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Transformers: Human in Disguise - Book II: Battlefield Earth

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:59 AM   #1
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Transformers: Human in Disguise - Book II: Battlefield Earth

Transformers: Human in Disguise – Book II: Battlefield Earth
By Philip S.

Disclaimer: Transformers, GI Joe, and associated characters are the property of Hasbro, no infringement is intended.
Please Note: This story is a sequel to my previous story “Transformers: Human in Disguise” and will only make sense if you’ve read that one first.
Continuity Notes: No specific Transformers continuity, though strong influences from Generation 1 and the War for Cybertron video game. And while numerous characters from GI Joe will be appearing in this story, this is not a GI Joe crossover in any way, shape or form. Given that Marissa Fairborn is established in canon to be the daughter of Flint and Lady Jaye, it just made sense to use these existing characters, along with some others.
Rating: PG-13


NOTE: This is just the prologue for now, a teaser if you will. I'm still busy outlining this story (I know the beginning, the end, and several key scenes, but I still have put in the rest), so it'll take some time before chapter 1 comes along. Please be patient with me.

*****

Prologue: Home

*****

Home of Dashiell Fairborn (US Army, ret.) & Alison Fairborn (US Army, ret.)
San Francisco, USA
November 24, 2013


Just like every morning Dash Fairborn rose at the crack of dawn and did his morning workout in the living room of his home. Alison always gave him an amused smile when she rose much later in the day, considering that they were both retired now and didn’t need to get up this early. Still, the habits of a long military career were hard to break and so Dash always got up at the same time and worked out.

Twenty minutes later a faint sheen of sweat covered him as he headed towards the kitchen to turn on the coffee machine. He wasn’t really into the stuff that much, but he knew his wife was fully capable of killing people if she didn’t get her cup of java first thing after rising. Passing the hallway mirror he briefly considered his receding hairline and the large amount of grey now present in what was left of his hair. He had aged considerably these last few years. Small wonder.

A picture hung next to the mirror and he paused, as he did most mornings. It showed him and his wife, framing a young woman wearing the uniform of the US Air Force. She had been twenty-three then, he remembered, and his own hair had still been dark. They’d teased her relentlessly for joining the ‘chair force’ instead of the Army, but that hadn’t lessened their pride one bit. Swallowing, he continued on into the kitchen. So many years now...

He had just turned on the coffee maker when there was a knock on the door. Frowning, he headed out into the living room and grabbed a towel to dab the remaining droplets of sweat from his face. Who could be visiting them so early in the morning and on a Sunday no less? If it was some kind of salesman he would get pretty cranky, that was for sure.

He opened the door, a rebuke at the ready, but it died on his lips. Because right there on his front porch stood someone who couldn’t possibly be there. Eight years, he remembered. Eight years since he had received a letter containing the worst news any parent could possibly receive. Eight years since they had buried an empty coffin with full military honours. Eight years since they had received a folded flag and been told that their daughter had died in the service of her country on a top secret mission they could not be told about. Eight years.

Marissa, his daughter who had died eight years ago, stood right before him. Her hair was longer than he remembered and a streak of grey stood out prominently. Her face had acquired quite a few lines and she was extremely pale, even more apparent for the complete lack of make-up.

It was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen. But it had to be a dream. He was still in bed and dreaming, that had to be it. He’d had this particular dream quite a few times after that dreadful letter, though not for at least a year now, he figured. Still, any moment now he’d wake up. Any moment now...

“Hi daddy,” the apparition in front of him said, smiling slightly. “I’m home!”

A moment later she was in his arms and he didn’t know if he had moved first or she had, but it didn’t matter. She was here. She was real. This was not a dream. His little girl had not died on some top secret mission eight years ago, never to come home again. She lived and she was safely in his arms. Nothing else mattered.

“Oh my god,” he muttered, tears running freely down his cheeks. “We thought we’d lost you.”

“I’m sorry I took so long,” she said, crying as well. “But I made it, daddy! I’m home again!”

Finally convincing himself that this was indeed real, Dash reluctantly relaxed his hold on his daughter just enough so he could turn his head and look back into the house.

“Alison!” he bellowed. “Get down here now!”

It took a minute or so until his wife came down the stairs, still looking rumpled from sleep and less than happy at being summoned this way.

“Dash, this better be good, or I swear you’ll...”

Her voice trailed off as Dash stepped aside to unveil what had appeared on their doorstep. Alison stood frozen for an endless moment, unable to believe what she was seeing, but then she jumped down the remaining steps and Dash found himself unceremoniously shoved aside as his wife hugged her long-lost daughter. He was still crying and he didn’t care.

“Oh baby,” Allison sobbed. “You’re home. Thank God, you’re home.”

“I’m so sorry, mom,” Marissa said. “I wish there’d been some way to let you know. I promise I came here as soon as I could.”

With no clear idea how it had happened they were inside in the living room and sitting down on the couch. Marissa was sandwiched between her parents, both of them afraid to let go for fear this might all turn out to be a dream after all.

“They told us you died,” Dash finally managed. “What happened, Marissa?”

“I’m so very sorry you had to go through this,” she replied, her eyes still shiny with tears. “I feared... I’m just so happy to see you both alive and well.”

Dash frowned. “You feared for us?” he asked, incredulously. “You were the one who was... I mean, they told us... what in blazes happened, girl?”

Marissa sighed, settling deeper into the couch.

“It’s a long story, dad. And you’ll believe I’ve gone bonkers at first. I have proof with me, though. We don’t have much time, I fear, so I need you to listen and then I need you to contact Uncle Clay for me.”

Dash frowned again. “Uncle Clay”, better known to the world at large as General Clayton “Hawk” Abernathy was his old commander, now one of the joint chiefs. He was an old family friend and certainly near the top of the list of people he’d tell about Marissa’s miraculous return from the dead, but why him specifically?

“I assume they told you that I died on some top secret mission or other, right?” she asked, receiving nods from her parents. “Well, don’t be angry with them. To the best of their knowledge, that was exactly what happened. I didn’t die, though. I simply ended up stranded somewhere else.”

It was only now that Dash noticed that Marissa was wearing gloves despite it being nowhere near cold enough. She took off her right one and... what in blazes? Her hand... it looked like it was made from... metal? Dash looked on in amazement as Marissa opened the palm of her right hand and suddenly a three-dimensional image appeared in the air above it, displaying... what the hell was that? Some kind of techno-globe?

“I ended up on an alien world called Cybertron.”

Allison and Dash stared at her with wide eyes.

“You were certainly right about the bonkers thing,” Allison just muttered.


End Prologue
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:20 AM   #2
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So, I'm finally done with the outline, so here's part 1:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Chapter 1: Stranger in a Strange Land

*****

Journal of Captain Marissa Fairborn, United States Air Force
November 24, 2013


Looking back through the many, many journal pages I’ve written, I’ve finally come to the point where I can leave out the ‘(approx.)’ behind the dates I’ve put on the entries. For a long time I could only guess at the exact date, being so far away from Earth. Now, though, that has changed.

