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Old 03-11-2013, 01:04 PM   #1
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Table of Content:

Page 1: Autobot vehicle modes
Page 3: Decepticon vehicle modes
Page 21: Character heights

Pages 1-2: Episode 1: Planetfall
Pages 3-5: Episode 2: Conflicts
Pages 5-7: Episode 3: Medical Memoirs
Pages 7-10: Episode 4: Cloak and Stinger
Pages 10-12: Episode 5: Star’s Screams
Pages 12-14: Episode 6: Bee Free or Bee Gone
Pages 14-16: Episode 7: Back to the Grind
Pages 16-18: Episode 8: Hounded
Pages 18-19: Episode 9: Cave-In
Pages 20-21: Episode 10: Whispers
Pages 21-??: Episode 11: Heavy Landing


Episode 1: Planetfall

Synopsis: The Autobot crew of the Zeta-1, led by Lieutenant Jazz, lands upon a new planet in search of energy, but they are not the only force to have made planetfall.


"Your mission is clear. You know what to do. Do not fail."

Three small sentences. He's been replaying them on a holographic screen, again and again, unmoving and staring with frightening intensity at the message, simply watching the words run across a digital image as the garbled recording of Zeta Prime whispers them aloud, the only sound in the silent control room. He's been doing this for a while now, long after the others have retreated to their quarters, long after they emerged from warpspace outside the particular star system. He's heard the sounds, read the words enough times that he could recount them flawlessly even in stasis lock.

Yet still he repeats them. Again and again, as if there's something in those words he hasn't discovered yet, despite the fact he knows all too well of their context.

Autobot Lieutenant Jazz, second to Optimus Prime himself, has always been described as a fairly whimsical individual. One moment he could be the happiest mech in a galaxy, the next deeply sombre and contemplative. Procologists that have observed him theorise that a form of trauma has led him to rather odd shifts in mood, and to be honest, he wouldn't disagree with that theory.

But for the most part, he remains cool and collected for his fellow Autobot's sake. No use demoralising bots with the notion that the infamous Lieutenant may be procologically unsound-

"Again with the Prime's message? Haven't you listened to that around a hundred times?"

Huh, he didn't hear the door slide open, nor the now obvious footfalls of a larger Autobot. Jazz does not turn to look at Wheeljack, but he at least answers: "Well, you know, it gives me something to think about."

The inventor moves over to the command seat, spinning his wheels slightly in annoyance as he puts his hands on his sides and stares down at Jazz with the grim air of a parent who must deliver an ultimatum to their child: "It's not exactly productive, you know, just watching this thing again and again."

"Maybe."

Wheeljack rolls his optics at the lazy reply and taps a button on the console. The message vanishes, and the holographic generator instead depicts a green map of the star system they were in, a basic yellow star surrounded by eight definite planets, plenty of moons and a whole load of asteroids. Jazz turned his head to glare at the other Autobot under the black visor, but Wheeljack simply ignored him, as the map promptly focussed on the target planet, the third in line from the star, highlighting it with a yellow glow

"Scans have confirmed the planet has an intelligent species." He informed the Lieutenant, adopting the role normally taken by Hound. "The ship's tapped into their satellites, downloading information from a global network they call the Internet. The intelligent species call themselves humanity, or humans for short. A bit crude, still figuring out the basics of space travel and what-not, but they do have a impressive talent for imagination."

Anyone could predict that the inventor would value a species ability to imagine above other factors, and Jazz smiled to himself as leaned forward, observing the image of the yellow image, asking the foremost questions on his processor: "What's their music like, 'Jack? Is it full of life, sad to hear, just plain scrap? Do they have appropriate disguises for us? Are there other lifeforms on Humanitron, non-intelligent?"

"Earth. The planet's called Earth." Wheeljack corrected. "If you were linked into the ship's download, you'd know that."

Jazz turns to glare at him again, and again Wheeljack ignores it as he answers the commander's questions: "The ship hasn't got any music yet, just going through the basics. And yeah, they have vehicles, plenty for us to pick from. And oh yes, there's other lifeforms too. Millions of them, in fact. Mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, plants, fungi, bacteria, you name it."

He revved slightly in reminiscence: "This sphere would have been great for the Cybertronian Biological Institute. Remember Riva Li?"

"I remember."

Who couldn't remember Riva Li? It was a planet whose surface was covered with a ratio of 95% liquid and 5% landmass, small islands dotted around the eternal ocean. It had once been the pinnacle of Cybertronian Biology, with an astounding variety of liquid-bound organic life to study. So many creatures under the surface, ranging from huge sinuous Liqui Trawls, to the slimy Snagras that hid under the rocks, waiting for prey to swim by. So much life, so much discovery. At least the War had so far spared it; if there was one thing Autobot and Decepticon could agree on, it was to preserve that beautiful liquid planet.

Jazz idly recalled one of Riva Li's scientists- Snapshot, was it?- who had adopted an alt-mode based on one of the species. Always a funny one, that Snapshot.

The door slid open then, and Hound, the personal lieutenant to Jazz himself for this mission, stepped through. Slightly taller than Wheeljack, and a handsome gold in colour, he took note of the holographic Earth and instantly and gleefully interjected himself into the conversation: "Lovely little sphere, isn't it? The only one in their star system with diverse multi-cellular life."

"Cellular, cellular." Wheeljack stated, bemused by such a thing. "I'm going through the downloaded info on human records of Earth biology. Did you know cells have these things in them called organelles? Like smaller versions of the organs that cells themselves constitute?"

"Absolutely fascinating." Hound replied enthusiastically. "The use of adenosine triphospate as their main energy source, for example. Hardly as efficient as Energon, but it is a very imaginitive substitute."

Jazz could tell the two were about to settle into a science pontification session, so he sat back in his seat, grinned and idly examined the map of the system, the ship's scanners scouting out for each and every object, radiation and anomaly in the area.

"I thought glucose was their energy source."

"Glucose is what they use to form ATP, in a process called glycolysis, the first stage of aerobic respiration." Hound corrected. "It is merely a container of the true energy their bodies require."

"What about oxygen, where does that come in?"

"Oxidative phosphorylation, used as a final electron acceptor."

"Ah, cool. Hey, humans love the word cool. Did you know they love the word cool? They seem to use it to describe everything!"

"True, some words they value more than-"

Snap

The sharp snap of metal upon metal. Wheeljack and Hound halted their conversation and turned as one to Jazz, who had indeed snapped his fingers together to earn their attention. And, noting the new highlight upon the holographic display, they saw why;

"Scans caught the exhaust trail." Jazz said coldly, gaze locked intensely on the bright red flickers that signified said trail. "The Decepticon ship was here. And it seems to me they're heading straight for Earth. We can't track their exhaust through that thing around the planet-"

"The atmosphere."

"Right. We can't track their exhaust through the atmosphere. But they're definitely settling down there."

"What are your orders then?" Hound asked.

Jazz stood up, turned to face him, black visor reflecting the other Autobot's blue optics, and smiled. It wasn't a reassuring smile, no, it was a smile that signalled a battle to be joined: "Prep the troops. We make planetfall within the megacycle."

---

The sizzling of heated metal echoed through the med-bay, sparks and smoke emitting from the target of the searing blue fire of the welding barrel. Were he capable of sweating, Evac would definitely be doing so right now, even with the thick armour that composed his frame.

Always keep your neurals, that's what every medic said. Never let your neurals get the best of you. Remember the medical creed: To heal is to strengthen, to falter is to weaken.

The creed comforted him, and thus he moved with a tad more confidence now, dragging the tip of the flame along the sizzling metal of armour, sealing the gash along the side of the silver construct. He was certainly doing better then the last time, at least, and so far his mentor had not deigned to stop and chatisize him for mistakes. All was good-

"Enough."

And all was better! Revving in relief, he cut off the flow of fire and withdrew, allowing the more experienced medic to appraise his work. Ratchet scanned the solder with every wavelength and spectral detector his optics could offer, and was pleased to find that the gash had been neatly welded. His apprentice was coming on wonderfully.

"Excellent work, Evac." He declared proudly, turning to the much larger yet much younger Autobot. "Your precision and timing has vastly improved. Why, if this were an actual patient, you would have easily prevented significant Energon loss."

Were he built with a mouth, Evac would have smiled widely, but he settled for brightening his green optics instead and spinning his wheels. Indeed, now that he wasn't caught in the pressure of performing, the solder did look good on the dummy-drone they were using for practice. Of course, welding a gash on an actual bleeding, hurting Cybertronian was a different matter, he supposed, but at least he knew the schematics, so to speak.

Just as he was about to thank his mentor for the support, the ship's com buzzed, and Hound's voice echoed: "All Autobots, report to the control room immediately for debriefing. Target planet identified, and planetfall will be made within the megacycle."

Ratchet seemed a tad annoyed, and perhaps even saddened by the news, but Evac did not notice the smaller medic's change, instead gleefully stating: "Oh wow, planetfall in the megacycle! A whole new planet! I'm so excited!"

