Transformers Meta

Discussion in 'Transformers Fan Fiction' started by Meta777, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Coffee

    Coffee (╭☞ꗞᨓꗞ)╭☞

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    Brilliant... absolutely brilliant. The characters are all great, even Bumblebee who I thought I wouldn't like has become one of my favouites.
     
  2. Meta777

    Meta777 Dr Pepper Fan

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    Episode 2: Conflicts

    Synopsis: As the Autobots settle into Earth and contemplate their next move, the Decepticons begin preparations for the upcoming harvest.


    The wind swirls by her in a soothing caress, cool and affectionate, and the glow of the Sun above warms the black metal of her frame, her very molecules gleefully relishing in the extra energy the star's light provides. She tilts and dips slightly, lowering the output of her thrusters into a slower flightpath, close to a glide but not quite.

    The land below her is a mountainous region, commonly referred to by the humans as the Rockies, that apparently stretches for more then 3000 miles across the western plains of the landmass designated North America. While it was not the largest or most impressive of Earth's colossal rock peaks, she had to admit that the huge formations, deep grey and brown painted with the white of a cold thing they called snow and surrounded by the green colouring of things called trees, were very beautiful.

    The F-117 Nighthawk dipped down further, towards one of the spires, and, identifying a secure spot for her to land, transforms into robot mode. Arms extend from the side of the let, the wings folding back onto the forearms as legs emerge from the underside. The thrusters and the tailfins disengage from the rear and move up to the back, splitting apart to border each side of the canopy, which also folds onto the back as the front of the jet collapses into the angular chest.

    Landing on her feet on the rocky outcrop, scattering snow with the output of her thrusters, Slipstream's head emerges as the final panels snap into place, fully transformed and green optics eager to take in the glorious view. Ah, what wonders this colourful little planet had, the sinuous blue twirls of waterpaths called rivers, the huge expanse of trees around the Rockies, the colossal forms of the neighbouring mountains themselves, and the quaint feeling of hard rock and soft snow under her feet.

    Apparently, the water in the rivers and the snow under her feet were the same thing, the fusion of oxygen and two hydrogens, and it was the cold temperature of her current position that turned the compound into the white powdery stuff. Slipstream giggled slightly; imagine the Earth's most common liquid turning into soft snow when cold!

    This amusing thought aside, she was highly impressed with the wonderful view, with all its colours bathed under the reassuring glow of the Sun. The light of the Sun fed the trees, which in turn fed the organics that lived in their midst, and they in turn would also feed the trees upon decomposition. A never-ending cycle of Earth life, all beginning with just a wee photon from the star this planet circled.

    Slipstream fluttered her tailfins in contentment. Such an interesting and beautiful little planet. She remembered when Cybertron had been this beautiful once, though admittedly a tad less colourful and lacking the snow and the trees and the organics- No wait, they were referred to as animals, that's right. The animals.

    She stood there for a few moments, simply admiring the view, before she revved slightly with a touch of annoyance. None of the other Decepticons were interested in the gorgeous design of this planet. No, they were too busy fussing over their xenophobia or their petty arguments or their ego.

    She shook her head. It was tough to be the rational one in such a group. Starscream was an egotist, Soundwave was sardonic, Nighttrace was way too quiet, Barricade was hateful and the Seekers were drones. No literally, they were drones, and they had all the personality that implied. Admittedly, Soundwave was pretty good when he wasn't acting like a machine (well, a non-living one) or being a snide little taunter, and maybe Nighttrace being quiet wasn't such a bad thing, but you get the point.

    Slipstream had to be the average one in a non-average crew. Difficult, but plenty of excitement. She giggled again, before deciding that she'd better make jet-trails before Screamer got impatient, and with a flip and a flare, she was a jet, soaring off into the sky, above the clouds, above even the atmosphere, the only trace of her presence being two footprints in a snowy outcrop.

    It was a quick trip from the Earth to the Moon, especially with an engine as strong as hers, and the Darksyde was idly hovering beside the silvery satellite, the underside port open and ready for her return. She slowed to an essential crawl underneath the ship, before small thrusters underneath her frame activated, moving her upwards into the belly of the beast, as humans might say, and once inside, she transformed, moving for the door as soon as her feet touched the metal floor.

    Taking the lift up, she emerged into the main corridor and idly strode to the control room, musing on what shenanigans Starscream would have planned for today. Chances are, revenge, destruction, tyranny, all that stuff he loved to natter about. He reminded her of a youngling she had met before the War, which had told her its eager plans to have a planet all to itself when it was all grown up.

    Slipstream smiled. Ah, the amusement that little youngling had sparked. Quite honestly, were it not for the fact he was older than her, she wouldn't be at all surprised if that youngling had turned out to be Starscream himself.

    On entering the control room, she noted with satisfaction that the Seekers had finally repaired the main console, one of the drones making sure it was functioning as it had before that crazy Autobot had blown it up. She glanced at the observation panes, noting Nighttrace hovering by them; alas, the regenerator-stimulus patch they used to cover up the hole from that acid had not been removed, indicating it still needed more time to fully repair the damage.

    She was distracted from her observation by Waspinator buzzing over to her, fluttering just by her head as it observed her with reddish compound optics. She raised her finger and affectionately scratched the drone's chin, receiving a cheerful twitter, before it darted back to Starscream, who was lounging in his command chair as usual.

    "You took your time, Slipstream." Starscream noted, not even bothering to turn and face her, too busy musing or something. "Anything interesting catch your attention?"

    "Just planet Earth and all its natural beauty." She replied cheerfully, moving over to sit next to Barricade, who appeared to be playing Auto Combat again.

    Even though, you know, he wasn't supposed to be playing games when on duty, but whatever.

    She didn't need to see his face to know Starscream was rolling his optics dismissively as he replied: "I have no idea what you could find beautiful about that planet. I mean, it's a literal pit of mud and liquids and rotting stuff! Yuck!"

    Starscream then turned to her, having apparently been struck by a thought judging by his now curious and amused expression, Waspinator perched on his left forearm, before he asked: "Or did you mean beautiful in comparison to Barricade's face? Because in that case I'd agree."

    "Go dunk your head in molten slag." Barricade replied, not even bothering to look up from his game, as Slipstream admittedly restrained a laugh at the other jet's taunt to avoid earning the shock trooper's ire as well.

    Starscream was far too pleased with his clever insult to acknowledge the retort, grinning smugly and winking at Slipstream, and with that, he spun back round to return to his musings. Slipstream supposed she should be pleased neither of them had decided to escalate the conflict. She was certainly not in the mood to deal with either of them in the med-bay again anytime soon, whether from tantrums or Autobot attacks.

    As she settled down to monitor any transmissions the space-bridge might have sent through, Soundwave entered the room, yellow visor gleaming with purpose, and he strode over to the command seat, declaring: "Starscream, I have outlined a possible strategy we can utilise against the Autobots."

    "Ah good, I've been running through revenge plans all day and I haven't decided which one would be the most satisfying, so an alternate opinion should be useful." Starscream replied, and Slipstream felt like copying a human habit of giving him a gold star in reward for his open-minded response.

    The thought made her snigger, earning a confused look from Barricade, as Soundwave said: "We are aware that while we can track their exhuast on Earth via Energon-nitrate, they can track us by the same method. Therefore, I propose we use the Darksyde's shuttle to purposefully set up a trail that they will follow, whether to a trap or a dead-end, leaving the Darksyde free to engage in other activities."

    He dipped his head slightly and added: "Such as the beginning of preparations for the harvest."

    The F-22 contemplated this, raising his right hand to stroke his chin in though, before his crimson optics gleamed in approval and he cheerfully stated: "Excellent idea, Soundwave. You and Barricade will take the shuttle and lure the Autobots on a..... um, what was that Earth saying?"

    Nighttrace, staring through the observation panes at the Moon, answered: "Wild goose chase."

    "Um, yes, that. Right, take Barricade, shuttle, lure Autobots on a wild goose chase and the rest of us will begin the first phase of Operation: Harvest. If you require, Soundwave, I can lend you two Seekers for support."

    "I would like that."

    "Of course you would, everyone likes my generosity. Once you and Barricade are prepared, leave at your leisure. Oh, and if you get the chance, murder some Autobots, would you? That would be delightful!"

    Soundwave simply nodded, and with that, turned and walked out of the room. Barricade, annoyed at having to abandon his game to go on a mission with Soundwave of all Cons, grudingly switched the console back to a scale showing the energy levels devoted to the ship's functions (Slipstream revved in surprise at such an important chart being replaced for a game) and slouched off after the other Decepticon, muttering curses all the way to the door.

    A Seeker took this moment to point out: "Commander, if we take the ship back into the atmosphere, the Autobots will detect us and render our bait pointless."

    Starscream chuckled: "Have no fear, Seeker. We will simply use the gliding panes to reenter the atmosphere. No exhaust required for gliding, just for returning to space. The Autobots will only detect our leave, by which point our objective would have been accomplished."

    "And what objective needs to be carried out, sir?" The Seeker asked.

    "Retrieval of supplies, for one. Alas, that blasted Shockwave has refused to donate the parts we need for the harvest, the selfish scraplet! So we will have to make do with what this planet generously offers us."

    With that, he stood up and declared: "I will personally scout out a suitable location to scavenge from. When I give the order, extend the gliding panes and move to the ship to the position I will mark when my scouting yields results. Understood?"

    "Yes, commander Starscream."

    "Excellent. Ta ta for now, Decepticons."

    With that, Waspinator settling into the jet's back-mounted compartment, Starscream strode out of the room.

    When the door snapped shut behind him, Slipstream turned to the Seeker and asked: "Why does he always say that?"

    The Seeker just shrugged. Slipstream shook her head and shifted into Barricade's empty seat, promptly reopening his game, cheerfully wondering how quickly she could overtake his high score before he got back from his trip.

    ---

    "Autobots, I have brought you together for a specific purpose. It is up to us to answer a question that has plagued humanity for decades, maybe even centuries! If we successfully answer this most daring of questions, then we will have solved one of the ultimate mysteries of both humanity, and the universe!"

    Evac and Wheeljack had never heard Bumblebee speak so ominously, so seriously. The latter was honesly a tad unnerved, the former curious, and so they both leaned in slightly to better hear what the scout would say next.

    Bumblebee's bright blue optics darted from helicopter to tow truck and back, before his serious face shifted into a wide grin and he chirped: "Batman versus Superman. Who would win?"

    Wheeljack blinked in disbelief: "Seriously? That's your big major crazy unaswerable question? Two human-created fictional characters and who would win if they fought?"

    "Yes indeedy!"

    The tow truck smacked his head with a facepalm, before Evac, who was contemplating the question, finally answered: "Superman. No matter how good a planner Batman is, Superman could feasibly throw the Earth in the Sun, obliterating Batman forever and ever."

    Bumblebee tilted his head: "Throwing the Earth into the Sun seems kind of like overkill."

    "I know, but to be fair, there's no better way to kill Batman than with overkill."

    "True, true."

    "But wait." Wheeljack interjected. "Batman would just pull out that Krypton Bite stuff and just stab Superman to death with it."

    "Not if he's thrown into the sun he won't."

    "Batman has tons of that money stuff. He'd just build a whole fleet of laser things that shoot Superman with the Krypton Bite."

    "Oh yeah? Well, Superman would just exhale loudly and that would destroy them."

    "And alas, the question remains in conflict." Bumblebee giggled, clearly enjoying the show. "Will we ever have an answer?"

    As the other two descended into argument, the Volkswagen occasionally speaking for one side or the other, the remaining four Autobots were gathered around the control console, observing a hologram of the planet Earth, the blue sphere highlighted with yellow dots representing all the known human power stations, ranging from their aptly named power plants, their dams, their solar farms, all that jazz.

    Ratchet was snapping, frustrated with the tanker truck he was currently addressing: "-No respect for the local species. What on Cybertron are you thinking, to even suggest to tap into their power supplies and just, just steal their hard-earned energy?! Drain every last one of their systems dry?!"

    "Our mission has greater priority." Grimlock growled, flicked his bladed tail in aggravation. "We, as soldiers, have a duty to focus on our task."

    "And we, as Autobots, have a duty to uphold freedom and peace, not to shun our morals by stealing from less advanced races!"

    "There's no point arguing, you know." Hound pointed out. "We're supposed to be working together on this subject, not shooting each other down. Not literally, by the way."

    "Grimlock proposed idea for subject. He's the one who shot it down."

    "Oh right, forgive me for not agreeing to steal from another race for our sole benfit."

    Jazz finally spoke up: "That's enough, Autobots. This isn't working out as I intended, so you know what? Let's just break up the meeting for now, we'll work on ideas again later."

    As the other three reluctantly obeyed, Jazz then added: "Grimlock, wanna go for a drive?"

    His red optics narrowed slightly, easily discerning the fact that the request was in fact not a request, before the tanker truck grudgingly nodded and thus followed the smaller Autobot out of the control room, the door sliding open and snapping shut at their passing.

    Ratched stalked off to a console, muttering to himself about ammoral trucks and Autobot standards, while Hound walked over to the other three, taking care to avoid Evac and Wheeljack scuffling over something or other. Settling down beside his protege and noting the gleeful way he watched the the two argue, he asked: "Did you rile them up?"

    "Yep!"

    "Why?"

    "For fun."

    ".... Ha. Can't argue with that."

    ---

    The Zeta-1 was currently parked on the outskirts of a human habitat called a town, cloaked in its holographic projection and essentially invisible to both human optics and Decepticon scanners. Any drivers on the nearby road, had they looked in the ship's direction, would have seen nothing but the regular environment.

    Of course, the illusion would be questioned if anyone had noticed a gleaming silver Pontiac Solstice followed by a large brown Mack tanker truck seemingly appear from nowhere, pull up onto the road and promptly drive away from the town, but Jazz and Grimlock had carefully timed their emergence when no human vehicles were approaching, and thus made a clean getaway, so to speak.

    For a moment, the two vehicles drove along in silence, save for the rumble of their engines and their tires rolling across the road, before the silence was broken with Jazz asking: "Grimlock, you're not particularly happy with this mission, are you?"

    "Grimlock is perfectly fine finding a new energy source. Are you happy with this mission?"

    "Perfectly so. New planet to explore, new culture to study, new concepts to learn. But you're not interested in that."

    "Not the planet, no."

    "Why?"

    "How can Grimlock put this nicely? This planet means very little to Grimlock. It is simply a means to an end in our War against the Decepticons."

    "Yeah, I heard that. Stating we should just tap every power station we find and drain every last spark out of them. Very blunt."

    Grimlock seemed to ignore this point, focussing his thoughts now on another matter: "Fools like Ratchet argue against such actions, claiming them to be ammoral or cruel, unaware that their refusal to do what is necessary simply allows the Decepticons to continue to expand their power base."

    "Huh, by 'what is necessary', I suppose you mean we should drop all restraints and just slaughter every last Decepticon regardless of their situation in life?"

    "The universe will benefit profusely without their dreams of tyranny to taint it."

