Well, hello again! It's been a while. Anyway, we're going to take a break from Lynn, and see what her brother Drew (who hasn't really been mentioned up till now) is doing.
Disclaimer: I don't own the TFs. No duh, right?
Drew was standing on the lakeshore with his best friend, Demetri, who was trying to teach him how to skip rocks. Drew wasn't really paying attention; he was thinking about his sister, Lynn. She'd been gone for almost a month now, and for the most part, life went on. They were still searching, yes, but…there didn't seem like there was anything to find.
Demetri's aunt Marsha had decided they all needed to get out more, and so had brought the two of them to the lake for the day.
Suddenly, the high-pitched whine of an engine shattered the quiet. Drew and Demetri froze, staring out over the water. A small, blue, streamlined boat with a yellow propeller rack on the back (designed for hovering over land or water) zoomed across the surface of the lake, spraying water over the otherwise still surface.
"Hey, Drew! Know who that looks like?" Demetri called. And yeah, he knew.
"Sure I do, Demetri. It's Seaspray from G1." Drew spoke dully. Thinking about Transformers brought back memories. The Transformers was something Lynn, Drew, and their dad had done together.
Drew turned his back on the water and walked away; heading for one of the wooded trails, and followed it into the forest. Demetri followed him quickly.
"Sorry," he muttered.
"It's okay. That was a cool boat, wasn't it?" Drew sighed. His friend nodded happily. Just then, the rounded a clump of undergrowth and saw that someone was on the trail ahead of them. She was crouched down, sorting through a pile of glowing blue stones. When she looked up, Drew realized that her eyes were turquoise.
"Hello, boys. I've been waiting for you to get here," she murmured, standing. Her voice was sugary-sweet. She was dressed in red from her head to her toes – red kapris, red T-shirt, red flip-flops. She smiled. "You can call me Firebird. You're Drew and Demetri." They stared. She laughed. "Don't be shy. Step up; pick a fragment or two." Without hesitating, Demetri stepped forward and grabbed two of the glowing blue rocks. They vanished into his hand.
"What the - ?" Drew had already picked three when he noticed what had happened to Demetri. The shards in his own hand vanished. Or rather, they sank into his palm. He got the oddest feeling, almost like minds brushing his own. He shook it away, focusing on Demetri and the weird girl in front of them. Firebird was collecting the remainder of the stones and stowing them in a bright blue bag.
"Do you two have cell phones?" she asked. Each nodded, pulled his phone out. Firebird snatched them, held them next to her scarlet watch, and then handed them back before either boy could protest. For an instant, a wolf was at Demetri's side, and a pelican at Drew's. Then both creatures vanished. Drew was still trying to figure out what had just happened when Firebird turned and ran. Drew and Demetri gave chase, crashing through the woods after her.
"Hurry up, Demetri!" Drew called. Then he burst out onto the filthy river bank. Firebird was already halfway across the river, floating on a glowing red disk. Drew stopped in his tracks – and not just because he didn't have a way to follow her any more. The blue boat he'd seen before was hovering right in front of him – on dry land.
No. Don't follow her. 43's are bad news, and she'll be back for us soon enough. Keep going, and you'll follow her straight to the Decepticons! the boat told Drew. The boy did a double-take, and then glanced around for Demetri. His friend seemed to be deep in a conversation with a metallic purple robotic bat, and a red-and-white rescue helicopter. In light of what had just happened and what the boat had said…
"Seaspray," he choked. Somehow, he knew. He looked over at Demetri again and tried to guess who they were. Well, it was obvious, really. There was only one purple bat: Ratbat. And the red and white helicopter that came to mind was Blades. Drew realized then that the movies and TV shows that had entertained him his whole life were based in reality, not fiction. "Whoa."
"That pretty much sums it all up," Demetri agreed. "Come on. We should get back to the lake. Aunt Marsha will be looking for us. They'll take us back." Drew found himself sitting down abruptly, and landed on Seaspray, who floated back into the woods. Demetri climbed into Blades's cockpit. A few minutes later, they were deposited on the lakeshore, just out of sight of where they'd started out.
We must return to our comrades, Seaspray told Drew. Then he, Blades, and Ratbat were gone. Demetri watched them go, and then turned to Drew.'
"Did that really just happen or didn't it?" he asked dazedly. Drew didn't answer; he didn't have to.
"Demetri! Drew! It's time to go!" Marsha called. The two friends raced up the green hill, climbed into Marsha's SUV, and spent the car ride back to Drew's house discussing the day's events excitedly.
A few weeks later, Drew awoke to a tapping on his window. He darted over and found Demetri and Firebird of all people outside. He dressed, grabbed his phone and a jacket, and hurried out the back door. Firebird was waiting. Demetri was already in a sleek black car driven by a tall, sturdy-looking woman with short brown hair and piercing turquoise eyes.
"What's up?" Drew asked.
"Come along. You're needed," Firebird answered sharply. Drew obeyed without knowing quite why.
"Where are we going?" he asked as the vehicle pulled away from the curb.
"The Ark. I'm going to pick up the trail of a Sparkholder – that's what you are; a human who's Accepted a Transformer's Spark – called the Jaguar. I have a mission, and I want you guys to help me. We're going to eliminate Jaguar and her fellow troublemaker, the Cougar. We'll do that at the Autobot base," Firebird announced.
"We will?" Drew echoed nervously. 'Eliminate'?
"How can we help?" Demetri asked at the same time. Maybe he was still asleep or something. Firebird laughed.
"You'll see how you can help out – and never fear, you will help. I'll find a way," Firebird assured them. Somehow, Drew didn't feel very reassured, and wished Seaspray was there, if only to remind himself the little robot (by Cybertronian standards) was real. It all seemed like a dream.
