Let's pick up where we left off.
I am now fixing Rafael's name. It is now Raf. Not Raph. It's how it is in the show. Sorry about that.
Things started to calm down after the drama in the mine at the Himalayas. Breakdown and Selena were FINALLY getting along, Ratchet and Bulkhead made it out of the mines with their sparks intact – barely -, and Miko was in detention. AGAIN! All in all – nothing had really changed. Nothing special happened in the meantime either. Both teams were scrambling to regroup and recuperate from the mines that they dared not risk any field operations until cleared.
Two weeks was plenty of time to get back on track and pick up where both teams had left off. The Decepticons and the Autobots almost instantaneously returned to scouting and warring over energon. Ratchet was out of commission for the last two weeks. The leeches siphoned a massive amount of his energon and did significant damage to his body and spark. Optimus had some medical training, but not enough to bring Ratchet back to a full bill of health. Ratchet was capable when his wounds were 50% healed. But he would not be cleared for field duty for some time.
So, for the time being, the two teams and their fleshy companions were taking a little time for themselves. Enjoying the fresh air, the sunshine, the hours of sleep they've been allowed to accumulate, and doing little activities together.
"AAAHHHH!" One of the Vehicons roared in agony. "GAAAH!" He writhed on the operating table.
Knockout flipped the welding mask from his face, glaring an arched brow to the wailing Con. "Do you MIND sitting still?" He roared. "I am trying to work!"
"CAN'T YOU NUMB THE PAIN? OR PUT ME TO SLEEP?" The Vehicon begged. "Please tell me you can knock me out!"
A wire in Knockout's head popped. "Ignoring the pun…" He growled, "Any anesthetic could compromise the organism. Not to mention, since vital circuitry is damaged, putting you in stasis could yield chances of you never awakening." He snapped his head down, slapping the mask to his face.
"For the love of Primu-AAAAAHHHHH!" Knockout dug the heated needle into the Con's side, digging deeper into his gears. The needle prodded at the inner mechanisms. An oozing…organisms shifted in the wires, burying itself deeper into the Con's body. "GAAAAHHHH!" Knockout dug deeper. He pressed a button. The needle turned into a pair of tweezers. Violent sparks ignited, evaporating on Knockout's mask. He dug and twisted into the Con's side. The restraints barely held him down.
"And…" Knockout hummed. The tweezers clamped onto something. "GOTCHA!"
"RAAAAHHHH!" The Con howled shrilly. Knockout wrangled and yanked. Writhing and snarling rabidly, energon dripping from the body, Knockout reeled a leech from the recesses of the Con's body. Breakdown entered with a large canister and popped the lid open. Knockout slammed the leech into the canister. Breakdown contained it. The job was done.
"A successful operation, if I do say so myself." Knockout boasted, rubbing his knuckles to his chassis.
"I can't believe these things hitched rides!" Breakdown grumbled. He glared at the leech through the canister. "What is this? Number four of those eggs?"
"Six if you count the twins that came from you." Breakdown shuddered in revulsion. "Sticky little buggers those eggs are. Durable too." Knockout found a small gavel and conked the Vehicon on the head. Sleep was instantaneous. "They are impressive." He tended to the open wound on the Vehicon's side. He closed the armor plating, running the welder over the wound. "Most likely they latched onto you and those we recovered after the blast in the mines."
"Suddenly I feel the need to de-sanitize."
"You have taken three consecutive de-sanitation sessions every hour on the hour for the last two weeks." He powered down the welder and turned away from the unconscious Vehicon. "Trust me when I say you are clean…" He trailed off, thinking about his words for a second. "Well…clean-ER."
Breakdown raised an armpit, smelling his exhaust. His face scrunched. Minor putrid aroma. "Where are the other leeches you grabbed?" Breakdown asked gruffly, blowing off the stab at his hygiene.
Knockout sniggered under his breath. "Exactly where this one is going to be placed." Knockout tossed the canister up and down boastfully. He opened a metal box and placed the leech canister inside. "In a little box awaiting to be shipped out and out of our circuits."
"Things would be going a lot smoother if Selena were here to help!" Breakdown roared impatiently. "Where is that lazy Magneetian anyway?"
"She's been given the weekend off by Starscream." Knockout was a little perplexed by the human term Weekend. He knew the humans had two days they considered days off. But it was Friday. How was that the weekend?
"At least give her a call!"
"Starscream already has." He snapped bitterly. Breakdown may be dense from time to time, but he wasn't so dense that he couldn't hear the disgust in knockout's voice when mentioning Starscream. "Selena claims to be otherwise preoccupied. Something about…a…school house jail break?"
Breakdown's anger subsided instantly by his confusion. He touched a finger to his chin. "Wonder what that means." Breakdown mumbled pensively.
Knockout shrugged his hands indifferently. "Who knows?" He muttered. "I'm not as hip to the human lingo as one might think. Selena on the other hand has lived on this planet much longer than any of us put together.
"HNNN…GRRRR….HOOOMPH!" Miko pushed and sucked in her stomach, flailing her legs wildly as she tried to sneak her way out of the girl's bathroom window. "WHOA!" She popped out and crashed into the dumpster just outside. "HA!" She sprouted up. "COO-COO! COO-COO!" She hooted. The chain link fence opened like zipper, the edges curling up. Miko pumped her fist and ran out. The fence closed behind her. To Miko's eternal joy, the melodious hum of a motorcycle engine revved.
Just then someone in black and purple leather drove up on a familiar bike. She popped the tinted windshield of her helmet up, revealing her crimson orbs. "Do you realize how lucky you are that this place doesn't believe in security cameras?"
"Lecture me later, Selena!" Miko jumped on the bike, tossing a helmet on. "Right now there are some primo pics and video I need to take of you jumping dunes and creating sand clouds!"
"UGH!" Selena grunted, revving her engines. "Now I know how Bulkhead feels." Miko giggled impishly as Selena took off down the street. "Let's at least get the boys. They'll kill us if we're late." If there's one thing Selena knew, it was that Miko definitely had a future in either striped or orange jumpsuits.
Busted circuits sputtered with flaring sparks, the floor was mangled, and mind numbing grinding gears echoed up and down every hall. Starscream burst into the bridge, frothing impatiently at the mouth. Soundwave fervently pecked away at the control panel, displaying an outlining grid of the nemesis. A few more keystrokes; a system diagnostic was underway. A horizontal and vertical bar appeared on the screen, gliding over the grid of the Nemesis.
