Notes: This is a one-shot crossover between the 2007 Transformers movie and the Showtime series Dead Like Me. It contains major spoilers for Transformers, and subtle spoilers for DLM Season 2, so be forewarned.
It's written in limited third person behind George. The italicized parts are George's thoughts, but not quite as in-depth as her internal monologue in the TV show. I also kept the Cybertronians gender neutral until otherwise revealed (by speaking) to have a gender, since George couldn't possibly know how to refer to them besides "it".
My descriptions of the fight scenes in Mission City are to the best of my memory. I apologize if any of it is incorrect or out of order, so you may want to consider it slightly AU from the canon events. ;)
Lastly, thanks to the lovely Papermint for her beta services.
Georgia Lass trudged wearily into Der Waffle Haus and collapsed in a heap next to a hideously bright-eyed and bushy-tailed Daisy Adair. George felt like sneering at the blonde, but instead she put her head down, for she had gotten barely any sleep last night - which seemed to be the norm these days. And to add to that, Fate was making every effort to make the day get worse by the second.
There was no hot water this morning, the light bulb in the closet had burnt out and she couldn't reach it, which meant she had to fumble around in the dark for clothing, and she'd managed to run into the glass door on her way out – don't ask about that one.
The result was a disheveled, slightly smelly George with a bruised forehead and an even darker look in her eyes than usual. The sad fact of the matter was, her sad state of affairs were so par for the course that no one seemed to notice or comment on her appearance at all.
Or maybe they just knew better than to say anything.
The slight tickle of a piece of paper being nudged against her hair forced her to lift her head out of arms and glower in what she hoped was a spectacularly unnerving manner, one that said quite plainly and barring no objection, "Just give me my reap and leave me alone".
But in fact, the paper that was shoved into her face was anything but the normal, yellow Post-It Note that accompanied the announcement of the upcoming soul she was to take.
It looked, for all intents and purposes, to be a ticket. A plane ticket. This caused a complete reversal in George's demeanor – she sat up straighter, suddenly awake, with a rather surprised look crossing her face.
After four years of it, you'd think I'd get used to surprises, as the business of reaping brings everything to a new level of weirdness. Getting killed by a toilet seat was only the beginning.
"What's this?" she asked, taking the proffered ticket and examining it closely, ignoring the sarcastic reply of 'What does it look like?' from Rube. It was a plane ticket in her name – or rather, her Un-name, Millie Hagen - for a flight that took place in two hours with a destination of…
"Mission City? They're sending us to Mission City, Nevada?" Mason said excitedly as he sat down next to George, squeezing her uncomfortably close to Daisy. "That's only about thirty minutes from Las Vegas!" He elbowed George in the ribs. "Maybe we could visit there after the job…lots of money to be made in Vegas, y'know…if you know a system, that is…"
"No," Rube said shortly. "I've got your return tickets right here," he tapped a manila envelope sitting next to his rubber-banded address book, "and we are in to do our job and back home immediately."
"But Rubey boy…" Mason whinged, "think of the money…!"
"Why are we being sent to Mission City?" George asked, interrupting Mason's burgeoning whine session.
"They've got a large event going down. Lotsa people are going to be dying, and the Mission City External Influence Division requested backup," Rube said softly.
George could feel herself pale considerably at the slight sorrow she heard in Rube's voice. A large event? Lots of people dying? I remember Daisy once mentioning the large reaper gathering that happened in New York City on 9/11…is that going to happen there? For a moment, George tried to remember if she knew anyone in Mission City when she had been alive – a futile gesture on her part, for Georgia Lass had known very few people, and certainly had not cared enough to notice if she had family down there.
"What's it going to be, I wonder?" Daisy murmured almost dreamily. "Fire? Terrorist attack? Gas explosion? Earthquake?"
"There's a base nearby, I think, could be a fucked up military strike test," George suggested.
"Oh, and there's that Area 51, too – maybe it's an alien invasion!" Mason said in his excited way when he was trying to add something meaningful to a conversation without completely thinking things through. The rather silent, annoyed look everyone gave him attested to exactly what everyone thought of his idea.
"Well, y'know, just saying…it's possible…" he said with a decrescendo voice.
"But who is going to take care of the deaths here?" George asked suddenly. Would there be nobody dying in Seattle today? Or at least of external influences.
