HIGHWAY TO HELL
"Satan's Camero/ Hell's Wishing Well"
Dead End despised this Earth month and he really needed only one reason to — or more appropriate, three reasons.
Like other unrelated things, it was his brother's antics to cause the root of all his distastes with Earth. In particular it was Breakdown disregarding his common sense and allowing Dragstrip and Wildrider to put him through the 'cinematic-traumas' of Halloween.
He had taken a gander at some of the movies that they forced their paranoid brother to watch and they had no effect on him. However the effect it had on Breakdown was most annoying, especially since Breakdown would seek his comfort— being that Motormaster wasn't exactly a shoulder plate he or anyone could lean on.
Year after year since their creation, Dead End was given with the unwanted task of reassuring him no such creatures as the aquatic antagonist from a Lagoon, or the shape-shifting alien species that could resemble anything it assimilated, or that a diseased/deceased person could infect you with it's curse if it managed to bite you, or, Dead End's personal favorite oddity, a tree possessed by a poltergeist could form motor skills and digest small children existed. It was all perverted human 'art'.
Ghost stories seemed to be the preferred genre of horror that they forced Breakdown to watch and it was also Dead End's least favorite debate topic. Mainly because it was so boringly obvious what the answer was; debating was a waste of energy of whatever remainder of his life he still had.
There is not such thing as life after death. You get only one life, why in the name of Victor Sigma would we be granted another one? There are no second chances. Do or die— that's life. Just the thought of it was enough to make Dead End laugh— a rare occasion— and it was only this season he almost did.
Halloween… really just a pointless human tradition. They really had no use for it and the Stunticons would have benefited from never knowing of it's existence.
He couldn't understand why honoring the dead was such an important custom. Their ancestors are dead, why dwell on the fact and not proceed with whatever remains of their bleak human existence? Or better yet, if they were so sure of this next life, why not join them?
He also found another tradition of Halloween also quite comical, a tradition that seemed to mock the dead. The offsprings paraded around their districts collecting energon goodies and then stuffing their glutinous faces with it… purposely forgetting to give some of their collected good to their ancestors as an offering. Dead End took a step back for a moment... maybe the children shared the same opinion as Dead End 'why give them offerings if they can't indulge in them?'
Or maybe the insects were just selfish and didn't care. Oh well, nothing to do about at this point since Dragstrip and Wildrider has already caused the brunt of damage— his brothers are always very good at that. Besides, it was just one Earth solar cycle. He supposed he had no choice but to suffer through it year by year until death granted him to never to again.
Dead End laughed mentally as he continued to roll behind Breakdown and Motormaster in the lead (Dragstrip and Wildrider off on their own side of the ten mile road).
The best he could do was to ignore it and keep his processor on business, which was proving to be rather difficult being in Breakdown's presence. He could tell that he felt uncomfortable on this road, which didn't surprise Dead End (Breakdown felt uncomfortable everywhere he went) and his complaints of how much he wanted to get off the road were becoming repetitive.
He finally went quite and just when Dead End thought he was granted solace, Breakdown managed to break it.
((Get off!)) Roared their irritate Stunticon leader.
((SORRY!))Breakdown quipped back, fearing the possibility of lots and lots of pain.
((Not yet you're not!)) Motormaster responded.((If you dented my bumper I'll dent something of yours!))
((Relax;it was a simple mistake which I'm sure Breakdown will not be doing again.))Dead End droned with an indifferent tone from the back of the line.
((Yeah! I won't make anymore mistakes— I promise!))Breakdown called, quickly trying to resolve the situation. However in his poor brother's case, that was impossible.
Dead End could identify the sound of Breakdown's tires going out if his very spark depended on it. When he heard the sound of pressurized air forcibly escaping he swerved out of the way to avoid rolling into the asphalt like his accident prone Stunticon. A comrade always, but tonight was not the night he preferred to have his paint scratched— his brothers had caused him enough grief already.
((Breakdown!)) Motormaster roared, angered annoyance defiently his tone.
