This was probably the first time since Freezon could remember that she had been given permission to beat the living diodes out of somebot.
What was even better about the whole thing was that, for some reason, her perpetual tiredness had all but disappeared. Usually when there were big fights she was only good for about 10 cycles or so before she got overwhelmingly tired and had to hide somewhere to avoid dying. She had done that too many times to count, and the medic simply couldn't figure out what was causing it or how to fix it. This really got on Bludgeon's nerves, and it took all the self-restraint the sensei had not to sic Carnivac on her. But for one reason or another, she wasn't getting tired this time; which was good, since there was an all-out mob of Autobums trying to detain her team.
Being the smallest was usually an advantage for her, since she had a ground-based vehicle mode whilst the others had air-based vehicle modes. Except currently, the Autobums (or were they Autotroopers?) weren't really any bigger than she was, so she had expected to be evenly matched with them. And yet, surprisingly, it was very easy for her to beat them down into submission. Either it was the fact that some idiot Autobot dropped their scythe on the ground (which she was currently using as an impromptu weapon) or these clone-droids were really stupid. Unfortunately, the actual Autobots she was fighting were not.
The sharp pain that suddenly shot through her helm was enough to catch her off guard. For a second, all she saw was black, and everything around her started spinning. Her helm made contact with the ground several times, until finally she landed heavily on her back in some sort of updraft of dirt and rocks on this blasted asteroid. She quickly grabbed onto her head and tried to shake it off, taking a bit longer than she would have liked. Not far away, her optics caught sight of a stick with an odd rock-like item on one end and stabilizing mechanisms at the other end.
That's when she heard footsteps clunking to a halt in front of her, and the light from the sun was blocked. She looked up to see what the disturbance was. Right in front of her was a golden-colored Autobot, standing tall with a bow and arrows in his hands. She couldn't get a clear view of his face, but she could tell he wasn't going to stop for anything when he rose up his bow and the tips of his arrows began to glow with some sort of energy…
She barely rolled over in time to get out of range of the explosive arrow, before scrambling up onto her feet and running away as fast as she could. She noticed that she was now apparently in a chasm, but the only thing she could really think of was to try and get her scythe back. A barrage of arrows began tracing her circular pattern, leaving a large collection of potholes. Freezon quickly surmised that either she was moving too fast for the Autobot or he was being a little dull, since a better idea would be to aim in front of her to try and either hit her or block her path.
Soon enough, she had caught a glimpse of the yellow rod that held the Solitarium Scythe that she had been blindly searching for. Until she realized she had forgotten that there were other fights going on. It seemed like everything was trying to collide with her today, seeing as she only caught a glimpse of Deadlock's struggling fistfight with a miniature turtle-like Autobot before she managed to screech herself to a halt in front of the two. Apparently the mini-bot was winning, since Deadlock seemed to be struggling with keeping him in the same place. Freezon had half a mind to try and help Deadlock with his stand-still fistfight, but then she felt somebot looking in her direction…
In a split second, Freezon turned around, saw a beam of yellow light getting brighter and nearly clouding her vision, and then ducked, the energy arrow from the taller Autobot missing her helm by inches and instead connecting with the small turtle-bot, resulting in a bright explosion. It also apparently caused a bit of an updraft, seeing as how Freezon was blown back a few mechanometers (though she was pretty close to it…). It took a moment for her to reactivate her optics, since the light had gone and she was no longer in danger of being blinded.
From what she saw, the explosion made a small dent in the ground and also pushed Deadlock back a few mechanometers as well. Luckily (or perhaps unluckily, seeing as he never seemed to get hurt) Deadlock wasn't injured, save for a minor scratch on his upper servo. The only thing she didn't understand very much was the complete disappearance of the turtle-bot she saw earlier. At least, until she heard his angered screaming from above and behind her.
Craning her neck over, she saw the turtle-bot in a position of weakness and the tall, gold Autobot (whom she now noticed sported decorative wings) distracted. Turning around, she stared for a while, processing what was happening. Whatever decision she was going to make was cut short when Deadlock grabbed her from behind and shushed her.
