Transformers: Asterisk - Destiny

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by Falcadore, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. KnightSaberAmi

    KnightSaberAmi Nyan Nyan

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    Looks like Swipe might be in for a bit of a whammy...
     
  2. Falcadore

    Falcadore Touring Car Autobot

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    Chapter 7 - Regression

    "Control; Tartarus Pits."

    "Go ahead TP."

    "All Units secure in cages. Data dump complete."

    "Thank you TP. Secure all weapons and CPCs."

    "Proceeding control... Hold... Alert Three. Unit malfunction."

    "What is the nature of the malfunction TP?

    "I... Hold Control... Unit One is not responding to Positron shut down. Attempting manual intervention. CPC is breaking through the inhibitors. Physical systems remain shut down but we are losing control over Unit One.

    "Prepare cognition hood for emergency overwrite of the CPC."




    Low Earth Orbit
    Six Months Earlier


    Awareness. Whoah. Where exactly did that come from? Where the frak have I been? If I find out who is responsible for this prank... What was that sub-awareness thing? Was that what Spike meant about dreams? Irresponsible kid. Both of them. They didn't deserve to die like that.

    This is familiar. It's a shuttle bridge. Why am I on a shuttle bridge? Last time I was here was with big red and the greenie and the five goons. And they jumped out. Even if he does fight right he's still a loose cannon. I mean I like a good loose cannon as much as the next bot...

    Whaoh. Balance is not working. Shuttle's moving. Oh frak, the shuttle's de-orbiting. Not good. Let's have some light.

    "Bridge lights on." Not working. Gimme the pilot seat. Gah it’s the frakking aristocrat. What are you doing here? Not a lot. Who else is here? Huh, one of the kids throttle buddies. The music man. Black death. Frakker. Should have known I hadn't seen the last of you. You'll keep. Hey it's Marvin the Paranoid Andriod. He's good to see at least. Who's the blue guy at the back there? Oh. You. Heh, best thing about being knocked out is you don't have four hundred questions for me. You can interrogate me later if we get through this. Whose command...

    Big red? You're dead. I was at your funeral. You can't be here. How is that possible?

    Ahhhhh the shuttle. Get the snob out of the pilot’s seat. Sorry bud, floor will have to do.

    "Heat shields report status." Nothing.

    "Heat shields report status." Still nothing. Are the instruments fried? Let’s take the stick.

    "Any Autobots on this frequency please respond. Urgent assistance required." Nothing, wha... my radio's been removed? Who's the planet-pumper who did that? There is going to be murder before this day is done. Where's the ship radio?

    "Jazz report please. Jazz... Wheeljack... Autobot City; Skids are you there?... Sideswipe you get on this radio right the frak now or the next time I see you I'll jam this rifle thing so far into your exhaust you'll spray fumes from your optics! SIDEY!"

    FRAK!

    I've got some stick response at least. Good old hard wired controls. Angle's way to steep for Earth atmosphere, but what's too shallow? Had the automatics last time. You're going to make me calculate it aren't you?

    Oooohhhh kay. Easy does it. Wings level again. Feels sluggishly heavy. Got the temperature gauge at least. Hard wired again. Must have been hit by an EMP. Must be why the guys are out. They're not dead but... Cons don't have any nukes do they? Even they're not stupid to store anything that a well motivated 'bot like myself might walk in and liberate? I mean they're stupid but...

    Frakking humans up to something. Four billions humans, eight billion agendas. Gah! This one's gonna be bumpy. Have to tell Sidey all about how I piloted sleeping Big Red himself into the atmosphere with no instruments. He looks different, why is that?

    Finally approach angle is working. The hull is hotter than I want it, but sooner we get out of this muck. I could start having fun wi...

    What in the pit? There should not be munitions in the wing pods. Ease up angle of attack, but when I ease up the heat pattern changes... if you blow up I am going to find the worst snowstorm on the planet to bury you frakking hunk of ceramic.

    Temperature is finally dropping. Speed dropping. Have to find out if the automatics work. Looking good. Heh, teachers pet couldn't have done it better himself, I don't care what condition his precious brain is in.

    Hey I've even got both wings still attached. Any landing you can walk away from is a good one hey? Where are we? Navigation is out, guess I'll have to stick my head out and look. Temperature is definitely dropping now. Soon as I can see out the viewports we'll flip it over and have a look at the ground.

    What's that echo? How can my own thoughts echo? I'm not a Seeker with a hollow braincase for where every thought bounces around like a human child’s ball. I swear I heard Skullwarp's head rattle once. Dumb as botslag.

    Getting tired. Don't need a charge I... just... woke...

    NO! I'm going to land this sucker. I didn't do all that fancy flying without doing some damn fool crash at the end to frak-up the story.

    Must... must...

    Where...
     
  3. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm Wreck n’ rule

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    hmm. Sunny seems to be waking up.
     
  4. Falcadore

    Falcadore Touring Car Autobot

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    Chapter 8 - Observation

    "Control; Agent Six, cargo secure in storage."

    "Thank you Agent Six."

    "We still do not have enough for Stage Four."

    "Acknowledged Agent Six. Making preparations for Raid Echo Thirty Two. Confirm status of Units."

    "Control, Unit Three is securing now. Tartarus Pits report all other units secure. There has been no recurrence with Unit One."

    "Put Unit One back on active roster and inform Agent One she will be utilising her Unit frame on the next mission. Remind her to submit snipers report from Echo Thirty One ASAP. Is Unit Eight prepared for scout deployment?"

    "Control: Physical preparation is complete, Agent Eight just has to review plans for Echo Thirty Two then we can launch."

    "Deploy when ready."




    Security Compound
    Binaltech Facility, Nevada
    Six weeks later


    "These repeated attacks from Transformer forces; do they point to anything in your belief Lieutenant?"

    "While we can't discuss investigations of an on-going nature Cathy, these Transformers do seem to be indicative of the sorts of Decepticon raids conducted 20 years ago in which damage to property was relatively light unless they encountered resistance.”

    "This past week has seen an alteration in terminology used by FBI releases, no longer calling the protagonists Decepticons, but now calling them simply Transformers. Do you believe Autobots are involved or is this reflective of public attitudes towards the Autobots that have been implicated as being involved with the government?"

    "I cannot answer any questions about the language of press releases Brian, nor am I aware..."

    "Mute main channel."

    Jazz had had enough. The Binaltech facility had been monitoring media reaction once the media got hold of images of Transformers, which Grimlock had supplied at Sacramento. Continuing stories of energy production facilities being raided had seen speculation run rampant. Public opinion had turned on the government demanding explanations, while the Autobots were being kept away from prying eyes.

