Alright peeps! I'm back! Thanks to the incessant egging ons by Devildog, I have decided to update. J/K Devildog. Thanks for the reminders. Here's a little Selena-Breakdown action for you.
Link to my character. The last one in the first chapter is no longer available-
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On the Nemesis ship, hovering listlessly over the English Channel, two Vehicons sauntered about the halls aimlessly, talking about the old days when Cybertron was still inhabitable.
"I'm telling ya," Vehicon 1 said excitedly, "Set it on low, and amplify the heat, the old stasis beams back in Kaon work wonders for the kinks." He patted his shoulders, dreaming of the day his kinks could be removed.
"Really?" Vehicon 2 gasped in amazement. "I used old rotaries."
"NYAH!" A gruff voice roared.
"What was that?" Vehicon 1 jumped.
"GYAH!" A high pitch voice screamed.
"Sounds like somebody being pummeled." Vehicon 2 remarked, intrigued by the sounds. BOOM! BANG! The Vehicons jumped, rooting to their spots. "In there." The thundering soundsrumbled on the other side of the training room doors.
"GRAAH!" The gruff voice was heard roaring again. SLAM! Something was slammed into the wall nearest the door. The two Vehicons cringed. "HAA!" The high pitch voice screeched. SMASH! The two Vehicons exchanged bewildered shrugs. By the sounds of it, someone was doing a crash course in body smashing.
"What's going on in there?" Vehicon 1 asked fretfully. "Sounds like a full blown brawl."
"Maybe we should check." Vehicon 2 suggested. "Just to make sure things are well." He quickly added, seeing his comrade tilt his head. Vehicon 1 shrugged his shoulders, finding merit in the suggestion. Lest they wish for Lord Starscream to hoot and holler about a death on the ship.
Vehicon 2 reached a hand out to open the door. "If you value your spark…" The two troopers whipped around. Starscream and Knockout approached from behind them, "You will not open that door." He cooed sinisterly.
Knockout chuckled darkly behind a hand. "Breakdown and Selena are having another one of their…" Knockout trailed off, circling his hands in order to describe it, "Mano y Mecha0-Mano brawls." He narrowed his eyes wolfishly, "The last Con to enter during their bout ended up being melded with the floor."
The two Vehicons cringed, recalling seeing Soundwave smooth out the floors in the training room not too long ago. "NYGH! HAAA!" The banging's and booms reverberated through the doors again, making the Vehicons nearly jump out of their armor. Without hesitation they continued on their way, dashing down the hall with urgency.
"Wise choice." Knockout chortled.
"GRR!" Breakdown grunted.
"NAH!" Selena howled.
After the incident with M.E.C.H About a month ago – making it two months since Selena joined with the Decepticons – Selena was left slightly disoriented and weakened. The uranium dust which infested her body was taking a while to flush out. All the while it severely weakened her magnetic powers. It took even longer for Selena's powers to recover. Sometimes, even after all this time, she thought she wasn't up to full strength.
Breakdown, not being a fan of Selena, decided to be her physical trainer and help her regain her strength. In truth he was trying to get the boot kicked to her. He wanted her off the Nemesis and away from the Decepticons. Fleshlings had no place among mechanized gladiators from one of the most technologically advanced planets in the universe. No matter how extraordinarily gifted they were.
Starscream arched an annoyed brow to the booming on the other side of the door. "How long have they been in there?" Starscream grumbled irately.
Knockout sighed heavily in equal annoyance. "Are talking today or the last few days?"
"Too long." Starscream decreed. "I cannot run a ship with those two constantly TRYING to kill each other!"
"Not kill, necessarily." Knockout corrected the jet stingily. "Simply…Severely maim until incapacitated."
Starscream stomped to the side of the door, touching a finger to the automatic release button. Knockout joined him, finding it unwise to be in the path of the door. Cybertron knows what would come flying out.
With a one, two, three count on his fingers, Starscream pressed the button, letting the door fly open. Immediately, Selena came flying out, bouncing down the perpendicular adjoining hallway. She slid to a halt, groaning dizzily with her hat lying next to her. Starscream exaggeratedly motioned his hand sarcastically to her, gazing stoically to Knockout. "Like clockwork." He bragged. Knockout swept his hand and bowed to Starscream's wisdom.
"HA-HA-HA!" Breakdown hooted boastfully, trudging from the room in victory. "AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!" He prodded a finger at Selena. "The weak falling before the strong!" He flexed his arms.
Selena hissed, arching her head back with a glare. "Sounds good!" Selena tossed herself onto her stomach, climbing to her knee. She spat at the ground, and then flipped her hat back onto her head. "LET'S GIVE IT A TRY!" She slammed a flat palm into the ground. The ground reverberated loudly. Dust huffed from the ground. Nut and bolts loosened from the floor plating, tilting in a trail heading for Breakdown.
The wrecking Con laughed at her, not finding the palm slap frightening. He took a step forward. A loud thud rumbled the floor. Selena grinned victoriously. The loosened nuts and bolts popped from the floor like corks, pelting Breakdown in volleys scaling his armor. "GAH!" Breakdown raised his arms, feeling the bolts pierce his armor. He staggered back. The floor moaned beneath him. "WHOA!" The floor gave way under his heel, tripping him backwards. "Ugh…" He groaned in a daze.
Starscream tapped his chin nostalgically, nodding in appreciation. "She got me with the floor once." He recalled. "I neglected to mention the side effects of her medical treatment."
"She got me with the nuts and bolts." Knockout flicked dust off his grill. "I criticized her hat." He cursed his mistake.
Breakdown groaned dizzily, leaning up on his elbows. "Well it is a stupid hat. OOF!" Selena plunged her feet into his gut, laying him out flat in the dented floor. "Ugh…" Knockout shrugged his hands, saying I told you so.
"Hmph!" She flicked the bridge of her beret, kneeling down with a bold smirk. "It looks better than that peashooter of a turret you're sporting."
"This peashooter has spilt more Autobot energon, than you've taken steps since your assembly!"
"First of all," She shoved a finger in his face, "Fleshies aren't a-sem-bulled." She stated with sarcastic air quotes. "We're BORN nude, slimy, and – for the most part – bald!" She swung her arms, "All parts attached." At that note, Knockout and Starscream tilted their heads, trying to imagine Selena without hair. "And grazing Autobots does not equal spilling energon!"
