Okay. In case you don't know who's who fancharacter-wise, (which I can really understand considering my descriptions aren't very good, and I can't post my pics where you can see them just now, except my site), but If you check my profile, I'lltry to getpictures of my fanchars up there. until then, here's some general descriptiveness to help:

Syus/Scythe: Classic american green winged dragon, iridescent in color(when the light hits his scales right you can see green, yellow, and blue, kinda like transmetal Megatron)

Bullet: an almost-lookalike of Megatron, but a darker (charcoa-lish) grey. And blue sidepanels, whereas Megs is red. And his cannon is on his left arm, not his right like Megatron. there are also other differences, but I'll let you guess at those.

Gobee: Black B.M.W.350I, gloss black in color, silver highlights as car. grey highlights added as robot. The 'Minispy' of the group. (think Bumblebee sizewise. kinda-sorta)

Mic (pronounced Mick)(a.k.a.Hillchaser) I don't have a better name for him, but if you have any suggestions, please email me. Transformation is a white and grey Chevyrolet Camaro Z-28. ( I think it's a '94)

Needle: Ford F150. Black with blue and green color scheme, yellow highlights. (The old 2-door design, not the crew-cab) . (He and Mic are kind of like Sunstreaker and Sideswipe in their competition with one another. LOL. )

Razor/Razer: one of the older members of the group, actualy a neutral from the underground territories of Cybertron.

Dusk: bondmate/consort to Razer. Considered a wanted crimnal by both factions. Classified as a Renegade Decepticon. Knows the 'combaticons.

Windstriker: A-10 Thunderbolt, just like Powerglide (had her listed as a warhog, which is a helicopter. oops!). Purple and tan in color. and when she goes into robot mode, her wings fold up onto her back (only the ends stick out past her shoulders)
Wyldakat: I have a really nice pic of her here. (Points to website) Kitty is (at my husband's request) snicker included in my my fanfic. it is his car, yes. she's a 1989 Plymouth Reliant, 4-door Sedan.
I think that's it. so, now that you have the descriptions, if you forget who's who, you can just zip back up to the top of the page and see. I really hope this helps!

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anyhoo, I should quit wasting your time, and get on with the fanfiction. right?

right.

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Lieutenant Staward stared boredly out of the window of the Novvus orbiter at the dark, bleak expanse of space. They had been launched into the dark, empty expanse just under fifty-two hours earlier. It had been exciting when they first lifted off. The first twelve hours they were in space, they had concentrated on taking readings of the sun and it's immense energy. N.A.S.A. had just developed a new heat-resistant alloy, and hoped the small sattelite they sent the Novvus to launch would withstand the heat of the sun long enough to transmit detailed information, and maybe even pictures (if they were really, really, really lucky) of the inner regions of the sun's atmosphere before being destroyed by the intense heat. Mankind would finally know the secrets of the greatest energy sounce in the universe.

Hopefully.

They were due to launch the car-sized probe into the superheated mass in just over fourteen hours now. The on-board computers were recording most of the readings, monitoring the solar surface for fluctuations, so there wouldn't be any doubts in the conditions of the fiery mass when the probe launched. Even the smallest blip or flare could alter the probe's trajectory into the sun, and possibly prevent it from penetrating the thick outer atmospere of the gaseous giant. Even though they were currently doing nothing more than making sure the equipment functioned properly, it was absolutely imparative they kept a watchful eye out for any changes. Sometimes the computers didn't catch things, the slightest of changes, that any of them would, he noted.

At the time, it was supposed to be his off-duty time, to get some sleep. Lieutenant Ericson was currently filling in at his station while he did. He mentally noted that even though she was a fully capable scientist, she failed to notice some of the smaller fluctuations in the readouts.

"Even the smallest thing goes wrong, and the pod fails, this entire mission will have been a waste." he thought.

Even though he was supposed to be asleep, he found it nearly impossible. He'd had a bad feeling about this mission ever since the final hour before takeoff. He couldn't place the feeling, and inwardly cursed himself for believing such paranoid thoughts. He sighed in boredom, and started to turn away, but caught a glint of sunlight on metal out of the corner of his vision.

When he turned back, he realised there were three F-15 Eagles, flying in formation, towards the orbiter.