    Dead End was released upon Sideswipe's revelations only for the Federal government to insist on his re-incarceration, just for being a Decepticon as far as anyone could tell. Jazz recalled the question from the TV news anchor. Increasingly the humans were dropping the distinction between Autobots and Decepticons. How long would it be before the government insisted on confining the Autobots? Would it then be that much of a distinction for the humans to decide they were safer if the Autobots were not just imprisoned, but dismantled as well? Many of the 'experts' the networks provided for 'thought provoking discussion' were making cases that they were not sentient and in fact little better than toasters or 'smart bombs'. None of the Autobots could ever recall meeting any of these 'experts' or being able to have a conversation with any breakfast related electrical cooker. Skids even claimed to not know what a 'smart bomb' was and speculated if it was a euphemism for a suicide bomber. While it had given Jazz a chuckle, plainly they needed a solution, or even a break in the investigation.

    The aggressive sound of a four cylinder boxer racing engine, punctuated by the gun-fire sound of a turbo pop-off valve built rapidly in the background, the noise floating in from the Autobot Corridor. The noise stopped suddenly and became the sound of shifting plates and Smokescreen dashed into the ante-chamber.

    "I got it. Wheeljack was right about the reactor. We've got them." Smokescreen's face was set, determined, but his eyes held a defiant gleam. The Diversionist had been playing 'aggressor', pretending to be a theoretical adversary of the Autobots to try and determine what their next move was. The result had seen him racing from place to place, testing his, and Wheeljack’s theories. Each time he had struck out and not found any evidence of these ersatz Cybertronians. Meanwhile the attacks had continued.

    "What have we got?"

    "I don't think you're going to like it, but I'd suggest we wait for the others." Grimlock arrived at that moment, regarded the two Autobots briefly. Lights flickered on in the observation gallery and Willard appeared through the doorway, pushing Chase ahead of him, who looked to be struggling to come to his senses.

    "Smoke start talk now."

    "Let's wait for the others..."

    "No, not wait. Peacestreak and others catch up." The unfolding crisis had not done Grimlock's already thin patience much good. There were times when Silverstreak’s apparent reborn naivety, if that was what it was, could test even Wheeljack’s even temperament. Sideswipe chose that moment to enter the room. It had been a long time since anyone had seen him smile, but his pronouncement that it was Sunstreaker that had been in the security footage using Sideswipes pass, and Dead End's incarceration had almost brought him back to his former self. Tracks was recuperating just fine, but it was taking a lot of Wheeljack's and Skids' attention from where it was supposed to be.

    Jazz glanced towards Chase and Willard, but Smokescreen decided not to defer towards the humans and started replaying his recorded account. Without any static or preamble, a reactor complex appeared, alert klaxons were sounding in the background. There were no outside movement visible at all, until one of the more jagged artistic looking buildings moved. Rotating towards Smokescreens point-of-view, the building started walking and the figure resolved into a tall blue Binaltech frame with a distinctly familiar horned helm.

    "Prowl," whispered Jazz.

    "Yeah, looks like the frame is near identical to Prowl's Honda Integra frame." Smokescreen had had more time to analyse the footage. Smokescreen's camera panned across the site. There were four more frames in view, one looking very much like Hound, one like Smokescreen and two unfamiliar silhouettes. Only the 'Prowl', closest to the camera was receiving enough light to make out a colour, blue. Smokescreen's viewpoint turned to the right suddenly picking out two vehicles on the road leading away from the reactor plant. There was an emergency service vehicle there; it looked like a Police car in black and white, a Subaru like Smokescreen. Parked alongside was a Scion.

    "Look like Skids."

    "I would have to concour Grimlock," said the topic of conversation, having just arrived with Wheeljack. "I find this similarity disconcerting. A third party appears to have acquired the patterns to a number of templates."

    "Why does the Subaru have it's lights on? That's just attracting attention?" said Wheeljack.

    "It could be a false attractant," said a human voice. It was rare for Willard to speak in the presence of the Autobots, but now he was leaning over the balcony rail trying to take in as much as he could on the, for him, ridiculously large picture. "This way any early response vehicle will be drawn towards that when arriving on site looking for safety in numbers. Then the trap can be sprung and the defenders disabled quickly, giving them extra time if necessary."

    "Pay careful attention to that Scion," said Smokescreen cutting off the conversation before it could develop just as Jazz turned towards the two humans. The viewpoint at the moment tightened on the boxy vehicle. With the flashing from the overhead lightbar on the Subaru it was possible to pick up flashes of a colour, or rather a lack of it. Grey or a dark metallic hue. There was movement coming from within.

    "There humans?" said the gravel voiced Dinobot with an air of disgust.

    "More importantly Grimms baby, what are they doing?" Jazz' voice, was slow and deliberate despite the frivolous wording. The front passenger side door of the Scion opened and the driver's door on the Subaru. The Subaru driver was in a mini-skirted Police uniform, the figure from the Scion was wearing a red and grey skirted business suit.

    "Women!" This was the surprised voice of Chip Chase, a child of the '70s, some measure of sexism still made up part of his personality. It did however raise an unusual detail that Jazz had not noted. Both women were wearing ornate helmets, which enveloped their entire heads. The helmets did not have the smooth round look of motorcycle or racing helmets, but instead looked angular and functional, and also had a whip aerial mounted at the back pointing upwards. While the nature of the helmet hid any facial features, the arm and head movement indicated an animated conversation. A third figure appeared on foot from some other location. Unlike the others this one was not wearing a helmet.

    "Freeze picture," commanded Willard. "Magnify and sharpen on the un-helmeted girl." As the picture tightened Jazz noticed she did appear young. She was slim, wearing tight; almost form fitting clothing, displaying a minimal amount of excess bulk. Over one shoulder was slung a long slim rifle, with a large barrel mounted scope, although the barrel itself did not look conventional for a human weapon, but Jazz could not discern why. Her features snapped into focus on the larger view. She had Asiatic features, and long dark hair pulled into a ponytail, keeping her eyes clear. She looked just barely above adolescence in age. The weapon was complete contrast.

    "Run that face through the usual databases," Willard was continuing to speak; although he had turned and was looking back into the monitoring room speaking to someone Jazz could not see. "We could get lucky and find she has a file with the Bureau."

    "She looks terribly young to be carrying a rifle. See if you can get our friends at Central Intelligence can help too."

    "They'll check all records Doctor Chase," said Willard. "They know what they are doing. Resume please Smokescreen." The picture snapped backwards. The three women looked abruptly broke up their conversation and the rear doors of the Scion opened, revealing more helmeted figures. Smokescreen panned backwards to take in the reactor site once more. Only one frame was still visible and it was transforming into an orange coloured Jeep Wrangler. The rear of the vehicle was heavily laden with something. Vehicles raced from all parts of the reactor, passing under lights as they did, a red Dodge Ram, two Honda Integras, one grey, one blue and a black Subaru Impreza. Each of the humans climbed aboard one of the approaching vehicles drivers’ seat, and lead by the Police Subaru Impreza, the convoy drove off. One last figure remained. The unfamiliar shape stood frozen for ten minutes before turning to look over the site once more, before shifting into a Ford GT40. The incredibly conspicuous sports racing car collected the last human and started leaving the site. The low slung blue car flashed under one street light, then Smokescreen lost the car. Zooming in towards the access road there was no sign of the final vehicle passing under any of the overhead lights. The image froze, and then winked out.

