Title: Unlikely Partners, 1/2
Author: Stormy1x2 (travelingstorm)
Word Count (Fic Portion): 2623
Summary: Sideswipe discovers a 'surprise' in a familiar building in downtown NYC.
Notes: Done as part of lj's fanfic100 themes, theme #25 - Strangers. A fusion of the 2007 movie and old school Gen 1 (Season 2ish) because it has Sideswipe in it, and makes references to events in the movie. Pre-read by Sabrina (okamimyrrhibis).
Sideswipe raised one of his optic ridges at the sheer mess left behind. It was the same thing every time. Decepticons would try and take over a power plant, an oil refinery, or some other industrial area in an attempt to procure a higher-quality energon for themselves. Then the Autobots would be alerted, either via Teletran's monitoring system, or from a wily human who somehow managed to avoid capture and notify the authorities – who would then contact Optimus Prime and beg for help.
Sideswipe didn't care one way or the other – his job was to reduce Megatron's followers into scrap metal, and if the circumstances creating that window of opportunity was starting to follow a familiar tune, well, it made little difference to him. Unlike the other Autobots, he and his brother Sunstreaker had little love for the flesh-creatures of earth. Too slaggin' delicate, all of them. He just wanted to have a good fight.
"Sideswipe? Have all the humans been rescued?" Prowl's voice came over his radio, brisk and efficient, yet concerned for the humans. Sideswipe rolled his optics.
"Just scanning now, Prowl," he reported back, fighting back a wave of lethargy that swept over his circuits. It had been a short battle, but a long drive to get to New York where Starscream and his Seeker squad had attacked a large building in the downtown area. From what he had managed to overhear, apparently the building had been radiating some kind of strange energy. Eager to exploit any and all energy sources, Megatron had ordered Starscream to check it out.
Sideswipe scowled. It was easy for the Decepticons to pull something like this off – they at least could fly across the country without breaking what the humans called a 'sweat'. While he did have his jet pack, it wasn't meant for long distances, and since Sunstreaker had been assigned to NYC with him, he'd had no other option but to drive. Speaking of the pansy...
"Are you finished yet? Primus, how long can it take to scan a single building for bio-signatures?"
Right on time. Sideswipe smirked as his twin stomped around the other side of the damaged building. The bright yellow Lamborghini was holding his hands out in front of him gingerly, glaring at the dust and rubble coating them. "What'sa matter Sunny? Haven't you heard that perfection takes time?"
"Except in cases where it's instantaneous, such as the day of my creation," Sunstreaker shot back. "Did you finish or what? The local authorities want to know if it's safe to move in and start their investigations."
"Hold your circuits, 'Streaker." Sideswipe rolled his optics again – a habit that had Ratchet threatening to lock them in place if he ever caught Sideswipe doing it again in his presence – and continued his sweep of the building. There had been surprisingly few humans in the building when he'd arrived, but he had noticed a few dormant human-shaped units that he'd identified as robotic in nature.
He'd been vaguely impressed. He hadn't been aware that human technology was at the level needed to construct such advanced mechanisms. It was a good thing – it made for less squishy targets for Starscream to kill or kidnap.
Negative, negative, negative—hold up a sec. Sideswipe crouched down, aiming his scanners in a more focused, tightly controlled beam, aiming just below the building, under the worst of the rubble.
"There's something," Swideswipe murmured. "But it's not registering as completely human." He intensified the beam as much as he could. His scanners were good, but not top of the line – he was a warrior, not a technician, or a medic who would require a higher quality.
"So a human left its mongrel in the building." Sunstreaker folded his arms, scowling crossly. "We were told to help the humans, not their pets."
"Stuff it, Buttercup. It's too big to be a dog or cat." Sideswipe was curious, a trait that usually got him into a great deal of trouble. Not that he minded, though. It also gave him a great deal of fun, once a use was determined for whatever caught his attention. Reaching out, he gently brushed away some of the larger chunks of masonry and I-beams that had crumpled and folded under the Decepticon attack. Chalky white powder coated his arms, a nice addition to the dents and scratches he'd sustained during the battle, but he wasn't as fussy as his prissy sibling. "It's in one of the lower levels – this place has a couple basement levels that aren't on the blueprints we were sent."
Sunstreaker didn't say anything, but Sideswipe heard him shift a bit, just enough so that he could glare at where Sideswipe was digging; a sure-fire sign he was interested, despite himself.
"If you fall into a sinkhole, I am going to sit here and laugh at you and take pictures," Sunstreaker promised.
Yep, definitely interested. Clearing away more debris revealed a surprisingly large, hollow area that he could fit into, and Sideswipe lowered himself down, still tracking that elusive signature on his scanners. "Back in a second, bro."