"PUH!" Breakdown swatted her away, knocking her into the wall. Selena groaned, massaging her head. "What Autobots have you scrapped?"
"Do you mean on earth or in the universe?" Selena grumbled, shaking off the hit. "Because the second probably beats your record!" She stomped towards him.
"Doubt it!" Breakdown scoffed. He bent forward to the significantly shorter girl. "A little girl like you can't top my heavy duty bashing!"
Selena put her hands to her hips, boring her crimson daggers into Breakdown's chassis. "And a glitch head like you can't top my deadly efficiency!"
Starscream's talons gently touched the wall, then grinded down. A chilling screech wailed in the hall. Knockout cringed, covering his ears. Breakdown and Selena screamed, terrified by the sound. When Starscream stopped, all was silent. "That's better." He purred, his talons gleaming in sharpness. Breakdown and Selena gawked at him, wondering if he was crazy. Starscream blew boastfully on his talons, then proceeded to scowl at his warriors. "While you arguments and physical abuse are stimulating," He said first hand, a hint of elation in his voice, "I cannot afford to have two of my elite subordinates killing each other or engaging in this childish behavior when in combat!" He reprimanded. Breakdown and Selena groaned audibly, rolling their eyes like kids being scolded. "Despite either of your beliefs, you immeasurable strength is what grants us an edge against Bulkhead and Prime! Meaning you are both vital to my plans!"
Breakdown and Selena pointed critical fingers at each other, "HOW IS THAT THING VITAL?" They both howled. "GRR!" They growled at each other. Starscream raised his claws to the wall. Knockout plugged his audio sensors. Breakdown and Selena flinched.
Starscream smirked triumphantly. "Since you both are so sure of yourselves, how about a little outing so you can spend some quality time together?"
"WHAT?" They boomed.
"Not a bad idea." Knockout hummed menacingly. "A little together, some bashing and crashing – our heavy hitters here may very well become planet crushers." Breakdown and Selena gaped at the medic in utter disbelief. He was supposed to be on their side.
"There is an energon reserve in the Himalayas I have sent troops to excavate." Starscream explained, ignoring their dismay. "In the last three days since their departure I yet to receive word or reports of their progress." He pointed a snide finger to the fretting two, "You two will go and investigate."
"WITH HIM/HER?" They both boomed.
"You can decline if you wish." Starscream shrugged. "Just know that Knockout needs assistance in the medical bay."
Knockout morphed his hand into the drill, prodding the tip hungrily. "I've been itching to test out a new procedure." He narrowed his eyes with a wolfish grin. "Con or Fleshling will suffice." He purred.
Breakdown and Selena shivered in revulsion, backing away. "Do you want to drive or shall I?" Breakdown asked Selena hurriedly.
"By all means, you." Breakdown went into Vehicle mode. Selena jumped into the passenger's side. With a screech of his revving tires, Breakdown sped for the Space Bridge.
Knockout and Starscream chuckled impishly. "That was easier than I thought." Knockout commented.
"Indeed." Starscream handed Knockout a large jar of polish. "As promised."
"Ooh…" Knockout ogled, reading the label. "Paint guard, too. This will make me glisten."
Treaded cautiously through a valley sunk deep between the might peaks of the Middle Himalayas, Ratchet kept the energon scanner extended far outward, roving it over the entire terrain so not to be taken by surprise. The needle on the scanner would not only detect energon, but tiny blips will appear if an enemy is in range.
Bulkhead stalked close behind ratchet, keeping his eyes peeled for the slightest movement. The light covering of snow on the soil and mountains would be a good alert for shifts in the area. It was the deathly silence and descending slope which unnerved him. It was as if they were sinking toward the earth. And though the peaks were high, Bulkhead felt exposed. Vulnerable.
"Brrr…This place is creepy." He shivered. I feel so…isolated…yet so exposed." Despite talking in a low tone, the mountain area was so quiet his fretful whisper echoed to the peaks. "As if something's gonna jump out and rip our circuits out."
Ratchet scoffed scornfully, rolling his eyes. "Have you been watching those…terror movies with Miko again?"
"Horror Movies, Ratchet." Bulkhead corrected, urging Ratchet to get it right. "And that has nothing to do with it." Ratchet puffed in doubt. "Decepticons have gone missing in these parts of the Mountains for the last three days. THREE!" he flared three fingers into Ratchet's face. The Medic ignored him as he continued to read the rising scanner. "Yet here we are," He spread his arms to the chasm, "Walking in the open, as if we're on a routine mission. Do we have viruses in our processors?"
"First of all," Ratchet turned his attention to his frightened friend, "Our Processors are fine. Secondly, we don't know if the Decepticons are vanishing." He stressed in irritation. "For all we know they could be gearing up for a full scale, planetary invasion." Which was not unfounded. Cons have been known to gather their masses for a wide spread invasion. "And THRIDLY," If not the most stressed notation, "This IS a routine mission," He prodded a scolding finger into Bulkhead's chest plate, "And I would appreciate a little more back gear from an elite wrecker."
Earlier that morning, Ratchet detected a strange occurrence with one of the Decepticon energon reserves. His sensors detected Decepticons going in on a daily basis, but none would ever come back out. At first Ratchet and Bulkhead decided to let it be. They were entering an energon reserve. It was nothing special. What was odd was the energon not moving in the last three days that caught their eye.
Be it a Space Bridge or some other project, they did not know. What Optimus did know is that if the Decepticons weren't hauling energon to their ship, they must have been planning some other project to further advance their nefarious plots. The Autobots could not afford to let the Decepticons to gain the advantage over them. Lest they risk the demise of millions of humans in the process.
Believing they would be adequate for the task, Optimus sent Bulkhead and Ratchet on a scouting mission to ascertain the Decepticons plans. Bulkhead protested against the idea at first. But Ratchet was firm, as was Optimus. Ratchet needed to be out in the field more often. That and this mission was only reconnaissance. Any fighting and backup was to be called.