    "Lights," called Willard. The overhead fluorescent tubes flickered back on in their usual pattern-less sequence.

    "Did the racing car just disappear or did you lose it?"

    "I have no explanation, one moment it was there, the next it wasn't," said Smokescreen with some puzzlement.

    "If Sunstreaker is alive, who else could be here on this world?" This was Silverstreak, having arrived late and was peering over shoulders from the back of the room.

    "I'm sorry if it hurts your feelings Sideswipe, but we don't know that it is Sunstreaker."

    "I know." Sideswipe's voice would brook no argument but Wheeljack's point was made.

    "What if the frames were sparkless," speculated Jazz, glancing momentarily at Sideswipe. "Could those helmets those humans are wearing control the frames?"

    "It's theoretically possible, but it would be an incredibly difficult task to run and maintain such a complex automaton, while still running their own human bodies," Wheeljack warmed to the subject. "So much of what we do every moment that we do subconsciously to regulate our frames, a human controller would have to replicate consciously. All of it. Energon flow. Waste management. Filtering. Cooling. Everything we once had to learn and now take for granted. Their tech ain't up to it."

    "Frame exist, see much use," said Grimlock. "They need spark, maybe they find sparks."

    The thought chilled the conversation into stillness.

    "Jazz, that thing in the ocean you found..." Smokescreen had turned sharply to Jazz. "With Hound's..."

    "What was that thing hiding?"
     
  5. Clutchburn

    Clutchburn Well-Known Member

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    Yay, new chapter!
     
  6. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm Wreck n’ rule

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  7. Falcadore

    Falcadore Touring Car Autobot

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    Chapter 9 - Interception

    "All Agents, Agent Six. Unit Nine deploy. Unit Four and Seven to covering positions.

    "Roger Agent Six. Scouting drive-by commencing."

    "Acknowledged Agent Nine. All Agents be reminded we are near end program, chances of detection now increasing exponentially with continued exposure. They are not stupid. Study predicteded templates and be ready for rapid extraction. Any Units in trouble call immediately for assistance, even if unsure. And EmCon radio silence from here."




    Security Compound
    Binaltech Facility, Nevada
    Two weeks later


    "I have been looking over the notes and data that Smokescreen and Wheeljack developed to assist in Smokescreen's search."

    The chunky figure of Skids was holding forth to the assembled figures in the Autobot Hangar at Groom Lake. The dark blue figure strode across the open space across the back of the hangar exerting authority seldom seen in the theoretician, and Grimlock had been surprised by the scientists request to address the group. The full group attended, with Tracks having rejoined the group for the first time since the commemoration ceremony held here twelve months ago. Sideswipe, unrepentant for his actions looked keen to be on his way, to scour the landscape looking for Sunstreaker. Grimlock apart the rest of the group were attentive.

    "Smokescreen's basic theories were sound but I have been able to refine the search parameters in a few key areas. The increasing difficulty in maintaining un-predictability, the general mobility their forces have displayed, the availability of suitable targets for their requirements, maximising chances of avoiding the presence of the human media, who would be as counter-productive for them as for us. Against these factors, and extrapolating existing behaviour, and assuming they have knowledge of the deployment of American troops..."

    "They do not have that information." As previously had been the case, General Barbera was taking the conference in via satellite bounced video feed. Skids looked towards Grimlock, who nodded.

    "General," Skids voice drifted from scholarly lecturer to the subtlest hints of condescending authoritarian. Chase could almost imagine Skids looking over a pair of slim spectacles at the heckler. "Neither your troops, nor the troops of the regular Army have had any success in intercepting these Binaltech frames, if that is what they are, and yet Smokescreen hit them relatively quickly. I can only assume either your troops, your intelligence unit or your communications are compromised. You can argue pride as much as you like but the numbers strongly disagree with your case."

    "Now, their activity to date points towards something larger in the short to mid term. Our best estimate is they have nine frames available to them, two Prowl Honda Integra frames, two Silverstreak Subaru Impreza frames, one Dead End Dodge Viper frame, one Hound Jeep Wrangler frame, one Scion bB frame like myself and two others of a new design based on a Dodge Ram and probably a Ford GT."

    "Based on energon expenditures of these frames from medical information provided by Wheeljack, and considering the Subaru frame is an older less efficient technology proving frame as well, and from the predicted amounts of energon they have had the time to refine at each site, I do not believe they have sufficient reserves for upcoming operations and will need to make another raid."

    "Will they be able to achieve that reserve with a single raid?" Jazz was starting to think of Skids theories into operational planning.

    "Possibly, but to extrapolate further requires more details of their plans. I do not believe we have to ability to obtain such information, as intelligence on this threat has been extremely poor. Essentially, however this is immaterial. If we can successfully intercept their next raid, then it affects their entire planning. If we can do it once, they will have to assume we can do it again. It would be foolish in the extreme for them to assume that a successful interception was based on good fortune."

    "The frequency of operations, and equipment used on such operations suggests their favoured target will be here at Carter Falls Power Station."

    "Why?" Wheeljack wanted to know.

    "Mainly logistical, but also because it is hydro-electric it gives them a secondary kinetic source for generating synthetic energon."

    "How accurate is your prediction?" Jazz asked.

    "It is not. It is however more accurate than Smokescreen's hit and hope methodology."

    "This will be a major operation Skids," warned Jazz.

    "I can provide you with no further re-assurance. These are my findings. Any interpretations are yours."

    "I'm sorry Skids, but..."

    "We go." Grimlock interrupted his second loudly and firmly.

    "There is insufficient information to support mounting any kind of operation," the human military officer's tone was condescending. "The Joes can not support you."

    "Or will not?" Sideswipe snarled a challenge.

    "Good. You not get in me Grimlock's way. Humans always less help than they think." Barbera bristled visibly and her monitor winked out.

    "Grimlock you have much anger in you. With the aid of some humans I know I have develop the energon equivalent of anti-oxidants and..." Grimlock's sword blazed to life and pointed at Silverstreak.

    "Peacestreak shut mouth and get rifle now," Grimlock was warming to his theme. The burst of anger dissipated slightly as he turned and started towards the corridor. "This course of action. Autobot DO, not wait and talk. All get weapons and assemble. Jazz make battle plan. We go Carter Falls now. Smokescreen, release Dead End and get him rifle, he come with."

    "NO!" Sideswipe stepped towards the Mustang and Grimlock's right arm shot outwards grabbing the rebellious Viper by the neck. Powering up his arm hydraulics the silver figure flexed what musculature he still had and lifted the scarlet figure off the ground. The blue visor blazed with an intensity not seen since the days of the Dinobot.

