Disclaimer: Yeah, if you haven't gotten it by now, then there is little hope for you.
The next installment for the trio of brothers.
"italics" - Speaking on Autobot Comm.
Sideswipe, Wheeljack and Sunstreaker had since returned to the rec room after their talk with Optimus and Ratchet. The three trusted that their leader and medic would keep their mouths shut about what was going on.
"I am going to return to my work, you two," Wheeljack said as he downed his energon and stood up, glancing around the room. He apparently had the attention of more than the twins, but he looked back at them and furrowed his optics, "And, please, try not to scare me again? I don't need a repeat of what happened this morning," he held his hand up, wiggling a few fingers, pointedly the one they had caused him to injure and walked off, passing by the scrutinizing glares of the others in the room. When he was well gone, the others' staring turned attention to the twins, who sat, pretending to ignore the others.
"So what's up with the three of you?" Cliffjumper walked up to the two, bold as ever.
"Nothing." Sunstreaker set his energon down to give a dark look at the Minibot.
"I kinda think something more is going on than you three give credit for." Cliffjumper said with suspicion.
"I said it's nothing, Minibot. If you know what's good for you, you'll leave it at that," Sunstreaker almost growled, his icy glare piercing into the optics of the red Porsche.
In the depths of the ocean, Starscream had since gone to Megatron's call, "Yes, Lord Megatron?"
"Starscream, it seems we have a very interesting development with the Autobots." Megaton purred.
"Oh? What would that be?"
"It seems that Wheeljack is brother bonded to the twins."
"An interesting development, indeed,"
"And not only that, if one dies… they all die," his optics flashed with anticipation as he thought about killing all three birds with one proverbial stone.
"Well what a quick way to get rid of those two pit-spawned twins," Starscream growled, knowing all too well how much of a nuisance they were to the Decepticon forces.
"I want you to capture Wheeljack and bring him here." Megatron stated, "He will be easier to catch than Sunstreaker or Sideswipe," He then smirked evilly, "let's just see how deep this link goes, shall we?"
Starscream nodded, "I will take Thundercracker and Skywarp with me to assist in a plan,"
"Very well, Starscream,"
The docking bay lifted out of the water and glistened from being wet. The doors opened and out flew three seekers. They knew it would be tricky to get a hold of Wheeljack, since he wasn't often on missions to stop the Decepticons.
"How do you think we can get him, 'Screamer?" Skywarp asked as they flew over the Ark, but not close enough to get attention from the ones who dwelled within it. They circled several times as they stirred up a plan.
"I think it's safe to say we should get Megatron to pull an all out assault on one of the power plants. While they do this, it will rile up the Autobots and they will come charging. Then, we make our move," Starscream considered the option. They knew that Wheeljack sometimes stayed behind, rather than go into battle.
"Sounds like a great plan," Thundercracker smirked in his jet mode. All three seekers headed for the Nemesis. When they got close enough, the dock lifted up, allowing them access. They walked into Megatron's main quarters, "Megatron, we have formulated the perfect plan to get the Autobot's defenses away from the Ark. Therefore we can infiltrate it and get Wheeljack," He said with a devilish grin, "if he doesn't follow the group, that is."
"Oh? Tell me more," The leader spoke almost softly, his interest piqued.
"You," Starscream pointed at Megatron, "take a group of Decepticons and attack a local power plant, drawing out the Autobots. Once confirmed that Wheeljack is or is not with them, we will attack the Ark and get him if he stays behind."
"And what happens if he is with them?" Megatron asked, curious.
"Then perhaps we can capture him there, however it will be more difficult,"
Megatron ran his fingers over his chin, "Sounds solid, for once, Starscream," he grinned, "And coming from you, that's even more amazing still!" he stood slowly, "Rally the troops and prepare for an attack on the power Plant south of here,"
He chose to ignore the glare that Starscream shot him.
"Very well, Megatron," Starscream and the other seekers exited. Megatron figured, if anything, he could use the Autobot as a hostage for what he wanted. He had little knowledge of twins, but had heard of twins going crazy at the thought of a brother or sister being injured. It was perfect. The notorious duo going crazy on the other Autobots… It was too perfect.
Wheeljack sat in his lab, working on the same thing he had been working on earlier, only a different piece. He was determined to get this working, no matter how long it took. It was one of his best ideas yet, and knew it would come in useful against the Decepticons.