"Hey!" Bulkhead shoved the hand away, "Even wreckers have their dos and don'ts. And my don'ts are wandering in a place known for…odd disappearances." For lack of a better term.
"Fine." Ratchet huffed impatiently. "If you're going to be a protoform about this, I'll call Optimus and tell him to send a bridge-"
"No way!" Bulkhead rumbled, offended at being treated like a child. "I'm here in case there are Cons!" He stated firmly. "Not that I doubt you," He crashed an anxious fist into his giant palm, "But there's no way I'm leaving you to fend for yourself!" He declared firmly.
"That's what I like to here!" Ratchet commended his green friend. "Now come on," He continued, following the spiking needle, "We're getting closer." Ratchet trudge along. His massive feet splashed the soil and snow up, burying it as he went along. Bulkhead kept close to his friend, still maintaining caution as they proceeded. They were in Decepticon territory. Who knows where danger lurked beyond those mighty peaks?
"AACHOO!" Selena sneezed aggressively. It bounced off the peaks. She sniffled her nose on the sleeve of her winter coat, sauntering languidly in her snow boots. The coat was thick, yet slender on her figure. Poufy in the patches. Her hands may have been donned by gloves, but they were frozen. "By Magnus's helm!" She cursed nasally. "I hate this planet's weather!" She roared. "It's spring for Magnus Sake! Yet the cold here can rival those of Magtora's winters!"
"Don't tell me a little cold bothers the greater slayer of bots." Breakdown cooed cynically, following the pulsating needle on the scanner Knockout leant him.
"Unlike you I have skin and nerves." She hissed. "Skin and nerves which respond to significant changes in the weather." A powerful wave of chills rolled down her body. "But sudden changes from extreme heat to frigid cold – I admit I am not adept."
"Ha!" Breakdown blurted. "Wimp!" Breakdown's foot stepped onto a hole emitting steam. The ground beneath that foot began to rumble thunderously. "Huh?" A powerful pillar of water erupted from the hole. A twinkle sparked in Selena's eye and she swiped her hand. "WHOA!" Breakdown's foot in the dirt slipped, allowing the pillar to knock Breakdown flat on his back. "UGH!"
Selena slapped a hand to her forehead and stomach, "HA-HA-HA!" She cackled heartily. "Aw…" She cooed mockingly. "The Great Bot Wrecker taken down by a little water." She baby babbled.
"WATER?" Breakdown boomed, turning onto his hands and knees. "More like a cheap shot from behind!"
"Don't blame me because you lack coordination. Besides," She folded her arms, "Cheap shots are your thing. I prefer it when others see me coming." She ran her tongue hungrily over her lips. "I love the fear in their eyes."
"That's pretty bold talk." Breakdown grumbled, dusting the snow and dirt from his armor. "But I know differently." He snickered.
"And just what do you mean by that?"
"Those three kids paling with the Autobots." Selena grunted, furrowing her brow. "Knockout told us you were spending time with them during your sick days." The weeks she was left blinded. "And I haven't forgotten how you save that human girl of Bulkhead's."
"You got something to say, Breakdown." She rumbled impatiently.
"I think the little sadist has a soft spot for humans."
Selena's finger curled into a fist. The ground around Selena rumbled as a ring of energy imploded from her. "If that were the case, I would have spared the number of humans I've killed since I arrived to this planet."
"Well you spared the woman who crashed into you."
"Have I yet to mention I don't kill needlessly?"
"An excuse to hide your weakness." Selena's wrist turned. Breakdown's arm was wrenched behind his back. "GAH!"
"Please remember," Selena growled forbiddingly, her eyes glowing red, "Starscream and Knockout aren't here. I will turn you inside out if you push it."
"You make it sound as if I hide behind them!" Selena stopped, placing her hands to her hips as she faced him. Breakdown cracked his fingers, shifted his shoulders and cracked his neck gears. "I don't need those two to take you down, bug."
A demonic grin slithered across Selena's face. She hovered easily from the ground, marshaling her power around her. Summoning the chakrams, Selena flourished them like wheels, begging Breakdown to come at her. "Bring-it-on." She purred grisly.
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP…Selena and Breakdown's comlinks blared. The two gaped at the strange timing. Selena raised her eyes to the sky, roving them around. Breakdown scanned the inner valley of the mountains. "Do you think they're watching us?" He rumbled quietly.
"Or they developed ESP." Selena quaked. The two tapped their coms. Selena's spanned across her face.
"Yes?" Breakdown answered innocently.
"And how is the mission fairing so far?" Strascream's voice hissed tauntingly over the com, sending chills down their spines.
Breakdown and Selena ogled in fear to one another. They are watching! "We are near the entrance to the excavation sight." Selena answered quickly. "So far it's quiet." All things considering.
"Very good." He sniggered lightly. Selena shivered, swallowing nervously at the purr in his voice. They were most definitely watching. "Report with any findings you stumble across. See you both in one piece."
"Ugh…" The two droned. Starscream hung up. Breakdown and Selena released their prolonged held breath. "I hate it when he does that." She wheezed.
"Well…" Breakdown huffed in defeat, "You heard him." Breakdown continued to trudge up the inclining hill. "Let's go, bug." He motioned a hand. Selena flew after him, taking no offense to the bug comment.
"Does it necessarily matter where we enter from?" Selena asked, noticing they've been walking around for a while. "I thought there were energon deposits all over these mountains."
"There are." Breakdown answered simply. "But not all of them are connected, and each one is different." Selena tilted her head. "Each one is labeled so we don't reenter an already stripped mine." He explained. He showed her the scanner. "Scanners like this are trained to other scanners placed in the mines."
"Something like that." He agreed. "All I do…is…this…" He touched a button on the panel. The screen zoomed out. Several blips appeared on the scanner, labeled with designation tags. Selena hovered overhead, intrigued by the tags. "Those are the mines currently under our watch. I just enter the tag number…" He did so. The screen zoomed in, showing the mine in the green. "And the green tells me it's clean."
"Cool." Selena giggled. "So which one are we looking at?"
Breakdown entered in a different tag, bringing up a yellow colored mine a couple miles from them. "That one." He announced. "It's the only one where not even a speck of energon has been removed."