I’m home. Finally, after eight years and 26 days, I’m home. Come to think of it, though, it feels like it’s been much, much longer. Especially these last eight months, give or take. Eight months in which I could only imagine the horrors that Shockwave might already have inflicted on my home world while I was still stuck on Cybertron. Eight months in which Wheeljack, Perceptor, Brainstorm, Mainframe, and a host of other Autobots worked ceaselessly to replicate Shockwave’s receiver-less Space Bridge technology. Eight months in which I woke up screaming every night, seeing my home world in flames.

Yesterday we finally managed to get it working. At least the time between was well-spent, as it gave the Autobots the chance to build a ship of their own and put together a strike force to pursue Shockwave. We don’t know exactly how many troops he has with him and hostilities on Cybertron and the Grid Planets are still ongoing despite the Autobots now being at a clear advantage, so Optimus Prime can only spare so many troops, but at least we’ve finally gotten moving.

Coming out of the Space Bridge in high orbit above Earth, I felt a huge weight fall right off me when the Earth appeared whole and unblemished on the view screen. Jazz, who is in command of this mission, ordered an immediate scan of the globe, looking for signs of mass destruction or full-scale combat. I think I held my breath for a long time until we finally got the good news back: while there were numerous signs of armed conflict (something that is unfortunately normal for Earth), there were no traces of anyone having used Cybertronian weapons technology on a large scale.

For a moment I allowed myself to hope that Shockwave might never have gotten here. That he’d gotten something wrong and been killed by his own Space Bridge or something. No such luck, of course. Further scans quickly revealed that a Space Bridge portal had indeed opened here roughly seven to eight months ago, the transwarp radiation still measurable. Plus, there was a certain amount of signal noise coming from Earth that carried signs of Cybertronian technology as well, though it was too faint to get a location on it.

So good news and bad news both, I guess. Shockwave and his troops are here, somewhere. For whatever reason they haven’t pressed the Armageddon button yet. But it does mean that there is still a job to be done.

First, though, I’m going to do something I’ve waited eight years and 26 days for. I’m going home.


*****

Jazz watched as Marissa entered the home of her parents. It had taken quite a few hours of explanation until most of the Autobots more or less understood the concept of parenthood. For a race that reproduced asexually, there were no such things as blood family or the kind of emotional bonds Marissa had to her own progenitors. Jazz had seen Marissa’s reaction upon meeting the two humans designated ‘daddy’ and ‘mommy’, though, so he understood how important they were to her and vice versa.

He kept a scanner trained on the house, just to be on the safe side, but ever since touching down on this new planet two other things had preoccupied him. One, keeping an ear out for anything that might clue them in on the location of the Decepticons. And two, …

The music!

The data sphere of this world, primitive as it was, was just bursting with music, so many different styles even his highly developed processor had trouble trying to grasp them all. Radio stations broadcast music around the clock, online sites offered tons and tons of it up for sale and trade, and still more was available in a variety of data formats.

Just about the only thing more numerous than music in Earth’s data sphere were pictures and videos of naked or semi-naked humans (Marissa had told them to just ignore those) and, strangely enough, pictures and videos of a small, furry species called cats. The latter made as little sense to Jazz as the former.

Anyway, Jazz was already planning to arrange for a full-scale data dump to send back home, if only because Blaster would never let him hear the end of it if he didn’t. The Autobot chief of communications was as enamoured with the small sample of Earth music they’d had so far as Jazz and had pleaded with Optimus Prime to let him join the Earth expeditionary force. Prime had denied him, though, as he needed his chief com officer to help coordinate the multi-planetary campaign to mop up the remains of the Decepticon forces back home. So Blaster had remained behind, grudgingly, but made Jazz swear to send him some Earth music as soon as possible.

Jazz’ further musings were interrupted as the door of the house opened once again and Marissa led her parents outside. It seemed it was time for the big show.

*****

Eyes still puffy from happy tears, Marissa walked ahead of her parents as they crossed their front yard and walked up the car parked at the curb. It would have been somewhat overkill, she mused, if she had arrived here in her own preferred vehicle, the giant transforming robot Thrymir. Even adapted to an Earth-form, the sight of a big F-22 landing in the midst of suburbia would have drawn quite a bit of attention, of course. So they’d opted for something a big stealthier.

Jazz had been somewhat overwhelmed by the large variety of car forms available in Earth’s database, but had eventually settled on something sleek and fast. A white Porsche with racing stripes now served as his alternate form and while it wasn’t quite as exciting as flying an F-22 (or rather an alien jet disguised as an F-22), she could easily admit that she’d enjoyed driving the Porsche. Well, driving in the sense that she held the steering wheel and gave directions. Jazz did his own driving.

Coming to a halt right next to the car, she turned to face her parents.

“Ready for the big reveal?” she asked, very much enjoying herself.

“Nice car,” her father said. “But what does that have to do with...?”

“Just a second, dad,” she interrupted him. “Jazz, is the coast clear?”

Her parents flinched as the empty car began to speak. “Everything looks fine, Marissa. Hound is putting up a holo-shield, so everyone looking in will just see you three chatting next to a white Porsche.”

“Then by all means, start the show!”

She’d seen the show numerous times before, of course, so instead she watched her parents as the unmistakable sounds of a Cybertronian transformation rang out from behind her. Both her parents, hardened military veterans who’d seen it all and not been impressed the first time, took several steps back and paled as a giant alien robot suddenly emerged from a harmless looking car. Jazz, far from the biggest of Autobots, still stood more than 6 meters tall and cast a long shadow across her parents’ yard.

“Allow me to introduce Jazz, commander of the Autobot Earth Expeditionary Force. Jazz, these are my parents, Alison and Dashiell Fairborn.”

Jazz knelt down, now being merely twice the size of the two shocked humans, and carefully held out his giant hand.

“Very pleased to meet you,” Jazz said smoothly. “Marissa has told me a lot about the two of you and I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.”

For a long minute her parents just stared, to the point where Marissa feared she might have broken them, then Alison shook her head and took a step forward.

“Eh... well, I... it’s... it’s nice to meet you, too, Jazz,” she finally managed, gingerly shaking one of Jazz’ huge fingers.

Her dad seemed somewhat less eager, instead turning to Marissa.

“Marissa, are you sure...?” he began.

“Trust me, dad,” she simply said. “Jazz is one of the good guys. And also one of the reasons I made it back here at all.”

“Your daughter exaggerates,” Jazz interjected. “She did most of the hard work herself. The rest of us were mostly just along for the ride.”

“Yeah, right,” Marissa looked at him. “Which of us regularly snuck into Polyhex amidst hordes of angry Decepticons to cause trouble?”

“I might have done the sneaking, girl, but much of the trouble was based on your ideas, not to mention all the fancy flying you did in the meantime. So don’t sell yourself short here!”

*****

Dash Fairborn watched in awe as his daughter bantered with the giant alien robot – for what else could it possibly be – in much the same way he used to banter with his unit comrades. The way they acted around each other spoke volumes about shared experience in the trenches. What in blazes had his baby girl endured these past eight years?