"The floors are torn at the seams! Circuit ripped from the walls! Not to mention-" He was abruptly cut off by a sudden POP beneath his feet, "Fuses are spontaneously combusting more than a Vehicon's radiator!" He stomped around the smoking pot mark, trudging heatedly to the Eyes and Ears of his armada. "TELL ME," A vent grate bounced off his head, "GRR – there is good news!" He demanded of Soundwave. The faceless Con ignored the fuming Commander – self pronounced Lord – for a few seconds. Giving him a chance to cool down…plus he didn't exactly answer to him. Just as Starscream was about to yell at him, Soundwave displayed a superficial damage report to the ship.
Despite all of their problems, the diagnostic read the damage was minimal. At least on the outside and common areas of the ship. The diagnostic would need to run a while longer to get into the deeper recesses of the ship, but all signs were green so far.
"How IRRITATING those blasted Leeches are!" Starscream snarled. He huffed heavily, trying to calm his revving engines. "You kill several in an explosion, and ten more appear in their place! They are like humans!" Soundwave then took the liberty of reporting the current state of the Leeches found on the ship. "All six have been captured? Good. What of our injured?" Soundwave clicked over screen on his face. "Five critical, 10 are debatable, 20 with minor injuries, and the rest are offline." Out of the masses sent to the mines, those numbers were poor. "Are we sure those were the only leeches on board?" Soundwave pointed to the main screen. The diagnostic was 50 percent complete. "Grr…" Starscream folded his hands behind his back, "Understood." He agreed grudgingly. "We shall wait."
"If there's an emergency," Soundwave replayed Selena's message before she departed, "LIFE THREATENING ONLY, then give me a shout."
"There's no need to summon her." Starscream assured the faceless Con. "Simple repairs and extermination are not life threatening. Besides the last time we beckoned her from her time off, she turned one of our flyers inside out." On that note, Soundwave returned to the diagnostic's check.
"Are you serious?!" Jack blurted in outrage, with a hint of humor. "You actually asked Selena to break you out of school?" Miko and Selena sipped their milk shakes nonchalantly. Jack growled impatiently, slapping a hand to his face. He shook his head, knowing there was no point in lecturing them. He was actually more surprised that HE was surprised by this. The affiliation may be drastically different, but the two girls were notorious for law breaking. "You two could be the new Bonnie and Clyde!" He snapped, unwrapping his burger.
"I'll be Bonnie!" Miko volunteered, waving a hand in the air. "Cause I'm crazy good."
"Then I guess I'm Clyde." Selena settled, unwrapping one of her ten burgers. "I'm the one with the muscle mass."
Miko jabbed a finger into the side of her head. "You callin' me a stick?"
"Nope." Selena bit into the burger. "A scrawny teen with more pep than sense." Miko's jaw dropped in aghast. Selena and Jack laughed. Miko was finally speechless. Something they never dreamed possible. Miko fell back into her seat, going for her burger in dismay.
Rafael laughed with fries in his mouth. "You both are horrible."
Selena ruffled his hair lovingly, "And yet you still love us."
"Shouldn't Starscream be calling you to clock in?" Miko rumbled with a pouting face, nibbling on her burger.
"Nope." Selena tossed the wrapper of her first burger into the trash – amazing three pointer shot – and went for her second burger. "He knows I'm enjoying my weekend."
"Does he also know you're eating more than a hippo?" Rafael retorted, addressing the cups of pineapples, strawberries, and grapes she picked up on her way to the K.O. Burger. "How long has it been since you've eaten?"
"Five days." She answered before shoveling a spoonful of pineapples into her mouth. Alien or not, Jack, Miko, and Rafael gaped in shock. Five days without eating? It made them wonder how long she could go if she didn't have to work so hard. "Ever since that mishap with the mines, we've had to pull double shifts." She chugged a small bit of her drink and returned to stuffing her face. "Breakdown and I have been doing most of the heavy lifting."
"Doing what?" Jack asked.
"Maintenance, removing barnacles from the ship – you name it." Selena tossed the empty fruit cup. She went for her third burger. "I've been exhausted. These last 24 hours were murder." She circled her shoulder and arm, stretching the muscles, "I might need an extra three days to be at top form."
"I know how you feel." Rafael muttered with a yawn. "Ratchet's so banged up I've had to give him a hand." He rubbed his tired eyes, "I haven't gotten any sleep." Selena couldn't contain her sadistic smirk. Luckily the burger hid it. Selena hates the Autobots with a passion. But she is willing to bite her tongue off if it meant keeping Miko, Jack, and Rafael. "So what are the Cons up to now?"
"Need to know basis." Selena blurted. She slurped the strawberries. "Unless, of course, you want to tell me what the bots are doing." She teased coaxingly.
"This spring's a hot one, isn't it?" Rafael quickly changed the subject, chugging his soda.
Selena smirked. "Thought so." She returned to her milkshake, needing to bring her food down. Truth be told, Selena wasn't sure what the guys were up to. But she was sure it was something outlandish and evil. What else would they be doing? Building scrap-castles?
"NOOO!" One of the flyer cons howled. A pile of scraps was littered on the ground. "IT'S TAKEN ME MONTHS TO BUILD THAT!"
"I told you to put the castle elsewhere." A Vehicon scolded impishly.
"SHUT UP, STEVE!"
"Anyway, Miko," Selena sighed, throwing her trash away, "You said something about primo pics and video?"
"OH YEAH!" She blurted. "Raf! Did you bring it?" Rafael reached into his bag and pulled out a video camera. "Sue-weet!" She clawed the camera from his hands. "This, my violet haired Amiga," She dragged Selena in by a draped arm around the shoulder, "Is the key to me making the GREATEST music slash action video in the history of music slash action videos!"
"And…I fit into this…how?"
"You, Raf, and Jack here are going to be my guinea pigs-I MEAN," She sputtered with a nervous laugh, "Cast and crew."
"What will we be doing?" Rafael asked, knowing that he will regret his question later.
"Nothing too crazy." Miko laughed unsurely. "Just jumping some dunes, diving off waterfalls, dodging falling scrap metal Selena throws, and running from vicious animals." Jack and Rafael edged back. Selena slipped from under Miko's arm and retreated to Jack and Rafael's side of the table. "What?"