Drew awoke to find Demetri shaking him. They had driven through the night and the next day, and late into last night before parking in the middle of nowhere.
"What?" Drew mumbled.
"We only have to drive another hour before we reach the Ark, and Firebird wants to be done with the Autobots by this evening, so we can figure out what Generation Jaguar fled to in order to meet up with Cougar," Demetri informed him. Drew sat up, flipped open his phone, and checked to see if there were any messages. None. That was kind of weird' his parents should have called by now. Oh, well.
An hour and a half later, Drew stood in the Medilab of the Ark, facing Wheeljack, Blaster, Prowl, and all five Protectobots. Blades was staring at Demetri nonstop, and Seaspray and Ratbat were in the hall, waiting. Drew wondered idly if the Autobots knew the Decepticon cassette was there. Probably not.
Warpath, a brown-armored Autobot with a huge laser cannon protruding from his torso, stood guard. Drew felt a kind of connection with the Autobot, though he didn't know why.
"Prowl, Wheeljack, what are all of these Holderless doing here? They don't belong in a conference, certainly not one on Sparkholders! And where's Perceptor?" Firebird demanded. She had been very bossy around the Autobots. Speaking of the metal giants, they were glaring at the small human girl before them. Drew and Demetri clustered together.
"Not all of them are Holderless," Demetri protested, meeting Blades's eyes Prowl scowled at the humans.
"None of you are supposed to be here!" he growled. Nothing – Drew repeated that to himself – NOTHING was more terrifying than a twenty-foot-tall robot who didn't want you around. What if they decided to squish you? Demetri flinched at Prowl's words, and Blades moved between the boy and Prowl.
"They're just kids, Prowl, can't you see that? Lighten up," the Protectobot snapped.
"What crawled up his tailpipe and died?" Firebird muttered.
"He's mine," Demetri answered quietly. Drew reached out to his Extensions and found Seaspray, Warpath and…Jetfire? Whoa. The old scientist was on Cybertron, but Drew could still feel him faintly.
"Prowl, Firebird just wants to keep the secret. We haven't had much sleep, so we're all a little grumpy. If you want to see just how grumpy, keep pushing your luck. But you have to admit that she's right. Most of these guys have no clue what's going on. This will only confuse them more," Drew pointed out helpfully. Prowl nodded, eyeing the boy thoughtfully. "Besides, it's not like a number-cruncher like you is unused to hiding things, right? Like, maybe, oh, I don't know…what were you really doing on KIMIA?" The security officer stiffened (could a metal being to that?)
"Just like Lynn, isn't he?" Wheeljack commented as most of the Protectobots filed out.
"She was here, then? And the Jaguar?"
"Creeped us all out, too," the inventor added. Then he took a closer look at Drew. "You're her brother Drew, aren't you? Lynn Johnson's kid brother?" Drew nodded, stunned. Then he whirled on Firebird.
"I thought we were hunting Jaguar. What if Lynn's with her?" he whispered. Then he turned back to the Autobots. "We're trying to hunt down and eliminate the Jaguar and Cougar. Can you help us?"
"The Cougar? She's alive?" Prowl gasped.
"Unfortunately," Firebird agreed. They scowled.
"She is Soul holder's sister! We cannot let you hurt Cougar! And Jaguar might have been unnerving, but she's a Sparkholder! You can't just – "
"Let's get out of here!" Firebird urged. Warpath and Seaspray darted to Drew's side, somehow unbalancing Blaster in the process. A small blue crystal was dislodged from somewhere, and Demetri lunged and caught it. It sank into his palm in an instant. Blaster righted himself, and then whirled to face Prowl and the others. "Let's go now!" Firebird barked. She left quickly, Demetri, Blaster, Blades, and Ratbat behind him.
Drew hesitated, wanting to talk to the Autobots more about Lynn. Then he changed his mind and followed Firebird. Talking was all well and good, but Firebird was going after Jaguar, who (it sounded like) was with Lynn. Helping Firebird was the surest way to find his sister.
They left the Ark and drove through the night again, and the next day. The night after that they stopped to rest – the black-haired driver's swerving around was NOT sleep-encouraging.
"Drew, guess what?" Demetri didn't wait for him to guess. "We're going to go to Beast Wars!" Drew straightened in his seat.
"How is that possible?" he asked. His best friend shrugged, and then held the car door for him. They walked slowly to the other side of the car, where the ground was covered in shimmering red light. The crimson rectangle was large enough for a lot of Transformers to stand on. All the Extensions were clustered on the crimson shape; even three Drew hadn't met in person before – Firebird's Extensions.
There was Soundwave, tall, blue, threatening, with his shoulder-mounted sonic enhancer and cassette slot. At his side stood relatively small Bombshell, the small, beetle-like interrogation specialist. Behind them stood, of all the 'bots in the Generation, Starscream. The red, white, and blue Decepticon' fighter-jet alt mode was evident in the cockpit in his chest and the gray wings sprouting from his back. The Seeker regarded the boys with contempt, an ever-present sneer twisting his already-undesirable visage.
Drew and Demetri stepped into the red glow, and Firebird followed a moment later. The black-haired driver waited in the car.
"Here," Firebird whispered, passing a spark fragment to Drew. He took it, watched it sink in, and realized he could sense Depthcharge. Cool.
Then, without warning, the red glow reared up and swallowed humans and Transformers alike.
Well, was that fun or what? Now we've got all three of the new Sparkholders Cougar mentioned last chapter: Lynn, Drew, and Demetri. We've also got mysterious driver lady, who will be important later on. Next chapter we'll get back to Lynn.