Shaking his head, he decided to concentrate on the important stuff for now. His girl was here and apparently this big robot was part of the reason she’d made it back home. For now, that was more than good enough for this old soldier.

“Nice to meet you then, Jazz,” he said, stepping forward to shake his hand – or finger, rather – as well. “And thanks for helping my daughter get back home.”

The giant robot nodded. “Believe me, Mr. Fairborn, it was my pleasure.”

Marissa gave him a beaming smile.

“Convinced then?” she asked.

“Kinda hard not to,” he replied. “I guess I better make that call to your uncle Clay then.”

“That would be a good idea, dad.”

Shaking his head at the strange turn their lives had taken these past 30 minutes or so, Dash headed back to the house and the phone. Well, at least he’d not be the only one in for the surprise of his life today, he guessed.


End Chapter 1
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:10 PM   #3
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hey, the Mazerunner here! Philister sir, i majorly like all of what you wrote. just read it all today and was dissapointed when i got to the end and there was no more. please keep writing and when you run out of ideas for this one start on another. thank you. Ba Weep Gronna. Ba Weep Ninny Bong.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:44 AM   #4
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So, next chapter is done. Quite a bit of exposition here, sorry, I tried to keep it to a minimum.



Chapter 2: Old Friends and Alien Visitors

*****

Home of Dashiell Fairborn (US Army, ret.) & Alison Fairborn (US Army, ret.)
San Francisco, USA
November 24, 2013


General Clayton “Hawk” Abernathy did not have many Sundays off. Once one climbed the ranks to the point where one was a member of the Joint Chiefs, it was pretty much a given that regular office hours were a thing of the past. So Hawk had come to greatly treasure those few times when his duties actually did allow him to relax for the weekend.

Which was why he’d been less then enthused when his old war buddy Dash Fairborn called him early in the morning and told him to come over as quickly as possible. Coming over in this case meant boarding a jet and flying for nearly three hours to bridge the distance from his home in Colorado Springs to San Francisco. There were only a handful of people in the world for whom Hawk would do this, no questions asked, and Dash and Allison were two of them.

Didn’t mean he wasn’t grumpy, of course. Those two better had a good reason.

He briefly noted the white Porsche standing in front of the house. When had Dash retired his old clunker of a Dodge and gotten a midlife crisis mobile? Wasn’t he a bit old for that? Anyway, he walked past and knocked on the door. Moments later Dash let him in.

“Thank you for coming, Hawk,” Dash greeted him.

“You made it sound urgent, Flint,” Hawk replied, using Dash’s old call sign.

They moved into the living room, where Alison rose from the couch to greet him. He’d known both of them long enough to know that something was up. They both looked like they’d been given the shock of their lives today, but at the same time... something had changed. Something... a moment later he realized what it was. Alison was smiling. A sight he hadn’t seen since... since that fateful day eight years ago.

“We need to introduce you to someone, Hawk,” Dash began, “but first I need you to tell me something.”

“And that would be?” he asked.

“Eight years ago you were the one to tell us about Marissa’s death. You told us it was a top secret mission that was classified six ways from Sunday and that we couldn’t be told about it. But I need to know... do you know what the mission was about?”

Hawk sighed, looking down. “Look, Dash! I get that you’d like to know exactly what happened to your daughter, but I still can’t tell you...”

“I’m not asking you to, Hawk. I just need to know: do you know? Do you know what Marissa was working on when she... died?”

Deliberating but a moment, Hawk finally nodded. “Yes, I do. The selection process that picked Marissa as a candidate for it went through my office and... and I recommended her. I knew she was the best for the job.”

He waited for some kind of condemnation coming from his old friends for his part in sending their daughter to her death, a weight he had carried quietly for eight years now. When nothing came he looked up and was highly confused to see them both smile.

“Good,” Alison said. “That will probably make this a little easier then.”

“Easier?” he asked, highly confused.

“A lot easier,” a new voice said from behind him. “Because hopefully it means you’ll be inclined to listen and help without much ado.”

That voice... no, it couldn’t be. It just...

Turning around, his eyes widened as he saw a dead woman walk towards him. Marissa Fairborn was dead. He’d read the report and seen the video tape of the explosion that had vaporized her. He’d signed the paperwork listing her as Killed in Action. He’d personally flown to Norway to bring back her personal belongings and give them to Dash and Alison.

And now, eight years later, she was standing in front of him.

“No hug, Uncle Clay?” she asked with a cheeky smile.

*****

Marissa knew that she was probably enjoying this a little too much, but given her very unique situation, she might as well milk it for all it was worth. The last few months (not to mention years) had been harrowing to the extreme, so she was feeling positively giddy.

Uncle Clay actually needed a bit longer than her parents to get over his shock, probably because he knew a lot more details about her supposed death than they did. Finally, though, she could see him accept what his eyes were telling them and a moment later he was engulfing her in a hug. Military decorum be damned, she returned it. Besides, as she was officially dead, he was no longer officially a superior officer, right?

When he finally let go of her, he held her at arm’s length and his face easily conveyed his complete and utter confusion.

“How...?” he finally managed.

“Marissa only gave us the cliff notes so far,” her father interjected. “She wanted to wait until you were here to go into detail.”

Uncle Clay blinked, then sat down heavily on the couch.

“So... yeah, go ahead!”

“Just so you know,” Marissa began, “I kind of broke a few regulations several hours ago, because I told my parents here that I was test-flying a piece of alien technology found in the Northern Ice. But I figure that, being legally dead, you’ll find it hard to court martial me right now.”

Clay blinked again, then just shook his head. “Give me a few hours to process that, then I might care. I... I saw the video recording of your... well, what we thought was your death. The damn thing blew up in a huge fireball! How did you survive?”

Marissa shook her head. “It didn’t blow up, Uncle Clay, though I can see why you might have thought so. The actual science of it all still goes way over my head, but the long and short of it is that I was transported across space by something called a Space Bridge. And I ended up on an alien world, the home world of NBE-1 aka Thrymir. His real name was Skywarp, by the way.”

Over the next 30 minutes Marissa gave a very abridged account of the eight years and 26 days she had spent on Cybertron (and several other worlds connected to it). She told them about the Autobots and the Decepticons, their civil war, and how she’d decided to aid the Autobots, because she saw it as the only way to ever return home. She skipped most of the battles she had been involved in and instead told them about how the war was winding down now in the wake of Megatron’s defeat and arrest. Then, of course, came the important part.

“Eight months ago we were all set to capture Shockwave, one of the highest-ranking Decepticons remaining and the brain behind the Space Bridge that first brought Thrymir to Earth. Only he eluded us. He opened a Space Bridge to Earth.”

Uncle Clay clearly needed a moment to digest that. “You’re telling me that he’s here? Has been for eight months? But...”