Selena, Jack, and Rafael huddled close together. "You two run, I'll cover you." Selena whispered.
"GO!" Jack and Rafael bolted from their seat and ran for the street.
Miko shot up from her seat. "HEY!" She slammed her hands to the table. Selena flicked a finger and ran after them. "SELENA! WHOA!" Miko tripped. "Wuh-" Her shoes laces were melded into the bench legs. "WHAT-HEY-GUYS! GRR!" She dug her phone from her pocket. It started to ring. "Hey Bulk! I could use an assist."
A Cyber Leech, suspended in a force field, wriggled and writhed, snarling viciously. Knockout, circling the Leech, jotted notes to his Data Assistant, studying the Leech intently. Physical aptitude, skin density, secretions, vital signs, biology, technology – the whole Cybertronian nine yards.
"Intriguing…" He hummed. A cord extended from the Data Assistant. Knockout plugged it into the lab's computer terminal. He uploaded his findings from the Data Assistant to the main computer. He pressed a red button, beginning to record his session. "Neural Net – sound. Conscious yet rampant thought process. A cycle of repetitive procedures. Signs you are a creature of habit." Knockout mocked his animalistic prisoner. The Leech hissed dangerously. "Physical attributes – subpar. Small legs point toward slow and minimal movement, but passible climbing capabilities." Knockout turned the nob on the control panel of the force field detaining the leech. The Leech screeched in pain, writhing into knots, looping around itself. "Thin and nimble body stature allows the subject to fit into narrow spaces and traverse with ease. Secretion of fluids indicates digestion of ingested energon – most likely a method for slithering through narrow arches." Knockout turned the nob further. The pain increased. The Leech shrieked, screaming in agony. "Subject his sharpened pincer like fangs. Perfect for drilling into subject, as well as shoveling prey into orifice." He turned the nob back. The painful surges subsided in the leech. The Leech hovered limply in the force field, exhausted from the pain. "Durability – top notch." Knockout ended the recording. "You, my little friend, are one interesting specimen."
"I certainly hope so." Knockout whirled from his experiment. Starscream entered into the lab with an irked expression, his talons restrained behind his back to keep him from lashing out. "Otherwise I will be quite bothered by the fact you decided to keep one of these…" He sneered to the exhausted leech, "Miserable vermin upon my ship."
"Oh, Starscream," He sniggered excitedly, "When I give you the 4-1-1 on our little friend here," He bounced his fingers off his lips, "You'll want to kiss me." He boasted.
Starscream cringed his face, raising a commanding hand for Knockout to cease. "As…tempting as that idea may sound, let's just say I will greatly, VERBALLY…appreciate your work should it yield satisfying results."
"I can live with that." Knockout returned to logging his findings. "Besides…" He added with a sly smirk, taking hold of his prod, "I'm sure Selena will kiss me enough for her new pet." He poked the leech. It howled in pain. Starscream choked on the air, clearing his throat uncomfortably. Knockout curled his hand, chuckling under his breath. "Struck a nerve, have I?" He teased.
"Nothing of the sort!" He coughed flustered, hiding his embarrassment. "I am…simply…" He twirled his hand about. A good excuse he did not have, "Questioning the logic you utilized to arrive at the conclusion that Selena would k-AHEM-want a leech for a pet." If his face could turn red, Starscream's cheeks would be a light pink in shame. "A Leech, by the by, notorious for rendering all Cybertronian life forms lifeless, and getting us tossed into the rust pile."
"Fearful she will turn it onto us?" Knockout quizzed tauntingly. "Not much faith in your second." He pushed a button, closing a glass cylinder around the leech. "I only the other hand trust my spark with Selena."
"IT IS NOT A MATTER OF TRUST!" Starscream barked. "It is a matter of primal instinct! No matter how powerful she may be, Selena will have difficulty taming and subduing something organic and metal."
"Your lack of faith is disturbing." Knockout grumbled. "How did she put up with you before I arrived?" He locked the glass. Starscream rolled his eyes. But he conceded. He was not playing into the medic's energon covered hands. Any more than he already has. "AND…" Knockout twirled on his heels, "If she knew that I could…tweak our leechy friend's neural net to make him compliant, obedient, and, overall, bound to a specific vocal process from which he must adhere," He tapped his cheek, "She will plant one right here and be eternal in my debt."
Starscream bobbed his head, stroking his talons down his chin. "Most impressive." He chortled. "And you, at present, possess the method and equipment to achieve your…boast?"
Knockout put a doctor's light on his head, unsheathed his saw blade, and grabbed a pair of tweezers. "Means, tools…" He tapped a finger to the glass, "And the perfect opportune-AH!" He panicked.
Starscream shoved Knockout out of the way. "DOCTOR…" He pointed to the casing, "Please tell me…" He clawed into Knockout's shoulder, "You gave your prisoner cloaking capabilities."
The glass casing was completely empty. The leech was no longer suspended in the force field. Knockout winced fretfully, clenching his hands. "What if I told you otherwise?"
"Then you will regret having wheels instead of wings."
Knockout took a step to the left away from Starscream. "I am good, Starscream. But even I am incapable of working that fast. Both the wings and cloaking." He removed the glass, disabled the force field, and peered to the field emitter. The problem smacked him the face with dread. "Well…I have good news and bad news."
Starscream folded his arms scornfully. "For your sake the good news better outweigh the bad."
"The bad news is…" Knockout pointed to the field emitter, "Our little friend has slithered into the inner mechanics of our ship-" The engines stalled for a brief second, lights flickered, and circuits hummed. Knockout followed the ceiling with a finger, "And…is now making its way through every tube it meets."
"BAH!" Starscream raised a fist.
Knockout cowered under his hands. "NOT THE FINISH!" He begged.
"WHAT…IS…THE…GOOD NEWS?" Starscream frothed, fighting the overwhelming urge to hemmer Knockout into the floor.
"The good news is the reason for the escaped leech is due to the field level being too low." He raised a guilty hand. "My fault."
Starscream growled. "How on earth is that GOOD NEWS?"
