The usual warning: I don't own Transformers, but I *do* own the toys that now terrorize my dorm room. Though I don't know *why* I claim them. I also own myself and Brian and Michelle own themselves, respectively. Well, Brian's fiance could claim to own him, but that's another mess entirely...
It was a dark and stormy night.
Actually, no, it wasn't. It was a pretty normal Thursday for me. I'd been to my 7:50 class (Elementary Education in a Pluralistic Society! :D!) and read to a kindergartener for one of my other classes. The only extraordinary thing about my day was when Brian turned to me when I arrived to EEPS and asked, "Did you get the box yet?"
Allow me to explain. The Box was a shipment of Transformers toys I'd ordered a week and some previous. MyClones, to be exact. Cute, chibi little Transformers with completely interchangeable parts- adorable and just the thing I needed for my addiction. Brian, as I discovered, was also a Transfan, and had been asking me every class we had together since about The Box.
I had to tell him no when I entered the 12:05 we have together, Foundations in Early Childhood. Can you tell I'm an elementary education major? He was downcast, but bound and determined to follow me to my mailbox yet again to see if The Box- or rather the red slip that informed me of packages- had arrived. Class got out at 1:30ish and we raced to the student center to see if it was there, taking bets on how late it would actually be. I peeked in my box and started shrieking.
"Brian! It's actually HERE!" Brian grinned and got out the pocketknife he'd been carrying around with him for the better part of a week, for the sole purpose of opening The Box. I traded the red slip for the lightweight package, and Brian ripped it open as we headed back towards the dorms. We sat on the one bench sandwiched among four of the dorms and carefully opened the box of MyClones. They were so cute! Only a couple inches tall. Brian took his five of the twelve and I kept my seven- Megatron, Optimus Prime, an Optimus Prime in truck form, Arcee, Ultra Magnus, and two Starscreams- one for me and one for a friend's Christmas present. Brian and I played with the toys a while before he had to leave and we planned to stage a war during Tuesday's EEPS class.
Box in hand, I returned to my dorm and my suite, dancing with joy. They were so cute and all mine! I made the patented "happy Roommate noise" (eeeEEEEEEEeee like a banshee, really) and posted a box to my door, along with a peace offering- the bubble wrap from The Box- up for my roommate who would probably soon regret ever agreeing to live with me.
Funny how trouble always begins in such an inane way, isn't it?
I began to suspect things when I left the crew sitting on my desk, sans Optimus, whom I was showing off to my suitemates and being excited and bubbly-happy, and returned to find the guys dismembered and a very content-looking Arcee standing alone in the center of the plasticene carnage. The alt-mode Optimus was more or less cowering on the far side of my laptop.
"…What… what the heck?" I scooped up Arcee, looking closely at her, before gently setting her back down and reassembling the guys one by one. I left Magnus for last and did a spoof of the Movie with Arcee.
"Ultra Magnus! First Prime, now Ultra Magnus… what will we do?" I crooned.
It was when Arcee echoed it that I about lost it.
"…Arcee?!" The little femme smiled up at me.
"Hello," she said politely. "Sorry about the mess earlier… Starscream was pushing it, and I got a little… carried away."
"I guess so," I stammered, dumbfounded. The toys were two and a half inches tall. (That's six and a half centimeters, for you metric-users out there.) They came apart without obvious bleeding of any fluid whatsoever. Heck, I'd been swapping heads back and forth with Brian outside! "How… how did you do that?"
"Do what?" Arcee sounded so innocent I honestly believed she knew less than I.
"Starscream, you traitorous wretch! Your failure resulted in both of us being dismembered! By a FEMME!" A familiar voice resounded through my room and I glanced up at the Decepticons- on a shelf by themselves, which was a move I now appreciated- to see Megatron about ready to rip his second into little plastic pieces.
"Tell me, fearless leader, do you see any Decepticon femmes around here?" Starscream's mocking tone almost made me believe he wasn't scared, but the fact that he was cowering behind a Jawa plushie gave him away.
"That isn't the point!"
I decided to intervene.
I was promptly shot in the finger with Megatron's chibi-sized fusion cannon.
I grabbed the little Decepticon and yanked his gun arm off.
"Put me down, human!" I laughed a little as Megatron squirmed.
