This story may be rather difficult to understand for those that do not know the history of Alsace. This little fic is written to satirize Alsace, where I studied abroad for an academic year. It just seemed to be a weird little place, providing me with much amusement. Of course, I did my share of banging my head against the wall as well as laughing. This fic illustrates Alsace as I saw it. My grasp of events may not be entirely correct, and I'm sure that there are lots of tiny mistakes. For example, I don't know if president Chirac can speak English or not, but for the sake of plot he can here. I thought I read somewhere that the FN was a fascist group, but I couldn't find the source again to confirm it, and it also told me that Le Pen's first name is Maurice, which it is not. I know that the FN is a right-wing extremist group, condemned by those in their right minds for being xenophobic (against foreigners), nationalistic, racist, and anti-Semitic.
I believe that Le Pen has now been banned from political activity as he awaits possible trial in Germany for not knowing how to keep his fat mouth shut. Technically he would not have political power now, but that would take all the fun out of the story! I've never seen Le Pen give a speech, but I know a bit about the FN's politics, so I've extrapolated. Of course, I have to make him rant and rave to be any fun.
Keep in mind that this is supposed to be funny! Nothing is intended to be offensive. It's all in good fun!
Disclaimer: Transformers is owned by Hasbro and probably lots of other people. I, however, am not one of them. The description of Alsace is only the way I saw it, so don't take it as gospel. Le Front National is an extremist right-wing political group in France, and Le Pen is/was their leader. Extrapolated events stem only from my perverse imagination. Further information on Le Pen and his disgusting organization (and why they suck) is available through links at the end of this story.
"Optimus Prime," Teletran announced. "Incoming transmission detected."
"Thank you, Teletran," Optimus said, ever polite. "Please put it through.
The blank screen flickered to life, displaying a human's features. The man's dark hair was cut very short around his head, and his nose was long and pointed. "Forgive the intrusion, monsieur Prime," he said in a heavily accented voice. "Your government was kind enough to give me this frequency. I fear that my country is in grave danger."
Optimus nodded, surreptitiously checking the man's features against the ones stored in his diplomatic database. Earth had so many diplomats, politicians, and rulers that it was almost impossible to keep them all straight. He relaxed when a match was quickly found.
"Oh, forgive me, monsieur," the man said, shaking his head. "I have been very rude in neglecting to introduce myself. My worry has caused me to forget my manners."
"No introductions necessary, Mr. Chirac," Optimus said smoothly. "Please accept my congratulations on France winning the World Cup."
Chirac smiled, clearly pleased with the compliment. "Yes, it is a real honneur for my country. I would love to trade plaisantries with you, but time is short. Several Decepticons have been sighted flying over France and then landed somewhere in the Alsace region. I fear that they are up to no good."
Prime's expression, whatever was visible, grew somber. "Do not worry, mister President, we will protect your country. My Autobots will be ready to leave in just a few moments."
Chirac looked relieved. "It is a great favor to us. I am very grateful for your assistance. Good day, sir."
"Good day, mister President," Optimus said politely, closing the channel.
"What was that all about, Prahme?" asked Ironhide curiously.
Optimus turned to him, optics somber. "That was the president of France. The Decepticons are spreading their poison to other parts of the globe. It cannot be allowed!" He turned to the console and activated the ship-wide loudspeaker. "Attention, Autobots!" he said crisply. "Report outside at once!"
* * * *
"So, fearless leader," Starscream mocked, "where have your illustrious plans gotten us now? We're nearly out of energy and hundreds of miles away from our base!"
"Silence, Starscream!" Megatron roared, turning in mid-flight to glare at his lieutenant. "I cannot think straight with you whining in my audios." He turned to glance at his communications officer. "Soundwave, see if you can detect any exploitable energy deposits."
"Scanning," an inflectionless voice replied. "A small fossil fuel source has been found."
"Fossil fuels," Megatron snorted in disgust. "Well, it will have to do. Decepticons, land and refuel!"
The robots descended upon a gas station emblazoned with the word "Elf". The others waited impatiently as Soundwave filled one energon cube after another with gas, transforming the viscous substance into a consumable source of energy.
"Ugh," grumbled Rumble. "I hate this stuff." He sneered at the panicking humans who screamed and ran from them.