    "I thought as much. But now, since you can't just go kill them all, you settle for extorting another species."

    "Wheeljack damaged the Decepticon ship; we should take advantage of their recuperation to secure an headstart in the race to obtain energy."

    "At what price for the humans to pay?"

    "Any price we see fit."

    The sports car suddenly slammed onto the brakes with a squeal of tires, and the tanker truck braked as well to avoid ramming into the smaller vehicle. A seconds silence, before the car stated coldly: "Pull in here."

    The car promptly moved over into a roadside parking bay, followed by the truck, before turning around in a slick circle-and-reverse, so that he was facing the other Autobot, grill to grill.

    The tanker flared exhaust out of the pipes in annoyance: "Grimlock suppose this is where you lecture Grimlock on the values of life and such. What did Optimus Prime always say? Freedom is the right of all sentient beings, wasn't it? How drool."

    "I'm not going to lecture you, Grimlock. I'm going to point out the cold hard facts that your line of thinking is not expected, or even basic, Autobot behaviour. I'd bet a hundred bots have told you this, but quite honestly, you're acting just like the kind of power obsessed fanatic that we vowed to fight against, that you vowed to fight against."

    "Is Grimlock a fanatic for prioritising our mission, our faction, over the comfort of a few organics?!" Grimlock snarled, revving his engine threateningly, clearly riled by the comparison. "You are weak, Lieutenant. You fail to consider what may be necessary for the Autobots to achieve an advantage!"

    "Fail to consider what's necessary? Like what, bullying another species into yielding to our needs?"

    "Our needs are more important-"

    "No. Our needs are not as important as the freedom of another species." The Solstice snapped, revving forward slightly as his frame lifted slightly on his wheels. "I know what our mission entails, Grimlock, I know that we need to find a source of energy for the Autobot war effort, but I will not take the Decepticon route of-"

    "Is this all it boils down to? To not be like the Decepticons? Grimlock does not know if you've noticed, Lieutenant, but the Decepticons retain an advantage because we are incapable of doing anything without debating on moral conundrums!"

    "Those moral conundrums, Grimlock, are what makes sure we don't degenerate into the procotic sadistic egotistical tyrants we fight!"

    "You realise that this only proves Grimlock's point." The tanker truck sneered, his anger now focussing into sharp cruelty with the security of his argument. "Here we are, arguing over morals, whilst the Decepticons prepare and plan for their own agenda. This is why you are not worthy to lead us, Lieutenant-"

    The truck revved forward himself now, and the smaller car was forced to back away to avoid the huge grill bumping into him.

    "-Because you waste time whining about your pointless morals rather than taking action! If Grimlock were leader-"

    "If you were leader, Grimlock-" Jazz snarled. "-Then the only thing we would accomplish is spreading fear through an innocent species and dissolving any standards we have."

    The tanker truck snorted: "Pathetic. You argue against necessity with nothing but your sentimental little opinion. Grimlock has heard enough. This conversation is over."

    With that, he pulled out of the parking bay, circled round, and promptly drove off back towards the Zeta-1, leaving the shuddering, fuming sports car behind.
     
  3. Ømnidrive

    Ømnidrive Stop.....think......fart.....and keep on going

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    DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYUM!!!!!

    Grimlock and Jazz don't like each other!!!! :lol 
     
  4. Meta777

    Meta777 Dr Pepper Fan

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    Haha, indeed. They have a rather, shall we say, adverse viewpoint of each other ;) 

    Now to list the Decepticons and their roles/vehicle modes!

    Starscream: Air Commander. F-22 Raptor (with red/blue stripe decal)
    Slipstream: Medic. F-117 Nighthawk
    Soundwave: Communications officer. Navy-blue Lamborghin Aventador
    Barricade: Shock trooper. Crimson/black Ford Mustang racer
    Nighttrace: Air reconnaissance. White MQ-9 Reaper UAV
    Waspinator: Spy, personal drone unit of Starscream. Energy blaster
    Seeker: Air soldier, personal drone squad of Starscream. Purple F/A-18 Hornet
    Airachnid: Scientist. Green military helicopter
    Grindor: Engineer: Green Trojan armoured vehicle
    Sideways: Scout/sniper: Purple/yellow Harley motorcycle.
     
  5. Wars

    Wars I Ate The WHOLE Plate

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    Grimlock certainly seems to be a thorn in Jazz's side.

    Bumblebee starting arguements between Evac and Wheeljack, priceless. Especially considering the topic their argument revolves around.

    I've also grown rather fond of Slipstream as well because of this update. The idea of a Decepticon finding Earth to be a place of beauty is a nice change from the usual 'disgusting organic mud ball' opinion they usually have.

    Barricade plays video games and has a temper? He sounds like a teenager.
     
  6. Jamocha101

    Jamocha101 Well-Known Member

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    Why do I love Barricade so much? He's hardly been in the story thus far and he's still somehow ended up being my favorite Decepticon. It's not even a sentiment from my history with the character, I've literally never taken any remote interest to him before. It's just that he seems all snarky and careless and temperamental and in my head he just seems so awweeesssoomeee. The video game thing, that amused me much more than it definitely should have.

    Also, I tend to not like female characters (I know, that sounds so sexist. But I feel like for some reason, people generally forget how to write them properly), but I actually am rather fond of Slipstream, she's not your average, ordinary, everyday Decepticon and not in a Mary Sue way. It's interesting how her affiliation with the Decepticon faction seems to contradict her motherly behavior and open-mindedness. Which reminds me, the interpretation of the Decepticon interactions are priceless, it's a very diverse spin on what is otherwise an utterly evil and painfully stereotypical group of baddies. In pretty much any series, they snarl and growl and kill. In your universe, they have opinions of each other, make jokes, smile, laugh, and act less typical. It's like you're disproving a common misconception, and it's amazing. I love Starscream. ;_;

    Bumblebee is infinitely amusing. I can totally imagine Greg Cipes voicing him in this. It would be so perfect.

    I love Jazz and Grimlock's chemistry...it's like they can never get along, and hey, we can all relate to that somehow. I feel bad for the big guy; his ideals in terms of his own kind aren't actually all that bad, it's his execution that makes them clash with his fellow teammates. :X

    Looking forward to the next chapter like always. :) 
     
  7. Meta777

    Meta777 Dr Pepper Fan

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    In the Darksyde's landing bay, Soundwave was patiently sitting by the shuttle, itself designated the Darkspot, idly adjusting the settings on his signature sonic shock rifle, a modified beam rifle that now fired blasts of concussive sound energy, perfect for disorientating and weakening foes.

    As he fiddled with the barrel, he contemplated how he would handle dealing with the Autobots when they responded to the shuttle's trail. Chances are the Lieutenant himself would lead the charge, and he'd probably bring his best fighters with him, which would definitely include Grimlock. So, that was two definite war heroes with whatever back-up they bought with them.

    Soundwave had to admit, he was very glad Starscream was loaning two Seekers. At least the skilled aerial fighters would be able to give him an advantage over the primarily ground-based Autobots.

    What other Autobots came along was up to debate. The jeep was most certainly the Autobot Hound, an elusive soldier who utilised advanced holographic technology to bewilder foes. Add in the fact he was a Chief Scout rank, and Soundwave was fairly sure he'd be brought along too.

    The inventor and the medic, chances are, would be left at the ship. No point risking scientific minds in the battlefield. The car and the helicopter, the undocumented rookies, would probably be left behind as well; their inexperience would only hinder the more skilled Autobots. Though to be fair, the helicopter might be included solely for his status as a flyer.

    Soundwave nodded as he went through this. The Lieutenant and Grimlock, definitely. Hound, most likely. The medic, the inventor and the car, probably not. The helicopter, maybe.

    He looked up when the door opened, and Barricade stalked through, looking very annoyed. Given the shock trooper's hateful nature and adding in his current annoyance, Soundwave deduced that this trip was probably not going to be very enjoyable.

    Standing up, he sheathed his rifle and asked: "Barricade. Are you ready to depart?"

    "Yeah, yeah, charged up, ready to rip some heads off." He grunted, red optics glaring at the Communications officer. "I suppose you've just been processorstorming who we'll be up against?"

    "The Lieutenant and Grimlock, as their most effective soldiers, are assured to lead the group they deploy in response to us. I deduce Hound may be there as well. The remaining four are unlikely, though they might include the helicopter for air support."

    "Whatever." Barricade huffed, stepping past Soundwave and moving up the Darkspot's entrance ramp. "So long as Hound is there, I don't care who else comes along. I've got a node to pick with that hologramming pile of slag, and I'll recharge better once my fists are stained with what used to be his face."

    "That's very disturbing."

    "No you."

    Soundwave span his wheels in annoyance, before following the other car. Once they were settled inside the shuttle, Soundwave taking the pilot's seat, Barricade pressed the deployment button and with a loud hiss of mechanics, the ship's bay split open, dropping the Darkspot into the grasp of space. Soundwave switched on the engines, and with a roar of flame, the shuttle darted off towards planet Earth.

    ---

    Bumblebee was wheeling around in a circle, chattering to himself in utter childish excitement, while the other Autobots were gathered around the main console, observing the hologram of some native organic creature, when Grimlock stepped into the control room.

    Quite honestly, he was impressed he hadn't started breathing fire yet. Anger and aggravation, sparked from that damnable conversation with the idiotic Lieutenant, seared every part of his neural net, burned and hissed at his processor. His vision was dotted with flashes of red, and his frame was trembling with barely restrained rage.

    In a revelation he experienced almost every day, he noted that everything in the room was so breakable. The other Autobots, the consoles, the very frame of the ship itself. Everything could be broken, torn apart, burned, crushed, mutilated, and it was as if he could suddenly feel the Energon flowing through metallic valves, calling for him to let it all out with tooth and claw.

    He shook his head slightly, as if it could shake the red out of his vision or the fire out of his frame. The rage within him, always boiling within him, whether a simmering ember or a howling inferno, whispered for him to bathe everything in fire, and he struggled to fight off his own instinct.

    The other Autobots had glanced up at his return, noted him just standing there, before returning to their conversation, but only Bumblebee eagerly wheeled over to the larger Autobot, blissfully ignorant of the fiery turmoil, and cheerfully exclaimed: "Grimlock, Grimlock, guess what!"

    And suddenly, at the very sound of the rookie's voice, the rage huffed in defeat and returned to the omnipresent simmer, the red finally slid out of his view, the Energon stopped calling and the ship seemed sturdy again. Just like that, just with a few words, his fire was washed back and he had to shake his head again just to cope with the change.

    Of course, he should have expected it. Only Bumblebee could approach Grimlock in the middle of a mental war with all the cheerfulness of visiting a best friend, and with just a few words relax the burning, soothe it, cleanse it.

    Well, never cleanse it, but soothe it, certainly.

    Huffing exhaust from his pipes, a sense of satisfaction at his rage put back under control, he replied: "Guess what?"

    "We were going through the Internet again, looking at animals, and, and, Earth has bumblebees! Bumblebees, Grimlock, bumblebees! They're cute little fuzzy things, I think maybe sectins, no wait, insects! And they make honey out of flowers and kill things in one sting! Or did they kill themselves in one sting, I forgot, but still! Bumblebees!"

    The rookie was bouncing with untamed enthusiasm, the headlights on his forearms flashing, his wheels spinning, his blue optics impossibly bright. It was quite astonishing, and Grimlock found himself yet again both confounded and endeared by this remarkable little scout.

    And then, disturbingly sudden, Bumblebee stopped bouncing, stopping smiling, stopped chattering, and he stared at the tanker truck with a rather perturbing concern. Grimlock was honestly feeling a bit disorientated. First he'd been angry, then relaxed, then endeared and now he was quite disturbed at this sudden change in demeanour.

    After a brief moment of just gazing at the larger Autobot, the Beetle finally asked: "Do you need to talk, Grimlock?"

    A tad unsure how to respond to all this, Grimlock hesitated, before asking: "Talk about what?"

    Bumblebee shrugged: "I dunno. Something. Something made you mad, so I think you need to talk about it."

    Wait, what?

    How in the Pit had Bumblebee figured out he'd been angry like that?! He hadn't noticed his brief bout of temper upon returning, so how did he realise- Pit, why even question it? Bumblebee always surprised him, so it was hardly unexpected, in a way.

    Grimlock huffed out more exhaust, before admitting: "Yes. Grimlock was mad about something."

    "Okay then. Shall we go talk about it? Talking makes everyone feel better, that's what Hound said."

    He considered that, noticing the other Autobots were staring at them now, clearly wondering what they were talking about but not quite willing to outright ask the berserker what was up. A tad of annoyance flickering, he nodded his head, and turned around to exit the room, the smaller Autobot wheeling along behind him as the doors snapped shut.

    Wheeljack promptly turned to the others: "What was that about?"

    "Grimlock has problems." Ratchet snorted. "This shouldn't be surprising."

    "But Bumblebee's going to talk to him, I think, so that'll be good." Evac said with a touch of optimism.

    Hound said nothing as the other three contemplated what might be the problem with Grimlock today, simply staring at the door his apprentice had just wheeled through.

    To be honest, he didn't really like the friendship between Bumblebee and Grimlock. He'd heard all the stories, read the reports, and he'd once seen the savaged remnants of a Decepticon they'd brought back for recycling, and thus the fact that the monstrous berserker had befriended his own protege unnerved the lieutenant.

    He trusted Bumblebee's judgement, of course, but Grimlock, changed into something more monstrous than even his original form, was dangerous, unstable, fiery. All it would take was one second, one second to lose his temper, one second to snap those terrifying jaws, and-

    He shuddered at the thought.

    But then, Hound told himself, seeking reassurance now, Grimlock always seemed.... better, around Bumblebee. Calmer, more relaxed. As if the young scout exuded some kind of aura that soothed whatever fires boiled inside the berserker. In a way, Bumblebee was a.... what did the humans say?

    Oh yes, a morality chain.

    In a way, Bumblebee was Grimlock's morality chain, an innocent and sunny addition to the warrior's dark and brutal life, a refreshing youth that made Grimlock less of a war-obsessed monster and more of a Cybertronian, so to speak.

    Maybe his apprentice could change Grimlock for the better.

    Hound revved slightly. Still, regardless of what benefits Bumblebee's cheer brought Grimlock, he wasn't too happy about it. One second was all it would take....

    ---

    Grimlock's quarters were very barren. He had no berth, no storage compartments, no personal touches- Well, he did have personal touches, specifically gouges in the walls and the faint black of burn marks, when he had a bit too much anger that he just couldn't restrain, clamp up, withhold.

    Most other Autobots would be frightened to be in Grimlock's quarters with the Bot himself, but Bumblebee was perfectly at ease. Whether this was naive ignorance or friendly faith was up to debate.

    Wheeling inside, the Beetle patiently waited for Grimlock to enter and lie down in his usual spot, before sitting himself down next to the berserker, casually resting his back against the sturdy torso of the larger Autobot.