"That's odd." Selena hummed pensively. "Starscream said he's been sending teams for the last three days to mine it." She tapped the screen. "Yet there doesn't seem to be a dent in the energon reserve."
"Meaning either our boys are slacking off, or the bots discovered our operation."
"And none of the troops report sightings or disruptions? Or Soundwave picking up the Autobots' energy signatures?"
"Good point." Breakdown agreed unwaveringly. "Something else must be going on in that deposit." Breakdown rumbled. "But I wonder what's here that could be halting our work."
"Or what could POSSIBLY be halting their work." Selena stressed. "Aside from me, no one else on this backwater planet stands a chance against 12 ton robots."
"Then maybe it isn't someone from this backwater planet." Breakdown suggested. Selena arched a confused brow. "If you're here, who knows what other aliens could be on this rock."
"I don't know any other aliens with that sort of strength." Selena tapped her scouter, bringing the screen across her face. "But let's see I f can't get anything." She suggested. "How far up are we from the deposit?"
"Three miles." He guessed. "And don't worry Air breather there's enough holes to carry fresh air." He teased.
"Thank you for your heartfelt concern." She laughed. Selena set up the calculations. The scouter dove beneath the surface. It must have barely made it a mile and a half before results were rendered inconclusive. "I can't get down any further. The minerals in the ground are too thick."
"Anything from where you stopped?"
"Nothing all the same."
Breakdown stroked his chin. If something were down there, it would at least give off some sort of reading. Unless they're like Selena and aren't readable by their technology. "Come on…" Breakdown motioned his hand to a cave just ahead of them, "We can get to our destination through here."
"You sure?" Selena questioned. Breakdown displayed the scanner mockingly. "Oh. Right." She rolled her eyes. "The one with the map." She bowed at the hip and swept her hands to the cave, "Lead on, Captain."
"Much obliged." Breakdown chuckled, trudging to the dark hole in the mountain wall.
Ratchet came to a halt a large cave entrance. Gashes and grooves were smoothly carved into the walls. Given the size of the tunnel, obvious signs of prolonged digging were present. Holding the scanner to the pitch black cave, the needle spiked energon readings at ¾. Much stronger than any of the other caves they've passed.
"This must be it." Ratchet declared, a foreboding rumble in his voice. "Energon levels are off the charts for an excavation site."
"Shouldn't they be showing signs of dwindling?" Bulkhead questioned, not understanding the readings.
"Correct." Ratchet narrowed his optics to the blackness, expecting the malicious talons of a Decepticon to come ripping from the hue. "Regardless of another project, I sincerely doubt a Decepticon – or anyone – would stand idly by while a mother lode of energon rested at their feet."
"In that case we might not be dealing with Cons." Bulkhead proposed, meandering past Ratchet. "Maybe something's in the cave, trashing the Cons as they enter."
"What could possibly have the power to decimate five story sentient beings?"
"You do remember Selena, right?" Bulkhead questioned, secretly insulting Ratchet's lack of sense. "The one who gave you that on your cheek plate?"
Ratchet touched his fingers to the plate, running his finger along the etch. Horrific images of Selena cackling as she nearly extinguished his spark filled his processor, making him shiver. "If you are suggesting another Magneetian, your theory is invalid." Ratchet rumbled darkly. "Selena is the sole survivor of that race. The last one."
"Are you sure?" Bulkhead tested him. "Selena survived. What's say another one couldn't have?"
"The last 30 years." Ratchet rumbled guiltily. Bulkhead bobbed his head, not wanting to say anything more. Ratchet knelt to the ground. There were footprints hidden in the snow. They had to have been at least a few hours old. They were entering, not leaving. Ratchet touched an ear to his comlink. "Optimus, we found one of the entrances to one of the mines." He reported. "Cons have definitely entered, but none have come out." He roved his eyes over the cave, analyzing the grooves in the rocks. "There doesn't seem to be any signs of recent Decepticon activity."
"This does not bode well." Optimus rumbled disconcertingly. "Continue your reconnaissance. Stay alert." He ordered with a hint of worry. "Should you encounter the enemy, I will send backup."
"Roger that." Ratchet ended the communications. "Let us proceed." He instructed Bulkhead. Ratchet trudged into the cave, flicking on a light, and readying his blaster.
"Right behind ya, Doc." Bulkhead prepped his blaster, eager to follow.
"Wow…" Selena let her voice echo in the massive cavern. Her scouter allowed her to see through the darkness encompassing the cave. There were chunks of energon sticking out of the walls of the cave, completely untouched, lighting the cave in a dim glow. Voids in the wall showed where some of the energon had been plucked. Breakdown used a miniature light on his shoulder. "This place is nuts." There were filed stalagmites hanging from the ceiling, countless number of drilled holes infesting the floors and walls, and most impressively was how smooth the cave seemed to look. "They've been down her for a while."
"Why do you care so much?" Breakdown blurted out of the blue. Selena looped around, hovering upside down with an apathetically arched brow. "You study our operations, learn our language, fight alongside us – why?"
"Why wouldn't I?" Selena retorted quizzically. "Why does it bother you that I'm here?" She questioned him strongly, demanding him to answer.
"Because it doesn't make sense!" Breakdown stressed. "You have a grudge against the Autobots, I get that! But you have the power to tear us limb from limb." He understood sincerely.
"What's your point?" Selena asked again, growing impatient.
"You don't need us! Why stay?"
"Because I've tried." She answered softly. "I always get pulled back in."
"You've tired?" Breakdown gaped.
"After Megatron bit the dust, I walked out." She cleared her throat, unnerved by the memory. Then a small smile tugged at the corner of her lips. "Starscream came after me and extended my stay." Breakdown blinked in awe. "Then, after I got kidnapped and considered taking retirement, you guys came after me."
Breakdown bobbed his head. "But why do you take orders the way you do? Why do you bend over for Starscream?"
"Oh that's easy!" She beamed in mischievous elation. "Starscream lets me have my fun on missions; in exchange I let him think he's in charge, and he's completely aware of that." Breakdown scoffed humorously. "Plus I get to meet new Cons and bots. Just last month Knockout and I almost killed each other with a little race."
Breakdown touched a hand to his forehead, chuckling heartily. "You're odd. You know that?" He laughed.