"Then I'm sure you'll have no qualms about surrendering your share to me," Starscream hissed. Rumble shut up and began drinking.
Megatron breathed a sigh of relief as his energy levels began to rise. His thoughts turned from immediate need to refuel to more long-term issues. "This is perfect!" he chuckled.
"What do you mean?" Thundercracker frowned.
"Think about it," Megatron grinned. "No Autobots to interfere with our plans! In America they are constantly on the alert, but with any luck we can strike here before they know it!"
"I wouldn't bet on it, Megatron. The Autobots may be wise to us already. But still," he admitted grudgingly, "it's worth a shot."
"Excellent," Megatron chuckled. "Soundwave, how far is the nearest city?"
Soundwave activated his scanners. "I detect a large population fourteen miles from our position."
"Home in on the largest gathering of fleshlings you can find. They will be the first to fall to my will."
Soundwave took to the skies, Megatron at his side, leading the way towards their destiny. They swept over streets crowded with cars, pedestrians that screamed and dropped their baguettes and shopping bags when they caught sight of the robots, banked right over the sole spire of the cathedral, and homed in on an open square packed with fleshlings.
The French were participating in the nations favorite pastime: protests. Some stood around a podium, surrounding a white-haired man who waved his arms and raved. Others chanted and held up signs saying "Non au FN" and a few clever ones had written "Non au F Haine" (Hate, pronounced like 'N'), while several protested the protesters, and still others stood around just to say they had protested.
Megatron gestured for the Decepticons to land behind a large building, and they grudgingly complied. "Soundwave, what's going on over there?" he asked. "Who is that waving his arms like a lunatic?"
"That is Jean-Marie Le Pen, head of France's right-wing extremist political party, le Front National."
Skywarp snorted. "These fleshies are even dumber than I thought! Only idiots would vote for these losers."
Starscream sneered. "It's not even worth the energy to shoot them! And stomping on them is just too messy."
Megatron chuckled. "Perhaps, Starscream, but that is not my intention. To build an empire I will need human slaves. These will do as well as any. Come, Decepticons, our destiny is at hand."
* * * * *
"Hurry, Autobots!" Optimus Prime urged, careening wildly around a turn in the road. "We cannot let Megatron harm any humans!"
"Damn Skyfire," Sunstreaker grumbled. "Why did he have to drop us off so far away?"
"Cool down, bro," chuckled Sideswipe. "He had to leave us off at the airport because there was no closer area big enough to land in, and he didn't want to frighten the humans if he could avoid it."
"Like they won't be frightened enough when they see Megatron," Gears griped. He could feel the glares crawling up his tailpipe of hostile French motorists, angered by the Autobots' large American design that hogged the road. He hated when people stared at him!
Jazz gasped as a small Renault Twingo nearly sideswiped him. "France is a happenin' place to be, but the highways are murder!" He pulled up behind the driver and began scolding loudly in French. The driver, startled, swerved into the next lane and narrowly missed a CitroКn. The other drivers barely batted an eye, used to such reckless driving.
Spike scratched his head in confusion. "Hey, Jazz," he spoke into Bumblebee's internal radio. "Where'd you learn to speak French like that?"
Jazz chuckled. "Spike, every Transformer is equipped with a universal translator, enabling us to converse with thousands of species, including humans from any country on Earth. We wouldn't even be able to talk to you without it. You don't think English is the first language of all alien races, do you?"
"Uhh... of course not!" Spike stammered, laughing nervously. He had nearly stepped in it that time.
"Here's the exit we want -- Strasbourg, centre ville!" Optimus radioed to his troops. "Follow me, and be ready for anything!"
Megatron stepped out from behind the building majestically, striding forward, his body exuding confidence and power. All heads swiveled to look at them. To credit their upbringing, nobody screamed, though there were quite a few gasps and startled exclamations. "Oh, la vache!" exclaimed a startled young man.
The Decepticons looked around in confusion. "I don't see any cow," Starscream said petulantly.
"Must be one of those stupid human expressions," grumbled Skywarp.
"Enough of this foolishness!" Megatron snapped. "We have work to do."
Le Pen suddenly realized that attention from his captivating speech had drifted away. He turned and gaped to see a massive silver robot, taller than most of the surrounding buildings, heading his way. Collecting whatever wits he had, he snapped out, "And who might you be?"