    "So-" Bumblebee announced cheerfully. "-You go for a drive with Jazz, and then you drive back and you're not happy at all, nope, not a bit!"

    "Not a bit."

    "And thus methinks Jazz said something to make you get all angry and fired up and stuff, right?"

    "Right."

    "And in conclusion, I request that you, Grimlock, my bestest buddy in the whole universe, tell me, Bumblebee, what's up!"

    With that, he folded his arms, span his wheels and turned to grin widely at the bemused tanker truck, utterly confident in Grimlock responding to his request. Grimlock had to restrain the urge to laugh.

    But regardless, he revved in distaste of the memory and answered: "Jazz and Grimlock discussed our future operations on this planet during our drive. Jazz and Grimlock had a severe disagreement, and Grimlock became very frustrated with Jazz's preferred mode of operation."

    Bumblebee tilted his head in curiosity: "What operation?"

    "This operation we came here in the first place for, to find a source of energy on planet Earth that we can relay to the Autobot war effort to give ourselves an advantage over the Decepticons. We disagreed on the method of obtaining energy."

    "Disagreed how?"

    "Grimlock believes.... Grimlock believes we should coerce humanity to aid our efforts, form a partnership that will mutually benefit both of our races. But Jazz refused, stating we should keep ourselves hidden from humanity. Grimlock believes that is the wrong choice."

    Bumblebee considered this for a moment, before responding: "Well, Hound says that when two bots argue, they should try and consider a third option, some kind of break-tie, no wait, a tie-breaker! So all you gotta do, Grimlock, is think of a tie-breaker that will make both you and Jazz happy, and we can get all the energy to help Cybertron!"

    He was so excited, so utterly positive that the berserker and the Lieutenant could just wrap up the bad stuff and throw it away, that Grimlock felt just a tad bit pained. He knew he and Jazz differed too much in their views to settle this so simply, but unlike with any other Autobot, Grimlock did not have the spark to break such optimism.

    So instead, he nodded, as if he had received the most logical answer in the universe, and put as much cheer in his voice as he could manage: "Yes. Yes, that is a good idea. Grimlock will do that. Thank you, Bumblebee."

    The Volkswagen darted back onto his wheels and cheerfully saluted the tanker truck: "No problem, Grimlock! You know I'm always here to talk if you need be! Ha, sometimes Wheeljack says I talk a bit too much! I think he's a bit silly, 'cause I don't talk as much as he says I do, I mean-"

    Grimlock did laugh this time as he shifted back onto his feet and headed for the door, intending to head back to the control room since the conversation had finished. In his view, no star could shine quite as bright as his amusing little friend.

    As the larger Autobot stepped outside his quarters, he turned to the car behind him, struck by a thought, and asked: "Question. How did you know Grimlock was angry at Jazz?"

    Bumblebee paused, tilted his head slightly in curiosity, before he smiled as though the answer was astonishingly obvious: "Your optics told me. Your optics tell me things you'd never say."

    With that said, briefly and reassuringly patting his friend on the chin, he wheeled past the tanker truck towards the control room, leaving Grimlock, before he followed, to wonder how someone so young, barely an Earth year old, could display such mature intuition.

    ---

    To say he was frustrated was an understatement.

    Quite frankly, Jazz was shaking, boiling, shimmering with fury. It was a disturbing and out-of-character mood for the normally level-headed and cool Lieutenant to undergo, but in light of that disastrous conversation with Grimlock, it was all he could feel right now.

    The neurals on that one, the utter neurals! Grimlock had all but laughed off his argument, demeaning the most basic Autobot code as mere 'sentimental little opinions', outright telling him he had no care for the humans, only the resources he wanted from them.

    Jazz strongly desired nothing more than to punch the tanker truck in the face, hard enough to dent, hard enough to make it hurt.

    He revved his engine, forcing some degree of calm on himself. There was really no point paying violence onto a violent one; Grimlock would retaliate, and Jazz knew he would fight back in turn and the collateral damage that could result was an unacceptable thought, and neither was scaring the other Autobots with their two best fighters at each other's throats, particularly the two rookies, who barely understood the War itself let alone his problems with Grimlock.

    Still parked in the parking bay, occupying himself with watching cars go by, the clouds float on and some birds fly past, Jazz debated on what he should do next. The most obvious would be to avoid the subject of finding energy for a while; both he and Grimlock would appreciate not having an excuse to clash again. Though the tanker truck probably wanted nothing more than to pummel him into dirt, he just as strongly wouldn't want to upset Bumblebee.

    But still! To spout such... such Decepticon ideals, to speak of extorting a weaker species, to speak of outright genocide, was nothing short of disgusting! Jazz had known Grimlock had always been a very zealous individual, but ever since his terrifying change, he'd become outright monstrous, savage, feral, vicious.

    It was as if the Decepticons had drained any kind of basic morality from him and replaced it with the viewpoint of the alien monster he now resembled.

    But then, as much as Jazz hated to admit it, though, Grimlock had a point. Their argument had cost precious time, and every second passed was another second the Decepticons would be spending by preparing their inevitable next move. And worst of all, Grimlock was also right about the Autobot's current dilemma; how to obtain energy in the first place without catching human attention, without outright stealing their own power for the Autobot's own ends.

    Jazz revved again as if to chase that thought away. No, he'd find a way to accomplish their mission without impacting the humans, he'd find a way to benefit the Autobots without hampering the natives. It'd... it'd just take some more time to think, that's all.

    But more time to think was more time for the Decepticons to think as well.

    Lose-lose.

    Jazz hated it when Grimlock had a point-

    "Jazz, come in!" Hound called, the Solstice jolting slightly in surprise at his com-link buzzing. "You reading me, Jazz?"

    "Yeah, loud and clear. What's up?"

    "The ship's scanners just picked up a fluctuation of Energon-nitrate, coming in from the upper levels of the atmosphere. The Decepticons are making a move."

    Jazz was silent for a moment, before he growled: "I'm on my way back. Keep an optic on their trail."

    "Yes sir."

    The com-link went silent, and the sports car's engine rumbled loudly, wheels spinning, as he lunged forward and darted onto the main road, making tracks back to the ship at a stunning speed.

    Jazz really hated it when Grimlock had a point.

    Luckily for him, the road was clear before him, allowing him to go as fast as he chose, and when a Cybertronian goes fast, no Earth vehicle had a hope of matching it. In almost no time at all, he'd reached the Zeta-1, slid off the road, across the ground, through the holographic cover and darted up the ramp into the side hatch.

    Only when he reached the control room did his arms emerge, catch the floor and flip him upwards, and he landed neatly in robot mode, doors snapping onto his arms, wheels locking into his back and visor gleaming with reflected light.

    Wheeljack, Bumblebee and Evac gave him a short clap for his impressive entrance, Grimlock rolling his optics, but Jazz focussed on Hound and Ratchet by the main console, using the display to highlight the purple trail of the Decepticon ship.

    "Lieutenant, report." Jazz commanded, darting over to stand beside the jeep.

    "We're tracking the position of their exhaust and making some estimates of where they're headed." Hound replied, and indeed, Ratchet was using another display, going through calculations and possible zones of landing. "So far, we've determined they're heading for North America at least. Since we're on the continent as well, it shouldn't be too difficult to pursue."

    Hound hesitated, before adding: "But the trail doesn't match up to previous Energon-nitrate deposits. It's smaller, for one, and it's forming faster than the previous trail."

    Jazz deduced it in a second: "It's a smaller ship, then, maybe a personal shuttle. Chances are they're sending a ground team to do some scouting."

    "Why bother with a shuttle though?" Wheeljack asked. "Wouldn't Starscream just send some flyers? We can't track their exhaust trails, so it'd be better to use them than something that we can easily detect, right?"

    "True, but jets can only scout so far." Hound replied. "You'll need ground troops to get a better lay-out of specific terrains and locations. They may be searching for a specific human structure or something."

    Jazz nodded in agreement, before he declared: "In that case, we need to be ready to track them down and intercept. Ratchet, you think you can get a bolt on where they'll land?"

    "Once the Energon-nitrate gets closer to ground-level, I should be able to predict a landing zone." The Hummer confirmed, not even looking up from his calculations.

    "Good. When you get it, link me the coordinates." Jazz said, before moving back towards the door. On reaching it, he turned and ordered: "Hound, you and the medics stay here and keep an optics on things. Grimlock, Wheeljack, Bumblebee, you three are with me. We're gonna go and make sure the Cons don't get up to any mischief."

    For a brief second, Grimlock stared at him, as if trying to deduce a hidden motive, before he replied: "Good. Grimlock's been hoping to meet the Decepticons face-to-face in battle."

    "Wow, I can come too?! Oh awesome! I've never been in a response team, oh, I've never gone to find Decepticons before either, oh wow, I'm nervous, no wait I'm excited, oh this is gonna be great!"

    "Ha, guess my utterly humiliating their bumpers before didn't teach them not to try and mess with us again! Let's rectify that immediately!"

    Grinning slightly at the latter two's enthusiasm, Jazz spun round and darted out of the room, the other Autobots right on his tail. The side hatch slid open, the ramp deployed and Jazz declared: "Let's roll!"

    On the nearby road, Edward Sanders was idly driving along in his old Toyota, listening to some obnoxious music that quite honestly didn't appeal to him in any way, shape or form. But since it was better than the other channels, he'd have to deal with it. He sighed wistfully, wishing he hadn't forgotten his water bottle. His throat was kinda dry, and the day being pretty darn warm wasn't helping.

    Well, at least the air conditioners were working hard to keep the car cool. Gotta look at the bright side of things, right?

    And then, quite suddenly, he saw a flash of silver moving out in front of him and with a jolt of shock, he slammed on the brake, his car squealing to a halt as a gleaming Pontiac Solstice appeared as if from nowhere, pulling across his side of the road and moving onto the other. He would have honked his horn were he not so stunned at where it had come from, when another car, a bright yellow Volkswagen Beetle, promptly appeared as if from thin air and pulled out in front of him as well, following the silver car.

    And then that in turn was followed by a white tow truck with green stripes, and then a grey tanker truck, and he shifted round in his seat, gaping in utter surprise and confusion, as the odd quartet of come-out-of-nowhere vehicles drove off down the road, eventually disappearing from view. They were gone as quickly as they had appeared.

    Were they ghosts?

    Edward Sanders promptly turned back round and swiftly bopped his fist against his head at the very notion of ghost vehicles, as if to make sure there was still a brain underneath that could comprehend things. Now he really regretted leaving behind his water bottle.



    Note: Grimlock's done something very naughty. Did you spot it?
     
  8. LegoShokwave123

    LegoShokwave123 YOU CLOD!!!

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    He lied to Bee. Said he wanted to make a mutually benaficial relationship with the humans, when he really wants to steal all of their energy.
     
  9. Wars

    Wars I Ate The WHOLE Plate

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    Grimlock lying to Bumblebee? Very bold indeed.

    I love Bumblebee's enthusiasm about discovering, well, Bumblebees! I think that's just brilliant stuff.
     
  10. Ømnidrive

    Ømnidrive Stop.....think......fart.....and keep on going

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    ..............BAD GRIMLOCK BAD!!!!! Why lie too your best and ONLY true friend
     
  11. Jamocha101

    Jamocha101 Well-Known Member

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    O______O I wonder if this is foreshadowing.

    I thought Hound might have an opinion on the relationship between those two. It seems like you never forget about anything, lol. That's why your characters so far are this awesome; because they have chemistry and traits that lead to opinions.


    I agree with what has been said. It would appear as though Grimlock has lied to Bumblebee...I wonder if the latter will ever find out, and how he would feel
    if he did. Speaking of him, I can't wait to see how he potentially stands up to the Decepticons later in his first real encounter...looks like Soundwave and Barricade (WHO CONTINUES TO BE AWESOME) isn't facing exactly who they were expecting.

    I wonder if this Edward guy will become a regular, or if he was just a oneshot. I wasn't expecting humans in this iteration, but if he sticks around, he already seems pretty cool. At least he's above the age of fourteen. :p 
     
  12. Ironhide1706

    Ironhide1706 Elessar Telcontar

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    I finally got to read the first few chapters. This is absolutely fantastic, mate, absolutely fantastic! The characters are great, the conflict, the mannerisms, everything just works. I am very glad to see you undertake a large project, as it was your one-shots that inspired me to write my own. :) 
     
  13. Meta777

    Meta777 Dr Pepper Fan

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    Note: Thanks so much for all the reviews! :D 

    Starscream's scouting trip eventually brought him to a grim location, a dry and wretched place filled with the broken forms of many human aircrafts. Apparently, the natives dumped the wrecked or malfunctioned planes here in these designated aircraft boneyards, where they would await scrapping or recycling or whatever.

    The F-22 slowed down to a hover, several metres above the wrecks, nose tipped down slightly as he observed the boneyard. It provoked a rather sombre contemplation within him, a sense of sadness almost, in mourning for these vehicles that could no longer defy the land, touch the sky and bathe in the wind.

    The very concept of this, some glorified heap of wings and fins, made his neural net twitch. To think the humans would disrespect their flightworthy servants in this fashion, to just throw their once proud forms in a pile to be dealt with later!

    These poor creatures of the sky, now forever bound to the land they sought to escape. It was a sickening thought to the Air commander, who himself was a devoted flyer, always so eager to allow his wings and thrusters to take him beyond the feeble grip of gravity. Whether through sky or space, nothing could hold him, nothing could slow him.

    In the sky, he was invincible.

    These planes, however, were not.

    As the jet hovered around, panels on the back split open to release Waspinator, to whom he issued the order: "Form a perimeter. Ensure we are not interrupted."

    The drone chirped an affirmative, before buzzing off, as Starscream finally flipped into robot mode, deciding to see the carnage with his own optics than the less personal scanners of his vehicle mode.

    He stepped over to the faded red-coloured form of a jet designated as an F-15 Eagle, rusted and dented, yet still undeniably sleek, and knelt down beside the corpse. He had to admit, for all their measly faults and petty attitudes, for all the disgust he felt towards them for creating this grim image, the humans at least had a good concept of air design.

    "It is a shame, really." He said, idly scraping a claw along the metal. "That one once as proud as you has been reduced to this. A neglected, lonely, broken thing, abandoned by your creators, never again to feel the winds rush over your wings."

    The F-15 did not reply.

    Starscream turned his head skyward, observing the blue expanse dotted with white clouds and the yellow glare of the Sun, as he continued: "I cannot begin to describe what the sky means to me. It is freedom and power, it is speed and excitement, it is beyond the feeble limitations of the land! In the sky, Starscream can live, and from the sky, Starscream can strike!"

    He laughed to himself, his pride flaring up in a satisfied rev of the engine and a flare of heat from his thrusters. Yes, all Autobots feared the day the clouds would split open and Starscream would emerge, raining death and power upon them all!

    He entertained himself with sweet memories of dive-bombing helpless screaming Autobots, of swooping down, snatching them in his claws and lifting them to great heights just so he could savour their terror right before he allowed gravity to aid his conquests, before he turned his attention back to the jet and affectionately patted it on the nose.

