The Transformers – Generation One Universe: The Project N Crisis
The continuing saga of the Generation One Universe series.
By Jetplague (a.k.a – Jeff Walker)
Chapter One – The New Mission Begins
"I am Optimus Prime, Leader of the Autobot faction of Cybertron. We come in peace to your world and wish to extend our hands in friendship in the hopes that you, the people of Earth, share in our good nature. Stranded on your world, my fellow Autobots and I are willing to share some of our technological advancements in exchange for energy and equipment necessary to rebuild our ship so that we may return home. So far I have met many of your kind, all of whom have helped us a great deal during some difficult times, they have become our entrusted allies and dearest friends. As I stand here and look out at you all, I see a proud and honorable species. When the Decepticons threatened this planet, you rose up and stood against their evil, even if it meant your very lives. And we were there beside you, to help fight for your world in a chance to not let their tyranny overtake it as our own planet has. You would fight for freedom and peace just as we would, and do whatever necessary to maintain it...no matter the cost.
I am honored today that you have included us as members of your United Nations, making us honorary citizens of the planet Earth. Cybertron, once it has been liberated after our return, will grant you the same title on that day. And as I finish my speech to you all, let me say this...In the vast, dark recesses of space, millions of inhabited worlds like yours and mine, look up and dream of possibilities for a better tomorrow. Sometimes the darkness looks as though it will go on forever and consume us all. But always know, that even in the darkest hour...a light will shine through it and bring hope to those who have none left. For that will be the day when the light of hope destroys the darkness for good, it will show us the way back and bring us all into focus again ...it will be the day...when all shall be one."
- Optimus Prime, Leader of the Autobots
A statement made to the members of the Earth United Nations one week after the Decepticons defeat.
Four months later...
On the scorching hot desert sands of a mountainous region, a lone speeding vehicle drives down a worn out path through the rocky plains of this never-ending labyrinth. The blazing sun high above in the bright blue sky gave the terrain an arid look, the breeze was low, the soil parched, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky that would spell relief for this hostile outdoors. As the vehicle zooms past a sharp turn, we see that it is a small yellow Volkswagon Beetle with a large red Autobot symbol sitting on the top of its' roof.
"I don't know where to begin to explain, or even how to start to tell the story that has changed my life forever." A human male voice soon says. "The events that took place on this small blue planet have been interesting to say the least. So I'll just give the basics and try my best to fill in what has happened so far. It's been four long months since the day the Autobots defeated the Decepticons, four months to the day that their ship was sent to its doom as it crashed into the Pacific Ocean and destroyed them all for good. With Megatron finally out of their way, the peace loving Autobots can now return home and begin a new life on their home world of Cybertron."
The car continues to snake down the faint brown dirt road as the tires stir up the dust behind it. The engine continues to roar as it builds up speed on the man made car trail.
"Optimus Prime's victory was heralded all over the world as the news channels showed the truth of what had been happening, it was amazing to see how the people of Earth gave these brave robots a parade like no other. The United Nations welcomed the Autobots to Earth in a more official capacity and even agreed to give their new allies a helping hand to save their dying world. Energy, steel, water...whatever they needed to get back home, I was just as shocked to see the world leaders agree about anything...let alone as one voice to help a strange group of robots from a distant world. It just goes to prove how unpredictable...how refreshingly unified our people can truly be."
The car makes another sharp turn and now cuts over to a newly made path just off of the other one it was on. The sound of the gears changing and the tires spinning in the loose dirt makes the car buckle and shake as it treads over the unsettled carved out road.
"Speaking of which..." The voice continues. "There was a massive change of all the governments across the globe, rumors were saying that it was a huge conspiracy and that everyone involved had ties to a secret plot to take over the planet for themselves...or for one person. Not surprising enough, it was only one man who sound the charge to this radical reform. Senator Shawn Berger took his evidence right to the U.N. itself and asked that all top levels of governments in every country be replaced. After a quick session in a closed council room, the world representatives were all questioned about what had been discussed and Berger's recommendation for world reform followed through. It must have been damning stuff for it to happen so quickly, because the minute it did, they all started to up rise against their own leaders. The same ones, who welcomed the Autobots so openly, ended up going to jail or exile for betraying their own people. Somehow I think I know who it was they were all linked too..."
"Hey Spike...you bout done doing your little recap on that thing there? Sheesh..." A robotic male voice now suddenly says sarcastically.
