A/N: This is an idea that I have had for awhile. A strange idea that presented itself as a simple dream which formed into something interesting and was compelled to try. What is better than combining two universes that you love? The Twilight Zone created by the wonderful Rod Serling back in the 1950's and 60's and, of course, Transformers. The only shows that I have truly and forever will love.
I have more chapters planned, some, like this one, were created with ideas that I personally would love to see, and also some actual crossovers with the characters and elements of the Twilight Zone; but there are only two chapters of that kind at the moment. You do not need to be a Twilight Zone junkie like me to understand this fic/crossover/ series of short stories and drabbles, whatever you wish to call it.
I enjoyed writing this chapter, and I hope you enjoy it. I would like to thank my fellow author and good friend Northwest Sage for editing, his advice, and support. He is a fantastic writer and I'm honored to be his friend.
This story will start off very much like the Twilight Zone television series with, what I like to call, the 'Rod Serling Narration' in italics in the beginning and closing of the story, but the characters are strictly Autobots and Decepticons. I hope you enjoy the first chapter starring that violet Decepticon Mini-Cassette that we all love...
Disclaimer: Twilight Zone belongs to Rod Serling and CBS. Transformers to Hasbro. Original Characters belong to me...
"Rumble and the Eidolon Child"
Take careful note of the small robot hiding in the protection of a shadowed corner. Occupation: prankster. A small artificial being with only one goal; shake, break, rattle and quake, whether it be enemies or the egos of his fellow confidants who fight for the same cause in an endless war. However, Rumble will soon be greeted with another being who also shares a similar goal as himself. A rather dangerous goal that will lead him into some rather difficult situations in the form of a series of practical jokes...
Rumble, the small violet and blue Decepticon cassette watched from a careful distance as his latest sucker fell victim to another one for his ingenious pranks. He had made it his personal goal for the next couple of stellar cycles to try and pull as many pranks as he could on the Decepticons in the Nemesis, with the exception of Megatron. Various traps had been set as they recharged. The act of preparation was well worth missing a few recharges of his own...
Rumble couldn't hold back his smirk any longer, it graced noticeably on his face while he watched Starscream, the Air Commander of the Decepticon Army, turn the corner, only paying attention to the data pad that he was reading and failing to notice the small metal orbs scattered on the hallway until it was too late.
Starscream let out a surprised cry as he felt his stabilizing servos suddenly and fearfully go off balance. The data pad went in the air over Starscream's helm and his other hand trying desperately to grasp on to anything that was sturdy or would quickly re-balance him.
Unable to find anything, he felt his feet slip from under him and felt the air knocked out of his circulating system as he landed harshly on his back. He groaned in pain, which was quickly replaced by a growl of anger. Standing himself up, putting his weight on his arm which was by his side, he grabbed a fistful of the small, metal orbs and curled his fist around them. Reopening his fist, he watched as they tumbled from his hand like sand.
His optics narrowed into deadly slits, anger coursing through his circuitry. There was only one mech that he could think of that would have the nerve to pull a prank of this nature on him...
Rumble rushed down the hall to the storage room before he let out a burst of uncontrollable laughter. Screamer's fall was perfect, and the way that he threw his hands in the air! Priceless! He congratulated himself mentally for a job well done on one if of the oldest tricks in the book. The steel marbles that he had placed had worked out perfectly--
The sound made his head pivot quickly in the direction of the doors. He stared for awhile, waiting for any explanation of what may have caused it, but nothing happened.
He made his way to the door to get a better look for himself. As he reached the doorway, he looked to the left, and then to the right. Both directions were empty-- there was nobody.
He felt the uneasy feeling of optics on the back of his head, he turned quickly and saw that there was... nobody. Just crates and equipment scattered carelessly in the storage room. He tapped his fingers on the side of his leg nervously. Although he was certain that he was alone, he felt as if there was another being in the room with him.
A gust of air passed over him and he turned quickly to see what was behind him...
He was starting to get frustrated. He scanned every inch of the storage room once and then another time for reassurance. He was completely alone from what his readings were telling him, but that's not what his spark was telling him. He backed away and then rotated on his heels as he exited the storage room and headed down the right hall.
A soft, childish giggle made him stop dead in his tracks. It was faint, but definitely heard. He reached one hand over his back, his fingertips just brushing over the grip of his gun and turned sharply, drawing it out in front of him...