    "Have no fear, old flyer. I will make sure you touch the sky once more."

    With that said, he rose to his full height and opened his com-link, ordering: "Slipstream, I have marked the coordinates for the Darksyde to land at. Bring it down here at once, and do not forget to use the gliding panes!"

    "Your mission was successful, I presume?"

    "Yes indeed! I have found an adequate supply of raw metals that will be very useful for our preparations. Now bring the ship down quickly; the sooner we complete the scavenging, the better."

    ""Of course, commander. On our way now."

    Satisfied, Starscream bared his arms wide and declared: "Corpses of the boneyard, rejoice! For your final act of service will bring the Decepticons one step closer to success, and from there, one step closer to total domination over all! Hahahahahaha!"

    He laughed some more, before he stopped short, dropped his arms, sagged forward and muttered: "I'm gloating to dead jets. By gosh, my ego sometimes."

    ---

    "Are there we there yet?"

    "No, Bumblebee, not yet."

    "..... Are there we now?"

    "Yes."

    "Really?"

    "No."

    "Oh."

    The quartet of Autobots had been following the coordinates Ratchet had provided for some time now, at least half an hour. The trail of the Decepticon had been pinpointed to somewhere in the forest surrounding a rather rocky part of the landscape, and the Autobots were moving in as close as they could on the road before they would need to move into the foliage.

    It was admittedly an odd convoy to any passers-by; a gleaming sports car, followed by a Beetle, a tow truck and a tanker truck, was hardly the most subtle thing in the world. But to be honest, Jazz didn't concern himself too much about it. Humans were forgetful creatures, and they wouldn't hold onto the thought for long.

    Bumblebee started chattering again: "I hope we see some birds on the way there, I read on the Internet that birds get up real early to catch worms, I wonder why the worms get up early too, what do they catch, it's crazy, I mean-"

    Adding to Jazz's growing audioache, Wheeljack was complaining: "-Even wanna know what the leaves will do to armour. Leaves rot, right, so if they stick to me, they'll rot on me and then what if my armour rots, that'll be no good-"

    And now Grimlock was growling: "-Trip takes any longer, Grimlock may have to burn down the forest. We better find the Decepticons soon, Grimlock's been anticipating paying them back for trying to attack us at the Atlantic-"

    Jazz activated his radio, aiming to play a song to try and drown out the other Autobots, when his geographical scanner beeped and he revved slightly; they'd reached the coordinates of the general area the 'Con shuttle had landed in. He promptly flashed his right indicator, before swerving off the road onto the grassy slope that led to the forest, the other three exclaiming stuff in excitement and anticipation as they followed.

    Jazz flipped into robot mode, the other three also transforming, Bumblebee spreading his limbs out as his body compacted before pushing himself up, Wheeljack's front catching the ground as the rest of him flipped up with the torso rotating, and Grimlock's huge legs catching the ground as his tail and jaws extended, all four Autobots ready and eager to track down some Decepticons.

    Jazz turned to the others and stated: "Alright, Autobots, we don't know the full crew of the Decepticon ship other than Starscream and however many Seekers he's packed for the trip, so be ready for anything. Bumblebee, you and me will take point, Grimlock's got the rear and Wheeljack, get ready to support whichever side makes contact first."

    "You got it, boss."

    "Yippee!"

    "Grimlock always have to bring up rear...."

    With that, the four headed into the woods, Jazz's visor shifting through several spectrums repeatedly to check for any signs of Decepticons moving through this particular area, Grimlock sliding back small panels on the tip of his nose to engage his olfactory sensors, Wheeljack idly unfolding a plasma cannon from his arm and Bumblebee eagerly darting around the Lieutenant, optics taking in the sight of the forest around him with unrivalled awe.

    The sunlight filtered through the leaves and the branches of the trees, dancing across their armour and the leaf-littered floor; it formed a rather gorgeous image that, despite the serious nature of their visit, all of them, even Grimlock to a lesser extent, could appreciate the interesting beauty of the Earth's organic bounty.

    Unusually, however, apart from their own movements, there was no noise, no sound of animal life. No birds chirping, no little things rustling in the leaves, not even the buzz or chirp of an insect.

    There just silence.

    Grimlock had noticed this: "Too quiet. Either animal life is scared of us, or animal life is scared of something else."

    "It was quiet when we got here." Bumblebee added: "So methinks it might be the Decepticons. Oh, what if we get ambushed? I've never been ambushed before, well, except in the ship when-"

    "Bumblebee, shut up." Wheeljack said. Bumblebee promptly shut up.

    The Autobots continued on, until their search brought them to a large clearing, a large rock formation on one edge of the site, and, across from it, a break in the trees that showed off the vast expanse of forest beyond their current location, shimmering green in the sunlight.

    Wheeljack gave an impressed rev: "Wow. You ever seen anything like that?"

    Bumblebee shook his head, optics wide and filled with reverence: "No. It's so beautiful..."

    Jazz and Grimlock remained on task, and the Solstice turned to the larger Autobot and asked: "Grimlock, you picked up anything yet?"

    Grimlock huffed air through his olfactory sensors: "What hasn't Grimlock picked up? Trees, dirt, leaves, air, rock, all with their own unique smells. On Cybertron, smell was simply fire and ash. But here, it is..... it is living."

    Jazz smiled slightly, before Grimlock suddenly tensed, red optics flaring in fury: "And now Grimlock smell metal. Metal that does not belong!"

    And as if to emphasis Grimlock's alert snarl, there was the whine of a weapon charging up, and all four Autobots instintively flung themselves out of the way as the sudden surge of sonic energy flew by them, leaving a ringing pulse in its wake as it tore up dirt and grass.

    Jazz was the first back on his feet, whipping his energy pistols out of his thigh compartments, and aimed them at the rock formation, which had two Decepticons stood atop it. The one navy-blue one, a tad stockier than the other, could only be Soundwave with his prominent mouthplate and yellow visor, aiming his sonic shock rifle at the Atobots, while the other Con, designation unknown, was primarily crimson with black here and there, standing on double-jointed legs, crimson optics narrowed in malicious anticipation.

    Jazz, keeping one pistol aimed at one Con's head, snorted: "Attacking from behind, very typical. I thought Decepticons were deceptive, not predictable."

    "Well, it's not like you caught on until the big one sniffed us out." The crimson one sneered. "You Autobots too busy enjoying the view?"

    "Grimlock will enjoy tearing you apart more." The tanker truck snarled, licks of flame darting from his mouth with each word, body shaking in a barely restrained eagerness to attack. "The view will be better with your Energon splattered across it!"

    "Such violence." Soundwave noted dryly, aiming his rifle at the tanker truck in warning. "I thought you Autobots held yourself in higher regards than this sort of company."

    Grimlock snapped his jaws aggressively, as Jazz replied: "Well, violence does have its uses. So tell me, Decepticons, what exactly are you hoping to achieve out here?"

    "Nothing we'd tell you, Autobot filth." The crimson one snarled. "Though I will say we're definitely going to add 'murdering you and bringing home your corpses as trophies' to the agenda!"

    Jazz laughed coldly at that, echoed by Wheeljack, who along with Bumblebee moved to flank the Lieutenant, as Grimlock snarled: "Right. What hope does two have against four?"

    "Not much, admittedly." Soundwave said. "Hence why we have decided to even the odds."

    Right on cue, the sound of jet engines ripped through the sky, and Grimlock barely turned his head to look when missiles slammed into his head, the tanker truck knocked to the ground with a roar of pain as two purple jets flew overhead, banking round for another hit-and-run.

    "Grimlock!" Bumblebee cried in shock, wheeling over to help the larger Autobot back onto his feet, as the other two were forced to dodge another sonic blast, the Decepticons leaping down from the rock to initiate battle.

    Jazz responded swiftly: "Grimlock, keep those Seekers occupied! Bee, Jack, take care of the crimson one! I'll deal with Soundwave!"

    If he was annoyed with having to ignore the fight closest to him, Grimlock did not show it. Instead, he unfolded panels on his hip to reveal two powerful blasters, which he promptly aimed upwards and began firing blasts of orange energy at the Seekers, the berserker displaying impressive aim considering the agile jets were forced to deviate from their bombing run to avoid the incoming firepower.

    Jazz's pistols were already merged into sword mode as he leapt above another sonic pulse, ready to bring the blade right down on top of Soundwave's head, but the Communications officer dodged with a leap to the side, and before Jazz could recover from the miss, he swung his leg around in a kick that knocked the sword right out of Jazz's hands.

    To his credit, the Lieutenant returned the favour astonishingly quickly, backhanding the rifle out of Soundwave's grip in a swift flick of the arm, before forcing the Decepticon to quickly leap away from the follow-up punch he threw. Visors gleaming, the two faced off for a brief second, before lunging into battle.

    "Flank him, Bee, I'll keep him there!" Wheeljack snapped, the smaller Autobot instantly and obediently wheeling around to the side as the tow truck fired his plasma cannon at the crimson Decepticon, blue bolts streaking through the air, which the enemy effortlessly rolled under, simultaneously ripping up a large chunk of the ground, stopped his roll on one knee and threw the hunk of earth, which collided with Wheeljack's face, obscuring his vision as he staggered back a step, trying to wipe the stuff out of his optics.

    But before he could follow up on the tow truck's vulnerability, Bumblebee swooped in from the side and uppercutted the Decepticon, the shock trooper too surprised at the sucker punch to retaliate, before Bumblebee's fists came up in a series of rapid punches, hitting the Con again and again.

    "This is so awesome!" Bumblebee squealed excitedly as he repeatedly punched Barricade everywhere he could reach, the enemy's head, torso, arms, whatever. "I'm actually fighting someone! I'm actually punching your face!"

    Barricade brought a hand up and neatly caught the next punch.

    Bumblebee nervously revved: "Well, that's not so awesome."

    The Decepticon simply sneered, before twisting the scout's arm with a flare of pain, the Autobot yelping at the awful sensation, before he swung his free hand around to deliver a solid punch to Bumblebee's abdomen, the Autobot briefly lifted up from the power behind the attack.

    Before the Autobot had a hope of reorientating himself from the hit, Barricade swung around, grabbed his head in one hand and forcefully slammed Bumblebee facefirst down into the ground.

    "You like viewing the Earth so much? Here's a lovely close-up, Autobot!" Barricade hollered, grinning maniacally as he shoved the struggling rookie's face further into the soil. "For your viewing pleasure, dirt! LOTS OF DIRT! Say hi to the dirt, you little scraplet!"

    "Hey!"

    Barricade had barely looked up when Wheeljack's foot swung into view, knocking the Decepticon off his victim so hard he went flying into a tree, the huge organism snapping in half at the impact.

    "Try picking on someone your own size!" The tow truck growled, flexing his arms as Barricade lurched back to his feet. The Decepticon snarled, before the two flung themselves at each other, the larger Autobot slamming into the car and sending them crashing to the ground, both struggling to get on top of the other as they kicked and punched and swiped.

    Bumblebee, rather dazed, pulled his head out of the ground and blearily muttered: "Hi dirt.... Ow...."

    Meanwhile, the fight between Jazz and Soundwave was fairly even, the Lieutenant's superior speed against the Decepticon's more stable stance. Jazz spun neatly on his hands, legs kicking swiftly at the Communications officer, who had to be quick to block the rotating attack with his bulky forearms, before darting his foot out in an attempt to catch the Autobot's hands and trip him up.

    However, Jazz simply pushed himself upward, flipped round and landed on his feet, but Soundwave had anticipated this and was already making his move; as Jazz spun round to face him, he punched the Lieutenant straight in the face with a sharp clang of metal against metal.

    Jazz staggered back, as Soundwave prepared to swing his punching arm around into a backhand, but Jazz's arm flung up, caught the attacking appendage, and with a swift slide, he drove his fist into Soundwave's hip, the Decepticon jerking in pain from the effective counterattack.

    They separated, and Soundwave again attempted to backhand the Solstice, but this time Jazz simply ducked under it, brought a leg up and thrust-kicked the Decepticon, sending him staggering back.

    With this golden opportunity, Jazz deployed his grapple line and fired it, but even as Soundwave brought his arms up to block it, the grappling hook shot past him instead, and with a flick of the line, Jazz retracted and Soundwave heard the hiss of energy right before instinct commanded he duck.

    Duck he did, and just in time, for the grappling hook had snagged the handle of Jazz's sword, successfully retrieving it and bringing it back to its owner, the blade coming pretty close to slicing Soundwave's head off on the return journey.

    Jazz grinned as his weapon returned to his hand, as Soundwave's visor darkened in annoyance, before the navy-blue Decepticon reached into a back-mounted compartment, and pulled out a contraption that he swiftly unfolded into an axe, aiming the gleaming weapon so that the tip of the curved blade aimed at Jazz.

    Jazz made the first move, twirling round in an upward slash intending to strike at the Con's abdomen, but he shifted out of the way, the axe blade clashing against the sword to divert it and hopefully throw the Solstice off-balance, but he simply rolled away from the follow-up axe swipe and swung his sword back round, Soundwave barely avoiding the attack with a quick backwards hop.

    The Autobot moved in again, and their blades clashed against each other, the two cars struggling to overpower the other, energy crackling between their weapons.

    A missile from one of the Seekers crashed into the ground nearby, but Wheeljack ignored it, confident that Grimlock would be able to prevent the flyers from locking onto specific targets with his seemingly endless supply of projectiles, as he wrestled with Barricade, attempting to grapple the smaller Cybertronian to the ground, but the Decepticon was holding his own pretty well despite his size disadvantage.

    With a snarl, Barricade kicked out, and his clawed foot scrapped against Wheeljack's leg, cutting into the armour with a squeal and a flash of sparks. The tow truck yelped in pain, his grip faltered, and Barricade pulled one of his arms out of the Autobot's grip and uppercutted his chin, forcing him back. He lunged, intending to drive his claws right through his foe's torso, but Wheeljack managed to bring an arm around to block the attack, and then, with a click of his hips, rotated around to bring his other arm swinging into a powerful backhand that knocked Barricade to the ground.

    Before the Decepticon had a hope of getting back up, Bumblebee was above him, grinning widely, before he brought his foot up.

    Barricade knew what was coming and grunted: "Oh slag-"

    As hard he could, Bumblebee stamped the shock trooper right in the face, before spinning his wheel as fast as he could, the tire squealing and scraping as he grinded the struggling Decepticon's face with it.

    "I got him, Wheeljack!" Bumblebee hollered excitedly. "I've got him down- OW OW OW OW!"

    Barricade had managed to get an arm up and was digging his claws into the Autobot's leg, sinking through the yellow armour and with a rev of effort, he upended the scout, Bumblebee hitting the ground hard as the snarling Decepticon shoved back onto his feet, claws aching to rip apart the obnoxious little rookie that had dared to tire him. Defensive of the frightened youngster, Wheeljack moved in to assist his comrade, but with a heave of effort, Barricade swung Bumblebee around by the leg and smashed Wheeljack with him, the tow truck knocked back, before the shock trooper slammed Bumblebee back onto the ground.