Inside the yellow car was Spike Witwicky, dressed in blue jeans, a blue T-Shirt with a white Autobot logo and brown hiking boots. In his hand was a small hand held blue and black digital recording device. His dark brown hair had now been cut to a neat look, and he was sporting a pair of dark sunglasses over his eyes.
"Yeah, yeah...almost done. Don't you guys keep a journal or some sort of record of what happened?" The young man laughingly says to the Transformer.
"We do...but we keep it to ourselves and not blab it out for everyone else to hear. Your boring me to tears for Primus's sake!"
"Ah Bumblebee, switch off your audio receivers then...I'm doing this to keep a detailed account of my life." Spike defensively rebukes. "Who knows...maybe one day they'll make a book or a movie about it. Oh and did you hear? They're asking permission to make toys out of you!"
"Don't remind me." Bumblebee grumbles. "Humans...never seen such a species go crazy over something as stupid as chunks of plastic."
"Just like a bunch of transformable robots looking for Energon, huh? To each his own my friend...to each his own." Spike laughs as he leans back in his driver seat; the car drives by on its own and doesn't require him to move the wheel at all.
As they ride over a small dirt hill, the mountainside home of the Autobot's headquarters could be seen rising over the trail. The newly made road lead strait for the towering spire of rock, with a large constructed barrier of metal and wire giving it a noticeable buffer of the area around it. Just before Bumblebee got nearly half way near the main gate, two large plasma cannons popped out from either side of the road he was on and pointed over in his direction. The small Autobot vehicle came to a screeching halt as he noticed the weapons aiming right for him.
"What the-?!" Bumblebee screamed.
Spike wasn't prepared for the sudden stop and wasn't even properly restrained in the vehicle either. He quickly grabbed onto the car's driver wheel for dear life as he rocked from the car coming to a rest.
"Ow! What's going on?!"
Suddenly another roadway device opened up and a large holographic image of Prowl's head appeared before them.
"Prowl?!" Bumblebee shouted at it. "Hey what gives?! It's bad enough trying to keep stable on this road without you springing some weapons on me!"
"Sorry Bumblebee" Prowl's voice echoes in the air. "This is a new protocol I've decided to create in order to keep this place secure. We've had a lot of news crews, whackos and the likes trying to get up here. Hey Spike...how's it going?"
Spike just waves to the massive holo-image of Prowl as it smiles at him.
"Ok Prowl just turn off the guns and let us in will ya?" Bumblebee says with frustration.
"Sure thing." Prowl states. "Just as soon as you give me your clearance number...Identify please."
"WHAT?!!" The little yellow Volkswagon shouts again.
"Kidding...kidding! Just yanking your camshaft lil' buddy." He chuckles at him. "But seriously, learn your code cause the next time this thing is going to be on automatic."
"Yeah ok, whatever." Bumblebee growls at him.
The weapons fold back down into their hidden areas and the image of Prowl disappears. Bumblebee continues to drive through and heads past the large metal barriers that slide open an opening for him.
"Security my bumpers. Nearly scares me half to death...I'll kick his back side for it..." The Autobot mutters to himself.
As they drive up the mountain and towards the Ark opening, Spike sits up and notices that they're almost at the foot of it.
"Hey B-man, just drop me off here will ya. I want walk the rest of the way."
"Sure thing Spike, I want to go say a special hello to Prowl anyway." He says with an evil snicker.
Spike gets out of the car as it comes to a stop and shuts the Autobot's door afterwards.
"Just remember...he's supposed to be securing the Ark. So try not to be too hard on him."
"I can't promise anything Spike...but gentle is the one thing I won't after his little stunt."
The yellow Volkswagon peels his tires and zips down into the long hall into the embedded ship. Spike just shakes his head and tries to envision what might happen when Bumblebee gets a hold of Prowl. The thought makes him giggle and quietly laugh as he continues to walk in the vast Ark passageway. As he strolls along, a few Autobots come walking past him and greet him warmly.
"Hey guys!" Spike smiles.
"Oh, hi there Spike." Huffer says raising his shining chrome hand.
"Spike my man, what's eating Bumblebee...he's rushing down the way like a wild bot." Jazz asks.
"Uh...think he's really itching to say hello to someone."
Suddenly a loud crashing noise is heard and the voices of the two Autobots, Bumblebee and Prowl, are screaming at one another. Spike shrugs his shoulders and smiles at the two Autobots laughing at the sound. The young man continues down the long hall and speaks into his digital recorder again as he remembers it's still in his hand.
