Just a little note:: I usually write adult type fics (NC-17) but since Fan Fiction Net has decided to ban them, I don't believe I will be frequenting this site very often anymore. Its an abuse of our free writing and it makes a joke of the Fan Fiction Net slogan 'Unleash your imagination and free your soul'.

Right, I've had my say, now here's some very average fic. Its something new, but its not brilliant. :-)

WARRIOR'S GAME By Phoenix



Optimus Prime frowned when he saw the huge crush of people and 'Bot's below his office window. He crossed his arms and muttered something unintelligible.

"What was that?" Andromeda paused beside him, her gaze locked on the crowds below and her left hand clutching several datapads.

Optimus pulled a face behind his mask. "I'll never get used to this," he pointed one accusing finger at the people below. His Autobot City office was twenty storeys high, and right now he was wishing it was twenty storeys *below*.

"Uh, excuse me, if *I* had throngs of people like that paying adoration to me, I'd be mightily appreciating it, mister." Andromeda gave his arm a squeeze and kissed his cheek.

"Alright, YOU can go out there then." Optimus smiled down at her.

"Like, uh, NO WAY." Ani sniffed. "Besides, Arcee is minding me a place at the front, under the balcony Your Royal Autobotness will be standing on."

"Hmmm. 'Royal Autobotness'? Where did that come from?" Optimus quirked one optic.

"It comes from hanging around you too much," said Ultra Magnus as he stalked in the door, his secretary bot trotting behind him.

"Morning Magnus!" Andromeda said cheerfully.

"You don't like knocking, do you." Optimus pouted and crossed his arms.

Magnus shrugged, "The door was open. Good morning Andromeda. Op, you've got another death threat. Unknown identity."

"What......?!" Ani dropped all her datapads in shock.

Optimus moved around his desk and dropped into his chair, "Is it the same one as last week or someone new?" he asked casually.

"OPTIMUS~!" Ani screeched.

Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime gave her solemn looks and then Optimus waved a hand at her to calm down. "Its standard practice that I receive death threats once a week. You know there's always someone after my head." He tried to explain to a nervous and shocked looking Andromeda.

"I know that! I just.....I didn't expect you to treat it so lightly! Or that the threats came so often!" Andromeda gasped, clutching one hand to her chest.

The City Commander gave her a patient look, "We're prepared for anything. Don't worry yourself too much, Ani, he has full protection. No one has succeeded yet."

"Oh." Andromeda's optics blinked rapidly.

Magnus crossed his arms over his chest and fixed his best commander gaze on Optimus, "Wear your rifle."

Optimus groaned lightly and shook his head. "No, Magnus."

"Wear it." Magnus said again, this time with more a dangerous edge to his voice.

"Wear it! Do as he says!" Ani added her anxious voice to the confrontation.

"Have the rifle ready, or I'll have a fleet of guardian 'Bots following you EVERYWHERE." Magnus wasn't backing down. To summon the rifle from subspace when needed took too many precious seconds, much longer than whipping it up from his hip or thigh holster; time Optimus wouldn't have if facing an assassin with a gun pointed at his head.

"I'll wear it," Optimus muttered in defeat. To make his point of submission clear, Optimus called his rifle from subspace and let it drop with a thunk on his desktop.

"Good. Thank you." Ultra Magnus smiled and uncrossed his arms, leaving the room the same way he entered - with his loyal secretary 'bot following along behind.

"Those guard 'bots, would they really follow you *everywhere*?" Andromeda asked with twinkling optics. Optimus gave her a sly look.

"Lets just say there's only the two of us in bed tonight instead of six." Prime spoke slowly.

Andromeda's optics blinked, "Oh my. Thank Primus you took the rifle option."

*

Optimus Prime walked slowly around the Autobot City Memorial Park, hands linked behind his back and taking in the carefully nurtured lawns and gravel pathways surrounded by bushes and trees. When the garden was in flower during the warmer months it was a hugely popular destination for humans and robots. The park was designed to provide a serene and protected atmosphere for those who wished to remember the fallen heroes. The low wall surrounding the perimeter of the park was lined with small engraved metal squares holding the names of the fallen or lost. Optimus wondered when his name would finally appear - would he have a statue too? Like the memorial made in his memory by Rodimus Prime the last time he had been killed?

