Help Needed
Chapter 5

Authors note
Just for clarity, there is no weapon in the SGC that can take out a transformer in one shot. Standard automatic weapons are no use, staff weapons are only useful in great numbers (say more than 300) and Zat's. A Zat works differently and can do some good, but only with more than three shots. So that's why Jack's using it here.

Clark couldn't find the strength to struggle anymore. While the twin robots had been busy sapping all of his power He'd been able to make a few guesses as to where he was. First of all it was moving, that much was easy. If it was some sort of ship they really needed to do something about the turbulence. Thudding and bouncing around it felt more like something was walking. It would have to be big and the way his two guards were talking to each other it was alive.

Wherever it was an however it moved it was a massive room, built for lots of full sized transformers but there wasn't much in it other than Clark, the two Decepticons and a whole lot of energon cubes. Even so it was still cramped.

The blue one looked up from his controls. 'Frenzy, look at this. The power syphon is slowing down, he must be running out of energy.' Clark had to agree, it was getting harder to breathe or even keep his eyes open.

His twin just laughed. He was standing next to a huge pile of glowing purple cubes, Clark knew just how deep that pile was. 'It doesn't matter. We have enough energon here to make the remaining Decepticons invincible. Starscream wasn't wrong when he said he would be a god, we all will.' he laughed

Rumble chucked back. 'I'll see what else we can get out of the human. Then we can join our leader overlooking Metroplex's destruction.' Clark looked at the amount of energy they had pulled from him. It was almost too much for him to believe he was the source of all this power. No wonder he had abilities. Power the Decepticons was going to use to destroy Autobot City

Clark was gathering his strength for one last try at braking out when someone shouted 'I've got a better idea!' Clark looked up and around, it was President Jack O'Neill in a crawl space. He pointed some dark green gun he had in his hand and it fired blue lightning. The shot danced harmlessly off Rumble who drew his own gun.

The President jumped out of the small hole in the wall and onto a stack of cubes. He fired again at the twin Deceptions and kept on jumping. Only problem with that was there was nowhere to go.

'Hey Clark, you alright?' It was Chloe, right behind him. One of the Decepticons must have heard because instead of shooting at the dodging President fired at her.

'Chloe! Run, get out of here. You too Mr President!' Clark tried to break lose.

'Call me Jack.' Came a shout from a stack of cubes.

Frenzy stopped shooting. 'There's no way out humans. What did you plan to do from inside Tripticon?'

Clark could hear Chloe breathing heavily behind his torture rack. 'We... We planned to free Clark, he could get us out.'

'I can't...

'Yeah, we noticed that, all this energon yours Kent?' The President shouted at him

'Yes sir?'

'Either of you know why they've stopped shooting?' He called back. 'It's because they're worried what will happen if someone does THIS.' The President popped up and fired. Not at the Decepticons and not at Clark. He fired at the energon cubes.

'Wha... Noooo!' the Frenzy and Rumble cried and the cubes exploded. All of them. If Clark was honest he thought that the blindingly bright flash would be the last thing he ever saw

It wasn't, it wasn't even blinding, but it was bright. As they detonated all the glowing purple energy escaped and just seemed to hold there in the air for a second. It probably wasn't even that long but it did hover there before all of it hit him like a tidal wave.

All the strength and power they had syphoned from him came back all at once, shouting in pain at the sudden onrush of power Clark screamed. As he caught his breath he looked up. He was on his hands and knees, somehow free.

'Uh oh.' Rumble backed off before bringing his gun around and firing.

Fighting the burning sensation in his legs Clark stood up, the two shots bouncing off his chest harmlessly. 'My turn.'

At super-speed he covered the short distance between him and Rumble, crushing the laser with one hand Clark picked his torturer up with his other and threw the Decepticon across the vast, and now very empty, room.

Frenzy turned his attention from the President and began firing on Clark. He just stood there and let the shots hit him. Sure he wasn't at full power but he didn't need to be to stop this little bully.

Blinking Clark felt his eyes heat up as he used his most destructive power, his heat vision. Two sharp burst at full strength, one from each eye, stuck Frenzy. Armour smoking from twin holes the red Decepticon slumped to the floor.

'Nice.' The President grinned as he picked himself up from the ground. 'You know I'm glad that worked.'

'Mr President, sir, what just happened?' Clark asked and then realised he was talking to THE President.

