Transformers Fan Fiction / Machine Robo Fan Fiction ❯ Transformers Vs Gobots: Storm of Steel ❯ Chapter 3

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

The senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch returned in degrees, like sand in an hourglass. Liena's eyes slowly opened to see a metal ceiling. She thought she heard a propeller spin, and turned to the sound.

Blades was spinning a bomb launcher around his right index finger. The warrior threw the weapon over his head, caught it by thrusting his left index finger into the trigger guard, spun it around that finger, and then threw it again. "Good morning, Princess," Blades said with a smile as the bomb launcher spun around his right index finger.

Liena tried to raise her hand, but it was magnetically locked onto her bed. "Are tigers so dangerous, you must use a weapon of that size?"


"Your weapon-- it resembles a Howdah pistol from my father's collection. Hunters used these large-caliber firearms to defend themselves from the tigers of India." The young woman was surprised to hear Blades chuckle. 'The machine man seems so human-- more so than Werner since his return.'

"Compared to Crasher or Doomwing, a tiger's just a big cat."

"Good, you're online," Ratchet greeted as he entered the infirmary. "How do you feel?"

"I'm cold," 'and dead, a corpse waiting to be cremated.' Liena looked down to see her metal ribcage opened, a thick cable connecting her heart to the bed. "I feel incomplete," 'inhuman.'

"That may be due to the removal of your self-destruct charge and the slave circuits. If it's due to hunger, I must apologize for not providing carbohydrates-- food-- as our ship isn't provisioned to support organic life forms. Your fuel receptacles are connected to an energon cube, so your mechanical components are provided for," Ratchet cheerfully stated.

Liena noted the light shining on Ratchet and Blades' chests, forming an insignia the Cybertronians hid when they were disguised as human artifacts. "You're Autobots-- Lord Cy-Kill's enemies."

"Cy-Kill's no Lord of Gobotron, except to his loyal and delusional followers," Blades said. Planet Gobotron was the capital of the Outer Cybertronian Empire. "Slag," the warrior smirked, "the other Decepticons would put Hotspot on the Gobot throne before they put Cy-Kill there."


"Cy-Kill and his followers are renegades, enemies to Autobot and Decepticon alike." The speaker was a giant, even to fellow Cybertronians. A V/1500 heavy bomber's wings formed his arms, whose proportions were comparable to a gorilla's. He gripped a bomb launcher-- Liena thought the weapon resembled a Winchester Model 1897 shotgun from her father's collection-- ready to shoot the hybrid, even though this was overkill.

The hybrid searched her records on the Decepticons' enemies, identifying the gorilla as 'Hotspot, Leader One of the Gobot Guardians.' Liena watched Ratchet turn and salute the gorilla, while Blades continued playing with his weapon.

"Ratchet, I wish to speak with you," Hotspot said.

"Yes, Leader One." Ratchet followed his acting commander out of the infirmary.

Hotspot waited for the door to close behind the medic; even though Liena should be unable to eavesdrop, the gorilla cautiously used his lasercom to say, "I'm ordering you to remove the human from Courageous," the Autobot warship.

"What?! You can't! She's a human-machine hybrid! Until we can restore the organic components that Hackmesser removed, other humans will view her as a monster; she'll be hunted down and destroyed!"

"What you propose requires a supply of replacement parts. Courageous has no facilities capable of cloning the human, and the humans themselves have no storage facilities capable of preventing those parts from deteriorating, with the possible exception of morgues. Even if you can salvage a sufficient number of replacement parts from the morgues without drawing attention, we have no facilities capable of suppressing her immune system to prevent organ rejection." The Guardians' duty was to defend sentient life forms on Cybertronian colonies, including organic life forms; Hotspot could accurately assess the limitations of Liena's bodies.

Ratchet knew Hotspot before he became Leader One, when the gorilla was compassionate and willing to pay any price, make any sacrifice, to save lives; if the humans knew Hotspot then, they'd say he "wore his heart on his sleeve." Now strong armor hid Leader One's "heart," just as a mask-- a copy of Optimus Prime's, worn by Autobot commanders to show solidarity after their Commander-in-Chief disappeared-- hid his once expressive face. "The Nebulons--"

"I will not abort the mission for the human's sake. Cy-Kill and his renegades are responsible for the deaths of 18,063 Cybertronians and an estimated 170,000,000 to 308,000,000 organic life forms on 24 different planets. If we don't stop him now, we'll share responsibility for the deaths of millions more."

