(Disclaimer: Danny Phantom and all characters from that show belong to Butch Hartman. Transformers and all the characters from that show belong to Hasbro, various comic companies and some TV studio, I can't remember which one. No profit was made from this fic so give your lawyers some more lucrative busy-work to do.)
"Prowl! What's our ETA?", the Autobot leader asked, worry increasing by the nano-second as he led the Autobot squadron down the highway at top speed. It was a small squad – all that could be organized in the short amount of time they'd had. The semi was flanked by his tactician and head saboteur. Ratchet was next in line with the Lamborghini Twins bringing up the rear.
"Five minutes, Prime," the tactician responded. "I am not optimistic about our chances of arriving in time."
"Ya' think!" snapped Jazz. "By the time we get there, the 'Cons will probably have made off with that generator and there'll be a smoking hole where the lab used to be. We've got to get better intelligence on them, man!"
"We're working on that," Prime said as they slowed for the last turn on their approach. "For now, we..." His voice trailed off as something unexpected appeared on his long-range scanners. "It appears that the law enforcement of Amity Park may be better armed than we thought. I'm detecting high levels of weapons fire."
Decepticons! Retreat! came a familiar voice over the open communications band. The Autobots slowed...and stopped as they caught sight of a Decepticon raiding party flying their way.
"Autobots! Transform and prepare for battle!" Optimus shouted, shifting quickly to robot-mode and pulling his gun from subspace. He zeroed in on Megatron...who was looking decidedly worse for wear. Was the barrel of his fusion cannon actually cracked? The rest of the warriors didn't look any better.
"Not today, Prime!" the Decepticon commander croaked as he changed course and shot away at top speed. Just before they flew out of range, a bolt of green energy lanced out to hit Starscream in the afterburner, but it wasn't from any Autobot weapon. Prowl quickly traced the trajectory back...towards Amity Park.
"AND STAY THE HECK AWAY FROM MY HOMETOWN!"
Prowl increased his optical magnification to get a better look at the tiny figure which had been pursuing the Decepticons. He appeared to be human...except for the fact that he was flying under his own power and had a distinct bio-luminescence. That was all he managed to register before his logic processors locked up and he keeled over. Fortunately, he was caught by the Autobot's medic before he could hit the ground.
"Slaggit!" Ratchet cursed as he pulled out his tools. "What set him off this time?"
"Ummm…I think that did," Jazz said, bemusement in his voice.
By now, every optic in the team was locked on the flying, white-haired figure as he closed in on their position. He didn't seem exactly pleased to see them. In fact, he looked rather pissed off. Green light collected in his hands as everyone's energy sensors started screaming.
"Awww, heck! More of you scrapheaps?" the apparition shouted. He cupped his hands together and the energy flowed together into a tight orb with lightning bolts playing across its surface. "You've got exactly five seconds to clear out before you get the same treatment I gave your buddies!" Not exactly the best thing to say to an Autobot…even worse to say to one Autobot in particular.
"Who are you calling a scrapheap, squishie?" Sunstreaker roared as he leveled his gun at the flying human. The outcome if he fired would have been messy, but, fortunately, Optimus' hand came down on the barrel, shoving it toward the ground.
"Stand down, Sunstreaker!" he snapped. "All of you, stand down!" Sideswipe and Jazz also lowered their weapons (Sideswipe rather reluctantly). Then Prime turned back to the creature threatening them. He subspaced his rifle and held up his hands in a placating gesture.
"I am afraid you've made a mistake," he said. "Those were most definitely not our 'buddies'."
The human frowned, then seemed to take a second look at the robots. "Oh…ooops."
The energy orb between his hands suddenly dissipated, and he grinned sheepishly, running one hand through his hair. Suddenly he looked very young and uncertain. "You're the Autobots, huh? Ummm…sorry about the scrapheap crack. Fighting off big nasties kinda puts you on edge." He rolled his glowing eyes and sighed. "This was so not how I wanted to spend my weekend."
"Aww, don't worry about it, kid," Jazz said cheerfully. "Mistakes happen and we won't hold a grudge."
"Speak for yourself," Sunstreaker grumbled and earned himself an elbow in the flank from his twin. Optimus quelled them both with a pointed glance.
"In any case, we owe you thanks for taking care of our job for us," the commander said. "A most impressive performance from the damage levels we saw. I was not aware that any humans possessed abilities such as yours."
A brief look of apprehension crossed the boy's face. "Well, they don't," he said. "I'm not exactly human. Ghost, you see." He grinned and waved. "And I'd love to chat but I've got places to go right now. See ya!"
"Wait…" Optimus started to object, but it was too late. The ghost had vanished.
"Mirage isn't going to be happy to hear someone's stolen his shtick," Sideswipe remarked.
Ratchet looked up irritably from his work on Prowl. "Does anyone know what in Primus' Name that was?"
Sideswipe snickered. "Looked like a flying teenager."
"A smart-mouth flying teenager," his brother added sourly.
"A smart-mouth, flying, glowing teenager…with energy blasts."
"We obviously need more information," Prime cut in. "How long until Prowl is back online?"
"One more minute and he'll be up and kicking," Ratchet answered, bending back to his work.
"Very well. We'll proceed to Axion Labs. They'll need our help with the damage, and they might have more information on this…ghost."
Jazz snickered. "Maybe we should send Prowl home for this one. I can tell it won't be fun for him."
"Dude! What were you thinking!"
