By: Sinead (raptrana )

Part Four

The pod's door was ajar, and the Protoform gone. Dinobot growled to himself, and looked around for signs of the supposed Maximal that would have just left the pod. Where was it?

With a grunt, the Velociraptor transformed, and walked to the keypad. "Very well, misbehave! You slagging piece of scrap, where's the Protoform?!"

"Right. Here." A blade rested on his shoulder, the edge brushing against his neck. Dinobot held his hands up, sighing. He was spun, to face a well-muscled female Maximal, who had a Transmetal Two form, like himself. "Who are you? Why are you looking for me? What is your faction? Who is your leader? Well?! Speak up!"

"Dear Primus, female! If I had the luxury of speaking that fast, I would have answered you as you questioned me!"

Her eyes narrowed. "Are you mocking me?"

Dinobot kept his hands up. "You do happen to be holding a blade to my throat, so what chance do I have, anyway? Once you lower it, I will answer your questions."

She glared at him, then did as he requested. As soon as he was free, as it were, he reached up to touch his neck, where the blade had rested. With a nod of approval, he said, "You have excellent control over your sword."

"The questions. Now."

Demanding girl, Dinobot thought. Almost like myself, in a way. Aloud, he said, "I am Dinobot, warrior for Optimus, the leader of the Maximal forces here on this planet. I was sent to find you, to bring you back to the other Maximals."

"You look like a Pred. Why should I believe you?"

Dinobot sighed. "I was once a Predacon, but that has no meaning now."

"WHAT?!" She backed up immediately, holding her sword in front of her, in a defensive position. "Get away from me, freak! I don't like Preds, and I never will, no matter what they say!"

Screeching wheels were heard, and Rattrap appeared not a moment later, to transform and land next to Dinobot. "Yup. 'Ya found 'er."

"She's as stubborn as you were about accepting me."

"Oh, really? Were?"

"Humph. Indeed."

"Just kiddin' with 'ya, Scale-Belly! Jeesh! Don' have a hissy fit!" He turned to face the new girl, and whistled. "Woah, dere . . . now dat is one Prime-cut girl!"

The female snorted. "I think I prefer the Pred's company to yours."

Dinobot's single eyebrow raised in surprise, and he chuckled evilly. "Remember first impressions, Vermin. They tend to last the longest."

"Ah, slaggit."

Dinobot turned to the female, and nodded his head in the general direction of their base. "If you do not mind accompanying us to the base . . . ?"

"I'm. Not. Leaving."

Rattrap winced. "I think dat I shoulda let da Kiddo come instead o' me."

"Yes, Cheetor would have been quite preferable to your company any day."

"Ah, shove it, Carrion-Breath."

"Better than garbage."

"What's wrong with garbage?"

"It tends to clog your internal systems with unneeded toxins."

"So you're sayin' dat roadkill is good fer 'ya?"


Rattrap shuddered, and his comm-link came to life. Base to Rattrap . . . Have you found Dinobot yet?

"Unfortunately," Dinobot grumbled.

There was a small laugh, and Cheetor replied, Well, Optimus wants the lot of you back now. He didn't say why, though. Base out.

Dinobot blinked at the new girl, then sighed. "Well?"

She snorted. "So I was wrong. Lead on."

She dropped to her beast mode, revealing it to be a deer. Dinobot blinked, and heard his stomach growl. He looked away, embarrassed, while Rattrap laughed. The doe blinked at him, and he muttered, "My beast mode is a predator. Please don't mind me."

She laughed, and tossed her head. "Well, I guess so." She stopped, then walked directly up to him, her snout inches from his face. "Have we met before?"

Dinobot looked back at her, and she shook her head. "Sorry. You just reminded me of a bot who had a blue face, but looked exactly like you . . . almost."

The Maximal looked at Rattrap, then back at her. "Well . . . if it isn't Valhalla."

She looked at him, then laughed, and pranced around once in a circle. Dinobot smiled, and as she came up to him again, tapped her nose gently. "You, little sister, have gotten better."

"Eh?! What da Pit is dis?!"

Dinobot turned, and shook his head. "Don't ask quite yet. I'll explain when we have time."

The shorter Maximal sighed, and shook his head, then started on his way back, amazed with himself that he had just tried to flirt with Dinobot's little sister . . .

Optimus leveled yet another glare to where Valhalla was bickering with her elder brother. Depth Charge had actually taken to the girl, as did many of the other Maximals, himself included. Blackarachnia, however, didn't seem to want to get to know this new recruit. The leader shrugged it off, remembering when Dinobot first entered the Beast Wars, that Rattrap held quite a grudge against both the ex-Predacon and himself, for actually accepting him.

