Title: Reunions, 1/?
Author: Stormy1x2 (traveling_storm)
Word Count: 3415 (approx)
Warnings: Mild spoilers for G1 season 2 Transformers, but nothing overtly specific. TMNT/TF xover.
Summary: A chance meeting in Bali, a battle and a kind of reunion, though none of the people involved have actually really met before. :D
Notes: Done for LJ's fanfic 100, prompt #26: teammates. Sequel to 'Unlikely Partners'. I've had to make a few changes - the first fic, 'Unlkely Partners' was more G1-based than movie based, and this fic is going to definitely be movie-heavy. Explanations for certain details will pop up in future chapters (chapters 2 and 3 are finished and are undergoing revision right now) so if you want to nitpick over movie discrepancies, please give it a chance and see if your questions get answered.
Reunions, Chapter 1
The sun was a tireless, merciless tormentor, beating down on April's head for the fifth day in a row of her stay in beautiful Bali. Trickles of sweat made their way down her face and neck, soaking into the scooped neckline of her tank top.
Not even a breeze, she groused. The air was almost unnaturally still – a common occurrence in her line of work. Often times, the artifacts she retrieved for her employers were objects of ancient power that had an aura one could sense just by being close to it. Sometimes the very world around her seemed to freeze into place, as though stilled by the commodity she was being commissioned to take.
"Almost done, Miss O'Neil." April's thoughts were interrupted by her guide, a young man named Eloni. Eloni had been very enthusiastic about her trip when he'd learned where it was she wanted to go. Gunung Agung. Mount Agung. The highest peak in Bali, on the island's eastern end. Said to be the home of a ruby a dozen times larger then what was found in Bali's underground caves. When she'd mentioned their destination, Eloni had told her proudly that his name meant 'mountain' in several southern pacific island dialects; he was positive it was destiny that they go after such a treasure together.
Though really, April had been sure that the ruby was only a legend – until her employer, who wished to remain anonymous and worked strictly through his lawyer, Mr Rumboli – had sent her several satellite images of a temple buried deep into the mountains. When she asked why the temple had never been discovered and excavated, the reply – given again, via the lawyer – was that the satellite was privately owned, and the imaging technology far more advanced then anything else in the area. April's questions about the legality of the retrieval were responded with a sheaf of papers signed by a top Bali official giving permission for the excavation – and extraction of artifacts – of anything in the temple found in the mountain.
The whole thing smelled fishy to her, but the payoff was going to be bigger then anything she had ever seen in her entire life. Armed with the legal documents and a valid Bali visa, April had agreed to go and search for the ruby.
Casey had wanted to go with her, but over the years, April had become accustomed to doing the traveling by herself. She loved Casey with all her heart; however despite all of the lessons with Master Splinter and Leonardo, Casey still had a penchant for attracting attention. He was loud, goofy, and perpetually in a good mood (as long as everyone was obeying the law in his presence), and people had a tendency to gravitate towards him.
No, April didn't want him on this particular jaunt. If nothing else, it would be good to have him home, safe and ready to bail her out of jail if the Balinese government decided not to make good on her paperwork. Besides, she thought with a small grin. I already have the best backup in the world.
Eloni was chattering softly as he led the way through the jungle near the foot of Mount Agung, using a long-handled knife to hack away at the lush greenery before them. Even if he'd known exactly where to look, Eloni never would have seen the silent shadow that tailed them – and sometimes went ahead to handle the local wildlife before Eloni and April set foot anywhere near it. April saw the telltale twitch of a large leaf frond, and smothered a grin.
"Miss O'Neil!" Eloni waved at her, making her snap back to attention. "We are here!"
"So we are," she replied, gazing through the cleared brush at the rocky plain that signaled the foot of the mountain. The easy part was over – now the hard part began. Shrugging off her backpack, April went through her preparations.