"Yeah, right. Now you know how it feels to be on the other side of things." My voice was deadly soft. I was bleeding, I had a bunch of chibi Transformers on my hands with WORKING weaponry, and I was suddenly not in such a great mood. Megatron glanced down at the little stub his arm hooked to before landing an icy glare on me. "You guys are in MY dorm room, and I won't have you tearing it to shreds!"
"What sort of creature *are* you, fleshy?" Megs demanded.
"I'm a human, and I have a name!"
"Then what is it?" That voice sounded awfully familiar… I glanced down and saw that Optimus had gathered his own troops, including the alt-mode version of himself, and was presently standing beside my Genericon fund jar. Ultra Magnus was keeping his distance from Arcee. I idly wondered what he'd done to get ripped apart right along with the Decepticon duo.
"I'm Evil Killer Poptarts," I replied, frowning heavily at Megatron.
"Evil… Killer… Maybe you could be of use to us," Megatron said. He was already plotting, I just knew it.
"I don't think so. If you want your arm back, you'll be on your best behavior." I set Megatron back down on the shelf and scooped Optimus up.
"How did we get to this strange world, miss Poptarts?" he asked softly. Optimus was always polite, wasn't he?
"Um… Well, I bought you. You're all just toys," I explained. The blank looks all around prompted me to get out the MyClones box and their individual boxes in an effort to explain. "I'm really not sure how you're alive, but… Provided you're *all* on your best behavior-" I glowered at Megatron- "this could be a lot of fun."
"So who's in the box that's sealed up?" Arcee pointed at the box hanging out by itself, the top taped shut so I wouldn't be tempted to play with the contents.
"Starscream." An incredulous noise came from the unboxed Seeker and he hopped down off the shelf to see for himself. I panicked, thinking he would fall and break, when he activated his thrusters and glided to a landing. The scorch marks he left behind on the desk would cost me a pretty penny when the end of the year came along, but maybe I could buff them out…
"I see no indication that this is me," Starscream retorted in a huff.
"The boxes aren't labeled, that's why I had to buy a case of twelve," I explained again. "Brian has the other five."
"…There are more of us?"
"Copies of each of you, actually." I shrugged. "But the Starscream in that box had better STAY in that box or I'll be confiscating legs." The cumulative gasp from all present was music to my ears. Perhaps I could stop the fighting after all.
My roommate, Michelle, entered just then. She was fascinated by the bubble wrap pinned to our bulletin board so I had time to order the guys (and girl) to freeze on pain of death. I wanted to break the news to her slowly. As in, she wouldn't know until she was on her deathbed if I could help it. The fact that I owned Transformers toys was too much for her. LIVING Transformers would throw her off the deep end!
"C'mon, let's go to dinner," she called once she and my suitemates had played with the bubble wrap. I tossed the figurines into the big MyClones box and shut it, figuring I should take them with me lest they ripped the room apart in my absence. "No, you are NOT taking toys to DINNER," Michelle said in that mom-tone I know should be obeyed. I groaned and reluctantly set the box down, not bothering to take them back out and separate them by faction. I pouted through dinner and Michelle just teased me about it.
I didn't even think of my mistake until we were headed back and in the stairwell of our dorm.
"Michelle! I just left Arcee in a box with the guys!" I panicked.
"They're TOYS. They're made of PLASTIC," Michelle reminded me. I couldn't explain but tried not to break into a flat-out run back to the room. I figured they probably had already terminated one another during the half-hour we were in Baldwin, so a few minutes wouldn't matter much.
Starscream pieces were everywhere inside the box. The remaining mechs were cowering in one corner, Arcee in the other, glaring at them all. Ultra Magnus was missing an arm and he hadn't dared to retrieve it from the little pile of Starscream parts at Arcee's feet. I just watched, fascinated.
"Arcee, please, be reasonable," Optimus tried, obviously scared of the femme that had once been only a fraction of his size. "At least give Magnus back his arm."
"He can come get it, if he wants," Arcee said sweetly. Magnus shuddered.
"I think I'll be okay without it," Magnus said quickly.
"Scared of the lil' femme, Mags?" I cooed, teasing him. "She's a little more scary now that she's your size, isn't she?" The fact that she had them so cowed amused me greatly. I always knew Arcee was perfectly capable of holding her own, she was just so petite and small the others didn't believe it. I was half waiting for Arcee to pick up Starscream's head and recite Hamlet, if only to scare the other Transformers still further. I was certain they would be treating her like an equal and with the utmost respect after this. "Okay, Arcee, stop terrorizing the guys." I picked each of them up and settled them in their respective "base." The Decepticons got the shelf, as they could at least get down without breaking themselves, and the Autobots were on my desk. Megatron complained about getting the smaller area until I threatened him with Starscream's fate. That shut him up fairly quickly. Once peace (sort of) reigned on my desk again, I reassembled the air commander.