The robot smiled widely. "I'm Megatron, leader of the Decepticons. I am here to take over this pathetic country and place it under my rule. Though if you're a representation of this country's leaders, it can only be an improvement."
Le Pen flushed as several raucous teenagers laughed. "You see?" he roared, turning back to the crowd assembled in Place KlХber. "Our opponents would have you believe that we are fanatics, stirring up trouble, but here is the proof! Our country is being overrun with foreigners, sapping our job market and leaving nothing for educated, hard-working Frenchmen! This one has delusions of running our beautiful country, and look at him! Not only is he not French, he is not even human!"
Starscream snorted. "Neither are you."
The irate man struggled to keep his anger under control. Losing one's cool was not a good way to earn votes. "France has been ruled by such great leaders as Napoleon Bonaparte and Charles de Gaulle," he said indignantly, conveniently forgetting that Napoleon was from Corsica, and that de Gaulle, no matter how idolized, was not a king. "What could you possibly do to prove yourself?"
"I'm sure I can think of something worthy," Megatron smirked, stroking his chin as if in thought. "How about this?" He leveled his fusion cannon at the obnoxious pest and fired. Jean-Marie Le Pen was instantly vaporized.
The spectators looked at each other for a moment, stunned. As the shock wore off, one person cried out. Then another. Soon the whole crowd was cheering in approval.
"For once I have no argument with your energy expenditure," Starscream said reluctantly.
A young, rather handsome reporter for the local paper, the DNA (DerniХres Nouvelles d'Alsace), hurried up to the podium, waving his arms to clear the mists of Le Pen out of the way. He grasped the microphone and asked, "Now that you have cleared our land of this scourge, what do you intend to do?"
"I'm so glad you asked," Megatron chuckled. He turned to address the crowd, and in a booming voice, he announced, "Citizens of Strasbourg, you will be the first to experience my reign! Soon the rest of France, then the Earth itself, will fall to my control. You will gather energy to fuel my conquest of Cybertron, and then the galaxy!" He paused for a moment of tyrannical laughter. After all, it was what the humans expected, and he wanted no doubts of what their place in his new realm would be.
He grinned in satisfaction. "Not even the Autobots can stop me now!"
* * * *
"We must stop the Decepticons!" Optimus once again stated the obvious. His urgent tone would have spurred on his soldiers if they had not been held up by a red light.
Spike looked out of his window to see a pretty teenager smiling at him from her own VW Bug. He grinned back, rolling down the window.
"Quelle belle voiture!" she giggled, then as the light changed, zoomed off down the street.
Spike sighed, sinking back into his seat, ignoring the scowl that Carly threw his way. "Hey, Spike, she was talking about me," Bumblebee chuckled, pleased at the compliment.
"Say, Prahme, what does that blinking white light mean? And that strange red sign with a white dash through it?"
"Uhh... I don't recall seeing those on our American driving test," Prime muttered. Aloud, he said, "Let's just follow the cars in front of us." However, he soon realized from the angry honking that even that course of action wasn't the way to go.
"Optimus!" Wheeljack cried. "I've homed in on the Decepticons. We're almost on top of them!"
"Lead me to 'em!" Ironhide cheered.
"The closest path is through a pedestrian zone."
"There's no time to lose!" Optimus exclaimed. "I regret the fear and panic that will ensue from our transformation, but it cannot be helped. Autobots, transform and follow Wheeljack!" The robots quickly changed shape, growing to full size. Wheeljack took the lead, his Decepticon tracker showing a blip that represented the Decepticons' position. Just then the device simply crumbled in his hands. "Knew I shouldn't have used crazy glue," he muttered in embarrassment.
"Aw, nuts," Ironhide grumbled. He brightened as a well-dressed woman walked by. Perhaps she had seen the Cons. "Pardonnez-moi, madame. OЫ sont les Cons?"
The woman's expression was one of utter disgust. "Conchon!" she snapped and stalked away.
"What did Ah say?" Ironhide wondered, scratching his head.
Jazz, the expert on slang in virtually any Earth language, laughed heartily. "Con is an insult. It means jerk or idiot."
"Fitting," Ratchet snorted.