"You should burn in the Pit!"

"What's to say that I haven't already?! Valhalla, you're a fool."

"Better stupid, than ugly!"

"Ooh, was that supposed to hurt me?"

"That does it! You and me! Right now!"

"No sword, sister. Oooh, now what am I to do, hmm?"

Valhalla glared at him, and then launched herself at her older brother Rhinox walked into the room, and blinked at the sight of the two wrestling, while Optimus was watching, smiling and shaking his head. "They remind me of us, when we were kids."

Rattrap was working at the scanners. "Heh. You think dat's bad . . . eh . . . You haven't seen da kinda bots dat I wrestled once upon a time!"

Dinobot triumphed, holding his sister in a full Nelson, while she apologized up a storm. He released her, and helped her up. They talked for a moment, and she grinned evilly, her eyes trained on Rattrap. Optimus looked between the two, and they simultaneously cracked their knuckles. Rhinox looked to Optimus again, and he said, "Should I lay out the rules, or will you play nice?"

Rattrap looked to Dinobot, who stood back, and snorted. He returned his gaze to Valhalla, and she replied in a silky smooth voice, quite a contrast to her brother's, "Optimus, Dinobot's paid me back for illegal holds. I know what's acceptable, and what isn't."

Rattrap shuddered. "Man . . . now dat deserves pity."

"Oh slag off."

Rattrap jumped down, and the two circled, each testing the other's defenses. Cheetor walked in, and watched as Valhalla stopped, straightened her back, and sighed, looking at Rattrap, who had stopped, with speed that Cheetor forgot Rattrap possessed, he dodged at her, only to find that she had leapt over his surge, and was now behind him. She grinned, and kicked him gently, sending him forward a few paces. "Come on, then! I'm waiting for you to start trying!"

Rattrap spun, and Dinobot immediately winced. The first rule in wrestling, was never get angry. Valhalla knew that Rattrap was prone to giving into his temper, and had played into that, by swiftly moving, and making him seem clumsy. Valhalla also knew that she was playing into her old habits for wrestling, and would defeat Rattrap easily.

She looked behind her opponent, and saw Blackarachnia entering, shaking her head. She stopped, the moment that she saw what the two bots were up to. She watched, and Rattrap tried again and again to catch Valhalla, but she knew that he was stronger. Finally, he stopped, and said, "Dis ain't wrestlin'!"

"Bull it isn't! You're slowly getting better, though."

Rattrap glared at her, and she walked closer, until she was in jumping distance, for him. He didn't take her bait, but she waited, watching him closely, not letting any noises bother her. Finally, Rattrap tensed, and started to circle her. She let him, listening to his breathing and foot-falls. She heard him gasp, right before his feet dug in, and she dropped into a roll.

But Rattrap had predicted that, and the two kicked up dust, as they fought for the upper hand. Dinobot shook his head. He hadn't seen his sister challenged like she was being now, for quite a while. Cheetor walked over to him. "Will she be all right?"

"Why shouldn't she be?" Dinobot replied evenly.

"Well, she's as tall as Rattrap, but not as strong. That's why she was dodging, right?"

"Affirmative. Continue, Feline."

Cheetor smiled at the nickname, then said, "So she'll lose, right?"

"There's always a possibility of that."

Cheetor shrugged, and the older warrior looked to the younger, with a frown that the boy didn't see. He blinked once, then looked up at Optimus, who was noticing the same thing. The leader sighed, chuckling. It seemed that Valhalla was to gain a tagalong.

Rattrap whimpered, as Valhalla held him in a reverse-shrimp hold, looking bored. He pounded the dust, while she said, "Three pounds, and I'll let go. Whoops. No. I think that I'd better make that twelve."

Dinobot snickered. "Let the unfortunate go, sister."

She sighed, released him, and walked over, asking, "Aw, c'mon, Dinobot! You know that I wouldn't have hurt him . . . badly."

Cheetor watched her, and she felt his gaze, but didn't respond to it. With a blink, though, she saw what her brother was telling her silently, and she understood. He'd set things up later.

Valhalla turned to face her brother, and flashed him a smile, reminding him why he had always loved training and helping his younger sister. Things were different now, granted, but he seemed to know that somehow, everything would work out, no matter what may arise for either of them. The only thing that Dinobot hoped for, was that Valhalla would be happy, and that she would find in her life . . . heaven-sent true love.