With a quick glance at his mentor for confirmation that he could go, practically vibrating with eagerness, he rushed out of the med-bay much faster than his huge size would suggest. Ratchet hesitated, turning to the dummy-drone to gaze at the blank area where a face should be, and murmured to himself: "At least someone is."

With that said, he revved softly and moved to follow his protege.

---

"I don't think that black holes offline you. I think they're actually portals to another dimension, where everything is black, and the only non-black things are the stuff it's sucked up."

Normally, Grimlock would be interested in what the smaller Autobot would happily chatter about, content to lie down, allow his friend to curl up beside him and just natter away, natter away at the grim rage burning slowly within him, but this particular subject grated at his neural net. The very concept that a gravitational conflux being regarded as a harmless portal irked him profusely.

"Black holes aren't portals." He grunted, flicking his tail slightly. "They are collapsed stars, exerting crushing gravity that even light cannot escape. They certainly do offline you."

"That's what they want you to think." Bumblebee replied cheerfully, hardly deterred by his comrade's dismissal. "But they don't want you to find out the truth! The truth of the blackholeverse!"

He rolled his red optics and blew a bit of flame out of his mouth, but the previous feeling of being irked soothed at the amusing conspiracy. Only Bumblebee could turn his statement into a bizarre theory so well like that. Though to be fair, Bumblebee was the only one with enough gaskets to try and argue with the berserker; not many other Autobots, if any at all, would dare challenge Grimlock, either in combat or in debate.

The rookie was up and about now, wheeling around Grimlock's quarters in circles as he pretended to be sucked into a black hole, his wheeled feet making buzzy little clicks as he went, Grimlock turning his head to watch him, eternally bemused by the younger bot's everlasting enthusiasm. Of course, he hadn't seen nearly enough of the War to scar him as it had so many other rookies. As it had scarred Grimlock himself.

He blew out another bit of flame, shuddering slightly as anger hissed within him.

Suddenly, the ship's com crackled to life, and Hound's voice caused Bumblebee to instantly halt as he stated: "All Autobots, report to the control room immediately for debriefing. Target planet identified, and planetfall will be made within the megacycle."

With a rev of annoyance, Grimlock hauled himself to his feet as Bumblebee instantly began ranting about how excited he was, that they'd found a planet, that they were going to land on it, oh, what lifeforms were there, did it have cool stuff, was there liquids, was there this, was there that?

Quite honestly, Grimlock did not care for what the planet had, unless there were a few Decepticons there for him to rip apart.

Such a thought would make him smile, if his bestial jaws could manage it.

---

When Ratchet finally arrived, the last to enter, Jazz, standing before the Zeta-1's crew with his arms behind his back, glanced from left to right, acknowleding everyone's presence, before he began: "Autobots, as you know, we're currently on our way to one of the planets in this star system, designated the Solar System. The target planet is called Earth, the only one in this system baring intelligent life, an organic species called humans."

Bumblebee and Evac exchanged an awestruck glance, Ratchet tilted his head in curiosity and Grimlock simply remained stoic, though his tail flexed this way and that out of the aggravation boiling underneath.

"They're not particularly advanced, but they have enough of a presence on Earth that we will need to adopt local camouflage upon planetfall." Jazz explained. "Specifically, the vehicles that humans use for transport."

Ratchet raised his hand, and Jazz promptly stopped and tilted his head to him, granting him permission to speak.

"Regarding our mission, do you believe the human species could potentially aid us?"

Jazz considered this: "Possibly. But they're a young species, paranoid, still working on their own problems and flaws; I doubt they will welcome us with open arms. On the bright side, they do have many imaginitive ways of getting energy, so we could well copy some of their designs."

Evac was the one to raise his hand now: "What kind of energy? Do they make Energon too?"

"No." A moments pause, considering, before he continued: "They use electricity."

Only Bumblebee did not tense at the mention of the word, and Ratchet reacted rather strongly indeed, revving in shock at this revelation.

"Nevertheless, it's where we need to go. The Decepticon ship has made planetfall there. So, I'm going to need all of you to go and make sure your weapon chips, alternator circuits, all that jazz, are working smoothly, okay? We've got half a megacycle 'til planetfall, so make sure you're prepared. Autobots, dismissed."

Ratchet was the first to leave, no doubt anticipating the others to come to the med-bay for a check-up, and he was indeed correct, with his protege as well as Hound, Wheeljack and Bumblebee darting after him. Grimlock, however, remained behind, and as Jazz moved back to his seat, strode over to the holographic display, appraising the highlighted planet Earth.

Of course, Jazz did not buy this facade for a moment. All the reports from other commanders, all the statements from the troops, as well as his own personal experience, had taught him what to expect from this particular Autobot, and he could easily predict what the bestial warrior had in mind. And indeed, it came.

Turning his head to the contemplative Lieutenant, Grimlock snorted: "Do you honestly concern yourself with the feelings of the natives? If there is potential energy to be harvested, we should not hesitate."

Jazz slowly turned his head to look at him.

"Our mission-" The berserker reminded him. "-is to obtain energy to fuel the Autobot war effort. Decepticons would not hesitate to extract any and all energies from this planet. Neither would Grimlock, and neither should you. If you cannot make the hard decisions, you do not deserve your title."

"Tell me, Grimlock." He replied, voice cold and fingers scraping against each other. "Would Bumblebee take a planet's sustenance by force?"

Crimson optics narrowed in anger, and he gave a low growl, flexing the small arms and the spiked tail. Jazz hissed in response, a metallic sizzling sound that chilled to the spark. They faced off for a moment, and Jazz briefly wondered if he would honestly have to fight Grimlock right here and now. One part of his processor was nervous, even frightened, whilst the other part was eager to remind the aggravating beast who was boss around here.

But then the berserker shook his head and huffed out a breath of flame, restraining his infamous temper with great effort, before stalking off out of the room, leaving his frustrated growls behind.

Jazz revved, both in relief and in his own frustration. Using Grimlock's friendship with Bumblebee against him like that was a sucker punch, true, but he honestly was not in the mood for his usual scrap. Of course Grimlock would be as challenging as ever in regards to leadership positions, always taking the more brutal route in a plan, and quite honestly, Jazz was viral of it. What Autobot could honestly say, to his face, that they'd rather take the Decepticon route of simply forcing a planet to give into their demands? It was vulgar and cruel, and Jazz did not like it one bit.

He shook his head in annoyance, deciding it would be better to ignore that brief conflict for now, considering that, knowing Grimlock, he would have to deal with another confrontation pretty soon. With that, he tapped a button on the console, and the image of Earth was replaced by three short sentences, as Zeta Prime's voice sounded:

"Your mission is clear. You know what to do. Do not fail."
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnergonWaffles View Post
Waffles are tasty, but not as filling as robot dinosaurs and bitch slapping Primes.
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He's not handicapped, he's handicapable of murder.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:59 PM   #2
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Just read through this, and damn is it good!

I love Bumblebee already. He's probably my favorite character so far. I love how similar he is to a young child, filled with questions about everything and enthusiastic about everything. He seems like such a fun character. I also like Wheeljack and Hound, how excited they are to visit a new planet and explore new sciences and environments. Not to mention, Jazz's personal conflicts, as well as his conflicts with Grimlock, should prove very interesting in the future.

Your writing really shows your intelligence and understanding of biology, and how you manage to work that into the story is brilliant. I think it's great that the Autobots are so interested in how humans work and live. Not to mention your grammar and spelling are top notch, which is a bonus really.

Bottom line, this is looking to be a great story. I can't wait to read more!

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Old 03-12-2013, 06:30 PM   #3
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"Does our exhaust interfere with their atmosphere's composition? I've been reading up on their global warming issues, and I'm getting a bit paranoid that planetfall's gonna make an even bigger hole then the one they have over Antsarecars-"

"Antartica."

"-Right. The one they have over Antartica."

Hound considered this, before typing some instructions into the console. A holographic image promptly displayed the composition of Earth's atmosphere, highlighting the different elements that constituted the gaseous layer, things called nitrogen, oxygen (Jazz recognised this one; this particular element was responsible for the Sea of Rust), argon, a rather controversial compound called carbon dioxide and a whole lot more.

The display then brought up the gaseous Energon remnants exuded by the Zeta-1's engines and mixed them in with the atmosphere model. For a moment, nothing happened, then the bright blue holograms of Energon started binding to the purple orbs that signalled nitrogen.

"Gaseous Energon seems to specifically bind to nitrogen." Hound reported. "Rather odd, since this planet dubs nitrogen as rather naturally unreactive. Fortunately, the new compound, which I dub Energon-nitrate, is harmless to the atmosphere's constitution, and should be harmless to organic respiratory systems as well."

Jazz grinned as he sat back in relief: "Good, good, hate to leave a bad imprint on this one. Ha, imagine that, Hound. We've invented a whole new compound just by showing up!"