"It means the equipment is not faulty! GAH!" Starscream's fist smashed into his face, knocking him to the floor. Starscream patched in to Soundwave via comlink, "SOUNDWAVE!" He roared. "Cue the audio communications!" A high pitch screech echoed throughout the halls. "ATTENTION! THIS IS LORD STARSCREAM!" Knockout couldn't resist rolling his eyes. "THIS SHIP IS NOW UNDER EMERGENCY LOCK DOWN!" Soundwave on the other end initiated an emergency code into the panel. An alarm blared, a red light flashed. "A LINGERING CYBER LEECH IS RUNNING RAMPANT WITHIN THE WALLS! BE ON YOUR GUARD! SEARCH ALL VENTILATION, ROOMS, AND CREVICES! REPORT IMMEDIATELY ONCE YOU HAVE SIGHTED IT!" He ended the announcement, returning to growling at Knockout. "You had better hope we capture that leech, or I personally ensure you discover why it is to have wings rather than wheels!" Knockout swallowed a large lump. This was going to be a long day.
6:00 AM - Saturday Morning
"YAAAWWWN…" Selena and Rafael yawned loudly, stretching their arms above their heads. They collapsed comfortably to the bench by the K.O Burger, their backs pressing together. Bags hung beneath their eyes, stained with black rings. The mist soaked into Selena's hat, her hat missing from her head.
A thick, rolling fog covered the Jasper streets in a damp blanket. The headlights of the cars driving the streets could barely be seen until they were only a mere foot away. The morning sky was gloomy and grey. The sun had yet to peak beyond the thick clouds. A cold breeze cast over the tiny town.
"Hey guys." Rafael and Selena, not moving, glanced languidly to the right. Jack moseyed along, hunched over slightly.
"Hey." Rafael and Selena responded drearily. Jack collapsed on the other side of Selena, falling against her. The three breathed in deeply, taking in the fresh misty air, and then let out an audible SIGH. Their breath disturbed the fog.
"So how did she get you two?" Jack asked Rafael and Selena.
"She took my laptop." Rafael moaned. "Snuck into my room and grabbed it." Selena and Jack exchanged unbelievable expressions. "She left a note demanding I come here or I'd never get it back."
Jack looked to Selena. She pointed to her head in annoyance, "She stole my hat. Badges attached." She sighed in annoyance, "A note saying my hat would be returned unless I come here."
"How'd she get you?" Rafael asked Jack.
"The back tire to my back is missing."
Selena shook her head. "I…WELDED her to that bench!" She stressed, her bewilderment aggravating her. "She's escaped somehow, and she's…broken into your guys' homes and my apartment – ON THE THRID FLOOR – in the middle of the night." A scenario which was going to plague her for eternity. "Now she's stolen our stuff without waking us up and left ransom notes!"
"Sure sounds like Bonnie." Jack sniggered.
"Well Bonnie better bring some strong ass coffee!" She circled her fingers on her forehead. "I did not get any sleep last night."
"What happened?" Rafael asked.
"Starscream and Knockout kept calling me last night every hour. But whenever I answered they hung up."
"I didn't know Cons did crank calls." Jack chuckled.
Selena smirked with an arched brow, "You would not believe how immature those robots can be."
HONK-HONK! The three shot a glance down the street. Their eyes widened in surprise. Bulkhead, Arcee, and Bumblebee came driving down the street. Miko hung outside of Bulkhead's window, waving wildly. "HEY GUUYYS!"
"You've got to be kidding." Jack drawled dreadfully. The three Autobots came to a halt. "She even suckered them!"
"How…" Rafael exclaimed.
"She told us you guys had your homes broken into." Arcee answered.
"And she mentioned Selena was in the picture." Bulkhead grumbled.
Selena jumped from the bench. She threw her hands up. "I'm out!" She boomed, ignoring the insinuation. "Keep the hat, Miko!" She marched down the sidewalk. "Boys, enjoy the torture!"
Miko burst from Bulkhead, scrunching her face heatedly. "But Selena-"
Selena stomped her foot, whipping around with rage filled eyes. "You never said anything about the bots!" She boomed irately.
"Because I knew you wouldn't come!"
"And now I'm leaving!" Selena continued back on her path.
"But we're best friends!"
"Not with the bots, I'm not! A conflict of interest I'm not interested in at the moment. It's my weekend off."
"NUH-UH!" She dashed down the sidewalk. "You're not going anywhere!" Her arms constricted around Selena's arms, yanking her back. "I didn't go through all of this trouble to get you guys here so you could leave."
Selena furrowed her brow. "So you ADMIT you broke into our homes and stole our stuff?"
"SHE WHAT?" Arcee boomed.
Bumblebee beeped emotionlessly, falling into a deep treble. "Bee's right." Bulkhead grumbled. "This isn't as surprising as you think."
Miko cringed nervously. "Not…stole." She said with air quotes, shuffling into Selena's path. "Borrowed with every intention of returning." She motioned her hands towards Bulkhead. "It's all in Bulkhead's back seat."
"So that's where you got all of that stuff." Bulkhead scolded her.
"That doesn't matter!" Miko swung Selena around, bringing her into the group circle. She hugged Selena tightly. "The point is I need you guys to help me! This is the only project in school…EVER that I care about, and I don't want to fail!"
Bumblebee beeped in utter disbelief. "I'm with Bumblebee." Rafael chuckled. "Miko must have been inhaling energon fumes."
"C'mon you guys!" Miko pleaded. "Just think about it!"
Jack, Rafael, and Selena sighed heavily with defeat. Glancing back to Miko, they practically melted under her whimpering puppy-dog anime eyes. "How long does this movie have to be?" Jack asked.
Miko cheered gleefully. "Ten minutes. And it's not even a movie. Just a music video."
"And all we have to do is play by your script?" Selena asked. She shot a galres to the three Autobots. "We won't have to breathe the same air afterword?"
"You can all go home and pretend like none of this ever happened." Miko assured the disgruntled alien girl.
Selena sighed heavily in defeat, touching an annoyed hand to her forehead. "What say you two?" She asked Jack and Rafael. "Are you in on this?"
Jack shrugged his hands. "I guess. Not like I had any plans today."
"My mom says getting out is good for me." Rafael stated. Not a yes, but most definitely not a no.
"Fine." Selena threw her hands up. "I'll help."
"YES!" Miko cheered.
"You sure the Cons can survive without their top bruiser?" Bulkhead remarked cynically.
"They'll be fine." Selena grumbled. "What's the worst that can happen?"
