THE WESTERN SIBERIAN PLANES:21 Days Ago…

"My, God!"  Rasputin whispered. 

The prist turned and smiled at him.  "Welcome, Brother Rasptuin.  Welcome to the Ark!"

"The… Ark?"  Rasputin asked, in awe.  "That… thing has a name?"

"That thing, as you so bluntly put it, is the one hope that could save mankind, Brother Rasputin, from the Evil ones forces."

"What is that thing?"  Rasputin asked, still in awe.  "I have never seen anything like it before in my entire life!"

"Long ago," the prist began, "not long after God created the Earth, the Guardians arrived, and destroyed the Evil one and his army of darkness.  Once beaten, the Evil was flung to the furthers corner of the world, where he lies, imprisoned.  The guardians then went to sleep, keeping an ever-watchful eye over the world.  If the Evil ever arose again, the guardians would follow, and stop him."

"How do you know all this?"  Rasputin demanded.

"These are the stories that have been passed down through the ages, Brother Rasputin," the prist replied.  "Ever since the brotherhood was first born, in order to protect the guardians as they lay dormant, awaiting the day when they would be needed again."

"That doesn't explain anything," Rasputin replied, somewhat agitated.

"A thousand years before the birth of Christ," the prist started, "Our brotherhood's founding father, St. Peter, found this cave while trying to take refuge during a storm.  He wondered this huge cavern, and discovered the Ark."  His hand swept over the huge object.  "Upon investigation, the Ark spoke to him, and allowed him to enter the great tomb.  There, he discovered the guardians, cast into a deep slumber, awaiting the day when the evil one would once again rise, and protect mankind."

"Where did this thing come from?"  Rasputin asked.

"The havens," the prist replied.  "It was sent by God."

"Amazing," Rasputin muttered.  "How are we supposed to awaken the guardians?"  He then asked.

"Come," the prist, answered, as his aid helped him towards the giant iron tomb, "We will take you to them."  Rasputin was hesitant at first, but made his may towards the thing, making sure to keep just behind the old prist.

They walked down a specially made stone path, that lead towards a giant set of double doors, that seemed so forbidding.

Suddenly, a small hole in the thing opened up, and what looked like a telescope came out, and turned towards them.

"Do not be afraid," the prist said, as he turned to his aid.  The aid then produced something the size of a large painting, covered with a thick woollen cloth.  The priest then unwrapped it, and let the cloth fall to the ground below. 

It was a huge iron version of the red face he'd seen so many times.  The prist then held it up towards the telescope.  All of a sudden, Rasputin jumped, as a small tight ray of green light shot froth from the telescope, and began to bath the metal face in green light. 

Then, there was a high-pitched whistling sound, and there was a loud bombing voice, which spoke perfect Russian.

"Authorisation confirmed, Access granted."  Before Rasputin could ask any question, the telescope disappeared back into the hole it had come from, and there was a loud click, followed by a slow rumbling sound, as the double doors, slid open with a power all of their own. 

Rasputin took a few steps backward, and was almost ready to turn about and run, had not the prist and his aid started towards the doors the moment they started opening.  Summoning up his courage, he took a deep breath, and followed them inside.  His boots echoing of the metal floor.

Once inside, Rasputin was at a loss for words.  If he'd been impressed by mealy the outside, what lay inside was utterly breathtaking. 

Lights that glowed as bright as the sun, yet with no flame.  Iron so smooth, it was almost like skin, and the constant hum of an unknown source reverberated all around him.  Rasputin walked behind the prist and his aid, turning his head from one fascinating object to the next, like a curios child, as they made their way down the hall.

Eventually, they came to the end of the long hall.  Another huge door blocked their path, but as the prist and his aid approached it, it opened by its self, making Rasputin jump.  As he hesitated, the prist turned around, and beckoned him to follow.

"Come, Brother Rasputin," he replied.  "There is nothing in here that can harm you!"  He hesitated again, before making a few short, but curious steps inside.

He froze, and this time, he cried out in alarm.

They now stood inside a gigantic metal room, with boxes here and there.  Strange coloured wires hung all around the place, tubes, and junk.  And there, scattered about room, where giants.  Giant men made entirely of iron.  They lay on the ground, in the position of dead men after a battle.  They were enormous in size, and were utterly frightening. 

"There is no need to be frightened," the prist reassured him again.  "Come, we must wake up the guardians."

"How!?!"  Rasputin blurted out.  "Even now, I seriously doubt I'll be able too."

"Only you, have the power, brother Rasputin," the prist answered.  "Only you, have the gift that can wake the guardians."

"I don't know how!"  Rasputin practically screamed out.  "I don't even know what this place is!  I don't even know what they really are!"  He pointed to the nearest iron giant.  "And even if my powers could wake them up, I don't even know where to begin!"

"Then I will show you," the prist said, and leaving his aid behind, hobbled over to a giant throne in the middle of the room.  In the throne, lay the tallest of the iron giants.  Its torso was red and grey, with blue legs and head.  It had spikes coming form the top of its head with a visor where it's mouth should've been.  On both shoulders, it wore the same red face he'd seen everywhere in this place.

Rasputin followed, keeping just behind the old man, as he hobbled over to the tall giant.  "What is that?"  Rasputin whispered. 

"The start," the prist answered, holding up his hands towards it.  "This is where you must start, Brother Rasputin.

"I… I…"  He stammered.  He was getting a strange feeling from the iron giant.  Something he'd never felt before.  Standing before this giant, felt like standing before a morning ray of sunlight.  He felt warm, and safe.  There was something coming from this creature that was powerful.  Something he couldn't quite explain.

"You can feel it, can't you!"  the Prist said.

"Yes, father," Rasputin replied in a soft voice, "I can."

