The Transformers war had raged here on earth for years and both sides in this civil war had found their way back to Cybertron. Yet they chose to return here to carry on their battles. Some say that they needed our energy, others say that they wanted our planet, a few claim that it was spite alone. Some of us give them reason for spite; I am one of those people.
Soundwave made his way cautiously towards the storage tanks. Seeing no one nearby he decided to continue with his plan. Slowly he reached up and pressed the button on his shoulder.
“Rumble, Frenzy, eject. Operation: energon recovery. Qualifier: stealth,” he softly rumbled as the cassettes launched from his chest, quickly transforming before hitting the ground. Normally a boisterous pair, the two were abnormally quiet, they understood the grave importance of this mission. “Ravage, Lazerbeak eject. Operation: Perimeter surveillance.” Just as quietly as the others Ravage hit the ground and began stalking the area. Missions can be quite easy when proper stealth precautions are taken, Soundwave thought as he ejected empty energon cubes from his chest.
Oh, crap, ohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrapohcrap!! Axle Waters mind raced as he huddled against the ridge lining the edge of the storage tank. Just my luck that’d I’d be out here on a frelling Saturday, working on a pump that isn’t even on my section. Axle had traded on call weekends with a co-worker just so he could make the big paintball scenario game next weekend. All week had been quiet and he had hoped that the trend would continue for this weekend. It didn’t turn out that way, instead a small circulation pump on the top of number seven petrol storage tank decided to start cavitating. Considering the liquid assets that were kept stable by this pump, the area manager had quickly paged Mr. Waters to handle it. The engineer (in training) had quickly diagnosed the problem, but those thoughts were quickly lost as he realized that a 30 ft tall robot stood between him and safety. All Axle could do was press himself into what little cover there was and hope that they didn’t notice him. Where was Rainbow when you needed them?
was enjoying her Saturday evening tour of Earth locals. Tonight the femme was
doing her best to enjoy the northern
“Hey honey, I don’t like it either, but it is their planet to work with,” replied the Corvette. “Just hold out for about five miles and we’ll be through this and back out in the open.”
“Fine, Tracks, it may be their planet, but someone should tell them that they’re messing it up. Bah! Let’s get through this!” The white and black Chevy sped up gaining just a touch of distance on the blue Corvette before Tracks sped up to join Cavalier.
“What’s that?” Cavalier inquired a few minutes later.
“That dot in the sky over there. Looks like a bird, but I’ve never seen one just quite like it before.”
Tracks nearly locked up his ABS as he slammed on his brakes, “What’s HE doing HERE!?!?!”
“He who?” Cavalier asked as she too stood on her brakes.
“Lazerbeak.” Tracks replied as he
opened his comlink. “Tracks to
“Blaster here, what’s up Tracks?”
“Blaster, I’ve spotted Lazerbeak circling over a refinery down here off the coast. That means that Soundwave’s back. Do we know of any Decepticon activity on Earth?”
“Negative, Tracks. I have no clue how he got here I’ll notify the others.”
“Lets go see what they’re up to!” Interrupted Cavalier as she sped back up to close in on the refinery.
“Hey! Get… back… here…*sigh* Blaster I have to follow her, I’ll get back with ya later. Tracks out. Girl, you better not get my paint scratched” Tracks muttered as he sped of after the young Autobot.
Soundwave looked up at the return of Lazerbeak. “Lazerbeak report.” Mentally Soundwave cursed as he downloaded Lazerbeak’s report. How could they have found us this quickly? He thought. There was no way they could have detected him coming on planet, of this he was certain.
By now they had collected a large stack of energon cubes and the tank was nearly empty. “Rumble, Frenzy start moving the energon to the base” Commanded the purple bot, as he pushed a new button on his shoulder. Suddenly a black point appeared between Soundwave and his tapes. It quickly expanded to accommodate the brothers and their armfuls of energon.
Axle’s fears rose as he saw the portal open, but when he saw the smaller robots begin carrying the energy cubes into the portal he gained hope. Maybe they’ll leave and not see me. I may yet survive this! Then he saw the two Autobots approacthing. Shit.
As Cavalier drove up she spotted Soundwave and some strange engery rippling behind him. “Halt! Or I’ll shoot!” she yelled as she transformed into her bot mode, pulling her pistol in one clean motion.