Prime chuckled slightly (whole lotta chuclkin' goin' on), but then he stiffened as a familiar sound reached his audial sensors. Megatron's well-practiced evil laugh. It could only mean one thing -- he was attempting to take over the city. That could not be allowed!
* * * *
"Now," Megatron said smugly, "prepare to serve my will!"
"Wait a minute!" the reporter gasped. "You can't take us over!"
A voice cried indignantly, "What do you think this place is, a ping-pong ball?! Hasn't Alsace had enough?"
Another agreed. "Next thing you know, Portugal is going to want a piece of us!"
An old, grizzled man lifted his head proudly, speaking in the old Alsatian dialect. "Oh, no you don't! We're ready this time! Nobody's gonna mess with Alsace!"
"Take that, tyrant!" an old, stocky woman snapped, throwing a local disk, choucroute, at the towering Decepticon. Megatron was quite taken aback as the sausage exploding, the force throwing him to the ground.
The crowd roared as one, their ire raised at the threat to their security. They raced into nearby restaurants and private homes, quickly emerging with myriad food items. Tarte flambИ that really burned was set up on catapults and fired at the invaders. Backehoffe, freshly baked, soared out of its pan with explosive force, smacking Starscream in the head. Liter cans of Kronenbourg beer were shaken and then lobbed like grenades.
"Aaaaah! I can't stand it!" Starscream shrieked, crawling on his hands and knees towards the shelter of a nearby building, flour and beer mixing in a messy, foamy concoction. "My circuits are shorting out!"
"This cannot be!" Megatron roared, slapping at the flames on his chest. "How could such puny humans have such power?"
"Mayday!" Soundwave gasped, not realizing that the word actually means 'M'aidez', and that it was poor French.
"That's 'Aidez-moi' to you!" a little girl sniffed and kicked his foot.
A low chuckling reached Megatron's sensors, standing out despite the myriad shrieks for mercy, battle cries of the humans, and clangs and thuds. He didn't know how this could be different from all the other chuckles in this story, but he was compelled to look up. The sight froze the fluids coursing through his hydraulics. "Prime!" he roared.
"Amazing," Optimus said, amusement lurking in his voice. "I never thought I'd see you defeated by food. Perhaps some Alka-Seltzer would help?"
Megatron lurched to his feet. "I refuse to submit to such ignominy! Decepticons, we are beaten! Retreat to our underwater base!" His troops had no idea how to make it that far with their sustained injuries, but they certainly didn't want to hang around. One by one, they painfully took to the skies.
"Adieu, cons!" Ironhide, delighted with the new word.
Optimus shook his head in amusement, optics twinkling. He was in too good a mood to pursue Megatron. There was still much to do here. He cast an appraising look around the main square, which was now covered in food products. Sirens wailed as fire engines raced to the scene. Firefighters unwrapped hoses and began to rinse off the area.
Prime jumped when he saw the locals preparing to launch a second barrage. "Relax, we do not wish to harm you. We came to stop the Decepticons, but I am surprised to see that it is no longer necessary. You are a very strong people. I'm sure that you are a credit to all of France." There were murmurs of appreciation from the crowd. They were used to the rest of France making fun of them.
"France?" said Bumblebee, rubbing his head in confusion. "I thought we were in Ger--"
Ironhide grabbed the small Autobot and clapped a hand over his mouth. "Shut yer trap!" he hissed. "Ya want them to come after us next?"
When the hand loosened its grip, Bumblebee gasped out, "But the word Strasbourg sounds G--"
"Bumblebee, please shut up," Optimus growled.
Spike, meanwhile, had lost no time in flirting with the first girl he saw. He grasped her hand in his own and lifted it to his lips, murmuring "EnchantИe" as he kissed it.
The smile faded from the girl's lips. She jerked her hand out of his grasp and slapped him across the face. "Mal ИlevИ," she muttered and stomped off.
Jazz laughed at the scene. "Spike, m'man, that's just not done! It's considered rude."
Spike scowled. "But it always works in the movies!"
A spirited, middle-aged man that had organized most of the battle, stepped up to the podium and took the microphone. "Strasbourgeois!" he addressed the public. Jazz suppressed a snicker. Using the word 'bourgeois' to describe the residents of a city was just wrong.