“Believe me, Uncle Clay, I had nightmares every single night imagining what he might have been up to in this time. The fact that the Earth is still standing... I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I was when we arrived here last night. Still, the fact remains that he’s here somewhere. Why he hasn’t done anything yet – or at least nothing that’s been noticed by anyone – we don’t know yet. But we do know he’s here. And he needs to be stopped. Which is why I need your help.”

While clearly not fully convinced yet, Clay could probably imagine the consequences of an entire army of beings like Thrymir rampaging across Earth.

“So you want me to... what? Take this to the president? I’m gonna need...”

“Proof, yes, and I can give you that. But – and please don’t take offence here – the president won’t be enough, Uncle Clay. This isn’t a Hollywood movie where aliens invade the US and the rest of the Earth is just watching it on TV. Shockwave and the Decepticons might be anywhere. We need to take this directly to NATO command and the UN Security Council. Anything less won’t do.”

Clay’s eyes widened and he seemed set to protest, but then apparently started thinking. Marissa knew only the barest outline of what he had been up to back in the day when he’d been the commander of the same anti-terrorist unit her parents had been part of, but she knew he’d often operated abroad and with international cooperation. If the enemy didn’t respect borders, you couldn’t allow yourself to be boxed in by them, either.

“You’re not asking for the easy stuff, are you, kid?” he finally said.

“If it was easy, I wouldn’t be asking you,” she replied.

He nodded, smiling slightly. “Okay, kid. I’ll see what I can do.”

“You left something out of your story, though, didn’t you?” her mother said.

Turning to look at her, Marissa nearly flinched when she saw the steel in her mother’s gaze.

“Show me your hand, Marissa!”

Sighing, hoping that her parents might have missed that part, she walked over to them and took off her glove. Her mom hesitantly took her cybernetic hand and inspected it. Her father was clenching his teeth so hard she feared he might chip a filling, while Uncle Clay uttered a sound of surprise, seeing her replacement hand for the first time.

“How?” her mom simply asked.

“It happened shortly after I arrived on Cybertron. My arrival got the attention of both sides, there was a fire fight, the Decepticons fled. While I was still trying to somehow get past the language barrier, one of the Decepticons snuck back and tried to shoot Optimus Prime - I told you about him – in the back. I reacted on instinct, shoved him aside... well, I was lucky I survived.”

Her mother’s eyes were shining with tears while her dad seemed ready to murder someone.

“Is that all?” her mom asked, indicating her hand.

Marissa briefly considered lying, but they were going to find out sooner or later anyway. So she shook her head and bent down to roll up her pants legs. Both her parents and Uncle Clay gasped.

“Oh, Marissa,” her mom cried.

“I survived, mom,” she simply said. “That’s all that matters.”

She looked at her dad, whom she had never seen this angry before.

“This... Decepticon who did this to you... that’s this Shockwave guy who’s here on Earth?”

She just nodded. Her dad turned to look at Clay, who was still quite obviously gobsmacked by everything.

“Hawk, I don’t care what strings you have to pull, what markers you have to call in, or who’s ass you have to kiss. That thing that hurt my kid is here and he’s going down, you get me?”

Clay didn’t hesitate to nod. “I’m assuming you want in on it, too, then?”

“Both of us,” her mom said, stepping up next to her dad. “No one hurts my baby and gets away with it!”

Marissa rolled her eyes, though a small part of her wanted to burst into happy tears seeing her parents like this. “You do realize that ‘your baby’ is standing right here and has taken out more alien super robots these last eight years than you’ve ever seen in cheap TV movies, right?”

“Don’t matter one bit,” her dad just replied. “Now what’s our next move?”

She smiled. “Well, first thing we do... we get Uncle Clay some proof!”

Touching a spot on her metal wrist, she activated her communicator. “Okay, Jazz! We’re ready to roll out! Tell Hound to make sure his holo shield is holding.”

A moment later the rumble of an approaching F-22 (or something giving a darn good impression of it) could be heard.


End Chapter 2
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:54 PM   #5
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Chapter 3: Welcome to Wonderland

*****

Autobase Earth (Temporary Command Base)
Oregon, USA
November 24, 2013


A part of her, Marissa admitted a little guiltily, delighted in hitting her parents and her uncle Clay with shock after shock. First her miraculous return from the dead, then meeting Jazz, then being told the whole story, her cybernetic limps, the sudden appearance of a hovering F-22 above their home, followed by a supersonic journey to Oregon. And that was not even half of what the day had in store.

The Autobots had decided to set up a temporary base in the Americas, seeing as most of Marissa’s contacts where to be found here. Depending on where they’d find the Decepticons they might have to either move or set up additional bases, but for the moment the volcano Mt. St. Hillary served as their home away from home. Apart from being a good distance away from any settlement, just in case, it also provided a cheap source of energy, as the volcano was still mildly active and could easily be tapped by Cybertronian technology.

Her parents clearly didn’t know what to stare at first. Marissa had slipped into her Headmaster suit – a necessity for piloting Thrymir even in jet mode – though she had yet to show them the whole becoming-the-head-of-a-robot part. Still, seeing their daughter in a three meter tall suit of alien armour was by far the least fascinating thing about their current environment.

“Excuse the mess, but we’re still setting up shop.”

Jazz, who had journeyed back here by shuttle, welcomed them at the entrance of what was a base-in-progress. So far it was little more than a tunnel, leading to a big staging area in what had once been a natural cave. Deeper inside her suit’s sensors already picked up the steady hum of a geothermal power plant and numerous Autobots were bustling about, unloading and installing equipment.

“I see,” her dad simply said, quite obviously close to being overwhelmed.

“This is only a temporary arrangement, of course,” Jazz continued as if giving a tour to some neighbours. “Once we have established formal contacts with your various governments, we’re hoping to set up a more official base of operations without the necessity of hiding it. For now, though, we don’t want to spook people too badly.”

Shaking his head, Clay apparently decided that the time had come to get down to business.

“So you... you want us to unveil your existence to the public at large?”

“Not immediately,” Marissa answered for Jazz, “ but sooner or later it will become unavoidable. For now the Decepticons are in hiding...”

“Prowl has got something on that, by the way,” Jazz told them. “He’s prepared a full briefing.”

“Good. As I was saying, when we begin moving against the Decepticons, I doubt we can keep everything under wraps. So our thought...”

“Yours, mostly,” Jazz interrupted her again, smiling. “Not like the rest of us are experts regarding Earth and humans yet.”

“Okay, my thought was that it would be better to release the shock of the century on our terms rather than have it happen in a worst case scenario, like a fire fight in the middle of a city or something.”

“Good thinking,” Clay admitted after thinking on it for a second. “It will be a huge shock either way, but if humanity’s first exposure to alien life forms is in the middle of a battle, it might be hard to make them see the difference between one alien robot and the other.”

“There’ll be suspicion enough no matter what,” her mother interjected. “Marissa, considering your... state... and your closeness with our visitors here, you might be facing quite a bit yourself, I’m afraid.”