Ratchet's mouth opened to continue arguing, only to cry in surprise as an explosion shook Courageous with such force, the medic's foot-mounted magnets failed to keep him upright. Static clouded his vision as his head struck a wall; it cleared to show Hotspot facing him, but seconds passed before Ratchet's hearing recovered.

"The Decepticons must have tracked the human to our location!" Hotspot shouted.

"Impossible! I removed both of her transponders!" Ratchet protested.

"Doomwing!" Then the Guardian leader ran to the bridge, leaving the medic to reconsider his dismissal of the supernatural.

Liena was alone in the infirmary, now that Blades was at his battle station; no one knew her torment, consumed by the darkness beyond a mere absence of light. "Please... kill me," she pleaded. "End the pain... let me join my fiancé... in heaven."


Transformers Vs Gobots: Storm of Steel

Written by Sidewinder (, 2008, revised 2009. Characters created and owned by ARCO, Bandai, Hanna-Barbera, Hasbro, Production Reed (formerly Ashi Productions), and Takara.


750 kg armor-piercing shells shrieked as Zod's 38-centimeter cannons electromagnetically launched them at fractional light speed, sufficient to reach the Autobot warship hidden beneath the Atlantic Ocean. Cy-Kill gazed at a holographic map of the target area, waiting for signs of Courageous' presence to appear and support Doomwing's scrying. Finally, oil floated to the surface; spectrum analysis confirmed the lubricant wasn't manmade. "Are we victorious?"

"I no longer sense Galiena's presence-- she may have died in the bombardment-- but I must urge caution, for the Autobot Guardians are intelligently led," the werewolf advised. "Among my trophies is a fractured backplate, a memento of the time Hotspot put himself in stasis lock to hide from my scrying, allowing him to launch a surprise attack."

"Even so, I doubt the survivors can effectively defend themselves after such a barrage," Cy-Kill confidently said. "Hackmesser, salvage the Autobot ship's active camouflage system. I want it analyzed, duplicated, and installed in the elite silencers," assassins.

"By your command," the spymaster transmitted as a cable-trailing Cruellock dived from the hangar, followed by the rest of its squadron, and then Hackmesser himself.

The Cruellock dropped like an anchor until it reached the target depth, when it transformed. "Target negative, target negative," not confirmed. "Request permission to use active sensors," the drone telegraphed to prevent eavesdropping.

"Granted." Hackmesser waited to see if the drone's active sensors triggered a mine or other booby traps. "What in the Pit...?"

It was an angel with red and white wings, a burning sword in each hand.

'No.' The spymaster noticed the "angel" bore Decepticon insignia. "You...!" The angel's mouth opened in a silent scream; then the swords passed through Hackmesser's frame. "Roarrrr!"

"Howl!" Doomwing fell on all fours, giving voice to the psychic presence there.

"Doomwing, Hackmesser, what happened?" Cy-Kill demanded.

It was gone. The spymaster examined his body to see no signs of damage, while the werewolf rose to his feet.

"Starscream! He appeared before me, and..." Hackmesser fell silent as he sought a logical explanation for what happened.

"I too sensed Starscream's presence," Doomwing growled. "His spark... the bombardment aroused him from stasis lock. His frame... it's nearby, as are Megatron and the Light he bears."

Cy-Kill's optics widened. "If that is so, then who rules from the Crown of Stars?" the castle of Megatron, the Decepticon Commander-in-Chief.

"An imposter, one who cannot call upon the powers of Primus," whom the Cybertronians once worshipped as the Lord of Light and the God of Creation.

The silver titan smiled at the opportunity this presented. "Hackmesser, I am launching a shuttle with two escorts, which will be at your disposal while Zod and I move elsewhere. You will rendezvous at our location once you have recovered the Autobots' active camouflage system." 'The Nemesis-- the ranks of "Leader One" and "Prime," the Crown of Stars, and soon the entire galaxy-- are now within my reach.'

"By your command."