"AAAHHHH!" An Eradicon roared. The Cyber leech pierced through from his back to his chest, eating away at his energon and spark chamber. "HELP ME! HELP ME!" A Vehicon came running in, blaster charged. The Leech hissed venomously, flaring its pincher fangs. The Vehicon fired. The Leech slithered from the Eradicon at the last second. The energon blast struck him in the chest cavity. The Eradicon fell to the ground lifeless. The Leech coiled its body, screeching threateningly. The Vehicon fired wildly. The Leech wriggled and slithered out of the way. It scrambled across the floor, and a barreled into a ventilation shaft.
"SCRAP!" The Vehicon got on his comlink. "I've spotted the Leech!" He knelt to the vent. "North west corridor ventilation shaft, heading to the east side!" He glanced to the down Eradicon and the four behind it. "Be on your guard! Four more troopers have been rendered offline!"
"GAH!" Starscream slashed his talons through a Vehicon, taking it offline. Breakdown and Knockout backed away, cringing. "CURSE THOSE WRETCHED LEECHES!" He howled angrily. Soundwave typed away at the computer panel. He used his own systems to try and patch into the mainframe.
The main computer flickered in an out radically. The picture broke up, scrambled out of control. Computer panels sparked erratically. Systems were failing rapidly. Random places in the floor were broken apart. Wires sprouted from the floor. "THIS SHIP IS FALLING APART! OUR TROOPS ARE DROPPING LIKE FLIES! AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF-" KABOOM! The computer panel blew up in Soundwave's face, but he continued to work at the system. "Our mainframe is scrambled!" He placed a hand to his forehead, groaning furiously. "TELL me you've managed to get ahold of Selena!"
"We've tried!" Knockout gasped. A pile of wires fell at his feet along with a ceiling plating. "Communications will not go through all the way! They break the moment the third ring ends! We tried this morning, but all we get is static!"
"The Bridge is acting wonky too!" Breakdown reported animatedly. "We go for Jasper, we get Jamaica! The Vice Versa doesn't work either!"
"The Leech must have damaged the external communications link." Starscream hummed pensively. He tapped his chin. "As for the bridge…" He trailed off, "The global positioning must be malfunctioning. Soundwave!" Soundwave glanced to the Seeker. "Get to the Ground Bridge controls and decipher the problem." Soundwave bobbed his head, and sauntered off wordlessly.
"Look…" Breakdown interjected, "I know these leeches are crafty, but I doubt one Leech can cause all of this damage."
"Breakdown's right." Knockout agreed. "Even traversing the ventilation shafts, it is impossible to cause this much damage in such a short amount of time." The leeches weren't known for their speed. At best they moved at the rate of a human running. So how could the leech be damaging communications whilst sundering the floors?
"Could it be that we missed a few?" Starscream asked in disbelief.
"As Breakdown said, these Leeches are crafty. Who knows how many we missed?"
"Then it is imperative that we ascertain that information!" Starscream ordered. "We will sweep every last inch of this ship! I want those Leeches off this ship!" Breakdown and Knockout, amazed by his firm word, bowed their heads and meandered out the door.
Starscream, remaining by himself in the bridge, lowered his head somberly. He placed his talons to the control panel. Thoughts of Selena flowed through his mind. Were he able to, he'd connect to Selena's comlink and summon her posthaste. Sure she would be upset that he brought he weekend off to an abrupt end, but she would forgive him once she saw what was happening.
"Hm?" Starscream blinked confusedly. He laughed derisively at himself. "To think the day would come where I needed to rely upon a fleshling."
Miko's Action Destruction movie
Cast and Crew
Jack: Actor - hero
Selena: Actor - Villain
Arcee: getaway vehicle
Bulkhead: Support vehicle
Bumblebee: Support vehicle
Miko: camera woman/ director/Actor - Villain
Rafael: second cameramen /editor/Actor – hero
"QUIET ON THE SET!" Miko hooted on her cell phone. "BAD ASS MOVIE NOW IN PROGRESS!"
Selena flinched away from her phone, wincing. "No need to yell, Miko. We're all on the same line."
"HEY!" Miko barked. Selena shook her head. Small girl with a set of lungs. She chuckled to herself. Reminds me of a Chihuahua. "Who's DYE-recting this movie?" She quizzed stressfully.
Selena dropped her head, slapping a hand to her forehead. "You." She droned.
"And WHO is holding your stuff hostage?" Miko bragged, swinging Selena's hat around on her finger.
"You…" Rafael and Jack droned from opposite phone lines.
"Exact-uh-mundo!" She responded boastfully. "So…QUIET!" The other three flinched under her screech. She popped out of Bumblebee's window with a camera in her hand. She took in the scenery, adding to the effect. "ACTORS READY?"
Jack shifted comfortably on Arcee. "Ready."
Selena revved her engine. "Good to go."
Rafael, sitting in Bulkhead's back seat, groaned shamefully. "I guess I'm good." He wasn't too keen about his role. Mainly because he wasn't one for the performing arts. He turned on the camera beside him. The open screen was turned to face him so he could see if the perspective view was accurate. "Camera two ready and prepared."
"AND…" She aimed it to the dune hill. "ACTION!" She howled into her phone.
Rafael hit record, a small counter counted down, and he got into position. 3…2…1…GO! Opening his laptop, he input an activation code and hit enter. A grid map outlining the desert displayed on his screen. He continued to peck away at his keyboard. His radar locked onto a target traversing the desert, maneuvering around large rock formations and cacti.
The sun beat heavily against the dry sand of the Nevada desert. Tumbleweeds rolled over the wasteland in the dry breeze. Lizards hid beneath the rocks. The sounds of loud buzzing scared the tiny creatures into their burrows.
Arcee launched over the sandy dunes of Jasper. Her armor glistened in the bright sun, reflecting its beams to the cacti below. Jack clung to her handlebars. His legs hugged the seat as Arcee bounced along the sand. Miko followed along with the camera, loving Arcee swerving around the rocks and cacti. A large satchel backpack beat against his side.
Rafael zoomed out from his targeted blip. An X rested several miles from the approaching marker. He put a headset on. He tapped a button and heard a ring.
Three consecutive beeps sounded inside Jack's helmet. He pressed a button, answering the call. "Go ahead."
"Can you hear me?" Rafael asked hopefully.
"Loud and Clear!" Jack responded.
"Alright. The drop off is exactly three miles to the west of your position."
"Roger that. How much time is left?"
"You have 45 minutes left." He calculated Jack's current speed, added in the distance, and the road Jack was taking. "You should reach your destination in plenty of time if you maintain your current speed."
