"THE MACHINE WARS" PART 1: "MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE"
Captain N: The Game Master
"THE MACHINE WARS"
"MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE"
Author's note: The following story uses characters from the animated TV series "The Transformers"; however, the story is not a crossover between the two TV series "Captain N: The Game Master" and "The Transformers". What I have done is adapted "The Transformers: The Movie" to fit in Videoland, the game universe that Kevin Keene was pulled into. The TF characters are the same as they are in their own TV series. However, I have dropped quite a lot of characters and plot from the TF movie, having no use for them. I hope you enjoy this unique, yet familiar, story.
Friday, September 8, 1995, 12:33 PM
The dirt flew wildly as a still-sliding Pak pushed himself from the sandy ground which he had just been so unmercifully thrown upon. He spat out a mouthful of the earth and readjusted his sunglasses.
He felt the sun beating down on his shoulders. He questioned on whether or not the Desert World was a battle ground beneficial to either combatants.
"You have a choice, boy!" Pak announced. "I don't get paid for bringing your hide in to anyone, so you can either leave me alone," A smile crept across the man's lips, "or you can make this thing personal."
The white-armored robot aimed his guitar blaster, staring at his opponent through sunglasses that were stolen in their first confrontation. "Personal?" Riff almost choked on the words. "I've been chasing your ass for how long, and you don't think it's personal?"
For several moments, the two stood, weapons aimed at each other. Both had quick reflexes and extremely sensitive instruments. Pak could strike with a flick of his finger. Riff could counter with a pluck of a string.
It was a moment of mutual respect between the two. Of his time as Pak, Douglas Piedmont had come across no one who matched him the way Riff could. The bounty hunter had to admit to himself, had the robot not sworn revenge for the near-death of his older brother, the two would make quite the pair of outlaws.
A heavy shadow broke the moment. Both looked up, wide-eyed, mouths agape.
Pak was the first to speak. "Draw?" he asked, swallowing deeply.
Riff nodded absently. "Draw." Not taking his eyes off the shadow's owner, he called "Chord!"
A white sled slipped down from the sky, right at the robot's side.
"Megaland! Now!" Riff yelled.
The bounty hunter watched the younger warrior flee for safety. However, upon attempt, Pak found he could not move - at all. He stared, in a still-panic, as a purple light reached out and engulfed him.
"Open up!" Riff insisted, banging on the front door of the N Team's home in Megaland. "C'mon! Does this open door policy end when the new guy's in immediate danger?!"
Riff gave up on the door just as it opened.
In the doorway stood Julius Jones, the token strong man of the group. "Duh, sorry. Forgot how to work the knob."
Curious, Riff walked inside and examined the wall. "It runs on this panel." he said, pointing to a hi-tech locking mechanism. "You're the knob." He pushed past the big man, going inside. "Where are the others?"
"Duh, on the patio."
"Thanks." Riff darted up the staircase in the living room of the N Team's home, bringing him up to the second floor. He ran through the hallway and found himself before an open glass door. He stepped out onto the patio, his clanking feet alerting Kevin, Mike, Lana, and Rick to his presence.
Mike smiled from his lounge chair. "Riff! Long time no see!"
"What brings you by?" Kevin asked.
"What brings me by?" Riff gestured Kevin over to the patio's guard rail. He pointed high into the air, his white metal finger singling out a particular object. "That brings me by."
The rest of the present N Teamsters assembled to gaze at the large gray orb that seemed to be approaching Megaland.
"What in Videoland is that?" Rick asked. "A planet?"
Kevin gasped. "It's Unicron!"
"Who's Unicron?" Rick asked.
"It's a villain from 'The Transformers: The Movie' from 1986. I heard rumors about a game that was made over in Japan, but I had no idea - "
"Well," Rick asked, "what's it want?"
"Dude, you don't know what you've been missing." Mike told him.
"It devours worlds to power itself." Kevin explained. "I'd say Videoland is quite large enough to suit its tastes. If he isn't stopped before he destroys this place, I don't think he'll ever run out of power."
Lana racked her brain for any sort of command. How can the N Team stop this menace? "Mike, find Mega Man and get a closer look at that thing."
"How? I can't fly."
"Use the Warp Wagon!" Lana shot. "Do I have to think of everything?!"
Frightened of any royal wrath, Mike nodded and ran into the house to make the necessary preparations.
"Slow down!" a raspy voice commanded, directing itself at the larger-than-usual red sports car that was racing its way down the streets of downtown Capital City, Megaland. "You're liable to hurt somebody!"