    "Grimlock sick of Buttwipe complaints. We few in number. We need many to defeat foe. You will do what me Grimlock say lest me Grimlock believe you liability and end revenge lust with sword to spark chamber now." Powering up his arm further he threw Sideswipe against the wall. The vibrations from the impact caused Willard to loose his footing on the nearby balcony and spilled Chase from his wheelchair. Sideswipe immediately pushed himself upwards with a snarl. Grimlock spun around allowing his over-exerted arm to drop limp. With the left arm he threw a punch that started a mile behind him and connected directly with Sideswipe's faceplate. The scarlet figure dropped as if gravity had suddenly multiplied. Dazed but still conscious he looked up at the Mustang with little focus as Grimlock drew his sword-hilt once more. Activating the fire-bright energon flow to the weapon, he pointed it directly at the prominent Autobot symbol in the centre of Sideswipe's chest plate.

    "Do as me Grimlock says. Fight and die if me Grimlock says. Destroy fake Sunstreaker if me Grimlock says. Or die here."

    There was a stunned silence. Wheeljack was the first to move, dropping to Sideswipe's side checking over the Autobots systems for damage. Sideswipe said nothing but continued to daze stupidly upwards at Grimlock. The Viper broke eye contact first though as he dazedly looked to one side at Wheeljack. Grimlock returned the hilt to his hip and turned towards the diversionist.

    "Smokescreen question me Grimlock too?"

    "The Joes won't like releasing him." The Subaru hedged for time, attempting to use logic on his commander.

    "Then tear open hole in cell." Smokescreen grinned at the thought of a little chaos, despite his misgivings over the soundness of Grimlock's thought processes. One by one the Autobots followed Grimlock from the large chamber and out into the Autobot corridor and transformed, moving up towards the surface. Wheeljack lingered, helping Sideswipe get to his feet and heading for the door with Tracks helping on the other side. Jazz was the last to leave, gazing upwards at Chase and Willard as the security agent helped restore the scientist to his wheels and his dignity.

    "What... what.." Chase was still disoriented from the force of the impact. Willard straightened and looked down at Jazz, an unspoken look in his eyes and expression.

    "Jazz," Willard began but tailed off.

    "Yeah," the special operations agent said quietly, respecting the conflict within Willard over his present role and his duty to inform the military for whom Jazz suspected he really worked for. "I know. You do what you feel you must. You'd do it anyway."



    Vicinity of Carter Falls Hydro-Electric Power Station
    Carter River, Colorado
    Three days later


    "C'mon Skids, you sure of those numbers?"

    "They were and are as accurate as was possible to confirm Tracks, and may I point out they have not been seen at any other location. It may yet be days still before they strike here, if at all. If the inactivity frustrates you, store it up and vent it when the time comes."

    "If it comes. We are wasting our time here. I don't know why I came back to you people, nothing has changed, and if anything Grim..."

    "That's enough Tracks," Jazz adopted a rare authoritarian tone with the Corvette. "I know it's been a while and you're bored but keep the radio chatter to a minimum."

    The Autobots had staked out the location, spreading themselves out of the town in odd places while a reserve group, composed of Grimlock, Smokescreen because of his gaudy racing sponsorship decals and Sideswipe because Grimlock refused to trust him, remained in a warehouse as close to the power station as feasible. Jazz, who spelled Grimlock from time to time, Wheeljack, Swerve, Silverstreak, Skids and Tracks roamed the township of Carter Falls, while Dead End, stationed as far from Sideswipe's influence as possible, monitored the local highway, which left the town and approached the power station.

    "Silver Honda Integra on highway." Dead End's reports had been prompt, but without emotional inflection of any kind and it left Jazz wondering just what effect his brief incarceration had had on the former Stunticon. As Smokescreen predicted it was problematic getting the humans to release him, but Smokescreen only had to draw his rifle to get Dead End's gaolers to release him. The incident however had leaked to the human press and the last few days’ anti-Autobot hysteria had gained mainstream credibility and there was open discussion on whether the UN should kick the Autobots off planet. The fact that there was no vehicle suitable to carry them into orbit, much less leave the system had not mattered in the slightest to the hate-mongers. While Senators and Congressmen and women had jumped on the bandwagon, the White House had made no official comment either in support or condemnation. They had however said a great deal on the issue through minor staffers in the form of official leaks as no doubt the White House Press Secretary fought to keep the White House neutral in the public debate without losing ground in opinion polls.

    Grimlock's attitude towards humans had soured even further and had now ordered all Autobots to avoid all contact with any humans and to ignore any communications, including their closest allies at the Groom Lake Binaltech facility and G.I. Joe Command. As Jazz continued to roll through the streets of Carter Falls, he continued to monitor the internet on his own connection, which he hoped, was not being monitored in order to track his location, neither Silverstreak or Wheeljack could provide definitive answer on communications security. Thought pieces were being published widely in blogs, ranging from the conciliatory to the hysterical and video footage from the pre-digital days of open war in the 1980's was now appearing on the Web. Somewhere someone in the professional media was contributing to the problem, probably deliberately. There could be hundreds of reasons. Omega Supreme might have stepped on their house. A relative might have been wounded or killed by Starscream. Optimus Prime might have ignored a request for an interview. There were a thousand reasons.

    "Silver Honda Integra has turned off highway and on to Power Station access road." Energon pumps suddenly started spinning faster. This was one of the tripwires. Thanks to Smokescreen's detective work, they had some vehicle templates, and a silver Integra was not owned by a member of Power Station staff that they could determine. It could be a false alarm, but it could not be ignored.

    "Deploy pattern Zeta. Two closest Autobots proceed promptly to Dead Ends location." Jazz could see that was Swerve and himself. All the other Autobots would now start to converge on the power station, slowly however. Chances were high that the mysterious enemy had their templates too. Dead End was a risk, Vipers so aggressively styled were not common but distance from Sidewsipe has needed and the Decepticon was certainly efficient in his monitoring role.

    Jazz turned onto the road that would become the highway, moving a vigorous speed, speeding illegally, but keeping within a 20% margin. Up ahead he could see the bright red Corvette appear from the first on ramp as the road became concrete lined near the edge of the CBD. Swerve was ignoring the margin and raced away from Jazz sight, ducking between traffic, his tail wagging like a dog as he tried to hang on to his own vehicular performance.

    "Jazz..."

    "Emcom people," Jazz reminded Dead End with a touch of annoyance. The Decepticon would soon see Swerve if he had not already and was probably wondering if he should follow the Honda. There was still a possibility it was a false alarm. Jazz hoped fervently that Swerve remembered that. Jazz drove past the warehouse where those off duty, or unable to take it, rested. Grimlock's long silver form was exiting the open door, but Jazz had only a glimpse from the overpass.

    "Entering access road." Swerve at least was being circumspect with his wording. The Corvette was out of his own range, somewhere ahead and he had to resist the temptation to unleash his power on the bitumen.

    "The Honda is now emerging from the power station car park, I ummmm, I guess I'll intercept it now." Swerve's voice was losing confidence as the metallurgist realised just how alone he was with an unknown threat.

