Disclaimer : Do not own Transformers in any way shape or form, including toys. Yep, that's right, I have none of the toys and it saddens me greatly.
Note : A few things to point out. This is my first time ever writing anything for Transformers, so I apologize if I am unable to pull it off. I chose the movie-verse for reasons that should be relatively obvious although I probably will incorporate a few things from the original series if I can get my friend ssjjosh to explain them in terms I can comprehend. Because, dear readers, although I used to watch the original series, it has been a rather long, long, long time. And 80's child that I am, I have a poor memory span due to the advent of video games. This particular story was thought up by me and my friend Kate-chan, thus we feature in it as characters. One thing I was not completely sure on at the end of the movie was Bumblebee's ability to speak, and ssjjosh has informed me that, while he can talk normally, its incredibly painful to do so, thus he still uses the radio in this story. Also, a warning for those of you looking for a purely Transformers fic - This is a crossover. I'm not telling you with what, because it'll be clear by at least chapter four. The title was borrowed off a Terry Pratchett novel and was the only one in my long list of potentials that sounded appropriate.
Parenthesis - Phone
Italics - Music
Song Credits : Here We Go by NSync, Dashboard by Modest Mouse
The Dark Side of the Sun
It was supposed to be summer vacation, a time for doing things not normally approved of when school's in session, but family tradition over-ruled even the best laid plans. This year the Witwicky's had packed their bags and driven all the way down to Florida for some kind of family reunion type deal. The only comfort Sam could find in the whole thing was that his dad had granted him permission to follow the family minivan in his own car. The three day drive from the immensely boring town of Tranquility to the even more boring town of Weeki Wachee was made less tedious with someone other than his parents to talk to.
Sometimes it felt weird to think on the point that his best friend was a Camaro, but then again, his car wasn't exactly a real car.
For a little longer than the past two months, the Autobot known as Bumblebee had been pretending to be his car, although there had been a little bit of an awkward moment trying to explain how the '74 Camaro his dad had originally bought him had managed to turn into a brand new '09 GTO. It was Mikaela who saved him the trouble by claiming that the original car had been totaled on accident by the military. To apologize for it and the misunderstandings from being literally kidnapped by those idiots from Sector Seven, they'd given him a new one. His parents had been slightly miffed at being 'bought out' but eventually their minds had settled around the idea and there was no more mention of it.
He'd spent the afternoons hanging out with Mikaela and the rest of the Autobots up at the lookout point, both of them intent on learning more about their new friends, as well as helping them adapt to life on Earth. There were some things that, despite having downloaded most of the information on the internet, they were inherently bad at. Things like the difference between pets and regular wild animals.
Or how to separate fact from fiction and Wikipedia.
Things had been going pretty well until his dad got that invitation in the mail. Of course his mom had been thrilled at the chance of being able to get pictures of every distant relative twice removed in one place. So the bags had been packed and now here he was in the humid hell that was Florida, staring at the tepid canal behind his uncle's house in complete and utter boredom.
"This bites," he muttered, slapping away a mosquito that was buzzing by his ear. A half-baked plan of making a run for it was coursing through his head, but the sun was going down and his uncle could be heard up on the back porch preparing the grill. Even if he could get out to the driveway, there was no avoiding being spotted by the man's apparent three hundred-sixty degree vision.
It was like the guy had radar. Yesterday, he'd thought to maybe go for a drive out to the beach or something and no sooner had he taken three steps towards the front door had his uncle appeared, offering to take them all on a tour of the entire county. He'd spent the whole time in the stuffy strange smelling backseat of his uncle's SUV while the man pointed out things that no one in their right mind would consider tourist attractions.
Sam's thoughts were interrupted by his cell phone, the ring tone attuned to one of the latest rock songs that every radio station kept replaying. He pulled it out of his pocket, flipping it open to check the caller ID but instead of displaying the usual name and number lines the small screen remained blank.
"Hello?" he said into the receiver, holding it up to his ear.
((Sam, this is Optimus.))
"What the hell!?" Sam cried, nearly toppled off the dock into the surely alligator infested waters below. He recovered himself just in time, nervously glancing over his shoulder at his uncle, but thankfully the man's back was turned. Partially cupping his hand over his mouth and the bottom of the phone, he tried his best not to freak out at this latest development of weirdness. "How'd you do that? How'd you call my phone?"
((The wireless network assigned to your communication device is rather simple to connect to.))
"You hacked Verizon?" Sam cried, nearly forgetting to keep his voice down. "Okay, okay, just never mind that, why are you calling me?"