The prist then waved to his aid, who quickly left the room.  A few minutes later, he returned with twenty big strong men, whom al carried crowbars, and hooks.  The prist then waved at the sleeping giant in the throne, and the workers started climbing all over it, climbing up to it's chest. 

Once there, they all attached the hooks, and crowbars, and began to heave. 

"One… Two… Heave!"  The lead man shouted, and they all strained.  He shouted the same thing again, and they strained to pull the chest apart.  A third time, and something gave way.  There was a hissing sound as the chest parted slightly.  The workers started pulling more vigorously, pulling the chest open, like a set of double doors, until it was fully open.

"Dear… God," Rasputin whispered. 

It glowed like a bright full moon, shining through crystal.  It was the most beautiful thing, Rasputin had ever seen.  Held together in some sort of holder, the giant glowing crystal bathed the whole room in a bright white light.  Even the workers stoped and stared in stunned awe.

Only Rasputin was able to feel the energy, radiating from the great jewel, like a life force.  It was almost as if he were standing before the gates of heaven its self.  Slowly, he took one step, then another, and then another, towards the giant.  The others watched, as Rasputin slowly climbed up the legs, then along the lower torso towards the chest. 

Standing within arms reach of it, was overwhelming.  He shielded his eyes from the glow, as he reached out.  He backed off, as he felt the overwhelming rush of energy from the jewel.  It was unlike anything he'd ever experienced before. 

Slowly, he reached out, and touched the glowing jewel.  Suddenly, he was bombarded by a million images at once, like a thousand novels cramming themselves into his brain, he cried out in alarm, as he reserved an overwhelming amount of knowledge and information.

Just then, it all vanished, as he was pulled away by the rough hands of a worker.  He lay in the man arms, gasping for breath.  The man glanced back at the jewel, which had stopped glowing as brightly as it originally had.

"Are you alright?"  He asked.

Rasputin did not answer him.

"Is he dead?"  Another worker asked.  The man who held Rasputin, placed two fingers to his neck, and shook his head. 

"Just stunned," he replied."

"Take him to our guests quarters," the prist said, as the workers all helped Rasputin to the ground, then closed up the chest.  Then, they all carried his limp body back outside the Ark. 

As the last man left the Ark, there was a buzzing sound, the doors to the inside closed, sealing it up again.

***

For days, Rasputin lay in a slight form of coma, as he drifted in and out of reality, babbling incomprehensibly to his caretakers, waking in the middle of the nights, screaming, and making strange clicking, and high pitched whistling noises.

Nobody knew what to make of it, even the high Prist was becoming concerned, something that had never occurred before in his long life.

However, Rasputin finally managed to regain consciousness.  Almost a week after his encounter inside the Ark, he was discovered by one of his caretakers, wondering about the halls in a confused trance.  Over the next few days, he eventually made his way back to sanity.

After two weeks had passed, Rasputin finally overcame his illness, and was ready for the High Prist.   

***

The High Prist was eating some soup, when a loud knock sounded from the door.  "Enter," he called out, and then took another mouthful of soup.

A man in a cloak pushed open the door, and stood aside, as Rasputin walked into the room. The High Prist motioned for him to sit at the opposite end of the table, which he did.  The guard at the door was dismissed with another nod, and with a loud bang that echoed through the huge dining room, they were alone.

"Good morning, Brother Rasputin," The High Prist said with a smile.  "How are you feeling?"

"Much better, thankyou father," Rasputin replied, rubbing his forehead.  There was an awkward silence that followed, as the two men just stared at each other.

"What happened to you back at the Ark, Brother Rasputin?"  The High prist asked.

Rasputin shook his head.  "I'm not to sure myself, Father," he replied.  "I… was joined with --- with the…" He blinked in confusion.  "The Matrix?  Yes, that was its name."  He grasped at his head.  "Ohh, I, I don't feel so good," he moaned.  "I need to lie down again."  He leaned back in the chair.

"The Matrix?"  The high prist asked.

"Yes," Rasputin said, slowing his breathing, "It is… the life force of the Transformers!"

"Transformers?"

"Yes," Rasputin gasped.  "Like I said before, Father, I don't understand most of it…"

"Then try your best to explain," the High Prist replied.

"Thankyou, Father," he said.  "When I touched the Matrix, that glowing jewel, I was instantly empowered with the knowledge of the Transformers and their history.  They are a race of machines that can turn into other machines.  They have existed since before the creation of Earth its self."

"And you got all of this from… the Ma-trix?"  The High Prist asked.

"Yes," Rasputin replied, astonished at what he knew.  The High Prist nodded, then said.

"When I was once a young man, I touched this… Matrix myself.  It felt like I was bathing in a warm beam of sunlight on a beautiful morning.  However, I never experienced anything like you did."

"It was… unbelievable," Rasputin gasped out.  "Like having the entire history of the world, told from the perspective of ever living creature, inserted into my mind in the time space of a few seconds."  He gasped out a sigh.  "It was…  so overwhelming --- I, couldn't even breath."  He quickly regained his posture, "It's taken quite some time, but I've finally managed to make sense out of some of the information in my head.  The rest is – utter nonsense."  He cradled his head in his hand.

"What else have you learned," The High Priest asked.

"I know who the guardians are," Rasputin said, leaning forward.  "They are a called, the Autobots, and the Evil ones are called, The Decpticons."

"How curios," The High Prist said.

"And that's not all," Rasputin replied with a smile.  "I also know how to awaken them."

"Really?"  The High Prist asked.  "You learned all that from just touching this, Matrix?"

"It must have something to do with my gift," Rasputin said, looking at his own hands.  "Ever since I was born, I've known I was somehow… different."