"Let's see what they argue about. I always loved watching Autobots fight over nothing." Deadlock whisper-sniggered.
"Yarr a sick bot, Dead'ck! Ah like it!" Freezon smiled at her own words, excited to see some Auto-banter that the Autobums were infamous for. Though she was very uncomfortable with the fact that Deadlock wasn't letting go of her (which made her wonder if he actually lived up to his name). Luckily one reverse head-butt made him let go of her body in favor of his face, closing her short distance from the ground.
"Brawn! Are you okay?"
"Oh, sure! I'm fine. It's not like you nearly blasted me to kingdom come or anything!"
"I'm sorry! I was aiming for that Decepti-femme!"
"What Decepti-femme? That was Natron!"
"You're seeing things, Brawn. Maybe you should go see Kup-?"
"Ah don't need t' see no fragging medic! You need to see a medic for yer poor optic resolution!" With this, 'Brawn' pointed overdramatically at Rodimus' face, provoking him to lean backwards a ways. Freezon heard Deadlock snigger incessantly behind her, trying to keep quiet so as not to disturb such a scene. Freezon herself was curious as to who this 'Natron' was. He probably had a similar color scheme to hers.
"Look, we don't have time for this! Just get back to the med-bay and get some he-"
"AAAAAAAARGH!" Freezon turned around immediately to find that some red Autobot about her size was strangling Deadlock with her scythe! Freezon clenched her fists and her anger quickly brewed inside as Deadlock tried to cope with the irony of being in a deadlock. How dare that slagger of an Autobot steal her scythe! What was worse, he was using it to strangle Deadlock! THAT. SHOULD. BE. HER!
She took one last look behind her to look at Brawn and that other guy to see if they were about to fight her. It seemed they were busy dealing with Astrotrain banging their heads together violently. Freezon turned back to the scene before her to find they had circled around so that the red Autobot had his back to her, and using Deadlock's body to support him. Without any forward thought, she yelled at the top of her lungs and jumped him, subsequently throwing all three of them into a violent tumble.
Freezon made absolutely certain that she would not lose her grip of the Autobot, punching violently. Frankly, she didn't care if she hit the Autobot or Deadlock—she hated both, but right now the Autobot was her enemy. Yet somehow, there was a slight sting each time she made contact with the Autobot's body… in the same place she hit him. She paused a moment to ponder this, but then she realized that the Autobot wasn't as dead-set as she was, and quickly let go of the yellow scythe, freeing Deadlock from the kerfuffle. He still had one hand on the scythe, but it did him little good.
Freezon now had a better shot for the Autobot, slamming his face onto the dirt as they began to slide through the rough, slightly slanted ground of the Asteroid. Her face contorted slightly, feeling a sharp grating across her own faceplate whilst she was doing this. A part of her even wanted to scream! She would have to consult Thrust about this; he'd either tell her what was wrong and fix it or call her crazy and demand she get over it. However, she had made sure to keep the Autobot's face in the dirt, and didn't pay attention to what was directly in front of her. The rock hit her hard.
It wasn't a particularly big rock, but it was enough to force her body to collide with it and forced her servos into a spread-eagle position. She momentarily groaned in pain before she slid off it and the friction between her and the rock ceased, dropping her the rest of the short ways down on her rear. Her legs were still spread, and she now had a splitting processor-ache and the Autobot was apparently already recovering. This odd 'I feel what my opponent is feeling' thing was really starting to tick her off.
"D-Dern'cha move, yous Decepti-creep!" She heard the 'bot say behind her. Her normal femme super-senses (at least, that was what Astrotrain called them) let her feel the scythe's blade blunted in her direction, but she did not turn. She could tell the Autobot was afraid; the tone of voice had given it away. But something odd was also happening. She somehow… felt the fear that her opponent was feeling. Maybe she was developing empathic powers. She smiled slyly to herself. That would be tons better than this stupid glow-in-the-dark power she had.