Hound smiled bemusedly: "Indeed we have. Do you think they'd give us a prize for it?"

The two burst into laughter at that, as the ship idly flew on past the pale sphere that Earth called the Moon. That was literally the name, the Moon (though a dead language referred to it as Luna), the planet's sole satellite. It was rather bland in terms of composition and size, but the silvery glow was pleasant to look out, and Bumblebee, his face pressed up against the observation panes (humans would refer to them as 'windows'), was staring in utter awe at the beautiful little satellite.

"The Internet says there's an organic living in there, on the Moon, and he runs a whole team of magical individuals like the Fairy Tooth and a Sandy person, and they spread joy to sparklings!" He chattered excitedly, before turning eager blue optics to the older Autobots and gleefully asking: "Can we land there right now and go look for him?"

"The Man in the Moon is just a human legend, Bumblebee." Hound chuckled, smiling at his apprentice's interest in Earth mythology. Never a day went by that the bright yellow-and-blue youngster couldn't get someone to laugh or smile at his endless enthusiasm

"I bet he does exist." Bumblebee replied, as undeterred by his mentor as he had been with Grimlock. "But he's really good at hiding. I could find him, though, I'd go on the Moon and I'd tell him that Grimlock will eat him if he doesn't come out!"

Bumblebee paused, and then amended: "Of course, Grimlock doesn't have those acid-filled sack things-"

"Stomach."

"-Stomach, Grimlock doesn't have a stomach, but the Moon Man doesn't need to know that."

He giggled to himself then, and resumed pressing his face against the transparent panes, the result of melting down and reforming Cybertanium in the heat of a star. The Moon glinted cheerfully in the light of the star, as if it had heard the rookie and was itself amused by his chatter.

The door slid open and Ratchet entered, carrying a remote that was currently displaying the stats of the other Autobots, muttering: "-Thought putting the chemical burning system in the aproximation of the neck was a good idea must have been a complete lugnut. I could have found a more efficient location and processing in my recharge cycles. Still, it's pretty clear, so it won't need any clean-up anytime soon, thank Primus, and-"

He looked up, and upon noticing the molecules being displayed before the Lieutenant and his, well, lieutenant, he laughed: "Ha, are you two poring over the binding of Energon and nitrogen? I already deduced that such an element would be inclined to bind with the ship's exhaust, it was simply a matter of observing the nitrogen's trio of free electrons coupled with the lone pair, and-"

"Ratchet, shut up." Jazz stated lazily, replacing the display of the molecules with the planet Earth itself, highlighting different locations upon the seven main landmasses upon the surface. Giving they had just passed the moon, the ship was mere cycles from entering the Earth's atmosphere, so a suitable location was required for it to land.

Hound pored over the continents, Ratchet grumbling in the background, before pointing to a tiny little shape above a much larger mass, highlighting it blue with his touch: "This should be a simple place to start. It's an island, known as Great Britain, a fairly developed human habitat. Recommend landing near one of the coastal zones for efficient subtlety."

"Recommendation noted and approved. The easier a time we have avoiding human contact, the better." Jazz replied. "Have you locked in specific coordinates?"

"Going through the Internet now...... okay. Coordinates chosen-" He promptly typed them into the ship's navigation systems. "-and set in. Automated planetfall in three cycles."

The lieutenant turned then to the com transmitter and, activating it with a tap on the tip's side, declared: "All Autobots, brace for planetfall within three cycles."

Bumblebee gave a whoop of joy and wheeled into one of the seats dotted around the control room, Ratchet and Hound copying the youngster and seating themselves, magnetic bracers adhering them to the surface, as Jazz switched off the hologram to better see through the panes.

What all of them witnessed was barely comprehensible in its majesty.

Planet Earth, vast and mighty at the close distance, it's top half coloured blue and white in the light of the star, the colour of the oceans and the clouds that wrapped around it, gleaming and exotic, the bottom shrouded in darkness, yet baring the twinkling lights of civilisation, as if distant stars themselves had imprinted onto its surface. Hanging in the dark of space, this colourful sphere, filled with life and potential, the star gleaming behind it, spun and danced in the airless void, and all of them were struck by how beautiful it was.

And indeed, Jazz reverantly murmured: "Beautiful."

And then the control room's light switched off, transferring energy to the shielding and with a sudden roar of the engines, dived forward to finally enter the planet.

For a moment, everything was shaking and incomprehensible, the huge swell of movement and heat as the ship plummeted through the Earth's atmosphere, the hull alight with sheer friction burn. Bumblebee was screaming, Jazz was hollering in excitement, Ratchet was praying to every deity he knew and Hound just snapped his optics shut and put his hands over them. And then, finally, mercifully, the dive pulled up, and the Zeta-1 gracefully pulled out of entry into a slower and more stable flight-path, cutting through a night sky packed with clouds.

The Autobots collectively revved in relief, and Bumblebee was squealing: "Oh my Allspark, we were on fire! The ship went to Earth, and set on fire! We dived down, and everything went crazy and we set on fire! Wow! Let's do it again, let's do it again!"

"No!" Ratchet protested. "Never again, ever! EVER!"

"I forgot atmospheres did that." Jazz was laughing. "Ha, it's been so long since any ship I've had went through the heat friction of entering an atmospheric layer!"

"Well, we're on Earth now." Hound said, wheels spinning in utter relief at the crazy ride having ended. "The ship's heading to a coastal town the locals call Portland. We'll be able to find some alternate forms there, no problem."

"Find them?" Ratchet asked. "Surely it would be more productive to download them from the ship's reformatting archive."

Hound grinned at him: "Well, for starters, it's more fun to get your own alt-mode!"

Before Ratchet could reply or one of the other two could interject, the door opened, and Evac rushed in, drawing everyone's attention, and the huge medic-in-training yelled: "Bots, bots, the ship set on fire! This planet set us on fire!"

---

Every possible camouflaging device the ship had, radar jammers, spectral cloaking, holographic distorters, was currently activated, hiding it from any and all means of human detection. The only possible way humans might be able to track the ship was the remnants of their engines, Energon-nitrate, but given time, a process called the nitrogen cycle would eliminate that particular worry, with the Earth itself recycling the element, leaving the Energon molecules to dissapate into the ground.

Currently, the ship was devoting its download of the Internet to vehicles, ranging from cars to jets, downloading every possible schematic and detail for each individual mechanism, down to the individual bolts of, say, a tank. Though Hound had expressed a desire to go and find an alt-mode under his own power, Jazz felt it appropriate to make a decent collection of potential disguises, for those who didn't want to leave the ship right away or any other Autobots who might follow them to Earth.

Wheeljack was currently sat by the main console, appraising the multiple vehicles that the holograms brought up. He'd looked over cars, from sleek sport cars to the outrageously long limos, and he'd looked over trucks, flat-nose trailer haulers and those crazy monster trucks, and so far, he hadn't found anything to his liking. These alt-modes were boring! He needed something more unique!

And thus, he declared: "I'm going out. I'm gonna go and find my own alt-mode. Who's with me?"

Hound and Bumblebee instantly agreed, and Grimlock, always prone to following his small friend's example, decided to join them, and Evac also expressed a desire to get outside. Ratchet, however, was not particularly convinced.

"We're not adapted to atmospheric conditions." He claimed, ringing his hands together as his paranoid green optics darted from comrade to comrade. "You see what oxygen has done to the Sea of Rust! Imagine what it could do to your frames, your inner mechanisms! I couldn't bare to have you return coated in rust and half-offline!"

"Relax, Ratchet, the oxygen content of the Sea of Rust is way, way higher than this planet." Jazz stated coolly, lazily leaing back in his seat as he brought up the image of a military jet, running his visor up and down the sleek frame of the vehicle. "And besides, once we take on Earth forms, we'll adopt their resistances. Not that any element on this planet would be particularly harmful to us, really."

Ratchet looked ready to argue, the combination of stubborness and paranoid fear making him a persistent adversary, but Grimlock stepped in: "Jazz is right. Earth elements are hardly a threat to us. No use complaining, medic."

Jazz wondered if Grimlock was agreeing with him out of actual agreement, or was simply using it as an excuse to team up against Ratchet. The berserker and the medic never did get along, and that was.... what was that human term? Ah yes, suger-coating it, making it sound sweeter then it really was.

Wheeljack was right, this species was imaginitive!

"And we'll stay hidden from human optics." Hound reassured the taller silver Autobot. "I've read up on their wavelength registration, and my holographic generator can easily fool their sight. We'll be fine, Ratchet."

"Very fine!" Bumblebee chattered excitedly. "Super fine! Now let's go put on our suits!"

Laughing, he sped out of the room, and they heard his voice nattering: "Do you get it? It's because humans wear suits, and we're gonna go wear their vehicles, and it's like a suit, for us, and it's crazy, I mean-"

The door snapped shut, cutting off his voice and leaving six rather bewildered Autobots staring after him.