    "Be careful of false alarms!" Jazz made his voice sound as urgent as he could. He crested a rise on the highway overlooking the base of the plant. It was too late however. As he watched, the Corvettes trunk split apart, followed by the engine bay. The former resolved itself into arms, the latter into legs and Swerve spun himself upright to face the Honda. Swerve's missile racks pointed downwards at the Honda and the former Mini-bot brought his twin-barrelled rifle to bear.

    "Damn!" Jazz cursed to himself. Jazz focussed as much attention as he could on the semi-distant confrontation but soon lost sight as he raced into a dip. What had Swerve done?



    Swerve looked down at the vehicle, which distinctly did not transform, and a woman sat at the wheel screaming.

    "Ummm guys I think this might be a false alarm." All of Swerve's confidence left him as he scanned the vehicle. The woman was dressed strangely in a kind of padded one-piece jumpsuit of some kind, like a motorcyclists leathers but Swerve knew nothing of human fashions. Maybe it was just fashionable. The car looked innocent and here he was exposing himself in front of this poor apparently hysterical woman. She was reaching into the back seat for something.

    "Oh look ma'am I'm real sorry, I hope you don't think too much into this." The Corvette lowered his rifle. The woman had grabbed a... stylised helmet of some ki…

    "AHHHHHHH" Swerve screamed and fell. The pain was terrible. He'd been shot, twice, from two varying directions at the same moment. "Help" he muttered weakly. More shots continued to pound into him. Swerve took cover behind the Honda and got a look at one of his assailants. In the near distance was an orange version of Hound, firing away with a stubby blaster pistol. The Honda now scorched off, heading towards the highway. The orange figure folded back into a Jeep and disappeared across country.

    Weak now to the point of unconscious ness, Swerve turned. A blue and white bot was looking down at him from close range. The Autobot symbol was there, and the head, the head was familiar. Blue and white with a touch of yellow. Swerve was reminded of the aristocratic sniper who faded in and out of conversation almost while you weren't looking and had numerous hunting trophies aboard the Ark.

    "Mirage?" Swerve whispered painfully. The bot shot Swerve missile racks, disabling them. The gun refocused at Swerve's head and the barrel glinted in the sunlight.

    "Mirage? Don't you remember Swerve?" The glint became a bright light.

    Pain.

    Black.




    "There are three of them. The Jeep is already disappearing across country I can not follow."

    "Stop that Honda Dead End. Grimlock you guys following?"

    "We coming, but you Jazz must stop silver thing." Jazz approached the intersection rapidly as ahead of him Dead End's bonnet split and formed into legs, the Decepticon rising from the Viper to great the on rushing car. Jazz looked at the closing speed; the Honda would get there first. Just as Dead End brought his rifle to bear, a volley of shots streaked in from the right, collecting the former Stunticon across the torso. Focussing on the oncoming Honda, Dead End must have taken his eyes off the third frame that was now running away from an unmoving Swerve. The shots continued blasting Dead End backwards off the shoulder and down the small embankment. The Honda raced past the falling Dead End, but Jazz was in pursuit now until rifle fire sprayed up his right side doors.

    Out of control Jazz skidded across the tarmac, spinning, deliberately and turn the spin into a transformation, rising to meet the blue and white bot. Incoming fire prevented him from reaching his rifle as he transformer, the weapon, still folded up as his exhaust muffled clattered to a halt across the pavement. Jazz fell to his knees, bringing his arms up to cover himself as he started to move into a roll that would roll him across his rifle when the blue and white mech lost resolution and faded from sight.

    And Jazz was alone again. He cursed a human curse loudly, invoking an extremely personal human act in four short letters.

    Dead End was groaning off to his right as Sideswipe burst into view over the closest crest with Grimlock in pursuit. Smokescreen was behind them and Jazz was hit with inspiration.

    "Smokey! Go! There's an orange jeep escaping across country, it's a Hound frame, go!" The rally car did not acknowledge but immediately left the highway, cutting the corner across the open land, bouncing at speed across the rough undulations of the land, briefly launching airborne off the kerb as he crossed the access road. Sideswipe raced on past Jazz, heading in the direction of the vanished Honda. The silver Mustang pulled up alongside Jazz

    "Dead End not much good at stopping frame."

    "Leave him Grimms, he got caught transforming. It's happened to you before."

    "Ahhh." Sideswipes voice. There was a long pause. "Frakking Ford GT40 just crashed me off the road into a tree."

    "You OK?"

    "Yeah, the Honda's getting away." Grimlock lit up his rear tyres and raced away from Jazz, as the second Mustang of Wheeljack appeared from the city.

    "Damn you Grimlock and your pride," said Jazz to himself as the two Mustangs disappeared over the crest. A silver Subaru flashed past, not even pausing. Maybe it was Silverstreak, maybe it was a human street racer foolishly chasing in a drift race that Wheeljack cared not a jot for.

    "They've gotten away clean." Jazz said the words, just as a new option occurred to him. "Alpha Zero-Two to Juliet Command."

    "Juliet Command, purpose of message."

    "You know who I am brother, get me General Barbera pronto. We gots ourselves a situation here."
     
  8. KnightSaberAmi

    KnightSaberAmi Nyan Nyan

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    Very nice...
     
  9. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm Wreck n’ rule

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    i love this fan fiction. you have definately inproved as a writer :) 
     
  10. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm Wreck n’ rule

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    whens the next installment? just re read the last three and the story is developing
     
  11. MrFX

    MrFX Collecting never ends...

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    I'm still reading, and this story is just as engrossing as anything I've ever read. And I know that as most of this make mental pictures that we are using the G1 voices.
     
  12. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm Wreck n’ rule

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    have you abandoned?
     
  13. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm Wreck n’ rule

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    hope you start up again soon dude, this has become one of the more engrossing things on this board
     
  14. MrFX

    MrFX Collecting never ends...

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    A new chapter is up at allspark!
     
  15. Falcadore

    Falcadore Touring Car Autobot

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    I've been trying to log in here for about a day, the site would log me out the instat I'd logged in.,..

    Anyways...

    Chapter 10 - Dissemination

    "Control, Agent Six. All Units now free of pursuit, and are RTB."

    "Agent Six, directly?"

    "Negative, compromise procedures in effect."

    "Acknowledged Agent Six. Be warned in event of finding trouble Watchtower is offline at this time. Initial analysis?"

    "Control, we have been visually compromised, guessing; observed during previous raid but not intercepted at that time. This was an elaborate but under-resourced entrapment attempt. When will Watchtower cover return?"

    "Visual monitoring is active but no offensive support. Towershock technically compromised. Defend exposed units with extreme prejudice or self-destruct if unable to return unobserved."