“I’m aware of that, mom,” Marissa said. “Still, I’ve had little to do these past eight months than think of how to approach this... just in case Earth was still standing when I got here... so I’ve got a few ideas. First, though, we should hear the latest news.”

They had arrived in what was – for now – the command hub of the base, basically just a big table with chairs and some communication equipment standing around it. Above the table Marissa could already see a holographic image of Prowl. He was not among the Autobots who had accompanied them to Earth, but instant interstellar communication was something the Cybertronians had mastered quite some time ago.

“Prowl, these are my parents Dashiell and Allison Fairborn, and this gentleman is General Clayton Abernathy, one of the highest-ranking officers in the military of my homeworld’s most powerful military force. Mom, dad, uncle Clay, this is Prowl, chief strategist of the Autobots.”

“Uh… pleased to meet you,” Marissa said.

Never one for pleasantries, Prowl got straight to the point.

“We’ve continued work on restoring the data from the recovered hard drives we found in Darkmount. Our latest find is – we believe – directly related to the curious lack of open Decepticon activity on Earth. It’s called an Infiltration Protocol.”

“I don’t like the sound of that,” Clay muttered.

“From what we’ve gathered it’s the result of an efficiency analysis Shockwave did while preparing for the journey to Earth. He did know that Earth had to be a developed planet with a civilization that – while technologically inferior to Cybertronians – might well be able to put up quite a bit of resistance when facing an open assault from an alien race. While he calculated only a miniscule chance that Earth would be able to withstand a full-scale attack by his forces, he deemed the necessary expenditure of energy and resources too great, especially considering that the war on Cybertron was pretty much lost and he would no doubt be pursued sooner rather than later.”

Marissa groaned. While she was relieved beyond belief that her home world was not in flames, hearing that it was only because of an “efficiency analysis” only managed to increase her hatred for Shockwave all the more.

“So instead of coming in guns blazing these Decepticons decided to be sneaky about it, is that it?” her dad asked.

“Simply put, yes,” Prowl continued. “As you have already seen, Cybertronians are fully capable of assuming alternate shapes that serve as near-perfect camouflage in just about any environment. Shockwave’s Infiltration Protocol assumes that it will be much simpler and effective to secretly infiltrate Earth’s society. One part of the operation would be the secret harvesting of resources, either in remote regions or by basically having the humans do the work for them. The other part would be the destabilization of society to pave the way for an eventual open attack at a later date.”

Marissa could see the wheels turning in her Uncle Clay’s head.

“Ringing any bells, Uncle Clay?”

“Maybe, kid,” he replied. “We do have a somewhat unusual number of crisis popping up at the moment. Tensions between Russia and China, North Korea beating the war drums, half a dozen civil wars in Africa, the Falklands up for contention again... none of which alone is in any way unusual, sadly, but it has been piling up as of late and with what your friend over there just said...”

“Once connections are established between your governments and us, we will need to pool our data for a more extensive analyses. We’ve only just begun harvesting data from your planetary data sphere and we’re still lacking context for much of it. Still, it would seem probable that Shockwave would seek to maximize his efforts by escalating existing conflicts.”

Marissa looked at Prowl. “Any progress yet on how he managed to find Earth in the first place?”

It was something that had been driving her crazy for months now. In her eight years on Cybertron she had met Shockwave exactly twice and at neither time he’d had any opportunity to do as he had threatened, namely cut her head open and extract the location of Earth directly from her brain’s memory centre. Still, somehow he had found Earth, a feat the Autobots had only been able to duplicate by following along in Shockwave’s wake. But how had he known?

“I’m sorry, Captain Fairborn, but we’re still in the dark on that, I’m afraid,” Prowl said.

“Figured. Well, tell Mainframe and the others to keep it up, Prowl. Hope to hear more from you soon.”

“Tell Prime to hurry up and finish the mopping up back home,” Jazz told his comrade. “I’m sure he’d love a chance to sample some Earth forms and go for a ride here.”

“I’m certain that is a top priority on Prime’s agenda, right after restoring peace and order throughout the galaxy,” Prowl answered deadpan before signing off.

Marissa turned towards her parents and Clay.

“So, how do you like our little operation so far?”

Looking at the amazing techno-wonderland that was taking shape around them at astounding speed, they were clearly still somewhat in shock.

“You really just got here last night?” her mom finally asked.

“Yeah, the ‘bots can be quite fast when they want to be.”

Clay, quite clearly still digesting things, looked at her.

“While all this is very impressive, kid, you do realize it’s not enough, right?”

She nodded, well aware of that fact. So far all her parents had seen, all that she could show to whatever international panel Clay might be able to assemble, was a group of alien robots who said they were the good guys. What they lacked, though, was any sort of concrete evidence that a second group of alien robots, the bad guys, were also here.

“I know that. Still, I wanted to get things underway as soon as possible, especially since I doubt even you can get together a body with the kind of authority we need overnight. First off I needed to convince you that something very serious is going on.”

Hesitating, she felt a brief flash of insecurity as she looked at her parents and Uncle Clay. “You do believe me, right?”

None of them hesitated, though. “Of course we do, baby,” her mom said.

“Yeah, you never were much of a liar, even when you tried to convince me that your first boyfriend was just your study buddy,” her dad added.

“I’ll still probably go numb later on,” Clay put his two cents in, “but I know you, kiddo.”

“Thanks,” she just said, choking back tears of relief. “That really means a lot to me.”

Sobering up, she started leading them back outside. “Uncle Clay, you might want to get in touch with General Sven Eisenhardt and let him know discreetly that ‘Thrymir is back’. I don’t know if Project Udgard has continued these last eight years, but we can certainly use the know-how they already have as a starting point. Plus, they can provide a lot of human-made evidence that, yes, alien life exists.”

“Good thinking, kid,” he said. “I’ll start putting together some names of people I think we can bring in on this, both here and from abroad.”

While Marissa still didn’t really know what her parents had been doing under Uncle Clay’s command back in the 80s when they’d all been part of some super-secret unit, she did know that they’d often travelled outside the US, so she hoped that he had quite a few international contacts they could use.

“What will you be doing in the meantime, kid?” he asked.

They had reached the outside of the base and found themselves facing a row of cars. All of them transformed into heavily armed Autobots as they approached. Marissa grinned at her parents and Clay.

“I’ll be getting you that proof you need for the politicians.”

Without further ado she shouted “HEAD ON!” and shifted into head mode. The F-22 that served as Thrymir’s camouflage on Earth transformed into robot mode and merged with her head unit. Stepping up beside the assembled strike force of Bumblebee, Hound, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Smokescreen, and Bluestreak, she smiled down at her – once again – shocked parents.

“We’re gonna find us some Decepticons!”


End Chapter 3
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:10 PM   #6
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Inflatration Protocol, nice!

haven't seen that one in a whil, probably at phase two right now.


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Old 04-24-2013, 01:49 AM   #7
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Note: Sorry that this took so long, but this was a hard chapter to write. I hope it came out okay.


Chapter 4: Proof

*****

Autobase Earth (Temporary Command Base)
Oregon, USA
November 28, 2013


“I think we might have got something here!”