Wheeljack turned to Grimlock and asked: "How do you put up with that?"

Grimlock's optics simply brightened cheerfully in answer, and with that, he stalked off after the younger Autobot. Wheeljack shrugged and followed him, Hound and Evac sniggering as they fell in line behind the inventor. As the four of them exited the control room, Jazz revved and declared: "Peace at last, baby! Oh, baby, a slang term! These humans have so many different ways of expressing themselves! Now, I'm gonna see what their music's like!"

"While you do that-" Ratchet declared, sounding a tad bitter that everyone had dismissed his warning. "-I'm going to see what vehicles would look good on me. Hmmm, I wonder if humans have vehicles related to medical work?"

But Jazz was no longer listening; he'd tapped into the ship's continued downloading of the Internet, and he immersed himself into a world of song. So many songs, so many different meanings, different intentions! There was rock-and-roll, funk, hip, opera, raps and..... and.... JAZZ! They had music called jazz! No way!

Jazz all but bounced in his seat as he instantly put on the first jazz song he found out of a Top 100 list, and as the beginnings of a song called What a Wonderful World, created by a human called Louis Armstrong, begin to filter through his audio, he decided this planet was shaping up to be his favourite.

---

The road was fairly quiet, giving this region was undergoing nighttime, but eventually, progress came in the form of a human jeep, a handsome green vehicle with thick studded tires and an impressive amount of headlights, both upon the thick grill and a rack atop the vehicle, which was idly trundling down the road, lighting up the dark path and breaking the silence with the rumble of its engine.

The jeep was utterly unaware that a large rock near the side of the road was making a slightly odd noise, like the fizzling of a laser, and it never noticed that the rock seemed to flicker ever so slightly as another sound, a sort of odd twisting and clanking sound, filled the air.

And then everything went quiet, and then the rock was gone, replaced by an identical copy of the jeep that had just driven past. Wheeling backwards and forwards, as if testing its own frame, the jeep mimic declared: "Oh, I'm liking this design. Rugged, off-road capabilities, plenty of lights, rather comfy innards and durable. A perfect scouting vehicle, I believe."

"That's great, Hound." Wheeljack replied, revving slightly in annoyance. "Now can you please put up the rock again? I don't want to be seen so soon already! We have to keep a low profile, remember."

"Cut me some slack, I'm trying out my new wheels." Hound replied, as he flicked his multitude of lights on and off, repeatedly opening and shutting his doors. "Doors feel so weird. You can flip them out and in, and they sort of clip into you when you close them, and they have these handle things. Oof, it's kind of odd, actually."

"C'mon, put up the rock!"

"Alright, alright, fine." The jeep blurred slightly, and the image of a rock surrounded them again.

Wheeljack rolled his optics as Hound continued to open and shut his doors, before turning to the others. Well, he would have, but Evac, Grimlock and Bumblebee were gone. He looked left, and right, but there was no sign of them. Huh, so that was why it was so quiet.

Nevertheless, he felt it prudent to ask: "Hound, how do we lose two Autobots that big, and one who never stops talking?"

"I don't know, just shut up and let me spin my steering wheel- Wait what. They're gone?.... Oh. Bumblebee!"

Engine roaring, the jeep abandoned the hologram and drove onto the road, whizzing off in search of his wayward protege, as Wheeljack yelped and hollered: "Wait, Hound, don't drive off, I need the rock disguise! I need the rock, damn you!"

As Wheeljack was left to curse the name of Hound, Evac was currently wandering around the coastline, distracted in his quest for a disguise by the beach. It was so surreal, seeing this stretch of rocks and sandy grit and stuff, bordered by a wall of liquid, splashing and frothing against the land. Apparently, that stuff was made of oxygen and two hydrogens, and it was called water, and it was filled with a thing called salt, which made it undrinkable to pretty much every organic.

Evac found it odd; life here depended so much on water, the Internet told him, yet most of the planet's water was stuffed with that bad salt. But if life existed here, then it obviously could cope with it. Evac revved slightly in excitement and continued on, hoping to find a disguise somewhere around here.

The thing was, he needed a vehicle form of a similar size and mass to him. There was no way he could stuff his massive frame into a car, and he hadn't come across any trucks yet, so he felt a bit limited in his options. But then, he looked across the water, that big mass of water they called the sea, and he saw something amazing.

A huge, bright-orange flying vehicle, a thing the humans called a helicopter, was hovering out at sea, illuminating a patch of the water with an intense light, whipping up waves with air forced down by the rotors. Evac wondered what it was doing, just hovering there, and then he saw why upon closer scanning.

The helicopter was lowering a sort of long floppy thing, perhaps that device they called a rope ladder, and there was a human in a bright orange suit at the bottom of it, right at the sea's surface, where another human was waving at them from a thing the Internet designated a dinghy, a kind of boat. Scans revealed the dinghy had been punctured by something, and was slowly sinking, but evidently the human on board had called for help, and this big helicopter had come to the rescue.

Evac was amazed. He looked up everything he could find about such a vehicle. It was designated a Sea King, this particular variant was Search-and-Rescue, it was designed to reach places land or sea vehicles couldn't normally reach, and its huge size allowed it to carry a multitude of useful tools.

And it hit him; this was it. This was the vehicle he wanted! A huge flyer, colourful and powerful, a symbol of hope, a rescuer from the sky! It all clicked in his processor; this was what he wanted to be, something who could help anyone, anywhere, even a little human, just like this helicopter could.

Imagine it! Anyone got stuck on a cliff, he could fly in, drop his own rope ladder and carry them to safety, he could transport comrades to safe terrain, he could do all those things flyers could do, aerial reconnaissance, aerial support, he'd be able to do it all!

One part of his processor noted that he didn't know how to fly. The rest of his processor told that part to go away and not spoil the moment. Readying himself, he lined up his optics with the vehicle and trans-scanned it, from the colours to the rotor on the tail. When he finished, and his data chip queried if he would like to begin the change, he gave a deep rev of his systems, gave the affirmative, and thus he began to reformat.

It's an odd sensation, to remold your body into something else, a new form. Your innards rearrange, your outer shell splits apart and compacts, new parts are formed and extended. He could feel the long strips of rotors extending from his back, he could feel his legs merge into a tail, he could feel his welders twisting round into the exhaust ports, he could feel his molecules rearrange to copy the texture and appearance of glass in a windshield.

And then it was over. He was a helicopter, a massive Search-and-Rescue Sea King helicopter, idly sat on the beach. For a moment, he stayed completely still, feeling his new form. He spun the tail rotor around a bit, he huffed a bit of smoke out of his exhaust, he wiped his, um, oh yes, windshield wipers. Oh, those wipers felt funny!

But now, the main event! Internally bracing himself, a tad nervous yet excited, he powered up his new pride and joy, the main rotors! Slowly but surely, they began to spin, making a sort of whoosh-whoosh noise as they built up speed. He felt air being pushed against him, air going downwards, as his rotors went even faster, and suddenly, he was feeling lighter then he ever had before! He was, he was starting to go up! Oh Primus, he was going to fly!

The Internet informed him he needed his tail rotor as well, to prevent himself spinning out like a crazy thing, and he quickly span that as well, as his huge frame began to slowly move upwards. Faster and faster, his rotors span, lighter and lighter his body felt, and summoning all the courage he could, he allowed the sky to take him, and up he went!

He was flying, he was going up! He was actually, honestly flying! He'd never flown before, and it was exhilirating, the wind swirling around him as the ground disappeared, his rotors beating a mighty rhythm across the night as he went higher and higher and-

How was he going to get back down?

At this thought, his whole body seemed to freeze. And when his whole body seemed to freeze, that included his rotors, which snapped to a stop. And then he wasn't so light any more. The wind was still around him, but now it was racing upwards. Oh. He was falling now. Oh.

Oh dear. Oh, oh no.

No no no.

No no no no no no no NO-

The original helicopter, having successfully brought the distressed person on board (though alas, the wretched dinghy had sunk), was flying off now, its mission complete. As such, it never witnessed an identical helicopter suddenly fall down, screaming all the way, and crash into the ocean.

Meanwhile, Bumblebee and Grimlock were taking a gamble by approaching a large human gas station. While they were hardly anyone around, the station still had its lights on, and Grimlock could detect the thermal output of the few humans present.

"If we want an alternate form from here, better make it quick." He advised. Bumblebee nodded, almost shockingly quiet, and steathily wheeled over, avoiding the brightly lit front of the station and darting into the safety of the darkness behind it. Poking his head out for a good look at the three cars parked at the front, he scanned them intently.

The first one was what humans called a Sedan, coloured green, and he instantly dismissed it as boring. The second one was called a Nissan Juke, a silvery car, and though it looked much nicer than the Sedan, he decided that it didn't quite suit him. But the third one, wow!