The red car spun to a halt, facing its criticizer, which could be best described as a blue low-riding pick-up. "Relax," a young impetuous voice emitted from the sportster, "I know what I'm doing."
"We're here to help these people, not run 'em over."
As if on cue, the vehicles began to buzz and click and change in form until two large robots stood in the center of downtown, debating. Passers-by stopped and stared, but seemed to accept it as natural.
"Excuse me!" the red robot called to the crowd. "My name is Hot Rod. My friend here is Kup. We have a matter of great importance to discuss with your leaders."
"Well," an elderly female spoke up, "the Princess and her friends live about five miles that way." she said, pointing to the east.
"Thank you, ma'am." Hot Rod bowed slightly, and the two paraded off.
When Pak's eyes fluttered open, he found himself in a room filled with alien technology - a system of gears and levers mixed with energy tubes and glass viles of mysterious fluids.
"Where am I?" he growled. "Who are you?"
"I," a deep, powerful voice boomed through the room, "...am Unicron."
"Hiya, Unicron. My name's - "
"Piedmont. I know who you are."
The voice ceased, and Pak stood in the room, not sure what to do.
"I offer you...a gift." Unicron continued.
"What kind of gift?" Pak asked, slightly interested, but very concerned for his safety.
"Power." Unicron answered. "Ultimate power. Do you accept?"
"What's the catch?" Pak asked before a powerful pain and a green light overwhelmed him.
"I'll take that as a 'yes'." Unicron calmly joked.
Through several devices within the chamber, Unicron observed Piedmont's transformation. It took only a minute, at most, before Pak was released from the light.
He looked down at himself, examining the white bodysuit he was now clad in. Heavy black boots encased his feet, and his hands were covered in thick black gloves.
On the top of each glove, barely behind the knuckle, were sensors with wires leading up his sleeves and down into a small computer which sat on his chest. In turn, the computer had several wires of its own, parading around his back into a battery pack.
But perhaps the finest touch, in Pak's opinion, was the single lens of black glass that wrapped his eyes, almost as if it was plastered to his face.
"Satisfied?" Unicron asked.
Pak smiled. "Very. But, like I asked, what's the catch?"
"There is another like you. He leads a small army. While they do not seem like much, they are capable of great tasks - including my destruction."
A few monitors shimmered to life, and Pak quickly noticed and identified the man in question. "Keene. Don't worry, Unicron. I can take care of this guy."
"Do not underestimate him, Douglas Piedmont. And do not cross me. And should the thought cross your mind,..."
Pak screamed as he felt a horrible red glow stem from within his own brain.
"...take this with you as a reminder of your obligations."
"Wadaya see, Mike?" Kevin asked over the Warp Wagon's intercom.
The white ship was steadily orbiting the planet that slowly inched its way closer and closer to Megaland.
"Metal." Mike answered. "Lots and lots of metal. Hey! Wait a sec-" Mike squinted in the sunlight, trying to catch a glimpse of his subject. "Son of a motherless goat."
"What?!" Kevin anxiously asked.
"Pak! But he looks a little different."
"Unicron and Pak?" Kevin sighed. "This is not a good day."
Kevin was standing in the Communications room.
"Get back here." Kevin ordered.
"No argument from me." Mike answered.
Kevin shut off the microphone and set it down.
Suddenly, the viewscreen turned on. Dr. Right's image was on it.
"Captain N! Have you seen it?!"
Kevin nodded. "Yeah! What do we do?"
"Start by telling me what it is."
Kevin stepped back onto the balcony. The N Teamsters and Riff were gathered there, staring in wonder and fear at Unicron.
Lana turned around. "Well?"
"I explained the situation to Dr. Right." Kevin said. "Dr. Shiroshi just warped over to his lab. The two of them, Proto Man, and Mega Girl are going to figure out a way to stop Unicron."
The Warp Wagon arrived and hovered in place in front of the balcony. Mike and Mega Man hopped over the guard rail and joined the others.
"Good, we're all here." Kevin said. "Now - "
Just then, a warp zone opened up, and out stepped the N Team's good friends from an alternate Earth - Mark Moore, Matt Slater, and Mandi Paugh.
Mark smiled. "Hey, guys."
"We just thought we'd drop by and see what's up." Mandi said.
Mike slowly gestured at the sky.
Mark, Matt, and Mandi slowly looked up.
"Oh, crap." Matt said.
The N Teamsters, Riff, and the three alternate Earthlings were seated at the table in the Conference room. Several monitors were raised from the table, and they displayed Dr. Right's image.
"The entire planet-like structure is very large." Dr. Right said. "Perhaps indestructible."
The monitors switched to Dr. Shiroshi's image.