    As the rookie struggled to get away, Barricade snarled: "You damn dirty Autobot! You dare tire me?! I'll rip your optics out and hold them up in one hand so you can watch me tear out your innards, you little scraplet!"

    Bumblebee's optics widened in horror as the shock trooper moved in for the kill, but mercifully, his plight had attracted quite possibly the very worst thing that a Decepticon could face.

    With a roar of pure unrestrained anger, Grimlock surged towards them, Barricade optic's widening in horror when he saw the oncoming monster, but before he could turn tail and flee, Grimlock unleashed a stream of fire that completely enveloped Barricade, the shock trooper howling as the searing heat burned at his armour, before swinging around with an enormously powerful tail swipe that sent the burning Decepticon flying straight into the rock, smashing into it with a burst of dirt and stones.

    Twitching and smoking in the imprint he'd made on the rock with the force of impact, Barricade grunted: "Ow.... fragging Autobot scum..... hate.... all of you.. oww..."

    And with that, he slumped into unconsciousness.

    Soundwave, still facing off against the Lieutenant, noted his comrade's defeat and promptly weighed his options; with the Seekers having been unable to effectively support him due to Grimlock's interference, his own skills pushed to the limit against the Lieutenant and one Decepticon defeated, he promptly decided that it was better to run and live then fight and die.

    "Seekers!" He commanded through his com-link. "Transform and land; retreive Barricade and provide cover for retreat!"

    With that, he charged up sonic energy through the vibrational amplifiers upon his arms, into the one upon his axe, his weapon and limbs glowing bright blue with power, before he slammed his axe into the ground, creating a massive shockwave of sound energy that sent Jazz flying back and staggered the other Autobots.

    This manoeuvre gave the Seekers time to move in and land, one upon the rock, the other by Barricade, and as Soundwave darted to retreive his rifle, the former Seeker whipped out machine guns and fired upon the Autobots, who darted to avoid it and return fire, Wheeljack and Grimlock blasting at the jet, who avoided their attacks with ease.

    The other Seeker pulled Barricade out of the imprint on the rock and with a flare of the thrusters on its back, jumped into the sky. Soundwave returned his weapons to their storage compartments just as the remaining Seeker promptly jumped down, ducked under a stream of flame, picked up the Communications officer and jetted after its fellow drone.

    The Autobots fired after them, but alas, the Decepticons had made good on their retreat.

    For a moment, the four of them were silent, recuperating from the battle, Grimlock forcing his rage back into its metaphorical cage, Bumblebee wincing as he examined the wound on his leg, Wheeljack wiping stray dirt off of him and Jazz splitting his sword into the pistols and sheathing them.

    "Well." The Lieutenant stated coolly. "That went well."

    "The Decepticons escaped." Grimlock huffed. "That is hardly 'well'. We should pursue them and finish what they in all their foolishness started."

    Jazz considered this, before turning to Wheeljack and asking: "You know anything about field repairs?"

    "Well, duh. I'm a scientist. You do tend to learn how to weld a few things when you're a scientist."

    "Okay then." Jazz replied, revving slightly at the annoying sarcasm. "You stay here and patch up Bumblebee, while-"

    "I don't need patching up!" Bumblebee protested, looking horrified at the very idea. "I'm fine! I can still go and help fight Deceti- OW!"

    The other three Autobots stared at him as he winced and clutched his bleeding leg, before Grimlock sternly stated: "You need patching up."

    "Yeah, yeah I do...."

    Jazz smiled slightly, before stating: "Alright. Wheeljack, stay here, patch up Bee, scout around this area, all that jazz. If you find anything around here, com me, but otherwise, you and Bumblebee will return to the ship when you're finished. Grimlock and I will go see if we can track those punks down. Their shuttle's gotta be around here somewhere, so if we can find it before they make a runner, we might be able to settle things."

    "Excellent, an order Grimlock can gladly agree with." The tanker truck snorted, before turning his attention to Bumblebee: "Behave yourself with Wheeljack. Grimlock would rather not hear horror stories of you running around with an injury."

    With that said, Bumblebee folding his arms and revving in indignation, he moved off into the forest, Jazz following after him with a wave and a grin at the two of them. As Wheeljack knelt down next to Bee, pushing the smaller Autobot into a sitting position to better work on his leg, the scout asked: "Wheeljack, that was my first ever fight against Decepticons ever. Did I do good?"

    "You did great, rookie. Tiring that Con's face, ha! Pricless!" Wheeljack laughed. "But my rotate-upper-body trick, now that was something!"

    Bumblebee sniggered: "Not as cool as me driving and BAM! Punching him!"

    "I've been punching Decepticons before you were even sparked! Don't get all smug, Bee, remember who saved us all from that ship over the Atlantic!"

    "Of course I remember, Wheeljack! Hard to forget something when you're always talking, nattering, chattering, boasting and gloating about it! Haha!"

    "Right. I'm going to patch your leg now. Try not to make me patch your mouth up too."

    Bumblebee simply sniggered again.

    ---

    Aboard the Zeta-1, Evac was eagerly watching Hound and Ratchet playing a game of Shiftshapers, the two veterans occasionally flashing each other challenging glares when not focussed on their next move. Hound was winning at the moment, moving his spheres in closer to Ratchet's octagon, but Evac was wondering if his mentor had something planned with the cube that was sitting innocently by the side.

    Just then, as Hound summoned a pyramid to bolster his forces, the com-link buzzed. Both lieutenant and medic revved in annoyance, but were thankfully relieved when Evac offered to get it.

    Tapping into the com-link, he cheerfully stated: "Hello, welcome to the Zeta-1! Pease leave a message after the beep. BEEP!"

    "Um, what?"

    "Sorry, Wheeljack, just a joke I learned! Apparently, that's what Earth communications say if no-one answers!"

    "That's great, really. Listen, this is gonna sound stupid, but, um, I told Jazz I could patch up Bumblebee's wound, but, well, turns out the claws got a bit deeper than I thought and some of the circuits are messed up, so, uh, I need help."

    "Oh, okay! No problem, Wheeljack, I'll fly on over!"

    "I was kinda hoping Ratchet would-"

    "Don't worry, I know how to fix circuits and stuff! See you in a bit!"

    Before the inventor could protest, Evac eagerly switched off the com and happily declared: "Great news! I'm going to go help Wheeljack fix Bumblebee, who now that I think of it probably got hurt by Decepticons! My first medical trip into potentially hostile territory! Awesome! See you guys later!"

    With that, the helicopter ran out of the room, whooping and cheering.

    When the door shut, Hound looked up from the game and asked: "Did he say something?"

    "To us? I dunno."

    "Hm...... Oh well."
     
  14. Jamocha101

    Jamocha101 Well-Known Member

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    Bumblebee did better than even I expected in his first battle, lol. :D  It was awesome that Grimlock unleashed his dino-fury and saved his friend, I was kind of expecting for something along those lines to occur. Poor little guy still got an injury, anyway. :c Sounds like he'll be okay, though. At least nobody turned out as bad as Barricade. :lol 

    Oh gosh, Evac. He strikes me as a ditzy-esque roll-with-the-punches type guy. I hope everything turns out okay between him, Bumblebee and Wheeljack...hopefully they can make it back and won't get ambushed or anything. :I
     
  15. Wars

    Wars I Ate The WHOLE Plate

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    Poor Bumblebee. But I feel worse for Barricade :lol 

    And that ending! Haha!
     
  16. Meta777

    Meta777 Dr Pepper Fan

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    Bumblebee was quiet now, a rarity indeed, and Wheeljack thus had peace of processor to think as they leaned against the rock, waiting for Evac.

    This second encounter with Decepticons was, quite frankly, weird. Only two ground units and two drones in some forest, away from any feasible power source? Unless the Decepticons were planning to build a tree-harvesting factory here or something, he wondered if this trip had been some kind of trick.

    On the bright side, the Decepticon's ambush had failed quite miserably; those Seekers had underestimated Grimlock's ability to divert aerial attackers, Jazz easily maintained the upper hand against Soundwave and he and Bee-

    Well, he and Bee had needed Grimlock to pull them out of the fire, but still, considering their Con had been a tough one, they did pretty well against him.

    He turned and looked down at Bumblebee's injured leg. It wasn't leaking anymore, since his body had shut down the valves to the area, but what blue fluid remained wasn't enough to cover the sharp gouges in the yellow armour. Wheeljack winced slightly, feeling a touch of shame that he wasn't able to do much to help the rookie. Basic patch jobs, he could manage, but the more complex damage done to the innards of the limb were a tad beyond his skill level.

    He revved slightly and looked skywards; what was taking Evac so long? Helicopters didn't exactly need to stop for traffic lights-

    "Wheeljack, can I ask you something?" Bumblebee asked, and the tow truck jolted in slight surprise at actual words, before he revved and replied with an affirmative.

    The Beetle contemplated for a moment, before he said: "Grimlock said that he and Jazz were disagreeing on how to get energy and stuff on this planet, and that they were getting angry with each other-" Wheeljack rolled his optics at that one. "-And that there wasn't really a plan to get energy. And it made me wonder if.... well, when the commanders don't know what to do, what do the soldiers do?"

    Wheeljack considered this. Admittedly, it was a pretty good question, and he had to think for a moment before he shrugged and answered: "We soldier on. Jazz and Grimlock have always been at each other, but they get by regardless. Don't worry, rookie; we'll sort it out soon enough."

    Bumblebee nodded in agreement, smiling softly at the larger Autobot: "Okay. Okay, cool. Thanks, Wheeljack!"

    "Yeah, no problem-"

    He perked up slightly, and were he equipped with a mouth rather than a mouthplate, he'd have smiled as he registered the low hum of an incoming helicopter. Bumblebee heard it and shuffled up and down excitedly as the tow truck stood up to assess the situation, just in case it wasn't the chopper they wanted.

    Mind you, Wheeljack knew enough about human helicopters to know that the incoming orange vehicle, a Search-and-Rescue Sea King, shouldn't be this far inland. Definitely Evac.

    The helicopter registered them and moved towards the clearing, the leaves and branches rustling under the winds of the rotors, before Evac transformed, heading downwards with his main rotors still spinning to control his descent. Alas, the lack of tail rotor meant the descent wasn't quite as smooth as he had hoped and he ended up smashing into a tree or two in a large fount of upturned dirt and grass.

    "Smooth, Evac." Wheeljack snickered, Bumblebee giggling away, as the helicopter quickly stepped away from the wooden wrecks, shaking off branches and soil and stuff, his rotors folding down as he turned with mildly embarrassed optics to the other two.

    "Sorry. I still need to work on my flying. And, um, my landing."

    "Yeah, probably."

    Wheeljack stepped aside as the medic-in-training knelt down to examine Bumblebee's leg, green optics focussing intently on the gouges, murmuring possible solutions to himself as he scanned the damage. As Bumblebee twitched slightly from the intense observation, Evac declared: "This won't be hard to repair! I've have his leg fixed up in a..... um.... oh yeah! A jiffy! I'll have it fixed up in a jiffy!"

    "Awesome!" Bumblebee cheered, as Evac's large fingers split apart and reconfigured into smaller, more nimble appendages. "'Cause this really aches, you know."

    "How did you get it?"

    "I got clawed by a Decepticon!"

    "Really?! Wow!"

    "It was great, I was tiring him in the face, and he was all UUUURRGGH-"

    "That's so cool! I wish I'd been there!"

    Wheeljack revved in annoyance and muttered: "I'm going back to the ship now. See you later."

    "Okay, bye Wheeljack, now c’mon Bee, tell me more! What else happened?!"

    Part of him felt a tad unsure about leaving the rookies on their own. The rest of him just wanted to get away from the squealing and the chattering and the excitement, and with that, he set off back towards that road, muttering about noisy rookies and musing that he may need to get his audio sensors replaced at this rate.

    ---

    Needless to say, Soundwave was not particularly happy with the outcome of the brief battle. Bad enough the Seekers hadn't been as helpful as he'd hoped, bad enough he hadn't been able to defeat the Lieutenant, but Barricade getting his spoiler handed to him on a dish was just the polish on the cog.

    The Seeker that carried him set down the car near the shuttle, the other drone landing nearby, and Soundwave stalked over to it: "Show him to me. I will need to assess the damage."

    The Seeker lowered its cargo slightly, and Soundwave revved in slightly apprehension. Barricade had certainly seen better days; his armour was seared and blackened, the more vulnerable joints and tire rather melted, sparks flickering here and there over the damaged Decepticon, and his torso was crumpled from where the tail had hit him, one of the rear lights on his chest outright cracked open.

    Soundwave's visor was not as advanced as the optics of a medic when it came to listing off injuries and medical factors and all that scrap, but it was good enough to determine that, fortunately, Barricade's systems, while certainly not optimal, were reasonably stable. He'd survive, just needed a quick trip to the med-bay and he'd be right as rivets.

    Satisfied that he hadn't lost a soldier already, the Communications officer extended his arms and relieved the Seeker of Barricade, legs shuddering slightly from the weight of the other car. Nevertheless, he bore the injured Con well, and ordered: "Seekers, secure a perimeter while I attend to Barricade. Attack and divert any Autobots who stumble upon the shuttle. I will need some time to make sure Barricade's systems can withstand the trip."

    "Yes sir."

    With that, Soundwave remotedly opened the shuttle's hatch and rather shakily carried Barricade into the ship. Oh dear, he wasn't looking forward to Slipstream's reaction of having to repair Barricade again so soon.

    ---

    Grimlock was leading the way through the forest, olfactory sensors constantly drawing in air as he sought out the distinctive scent of Cybertanium. On Cybertron, his, as the humans would call it, nose was really just a design cue from the creature they based him on. What use was smell on a planet dominated by smog and fire?

    But on an organic planet, free of the polluting layers and the burning corpses and the metal composition, he could smell scents he'd never imagined before, the pulsing scent of life from the trees and the grasses and the animals, the vibrant scents of the ground and the rocks and the air. But more importantly, he could smell Decepticons. Cybertron's own scent wasn't here to mask them anymore.

    So he carried on, ignorant of whatever went underfoot or got in his way as he pursued his prey. Jazz was following behind the tanker truck, occasionally taking care not to step in one of the huge footprints left behind in the other Autobot's wake, visor scanning the environment for any trace that Grimlock's nose might have missed.

    But the thing was, tracking flight-capable Decepticons was a lot trickier than ground-bound ones, for obvious reasons. However, the Seekers wouldn't be able to fly back to their ship when carrying Soundwave and the injured one. They would need to return to the shuttle, and if they found the shuttle before it took off-

    "Question." Grimlock grunted and Jazz was shocked out of his musing, in time for the truck to continue: "Quite frankly, you and Grimlock are currently in what others may call a negative dispute. So what Grimlock want to know is, why so insistent on bringing Grimlock along? Other commanders would not have been so, shall we say, lenient."

