Watch the Grass on the Other Side

TF Mech Exchange Aug 08

Cabaret

"Oh, ugh!"

Cabaret jerked backwards, shaking her right foot up and down. Clumps of processed organic matter fell from her booted leg with a wet, sucking sound. "Disgusting!" The black and purple femme turned her foot over to examine the mess. Brown waste was smeared all over the bottom of her foot. "Uncivilized!" she exclaimed, dragging her foot back and forth over the wet grass. "Is anything on this crude, organic world organized? They can't even process fuel into proper containment units!"

She scraped her foot several more times before she was satisfied that the mess was thoroughly removed. The smell, on the other servo, was another matter. It clung to her foot and wafted towards her nasal passage. What had started out as a banner cycle was slowly turning into a nightmare of a trek. Finding that blip of an AllSpark fragment this morning was unexpected, but the prospect of depriving the Autobots and her Decepticon comrades of one more always thrilled her.

Cabaret pulled her meter out of subspace and watched the reading on the screen. It was getting stronger. The femme smiled to herself and began walking in an easterly direction, following the pulses on her view screen. As she crested a small slope, the signal almost exploded with the closeness of the fragment. Satisfaction wreathed Cabaret's facial planes; she jogged forward, optics eagerly searching the tall bluegrass for that shiney silver shard.

Warning!

Cabaret slid to a stop, optics wide. Warning! her system blared. Autobot approaching. She spun in a circle, scanning the meadowland, audios open for the tell-tale sounds of engines. Slag, where are you? Cautiously, Cabaret backed up behind a tree that was just wide enough to hide her slim frame. With her back to the trunk, she pulled her scanner out and peered at the reading, toggling the system to focus on Autobot energy signatures instead of AllSpark fragments. Whoever it was, it was coming in fast.

The black and purple femme slid the scanner back into subspace and peered around the trunk of the tree. With one hand, she slid her boomerang from its hidden location. Just then, she heard the low hum of anti-grav generators. Cabaret flicked her gaze skyward just in time to catch a dark grey shape fly overhead and disappear over the rise.

A flying Autobot? Since when? "There's no way I'm letting that thing get my fragment!" Cabaret hissed. She leapt from her hiding spot and charged up the hill. As she crested the rise, she spotted the grey Autobot on the ground; it had transformed and was lifting a shining fragment to the sun. "Oh, no you don't!" Cabaret pulled back and let her boomerang fly with deadly accuracy towards the Autobot. She kept running, ready to snatch the fragment from the fallen Autobot's offline servo when the boomerang hit.

The Autobot's head snapped up and it spun around, revealing a femme's face. Much to Cabaret's surprise, the grey femme bent out of the weapon's path, but not quick enough to avoid it completely. The serrated weapon clipped her on the right wind, cutting a deep gash through the thin metal. The femme went down with a gasp, clutching the appendage, dark green fluid leaking from the cut.

Cabaret smirked; Academy 'bots went down so easily. She darted forward, hand outstretched to snatch the fragment. A blur of grey and black marred her vision; blinding pain exploded on one side of her cranium and the Decepticon femme felt herself flying in the opposite direction. Cabaret lifted herself upright, spitting grass and grime. The Autobot femme was getting to her feet, staring at her with the intensity of a hunting cyberhound.

"That was good, Autobot," Cabaret growled, "but that fragment is mine." She lifted both arms and unlocked the mechanisms that kept her cannons hidden. The weapons slid forward, humming to prime-mode. Cabaret sighted and fired. The meadow lit up like a plasma factory, fire spewing in all directions. Well, that should take care of that, the femme decided, sliding her cannons back into their arm holds and dusting off her hands.

Fire burned in an arc around the meadow as she walked up to the site. There, glittering in the grass, was the AllSpark fragment. Cabaret bent down and picked it up, wiping smoke stains from its reflective surface. Power hummed between those jagged edges, calling to the other that was in her possession. Smiling with satisfaction, Cabaret slid the fragment into a panel in her thigh where the other one jingled. She turned to the burning countryside and saluted. "So long, Autobot." With a turn of her heel, she strolled down the rise.

And then she was falling, slipping and sliding through a large patch of organic matter. Limbs flew in every direction, smashing against small rocks embedded in the turf. She rolled down the hill and for a few more feet before coming to a stop in an undignified sprawl. The world spun in static-y circles, mixed colors and black and white. With her equilibrium shot, all the femme could do was lay there until her body could heal itself.

"You really watch your step, femmecon," a husky femme voice mused overhead. "Cow patties are deadly."

Powerless, Cabaret stared up at the blackened face of the grey Autobot. She felt sharp fingers tap at her body, poking and prodding until they landed upon her thigh. "Those are mine, Autoscum!"

"Hmph, seems these are mine," the other femme returned, pulling the AllSpark fragments from the compartment. She turned and walked away until she disappeared from view. Cabaret snarled to herself, thrashing upon the dung-smeared grass. Even if she'd disabled the other femme's powers of flight, by the time she was fully functional, it would be too late.

Slag.

It smelled.