His hand jerked as he heard the sudden alarm going off in the base. He knew that sound. The Decepticons must be attacking somewhere, but he didn't wish to go this time, his preference of staying behind to work took precedence, and Optimus had plenty of troops.
/Wheeljack, you coming? The Decepticons are attacking one of the Southern Power Plants./
/No, no, I am gonna stay here and get this thing working,/ he replied to his red brother, /Just a little bit longer, now that I fixed the one you two made me destroy./ He sniggered with the comment, sending through the link he was being playful about the incident.
In the main computer room, Teletraan One was showing Optimus what the Decepticons were up to with the Skybot. Optimus furrowed his optic ridges, "Alright men, it seems they are making a full out assault for Energon." He called several names, who all stepped forward, including the twins. He gave a sharp glance to Sunstreaker, an unspoken question going through his mind. Sunstreaker shook his head and Optimus nodded to him before turning to the others, "Alright, roll out everyone!" He called, transforming and the rest following suit.
Megatron really wasn't after anything at all – that is, except for Wheeljack. He knew this was only a diversion, but might as well stock up on energon while one was at it, huh? He watched the horizon for the telltale signs of the Autobots, and sure enough, they were on approach, "Starscream, scope them!" He commanded. Starscream took to the air and flew over the Autobots, "15 Autobots including the twins, minus one Engineer,"
Perfect. Starscream smirked wryly, "Thundercracker, Skywarp, with me!" he called. Said Seekers took to the sky, following Starscream. They hadn't gotten far before they were spotted and fired at, but they dodge the incoming attacks, switching to their F-15 modes and disappeared away into the sky. None of the Autobots gave a second thought, considering their trajectory, they were probably headed back to base with stolen Energon.
As they approached the base, they were pleasantly surprised to find Laserbeak coming from the base entrance, relaying information that even Red Alert – one they hadn't seen in the bunch – had gone with Optimus. Both swooped down and transformed to their robot modes. Too perfect.
Another alarm sounded and Wheeljack looked up from his work. He wasn't positive why the intrusion alarm would be going off, he figured that the Autobots would have locked the place tight upon leaving – Especially the over-paranoid Red Alert.
All three seekers wasted no time in heading in, firing at everything in their wake until they caught the attention of one Engineer, who came walking from his lab, curious to the supposed intruders that Teletraan had alarmed about. He at first didn't see anything, but then turned to see the seekers rummaging and firing on everything and anything. He panicked, realizing the only hope he had was the Dinobots and he ran towards their bay doors, only to be stopped by Starscream who stood smugly in front of him. He slid to a stop and glanced at the seeker, his optic ridges furrowing in disgust, "What is it you want, Starscream?"
"Oh, nothing much, Autobot, just… you," Starscream smirked and reached to grab the engineer. Who dodged the evil clutch.
Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, who had been in the midst of battle suddenly froze, their optics widening in terror as feelings of fear ripped through their sparks. They both looked at each other quizzically a moment, as if assessing where exactly the feeling had come from, realizing immediately it was Wheeljack and then looked to Optimus, who had been engaged with Megatron.
This second long freeze was all it took for someone to attack them and got Sideswipe with a shot in the leg and Sunstreaker with a shot in the torso, but neither cared as the reason for their freeze became more and more prominent. They only knew what they felt hit their link, this time harder. And who it was. Wheeljack was frightened and in danger, it was all that mattered to them now, "I say we go," The red warrior glared in the direction of the Ark while the yellow still had his optics trained on their leader. Sunstreaker nodded. With or without Optimus' approval, they were leaving the battlefield.
Sideswipe reached down to his leg and pulled at the metal sticking out from where it was hit with a grunt. Sunstreaker nodded before a painful transformation to his alt mode, the metal screeching and scratching together as he forced himself into the mode, "Let's go," he called as soon as Sideswipe had finished transforming himself and both of them took off from the heat of the battle to the Ark, where they knew their brother would be.