“Cav, No!” Tracks called out at the same moment as Soundwave reached for his shoulder cannon. Tracks looked on in horror as the young Femme bot fired on the Decepticon. Her shot was slightly off and slammed Soundwave in the hip causing his shot to go low and spray dirt and concrete up at the two Autobots. Soundwave stumbled, first into the storage tank, then though his own portal automatically beginning to close behind him.
The initial spray cleared just in time for the two cars to see a human screaming and falling from the top of the tower. “AHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….” The scream was abruptly cut off as he passed through the edge of the closing portal.
Cavalier looked on in shock at the mangled form of the human as sirens approached in the distance.
Must fight back the pain
Searing through my head
“Nova One, Dreamland Control reads Long Haul is holding at angels twenty. Nova Two and Three are already in the air. You are cleared for takeoff. Have a nice flight”
“Roger Control, Nova One beginning takeoff run.” Lieutenant-Major Manfred “Manny” Greycastle smiled into his mask. With his toes on the brakes he slowly applies thrust to full military power. Its overkill with the amount of runway available, but Manny always likes to keep his piloting skills at combat readiness. Besides the DreamStar could launch off a carrier deck without a catapult no problem, and that’s not in VTOL mode. As he released the brakes Manny was rewarded with the sensation of being plastered to his seat as the g forces built up. Then in a blink of an eye the DS was 100 ft off the ground gear up and well on her way to cruising altitude.
“Hmmm, yeah baby!” exclaimed the exuberant pilot as he pulled off a double barrel roll. But the initial excitement quickly fades as Manny’s thoughts focus on the mission. He was scheduled to take control of two automated attack drones (AAD) and lead them through some test combat maneuvers.
Manny slid his sleek black and red fighter into position off the right wing of a heavily modified EB-52, ending the joy of free flight sooner than he would wish. In fingertip formation off the left side were the two AAD’s. At a little more than 30 feet long it continually amazed him that these could carry the amount of firepower that they did. Unlike previous flights during this flight each of the drones AI’s would have full access to their 50 caliber AP cannon and the 4 advanced stinger missiles each carried.
Manny merely thought about calling the bomber and his advanced control system opened the proper channel for this exercise. “Long Haul, this is Nova One on station and ready for command transfer.”
“Roger Nova one, hold one sec for command transfer.” Manny prepared himself for the tingling sensation that always came whenever he had command of these drones. He thought it felt sort of like an itch, but not enough of one to be really annoying, just slightly disconcerting.
“Nova One, Long Haul requests confirm command transfer, over” Radioed an officer on board the EB-52.
“Long Haul, Nova One confirms command transfer. Requesting permission to engage in part one of test.”
“Request granted Nova One, happy hunting”
“What was that!?!?” exclaimed Lt. (jg) Charles Harkness as he pushed himself out from under a large machine. Grease up to his elbows, he stands looking at what appears to be a very large piece of mobile artillery quite unlike any the world has seen yet. Charles walks backwards away from the machine the thirty feet to the wall, in order to take in the entire huge machine that was codenamed: MANMADE.
“What the…” the Lieutenant mumbled as he walked towards the intermittent light coming from the cockpit area. “If I didn’t know better I’d say that the automated repair system was acting up,” he said. However, he did know better. None of the systems were even supposed to be powered up yet! As he walked around the hangar he stared in disbelief – it was the self-repair system! But there’s nothing to fix! he thought as he approached the sparks shot off the welding arm. This whole system was designed to repair damage sustained in battle, but it wasn’t doing that. Instead it was welding the doors shut and doing something inside the command cockpit.
As soon as Lt. Harkness realized this he sprinted for the alarm button and dived out the nearest door as the hangar went into lockdown.
“What’s going on?”
“MANMADE’s repair system is doing something to the cockpit.”
“How’s that even possible? It’s supposed to still have the manual power blocks installed.”
“I don’t know, but it is.”
“Could the AAD AI have infected it?”
“No way, the systems weren’t connected. Period. Separate isolated computer
“Better get the DreamStar and her pilot back down here in case we have to take drastic measures.”
“May I suggest that we send the AAD’s to Red Sands for emergency recovery? I don’t think it’d be a good idea for MANMADE to get in control range of them if it’s acting up.”
“Agreed. Have Long Haul recover there too and get them reloaded into the bird ASAP. Don’t need to leave these guys hanging out there.”