    Carter Falls Hydro-Electric Power Station
    Carter River, Colorado
    Five minutes later


    "We have been ordered to arrest and prosecute any Autobot we can find. We can not help you even under favourable conditions." Barbera's voice was surprisingly calm, considering those orders would lead to actions she must have seriously contemplated since taking command of the Joes. Jazz only wished he could match her composure. He knew he should have terminated the call two minutes ago, but he was desperate, and intrigued more than a touch as to why she was even taking the call, unless she was triangulating Jazz position. Either way Swerve was going to have a tough time. Skids continued to work at his wounds, welding and gluing rough patches to where ever the Corvette was leaking and trying to stabilise his erratically pulsing spark.

    "General, they know we're on to them now. Every damn cat is already fightin' us, we won't have the chance to adapt to whatever tactics they change too if we don't nab them now. You have to get a sky-peeper on that Hoonda. Use me as a base point. I'm hangin' around at the end of the Carter Falls Hydro Power road thing." This was desperation; willingly giving not just his position but Skids and Swerve as well. While Jazz could transform and escape, and Skids could too, he did not want to abandon the former Minibot for any reason.

    "We know exactly where you are Jazz, we've been watching you via satellite for the last four hours." Liquid nitrogen poured across Jazz' processor and ran down his neural-loom. He spun his head rapidly through 360 degrees, looking for any possibility of G.I. Joe ground units closing on the trio of mechs. "We are not going to attack you Jazz. We are just trying to keep track of you."

    "General please." Jazz voice now lost all of his 'Joe Cool' quirkiness. Even Jazz knew there was a time and place.

    "We've been tracking vehicles heading away from the firefight. There were three, the orange vehicle we lost due to overhead vegetation west of the station, maybe Smokescreen can catch it, but I doubt it. The blue one literally faded into invisibility. The silver one we still have."

    "General," Jazz spoke slowly and clearly. "Send pursuit instructions to Wheeljack. You don't have any units in the vicinity, let us help you. There are enough of us that we can construct an effective tailing operation."

    "Switch channels. Protocol Alpha-seven."

    "Switching..." Jazz performed the manipulation of his communications suite. "General..."

    "Shut up for a moment Jazz," said Barbera. "I recognise the need for co-operation but others, especially those above me will not. I was promoted to this position because General Hawk let the Joes get away with far too much and had been in danger of creating an outfit that might rebel against the chain of command. this is exactly the sort of behaviour they wanted me to prevent."

    "They aren't here."

    "No they're not. There are conditions. The moment Grimlock says a word to me the deal is off and I deny everything."

    "OK. General I have wounded here."

    "If they can't move it will be beyond my ability to help or protect them. You keep me constantly informed of your actions, and if a firefight is to get underway you are to wait for Joe assistance."

    "If I can't talk to the Grim Reaper about you, how do I stop him?"

    "Improvise Jazz. We have to all the time."

    "OK you got yourselves a Pors... a Mazda." Jazz corrected himself, but his voice remained pessimistic in tone. It was all very well for Barbera to make such demands of him when Grimlock would just follow his spark and his rage anyway.



    "Just keep Grimlock from attacking that Honda."

    Smokescreen glared, in so far that he could. How the frag could anyone hold back the slamming Dinobot?

    "Pump you Jazz."

    "Yeah and I'm a big fan of your work too Smokey. You're the lateral thinker, get it done, and don't lose the Ark to the Vegas bookies doing it. We have to know where that Honda is going."

    "You'll be pleased to know the orange Jeep Wrangler has joined in. No sign of the Ford GT."

    "Stay damn sharp boy. If that thing does have Mirage's abilities he could be anywhere."

    "You are a wee ray of sunshine you know that Jazz?"

    "Yeah? Well you haven't seen Swerve's injuries yet." With that Jazz clicked off. Smokescreen thought to himself, then fed extra power to the ersatz boxer four cylinder engine he'd been supplied with by the folks at Subaru Heavy Industries. With a surge the Subaru leapt forward down the highway, searching to catch up with the Autobots racing down the freeway. Up ahead several Autobots were strung out in the pursuit. Ever fleet of foot Silverstreak led the way with the two Mustangs of Grimlock and Wheeljack close behind. Sideswipe was next, moving slightly gingerly for the moment after his encounter with the ersatz Mirage, with Dead End behind, not moving any closer to the 'Bot who wanted his braincase mounted as a trophy. The rest of the Autobots were scattered behind him, Jazz just leaving where Skids, now alone, was tending to Swerve's injuries. Considering what Jazz had told him, it was quite the selfless act on Skids behalf as he was essentially refusing to leave Swerve even though human security forces would almost certain shortly arrive at the scene and detain them.

    Smokescreen mentally shook his himself in a rather human attempt to clear his thought processes. Human thought processes often appealed to Smokescreen. Their behaviour towards taking risk disproportionate to the potential reward had fascinated him and eventually he became the Autobots local expert at risk management, although in his case it appeared to be taking risks rather than advising others not to.

    Sending more power through his motive power unit, he picked up the pace, lowering his suspension now that he was racing along tarmac instead of chasing the orange version of Hound through the vegetation. He closed in and overtook Dead End without comment before moving up along Sideswipe.

    "How ya movin' Sides? The roulette wheel still turnin’ for you?" The left side of the Autobot carried several scars from his automotive shoving match.

    "I'll move better when I catch the frakker," the Lamborghini griped. "He just bashed me into a tree. A tree! Lucky I can drive at all. I can feel my alignment is out..."

    "But you can fight."

    "Hell yeah."

    "Make the best speed you can, and if Dead End comes up to pass you, you will let it happen without comment."

    "Or you'll what?"

    "Just don't go there Sides. Be professional."

    "I've got more motivation for that than you know." Smokescreen regarded the Viper. The last line was cryptic and intriguing, but for the moment Smokescreen had to but it out of his mind. With no further comment he pushed the power and raced away from the limping Viper.

    "Dead End, stop skulking back there behind Sideswipe. He won't harm you if you overtake him." Smokescreen did not check on the Decepticon's progress. The odds were against the Decepticon believing him. It was a low stakes bet anyway.

    After thirty minutes hard driving he caught up to the chase. There was only the blue Ford in the chase of Silverstreak and the Mustang pair.

    "Jacks, where's the other two?"

    "Smokes?"

    "Yeah."

    "This one has been running slowly, keeping the rest of us back while the others get away."

    "You know why don't you?”

    “Yeah, Jazz filled me in on the invisibility thing."

    "Does Grimlock know?" Wheeljack paused before replying to Smokescreen.”

    "Don't think so. Should we really be doing an end run around our Commander like this?"

    "Sometimes my one eyed Jack, you have to ignore the stakes and go with instinct and let the cards fall where they may. You know that Kenny Rogers song?"

    "The one where his house burns down and his dog runs away?"