"Good to know."
"How's the package?"
"Safe and secure." Jack reported confidently, patting his hand on the bag. "Any bogies?"
"None that I can see. Smooth sailing from here on in."
"Good. The last thing we need is a black mark on our spotless record."
Atop a small ridge, Selena waited on her motorcycle as Jack and Miko neared her position. The windshield was raised. Selena's eyes scoffed uncontrollably. She couldn't hide the embarrassment. But it was a good time burner. She just wished her phone would stop ringing with static. Her attention was drawn to the sky. She imagined the Nemesis floating overhead. I wonder what's happening up there.
"OVERHEAD!" A Vehicon howled. Two leeches burst from the ceiling, screeching shrilly. Their tiny legs wriggled intimidatingly. Their pincer mouths snapped dangerously. Three more adolescent leeches slithered from the ventilation shafts on the ground. They coiled their tiny bodies, hissing loudly.
Breakdown planted his feet firmly to the floor. His hammer and blaster were ready to chassis. "STAND YOUR GROUND!" He ordered his small team of Vehicons and Eradicons. "WE'RE GOING TO CLEAR THESE BASTARDS OUT OF HERE!"
"HA! HYAH! GR!" Knockout roared, drilling his fists into the leeches leaping from the ground. "GAH!" A leech attached itself to his back. "No…you…don't!" Knockout wrenched it from his back, grappling it by the neck. "DON'T TOUCH THE PAINT!" He sawed it in half. Five more came from the floor, slithering for Knockout, backing him into the corner. "By the Alspark!" He drew his blasters and splattered them across the floor. "HOW MANY OF THESE BLASTED THINGS DID WE MISS?"
"Eh?" Selena shrugged nonchalantly. "I'm sure they're fine."
Rafael, sitting inside Bulkhead with a secondary camera in his hand, zoomed in on Selena. Bulkhead inched to the side next to Selena, allowing Rafael to get in a good perspective of her and the dunes below.
"Have you located the target?" Miko's voice startled Selena over the comlink. Rafael's computer was tuned into the frequency of the phone lines. Recordings of his and Jack's conversation were saved. Now Selena and Miko were on the air.
Selena rolled her eyes. "Yep." She answered lethargically. "The fool is driving right past me." How she wanted to murder Miko for this…this cheap villainy role. "Do I take them now?"
"Definitely." Miko granted. "Let's turn this kid and his bike intro road kills!"
"Oh brother." As a…non hero figure, Selena could stand to give Miko a few lessons in how to sound more like a villain.
"Retrieve the package undamaged."
That's better. Selena chuckled mentally."What of the boy?"
"Do whatever you like with the delivery boy. HA-HA-HA-HA!" She cackled for effect. The phone clicked as Miko hung up.
Selena shuddered in terror. Beads of sweat trickled down her brow, and it wasn't from the heat. Me thinks she is taking this role a little too seriously. An image of Miko dressed as a war lord, standing atop a burning village, and laughing like a maniac flooded her imagination. Trident, tail, horns – the whole package. Overwhelming fear washed over Selena. I think she rivals Soundwave.
In the halls nearest the bridge, three more leeches slithered from the ravaged ground. They were joined by five other adolescent leeches. "GET BACK!" Starscream roared. He fired his rocket launcher. The eight leeches were blown to offline bits. Two elder leeches chewed away at the door panel, going at the circuits. Starscream flared his talons. "I think not!" With a raspy snarl he diced them into bits. To add to his frustration, the door panel was completely shot. Inoperative.
"BLAST IT!" Starscream dug his fingers into the door. Take deep breaths and counting to three he WRENCHED the door open, grinding and warping the gears. "WHOA!" He ducked down. An adult leech soared over his head, crashing dead into the wall.
Soundwave had just finished his wave of leeches. Several were lying dead at his feet. Miraculously – though not a real surprise – there wasn't a single scratch on him. That was the only bit of good news.
"You seem to be faring well." Starscream remarked snidely. Soundwave faced him wordlessly – as per usual. "Did the ship finish its diagnostic?" He asked urgently. Starscream had a secondary systems check run over the ship. What with the resent and growing activities of the steadily increasing number of leeches. Starscream needed to be properly informed.
Soundwave shook his head. He displayed the results he managed to retrieve before systems began to fail left and right. The diagnostic reached 80% before their computers failed. "This does us no good!" He barked. "The computers failed 30 minutes ago! Damage is done-" A loud grinding moan rang in his audio receptors. "By-the-second!" He huffed. "CURSE THESE LEECHES!" He slammed a fist into the control panel, crushing it in.
The main computers were malfunctioning. The ground bridge's global positioning was faulty and it just wasn't working properly. And to top it off communications were down. To add to the headaches, every circuit ripped from its place, and the walls were coming down around them. It was a wonder they were still in the air.
The ship suddenly jerked forward, knocking Starscream and Soundwave off their feet. The two caught themselves on a knee. Starscream frothed at the mouth. The dreary sound of the engines dying down reverberated every gear in his body. "TELL ME that wasn't the propulsion system!" Soundwave displayed a 3D model of the Nemesis on his face screen. The engines were shaded in red, showing critical damage. Little side notes appeared beside it. "The engines are down?" He mumbled perplexedly. His eyes then widened in a panic. "Quickly! What is our current location?" Soundwave displayed the globe on his face and zoomed in on the Nemesis's energy signature. "Groom Lake, Nevada. PERFECT! Guide us safely to the ground!" He turned on his heels, marching briskly for the door. "I, on the other hand, have something to pick up."
Arcee and Bumblebee passed her by below. Jack ran a hand over the shield of his helmet, pretending to remove a bug. There's the signal. Selena thought. She dropped her helmet windshield and revved the engine of her bike. She drove down the ridge at top speed. Bulkhead was in toe. Selena darted after Jack. She drew a gun from the back of her pants and aimed.
Jack glanced into his side view mirror. Selena was swiftly approaching amidst the cloud of dust. He glanced back, eyes wide with fear at the sight of the gun. Selena pulled the trigger. A puff of smoke popped from the barrel. A blank. Jack pulled to the side. Selena fired three more times. Jack pretended to dodge the bullets. The sharp weaves slowed him down considerably. Jack reached into his shirt, drawing his own gun. He whipped around and returned fire. Selena pushed on the breaks, drawing herself out of the range of fire. She weaved and wobbled about, evading Jack's fire.