The third one was a rather small red car, designated a Volkswagen Beetle, specifically an updated model of older versions. It was rounded and sleek, yet small and friendly, the combination of looks and kindness. He adored it! He had to have it!

Grinning widely, he began the trans-scanning process, running his optics over every inch of the vehicle, detailing and mapping its frame, its innards, its mechanisms, forming a wire image within his processor. The minute his optics ceased scanning, his data chip droned: "Potential alternate form trans-scanned. Begin reformatting?"

"Not yet, apply preferred colour scheme first!"

"Colour scheme applied. Begin reformatting?"

"Yes!"

Grimlock, having moved to stand behind the youngster, watched as Bumblebee suddenly fell forward, his body breaking apart and compressing together as new panels flipped out, locking together into a new form. And in mere seconds, a bright yellow Volkswagen beetle, decorated with a single black stripe along the doors and the hood and roof, idled before him, an exact physical replica, save for colours, of the red car parked in the station.

"Nice form." Grimlock complimented. "Small and quick."

"Grimlock, it's.... amazing!" The car replied, awe in his voice. "I feel so... spacious! I have space inside me, seats and seatbelts and pedals! I feel so weird, so empty, but I'm not empty at the same time! And I have doors!" He opened and shut them for emphasis, Grimlock tilting his head in amusement, before he continued: "I have actual doors and seats and stuff, I could transport humans! A driver, and passengers, I could..... Grimlock. Grimlock, I'm a car! I'm actually a car!"

"Congratulations, car."

Bumblebee suddenly drove off, around the back of the station, hollering: "I'm a car! A human car! I can carry people! Yippee!"

Grimlock rolled his optics, hoping no human heard the commotion, but thankfully, the few humans in the station did not notice the presence of two alien lifeforms nearby. Bumblebee finally seemed to regain control at this point, braking near the larger Autobot, before stating: "And what will you pick, Grimlock?"

He rolled his optics again: "No vehicles here big enough for Grimlock."

The car raised and angled his windshield wipers in a way similar to a frown: "Sure there is. Take a look over there, parked around the side."

His door opened, similar to a hand gesture, and Grimlock followed the direction it pointed out. And sure enough, there was a vehicle big enough for him to adopt, a huge Mack tanker truck, the cab a subtle brown in colour, the tank itself bright silver with a red line along the sides.

Huh. How had he missed that?

Grimlock strode over to appraise the vehicle, as Bumblebee transformed back into robot mode; the back wheels and pieces of the rear extended out into legs, the front wheels moving downwards onto forearms along with the headlights as the roof broke apart and collapsed into the torso, the doors folding onto the back as the front of the car, covered with the hood, locked onto the chest, the rookie's head emerging as he pushed himself upright. Oh, his new form transformed nicely!

Grimlock was currently musing: "Hm, nice colours, Grimlock suppose. Decent design, good wheels. But to be honest, this is not a form Grimlock prefers. Grimlock wishes Jazz had landed near a human military site. Their range of vehicles is much more impressive than a fuel hauler."

"Oh c'mon, Grimlock." Bumblebee laughed, wheeling up to his friend and nudging his leg slightly. "It's a great mode! Look how big and tough it is! You could smash through everything with this!"

"Still, it's not particularly a mode befitting a warrior of Grimlock's status."

"Well, you can make it a mode befitting your status." The car replied cheerfully wheeling over to tap the tanker. "Besides-"

He turned and grinned widely at the other Autobot, blue optics impossibly wide and shining. "-I think you'd look good in it."

That settled it. Grimlock revved in defeat, though his own optics shined slightly, and he trans-scanned the tanker truck, before reformatting. His process of transformation was longer and more jagged than Bumblebee's had been, but when the last panels clicked into place, he was now an exact replica of the truck his small friend stood next to.

Only for a moment though, before he too transformed, huge double-jointed legs extending from the back of the truck, the tanker twisting and extending into the tail as the cab broke apart, the doors and wheels and grill and exhaust pipe folding back into the front of the torso as Grimlock hauled himself up, his long jaws and small arms extending, before clicking into place.

Bumblebee wheeled over, eagerly taking in how the back wheels had locked into Grimlock's legs and feet, and the grill had gone onto his chest and the exhaust pipes stood up over his shoulders: "Awesome! I told you you'd make it look good!"

"Grimlock make everything look good."

"True, true, but sometimes, you can-"

What Grimlock could, he didn't find out, for Bumblebee suddenly fell dead silent, stood stock still. Systems flaring in concern and caution, Grimlock turned to Bumblebee, to see his friend staring at something in the distance. Turning his huge head to match the other Autobot's direction of sight, what he saw almost clouded every rational thought with Energonlust.

A Decepticon.

Standing atop a large rock in the distance, staring at them with darkened red optics, the Decepticon sized them up, flexing long claws. It was an odd design, double-jointed legs with some sort of transparent material on the thighs, long flat arms, a sleek torso and fins sticking out the shoulders. Definitely a flyer then.

Grimlock's low growl shocked Bumblebee out of his horror: "Get behind Grimlock."

He obeyed instantly, wheeling behind the larger Autobot, who snarled threateningly at the Decepticon, baring lethal teeth, flexing the bladed tail and smoke rising from his exhaust pipes. The Decepticon simply curled and uncurled its claws, before deliberately raising its arm.

Grimlock reacted instantly, a searing jet of flame bursting from his mouth in a deadly stream. The Decepticon wasted no time in retreating, jumping over the blast as it twisted and flipped into its alternate form, an Earth jet, and with a roar of thrusters, blasted up into the sky.

Grimlock watched it go, his rage burning in anger at failing to catch the target, before he snarled: "Return to the ship."

Bumblebee meekly nodded, staring into the sky after the long-gone jet, before he collapsed into vehicle mode and drove off to the road, followed by the heavy rumble of the tanker truck.

---

Through the skies, it soared, dipping under and over clouds, revelling in the wind flowing over its wings. The Decepticon flew though the night sky, higher and higher, until the air diminished into non-existence, and the dark void of space greeted it. Feeling the heat of faint solar radiation without the planet's cover, the Decepticon made its way to a metal shape trailing just above the planet's topmost layer.

The Decepticon ship was the same class as the Zeta-1, a Seeker scout ship, though it had a different colour scheme (black decorated with steel-grey and blood-red) and was a more compact vessel with sharp protruding spikes at the bow and along the sides. The Decepticon zipped over to the massive ship and darted into it through an underside port.

In the landing chamber, the Decepticon transformed into robot mode, and promptly made tracks to the control room. Its metal footsteps echoed through the halls, and the thrusters on its back spat out any remnants of smoke from the flight. Finally, it reached its destination, and entered.

Other Decepticons looked up at the flyer's arrival, some baring the exact same design as the returning individual, others substancially more different, such as a smaller Decepticon with doors on the hips and wheels on the shoulders, and a sleek black Decepticon with an odd ray for a left arm and tailfins and a canopy upon the back.

The flyer strode forward, where the tallest Decepticon in the room was standing just before the observation panes, and it fell to one knee. The tallest one turned to face the arrival, imposing in his height, in the bulk of his torso, the sharp claws, the tailfins stickout of the shoulders, the heated thrusters on the foot and a gleaming canopy front-and-centre on the chest.

"Commander Starscream, scouting report has confirmed your suspicion." The flyer stated. "An Autobot ship has arrived on Earth."

The tall Decepticon, Commander Starscream, was hardly bothered by this news. If anything, he seemed pleased, judging by the cold smile on his face and the utter relaxation of his posture.

"Interesting news, Seeker. To think our simple energy scouting mission now has the potential to escalate into a battle, hidden from human optics and yet determining the fate of their planet."

He turned around, and watched the Earth rotate beneath his ship, watched the little organic world spinning round and round beneath its superiors.

"Well, it's good news nevertheless. I was so hopeful that we'd find something interesting on this trip, and now-"

Starscream's cold smile widened as he examined the lethal claws on his right hand.

"-We have a whole bunch of little Autobots to kill."
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Old 03-12-2013, 07:57 PM   #4
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This is GREAT!!!!

You actually inspired me to have a BumbleBee and Grimlock friendship in my funny when the time comes
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((Congratulations Roadrage. You've managed to traumatize me more than Batman and Robin did.))
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:14 PM   #5
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Bumblebee continues to be adorable. I loved his little plan to find the Moon man, and how excited he was about being on fire and getting his new vehicle mode.

Wheeljack also gave a few laughs; "I need the rock damn you!" And Evac falling into the sea in helicopter form was just priceless. He clearly has a lot to learn about his new form.

And Starscream commanding a squad of Decepticons. This is certainly very interesting. I can't wait for more!

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Old 03-13-2013, 04:52 PM   #6
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Ah, yes. You need to update.