Casting a scathing gaze at Jazz, the speaker continued. "People of Alsace! The time has come to assert ourselves! No more will we be scorned by the rest of France! We are *not* German," he snapped at Bumblebee, who quailed and hid behind Optimus, "nor are we French!"
Ironhide, who hadn't yet learned to keep his own trap shut, asked, "Then what are yas?"
The man pumped his fist in the air. "We are Alsatian!" he roared passionately. "It's about time the rest of the world sat up and took notice of us! It's a shame! Many French citizens themselves don't know that Strasbourg is a French city. But they'll soon learn!" His burning eyes flickered over the crowd, who began to scowl in agreement.
"How many times have you been laughed at for your accent?" he demanded.
The crowd roared back, "Too many!"
"How many times has France laughed at us when we pronounce the silent 'h' in the beginning of words, such as 'haut'?" This time the response was an unintelligible roar.
"France is the root of our problems! Paris thinks it can dictate our lives! They want to take away our union between the church and state that the Concordat instilled, which has never been annulled here. They want to eradicate Elsassisch (Alsatian), our cherished dialect! Now grandparents cannot even talk with their grandchildren, who only know French! They have no respect for our culture! They stole La Marseillaise, which had been written for the soldiers of the Rhine! They laugh when we drink beer with dinner! They say that only Germans do that! Do we have to take this?"
"Noooooooooooon!" the crowd responded, working itself into a frenzy.
"Then what should we do about it?"
"Why don't we leave?" asked a little girl, clutching her father's hand.
"Leave?" cried the orator. "Why, that's... brilliant! Let's secede from France!"
"Ouaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaais!" the crowd cried, ecstatic. They grabbed their signs, altering them to read 'Non Ю la France', then they marched to the HТtel de Ville, which was not a hotel at all, but the living quarters of the mayor. The movement took on a life of its own, the small seed of discontent blossoming suddenly into rebellion. In no time at all, the entire province was united in its search of emancipation. A few demonstrations took place in neighboring Lorraine, but they were quickly quelled, since their individualistic identity just wasn't as strong. Before Paris could react, Alsace had seceded from the country. For awhile, it was debated whether such a move was even constitutional, but after a few days Paris gave up and considered it good riddance. Its wine would be missed, but Alsace was just too weird.
An emergency meeting of the European Union delegates was declared to discuss the Alsace problem, for the European Parliament usually met in Strasbourg once a month, and this new mini-country could cause a problem. Then everyone realized that there was no point in all that fuss, so they decided to just keep meeting in Belgium as usual. There was worry for a short while of what would become of the Euro, but Europe just shrugged and figured that Alsace wouldn't be included. No one could ever figure that place out.
Alsace partied on, everyone dancing around in native costume, the women wearing gigantic bows behind their heads. Alsatian was promptly declared the official language, and everyone was happy to ignore the rest of Europe for the moment. They established the republic of Elsass and were quite proud of it. Just don't ever mistake them for another nationality.
* * * *
Several weeks later, the Autobots were performing their usual duties, still marveling over the events they had seen.
Prowl called out to his leader. "Optimus Prime, Teletran One is receiving an urgent message."
"On screen," Prime directed, and Prowl complied. The screen brightened to reveal the smooth features of U.S. president Bill Clinton.
"Good thing we've got no women to steal," Sunstreaker scoffed.
"Aw, would ya turn that thing off?" Jazz groaned. "My favorite soaps are coming on in a few minutes!"
Clinton spoke with a slight drawl. "Optimus Prime, it is a great pleasure to be speaking with you today. I regret that this is not a courtesy call. We have surveillance that reveals the Decepticons heading in the direction of Alaska. Our top strategists have determined that they are interested in the Alaskan pipeline. I, as the biggest foo -- *ahem*, commander-in-chief, have been selected to request your help in protecting our energy source."
Optimus nodded, trying to shut off that little voice in his mind replaying the lurid allegations. "Of course, mister President. We will not let the Decepticons gain this source of power."
"Thank you, sir," Clinton replied. "All of the United States is in your debt." The screen went blank as the connection was terminated.
"I don't get it," Bumblebee complained. "I thought Alaska was in Canada!"
I know, I know, it's just slightly unfeasible. Whatever happened to suspension of disbelief?
Anyone think Bumblebee needs a geography lesson?