“Sir, we’re picking up something over the hangar’s intercom.”
“Put it on speaker”
“Sir, yes sir.”
*click* “Welcome my son, welcome to the machine……”
Almost got it! Manny thought as he completed the tight immelman followed by a tight spiral, putting the target drone directly in front of him. Slowly he began to squeeze the trigger, when suddenly a pair of cannon bursts erupted from either side of him. He released the trigger as the drone spiraled down to crash into the desert floor. Damn, those AAD’s are better than I thought! Well they won’t get the next target before I do. Lt. Greycastle thought as he locked on to the next target.
He was just beginning to focus on his next target when the radio interrupted him, “Knock it off, knock it off, knock it off!” Manny swiftly brought his wings level and Nova two and three neatly followed suit.
“Nova one, return to base. Something’s wrong with project MANMADE and we want you there to help control it. Long Haul you have command of Novas two and three, Control out.” Manny felt the sharp ping as the drones’ command line was quickly moved over to long haul.
“Ouch! Gimme some warning next time Control, that switchover hurt. Nova one returning to base.”
“Sorry, Nova one, but Watchtower gave this red priority.”
“Roger that command, be there in about a minute.” Literally he thought as he accelerated up to somewhere beyond mach 3.
“Command, this is Nova One on station outside hangar 3. Awaiting orders,” reported the young pilot as his craft deftly changed from a graceful fighter jet to an imposing mechanoid, landing gently on the taxiway.
“Nova One, be advised that there are three security tanks rolling in. Orders are to remain outside and monitor the situation. Further instructions will be given momentarily.”
Figures, he thought. They’re never ready to take action. The passive sensors began to sweep the area with the new combat AI filtering out all the local “noise.” The first thing that registered as out of the ordinary was the fact that MANMADE was already warmed up. Next the audio filters picked up and amplified the sounds from inside the hangar. “What’s this? Who left the radio on in the hangar?” mumbled the pilot as he recognized the last few seconds of Pink Floyd’s Welcome to the Machine. As it ended the music smoothly transferred to Brain Damage.
“Control, can you turn off the radio in the hangar? I can’t hear anything over it!”
“Negative Nova One. Power has already been cut to the hangar, the sounds seem to be coming from the vehicle itself. Continue monitoring. Control out.”
Manny sat there watching as now the thermal imaging system had zoned in enough to watch all the miniscule heat transfers within the machine. It was quite an amazing sight as he realized that he was watching the automated repair system doing something to the test-bed mech. “Oh crap! I left my mp3 player in there! Damnit!” he exclaimed as the tanks rolled up. He hadn’t realized that he’d been mouthing the words to the well-remembered songs. Nor did he realize that all the songs played could be grouped under the label psychedelic rock. Slowly the thermal signature of the engine compartment rose. Suddenly the point defense turrets came to life and the automated repair system shut down and folded away. Soon he could see and hear the huge mech moving, just ever so slightly inside the hangar. If he didn’t know better the Lieutenant would have said that it seemed like something was testing this out methodically, much like a person would treat a limb fresh out of a cast.
“Control, I’m reading movement and weapon activity. Please advise”
“Nova One, maintain position. If it attempts to leave the compound you are authorized to use lethal force to detain it. I say again, do NOT let it leave the premises under any circumstances.”
“Roger that, Command. Nova One is weapons hot.” Great! How the hell are 3 automated tanks and my DStar going to be able to handle this monster?! As Manny settled into his seat, trying to prepare for what he knew to be a hopeless battle, he almost failed to notice the rising heat signature of the projects massive main cannon.
<guitar rifts play>
“Oh, Shi…” Lt. Greycastle couldn’t finish the exclamation as he poured power into the main engines, sending the agile mech hurtling into the air.
*BOOM* <continue playing Saliva’s Click, Click, Boom>
The hangar door hurtled off its massive hinges following the near unstoppable blast from MANMADE’s cannon. The tanks had no warning and no way to dodge the multi ton door. Fortunately these tanks are remote controlled Manny thought as he watched the door crush them into rubble. Suddenly the DStar began to fall towards the left. A moderate shard of metal had damaged the left leg, and he was quickly loosing altitude at balance. Swiftly he dropped to the ground and leveled his cannon at the oncoming howitzer.