"Commander, look"

He turned to the commanding officer and motioned at the strangely painted jets. The older man, of about fifty or so, with greying hair hurriedly floated himself over to get a better look at what his subordinate was gawking at. His brown eyes widened at what he saw.

"those areEarth jets!" he said confusedly. "but how did they get out here?" he added.

As if to answer his question, the red and blue lead jet halted, the other two stopping on either side of him. The bodies of the jets twisted and shifted to reveal a trio of humanoid-looking robots. Brimstone-red eyes glowed against the darkness of space, burning the ice-cold stare of the three mechanoid faces into the memory of the humans before them.

All four astronauts gaped in frightening realization of exactly what these mechanisms were. Commander Collwell opened his mouth, but the word would not come out. He never got to say the word. The red-and blue Decepticon raised his arm cannon and fired.

The Novvus orbiter exploded in a ball of fire; And a shower of debris was all that was left. The last thing the crew ever saw was the smirk that played across the face of their murderer...

Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp transformed and flew back towards the Earth. Having been successfull, the only remains of the human space-vessel was the small heat-resistant module Starscream carried carefully in his cargo hold.

---------------------------------------------------

"BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP!"

"mmm...go away..."

"WRiiiEEEEErEErEErEErrrEEEAAAGHEEERRR!"

"I'm up, I'm up!"

Syus hit the base's alarm button. As if they hadn't learned in the past week...

0500 hours (5:00 a.m)
The sunrise illuminated the valley below it, casting an orangish hue to the dusty flatland and it's few scattered animal inhabitants. Other than that, the Oregon plains were devoid of life, except the forms of a group of metal figures making their way through the nearby canyon. The seven joggers were almost completely overshadowed by the frosty rocks the sunlight had yet to find.

The iridescent-greenish mech in the very front of the group jogged in place for a second, in order to run beside two of the stragglers in the back, who were arguing with one another, per-usual.

"I still think I could drive faster." said the white camaro

"So, I can haul more cargo." the blue-and-green pickup truck responded

"So, if Megatron was standing behind you with his fusion cannon aimed at your head, which would you prefer"

That's not the point"

"Oh?" Needle (the pickup) glanced at Mic (the camaro) with a smirk.

"if that were the case, Gobee would beat us both, then"

Mic sniggered.

the aforementioned black minispy ignored the comment from behind, deciding it was better to let Syus handle the two. The two didn't even see the broad-shouldered green dragon-transformer until he was right beside them, either.

"Are you two going to run or run out of breath arguing."

Mic glared at Needle, and the two fell silent. Syus nodded wordlessly, and jogged back to the lead of the group.

Needle glanced at Mic, still smirking.

"If you were damaged, who do you think has to be able to haul your heavy aft back to base." He said in a lower tone, one he hoped Syus wouldn't hear him using.

"I heard that"

"I can still drive faster"

As soon as the tired group filed into the main cavern, Syus headed for the doors that separated the main cavern from the various other caves.

Jade started tofollow after him.

"Syus, wait"

he turned at the voice of the muave-and-blue jet, knowing what she was going to say, and knowing he had more important thing to do than listen to the young seeker prattle all day about how tired she was, or her other various complaints.
It was time to put an end to that.

"I have no time to listen to your incessant whining about the situation, Jade."

His voice was uncharacteristically cold as he walked over to come face-to-face with the jet.

"Either learn how to deal with it, or go tell the Autobots."

She opened her mouth to reply, optics wide with suprise, but he cut her off, his tone sharp.

"I'm sure they wouldn't mind having a coward like you in their forces." her jaw practically hit the floor.

never.

NEVER had he used such a tone with her.

Syus mentally resolved himself that it would just poke her ego a bit, and not hurt her feelings. Well, okay; maybe just enought of a jab to make her stop whining, and get with the program.

"If you want me to pamper you in your training so you can go out and get yourself blown to bits by the Decepticons, you're wrong."

He paused as the seeker tried to regain her composure, shocked by what he'd said.

"I...I was just going to ask if there was any way you thought I could improve on my technique... or do better...or any advice you could have-"

she realised she was stumbling over her words and went silent. The green commander's expression outwardly never changed, but he realised what he said had sunk in. Good. Now for the one thing that would drive it home, and he knew it would make her work even harder to do her best.

"Jade, as much as you've 'tried', I don't think there's any way you'll be good enough for my approval"

He did a sharp about-face and strode out of the room.