What's funny about this, is that I actually adored the thought of Grimlock/Bumblebee friendship as soon as you had planted the image into my imagination, upon reading it in this thread. If you created a new TF cartoon/comic/property... I had acquired an idea for a drawing I wanted to try with the pairing, but I had attempted to extract inspiration by tracking and rereading the character profiles in the aforementioned thread, and also reading "First Impressions" from a while ago. I had to do searching to find both. And I'm thinking, "Man, the Metaverse is so cool, wish I knew more about it." Lo and behold, I happen to stumble across this today, and sir, I am thrilled that you are writing this. In all the idea for alternative universes in Transformers that I have read/heard, I've never been more invested into any single one than that of your own. I've been reading this as interested and as diligently as I had read Alex Irvine's novels.

I love the characters. I love the group dynamics. I love the personalities and the sense of ignorance and wonder about Earth that I've never actually felt in any official Transformers canon before. I get such a clear gist of the main cast, I care about them, and I yearn to learn and go along with every single one of them. The feeling is so club-like and cleverly developed. I hope you don't feel like I'm overselling you, I'm just so impressed and I want you to know that.

Consider me a legitimate fan of your universe. I really hope you update soon.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:37 PM   #7
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"Scans of the Earth have so far yielded precisely zero results." Soundwave noted, the thousands of tiny lights that formed his yellow visor turning off and on to form patterns of two optics, three optics, narrow bands, multiple bands and so forth as he went over the results of the Darksyde's scan. "Evidently, the Autobot's ship has highly efficient cloaking technologies."

Starscream flexed his tailfins in distaste: "It matters not. They will reveal themselves eventually. If they did not before, they know now that we have a presence upon this planet."

"One scout ship is hardly a Decepticon presence." Soundwave pointed out. "We have already camouflaged ourselves from humanity. It would be wise to extend that stealth to the Autobots as well-"

"Hey, if it's anything to do with wise, or any synonym of the word, Starscream's got no hope." Barricade jeered, loitering in the corner of the room with his arms folded and his red optics flashing maliciously.

Soundwave and Slipstream snickered slightly, some of the Seekers exchanging bemused glances, Nighttrace seeming indignant at the insult to her commander, as the jet spun round and fixed a lethal glare upon Barricade, whom glared right back without hesitation or fear, despite the fact that the size difference between the car and the jet was well defined.

"You will shut your vocaliser, Barricade, or I'll rip it out and replace it with a beeper!"

"Now now, Decepticons-" Slipstream interjected, amused at their insulting one another yet also displaying enviable maturity. "Let's not get carried away. We still have the Autobot presence to consider."

"Absolutely right, Slipstream." Starscream declared, adopting a dignified pose as if he had never even so much as glanced at Barricade. Returning his attention to his obedient minion, he asked: "Seeker, what are the designations of the Autobots you observed?"

"I saw only two of them, Commander." The drone replied. "One of them is unidentified and not listed in any records, though I am aware his alternate form is a type of human car."

"A new body fresh off the Iacon Spark Well, then." Soundwave mused, turning to face the Seeker. "Insert procological report of new Autobot within the ship's database as soon as possible so we can log in the unknown presence to-"

"Yes, yes, whatever." The commander snapped, impatient as ever. "Who was the second Autobot, Seeker?"

The jet hesitated ever so slightly, before replying: "The second one was Grimlock, sir."

The silence that followed, the tension that came with it, was almost tangible. Everyone stood stock still, optics and visors wide and dimmed with shock and horror, frames suddenly shaking. Even the rash Barricade's wheels began to spin in alarm, even the typically stoic Seekers displayed nothing but terror on their faces, even Nighttrace, always hovering on the fluttering wings, seemed to be frozen.

What Decepticon hadn't heard of Grimlock? More importantly, what Decepticon hadn't heard of the carnage the Autobot left in his wake? Seen the mutilated corpses, the burned remnants of previously fully functional Depticons, the traumatised survivors? The fear that the infamous monster inspired in even his own comrades.

The Abominus Initiative had aimed to worked a new breed of warrior, had worked to create the ultimate monster, and in this case, it had worked very, very well.

Slipstream was the first to move, sagging in horror as she stuttered: "G-Grimlock? The Autobot Berserker? The rogue of the Abominus Initiative?! On Earth?!"

"Affirmative." The Seeker confirmed. "He has adopted the alternate form of a human fuel hauling truck, but his robot form is unmistakable."

Slipstream turned in alarm to Starscream: "Commander, perhaps we should consider summoning reinforcements. If Grimlock is here, on Earth, with who knows what other Autobots aiding him-"

But then, she fell silent when all Starscream did, breaking out of his shocked state, was laugh, an echoing and chilling laugh, gleeful and sadistic. He leaned back, such was the force of his laughter, and the other Decepticons exchanged surprised and disconcerted loooks.

"Oh, this is good!" He cried at last. "This is actually very good!-"

"I fail to see, at all, how Grimlock's presence is good." Barricade grunted.

"-Don't you see the possibility, my Decepticons? Imagine the honours that will be granted to us, the glory we shall bask in, the triumph we will behold, if we are the ones to kill the infamous Grimlock, and all his little friends!"

Starscream spun round, returning his view to Earth, the Sun gleaming behind it, and the distant form of Venus barely discernable in the dark of space.

"Why, if I personally slew him, and presented his head on a spike to Megatron, I will be granted the highest of rewards! I could be made a Conciller, I could be granted my own personal staging grounds, perhaps even my own personal staging planet!"

Caught up his joyful thoughts of success and grandeur, he ranted on and on to himself, as Barricade stalked over to Soundwave and snarled: "Can you believe him? That monster on Earth, and he's going on about promotions?!"

"Starscream was hardly one to see the smaller picture." Soundwave replied, shrugging slightly, spinning the wheels on his shoulders. "His desire for personal glory has always been a strong motivation, and yet a strong weakness as well."

Nighttrace, having overheard their conversation, silently wagged her tail-like singular appendage at them, a clear warning to be silent now. Ever the loyalist to whomever commanded her, the reconaissance flyer was intolerant of insults towards the jet.

Barricade shot a glare at her in defiance, but Soundwave revved, flicking the mandibles just beneath his mouthplate, and said: "Regardless, I would not mind sharing his confidence. Grimlock's reputation as the ultimate Decepticon hunter is well-earned. Few, if any, survive his rage."

Barricade was about to reply, when Starscream startled them all by declaring: "Decepticons! I know what we will do now! Soundwave, keep the ship in orbit, just within the Earth's grasp and continue the download of the Internet. I will go to the surface and scout for our enemies."

"That's it?" Barricade asked in disbelief. "That's your grand order? Just sit back and do nothing while you go chase after a ship so well camouflaged that our own ship can't track it? The Seeker saw where they were, why not bring the ship in and bomb the ar-"

Starscream moved much faster than his size would imply; within the span of two seconds, he lunged forward, seized Barricade by the head and bodily threw him across the room. One of the Seekers leapt out of the way as the car flew by and smashed into one of the monitors, cracking the machine and causing a flare of sparks to burst upward as the unfortunate Decepticon slumped down in a daze.

"If anyone else would like to question my decisions, feel free to do so now!" Starscream hollered, baring his arms wide as if daring anyone and anything to step up to him. No-one did, so he switched his tone from threatening to cheerful and continued: "In that case, I shall return soon. Ta ta for now."

With that, he strode out of the control room without a care in the world. Slipstream shook her head and muttered something to herself in distaste, as she walked over to Barricade, who was twitching slightly. As the medic kneeled down to examine the shock trooper, the Seekers nattering to each other, Soundwave said to Nighttrace: "Well, what a pleasant environment we work in."

Nighttrace simply twirled her tail and flicked her antenna.

As the Darksyde continued to idly drift around the planet, the underside port opened, and a grey F-22 Raptor, with red and blue streaks across the triangular frame, darted out of the ship and, with a roar of engines, descended to the Earth below.

Time to hunt the hunter.

---

Hound was both annoyed and relieved when he flicked his headlights twice at an oncoming Volkswagen, a subtle gesture for Cybertronians to acknowledge each other, and the yellow car responded, and the two vehicles pulled alongside each other, the huge tanker truck slowing down behind the car.

"Bumblebee!" Hound's voice, laced with stern authority and fatherly relief. "You had me worried viral. You know better than to run off on your own, especially on an alien planet with a confirmed Decepticon presence."

"Apparently Grimlock doesn't count as someone else." The truck snarled, heaving smoke out of his exhaust pipes in anger at being excluded. How dare the foolish scout neglect his ability to watch over his friend!

Hound just ignored that outburst, as Bumblebee, rolling back and forth on his wheels, squeaked: "I'm really really sorry, Hound, but, but, we were finding our vehicles, and while that happened, we saw this thing, we saw, we saw a Decepticon!"

Hound was silent for a moment, absorbing this news, before his windscreen wipers flexed into a sort of frown, and he stated: "Let's get back to the ship then. Quickly."

With a squeal of wheels and the roar of his engine, the jeep turned onto their side of the road and drove off, the Beetle and the truck instantly burning rubber to keep up with him. The sooner they got out of this area, with the Decepticons aware of their location, the better.

