Summary: Koji and Ultra Magnus search for the lost rabbit while dodging the forces of evil.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. That includes Mythbusters, Godzilla, the Friendly Floatees, the idea of the orange Power Ranger, the concept of The Happy House of Hookers, or Angelina Jolie. Nor have I ever been to New Orleans or Mardi Gras or anywhere outside of the United States or Canada. Also, if any of the names resemble or are identical to another author's character, this was not intentional (I swear, Amber Dawn is my cousin's name).
WARNING: This pokes fun at all those things us fic writers do. Continuity errors, Mary Sues, over the top language, bizarre plots, dues ex machina, random exposition charters, plot holes, ect. Come on, we've all done it at one time or another, so don't feel bad. I've done almost all of these things at one time or another myself, and will probably do them again. This isn't supposed to be condescending in the least. We're all still learning, still adjusting our writing styles, but if we can't laugh at ourselves we probably aren't learning as much as we should be.
AN: Humor fic inspired by a friend. Takes place after Doppelgangers 2. Has connections to Movieverse 1, 2, and 3.
Mr. Cuddle Bunny
After yet another trip to an alternate dimension—this one being slightly more interesting than the last five, after all he met his red headed counterpart, Kaito, and several of his friends' doppelgangers, including a couple who made Sideburn look like a genius—all Koji wanted to do was sleep.
Unfortunately, someone had other plans.
There was that stupid taping again, waking him for the fifth time tonight. Probably those damn birds pecking at the skylight again. Koji rolled over to glare at the offending feathered individual…Only to find Ultra Magnus tapping gently on his window.
Koji blinked. "Not again," he groaned, sitting up and pushing open the skylight. "What have I told you guys about watching me while I sleep?" he asked, sticking his head out.
"Um, something about it being against the law and you being jailbait," Ultra Magnus replied. "But seriously, this time it's an emergency."
"Uh huh. Yeah. What is it this time?"
"It's a code CBiM," Ultra Magnus announced stoically.
"Your plushie is missing?" Koji asked in disbelief. Ultra Magnus nodded gravely. "You woke me up because your plushie is missing?" he asked again for confirmation.
"Because," Ultra Magnus said, slightly embarrassed, "you're the only one who knows I have a plushie."
"A plushie? You have enough plushies to cover two walls in your room back at the base."
"Like I said, you're the only one who knows," Ultra Magnus insisted
"Didn't Optimus give you your first plushie?"
Ultra Magnus looked distinctly uncomfortable at the reminder. "I told him I threw it in a vat of molten energon after he got the Matrix."
"You recharge with it every night."
"Optimus doesn't need to know that."
Koji sighed. "Whatever. What do you need me to do?"
"First, I need you to put this on," Ultra Magnus tossed Koji a full body suit of purple armor that bore the Decepticon insignia on it's chest.
"May I ask why?" Koji asked, eyeing the outfit dubiously.
"Because our first stop is Megatron's base."
"Why?" Koji asked, resigned to his fate.
"To gather intel."
"Alright… I guess."
The Predicon Base…
"Men, today we shall begin our intensive training," Megatron announced to his troops, who were assembled before him.
"Wa—hoo," Koji grumbled from his place in formation.
"You, human! Where did you come from?" Megatron demanded.
"I'm the Mary Sue or Gary Sue of the week, sir," Koji replied, using the cover story Magnus had thought up.
"Mary Sue or Gary Sue?" Megatron queried.
"I'm supposed to be androgynous."
"Hmm, very well," Megatron nodded, moving down the line to where Ultra Magnus stood. "You, the purple mech with the crappily disguised Autobot symbol, what is your name?"
"Bladewing, my lord," Ultra Magnus announced.
"But you have no wings."
"Yes he does," Koji muttered.
"I know my lord, it's my one saving grace," Ultra Magnus replied, ignoring Koji.
"Indeed. Why do you and the human match?"
"We were created to work in tandem with each other. We have done so since our creators were destroyed by the evil Unicron," Ultra Magnus recited.
"But Unicron does not exist in this reality," Megatron pointed out.
"He exists everywhere a Mary Sue does, my lord."
"Unfortunately, that is very true," Megatron admitted with a sigh of regret. "Do try not to show up my Elites too badly, and for primussake keep the human from falling in love with anyone. Half my underlings are still nursing broken hearts from last weeks batch of Mary Sues," Megatron ordered before striding off.
"They actually bought the Mary Sue excuse," Koji muttered in disbelief.
"I told you, there are so many Mary Sues coming through here weekly nobody bats an eye at them anymore."
"Apparently. So, what's the plan?" Koji asked.
"I don't know. I got us in here. It's your job to figure out what to do next," Ultra Magnus told him.
"You could have mentioned that earlier, you know," Koji glared.
"If I told you earlier, you wouldn't have come with me."
"Fine," Koji agreed. "Hey Sky-byte!" he yelled to his Predicon friend, who was conveniently lurking near by. "Have any of you seen a small plushie shaped like a rabbit?"
"No, I have not seen such a frivolous object around here, Koji," Sky-byte answered. "And what are you doing here? ... and why are you disguised as a Mary Sue? Is it Halloween already?"
"We're gathering intel on a missing plushie."
"Ah, and since we are so often besieged by the Sues your deception will go unnoticed," Sky-byte said with an impressed nod. "A brilliant plan Koji. Yet again you prove yourself a great tactician."
"Actually Magnus thought it up."
"Indeed Koji, you are both brilliant and humble," Sky-byte went on.
Koji and Ultra Magnus glanced at each other.
"Must be another one where everyone thinks I'm a mindless psychopath who's only purpose in life is to steal everything my brother holds dear," Ultra Magnus commented.
"Uh… yeah," Koji agreed.
"Uh-huh… Sky-byte?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"Yes, Koji's mysterious accomplice?"
Ultra Magnus and Koji shared another confused look. "Yeah… Why aren't you affected by the Mary Sue Heartbreak Syndrome?"
"I do not fall in love with Mary Sues. My one loyalty is to my leader. That bond of loyalty leaves no room for romance with one dimensional females," Sky-byte announced theatrically. "Besides, the last batch of Sues had no appreciation for my haikus."
"Yeah," Koji said, eyeing Sky-byte warily. "Magnus, if Cuddle Bunny isn't here maybe we should get out before the real Mary Sues show up," Koji suggested.
"Maybe," Ultra Magnus agreed, already sliding toward the door.
"Amber Dawn Rayne! You have returned to me!" Scourge squealed with glee as a perfect, exotic, deadly female warrior strode in with both her hips and impractically long and loose hair swaying.
"Returned?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"Must be a sequel," said Koji.
"Wait, if Scourge's old girlfriend is this week's Mary Sue, then who are these two?" Megatron demanded, rounding on Ultra Magnus and Koji.
"We're busted kid, come on!" Ultra Magnus yelled, scooping up Koji and running for safety.
Dr. Onishi had woken early to work on an important computer program that would somehow save the world before the week was out, even though as an archeologist he should be going on a dig somewhere or sitting in a lab waiting for something to be carbon dated, cataloged, and x-rayed. Just as he sat down to work he remembered that his son hadn't taken his medication yesterday due to an unexpected trip to an alternate universe—though admittedly his son was spending a lot of time in those lately so it probably shouldn't have been so unexpected.
Usually he would give his son a little leeway about taking his meds but at the moment he was still paying to rebuild the city, helping T-Ai to repair the Autobots, and paying fines for copyright infringement because of Godzilla's involvement with the most recent incident. The last thing he needed was for Koji to have another mental breakdown and cause more damages that he would have to pay for.
"Son," he called out, knocking on Koji's bedroom door. "It's time for your medication." Receiving no response, he pushed open the door to find his son's bed empty and the skylight open.
"That's strange," Dr. Onishi commented. Then he noticed a note taped to the open skylight. It read,
I'm helping an emotionally challenged robot hunt down and possibly maim and or slaughter some evil bunnynappers. Don't worry, we're what you call professionals. Be back eventually,
P.S: I reject your reality and substitute my own.
"Sweet primus," Dr. Onishi sputtered. "Koji's out in the world alone with Ultra Magnus, and he hasn't taken his medication! My repair bills are going to go through the roof!"
Back with our Heroes…
"Never again," Koji declared as he washed the purple paint out of his hair.
"I'll admit it didn't go as well as I planned."
"What do you mean 'planned'? You didn't plan at all past getting us in there. Didn't it occur to you at some point that the real Mary Sues might show up?" Koji asked, slinging his limp wet hair back. He frowned as some of the faded paint dribbled down his cheek.
"Not really. There's usually a few hours interval between the departure and arrival of Mary Sues."
"A few hours isn't enough to gather intel, much less stage a rescue if Mr. Cuddle Bunny really was there," Koji said disdainfully.
"Damn Mary Sues and their perfect hair," Ultra Magnus growled.
"One thing I've always wondered about. If these Mary Sues are professional warriors, why do they dress so impractically? Come on, high heels in a warzone? And wouldn't loose, waist-length hair get in the way, blocking your vision and giving your enemies something to grab onto?"
"Who honestly pulls hair these day?"
"Plenty of people."
"Like in a catfight?" Ultra Magnus asked, mildly intrigued. "Maybe we should hang around the Sues more often"
"I think not," Koji growled wringing his wet hair dry. "So, where to next?"