"Not different, Brother Rasputin," the High Prist said with a warm smile.  "Special." 

"Thankyou Father," Rasputin replied, bowing slightly.

"That's quite alright, my son," he said, then added, "You said you were feeling dizzy before?" 


"That's right," Rasputin replied, "But not as bad as I was a few minutes ago."

"Still," The High Prist answered, "That could be enough.  I think you should rest for the rest of the day.  Tomorrow morning, we'll start the ceremony."

"Yes, Father," Rasputin replied, as he rose, bowed, and left the room.  The High Prist finished the rest of his soup, and called for his aid.  He then helped the High Prist to his feet, and back to his room.  The moment the doors to the dining room were closed, the tablecloth of the table was moved aside, and a young man crawled out.

He looked about 19 years old, and he wore the same cloaks as everyone else.  From beneath his hood, he smiled, and rubbed his chin in thought.

THE NEXT MORNING…

There was a small army gathered before the Ark that morning, as Rasputin prepared to awake the guardians.  Anticipation was on everyone's mind, and many carried weapons, much to the displeasure of the High Prist, but they were insistent, and so he let it be.

Word of what had happened to Rasputin had spread like wild fire around the castle, and by the time of the ceremony, there was not one brotherhood member who wasn't feeling a little anxiety.

Lamps light the whole room, and w huge bulky object, which was called a motion-capturing camera, stood by, ready to record all for prosperity.  Also, a cameraman stood by, with flash pan in hand.

The murmuring died down, as Rasputin entered the enormous cavern, and like the red sea before Mosses, the crowd parted as he walked towards the Ark.  The camera crew, and the cameraman all picked up their equipment, and followed.

Holding the red iron face up to the telescope that came down from the ceiling, it bathed it in green light, before allowing him entrance inside.  This time, everyone followed behind him, as he led them into the great room with all the giants.

They all stopped, and watched, as he walked over to the tallest of the giants, and stood before, looking up at the head, tilted of to one side, and as lifeless as a corpse.  Rasputin turned to all the followers, and said, "He is the one we must wake."  He turned back to face the red and blue giant.  "He will know what to do."

They all nodded, and set about setting all their equipment up, the motion camera, and the normal camera, the lights, and a few stood by with rifles, the thumbs resting on the safety catches.

Then, when everyone was ready, the motion camera crew started recording, and slowly, Rasputin climbed up the legs, towards the chest, and then, climbing up the chest, towards the great head.  He stood before it, and looked at its forehead.

He reached out, and pushed hard on it, and with a click, he pulled back, and it swung open like a door.  Inside was the most fascinating piece of machinery he'd ever seen.  More lights with no power source, and slates with little bumps on them, wires of every colour.  Rasputin took a moment to take in the sight, then reached in, towards the small sphere in the middle.

He could feel the power radiating from it, as he slowly closed his hands around it, and closed his eyes.  He had never used his gift like this before, but he had to try.  He concentrated as hard as he could, focusing on the other energy source he could feel from the machine. 

The one that felt like a human soul.

He screwed up his face, blocking all other thoughts out of his head, as he focused all of his energies on that one bright speak of light.  He mentally began to call to it, urging it to resurface, calling, begging, pleading, and reaching deep with his mind.

Finally, it grasped it, and like a fisherman, began to reel it towards the surface, fighting, trying with all his might, not to lose it.  Sweat trickled down his scrunched up face, as he poured all of his energy in pulling it back to the surface.

Suddenly, it began to shoot up like a jet of steam, surprising Rasputin, as he tumbled back.  He was brought out of his trance, and back to reality, and fell backwards.  He cried out in alarm, his arms flaying wide, as he tried to grab hold of anything.  He felt his body weight shift, and he fell over backwards – headfirst -- towards the ground below.

Suddenly, something hard and made of iron broke his fall.  He breathed a sigh of relief, and mopped his brow, he must have landed on the giant's legs.  Suddenly, he was aware of the deadly silence from the crowd.  He had heard them shout out as he fell, but now, he couldn't here anything.

It was then, that he was aware of the two bright glowing blue eyes, staring down at him from above.  He opened his mouth, and nothing came out, as he tried to push himself back into the metal, which he suddenly realised was the giant's hand.

"Do not be afraid, little one," a giant metallic voice bombed at him in perfect Russian.  "I will not hurt you."  The hand that held him, lowered to the floor, and Rasputin scrambled off, and rolling with his action, rolled onto his feet, and getting up, stared up in awe at the towering giant.

The iron giant then reached up, and closed the small door like panel to his head, and then slowly, with metal joints creaking and whining, it rose to its feet, and to its full hight.  There was not one man in that room who didn't take at least three steps back as the giant rose.

The giant tested its arms, then flexed its fingers, and twisted around, testing its torso.  Then, it turned and looked down at the men below, all staring opened mouthed up at the giant.  He took a step forward, then another.  The group moved back considerably, only Rasputin didn't move, as he looked up at the towering giant.

From out of the crowd, the High prist approached, his aid beside him, along with some other priest's.  They came and stood alongside Rasuptin, all looking up at the iron giant.  The giant then lowered down on one knee, and looked down at them, as if studying them in turn.

The man with the camera took a photo, making everyone jump, and catching the giant's attention.  He looked from the group before him, to the cameraman, who dropped his camera, and stumbled backwards, tripping over some cords.  The giant then turned back to the men before him.

"Are you the one who awakened me?"  It asked Rasputin.

"Indeed I am, Optimus Prime," Rasputin replied.

"Thankyou," the giant answered.  "I am indeed in your debt.  What is your name?"

"Grigory Yefimovich Rasputin," he replied.  "Please, call me Grigory."

"Thankyou, Grigory," It answered.  Then it paused, and asked, "How did you know my name?"