Even in the dim light of the hangar, Major Matthew Hunter's guests couldn't be mistake the cause of his frown as pain from his injuries. "Let me see if I understand what you're saying. When the Germans archied your Camel," he pointed at Nick, "a mechanical angel took you out of your flaming bird and onto the ground, before metamorphosing into another Camel and flying away. Meanwhile, a woman-- not really a woman, but a metal skeleton from a H. G. Wells novel-- came to the hospital where you work," he pointed at AJ, "in search of Nick. When your ride," his attention returned to the younger man, "stopped at the hospital to drop off its other passengers, the machine woman became hysterical, and then electrical. A pistol, of unknown make and model, appeared in her hand; your ride metamorphosed from an ambulance to another machine man, and apprehended the machine woman; then the ambulance man's attention turned to a pair of Albatros biplanes, which you suspect are more machine men."

"I know this sounds crazy," Nick began.

"But our eyes bore witness to it," AJ finished.

"Is there any evidence to prove you didn't have an opium dream or a drunken delusion? A photograph, an iron rib, or a steel feather?" Matt watched Nick retrieved a triangular piece of metal from his coat pocket. 'A tooth?' A fragment of a propeller blade joined the Deinonychus tooth on the wooden crate, a makeshift table; Matt studied this fragment with interest. "Why would someone make a metal propeller, only to paint it to resemble a wooden one?"

"We think it's part of disguise," Nick answered.

"The Huns painted wood grain on a metal propeller to disguise an Albatros as a RFC bird?"

"They're not Germans; if Albatros or Zeppelin could build the things we saw, the Kaiser would never shut up about his new 'wonder weapons' in their propaganda," the younger man insisted.

"Martians? Selenites? Someone with enough Cavorite to lift a battleship off the ground?" the major referred to H. G. Wells' 'The First Men in the Moon'.

"They're Gobots, Cybertronians from the colony of Gobotron-- sentient machines with the ability to transform to improve their mobility or agility."

The humans' eyes widened at the sight of Nick's Doppelgänger, for no one saw him enter the hangar. 'Where in hell did he come from?!'

"I'm Streetwise. You," the Doppelgänger pointed at Nick, "owe my friend, Groove, a favor; now he needs you to return it. The Decepticons-- those disguised as Albatros biplanes are their servants-- have found the X that marks the spot, and we're trying to stop them before they find the treasure. If X is near a town or a city, it'll literally become a ghost town if the Decepticons detect us, so we're recruiting you as scouts or spies."

"How do we know you and your mechanical friends aren't here conquer Earth, enslave the human race, and drain our blood to feed yourselves, like the Martians in 'The War of the Worlds'?" Matt demanded.

"I'm not shooting up this place with my .30 caliber machine guns and 6-pounder guns to bend you to my will, am I? Besides, you two," the Doppelgänger pointed at Nick and AJ, "already witnessed Decepticon brutality-- the hybrid you," he pointed at Matt, "described as a metal skeleton? She was human; the Decepticon renegades' spymaster removed her brain and those organs couldn't be replaced with machines, and put them in the metal skeleton to enslave her. We can't do this to you because Courageous-- our ship-- isn't equipped to produce life-support systems for organic life forms, so even if we are planning to enslave the human race," the Doppelgänger smirked, "you're still better off on our side."

"If you're not an organic life form, what are you, anyways?" AJ asked.

"I'm right outside this building."

Matt rose to his feet, his right-- uninjured-- hand reaching for the Doppelgänger. "What kind of...?" His hands passed through the smirking figure before him. "Gasp!"

"This," the Doppelgänger pointed at himself, "is a hologram-- a projected image. The projector's installed in my body, which is outside this building."

"After all I've seen, I think I'm ready for whatever surprise you have." Nick walked outside, followed by AJ and Matt. "What in...?"

A Mark VIII tank and a M1917 artillery tractor-- a Holt 45 Long-Track variant-- were parked outside the hangar. "How in hell did those things get here?!" Matt demanded. Although the airfield was almost deserted, with many pilots on nighttime patrols and the rest asleep, the engine noises should've stirred the humans like a hornet's nest. "And that Liberty Tank," a tank with the Liberty L-12 engine. "The prototype's still in Connecticut-- still incomplete!" Then the vehicles transformed. The tank's rear half unfolded 180 degrees to reveal thighs, becoming legs; the front of the track frames separated from the main body, forming upper arms as the sponsons unfolded to form forearms; and a head extended from the front. The tractor's caterpillar tracks extended to form legs; the roof split, the two halves swinging down to form arms; the radiator unfolded 90 degrees to reveal the head. "Jesus Christ!"