"Well, since the Predicons and Decepticons don't have Mr. Cuddle Bunny that only leaves three possible options," Ultra Magnus announced.
"I get the impression I'm not going to like this?"Koji asked with a resigned sigh. Ultra Magnus just grinned.
"Damnit Prime, my son is missing! Do you not understand what this could mean?" Dr. Onishi growled.
"I doubt Megatron has anything to do with it," Optimus tried to placate the agitated scientist.
"Of course Megatron had nothing to do with it. Your brother did!"
Optimus blinked. A second seemed to stretch for eternity. "Sweet Primus! They're at it again!"
With Our Heroes...
Koji eyed the building warily. "No." His tone brooked no argument.
"We have to Koji. They might have Mr. Cuddle Bunny!" Ultra Magnus insisted.
"What possible use could they have for your stuffed toy?" Koji demanded, waving his arm at the establishment for emphasis.
"They could be using him for a—"
"Do not. Even. Finish that sentence," Koji growled.
"My point is we need to investigate," Ultra Magnus continued.
"And by 'we', you mean me, right?" Koji asked, resigning himself to doing the mech's bidding.
"Now you're getting it," Ultra Magnus placated with a thumbs up.
"Sure," Koji sighed as he headed toward the entrance.
"Hello, welcome to The Happy House of Hookers. Today's special is two for the price of three," the perky receptionist greeted.
"Don't you mean three for the price of two?" Koji asked in confusion.
"This is The Happy House of Hookers, not The Cheap House of Hookers," the receptionist replied, affronted.
"Yeah, I'm looking for a stuffed doll that may have been kidnapped by your staff for nefarious purposes," said Koji dejectedly.
"Did you say 'nefarious'?" the receptionist asked.
"I'm quoting a friend," Koji snapped.
"Who's your friend? Captain Kirk?"
"A twenty some foot robot who's waiting outside right now trying to decide whether or not to level this place," Koji sniped back.
"Yeah right. And I'm Elita-1," the receptionist rolled her eyes.
"Hey kid, what's taking so long?" Ultra Magnus asked, sticking his head in the front door.
"This lady isn't cooperating with me," Koji answered.
"Not cooperating? Of course we're being cooperative. How may I help you, sir?" the receptionist asked helpfully.
Koji rolled his eyes. People always took the giant robots more seriously than they did the kids. Life was so unfair.
"Where's my rabbit, ho?" Ultra Magnus demanded, summoning his arm laser.
"Magnus! You're not allowed to say 'ho' anymore, remember?" Koji admonished.
"Because it's slander. We'll be sued!"
"But she works in a whorehouse!" Ultra Magnus cried in exasperation.
"That doesn't mean I'm a whore though," the receptionist pointed out.
"You honestly expect me to believe that all you do here is answer telephones and greet people who come through the door?" Ultra Magnus asked skeptically.
The receptionist's eyes filled with tears. "They say I'm not pretty enough to be a whore here!" she wailed.
"Not pretty enough?" Ultra Magnus whispered to Koji. "If she were a brunette I'd swear she was Angelina Jolie."
"Not everybody thinks Angie's the hottest thing on two legs," Koji whispered back.
"Um, yeah," Ultra Magnus said raising his voice back to normal levels. "Do you guys have my rabbit or not?"
"No, we're not allowed to use stuffed animals. Something about legalities and perverts," she sniffled.
"Umm, ok. Koji, how about we head out now?"
"Before she starts crying again?" Koji asked as the receptionist's eyes began to water again.
"Actually before the cops show up. I think that guy over there's figured out you're underage," Ultra Magnus said with a nod toward the man in the corner, who was at that very moment speaking in hushed tones on his cell phone. When he noticed their scrutiny he quickly hid behind a potted tree.
"He does realize that a bonsai tree isn't exactly the best hiding spot doesn't he?"
"A dead bonsai tree at that," Ultra Magnus agreed.
"Hey Harold!" the receptionist called over. "That orange sweater is horrible camo-wear!"
The man stiffened but refused to acknowledge that he was aware that they'd discovered his hiding spot.
"Well, we still have five places to check before your father realizes you're gone, so let's get moving," Ultra Magnus said, pulling his head out of the doorway.
"Five? You said three including this place," Koji said, voice laced with suspicion, following him out.
"Well now that I think about it, there're three additional places he might be."
Somewhere on Planet Cybertron…
"You know, this place is a lot bleaker than I expected," Koji commented, peering a Cybertron's desolate landscape through the visor of his 'borrowed' blue and white spacesuit.
"How so?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"Well I was sort of expecting a utopia or something, not a wreck of a planet with patchwork metal flooring."
"Yeah. Come to think of it, Cybertron was a utopia when I left," Ultra Magnus surveyed the war ravaged landscape. "The neighborhood really went hell in the last two months," he said, scratching his head in confusion.
"So, where to?" Koji asked, trying to determine where their quarry could be.
"How should I know? Navigating is your job, remember?" said Ultra Magnus, still surveying the surrounding scenery for familiar landmarks.
"No, navigating is my job on Earth."
"Earth. The planet I grew up on. The planet where all industrialized nations, with the exception of the United States, force students to take basic geography so that they can at least locate their home nation on a map. That Earth."
"This is Cybertron. The planet you grew up on. The planet I've never set foot on until five minutes ago, and even then only through a convenient plot hole that will never be explained. That Cybertron."
"I get it now," said Koji, an epiphany over taking him. "This is because a few weeks ago, in a moment of weakness, I admitted that I missed Sideburn, isn't it? You're purposely acting like an idiot to make me feel better, right?" Koji asked—no, begged.
"Is it working?"
"No. Stop it," Koji snapped shortly.
"Ok," Ultra Magnus pouted, upset his plan hadn't worked.
"Thank you," Koji said with no little relief. "Now, where do we go?"
"I don't know."
Koji's face dropped into an expression of complete and absolute horror. "You don't know!" he parroted dumbly.
Ultra Magnus squirmed nervously. "I've never been to this part of Cybertron before. I grew up in the Autobot cities. These are the wastelands."
"Great, the plot hole couldn't even drop us off somewhere we could at least ask for directions," Koji grumbled before he started digging through his pockets. "Maybe it left me a map along with this spacesuit."
"Um, actually the plot hole didn't leave you that spacesuit," Ultra Magnus said, carefully avoiding making eye contact.
"Then where'd it—" Koji fell silent as his hand closed around a metallic object. "Magnus you didn't," he groaned pulling Lazerbeak from his pocket.
"Sorry. I was still trying to act like Sideburn when I though of it."
"But stealing from the Armada kids? They get beat up enough in fanfiction without us stealing from them," Koji admonished.
"I said I was sorry."
"How's Rad supposed to do his job and convince the Minicons that they need to go to Earth without his spacesuit? Or wake the Minicons from Unicron's spell? They might have to rely on Billy and Fred to do it! My god, Billy and Fred acting as the Minicons' saviors! Magnus we may have just doomed a whole continuum!"
"Aren't you placing just a little too much emphasis on the humans' part of the story?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"Hey, the Armada kids' part of the story makes a whole lot more sense than a Mary Sue saving the universe singlehandedly by the power of her 'truelove'and'secret powers'," Koji shot back. "Besides, I'm not saying they did it alone. That's the whole point, they all had parts to play. Take away one piece of the overall plan and it all falls apart. Why do you think Optimus keeps so many idiots around?"
"I had wondered why he hasn't sent the Build Team back to Cybertron now that the Global Space Bridge is complete. Have they actually done anything other than make a few minor repairs since they've been on Earth?"
"Exactly. Now let's get this suit back to Rad before it's left up to Billy and Fred to save the Minicons from Unicron's enslavement."
Elsewhere on Planet Cybertron…
"Sorry about that," Koji apologized handing Rad back his suit.
"It's alright, it's not like I was using it when Magnus snatched it, not like last time anyway," Rad finished with a sigh.
"Somebody stole your spacesuit while you were in it?" Ultra Magnus asked in horror.
"Yeah, Hot Shot. He thought my twin sister Rada needed the suit more because her's got torn and she forgot to repair it before she used it again," Rad sighed.
"She forgot? How the fragging hell do you forget to repair your suit before using it again?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"She's a Mary Sue," Rad said with a shrug. "Little things like the laws of physics don't affect her unless there's a chance for her 'truelove' to rescue her and then angst about almost losing her."
"Let me guess, Hot Shot's her truelove?" Koji's eyebrow twitched. Speaking as someone who was often abandoned to near certain death for the sake of truelove— or whatever Sideburn was calling it theses days— people who risked their friends' safety for the sake of some idiot who couldn't take care of themselves just tended to get on his nerves.
"This week," Rad admitted.
"Last week it was Optimus, before that it was Scavenger, then Red Alert, and before that it was Thrust," Rad sighed once more.
"Thrust?!" Koji and Ultra Magnus exclaimed as one.
"She wasn't a full Mary Sue back then. She's been getting worse over time," Rad expounded. "Unlike with most Mary Sue's, she didn't disappear after the first week. To be honest in the beginning I kinda liked her. She was funny with how she always chased Thrust around. Sorta like the way Sideswipe used to chase Blurr," Rad said fondly of the happier times. "But now it's all about her and Hot Shot, like Sam and Jack from season eight of SG-1."