((We have detected an anomalous energy signature approximately forty-two kilometers south of your current position.))
((The signal appears to be composed of the same energy as the Allspark.))
This time Sam did lose control of his whisper and his uncle did turn around, giving him a questioning look.
"Just my friend, got into a wreck," Sam called, covering the receiver as he stumbled off the dock. "Broke his leg."
His uncle nodded, satisfied by the answer, and went back to slathering barbecue sauce on what may or may not have been chicken. Sam returned his attention back to the phone, hurriedly jogging up the side yard towards the driveway, hoping against hope that the world would take the hint that this needed to be a private conversation.
"I thought you said there's only one!"
((There is only one Allspark.))
"And it's gone, it went poof along with Megatron, right?"
((Correct, however, this can not be ignored. The signal is of a significant strength, suggesting the energy in place is of a dangerous amount. If the Decepticons were to get a hold of it-))
"It would be bad, very bad," Sam finished, reaching the driveway. Bumblebee had popped open a door for him to climb in, apparently already informed of the situation. "Definitely not letting that hap-"
He paused, all sounds suddenly drowned out by the sudden rumble of an engine down the street. A violently red Chevy Silverado came thundering down the road, grinding to a halt before the neighboring house, horn honking erratically. A door slammed open and out ran a girl with dark brown hair and a fashion sense imported directly from Japan. She didn't glance at Sam or anything else, but geared her attention to the driver of the truck, vocal chords set at full blast.
"WE'RE GOING TO BE LATE!!"
"There were old people hogging the lanes, it's not my fault!!" protested the driver. "And it's only five-thirty, we are not late!!"
"We are too!!"
The rest of the argument was drowned out by the crash of the passenger door falling shut and the renewed rumble of the truck's engine as it pulled a reversed three-point turn and peeled off down the street. Sam shook his head as it departed, then climbed in the Camaro without so much as a half glance back up at his uncle's house.
Tracking down mysterious energy signals beat sitting through another meal of bad barbeque any day.
((Sam? Are you there?))
"We're on our way," he muttered into phone as Bumblebee pulled out, almost rivaling the truck in engine noise and definitely beating it in the decibel level of the stereo.
Here we go one more time, everybody's feeling fine, here we go now.
Sam's attention was drawn to the radio in horrified fascination. It had been years since he'd heard the terrible squawking that was NSync, and he hadn't expected to hear it coming from the Camaro's speakers.
"Where the hell did you find that song?"
"Please, please, never play it again."
Rush hour was winding down and highway congestion was just clearing up when the truck came roaring down the exit to Busch Boulevard from I-75, catching the light just in the nick of time. One would have suspected that the driver of the heavily customized and slightly muddy Silverado was of the tough, out-doorsy, construction worker type.
One look into the driver's seat dispelled any such notion.
In control of the thundering pick-up was a startlingly skinny young woman with a mop of dirty blonde hair and pair of purple rimmed glasses. Her face was furrowed in what was possibly anger at the dozens of slow-moving vehicles blocking her way down the street. The truck's only passenger appeared to be trying to calm the driver, but such attempts were as of this point futile, as nothing can calm a half-mad teenager whose only sustenance for the past five hours was a combination of mountain dew and rock candy.
Horn blaring, the truck passed several other cars whilst simultaneously breaking several laws. It was only favorable probability that there were no police cars within range, and even if there were, the girl probably wouldn't have stopped the vehicle until she'd reached her final destination.
"OUT OF MY LANE, OUT OF MY LANE!!" the girl shouted at the car that had just pulled in front of her, grudgingly applying the brakes to avoid running it over. "FUCKING FORD FOCUS!!"
"Quit yelling, he can't hear you with the windows up and you're hurting my ears!" cried the passenger, holding onto her armrest and trying desperately not to scream. "AYAAAAH!! MAZDA!!"
"I SEE IT, I SEE IT!!"
With screeching of tires, the truck executed a barely legal right-hand turn, almost colliding with the tail end of a lime green RX-7. The driver of the other car screamed obscenities, which were ignored as the pick-up took off, dancing in-between lanes with the grace of an elephant on crack. Traffic broke apart and waned severely as they reached the back end of North 30th Street, leaving nothing for the barreling tank-like automobile to crash into save a few mailboxes and a fence.
The truck ground to a halt outside of a metal warehouse, idling beneath a large tree as the driver pulled a map out of the glove compartment.
"What do you mean, you're lost?" the passenger shrieked, throwing her hands in the air. "You said you knew how to get there!! The movie starts in ten minutes!!"
