.” Ben said; all business when lives were at stake. Whimsy could come later. “No, but the biosigns are in the building right next to us. If you go up to that building there-” he pointed at a building across the street with a zipline into the one they were next to “-you should be able to see them, and take out any enemies.” “Thanks, I’ll check it out and se what I can do.” Walking away, Ishmael couldn’t help but shiver; whatever spooked Jolt was serious, so he had to potentially go cold-blooded. That always grated fiercely on his conscience. Now, he had to find a way up. “Perfect.” ~~~ Back to the house, up some stairs and onto a balcony. Now what to do… He looked for a way up, and saw only a table, and perhaps a place to grab onto the roof itself. Time he got moving. Now on the roof, he looked for a way up into the zipline building. It wasn’t that far away, being only two buildings away. The first one, another house, presented no trouble in getting across. Now, to climb the zipline building (more of an apartment, but since it had a Zipline or power line of some sort, he was referring to it as such). But it had windows, and balconies, and ways for him to climb it, including the inevitable fire escape. Yay fire escapes? Anyways, that was a great starting point. It was a five-story fire escape, landing on the house he was on. WTF? That was too convenient. Clambering up it was stupidly easy (ever run a flight of stairs? same thing), but fast. It led to a blank window on the same floor as the zipline(power cable[wire-thingy]). WTF?! Going through some doors, around halls, and generally being a creeper, he found the Zipline window. He looked through with a scope. He didn’t like what he saw. ~~~ The women were all lined up in the middle of the floor, with one guard per woman, and each had either a rifle or a pistol aimed at them. They were clearly prisoners, but each guard had a lecherous grin on his face. Ishmael’s stomached got nauseous at the sight. He knew what he had to do. Taking aim with his FAL, he shot at one of the guards and was rewarded with a gush of red and his head exploded. He watched them panic, unaware that they had been seen. They regrouped around their prisoners. He took aim again, and shot another one. This time the three-round burst hit him in the neck, then the jaw, and then his skull. Ishmael smiled grimly, but sighed once he saw them shouting at him (well, more of just shouting, but still it was meant to be shouted at him). “Sniper! Check the area, and FIND HIM.” They were unnerved, but he deemed irreverent. He found a way to the zipline. He looked at the guards from the window. Of the ten that were there, now there were four. All looked frightened, as did the prisoners. For the briefest moment, he thought he saw a mother-daughter duo. He shook the thought. “Oh, saw some hostages, gonna free ‘em.” “Take care brother, and try not to blow up the building.” “Put emphasis on the ‘try’ sis; this is me we’re talking about.” Making sure his pistol was secure; he put his rifle on the zipline and jumped. He was ready. They would fall. Time to fight, he thought, these men deserved to die. ~~~ The Guards were happy; beautiful women under their thumb, good pay, and an easy job. This was ruined when their superior got his head blown open in a hail of gunfire. They immediately went and put their guard up, each standing away from the window, to avoid being killed. One was oblivious, busy ‘flirting’ with his captive. They heard someone coming on the line, and aimed their guns at the incoming hostile. They weren’t expecting some kid in a suit. The kid then took down two of them with a pistol. The others (minus one) all pointed their guns at him. “Alright kid, drop the weapons and slide them over. Now.” He did so, grudgingly. He put his arm up to his head, and a navy holographic display popped up around it. “Hey, Jolt, my man, you at the base o’ this building?” “Uh, yeah? Why, are you in trouble?” “Li’l bit. Can you blow the supports?” Everyone paled “Yeah I ca-wait, WHAT?! I read at least seventeen other biosigns in there! Are you mad?” “Rhetorical question pal. Do it. Several of these dogs need to be put down. But they got me in a bad place. Now do it.” He smirked, and felt the building shake. As the guards stepped away from the edge, looking around, he lunged. Picking up his pistol he fired off several shots, getting three of the mercs. The building shook again, as Jolt took out yet another support. The building started to lean, and he felt a bullet hit his arm. Thankfully, it was the one not holding the pistol. He lunged, and punched another guard. His arm hurt, hurt so bad, but he refused to fall. The building then partially collapsed, and they all tumbled, and he managed to get another guard, as well as the one who was ‘flirting’. That left five, and everyone was getting up. “Ishmael, you okay?” “Hghh, got shot in the arm, but otherwise I’m good. Can you stomp on the mercs? I need to lie down… for a bit.” He grunted in pain. The mercs pointed their rifles at him. “Okay kid, look here, wait for the flash, and smile.” He closed his eyes, and did smile. It was an evil grin. “Hey, kid, I said to look! LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M TAL-hurk” That last bit was Jolt grabbing him and throwing him at a wall. As mercs went to shoot at Jolt-“Hey idiots! It’ll take more than a few crummy rifles to take him down!”- Ishmael went and shot at them, causing crossfire. The hostages were all hiding on the other side of the room, forcing him to be careful. Two mercs were left, with Jolt having killed another and Ishmael capping one. The remaining two turn to kill him. “Sorry kid, it’s nothing personal, just the ways things are.” As they aimed their rifles, they both got impaled, and electrocuted to death. Jolt retracted his whips, And Ishmael walked over to the hostages. “Ladies, I’m here to help, as is big blue over there. Now, any of you a doctor? I kinda need this bullet removed…” Back at the Autobot Moon Base: Arcee sighed, Ishmael and Jolt had managed to free the hostages, but now they were being dragged into a conflict she didn’t want. She felt, rather than heard, Pyro clomping up behind her. She turned, and looked at her subordinates. “Okay, so we’ve got a situation. I’ve put in the call for Hound to arrive, but it’ll take a month or two. Now, we’re going to liberate this village, since our friend and ally Ishmael got shot down in it. Hardhead-” The green, grey, and gold tank looked at her “-your job is to take out their armor. As they’re bound to gear up to fight us, you need to use that cannon and those skills to make it worthless. Landmine, Hoist!” The yellow and grey loader stiffened. The tow truck simply nodded “Your role will be to construct defenses. Also, Hoist, you’re pulling double duty as our medic! Pyro, Ironfist, and Wheeljack!” The three looked at her. “Your roles will be simple; you’re the front-line troops. Follow my orders and Hardhead’s orders. With luck, we can smash this incursion.” “Arcee.” “Yes, Hardhead?” “What is your role?” “I will be organizing the resistance and work with Ishmael. With luck, he’ll have data we need. You have your roles, now let’s contact him and roll out!” The seven vehicles rolled to the dock, waiting for the signal to arrive. Comments and criticisms, please. The human will be phased out in favor of the robots, but first he has to get them there.