"My LOVEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" a horrid shriek filled the air.
"Well sorrrry! Maybe if she'd had the sense Primus gave a lugnut she'd've known better than to stand in front of the airlock when we're doing a garbage dump!" Sideswipe's voice could be heard distinctively over the wails of anguish.
"You KILLLLLLED HER!!!!!" the inhuman screech sounded.
"Hot Shot no! You can't kill Sideswipe! He's your friend," Smokescreen's voice joined the mêlée
"Sideswipe run! We'll hold him," Optimus promised.
"Ack!" Sideswipe yelled as he was caught.
"Get off him!" another voice ordered, followed shortly by the sound of a large metal object slamming into a solid, unforgiving surface. As the last clanging echoes died, the Axalon fell eerily silent. No one so much as breathed.
Sideswipe finally broke the shocked silence. "Uh, Blurr? I think you killed him."
"He'll be fine. I didn't throw him that hard," the mercenary answered gruffly.
"He's embedded in the wall!" Red Alert exclaimed in disbelief
"…So?" Blurr queried.
"Shouldn't someone tell Rad that his sister's dead?"
"Nah," Sideswipe spoke up. "We don't want to get his hopes up yet. She could turn back up as an Autobot femme."
Back in their room, Koji, Ultra Magnus, and Rad step back from the door they were listening at.
"Well I guess that takes care of your Mary Sue problem," Ultra Magnus said optimistically.
"Not really. The best I can hope for is her turning up as an Autobot," Rad said, depression weighing on his frame like a great…weight.
"And the worst?" Koji dared to ask.
"A female Wheeljack," Rad sighed... again.
"Ouch," Ultra Magnus groaned in sympathy.
"Yeah. Y'all might want to get out of here before she shows back up," Rad warned.
"You sure? We could hang around in case you need some help," Koji offered.
"No thanks. Sideswipe usually looks after us kids when the Mary Sues are about. At least until he has to act as 'baby brother' to them. We'll be fine," Rad assured them.
"If you're sure," Koji agreed reluctantly.
"Don't worry. All of the Armada kids have excellent resurrection rates," Rad reminded him.
"Yeah, there is that," Koji admitted. The Armada kids' almost had resurrection rates as high as his. Damn idiot Sideburn.
"Go on. I know you two have to have some other reason for being on Cybertron than returning my spacesuit."
"Yeah. Mr. Cuddle Bunny is missing. Magnus thinks he might be on Cybertron."
"Then you really should go look for him. There're a lot of bad things that could happen to a lone plushie on Cybertron," Rad insisted.
"What kind of things?" Ultra Magnus asked, suddenly worried.
"Bad… things," Rad repeated.
"Like being sold on the Iaconian black market?" Ultra Magnus asked, spark sinking.
"Umm…Maybe?" Rad said, confused at Ultra Magnus's sudden change in demeanor.
"Come on Koji! We have to hurry!" Ultra Magnus yelled grabbing Koji and fleeing the ship through a convenient plot hole that also allowed Koji to breathe in space.
"Uhh… Bye?" Rad said after watching them leave. "That was weird," he commented, blinking in confusion.
"My love?" Hot Shot asked, poking his head in. Spotting Rad he cried joyfully "MY LOVE!"
"What?! No, I'm Rad!" said Rad, backing away.
"LOVE!" Hot Shot scooped him up into a hug—which should have crushed Rad's fragile human body but for some reason didn't.
"I'm not her! She's dead!" Rad sighed…yet again.
"Hot Shot?" came the whiny— yet still melodious— voice from beyond the doorway. There stood a beautiful femme.
"Who are you?" Hot Shot asked.
"I loved you since I first met you, and all this time you've been seeing my identical twin brother behind my back," the femme moaned piteously.
"There's a country song in that somewhere," Rad sighed…yet again.
Hot Shot cocked his headed to the side. "But you're not identical," he protested.
"Not anymore. Because of Sideswipe's jealousy—"
"More like your own incompetence," Rad muttered.
"—My body was destroyed. But through the power of my love —"
"And a stupid clichéd plot hole, most likely involving both Primus and Unicron," Rad sighed……yet again.
"I was able to take the form of a perfectly shaped Autobot femme so I am no longer technically Rad's identical twin sister," the femme finished.
"Technically, you never were to begin with, Rada. Since you're a girl and I'm a guy, it's impossible for us to be identical twins. Identical twins have the same DNA— thought they do have different fingerprints— so they have to be the same gender. Technically speaking, we were only ever fraternal twins," Rad explained.
"I don't care!" Rada cried melodramatically. "Since obviously, judging from this five second exchange I can only deduce that my straight brother and straight boyfriend are having a tumultuous affair behind my back. So now, since my only other possible Autobot love interest that I haven't already rejected is Sideswipe—who I can't date because he's never shown any interest in me so obviously he's secretly evil—"
"Try I'm gay you twit. I'm gay and in a committed relationship with Blurr. Geez woman, check your facts," Sideswipe growled, popping his head in the door.
"Be gone, you bastard Unicron worshipper," Rada hissed bringing her ultimate weapon, the Memoria Blaster—the estranged first cousin of the Requiem Blaster's illegitimate half-sibling through his father's affair with his wife's grandmother— to bear on Sideswipe.
"That's Sideways, you idiot. Sideways is Unicron's worshipper, not me," Sideswipe growled.
"Quiet!" Rada barked. "I need to finish informing my brother and gay ex-boyfriend that due to their betrayal I'm leaving the Autobots—"
"Which you never really joined in the first place," Sideswipe pointed out.
"Hellooooo," Rada said pointing the Autobot insignia on her breast.
"Ok, ewww." Sideswipe sneered. "Secondly, just because you wear the insignia doesn't mean you're an Autobot. For primussake you can buy something with the Autobot insignia on it at Hot Topic!"
"ANYway" Rada continued. "Due to my lover and brother's love affair, I am going to join the Decepticons and become Wheeljack's lover instead!" Rada cried out before fleeing out the airlock.
"Oh forget a country song. This is a soap opera, or a really bad fanfiction that turns your brain to mush but you can't help but read anyway," Rad sighed……… yet again.
"My love… and… Wheeljack?" Hot Shot asked.
"Don't worry Hot Shot," Sideswipe said comfortingly. "I don't think she'll have much luck with Wheeljack."
"Remember those few hours I was his prisoner back when we first met?"
"He spent the whole time asking if I wanted to ditch the Minicon Wars and head out to Centuari for a romantic getaway."
Back With Our Heroes…Finally…
"Is it my imagination or did it take us a lot longer to get here than it usually would?" Koji asked, stepping into the abandoned corridor.
"The extended scene back on the Axalon allowed us to travel in real time instead of by the usual plot holes," Ultra Magnus explained.
"Figures, they're taking away one of the few useful plot holes," Koji grumbled, searching his surroundings for any signs of habitation. "So where are we anyway?"
Ultra Magnus's face hardened. "This is one of the most feared places on all of Cybertron."
Koji sighed. "Of course it is. Now, pretending I'm not from Cybertron and don't know what that is?" he let the sentence trail off, hoping Ultra Magnus would fill in the blanks.
"It is a place even Optimus would not dare to tread," Ultra Magnus continued.
"There are a lot of places Optimus wouldn't go, but that doesn't tell me which one this is," Koji scowled impatiently. The melodrama was getting on his nerves.
"It is a place inhabited by a creature so fearsome it could tear a Decepticon asunder with it's bare claws," Ultra Magnus recited, voice quivering with something unidentifiable.
"I'll be frank, Ultra Magnus. Where the hell are we?" Koji demanded.
"It is a place that only I, of all mechs, have ventured forth and returned with my life," Ultra Magnus boasted solemnly.
"So help me god, if you say this is Grendel's lair, the laws of physics be damned, I'm going to kick your ass," Koji threatened.
Just then the nonexistent floorboards began to creak as a great weight tread upon them. Both boy and Bot tensed as they felt a malevolent presence approaching. The reek of horrors beyond comprehension pervaded the corridor. The memories of countless past victims cried out a warning that went unheeded. Both human and Autobot were resolved to face the horrid creature.
"Maggie? Is that you?" a short femme appeared in the door way.
"This," Ultra Magnus finished dramatically, "is Optimus's mother-in-law's house."
"Mother-in-law? Optimus is married?" Koji asked in disbelief.
"If you call it married," the femme snorted. "Always away, leaving my poor Elita on her own for months on end, making her raise their daughter all by her lonesome."
"Daughter?" Koji asked, even more bewildered.
"Poor Starina," the short femme lamented. "Growing up with no father."
"Is that even a real name?" Koji asked quietly.
"It is to somebody," Ultra Magnus answered.
"And FyreStar, having to raise the child alone," the short femme bemoaned.
"Both your daughters are married to Optimus?" Koji asked, getting confused.
"Of course not! I only have one daughter, Angelina," the short femme huffed indignantly.
"Jolie?" Koji asked.
"Who?" the short femme asked.
"Mom? Who are you talking too?" a beautiful femme seeker asked, poking her head around the corner.
"Stella, look who it is. That dear sweet Maggie is paying us a visit," the short femme gushed.