"Oh, the boys in Plague Division are going to cover for us," Rube replied.
Roxy smirked. "I bet they were happy to hear they'd have some work for once."
"I don't understand – why can't they go to Mission City and do the assignments instead of us?" Why am I complaining about a chance to leave Seattle for a day?
Rube motioned for all of them to start scooting out of the booths. "Because, Peanut, some things require a special touch. Now, we have," he pulled back his shirt sleeve to glance at his watch, "less than two hours to catch a plane. Let's scram."
"Firstly, I want to thank everyone for coming here on such short notice…" a balding, bulging, bespeckled man boomed loudly to the assembled group of reapers. They were inside a rather dumpy-looking building in the heart of downtown Mission City – apparently, the External Influences Division here got their own headquarters. He makes it sound like we had a choice – but when Death sends you plane tickets, it's not exactly like you're going to say 'No'. "We've got a lot of deaths today, and not a lot of time to take souls, so we are going to need everyone's cooperation to make today's business go as smoothly and quickly as possible."
A short, mousey-looking girl in bright yellow raincoat began handing out little slips of paper to the assembled reapers. Why does a girl living in the desert need a raincoat?
"Tiffany will be coming 'round with your assignments. You've been given not only an ETD, but a time and place where you can best take their souls before things get too…" he paused, as if searching for a word, "gnarly. A BTR, if you will; a Best Time for Reaping. You'll also be assigned a number – those of you with the same number have deaths located next to each other, and will be, ah, group buddies, so to speak."
"Hey…why don't we normally get a BTR?" George hissed at Rube, but Rube shook his head at her without answering and tapped a finger to his lips.
"What's going to happen?" someone in the crowd shouted out, but the man fumbled in reply.
"We don't know for sure…however, a, ah, little bird told me that perhaps it would be prudent to watch out for some rather explosive situations, shall we say?"
The crowd broke out in excited whispers and the man climbed down from atop the chair he had been standing. He began to push himself through the crowd – towards them. "Ah Rube!" he boomed, taking Rube's hand and shaking it profusely. "How good to see you again; how good indeed!"
"Barry, it's been a while," Rube said warmly, his eyes crinkling as he smiled. "How's the band?"
"Terrible – ever since Ritch filled his quota last year, we haven't been able to find anyone who can play the drums. Roxy, my dear, I was so happy to hear about your new job! It seems so suited for you…" Barry said as he turned to Roxy and also shook her hand. Roxy offered him a rare smile. Huh, she doesn't just do that for anyone…
"And Miss Daisy Adair! How has life in Seattle been treating you?" Life? Ha!
"Well, apart from the weather, I suppose it has had its charms…certainly better than where I was…" Daisy gave the significantly shorter man a small hug and an even smaller smile.
"Mason," Barry acknowledged the lanky Brit darkly, who made a face in return, before quickly turning away and finally facing George.
"And this is the new girl I've heard so much about?" New girl? I've been on the job for years!
"You've heard about me?" George all but spluttered, wondering what exactly Rube could have told this man about her.
"Why yes, aren't you the Toilet Girl?" Barry peered inquisitively at her. Oh. Right.
"Yea." She gave a half-hearted laugh. "That'd be me. Toilet Girl."
"Well, I've got some special ones for you today, my friends." Barry fished into his pocket, producing five slips of paper, which he quickly handed out.
"Devastator? What kind of a name is Devastator?" Mason muttered. George glanced around at the others, who all – even Rube – seemed confused about their tasks. Her own slip of paper read: "Jazz – ETD: 4:13pm, Roof Top 2370 W Charfell St – BTR: 4:11pm, 840 S Garvey Ave". Jazz…sounds spunky. I wonder what this is about?
"A nickname, maybe?" Roxy said, frowning as she studied her own paper. George could have sworn she'd seen Roxy mouth the words "bone" and "crush".
"But we've never been given nicknames before – why would we be given nicknames?" Daisy asked with a slight panic in her voice and turned to Rube. "Why nicknames?"
Rube didn't answer her, and instead he looked up from his own slip of paper and peered at Barry. Weird. It's like they're communicating telepathically or something. Ha, Rube being a psychic would go a long way to explaining a few things. Rube finally grimaced and shook his head slowly, but no longer did he look confused – instead, the other Seattle reapers just looked even more confused.