Meanwhile, aboard the Zeta-1, Jazz was still listening to music, though he had at least taken a short break to pick a vehicle mode from the ship's downloaded archive. Specifically, he had chosen a silver coloured sports car humans called the Pontiac Solstice, a somewhat small but gorgeously designed vehicle that had captured Jazz's alternator circuits the moment he laid optics on it.

He had already downloaded it, but he had so far restrained his body from reformatting into it, on account of being polite enough to wait for Ratchet. Still, he could feel his molecules shuddering and shaking, all but begging to transform and reform into a new alternate mode. Wow, these Earth vehicles were really impatient to come out!

Ratchet, unfortunately for Jazz, was still going through vehicles, complaining very loudly: "Argh, why does it have such wonderful colours yet such an awful frame?! I mean, Jazz, look at this!-"

The Lieutenant idly looked up, currently in the middle of some song called Enemies Closer, and took note of the holographic image of what the Internet designated a typical urban ambulance.

"-It's boxy and bulky and I honestly can't fathom how any creature could possibly stand to drive such an unwieldy vehicle!"

Jazz grinned, shrugged, and leaned back in his seat, immersing himself back into the Earth music.

Ratchet flicked through several more images, though he kept the ambulance one present solely for its nice colours, when suddenly, he gasped: "At last! I've found one!"

The image in question was a specially modified variant of a vehicle they called a Hummer H2. It was outfitted with a thick grill, lots of headlights, specialised decal and a roof-mounted rig, and it was apparently a Search-and-Rescue variant.

What a gorgeous design this was! Hardly as blocky as those silly ambulances, yet still rugged and powerful, well-equipped, versatile, overall just... just plain cool! Ratchet revved in relief, before he suddenly realised something, and howled: "Oh, NO! The most perfect vehicle, and they painted it bright green? And silver too?! Argh, those colours don't even go together, let alone on that design! What were they thinking?"

He slumped against the console in defeat, before suddenly, an idea came to him, and he perked up again and declared: "Computer! Combine specific colouring of ambulance with frame of Hummer H2!"

The console beeped in affirmative, and peeled the colours off the ambulance and wrapped it around the Hummer. Ratchet all but squealed with happiness and declared: "Perfect! Commence download!"

Pulling a transfusion tubule out of his abdomen, he plugged it into an interface port and promptly uploaded the vehicle's data with its new alteration into himself. As it registered into his processor, he pulled out of the console and gleefully announced: "Vehicle form downloaded! C'mon, Jazz, let's go test out our new wheels!"

"Oh wow, Ratchet." Jazz sniggered, tilting his head and grinning widely at the medic. "Aren't you worried that we might rust out there?"

"So I was wrong for once, don't patronise me." Ratchet snorted. "Let's go already!"

Jazz laughed, and with that, the duo dashed out of the control room, along the corridors, to the side hatch of the ship, waited a few second for the massive ramp to open and extend to the ground, and with that, they gleefully confirmed their desire to reformat and leapt forward into their new vehicle forms!

When they hit the ground, Jazz was a gleaming silver Pontiac Solstice and Ratchet was a specially designed Hummer H2 ambulance, bright white-and-red with shiny blue sirens.

Without hesitation, their tires span and the two eagerly began to drive around the huge empty car park their ship had landed next to, tires squealing against the ground as they flashed their headlights and sirens, repeatedly opened and closed their doors and hoods and flicked their windscreen wipers.

"Impressive!" Ratchet declared, driving in a neverending donut. "I have a rear bay that could fit an injured human or two within it! And what's this, I can make loud noises to tell everyone I'm on my way to emergencies! Ingenius!"

"Awesome!" Jazz declared, driving around in a figure of eight. "My seats can recline and go forward! Oooh, I have a gear stick! I have gears! Whoa, this is insane!"

Finally, when the two had finished with their fun, they transformed back to robot mode to see how their new forms fit into them. Jazz's was as sleek as before, with the doors folded onto his forearms, the front wheels lodged into his back, the front of the car as his chest, the secondary headlights on his shoulders and the back wheels clipped into his feet.

Ratchet, of course, was a fair deal larger and bulkier than the Lieutenant. The front of the Hummer had split in half and moved into shoulders, the bumper sliding down to his abdomen, the front wheels on his forearms, the windscreen and cab roof folding down into his chest, with the doors propped up just behind the shoulders, and the back of the vehicle splitting into legs and a sort of backpack upon his, well, back.

The two of them looked each other up and down, and simultaneously noted: "You look good in that outfit."

Exchanging a joyful laugh, the two promptly sat down, folding their legs and sniggering slightly as they flexed more mobile parts of their new frames, Jazz flicking the doors on his arms outwards and around, Ratchet spinning his wheels and flashing his lights.

The two entertained themselves for a moment, before Jazz revved and asked: "Do you ever miss this, Ratchet?"

"What? Sitting down and messing around?"

"Not specifically, but just.... having fun, you know? Having no worries, just having fun with your friends and stuff."

Ratchet hesitated, before he dipped his head and replied: "I do. I miss it so much, Jazz. The simple carefree lifestyle. This War has taken its toll on all of us, but worst of all, its taken its toll on the simple ability to enjoy life...."

"It's grim, isn't it?" Jazz muttered. "Times gone by, I used to recharge at night knowing tomorrow might even be more fun than the day previous. Now, I wonder if I'll wake up in a Decepticon ambush, or a prison cell, or just not wake up at all."

The medic shuddered: "Don't say things like that. I'm paranoid enough as it is, don't need more fuel to that fire."

"Sorry. I know I give you a hard time sometimes, Ratchet, for getting all worked up, but when I sit down and think, really think, I wonder how I could ever blame you...."

Ratchet hesitated, both unsure of how to respond to that and a tad humbled, but then the rumble of engines broke the sudden awkwardness, and they turned to see three vehicles driving up to them; a jeep, a car and a tanker truck.

They stood up at once and grinned slightly, eager to hear what shenanigans their comrades had been up to, what amusing things Bumblebee would say, but alas, as the three vehicles transformed, Hound crushed their brief hope with: "Bee and Grimlock saw a Decepticon in the area. It would be best to vacate the area before it brings reinforcements."

Jazz sagged and revved his engine in annoyance, as Ratchet, shaken by the news, replied: "But Evac and Wheeljack haven't returned yet!"

"I've sent a message to them, don't worry. They'll be on their way back regardless if they've got an alt-mode or not." The lieutenant reassured him.

"In that case, we better get back on board." Jazz replied, his voice adopting the serious tone of a commander who has seen battle more times than any being should have. "Make sure we're ready to go by the time they get back."

But just as the five were about to move back to the ship, there was the honk of a horn, and they turned to see a white and green tow truck rolling up to them, the vehicle's orange lights flashing brightly, dragging the hook along the ground in a light scraping of metal on asphalt.

Hound was already predicting the riot act, and thus shuffled over to hide behind Ratchet, as the tow truck grinded to a stop before them and transformed, the front of the vehicle splitting and extending into legs, the doors clipping onto the thighs, the cab and windscreen sliding around as the back of the truck split and bent into arms, the lights settling atop the shoulders as the towline of the truck suddenly extended into what appeared to be a third arm. The upper torso rotated around, situating the towline on the back and the cab at the front, and Wheeljack's head emerged, optics narrowed and full of indignant annoyance.

"You-" He snapped, pointing a finger dramatically at the scout hiding behind Ratchet, the lights on the side of his head flashing bright blue in time with his words. "You left me all on my own, Hound, without any holographic cover! I had to bury myself into the sandy gritty stuff just to make sure I wasn't spotted! Do you know where some of that sandy gritty stuff is currently lodged?!"

"I apologise, Wheeljack." Hound replied meekly, as Jazz and Bumblebee started sniggering and even Grimlock chuckled. "But I had to find my protege-"

"I don't care." Wheeljack huffed, flexing the third arm on his back, the stubby claws at its tip curling and uncurling as the hook flicked up and down. "You took the rock with you, and I'm pretty damn mad now. I'm going to the lab now, and no-one better interrupt my angry time."

With that, he stalked past the others, as Jazz hollered: "If there's another explosion, 'Jack, I swear to the Allspark I'm sending Grimlock after you!"

Bumblebee was wheeling around in a circle, laughing his head off at the shenanigans, as Hound revved and shrugged, Ratchet rolled his optics and Grimlock chuckled again, before striding off after Wheeljack. But of course, as soon as Bumblebee regained control and followed Grimlock into the ship, Ratchet turned to the other two and asked: "If Wheeljack got back so quickly, then where's Evac?!"

Jazz and Hound glanced at each other, before the Lieutenant tapped the side of one of the silver protrusions on his head and spoke into his com: "Evac, this is Jazz. What's your current position?"