"My name's Streetwise, not Jesus or Christ. This," the tank-turned-machine man pointed at the tractor-turned-machine man, "is First Aid, a medic."

"Bah weep graaanah weep ni ni bong," First Aid greeted.

"And who's that?" Matt asked, pointing behind the machine men.

Streetwise turned to a low hill behind them, which a Schneider CA1 tank was silently climbing. "Code red! Code red!" The Autobot scout's warning was the only audible sound as his 6-pounder guns blazed; the HE shells made dull thuds as they exploded, failing to awake the sleeping humans, accustomed as they were to the artillery duels raging miles away.

'They have mufflers or silencers of incredible capabilities-- that's why we didn't hear their approach,' Matt thought as First Aid grabbed him, Nick, and AJ.

'Good luck, Streetwise.' Then the medic put his compatriot's welfare out of his mind, now focused on bringing the humans-- and the info they had-- to Courageous. "Hang on!" First Aid put the humans on his back as he transformed, and then the tractor literally rocketed away-- the humans saw flames shoot from the rear bumper, the machine man's feet-- westwards.

Air rushed towards the humans at 223 km/h, comparable to the Galveston Hurricane of 1900; this tried the strength of the humans gripping the roof pillars. "Argh!" Matt's right hand slipped. "Matt!" Nick caught the major's right forearm, but this strained the arm he wrapped around a pillar; this too began to slip. "Nick!" AJ's legs encircled the young man's torso, her thighs gripping his armpits. "Slag!" The humans couldn't hear First Aid curse, but when the roof split, they saw the reason the medic was frustrated-- two Albatros fighters diving, a twin-barrel laser cannon and a missile launcher extending from the disguised drones' backs.

The tractor left the ground. First Aid transformed in midair, his left hand catching the humans as his right drew a fire ax. "Yaaaa!" The medic used his frame to shield the humans from the incoming laser beams and missiles, which scorched and pitted his armor, and buried the ax in a Deinonychus' neck; First Aid kicked the drone's severed head, sending it towards the second drone and shattering this drone's upper wings.

Then the unseen third drone's claws stabbed the medic in the back.

"Argh!" First Aid managed to land on his feet and avoid crushing the humans, despite the burning pain; the Cruellock managed to stay on his back, despite the shock of impact, and buried its teeth in the medic's helmet before its neck strained to tear off First Aid's head. "No! The humans...!" He threw the ax.

The message was understood; First Aid's "guardian angel" caught the weapon, advanced to hand-to-hand combat distance, before burying the ax in the drone's head.

"Slave circuits!"

Another blow shattered the drone's spine and destroyed the slave circuits it shielded; the savior returned the ax before turning his back to the medic. "First Aid, are you functional?" Groove asked as he scanned the terrain through his gunsight.

The medic's attention turned to the stunned humans in his hand. "Are you functional?"

Matt, Nick, and AJ examined their own bodies, and then each other, before their eyes rose to meet First Aid's. "I'm alive. Nick?" "I'm still in one piece. Nurse Foster?" "W-w-was that n-necessary?" Sparks flew over the humans' heads as a missile struck the metal hand shielding them. "Gasp!" "Yikes!"

"Yes," First Aid answered through clenched teeth as he stowed the ax and drew his laser pistol. Groove, airborne again, tracked the missile flight path to the enemy sniper; then both Autobots shot in the same direction.


'Divide and conquer.' Schuppenpanzer jettisoned the metal plates disguising him as a Schneider; then the revealed A7V transformed into another Utahraptor. His tracks slid forward and pivoted 90 degrees downwards to form legs; the front of the hull unfolded 90 degrees to reveal the head, the 57 mm gun forming a birdlike crest; the neck extended as arms unfolded from the sides. "Roarrrr!" The Decepticon scout lunged, the sickle-shaped claws on his feet reaching for Streetwise.

The Autobot scout drew a combat knife, whose blade met the claws; then Streetwise turned his parry into a throw that sent Schuppenpanzer flying into a tree, which shattered under the Decepticon's weight.

"Roar!" Schuppenpanzer quickly rolled onto his feet, and laid on the ground just as quickly, dodging HE shells from Streetwise's guns. Plasma beams reached from the Decepticon's 57 mm gun-- a disguised plasma cannon-- the Autobot performing cartwheels to dodge the shots.