"Why does her name keep changing?" Koji asked, glancing at Ultra Magnus.
"Since Optimus doesn't have a canon love interest in RiD it's really up for grabs between the traditionalists and the Mary Sues," Ultra Magnus answered.
"Right," Koji sighed, turning back to the femme seeker, who while his gaze was averted, had become a red viper. "This is going to get annoying real quick."
"You must stay for tea Maggie," the short femme continued.
"Sure Momma. I wouldn't dream of missing it," Ultra Magnus said with a strained smile.
"Come Relaya, let's prepare supper for your future husband," the short femme tittered happily.
"But Moooooom," the many named femme whined, trailing after her mother, "I love Orion!"
"So, shall we enter the dragon's lair?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"Lead on, Beowulf," Koji snipped back.
"So I shall, Wiglaf, so I shall," Ultra Magnus proclaimed striding forward.
Optimus paced before his assembled troops. Never before, within the last few weeks, had things looked so grim. This could very well be the eve of their destruction. Drawing a steadying breath, Optimus steeled himself to inform his troops of their impending doom.
Optimus turned to address his troops. "Koji and Ultra Magnus have vanished. And Koji has been without his medication for forty-eight hours now."
"How can this be?!"
"Does this mean we can't order pizza?"
Prowl smacked his younger brother soundly on the back of the head for his remark.
"We do not know how this situation came about. We believe Ultra Magnus somehow coerced Koji into helping him retrieve some powerful artifact that we have been unaware of until now. Since the letter Koji managed to leave his father before he was abducted was in code, we are unsure as to what the artifact does. But, rest assured, it shall not fall into the wrong hands."
"Prime, do we know what this code Koji used is derived from?" Prowl asked.
"According to Dr. Onishi it makes several references to something called Mythbusters and 'Bunnynappers'. We have yet to crack Koji's coding methods, but Dr. Onishi is tirelessly searching Koji's journals for the key to his coding system. Unfortunately, so far it does not look promising," Optimus announced.
"Bunnynappers?" Sideburn asked, something sparking recognition in his processor.
"Yes, that phrase was specifically mentioned in conjunction with the words 'hunting down', 'possibly maim and or slaughter', and 'emotionally challenged robot'," Optimus responded somberly.
"Are you sure that was code? It sounds rather straightforward to me," Prowl remarked, shooting rather pointed looks at Sideburn.
"What else could it be? Honestly, who's ever heard of a 'bunnynapper'?" Optimus asked.
"They're more common than you think sir," Prowl's optics narrowed into a glare at Sideburn.
Back with our Heroes…
"What made you think your rabbit was there?" Koji scowled. Optimus's mother-in-law was annoying. Like a mosquito that managed to evade swatting hands almost indefinitely on an otherwise pleasant summer evening. The entire visit she fluttered about, trying to push Ultra Magnus and her ever changing daughter together, citing numerous—and fictitious— reasons Ultra Magnus would make a better husband/father than Optimus. By the time she started using Koji as an example of Magnus's parenting prowess, Koji was finished. Not just with the conversation, not just with the pointless scene, he was finish with the whole frickin' concept. Robotic mother-in-laws, whiney love interests, bawling sparklings, for the love of all that is sane and good he could feel his brain turning to mush!
While he could understand that one's mother would almost always hold a place of respect and reverence in their child's life— though honestly he wouldn't know from experience, after all he hadn't seen his mother since she vanished the night he met Optimus, two events Koji often thought to be connected—but enough was enough. If the ever-changing wife/bondmate/lifebound of Optimus loved him so much, why the hell couldn't she stand up to her mother and stop whining about her forbidden love? If she couldn't do that much, she could at least act more like the Inamorata than a Juliet. Humor always made things seem better.
As far as the mother-in-law thinking Ultra Magnus was good father material, HA! Ultra Magnus may have been many things, but perfect father material was not one of them.
"For all I knew Grendel's momma could have stolen it to lure me in for the nuptials," Ultra Magnus grumbled.
"Yeah, I'm sure that's how every mother lures in a man to marry her already married daughter," Koji growled. "Now if she tried to use it to blackmail you into getting rid of Optimus for her, I could believe that, maybe. 'Cause you really can't just forget about little things like someone being married."
"Sure you can. How do you think half the fanon romances work? If they took little things like spouses into consideration how would they have most slash pairings?"
"Divorce? AU?" Koji supplied.
"Ahh, but that would involve admitting Het is canon," Ultra Magnus pointed out.
"True," Koji conceded.
Ultra Magnus's shoulders slumped in despair. "You know what this means right?"
"That you and Prowl's torrid love affair isn't canon?"
"That too. But it also means we have to brave further peril, face overwhelming odds, and face more….Females!" Ultra Magnus finished with a hiss.
"More women. Great. T-Ai will be so thrilled," Koji sighed.
"I can vouch that you weren't flirting if that's what you're worried about," Ultra Magnus offered.
"No, T-Ai just worries that I'll fall prey to a Mary Sue or Jenny. They're tricky little devils."
"Yeah, I'd wondered why I hadn't seen Jenny around lately," Ultra Magnus said, puzzled.
"T-Ai keeps using the Global Space Bridge to send her to various cannibalistic islands. I think the last was one was somewhere near Baja."
"Hm. Baja," Ultra Magnus mused.
"No!" Koji snapped.
"I didn't say anything."
"I don't care. We are not going anywhere near Baja."
"What about La Playa?"
"My Lady, I have the information you requested," Harold, the Orange-Camo wearing SuperSpy, said to his superior while on bended knee.
"Excellent. And the boy? What do you make of the boy, Adam?" the Lady demanded impatiently.
"Harold," he corrected automatically.
"What was that, Jamie?"
"My name is Harold," he insisted.
"That's what I said, Savage," the Lady hissed.
"Anyway," Harold continued, giving up on trying to dissuade his superior's MythBusters obsession. "About the boy."
"The boy! What do you make of the boy?" the Lady demanded.
"He seems at wits end my Lady."
"He has suffered several breakdowns within that last year. They are believed to have been caused by the Autobot Sideburn," Harold replied.
"Sideburn?" the Lady's brow furrowed in thought. "I have not heard of this Sideburn in your recent reports."
"His part in the boy's life has recently diminished with the arrival of Ultra Magnus. The boy seems to get pulled into the Autobots' shenanigans completely against his will. In previous misadventures, it was usually Sideburn that was responsible for the boy's involvement with their more dangerous pursuits."
"They are endangering the boy?" the Lady hissed.
"On occasion. The most recent event of questionable safety and legality was a visit to The Happy House of Hookers. Ultra Magnus coerced the boy into entering the facility to inquire about a stuffed rabbit. I was unable to ascertain whether he was speaking in code or not due to the fact that I was spotted soon after."
"The Autobot recognized you!" the Lady exclaimed in shock.
"Um…No, actually the receptionist did…I'm a regular patron."
The Lady regally raised a brow. "Indeed."
"Anyway, I believe it may be possible to lure the boy away from his guardians if we strike at the right time."
"Do you foresee this 'right time' occurring in the near future?" the Lady asked.
"Yes. If I am correct it should occur within the next few days. He is away from his father's calming influence and deeply embroiled in one of the Autobots' highjinks. He will no doubt reach his breaking point soon. That will be the ideal time to strike."
"Good," the Lady acknowledged with a nod. "Be prepared to act when the time arrives. I will not tolerate failure, Kari."
"Yes my Lady," Harold ground out.
"A rubber duck factory?" Koji asked. "You're not channeling Sideburn again, are you?"
"Of course not," Ultra Magnus denied.
"Then why are we at a rubber duck factory?"
"Mr. Cuddle Bunny and I sorta had a reservation in a tour group for today and—"
"Nevermind. I don't want to know."
"What did you do?"
"What makes you think I did something?"
"So, Koji and Ultra Magnus are missing and you have five seconds to tell me everything you know unless you want T-Ai to find out who left her boyfriend to fend off not only Scourge and the Decepticons, but also various members of the local crime syndicate while a certain mech ran off to chat up a red Lamborghini that turned out be a male Autobot."
"…Well ya see, it all started when I was looking for you in Ultra Magnus's quarters…"
"While no one knows the true origin of the rubber duck, it's assumed that their creation is linked with the emergence of rubber manufacturing in the 1800's," the perky tour guide—who appeared to be the long lost twin sister of the perky receptionist at The Happy House of Hookers—explained to the enraptured crowd.
"This is fascinating," said Ultra Magnus as he diligently took notes.
"Make it stop," Koji begged.
"Young man, I'd thank you to stop interrupting," the perky tour guide scolded.
"Quiet Koji, she's about to explain the species of rubber ducks," Ultra Magnus whispered.
"So what? There are three main categories of rubber ducks and countless species, the world's largest rubber duck collection is held by Charlotte Lee, and even the Queen of England has a rubber duck. Can we go now?"
"Well, with rubber duck knowledge like that you should ace the final exam," the tour guide frowned derisively.
"There's a test?"
"Yes. The tour member with the highest score will be rewarded with one of the Friendly Floatees ducks recovered by Curtis Ebbesmeyer," the tour guide announced to the crowd's delight.
"Aren't those worth a thousand dollars each?" Koji asked.