"What is it, Rube?" George softly asked.
"Nothing, Peanut. It's nothing," Rube replied, smiling in that 'damned if I'm going to give you a straight answer' way. God, I hate it when he does that.
Roxy was the only one who looked upset at her assignment. "Barry," she began, "I hope you've lined me out some sort of transportation for a job like this…"
"Of course, Roxy, I've gotten you taken care of. The late Sheriff Davison's car has, unfortunately, not yet been located by the MCPD." Barry handed her a set of keys. "It's in the garage."
"Barry!" Roxy groaned. "I can't go reaping in a stolen cruiser…"
"I assure you, Roxy, I do think this is the only way you're going to get your soul."
"What's wrong, Roxy?" Mason asked, leaning over Roxy's shoulder to look at her paper. Roxy sent him an annoyed look and shoved him away, but Mason was already jammering in surprise. "Did that say your BTR was at eighty-five miles per hour?!"
"I figured if anyone was able to handle the job, it would be our Roxy," Barry said with a wink. Roxy, however, did not look so easily flattered, or amused.
"You owe me, fat man," she muttered, stomping away, before roughly grabbing a random Mission City reaper and sharing a few, terse words. The man just stammered and pointed towards an exit on the other side of the room, which Roxy stormed towards, and slammed the door quite loudly behind her as she left.
"So, known about this for a while, have you?" Rube asked, eyeing Barry suspiciously.
"There's been a lot of buzz in certain circles, you could say. Something like this hasn't happened in more than fifty years…which is why you were called in, I suspect."
"What hasn't happened in fifty years?" George demanded. "Rube, what is he talking about? Why would they need you?"
"Not now, Georgia." Rube grabbed Barry's shoulder and steered him away from the group. Oh no - no he doesn't.
"Rube, I am sick and tired of this bullshit. If you know what's going on, you need to tell us!" she said as she reached out and grabbed the back of Rube's shirt. He spun quickly and glowered angrily at her. Oh man. I haven't seen him this angry in a long time!
"Not now!" he said in a stern, commanding voice that broke no argument. George, for all her spunk, quickly deflated under his withering glare. Normally, I'm all up for fucking with Rube – but I don't think I wanna go here this time. He means business.
She turned towards Mason and Daisy with a defeated look. Mason looked just about confused as ever, while Daisy was still studying her paper, her head tilted and a far-off look in her eye.
"Blackout. Hmmm. Military nickname, maybe? Oh, I wonder if he's cute…" She paused. "I can see it now…a rugged, dark look…tanned skin…rippling muscles, like Siegmund Klein…" Oh boy, here we go.
"Did you blow Siegmund Klein?" Mason asked.
"Oh no, he was dutifully married, but I did blow Steven Reeves…"
"Wouldn't that have been after your death?" Rube suddenly cut in, having rejoined them with a befuddled Barry behind him. Daisy looked at him, likewise bewildered, as he continued, "Steven Reeves was born in 1926, which would make him twelve in 1938 when you died…"
The three of them stared at Rube, and Daisy became flustered. Either she's lying, which is likely, or…
"What business of yours is it what I do, or whom, in my life or death?" She glowered. Yep, definitely lying.
"It isn't. Neither is it theirs. Now, we've all got downtown assignments, so we've got some time before we have to get moving. There's a nice café down the street – excellent pie, if I remember correctly. Anyone up for a quick bite?"
One hour and slice of key lime pie later, George was walking hurriedly down Garvey Avenue, looking at building numbers. "Eight-forty…" she muttered, glancing up. 822. She picked up the pace – she only had twenty minutes, and if Barry's words were anything to go by, she definitely wanted to be there in plenty of time to see what happened.
What's confusing, though, is how everyone's spread all across the city. Must be an earthquake. But why would Barry say anything about explosions?
Perhaps explosive earthquakes? With my life, and death, I wouldn't be surprised.
Finally, she reached 840 S Garvey Ave, which was, quite miraculously, a Starbucks. At least this Jazz fellow sure is convenient. George entered the café happily – she had ten minutes before her reap. Plenty of time to get a latte.
But that was when the excitement of the day began.