Marissa quickly walked up the two men – well, actually it was one man and one bot – manning Autobase’s main data terminal. Rewind had quickly formed a pretty good working relationship with Alvin Kibbey (call me “Breaker”), a former unit member of Uncle Clay’s ultra-secret never-even-existed I-have-no-idea-what-you-are-talking-about anti-terrorist unit. Breaker was a specialist in signal analysis and he and Rewind had quickly gotten to work on finding any clues regarding the Decepticon whereabouts.

That is, after Breaker had gotten over his extreme geek-out at finding out that aliens existed and he got to play with their extremely advanced electronic toys. The two complemented each other well, Rewind providing technical know-how far in advance of anything anyone on Earth had ever heard of, while Breaker supplied the necessary context Rewind lacked, helping him figure what was and what was not normal for Earth. Marissa suspected the two would be friends long after this assignment had finished.

She and her dad, present as semi-official liaison until something more formal could be worked out, were quickly gathered around the terminal.

“Talk to me, Rewind,” she said.

“Breaker and I started out looking at places on your world where mining or power generation activities have either started fresh or been vastly expanded in the last eight months. There are quite a few of these, actually, and most of them appear to be legitimate...”

“Legitimate in the sense of not-alien,” Breaker interrupted him, busily chewing his bubble gum. “I’m pretty sure we saw some illegal diamond mining in Africa.”

“Anyway,” Rewind continued, “yesterday we got our first images of a big oil drilling site in the area called Siberia. While there was nothing immediately suspicious about it, Breaker told me that its presence there was unusual.”

The human analyst nodded. “Thing is, people have long suspected that there are vast untapped natural resources to be found in Siberia – one of the reasons the Russians and Chinese are currently butting heads – but the permafrost conditions and lack of infrastructure have so far made any attempt to actually get to them very difficult and expensive. I had some of my people at the NSA do some background checking and from what they’ve learned that oil drilling site was set up less than six months ago. And with no prior test drilling or anything.”

“Test drilling?” Marissa asked.

“Before you put this number of expensive equipment in a region as remote as Siberia,” Breaker explained, “you make sure that there’s actually something worthwhile there to find. Usually you start with just one or two drills, take a few samples across a large area, that sort of thing. Apparently they,” he pointed at the screen showing the extensive drilling site, “just started drilling wholesale.”

“Interesting,” her dad said, “but hardly proof of alien presence. Someone might have just had a hunch and gotten lucky.”

“That’s why we just put it on the list as a possible at first,” Breaker acquiesced, “but ten minutes ago one of our spy satellites picked up this.”

He started the recording. Images taken from a human-built spy satellite, enhanced using Cybertronian tech, showed the oil drilling site from what appeared to be a distance of less than 300 meters. People were walking to and fro, drills and pumps were working busily, delivery trucks and heavy machinery was driving back and forth.

“Watch that truck on the right,” Rewind said, pointing a metallic finger at the vehicle in question.

Moments later they watched as the vehicle appeared to hit a rough patch of ground and briefly swerved. One of the crates on its loading area slipped and the covering fell away. Barely ten seconds later a couple of workers were present and quickly brought everything back in order, but for those few brief seconds all four of the people watching had clearly seen something very, very interesting:

A brief pink glow.

Marissa looked at Rewind. “Energon?” she asked.

Rewind nodded. “While the human radiation detection equipment is very basic, it did manage to pick up a brief spike in the appropriate bands. It was Energon and those very mundane-looking coverings are actually heavy EM shielding.”

“What’s Energon?” her das asked.

Rewind turned to face him and took a small container from a table nearby. He opened it up for display and her dad’s face was briefly illuminated by the same pink glow they’d just seen on the screen.

“Energon is our basic fuel. It used to occur naturally on Cybertron, but as the war dragged on we were forced to create synthetic substitutes. It oscillates on a very narrow band in the electromagnetic spectrum and can – under normal circumstances – easily be detected.”

“The ‘bots can take just about every source of power,” Marissa continued, “and turn the output into Energon, making it compatible with their systems and easy to transport and store, too.”

Grinning, she added, “and unless you’re a believer in coincidences of truly epic proportions, I doubt anyone on Earth has the know-how to create it. Not to mention how to shield its very specific EM signature.”

Her dad nodded, understanding.

“So we finally got something.”

“We do! You tell Uncle Clay! I’m gonna take a closer look.”

“Marissa,” he began, hesitating. She clearly saw in his eyes that he either wanted to go with here or, better yet, have her stay here and let someone else head into danger. He repressed the impulse, though, instead putting his hand on her shoulder and smiling.

“Just be careful, kid!”

“Always, dad!”

Heading out into the hangar, she quickly gathered a group of anxious and beginning to get bored Autobots around her.

“Okay, people! We finally got a lead on Shockwave. Gear up for freezing cold and be ready to move out in ten minutes!”

*****

Oil Drilling Facility
Siberia, Russian Federation
November 28, 2013


They had travelled to Siberia using an Autobot shuttle craft and landed a good ten miles away from the facility to avoid detection. By the time they had closed the distance it was already getting dark in this part of the world. Not that there was an abundance of daylight in the winter months this far north anyway. Cover of darkness was quite welcome, of course.

“Okay, people, remember the plan,” Marissa reminded her team one more time. “Priority 1 is acquiring tangible proof of a Decepticon presence.”

Apart from her team - Bumblebee, Hound, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Smokescreen, and Bluestreak – there were two human-built snow vehicles manned by yet more old comrades of Uncle Clay. They would not participate in the actual operation, instead their role was simply to observe and record. The proof had to be recorded by humans on human-built equipment, otherwise there would always be a cloud of suspicion. Well, there would probably be suspicion either way, but Marissa wanted to keep it as low as possible.

“Priority 2:” Sunstreaker added, readying his rifle with a broad smile on his metallic face, “Kill Cons!”

The team split up. Bumblebee and Hound, both of them experienced scouts, would sneak into the facility from one direction. Meanwhile Smokescreen and Bluestreak would head in from the other direction in order to create a distraction. Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, and Marissa herself would stand by for extraction and – in case things turned hot – quick combat support. As the only flyer in the team it was Marissa’s job to provide air cover should it become necessary.

“And now we wait,” she murmured.

Thankfully she had options other unit commanders lacked, as it was easy to tap into the sensors of Hound and Bumblebee, allowing her to see what they saw. Well, at least as long as they had direct line-of-sight for tight-beam communication. They wouldn’t risk other forms of communication for fear of making their presence known too soon.

With agonizing slowness the minutes dragged by. Both Autobot scouts had outfitted themselves with camouflage patterns (she had no idea how the usually bright-yellow Bumblebee would otherwise have managed to stay hidden in this white, grey, and brown wasteland) and moved surprisingly quickly for huge robots, but it was still really straining her nerves.

It took nearly an hour until they managed to locate a warehouse with the same sort of cases they’d seen in the satellite imagery and even more endless minutes until they had snuck in and confirmed that – yes – they were filled with Energon cubes.