Danny studiously ignored his friend's ranting and focused his attention on getting the double Nasty Burger inside him as quickly as possible. Using his powers always burned up huge amounts of energy and, by the time he'd gotten back to the restaurant where Tucker and Sam were waiting, he had been nearly faint with hunger as well as sporting purpling bruises over large portions of his body.
"The Autobots!" Tucker continued. "The Auto-freaking-bots! You had a chance to meet them and you just flew off? Without even getting an autograph!"
"Well, he'd just spent the last half hour fighting their arch-foes," Sam said irritably. "If I was in his shoes, I wouldn't feel much like chit-chat either."
"Not to mention that they were starting to ask questions about me and my powers," Danny said after swallowing. "I've already got Valerie, my parents and half the ghost hunters in the country after me. I don't need to be dodging giant, alien robots, too."
Tucker rolled his eyes. "Come on, Danny. The 'Bots are the good guys…"
"Supposedly, so are the Fentons," Sam said dryly.
"We just can't afford to take chances, Tuck," Danny sighed, pausing to take a swig of his coke. "Things are complicated enough as it is." He leaned back in the booth and stretched. "At least I was able to save that new thingamajig the Axion people were working on. Any idea why those creeps wanted it?"
The technogeek snorted. "You have got to pay more attention to tech-news. That thingamajig is the latest thing in matter-antimatter power generation. Of course the Decepticons were after it!" His eyes sparkled behind his glasses. "And I still can't believe you took out those 'Cons by yourself. That is so freaking cool!"
Danny grinned. "Amazing what you can do when you can overshadow a giant, laser-armed robot."
"If we can dispense with the mutual-admiration society for a minute," Sam broke in, "all I know about anti-matter is from Star Trek…where it seems to be a plot-device to endanger everything in a hundred mile radius at the most dramatic time." She folded her arms and scowled. "Not exactly something I'd like to have sitting in my hometown."
"Well…it is dangerous," Tucker said, going serious for a moment. "But it has the potential to produce incredible amounts of pollutant-free energy." He winked slyly at the Goth. "Imagine it, Sam. No more smoking coal plants. No nuclear waste…"
Sam turned thoughtful as she considered this. "Well…"
"We can debate alternative energy sources later," Danny interrupted. "What we need to consider right now is the chances of those Decepticons making another raid. What do you think, Tuck?"
Tucker held up his PDA. "From what I've overheard on the communications bands, I don't think it will be for a while if they even try at all. Between you coming out of nowhere and totally kicking their butts and the re-enforcements the Autobots just called in to help Axion repair the damage and guard the place, they'll probably think it's too risky." His eyes took on a pleading, puppy-dog look. "Think they'd give me an autograph if you flew us over there?"
Danny groaned and buried his face in his hands. "No, Tucker. You can go over and bug the giant mechas if you want. Danny Phantom isn't getting anywhere near them if he can help it. I'm taking enough risks as it is." He snickered. "But, if you go, I'd watch out for the big, yellow one. He's got a temper."
"Yer' tellin' me that a human teenager managed to rip the manifolds off of an entire Decepticon strike force?" Ironhide asked incredulously after Jazz briefed the newcomers on the situation.
"Well, the dude did say he was a ghost," Jazz replied.
"So a dead human teen ripped the manifolds off an entire Decepticon strike force?"
"Hey, man! It does make sense in a way. Like in those horror movies - how to you kill somethin' that's already dead?"
"Really, Jazz. Ghosts?" That was from Perceptor, the head of the Autobots' science team. There was a look of patent distaste on his faceplates. The saboteur only shrugged.
"You gotta better explanation for what's on these security tapes?" he said, activating the monitor. The soldiers fell silent as the battle played out on the recording. "We've got a human who flies, shoots energy blasts that can punch through three-layer titanium armor and…check this out."
Jazz slowed the tape. On the screen, the black-clad human's body went transparent just before a laser blast hit him. The bolt appeared to go through the ghost harmlessly. Wheeljack gave a low whistle from the back of the crowd.
"So ghosts are real after all," he mused.
"In this town they are, anyway," Jazz said as he sped the recording back up to normal. "And this one is a powerful little guy with some rather nasty tricks up his sleeve. If the town didn't already have a name for him, I'd call him Zuul."
The image of Megatron loomed in the camera-frame, scowling as he aimed his fusion cannon at the ghost. The spirit dodged the blast adroitly…and dove straight at the Decepticon leader. The Autobot's gasped as the boy seemed to vanish into Megatron's chest-plate. On screen, Megatron froze. His optics flickered for a second and shifted from red to green.
Then he opened fire on his own troops.
"Primus!" Ironhide murmured.
"'xactly," Jazz agreed. "Locals call him Danny Phantom, and there's a slaggin' whole lot of confusion as to what Side of the Force he's actually on."
"Hey, he's against the 'Cons!" Cliffjumper shouted as the screen showed Phantom fly out of Megatron and send an orb of energy down the barrel of the Decepticon's fusion cannon. "That's good enough for me."
"The enemy of my enemy is not always a friend." The group turned to see Optimus striding over to them. "Whoever or whatever this Danny Phantom is, he is powerful and possibly dangerous. As a result, Jazz will be heading up a team to uncover more information while the rest of us assist in repairing Axion's equipment."
His optics narrowed as he watched the retreat of the Decepticons. "I would very much like for us to have such an ally…but we must be cautious."