He paused for a moment, before looking up at the medic, seeming quite confused, and relayed: "Apparently your apprentice has taken to gurgling. He's not making any sense."

Hound tapped his chin in thought, before jumping in shock when Ratchet suddenly threw himself to his knees and, hands gripping his head, cried: "Oh, poor Evac! Some sort of virus has contaminated him, a dreaded gurgling virus! Oh, this damnable planet has infected my student, my friend, my companion! Curse you, planet Earth! For claiming Evac, I will disrupt your orbit and throw you-"

"Is it just me or is something coming out of the water?" Hound asked, pointing across the park at the expanse of sea nearby.

The other two turned to look, and sure enough, there did seem to be movement under the waves, some sort of bubbling and rippling that was coming to shore, an eerie glow under the dark mass of liquid. Alarmed, Jazz shot a quick commanding glance at Hound, who instantly folded out his shoulder missile launcher, the long weapon settling beside his head and aiming the lethal projectile at the mass out of sea.

But their worry was unfounded; with a burst of water and a hiss of hydraulics, a huge Cybertronian emerged from the sea, shaking itself frantically to get water and fishes off of it, bright orange in colour, with long rotors down the back like a sort of cape, the front of a helicopter upon the chest with a searchlight just below it (the source of the light), a tailfin clipped into the right leg and a tail rotor on the left.

There was no mistaking the huge size or the bright green optics, and as Hound revved in relief and retracted his missile launcher, Ratchet cried out in relief and shock: "Evac! Evac, you're alive!"

The helicopter continued shaking and spluttering as he trekked up the beach, across the harder ground, up a ledge and onto the car park, leaving a thick trail of water behind him. Upon reaching the bewildered trio, he straightened up with as much dignity as he could muster, and declared: "I saw an octopus. It tried to slurp up my processor but I escaped by walking away!"

Jazz and Hound burst into laughter, as Ratchet shrieked: "What?! An octopus?! Oh Primus above, Evac, get to the decontamination chamber at once! It could have laid eggs on you or infected you or- AH! Salt water! Do you know what that could do to your joints?! Quick, go go go to the chamber and get that stuff off you!"

"It's not that bad, Ratchet." Evac answered meekly, cowering at the medic's overprotective rant despite nearly being twice as tall. "It's just hydrogen stuck to oxygen-"

"You say it's not that bad?!" Ratchet howled, utterly ignorant of the other two still laughing in the background. "Look at yourself, you're dripping with that dreadful! You were walking around in a cesspool of rusting and viruses and ugly tentacle monsters! Get to the decontamination chamber now!"

"Yes, Ratchet." The unlucky medic-in-training muttered, sullenly tromping off to the ship, his rotors clipping against each other in shame, Ratchet stalking over him, now finding it in himself to complain: "And why are you a helicopter?! You're not even designed to fly! Oh, this is what happens when I let you go off on your own!"

Hound and Jazz watched them enter the ship, before the former turned and noted: "You think Ratchet was being too harsh on him there? I mean, Bumblebee ran off, but even I didn't react like that."

"He's paranoid and overprotective and generally hard to deal with." The Solstice replied, shrugging and flashing his shoulder lights. "Personally I'm surprised he didn't explode with the shock of it all. But don't worry, I'll talk to him later. Poor Evac doesn't quite need that amount of scrap being snapped at him."

"Speaking of which, you see he's adopted a helicopter alt-mode? That means we've actually got a flyer on our team now."

"True. But I think Evac's got a long way to go before he's death from above. Besides, the rookie's got his medical and combat training to complete as well, so I wouldn't say we've got our own aerial warrior just yet."

"But he has the potential."

"He does. Thing is, though, when you have a lot of potential, you have a lot of pressure too."

With that said, Jazz strode off to the ship, leaving the jeep to contemplate his final sentence briefly before following. Entering the ship, taking care not to step in the watery trail left by Evac, he tapped the control switch and the hatch retracted and sealed shut against the hull.

With a surge of power, boosters underneath the ship activated, pouring power downwards as the Zeta-1 rose into the air, before the main thrusters kicked in, and with a sudden speed unexpected of such a large vessel, it flew off into the night, invisible to any and all observers.

Except for one.

From the roof of a nearby building, a tiny little form watched the Zeta-1 leave Portland, its supremely advanced optical network having easily bypassed the holographic shielding the ship had been using. This creature physically resembled an Earth creature called a wasp, except for the fact it was made of metal, and was much, much bigger than any normal wasp.

It watched the ship disappear into the night, before sharp azure wings buzzed into motion, lifting the wasp robot into the air, and it darted off towards the main habitat of the local humans. Up and up it flew, high above the land, where it soon happened upon a figure hovering above the town with blazing thrusters on the feet, gazing down both contemplatively and contemptuously at the human habitat.

Starscream turned his head at the sound of the oncoming buzzing creature, and with a smug smile, extended his arm for the wasp to land on six sharp little legs, the little thing chattering and twittering at its master.

"I hope you have excellent news to report, Waspinator." Starscream purred, flicking his arm slightly, causing the drone to buzz into the air and land again on his back, nestling into the compartment he stored it in. "I'm eagerly anticipating the oncoming hunt."

Once the drone was locked within him, Waspinator connected its mind with the larger Decepticon, showing its master what it had seen. Starscream went through images of the Autobots talking to each other, the white form and green optics of a medic that he presumed to be the one called Ratchet, the green Autobot that appeared to be that damnable Hound, the infamous Grimlock himself and that small yellow Autobot the Seeker had been unable to identify. And he also saw the largest Autobot on their crew, a huge helicopter, also unidentifiable (two rookies on one scouting team? How stupid).

But the best part?

The Lieutenant was here. The hand, blade and will of Optimus Prime. The Autobot who always escaped, the Autobot that no Decepticon had ever trapped, one of their most competent members, with a reputation that nearly reached the levels of Grimlock and the Autrio. No Decepticon had ever learnt his name, only his rank, but every Decepticon learnt of the threat he posed.

But imagine that! The Lieutenant and Grimlock, both on Earth! Oh, how Megatron would reward him when he presented both their lifeless frames to him! The glory he would receive, the reputation he would earn, the awe and fear he would inspire! Starscream, the one who destroyed the dreaded Grimlock, the one who killed the elusive Lieutenant!

Why, Megatron might even make him a Conciller!

He gleefully entertained himself with visions of triumph and grandeur, before flipping into vehicle mode and flying skywards, back to the Darksyde. Waspinator had discovered something else too, something that would prove very useful.

A unique little compound, formed from a combination of Energon remnants and a common atmospheric element they called nitrogen...
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Waffles are tasty, but not as filling as robot dinosaurs and bitch slapping Primes.
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He's not handicapped, he's handicapable of murder.
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Old 03-15-2013, 12:45 PM   #8
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Message: Thank you so much for all the kind reviews you guys have given me! This is gonna be my biggest project ever, a complete run-through of the Metaverse, and any and all feedbacks would be appreciated!

If you guys have any questions regarding the Metaverse and its characters/concepts, feel free to ask!

And for your convenience, a brief list of the main Autobots and their vehicle modes (Decepticons will come after the next chapter )

Jazz: Lieutenant to Optimus Prime. Silver Pontiac Solstice.
Hound: Chief Scout and lieutenant of the Zeta-1. Dark-green Jeep (http://www.highsnobiety.com/files/20...-Wheels-01.jpg)
Bumblebee: Scout-in-training. Volkswagen Beetle, yellow with black stripes
Grimlock: Berserker. Mack Tanker Truck, brown with a red stripe on the tank
Ratchet: Chief Medic. Specially modified ambulance Hummer H2
Evac: Medic-in-training. Orangey Search-and-Rescue Sea King helicopter
Wheeljack: Inventor and scientist. White and green tow truck (http://www.apachesands.com/uimages/t.../Tow-Truck.jpg)

And a brief note; Jazz is the Lieutenant, with a capital L, while Hound is Jazz's lieutenant, with a lower case l, so you can tell which lieutenant I'm referring to
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Originally Posted by EnergonWaffles View Post
Waffles are tasty, but not as filling as robot dinosaurs and bitch slapping Primes.
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He's not handicapped, he's handicapable of murder.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:45 PM   #9
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Great job bro.............KEEP EM COMING!!!!

Love Barricade, Slipstream, and Soundwave

Starscream is forever Starscream!!!

I can't wait till Star meets Bee...which in turn he meets Grimlock.......and gets the SCRAP beat out of him!!!
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((Congratulations Roadrage. You've managed to traumatize me more than Batman and Robin did.))
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:47 PM   #10
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Damn, this story just continues to get better! Ratchet's paranoia is extremely amusing, as is his ability to be easily frustrated. And both Bumblebee's and Evac's innocence continues to show. Evac's reaction to the octopus was hilarious.

I like the idea of Waspinator being a drone/pet. Very original. It's also nice to see a big, bulky and powerful Starscream as well. Definitely not something you see often.

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