Bumblebee and Bulkhead were nearing maximum overdrive to keep up with the two-wheelers. Bulkhead bringing up the rear with Rafael, and Bumblebee and Miko up ahead. Miko and Rafael never took the cameras off of the battling two. The puffs of smoke from the blank bullets trailed in the air. The loud pops cracked in the air.
Jack started to gain a little distance between him and Selena. He was pulling out ahead inch by inch. He holstered his gun, cheering to himself. But it was Arcee who was truly enjoying herself. Whether it was for a project or for an actual battle, one thing was clear, Arcee's drive outmatched Selena's. She was trying to prove that. Despite the upgrades, Selena could tell her motorcycle's speed paled to hers. Arcee seemed to want to ensure Selena was sure of that.
Selena stomped her foot down onto a back petal. Her engine revved harder, more power powering into the motor. Selena came up beside him. A malicious glare gleamed beyond the windshield of her helmet. Jack went for his gun. She aimed the gun at his leg and fired. Jack howled in fake pain, clamping a hand to the nonexistent wound. Selena snatched the bag from his arm. She kicked at Arcee's body, pushing away. She smiled when she heard a small grunt from Arcee. She then aimed her gun and fired at the tire. With added effect it'll look like the tire blew out. Selena pulled a sharp U-turn and dashed in the opposite direction. Rafael followed her with the camera, Bulkhead still trailing behind Arcee and Jack.
Jack brought Arcee to a staggering halt. The sudden stop launched him over the handlebars. A face full of dust puffed on his face. "NO!" Jack roared.
"BYE-BYE, JACK!" Selena crooned tauntingly, waving impishly. "Thanks for the present!"
Jack futilely tried to run after her. Selena vanished around a ridge. He could still hear her laughing at him. "DAMMIT!" Jack kicked the dirt, growling aloud. Snatching his phone from his pocket he immediately phoned ahead to Rafael in a fury. "I lost the package!"
Miko giggled impishly. She cut her end of the camera work. "That's a wrap." She whispered. She waved to Rafael, signaling him to fall back. Rafael nodded, cut off his camera, and sat back inside Bulkhead. The wrecker fell in behind Bumblebee, following him. Miko retreated inside Bumblebee. Reaching into her bag, she retrieved her note pad, reviewing the script she wrote out for her movie. "Okay now pull out around this ridge
Selena leaned against a massive rock formation, her eyes closed to the world and her arms folded. Her head felt empty without her hat on. The next scene in Miko's little movie would begin the moment Miko and Rafael showed up. Her bike rested near the rock as well. The satchel lied on the ground.
The desert wind blew through her hair, humming pleasantly in her ears. All of her stress and tension seemed to vanish despite having her stuff stolen. Amidst the wind, Selena's mind seemed to wander…wander to happier times. And though she may have been the unwitting lieutenant to Starscream, she couldn't help forgetting about the Autobots and Decepticons. All she could do was think about Miko, Jack, and Rafael. Yet…for some reason…those three transformed in her mind, changing into three other children…whom she knew long ago.
"Arikai…Xansa…Denora…" She lowered her head, obscuring her glossy eyes from the noon sun. "How similar…you all are." A lone tear trickled down her flushing smiling cheeks. Then, for a reason unclear to her, she saw Starscream turn into someone else. Someone…she cared deeply about many years ago. "Hakudo?" Her thoughts were interrupted by the humming of engines. Selena quickly wiped her eyes and clapped her hands to her cheeks.
Bulkhead came rolling up first. Rafael hung outside the window; camera zoomed in on the solemn looking Selena. The purple haired girl glanced to the camera. A warm and adoring smile graced her cheeks, her eyes glistening. Rafael was taken aback by the smile. His neck tensed as he swallowed nervously. What…what was that?
Selena attention was caught by a familiar hum. Bumblebee came driving up. His tires screeched harshly as he stopped. Rafael shook his head wildly and focused on Bumblebee. Miko emerged from Bumblebee, a serious expression plastered to her face. A total shock. Selena grabbed the satchel, holding it flat on her arms, and approached Miko with the same stern expression.
"I trust you didn't have too much trouble." She stated with her hands behind her back.
Selena sniggered dully. She's really into this. Standing straight and presenting herself in a professional manner, she cleared her throat and replied. "No problems in the least." She sniggered. Unbinding the satchel flap, she reached inside. "And I'm proud to say the content and its casing haven't been damaged."
"SUE-WEET!" She beamed, grabbing hold of the package. "Finally! After all this time!" She opened the cardboard top. A large, pineapple and Canadian bacon pizza rested inside. "PAPA JOHN'S DELUX HAWAIIAN PIZZA!" She cheered.
"AND CUT!" Rafael howled, cutting the camera. "That's a wrap!"
"YES!" Miko jumped up and down. "I can feel that A juts around the corner!" Jack came riding around the ridge, parking his bike beside Bulkhead. He threw off his helmet with a pleased breath. The feel of the breeze blowing over his sweaty face was a relief. "THAT'S ALL FOLKS! GREAT WORK EVERYONE!"
Jack and Selena gasped in relief, slumping exhaustedly. Rafael lunged himself out of Bulkhead, falling to the ground on his back. His stomach gurgled sickly. He wasn't sure why he was so out of breath. But…all of the excitement might have had something to do with it.
Arcee, Bumblebee, and Bulkhead returned to their robot forms, sitting on the ground with pleased sighs. "So where do we go from here?" Arcee asked.
"All I need to do is mesh the clips together," Miko gave Selena her hat back, "Add in some music," He gave Rafael his laptop and Jack his bike wheel, "And it'll be good to go."
"Good." Rafael panted. "I have…my own project…to work on. Plus I'm exhausted."
"What about?" Selena asked with intrigue.
"Special effects video with the weather."
"Sounds interesting. You'll have to let me come see."
"Maybe when I can get up."
Selena stood over him, bending forward with her hands folded behind her back. She smiled down to Rafael who was heaving in a panic. "A little too much excitement for you Raffy boy?" She giggled.
Rafael raised a hand, pinching his fingers together. "Just a bit." He wheezed. "I'm not built for performing."