"Pictures, Sides," came the retort. "Many, many pictures. To be hung all over the Ark. Possibly with unflattering, digital alterations." Sideswipe grinned, hearing the unspoken 'be careful, you smelting slagheap' and disappeared under the surface.
Daylight still streamed in through the large gap he slid through, but there were still long tunnels of darkness stretching out in every direction, the broken mouths of which leaked various fluids into the yawning chasm below. Starscream had sent a few of his missiles rocketing towards the building, blowing away the top half and severely damaging the property surrounding it. Broken wires, split pipes and crumbling cement encircled the pit he was in; he noted the bottom of the pit was about one hundred meters down, into which sewage, oil and other fluids were emptying.
He activated his headlights, letting them illuminate the areas the daylight couldn't reach. One of the tunnels stretched off into the direction of the destroyed building. An underground access? It was too short for him to walk through, but it was wide enough that he could shimmy forward on his forearms, letting his legs drag behind him. It would make for cramped quarters, but still manageable. Any chance of zooming through it in his Lamborghini form was shot to the smelting pits – the floor was broken up and cracked, huge slabs of concrete and debris littering the area. It'd be easier to crawl through and break up or move the bits aside by hand.
Good thing I'm not claustrophobic. With an internal sigh – another human trait he'd unconsciously picked up - he radioed his coordinates back up to Sunstreaker, and then hoisted himself into the tunnel.
The signal he was getting wasn't far away. Not even one hundred and fifty feet down the tunnel. He saw doors along the corridor, some open, some closed. No life signs though, so he kept going, reaching out to tap open the closed doors, just in case. There were a lot of the robotic units he'd noticed earlier, all dressed alike in some kind of dark uniform, like a second outer layer – skin, he corrected himself. Shoving another concrete slab aside, crumbling most of it as he did so, he continued on.
Finally he reached the door where the life form readings were coming from. He couldn't hear any signs of movement. "Hello, ladies and/or gentlemen," he called out. "If you're next to the door, beware of the fact I'm gonna open it now." There was no answer. Well, if they were injured and in stasis – unconscious – they wouldn't be able to answer, now would they?
Shrugging, Sideswipe pulled the handle, ripping the door off its hinges easily. His high beams lit up the rooms interior, illuminating a huddled figure in the far corner. "Yo, this is a rescue, understand? Are you hurt?"
He hoped it wasn't too serious. He didn't have much experience with injured humans; when Spike Witwhickey, the earthling he playfully referred to as Bumblebee's 'pet', got hurt, it always drew panic from the VW Bug and resulted in an immediate trip to Ratchet in med-bay who would determine if a trip to a human hospital was necessary. As Sideswipe didn't have much interaction with the human, all he knew about the injuries they could sustain was that they leaked. To reiterate, he was not as prissy as his brother, but he wasn't looking forward to a car wash from the inside out.
The pile of human parts in the corner shifted but didn't move. Sideswipe stuck his hand in the doorway, tapping the floor to get it's attention. "Hey, you! You all right?"
Another shift, and then a head poked up from behind an arm. A green arm. Sideswipe blinked. The head was green too. And lacked a nasal structure. Sideswipe was not a leading authority on earthlings like 'Bee or Hound, but this didn't seem right to him. Did humans even come in green?
"I must be seeing things," the...it said, somewhat thickly. "I'm being rescued by a giant robot. I think I hit my head harder then I thought."
"I'm starting to wonder if a few of my synapses have been knocked loose," Sideswipe admitted, staring at the thing curiously. "You don't look like a typical human."
A harsh laugh escaped the creature. Laughs, which quickly turned into even harsher coughs, and something wet and red flew from it's mouth. It wiped its chin with a band wrapped around its arm and shook its head gingerly. "And you aren't my typical figment of imagination. Ol' Tin-Grin got me good." It coughed again, and more blood was hacked out onto the floor.
That did not sound good. "Can you make it over here?" Sideswipe asked. "I can carry you out but I can't fit in the room. If I take any of the walls apart, the structure could collapse."
"That wouldn't be good." The creature groaned, and rolled over, pushing itself up. "Coming. Slowly. But coming."
Sideswipe noted the bruising and contusions all over its body. The back of the creature seemed deformed. No – armored. Those look like armor plates. A covering or body shell. A quick search of the Internet yielded an answer. "You're a turtle!"
"You win the door prize," the turtle wheezed, slowly, painfully crawling on its hands and knees. "This is gonna take a minute, Mr Concussion-induced hallucination."