"When I first meet you," Rasputin explained, "I touched the Matrix, hoping to learn something about you and your crew.  You see, I have a special gift that no one else among my people has.  When I touched the Martix, it gave me all the knowledge and information about your race, including who you are, and how I could awaken you."

"Then I am in your debt, Grigory," Prime replied.

"Prime!"  Rasputin called out.

"Yes?"  Prime asked.

"There is a reason we have wakened you," he called out.  "The Decepticons have begun to arrive on our world.  We need you and the Autobots to help defeat them!"  A few workers turned towards Rasputin as he mentioned the word 'Decepticon.'  Was that the name of the evil ones?

"Decepticons?"  Prime said, he seemed to be taken back a bit.  Then, he shook his head, and sighed.  "I should've known Megatron could never die."

Rasputin frowned.  Megatron.  When he'd tried to bring back Prime's mind from it's coma like state, he'd come across that word many times.  Who was Megatron?  Was it the name of that thing that had landed in Scotland?  "A Space ship landed in a distant land, bearing the national flag of the Decpticons," Rasputin replied.  "It has been there for nearly two weeks.  Yet, nothing has emerged."

"Then we must make sure that nothing ever emerges from it, Grigory," Prime said.  "But first, there is still much to do.  I must awaken my Autobots, and we will all have to undergo repairs."  He looked down at his own body, which was cracked, and broken, with wires hanging from his body.  He flexed the fingers on his hands, his right hand sparking at the joints.  "How long has it been?"

Rasputin shook his head.  "I was unable to retrieve that information from the Matrix, Prime," he replied.

"Maybe Cybertron no longer exists," Prime muttered, glancing up at the ceiling.  "Ether way, the Decpticons must not be allowed to destroy this world."

"Which is why we need your help, Prime."  Rasputin repeated.  "You have to help us, we can't take on the Decpticons by ourselves."

"Yes," Prime replied, looking at him, "You are right!  But I have many tasks to perform if we are to lunch an effective counter strike against the Decepticons.  I need to get the Ark back *Garble* Then, I can asses the damage we have received to our bodies, and if need be, repair our transformation modes."

The gathered workers all looked confused.  "They are called Transformers," Rasputin replied as he turned to the gathered crowd.  "They are called that, because they are machines that can turn into other machines."

Excited whispers and gossip sprung up among the workers.  Towards the back, a young man of 19 smiled, and rubbed his hand with glee.

NORTHEN QUEENSLAND: AUSTRALIA: Eight Days Later…

The forest was relatively quite, except for the shaking of leaves, as two figures jogged through the bushes, pushing the greenery aside as they hurried along.  Ivan swore as he jumped over a fallen log, while Richardson scrambled over it.

His boots came down hard in a puddle of water, splashing it everywhere, and nearly dropping his Winchester, but he ignored it, as he followed Sankowski along the track.  Ahead of him, Ivan pushed another tree branch out of the way, which flung back, nearly taking out Richards.

"Watch it!"  Richards snapped, ducking just in time.

Ivan didn't answer him, as he came to a screeching halt, Richards nearly slammed into the back of him.  Ivan looked both left and right, then turned back to look at the path they'd just come down.

"Don't tell me yer' lost!"  Richards moaned.  "I thought you knew where we were go'n!"

"I do," Ivan said, his grip, tightening on the trigger of his revolver, as his eyes glanced nervously about, "It's just that… I have the feeling we're not alone out here."

Richards glanced about at the treetops.  "Don't tell me it's that metal monstrosity again!"  He raised the Winchester and flexed his finger on the trigger.

"No," Ivan muttered, "Not that thing."

"You're skills are indeed great, Ivan," another voice said, making both men spin around, guns raised.  An aborigine walked out of the bushes, carrying a bolt-action rifle in both hands.  He was about in his late fifties, with a greying full beard, and wearing a khaki, bush trackers uniform with the rank of sergeant.

"Bruce?"  Both Ivan and Richards lowered their weapons.  They recognised the old man.  He was the head of their group of local labourers, who'd abandoned them a few days earlier. 

"Where the bloody hell have you been?"  Richards demanded, "And why are you still here?  I thought you and yer friends were gone?"

"No," Bruce said, shaking his head, "Not all of us are gone."  He gave a sharp whistle, and the bushes rustled, as about six other aborigines rose to their feet.  Some wore the khaki uniform of the bush trackers, while the rest just wore their native bush garb.  All men were carrying rifles.

"You've been following us the whole time?"  Ivan asked cocking his head in disbelief.

"No," Bruce replied.  "Not into the hole."

"The…?"  Richards started, but stopped, as he realised just what the old man meant.  That pit where the space ship lay.  Instead, he said, "You knew about that place?"

"Not all of it," Bruce said.  "I was hoping you wouldn't be stupid enough to venture into it, but it looks like my judgement was wrong again."

"Why didn't you warn us about that place?"  Ivan asked.

"I did."  Bruce said. 

"No," Richards said, "About that… thing down there, in the hole."

"Would you have believed me, if I outright told you?" 

Ivan blinked at what Bruce had just said.  "You mean… you've been down there?"

"Once," Bruce answered.  "But I never stayed a moment longer.  Even though I never understood anything that was in the hole, I could feel the evil vibes from the dormant giants, and knew it was not wise to be exploring around down there.  Now you have awakened the creatures my tribe has fought so long to keep dead."

The two men nodded silently.  Then, Ivan asked, "Bruce, have you by any chance seen Steel over the past few days?"

"Yes," Bruce said narrowing his eyes.  "But we dared not approach him, for he was in liege with the evil from within the hole."

"He was what?"  Richards cried out.