“We’re taking one of the cases with us,” Hound reported. “No other sign of Decepticon activity so far, though.”

“There has to be more,” Bumblebee added. “The Decepticons wouldn’t leave an Energon haul like this unguarded, even if the human workers might think they’re doing perfectly legitimate work here.”

Stepping outside the warehouse, Bumblebee conferred with Marissa, who agreed.

“I think we need to draw them out. Smokescreen! Bluestreak! Give us a little disturbance!”

“On it!”

Smokescreen quickly transformed into vehicle mode and began belching a thick cloud of dark smoke from his exhaust ports. Bluestreak, one of the fastest ground-based Autobots of them all, quickly dashed forward, dragging the cloud along in his slipstream, making it billow right toward the drilling site.

“Sunstreaker, Sideswipe! Light’em up!”

The two Autobot warriors – whom Marissa thought were almost psychotic and trigger-happy enough to qualify for the Wreckers – smirked and fired some flashy but harmless missiles into the smoke cloud, making the whole thing light up like a humongous thunderstorm.

“And now for some thunder,” Marissa remarked, transforming Thrymir into jet mode and quickly accelerating into the air. By the time she shot over the drilling site, she’d achieved supersonic speed and the sonic boom shattered windows all over the site.

They’d certainly stirred people up, she saw a moment later. Workers came pouring out of the barracks surrounding the site, looking around in confusion. Several of them, apparently security guards judging by the rifles in their hands, seemed to be looking for something to shoot.

“Scanning for weapon signatures,” Marrisa said, looking for the tell-tale signs of Energon-powered weapons being locked and loaded. Coming around for another pass, her sensors finally pinged.

“There we go,” she said. “Picking up Cybertronian weapon emissions from... what the hell?”

There were none of the towering robots she expected to see. Instead her sensors were telling her that the security guards she’d seen earlier were carrying Energon-powered weapons.

“Didn’t think the ‘Cons would hand over their weapons to the fleshies,” Sunstreaker commented. “Permission to blow them away?”

“Absolutely not,” Marissa countermanded. “We’re here to find Decepticons, not to start a war with Russia.”

“Hate to tell you this, boss, but they’re about to start a war with us,” Sideswipe said, just as the guard started firing into the approaching cloud. The tell-tale flashes of blaster bolts lit up the darkness.

“You getting this?” Marissa asked, contacting the human observers.

“Certainly am,” Harlan Moore, codename “Snow Job”, replied. “Those certainly are some funky weapons. Still not seeing any big bad evil robots, though.”

“Working on it!”

“Something funny is going on here, Captain,” Hound called in, observing the firing security guards from behind the warehouse with the Energon cubes. “I’ve scanned the weapons these guards are firing and unless the Decepticons have a design vastly superior to ours, there is no way they should be able to fire them. The recoil should knock them right over.”

“That is strange,” she said. “Unless...”

Her mind flashed back to the Beast Wars on Animatros, the jungle planet. She remembered both Autobots and Decepticons taking on beast modes to better operate in the jungle terrain. Except for the fact that these beasts had clearly been metallic, they had been amazingly life-like. Was it possible...?

“I’m gonna try something,” she said, deciding to trust her instincts, hoping that she wasn’t about to make a terrible mistake. “Everyone stand by!”

Coming around for another pass, she zeroed in on one of the shooting guards. So far all they were hitting was smoke, but they were certainly pouring out quite the amount of firepower. Marissa steered Thrymir into a steep dive, took aim, and fired a single, short laser burst.

The brilliant red lance of energy bridged the distance at the speed of light and sliced right through the left arm and shoulder of one of the guards. The man screamed as his appendage was sheared clean off.

“Fairborn, what the f*** are you doing?” Moore yelled. “You just mutilated a... what in tarnation?”

Hound and Bumblebee had kept their scanners peeled and broadcast images of the man Marissa had just shot. He was still on his feet, just missing his left arm. The ruined remains of his shoulder sparked and belched smoke, severed wiring and metallic muscles clearly visible.

“What do you know?” Sunstreaker said, smirk clearly audible over the com. “Looks like they didn’t trust the fleshies with their guns after all.”

“Cover has been compromised,” one of the other guards yelled, looking at his comrade. “Decepticons, transform and attack!”

But moments later all hell broke loose.


End Chapter 4
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:23 AM   #8
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excellent chapter can't wiat for more.

question. the human consm, are they Pretenders
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:28 AM   #9
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NOTE: I'm not a hundred percent satisfied with this chapter, as I'm not good at writing fight scenes. So please use imagination to fill in some additional explosions, grunts of pain, and wide-scale destruction of property.




Chapter 5: Earth War, Day One

*****

Oil Drilling Facility
Siberia, Russian Federation
November 28, 2013


Marissa had suspected it. Or no, suspected was too strong a word. She’d had an inkling, a hunch. Seeing humans with Decepticon weapons had been strange, as the Decepticons as she’d come to know them would never have supplied advanced military tech to a species they were in the process of infiltrating and conquering. With the added info from Hound that they shouldn’t have been physically capable of wielding the weapons as they had, the hunch had become pretty strong, but she’d still been desperately hoping that she wasn’t making a huge mistake.

There was no mistake, though. The human whose arm she had just shot off was no more a human being than Bumblebee or Hound. Or was he? For the briefest of moments she considered the notion that it might be someone like her. After all, her own right arm wasn’t exactly flesh and blood, either, not to mention her legs.

All doubt was laid to rest a second later, though.

“Cover has been compromised,” one of the supposed humans yelled, looking at his comrade. “Decepticons, transform and attack!”

Even as she was thundering away from the drilling site at just slightly below the speed of sound, she had a live view of the action thanks to the sensory feeds from Bumblebee and Hound. So she could watch as what had originally appeared to be a human being seemed to split right down the middle as if some invisible guillotine had cut him in half. Instead of blood and gore, though, she saw pistons and mechanical components as what was now clearly revealed as a mere shell split into numerous smaller plates and folded to the sides, away from the main body, which was clearly cybernetic in nature.

Well, she mused. There was the proof they needed. And if nothing else, the fact that these Decepticons had to fit inside human-sized shells made them pretty small. Nothing they couldn’t handle.

Considering all that had happened to her these last eight years, Captain Marissa Fairborn really should have known better than to tempt fate with thoughts like these. Because she had barely finished the thought when the human-sized Decepticons, all eight of them now with their human shells folded away, started to glow and... grow? They were actually growing?

“Are you getting this?” Marissa asked even as she steered Thrymir into a tight curve and shot back towards the facility.

“I’m seeing, but still working on the believing,” Moore’s voice came over the channel.

“Slag, they’re using mass-shifting,” Bumblebee said. “Didn’t think there was anyone still doing that.”

“What the f*** is mass-shifting?” Marissa asked, bringing all her on-board weapons online for what she was fairly sure would be a pretty fire fight. They were facing eight Decepticons and none of them were all that small anymore.