He didn't fire. Rumble was unable to fire as he was momentarily dazed and paralyzed with confusion.
Two large squishy eyes gazed up him with intensity and amusement as he stood silently in the middle of the hallway. The sparkling human seemed unafraid of the fact that he was pointing a gun at him, as there was no indication of fear written on his face. Instead, it was... smirking at him. Yes, smirking at him! Confident and unafraid. If this were any other squishy sparkling, they would have been cowering in fear by now.
"How'd ya' get in here?" Rumble demanded.
The human child tilted his head to the side with the same infuriating smile on his face.
"Answer or I'll shoot ya!" Rumble said, his patience running low.
The child giggled softly, his shoulders shrugging.
A loud cry echoed through the hallway, making Rumble turn in the direction behind him to see Mixmaster storming down the hall with an orange substance drizzling down his body, and the stench of burned metal fumigating in the air.
"You!" cried Mixmaster as he pointed a finger in Rumble's direction. "You, you, you!"
"Wha' about me?" Rumble shrugged.
"You rigged my acid mixture to blow up on me!"
Rumble's optics widened underneath his visor.
"Wha'... no I didn't!" he exclaimed. It was true, he really hadn't. The joke he had planned for Mixmaster was not exploding acid. Thinking about it, he should have done that, but the point of the matter was-- he didn't.
"Then what are you doing out here in the hallway, hmm? Not doubt waiting for me to storm down the hall so you could get a laugh!" accused Mixmaster.
"That's not what I was doin'!" Rumble cried.
"Oh ho ho ho! Then what?!" said Mixmaster. "What are you doing in the hallway, huh, Rumble?"
"I was pointing a gun at this slaggin hu--," Rumble turned around to show Mixmaster the human child, only to discover that he had vanished.
"Hmm...you were about to say something Rumble!" said Mixmaster, "Well say it already!"
"I was... doin' nothing," Rumble mumbled quietly, not caring about Mixmaster, and only caring about where the human child went.
Mixmaster didn't believe one word of Rumble's explanation. He was about to reach for Rumble as he still had his back turned toward him... until Soundwave rounded the corner. Mixmaster froze with his hand just feet away from Rumble. Soundwave stared at Mixmaster, silently as usual. Mixmaster drew his hand away and gave Rumble an irate look.
"You luck out this time you punk," Mixmaster said in a cold voice, "but Soundwave won't be around to protect you next time your little pranks backfires on you."
With that, and avoiding optics with Soundwave, he turned heel and stormed back to the Med Bay. Rumble looked up at Soundwave, the two mechs, creation and creator, exchanging a moment of silence.
"Recharge; required," said Soundwave as his chest compartment opened. The small cassette player obeyed with only one question on his mind, one that bothered him like a metallic mosquito...
Who was that human sparkling?
The next day consisted of Rumble searching high and low for the human that had given him that disgusting smile. His interest of seeing unfortunate Decepticons caught in his pranks had diminished as his desire to blow the human to slag replaced it. He returned back to the storage room where he had first saw the human, but found no trace of him whatsoever. He decided to search the Common Room next.
He was determined to find that human that had smirked at him, giggled at him ghoulishly and made him shiver. There was something about the way that the human looked at him that made him nervous. The way that it was unafraid, and just stared up at him silently with those fierce jelly eyes that strained him with phobia.
Rumble entered the Common Room and nearly screamed as a hand grabbed him around the waist and flung him halfway across the room. He hit the wall hard and feeling as though he would shatter and break. He shook his head, trying to clear the dizziness to see the alarming shadow of Blitzwing darkening him.
"You fragging little glitch! I know it was you!" he said, his fists shaking, a nasty and furious glare on his face.
"Wha...?" squeaked Rumble weakly.
"Don't give me that! I knew it was you that got into my room and wrote on my walls!" Blitzwing roared.
Rumble's jaw dropped, completly frozen in place at the accusation. "What! Wha' are ya' talkin about?! I didn't do it! It wasn't me, I swear!"
Blitzwing didn't believe him. Instead he grabbed him by the arm and hauled him up, Rumble dangling in his grasp. Rumble struggled, trying to break free of Blitzwing, the optics of the Decepticons in the Common Room watching them. Blitzwing stormed down to his quarters, opened the doors and threw Rumble inside.
"Explain that pipsqueak!"