    "That's the thing, Grimlock." The Solstice replied coolly. "While I could take the easy way and say I brought you along because you're the best Con hunter I know, I might as well be honest. I don't like your opinion, big guy, but I would never needlessly punish you over it. That's not how I roll."

    Grimlock paused and turned his huge head to Jazz, eyeing the Lieutenant bemusedly: "Well, sentimental as your little morals are, Grimlock suppose Grimlock can't condemn you for them."

    "Gee, thanks for the amazing compliment."

    "Whatever."

    With that, he turned and resumed his tracking. Jazz tilted his head slightly, before smiling a small smile. Better than nothing, he supposed.

    Their trek continued on, deeper into the forest, when Grimlock paused, and Jazz had to duck to avoid bumping his head into the larger Autobot's tail. Deducing the cause of their halt, he darted to the side and asked: "You got a scent?"

    The red eyes flashed in response, and Grimlock gave a low growl, intently focussed on looking ahead. Jazz quickly shifted back to a safer distance, fully aware that the other Autobot was losing himself to his bestial instincts; he was a predator now, and Jazz almost felt sorry for the prey.

    Almost. It didn't stop him from whipping his own pistols out in preparation. Much as loss of life was a grave thing, they only needed one Decepticon alive for interrogation. Jazz idly wondered which one would be the lucky survivor; probably the injured one, given he would be unable to resist capture. Soundwave and his drones, on the other hand, well, it was unfortunate.

    But now Jazz could see it. Much further along, up a hill, was the black outline of a ship, barely visible in the shade of the trees. They hadn't taken off yet, or they hadn't gotten back to it yet. Either way, it was for the taking.

    "Okay, Grimlock." The Lieutenant said softly. "We gotta be stealthy about this, okay?"

    No answer. Jazz looked to the side, and was quite surprised to see Grimlock wasn't there. Flashing his visor back towards the shuttle, he saw the berserker was already halfway there, slinking through the trees with much more silence then one his size or temperment should be able to.

    Wow. Bot was fast when he wanted to be. Grinning, he promptly darted off after the larger Autobot, towards the shuttle-

    The thump of earth behind him had him spinning round, pistols brought up, but too late, the Seeker's double-jointed leg swung forward and sent the car flying back, through a tree, through another one, hitting the ground, gouging out a neat trail in the dirt before grinding to a halt.

    "Ow."

    Grimlock spun round at the commotion, and upon sighting a victim, gave a frenzied roar and charged at the Decepticon, blinded from the true target by his own Energonlust. The Seeker, to its credit, spun and faced the oncoming monster head on, swinging up the flat arms and unleashing machine gun fire upon Grimlock.

    The tanker truck just shrugged off the irritating flecks of metal striking him and lunged, ramming into the Seeker and knocking them both to the floor, the jet desperately struggling to kick its attacker off it, the huge jaws snapping in their attempts to sink into metal.

    Jazz was back on his feet at this point, contemplating whether or not to help his comrade, before deciding Grimlock could handle this one and darted off to the shuttle.

    Or he would have, if not for a second Seeker landing in front of them, the huge purple Decepticon glaring at him menacingly.

    The Lieutenant paused, staring up at the jet, before he joined his pistols into sword mode and declared: "Step aside, drone, and I won't have to hurt you."

    The Seeker didn't respond vocally, but it did extend two lethal curved blades from its arms, the silver weapons gleaming as it adopted a battle stance, their tips aimed straight at the smaller Cybertronian.

    "Oh. Okay then, let's fight."

    He lunged forward, sword swinging for the Seeker's legs, but the drone pivoted the targetted appendage out of the way, and Jazz was forced to jump out of the path of the blade that nearly sliced him from top to bottom. The Decepticon brought his other sword around, but Jazz ducked under it, deflected the second blade with a swipe of his own, and again darted to take out the legs. No fancy turning this time; he could hit both of them regardless of which way the Seeker-

    Jumped.

    Jazz's swing contacted empty air as the Seeker leapt above him, and he had to admit that that had been a good move on the drone's part. They turned to face each other, but the Seeker had evidently grown tired of swordplay and thus unfolded shoulder-mounted blasters, which jerked round and aimed at the Solstice.

    "Oh dear."

    Meanwhile, the first Seeker was desperately trying to get Grimlock off of it, hands wrestling with the jaws as its legs desperately tried to kick at his underside, but the truck, already pinning the Con down as it was, was just too heavy to kick off.

    It is fortunate that drones have less advanced emotional capabilities compared to true-sparked Cybertronians, otherwise this Seeker would have been overwhelmed with utter terror at trying to keep the jaws from locking around its head. It struggled to push the savage maw away from its head, Grimlock's snarls boring into its audio.

    But just as it managed to push Grimlock's head back, a small port at the back of the mouth opened up and glowed bright orange.

    The Seeker's optics widened.

    The tanker truck unleashed his fire breath point-blank into the Seeker's face, the drone screeching and struggling fanatically as searing pain enveloped it. If Grimlock could not crush it, he could at least melt it.

    The other Seeker, firing shorts after the agile Lieutenant, heard its fellow drone's plight and darted into action; swinging round, it charged at the Autobot, shoulder blasters peppering Grimlock's side in sparks of energy before it jumped up and brought its legs together for an impressive double kick that smashed into Grimlock's side, knocking the berserker off its fellow Decepticon.

    Grimlock crashed through trees and bushes, snarling and roaring with angers as his legs kicked up and tore at the ground to regain his footing, as the Seeker pulled its injured fellow onto its feet, the unlucky one's face blackened and optics fuzzy.

    But this opening was exactly what Jazz needed, as he leapt into the air, towards the jets, and his blade drove into the non-burned one's back in a screech of energy burning metal. The Seeker jerked back in pain as Jazz used the leverage to jump up, seize one of the swivelling shoulder blasters and tear it clean off, his sword again sinking into the Seeker to keep himself falling off from the effort of removing the Con's weapon.

    The injured Seeker moved to the other drone's defence, claws darted out and seizing Jazz's leg, dragging the Autobot off his enemy and throwing him away, the Solstice crashing to the ground in a heap of dirt, but the Lieutenant's attack was all Grimlock needed to make his move, swinging round so his tail smashed one Seeker to the floor, the other one managing to duck the bladed appendage, but alas failing to dodge the berserker's leg, which kicked out and sent it staggering back.

    Facing off against the two Seekers, Grimlock roared both a threat and a challenge, rage eager to rip apart the drones, but before he could continue the assault, there was the sudden rumble of powerful engines, and all the combatants turned to see the shuttle slowly raising upwards.

    Attention diverted from the jets, the tanker truck unfolded his hip cannons and opened fire on the shuttle, but its shields easily repelled the attacks, and Jazz snapped: "Ignore the shuttle, Grimlock, disable the Seekers!"

    But too late; even as Jazz was moving back into the fray, even as Grimlock redirected his weapons, the Seekers were flipping into vehicle mode, arms folding into wings, legs snapping into the front of the jet, the thrusters and tailfins shifting into position, and with a surge of fire, the jets were off into the air, the Autobot firing desperate shots after them.

    An even larger surge, rattling their frames and shaking the trees, and they turned in time to see that the shuttle was gone too, blasting off into the sky after the Seekers, well out of their range.

    Grimlock roared after them, spewing fire into the air with anger and frustration, whereas the Solstice was more restrained, insteading tapping into his com-link and calling the Zeta-1: "Hound, are you there? The Decepticon shuttle made a run for it. Think you can get the ship up fast enough to go after them?"

    "I think so, the engines are powering up- Wait, what? Ratchet, what are you-"

    "What? What is it?!"

    Back at the ship, Hound was stunned with shock at what Ratchet had put up on the display, the medic quite panicked as he snapped: "Energon-nitrate, much larger trail then the shuttle. It's the main Decepticon ship, Hound!"

    "But, but, how?! How did it get into Earth without us detecting it?!"

    "Hound, answer me, what's the problem?"

    With both Ratchet and Jazz hollering at him, the jeep was quite pressured as he shouted: "Primus damn them, they tricked us! The main ship was on Earth, the shuttle was a decoy! They're heading for the atmosphere right now-"

    "Damn! Fine, never mind chasing them. We can't catch the shuttle without the main ship coming after us-"

    "And we can't go after the main one, it's already hitting the atmosphere." Hound growled, slamming a fist onto the console in frustration.

    "We're on our way back, Hound. We'll deal with this soon."

    "Fine, fine, alright. Hound out."

    As he revved in anger, glaring at the highlighted trails left behind by the Decepticon ships, Ratchet wondered: "If the shuttle was a decoy, then what was the main ship after?"

    "Do you have a fix on where the trail originated?"

    "Yes I do. Bear with me, I'm going to bring up the origin on the display...."

    The medic promptly tapped instructions into the console, utilising both the ship's scanners and the Earth's database of locations via a thing on the Internet called Google maps. Putting two and two together, he tapped in a final key and the holographic display brought up a dusty region littered with the broken remnants of human aircrafts.

    "They call them aircraft boneyards, I believe." Ratchet noted. "That's where the Decepticon ship was. Why would they go to a human dumping ground?"

    "Isn't it obvious? All that metal is a lot of raw material, perfect for conversion and forging. Humans aren't going to notice their scrap disappearing, which means these boneyards are just big old heaps of easy resources."

    "But if they're collecting raw materials-"

    "Then the Decepticons are building something. Question is, what?"

    The door slid open, and Wheeljack entered, muttering: "I swear, bots, rookies just don't know when to be quiet. So, did I miss anything?"

    Hound and Ratchet exchanged a glance, before the lieutenant muttered: "You tell him."

    ---

    "Okay.... yep.... alright, done! I've realigned your neural net, reset your valves, soldered the gashs, patched up the marks, and voila! You're as good as gold!"

    "I like gold!" Bumblebee remarked cheerfully, examining the repair work on his leg. "It's very shiny, super shiny, like a star, if stars were made of metal and didn't melt you."

    "Right! Gold is metal-non-melting-stars!"

    "My sentiments exactly! So what now?"

    "Now we go back to the ship in case I missed something. A quick scan in the med-bay will make sure it's all good!"

    "Alright then, let's roll-"

    "Wait, you can't transform yet! It might jostle my patch-job! You need to wait for your body to secure itself first."

    "So how will I get to the ship if I can't car it? I can't wheel there in robot mode, people will see me!"

    "I have the solution!"

    With that said, Evac promptly transformed into his helicopter form, and once everything was compacted and ready, rotors snapping outwards, he lowered his hatch.

    "Get inside me, Bumblebee. I'll fly us back!"

    "Ooooh, I've never flown in a helicopter before!"

    "I'm kind of new to it myself. Get in, Bee!"

    "Okay!"

    With that, he wheeled over to the chopper, ducked under the tail and shuffled himself into the hatch. Even though Evac was much bigger than him, it was still kinda tight to fit himself inside. But eventually, the scout managed it, and the hatch shut behind him, leaving him in the faint darkness of the helicopter's bay, only illuminated by what light got in through the windows of the flyer.

    "And up we go!"

    It was a rather bemusing feeling, to feel the frame shudder around him as the faint whirl of rotors was heard, and that weird elevation as the helicopter started to rise up. Ooh, it was very bemusing indeed!

    "I have to admit, I'm kind of comfy in here."

    "Why thank you..... So, what's up?"

    "You're up!"

    "Ha! Good one!"

    "I just came up with that!"

    "Wow, really? You're great at jokes!"

    "I know! Here's another one, here we go, here we go, why did the Decepti cross the road?"

    "Why?"

    "Because he left his Con on the other side!"

    "Hahahahaha! Oh wow, I'm telling that joke to Ratchet, I'm gonna tell him that!"

    "Me too!"

    "No, I'll tell him."

    "I will!"

    "No, me!"

    "Me!"

    "ME!"

    "ME!"

    "I'll crash us!"

    "No you won't!"

    "I will!"

    "Not!"

    "Will!"

    "Not!"

    Ellen Sherriff had been having a wonderful hike so far, sighing contentedly as she made her way around the gorgeous lake by the outskirts of the denser part of the forest. Such a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the air was fresh with nature. She took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet forest air and smiled to herself. Ah, she loved hiking. Nothing but wonderful nature around her....

    Alas, her peaceful musings were interrupted by the unmistakable sound of a helicopter, and she huffed in annoyance. Didn't choppers have other routes to take rather than one above this beautiful forest? Why did they insist on making all that noise above a quiet natural area?

    But just as soon as she wished it would hurry up and go away, the sound vanished. She paused, looked upwards, but saw nothing. No sign of a chopper. Huh.

    She shrugged. Maybe her imagination had, well, imagined it-

    SPLASH!

    She squealed and jumped back in shock at the sudden surge of water thrown upwards from the centre of the lake, losing her footing and falling onto her rear as the burst of water crashed back into the lake, huge ripples emanating from the centre of the disturbance.

    Holy mother of- What the heck had caused that? Ellen Sherriff took deep stabilising breaths, a hand over her chest to calm her heart, eyes wide and surprised as she stared at the bubbling epicentre. Had something big just blasted out of the lake? Crashed into it? What on Earth just happened?!

    Ellen Sherriff was typically a curious individual, but a tiny part of her brain promptly decided that some things were better left unchecked, so she quickly darted back to her feet and made fast tracks away from the lake.

    This was the last time she read Loch Ness Monster articles before hiking.



    Note: Evac crashing into water bodies seems to be a running gag :p 

    He and Bee seriously need a comedy spin-off show :lol 

    EDIT: Okay, I fixed that name problem, leave me alone, I was distracted, not my fault :p 
     
  17. Jamocha101

    Jamocha101 Well-Known Member

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    I will list my sentiments:

    1. Poor Barricade. :(  I dunno, maybe it's karma being a glitch to him. Hopefully he'll be up and about in the very foreseeable future to wreak more havoc.
    2. Grouchy Wheeljack. :'3 And I love the representation of Bumblebee's naivety when he asks an innocent question like that.
    3. Jazz is definitely very rational. I feel like if I was on his team, I would feel very secure with him as a leader.
    4. I love the way Evac and Bumblebee interact. Two chattery friends. :D  I hope everything goes well for them, even after Evac has crashed for the umpteenth time. Even though he's gotten some practice, he's certainly failed to master the art of flying as of yet! With any luck, they'll get out of that water alright.
    5. The second time we've met a human with a full name. I'm wondering if there going to come together as regulars at some point, or if there's going to be a continuous pattern of shortly-identified oneshot humans. I suppose we will find out!
    6. Oh dear, Ellen seems to have three names!

    Teehee. :D  So, the Autobots have identified the Decepticons' evil scheme! I eagerly await the next update to see how this plays out!
     
  18. Ømnidrive

    Ømnidrive Stop.....think......fart.....and keep on going

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    Yep...........gotta love Evac and Bee :lolol 

    Can't wait for more? :popcorn 
     
  19. Meta777

    Meta777 Dr Pepper Fan

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    Jazz was quietly hissing curses to himself as he paced back and forth, cursing the deception, cursing his own lack of foresight as he ran over plans in his head, some kind of payback, some kind of trap, some kind of just-hunt-them-down, some way to salvage this day.

