I promised this some time ago, and am just now getting to work on it (shame on me! : I've actually forgotten about it several times...)

Anyway, this is the "Victorian Prime" AU from "Mirrors", but in a cohesive story spanning from before the first one-shot all the way to sometime during World War II.

While it is my intent to write in the styles of Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle, I may occasionally default to more contemporary styles of narrative, and thus I beg your indulgence and ask that you bear with me.

All characters were inspired by "MamonnA"'s drawings on deviantart, as were some of the names like "Bull's Horn Band".

The Adventure of the Spider's Web

Being an Alternate Universe fiction composed by Ardent Aspen

Dramatis Personae:

The Heroes.

Lord Optimus Prime: a nobleman in his mid-thirties, who inherited the position from his late father. Single, well-educated, and a well-known lover of books. He has a deep compassion for the poor and often takes unfortunates off the streets to give them jobs.

William Fowler: an inspector from Scotland Yard who once saved the life of the previous Lord Prime.

Dr. Samuel Isaiah Rach: a surly, bachelor doctor who tires of his work among the rich and often wishes that he could afford to work solely with the poor—yet a rather steep rent will not allow him to.

Brogan O'Garvie: Once part of a street gang, Lord Prime turned the young Irishman away from a criminal path and now he works (on the surface) as Prime's stablemaster. Behind the scenes, he is a formidable soldier and brawler in the infamous Bull's Horn Band.

Brendan Foiche: The eldest of the six Foiche children, the eighteen year old Irishman is a crackshot, an errand runner, and whatever else Lord Prime needs depending on the situation. He harbors a deep hatred for the house of Kaon, as one of theirs recently murdered a cousin of his who was engaged to Lord Prime's secretary. He is a member of the Bull's Horn Band.

Raphael Foiche: Brendan's youngest brother, a bright lad of ten. To his wealthy parents' chagrin, he is most often found either tagging along with his eldest brother, or playing with the very poorest children in the streets.

Wallace "Wheels" Jerome: A loud, swaggering fellow with a penchant for carriage races—often landing him in trouble with the local constabulary—and a bit of a problem with authority figures. Dr. Rach likes to blame this on the man's American father, but there is no evidence in favor of that theory. For the most part, he hangs around Lord Prime's stables and appears to be quite useless, save when a skirmish with the house of Kaon arises. Then, with the other members of the Bull's Horn Band, he is an unstoppable warrior bent on victory.

Hagen Shackleton: the twelve year old cousin of Wheels Jerome, and the eldest of eleven children. Hagen does odd jobs for Lord Prime and helps around Inspector Fowler's offices to buy food for his three brothers and seven sisters. He also occasionally spies on the house of Kaon, being small and light on his feet. He is Raph's closest friend.

Arcee d'Iacon: orphaned at the age of fifteen, the young woman from a middle class family taught herself typing and made a living as a secretary. She discovered the extensive library of Lord Prime by accident and, sensing a fellow bibliophile, the nobleman hired her as his personal typist. She also functions as a scout, slipping into places where one of the men would attract too much attention, such as questioning Decepticon victims in hospitals.

Nurse June Darby: widowed before the birth of her son, and looked down upon by many for her profession (not everyone approved of women nurses in those days), she lives in a poor neighborhood, assisting local physicians here and there and cleaning the church during the week.

Jack Anthony Darby: Nurse Darby's fourteen year old son, a kind-hearted boy with a strong sense of right and wrong. He sells papers to help make ends meet, but knows that they are close to being evicted.

Mo Li: the thirteen year old daughter of opium traders who ran away from home. Having escaped their trade ship, she came to London, where she wanders, hiding in charities, hoping her parents will not find her. She is a brash, adventurous girl who cares little for convention.

The Villains.

Lord Megatron of Kaon: recently returned from a long journey to India, he is a ruthless, power-hungry tyrant of a man, only barely loyal to the queen. His family harbors an ancient grudge against the house of Prime, and he is only too willing to continue it. In his fifties, physically fit, prone to fits of temper and feats of strength, he is cruelly cunning and does not care who dies so long as he gets his way.

Ms. Estella Clamat: Lord Megatron's terrifying housekeeper. A shrill, demanding woman who is very used to getting her own way, especially since the master's been away. She and Megatron often clash, but as she's the only one who knows how to cook, he does not fire her or attempt to kill her. Estella organizes most of the house of Kaon's assassination missions.

Bajānā: the code name of the enigmatic assassin Lord Kaon brought back with him from India. He carries a falcon with him wherever he goes, and is rumored to be able to see through his eyes. He is perpetually silent, and it is not known what ethnicity he is as he continually covers all traces of skin under deep blue robes.

Dr. Kristoff Ottenwilder: a vain, polished young man who dabbles in science and fancies himself a doctor. He serves as a medic for the house of Kaon, though his practice is questionable.

Bruno Drake: Kristoff's volatile, one-eyed companion, a former military man turned mercenary with a chip on his shoulder and a score to settle with Brogan O'Garvie.

La Femme Airagnee: a mysterious, shadowy figure who leaves a pictogram of a spider everywhere she goes.

Now then, shall we begin our game?