This was the first time Manny had seen the new project since it had received it’s chameleon camouflage system and even at 100 yards the monstrosity was hard to see. Seeing it turn and begin heading down the taxiway he let out a slight sigh as he leveled his GAU-8M at the retreating machine and fired off a short burst. His heart rose as the burst solidly hit the center of the large tank’s body and the active cammo sputtered and faded.
Unfortunately he could now see that the burst of 30mm shells did absolutely nothing to the new armor plating on the beast. Manny watched on in a sick sort of awe as the large machine smoothly transformed from the largest mobile howitzer ever into one of the largest mechs he’d ever seen. Slowly the mech turned and squared off with the DStar. Manny felt as if MANMADE’s optics were cutting straight through the DStar’s armor plating and scanning him personally, when suddenly the machine unleashed a torrent of point defense fire sending shuddering waves through the smaller mech. As Manny tumbled backward with most of the cockpit lit up with failure warnings he saw another tank skid around the corner and drew a bead on its target. With barely a turn of the head, the monster leveled his fusion cannon at the small tank and proceeded to atomize it.
Manny’s head ached with the feedback he was getting from his control system. His mech, unlike other transectors, operated with a neurofeedback lead from the pilot. This allowed for faster transformations and maneuvers, but also happened to cause the pilot intense pain when the mech took damage.
Through the waves of pain, the lieutenant felt more than saw the larger mech approach and lift up his mech by its neck. What’s Jonathan Davis doing here he thought just before he blacked out.
*…’cause it’s all in the family…*
New body, form, spirit
Must protect those I love
After inquiring at the floor’s nurse station, Luke MacArin walked slowly down one of the many nameless sterile halls. I don’t like hospitals, thought the youth. Never have, never will. Last time he was in a hospital he met the shade of Air Commander Starscream, an experience he didn’t want to repeat. Slowly he made his way towards room 129. Quiet, even for a Hospital, though I suppose a coma ward would be. He didn’t want to be here, but he was assigned the task. Once from his friend, and again by his boss.
Quietly he opened the door to find the standard, silent, sterile hospital room. Unlike other rooms he’d been in this one had a wonderful view through the open curtains, with the setting sun streaming in. Just as quietly he shut the door behind himself. “Well that was silly,” he murmured as he turned back towards the bed. “You probably can’t even… hear… me.” He stood shocked looking at the body, what he’d thought were rays of sunlight, he now noticed, were something much different. As he moved to the foot of the bed he saw white strands of material stretched from the comatose body straight up, and seemingly through the ceiling.
Strangely the texture of these chords seemed familiar but for a moment he couldn’t place it. “Looks like freakin’ Starscream!” he quietly exclaimed as he admired the ghostly tendrils. He slowly reached out towards the fibers and as his hand approached he started to get some feeling he couldn’t quite place from it. It sounded almost like music.
“Hello, who are you?” Luke jumped and turned to face the voice. Standing just inside the door was a man and a woman, both with gray streaks in their hair. Neither looked like they had slept in days. Must be the parents thought the teen.
“Hi, um, my name’s Luke.”
“Hello Luke,” Replied the father as they moved to either side of the bed. “So what brings you visiting? I don’t remember Axle mentioning anything about a Luke. You a friend?”
“Well, not really no. I’m just here for a friend of mine.”
“Hrm, okay. Where’s your friend?”
“She’s waiting outside.”
“Invite her up. Really, if she’s a friend of Axle’s she should come up here. Might help him some. He can hear us, you know?”
“Well she doesn’t exactly like hospitals. I think you can see her from this window though.” Luke moved over to the window searching for the white and black car. “There,” he said pointing towards the Cavalier.
“Why does she wait in the car?”
“Well, actually she, kinda, is the car.” For a quiet room, Luke was unnerved at the sudden silence. He turned towards the father, wondering what had happened. He stepped back in shock when he saw the hatred in the father’s eyes. “Wha…?”
“Get. Out.” The older man nearly whispered in a voice cold enough to freeze the air. “Your ailen freinds are the ones that put my son here! We're not interested in their wars or their problems. So get out, NOW!”
Knowing when he wasn’t welcome had kept him alive this long, so he hurried from the room trying to be discrete. He hurried out of the building and hopped into the driver’s side of Cavalier. “Well that could have gone better,” he mumbled as they headed out of the parking lot.