The words echoed in her processor as the door at the far end of the cavern swooshed shut, blocking the green mech from her view. He was supposed to understand. It wasn't like they all just wanted to be here! it wasn't a picnic to begin with. How could he just yell at her like she was some sort of a child?

"I'll show you."

"you overgrown iguana." she growled under her breath.

She turned and stalked past the others, out of the cavern's main entrance.

"He probably wouldn't care less if I tripped and fell flat on my face." she snarled, kicking savagely at a nearby rock.

"Hell, for all he cares, I could get blown to scrap metal and he would just say I told you so!"

A bird flew startled off it's rocky perch by her shout.

the jet mumbled a few more choice words under her vocaliser as she strode towards where the training area had been set up.

The newest challenge that had been added to the training routine was to fly to the first set of barriers, and land on the narrow wall. Then run the rest of the way across the maze. It sounded easy enough, but doing it was harder than it sounded.

The first couple of times, she had flown in fast and low, thinking it would be easy. no problem at all. When the wind didn't throw her off, her momentum had caught up with her as soon as she landed, and she fell facefirst right over the barrier. To make matters worse, even Windstriker had laughed openly at her for it. Sure, it might have looked funny. But not to the one experiencing it, thank-you-so-very-much.

Sure, she had tried transforming sooner, too. But as she came in for a landing, a gust of wind caught her, turning her sideways before she could react. Her right wing slammed down on the wall so hard it bent the outer third of the metal, and crumpled the thin wing covering like it was paper.

The jet brought herself out of her thoughts with a shudder. A seeker's wings were sensitive enough as was. And something like that was painfull enough to teach her a lesson in itself.

Not that she would let anyone (Syus especially) see it, of course. Especially not now. She glanced at the fading weld-lines, and resolved herself to pay better attention.

Her anger had faded slightly at the thought of being back in the air, away from everything, But now it had returned full-force.

"He thinks I'm just a spoiled brat, huh?" she spat, fists closing at her sides.

"FINE! I'll show him just how well I can do. Even if I have to crash to get there. Oh, and another thing."

she found herself pacing back and forth angrily at the edge of the cliff face, glaring down at the maze a few hudred meters away below her.

"Let's see HIM try to fly down and go across this thing. Oh suuure.. Mr. 'Captain Command Element' the

HIGH AND MIGHTY!"

she was yelling again. she paused, wanting to stomp both feet and jump up and down and scream (or just deck him, for that matter. But that would of course get her thrown in the 'brig', a small cave with a forcewall around it.

she had to calm down.

"grrr"

but why was he doing this to her. She didn't understand. It wasn't the training that upset her. It was what he had said to her, and even how he had said it to her.

He had made it quite obvious he thought she was a failure, no matter how hard she tried to do her best. There was no way out of it. Either she would have to do everything to please him, or deactivate trying.

"damn dragon!"

GRRRRRR!

she took a deep breath and counted to ten.

to twenty.

to thirty.

she let it out with a whoosh and gasped for breath, realising just how long she'd held her breath for.

"damn that ten-second thing doesn't work"

well, At least she felt a little better.

The jet backed off from the edge of the cliff a few steps, taking note of the the strength and direction of the wind. She hadn't done that before, and it had caused major problems. Well, that was an understatement.
But anyhow, she noted it was a slight breeze, to the left. Perfect.
The F-15 E took three steps and jumped into the air, transforming right at the cliff's edge. She flew up a few meters and forward.

"Slower" she told herself

"forward."

"wait for it."

"wait for it"

she transformed and carefully aimed both feet forward. Then swung both wings out straight behind her, plunging into a vitual freefall. as soon as her feet touched the wall, she swung both wings out to her sides with a whoosh, so not to overbalance herself.

She stood perched atop the metal barrier for a minute, speechless that she had finally done it. But dissapointment soon took over. Syus wasn't here to see her. He probably would just roll his eyes at her, and say something along the lines of

"So what. Now do it again"

She huffed, and jumped into the air to fly back to the starting line.

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meanwhile, elsewhere in Oregon...

The batter stepped up to the plate, the end of the inning, and with only one out. On the sidelines a young brunette man in his early twenties, by the name of Spike Witticky watched anxiously to see what would happen next. Beside him was his dad, Sparkplug, watching with as much anticipation as his son.