"I wouldn't be as interesting if I was normal." She winked.
"Yeah, yeah…" Breakdown trudged past her. Selena giggled under her breath, trailing after him. "Well oh interesting one maybe you can use your knowledge to tell me why this energon was left untouched." He dared her. "Better yet, where are the lights?" Breakdown questioned suspiciously. Selena was intrigued by that too. The last mine she was in was lit up like a class room. This one was remarkably dark. "Usually these caves have lanterns so workers can move in and out without crashing into each other."
"I think I found the problem." Selena ran her fingers over a lukewarm fiber glass drilled into the ceiling. "They've been broken."
"Broken?" Breakdown gasped. "By what?"
"Something with claws and fists, and shoots energon."
"Whoa, the troops?" Breakdown gaped in disbelief. "Are you sure?"
"These scorch marks have small traces of energon in them." She clarified. "Not to mention the claw marks and fists are similar in size."
"Why would they break the lights out?"
"I was hoping you could tell me." Selena floated along, following the marks and grooves. "The guys have come down here in the allotted time Starscream's been sending them out." Her finger glided over the semi smooth gashes and scorches. "But they've been attacking the walls rather than the energon."
"Now that you mention it…" Breakdown trailed off, kneeling to the ruptured ground. "There's evidence of a struggle here. Like a fight went down."
"It couldn't have been the Autobots, could it?" Selena denied the possibility. "There's no way they could start a fight and we don't find out."
"Then what other explanation is there?"
"Hell if I know." She shrugged dumbly. Breakdown rolled his eyes…then froze. "Maybe-" Breakdown put a finger to her mouth. Selena arched a brow.
"Shh…" He pointed to an adjoining cavern. Selena eyed it confusedly. What was so-
"By the Alspark!" Selena's brows flared. She knew that voice. "How could this have happened?" Ratchet? Selena growled mentally.
"Not sure." Breakdown knew Bulkhead's voice anywhere. "But this explains something."
Breakdown and Selena exchanged heated glances. Suspicions confirmed.
A small few of the lights remained in the main mine, barely casting enough light to see the hand in front of ones face. Crates of energon were spilled, rocks and boulders were scattered and ripped from the walls, drills broken beyond repair, and offline bodies of Decepticon troopers lied on the ground.
Bulkhead scoured the mine, keeping his optics out for any lingering Decepticons as well as admiring the stock pile of energon. He took care not to trip over the discarded bodies. Ratchet was running his bio scanner over the lifeless body of a Con. He was rather astonished by the semi-mint condition of the trooper. There were definite signs of a struggle all throughout the mine. It was as if a full scale war took place. Hardly a scratch on him, yet he was offline. Not even so much as an energon pool.
The holographic beam flashed orange. Ratchet's eyes widened. "This can't be right…"
"What?" Bulkhead called out, hearing the Medical Bot gasp out. Ratchet quickly recalibrated his scanner and ran another diagnostic, hoping he was reading his findings incorrectly. Bulkhead sauntered to the perturbed medical bot. "Ratchet? What's up?"
The beam flashed orange again. "By the Alspark." Ratchet gasped in horror. He wasn't.
"Care to clue me in?" Bulkhead pressed. "What happened to these guys?"
Ratchet shut down the scanner, shaking his head in utter revulsion. "This scout…" Ratchet rumbled, "He's completely drained of energon." Every last bit of energon was literally emptied from his body. The circuitry, his spark – everything was rust dry.
Bulkhead was taken aback. "Drained?" He breathed. "You mean like…drained-drained?"
"Not even the flammable fumes are left."
"That's not possible!" Bulkhead panicked. He picked up the body. No pool of energon was under it. He shook the body violently. Not a single drop splashed out. "Ho scrap…" He quivered. Bulkhead dropped the one Con and inspected the next five. No energon. "I don't believe it."
"Believe it." Ratchet warned him, rising to his feet. "These soldiers were the victims of an energon draining of the most horrific caliber." Ratchet turned the one Con onto his back. Four drill holes in the shape of a square were in the in middle of his back. Ratchet tossed him down, scrambling away in terror. "And I think I know how." He pointed to the holes in the offline Con's back.
Bulkhead studied the holes for a moment, then realized what they were. "NUH-UH!" Bulkhead cried out, backing away like the Decepticon was infected. "NO WAY THAT CAN BE HERE!"
"It's the only logical explanation, Bulkhead." Ratchet assured his colleague eerily. "The evidence is overwhelming. Cyber Leeches have found their way to earth."
Bulkhead shuddered, scrambling his hands over the chills prickling in his circuitry. "How could those pests be here?" He blurted in terror. "Especially when they can't ingest the straight stuff."
"I suspect, like us, they must have drifted to this planet and taken up refuge."
"But how could they survive?" Bulkhead stressed. "Cybertron's been dark for eons. There's no way those things could survive."
"I suspect our answers lie further within." Ratchet turned his attention to an adjoining cave. A small sliver of an energon trail leaked down the rocky surface. "Possibly deeper."
"Nuh-uh!" Bulkhead drew the line. "I say we go back to the entrance and call ahead to Optimus."
"You do that." Ratchet trudge off for the cave. "I'm going deeper."
"We need to ascertain where these beasts are nesting, lest we wish for them to cause more damage."
"TO THE CONS?"
Ratchet whipped around to his missing the point protégé. "If we allow these vermin to feed off the countless Decepticons, they will grow to a size where they can ingest the straight stuff and decimate the land in search of energon deposits."
"Oh…right." Bulkhead hadn't thought of that. "Uh…I'll go call for backup." He announced swiftly, stampeding for the cave they entered in. The minerals in the mine were thick, coupled with the snow. Communications would be scrambled.
"You do that." Ratchet shook his head with a half-smile, meandering to the cave with the energon trail.
Selena and Breakdown hovered overhead on a ledge just above the Autobots. They leaned against the wall, wishing to keep out of sight as they listened to the conversation. Selena arched a curious brow to Breakdown, who was lost in his own thoughts. "I take it you've heard of these leeches."