"Behind you!" Nick shouted as the wingless drone lunged. The medic's sudden turn shook the ground, throwing the young man off his feet. "Whoa!" The laser beams nearly blinded Nick as they reached between First Aid and the Cruellock, making Cybertronian alloys glow as if they were in a furnace; then the drone's arms, legs, and head fell off, sending the "butchered" torso crashing before the medic.

"How'd you do that?" Nick asked.

First Aid immediately turned to the forest in which the snipers-- it was now clear the Autobots faced multiple enemies-- hid. "I targeted its joints." The answer was barely audible over the missile warheads. 'Warheads are German 10.5 cm shells. Rocket motors and sensors are Gobot designed, but only trace amounts of Cybertronian alloys. Excellent use of local resources and facilities. I wonder who thought of this?' "This is like fighting a pack of Rock Narlies! Do you have a plan?!" the medic demanded.

"We just have to survive the next minutes!" Groove shouted as he danced away from First Aid to draw enemy attention-- and attacks-- away from the medic and the humans.

"For what?!"


Streetwise and Schuppenpanzer alternately dodged shots or sought cover; shot from behind a tree, a large rock, or a low hill; moved out of the enemy's line of fire as further attacks vaporized their cover; and repeating this sequence. The combatants knew their strengths and abilities were closely matched; whatever mental functions weren't devoted to attacking, avoiding an enemy attack, and counterattacking, was focused on devising a tactic or technique that would bring victory.

Boom! A human would think the roar was that of thunder, field artillery, or exploding bombs, shells, and other ordnance. The Cybertronians knew different.

"Whoa!" Streetwise uprooted a tree and spun it like a propeller, blocking a flurry of wild shots. He threw the now burning tree at Schuppenpanzer-- or rather, where the Decepticon was. "Schuppenpanzer, you coward! Return so we can finish this!" The Autobot's face expressed none of the anger in his voice; he smiled at the reason the Decepticon fled.


The attacks suddenly became less accurate, the missiles missing the Autobots by meters. 'Jamming?' Then a Sea Scout (SS) class blimp appeared above the forest. Hatches opened on the blimp envelope to reveal 18-pounder guns, which blanketed the forest with flames and shrapnel. "Pathfinder!"

Fireballs launched a Mars 2-cylinder motorcycle into the air; the front fender bore a hawkish head, the beak opening to shriek in pain.

'Razorwing heads,' First Aid noted as a squadron of motorcycles joined the first. The rear fenders bore metal tubes, 10.5 cm in diameter-- 'Missile launchers,' the medic guessed. 'The human vehicles were converted into drones.'

The remaining drones directed their attention towards the blimp, but the jamming sent the missiles towards false targets; the detonating warheads destroyed only still air. The blimp pilot tracked the drone controller's transmissions to his location, and returned fire.

"Argh!" Then silence fell.

Early models of the SS class used a Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c reconnaissance plane's wingless fuselage as their car; the car of this "blimp" detached herself from the envelope before transforming. The rudder, tailplanes, and lower wings unfolded from the fuselage; the upper wings, parallel to the fuselage to hide their profile, pivoted 90 degrees before struts unfolded from the lower wings, locking the upper in place. The now complete B.E.2c and dived towards the voice of pain, followed by Groove.

The drone controller-turned-sniper was a 10.5 cm light Field Howitzer 16 with its carriage trail split to form legs; he was damaged as he began transforming, and caught between modes.

The B.E.2c transformed into a machine woman and landed beside the howitzer. "Rogun."

"I... am... Kilotron!" The carriage wheels began separating to form pauldrons, but the damage was too great. "Argh!"

"Rogun, you're not one-thousandth of the warlord Megatron is; you're lucky to have one-millionth of his strength and skill," Groove said as Pathfinder bolted a security device-- a bomb with a remote detonator-- on the hatch from which where the Decepticon's head would emerge if he was fully transformed. "Let's go. He grabbed a carriage wheel, Pathfinder grabbed the other, and the Autobots dragged their prisoner away from the burnt trees.


The Cruellock drones continued their descent, the trailing cable now attached to a Drachen observation balloon-- the disguised shuttle. "Target detected." They telegraphed images of a 23 class rigid airship-- the disguised Autobot ship-- in a vertical position, the stern resting upon the sea floor.