On the pitcher's spot, Brawn glanced over at second base, where Cliffjumper was trying to edge off towards third. But the second baseman (Bumblebee) spotted him, and Cliffjumper jumped back onto base. Ironhide was up at bat, and Smokescreen looked over from his spot at third base to the watching Mirage with a "No chance in heck he's gonna make this." look. Which allowed Bluestreak to make a mad dash for homebase.

Spike waved at the big red van.

"Come on, Ironhide. Make a home run!"

The red Autobot looked over at the two humans on the sidelines, then toward the Autobot leader, who was waiting on first base.

Behind Ironhide, the catcher (Hound) signaled the pitcher for a high-speed pitch. Ironhide's grin grew a little, and he tapped the end of the bat on the home base in anticipation.

Brawn wound up, then let the homemade baseball fly at full speed. Ironhide swung.
and missed.
"Strike one" Hound sounded from behind him.

The red mech sighed inwardly and shifted his weight. Brawn smiled teasingly as Hound threw the ball back to him. "Come on, Ironhide, I know you can do better than that." he called.

"Just wait, I'll hit it eventually." Ironhide retorted in the same teasing tone.

The yellow and grey minibot drew back his arm to throw the baseball agin, and Cliffjumper saw his chance. As soon as Brawn's arm came back, the red car made a beeline for third base. Brawn didn't see him until halfway into his throw, breaking his concentration.

The wooden bat met homemade baseball with a resounding 'CRACK!'

"Home run!" Spike yelled from the sidelines.

Several hundred feet vertically, above the clouds, three jets were circling, spying on the unwary Autobots.

"Stupid Autobots and their human games." Dirge said, annoyed that his time and skills were being wasted. "I don't see why one of Soundwave's bird-brains couldn't be spared for this. This is a waste of our time." he grouched. "Megatron said he had a 'special assignment' for Soundwave, remember." Thrust put in. "Yeah, well Soundwave's nothin but a two-byte kissup." the blue jet retorted.

"Hey, wanna go have some real fun?" Ramjet transformed and smirkingly pointed vertically towards his feet, where the Autobots were straight below him.

"grrr...no. Megatron would have our afts for stirring up trouble." Dirge said, wishing that was exactly what he could do.

"Besides, were supposed to be here spying on the Autobots. Not getting our afterburners blasted." Thrust added.

They thought they were out of the sensor range of the Autobots, but of course couldn't see the ground for the clouds to tell. That is, until the homemade baseball came crashing into Ramjet's wing at about a hundred miles per hour.

"owwgrr Autobot scrap! That's it! I'm gonna get me a peice of autojunk!" the jet hissed.

Thrust had to grab him by the arm to keep the white flier from doing a powerdive into the unwary group below.

"Do you want to go flying into a group of Autobots, including Optimus Prime and have to deal with Megatron's wrath?" he hissed.

Ramjet stopped, but only at the thought of Megatron being completely wraught with anger at their stupid antics again.

"We'll get our chance. But not now." As if on cue, his comlink beeped.

"This is Megatron. report."

There was a tightness in the Decepticon leader's voice as he spoke that made it evident today would not be a good day to make him mad .

Thrust lifted an optic ridge at his companion and let go

"The Autobots are clueless." Ramjet reported.

"they're too busy playing games with their pet humans they don't even know we're right above them"

"Excellent. Report back to base at once. Megatron out."

Ramjet sneered at the figures below. "Just wait, Auto-junkers. I'll get my chance sooner or later." he growled, and the three transformed and flew away.

In the outfield, Huffer saw the ball, and reached out to grab it.

"I got it, I got it"

he missed it.

The ball thumped to the ground, and the minibot grabbed it and threw toward third base.

Meanwhile, Ironhide had passed up Prime by a couple yards, and hit home base right as Smokescreen caught the ball and threw toward Hound at homebase. The red and blue Autobot leader saw the car catch the homemade baseball and heard Spike yell

"Come on Optimus!"

Optimus made a dive for base, sliding onto it at the last possible microsecond. Of course, because of the dust cloud he sent up, nobody could tell whether he made it safe or not.

"Well." Spike commented between coughs.

"I think they got the hang of it." as the two humanstried to fan away the dust cloud.