Her hiking boots were equipped with attachable crampons. Her ninja hand-spikes – shuko spikes - slipped over her gloved palms, settling snugly into place. From her bag, she pulled out a spherical object painted to look like a turtle shell. She ignored Eloni's confused look as she pressed a small indent on the top – three small curved hooks jutted out from the sides. She hooked it on her belt.
A strange-looking visor was fitted around her head, and it beeped as she pressed a button on the side. Instantly, the visor began scanning her immediate surroundings, sending her information. A small microphone detached from the left arm of the visor and she coughed into it, testing the sound. On the other side, another instrument detached from the right visor arm, and this fit neatly into her right ear.
April gave Eloni an encouraging smile. "I'm going to scout ahead up the mountain a little bit," she told him, putting a few more things into the pack at her waist, and then putting her backpack back on. "You stay here until I get back."
"But Miss O'Neil, it's dangerous for you to go alone!" Eloni objected, looking worried. "And that does not look like proper climbing gear. I have never seen these things before. And you do not have a rope."
"It's okay, Eloni." She patted him on the shoulder. "You've already warned me. You won't be in trouble if anything happens to me. But I've done something like this before, and I want to check it out by myself." Except, I won't be by myself, she thought wryly. But Eloni doesn't know that. "Besides," she added. "I have something better than a rope. "
Eloni was still wringing his hands in worry as April moved the grappling hook from her belt. Three years of daily practice had given her nearly perfect aim, and after a few spins, she proved it by hooking on to an outcropping nearly thirty-five meters up. With a wave at a shocked Eloni, she tied the line to her reinforced belt, and began climbing the sheer rock face. Her spikes, made for scaling everything from waterfalls to metal surfaces, dug into the rock easily, finding minute-sized grips. Her grappling hook reeled in the slack automatically, and wouldn't release back out unless she triggered it herself – which wouldn't happen until she was ready to scale to the next level. But in the meantime...
Glancing back down to make sure she was out of hearing range, April spoke into the microphone. "Leo? Can you hear me?"
"Crystal clear, April," came the amused voice. "Having fun?"
"Always," she replied, reaching the outcropping a minute later, and climbing over the lip. Leonardo sat on the ledge serenely, looking like a jade green Buddha – that is, if Buddha had a shell, a blue bandanna and a futuristic visor that matched hers. "Fancy meeting you here, stranger."
"I was wondering if you'd make it," Leonardo teased, one eye opening to peer at her with amusement. "I expected you five minutes ago. You're getting slow."
"Watch it, mister," she threatened with a grin, shaking the grit from her spikes. "Besides, I had to reassure poor Eloni that he wasn't going to get blamed for my gruesome demise if I fell."
"Like I'd let that happen," Leo snorted. "Casey would have my head on a pike."
Twin smiles passed between them, a silent understanding. Leonardo had been April's first choice for this particular job. Raphael stayed on in New York to patrol at night with Casey, and Mikey, though she secretly thought of him almost like the son she'd never had, wasn't quite up to a gig without his bros, halfway around the globe. Donatello was content to stay in the land of wireless Internet and modern technology, rather then duke it out in the heat of the island nation without the aid of an air conditioner. But the climate and region in Bali was somewhat similar to that of Central America, where Leonardo had spent nearly six months of his two-year, round-the-world journey. He was accustomed to handling himself in the wild, untamed jungles, and was therefore the perfect choice to accompany her.
April let out her line. "Ready?"
Another throw sent her grappling hook up to another rock formation that jutted out nearly two feet. She tugged hard on the line, satisfied when it held. "Then let's climb."
The air was considerably thinner at the lower peak of Mount Agung where they made their final stop. It had taken nearly four hours to get there, and April was thankful for all the times Master Splinter had forced her to meditate and regulate her breathing. She was still breathing harder than Leo though, who looked as though he'd just undergone a leisurely jog through Central Park, instead of a one point five mile hike straight up a sheer cliff.
"I hate you," she panted, glaring at him.
