More than meets the eye 10/2/2007

Author's notes (updated later today)

Oh yeah, I forgot to wish everyone a Happy Chinese Lunar New Year. Since it is the year of the Rat, a lot of rat related greetings and messages have been circulating around. One of the more interesting ones is the following:

May Stuart Little bring you comfort, Mickey Mouse bring you joy, Ratatouile bring you abundance of good food and Minnie Mouse bring you ultimate beauty! Happy 'Year of the Rat with lots of laughter, love and optimism!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Omake Timeline: After Chapter 33 (evil grin)

Slowly, like after crawling through a long and dark tunnel, Barricade's microprocessors began to come alive. The Decepticon let out groan that somehow came out in a squeaky voice. As he regained consciousness, he began to take note of his surroundings. Wherever he was, it was dark. He also realized that he was still in his car mode, which was strange because the last thing he remembered was Ryoga swinging an I-beam at his decapitated head. Speaking of which, he realized joyfully that somehow, he was back with his body again, which meant it was payback time.

Barricade's still wooly mind began to fantasize all manners of torture for Kasumi, Ryoga, Ukyo and not least, his clone Prowl. He decided to transform so that he could think of his strategies in a more comfortable posture. Although he loved the level of deception his Earth form granted him, more often than not he hated being stuck in a four wheel vehicle. 'Why couldn't the humans discover anti-gravity technology earlier?' he thought bitterly.

Then to his horror, he found that he couldn't transform. The Decepticon roared with rage as he tried to transform but for some reason, his body refused to do as he ordered. A transformation sequence should have been as easy as lifting a finger to a Cybertronian but the Decepticon felt as though he was stuck in a straightjacket, unable to revert to his native form.

"What in the pit is going on here?!" he shouted. But to add to his confusion, what came out of his radio was a voice that sounded like Minnie Mouse and it said, "What a lovely day! Where should we go today?!"

'This can't be, this has to be a nightmare. Failing Lord Megatron must have been a whole lot harder for me to imagine all of this.' Barricade tried to tell himself. The Decepticon then took a deep breath (relatively speaking) and ran a system diagnostic through his head.

As he saw in his mind's eye, a list of all his working parts being checked off as in good health, he began to relax a little, perhaps he needed more regeneration cycles before he could transform again. But then at the end of the list, quite a number of items were listed in red colour.

One: Transformation Matrix – Removed, unable to transform

"WHAT THE HELL?!" was what he wanted to say. Instead Minnie Mouse spoke, "Oh my, I made a boo boo."

Two: Central Command override of body control, unable to accept commands from main Spark

"WHAT THE FUCK!" but a voice said instead, "I lost my mama, can you help me find my mama?"

Three: Voice control override – unable to accept commands from main Spark. Voice output now matches Disney Character Minnie Mouse. Only pre-programmed list of responses can be outputted, overriding main Spark inputs.

"PROWL YOU SON OF A BITCH!" "Oh dear, I said the "b" word. I'm so sorry…"

Four: Hologram avatar has been replaced with Japanese character Hello Kitty.

"BLOODY …." This time, before he even finished his sentence, the response had already come out: "I'm sorry, I've been a bad girl."

'No, this cant be happening!' For the first time in his long life, the Decepticon torturer and interrogator began to feel frightened. If what his diagnostic report was displaying is true, he had effectively lost all control of his body functions, and yet he was completely conscious. And to top it off, he couldn't transform.

'Wait a minute, if I can no longer control my body, who can?' the Decepticon thought, completely bewildered.

He then became blinded as the walls of darkness suddenly collapsed around him and gave way to light. This came with a huge number of humans shouting, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"

His circuits became frozen. Barricade's outer exterior went extremely light pink as he realized where he was. Then he screeched as he saw himself in a huge mirror that was somehow hanging on top of him.

The Nissan GTR was no longer the intimidating black and white of the Japanese Tokyo Police. He was now a ridiculous shade of pink with splotches of white spots that formed into little white flower patterns. Where his Decepticon symbol used to be, was replaced by a Doraemon head. His hood was nearly taken up by a disgustingly frilly and lacey valentine heart, at the centre of which, written in shocking white kanji, were the words, "I LOVE YOU!" Which brought his attention back to the monstrosity that Barricade found few could match even throughout the cosmos.

Dressed in an extremely lacey figure skating outfit, sporting a huge shock of curly hair that looked like it literally exploded in all directions, at least three quarters of it tied in little ribbons and hairpins of disgustingly cute designs, staring at him with huge dinner plate sized eye with saucer shaped hearts where the irises should have been, was Azusa Shiratori.

"This is dream, this has to be a dream!" Barricade screamed mentally.