It started with a quiet boom off in the distance. The patrons of the coffee shop looked around at each other in alarm, before a spattering of nervous chuckles erupted. "Must be the construction on Grove," one older woman said to the agreement of everyone else.
Three minutes later, though, all hell broke loose. It started with another loud booming sound, this time right above them. George rushed outside with latte in hand, staring up into the slivers of clear, blue sky between the buildings. She didn't see anything, but then…
"Look! A jet!" And indeed, it was a jet…except it was flying really low...
People screamed and ducked out of the way as the jet passed overhead, but George stood, unflinching. The jet did an impossible turn into the nearest intersection and disappeared out of sight. But not a moment later, loud explosions and a small tremor sent everyone screaming once again.
Huh. Green smoke…I wonder what the fuck is going on…
People were already running away, and George could tell the reaper abilities were kicking in, as no one seemed to notice her standing blithely amidst the chaos. Or no one cared what the batty girl standing in front of the Starbucks did, at least.
The low WHUMP sounds coming from up the street from where the green smoke was rising began to alarm George. Oh man, this really must be some sort of fucked up military thing. Is someone attacking…?
And then… Who the FUCK would attack Mission City, of all places? Why not New York or LA? By now, there were plenty of people screaming and running away from the street where the action was, and tires squealed as cars, some in reverse, sped away from the commotion. For a moment, George wanted to run down to the intersection so she could see what was going on. I'd better stay here…my reap is due any minute now. I should get ready.
What came next, however, Georgia Lass had no way to prepare for. A tank rolled into view in the intersection, still firing away at the green smoke. And that thing looked, well, devastating. Who makes tanks with claws??
But that wasn't the most surprising bit. What was surprising was the silver thing that jumped on the tank and pulled back its gun, yelling something in a deep voice that George couldn't make out. The tank seemed to buckle and unfold, and then rose up under the silver thing, stretching up higher and higher… Holy shit. It's a robot!
The silver thing was also a robot. Oh my GOD. They were huge, gleaming brightly in the afternoon sun, and the smaller one was a whirl of silvery motion as it wailed into the tank, firing something from its hands and kicking. And there were more running into view…an even bigger black one and an ugly, yellowish-green one.
She couldn't believe what she was seeing. There were four robots battling it out not a hundred feet in front of her. Most people were still running away, but some, like her, could only stare at the impossible, awesome, scary sight before them.
The tank reached up and grabbed the smaller silver one, flinging into the building across the street from her, and she winced sympathetically. "Jazz!" a deep voice rang out, coming from one of the other robots.
"No way," was all George could say. NO FUCKING WAY!
I'm reaping a robot…I'm reaping a robot…fuck, what if it's a suit? What if there's a guy inside? How the fuck am I supposed to get to him in time? She looked down at her watch. Shit, I have fifty seconds!
She started to run across the street, but the silver robot was already up and moving. Shit shit shit shit shit shit! She fell back as more shots rang out, this time from a group of military-types that had just rounded the corner. They fired on the tank thing, causing it to fall backwards rather spectacularly. But it just got back up as if nothing had happened at all.
The yellow-green one flipped over the tank, and she heard of whine of what sounded like saws – and sure enough, the tank's arm fell to the street not a second later. The black one was still firing, and completing some rather impressive barrel rolls while doing so, but somehow the tank seemed to be taking the shots like nothing – and just kept coming for more. The ground was literally shaking from the impacts of the robots jumping and leaping around, and also from the shots they fired, either on target or missing and hitting the street.
One of the rockets hit a fire hydrant, sending a stream of water into the air. A yellow-clad figure darted out from a dark corner and ran her hand over a woman in a blue dress. It was that girl, Tiffany, from earlier. Goddamnit, she knew! Why did she get to know enough about her assignment to dress for it, and I wasn't given so much as a hint that my reap is a GIANT FUCKING ROBOT!
George stopped dead in the street, however, as another jet flew overhead, even lower than the last one. Georgia didn't have a good chance to look at it – It's going to crash…! – before it twisted and turned and transformed, landing deftly in the street.
If the other robots are big, then this guy is God-fucking-zilla of robots. George looked up. And up. And up. The other robots, except for the tank, were already moving away from it.
"It's Megatron! Retreat!" one of them screamed. "Move; fall back!" Mega-what? What does THAT mean?