Dead End sighed tiredly and transformed, as did his leader, and sauntered over to Breakdown. Immediately he could see that he would be useless unless he was refitted with a functional tire. However, their leader only saw incompetence.
Dead End approached him and bent down to one knee plate, "Are you alright?" he asked.
"No, my leg hurts," replied Breakdown, a small groan leaving him. "No I can transform. Everything's ok!"
Dead End could feel Motormaster's annoyance behind him, permiating into the air like a thick cloud.
Their comms beeped thankfully, halting any unnecessary brutality Motormaster was thinking of inflicting on Breakdown.
((Ramjet to Motormaster. I have a visual on two Autobots north of your position. Looks like Bumblebee and Trailblazer and I think I saw your buddy Prime a few astro seconds ago.))
((We're on our way. Motormaster out.))replied the Stunticon leader.
Dead End knew that Breakdown would be too paranoid to change the tire alone in the dark and would require his assistance. It needed to be changed; his teammate couldn't pursue Autobots on his rim. Dead End turned to Motormaster, "We'll catch up shortly and we will be sure to do away with them if they pass this way."
Motormaster stared down at him, his faceplates seeming he have no choice but to grudgingly accept. Dead End knew that Motormaster would use this opportunity as a personal vendetta anyway for the head on collision with Prime. He hated to admit that it was a good thing that Breakdown had a flat tire. Beside's he was in no mood for a chase… he just had himself waxed.
Motormaster transformed, his headlights blaring harshly into their optics. "Get it done quickly!" he barked before he took off.
As soon as he disappeared Dead End set to work, switching to high beams to combat the heavy darkness of the October night.
Just as Dead End was relaxed, focused on his work, Breakdown had to kill his calm and solace mood— a mood that he had been craving for some time.
"Hey, Dead End, do ghosts exist?" asked his curious teammate.
Dead End paused in his work, somewhat taken aback that Breakdown would ask the same question for the 165th time since their creation. "I beg your pardon?"
Breakdown shrugged his shoulders uncomfortably, looking as if he was embarrassed. "You know…ghosts. Do you think that stuff exists?"
Dead End raised an eyebridge and assumed his work, he decided to give Breakdown his full opinion on the matter, hoping that a clear explanation would finally cease Breakdown's interest on what he believed; the word 'no' apparently was not enough for his paranoid comrade.
"If there is such a thing as life after death, it is served as merely a waiting room; a sick perverse torture method until we are eventually and absolutely evaporated from existence. However, that paranormal nonsense is reserved for religious texts and as a comfort for mechs who cannot handle that they are going to die. So no; there are no such things as ghosts."
"But if they were? Like you said first, could they you know… hurt you?" Breakdown asked.
"They don't exist, Breakdown," replied Dead End, tired of the ridiculous conversation.
Breakdown frowned with disappointment. "So they stuff in human movies is not real?"
Dead End sighed, reminded once again why Halloween annoyed him. "Is that where this dreadful conversation is coming from?"
"No," Breakdown replied—a blatant lie.
Dead End sighed. "Have you been watching those seasonal movies with Dragstrip and Wildrider, again?"
"No." Another lie.
"Let me remind you—once again— that those movies are fictional," Dead End tiredly reassured.
"The Blair Bitch Project looked very real," Breakdown replied back with a semi-confident tone.
Dead End rolled his optics, doubting that was the true name of the movie. "It is nothing but a scare tactic."
Dead End finished his work and stood up, giving Breakdown a little space. "Give that a try," he said.
Breakdown stood up and gave his leg a small shake, he grimaced slightly but nodded. "Better," Breakdown shrugged.
Dead End let a small smile tug the corner of his mouth. "Good, let's rejoin the group before Motormaster becomes upset. I'm not in the mood for his temper today, which is especially foul tonight."
With that they both transformed. Dead End understood the importance of the mission, guard the only access road to the power-plant that lay for plundering, however for Breakdown's sake and for his own sanity, he wished that Megatron decided to pick another Earth time and his brothers to choose another holiday to torment Breakdown with. Perhaps Christmas.