"Wurcha smilin' 'bout!" The oddly-accented Autobot queried.
"Harr'd chu know ah was smalin'?" Freezon retorted sarcastically. The Autobot did not respond. Freezon smiled again, and then stood herself up. She swayed slightly for a second, but kept her balance by conspicuously placing her hand on the rock. To the Autobot, it would look like she was contemplating. Not that she was injured.
"Hey'rr yous okay theres?" The Autobot asked timidly. Freezon quickly twisted her body sideways to the 'bot and faced him to snap a retort, like she was perfectly fine. Keep up the masquerade.
"Ah dun' need any a'yer symp'thy, Autob-"
There had been a horror story Bludgeon had once told to scare her, back when she was still getting used to not being a protoform. He said that one time, a little before the war started, something happened. A protoform, fresh from the center of the planet, had somehow split into two protoforms. Many of the more sympathetic bots felt sickened imagining life for a 'bot split in half. The protoforms had been locked up since then, forced to stay alive. Thrust had denounced the notion immediately, stating that it was impossible for a protoform to split, and that such nonsense would not be tolerated.
But Freezon had somehow known that those two protoforms were real. She had felt a sickening loneliness the moment Bludgeon was finished with his story, Carnivac playfully gnawing at her to get her to snap back to reality. When he realized she wasn't going to rage out and start chasing him fruitlessly across the ship for the umpteenth time, he left her to stare blankly at nothing in sheer horror. She felt like she had been shut off, back then, or that two kilounits of bricks had landed on her head. She felt that right now, looking straight into the face of a mech that looked exactly like her.
For a while, they just stood there, staring at each other. A few short glances told her that this 'bot was also the exact same build as her, only with slight alteration to suit the opposing gender. Freezon was still trying to figure out why her processor had brought up the topic of the split protoform myth, when Deadlock suddenly burst out of nowhere and tackled the Autobot into the rocky (but thankfully shallow) gulley to her left.
"NOOOO!" Was the only sensible thing she could say at that moment, jumping Deadlock and punching him in the face, grabbing his back the same way the Autobot did. She hadn't the faintest idea what was happening, but she could tell enough; whoever that Autobot was, it had something to do with the split protoform. It may as well have been true, and she would treat it like it was true until proven false. But for now, all she focused on was getting Deadlock a taste of his own medicine, the traitor!
"Freezon! What are you doing!" Freezon's answer came quickly and without explanation or thought.
"Savin' mah br'ther!" With that, she slammed her hand into the crook of his neck, where it met his torso, and grabbed a few of the wires hidden inside. "'Is looks 'portint!" Freezon yanked them out of his neck, making Deadlock go on the fritz and scramble around like a broken toy. She pushed him away from the gulley, forcing him closer to the cliff wall off to the other side. Quickly, she ran to the gulley, something in the core of her being telling her that the Autobot—no, her brother—was in trouble. She was right.
From where she could see at the top of the gulley, there was a large hive of some sort of brown bug-like creatures swarming around her brother's area, apparently attracted by something. She crouched down immediately, panic settling into her systems. Her brother had grabbed onto a loose rock on his way back up, and slid back down. Freezon screamed and stretched out her hand, trying to reach him somehow. She couldn't let him get near those metal-eating bugs called Scraplets. But she was already too late.
Her brother had completely lost his grip on the rock wall he was climbing, and the marks left by his fingers were deep enough to show he wasn't going down without a fight. But he failed, and now he had practically began a whole wave of Scraplets splashing upwards the gulley, nearly getting into her. She had to stand back to avoid getting her own infestation, before she was gripped tighter than all Pits by somebot with white servos.
Freezon screeched and flailed in the bot's grip, trying to get whoever it was off her. The bot only tightened his grip until she could barely breathe with all the struggling. She glared up at Deadlock, wishing death and dismemberment on her eternal rival now more than ever.
"What do you think you're doing Freezon! You're going to get yourself killed with all those Scraplets!"