"If I can survive a trip through space with no oxygen, a little thinning air isn't going to be an issue," Leonardo told her. "Besides you did very well yourself, for only having three years of training. Just focus for a minute."
April flopped over onto her back, staring up at the clear blue sky. It would be dark in few short hours, and she was hoping that they wouldn't have to spend the night up there. At least going down was going to be a lot easier than going up. She raised her head and stared at the mountain wall, one hand reaching to toggle the switch above her lenses.
Instant x-ray vision. The hollow cavern behind the rock face was right where Mr Rumboli had said they'd be. Another tap turned on the infrared – nothing living showed up on radar.
"I love Donnie," she sighed. "Still hate you, but I love Donnie."
"Donnie or the Visortron V2?" Leonardo asked her innocently, giving her a sideways look of amusement.
"Both. Definitely both. Tell Donnie he's never getting these glasses back, by the way."
"Sure thing." Leo chuckled and reached over, hauling her to a sitting position. "That's enough of a break, don't you think?"
April groaned, and stretched her arms over her head, sighing loudly as she heard her spine crack and snap back into place. "Slave driver. Who's the boss here, exactly?"
"I thought this was a joint effort."
"It is," she said, nodding. "But I'm still the boss."
"Whatever you say." Leonardo flipped to his feet and then extended his hand to help her up. "Shall we?"
"Lets." April took a small cylindrical object out of her backpack. It was long, black, lightweight and adhered to the wall easily. Stepping back, she motioned for Leo to go forward. He did, but waited for her to move behind him.
Taking out a shuriken from his belt, Leonardo took aim and threw. The throwing star hit the black tube dead center and exploded. It was a small, controlled explosion, sending small chunks of rock and debris mostly skyward. As the dust cleared, April poked her head out from behind Leo. "You okay?" she asked, checking his arms and face for shrapnel wounds.
He nodded, flexing his arms and legs to prove it. "I'm fine."
"Good." April tried to move ahead of him, eager to explore the hidden temple, but Leo held her back. "Leo?"
"I'll go first," he said firmly. "There's bound to be traps of some sort."
"No kidding," April said dryly. "This is a holy place to the natives. The place of the gods. These things always have traps to keep the 'mortals' away." She sighed, looking at the jagged hole blown into the cliff face. "I hope we didn't damage anything."
"We're about to find out." Leonardo unsheathed his katana swords as a precaution and slowly moved forward. His senses flared, his aura surged forward, scanning his surroundings as naturally and automatically as an imaging sensor. With one blade, he tested the floor for weakness; his eyes continually scanned the walls looking for darts, knives or any other potential airborne assaults.
The cavern was long and narrow, the only light coming from the brightness of day behind them. As they moved forward and the natural light faded away, they switched on the lights built into the rims of the visors. April followed several steps behind, moving just as cautiously. She had learned a long time ago that just because everything appeared to be okay to the naked eye, didn't mean a million dangers weren't lurking below.
"Be careful," Leonardo whispered.
Unnecessarily, in her opinion. April stuck out her tongue at him, but he just gave her a look, and she wiped the snark off her face. He was just being careful, more concerned about her safety then she was.
"Sorry," she said quietly, and Leo quirked a brow at her. Instant forgiveness.
The rock corridor wasn't very long. Soon it spilled open into a large room. April gaped at the ornately carved columns that lined the walls. The floor was one giant relief carving of hieroglyphics and symbols, some of which she vaguely recognized from previous journeys. The ceiling was peppered with stalactites, curved and sharp, pointing towards the floor. Across the large room, the light from their visors reflected off something, something big. Glancing at each other, they focused their visors and turned up the lights to maximum.
Standing at least twenty feet tall was a statue of an ancient sentry. Emanating from the carving of his ornamental headdress was a reddish glow. April's eyes widened. "That's the ruby," she whispered to Leo.
He nodded, studying the statue, and the surrounding structure. "I don't sense any traps," he said quietly, still scanning the room. "X-rays not picking up anything, neither is infrared. All that my sensors are registering is rock and dirt."