"Miss Poptarts… where are the others?" Optimus had been watching me put Starscream back together for a while and it startled me when he spoke.
"Um… only eighteen of you have been made as MyClones… Well, there are a few others, but the chances of me getting a chaser MyClone is about nil," I said, grinning. "I can't afford the other twelve yet."
"Because I'm a poor college student who works housekeeping to afford food." I shrugged. "That, and I want to go to Genericon." Optimus' little optics widened.
"What is Genericon? Some sort of Decepticon fortress?" He sounded incredulous that I would go to a Decepticon base, my possession of two Decepticon leaders aside.
"No, it's an anime convention."
"What is anime?" I about choked. I went to my movie collection and hijacked Michelle's computer, (my eight-year-old laptop can't handle DVDs) sticking in "Blue Seed" for them.
"This is anime," I told the assembled robots, watching my favorite anime of all time. Optimus looked confused, Megatron cheered on the Aragami (the bad guys), Arcee was focused on the storyline, Starscream tried to look bored, and Ultra Magnus was glued to the screen. The alt-mode Optimus wandered off at some point. The Optimi didn't act very alike, strangely enough.
"Roommate… Why are you watching Blue Seed on my computer?" Michelle had entered and I didn't even hear her. The chibi Transformers all turned and looked at her. I groaned as Michelle saw it. "…Roommate...?" Her nursing-major, sensible mind couldn't quite grasp the five robots now staring at her. Well, four. Ultra Mags was immediately drawn back to the show.
"Guess what, Michelle?" I tried to be cheerful. "They're… ah… alive!"
She fainted *again* after she came to and I tried to explain the situation.
My dear roommate nearly fainted a third time, but I had smelling salts ready this time.
"Please, Michelle," I begged, "Can't I keep them? They don't eat anything-"
"Yes we do!" Starscream received a good swat for that.
"-and they'll be good, I promise!"
"I most certainly will not!" I whipped around and glared at Megatron.
"Yes, you will, remember our bargain?" Megs protectively held his arm cannon away from me, remembering the first time I took it. "I might have to give it to Arcee, actually." Arcee cheered. The other Transformers promptly relocated themselves on Michelle's desk, which wasn't that HARD. I mean, there's a reason our answering machine message begins with the following recording from the Movie: *whistle* "This place must be the junk capitol of the universe!"
Well, all the transformers scattered, that is, except for Ultra Magnus. His avid attention was bordering on the disturbing. I've read a LOT of fanfiction, and the comics, and I watch the Movie constantly (usually only when Michelle's gone. I'm really, honestly TRYING not to drive her insane) but I've never heard of Magnus being a cartoon fan.
Michelle just started blankly for a long while before she found her voice again. "How many… How many of those things are you going to have?" she asked softly, afraid of the answer.
"There's only eighteen or so that I can get, but these six are all I can afford now." Michelle released an audible sigh of relief. "I'll try to keep them out of trouble, I promise." Because, really, how much trouble can a quintet of two-and-a-half inch tall Transformers and an itty-bitty alt mode truck really get into?
Me and my big mouth.
I'm not certain, but I think Starscream started it. I think the little guy's positively adorable, but his fellow Transformers do not share my opinion. You'd think after getting slagged twice in one day, he'd learn; isn't he supposed to be a scientist? But no, he decided to push his luck with Megs.
He was promptly drop-kicked off the desk shelf.
My roommate grades papers for one of her profs, so she was lying on the floor, working. I was talking to the Autobots, fascinated with what they had to say. I heard Starscream's screech as he was ejected from his post and watched, amused, as he flew through the air and landed heavily on Michelle's paper.
Michelle picked him up and chucked him back at me.
"Your Transformer left marks on the paper!" Michelle growled in frustration. Sure enough, a little bit of blue paint and two small, smoking holes were left in the lab.
"Um… Let's hope it's someone who'll understand?" I suggested lamely, as Starscream climbed up my shirt to (relative) safety on my shoulder.
"He BURNED the lab! How am I supposed to explain this to Maggie?!" Maggie being the prof- Michelle's a bit of a strange girl at times and refers to all of her profs by their first name, or just their last, skipping the "prof" or "doctor" title entirely. Ah, well. As long as she doesn't say it to their faces, I think she'll live.