But she had only a second to ponder that before Megatron pointed one of its arms in her direction, and the silver robot pushed itself in front of her just in time to get a full-on blast from Megatron's arm canons. The silver robot was flung backwards in the blast and skidded to a stop right in front of her, tearing up asphalt. Shit, don't be dead. The robot grunted, leaning over, and she rushed forward, running her hand along its arm. She couldn't tell how damaged it was, and she hoped it didn't mind going through eternity with a giant hole in its chest or whatever.
The robot looked up and George felt her breath leave her. In the space of only a few seconds, George stared into bright blue, glowing eyes peeking from behind a shattered visor. Somehow, they seemed to convey confusion, concern, and a deep, penetrating sadness all in one look, and she couldn't tear her gaze away. Oh God, it stepped in front of me to protect me. You fucking idiot; I can't die!
But there was no way the robot – Jazz – could have known that, and before George had a chance to say thanks, Megatron grabbed Jazz in its giant claws, and with a blast of rockets, flew away.
The battling robots moved on, and George stood stock still in the middle of the street, dumbfounded. To be fair, though, she'd managed to hold on to her latte the entire time.
Gotta pull myself together. I'm in the middle of a job, still! Soon, she was alert and already running. Gotta get to Charfell St in two minutes! Fortunately, it was only a couple blocks away, and while George was never one to be athletic, she certainly hauled more ass in two minutes than she ever had before in her life. Or death.
I need to be there when it dies…I need to thank it…
She got there just in time to see two battered, silver pieces crash into the ground in front of the building at 2370 W Charfell St. Torn in half. Wow. Guess I did get the soul in time.
And then, just like that, she felt a calming peace descend, and knew nothing more would interfere with her assignment, as she turned to the giant robot standing beside her.
It was really nothing like she had seen before. While not quite as big as the others, it still towered impressively over her head, and was composed of intricate silver machinery that, even in death, constantly whirred as if alive. It seemed somehow familiar – like something she'd seen from a scifi movie – and yet remarkably alien.
It wasn't too badly damaged – lots of dings and scraps, and its front chest area was blackened and dented heavily. Maybe she could have gotten to it sooner had she known. But it's better than being in two pieces.
"Hey," she said softly, smiling up at Jazz. The robot jerked away in surprise, looking around, before finally lowering its sights to the human girl standing in the street. "My name's George."
"I'm…Jazz…" the deep voice said slowly and in disbelief. Wow, he has a really nice voice. The visor was still shattered, but his face, for all its weirdness, seemed somehow very, very human, and George found herself once again staring into his eyes. Or at least I think those are his eyes.
"I know," George replied. The robot turned his head towards the ripped pieces of his body in the street.
"Am I…dead?" he asked. George only nodded in return. "I would have thought it'd be different from this."
"Well, this is only the beginning. You'll need to move on, first."
"To join the Matrix?" The what?
The robot looked quite a bit crestfallen at her response. Oh man, maybe the Matrix is like Heaven or something to these guys. She hurriedly spoke up, "I don't know what's beyond here. We're not allowed to know – we just guide the dead towards their final destination. I've never heard of the Matrix before, outside of the movie, but then again…I've never met giant robots before, either."
"Giant alien robots," came the amused response.
"Really? Oh that is so awesome," George said. And it was, it really was, and if it weren't for the fact that the guy had just died, George would have been asking some very intensive questions by now. "You know, they didn't tell me you'd be a, you know, robot. All we get is a name, a time and a place. So sorry if I didn't get you before you got all…all…banged up. I didn't know what to look for."
The robot inspected his body and then shrugged. "It's not so bad. I'll live…er, well, y'know."
They shared an uncomfortable moment of silence before yet another explosion rang out.
"Are those your friends? The black one and the green one?" she asked as they began to walk down the street towards the battle still raging on.
"Yep, that's Ironhide and Ratchet. Bee is somewhere…and Prime had just arrived when I…died." The robot paused. "Primus, I hope Bee isn't…do you know…is Bumblebee going to die?"
"No, I don't know – we really only know about our own assignments. But I do know one named Devastator, and another with, I think, Bone in its name, are going to kick it. Are they friends of yours?"
The robot began to emit an electronic gurgle and George looked up in alarm. Is it crying or something?