Hackmesser examined the data received. 'The damage doesn't appear serious enough to cripple the vessel.' "Odd numbers, target the reactor. Even numbers, target the bridge." He drew his pistol-like bomb launcher, aiming the weapon at the reactor. "Fire on my command." A talon pulled the trigger, but static suddenly flooded the telegraph line and, through it, overwhelmed his senses. "Roarrrr!" The spymaster barely felt the left hand pulling his leg-- this sent the bomb towards the sea floor, where it harmlessly exploded-- until Hackmesser was optic-to-optic with Hotspot; then the Autobot giant's right hand crushed the Decepticon's skull and tore off his head.

The drones had preprogrammed orders they were to follow if they lost contact with their controller, but this was anticipated; Ratchet, now attached to the cable and armed with codes decrypted and copied from Liena's memory, ordered the drones to abort their attack.

Hotspot approached each Cruellock and, with care and caution unexpected in one so large and powerful, reprogrammed the drones to obey the Autobots. "The drones will obey you until Fightmaster or another high-ranking renegade uses an override code; then they'll attack and, most likely, destroy you. Put the hybrid in the shuttle, transport her to Nebulon, and restore her humanity."

"No." Liena's voice was cold and mechanical; her implanted computer assumed functions her biological brain were unable to perform, due to a stroke Ratchet induced to sever Doomwing's psychic link. "I... will not... abandon my brothers... to slavery and Cy-Kill's whip."

"You don't have that option," Hotspot insisted.

"You need... a scout or spy... to survey the target area," the hybrid repeated Hotspot's words.

"Because our presence will provoke a Decepticon response; if the target area is populated, uninvolved and innocent humans will die in the resulting crossfire. You're a hybrid; the Decepticons will detect the Cybertronian technology in your frame, they will identify you and assume you defected or were reprogrammed to serve us, and respond with violence." Hotspot looked up. "The scouts we recruited are here." He turned to Ratchet. "Go."

The medic saluted. "Yes, Leader One."


In the blimp-- a disguised shuttle, which Pathfinder flew from the car's position, ready to shutdown the turbojet-rocket hybrid engines at the sight of a human-- Matt's eyes danced between the screen and the many technological "wonders" in the bridge. "How do you keep this thing airborne? With Cavorite?" The major watched First Aid's expression change to one of confusion. 'They're so lifelike-- more human than some of the brass I served under.' "It's a substance 'opaque to gravitation,' from H. G. Wells' novel-- a work of fiction."

"Ah," the medic nodded in understanding. "The shuttle is using its repulsorlift engines, which push against the gravity field of a large mass, such as a planet. A repulsorlift cannot function without a gravity field to push against, and are useless in outer space and other zero-g environments."

"Can this... antigravity field... be detected?" Nick wondered.

"Yes, which is why Groove and Blades will transport you; few Cybertronians have integral repulsorlift engines, due to their prodigious energy needs."

A DH.4 shot out of the sea like a flying fish.

First Aid turned to Matt and AJ. "There's your steed."

Clang! Nick turned to see Groove close the weapons locker, four arrows mounted on each forearm. "Are those Le Prieur rockets?" incendiary rockets designed to shoot down observation balloons and airships, which had an effective range of approximately 115 meters.

The Autobot warrior smiled. "No; if I see you flip a coin ten kilometers away, I can make one or all of these mini-missiles kiss that coin." 'I wish we had more time, but we're already running out,' he thought, regretting the fact his vehicle mode wasn't an Albatros biplane, a possible disguise made passable with the identification friend or foe (IFF) transponders salvaged from captured drones. "Are you ready, Lieutenant Burns?"

Nick smiled as he turned to his guardian angel. "Yes, and please call me Nick." Groove took a knee and held a hand before the young man, who stepped onto the hand as the shuttle opened a hatch to let Blades enter the shuttle. Groove put Nick in the Camel cockpit as he jumped out of the shuttle and transformed in midair; Blades did the same with Matt; then Streetwise put AJ in the Mark VIII tank's crew compartment as he jumped out. The Autobots flew away in formation-- hopefully, human witnesses would assume Streetwise and First Aid were aircraft as well-- hiding their frustration at the snaillike pace they adopted to avoid suspicion.