"Our own weapons probably won't be of much help." Dr. Shiroshi said. "We don't know what can stop it."
"I think I do." Mike said.
He was reading Volume 1, Issue 15, of "The Transformers", dated April of 1986. The story was called "I, Robot Master!"
Mike showed them page 17. "A tank!"
Everyone else groaned.
"We'll warp over." Kevin said. "Maybe we can help you better face-to-face."
"Is this all?" Dr. Right asked.
The N Teamsters present were Kevin, Lana, Mike, Stacey, Rick, Romeo, Julius, and Mega Man.
Lana nodded. "I'm afraid so. Simon's on Castlevania; Kid Icarus is on Mount Icarus; Duke, well, he has a habit of not being around; and Gameboy's at Dr. Shiroshi's house."
"But you've got us!" Mark said with a big grin, hugging Mandi and Matt, who also grinned.
"That definitely raises my confidence." Dr. Right said insincerely.
"Okay, so all this was in a movie, right?" Dr. Shiroshi asked.
"More or less." Kevin said.
"So, how was Unicron destroyed in the movie?"
"Oh, I know!" Stacey said excitedly. "The Autobots and the Junkions attacked on the outside, and Hot Rod totally screwed him with the Matrix."
"Very good, Stacey. You get a cookie." Matt told her.
"Hmmm..." Dr. Right thought.
However, before he could come up with any ideas, a hole was blown in one of the walls of the lab.
There stood Pak. "Hey, Princess Loser and her Nitwit Team."
Immediately, the N Teamsters drew their weapons.
"Please, not in the lab!" Dr. Right begged. "This equipment's very expensive! Take it outside!"
Pak ran over and grabbed a bunch of equipment, then threw it through the hole in the wall. "Done."
Stacey was struck with fear at Pak's super strength. "Oh, shi-"
Before she could finish vocalizing her colorful metaphor, a car and a truck zoomed into the room and hit Pak.
Pak was knocked to the floor. He quickly got to his feet and ran off.
The car and truck went through their transformation sequences and revealed themselves to be robots.
"Wow!" Kevin said in excitement. "It's Kup and Hot Rod!"
"This is so awesome!" Stacey said.
"Of course, you have no idea who these guys are." Mike told Rick.
"Wow! We're famous!" Hot Rod said with a smile.
"Are you guys okay?" Kup asked.
Lana nodded. "Yeah."
"Dr. Right, if it's not too much trouble, let's get everyone to Autobot City." Hot Rod said. "We've got very good defenses there."
"An excellent idea, Hot Rod." Dr. Right said. "Dr. Shiroshi and I will stay here to look after the lab, just in case Pak returns."
"Autobot City?" Kevin asked in surprise.
Kup nodded. "Four-million years ago, an Autobot ship known as the Ark left our home planet of Cybertron in search of a new source of energon. But chasing the Ark was the Nemesis, the flagship of the Decepticon Space Fleet. The Decepticons boarded the Ark, and a battle between the Autobots and Decepticons ensued. Both ships were pulled into Megaland's atmosphere by gravitational forces. The Ark crashed into a volcano on the other side of Megaland. When the volcano exploded in 1984, the Ark's computer was activated, and the Autobots and Decepticons were repaired and resumed fighting. Eventually, Autobot City was established near the volcano."
"I've been here for six years tomorrow, and I never knew about this." Kevin looked at Dr. Right. "Why didn't you ever tell me about this?"
Dr. Right shrugged. "You didn't ask."
Autobot City was transformed for battle.
"Everything's ready." Hot Rod said. "If Pak comes, we're prepared for him."
"Good." Kevin said.
Just then, a door opened, and some more robots walked into the room.
Stacey grinned. "Hey, it's Blaster and Arcee!"
Just then, they all heard sounds of explosions outside.
"Is it Pak?" Lana asked.
Hot Rod looked out the window. "It's the Decepticons!"
"Great,...the Decepticons." Matt muttered. "It couldn't be sweet harmless Pak. It couldn't be Dr. Wily. It's gotta be the Decepticons!"
"Fire the rockets!" Arcee yelled.
Rick pressed a button and fired a rocket. It exploded, knocking Megatron and Starscream over.
Megatron stood up. "Constructicons! Merge for the kill!"
The Constructicons merged, forming a large robot.
"Devestator." Kup said in terror.
Devestator began pounding on the wall in an attempt to destroy it. Rick fired another rocket. The rocket impacted on Devestator, causing him to lose his balance and fall down.
Kup looked at Hot Rod, Mega Man, Mega Girl, and Proto Man. "I've got an idea! C'mon!"