    "No the other one. It doesn't matter. We have to get past this frakker." At that moment the Ford GT lurched and slowed markedly, twitching towards Grimlock, forcing him to baulk into another lane as a slower car approached and Grimlock had to jump hard on the brakes to stop from hitting the slower vehicle. The Ford reversed his lurch to the left and pushed towards Silverstreak who maintained velocity but moved to the left to give the Ford more room. The blue sportscar took that room and pushed further gradually edging Silverstreak towards the lanes of oncoming traffic. Too aware of humans approaching down that lane, eventually the Subaru was forced to give ground. Smokescreen and Wheeljack were forced to dodge around the two suddenly decelerating silver Autobots.

    Smokescreen looked at the traffic ahead of him, and saw his opportunity. The bookmaker within Smokescreen's mind momentarily contemplated the odds but quickly discarded it. As he said to Wheeljack moments ago, sometimes you go for the play and let the cards fall where they may. Putting on a burst of acceleration he launched suddenly past the Ford GT, racing sharply ahead. Pouring every spurt of speed he could he raced past an open backed utility truck before snatching on his hand brake cable, lurching himself across the path of the truck, spinning as he did so, bracing for the impact to come. The truck lurched onto its own brakes but could not avoid hitting the garishly garnished Subaru, climbing up and onto the back end of the car, destroying the large cheese grater wing spoiler and the boot area. Smokescreen howled in pain as his 'feet' were painfully crushed by the trucks momentum. The truck was spinning now and bracing for a secondary broadside impact Smokescreen stopped as best as he was able. The truck lurched, clipping Smokescreen with just enough force that the rapidly slowing truck tipped into a slow roll, landing on its side with a tearing crash.

    Behind, the road was suddenly blocked and Wheeljack, Grimlock, Silverstreak and the Ford GT were forced into avoiding action. The Mustangs ran to the left, briefly crossing into the lanes of oncoming traffic without hitting anything. Silverstreak chased the GT to the right onto the grass verge.

    Smokescreen had transformed, painfully, and grabbed in his hands that which he saw as his high risk special weapon. Grabbing the downed cargo from the truck, Smokescreen partially crushed and burst open several paint tins and hurled them towards the grass verge, spraying the liquid colorant across the open air.

    He almost missed, the low slung sportscar dived underneath the spray but enough of the white fluid was airborne that the paint splattered across the rear of the car as it descended. The truck lurched again as Silverstreak, having been spooked into a panic transformation by the unknown assault heading in front of him slid into the truck.

    Smokescreen punched the air and cried out with pain and triumph.

    "Wheeljack, let the Jeep and the Honda go, but don't lose the Ford - that paint splatter will stay visible if the Ford doesn't. Track that car; let it drive defensively enough the let the others get away."

    "You paintballed it?"

    "Yeah."

    "You freaky, lucky..."

    "Played for and got my friend. Now excuse me a moment, I hurt quite a bit."
     
  16. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm Wreck n’ rule

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    you really have their characters marked down now don't you ;) 
     
  17. Falcadore

    Falcadore Touring Car Autobot

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    It's taken me quite a while to get a handle on how to develop Smokescreen, given that he's been pretty much an 'everyman' character thus far. Kinda thinking now along the lines of the kind of internal monologues Star Wars writer sometimes use for Lando Calrissian
     
  18. Falcadore

    Falcadore Touring Car Autobot

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    Chapter 11 - Trepidation

    "Control, Agent Six. Base location is compromised. The Autobots have found us. Our force is split and Units Four, Seven and Nine are retreating into the Mountain."

    "Agent Six, sitrep!"

    "Control, I have instructed Agents Four, Seven and Nine to try to draw them deeper into the tunnels while I assemble a covering force to cut off their retreat and then slug it out. We will take casualties but they will be in a substantially poorer tactical position."

    "Proceed with reservation. Stand by to have all staff evacuate."


    Unnamed Mountain
    Rocky Mountain Range, Colorado
    Three hours later


    Smokescreen and Jazz were the last to arrive. They arrived together and both transformed, although Smokescreen's mangled trunk meant he could not stand unaided, leaving the white Mazda to help the diversionary tactician to his feet.

    "Now we go." Grimlock had no patience left. It had been all Wheeljack could do to stop the Mustang from charging straight into the tunnels when the Dinobot, the Engineer and Silverstreak had arrived in pursuit of the invisible Ford. Dead End thought back to the when Grimlock had first opened up to him. Full of doubt, full of pain, searching for a path. After the incident in Central America the Grimlock of old had been rekindled. Focussed on a new path, taking up a leadership mantle he had long courted. Once upon a time he had been an ambitious military commander, then a glorified gang leader stymied in his ambitions, but nonetheless revelling in the chaos he created. More recently after his forced retemplating into a human constructed Binaltech he became suicidally depressive, before twisting himself into the Mech he was now. This new crisis had restored some of his uglier traits however, those that had caused so much fear in Decepticon ranks.

    It had taken hate to do it.

    Grimlock hated the Decepticon cause, this much Dead End knew from conversations with the silver figure. He believed in a form of warriors' code that Megatron would never understand or care about. Grimlock hated Megatron on a personal level. And Starscream. And Shockwave, Soundwave and several other senior Decepticon leaders. That personal element had helped the fire to burn. However the new leadership of Galvatron, Cyclonus and Razorclaw lacked personal involvement for Grimlock, and his focus had drifted. Grimlock bore no malice towards the rank and file of Decepticon warriors, only to the badge they wore. This was the core of his relationship with the Dinobot. Dead End was a lowly Gestalt component and had the added benefit of not having any allegiance or friendship with any of Grimlock's rival within the Autobot command structure.

    Dead End looked over at the Mech he had befriended in the months since his former team mate Wildrider had betrayed and destroyed the Stunticons. The Mustang's body betrayed what the expressionless mask did not. Dead End liked to think he had Grimlock figured out. The Binaltech frames were built by humans, and now it appeared that they might be controlling these frames. While Wheeljack had discounted the possibility Grimlock had no love for humans, they were beneath him. He did not trust them and he felt sure they did not trust the aliens in their midst. If they could control one of these Binaltech frames remotely, would it be much of an extension to control something else? Like Grimlock himself?

    He was afraid of the humans.

    The concept did not thrill Dead End greatly, but he was used to the concept of someone else being in control of his own situation. Bullied by Motormaster. By Megatron. By Razorclaw. And of course physically controlled by Menasor.

    Grimlock is becoming unhinged.

    The slight prod of memory had disturbed Menasor.

    Remember, you are still a Decepticon, he will use you for cannon fodder over his Autobot palls. You are expendable.

    Dead End shifted uneasily. He shifted his attention towards the mountain. Rising sharply out the the ground the rock edifice shot upwards. At its base was a large vehicle sized tunnel. There was fencing, the remnants of a security gate and a road which connected eventually to an abandoned section of interstate and essentially went nowhere. It was all decades out of use with advanced decay set in with everything in sight.

    And Wheeljack had tracked the invisible Ford GT here.

    "For some reason my link to the Binaltech Intranet is still active," Jazz voice did not carry much of an air of conviction, as if he was hiding something, or not telling the whole truth. For an experienced special operative, the Mazda was looking decidedly uneasy about something.