'I thought I asked you to call me Jack, and what happened is I paid attention to a briefing.' He grinned and closed down his s-shaped gun. 'Just don't tell anyone.'

Chloe came out from behind the rack and looked around. 'W... What was in the briefing?'

'Well I don't remember all of it, it was years ago but a couple of things stuck in my head. It was about Energon and some of it's more wacky tricks.' He kicked a broken shard across the ground. 'When you pull this stuff out of a living thing you kill the living thing, that's the easy part. The wacky comes when you free the energon before it's used. I don't pretend to understand it but...'

'Somehow braking the cubes lets all the Energon return to where it came from, me?'

'If it's from a living source, Kent. Anything else I wouldn't try it, it makes one hell of an explosion.'

'I'll remember that Sir.' Clark nodded. 'How are we getting out of here?'

'Super-Clark express' Chloe beamed at him.

Shrugging Clark agreed that was as good an idea as ever and picked Chloe and the President up by the back of their combat vests.

Starscream watched as mid-stride Tripticon stopped, the Autobots battling him took a little longer to notice. 'What, what is happening?' He asked his Predacon guards.

There was no answer and Starscream looked for his warriors. They were already a distant group of specks in the sky. 'Traitors! Cowards! Fools!' He raged, waving his weapon in the air. 'I don't need you, I never needed you. I never needed anyone! Failures! I am a GOD. I am unkillable, I am Starscream!'

'You're a loony.' Someone said behind him. Starscream turned and faced a young Autobot All red and yellow flames the kid looked him up and down. 'What junkyard did you escape from.'

'The same one I'll send you to, die Autobot.' Starscream bellowed and brought his staff weapon up. The Autobot dived to one side and dodged the energon tap. Again Starscream jabbed at the nimble target and he rolled to one side.

'Have to do better than that 'Screamer.' He taunted and pulled a fist back, Starscream reacted and swung. Both hit at the same time.

Starscream grunted as his head snapped back, he felt connexions strain and systems fry but he was a God, such petty weakness's were nothing to him. The Autobot however cried in pain as his very energon was pulled out, he fell to his knees before folding around his wounded side and rolling face down into the rough ground.

The Decepticon reattached his head with one hand and stood over the cowering Autobot. 'Pathetic.' he sneered.

'You wish.' his victim groaned and Starscream struck, only to fall for the trap.

The flame decorated transformer rolled again, evading the killing blow. Starscream's weapon still came down with enough force to shatter itself, but there wasn't enough time to worry about that, the Autobot hadn't finished.

On his side the Autobot aimed three exhausts on his forearm. 'Electro-lasers!' he shouted and they fired in sequence from top down. Each shot struck home.

Starscream was sure he felt the first two but the third was distant, weak. The Decepticon leader laughed and looked at the weakling Autobot; 'You think you can stop me?' he asked rhetorically and prepared to transform.

The Autobot just flopped on his back. Gritting himself for the pain of transforming Starscream sent the mental command, nothing happened. Instead the Autobot laughed hollowly to himself as he lay spread eagle on the ground. 'Hasta la vista Starscream.'

It was then he noticed, Starscream wasn't in his painful scrap built form, he wasn't in any form. He began floating up and away, no body to contain his spark as it ascended. 'No!' he shouted trying to force himself back, searching for is body but there was nothing left

Hot Rod groaned and got back to his feet. 'Ow' he muttered, feeling the scorch mark on his side. Sure Starscream was a pile of twisted scrap-metal but what now? This wasn't really his job, when Prime left him here with the others Hot Rod thought he was going to be one of the Wreckers. Tougher than tough Autobot commandos guarding Earth from the scum of the universe. That would have been enough to make it worthwhile missing the return to Cybertron.

Instead Springer told him to stay with Magnus in Autobot City, the most boring job in the universe. If he lost one more game of chess to Sixgun or cards with Kup he would have gone nuts. Sure it was a massive disaster. Tripticon on the lose, huge Decepticon attack, but it gave him a chance to get out of there.

As soon as everyone was busy Hot Rod made for the highway and then on his way to look-out mountain. He caught sight of the Predacons flying out of there and knew something was wrong. That's when he saw Starscream, shouting at the sky about god-hood and . Kicking at the lumps of metal he flicked his radio up. 'Hey Kup, where are you?'

