Author's notes: Hello! This is my first story up here, so constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. Flames will be read and ignored. Be nice people and enjoy!
Disclaimer: Okay, honestly I don't think a disclaimer is necessary for a fanfiction site, but here it is: Transformers and all related stuff belong to Hasbro. I claim nothing.
The battle raged on between the Autobots and Decepticons. Neither was giving ground, but that didn't mean anything. It was as normal as it got for them.
Soundwave was overseeing the shipping a large pile of energon cubes back to the Decepticon-flagship-turned-submarine-base, the Nemesis; Starscream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker were all busy trying to fend off the infamous duo of Jet Judoists, who had somehow managed to convince Ironhide that it was a good idea; everyone else was busy with their own little Decepticon/Autobot problem; and Megatron and Optimus were locked in a hand-to-hand fight a little ways away.
All in all, a normal fight, right?
Prowl's surveyed the battlefield, taking shelter behind a rock with Jazz. Both had been pushed back by the Coneheads and Soundwave's cassettes. The Coneheads had flown off to help Soundwave with the energon cubes and the cassettes were keeping them pinned down. Both commanders were more than a little peeved about how Soundwave's cassettes were able to keep them pinned.
The cassettes were a third their size, for Primus's sake!!
But then again, they were nimble little buggers who had a passion for destruction and a hatred of Autobots, as all Decepticons do, so it made up for a lot.
Jazz was holding them off with his blaster and his collection of Earth Rock music. Jazz broadcasted it on a frequency that most mechs couldn't hear, but the cassettes could hear it clearly. Needless to say, Jazz had the volume all the way up.
Be grateful humans can't hear frequencies that high, though the local bats were screeching in agony.
Prowl surveyed the battlefield while Jazz proved cover. From all the energy blasts, the sounds of the seekers' and Coneheads' engines, and the loud cursing and bets being set by the Autobots, Prowl estimated that their chances of success (and his winning of the latest pool) was approximately 72.148%. The other 27.852% chance of failure was to account for the energon cubes lost to the Decepticons.
Prowl ran it again, and again, and again, taking in everything and trying to put a strategy together. It stayed relatively constant, no matter how many times he ran it. The Autobots would win the battle, but the accumulated loss of the energon cubes and their wounded men would not have the number where Prowl wanted them to be.
And he would lose the pool.
Smokescreen was never going to leave him alone after this.
He activated his comm. link as Jazz fired on Ravage and he ducked several blasts on reflex. :Wheeljack!: He shouted over the line. :Where is that new weapon you developed!?:
:I just have one more thing to tweak…: Wheeljack said tiredly. He had been working on his latest project for the better part of the human month. Everyone had avoided his office like the plague, but there had been no explosions or mishaps to be had, for which Wheeljack (and everyone else) was eternally grateful.
Prowl heard Wheeljack grunt over the line as he tightened something on his weapon.
:IT'S DONE!: Wheeljack called over the line as Prowl ducked again. :It's ready whenever you are!: The pride in his voice was unmistakable.
Prowl let out a sigh of relief. :Good. Wheeljack, we'll need that weapon soon.: He relayed. A large, misfired shot from a seeker nearly took his doorwings off and Prowl quickly saw the situation get out of hand. :On second thought, get out here, now!: Prowl shot at the seekers overhead with his acid pellet rifle. :We need the back up!:
:Understood! Wheeljack, out!: Wheeljack said, and cut the line.
Prowl turned back to the battle and saw the twins and Ironhide being thrown from Starscream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker's backs and hit the ground rolling. The three seekers transformed and hovered in midair over the downed Autobots. They took cluster bombs out of subspace pockets and flew into bombing formation.
Then Thundercracker and Skywarp's heads snapped up, a blank look coming across their features. Prowl recognized the tell-tale signs of a comm. link conversation.
He was right, of course.
Thundercracker and Skywarp spoke briefly with Starscream, putting away their cluster bombs, and flew toward Soundwave, leaving Starscream alone to deal with the twins and Ironhide.
A blast near Prowl's head returned his attention to his opponents –Soundwave's cassettes– and he fired his acid-pellet rifle in retaliation. Primus, Prowl prayed. Hurry it up Wheeljack!
Starscream, now alone because a certain communications officer needed more arms, commenced a bombing run on the Autobot twins and Ironhide. Ironhide kicked the twins out of the way and jumped back himself to avoid the blasts of the bombs.
Sideswipe picked himself off the ground, cursing lightly, and turned to his unconscious twin. Sideswipe, obviously not going into panic-mode because of Ironhide's yelling at him to get going, half carried and half dragged his unconscious twin toward some large boulders that would offer some form of cover.