"I like you, can I be your friend?" the Hello Kitty hologram had materialized in the driver's seat and was now holding out a fat hand towards Azusa.

The skating maniac screeched so loudly, Barricade's sound receptors were actually damaged but that didn't stop him from listening to her response in horror. "AZUSA LIKE YOU! FRIENDS FOREVER!" and with that, she actually leapt on top of the hood and embraced the car.

"No, get away from me, get away from me! Oh for the love of Primus, get me outta here!" the Decepticon screamed his intentions but as usual, the voice output was completely different.

"I'm so happy, do you know my name?"

Azusa looked through the front window, which was actually the car's optic sensors or eyes to Barricade. Her shining eyes transferred no warmth to the Decepticon. "OF course I know your name, Anabella Rosemary Josephine!"



Unknown to Barricade, his actual voice and agony were being heard elsewhere. A safe distance of fifty kilometers away Ryoga and Ukyo rolled on the floor in peals of laughter, as Barricade's pathetic cries and responses sounded from Prowl's own radio box. The former Decepticon was more composed, laughing grimly even as he stood with his arms folded, leaning against the wall. In his left hand, he twirled a small cylindrical device around and round. It was the transformation matrix which all Cybertronians possessed, much like a vital organ to their physiology that made them transforming robots. All three were covered in considerable paint and grime, but the two humans had the sense to get out of their prom clothes and donning their usual ones before undertaking the job of giving Barricade a makeover.

Eventually, the lost boy and Okonomiyaki chef's laughter subsided and they wiped their tears from their eyes, so hard had been their laughter that they had actually cried.

"Seriously, wouldn't it be more merciful to dismember him again and live his guts to rot in the sun while we salt his insides?" Ryoga asked.

"You seriously want to say to Kasumi that you did that?" Prowl retorted.

Ryoga paled. "Sometimes, Kasumi really is too good for her own good. Besides, isn't this considered even less humane than what I just said?" the lost boy protested.

Prowl unsheathed his three claws out of his knuckles and the sheathed them again. "Azusa Shiratoru may be insane when it comes to most matters but the girl does take care and show love to her belongings. In an unconditional and lunatic manner. It's not like she uses servants to maintain the six hundred and twenty nine items in her personal museum. She actually dutifully cares for every single one of them. Did she not take care of you personally when you were under her care?"

Ryoga thought for awhile. "Come to think of it, she did give me some fine oats to eat when I was with her…. BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT!" he shouted.

"With any luck, Barricade will notice her care and start to wonder: if a lunatic like her can care so much about her loved ones, what about a normal person?"

Ukyo sighed. "Well, it will be more than that monster deserves." More howls of agony from Prowl's radio. "But at least, for the moment, it will be pure hell for him. Are you sure he can't control his own body? I don't want him to go on a rampage, even if it is Azusa."

The Autobot took out his claws again. "Not with the control override my comrade Wheeljack, gave to me. Not to mention the transformation matrix I removed. His body is now subservient to Azusa only. Subject to my intervention of course. I think a human lifetime of servitude will do Barricade some good. Or at least until Kasumi passes away and he can do no more to my dear friend," he said quietly.

The two NWC members looked closely at Prowl. "Oh no, I know that look. You've got the hots for Kasumi don't you?" Ukyo accused. "Don't lie to me mister, I've seen that look on pig-boy's face too many times."

"Hey, you always have that look as well, chasing after girly-boy," Ryoga protested.

Prowl sighed. "Kasumi is destined for Bumblebee. I accept this from the bottom of my Spark. But I can also hope, that maybe somewhere in the galaxy, hidden in the stars, or even on this mud ball of a planet, is someone who can love me the way Kasumi loves Bumblebee. After all that has happened, I can't say what's impossible anymore."

The other two also sighed. "Yeah, maybe there's some hope for us too," the two said together then stared at each other in surprise. After a staring contest that lasted perhaps two minutes, both turned away and said, "NAH!!!"

The Autobot chuckled than transformed into his Nissan GTR mode. "Come on you two. We need a bath first then attend a ball."

And with that, the three sentient being traveled back to the hotel where the rest of the NWC and Autobots were dancing in the moonlight, the tranquil ride only made more pleasant by the agonized screams of Barricade.


End Omake

Author's notes

Sorry for the late Omake, but it took me quite a while to envision the proper Barricade treatment. By the way, Rosemary Angeline Josephine isn't exactly French but what the heck, it's a disgustingly cute name which I took of an Enid Blyton novel I read as a kid.

At the moment, there is a strong possibility that I will resume Forging Our Own Destinies. But I'm also leaning towards an Ah My Goddess crossover, combined with another Decepticon threat. With Grimlock thrown in for good measure. 

Until then, take care and God bless all of ya.