"What could Steel and that iron giant possibly have in common?"  Ivan muttered.

"Colonialism?"  Richards said with a chuckle.  Ivan was about to tell him to be serious, but stopped.  His face dawned with realisation, and Richards saw it too.  "You know, I really didn't mean that," he said.

"Just like War of the Worlds," Ivan muttered.  "I can't believe he'd help a Martian Invasion."

"Maybe it was holding him hostage, forcing him to obey?"  Richards said with a shrug.

Bruce shook his head.  "He was going along willingly."

"Well," Richards said hoisting his Winchester, "That's the English for ya!"

"Save your English bashing for latter, Colonel," Ivan said, holstering his revolver, and turning back to Bruce.  "Bruce, was Steel heading back to Brisbane?"  Bruce nodded.  "We need to get back to Brisbane and find him at once."

"And do what?"  Richards asked, holding up his gun.  "This thing didn't work the last time, and when we do find him, what exactly are we going to do -- remember, he's in the company of a giant iron man -- ask him to give up?"

"Actually," Bruce said, "There's something you should know about this… iron giant."

"What?"

"It had shrunk."  Both men blinked.

"What!?"

"It had turned into a gun, just a bit bigger than your own gun, Ivan."  Ivan glanced down at his in the holster.

"How?"  Bruce shrugged.

"Even I don't know everything, but I can tell you, it had the same evil presence I felt in the ship."

"You're betting everything we have, on the instincts of an old man?"  Richards asked Ivan.

"That 'old man,' as you put it, happens to know what he's talking about, Colonel," Ivan said.  "If he says we should trust his instincts, we should trust his instincts."

"So what are we going to do?"  Richards asked.

"First," Ivan said, "We get back to Brisbane, then we'll figure out what we're going to do about Steel."

NORTHERN ENGLAND: 11 Days later…

As the train rattled north through the darkness of North Yorkshire, the porter came down the aisle of the first class carriage.  He knocked on the door, and when the voice answered, he opened it, and looked in at the man inside who put down his book.

"Would you like me to make up your bed, sir?"  He asked.

"Yes, that would be lovely, thankyou," Winston Churchill answered.  The porter nodded, and Churchill rose and stood aside.  Moving with swift efficiency, the porter let down the hinged seat back, laid the mattress on the bed thus created, and made it up in the blink of an eye.

"There you go, sir," he said, drawing the curtain around the berth to give Winston the chance to change into some bedclothes in some privacy.

"Thankyou, young man," Winston said, and tipping the porter, sat back down again.  The porter thanked him, and then left to knock on the next booth door.  Winston then put on his nightclothes, got into bed, and turned off the gas lamp by which he'd been reading.

The rattling, jouncing ride and the thin, lumpy mattress bothered him only a little.  He was used to rough sleeping, after his expedition with Lord Kitchener into the Sudan, and he'd been sleeping in much worse conditions.

He yawned and grimaced, trying to find a comfortable position on the mattress.  After much turning, he found a good spot, yawned again, and fell asleep.

He awoke sometime later when the train hissed and screeched into a stop at some small town in the English countryside.  He was used to it by now, after all, the train had been stopping at towns all along the journey into Scotland.  He got up, and pulled down the blinds to prevent the lights from the station shining in, then got back into bed.  Eventually, there was a loud, long whistle blow, and the train began its slow but steady shunting out of the station.

He was just about to get back to sleep, when there was a knocking at his door.  He muttered a silent curse, and got up out of bed.  Who the devil was knocking at his door now?  "Go away!"  He cried out, "This is a privet booth!"

The knock came again, more loudly this time, and followed by a male voice.  "It's urgent I need to speak to you, Mr Churchill."  Winston blinked in surprise.  Who knew he was here?  "Mr. Churchill?"  The voice asked again.

"I'm coming, I'm coming!"  Winston snarled, as he put on some slippers, and shuffled over to the door.  He unlocked it, and opened the door.

A young man in his early twenties stood there, carrying two suitcases and sporting a pair of spectacles.  He was neatly dressed with a short moustache.  "Winston Churchill?"  He asked.

"Who the hell are you?"  Winston demanded, lighting up his lamp in order to get a better look at the man.

"Oh, I'm Jason Hill," he said, holding out his hand, "Oliver Borthwick sent me to help you with your assignment in Scotland."  Winston looked at the man's outstretched hand and back up at his face.  The mans smile slowly faded as he lowered his hand.

"I work alone," he said, then closed the door in the mans face, and turned around.  There was a loud rapping sound that threatened to break down the door.  Winston rolled his eyes, and opened the door.

"I'm not that easy to get rid off," Jason said, sticking his foot in the door, in order to prevent Winston from closing it again.  "And I'm not leaving until you accept me as your partner."  Winston shot the man a deadly look.  "Ummm," he said "Assistant?"  The look didn't disappear, and he rolled his eyes, and turned around, heading back into his booth, leaving the door open.

"Borthwick must really hate me," Winston muttered, sitting back down on the bed.  "He knows I always work alone."

"But he knows when you need help, Winston," Jason said, following him in, and sitting down on one of his travel cases.

"That's Mr. Churchill to you, son," Winston said.

"Mr. Churchill," Jason said, "You are going to need all the help you can, when you get to Scotland."  He then held up his fingers, counting of points, as he made them.  "You're going to need someone who knows the land, someone like me.  You're also going to need someone to act as a diversion so you can sneak around, someone like me.  And you're going to need help with what ever it is that's up there in Scotland."

"I didn't need any help back in South Africa," Winston said with a snort.  "And I definitely don't need any help uncovering a hoax!"

"You still don't believe this thing is real?"  Jason asked. 

Winston eyed the man, then said, "How much did Borthwick tell you?"