"Kate, your tone of voice isn't helping."
"My tone of voice? MY TONE OF VOICE!? I PAID TWENTY BUCKS FOR THESE TICKETS, ARAD!!"
"I think we were supposed to take the exit for Fowler, or is it Fletcher?"
Thoroughly annoyed now, Kate leaned over and grabbed her friend by the collar of the girl's violently purple shirt.
"Figure it out now or so help me, I will burn every book you own," she hissed, eyes narrowing with every syllable.
Faced with a suitable threat, Arad tossed the map in the back seat. Rumbling back to life, the truck took off, going from zero to ninety in less time than as advertised on television.
Within three minutes they arrived at the parking lot of the Museum of Science and Industry, still managing to avoid the watchful eye of the police despite the non-existent skills of the driver. Parking took less than thirty seconds, as a suitable space opened up just as they pulled in, the nervous former occupant fleeing in terror at the site of such an angry looking vehicle.
Tickets in hand, Kate climbed out before the truck was even turned off, slamming the passenger side door behind her.
"Next time, I drive."
"But you don't have a car," Arad protested, examining the buttons on the remote. She pressed one, carefully avoiding the red panic button as if previous experience had taught her caution in that particular area. Satisfied by the clicking noise the locks made as they clunked into place, she shoved the keychain in her pocket and rounded the backside of the truck to join her friend. "Except maybe the Neon, but that can hardly be counted as a car."
"I'll borrow my brother's."
"Like hell he'd let you."
"Like hell he'd need to know," Kate shot back, rolling her eyes as they started across the parking lot. "Come on, let's go grab some popcorn before it starts."
"I hate popcorn, it gets stuck in my teeth," Arad grumbled, annoyed at the criticism of her driving skills. "How about nachos?"
"Ew, greasy nuked cheese."
"It is not nuked," Arad protested, jogging up over the curb to catch up. They walked double time up to the front door of the museum. "It's in a hotpot."
"A hotpot they never clean out," Kate added, brushing past her into the lobby and dodging a random patron who attempted to exit at the same time. Her bracelets clinked, barely adding to the din of the nearby arcade. "There's probably bugs stuck to the bottom."
Arad made a disgusted face as this fact was contemplated, losing a few seconds as her pace slowed. Upon realizing that her friend was now five steps ahead of her and half-way up the metal stair case at the back of the hall, she quickly ran forward. Her boots made hollow thunking noises as she ran up the steps, inexpertly evading downward human traffic. The sound of her colliding with the first vestiges of carpet on the second floor was a muffled thud.
"Spaz," Kate said, shaking her head as she turned back to help. "You really need to stop eating so much sugar."
"Never," Arad replied, raising a hand in the air, her face still pressed into the floor. She climbed slowly back to her feet, rubbing a bruised elbow. Dusting off her jeans as she started forwards again, she glanced out the nearby window to where the infamous 'Recycle-saurus Rex' was supposed to be. Her view was blocked, firstly by a window sticker display for the movie they were en route to see, and secondly by what appeared to be a figment of her imagination. "Um."
"I think I'm hallucinating again"
"Ignore it, we're late enough as it is," Kate informed her, spinning on her heels to march off towards the theater. She froze barely three steps onto the indoor cross-walk eyes pinned to the scene outside the window. It took a second for what she was seeing to register with her brain, for standing about head height with the window was something decidedly not a bad rendition of a dinosaur made of aluminum cans. It looked as much like a giant robot from a bad Japanese horror flick as a house cat resembles a tiger. This thing was well put together, and far stranger looking than anything concocted by special effects.
Just as soon as she spotted it, the robot ducked underneath the crosswalk and disappeared from sight. Kate pressed her face against the window, attempting to get a better view. A clonking noise next to her alerted her to the fact that Arad had also rushed the window, and managed to go a little too fast. They both peered down at the street below but there was nothing to suggest that the robot had even been standing there save for a few new cracks in the pavement.
"Were you hallucinating a giant bright yellow robot?" Kate inquired of her blonde comrade.
"Does that mean I'm not really seeing things?" Arad asked, rubbing her forehead from where it had collided with the glass. Kate nodded, patting her on the shoulder. "Well, that's good."
She tilted her head to the side, recalling a mental layout of the building.
"There's an elevator just around the corner."