But it was humor that came through in the voice of Jazz as he spoke, "Naw. Devastator and Bonecrusher are anything but friends. They're the bad guys!"
"Well, that's good," she said, not really knowing if his version of the bad guys was the same as her version.
"Can I stay?" he suddenly asked, and George looked up, bewildered and beginning to protest. "I mean, until the battle is over. Can I stay?"
"Oh, sure. You can stick around as long as you need to…but you'll have to move on eventually," she said, relieved. The last thing they needed was a giant robot following them to Der Waffle Haus every morning like the last guy who couldn't accept his death had done.
"Why a human? I mean, no offense, but I'm curious…why would a human guide me to the Matrix, and not one of my own kind?"
"I wish I could tell you why – I would certainly like to know why we were called in for this, instead of somebody else. But they never tell us stuff like that, really. I guess there wasn't any of your kind around to get to you in time."
"Do you enjoy your duty?"
The question caught her off-guard, and George paused, unsure of how to answer. Do I enjoy reaping? "Yea…I mean…I'm angry about dying, and I'm angry that there are a lot of good people that die that shouldn't have to die…but there's nothing I can do about Death. I've tried, and believe me, trying to stop Death is way worse than letting it run its course. The best I can do is help people after they die, I guess." I just wish I could get a good night's sleep.
"Oh no…" Jazz moaned suddenly, and George looked up to see the large, evil robot that had killed Jazz – Megatron - and an equally large blue and red robot, falling rather ungracefully from atop a large building. Jazz began to run towards them, and George hurried to keep up with the quick robot - who now had the advantage of being able to pass through any solid matter in his way. Luckily, she didn't have to run very far, and when she arrived she saw Rube casually stroll up behind Megatron and take its soul as it lay on the ground, recovering from the fall, before stalking away to watch the events unfold. Good riddance.
Megatron, with the twitch of its fingers, flicked a man across the street, and George's satisfaction at its coming death only rose.
But Jazz didn't notice any of this. He was a block away, attempting to help the fallen blue and red robot, but his silver hands only passed uselessly through the larger one's shoulders. "No, Prime, get up…get up, Optimus!" Jazz urged. He then looked down at something in a crater in the street. George caught up just in time to see a boy begin to emerge from the crater, holding a strange, metallic-brown cube in his hands.
"Run, Sam, run! Don't let Megatron get the Allspark!" Jazz shouted.
Megatron stood, and once again, all hell broke loose. George ducked out of the way as rockets exploded into the giant robot's frame, and she saw, out of the corner of her eye, the military-type men firing at Megatron with some serious weaponry. And yet, it still moved on, even as its body exploded.
It lunged forward, and the boy stumbled, falling back with the cube still in his hands. Prime rolled to his side nearby as Megatron advanced on the boy, who was crawling back frantically.
"BACKA…MINE…ALLSPARKA!" it growled.
"Sam, put the cube in my chest!" Prime shouted.
"No Sam, don't, don't!" Jazz replied. "Get up! Run!" Once again, he reached down, only to have his hands pass through the living. He made a frustrated, electronic whine.
"No…" Prime said as the boy lurched to his feet, towards Megatron. "No, Sam!"
But the boy raised his arms, and for a moment, George thought that Megatron was going to fall on him…but then, she saw it, in the space of only a couple seconds. A strange, robotic graveling that looked remarkably like a small, spidery version of Megatron flashed into existence on Sam's shoulders, and pushed on the cube in his hands to a different position, while two others appeared on Megatron's chest and pulled away at some panels.
Suddenly, an orange beam shot up out of the cube and struck Megatron in the chest, and the robot screamed. And Prime screamed. And Jazz screamed. And Sam screamed. And George, in spite of herself, screamed as well.
But then it was over. With a grunt, Megatron fell over in spasms, as Prime crawled closer to Sam to check the boy over, and then stood over his fallen foe. The military men and other robots gathered close as Prime said softly, "You left me no choice, brother."
And just like that, George knew it was dead. She walked up beside Jazz.
"C'mon. I think it's time to go, now."
"Yea…alright. Alright," he said, and turned to follow her.
She really didn't know where they were walking until they arrived at an intersection where two large robots were grappling with each other as Mason and Daisy yelled at them.