"Enough," Jason said with a smile.  "He said you'd be sceptical about the whole thing."  Winston's left eye twitched.

"And that's the real reason you're following me, isn't it?"  Winston said, levelling a finger at him.  Jason couldn't stifle a chuckle.

"That's another reason," he said waving the comment away with the flick of his wrist.

Winston shook his head in disbelief, "I'm going to strangle Borthwick when I get back to London."

"I thought the idea of getting the first scope on the first contact with another intelligent species would be something you'd take in a heartbeat, Mr. Churchill?"

"Because it's not real, boy," Churchill snapped, "The idea that God bestowed intelligence to others is beyond comprehension!  It states in the bible that God created us in his image, if he created us, what was the reason for creating others who are smarter than us?"

"There are thousands of religions in our world alone, Mr. Churchill," Jason said.  "All of those state that their religions are right, and all others are wrong.  Why shouldn't it be the same for us?"

"You're starting to sound like a Darwinist," Winston said.  "May I remind you of all the hoaxes that occurred when Europeans discovered the North and South continents of America.  The Amazon River received its name because people believed Amazon women lived along that river.  Of the many dragons and serpents that lived there…"

"I get the picture, Mr. Churchill," Jason said quickly interrupting, "But the British Government and military are taking this so called 'Hoax' very seriously."  Now, he surprised Winston.

"What?!"  He cried out.  "Why?"

"Because they have studied this thing close-up, Winston…"

"Mr. Churchill!"

"Whatever," Jason said, rolling his eyes, "They have had some of the finest scientific minds looking at this thing, and those people are convinced it's real."

"I…  I…"  Winston stammered.

"I know it's hard to believe, Mr. Churchill," Jason said, "But maybe, the Bible is wrong?"

"There isn't a priest in the Christian world who wouldn't try to strangle you for even thinking that, young man," Winston said with a sigh, "But your reasoning has truth to it."  He shook his head, as he looked at the blinds covering the window.  "All my life, I was taught to believe that humans were the centre of the universe, that we were the only intelligent creatures in creation.  And now, in the time space of a few days, you find out that God has lied to you."  He glanced down at his own feet.  "Even now, I'm finding myself questioning his existence."

"Maybe this will convince you," Jason said, reaching into his jacket, and pulling out something wrapped in cloth.  Winston raised an eyebrow as Jason started unwrapping it, to reveal a green rectangular piece of metal, with small silver like dots on it.  There were almost silver lines running around the whole thing connecting to the dots like an elaborate maze.

"What is that?"  Winston gasped, reaching out for it.  Jason gave it to him.  It felt like steel, yet it had almost no weight.  It was like nothing he'd ever seen before, and was completely alien.

"That was taken from the object that landed in Scotland."  Jason explained.  "Although it was intact, some pieces came off from the heavy impact from our gravity pull.  The pieces that did come off, had thousands of things like this inside."

"Where did you get this?"

Jason smiled, and leaned back, showing of his posture.  "Like I said earlier," he announced with pride.  "You're going to need someone who can act as a diversion to allow you through."  He then shrugged and gave a half smile.  "Also, most of the guards that are there, aren't very well off, and all humans will sing to what ever tune you play, if you throw more than enough money at them."

For the first time in since they'd meet, Jason saw Winston smile.  "Brash, yet successful," Winston said.  "I like that in a man.  Very well," Winston said, slapping his knee, "I'll accept you along as my assistant."

"Dose that mean I can call you Winston?"  Jason asked.

"Don't push it."

BRISBANE: Two Weeks later

The train shuddered as it crossed the points into the city and the rain ran in streams across the window.  Sitting alone in his private booth, Steel glanced out at the water streaking down the window, watching the city in the background.

"Amazing," the voice from within his jacket said, "The atmosphere is leaking coolant fluid!"

Steel quickly looked around, but no one was passing by his door, and because it was a private booth, there was no chance anyone would discover his little secret.

"Would you be quite," Steel hissed at the white and grey Smith'n western with the black targeting scope on top, strapped to his chest.  "The whole point of that disguise was not to draw attention to your self."

"Relax, Flesh Steel," Megatron replied.  "My internal *Garble* informs me that your audio receivers aren't capable of picking up sounds at my present vocal volume through that substance you call, wood."

"Still," Steel said, looking at the door to his cabin, "We are nearing the end of our journey, it would be wise if you kept silent."

"Brisbane," the conductor shouted, as he passed down the corridor, "All out for Brisbane!"  The train gave a convulsive jerk, and came to a complete stop.  The jerk made Steel jump.  He was getting more nervous with every passing minute.

He reached into his jacket, and pulled out a small flask of whisky.  He raised it to his lips, and took a huge swing from it.  He let out a loud gasp, and then quickly put it away.  "Ahh, that hit the spot," he said with a chuckle.

Then, stretching out, he heaved himself out of his seat, and grabbed his belongings from the stores above his head.  He then looked around, then looked back down at his jacket.  "I would advise that until I give the signal, you remain quite.  Do we understand?"

"You would not do wise to dictate terms to me, Flesh Steel," the jacket replied.  "But your point is logical."  Steel couldn't help but pull out his hanky and mop his sweating brow, wondering what he'd managed to get himself into.  Instead, he just yanked open the door to his booth, and headed out into the already packet corridor.

Around him the other passengers were rising from their own booths, and shook the creases from their clothes.  To his left the elderly couple with whom he had as neighbours, smiled their goodbyes to him; he stoped and helped them with their case. 

There was a hiss of steam and the train pulled into the station.  The conductor opened the door, stepped down and motioned for the other passengers to come outside.  Steel was the first out, and he looked around him.  People were everywhere, getting onto the train, leaving, or meeting those who'd just gotten off.  Clutching his carry case, he walked off to find his luggage.