There really hadn't been enough time to wonder why his uncle had never mention that Florida actually possessed cool things like an IMAX dome theater or roller coasters. Sam had spotted the latter from the interstate just before they'd turned off, the tall metal skeletons gleaming on the horizon like beacons of hope for rescue from boredom. Not that cruising down the road with a giant robot disguised as a car in search of a phantom energy signal was boring, far from it.
It was just getting there that had been rather tedious, especially since Bumblebee had discovered pop music. He'd been half tempted to walk, and had even threatened to throw himself from the moving car when strains of 'Oops, I did it again' caught him off-guard after a record five minutes of silence. At that point the doors had locked, keeping him from injuring himself in such a way, but the point had been made and no more tracks were played until they'd reached their final destination.
Well, you told me about nowhere well it sounds like someplace I'd like to go.
Sam stared at the radio tuner, a puzzled frown on his face.
"Okay," he said after a moment, slowly shaking his head. "Never heard that song before, but it's definitely better than Britney Spears."
He climbed out, glancing around. They'd pulled in on a road around the back side of the museum that looked to be a bus loop or something similar. There was a crosswalk over the road leading from the main building into the gigantic blue dome that he assumed to be the theater, as well as another building across the way that appeared to be made of nothing but windows. It looked to be closed however and there was no one hanging around on the sidewalks save for a few people headed in the opposite direction.
Behind him, Sam heard the now familiar sound of folding and sliding metal that cued Bumblebee's transformation from bright yellow car to bright yellow robot. He didn't even bother noting that, despite the apparent seclusion of their current area, they weren't that far from civilization. The only thing that he seemed to notice was the crosswalk, which he ducked under in order to reach the relatively large open picnic area beneath the theater itself.
Sam followed, still keeping an eye out for other people, though his attention was abruptly drawn to where Bumblebee had paused to look. Still stooping in order to avoid hitting his forehead on the ceiling, the mechanoid was staring pointedly at the floor, the metallic equivalent of a frown on his face. Scrambling down the concrete steps, Sam saw that the object of his friend's gaze was a drainage grate so overly scuffed up that it had nearly been fused to the pavement. He stared at it as well, wondering how the hell to pry it up without causing noticeable damage.
"What are we looking at?" inquired a voice next to his ear, startling him so bad that he nearly fell backwards into the stone steps. The owner of the voice, however, caught his shoulder and held him rather awkwardly until he was able to stabilize his footing and look up. His face was reflected in the lenses of a pair of giant wire frame glasses framed by a tangled mess of dirty blonde hair. He stared for a moment, then shifted his gaze over her shoulder to Bumblebee, who now looked slightly confused.
Apparently this girl had snuck up without him noticing either.
"Can you let go of my elbow?" he asked, aware that her hand was still gripping his arm.
"Yes," she replied, not complying in the least. "I am perfectly capable of performing such an action."
"Ha, ha, ha, Arad," said another voice off to Sam's left. Out of his peripheral vision stepped the girl next door, looking annoyed at something other than him despite the fact that he was the focus of her frown. "Look, just answer her question or we'll be here all night."
"I could have let you fall you know," the bespectacled Arad informed him with an irritated sigh. "But since your memory appears faulty, I'll ask a different question and if you answer in all honesty I'll consider not pushing you down."
"Uh, okay," Sam agreed, not entirely sure on the last part because she'd spoken way to fast for his brain to comprehend. He didn't really think that there was much either of these girl's could do to him, and besides, they'd already seen Bumblebee. Which caused him to wonder why the seventeen foot tall robot had yet to do something about this sudden intrusion.
"Pay attention," Arad commanded, snapping her fingers in front of his face. "Why and how is there a giant robot, and what are you two doing staring at the floor?"
"That's two questions."
"No, it isn't, there's a conjunction."
The girl stared at him, then suddenly stepped back throwing her hands up in apparent disgust. He heard her mutter something along the lines of 'kids these days, they never pay attention in language arts' but he couldn't be sure. The neighbor girl rolled her eyes, as if having heard such whispered rantings before.
"Look, we saw him from the window," she said, waving a hand at Bumblebee. "And since neither of you appear to be figments of our imaginations we figured that this is probably worth missing Spiderman for."
"So," said Arad, slinking back up. "What's your name?"
"Sam," he replied, tilting himself away from her huge glasses. "And that's Bumblebee."
Upon being introduced, the yellow clad robot gave a little wave.
"Bumblebee?" Arad repeated, staring upwards. "Wow."
"I don't know, I felt like saying it."
"My name's Kate," the pony-tailed neighbor girl informed him, before her friend could launch into an explanation of her randomness. "So, what are you two looking for?"