"Uh...right. Where was I? Oh yeah...now that the Autobots are fully stocked and ready to begin construction of the new ship, Optimus Prime has been quietly in the main assembly room or bridge if you will, for sometime. He seemed somewhat pre-occupied after the U.N. meeting and has been watching news clips of all the times the Decepticons and his Autobots have battled. Wheeljack has also been acting rather odd, instead of focusing on designing a new ship; he seems to be sticking to newly constructed lab just outside the Ark. Maybe it's just me...but I think these two have more pressing thoughts on their minds other then going home. Well, guess that's all for today's message...this is Spike signing off."
He shuts the device off and places it into his back pocket. Once he places it in, he finally arrives at the main large archway of the control bridge. Upon entering it, he notices Optimus Prime sitting at the large monitor of Telatran One and still scanning news images of the previous Autobot/Decepticon battle. His eyes, as bright blue and hauntingly glowing as they are, reflect the various images as it flickers off the screen. Each time the image stops, it focuses on the humans and of the captured moments of the large laser blast that sent the Decepticon ship into the ocean.
"Telatran One...give me a new satellite shot of the human military instillation called Area 51 again."
"Affirmative." The electronic dull male-sounding voice of the computer replies to the leader.
The orbiting space satellite of human design activates and obeys the Autobot computer's commands. It's high-resolution camera zooms down at the location from above and shows Optimus Prime the layout of the place in great detail. The place almost looks deserted but still highly protected by various electrical fences and a few military guards. As the giant red robot stares from under his blue helmeted head, Spike walks up beside him and tries to snap Prime out of his gaze.
"Nobody home in there huh?"
Prime looks down beside his chair and sees the small human friend.
"Hello Spike, no the place is still very active...just not on the surface. Telatran One can't seem to penetrate their underground operations; we can't even seem to go beyond this point on here. Archeville is up to something new...I just know it."
"So why didn't you go in there and take him on?" Spike inquires. "It's been four months and you haven't even made a budge."
"I was rather hoping your own world governments would handle this. After all, this is your planet's concern...not ours."
Spike folds his arms as he looks at the leader, "Oh really? Then I suppose your 'concern' didn't interfere with your return flight home? Come on Optimus...you guys could have built your space ship at any given time and left here already. What's the real reason, huh?"
Prime looks around for a second to see if anyone else is in the room and then leans over to Spike as he explains.
"Alright Spike, but just don't spread this around...at least...not yet anyway. I have reason to believe that if we attempted such a thing, that Archeville would once again raise his weapon and try to sabotage our flight. After witnessing the destructive power of the laser they used on Megatron's ship, my concern is for the safety for my men and perhaps your people as well. I've been waiting to see if he'll open up the weapon again so I can have a better look at it. So far...nothing. I don't even know if Archeville is still on the base grounds anymore...this secret he so intent on protecting...this Project N...I've got to discover what it is before he creates yet another horrible weapon, one that might be a danger to the lives of millions of people...Cybertronian and Earthmen alike."
"Well...I've got to hand it to the madman." Spike says rubbing his head thinking about it. "He is pretty creative. He's managed to even keep the military at bay for this long...and that kinda scares me."
"It scares me too Spike..." Prime says as he looks back at the monitor squinting. "There's no telling of what is to come yet from this dangerous human."
Deep below in the Pacific Ocean, where the light almost fades into the darkness of the vast, vacant waters of hull crushing depths, three streamline black looking submarine like crafts voyage through the pitch black murky water. The hulls looked modified with a dark purple structure running all along the sides of the ship. In between the cracks of where the metal parted in some areas was a strange dimming glow of neon like lights peering out of them. Silent and swiftly they planed through the water, only a faint hum could be heard from behind if one were to come near it at close range. These were vessels that no one could detect, not even from a high orbit above the Earth, for these where ghost submarines of a most un-natural design.
Inside the leading submarine, sitting in the command bridge that looked more like something of a science fiction novel then an actual submarine vessel would have inside, was an old Caucasian man sipping on a cup of tea. The chair was black in leather, with a belt harness behind him that wasn't being used; all around the chair were brass rails that separated his seat from the rest of the deck. His teacup was bone white china with a blue embroidered design on the sides and had a saucer to match as it was clutched in his other hand. The man was sporting black pants and a black turtle neck that gave him a very comfortable look, his dark navy blue jacket rest on the side arm of his chair as he leaned on it with his left elbow. The entire room was filled with strange looking computers, men dressed almost the same as he where running around and operating the various stations. A female African American officer was steering the helm of the submarine, she maneuvered the vessel with just a small chrome driver's wheel in her hands. She kept her eyes focused on the many electronic displays telling her of her distance, depth and speed of which the craft was moving.