The Fera Islands were an autonomous province of Denmark, a neutral power; the islanders, alarmed to see a Zeppelin appear overhead, alerted the Danish military garrison. Soldiers and seamen manned antiaircraft guns and targeted the airship, which bore a strange and apparently burning insignia-- a violet draconian head above a red triangle, a silver thunderbolt shooting from the dragon's mouth.

Cy-Kill saw no further reason to hide this insignia, which distinguished his "renegades" from the Decepticons under Megatron's command-- or rather, the imposter's. He turned to Doomwing, ignoring the HE shells reaching for Zod. "Where is the Light?"

"The fragment of Primus' spark," the werewolf saw the islands as a field burning with hundreds of stars, the light of human souls, "is dormant, but Starscream's," a claw stabbed the holographic map, "is there, caught between the physical dimension and the Pit," what the Decepticons believed was their final destination, similar to the human belief in Hell. "We must beware, for Starscream is a powerful psychic whose spark will be stimulated by the presence of another; my presence will stimulate him, possibly to fully functional."

"I do not fear Starscream. Fightmaster, Crasher."

"Yes, Milord?" the two transmitted.

"Secure the area. I will not tolerate any interference as I claim the Light."

"By your command." Fightmaster, now a Fokker D.VIIF biplane fighter, dived towards the gun batteries to draw attention-- and gunfire-- away from Zod, while dodging incoming bullets and shells with aerobatics that would've torn off a real Fokker's wings. Crasher, an Ehrhardt E-V/4 armored car, took advantage of this distraction to approach the gun positions, using noise cancellation technology to avoid alerting the gunners; then booster rockets accelerated the armored car to ramming speed, crushing the antiaircraft guns and the crewmen in her way. Minutes later, the Decepticons transmitted, "Antiaircraft guns, neutralized."

Cy-Kill turned to Doomwing. "Bring me to Starscream, so I may prove I am worthier of Primus' powers than that... mercenary," he growled the last word, remembering the insults Megatron dealt by promoting Starscream before him.

The werewolf bowed. "By your command." He and two drones followed the silver titan through the hangar doors, transformed when Cy-Kill transformed into a Zeppelin R.VI "giant" bomber, and followed their lord towards a temple surrounded by darkness-- although the islanders converted to Christianity centuries ago, successive construction remained a respectful distance from the "guesthouse" they built for Odin, King of the Norse gods.

The airship flew overhead to release what looked like 300 kg bombs, a disguise reinforced when flames shot from the noses as the weapons neared the ground; instead of craters, the smoke cleared to reveal each "bomb" bent into a T. Tripods extended from the nose to keep the bomb upright; missile launchers extended from the sides of the tail, now parallel to the ground to form a laser cannon's barrel shroud.

"Autoguns," automated gun turrets, "One through Four, armed. Scanning," an autogun transmitted images to Cy-Kill. "Unidentified organic life form, one, detected. Targeting," crosshairs appeared on the curious policeman approaching what he thought was a dud bomb. "Laser firing," the beam bisecting the man. "Target neutralized."

As the airship began flying circles around the province, scanning for incoming threats, the R.VI bomber transformed and landed before the now secure temple. The silver titan towered over the land like Odin himself; the rifle-like bomb launcher rising from a wings-turned-arm, like the spear Gungnir.

Despite Zod's alertness, he failed to see a handheld bomb launcher, a microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (maser) rifle, and a 6-pounder gun reach out of the water. Blades, Groove, and Streetwise, knowing detection meant destruction, used the weapons' targeting optics as improvised periscopes to scan the shore; then they surfaced, unseen, beneath a pier.

Nick shivered as he climbed onto the pier, but not because of the weather. 'So that's Zod.' He turned to help Matt and AJ. "Everyone remember the codes?" the phonetic alphabet for the first letters of persons' names and activities.

Matt nodded. "I'm Monkey, you're Nuts," he pointed at Nick, "she's Apples," he pointed at AJ.

"Blades is Butter, Groove is George, First Aid is Freddy, and Streetwise is Liberty," the nurse repeated.

"A Decepticon is a Duff, Archie means an enemy attack, and Sugar means silence-- remember Pathfinder's warning. If there's an emergency--"

"Shout, 'Edward,' three times," Matt and AJ finished.

Nick adjusted the eyeglasses Pathfinder gave him, activating the HUD; his companions did the same. "Let's go." The HUD displayed a map to guide the human scouts to the temple.


To be concluded.