"Their value isn't monetary, but in their heartwarming tale of survival against all odds—"
The clattering of a cheaply made coffee mug/Father's Day present brought Optimus's attention to the dumbstruck scientist sitting in the corner where the man had previously been working diligently on a laptop.
"Is something wrong, Doctor?" he asked with concern. Dr. Onishi was currently doing a startlingly accurate impression of Sideburn when the young mech was faced with one of Sky-byte's haikus.
"Imposs-possible," Dr. Onishi stuttered.
"What?" Optimus repeated, his nonexistent brow furrowing in confusion.
"Someone else is looking for Koji," Dr. Onishi declared worriedly.
"How can you know that?"
"The surveillance footage from The HHH lobby, there's a man in the background," the doctor said, staring hopelessly at the computer screen.
Optimus leaned down to stare at the monitor as well. "There's an orange power ranger?" he remarked in surprise.
"No. This man is no power ranger. He is a mercenary in the employ of an evil woman. I thought she was gone for good, she hasn't bothered us since before my abduction by Megatron," Dr. Onishi bemoaned.
"How did you come to know such a woman?" Optimus queried.
"Youthful folly," the doctor said as the flashback began.
An Undetermined Time in the Past…
Dr. Onishi, much younger and more stylishly dressed, wearing early twenty-first century clothing despite the fact that it's either the late seventies or early eighties, strolled down Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras.
"I was a young man, fresh from my first dig," the doctor's disembodied voice said over the festivities. "Since the dig was conveniently located in Louisiana, I took daytrip to New Orleans for the final day of Carnival."
Young Kenny Onishi took in the sights, sounds, and smells of the festival. Nearby, he could see some drunken idiot trying to climb a greased pole while demanding that someone named Rapunzel wash her hair.
"It was then that I saw her for the first time."
Kenny stopped dead in his tracks as a military Humvee screeched to a stop at the nearby curb. Out stepped a beautiful Air Force officer.
"Hair of gold, eyes of sapphire, she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was so graceful, like a predatory cat. She was a warrior through and through. I knew then that I had found the one."
Kenny all but salivated at the woman before him. He was completely enchanted by the spell she wove on the men around her. Then, suddenly, something beyond the beauty caught his eye.
"Then I spotted her much more realistic sister and promptly changed my mind."
A young brunette stumbled out of the Humvee, looking a little green from the wild ride. She looked as though she would have kissed the ground if not for the fifty dollars worth of regurgitated alcohol painting the sidewalk. As she regained her composure, her eyes rose to meet Kenny's.
"The moment our eyes met, it was as though a bond was formed. We knew that our whole lives had been leading up to this moment… Unfortunately, she was spoken for."
A man, dark and handsome but only of medium height, stepped from the military vehicle. He took his place by the young brunette.
"They were to be married at sunrise on Ash Wednesday, which gave me a good seven hours to convince her to leave her fiancé and give me a chance. Luckily, her warrior sister, Eris, mistook me for a stripper and hired me for the bachelorette party."
Kenny and Eris were both red faced from haggling over his fee. Eris finally, in exasperation, tossed two c-notes at him and stalked off.
"Despite never having danced before in my life, I was a big hit with the women. I think it had something to do with the ten empty bottles of whiskey on the table. Anyway, I made upwards of five hundred dollars in tips alone. For a while there, I thought I may chosen the wrong profession."
Kenny hid in an alcove, counting his earnings in disbelief. Hearing someone coming, he quickly shoved his wad of cash down his pants. Peeking around the corner, he spotted his love arguing with her fiancé.
"In that moment, I knew that she didn't love him as I'd feared she did. She could return my feelings. The rest of the night we spent together seeing New Orleans as it was meant to be seen, strolling along the sidewalks, staring on as the revelers puked their guts out, and watching a Mardi Gras themed Mythbuster's marathon at a local sports bar. She returned to her hotel in the morning to tell her fiancé that she could not go through with the wedding. I went with her for emotional support, and because I was pretty sure I could take him if the fists started flying."
Kenny and his brunette lover arrive to find the wedding reception in full swing. When the expected bride did not show up for the ceremony, her loving sister, Eris, stepped up and took her place.
"As it turned out, Eris and Hisao—that was his name—had fallen in love shortly after the engagement was announced, but refrained from acting on their feelings for fear of hurting her. When she left him standing at the altar, they found they couldn't deny their feelings any longer."
Eris and Hisao stood side by side, staring at each other adoringly. Kenny's brunette lover, Lady, sighed in relief while Kenny wondered why Eris brought an ornate wedding dress in her size to her sister's wedding.
"They left shortly thereafter for their honeymoon to the Black Forest in Germany, where they were tragically but romantically eaten by wolves—or became occult leaders. I can never remember which and Lady really didn't like to talk about it. Meanwhile, Lady and I were wed in a private civil ceremony with only two witnesses and a justice of the peace in attendance."
Kenny, in a tux, stood alongside Lady, who wore a white sundress, as they signed their names on the marriage register.
"Then we went on a Caribbean cruise, financed of course by my earnings from the bachelorette party."
Kenny and Lady scuba dived off the island of Hell in Grand Cayman before visiting the hell theme tourist spots.
"Then, finally, we returned to Japan to start our life together."
Kenny and Lady set up house in a pretty post-modern house that lay in a respectable suburb.
"But all too soon forces beyond our control tore us apart."
Kenny, now Dr. Onishi, stoically stared out the window at the raging storm while the world around him took on a gloomy tinge. Lady is nowhere to be seen.
Present Day Autobot Base…
"Uhh… How does that make her evil?" T-Ai asked. She, along with the Autobot Brothers, the Build Team, Team Bullet Train, and the Spychangers, had gathered to listen to Dr. Onishi's story.
"It's part of the forces beyond our control thing," Dr. Onishi answered.
"But wouldn't her being evil be a force she could control?" Wedge asked.
"They were forces beyond our control," Dr. Onishi insisted.
"Forces. Beyond. Our. Control!"
"Alright, but why would she be after Koji?" Sideburn asked. Disbelieving silence met his query. "What?"
"You're kidding, right bro?" X-brawn asked.
"About what?" Sideburn asked in confusion.
"She was my wife Sideburn," Dr. Onishi reminded him.
"… Your ex-wife?"
"Actually we're not divorced, so technically she still is my wife," Dr. Onishi admitted.
"You said you were torn apart," T-Ai pointed out.
"That doesn't mean we divorced."
"But how is Lady connected to Koji?" Sideburn asked again.
"She's my wife… Koji's my son…"
"I can't believe you won a Friendly Floatee duck," Ultra Magnus gushed as they walked along the deserted forest trail. "They're a collector's dream."
"Eh, I really don't see what the big deal is," said Koji, examining his prize.
"Mr. Cuddle Bunny has been wanting one for so long," Ultra Magnus sighed.
"Well if we rescue him in time he can bid on this one when I put it on eBay," Koji offered.
"It's always about money with you humans, isn't it?" Ultra Magnus huffed snootily.
"It makes the world go round," Koji countered.
"I thought that was love," said Ultra Magnus.
"Now who's being naïve," Koji said with a derisive snort.
Suddenly, a heart wrenching scream split the air.
"Oh for the love of primus, tell me this isn't the forest those Grimm brother's are always writing about," Ultra Magnus grouched.
"Wrong continent," said Koji.
"My baby! My poor baby! Somebody help!" cried a falsetto voice from the distance.
"Do we really wanna get involved in this?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"Do we ever have a choice?" Koji countered.
"Point taken. Quickly Robin, to the Batcave!"
Koji's response was a questioning eyebrow.
"Too cliché?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"Just a bit," Koji responded.
"When did they become plural?"
"Just be glad they're not spelling it with a 'z'," said Koji.
"Hmm. Random capitalization too."
"I get that she's your wife. I just don't see how that connects her to Koji."
"… When a man and a woman love each other very much, they get married and…"
Koji and Ultra Magnus entered the clearing.
"MEEeeeEE BaaaaBBiiieezz!" screeched the distraught parent.
"We heard you already," Ultra Magnus grumbled. He took another look at the wailing human. "Have we met?"
"No," the human answered quickly.
"Uh-huh. So…uh… sir? What seems to be the problem?" Koji asked.
"Excuse me! I am a woman, thank you very much!" the man huffed indignantly.
"Sorry," said Koji, eyeing the man oddly. "The beard sort of threw me off."
"Why, I never," the man simmered.
"You said something about your children?" Ultra Magnus queried.
"Oh yes, my children," the man wailed.
"What happened to your children?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"They were stolen!"
"By?" Ultra Magnus asked again, frustrated.
"Huh?" Ultra Magnus and the man turned to stare Koji, wondering at his outburst.
"You're Harold," said Koji, pointing at the man.
"No I'm not," Harold denied.
"Yeah you are. That's what the receptionist at the Happy House of Hookers called you," Koji said.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Harold insisted.
"You're still wearing the orange camo-wear," Koji pointed out.
Harold looked down at his orange fatigues. "Crap… Seize the boy!"
Out of the underbrush sprung a battalion of villains, all bedecked in black armor and pink ribbons. On their head's they wore not helmets, but crowns of white rhododendrons.
"What the pit?" Ultra Magnus asked, bewildered. "Are those flowers?"