Selena curled a hand, giggling adoringly. Her tanned cheeks flushed pink. "You're so cute, Raf." A perplexed jolt shot through Rafael's head. Jack and Miko gaped confusedly. Arcee, Bumblebee, and Bulkhead blinked in disbelief. His cheeks turned bright red. Selena only giggled. Yep…he's just like Denora.
"HERE YOU ARE!"
"Huh?" Selena snapped out of her day dream.
"Hm?" The three Autobots looked to the sky.
"Uh?" The three kids glanced to the clouds to see something bursting from them. A jet?
The silver jet roared through the sky, diving for the desert below. Selena and the children gathered together, eyeing the jet with confusion. The Autobots surrounded them – mostly Miko, Jack, and Rafael – and prepared their blasters.
"Uh…" Selena narrowed her eyes. "Wait? What's he doing here?"
"He?" Miko, Jack, and Rafael chimed.
The Jet transformed in midflight into Starscream. He spanned his arms like wings, extended a leg like a ballerina, and plummeted for the ground with a scowl burned to his face. "STARSCREAM!" The six howled.
"GRR!" Selena glared. He crimson orbs ignited into a bright red glow. He hair wafted in the air of her fluctuating power. Miko, Jack, and Rafael shuffled away, trembling in fright. "THIS BETTER BE GOOD!" She roared demonically.
Starscream touched down on the ground. He flashed a resentful glare to the Autobots, their kids, and Selena who was standing amongst them. "And here you assured me you were using your day off constructively!" He snarled, trudging for them. "This seems anything but constructive!" The Autobots placed themselves protectively in front of their designated human. High pitched whirls hummed loudly from their hands. They aimed their blasters for the stiletto heeled Con. Starscream simply ignored them. "I trust you have a reasonable explanation for fraternizing with the enemy."
"I was blackmailed." Selena answered emotionlessly, massaging a hand to her hat. "Besides…" She flared her glowing eyes, baring her teeth like a rabid dog. The children and Autobots were startled back several feet, "THIS IS MY WEEKEND OFF, YOU POMPOUS BASTARD!" Starscream flinched back. "I'LL SPEND TIME WITH WHOEVER I WANT TO! LEST WE FORGET, I METTHESE THREE LONG BEFORE I MET YOU!"
Starscream raised a hand, clearing his throat awkwardly. "Your point is heeded." He muttered. "But…all the same…I require your assistance." He stated cautiously.
Selena arched a suspicious brow, but sighed in defeat. "Alright." She mumbled. She meandered forward with her hands in her pockets. "See ya later kids. Dad needs me at home." She muttered dully. She flashed a hand in the air, waving goodbye, "Let me know how the video turns out!" She announced. Starscream transformed into his jet form. Selena jumped into the cockpit and strapped herself in. "Shoot me a text when you've finished your project Raf!" She beckoned as the cockpit closed. Miko, Jack, and Rafael waved goodbye absent mindedly and watched Starscream jet off into the sky.
"That's it." Jack mumbled. "We have the weirdest of friends."
"Agreed." Miko and Rafael mumbled.
"BEEP?!" Bumblebee whirred confusedly. He wasn't weird. He was unique. Selena and the humans were the weird ones. They argue and then laugh as quickly as you flick a switch.
Back on the Nemesis
"HUH?" She gaped in utter disbelief. "WHAT…HAPPENED?"
Not only was the Nemesis run aground in Groom Lake, Nevada – Area 51 – but the inside was completely decimated. Metal plates falling from the ceiling, energon leaking up from the floors and from the walls, and circuits were ripped form the walls. Dents, scratches, bodies of dead Decepticons. The only thing not destroyed was the outer hull of the ship.
"So…um…"Selena stiffly turned her attention to Starscream, "Did you guys throw a frat party?"
"Let's just say you and Breakdown brought stragglers with you from the Himalayas."
"Yes you did!" Knockout snarled, marching up to her with a ruined paint job. "AND YOU BOTH OWE ME A NEW PAINT JOB!"
"KNOCKOUT!" Selena panicked. "What the Hell happened?"
Knockout got close to Selena's face, scaring her to the wall "This is the end result when you chase a nest of Leeches out of the energon storage room!"
"Leeches? The Cyber ones?"
Knockout burned his glare into the nervous Magneetian. "What else would I be talking about?"
Selena laughed nervously. Somehow she thinks she shouldn't have taken the weekend off. "If things were so bad, why didn't you guys just call?"
"Communications are down and you wouldn't answer!" Starscream joined in on the scolding.
At this point Selena inspected her phone. Nine missed calls, three from Knockout, Breakdown, and Starscream. "Oh." Starscream swatted her on the head. "OW! THE HELL YOU BASTARD!"
"That is for not answering you phone!" He swatted her again. "AND THAT IS FOR FRATERNIZING WITH THE ENEMY!"
Knockout had a question mark hovering over his head. "What?"
"I WASN'T FRATERNIZING! I WAS BLACKMAILED!"
"SHUT UP!" Knockout barked. Starscream and Selena glanced to Knockout shamefully. "Listen up! The leeches may be gone, but this place is a mess! So stop arguing and start helping!"
Starscream and Selena snapped at attention and saluted. "YES SIR!" Knockout grunted and marched down the destroyed hallway.
"Wait?" Something occurred to Selena. She glanced grudgingly to Starscream, "Why are we taking orders from the medic?"
"You know how you are when someone tarnishes your hat?" He quizzed.
"Knockout gets the same way when his paint job is scratched." He smiled impishly, placing a hand to his hip, "If anything, his temper is ten times worse than yours when it comes to his personal property."
Chills ran down Selena's back. "Then I guess that means he becomes unbearable at times."
"All the time, actually." Starscream corrected. Selena felt the insult smack her upside the head. Guess I'm unbearable. "Only there's a small difference between you and Knockout." Starscream added. Selena looked to him curiously, interested in what he was going to say. Starscream moved away from the wall. With a pleased grin he started to saunter down the hallway, "I'd sooner keep you by my side than I would him."
"Hm?" The heat rose to Selena's cheek at the comment. She watched in a daze as Starscream walked down the hall. Subconsciously she floated after him, her hands folded behind her back as she pondered whether or not she just heard Starscream…compliment her. For a moment, Starscream seemed to take the shape of another person walking away from her. A young man with raven purple hair, dressed in a sleeveless trench coat and leather pants. "Hakudo…" She whispered under her breath. A warm smile graced her cheeks. "You're just like him."
UGH! Next chapter will be better. Promise. Later