    Jazz wants you dead too.

    "From the military archives this place was an old underground shelter built by the Air Farce. It was supposed to be a command and control centre. It was abandoned for geological reasons and moved further North to Cheyenne Mountain and became NORAD. It was intended to provide a large base able to withstand a direct hit from a fission weapon."

    There was a pause and everyone was silent. Even Menasor's presence retreated from mention of the ancient taboos.

    "We go in," Grimlock broke the reverie. His mid-section rotated as his arms rose into his chest. Wheeljack, Jazz, Sideswipe and Tracks followed suit and transformed, Smokescreen taking longer in his damaged shape.

    "Coming Decepticon?"

    Sideswipe's going to kill you!

    "Sideswipe! Look Dead End don't mind him. We need you."

    "We do not."

    "I... I'm fine Jazz," Dead End replied with a confidence he did not feel. Raising his arms above his head and squeezing his legs together, the former Stunticon shifted into the form of the black Dodge Viper he had become, causing so much pain to many along the way.

    You don't have to be alone. Let me assist you. Lend you strength.

    "Menasor, you are dead, now leave me be."

    There will come a time when you will call for help. Iw ill be there to help you. I will stay true to you when all others do not.

    "You alright Dead End?" Wheeljack's inquisitive voice appeared. Had Dead end spoken aloud? And was Menasor becoming more articulate?

    "Stop talk and follow." The silver Mustang suited actions to words and drove into the dark chasm in the Mountain.




    There was no light within, only what the Cybertronians headlights could pick up. One way or another they would know they were coming. That seemed not to matter to Grimlock who led from the front deeper into the tunnel as the light from the entrance faded and disappeared. To one side and immediately behind sat Wheeljack, the engineer regarding his commander warily. It would not be the first time a heedless Dinobot had lead his force into a trap not caring because he knew he and his fellow Dinobots could fight their way out of any trap. Wheeljack knew only too well however after the grievous wounds he had received in the battle for Autobot City just how tenuous life can be. The situation was worse now in these human constructed frames built using what alloys were available to human metallurgy. Swerve could be the most gentle of sparks but if you ever wanted to get him to say something harsh then engage him in a conversation on human metallurgy.

    Wheeljack continued to probe the darkness ahead of Grimlock. Jazz liked to rag Wheeljack about his non-convention cranial armour. One thing he had never told Jazz was the two side projections, and the bands across the lower half of his face were useful as sensors. When you blow yourself up enough times studying weapons systems, you learn ways to give yourself as much warning as possible. That plus they also doubled as sacrificial armour for his lower face. He went through a lot of it though. His alternate mode also bristled with external sensors, even to the point of replacing two of his headlights with sensor radiators.

    "Slow Grimlock, junction ahead."

    "What see?" Wheeljack thought on Grimlock's request. A three way junction rapidly resolved in front of them. One passage veered more steeply downwards to the left, while a rightwards passage become little more than an alcove. The blankness troubled Wheeljack. On one hand it looked like a short alcove, but other sensors hinted inconclusively at 'blank spot'. The main passage continued onwards towards an opening to what appeared to be a large gallery.

    "Time to do a 'Wheeljack'." The white Mustang popped a door open and a small floating sphere flew out and hovered in the air.

    "What in the blazes is that?" asked Jazz quietly.

    "It was one of Ravage's little sensor 'bees'. After detonating several trying to get them open I got this one open and re-programmed it to be my 'bee'. It can investigate this passage here." The bee, a single light strobing in the darkness, floated down the passage to the left and disappeared from sight.

    "We go." The group moved off again towards as the tunnel opened out into a large gallery, presumably excavated for the rooms that were never installed. There was plenty of room to stand up and walk around with many items of construction equipment scattered around, all decades old.

    "Wait," Wheeljack u-turned quickly, and pointed back up the tunnel towards the surface. "The bee has found... Unicron's horns I'm picking up sparks... I think. I have to check this out."

    "I'll go with piped up Jazz and the Mazda turned and raced back up the tunnel in Wheeljack's wake. Wheeljack again briefly regarded the funny feeling he got from the alcove before moving down the path on his right, deeper into the system. Behind them unnoticed there was a rustling sound from the alcove and the sound of shifting plates and mechanisms.

    And a white smear of paint hovering in mid air. It moved out of the alcove and headed for the open gallery.




    "Wheeljack back here!" Grimlock's voice echoed noisily in the open room.

    "Where do we go now?" Smokescreen transformed and stood leaning against a wall by the entrance. Grimlock followed suit and then the others stood looking around the large chamber. Smokescreen, followed by Silverstreak, and then after a pause Grimlock, lit up their headlamps which were now chest mounted and played it around the 'room'. The lights, while powerful, were just small white points in the night. Panning circles of blue-white light across machinery and vehicles.

    "Half a mo, I've got my rally pod here." Dead End looked across at the rally car. The light from his headlights flickered as his arms moved across his body, reaching for the extra light pod rally cars use for night rallying. Dead End looked across to the right. Silverstreak's lights picked up reflection from a vehicles chromed bull bar.

    At chest height.

    Swindle?

    Dead End knew Swindle was dead. He had seen the body. They were not good memories. Ravage. Shockwave.

    Wildrider.

    Wildrider?

    Menasor wanted Wildrider to be alive. More of Menasor around then. It wasn’t Swindle. But what then?

    "Silverstreak, back to your left please."

    "Don't listen to the Decepticon." Sideswipe's voice was surprisingly close.

    "Your pardon Sideswipe?" Silverstreak's lights played crazily back to the red Viper.

    He's sneaking up on you.

    "Silverstreak..."

    "Streak's got a dud pair," Smokescreen sounded buoyant, "Where as I have a full house." The five spots of Smokescreen's rally pod blazed into life. Five extra sets of beams splashed across the room.

    The room was lined with Mechs.

    An orange version of Swindle reached out to grab Sideswipe, while he caught flashes of yellow beyond the Viper.

    "Prowl you do not have to do this." Two copies of Prowl, one blue and one grey lurched towards Silverstreak. There were two more Subaru frames, one black and one white moving towards Grimlock. The Ford GT they had seen before shimmered into existing and transformed to its feet and leapt towards Tracks.

    Dead End sensed someone behind him. Dead End turned. There where a utility vehicle had sat dismissed and ignored no was a bulky figure in red, with projections of some kind jutting from shoulder blades. That was all Dead End had time to register.

    Not him. He's dead!

    Menasor had time to register something else. As the arms reached for Dead End, the former Stunticon latched onto a vision of a blue armoured cranium with a silver face plate that was shockingly and frighteningly familiar to any who had ever worn the violet mask of the Decepticons.

    It was Optimus Prime.
     
  19. RedWolf

    RedWolf Well-Known Member

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    Nice cliffy I think know what Dead End felt at that moment... Oh Slag...
     
  20. Rotorstorm

    Rotorstorm Wreck n’ rule

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