Ironhide, meanwhile, pulled out his blaster and started firing at the seeker. A lot of the shots missed, but a quick data burst to Mirage and Bluestreak for cover fire for the Twins had Starscream on the ropes. He barely missed the shots from the gunner and the two sharpshooters.
The Autobot snipers were good!
Ironhide took careful and got a lucky shot. He hit Starscream in his left wing-joint as the seeker barrel-rolled to avoid shots from Bluestreak and Mirage.
Starscream screeched in pain, the pitch and volume making Ironhide wince slightly. Starscream's turbines gave out and the seeker fell to terra firma with a loud CRASH!! Optimus and Megatron didn't even notice the seeker go down, not even when said seeker crashed not too far from them.
The seeker was down for the count and Ironhide walked off satisfied. He hefted his gun and glared at the other Decepticons. He's eyes said loudly WHO'S NEXT?!
Prowl saw the Twins head to Ratchet for temporary repairs and Ironhide walk off as though he never attempted Jet Judo before. Why did he know that Ironhide would survive? Overall, the battle had increased in intensity. He frowned. This was getting out of hand. He opened his comm. again.
:Wheeljack!!: He shouted over the comm. :Where's that fusion blaster of yours!?:
No one answered.
:Wheeljack!?: Prowl called, worried for his comrade.
He heard the distinct sound of a large cannon powering up above his head. He looked up and saw Wheeljack with what looked like a bazooka on his shoulder. The bazooka-looking-gun-thing was a bright orange and several meters long. Somewhere in the back of Prowl's processor, a little voice whispered in an exasperated voice.
Please tell me those aren't the Ark's floor tiles…
"Primus 'Jack!" Jazz exclaimed, jumping on Prowl's back. "Where in the pit did you get that?!" He paused. "Are those the Ark's floor tiles?"
Prowl pushed Jazz of off him with a quiet, "Do you want to do all the paperwork for the next week or are you going to get off?" Wheeljack smiled when Jazz quickly got off the second-in-command.
"Trade secret!" He said to answer Jazz's question. He turned to Prowl "She's right here and ready to go!" Wheeljack said, a little proudly, patting the bazooka-looking gun fondly.
A shot near his head brought his attention to the cassettes, all of whom had regrouped and retaliated. Wheeljack pulled a net from a subspace pocket and threw it at the cassettes. Said cassettes sidestepped the net easily, laughing at crude Autobot tech, but the net crackled with electricity and the cassettes froze as they were magnetically pulled into the net. The net then snapped shut, clamps at the top holding tight. The cassettes, however, swore at the top of their voices and immediately began to attack the net with teeth, claws, blasters, and jackhammers.
Jazz hopped up onto Wheeljack's crag and stood by him, patting him on the shoulder. "I swear 'Jack!" Jazz said as he looked at the trapped cassettes with a large grin. "You have GOT to get me one of those things! Do you have any idea how handy something like that is!?"
Wheeljack's optics smiled. "Of course, I know how handy my stuff is!" He said proudly. "They just have a horrible tendency to blow-!"
They were silenced by a large explosion from below them as the net holding the cassettes blew up. The cassettes were thrown in different directions and landed hard on the ground. None of them got up again.
"Up?" Wheeljack finished, surprised that his electromagnetic net had exploded. They stared for a while as the cassettes refused to move under their scrutiny. Jazz had his mouth open and Prowl stared too.
"Well," Jazz said after a while, turning to face Wheeljack with a devious grin. "Can I still have one?"
Soundwave doubled over in pain, falling onto one knees, intake cycles hitching and clutching his chest. His mind and spark were assaulted by the same feeling of pain and cry for help from six different links at. The. Same. Time.
"Soundwave, what the Pit-?" Thrust began as the communications officer went down. Soundwave got to his feet and pushed past the Conehead with a quick, monotone, "I am fine. Bring all the energon to the Nemesis," and ran toward the last location he had sensed from his cassettes before they went offline.
He always kept his link with his cassettes open to keep track of them, meaning he also felt any pain they felt. He had felt each one of them hurt before and would usually go after whoever had hurt them, Decepticon or Autobot. But, never had he felt this amount of searing pain from one of his cassettes, let alone all six! He even felt all of them fall unconscious, which in itself was unusual.
They were all scattered around, but they had been together when they had felt the blast of whatever had hit them. He ran quickly toward his precious creations and, for once, he didn't care about anything else other than the safety of his beloved cassettes.
Prowl hopped up onto Wheeljack and Jazz's outcropping. He pointed to the bazooka-thing and said, "Will this thing work?" He asked, getting straight to the point.
Wheeljack smiled through his facemask, noting how cautious the tactician was being, and nodded. Jazz put a hand on Wheeljack's shoulder and smiled at Prowl's lack of faith. "What do you think the odds are of this thing working, Prowl?" he rapped the bazooka-gun-thing with this knuckles. Wheeljack quickly shooed Jazz's hands from the gun before something went wrong.