Rumble stood up and looked around Blitzwing's quarters in horror. Covered on the walls of his quarters was a series of curses and phrases written over every inch of the room. From the berth, the computer desk and even on the floor were demeaning rants of Blitzwing and single sentenced accusations. Messages that would scar sparklings for life.
There was no way that Rumble would do anything like this. His pranks and jokes were in good humor and never severely damaged a mech. Rumble may have been a Decepticon, an annoying punk with a Napoleonic syndrome, but he would never do anything like this-- especially to Blitzwing, the irritable Triple Changer that constantly threatened to tear his limbs off piece by piece.
Rumble was about to ask why Blitzwing would think that he would do this, until he saw the answer plain and clear written on the wall.
rUmBlE wAs HeRe!
Rumble turned around, his head shaking frantically.
"No... I-I didn't do this!"
"You lying little--!" Blitzwing said as he stepped forward, but was stopped by a familiar voice that echoed the hallway.
"Let me through!" cried Megatron as he pushed his way through the crowd of Decepticons that gathered in the hall of Blitzwing's quarters.
Megatron passed by Blitzwing and took a look at his quarters. He was shocked to see the gruesome masterpiece in Blitzwing's quarters and turned to Rumble.
"Rumble, explain!" he demanded.
"It wasn't me Megatron, I swear!" Rumble cried, his head shaking from side to side. "I didn't do this!"
"Then who?" Megatron asked pointing to the phrase that proved otherwise.
"It wasn't! I swear ta' Primus tha' I haven't even been near Blitzwing's quarters!"
"Then what were you doing?" Astrotrain questioned. "I haven't see you all morning!"
Astrotrain's comment earned a series of grunts and nods from the other Decepticons that were glaring disapprovingly at the accused.
Rumble felt himself hit a wall. There was no way that they would believe that he was chasing after a human child all morning. A human child in the Nemesis? They would never believe him. He could just hear the laughter in his audios. He might as well tell them that he was chasing a ghost...
"Well Rumble," Starscream smirked as he crossed his arms over his chassis. "We are waiting."
"I was...tryingtofindahumansparkling," Rumble said, barely whispering the last part.
"What, I'm sorry, we couldn't hear you Rumble," Starscream said.
"I WAS TRYING TO FIND A HUMAN SPARKLING!" Rumble yelled.
Not a sound was heard. Instead, a stunning silence threatened to rip Rumble in half, brought on by the overwhelming embarrassment of the moment. The silence didn't last long... it was quickly replaced by the sound of thunderous laughter by all that had heard Rumble's weak explanation, all but Megatron and Blitzwing. Megatron who was less than amused, and Blitzwing who was more enraged than ever.
"It's true!" cried Rumble.
It fell on deaf audios...
Soundwave came into view with Frenzy close at his feet. Soundwave scanned over the room silently and without emotion. Frenzy, however, was as shocked as Rumble and threw him a bewildered look. Megatron looked at Soundwave.
"Soundwave, you are to discipline Rumble as you see fit," Megatron said before he turned and walked out of the crowd.
"But I didn't so this!" Rumble tried to explain.
The Decepticons ignored him and left; there was nothing to see anymore. Only Soundwave, Frenzy, Blitzwing and Astrotrain remained.
Soundwave looked down at his cassette, trying to configure a punishment that was equal to the crime. However, he wasn't convinced that Rumble was responsible for the vile state that Blitzwing's quarters were in. Rumble wasn't lying, but there was no other suspect, and he had to follow Megatron's orders.
"Pick that up," Astrotrian said as he purposely pushed the bucket of water over with his foot. Rumble, who was on his hands and knees scrubbing the floor, cursed under his breath and gritted his dental plates. He quickly picked up the water bucket before all the water could be spilled.
"Hey, don't pick on him!" called Frenzy as he turned from the wall he was scrubbing and shaking a fist at the Triple-Changer that stood in the doorway.
"Shut up," Astrotrain snapped. "Unless you want to take an unscheduled field trip to the moon."
Frenzy bit his lip component and turned away from the Triple Changer that he felt smirking in triumph behind him.
Rumble sighed as he wet his scrub brush in the bucket, soaked it, and scrubbed another section of Blitzwing's floor. Rumble was glad that Frenzy had volunteered to help him, although he wasn't sure why. Rumble figured that, like Soundwave, he knew that he was telling the truth. It was nice to have someone believe him, especially with the whole base against him and forced to scrub the floor of the angry Triple-Changer that sat in the chair near the door with Astrotrian standing and tormenting them both anyway possible.