"Michelle, there's nothing I can do," I said honestly. "I could take his feet and wings off, I guess." Starscream let up a howl from his current position of clutching my collar. "New rule, Decepticons: No thrusters in the room, got it?" Megatron glowered at me, but Starscream thanked me loudly in a vain attempt to keep his feet. "Yeah, yeah, I won't take your feet, Screamer. Now hush." I plucked him from my shoulder and returned him to the shelf where Megs was still glaring daggers at me. "You two play nice," I warned. "I'm trying to do homework here."
"But according to your computer, you're reading fanfiction," Optimus reported from my right. I blushed as Michelle shot me a scolding look.
"I'm reading Chemistry too, see?" I held up my book in defense.
"Chemistry? You're a scientist?" Starscream looked intrigued.
"I'm not a scientist, but I'm in a class. Pretty elementary stuff, really."
"…Can I come to the class with you?" he asked softly, trying not to let the other Transformers hear. A loud snicker came from somewhere on the desk but I ignored it. I considered Starscream's request- it might be better for everyone if the treacherous Air Commander wasn't in the room. Granted, it might be better for everyone to have separate rooms, but I didn't think my suitemates would like to babysit for me. They didn't even know the chibi Transformers were alive, after all.
"Sure, Starscream, as long as you promise to be good." Starscream nodded quickly, not about to risk getting a part or two confiscated. I absently wondered if confiscating weaponry before I left for chapel the next morning and shutting the remaining Transformers in my coinage jars might help, too, but I knew that would just give Megs *another* reason to kill me in my sleep.
I had forgotten about that little fact. The little munchkins could raise all sorts of unholy terror while I slept.
"Do you think this dress looks okay on me?" I heard one of my suite's freshmen, the other Michelle, asking the rest of the suite. The freshmen were having a formal (a strange thing at a school where dancing was outlawed, but whatever) and she and Amanda, the other freshman, were trying to choose outfits. I scooped up Optimus to show off and headed out to the living room.
"You look great," I told Michelle, grinning. Optimus made a startled noise and I gripped him tighter, reminding him to be quiet. "And Optimus here thinks you do, too!" Michelle laughed.
"Thank you, it's wonderful to know that Optimus thinks I look good," she said, grinning at me. Michelle has a great sense of humor. She's a good kid, and her dress really was adorable- a little black thing with a polka-dotted bodice and a little ribbon. Something straight out of the twenties, and it is precisely her style. I retreated to my room, my homework and my fanfiction, and settled Optimus back on the desk.
"She's a lot smaller than you, Miss Poptarts. Is she a miniature human?" I cracked up.
"No, Optimus, I'm just fat," I told him seriously. "Michelle and Amanda need a serious confidence boost, though."
"Because they're freshmen and new and aren't sure if they'll fit in yet. Typical freshmen fears. I need to do something about that, or they'll never leave their room. She didn't believe me when I said it just now- reinforcement is gonna be the key here." I dug out my gel pens and a 3x5 card.
"May I tell them? They didn't believe you." Optimus had a point. I offered him a gel pen and he somehow scrawled out a message, signing it himself. He then tried his hand at doodling the Autobot insignia in the corner. It didn't look very good- using a pen more than twice one's size isn't easy- but I wasn't about to ridicule his artistic ability. I folded the card in half to set on their dresser while they were in the living room watching a movie and snuck in with Optimus, chuckling to myself. I set the note down and Optimus as well.
"This room looks nothing like yours." Optimus marveled at the different taste of my suitemates. Lemme just say my decorations are a bit more… eclectic than most. Adding Michelle's weird style didn't help much, so our room is by far the most random out of the suite. Michelle and Amanda actually have a bit of a theme going, so their room looks a bit more- coherent. "May I stay here and talk to them?" I bit my lip. I knew Michelle would take something as random as talking toys fairly well, but Amanda… hrm.
"If you promise not to watch 'em change and don't talk, sure." Optimus nodded his assent and I snuck back out of the room to shower.
Returning to my room a while later, I could hear Amanda and Michelle talking about the formal the next day. I grinned and entered their room.
"Didja get Optimus' note?" I asked, joking.
"Yes! It really is nice to get notes from little robots." Good ol' Michelle. My grin widened and I changed my inflection to mimic my best friend's mom, who's Japanese.