'Where am I? You young punk, I'm looking for you.' His mentor growled. 'You should be supervising the work on the west bay.'

'Hotchpodge and his team were doing good job, thought I'd keep an eye on that monstrous Decepti-crone. Looks like he's been taken care of.'

'I know, I was going to tell you, but that's old news. On your way way back?'

'Would be, but I ran into an old friend of ours. Starscream.'

'What? Get out of there, He's sure to have back up...'

Hot Rod decided to give him the full story. 'Don't get your motherboards crossed Kup. The Predacons fled the moment Big T seized up, Screamer started ranting and I got the drop on him.'

'You took him out?' Kup couldn't hide his shock.

'Hey, I'm not that green, the guy's a smoking heap.'

Get back here, now.' Hot Rod winced at Kup's tone.

Feeling dejected Hot Rod knew the old veteran was right. 'Alright. I'm on my way.' He was just about to leave when he thought of something. Picking up the broken head of Starscream he looked at it.

Proof, that he wasn't just some kid anymore only trying to prove himself. He was an Autobot warrior, blooded and victorious. He'd taken out a Decepticon General single handed. So why didn't he feel good about it. Starscream was a monster, he hunted and killed smaller Cybertonians for fun. Preyed on the weak. He was insane, a threat to every living thing out there and he had one heck of a painful weapon.

But he was still a life. He was pure cowardly evil, still he had a right to live. He could have changed, chosen to pack it all in and live a normal life. It was a long shot but possible. What of his mind, Starscream was sick. That much was certain, killing him wasn't a release. Hot Rod could have taken him back, they still had Preceptor on Earth, he could have done something. Fixed, maybe with enough time, healed him.

Hot Rod looked at the head in his hand, his trophy. This was what he'd been fighting for, so why was he disgusted with himself. This was his boast, his goal. He could use it to show everyone that he was ready. As good as they were.

But in the end this wasn't a boast, it wasn't a goal. It was a disembodied head. Hot Rod had killed another living thing. Yes there was a chance that Starscream could have been redeemed, but it was only a slim one. It would have taken a long time, time where innocents would have died. It was the duty of an Autobot to protect life and that's why he did what he had to do. He slowly turned his hand, gears and cogs meshing and rotating. The head slipped from his grip and fell with an empty clang. 'Sorry Starscream, but you wouldn't have let me help anyway.'

Transforming into his car mode the young Autobot sped back to Metroplex, his so called victory left rusting behind him.

Jack looked out the window and listened to the report Ultra Magnus gave him over his secure mobile phone 'So basically your scout's taken out Starscream, that's good news. I'll pass it on. Thanks and we'll set up a full briefing later.'

On the other end Ultra Magnus groaned.

'I know, I hate them too but they're needed. How's the boy handling it?' He felt that he had to ask.

'He's an Autobot, it's hard but he knows why he had to do it. And he's a good kid. He won't forget anytime soon.'

Jack shook off the cold sensation in his gut; 'I know the feeling. Briefing later, there's something I have to finish up here.' He hung up and looked around. Kent was changed, showered and still looked rough. His Mother was fussing over him and Mr, soon to be Senator if he had anything to say about it, Kent was hovering in the background. Keeping a distance and obviously waiting for the right time to make his point.

Sullivan was also hovering in the background, trying to keep in with the family but give them distance at the same time. 'What was that about Starscream?' she asked.

Everyone looked up and at him 'An Autobot scout caught the madman, he's gone.'

Kent nodded. 'That's good, what of the other two?'

'The ones you took out. Springer's got them, they're still alive if that's what your worried about. They won't be going anywhere though.'

The elder Kent put a hand on his son's shoulder and then looked at Jack. 'So what now? You know about Clark and his powers, what are you going to do about it?'

Jack made his way to a free chair and slumped into it. 'Two options, and I already know which one you're going for.' He didn't really but he had a good guess. 'Someone with your power can't just be allowed to run around out there. So here we go with your choices. SGC, it could always use someone with your abilities but it means you'll have to be away from your family.'

'I can't do that.' Kent shook his head. 'They need me.'

'Clark, we can survive without you. I'll stand down from the election.' His father offered.