“Pretty much just what it says,” Hound explained calmly. “Ask Perceptor or Wheeljack if you want the specifics, but basically it means that these Cons can shunt a large portion of their mass away into subspace storage in order to fit their bodies into the required dimensions for their human disguise.”

“Tech’s been around for ages,” Sideswipe added. “Guzzles energy, though, so it’s been out of use for a good long while. Not much use in combat, but great for infiltration, I guess. Shockwave either found a way to make it more efficient or he figures he can get enough energy here to make it worth his while.”

Marissa shook her head. Just when she thought she’d seen all the technological wonders her Cybertronian friends had come up with... then again, what was shrinking down a robot when you could send star ships across thousands of light years in less than a second?

“Okay, but that’s all they can do, right? Shrink down to assume smaller alternate modes. No other surprises in store?”

Sunstreaker laughed. “Decepticons pretending to be humans not enough surprise for one day, meat puppet?”

Marissa groaned, rueing the day Grimlock’s nickname for her had become common knowledge among the ranks of the Autobots. Well, that one and “Squishy”, as Swoop usually called her.

“Quite enough. Moore, you get all that on film?”

“Live and in colour, Captain!”

“Okay, people! Primary mission objective is achieved. Let’s lay down some covering fire and get out of here!”

Sunstreaker’s snort was all the warning she got that her orders would not quite be carried out to the letter. A moment later the two Autobot warriors charged down the hill and into the Decepticon facility, hollering and guns blazing. One of the Decepticons, still facing the cloud of smoke they’d thrown up for a distraction, was blown apart before he could even react. The others, though, were quick to take cover and return fire.

“What part of ‘get out of here’ didn’t you understand?” Marissa yelled, more than a bit angry.

“Just laying down some covering fire for our disengagement,” Sideswipe replied smugly.

“Yeah, can’t disengage without engaging first, right?” Sunstreaker added.

The two Autobot warriors skidded down the hill, firing all the way, a manic grin on their faces. The fact that they were outnumbered didn’t seem to bother them at all. Marissa groaned. To think that she was missing Grimlock right now.

“Slag it! Smokescreen, Bluestreak, Bumblebee, Hound! Looks like we’re going to extend the mission parameters a bit. Flank the Decepticons and keep an eye out for reinforcements! Moore! Fall back to the shuttle; we want those recordings safe and sound.”

“Roger,” Moore replied. “No intention of getting involved in giant robot brawls, at least not until I get me some much bigger guns. See you later, Captain!”

Taking but a moment to make sure that Moore was safely turning away from the facility without interference, Marissa then brought her targeting systems online. A furious fire fight going on right in the middle of warehouses filled with Energon cubes was not the place for imprecise shooting. She’d seen a bunch of Energon cubes blow sky high during a battle back on Cybertron; the explosive yield easily outstripped any non-nuclear bomb humanity had ever constructed.

A mere thought triggered her lasers (she was not about to risk explosive missiles in this situation) and she caught one of the Decepticons in the shoulder. Return fire exploded around her, but she was too fast and already past the facility. A backwards glance showed her, though, that one of the Cons was transforming into jet mode and picking up speed right behind her.

“Of course they’ve got flyers, too,” she muttered, turning Thrymir around. Now they really had to take care of these Decepticons first, otherwise the comparatively slow and ponderous shuttle they’d taken here would be easy pickings for the enemy.

Marissa had spent most of the last eight years flying dogfights on the planet Cybertron, which had a much thinner atmosphere and no wind patterns to speak of when compared to natural worlds like Earth. There had been brief excursions to other planets like Animatros, but most of her time had been spent in the skies above the metal world, which is why it took her a bit to get used to flying on Earth again. Gravity, wind patterns, air density, all of which were important parameters in airborne fighting.

Thankfully her opponent had spent millions of years flying exclusively over a metal world and apparently had much greater trouble getting used to the skies on Earth. It didn’t hinder him much, but he was just a tad slower in the turns, a tiny bit wobbly during his climbs, and prone to slightly miscalculating his afterburner bursts. All of which gave Marissa just enough of an edge to finally get him in her crosshairs and shoot him out of the sky.

Marissa spent but a moment watching her first kill during this new war fall back to Earth in flames before she changed course and headed back to the facility.

“Report,” she demanded over the com, even as she could still make out the flashes of an ongoing firefight.

“We got them down to four,” Hound replied, “but Bluestreak is wounded.”

“Long range radar shows incoming bogeys,” Moore added, having apparently reached the shuttle by now. “Could be Russian Air Force. Or bad guy reinforcements.”

“Okay, enough is enough. We’re getting out of here. And that includes you, Sunstreaker! You hear me?”

“Sure thing, boss! Just give me a moment here...”

“I said now, Autobot! Smokescreen, throw up another of your clouds! Bumblebee, did you leave the parting presents we brought?”

“Sure thing, Marissa. Falling back to the hustle right now.”

Getting away from a fire fight that was still ongoing was not the easiest thing in the world, as it was generally a bad idea to turn your back on someone who was still shooting at you. Thankfully the Autobots were experienced soldiers and with a combination of Smokescreen’s cloud work and some covering fire from above, the Autobots were eventually able to disengage. Which was when Marissa noticed Sunstreaker carrying something over his shoulder.

“What is that?” she asked, swooping low and transforming into robot mode.

Sunstreaker had the obviously deactivated carcass of one of the Decepticons slung over his shoulder. It was a gruesome sight, not only because of the horrendous damages to the Decepticon in question, but also because of the left-over pieces of the ‘shell’ that had folded away and onto the robot’s back. Marissa had the disturbing suspicion that they were actually made of real flesh and skin.

“Just thought some of the brainiacs would like to take a closer look at this ‘Pretender’-Tech they were sporting,” Sunstreaker replied nonchalantly. “Besides, I figure having a real Decepticon in hand is better than merely having them on film, don’t you think?”

Marissa shook her head. “You’re a piece of work, Sunstreaker, you know that?” She figured if he were human, Sunstreaker would be the kind of soldier who’d wear the cut-off ears of his enemies on a necklace. She shuddered to think what he’d get up to once the war was over.

“Thanks, Captain,” he merely replied, either missing or not caring about the real meaning of her words.

Behind them the oil drilling facility exploded in a brilliant flash of light as the C4 explosives Bumblebee had left behind in the Energon storage warehouse went off and caused a massive chain reaction. By the time either the Russians or additional Decepticons arrived, there’d by nothing left but a big hole in the ground.

Gettting onboard the shuttle, Marissa sighed. The mission was a success, no doubt. Still she was feeling far from elated. The war for her home planet had clearly begun and no matter how often she told herself differently, she still blamed herself for bringing it here in the first place.

“This is only the beginning,” she muttered, watching as the big Energon explosion slowly dissipated.

A minute later the Autobot shuttle was gone, carrying with it the proof of Decepticon presence on Earth.


End Chapter 5
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Old 05-08-2013, 02:03 PM   #10
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Ah so it is pretender tech. nice update
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