The five of them left the room.
"Hurry! Contact Optimus Prime!" Arcee yelled at Blaster.
Blaster transformed into his cassette deck mode and linked to the satellite dish on the roof of the building.
"Optimus Prime! Do you read me?! The Decepticons are blitzing Autobot City! We're really takin' a pounding! Don't know how much longer we can hold out!"
"Soundwave, jam that transmission!" Megatron ordered, pointing at the dish on the roof.
Soundwave stepped forward and pressed his Eject button. "Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage, Ratbat, eject. Operation: Interference."
The four robot cassettes ejected and transformed. They landed on the roof, tore off the dish, and threw it down.
"Crap." Mandi said. "Now what?"
"It got through." Matt assured her.
"Are you sure?"
"Mandi, if we get out of this, rent the movie." Mark told her.
On the other side of Megaland, deep within Skull Castle, Dr. Wily was in his factory.
For months now, ever since his last attempt to conquer Megaland had failed, the evil scientist had been hard at work building up his forces for the ultimate attack. Now, with the attack of this Unicron, and the N Team being busy halfway around the planet with the Decepticons, was a perfect time for him to strike.
The factory was building Robot Masters and lesser robots. Most of these were old, since it was easier and faster to construct old models from existing plans than to design new models. But there were quite a bit of new robots.
Dr. Wily laughed. "What a perfect time to attack! The Nitwit Team will be totally unprepared!"
Back in Autobot City, Optimus Prime had arrived. He was standing in the city, looking at the devastation.
"Megatron must be stopped," he said, "no matter the cost."
He transformed into his vehicle mode, a truck, and his trailer appeared and attached to him. He began driving down the street and knocking over Decepticons. He then transformed back into robot mode, and his trailer went back into subspace. Prime flew through the air, firing down Decepticons with his gun. He then landed and continued firing.
Soon, he found Megatron.
Megatron turned to face him. "Prime!"
"One shall stand." Optimus Prime said. "One shall fall."
Inside the building, the girls were busy fighting off the cassettes. The guys had gone outside to take of the rest of the Decepticons.
Mandi was having a bit of trouble with Ravage, who had taken a liking to her right arm. "Cats are cute, but there are some things they just shouldn't do to people!" She shook her arm furiously. "Get off of me, you Deceptikitty!"
Mandi managed to throw off Ravage, who landed on Stacey's chest. The valley girl shrieked.
The four girls in the room managed to boot the cassettes out the door.
Suddenly, Mandi pointed. "Look!"
Everybody ran outside and looked at where Mandi was pointing.
Megatron was firing at Optimus Prime. "Fall! Fall!!!"
Prime fell to the ground.
Megatron, badly damaged, threw Hot Rod away, stood up, and looked down at Optimus Prime. "I would've waited an eternity for this. It's over, Prime!"
Optimus looked up at him. "Never!"
He swung at Megatron and knocked him over a ledge. Megatron landed on the ground below.
Hot Rod walked over to Prime, knelt down, and held him. "Optimus, forgive me."
Starscream walked up to Megatron, a sadistic smile on his face. "How do you feel, mighty Megatron?" He kicked Megatron, then turned. "Astrotrain! Transform and get us out of here!"
Stacey was firing a laser rifle. "The Decepticons are retreating!"
Kup stood up. "Prime did it. He turned the tide."
All the Decepticons that were able to walk boarded Astrotrain.
"Astrotrain! Take off!" Starscream ordered.
Astrotrain sped up, then converted to flight mode and took off.
Suddenly, a red figure climbed up on top of Astrotrain.
"Who's that?" Arcee asked.
"It's Proto Man!" Mandi said in surprise. "But...he looks different!"
Proto Man, his figure darkened against the rising sun and his yellow scarf blowing in the wind created by the flight, stood on top of the ship. He was taller now - 5'7" to be exact - and was more detailed. He had some kind of black pattern on his chest, and he was staring at the people on the ground.
Proto Man thrust his right arm into the air. "Decepticons forever!"
Then, to everybody's amazement, Proto Man transformed into a cassette! He fell through the hatch he had come out of and dove into Soundwave.
Soundwave transformed into his cassette deck mode and linked to Astrotrain's external speakers.
Then, heard by everyone on the ground, the Season 1 ending theme music from "The Transformers" fired up and blared from the speakers:
The humans and robots on the ground watched as Astrotrain soared off into the distance.
TO BE CONTINUED...
New material copyright © 1999 by Mark Moore and Matt Slater
Material novelized from "THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE"
Copyright © 1986 by Sunbow Productions Inc.