'No you won't' Jack interrupted. 'I need people like you Mr Kent so this is where option two comes in. There are certain... people. Friends of mine that fight things on a daily basis I have nightmares about. Vampires, demons and stuff you see on old horror movies. We've kept it low key, so say nothing Sullivan. My point is I could class you as one of them.'

The four of them looked at him like... well like he had just told them demons were real.

'You see Kent if I've learnt anything from saving the galaxy it's that there are things out there. Big, bad things...'

'Like Demons?' Sullivan said trying to keep a strait face.

Strangely it was Kent that came to his rescue. 'There's magic Chloe, really. And if witches and spells and cursed stones are real I can believe there are demons.'

'Right, well the idea is that if you can have these sort of powers why can't the bad guys. I want to make you a sort of roving secret agent. Pay's crap and you can't tell anyone but your job will be to stop anything like yourself. Super powered and near impossible to stop.' Jack got to the point.

'Double-Oh Clark secret agent?' Sullivan smirked

'I... I don't know.' Kent shook his head. 'This is, this is too much. You want me to keep doing what I've been doing for five years. Saving people from meteor freaks and mutants Only now I'll be doing it for you.'

'No, you'll be doing it them Kent.' Jack gestured to the kid's family. 'You have powers and abilities that scare the living crap out of me. I have no doubt that if you wanted to you could take over the world and the best we'd be able to do would be to wave some green rocks around. Instead you're living in a farm house with your mother and father in a town called Smallville. You want the truth, I know for a fact like the SGC one day this will come out. An alien farm boy living in Kanas. What I want is when the NID's of this world come knocking at your door. When the scum of this world try to use you against us, you're already on our team.'

'Clark,' Sullivan started. 'Jack's right. This way you can be some sort of warrior for Justice and the American way. Heck you could start a league, not everyone infected with meteor rocks go bad.'

'Did I mention the pay would be REALLY crappie.' Jack supplied.

Kent just looked between them. 'Alright Mr President you have a deal.'

'Call me Jack.'

The underground complex was all but empty. It wasn't surprising, nor was it surprising when a door opened to the gantry. Lex Luthor probably wanted to see his new prize. The hair-less human walked out and switched on the lights. Illuminating the hanger like structure and it's sole occupant.

All alone a silver statue sat in a hastily rigged support frame. Pylons and support struts holding him in place

A smaller man in a long white coat followed the businessman. The platform they walked across was suspended at about chest height to the titan and the two humans looked up. 'My... my god... its really him!' the scientist whispered, face blanching at the sight.

'Yes it is.' Luthor admitted in an echoing, fearless, voice 'The key to my domination of the weapons market. I want this transformer studied, every part of him catalogued and then I want you to start work. When you're finished I want him twice as deadly, unrecognisable and completely loyal to me. Do you understand? Whatever resources and equipment you need I'll have it here within the week.'

'But this... this is... Mr Luthor...' The scientist stammered eyes fixed on the motionless transformer.

'I know precisely who it was Professor. He's been like this for years, dead or the closest these things can be to it.'

He continued his voice going cold 'You will do as I ask or I'll have you killed and replaced.' It wasn't an idle threat either. 'This is your chance to be written into the history books Professor. Imagine, thanks to us humanity will no longer depend on the Autobots for defence and using him as a blueprint I can build an army. One more powerful than anything else in the galaxy.'

The other man cringed. 'B... Bu... Yes Mr Luthor.' He looked up and up at the so called weapon fearfully. 'I'll get to work right away.'

'Good, now lets go back upstairs and we'll arrange for your assistants. The best money can get of course.' Luthor threw an arm over his underling and led him back to the doorway they had entered by. Turning off the lights as he left.

Sat in the darkness the transformer tried to snarl. He was no ones weapon, crippled yes. Stuck somewhere between status lock and life he only survived through shear force of will. His last battle had left him like this, crippled but alive Slowly the red glow from his eyes pulsed, casting ghoulish shadows.

As his vocal circuits spluttered back to life Megatron allowed himself to laugh.

End Help Needed

Authors note:-
Yes this was all one big set up for the multiple threads I've woven in this Chapter. Clark now works for President Jack. Hot Rod's becoming a warrior (if you don't know what that means I despair) and Megatron is NOT as dead as he appears...

Now I've said it before and I'll say I again this is all one part of a much larger continuity, if you liked this keep an eye on my profile because coming soon is the grand final...

Mountain King
AKA Thomas Fishwick