"We're nearing the next targeted area Doctor Archeville." The female pilot informed him.
"Very good helm. Signal the fleet to reduce speed and begin the search immediately." He commanded her as he placed his tea down on a small glass table in front of him. "And give me a direct link to A-51 headquarters...I want to speak with Mr. West."
"He's already online sir..." She says back after checking the console. "He's demanding to talk to you personally."
"On speakers Ms. Delmar."
A quick snap of electronic static and the voice of Mr. West can be heard in the room with absolute clarity.
"West here Doctor. I've been trying to hail you for hours now." He says with a worried tone.
Archeville leans back in his chair and folds his hands together. "I know...we've been in deep waters and transmission has been unusually choppy at best. What is this urgent matter Mr. West?"
"Sir, the Autobots are continually trying to use Telatran One to scan this base. We've been monitoring the signals for some time and we feel that they may eventually target us for an attack soon."
"Your worries are unfounded Commander West." Archeville sighs. "They've had the chance to raid our facilities for four months now. I highly doubt they will attempt such an operation without the world's permission. But since I have no more of my contacts in the government to tell me otherwise...you must prepare for any contingency."
"Yes sir." West replies back. "I still can't believe our organization was disassembled so quickly. They found every one of your plants across the globe in a matter of weeks. Are you certain that you can still remain safe in those waters out there? It's possible they're looking for you in just about every inch of the planet by now."
Archeville rises out of his chair and places his arms behind his back, the frustration of being a hunted man tightens his fists and makes him pace while he speaks to the nervous commander.
"Yes, how dare they even attempt such a foolish thing. Curse them all...and curse those Autobots for helping them look for me. But we all know it was Chip Chase's files that gave that stupid Senator my every contact. I should have never trusted General Pressman to oversee their destruction as he arrested the Chase boy. I should have handled that minor incident myself...but...what's done is done. Speaking of Chip Chase...is he ready to give me more information on the Project or not?"
"He's been very forth coming in the data sir." West announces with pride. "Your little threat to him seemed to increase his productivity ten fold."
"Excellent commander...excellent." The doctor grins. "Now all we need to do is find the Decepticon wreckage and bring it all back to the base for study."
"How is it going if I may be so bold to ask?"
The old man sat back in his chair and gave a sour face. "The ocean is a harsh mistress my dear Mr. West. It's like there's no trace of them anywhere on the bottom of this watery grave of theirs. I don't understand how we cannot detect their signatures at all...let alone a single scrap from their vessel. We're going to scan this area and then move to the lower depths of the ocean floor canyon. I'm afraid that contact will not be possible for some time. So, your orders are to protect the base at all costs and keep the secret of Project N with your very lives. Is that understood?"
"Understood sir." West acknowledges.
"Oh and West..." Archeville adds. "You are now the leading head of operations of the base in my absence...you are to also take charge of Level 13. If something should go wrong...you must also carry out my other instructions for that other project. Clear?"
"Yes sir." The commander responds again. "I will follow your orders to the letter sir. Happy hunting...West out."
The commander's voice snaps off and the sub becomes silent again. Archeville rubs his chin in thought as he wonders as to where the Decepticon's debris field could be. The ocean is vast with many deep canyons and cracks that go beyond were no sub could travel. Even with modifications, they are stretching the safety limits of this vessel as it is, if they were to dive down too deep and to a point where they could not escape the crushing pressure...the mission and their lives could be over. But Archeville is determined to locate the wreckage and return with the alien robot technology he craves so much. Grabbing his tea again, he takes another sip from it and sits up in his chair.
"Helm...give me a status report." The old man commands.
"All ships have scanned the area sir. No debris or signatures found." She says glancing back at him.
"Very well. Tell the fleet to move to the canyon location and prepare for crushing depth. Let's be bold and see what lies in wait for us there."
"Aye sir." She nods.
The three dark stealth submarines speed up and travel together as they move to the gaping canyon floor that lies a few miles away from them. Still silent in their motion, the ships disappear into the blackness of the ocean deep like cruising sharks.