"Optimus good luck; he ward off evil Decepticons and boyfriends who be bad for you," I teased. Michelle just giggled and Amanda groaned. "You should take him with you to the formal tomorrow, I think he'd love it."
"Sure! It'll be like having a piece of the suite with me!" Michelle sounded excited. Optimus' little optics glowed more brightly at me and I could tell he wanted to go, too.
"You're welcome to take him. He didn't… he didn't watch you guys change, did he?"
"No, he covered his eyes." I wasn't really sure if she was kidding or not. I didn't want to press the issue and give away more than I needed to. Well, if Optimus was in Michelle and Amanda's room all day tomorrow, that wouldn't be so bad- only four Transformers left in my room. And Megatron's cannon *would* be attending classes with me, as well. He wouldn't be quite as much trouble with only an arm. Ultra Magnus was clearly afraid of Arcee, and the alt-mode Optimus was definitely a loner. I guess being a one by two inch semi would be a bit hard to function as. On a whim, I stuck him in Amanda and Michelle's room as well, so both of them could have an Optimus, in one form or another.
I knew I needed it; it was already one in the morning and I had to be up at 9:30 for chapel. However, I had a dilemma.
How was I going to keep Megatron from murdering me while I slept?
The answer was much easier than I anticipated. I glanced at the quartet of Transformers, thinking. Arcee didn't have any visible weapons and I honestly didn't know if she had a subspace pocket with her usual gun in it. Deciding to chance it, I scooped up Arcee and Megatron, making sure I had Megs' cannon plugged with my thumb.
"What are you doing, you insolent female?!" Megatron raged as I set him down on the desk, pinning him with a finger as he tried to squirm away.
"This is for everyone's good," I reassured him. The glare I received told me otherwise. "Arcee, shut down a minute, will you?" She looked hesitant.
"…What are you going to do, Miss Poptarts?"
"Give you a bit of an upgrade." Arcee grinned and willingly shut down. I glanced at Megatron. "You, too. Shut down."
"Absolutely not," he hissed. I shrugged.
"Suit yourself." Without thinking about it, I yanked off his head- he continued protesting and I could see Magnus and Starscream squirming- and set his head down. I gently took off Arcee's and swapped the bodies, effectively trapping Megatron without any weapons in Arcee's body and giving Arcee a bit of an arsenal. "'Kay, Arcee, you can wake up now," I told her, returning her to the corner of the desk I'd designated as Autobot headquarters.
"I feel funny," she mumbled, disoriented. She glanced down at her body and let out a shriek. "This is… This is Megatron's body!" I nodded.
"You're now officially the babysitter, Arcee. If any of the guys get out of line, feel free to blast 'em." Megatron was howling, but I ignored him. I unscrewed the Genericon Fund jar, removed the money, and stuck him inside, sealing it up so I couldn't hear the obscenities he was yelling. "There. It should be safe in here tonight," I cooed, grinning. I was quite pleased with myself.
Starscream and Ultra Magnus hid.
"As long as you're both good, I won't do anything to either of you," I promised. A pair of hesitant, shaky "Yes ma'ams" assured me that there would be no serious trouble tonight.
Poor Ultra Magnus. He wasn't adjusting well to life in my dorm room. Considering he'd been ripped to pieces and dismembered a second time only an hour or so later, I couldn't blame him. I picked up Starscream next.
"No, please, I'll be good!" Starscream was trembling in my hand.
"Relax, Screamer! I'm just going to put you in my backpack so I don't forget to take you to Chemistry tomorrow." He relaxed somewhat, not entirely pleased at being shoved in my backpack. I reminded him that Arcee was loose in Megatron's body and he abruptly stopped protesting. Maybe he'd *finally* learned not to hit on the femme.
I hoped so. With Megatron's cannon attached to her arm at present, she wasn't going to just dismember anyone for a while- they'd be little piles of melted plastic.
Ah, well. I yawned and headed for bed. Michelle had been in bed for a good two hours already, though I could tell from her tossing and turning on the top bunk that she wasn't asleep.
"Um… roommate?" I glanced up.
"They're not going to… Y'know… Shoot us, are they?" I grinned in the darkness.
"Nope, I've taken care of that already." Michelle calmed considerably and within minutes she was asleep. I, on the other hand, was wide awake- it usually takes a good half-hour before I fall asleep on any given night, and tonight I had a lot to think about.
…What if they needed to eat?