To his right, the elderly couple were embracing a son and daughter-in-law, hugging a grandchild they had not seen for two years.  Steel let a half smile escape his lips as he watched the loving reunion, before heading over to the porters.

Collecting his belongings, he made his way out to the station's exit.  Once outside, he put up his umbrella, and walking down the steps of the station, hailed down a cab.  The single horse carriage pulled up, and the driver tipped his hat to Steel.

"Where can I take you?"  He asked.  The two-seater carriage had a canopy over it, and Steel shook his umbrella free of water as he climbed in, his luggage on the seat next to him.

"The nearest hotel," Steel said, as he shivered from the cold.

"You've got it," The driver said, and with the whip of his horse, started off down the street and into the traffic.  Steel crossed his arms, trying to trap some warmth to his body, as they travelled along the streets.  "Hey," the driver suddenly called out to, "Would you look at that!"

Steel leaned forwards, and looked over the mans shoulder.  There, driving down the opposite side of the street, was a carriage, with a motorised engine.  A horseless carriage.  "Well, I'll be," Steel said, "Those things are popping up everywhere."

The driver turned towards him.  "Last time I herd," the driver said, "There were a couple of those things down in Melbourne."  He turned back to watch where he was going.  "Never thought they'd get up here that quick."

They finally reached the hotel, and driver helped Steel with his baggage inside.  Once inside, Steel rented a room, and a porter took his things up there, and he followed suit.  Once the porter left, Steel set about unpacking his things.

"What are we doing, wasting time here?!"  Steel jumped at the sound of the voice, and calmed down when he realised who it was.

"While we are here," Steel said to his jacket, "We need a place to stay.  And after my long journey from up North, I'm feeling sleepy."

"How can you feel like a *Garble* Shut-down right now?"  Megatron demanded.  "We have just arrived, we need to scout out energy source."  Steel thought about what Megatron had just said, then realised what he meant.

"Maybe you can function without sleep," Steel said, "but I can't, and right now, I'm feeling tired."  He gave a yawn to emphasise his point.

"Very well," Megatron said.  "I suggest you find the nearest recharging chamber and plug your self in."

Steel was stunned.  "Find the nearest what, and what!?!"  Steel cried out.

Megatron sighed.  "Do what ever it is, you flesh creatures do to recharge yourselves."  Steel gave the revolver a funny look, before taking it off, and placing it on a drawer, then taking of his jacket, shirt, shoes, and socks, lay down on the bed, and fell into a deep sleep.

***

Steel was roughly awakened by something hard and cold, poking him roughly in the spine.  He jerked his head up, and looked around.

"Well," The metallic voice from behind said, and Steel rolled over to see the smith and Western hovering in the air, just before him, "It's about time."  Steel blinked, and looked out at the window.  It was nighttime, and it was still raining.

"What time is it?"  Steel asked, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

"That's not important," Megatron replied, flying over to the holster, and inserting himself inside, "What is, is that my *Garble* have reported, that 89% of all Flesh Creatures in this settlement are is *Garble* Shut-down."

"You mean they're asleep."

"Whatever," Megatron replied, as the holster floated up into the air, and back over to Steel, "The point is, that we can now scout out this settlements energy supplies!"

"Now?"  Steel said, looking out the window.  "It's still raining out there."

"Even better," Megatron said, "The coolant fluids will keep the rest of the flesh creatures inside.  And if you wish to be rewarded when I am done with you, I suggest that you don't question my orders again, Flesh Steel."

"Yes," Steel said, hastily grabbing the floating holster, and strapping it to his chest.  Then he set about getting dressed, and hurried down to the outside of the hotel.  There was hardly anyone around, so he quietly took the path into the kitchen, and out the back entrance.  It was raining hard outside as he opened the door.  He looked up at the darkened night sky, and shook his head.

He opened up his umbrella and held it above his head, as he dashed down to the ally towards the entrance of the street.  He looked around.  The electric lights lit up the night, meaning there was a power station somewhere.  He looked from left to right, then hurried across the empty street.

"You're going the wrong way, Flesh Steel," Megatron's voice made Steel jump.  "My *Garble* detects energy the other way!"

"Fine," Steel said, mopping his sweating brow, "Just please don't do that anymore, you're making me nervous."  He then hurried back the other way.

After an hour and a half of half jogging, half walking, Steel made his way across a bridge, towards a coal burning power station.  Following Megatron's directions had lead them here.

"There it is, Flesh Steel," Megatron said, "Hurry."

"What's the rush," Steel asked, as he power walked across the bridge to the other side.

"I want my army back *Garble* before Prime can get his *Garble*"

"Who is this… Prime?"  Steel asked, as he reached the other side of the bridge, and slowed down his pace.

"The leader of the Autobots," Megatron answered.  "And my sworn enemy!"

"Quite, please!"  Steel hissed, looking about.  "Please, keep your voice down, or we will be found out."

They then hurried over, careful not to wake the sleeping guard, and went around a back ally, where no one would see them.  There were a few garbage cans back there, as well as a lone door with a huge padlock on it.

"Now what?"  Steel asked.

"That lock is not a serious obstacle," Megatron replied, "I can destroy that!"

Suddenly, a bright light flooded the ally, and Steel held up his hands to shield his eyes.  "Ah hah!"  A voice called out.  Steel spun around to see the guard they'd sneaked past, standing there with an oil lamp in one hand, and a very large revolver in the other.

"Shit!"  Steel swore, dropping the umbrella and raising his hands into the air.  The guard walked towards him, and Steel swore again, as he realised it was a policeman.  Now he was in trouble.

"Well, well, well," the man said, stopping a few feet from Steel.  "What's this, ey?  Out for a midnight stroll?" 