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Prowl turned from teletraan's screen as the Autobot leader entered the room.

"Prime, we've just recieved a message from the united states government." the silver Datsun said as he stepped aside

"more specifically, from the National Aeronatics and Space Administration."

The Autobot leader suddenly looked worried. They had helped develop the technology and even assisted in the manufacturing of the heat-resistant metal, in order to help the human government further their knowledge. But not without the nagging fear that the Decepticons might be lurking in the shadows trying to find a way to steal and misuse the technology for their own purposes.

It was a risk, as Optimus had tried to tell them, but N.A.S.A. had been adamant, saying that even without the help of the Autobots and their technology, they would find a way to go through with the project. So, because of their superior technology, (and knowledge that the humans, if left on their own, could make a serious fowlup, and possibly do more damage without their help),had decided to lend a hand.

Wheeljack, Perceptor, and Grapple had been 'drafted' to work on the project.

(Well, actually, Wheeljack practically volunteered, and after much convincing, and promising not to blow anything up, finally got NASA to let him in their tech. labs)

Perceptor worked on the gizmos and gagetry, and the electronic technology, while Wheeljack and Hoist conspired on design and fabricating a super-heat-resistant metal for the casing.

It had gone fairly well, until Hoist insisted HIS design was the one to go with. Wheeljack just flickered his lightpanels (like rolling his optics), and politely pointed out one of the design flaws, putting in a small alteration that would correct it.

Hoist wound up getting even more upset at him, elegantly scaring the human technichians out ouf the room for fear something would 'go boom'. But they finally somehow (?) managed to work it out and, after only a little more arguing, managed to work together instead of nitpicking.

Teletraan's main computer screen flickered to life, revealing a dark-haired man in his late forties. The large round glasses he wore gave his face an owllike look, besides the worry that his face held. "What happened?" the red-and-blue Autobot queried.

the scientist took a deep breath, trying to mentally prepare himself for how he was going to explain how his wonderfull project, the one that was supposed to reveal the secrets of the greatest energy source in the galaxy, and provide the world with limitless energy -the one he'd been told would go wrong-

went wrong.

the scientist was silent for a second, then said:

"The shuttle we sent up..." the man paused, slightly shaken at this turn of events

"It was destroyed this morning"

"Decepticons." the Autobot leader hissed, voice low.

"We don't know. We haven't made contact since seven thirty this morning. That's when the automatic computer transmissions stopped." the man replied.

"We don't know if it was a mechanical failure yet, or even possibly sabotage." he added.

"We will help you in any way you need us to." the determination in Prime's voice was obvious.

"We'll keep you informed if we make any further discoveries here."the man responded.

"We'll be able to get the information from the Novvus's internal video cameras, as soon as the computer recording module- the black box, is recovered"

(the man thought it, but didn't say it. They were still waiting for the rest of the...

wreckage to fall back to Earth. Why, he wondered, hadn't they listened when the Autobots told them it was unsafe? he wondered how they were going to explain it to the families of those astronauts.

Sometimes, he wished they had never brought their war to this planet. Why couldn't they have just stayed on their own planet. Instead of bringing their violent energy-driven war here)

"We shall also keep an optic out here for any Decepticon activity." the red and blue Autobot leader assured him.

"If the Decepticons had anything at all to do with the destruction of the Novvus orbiter, we will find out what they are planning, and put a stop to it." topaz blue eyes flashed in emphasis.

the man just nodded. "We'll be in touch."

there wasn't anything more the scientist could do or say as he cut the video link. What could he do? scream and yell, maybe? tell them to go back to whatever planet they had come from? No. They were the ones protecting humanity from those...monsters. I mean, it wasn't their fault they had clashed here. Maybe it was the Decepticons that went looking for other planets, and the Autobots chased them, right?

the man sighed, wishing he had silenced his thoughts before they had started. There was nothing that could undo the damage the Decepticons had done. Now they just had to stop whatever evil plan the Decepticons had conjured up. And only the Autobots could do that.

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oOoOoOoh... sounds like trouble, huh? hopefully the next chapter won't take too long to type and get put up. By the way, please review. Puh-Leeeaaase! (gets on knees and begs.)

Also, If you're wondering where I'm going with this, I'd suggest watching "Changing Gears". (ahem) oops... spoiler alert.. sorry. heh heh.