"Aw, n' mah br'ther I'int!" she yelled at him, only hoping her voice wasn't cracking from her emotions.
"Why are you convinced that Autobrat is your brother?"
"Di'ncha looks at 'im? He look jus' lahk me! All o' those hor'r Starr's Bludg'n tahld me… 'bout those protaf'rms n' e'rythin'…" Freezon had to choke back her tears, facing the ground almost like she was about to leak coolant. Deadlock remained silent, and she could feel his optics boring holes into her helm. She had no time for this! She had to save her brother! She had to! Then the most unexpected thing happened. Deadlock let her go. Freezon, for a fleeting moment, thought that this meant he was going to help her.
That was when he pushed her over the gulley.
She scraped against the edges of the rock walls for who knows how long, rock after rock scraping against her frame and hurting her to bits. She even felt full-front what it was like to have your face scraping against rock and dirt. She had regretted ever doing that to her brother. Of course, if she had known he was her brother she probably wouldn't have done it… probably. Soon enough, however, the fall ended, and she was on the ground. Quickly, she picked herself up and looked around.
She was only a mechanometer away from the river of Scraplets, and she was afraid to her core. One false move, and she would trip into the river and be infested with bugs that chewed away at your armor and inner workings until you were nothing more than a living skeletal structure! She had heard rumor upon rumor of many a 'bot succumbing to the persistent chewing of the demonic bugs, turning into nothing but a shell of their former self, a hive mind of bugs working in their chassis to move them and order them, like a possessed zombie. She wouldn't let her brother suffer that fate.
Quickly, she stood up straight and searched through the brown mess of crawling bugs for the orange fingers of her brother. She searched left, right, and left again. She focused far away and close by, she crouched to try and see if he was trying to swim underneath all these metal-eating bugs. But she didn't find anything. There was nothing around. Panic was almost overtaking her now, and it took all her self-restraint just to keep herself from diving in there and searching for him herself.
She was afraid, could barely thing straight. Her optics darted from left to right; time was going too fast for her. Where was he! She searched her processor for a moment, trying to see if she could somehow feel where her brother was. She didn't get any sort of feeling, though, other than an uncomfortable sensation of crawling and scratching everywhere, leading her to absentmindedly scratch at a patch of her servo. But she did get one thing…
Insectoid screeches and a small gasp from Freezon's own vocalizer and that's when she saw it. A hand popped out of the river, and bugs followed it onto the rock it was gripping before sliding back into the river. Freezon was elated, and stood up once again from her crouched position. She felt like jumping over to the rock Natron was climbing onto, to assist him in getting out, but then she heard a third voice, distinct from hers or her brother's.
"Freezon! Catch!" She darted her head upwards, before catching a glimpse of Deadlock tossing the yellow scythe into the gully around where Freezon was standing. Freezon let it fall, shifting slightly to make sure she was accurate in where she thought it would land. She reached out and grabbed it, holding onto it with both servos. She twisted it a bit for a moment before looking over at the rock Natron was on. He was barely standing, a collection of Scraplets scurrying back into the river it belonged to.
Freezon stood back, reaching the opposite edge of her own rock. Then she ran. Using her scythe as a hook, she grabbed onto the best part she could hold on to without losing her grip and jumped. In one fell swoop, she had raised the scythe just enough for her to swing without getting too close to the Scraplets (she still got precariously close), but the scythe also lost its grip fairly quickly. When the scythe popped out, she had already gotten momentum enough to reach to rock, but she also knocked Natron over onto his side.
There wasn't any time for them to rest on the rock, however. Thinking quickly and trying to ignore all the warnings her sensors were blaring her way from the sheer amount of Scraplets, she stood up best she could and grabbed Natron by the torso. He wasn't as heavy as she assumed, but she had no time to idle on that right now. The only thing that she could do now was get back up.