"Yes!" cried one of the villains. "For we are the Fantastick Raiders of Bellomy Wood."
"Of course you are. Koji, I think we might want to get going now," said Ultra Magnus.
"What was your first clue?" Koji asked.
"It might've been when our buddy Harold here yelled 'seize the boy', but that's just speculation," Ultra Magnus answered.
"Good enough for me," Koji agreed.
"You shall not escape," Harold pronounced.
"Yeah right. How are you going to stop us?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"With this," Harold replied, whipping out a strange device.
"You're going to stop us with a taser?" Ultra Magnus snorted in disbelief.
Harold smiled and fired.
"See this?" Dr. Onishi asked, holding up his family photo album.
"Yeah," Sideburn answered.
"Alright, you see here on page one? This is my wedding photo." Dr. Onishi looked to Sideburn to make sure he was following. "The woman in the white dress, that's Lady." Sideburn nodded that he understood. "And here on page two, this is our family portrait. Now, see that little bundle Lady's holding? That's Koji when he was still a newborn. He was a week old to be precise."
"Oh, he was so tiny," T-Ai cooed.
"On page tree, we have Lady with Koji on his first birthday."
"Where are his clothes?" Wedge asked.
"And why are there flowers painted on his cheeks?" Railspike asked.
"Is this clearing things up for you, Sideburn?" Dr. Onishi asked.
"Not really. I mean, come on, where's Koji's mom in all this? Shouldn't she be there?" Sideburn scratched his head in confusion.
"Actually, she's—" Dr. Onishi's long awaited revelation was cut off by the beeping of the console.
"Optimus, incoming communication," T-Ai announced, flying to her station.
"Who from?" Optimus asked.
"Ultra Magnus!" T-Ai cried in surprise.
"Put it on screen," Optimus ordered, optics narrowing as much as they could without something that functioned as eyelids.
A dirty, somewhat disheveled Ultra Magnus appeared on screen. "Uh, hi," he greeted with a rather miserable wave.
"What have you done with Koji," Optimus demanded.
Ultra Magnus looked somewhat petulant. "Nothing!"
"Where is he then? We know you abducted him from his house in the early hours of this morning."
"Yeah, about that. It wasn't so much an abduction as me borrowing him because I really needed his help tracking this thing down, and… well things have kinda gotten out of hand," Ultra Magnus admitted.
"Out of hand how?" Optimus asked, dreading the answer.
"Well, good news or bad news first?"
Optimus sighed. "Good news first, please."
"Okay. Koji's been kidnapped by a guy wearing orange camo-wear," said Ultra Magnus.
"That's the good news?" Optimus asked in shock. "What's the bad news?"
"I promised your mother-in-law that you'd be home for the holidays."
"You talked to my mother-in-law?! Please tell me you didn't tell her where I am," Optimus demanded.
"No, but I introduced her to Koji. The old bat really took to him. T-Ai might wanna be on the lookout, I think Momma might already be looking for a husband for her granddaughter."
"Great," Optimus moaned.
"My son has been abducted and you're worried about your mother-in-law?" Dr. Onishi asked, appalled.
"You never met your wife's parents, did you?"
"No. Lady's parents died when she was sixteen," Dr. Onishi admitted. "Or became freedom fighters against the American government… She didn't like to talk about them either now that I think about it."
"Lucky you," said Optimus sardonically.
"How long ago was my son abducted?" Dr. Onishi asked, deciding that Optimus was going to be useless until they got off the subject of in-laws.
"About an hour ago," Ultra Magnus answered.
"By a man wearing orange camouflage," Dr. Onishi repeated. "I don't suppose his name was Harold?"
"Yeah, how'd you know?"
"I've had dealings with his employer before," Dr. Onishi sighed.
"What kind of dealings?" Ultra Magnus asked.
"She's my wife," the doctor sighed.
"Wait, you mean she's Koji's—"
In the back of an unmarked black van, Koji absently fiddled with his restraints. Despite the metal making up the restraints weighing a total of ten pounds, he found them rather comfortable. He was fairly sure the insides were padded with cotton so they didn't dig into his wrists. It was rather thoughtful of his kidnappers.
Plus they acted as a makeshift club if he swung his arms around. So far he'd knocked out three of the four Fantastick Raiders of Bellomy Wood that were riding with him. The fourth didn't seem to even notice that his comrades had been harmed since he hadn't looked up from his spot since the beginning of their ride. His crown of flowers had fallen off as he'd been getting in the van, and then had been stepped on by an impatient Harold. He was now cradling it as though it were an injured puppy.
Koji considered putting the man out of his misery for a while, but concluded that it wouldn't be worth the effort.
The Autobot Base…
"Why didn't anyone tell me?" Sideburn demanded.
"What do you think we've been trying to tell you?" T-Ai asked.
"How should I know?"
"We've already established that Lady is Koji's—" Dr. Onishi was cut off by the door to the command room opening to admit Ultra Magnus.
"Anything new?" Ultra Magus asked.
"No. T-Ai's still trying to trace the signal from Koji's locator chip, but so far no luck," said Optimus.
"You put a locator chip in Koji's cell phone? Why didn't you use it earlier?" Dr. Onishi demanded.
"Yeah bro, why didn't you use it earlier?" Ultra Magnus asked gleefully.
"It wasn't necessary earlier, since we were certain Koji was not in danger while he was with Magnus," Optimus defended.
"I'm touched by your faith, Optimus, but I think the good doctor here wanted a truthful answer," said Ultra Magnus.
"What does he mean, Prime?" Dr. Onishi growled.
Optimus sighed. "The chip isn't in Koji's cell phone," he admitted.
"Then where is it?" Dr. Onishi asked.
Optimus refused to answer.
Dr. Onishi turned to Ultra Magnus. "I suppose you know where it is."
Ultra Magnus smirked. "Optimus had it implanted under the skin on Koji's back."
"You what!?" Dr. Onishi roared, turning on Optimus.
"Can you blame me?" Optimus asked. "Koji goes missing at least twice a week, and usually upon his return causes some catastrophe that either destroys the city, the base, or the mental and physical wellbeing of my troops. I think I'm perfectly with in my rights to put some sort of tracking device on him."
"Not without asking me first, you don't!"
"Um, Optimus? We've got a lock on Koji's signal," T-Ai interrupted.
Dr. Onishi and Optimus broke off their staring contest to stare at her. "Where?"
T-Ai pointed silently at the map on the screen. A blinking dot marked Koji's location.
"Is that…?" Optimus asked in disbelief.
"It is," Dr. Onishi confirmed.
"You have got to be—"
"—kidding me! You guys kidnapped me just to take me home?" Koji asked, staring at his house in bewilderment.
"Move along," hissed Harold, giving him a shove.
"You don't have to push," Koji groused as he was herded up the front walk away from the mournful forth member of the Fantastick Raiders of Bellomy Wood. "Why are we going to my house anyway?"
"Silence, boy," Harold growled.
Koji sighed. Couldn't anyone ever call him by his name? It was always 'boy do this', 'prepare to die, human', or 'tell us what we want to know, child, and we may spare your meaningless life.' Never 'hey Koji, how's it going?' or 'Koji, wicked air on the half pipe'.
"Mr. Onishi!" squawked the indignant voice of his next door neighbor. "Does your father know you're having company while he's out?"
Koji sighed and turn to face Ms. Kacoski, who was glaring furiously at him from her front porch. "No, he doesn't. That's kinda the point of having company while he's not here."
"Well, I'll just have to call him and—what's that?" Ms. Kacoski asked as Harold pulled out his taser. Harold just smiled and pulled the trigger.
"Hey Ultra Magnus? How did those humans manage to get away with Koji anyway?" asked Wedge.
Ultra Magnus grimaced, remembering Harold's taser. "I don't want to talk about it."
Back with Our Young Hero…
"That was disturbing," Koji remarked, eyes wide with shock.
"That is the power of my fantastic weapon," Harold gloated, looking over the carnage he had wrought.
"She might have been a meddling bitch with designs on my Dad, but she didn't deserve that," Koji protested.
"What if I told you she was stealing cable?" Harold countered.
"Ok, then she deserved that," Koji agreed.
"Good, now inside boy," Harold hissed, shoving Koji toward the door.
"Always with the shoving," Koji grumbled.
With the Cavalry…
"Why are we going again?" Ultra Magnus asked, as they sped down the city streets.
"To rescue Koji from these nefarious kidnappers, whom you allowed to capture him," Optimus growled.
"Yeah, I got that part. But what exactly are we supposed to do? We can't exactly have an all out battle in the middle of the Onishis' living room, now can we?"
"We can if we remove the roof before hand," Optimus countered.
"You are not removing my roof," Dr. Onishi barked.
In the Living Room of Doom…
Three figures cloaked in long black robes stood by the widow, their faces shrouded in shadow. Their presence ominous, their stance rigid. Fearsome and bold, they appeared larger than life in their mystical way. These beings were the stuff of nightmares. They would strike terror in any miserable soul unfortunate enough to cross their path.
Koji was shoved into the room by a still hissing Harold. "Seriously, what's with all the hissing? Were you raised by cats?" Koji demanded.
"Kneel before my mistress and her attendants," ordered Harold. Neither of them moved to kneel. Harold frowned. "Anyway," he coughed, "I present, my mistress—"
"Aunt Eris!" Koji exclaimed, throwing himself into one of the attendant's arms.