He was surprised that Blitzwing only sat there in silence. Yes he was completely unhappy but he had remained quiet, not even choosing to take part in Astrotrain's torment. Perhaps... he was just too angry for words. Perhaps it was a good thing; Frenzy and himself only had to deal with one obnoxious Triple-Changer.
"You know, Rumble," Astrotrain said. "The others might not believe you, but I do."
"You do?" questioned Rumble dryly, not even bothering to look up at the Triple-Changer; he knew the starter to a joke when he heard it.
"Yeah... there are human sparklings runnin' around the base all the time," Astrotrain said, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Just last deca-cycle I caught one in my quarters painting on my walls-- a little femme-- I named her Markie."
The Triple-Changer's reverberating laughter echoed of the painted walls in the room.
Rumble couldn't wait till he and Frenzy were done...
The cassette twins made the long walk back to Soundwave's quarters; Rumble dragging his feet along the way. It took them five hours to clean all of Blitzwing's quarters, but it felt longer with Astrotrain there. Rumble and Frenzy were both tired and in need of a recharge, but Rumble doubted that he would get any sleep tonight, the images of Blitzwing's quarters haunting him still.
Who had done this to him?
Who had framed him?
It was killing him not knowing...
"Frenzy...you know I wouldn't do that right?" Rumble asked as he turned to his twin. "That's why ya' stayed isn't it?"
The black and red cassette looked up, contemplating on how exactly to answer. He was split between the feeling of knowing that his brother was telling the truth, and the evidence that he had some part in the sick prank in Blitzwing's quarters.
"Yeah, Rumble," Frenzy mumbled.
"You believe me, right?" Rumble asked desperately. "You know I wouldn't do something like that, right?"
Frenzy sighed loudly and turned away from him, staring down at his feet as he walked and not daring to answer.
Rumble grabbed Frenzy by the shoulders.
"Ya' gotta believe me!" Rumble cried, shaking him violently. "If you don't believe me, who will?!"
Frenzy calmly removed Rumble's grip from this shoulders and said sincerely. "I don't know bro..."
Rumble watched with grief as Frenzy turned his back on him and walked away. Rumble waited until Frenzy disappeared before he curled his fist and punched the wall of the Nemesis over and over again, trying to rid himself of his frustration.
After several blows, he leaned his head forward against the wall until he calmed himself. As soon as he regained his composure, his processor ready for rational thoughts and able to compute more quickly, a soft laugh took it all away.
He whirled around to see nothing.
He was alone, but he knew that he heard that laugh...
The human sparkling was back...
"Where are ya'!" Rumble yelled, his fists tight as he scanned the empty hallway, twirling in a frightened dance.
There was no answer, and no sight of the human.
"I bet it was you!" Rumble cried out to the phantom child, thoughts out of place and desperately trying to be organized. "I bet you wrote all that in Blitzwing's room! It must have been you-- that's why I couldn't find you! Answer me!"
Was he going mad? Was he malfunctioning? Why couldn't he find the source of the giggle? Was he toying with him? Where was he? Was he watching him all this time? Why was he after him? Why did he pester him so! What had he done!
Rumble grabbed the side of his head, swelling with questions and not answers. He turned to a wall and nearly collapsed. Written on the wall, just like in Blitzwing's quarters was...
iT's JuSt A jOkE. . . yOu ArE sUpPoSeD tO lAuGh!
Rumble did nothing of the sort. Instead he ran back to Soundwave's quarters as fast as he could, not even daring to look back to see the child smiling behind him.
Rumble, occupation: prankster. Fleeing to take protection from an invisible antagonist. Rumble, a small artificial being who just experienced a moral lesson taking the form of an apparition of a child with a disturbing smile and insatiable tendency for playing practical jokes. "Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself." A lesson well taught and learned... in the Twilight Zone...
A/N: Markie, the little girl Astrotrain was talking about, is also the name of the child in the Twilight Zone episode 'Nightmare as a Child'. Had to put it in there, couldn't resist the temptation. Love to hear your thoughts about this chapter.
Next Chapter: The Decepticon Space Bridge is an intresting tool for travel. Dissected down piece by piece you are startled to find no imperfections. However, next chapter, a certain silver tyrant will find an imperfection that threatens to question his authority as well as his sanity. I hope you will join us next time...