“How is he?” the car asked as they started off back towards Autobot headquarters.
"As good as any other person who's in a coma I guess, but something strange is going on here. That and now his parents seem to have the hate on for your kind and those of us who associate with you. They seem to blame you for his condition."
"But I was trying to save him!" She cried.
"True, but they don't see it that way. They see that a transformer, Soundwave, did this to him. They don't distinguish between you and him. It's like with me and other street people. We're a completely different class, and society doesn't distinguish one of us from the next."
"Unnggg....." Lt. Greycastle groaned as he stirred in his bed. "What happened?" He asked as his eyes fluttered open. Slowly his senses activated and he took in his surroundings. He could feel the I.V. in the back of his hand and he heard the hum of the machines that monitored him. Turning his gaze from the dull white ceiling tiles, he caught a glimpse of an orderly scurrying out the door. As the door closed Manny noted the armed military guard standing just outside the room.
Well at least they got me out in time. I wonder how much was destroyed. Manny began to carefully gauge his current physical status. He felt a few major bruises on his shoulders and hips, but that was expected from his chair straps. Most of the pain was currently a constant dull throb in his head. He shut his eyes and tried to concentrate the throb away, but was unsuccessful.
When he heard the door open his eyes snapped open to find his boss, General Sims, followed by a doctor. He smiled weakly as the doctor shuffled past the general and began to check the Lieutenant's chart against readings from some of the machines. Manny glanced at the general and got the 'We'll talk about this later' look.
"So, how bad is it doc?"
"Not too bad really, a minor concussion, a cracked collar bone, and a host of bruises," the doctor smiled. "We'll have you out of here by mid afternoon."
"Thanks. No offense, but I never really liked hospitals anyway."
"No one does, it's ok Actually we were kidna worried for a while there. Generally concussion victims don't sleep for two days."
"Two days?! I was out for two days?"
"Yep. You must be charmed, to have survived a high speed landing gear failure and not sustain any injuries worse than these." Now the doctor was holding Manny's chart at his waist and was looking expectedly at his patient. Manny locked stares with the doctor. At the edge of his vision he saw General Sims nod slightly.
"Well doc," the LT replied, "this new X-37 is pretty hot stuff, but prototypes always have greater possibilities for failure."
“Lieutenant! You know better than that!” barked General Sims. “I’m sorry doc, I’m going to have to ask you to forget that you heard that” explained the general as he led the doctor from the room.
“Of course, sir. I understand.”
“Good. If everything is in order I’ll have a car here for the Lieutenant at , ok?”
“Yes, he should be ready by then.” The doctor, trying to show that he understood the situation, quickly added, “I’ll have his room isolated. I’ll take care of all his needs personally.”
“Yes, that’ll be good. Thank you for your cooperation.”
Now I find myself out in space, ever searching, seeking, yearing for the way home.
"Nothing really special to report right now." Reported Kup. "Its just been disurbingly quiet. Galvatron is still consolidating his forces on Char and has been seen off planet only for minor supply raids. Interestingly enough Soundwave has not been seen since that incident with Cav and Tracks."
"We should hit them now before they gather their forces and attack us!" Ultra Magnus gestured angrily at the starchart in front of him. "I'm tired of always being on the defensive."
"I'd rather not have to be fighting at all, Magnus." Rodimus Prime shot back at Magnus. "More importatnly we can't abandon Earth or Seibertron until we KNOW where all of Galvitron's forces are for certian. We think that most of his forces are on Charr, which makes some stratigic sense, but there are too many units unaccounted for. No, for now we'll stay here." Rodimus picked up a pad. "In the mean time continue the training of the newer bots."
"Kup, I need you to push the intel people. We need to know where ALL the active cons are."
"Right on it, sir."
"Oh, and has there been any update on Cavalier's human?"
"Nothing new, he's still in a coma as far as we know, and his family still won't talk with us."
"Waddaya mean she's going to be down for another month?! She's aready been down three!" Exasperated Manny gesgulated rudely at the phone and the invisible party on the other end. "Sorry, sorry, fine. Thanks for the update." He slammed the phone back into its cradle.
Despite the recent incedent, he had recovered and obtained flight clearance shortly more than one month afterwards. Spending the following two months not flying had left him uneasy.