"Hi, sweetie," Eris cooed, returning her nephew's hug. "How are you doing?"
"Same old, same old. You know how our cult can be, it's either conspiracy theories or mass suicide pacts," Eris sighed. "Your uncle and I have been trying to convince them it's all about fighting the good fight and bringing down the malicious rubber duck industry, but nobody wants hear about that. All they want to know is when the mother ship is coming back for us."
"Ahem," the center figure coughed.
Koji turned toward her. "Oh, hi Mom." He turned back to Eris, "Have you heard from Gramma and Grampa?"
"Yeah, they said their sorry they couldn't get out here to visit after your father was kidnapped but the FBI was closing in on them at the time so they had to go to ground."
"Ahem," Lady coughed again.
"Yeah Mom?" Koji asked. Something beyond his mother caught his eye. "Uncle Hisao!" Koji shoved his mother aside to embrace his uncle.
Hisao returned his nephew's hug. "You've grown," he commented lightly, ruffling Koji's hair.
"Ahem!" Lady coughed again.
"Oh yeah, forgot," Koji moved from his uncle to give his mother a hug. "How have you been, Mom?"
"Fine dear," Lady replied, putout by her son's disinterest.
"Where have you been anyway?" Koji asked. "When I got home from New York after Dad got kidnapped, you were gone."
"Well you see…"
The Night of Dr. Onishi's Kidnapping…
The Onishi living room is dark but for the light of the television. On the floor, Lady is stirring from her faint. Absently she rubs her head which bounced rather painfully against the floor when she fell moments before. Suddenly she notices that she's alone.
"I was so worried when I couldn't find you. I was scared that something had happened to you… or that you'd gone off in search of The Lost City of Cuppa to steal their mystical tea secrets from The Great and Powerful Jones. No, wait, that was The Lost City of the Sacred Bean. Nevermind."
Lady searches the house frantically for any sign of her son. Finding none, she hurriedly dons her coat and heads for the street.
"It was so cold and dark out, and you hadn't taken your jacket. I thought for sure that you'd freeze out there all by yourself."
Lady, wandering down some lonely slum, pulls out a rather expensive flashlight that was conveniently in her coat pocket. She stares around, checking any hiding spot her son might be…hiding in.
"Then, he appeared."
Behind Lady, a large truck pulls up. One can only just make out it's hazy silhouette. Suddenly the truck's doors swing open and a mysterious force pulls Lady into it's cab. Hours later Lady awakens in a remote forest.
"I had to fight for my life against strange beasts!"
Lady is chased by a group of orangutans. After a long and grueling chase, she escapes them by jumping into a cesspit on the outskirts of a primitive village.
"Thankfully a small group of locals gave me refuge…and a bath."
An elderly woman helps Lady from the cesspit and then to the river to bathe.
"I just wish they'd mentioned the piranhas beforehand."
That same night Lady sits by the village campfire, heavily bandaged.
"Once I was well enough they gave me some supplies, wished me well, and I was on my way."
The entire village gathered to see her off. Her host mother presents her with a beautiful necklace, made of exotic seashells—even though the village is nowhere near the sea. Lady accepts it graciously before bidding the elderly woman a fond farewell. She heads north in the hope of finding civilization.
"I traveled north for miles. It was several weeks before I saw another human settlement. Even then they had no communications technology. Though there was this nice guy who gave a great massage."
Lady relaxes at nice beach front resort. A handsome man with a dazzling smile and strong, calloused hands gives Lady a back massage. After he finishes Lady sits up, wrapping the sheet that is her only covering around her body. He begins to massage her feet, while staring lovingly into her eyes.
"Oh don't look at me that way. Your father's the only man in my life. I wouldn't do anything like that to ruin it…Besides, he had a boyfriend. They were so lovely together…"
Lady and the resort's towel lady, who was of absolutely no relation, hide in the bushes, watching massage man and his lover making out topless on the beach. The setting sun glistens off the lovers' sweaty bodies, the dying light emphasizing their well-defined muscles.
"Why do you keep looking at me like that?"
"…No reason, Mom."
"Okay. Anyway, since I was the first customer they'd seen in years—really, if they had a website or a phone they'd get plenty of business—they lent me a camel so I could cross they desert to the north. Massage Man's lover came with me because he caught Massage Man cavorting with the Towel Lady…stupid gapped tooth bint. Anyway, I was glad to have him along. He made fantastic coffee."
Lady and Coffee Man start off across the desert on camelback. Massage Man stood at the edge of the resort staring after them in misery, his expression one of utter despair. Towel Lady clung happily to his arm, watching her rival leave.
"So we headed north along the coast. After a while we found ourselves in Egypt, much to our surprise. Neither of us had realized we were in Africa."
Lady and Coffee Man stare up at the Sphinx in confusion. Lady turns to Coffee Man, who shrugged. He had been under the impression that for the past five years he'd been living in southern California.
"After that we traveled west, toward Alexandria. Once there we caught a ship headed for Crete. You know there's some really great fishing in the Mediterranean."
Lady and Coffee Man recline on the poop deck idly watching their lines, chatting amicably. Suddenly, there is a tug on Lady's line. She reeled it in quickly, only to find a mutated blowfish gnawing at the bait. Coffee Man promptly produced a stun gun and leapt upon it.
"Oh, it was so exciting. He was magnificent. If I weren't I love with your father…"
"Back to the alien blowfish Mom."
"Well as it turned out, the blowfish had a friend…"
After Coffee Man subdued the blowfish, a handsome man appeared from a cloud of golden light. He wore a period military coat, which accented his handsome features and sharp cheekbones. Then he spotted Coffee Man.
"It was a beautiful ceremony."
"Oh, did I skip that part? Cheekbones and Coffee Man got married, right there on deck."
Cheekbones and Coffee Man stood arm-in-arm before the boat's captain, a rangy man with bowed legs and a hook nose. After the ceremony, they vanished below deck until the boat arrives at Crete. Once there they take a charter boat west toward Sicily.
"Why were you headed west? Japan is to the east."
"Well I promised Coffee Man I'd escort him back to his home in Wales. So, we didn't stay long in Sicily. It turned out that Cheekbones had impregnated a local woman a few months before and, well, you can probably guess the rest…"
Cheekbones, Coffee Man, and Lady flee an angry mob. The girl's father had not been happy to find out that Cheekbones was no longer eligible to marry his daughter without becoming a bigamist. Coffee Man had not been happy at the father's suggestion that he share. Words were said, and the group was lucky enough to find an unattended sailboat and headed north up the coast. They bypassed Rome completely and disembarked at Monaco.
"For some reason Cheekbones refused to go anywhere near Rome. Something about a blonde bombshell with a penchant for pretty boys."
They headed north toward Milan where they hid out in the cathedral briefly when Cheekbones's mother caught up with them. The aging gunwoman held a grudge that her son hadn't bothered to invite her to his wedding. Eventually her new son-in-law was able to talk her down with flattery and a promise of grandchildren.
"Not sure about how he plans to deliver on that. But Coffee Man swore he 'knew a guy'."
They bid Gunwielding Momma farewell and continued north to Switzerland, where Cheekbones indulged in his criminal nature by holding up three banks, two jewelry stores, and a chocolate shop. Thus he was finally able to exchange wedding bands with Coffee Man—Gunwielding Momma was still miffed enough to not hand over the traditional family heirloom bands—, Lady got to drowned her misery in chocolate, and the three were able to purchase plane tickets to Cardiff Heliport. A fact they were all grateful for since they'd walked all the way from coast. Thus they left for Germany by train.
"What happened to the plane?"
"The authorities were onto us. We bought the plane tickets to throw them off while we escaped into Germany."
"Why didn't you use the train tickets to throw them off while you escaped to Wales? Wales is where you wanted to go, wasn't it?"
"We wanted some authentic German chocolate… Why do you keep giving me that look?"
After disembarking in Germany, the group was spotted by Coffee Man's former co-workers from when he worked as a barista in London. Apparently there was a price on his head from when he broke up the happy marriage of the coffee shop's benevolent owner. The owner's wife was still livid that her husband had been led astray and sought vengeance. After a long, drawn out chase, the trio fled into the Black Forest where they were taken in by a mostly benign cult. To Lady's great joy, she discovered that the cult's leaders were none other than her sister and fiancé turned brother-in-law, Eris and Hisao.
"It was reassuring to know they were still alive. I thought they'd been killed by lions in Kenya immediately after their honeymoon."
"But you sent me to stay with them two Christmases ago."
After several nights of feasting and celebrating, Eris took notice that her sister was upset. After minimal needling Lady admitted what was troubling her. Upon hearing of her nephew's disappearance Eris summoned Hisao and began plotting. Getting in touch with her parents, Eris had them track down her sister's former minion, Harold. Harold had been in Lady's employ back during her maniacal, take over the world days. Luckily, motherhood had mellowed Lady's tendency toward megalomania.
"You tried to takeover the world?"
"Yeah, back when I was still in high school. Those were the days."
They immediately set Harold to work, gathering information on the creature that stranded her deep in the African jungle. Eventually, they discovered it's identity.
"One of the Autobots?!?"
"Koji, don't spoil the ending."