Prowl crossed his arms and answered curtly, "It has a seventy percent chance–"
Jazz leaned over Wheeljack, slapped a hand over Prowl's mouth, and waved a finger in his face. "The question was rhetorical and 'never tell me the odds!'" He said loudly. Prowl had the faintest inclining that he had heard some human actor say that, but shrugged it off.
"Yup!" Wheeljack said proudly. "And if it does work like it's supposed to we'll be several Decepticons short of an opposing army when it's done."
Prowl looked over the battlefield and chose his targets carefully. If they shot at the Decepticons with the energon cubes, it would sort of defeat the purpose of getting the energy back. There was also the chance they could miss the retreating targets and hit something else. They couldn't risk hitting one of their fellow Autobots and the seekers were moving too quickly to aim at correctly.
That left one choice.
A dubious one but, if it worked, the war might finally end.
"Wheeljack," Prowl ordered in a commanding tone. "Be ready to fire on Megatron when I say to. If we're going to take someone out, it might as well be the top of the chain-of-Decepticon command."
Wheeljack looked doubtful at Prowl's words. But, in light of the fact that Prowl pretty much knew every scenario know to Transformer kind, he hefted the bazooka, took aim, and said, "Roger."
Unfortunately, neither of them noticed Soundwave running toward Optimus and Megatron; said Communications officer not noticing the world; Starscream waking up, pulling himself to his feet, and staggering toward the Optimus and Megatron in a drunken daze, a large dent in the side of his helm evidence of his crash; Ramjet losing his grip on one small energon cube; or that Jazz had barricaded himself behind a boulder so as not to get blown up.
Duck, left hook, upper cut– WATCH HIS RIGHT!– dodge left, kick right… Megatron dodged Optimus's kick and made to grab Optimus's throat. Optimus saw it coming and pulled back, so Megatron grabbed at air.
That's how it went every single time. In their fights, the whole universe narrowed down to the two of them and the space between them. An illusion brought on by the severity of their fights; a dance they both knew and never messed up. It happened every time they saw each other on the battlefield.
Optimus was about to take the next step in his deadly dance, when his comm. link opened. Suddenly, the universe was much bigger and Optimus nearly missed his cue as Megatron made to attack. To recover from the loss of coordination, Optimus had to pull some rather fancy footwork to avoid his opponent's fusion blaster from taking out his head.
:Prime!: Prowl's voice rang out through the comm. :You need to get out of there! Wheeljack as a new weapon trained on Megatron and you're in the blast radius!: Optimus almost didn't catch his second's message. The dance was being interrupted, and Megatron was merciless. The Decepticon leader threw another punch at Optimus, but he managed to block it in time and retaliate.
:I'm a little busy, Prowl!: He answered over the comm. He heard Prowl about to protest, but said quickly :But, I'll move as soon as I can!: and shut the line akin to slamming a door in someone's face. Prowl would understand though. He did just interrupt Optimus when the Prime needed his attention elsewhere.
You understood when you were in a life and death situation, after all.
Optimus quickly formulated a plan to get himself away from Megatron, without breaking the unconscious illusion. He kept dodging Megatron's attacks and saw and opening as Megatron left his chest unguarded. A quick, powerful punch to the middle of Megatron's chest pushed the tyrant back far enough. Optimus quickly took advantage of the moment and ran for it.
He had no desire to become scrap along with Megatron.
"COWARD!" The Decepticon leader shouted. "GET BACK HERE!" He chased after Optimus, determined to get his hands on the Prime. As he drew nearer to Optimus, Megatron lunged for him and tackled a mech to the ground.
Granted it was not the intended mech.
They tumbled together and landed in a heap. Starscream and Megatron became tangled in each other as they tried to pull apart, but it only tangled them even further, Starscream's wings and the general lack of coordination on both sides made things difficult.
"STARSCREAM, YOU ABSOLUTE FRAGGING, SLAGGING, SON OF A MALFUNCTIONING MOTHERBOARD!!!" Megatron yelled at the top of his vocal processor. "WHAT THE FRAGGING PIT IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!"
Starscream was too dazed to answer and just made things worse. Megatron pushed futilely against him, trying to get the seeker off of him.
Optimus, meanwhile, used this wonderful, Primus-sent distraction and hightailed it out of there, away from the two highest ranked Decepticons. He noticed Soundwave running towards him and readied himself for an attack. Soundwave didn't even turn or show any indication that he had noticed Optimus was running in the opposite direction. Soundwave just ran past him towards his superiors. Optimus couldn't tell, but he had the impression that Soundwave hadn't even noticed him, so intent on something. Probably his superiors or something else.