Prime stopped to watch the seating arrangements being set up by scurrying helper 'bots. Blurr, as always, was helping. Or perhaps hindering was the better word. Zipping around the side of the tent pavilion with five chairs stacked up in his arms, he collided with two smaller maintenance 'bots straightening chairs.

"Owowowowowow, thathurt, thathurt, watchwhereyou'regoing!!" Blurr whined, kneeling on the ground and trying to get his armful of chairs back together. The little droid 'bots made shrill beeps of their own displeasure at being splayed out on the ground.

The Autobot Commander sighed and quirked a smile behind his mask. The delegates would be arriving shortly, the maintenance 'bots were shorting themselves out to be ready. He'd better go apply a little polish of his own to his armor and make a pleasing impression on his guests.

* "That Optimus Prime guy will be dead as a blown engine. I never saw what was so great about him anyway." The alien spat on the ground and popped another chunk of an illegal substance into the 'hole' which represented its mouth.

Springer dropped his laser cutter in surprise and turned to face the shuttle port technician, "What did you say....?"

"Eh? About what?" The four-armed, bright-yellow skinned, smelly alien cocked an eye at him, chewing vigorously on his drug.

Springer stuck an arm out against his shuttle for support as he balanced on the stubby shuttle wing, "About Optimus!!" he demanded.

"Tis a rumor. He's got a dead head." The alien coughed and drooled some spit onto the ground. Springer thought he was quite disgusting, but the small alien was a brilliant mechanic - especially when it came to ages-old clap trap Autobot shuttles.

{Dead head. Thats alien speak for an assassin target! Primus!} Springer grabbed the tech and held him close, ignoring the stench. "Who's after Optimus?!"

"I dunno~! Let go!" The alien smacked uselessly at Springer's arm, having no effect on the strong green metal. Frustrated, and a little bit sorry he'd grabbed the guy, Springer set him down.

"Alright, I'm sorry." Springer tried to smile kindly while secretly wiping the horrible goo from the alien's skin off his hands without going 'Errrrrrr!!'. "Can you tell me anything useful? Anything at all?" he asked.

The alien went silent, frowned, furrowed his brow and then pronounced, "Nup."

*

"What the heck is this?" Ultra Magnus frowned at the slimy gloop of spiced energon he'd just obtained from the administration office's refreshment bar.

Rodimus Prime leaned over to look seriously into the awful cup of energon in Magnus' disdainful hand, "Hmmm. I dunno Mags, it looks like shit. And I haven't yet touched the dispenser this morning, so it wasn't me doing anything weird!"

Magnus scowled at both Rodimus and the cup. "I guess I'll just add this to the long list of things which have been going wrong around here for the past week."

"Is that the list which also contains the mutilated dead body of the Ungarian Ambassador?" Rodimus enquired, waving a hand at his secretary bot who was leaning out of his office door and making vigorous 'come here, you've got a comlink call!' motions with her arm.

"Yes," Magnus nodded. "Although I have to officially say its a terrible tragedy and a waste of a life, I really won't miss the guy. I would like to catch the perpetrator. It should not have happened."

"But I thought it was a rather neat touch to hang him from the communications tower. Anyway, the autopsy showed he died from a heart attack *before* he was mutilated." Rodimus tried to argue, bashing the side of his hand against the energon dispenser and fiddling with the controls.

Abruptly, all the lights in the office building flickered and shorted out. Darkness reigned. The secretary bots gave little shrieks of distress. Other office occupants yelled in annoyance. In the inky blackness, Rodimus announced solemnly, "Add this to the 'stuffed things list', will ya Mags?"

"Yeah, right, as soon as I can *see* it again, Rodimus," Magnus growled, then activated his chest lights and stomped off down the hallway to find the cause of the problem.

*

Out in the gardens in the afternoon sunlight, Optimus Prime's friendly planetary delegate party was progressing nicely. The new Ungarian Ambassador (a replacement for the dead one) was yelling profanities and throwing food at the Iclara delegate who was trying to shield himself behind one of the chairs.