"Everyone from Cybertron knows about those accursed worms." He growled heatedly.Breakdown touched his comlink, connecting to the Nemesis. "Starscream. We figured out what's up." Selena joined in on the comlink communication. "First off, we got Autobots lurking. But they aren't the ones behind this. Cyber Leeches have found their way into the mines." He said with disgust.
"Not possible!" Starscream blurted, officially piquing Selena's interest. "How could those vermin possibly be here?"
"Not sure." Breakdown shrugged. "Probably drifted in same as us."
"Hi." Selena raised a hand, feeling left out. "Anyone want to clue me in to what a Cyber Leech is?"
"Consider them the equivalent to earth snakes." Knockout answered with disgust. "Numerous species, and can appear when you least expect them." Selena could agree with that. Snakes always seemed to be the sneakiest of earth reptiles. "These Leeches were a plague during and before the war."
"Similar in shape to what the humans call Centipedes, Cyber Leeches are the only techno organic creatures that lived on Cybertron." He explained, shuddering as he went along. "They feed on energon. Sapping every last drop and feeding their never-ending hunger. And the more they eat, the more they grow."
"They appeared more during the war." Starscream continued. "Whilst we were busy battling, Cyber Leeches would crawl and latch onto us before we noticed them." Selena heard him shudder, "They drain every last drop, leaving your outer shell in mint condition."
"Not so bad if you ignore the certain death result." Knockout retorted.
"So one leech did all of this?" Selena questioned skeptically to the massacre.
"Unfortunately there's never just one." Breakdown announced forebodingly. "Cyber Leeches are always in a group of five. Three are hunters, two are the siphons." Selena sat on the air, wanting to listen further. "The Hunters seek out energon and will eat their fill. The siphons take half of what the hunters eat straight from them."
"Parasitism." Selena deduced.
"Pardon?" Knockout questioned.
"It's one of the Symbiotic relationships." She clarified. "Parasitism is where one benefits and the other suffers. The Hunters do all of the work while Siphons are the ones truly surviving."
"A good summation of their nature." Starscream agreed. "Those vermin must be dealt with. The Autobots included." Breakdown and Selena flashed blood thirsty smirks to each other. "Blow the entire Mine if you have to. But do not let any of the 'pests' escape."
"On it." The communications were cut. "I'll take Bulkhead."
"Ratchet's mine, then." Selena licked her lips. "Good hunting." Selena dove from the upper floor, soaring after Ratchet.
Breakdown chuckled under his breath, stomping after Bulkhead. "So weird."
Bulkhead found his way back outside, sighing heavily with relief to be out and away from the leeches. "Optimus," Bulkhead called ahead, "We have a problem. Cyber Leeches found their way to earth."
"Have you located their nest?"
"Ratchet's scouring the cave right now. But the Cons became a full course meal."
"I will arrive shortly." Optimus reported. "Standby."
"I'll be waiting." Bulkhead ended the communication.
"IN PIECES!" Bulkhead barely turned before her was rammed face first into the snow covered soil. He groaned dazedly, holding a hand to his head as he wondered what hit him. His body started to get dragged back. Bulkhead clawed his bulging fingers into the ground. He glanced back, seeing Breakdown lugging him by the foot. "Congratulations, Bulk…" Breakdown built up momentum, twisting and twirling around, "YOU GET A FIRSTHAND LESSON IN FLIGHT!" Breakdown let Bulkhead fly. The large green mech smashed into the rocky mountain wall face first, sliding down with his metal grinded shrilly.
"Ugh…" Bulkhead groaned dazedly, wanting to go back to bed.
"Nice take off, Bulk." Breakdown mocked him. "But I'm afraid I'll have to give you an F for the landing."
"Well then..." Bulkhead staggered to his feet, "LET'S SEE YOU DO BETTER!" With a loud roar, Bulkhead charged after Breakdown, Wrecking ball drawn. Breakdown drew his hammer and met Bulkhead in the middle. The hammer and wrecking ball collided dead on. A powerful shockwave ruptured and reverberated through the ground, vibrating the sky scraping mountain peaks.
The Wreckers punched and bashed each other in the head, ramming one another into the peak walls surrounding the chasm. Snow and rocks were shaken loose, crumbling to the ground around the battling mechs. Bulkhead dealt a powerful upper cut to Breakdown's jaw, knocking the Con into the air. He quickly plowed his wrecking ball into Breakdown's stomach, sending the Con flying into the mountain wall. Cracks traveled up the mountain, breaking more rocks loose.
When Bulkhead charged, Breakdown rolled out of the way, letting Bulkhead run face first into another wall. He then climbed to his feet and rammed his hammer into Bulkhead's side, sending him into a rock wall. The sound of loud metal colliding with the rock sent thundering echoes traveling throughout the chasm.
Breakdown dealt punches to Bulkhead face and stomach, smashing into a pile of boulders. Bulkhead quickly retaliated with several punches to Breakdown stomach and a final one to his face. Breakdown staggered back, shaking his head to suppress the vibrating. Bulkhead roared loudly, stampeding for the Con again with his wrecking ball arm drawn back. Breakdown crouched, rolled Bulkhead over onto his shoulder and tossed him like lacrosse ball. Bulkhead's back hit the rocky formations and he fell on his head.
"HA!" Breakdown scoffed, trudging to the downed bot. "Once again, horrible landing." He mocked. "Oh well," He cracked the gears in his fingers, "Where you're going," Breakdown lifted Bulkhead by his tiny head, placing a blaster to his back, "You'll be landing in the Well of Alsparks with a thud."
"HYAH!" Optimus roared, landing a punch to Breakdown's head. Breakdown bounced to the cave, crashing into the arch. Optimus stood over his downed friend, blaster at hand in case Breakdown tried to attack. Breakdown groaned, checking to see if his head was still attached his shoulders. Optimus knelt to Bulkhead. "Are you alright?"
"Ugh…" Bulkhead climbed to his hands and knees, "I will be…" He mumbled. "Once you get my the license plate on the schmuck that hit me."
"I GOT YOUR LICENSE RIGHT HERE!" Breakdown aimed his blasters and pieced away the cracking formation above the Autobots. Several rocks, boulders, and piles of snow came avalanching down. Optimus and Bulkhead huddled close together, covering their heads as they became buried under the rubble and snow. A chain reaction of avalanches stampeded for the ground. Breakdown went into vehicle mode and sped back into the cave as it became encased into snow, dirt, and rocks.