"Maybe there are no traps," April mused thoughtfully. "This is fairly high up the mountain." Not just anyone could make it up here, not without years of extreme training, or equipment that didn't exist in that particular time period. "Maybe Bali's ancient priests back then felt there was no need for traps."
"Maybe." Leonardo was a touch more cynical than April. He obviously didn't believe that. "I'll go first again."
"Be my guest," she said, waving him on.
Leonardo crept across the room, straining his eyes and ears. But despite his expectations, nothing jumped out at him, and when he arrived unscathed at the foot of the statue, the look of disappointment on Leo's face made her laugh as she joined him.
"This is too easy," he grumbled worriedly.
"Well, I'm not about to look a gift horse in the mouth," April declared. Leaning back, she stared up at the large ruby. Her gaze slid sideways to him. "Give a gal a boost?"
As Leonardo nodded and moved into position, neither of them saw the shadows move behind them, or the red eyes that peered at them from the tunnel they'd just traversed. Ruby red eyes narrowed, and the shadow moved closer to its unsuspecting prey...
Jazz had come to the conclusion that he was not a big fan of tropical islands. Sideswipe and Sunstreaker were right at home, lounging in their vehicle modes while appreciative car fans swarmed around them, oohing and aahing, but he was sick of overheating engines and wasting fuel by running his air conditioning full blast. The sooner they found and stopped the Decepticon activity they'd been informed about, the better.
Several days prior, an alert had been sent out and picked up by Teletraan1. Decepticons had been spotted on various parts of the island of Bali, performing deep-penetration scans. The islands leading authorities were convinced they were after the ruby mines. There were several rich veins deep under the island, particularly near the volcanoes, but the human mines were the only ones they'd found so far, and the yield had been apparently less then what the Decepticons wanted or needed. As a result, they were scanning the entire island, looking for richer deposits.
Soon after Jazz had arrived with his team, news came over the wire that apparently the Decepticons had found one suitable, and had commenced with the digging. Hound and Trailbreaker, along with Bluestreak as backup, were sent to scout ahead and gather information before they made their move. In the meantime, he, the Twins, Ironhide and Bumblebee (with Sam, codenamed 'Spike', who had naturally refused to be left behind) were left twiddling their mechanized digits in the sun. Correction, he amended. The hot sun.
::You need to relax a bit, Jazz-man:: Sideswipe sent over the radio lazily. His holoform – a hologram of hard light particles that could be felt (provided the toucher didn't press too hard) – was having a good time laughing with the locals. Sunstreaker's holoform stayed inside the car, conserving energy by using the normal hologram technology. Both of them were parked as close to the beach as they could get without touching the sand. Sand in ones valve intakes was not a pleasant sensation.
::You have any idea how much energy you're wasting?:: Jazz asked idly. ::Those holoforms are for emergency only, and you're using one to flirt with the ladies.::
::I got lots in reserve,:: Sideswipe retorted easily. ::You're just jealous because they're not fawning over you.::
::Ya got me, Siders, that's it right there.:: Jazz chuckled, giving in. He didn't like playing the authority figure – particularly with the Twins. Though Jazz cared deeply for all his fellow Autobots, he'd be the first to admit he had a soft spot for the duo. Much like Ratchet, though he'd deny it, and Ironhide, who'd probably hurt him greatly for even suggesting he had a weakness for the 'aft-brained punks.' ::Just make sure you don't drain yourself before we go out there.::
::Yes, mom,:: came the droning reply.
If Jazz had been in his normal mode, his optics would have been rolling. Instead, his sensors beeped at him, informing him of an incoming Transformer. He sent out a pulsing scan, instantly registering his scouts approaching.
::Mission accomplished,:: Hound reported, rolling to a stop next to the silver-colored Solstice.