"No rush." Sideswipe winced in sympathy as he saw the swollen fingers – onlythree fingers – on its right hand. The turtle was using its palm to brace itself on. "I'll alert the human authorities and they can call the medical officers for you--"
"No!" The turtle's head shot up and Sideswipe was taken aback at the panicked look in its eyes. Fear radiated out at him. "Don't call. No one."
"You need medical assistance," Sideswipe said matter-of-factly.
"No calls," the turtle gasped again. "Please."
"...fine. But hurry up." Sideswipe's radio crackled, and Sunstreaker's voice filled the room.
"'Sides, what's going on? Fall into recharge on the job again?"
"Ha, ha, Sunny. No, I found a--"
"No!" The turtle whimpered again, staring at him pitifully.
"...another room to check," Sideswipe said smoothly. "Keep your servos on." Ending communications, he glared mildly at the turtle. "What's your issue?"
"My hallucination listened to me," the turtle said wondrously. "This ain't a dream, huh?"
"I'm one hundred percent real mech," Sideswipe assured him. "You're telling me you've never heard of the Autobots before?"
The creature blinked owlishly, pausing in it's trek across the floor. "Seen ya on the news a few times. You don't live in New York though, right?"
"Portland," Sideswipe said.
"Yeah, well, we got enough on our hands just watching out for NYC," the turtle grumbled dazedly. "I don't even wanna think about the world ending in Portland."
"My brothers." The turtle resumed its crawl. It was only about two meters from Sideswipe's over-sized hand. "I got three of 'em."
"I have a twin, myself," Sideswipe commented absently. As soon as the creature reached his hand, he'd scoop him up, get out of there, and let it go where it wanted. He was starting to feel cramped. "You just heard his dulcet tones on my radio."
"Didn't know robots could have brothers." The turtle reached him finally, and collapsed in a heap. Sideswipe carefully scooped him up, curling his metal fingers over the shell. "No blood, ya know? Aren't you built?"
"Sparked. My brother was sparked at the same time. It's an almost unheard of thing in our race. That makes us special." Sideswipe brought the turtle out of the room. Up close, he could make out the bright green tint of its skin, and noticed that some of the mottled spots he thought were bruising looked to be natural markings. Still, there were lots of cuts, and red fluid – blood – still leaked out in several places. "You know, you still need a doctor. Why are you so afraid?"
The turtle raised its head and looked at him wearily. "Your eyes are working, right? I'm the cute one, but I still don't exactly look human. Big shell, green skin and all that."
"So?" Sideswipe blinked his optics. "What's that got to do with anything? Hound told me there are millions of different species on this planet."
"Yeah, but none like me and my bros." The turtle smiled lopsidedly. "We're like, genetic mutations. Part turtle, part human. If a doctor or scientist saw me, he'd lock me up and do experiments or something."
"That's barbaric!" Sideswipe frowned. But then a memory circuit triggered and he recalled Bumblebee's debriefing he and Sunstreaker had read when they'd arrived on earth. Apparently the government, before signing a treaty with the Autobots, had captured Bumblebee in an effort to discover what he was. The methods they had used had... not been pleasant.
"Yeah, well." The turtle coughed again and red flecks now coated Sideswipe's palm. "Uh, sorry."
Argh. "No problem." Sideswipe began to wriggle backwards through the corridor. "Look, I'll get our chief medical officer Ratchet to look at you, how's that? We've seen thousands of other life forms across the galaxy – you're not the first. Primus, you're not even the strangest-looking."
"Or you can let me go outside here and I can contact my brothers. My bro is a genius – he can fix me up." The turtle cocked his head at the autobot. "If I can use your radio, that is. " He blinked. "The radio that is in your chest because you're actually a car." he grinned weakly. "This is very cool. You are very cool."
Sideswipe had to grin at that. "Yes, yes, I am--" His radio crackled.
What the slag? "Sunny?"
Before his brother could answer, Sideswipe felt the fuel in his system freeze in horror. The sounds of very familiar engines whined overhead, easily heard by Autobot auditory sensors. "Starscream!"
"Huh?" The turtle started to say something else, but then the foundation around them groaned and shuddered. A huge explosion sounded somewhere overhead, and debris suddenly collapsed inward on the tunnel. Sideswipe only had time to close his fist, cupping the other one over his hand to protect to fragile earthling. Then the roof completely caved in, thick plates of sheet metal slicing downwards, concrete slabs crushing down on his back and helm. Something hard and heavy struck a sensory plate in his head, and his body immediately began to shut down. The last thing he heard was a pained cry from the creature in his hand before it all went dark.
End part 1
Title refers to the odds of this happening, even in a cartoon verse.
Reviews always welcome and appreciated. :)