    Grimlock had rarely, if ever, seen the Lieutenant so worked up. Normally the car kept a cool disposition and a level-headed processor, but it appeared his failure had certainly taken its toll. Not that Grimlock was particularly sympathetic; if the Lieutenant had failed to anticipate something like this, then what else could he fail at?

    The tanker truck himself was frustrated, mind you; he had been so hopeful to claim at least one Decepticon spark this day, and those damnable cowards had flown away before he could crush their heads between his jaws. His rage simmered beneath his rational thoughts, mourning the loss of Energon to be spilt and bodies to be torn.

    He shook his head out of the wishful imagery, and turned to Jazz, grunting: "So what now, Lieutenant?"

    Jazz revved in frustration: "We go back to the ship, put our info together and plan some counter-strategies. We know Soundwave is here, so we need to make our communication systems are secure, and we can probably dig a file on that crimson one from the archives."

    He paused then, considering, and added: "And we still need to sort out our primary problem."

    Grimlock huffed exhaust out of his pipes: "Grimlock gave his view on that matter. You'll have to finish that particular discussion with the others."

    "Fine. Let's head back to the ship."

    It was a fair trek back to the road, but easy enough with the fact they had access to every geographical listing the Internet had to offer, as well as following their own tracks; it wasn't hard to miss the distinctive three-toed claws of the larger Autobot or the smaller slimmer prints of the smaller one.

    They passed the rock formation on their way back; Wheeljack and Bumblebee were gone, having most likely finished repairs and making their way back to the ship themselves. The clearing was a tad messy from the fighting of before, but nothing nature wouldn't cloak given time.

    Nevertheless, the uprooting of dirt and grasses, the broken trees, the impressions on the ground from the feet of warriors, presented a rather sombre image to Jazz. It was so easy, to hurt the forest with their conflict, to be ignorant of the suffering the War inflicted on innocents-

    "This planet is quite fragile." Grimlock noted, observing the imprint in the rock where he had smashed the Decepticon into. "Everything breaks so easily."

    "I know." Jazz replied softly.

    What was that name he'd heard Bumblebee state back at the ship, when he, Grimlock, Hound and Ratchet had been discussing their operation? Superman or something? If so, then he idly figured this must be what it felt like to be Superman; a being of utmost power on a world simply not strong enough to resist you.

    Superman must be always mindful, always restrained. To lose control would mean destruction. This was his curse, and Jazz grimly noted that it was the Autobot's curse as well.

    The tanker truck promptly noted: "Look. Evac prints."

    Jazz looked, and sure enough, he saw imprints on the dirt that matched the huge splayed feet of the helicopter.

    "Huh. Why did he come here?"

    "Bumblebee must have been unable to transform due to his injury, and thus required air-lifting." Grimlock deduced, seeming a tad worried: "Grimlock hopes it is not serious."

    "You and I have both survived much, much worse then what Bee got." Jazz pointed out. "Don't worry about him."

    "Fine."

    But he still seemed unsure. Jazz was a tad touched by the fact Grimlock could at least find it in himself to be caring now and then.

    They made their back towards the road, the car amusing himself by stepping in his own footprints from when they'd first arrived, Grimlock throwing a brief tantrum when a flying organic, a bird, defecated on him, much to Jazz's further amusement.

    To be honest, though he found Earth's nature beautiful, Jazz was all too happy to reach the road and transform, compacting himself into the sleek vehicle he so adored and feel sturdy tarmac under his tires. A road was the perfect environment for a car, and oh boy, did Jazz like being a car.

    As Grimlock finished transforming himself, his cab snapping together and tail folding into the tank, Jazz took a moment to contact Wheeljack: "Hey, Jack, how's Bee holding up?"

    "Bee? Oh, um, he's doing fine, I guess. I mean, he IS fine. Totally fine. He's just hanging with Evac now."

    The Solstice was just a tad unsure about the tow truck's hesitance, but humoured him: "Okay, cool. Glad he's fine. We're on our way back now."

    "Now?!"

    "Yes, now. Problem?"

    "NOPE NO PROBLEM AT ALL- I mean, no probs, boss. Have a good trip!"

    The com-link beeped off, and Jazz idly wondered what had worked up Wheeljack so much. Grimlock revved behind him: "Problem?"

    "No problem, apparently. Let's roll."

    And roll they did, the Pontiac Solstice and the Mack tanker truck. Jazz, being the faster, had a fair amount of space between him and the follower, but Grimlock was able to keep pace, his Cybertronian metallicology granting his vehicle mode capabilities beyond any Earth duplicate.

    Ah, it felt so good to have the tarmac under their tires, smooth and urban, much more comfortable than the forest. And the sun was so bright today, shining down upon them, gifting them with warm solar energy. Given the recent battles they had fought in, some replenishing sunlight was much appreciated.

    What a wonderful little planet this was. Nice roads, nice scenery, nice sun, nice air. Gorgeous.

    But then, Jazz detected something interesting. Many metres ahead, there was a lifeform, specifically a human, most likely female judging from the DNA readings his scanners relayed to him. His motion sensors identified her pose; one of her arms was sticking outwards, with the thumb pointing upwards. A quick glance at the internet identified this as the gesture of a hitchhiker, a person who needed a lift somewhere and thus was hoping for passing vehicles to accomodate them.

    Huh, he wondered what circumstances had coerced her to require a lift. He was curious now, and thus he began to slow down.

    Grimlock had also detected the human at this point, and he also detected the idea forming in Jazz's processor, and thus he tapped into the com-link and snarled: "Grimlock knows what you are thinking and Grimlock strongly advises you ignore your thinking and not waste time."

    "The Decepticons aren't going to try anything so soon, not after some of them just got beat up. Besides, I can't just leave a human in the middle of nowhere, that's impolite! If you're in such a hurry, just drive past me."

    "If Grimlock did, then Ratchet would get on Grimlock's bumper over abandoning you or something. Grimlock will remain. Just make it quick, Lieutenant."

    Jazz grinned internally: "I'm always quick, Grimmy my bot-"

    "Shut up, Jazz."


    He was getting closer to the human, and thus Jazz had to think fast. Was his internal hologram working? Good, it was. Okay, he needed a disguise, 'cause human cars didn't drive themselves. Let's see, body types, hairstyles, clothing, skin colour, oh wow, humans did have a lot of features to choose from! But he was quick, of course, and secured a design he liked.

    Anything else he needed? Right, he had the Internet on a standby tab in his processor in case he needed it. He'd certainly need it to mimic the human gestures of shifting the gear stick and pushing the pedals and stuff. But otherwise, he was good.

    He was nearly at the human now. Time for his very first pick-up-a-hitchhiker trip!

    "Wish me luck!"

    "Go to the Pit."


    Ellen Sherriff was honestly a tad embarrassed it had come down to this; hoping someone driving by would be kind enough to stop and give her a lift back to town. But alas, that outcome seemed unlikely; she'd been passed by three times already! Oh, whatever happened to good will and helping others?

    Well, regardless of how much the ignorance of others irritated her, it was her own fault at the end of the day. She'd gone too far into the forest, gotten lost, and that was that. She'd been lucky enough to find the road at least, though at this rate, she'd have better luck walking back-

    Another rumble of a car engine, but this one was slower to get nearer to her, as if.... as if it was slowing down! Someone was stopping! She perked up instantly and had to restrain herself from bouncing as she took note of the approaching vehicle pulling in to the side and-

    And... and.... wow. Her jaw dropped.

    A Pontiac Solstice! She'd never seen the expensive and beautiful model up close; gleaming silver, gorgeously smooth, light dancing across the metal and tinted black windscreen like little glittering fairies! It was an outstandingly good-looking car, and even though she'd never been particularly fond of the gas guzzlers, this breed was just too gorgeous to condemn!

    Quickly composing herself with as much dignity as she could, with isn't very much when you've been trekking through a forest with leaves in your hair, dirt on your clothes and tiredness as the defining feeling, and darted toward the now stationary vehicle, engine idling with a rather soothing purr.

    Ooh, it made her shiver, that purr.

    She stopped just beside the side of the car, noting the pitch black window sliding down, and gathering up her courage, leaned down to look into the vehicle. From what her peripheral vision could note, the innards of the car were just as smooth and polished as the outside. But the main focus of her vision was definitely locked onto the car's driver.

    Wow. She had to admit, he was handsome. His face was smooth and friendly, just of a hint of a beard on the chin, sunglasses as silver as the car with lenses just as dark as the windows, sleek black hair, a reassuring smile, black jeans and an unzipped black hoodie with what seemed to be a silver shirt underneath.

    Gorgeous car, gorgeous driver. Ellen Sherriff felt just a little bit faint.

    But she regained her wit and asked: "Um, excuse me, were you, um, heading into town?"

    "I was, actually." He replied cheerfully, very calm and inviting. "Needed a lift?"

    Oh, he had a nice voice too. Smooth, reassuring, as if the silver colours he seemed to like melted right off his tongue- Wait, no time for crushes! She quickly nodded yes, and with that, he unlocked the door with a quick click.

    Luck had decided to throw her a bone! She opened the door, slung her bulky backpack into the back of the car, the driver ducking slightly to avoid it and settled herself into the seat. Wow, the leather was so soft and warm! She all but sunk into it, barely restraining the urge to giggle. Now she knew for the fact that reputation of the Solstice was well-deserved.

    She shut the door behind her, he clicked a button that raised up the window and with a flick of the gear stick and a step on the pedals, the car's engine shifted from a purring kitten to a powerful hunter, and she squeaked with shock as the car slipped forward onto the other side of the road, cutting across a tanker truck which flared the horn in surprised anger. The driver sniggered to himself, before clicking the gear stick again and the car darted forward into smooth and surprisingly fast motion.

    "Well-" The driver said, casting a friendly smile at her that only highlighted his handsome features. "-Pleasure to meet you, Miss...."

    She had to quickly get her thoughts back on track to answer the question, flushing a bit as she did so: "Um, Sherriff. Ellen Sherriff! Yep, that's me!"

    "Nice to meet you, Ellen Sherriff." He replied cheerfully. "I'm Jazz- Well, um, that's not my real name, kinda, per se, but, you know, everyone I know calls me Jazz, so, sure why not? I'm Jazz!"

    He chuckled a bit awkwardly, and she ended up chuckling with him, familiar to the feeling and amused by his own experience with it. Interesting choice of nickname, Jazz. She wondered if he had earned it from loving jazz music or something. But it suited him! He seemed very cool and jazzy and good-looking-

    Head in the game, Ellen, he's just giving you a lift.

    She shuffled a bit in her seat, taking note of that the tanker truck in the side mirror and thus missing the fact Jazz seemed to twitch slightly at her movement.

    "So, Ellen, mind if I ask how you ended up on the side of the road?"

    The question, innocent as it was, made her flinch a bit in embarrassment: "Well, I was hiking in the woods and I.... I ended up going too far and I got lost. Couldn't find my way back to the bus-stop, that's how I got there in the first place, and I ended up by the road so I hoped I might be able to catch a lift and-"

    "Breathe, Ellen."

    "Right, breathe, sorry."

    He just grinned at her, his sunglasses seeming to twinkle in favour of the eyes underneath, and she flushed a little and shyly wiped her hair back a bit, noting a small leaf that had gotten caught in it.

    Lowering the window a bit so she could throw it out, she then asked: "So, Jazz- I can call you Jazz, right?"

    "Right."

    "Okay, good, um, so Jazz, where were you heading from?"

    "Ah, visiting some friends up the other way." He replied, grinning widely as though there was some hidden joke to her question. "Was fun hanging with them, but then one of them ended up burning himself so we kind of had to cancel the visit short."

    "Oh, poor guy. Is he okay?"

    "He'll be fine. Gets in scraps all the time, that guy."

    He sniggered now, and Ellen was fairly sure there was some kind of hidden humour here she wasn't getting. She pouted a little at that, and he seemed to notice, for he quickly regained himself and returned his focus to the road.

    For a moment, they drove in the silence, Ellen twiddling her fingers in search of something to break said silence, Jazz content to drive, before she finally blurted: "You have a really cool car, by the way. Really, really cool."

    He looked at her, at first a bit bemused, before he grinned widely, as if she had presented him the finest compliment anyone could ever have given him: "Why thank you. I'm very fond of my al- car, very fond of my car, I gotta say."

    She nodded swiftly in agreement, just a tad stunned by how sincere and appealing his smile was, stuttering: "R-really cool. Does it get good mileage?"

    "Best mileage I've ever had." He replied eagerly, patting the dashboard fondly. "Seems to run on wishes and rainbows, hardly ever have to stop for refills. I think it must have a really good engine."

    Ellen gave a low whistle, impressed. Gorgeous car, very nice driver and fuel efficient. Luck really was favouring her right now, very much so.

    It was impressive how quickly the trip back to town was; it was so smooth she barely noticed the passing of scenery, except the bit where the tanker truck had honked at them as it made a detour. Jazz was easy and fun to converse with, quite interested in her nattering about her hobby of nature walks and bird-watching, and quite honestly, he distracted her very well from anything other than his smooth voice and his cheeky grins.

    Oh boy, she was crushing on a guy she'd just met after needing to hitchhike. Wow.

    Ellen Sherriff was actually and honestly disappointed when the Pontiac pulled into a parking lot and braked neatly, the engine dwindling back to that wonderful purr as Jazz enthusiastically declared: "And voila, we're here! Welcome back to town, Ellen Sherrif."

    "Oh wow, thank you!" She replied happily, reaching over for her backpack. "Do I owe you any money or something? I hope I didn't-"

    "It's fine, it's fine." He said cheerfully, waving off her concern with a relaxed flick of the hand. "I'm just glad to have some company on the trip, someone to chat to, natter about stuff with, all that jazz."

    "Oh, oh, no problem!" She said, blushing just a little at his ever-present handsome smile, hand fumbling behind her for the door handle. "Thank you very much for the lift! But you are absolutely sure I can't-"

    He raised his hand to his sunglasses, and lowered them slightly, and she was honestly bedazlled by vibrant chocolate-brown eyes twinkling good-naturedly at her.

    "Ellen, it's no problem at all. My pleasure to help. Have a good one!"

    "Oh I will..... I mean, of course! Thank you very much, Jazz! Have a good one too!"

    She darted out of the car, slinging her pack over her back and waved a little too excitedly at him as he leaned over and shut the door himself, before the car's engine elevated to a rumble and the car promptly made its leave. But as the gleaming silver Solstice turned round, the driver's window lowered and Jazz waved at her, still grinning away, before darting onto the road and slipping away into the traffic, as smooth with his skills as he was with his words.

    Ellen had to remind herself to breathe again. What an absolutely wonderful nice guy he was. Quite honestly, she really, really hoped she'd see him again one day.