"Ha, good, Blackout bit it, too," Jazz said gleefully. At his voice, however, the other two stopped and stared at him. Then, the one with rotary blades on its backed lunged at Jazz and tackled him to the ground as George quickly got out of the way.
"We're dead, you idiot!" Jazz shouted as he tried to push the other one off. "Blackout, stop! This is pointless!" And it was, for every blow Blackout landed on Jazz did not seem to so much as scratch Jazz's paint, let alone cause him pain. Eventually, the other one – the tank, George realized – pulled Blackout off of Jazz.
"They've been bickering ever since we found each other. Kept blaming the other for their deaths," Daisy muttered. "It's really, really annoying."
"And wicked," Mason added. "To think, giant robots! The alien invasion idea doesn't sound so cooky now, does it, Georgie girl?"
Yea, I don't think I'm going to tell him they actually are aliens.
"Whatever you say, Mason," she replied instead.
With a wail of sirens, a black and white suddenly turned a corner a few blocks away, and upon seeing them, skid to a stop in the intersection. A lumbering, brown robot followed it rather sourly as Roxy stepped out of her cruiser, slamming the door.
"Well, it's a good thing I found you! Where the FUCK is Rube?" she shouted. "What kind of fucking bullshit does he and Barry think they're pulling? Giant fucking robots? How am I supposed to reap a fucking robot going eighty-five miles per hour down the fucking freeway when I DON'T EVEN KNOW IT'S A ROBOT!"
"We prefer the term mechs, actually, not robots," Jazz supplied helpfully.
"FUCK YOU!" She turned towards Mason suddenly, raising her hand. He scrambled backwards, almost falling over, looking at her in fear and confusion. "And Mason, if you say ONE FUCKING WORD, I swear to God, the pain I will inflict on you will haunt your every waking moment, this life AND the next!"
"Wha…I didn't say anything! What are you talking about!" But George certainly saw why.
Uh oh. Looks like someone didn't get their target in time. George stared up at the newly arrived robot, who must be Bonecrusher, who was carrying something in its hands. Looks like it's going to be one head shorter for the rest of eternity.
"How many of them are you?" Jazz asked suddenly, turning towards her.
"Well, there's five of us from Seattle…" George said slowly.
"And you all got assigned to Cybertronians?" he asked. She looked up at Jazz blankly. "Us. We're Cybertronians, from the planet Cybertron," he said slowly.
"Wait, wait, wait…you're from another planet?" Mason all but shouted. Shit. So much for that. "I called it! I bloody well called it!" He beamed at the others, who suitably ignored him. His rather confused and crestfallen look returned once again to his face, which was also ignored.
"Yea, but that isn't to say there aren't other reapers from other cities who got robots as jobs, too…" Daisy said.
"But there's four of us, and four of you…and I assume your last person is with Megatron…" Jazz said.
"WHAT!" three voices shouted, not quite happy at the news.
"You heard me," Jazz said with obvious relish. "Megatron. Is. Dead. At the hands of a human, no less!"
"You lie, Autobot filth!" Blackout snarled and advanced once again.
"Jazz's telling the truth. Saw it with me own two eyes," George supplied, secretly enjoying the cries of anguish from the other three. She'd decided that they really were the bad guys, after all. What the fuck is an Auto—
But she didn't have time to complete that thought before a large fist came rushing down on her head. She distinctly remembered the 'Oh shit' feeling from her own death as the fist landed on her, but once again remembered she was dead, and furthermore, he was dead also, as she passed harmlessly through the hand.
She looked up at Blackout, and smirked. "I don't think you get it, asshole. You're dead. Kicked the bucket. Bit the dust. Six feet under. You can't harm me, or anyone else." The robot only snarled in response, but it backed off nonetheless.
"Where to now?" Bonecrusher asked, surprising her with the softness in his gravelly voice. "Are we to join the Matrix or burn in the Pits?"
She looked up, shrugging. "I don't know. We aren't allowed to." But a familiar rainbow burst caught the corner of her eye, and she turned towards it – sensing more than seeing the others look with her.
"But you will. All you need to do is go," she said softly.
"It's…Cybertron…but it's back to the way it was, in the Golden Age…" Devastator said. And suddenly, the four robots were speaking to each other in a weird, electronic garble, stepping forward in an almost reverent way. They seemed to have forgotten that any humans were around - that they were even enemies - as they stepped forward together towards the tall, majestic, golden towers that shimmered before them.