She stood up on one small rock on the side of the wall, big enough to support her stabilizing servo, and crouched a bit. Jumping as high as she could, she broke out the scythe once more and tossed it above her head, making sure it made contact with the rock. Once she reached the highest she was going to get from her jump, the scythe had already popped itself onto a secure place, and she grabbed the first place that she could. She ended up loosening the scythe out of its place somewhat, but it didn't lose its grip. Then, as best she could, she shimmied up the scythe until she reached another footstep.
She did this repeatedly.
She was tired.
There was nothing in the universe that she wouldn't like better than to just lie down and take a stasis-nap. But she knew that she could never do that, not with her brother in a state like this. After repeated failures trying to get them out of that blasted gulley (no matter how shallow it was), she was merely glad that they had both survived the whole ordeal. Though if Natron stayed in the state he was, he wasn't going to be online for much longer.
Freezon took a short break to try and catch her breath, her systems screaming for a rest. Despite that, she looked straight at her brother's chassis, watching as some of the smaller, weaker Scraplets scurried out of whatever crevice they could find and died five seconds after they scampered around for a moment. Freezon payed no heed to them, more concerned about her brother. After all, the first infestation was survivable; it was the larvae and eggs they left in your internal works that made it hard.
Natron was not in a good state. His kibble for his transformation had been all but eaten through, and one of his servos was entirely eaten through until it was only the necessary framework. She didn't even want to look at what happened to his stabilizing servos. Freezon almost felt like spilling her Energon at the sight, but managed to suppress it unconsciously.
Gently as she could, she nudged Natron's head around to see if they managed to get to his processor. After a quick turn of his head to the side, she realized that they hadn't gotten any farther than the outer armor. She sighed, grateful that they hadn't done that much damage. Though at this point, that was the only thing she was grateful for.
"Stupid Auta-bums n' D'cepticreeps. Theh di'nt e'en care 'bout cha after ya fell in tuh Th' gulley." Freezon spat out quietly, "N' nah buddy stayed long 'nuff tuh hear mah esplination." She looked away, and then out at the edge of the asteroid. The sun had left them now, and all that was left was the stars and her useless glow-in-the-dark power.
Then she saw a warm glow next to her, and jolted. Did someone start a fire somewhere? Was there someone else still on this blasted asteroid? She looked towards the warmth and realized that, no, it wasn't a fire. It was Natron, and he was awake. He stared right at her, with an Autobot blue visor glowing slightly in the darkness, accenting the warm, artificial glow.
"So yous can do th' glowin' thingy toos, sis?" Natron gruffly managed out. He smiled at her, and then coughed a bit.
"You sh'd jus' go back tuh sleep, bro."
"Whu?" Freezon was flabbergasted. Whenever she had some sort of illness, she felt like doing absolutely nothing, much preferring to sit down or lie down, especially at a time like this. Besides, if she had Scraplets (and she was so glad she didn't manage to catch any) she would probably want to sleep it off to regain some of her strength. What Natron said made no sense whatsoever, and that weird 'feel what he feels' thing wasn't working at the moment for whatever reason.
"Ah gots tuh stay, sis," Natron bore his dental plates, "gots tuh make a good firs' umpreshin."
"Empreshin? Fer what?" Freezon spouted out, annoyed.
Then she started feeling something. A sort of tear in the sky or something. She searched around for only a second, before something started happening. The asteroid's cycle was speeding up for some reason, turning it on its side. Freezon had lost her balance, and started slipping towards the edge of the asteroid. She caught on something before she got too far away from Natron, though. A loud whirring sound could be heard
"What're ya doin'!" Freezon shouted over the loud whirring.
"Ah'm not doin' a thin'!" Natron shouted back.
"Then whah's the ground bein' all shifty!"
"That!" Natron pointed over to the opposite edge of the asteroid. Freezon couldn't see anything at first, seeing as it was where the brightest night time star was at this time of night, but she could tell that something was coming. A large shadow came up from behind her, and if it weren't for her glowing she would've been in total darkness. The thing that was making such a shadow got closer and closer, and she could now tell it was much larger than the asteroid by a long shot. One look at the markings around it, and she could tell exactly what this was. A Pirate ship.
They were being kidnapped by Space Pirates.