Two other delegates who Optimus didn't really know, where engaged in a cuddle and kiss session down one of the garden paths. Another delegate was asleep and snoring in his chair, and the female delegate from Varon was sitting stiffly in her chair with a frozen horrified expression. Optimus sighed and went to leave his little speech platform at the front of the tent and try to regain some peace among the factions......

The Autobot Commander tripped down the stairs and just barely managed to remain upright. {Thats strange}Optimus thought and his optics blinked rapidly. It felt like someone had kicked him...... then he turned his gaze downwards and saw the huge chunk of spear protruding from the side of his chest about the same time the Varon delegate started to scream.

*Then* the pain appeared in a rush. Optimus groaned, still confused, but in tremendous agony, and started to fold at the knees. His defense instincts kicked in, and despite the spear almost cutting him in half, his right hand groped for the rifle which had been hanging at his hip. The spear got in the path of his hand, he couldn't grasp it. He vaguely thought how mad Magnus would be that he hadn't been able to reach it.

He dropped to the floor on his knees with bright blue energon streaming from his chest. It flooded the ground and turned dark purple as it swiftly dried at the edges. Prime held himself on his outstretched arms, gasping in miscomprehension. His head hung down and some energon dripped out of his mouth from behind his mask onto his spread hands. His system was back flowing energon. He watched the drip of his own energon blood with a strange disembodied fascination.

He could hear the whirring of laser rifles being charged. It sounded like buzzing insects. The noise annoyed him. The panicking yells of the delegates looking for something to shoot. {Dammit, get organised!! And stop yelling! Stupid politicians!} Optimus wanted to yell his frustration but he was sort of occupied with collapsing.

He lay on the ground, chest first, cheek pressing into the ground as he weakly watched the swarm of armed and horrified Autobots coming his way. The wetness under his face surprised him. It was his own energon spreading thickly over the ground. There was so much 'blood' the depth was like a kiddie's wading pool.

{Rodimus.... Rodi....} He tried to block the shock and pain flowing along the Matrix link straight into Rodimus. The link was so uncontrolled the pain he was already feeling rebounded back off Rodi and straight back to himself. He lost conciousness at the same time Ultra Magnus pounded up to him.

Magnus fell down to one knee and crouched forward, seeing Optimus' optics dim to black. He thought Optimus was gone. "SURROUND THE PERIMETER! FIND THE MURDERER!" The City Commander's hard yell sent some 'bots forming a heavily armed circle around the marquee tent with Optimus lying inside - others were darting around the gardens, looking for the assassin. Magnus had gotten ahead of himself. Optimus wasn't dead, so he couldn't be 'murdered'.

Magnus held out one trembling hand to touch the side of his commander's neck. His optics searched Prime's body for the fading of his red/blue colors; the color-zapping process where the body turned gray after death. {Not again, NOT AGAIN.}

Someone hit his hand away. "He's not dead! Move to the side!" Blades hissed as he dropped to a crouch on the other side of Optimus' body and withdrew a humming surgical laser from his forearm compartment. The medic deftly steadied the thick spear sticking out of Optimus chest, then sliced the end off it, leaving only the piece within the chest.

Blades threw it over his shoulder, focusing on his patient. "Help me turn him over!" he demanded of Magnus, getting his hands under Optimus' chest and trying unsuccessfully to lift him onto his back.

Ultra Magnus was too stunned to assist. He was sitting back on his heels, arms hanging limply by his sides, rifle lying flat in his right hand, optics hugely wide in confusion. Blades stared at him, "Magnus!!".

"Here!" Springer emerged at his side, slipped his hands under Optimus' body and carefully maneuvered him onto his back. He then straightened up and stepped back as the other med bay tech's and doctor's appeared in clusters around the horrific scene.

Springer stared at Magnus. He was still sitting there. The Triple Changer didn't feel so good himself. His hands felt cold and he lifted them before his optics. They were covered with purplish black energon - Optimus' leaked and drying life fluids. His fingers rubbed together. It made him feel sick. Energon was usually a wonderful bright blue. He moved back on numb legs as the medics clustered around Optimus and somehow got him on a hover stretcher. They raced off up the road to Metroplex, the perimeter guards running to maintain their protective circle around their fallen Leader.