Optimus and Bulkhead sprouted from the avalanche, gasping in relief and dusting their armor off. "First flying lessons, now a burial…" Bulkhead groaned. "I'm going to bed when I get home."
"There will be time to rest after our mission is complete." Optimus reassured his subordinate. He glared to the blocked caved. Ratchet was trapped with Breakdown and the Cyber Leeches. "Right now we must get to Ratchet and stop the leeches."
Following the energon trail beeping on the scanner, Ratchet cautiously sauntered through the stark cave, darting his glowing optics to every corner of the cave in case the leeches lurked.
"I never imagined I'd agree with Bulkhead." Ratchet's voice quivered. "I feel so exposed, despite being in a dark cave." He laughed derisively at himself. "Hm?" There was noise coming from an adjoining cave. Squishing, metal shuffling, gears grinding – "Could it be?" Ratchet turned down the cave, stepping lightly so not to alert the leeches of his presence.
Unbeknownst to the Medical bot, Selena was stalking close behind, crawling on the ceiling like a lizard. She giggled impishly. "This is just too easy." She continued after him, fighting to stifle her laughter.
Ratchet's road came to an end. The tunnel he traveled down came to a swift drop into a pit at the bottom of a wide, spiraling cavern. The cavern was similar to the tunnels the Decepticons make in order to beam up energon crates.
"By the Alspark!" Ratchet gasped in horror. "This…" Ratchet sputtered, his processor whirling in terror.
At the bottom of the pit, nesting in all of the pot marks holes 20 feet up from the ground – Five cyber leeches, two with five inch long spines trialing down their back, were feeding off the lifeless bodies of the missing teams of the Decepticon excavation crew. Three had their antennae's touching the processors and their quad fangs biting into the chest plate. The two with spines were siphoning whatever the other were eating through cables from their spines. But that wasn't the horrific part. In each of the holes, surrounding the nest, were little turquoise and gold egg shaped pods filling the bottom.
Even worse, the leeches have grown into maturity. If Ratchet was analyzing them correctly, observing how easily they siphoned the energon from the Decepticons, "They are ready to feed off the yet to harvested energon."
Ratchet shuffled back, taking care not to let his body grind against the rock. He turned around, heading back for the main tunnel. "I have to warn Bulkhead." A hand reached out from the ceilings cover of darkness. "UGH!" Ratchet's body stiffened, his joints locking in place. "What…is…this…?" He struggled. "I can't...move!"
"What a shame." Ratchet froze. "And here I was hoping this would be more enjoyable." Trembling, his sights moved up. Selena floated upside down, hovering in front of his face. "Hello, Ratchet." She hummed darkly. Her crimson orbs glowered brightly through the darkness. "Did you miss me?" She cooed, twisting right side up like she was the Cheshire Cat.
"I counted the days!" Ratchet snarled sardonically. "So tell me, Selena, did you kill them and offer them to the Cyber Leeches?"
"You think the absolute worst of me, Ratchet." She trailed a mocking finger along the scar on his cheek plate. "I would never forsake allies to a gruesome fate like this. I was sent to see why our troops were vanishing." She explained with a creepy smile. "At first I thought bots were behind this. But seeing these Leeches, I guess that lets you off the hook with Starscream."
"How the mighty has sunken so low?" Ratchet snarled venomously. "Taking orders from those you could easily bend to your will!"
"Funny." Selena licked her tongue over his lips. "Breakdown said the same thing." Breakdown? Ratchet gasped mentally. "So I'll tell you what I told him." Selena touched a flat hand to his chest. Ratchet felt the pressure rising on his joints. His limbs were ready to fall off. Selena leaned in close, letting Ratchet see the fire in her face. "So long as Starscream and the Cons let me have my fun…" She trailed off in a rasp.
"GRAH!" Ratchet howled. Selena slowly dragged her fingers down his chest, drawing jagged claw marks into his chassis.
Selena grinned sadistically. "I will follow their orders until Megatron rises from the grave." Selena wrenched her fingers from the chest plate. Ratchet howled in pain. Selena relished in the energon leaking down. The Leeches were heard from below, hissing as they smelt the aroma of spilling energon. Ratchet gritted his teeth, feeling the Leeches encroaching. "I think your friends are still hungry." Selena trailed her tongue up his cheek. "I think they'll appreciate a meal with a little more fiber." Selena began to push him back.
Ratchet panicked, digging his feet into the rock. His feet grinded bone chillingly loud. He didn't stop. Ratchet could feel the breeze of the shaft, hearing the leeches screech pleading for his leaking energon. "Selena…" Ratchet's voice shook breathlessly, "This is SICK!" She spat. "YOU'RE SICK!"
"And you can die knowing," Selena drew her hand back, "THAT YOU MADE ME THIS WAY!" Selena slammed her hand into Ratchet, shoving him into the pit. Ratchet screamed, clawing at the air to pull himself back to the ledge. His back hit the ground with a loud thud, knocking the wind out of him. The Leeches screeched, baring their fangs in elation.
"Don't worry, though!" Selena yelled tauntingly. "In a few seconds this whole mine will be rubble!"
"YOU-" Ratchet had a leech latch onto his head. The other two gathered at his chest wound. "GAAAHHH!" He howled. The fangs piercing into his chassis.
"Aww…" Selena cooed contemptuously. "You're bonding. So I'll leave you to it." She wriggled her fingers, "Tootles!" She sped down the cave.
Selena cackled victoriously, soaring through the caves as she imagined Ratchet being swarmed and torn limb from limb. Coming to the main excavation, Selena saw Breakdown drive in a hurry. He skidded in circles as he transformed into robot mode.
"I think it's time we blow this place!" He urged frantically. "Bulkhead nad Prime are on their right now!"
"Ratchet's being devoured." Selena reported. "So how do you blow 11 tons of energon?"
"Like this." Breakdown smirked, showing a bomb.
The rubble at the cave entranced was dug away. Bulkhead and Optimus drove as fast as they could, hoping to reach Ratchet before he became a victim of the Cyber Leeches.