    Meanwhile, the Solstice himself was feeling very pleased with himself. Imagine that! He'd just had his very first discussion with an actual human! With a hologram, and mimicking human gestures and stuff! Ellen hadn't even noticed there more to him than her eyes saw, and while that was a tad deceptive, it at least showed he could interact with a native without revealing his true nature. Awesome!

    And what a nice girl she had been, a nice chat to have, free of any worries about energy or Decepticons, just talking about nature and his vehicle mode and stuff. It was a nice change from the usual, he had to admit. Maybe he should pick up more hitchhikers in the future!

    He had to admit, though, it had been very bizarre to have a human inside him, on his seat wearing his seatbelt with the shoes on his floor. Very bizarre indeed. Not bad, not uncomfortable, just something he wasn't used to. But hey, alien planets were all about alien experiences, right?

    And speaking of alien experiences, unless his scanners were malfunctioning, he'd picked up some interesting readings from his passenger's organic systems that, according to the Internet, seemed to represent slight attraction. Had she honestly been kind of attracted to his hologram? Huh, imagine that!

    Regardless, he grinned to himself, documenting his human hologram for future use. Ellen Sherriff; now that was a name he wouldn't be forgetting anytime soon.

    ---

    Predictably, Slipstream was furious.

    "Right shoulder blaster outright gone, energised blade wounds on back plating, scarring on main torso armour and minor neural instability." The medic seethed, green optics glowing fiercely as they scanned the Seekers. "And this one has seared facial plating, optics unstable, processor fluctuation- Gah! Soundwave, what on Cybertron did you put them through?!"

    "We engaged the Lieutenant and Grimlock." The car muttered, a tad twitchy under the glare of the larger Decepticon. "It did not end quite as well as we had hoped."

    "I should say so!" Slipstream revved, flaring heat out of her thrusters, as she turned to the sorry sight aboard the medical berth. "And Barricade! Armour dented and crumpled, inner circuitry and valves jerked out of place, plating seared and melted, neural net utterly fragged and his joints and wheels have taken severe heat damage! It'll take me ages to sort him out!"

    "No it won't."

    "True, it won't take long at all, I've had way worse cases than this, but regardless, I'm still mad at you, Soundwave!"

    He span his wheels and shrugged. He could deal with her being mad at him. At least he wasn't damaged himself, otherwise his own stay in the med-bay would have been very unpleasant. Slipstream turned to the less damager Seeker and told it to come back later, before shoving the other one onto a berth, muttering about restoring facial metallics and checking the optics and stuff.

    Soundwave could tell he wasn't needed anymore, and he certainly wasn't in the mood to hang out with a grumpy Slipstream, so he decided to make good his leave. But as he headed for the door, the jet called: "Wait, Soundwave, you need to go see Starscream before you do anything else. He's waiting in the engine room."

    "Very well."

    With that, the Communications officer turned down the corridor towards the lift. Evidently, Screamer wished to discuss Operation Harvest with him. Fair enough. Hopefully the commander had had better luck with his endeavours then Soundwave had.

    And hopefully Slipstream wasn't comming the Raptor with the fact Soundwave had brought home three injured soldiers and absolutely no Autobot deaths. He wasn't in the mood for two rants in one day.

    The trip down to the lower bays of the ship was quick, and he stepped out of it, circled round to the door beside it and entered the backmost sections of the ship.

    The engine room was impressive, certainly; the huge cylindrical mechanism that dominated most of the space rumbled and vibrated with power, glowing panels at the front and on the sides pulsing with Energon, huge bright-blue tubes extending from it, delivering refined energy to the ship's systems. And at the front, three of the Seekers were feeding pieces of metal into the forging component from a pile of rusted scrap.

    Soundwave bemusedly noted the scrap appeared to be broken down human aircrafts. Flyers feeding flyers to the engine. Quaint.

    After a moment of refining, the forging component opened a lower panel with a hiss of smoke, and glistening liquid Cybertanium poured out, one of the Seekers catching the precious metal in a container and carefully delivering it to a pile of them, each one filled with the raw metal that composed every Cybertronian, their ships, their deivces and their very planet.

    Starscream by kneeling by the containers, gleefully counting them and rattling off statistics and plans to Nighttrace, ever fluttering around the jet. Upon noticing Soundwave, the UAV darted over, red optics glowing excitedly, and gestured to the Seekers and the pile of scrap they were loading into the engine.

    "Yes, lots of raw metals to be converted. This will greatly benefit us." Soundwave noted, spinning his wheels slightly at Nighttrace's pointing out the obvious, before moving over to Starscream and stating: "Commander, you wanted to see me."

    "I did!" The jet declared cheerfully, standing up and turning round to face the car, grinning widely. "As you can see, I have discovered a juicy supply of resources for Operation Harvest, and a good idea of where to get more! You see, humans love to pile their metal remnants in big piles and leave them out in the open! Perfect for us to collect! It's almost too easy!"

    "Stealing the junk of an inferior species never was the most difficult concept." Soundwave replied dryly.

    Starsceam's crimson optics narrowed at that, before he refocussed on his glee: "With the Cybertanium we can create from the human's gift, Operation Harvest will proceed with unparalleled smoothness. And the Autobots will be too busy concerning themselves over the little humans to even come close to deducing our plans!"

    He paused, and leaned down slightly, Soundwave a tad unnerved by the sudden attitude change as the jet murmured softly: "Speaking of Autobots, did you manage to kill any?"

    He did not like the way Starscream was looking at him, certainly not helped with Nighttrace hovering above like some hungry predator. He revved a little, and replied: "I admit we did not terminate any Autobots, commander Starscream-"

    Starscream promptly stood up to his full height and pompously declared: "Of course you didn't, why am I even asking? I should sooner ask an ground-bound organic to fly than for you to kill an Autobot."

    Soundwave was understandably insulted at the sudden demeaning of his ability to kill Autobots, and revved furiously: "With all due respect, commander, we faced the Lieutenant and Grimlock, while you snuck around in the shadows to gather trash-"

    Starscream moved so quickly Soundwave didn't have time to react before the claws clamped around his neck and hauled him upwards, the car struggling futilely in the larger Decepticon's grip.

    "Say that again." Starscream growled, optics burning with livid anger as his face took an ugly expression. "Say that right to my face."

    Soundwave honestly considered that, regardless of the consequences, before Nighttrace thankfully intervened, buzzing over to Starscream and tapping his arm, flicking her antenna at the Seekers. The commander considered her for a moment, before he flexed his shoulders and casually dropped Soundwave to the floor with a clang of metal on metal.

    "Absolutely, Nighttrace. Soundwave, you shouldn't distract me from my work." He declared casually, walking back towards the containers in that dismissive fashion of his. "Return to the control room in case anything of interest pops up."

    Soundwave shakily got his feet, yellow visor narrowed at the jet's back, before he coldly replied: "Of course, sir."

    Nighttrace watched him leave, before fluttering over to Starscream, tilting her head in slight concern. He noted her and shrugged, answering the unspoken question: "I hardly recollect it. But fear not, Nighttrace, I have better things on my mind than punishing the incompetents around here. Like our new supply of Cybertanium, for instance."

    He smiled widely and tapped his claws together: "Yes, it will prove very useful to us. Let the Autobots and the Earth spin in ignorance for now. Operation Harvest will soon commence."

    ---

    When Jazz returned to the Zeta-1, still musing on his return trip, Hound and Ratchet were stood by one of the consoles, locked in an intense discussion, while Wheeljack appeared to be cowering from Grimlock, the berserker snarling aggressively as his jaws tried to reach the tow truck from above and around the console he was positioning himself behind.

    Jazz tilted his head slightly in bewildement, before leaving Wheeljack to his fate and walking over to the jeep and the Hummer, the two glancing around at him as he asked: "Hound, what's the report?"

    "We've deduced that the Decepticon ship had landed near an area the humans call an aircraft boneyard. They're evidently scavenging for supplies that they can refine into Cybertanium, which leads us to suspect the Decepticons are preparing some sort of construction project."

    "As for how the main ship got to Earth without us detecting it-" Ratchet interjected, bringing up the Zeta-1's schematics on a display and highlighting the gliding panes. "-They must have made use of their gliding panes. No exhaust required for gliding, and no exhaust means no Energon-nitrate for us to track."

    Jazz took this in, musing for a moment, before replying: "Gliding may remove the exhuast factor, but there's no way they can hide burning air from the friction of re-entry. Keep an optic on Earth atmospheric patterns to identify any breaches-"

    "But what if it's just a human space shuttle or something?" Ratchet asked.

    "A Decepticon ship is a lot bigger than a space shuttle, you know."

    "I know, but-"

    "Besides, our main concern is finding a viable source of energy to transport back to Cybertron."

    "But how do we do it without the humans finding out? Without having to directly take from them?"

    "I don't know yet, but-"

    "HELP!"

    All three of them simultaneously revved in annoyance, before turning to Wheeljack, whom Grimlock had now successfully cornered and seemed ready to bite the inventor's head off.

    "Someone get this procotic maniac away from me!"

    "Grimlock, relax, calm down, chill out, all that jazz." Jazz said, sounding a tad bored. "What's the problem?"

    The tanker truck turned to the others, red optics flared and flickers of fire dancing in his mouth: "This idiot has lost track of the rookies! He summoned Evac to compensate for his incompetence, and then he left them alone in hostile territory, and they have not returned yet, and he cannot explain himself!"

    Ratchet sputtered with shock: "Summoned Evac into hostile territory?! Wheeljack, what the frag is wrong with you?! My apprentice is out there with another rookie, all on their own, and you don't know where they are?!"

    "It wasn't my fault!" Wheeljack cried, flinching away from the shock and anger of the others; one angry Autobot was bad enough, and now he had to deal with four! "Evac can fly better than before, and he could easily fix Bee and give him a lift, but-"

    "And yet they're not here." Grimlock snarled aggressively. "So help Grimlock, Wheeljack, if Bumblebee- and Evac too, Grimlock suppose- is not back within the hour, Grimlock will personally peel off every inch of your armour, bit by bit!"

    "Words can't begin to describe how much a of screw-up this is." Jazz muttered heavily, as Hound promptly activated his com-link and called: "Bumblebee, are you there?"

    "Hi, Hound! Sorry we took so long! We're just coming up the hatch now, actually, so voila, awesome timing! I love good timing-"

    The jeep promptly revved in relief, turned and declared: "No worries, Autobots, they're back!"

    Ratchet revved in utmost relief himself and went to reclaim his wayward protege, while Grimlock declared that he wouldn't have to kill Wheeljack today. But there was always tomorrow, right?

    Jazz chuckled slightly, before stating to the tow truck: "Next time, Jack, you'll keep a closer optic on your comrades, okay?"

    "Okay. Sorry. It's just they..... they talk a lot."

    "No denying that."

    The rookies themselves finally chose this moment to enter the control room, the door sliding to reveal the car and the helicopter, both of them soaking wet for some reason. Grimlock and Hound just laughed at the oddity of it all, while Ratchet screeched in horror about water rust and dripping everywhere and promptly dragged both rookies by the arms, the youngsters protesting vehemently, in order to dump them in the decontamination chamber.

    Jazz shook his head and grinned, idly wondering if he wanted to know what had taken the two so long. Given the water, probably crashing shenanigans. Ha, guess Evac still needed a bit of practice-

    "Hey, Jazz." Wheeljack said, grabbing the car's attention, turning to note a rather curious expression on the tow truck's face. "Speaking of being late, how come you arrived later than Grimlock?"

    The Solstice considered his answer, as Grimlock perked up at the question and turned his huge head towards them, red optics flashing at Jazz with what was most likely contempt, most likely for, as he would put it, wasting time ferrying organics around or something. Guess some conflicts had yet to be resolved, if they ever could be.

    Jazz shook his head and replied: "Don't bother yourself about it, Wheeljack. Besides-"

    He turned and looked out the observation panes, out at the sunlight, a symbol of the energy they needed: "-We have other questions to answer first."

    ---

    For a moment, everything was black, and he briefly wondered if he was blind. But then his data chip put up a bright purple screen informing him of the multiple damages he had received. How wonderful.

    Reboot systems and engage full-consciousness?

    Yes please-

    Ow!

    Turns out consciousness hurt. His armour felt stiff, crumpled and far too hot. Something was cracked somewhere, and his neural net was slow and felt like static. Urgh.

    His optics, thankfully functional, activated, and for a moment he was disorientated by the light above him, far too white, far too bright. It made his processor ache! But then, his systems adjusted, and the light became bearable, and he realised he was in the med-bay.

    Barricade revved slightly in anger. He hated the med-bay, and being in here for a second time in, what, two Earth days was just freaking aggravating!

    "Well, look who decided to join the online."

    And even more aggravating was snarky little medics!

    "Go intake someone's exhaust." He growled, wincing as his ragged voice sparked a bit of pain in his vocalising components. Damn, the stories weren't overselling it; that Autobot berserker hit like a fragging Driller.

    Slipstream moved into his view, bright green optics looking into his red, and he felt the tingling of her scanning systems going through him and shuddered slightly. He hated being scanned; it was so invasive!

    Ignoring his discomfort, the jet promptly declared: "Well, your processor seems to be functioning, as does your typical attitude. I'll need to calibrate your neural net, and then we can get started fixing up your plating."

    "Tell it to me straight, Slippy; how bad do I look?"

    "Bad enough to take Starscream's spot."

    "Ah frag."

    She giggled at that, honestly a tad relieved that the car was alright. For all his condescending attitude, Barricade was amusing company, especially when he and Starscream were having their little arguments. Granted, she always had to step in before one or both of them started flinging scrap, but still, amusing.

    The spindly fingers on the barrel of her ray-arm probed into a spot on the side of his head, the car twitching in annoyance, clicking open a panel on the cranial armour that she inserted a finger into, musing: "Well, let's see how your net's holding up..... Hmm, could have been worse, I guess. I'll have to disable it for a while, though. You don't mind going back offline, do you?"

    "Not really. I enjoy having a nap after getting trashed by some fire-breathing monster."

    She laughed at that, but just before she shut off the shock trooper's neurals, she thought of something, grinned widely, and said: "By the way, Barricade, I had a go at your game earlier. Would you believe that your high score wasn't as high as you thought?"

    "Oh, you little s-"

    She clicked off his neurals and Barricade slumped into unconsciousness.

    Slipstream giggled. Barricade was so amusing.


    Note: Jazz is picking up girls already? What a pro.

    Well, fear not, we're not gonna be introducing full-time human buddies anytime soon (if ever! :p ), but the idea of Jazz giving people a lift out of the goodness of his spark appealed to me. He's cool to his soldiers, and he's cool to the natives. Rock on, Jazz :D 

    Oh, has anyone noticed the subtle flaw of Starscream? You'll have to squint for it, but it's there....

    Episode 2: Conflicts. Complete
     
  20. LegoShokwave123

    LegoShokwave123 YOU CLOD!!!

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    Wow. I was expecting a post saying "April Fools".

    Good chapter. Subtle flaw of Starscream. Hmmmmmmmm. Does being Starscream count?