"Ummm," Steel said, "I work here, I just left some paperwork here and I really need to get it, and I just didn't want to disturb you, that's all."  Steel said.

"Really," The man said.  "And where's your key, then?"  Steel patted his pockets, and faked a grimace.  "I'm afraid I didn't bring it with me," he slapped his head, "Of all the stupid things, I guess the jokes on me."  He let out a small chuckle.  "If you could be so kind to left me in I'll,"

"Nice try, sonny," the man said, pulling back the hammer of the gun, "But I know every man who works here, and I don't know you!  Now, up against the wall!"  Steel grumbled as he complied.  The policeman began patting him down.

Suddenly, Steels eyes widened.  Megatron.  Unfortunately, the policeman found him first.  "Well," he said, pulling out the gun, "I didn't know they were issuing employees with these!"  He held the gun up in front of the lamplight.  "I don't know what you're doing here sir, but you're under arr---!"  He trailed off.

The gun he held in his hand was the most peculiar looking thing he'd ever seen.  It was shiny as a knight's armour, and had an odd purple face on the side.  That, and getting a good look at it, he realised that the hammer couldn't be cocked.  It was welded onto the gun.  He then tilted it to one side, examining the chamber, as gasped when he saw that there were no chamber rounds to place the bullets in.  In fact, the chamber couldn't be removed.

"Ummm,"  Steel said shrugging nervously, you really shouldn't play with that thing."

"What the hell is this!"  The policeman whispered, as he turned the gun around, and examined the front end.  Then, he squinted one eye, and looked right down the muzzle of the gun.

BAMM!!!!

Steel jumped at the explosion that followed.  There was a bright flash of purple light, and the policeman shuddered.  For nearly a minute, nobody moved, as Steel stood there, shivering in the pouring rain.  Finally he asked, "Are y-you okay!?"

The policeman lowered the gun, and turned to face Steel.

Steel wished he hadn't.  His eyes bulged, as he saw the one half of the policeman's face was gone.  Just gone.  The right side was perfectly normal, but the left ended in a sickly burnt crisp.  From the upper jaw, to the tip of his head was blown off, leaving the edges neatly singed.

Then, the only remaining eye rolled up in the mans head, as he fell to the ground.  Steel couldn't hold it back any longer.  Grabbing his mouth, he turned around, ripping of the lid of the nearest garbage can, and puked.  He finally stopped heaving, and lay there, clutching the edges of the bin, gasping for breath.

"Are you quite finished?"  Megatron's metallic voice asked.  Steel glanced around, to see Megatron in gun mode, floating in mid-air above the dead policeman's body.

"You killed him!"  Steel chocked.

"He was getting too nosey," Megatron replied.  "He would've alerted others of our presence!"

"But he's a policeman," Steel said, pointing at the body, "You just can't kill a policeman."

"Well, I just did!"  Megatron replied with chilling indifference. 

"But a dead policeman will bring lots of unwanted attention, Megatron!"  Steel protested.

"Then, hurry!"  The muzzle then swung towards the door, and fired again.  A bright flash of purple leapt from the muzzle of the gun, and blew the padlock, and the door handle into dust.  The door swung open with a low creak, and the gun, flew inside.  "Come on!"  Megatron called back.

Getting to his wobbly feet, Steel hurried as fast as he could inside after him.  The inside of the power station was dark, and it was hard trying to follow Megatron through the twisting corridors, before they finally came out into a huge room, filled with turbines.  Here and there, a few night shift workers walked this way and that.

A lone floating Smith and Western hovered above a catwalk, overlooking the turbines below.  "Interesting," Megatron said.  "My *Garble* indicates that these turbines are powered by burning a fossil fuel called coal, that produces thermal energy when burned."  Steel could've sworn Megatron sounded impressed.  "Primitive, yet effective."

"So what happens now?"  Steel asked.

"Now," Megatron replied.  "We take the energy!"  He roared the last statement, making all the workers turn their heads.  Steel cringed in fear, then stumbled back in shock, as the gun suddenly split apart, and transformed in the giant iron man he'd seen before.  He'd witnessed this transformation earlier when he'd left for Brisbane, but watching it again after such a long time, was still awe inspiring.

The workers all gasped and staggered back, as Megatron's massive bulk filled the room.  Megatron grinned down at them, then, chuckling, raising his arm cannon to the ceiling, and fired.  The blast tore through roof, sending masonry and mortar raining down on the men below, who started panicking and running about.

"Megatron!"  Steel cried out form the catwalk, "What about keeping a low profile!?!"

"That time is over, Flesh Creature!"  Megatron replied, as he stepped forward, and raised his hands before the turbines.  "Once I am through wit this place, I'll have enough energy to resurrect my army, then no force in the universe will be able to stop me!!" 

Suddenly, electricity leapt from the turbines and into Megatron's fingertips.  Megatron started laughing as his eyes blazed with energy.  "Yes, yes!"  He shouted.  "More, energy!  More!"  The turbines began to whine and moan, almost slowing down, as Megatron sucked power from them.

Finally, he held his hands above his head and laugh in triumph.  "Beware, Optimus Prime!"  He shouted out loud.  "Megatron, has returned!" 

TO BE CONTINUED…

As the two leaders set about bringing their armies back on line, an encrypted message sends both factions to Scotland, where a mysterious stasis pod awaits them, along with some of histories finest.  It's Autobots Vs. Decpeticons, Prime Vs. Megatron, with the fate of their home world, hanging in the balance.

Next chapter:  "Return to Engagement!"

AN:  If enough people ask, I will draw up pictures of what both the Autobots and the Decepticons look like in their robot, and alternative 19 Century modes.  What do you say?