But George suddenly remembered she wasn't quite done with Jazz. "Wait!" she called, rushing forward. "Jazz, wait!"
The silver robot jerked out of his daze and looked down at her.
"Sorry for keeping you, but I just wanted to thank you for back there, when you tried to save me," she said, flustered.
It almost seemed like he smirked! "Yea, kind of pointless, though, wasn't it? What with you being dead n' all."
"Yea, I k-know," George stammered. "But I just wanted you to know that I appreciate it. So…so thanks."
And then he smiled at her, and she could tell by the glow in his eyes and the upturned panels on his face, and most importantly, the warm feeling spreading in her heart that it really was a smile and not some weird, alien robot expression. And she wished, like she had on so many assignments before, that if only she had gotten a chance to know this Jazz before he died she would have been able to make things easier for him.
She returned his smile earnestly, and he turned away from her silently, following the others as they became golden figures on the horizon.
"So long," she called out softly.
The golden city shimmered, and with a flash, disappeared high into the sky.
They found Rube back where Megatron had fallen, and the robot was still lying there while men in important-looking suits and military uniforms rushed all over the place. As always, they ignored the reapers amongst them.
Barry stood behind Rube as the man leaned against a chunk of folded up sidewalk, hands in his pocket as he stared intently at the body.
"What is it?" Roxy asked as they walked up.
"Hasn't come out, yet," Barry muttered, gesturing to Megatron, and the four of them gaped at him. George could have sworn he murmured something akin to 'just like Roswell' under his breath, but the others were already clamoring for an explanation before she could call him out on it.
"What do you mean, it hasn't come out?" Daisy demanded.
"He," Rube said quite plainly, "refuses to leave his body. So we are just going to have to wait here until he accepts the fact THAT HE'S DEAD," Rube's voice rose, "and move on like everyone else."
"Can they do that? I didn't know they could do that!" Mason exclaimed, looking at the others for an explanation, but none were forthcoming.
"They can't," Barry said. "At least not human souls. But maybe there's something special about the robots' souls where they can."
George stepped forward towards Megatron. She knew he was an evil prick, but if she could help a serial killer, she could help him. "Look, staying in there isn't going to help you become not dead anymore. Believe me, I've tried stopping Death left and right – just as Rube – but there's no helping it. You're dead, and the longer you sit in there, the more rotten and withered your soul is going to get," she said to the burnt-out body. "There's a whole new world for you…you should go and explore it." But there was no response.
"Hey asshole," Roxy finally shouted. "You're not going to accomplish anything, so why don't you get the fuck out –"
In response, a red ball of light shot out of the chest of the robot, and hovered over them.
It paused there for a moment, and George studied the glowing, pulsing sphere. Is it just me, or does that look like a curled-up graveling in his soul? But before she could get a closer look, it rocketed into the sky so quickly all George saw was a red smear before it was completely gone.
"What the fuck is going on?" Mason shouted. "What WAS that thing?"
"Whatever it is," Rube replied, staring intently up at where the soul had disappeared, "it isn't good at all."
Three hours later, Rube emerged from Barry's office looking worn out, and more importantly, pissed.
"I bet they make you fill out a lot of paperwork when a soul just ups and leaves its body on its own, huh?" George said, trying to lighten the mood. The look Rube gave her, however, seemed to indicate that that was exactly what he'd been doing.
"So we have no idea what it was?" Daisy asked. "They don't know anything?"
Rube shook his head. "If they do, it isn't for us to know. C'mon, we need to get to the airport, we're going to miss…our…" Rube's voice drifted off as he studied his watch and it suddenly seemed to dawn on him just how much time had passed. "Fuck," he eventually said. "Why didn't anyone tell me we were going to miss our plane?"
"Because, Rubey, old buddy, old pal…" Mason said as he slung an arm over Rube's shoulder and grinned happily. "It means we'd have to drive home. And Vegas is on our way…and after reaping giant fucking robots in the middle of a bloody warzone, we feel we deserve a little vacation."
The others nodded, looking at Rube quite mutinously, as if daring him to tell them no. Rube only stared at them for a quiet moment, before smirking.
"I suppose the boys in Plague Division can handle it for a few more days."