Breakdown and Dead End found themselves at a halt when they reached the sharp curve in the road, where Dead End noticed a change in the scenery.
He recalled on their trip earlier on the road that the concrete barriers were intact. So why all of a sudden were they destroyed now?
Dead End couldn't help but sense that it had something to do with his fearless leader and he wasn't surprised that he was right. When they rolled closer, their headlights on full beams, he scanned and saw lying at the bottom of the heap was indeed, Motormaster. What surprised Dead End however was that he appeared unresponsive—an unusual sign for the leader of the Stuntions.
((Motormaster, are you online?))
Dead End transformed and Breakdown followed. Dead End stepped off of the road and landed into the small graveyard of cars that were unable to complete the turn and crashed to their doom. The body of a rusted blue 1969 Mustang crushed under the Strunticon's weight. Breakdown remained on the road, too hesitant to approach his offline leader as if fearing Motormaster would spring to life and attack Breakdown... another cliché he assumed was from one of the movies that he watched.
Metal groaned and glass shattered nosily as he made his way over to Motormaster's form. He seemed intact; his scans showed minimal damage. It was all puzzling. He knew Motormaster had received harder hits yet this one was the only one he could remember that offlined him. Even the collision with Optimus Prime wasn't enough to offline Motormaster.
Suddenly the horn of a yellow Camaro blared by them, making Breakdown jump. Breakdown turned to him, as if questioning what he should do.
"What are you waiting for?" Dead End questioned sternly before turning back to aid Motormaster. Breakdown transformed and chased after the unknown Autobot.
With nothing but the light from his headlights he set to work. He walked to back of Motormaster's trailer, grasped it at each side and pulled. Motormaster's trailer groaned as well as the metal his front was wedged into. Dead End worked himself to the front where the trailer and truck were connected. He wiggled the right side until Motormaster was somewhat free and worked himself over to the next side.
Déjà vu flooded him when he heard the blare of a car go by. His optics turned just in time to see a yellow Camaro fly by on the road.
Dead End's optics squinted in confusion. The Camaro was going the same direction the first time it passed. How did it get by Dead End without him noticing and what was the purpose? Was it trying to draw him out specifically? Dead End ignored it, thinking he had a glitch in his memory banks.
After several more minutes of struggling to free Motormaster with no avail, he collapsed on top of an old 50's red Thunderbird, exhausted.
He grimmaced and activated his comm link. ((Dragstrip, Wildrider. Are you busy? I need assitance.))
((Yea, we are busy Deadster. We are soooo sorry.)) came a sarcastic Dragstrip.
Dead End's optic brows rose. ((Really? Well that is unfortunate. Unfortunate of course for the both of you when Motormaster wakes up and discovers that you two refused to help him because you had more important agendas.
((Ugh. Fine. Be right there.))
Dead End sighed tiredly as he sat on top of the Thunderbird's roof silently, oddly finally able to find the quiet time he had desired down in the graveyard of cars with his offline Strunticon leader. Hopefully he didn't waken and Dragstrip and Wildrider took their time. His optics eyed the harvest moon above him, it's glow basking him in a white light as well off the other cars inhabiting the surroundings. It was almost peaceful... almost.
Dead End turned when a car horn blared once again.
It was the same yellow Camaro, still traveling in the same direction.
Dead End sighed and activated his comm once again. ((Dead End to Dragstrip.))
((You two assist Motormaster. I have an Autobot to deal with.)) Dead End called, walking on the roofs of cars. He turned on his anti-gravity and landed back on the road.
((Yeah, yeah. You go talk the Autobot to death. We'll take care of the Moto. Dragstrip out.))
Dead End transformed and took off into the night...
Minutes after he disappeared, the yellow Camaro appeared again following behind Dead End, blared it's horn, passed Dead Man's Curve and thirty-seconds down the road, blew it's tire, swerved and ran into a tree where it disappeared completely.
Leaving the road silent until it repeated it's ghostly residual cycle.