Wheeljack flinched from a sudden small pain that he felt in his leg and his chest, unsure where it had come from, but that didn't stop him from trying to escape the three seekers who now had him cornered away from the Dinobot's hangar. Thundercracker grabbed the Autobot from behind and pinned him with his own arms around the Engineer's. Starscream walked up to Wheeljack menacingly and grabbed at him forcefully taking him from Thundercracker and proceeded to drag a screaming and kicking Wheeljack from the bay doors and towards the main entrance, "You have a meeting with Megatron, Wheeljack!"
"No!" Wheeljack cried out when Starscream told him of their intention. He clawed at the walls as he tried to get a firm grip, "Let me go, Decepticreeps!" turning to them, he tried to aim his weapon, only to have it violently kicked off his shoulder. Wheeljack gasped in pain.
A few miles away, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker both swerved violently en route to the Ark. Both of the warriors were curious as to where the sudden pain that had wreaked their systems had come from.
/Ow!/ Sideswipe growled as he corrected himself.
/Yeah, no kiddin!/
/You mean… you felt that?/
/Slag, yeah, it hurt!/
Worry crept up in them. What was that?
/Wheeljack!/ They both cried through the link as their tires sped even faster towards the Ark.
"Enough of this!" Skywarp suddenly reached out and punched Wheeljack in the face, causing him to abruptly go offline before he could reply to his brothers, "Slag, whoever thought he could be so feisty." All three including Laserbeak left the Ark in shambles as they took for the sky, Starscream carrying the offline Wheeljack over his shoulder as they flew, averting their destination so they wouldn't cross paths with the Autobots or Decepticons as they headed for the Nemesis.
Sunstreaker and Sideswipe both nearly stalled when they felt Wheeljack's link go silent. Both slid to a stop, "What the frag!" Sunstreaker yelled.
"Man, Wheeljack's in trouble!" Sideswipe was quick to bolt from their sudden stop, hell bent for the Ark. They only hoped they would make it there in time. They never saw the retreating Decepticons.
"Mission Accomplished, Megatron," Thundercracker said over the Decepticon lines, and abruptly, Megatron called a cease and desist and retreated, grabbing a few energon that lie around – but leaving a large portion of it.
"Odd," Optimus said as he watched them suddenly leave. And what was odder, is they hadn't taken hardly any Energon with them, leaving most of it all. He turned to see his troops. Some were banged up more than others. He did a head count, noticing immediately that 2 were missing, "Ratchet, have you seen Sunstreaker and Sideswipe?"
"Sorry, Prime, I haven't, I have been busy with doing field repairs."
A look of worry crossed the leader's features, "Has anyone seen them?"
There was no reply. As if the two vanished into thin air, "Lets head home, I will hail them on the way," Optimus said, turning to see how the others were doing. All were functioning enough to transform and they headed away. En route, Optimus called the two who had gone from the battlefield, "Where are you two?"
"Soldiers, report!" Optimus demanded as they headed back to base.
"O-Optimus… They… they… ransacked the Ark…. They took Wheeljack!" Sideswipe's voice was filled with worry and… was that fear? At least Optimus now knew why they called the retreat so hastily. It was a diversion.
"Wheeljack is currently offline. We cannot pick up on his presence," Sunstreaker's voice cut through, "They did a pretty thorough job on the Ark though, it's gonna take weeks to get Teletraan up and running again."
In Optimus' office, after all had arrived back, the two warriors who had been worried for their brother were pacing back and forth frantically. Optimus was sure he would go dizzy if they kept it up. Both had pained expressions on their faces, glancing to one another nervously but never stopping, "Me and Sunstreaker and going to find our brother," Sides suddenly looked to his leader and stopped.
"Not yet, Sideswipe. We need to figure out why they did this."
"I am not sure why they wanted Wheeljack," Optimus stated calmly, "perhaps they know of his ingenuity and wished to use it?"
"I don't care, Optimus," This time Sunstreaker stopped and glared icily a his leader, "I want him back, and I am with Sideswipe on this one, we are going,"
"It's far too dangerous for you two to be jumping to the Nemesis, don't you think?" knowing both could fly – albeit temporarily – to get there, he knew they would have no chance against the entire army.
Both snorted and glared at their leader before walking out of his office. Orders or not, they were leaving, and there wasn't a soul on the Ark who could stop them, or they would end up beat for trying.
Next Chappy: Wow, will Sides and Sunny end up biting off more than they can chew by going after Wheeljack like that? And what will come of poor Wheeljack?