::I see you didn't have any trouble,:: Jazz returned. Not that he'd been expecting it. Hound was the best tracker they had, able to sniff out even the tiniest of scents over large distances. Coupled with his perfect 3D hologram technology, the green Jeep Tracker was a natural at blending into his environment. The other two, Trailbreaker and Bluestreak, rounded out their team. Trailbreaker's expandable forcefields were the most solid defense of the Autobot armament, and Bluestreak was their top sharpshooter. Even if Hound happened to get discovered (highly unlikely), Trailbreaker's forcefields would protect them from anything short of multiple nuclear strikes. If something got past the black Pathfinder (a feat as unlikely to occur as Hound getting discovered), Bluestreak's crack marksmanship would ensure that they got to safety, and guarantee whatever dared to pursue them instant death.
::As the earth saying goes, it was a piece of cake,:: Hound assured him. ::Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp, all confirmed. Soundwave, Ravage, Rumble and Laserbeak too. And the Constructicons.:: As he spoke, his holographic projectors illustrated his report with three-dimensional images of the scene. Jazz checked the proximity of the closest humans and was happy to note they were still cooing over the twins, and apparently not remotely interested in looking over. Hound continued. ::Thundercracker and Skywarp were assisting the Constructicons with the ruby retrieval. Rumble and Laserbeak are on guard duty, no surprise there. Soundwave seems to be supervising.::
::And ol' Screamer?::
Hound grinned. ::Whining about the heat.:: From where they sat, surrounded by their fans, Sunstreaker and Sideswipe sent identical snorts of amusement over Jazz's radio.
::You two just hush it up, now,:: Jazz sent back good-naturedly. ::Megatron ain't here, I take it?:: Despite the humans dropping Megatrons fried construct into the icy waters of the ocean's deepest channel, the leader of the Decepticons had been retrieved and somehow, revived nearly a year ago, and had instantly resumed control of his forces, much to Starscream's dismay. He'd been much more cautious though as a result, sending his underlings out to carry out his plans while he remained in the background, barking out his orders over their radios.
::What about Ravage?::
Hound shrugged. In his vehicle form, it rocked him from side to side. ::He took off before we got there. I only know he was dispatched, because Starscream took some time out from his busy schedule to rant about how Ravage should be helping with the digging, so they could leave faster.::
Jazz contemplated that for a minute. Bumblebee was doing a sweeping patrol of their perimeter and was due to check in within the next ten minutes, but he had a better idea. ::Bumblebee?::
::Yeah, Jazz?:: came the prompt reply.
::Got a job for you and Spike.::
::And that is?::
::Ravage is somewhere on the island, likely near where they're digging. When we move in, I want you and Spike to go and hunt him down, find out where he is and what he's doing,:: Jazz sent over. ::Copy that?::
::Copy, Jazz. Sam and I are on it.::
Jazz turned his focus back on the rest. Sunstreaker and Sideswipe had left their admirers behind and had joined the rest of them. ::Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, you guys are on the Constructicons. Don't let them form Devastator. Bluestreak, you got their backs. When you get the chance, target one of them. We don't need kill shots, but we do need them disabled.::
The trio nodded.
::Hound, you, Trailbreaker and Ironhide are on the Seekers. Use your forcefields to keep them from flying free, 'Breaker.::
::Can do, Jazz,:: Trailbreaker promised.
::I'll go after Soundwave and keep him and Rumble distracted. Cliffjumper, Windcharger and Brawn are en route and will be here in fifteen minutes. We move in ten – they'll be the surprise add-in to this little shin-dig.:: Jazz looked over to the Twins. ::No clowning around you two. Take out the Constructicons, and take them down hard. When you do, Sunstreaker, you go help Trailbreaker and Hound with the Seekers. Sideswipe, come with me. Bluestreak, you shoot any 'Bot you can not wearing an Autobot symbol. Everyone clear?::
Everyone sent an affirmative over the wire. Jazz nodded mentally, and revved his engines. ::Let's roll out!::
End chapter 1
Feedback craved. :D