Dead End could not understand the madness of the Autobot he was chasing. There were no side-path or shortcut on the road that he saw while chasing it that could take it back to the bridge or why it wanted to repeat blaring it's horn at them. Dead End also couldn't recall any Autobot that transformed into the Camaro, unless it was imitating that awful human movie where Bumblebee upgraded his form.
Unless one of the others did, he wasn't sure if he was even sure if he was chasing an Autobot or if he was going on a wild cyber-goose chase after a human. What also bothered him was that he couldn't seem to catch up or get a signature off of it. He had passed by Dragstrip and Wildrider only a couple ago and the denied that they had seen the Camaro. Unless the Camaro doubled back without his knowing there was no way it would have gotten passed Breakdown, Dragstrip, Wildrider and himself.
Dead End came to a bridge where he decided to come to a halt. He backed up and maneuvered himself until he was at the end of the bridge and facing the direction he came, just in case the Camaro had decided to get behind him.
Dead End waited in his vehicular mode, his high-beams on the bridge and the road in front of him; nothing but the hum of his engine and the noise of water from the river in the air.
Minutes passed by one by one with no disturbance, and he took the opportunity to relax while he waited. He turned off his engine and his lights, making sure to watch for signatures both from the front and back.
He sat in the dark in the middle of the road. Silent. Solitude. Perfect... almost perfect.
After twenty-minutes, his scanners detected a heat small signature by the edge of the bridge. It was too faint to be an Autobot had contained no friendly data-patterns of his fellow Decepticons to be one of Soundwave's minions.
Dead End's headlights flashed on to see nothing in front of him. However there was a young Caucasian boy right by his driver side door, peering into his window.
Dead End engine fired up and he rolled backwards, before coming to a screeching halt, alarmed by the speed and how close the human boy managed to get to him.
He scanned and found himself alone once again. However his intuition couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't the case. It was as if he was looking at the world through Breakdown's optics: He was cautious of all his surroundings, alarmed by the possibilities of any abnormalities in the environment and apprehensive to discover what they were.
The boy was startling; he hadn't expected it. Nevertheless he was somewhat curious of how the boy had the courage to come up to him as he did. Certainly the insignia on his hood would have had the child fleeing in terror as they so often did.
Surprise arose in him again when he felt and heard a small taping on the driver side window.
tap... tap... tap...tap... tap... It was harsh against his window and he couldn't understand what was causing it— there was no one outside his window. There was nothing to explain it... but he absolutely felt it.
It suddenly stopped, and was followed by something just as startling as the annoying taping.
The boy came from in front of him and approached the hood, looking at something metallic pinched between his fingers. Dead End stood his ground cautiously but overall curious at what the fleshling was doing.
The boy smiled at him, as if trying to be friendly. The boy approached his driver side window again and stared inside for a moment. He lifted his hand and tapped the round metallic object against his window.
tap... tap... tap...
Then he stopped and held out his hand, presenting what the object was.
It was a quarter; and the boy was trying to give it to him. Dead End felt a flash of boredom and annoyance run through him. The fleshling is trying to give him a quarter? 'What on earth is going through that moronic flesh creature's mind? I am not interested in your gift.'
His comm beeped once again. ((Dead End, meet back at the turn. Motormaster's back online and I guess we are out of here for the night!))
((Copy)) was Dead End's reply.
Dead End fired his engine and took off, leaving the boy without a response. Dead End watched the boy get engulfed in the darkness of the night and disappear completely from sight.
The quarter dropped to the ground, landing between the lines of the yellow stripes of the road.
The boy nowhere to be found...
A/N: So the reason for the double chapter title is because Dead End's encounter is inspired by two events that happen on Clinton Road and that I couldn't make up my mind. The first envolves a woman who crashed on the road and the other involves folklore about a boy who died swimming. The story goes if you throw a quarter into the river, he will give it back to you.
Also, alot of these chapters are made for creative use so everything I describe about Clinton Road is 100% not accurate. It is just overdramatized for creative purposes. So apologies to the New Jersey residents who have traveled on Clinton Road... I've never been there. Sorry.
Motormaster's chapter will conclude our story... once I post it.
Happy Halloween all! Hope everyone has a safe and spooky one! :D