The two Autobots transformed into their robot modes, stampeding into the mine. To Bulkhead's terror, Ratchet was nowhere to be seen.
Bulkhead gaped in dismay. He and Optimus came to a halt. They drew their blasters and aimed. Breakdown and Selena were seen standing in the center, smug grins plastered to their faces. Selena stood on a large capsule shaped pod.
"You failed to mention Selena." Optimus rumbled.
"I didn't know she was here."
"Nice of you to show up." Breakdown chortled.
"Though we'd love to stay and chat," Selena stomped her foot twice on the pod. It parted slightly, revealing a series of Cybertronian numbers counting down, "You two and Ratchet are pressed for time."
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, SELENA?" Optimus demanded.
"See for yourself!" She spat. Breakdown went into vehicle mode, opening the door.
"And we suggest you hurry!" Breakdown cackled, closing his door after Selena got in. "YOU ONLY GOT FIVE MINUTES!" Breakdown's tires screeched loudly as he jetted off up and random cave. Bulkhead turned to run after them.
"THERE'S NO TIME!" Optimus stopped him with a hand to his arm. "We must find Ratchet and evacuate!"
"HE WENT THIS WAY!" Bulkhead dashed down the cave with the energon trail. Optimus followed after his hulky friend, praying to every force listening that they made it in time.
Ratchet writhed and hissed in agony. The three hunter leeches kept their antennas firmly pasted to his head, scrambling his thoughts from any idea of escape. The pain of the fangs drilling into his spark, sucking the energon straight from his veins was painful enough to keep his from thinking straight. Ratchet peered to the roof of the cave through squinted eyes. His mind went beyond the rocky ceiling, gazing to the sky outside, imagining Cybertron in its splendor. How he will never see it revitalized. Then his mind drifted to Magtora, seeing it implode, hearing the screams that plagued Selena.
"I'm sorry…" He rasped, "Truly…"
Ratchet's eyes flared open. "Optimus…?" He wheezed.
"Bulkhead!" He called out more elatedly.
"OPTIMUS! HE'S DOWN HERE!" Ratchet looked up. Bulkhead and Optimus were in the tunnel he fell from. Ratchet smiled. If he could, he'd cheer with utter relief.
Optimus and Bulkhead jumped down, wrecking ball and Blades drawn. The leeches saw the two bots. Optimus smashed his foot into the siphons, crushing them against the wall. The hunters broke away from Ratchet, launching for Optimus. Bulkhead plowed his fists into the three hunters, smashing them into nothing on the wall.
"Whoa…" Bulkhead gaped, seeing the eggs. "The leeches were busy."
"Never mind that, Bulkhead!" Optimus hoisted Ratchet to his feet. "We must get out, now!"
The timer on the bomb was down to two minutes, 45 seconds and counting. Another tunnel was connected to the pit. Optimus had Ratchet leaning on his shoulder, lugging him as fast as he could. Bulkhead ran out ahead, keeping the way clear. The bomb was down to a minute and 30 seconds.
Bulkhead punched and rammed rocks out of their path. Likely put there from the battle between Breakdown and Bulkhead earlier. Bulkhead's hand pierced through the rubble wall, giving way to the light of day. 30 seconds remaining.
"BUMBLEBEE!" Optimus called ahead animatedly, barely able to get Ratchet 20 yards from the soon-to-be ground zero. "BRIDGE US TO BASE IMMEDIATLEY!" Bumblebee beeped in confirmation. 20 seconds. A ground Bridge appeared 200 feet away from the three bots. Bulkhead got on the other side, helping Optimus lug Ratchet along. 10 seconds. Optimus and Bulkhead shuffled into the bridge, able to able the daunting beeps of the bomb counting down.
5…The base was in sight. 4…Bumblebee ran to help. 3…Arcee went to he controls. 2…"CLOSE THE BRIDGE!" 1…Arcee pulled the switch down.
The entire mine exploded in a cloud of energon, turning the mountain and mounds within a one mile radius into dust. Breakdown and Selena watched from two miles away on a higher mountain, marveling in awe at the peaks crumbling like a tower of cards. The cloud of energon drifted to the sky.
Selena whistled in awe. "Energon…" She gasped. "More oomph than human gasoline."
"Do ya think the bots went down with the mine?"
"Doubt it." Selena droned, stretching her arms over her head. "Oh well. At least the leeches are gone."
"I can settle with that." Breakdown grunted, cracking his neck. "Who do we talk to about a lift out of here?"
Selena touched her scouter. "Here that, Scream? We could use a lift."
"Mission complete already?" He teased.
"Leeches gone, bots most likely still alive." Breakdown announced, not sounding too disappointed.
"Bots seem to be impervious to explosions." Selena remarked, recalling the first mine to explode.
"So long as the leeches are disposed of, I will count this as a victory." He announced. "A bridge will be sent momentarily."
"Thank you." Selena giggled, ending the call. "This was fun."
"Ratchet's still alive." Breakdown commented. "How is this fun for you?"
"The same way Bulkhead being alive is fun for you." She countered quickly. "I have someone to play with the next time I go out." She licked her lips. "And each scar I leave on Ratchet is another chunk of his spark broken."
"You really are a sadist." Breakdown remarked in awe.
"Thank you!" She beamed.
Breakdown shook his head, still unable to get a good read on the Magneetian. Insults were compliments, compliments were insults…depending on who said them. It's fun that the bane of her existence is alive, making her smile yet she wants to kill him.
"A leech." Breakdown said out of the blue. "You are a leech."
"You feed off pain and fighting. You're a leech."
Selena opened her mouth to rip him a new one. But she thought about it and nodded. "I'll take it." She acquiesced. "As long as I can call you a juggernaut."
"Once you get started, nothing stops you."
"Deal." The two shook on it. "Now where's that ride?"
"I dunno." Selena touched her scouter again. "Hey Scream, where's that momentary bridge?"
"Forgive me." The jet chuckled. "You both were just having such a tender moment. I did not want to disturb you."
Selena's brow twitched up sharply. Breakdown growled in the back of his throat. The Space Bridge opened across from them. Selena perched herself onto Breakdown's shoulder as he trudged for the tunnel. "You hold him, and I'll punch?" He proposed.
Till next time.