Optimus just turned back and kept going to his intended target: Ratchet's field hospital a good two hundred meters from Megatron. Hopefully that was out of the blast radius too.
"Wheeljack! Prime's out of the blast radius!" Prowl yelled and he sent a data-burst to all Autobots to take cover because of a new Wheeljack-unpatented weapon still in its developmental stages and gave a quick summary if it's (theoretical) effects.
However, as soon as the Autobots received the words "Wheeljack" and "weapon" they didn't need the rest of the message. They all hightailed it out of the battlefield, leaving their Decepticon opponents staring at their retreating backs.
The sudden rush of the Aerialbots in retreat made Ramjet finally lose balance of his large stack of energon cubes and one lone cube fell from his hands right over where Megatron and Starscream lay.
"STARSCREAM, GET OFF!" Megatron yelled and struggled to get the dead weight seeker off of him. Starscream made no indication that he heard the commander's order. Megatron looked up at the sound of running feet and cried out as Soundwave crashed into them.
More like tripped over them.
Megatron's head fell back on the ground as Soundwave became tangled in Starscream's wings. They all struggled together, trying to untangle themselves, and Megatron knew they must look ridiculous to anyone watching.
Heads were going to roll for this one.
Preferably a certain seeker's head.
Megatron looked up at the shouted command and saw the Autobot's accursed engineer with a weapon trained on him. Now Megatron understood why Optimus had departed so quickly. Out of the corner of his optic, he saw all of the Decepticons alone on the battlefield, the Autobots mysteriously gone.
Damn! It was a trap!!
The engineer fired and a large, blue, fusion blast was headed straight for them.
"Decepticons, retreat!" He yelled and tried to get Soundwave and Starscream off of him, but to no avail.
Starscream, at the sound of the most familiar command ever given in the Decepticon ranks, regained some coherency. The seeker looked around, saw the blast coming, and yelled in surprise and panic. Soundwave saw his creations wake up, but knew they were damaged and couldn't move. The cassettes saw their creator in the path of the blast and called out for him to move.
Starscream's struggling coupled with Megatron's and Soundwave's frantic attempts to get to his cassettes made it impossible for any of them to detangle themselves.
They weren't going to make it.
As Megatron quickly tried to formulate a plan, he felt something hit his head with a reasonably amount of force and bounce onto Starscream's back. An energon cube of standard size sat innocently in front of him. Megatron stared at the little cube, a sense of dread filling his being.
Next thing he knew, he, his second, and his third were enveloped in a white light followed by a loud, powerful, and painful explosion.
A large dust cloud covered the entire expanse of the desert, obscuring anything within it. The Autobots walked out of their hiding places, looking at the damage Wheeljack's weapon caused. Several of them had taken refuge behind boulders, in gorges, and one even managed to squeeze behind a hoodoo. Optimus walked out of the impromptu bunker that was Ratchet's field hospital. There were scorch marks in the ground and several bushes were on fire, but the Autobots were intact, if not a little shell-shocked.
Wheeljack, Jazz, and Prowl were protected by the boulders situated on the outcropping where they stood. All three looked out over the dust covered landscape, where Megatron and his highest officers had disappeared. Nothing was moving. Prowl adjusted his optics slightly and saw the hazy outlines of three bodies lying where they had launched the fusion blast.
"Did we get 'em?" Jazz asked, both out loud and over the comm. links. No one moved. No one had the courage to answer. There was silence over everything.
"Prowl?" Jazz asked dubiously. Prowl looked over the expanse again, configuring his optics as he did so, and saw something that made his energon lines run cold.
One of the bodies sat up.
:ONE IS STILL MOVING!: Prowl yelled over the comm. links.
The Autobots' collective jaws dropped. Megatron, Starscream, or Soundwave were still moving even after that large of a blast? There was something very wrong there. Several credits changed hands as another pool was settled.
Optimus started walking toward the figure, pulling his gun from its subspace pocket. He wasn't taking any chances. There was no way the three of them could have survived that blast and if they did, they should have been seriously injured. He saw the conscious figure inspecting itself through the dust and smoke. Optimus could see a pair of wings on its back.
It was Starscream.
:Prowl, the one awake is Starscream.: Optimus sent over the comm. link. :Have the brig ready for him, Soundwave, and Megatron.: Prowl's answer was cut short by a loud shriek of surprise and horror from Starscream.
Optimus instinctively covered his audios, but could still hear what Starscream was saying. He also thought that Starscream's voice sounded too high-pitched (even for him) and not scratchy enough. A light wind blew the smoke and dust away from Starscream's figure.
All of the Autobots stared at what they saw.
"WHAT IN THE PIT DID YOU DO TO ME!?!!"
AN: Well, there you are! First chapter! Please tell me what you think. You know you want to press the little button below this sentence.