The creature was one of the very beings that had vowed to protect the humans. Lady was livid when she learned what the creatures had done. Not only had they abducted her, but they had taken her son as well for whatever nefarious purposes, she could only guess. She vowed revenge. The Autobots would regret ever laying eyes on her and her son.
"What about Dad?"
"What about him? He can take care of himself."
"He was abducted by the Predicons."
"He was rescued…accidentally."
After a quick jaunt to Wales via Cheekbones's private jet, Lady bid her travelling companions farewell as they went on to better things such as guarding a rift in time and space, protecting the unsuspecting populace of Cardiff, and a threesome with a very repentant Massage Man, who'd beat them to Wales by a good six months. Apparently the resort had a helicopter as well as camels. Who knew? Towel Lady had been relegated to Toilet Cleaning Lady and septic monitor. Coffee Man was decidedly smug about that turn of events.
"I think Cheekbones had ties to organized crime."
Her duty to her friends done, Lady settled down to plot in earnest and await the day her plans could come to fruition.
"One of the Autobots kidnapped you and dumped you somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa?" Koji asked, dubious. "Why?"
"Isn't it obvious? So you would be unprotected and defenseless against their devious designs."
"Devious designs? Are you sure about that Mom?" Koji asked unconvinced.
"Absolutely. Why else would they have abducted me?" Lady demanded
Koji looked thoughtful for a moment. "Actually, Mom, I think I might know why."
The entire Autobot army was assembled before the Onishi residence. Optimus stood stiffly beside his brother, eyeing the house with distrust. Mentally, he plotted the best way to dismantle it without harming Koji or any other innocent people who may taken refuge within.
"Allow me to talk to her first, Prime. This may just be a misunderstanding," Dr. Onishi pleaded. His repair bills were already taking up a third of his income and he was desperate to avoid further damages.
"We can not risk this woman taking you hostage as well, doctor," Optimus replied.
"She's my wife, Prime. I can reason with her," Dr. Onishi insisted.
"She is beyond reasoning with, Dr. Onishi," said Optimus.
"That's what the UN said back in '89, but as it turned out all it took to work things out was a box of chocolates and a foot massage," Dr. Onishi argued.
"Dare I ask what she did in '89?" Optimus asked.
"She held five world leaders hostage in her mad quest for power, but that's not the point," Dr. Onishi claimed. "She can be reached."
"She hired a dangerous man to abduct her own son. That does not sound like the actions of a sane person."
"Okay, that might be a little hard to explain, but that doesn't mean she can't be reached," said Dr. Onishi.
"Um, guys?" Ultra Magnus interrupted.
Ultra Magnus huffed. "They're coming," he said, jerking his thumb in the direction of the now open door as Koji and his mother filed out of the house.
"Koji!" Dr. Onishi called running to his son. "Are you alright?"
"Fine, Dad," Koji replied.
"Good. Now, Lady," Dr. Onishi turned to his wife, "where have you been?"
Lady crossed her arms. "I was abducted," she said petulantly.
"By the Predicons!?" Dr. Onishi exclaimed.
"No, by a truck," Lady corrected.
"An Autobot truck," Koji added.
"An Autobot truck?" All optics rounded on the Spychangers, specifically Ironhide.
"What?" Ironhide asked unnerved by all the disbelieving stares he was getting.
"Not him," Koji announced, clearing the confused mech of any wrong doing.
"Then who?" Hot Shot asked.
"That should be obvious," Prowl intoned. "Who has the record for—"
"I confess!" Tow-line blubbered.
"Wait, what?" Optimus asked.
"Tow-line abducted Mrs. Onishi for lingering to long in a tow-away zone," Prowl explained.
"Exactly," Koji confirmed.
"But Tow-line wasn't even on Earth at the time of Mrs. Onishi's abduction," Optimus protested.
"You're going to argue continuity?" Koji asked in surprise.
"Umm… Maybe?" Optimus answered.
"We have continuity?" asked X-brawn in surprise.
"My point exactly," said Koji.
"So to recap, Tow-line kidnapped Mrs. Onishi which is why nobody's seen her in so long," said Ultra Magnus.
"Essentially. There's a lot more that happened but that's the gist of it," Koji answered.
"So everything is resolved then?" asked Dr. Onishi.
"No," said Ultra Magnus. "That artifact that Koji and I were searching for is still missing."
"It was stolen by Sideburn," announced Prowl.
"Prowl!" Sideburn protested.
"It was not yours to take, Sideburn. You caused a minor catastrophe through sheer stupidity. I will not defend you," said Prowl somberly.
"Come here you," Ultra Magnus growled, grabbing Sideburn by the scruff. "Where is it?"
"Why should I tell you?" Sideburn asked.
"He dragged me to Cybertron and back looking for that damned thing, Sideburn. Tell him where it is and let him beat you half to death so we can all go back to our lives," ordered Koji.
"You're mean," accused Sideburn.
"No, I haven't slept in nearly sixty hours. You're lucky I haven't tried to kill anyone yet," Koji countered.
"Sideburn, tell him so we can end this farce and go back to doing our jobs please. We're lucky Megatron hasn't taken advantage of our distraction and launched a new campaign," Optimus sighed in put upon fashion.
"Humph," Sideburn pouted, rather like a six year old who'd been told that, no, pulling the cute blonde girl's hair wouldn't make her like him.
"Sideburn," Prowl said warningly.
"I hid it at the Pyuma ruins, in that box we found the microchip in," said Sideburn.
Ultra Magnus promptly tossed Sideburn over his shoulder. "I'll kill you later, come on Koji," he said grabbing Koji. "Move it," Ultra Magnus ordered, bowling over Team Bullet Train. Running down the residential street, he transformed mid-air and sped away, disappearing around the corner on two wheels—an amazing feat since he was in fact an eighteen-wheeler.
"How come you never give him speeding tickets?" Sideburn demanded petulantly.
"Who says I don't?" Prowl asked innocently.
"I never see him doing community service," Sideburn pointed out.
"Of course not. He does his community service in private," Prowl said.
"Why in private?"
"I don't think you wanna know, little brother," said X-brawn.
"Probably not," Optimus agreed. He turned to Lady. "I apologize for Tow-line's actions. He doesn't fully understand human laws and customs yet, and can be somewhat overzealous in his duties."
"He's going to be re-educated, correct?" Lady demanded.
"I'll see to it personally," Optimus swore solemnly.
"Good," Lady nodded. "Now if you'll excuse us, I believe my husband owes me a romantic candle light dinner under the stars."
"I never promised you that," Dr. Onishi protested.
"You missed our anniversary, I think you owe me," Lady reminded him.
"I missed our anniversary?! I was here on our anniversary, you were the one that missed it!"
"Yeah, you were living it up here while I was fighting for my life in Africa and running from aliens in the Mediterranean—"
"I was hardly living it up! Koji's been destroying cities and committing copyright infringement by involving occult icons in his plots, and who do you think has to pay all the bills and fines?"
Standing back from the arguing couple, the Autobots watched the marital dispute in morbid fascination.
X-brawn, coming to his senses, leaned over to whisper in Optimus's audio. "Umm, Optimus? Maybe we should get out of here while they're distracted. Mrs. Onishi isn't gonna be happy with us and well, I'm pretty sure Koji gets his, umm…sanity issues from her."
"Agreed," Optimus nodded. "Autobots, return to base," he ordered quietly.
The Autobots quietly slunk away, leaving the husband and wife to their dispute.
Moments after they vanished completely from sight the Onishis ceased their argument abruptly. "That was easy enough," Lady commented.
"Koji's given them good reason to be wary lately," Dr Onishi replied.
"Good boy," said Lady.
"I'm surprised though," Dr. Onishi admitted.
"By what?" Lady asked.
"You let them off rather easily didn't you? I wasn't expecting you to be so forgiving," said Dr. Onishi.
"Forgiving? Hardly. Revenge is at it's best when it's well thought out and your victims aren't expecting it," said Lady. "I've got a few ideas, but I want to run them by Koji first. He's pretty sharp when it comes to vengeance."
"True," Dr. Onishi agreed.
"Now come on," Lady said grabbing her husband's hand. "My sister and Hisao are visiting."
"Oh, how's their cult doing?" Dr. Onishi asked as his wife led him up the walk way to their front door.
"Well enough. They've made unbelievable progress against rubber duck industry recently. Three factories closed in the past month," Lady bragged. "Oh and my parents say 'hi'. Dad thinks they might be able to get over here in the spring, barring the FBI flipping another one of their top level officers again."
"Oh joy," Dr. Onishi mumbled.
"I promise Ken, they'll love you."
"If you say so, Lady," Dr. Onishi said, holding the door open for his wife.
"I know so, Ken," Lady assured, pulling him inside after her. "Now, about that dinner." The door swung closed behind them.
AN: Points to anyone who can figure out all of the obscure pop culture references… and the blatantly obvious ones as well. Anything from the last five centuries was game.
This fic maybe revised before I post it to my community on livejournal, which is in desperate need of members. If you're interested, the link is on my profile page. Also, if you spot any blatant errors, let me know. I don't have a beta reader.
There could possibly be a sequel but it will probably be another Doppelgangers fic, but I doubt it'll be as long as this one. Probably crossing over with Dinozuars again. R&R