Tonight's Episode (Issue):

Story by James Jackson

Optimus Prime was sitting at a desk in his quarters in the Ark. This was also his ready room, a secondary command post for Optimus's personal use. He was observing a deck of what looked like 150cm × 100cm playing cards.

"The time has come," he thought. "Megatron had already contacted his lieutenant on Cybertron, Shockwave. As such, the Decepticons there know that Megatron's bunch still exist and of the progress of their mission. Now that there has been a week of idleness, I must contact the Autobots of Cybertron to let them know of our status. Teletran I has used its resources to notify me of the ranking officers of Autobot Command and printed their images on these gaming cards. Now I am to shuffle the deck and, with my optics deactivated, select a card and contact the Autobot on that card."

Optimus Prime On the faces of the deck of cards Optimus Prime had before him, were pictures of Grand Maximus, Pyro, Cumulonimbus, Star Saber, Ultra Magnus, Dai Atlas, Brigadier General Autobahn Lee, Cerebros, and many others. He shuffled the deck, spread it out and then shut off his optic sensors. He felt through the cards and finally picked one. He then held it up and turned his optic sensors back on. His vision was fuzzy for a few seconds and then they slowly got clear. He looked at the card and saw the portrait on the card. It was Ultra Magnus.

"Magnus," said Prime. "I haven't seen you in quite some time."

In a flashback, Prime recalls when he had Magnus built as a clone of himself to replace him in situations when he wouldn't be able to lead. However, Optimus made Magnus so much like himself that the clone was reluctant to lead despite how good he was at it. At this time, Optimus had also built himself an Omega Power Suit which increased his strength by 75%. When Optimus left Cybertron, he left the suit for Magnus to use. It helped to compensate the fact that Magnus had not developed his strength to Optimus's level yet. A couple of years later, he repainted the suit and while wearing it, chose the identity of Ultra Magnus. Back in the present, Optimus noticed that in the picture of Ultra Magnus, Magnus did not wear his armor and faceplate at the same time.

"Now it's time to make the call," said Optimus. He then went to a small computer which was connected to Teletran I. "Teletran I, Activate communications link to Iacon of Cybertron. Contact Ultra Magnus of Iacon."

Optimus then composed himself. Finally, he began to speak.

"Ultra Magnus," called Optimus. "this is Optimus Prime. I am sending you my report on my Autobots and our mission. On this planet, now called Earth, the recorded time is 1984. almost 48,200 vorns have gone by since we left Cybertron. Here are the highlights of my report. Four million Earth years ago, after surviving a dangerous meteor shower, we were boarded by Decepticons. The resulting battle caused me to crash-land the Ark on the then barren of life planet Earth into a geothermal structure called a volcano. This volcano is now known as Mount Saint Hillary. Its eruption awoke Teletran I which discovered what was believed to have been mechanical life and assimilated data from it to disguise ourselves as it. Unfortunately, Teletran repaired the Decepticon Skywarp first. Because of this, the Decepticons awoke first with their plan to plunder this planet, filled with life and energy resources. My troop has made it their duty to stop them. In return, the humans, carbon-based lifeforms, are willing to share their planet's resources with us. Unfortunately, most of Megatron's forces are warriors, as compared to my group of Autobots, whom are primarily engineers and scouts. I have only 5 warriors -- one of which is offline -- and an inexperienced gunner. However, all is not completely lost. Most of our battles are won by sheer numbers. We now have the help of three of the planet's humanoids. However, an Earthling's height averages around 2 meters. Spike Witwicky and his father Sparkplug help us with understanding Earth and with light maintenance. Chip Chase, the other Earthling, is an excellent computer programmer and a human prodigy, despite the handicap not allowing him to use his legs. He reprogrammed Prowl's battle computer which has made Prowl intimidate some Decepticons for 30 Earth days. We also have the help of the lost Cybertronian scientist Skyfire. He is formidable officer, brave in battle, but like the others, not a fighter by nature. With this message is attached a request for help. I need at least 20 good Autobots, mostly those with combat experience and good fighting skills. To demonstrate how badly I need your help is an addition message in Maximalian code detailing knowledge that only you and I share. [written in Maximal Beasts font.] You are welcome to maintain my power suit and your new identity, Magnus. Should you come to Earth, I have saved the perfect Earthen mode for you. Please send us about 20 Autobot fighters. Maintain the sanctity of Iacon 'til all are one. This is Optimus Prime, Autobot leader, signing off."
[Writer's note: 1 Cybertronian Vorn = 83 Earth years.]

After Optimus Prime finishes his message, he relaxes himself (his eyes then glow). Unknown to Optimus, Laserbeak was spying on the Autobot leader. The robotic condor retracted the camera/microphone on his head and silently flew off. After the unseen Decepticon has left, Optimus Prime then told Teletran to save the message, believing that it would not be immediately necessary.

"I hope the others' spirits are higher than mine," said Optimus with a sigh. "I'm hoping that our crisis isn't as serious as I think it is. Until I know more about it, I am saving the contents of this message until I am sure that it is needed."

In another room in the Ark, Prowl was running the Autobots through training exercises. Jazz, Bluestreak, Hound, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Ironhide, Mirage, Wheeljack, Trailbreaker, Ratchet, Skyfire, Brawn, & Cliffjumper were practicing with their respective guns and rifles at aluminum targets on a distant wall. In this "rifle range", the walls, ceiling, and floor were so smooth, you could see your reflection in them.

"Using rocket launchers are relatively easy," said Prowl. "all you have to do is shoot close enough and, depending on your armament, your missile will blow up enough to hit what you were aiming for in the first place."

He then demonstrates by firing one of his shoulder-mounted incindiary shells at a target, barely trying. The shell hits the side of the bullseye on the target, but made so large a hole, that all that was left was the other side of the outer circles.

"Firing a rifle," he continued, aiming his rifle. "or even a pistol, requires more marksmanship. You have to hit the right spot in order to do the most damage."

Again, Prowl demonstrates by firing a shot from his semi-automatic rifle. His shot hits the bullseye and leaves a burn hole in the middle of the target.

"Now," finishes Prowl. "let's see how well you guys do."

Each Autobot started firing at their respective targets, aiming for the bullseyes.

"If you don't mind Prowl," said Jazz. "I'd like to improvise."

He then shoots at the left wall, then his photon beam bounces to the right wall, then down to the floor, then up to the ceiling and finally, straight towards the bullseye.

"No, Jazz," replies Prowl. "I... don't think... I... mind... at all."

Bluestreak, Cliffjumper, and Mirage then begin to show off.

"Check this out, guys!" shouts an excited Mirage. "Dead center while not paying attention."

Mirage hits his target while watching a "small" 19-inch TV he's holding in his other hand.

"That's nothing," replies Cliffjumper. "Why bother about hitting the right spot when you can just 'glass gas' the whole thing?"

Cliffjumper hits his target with a 'glass gas' canister, making it as brittle as glass. It then falls to the floor with a crash.

"Or you can hit it with a 2-stage attack," says Bluestreak. "first you hit it with blue electrified particles, [Bluestreak fires his rifle and hits the target, not damaging it.] Then your take it out with 600 pounds of explosive missiles!" [He then fires a missile, which splits into 4 warheads and destroys the target.]

After 30 minutes, Autobots have finished their target practice.

"Well," sighs Prowl. "I see marksmanship is no problem with this group (but botfoolery is ...) [Prowl mumbles at a low volume.]. Brawn, I know you're one of our strongest, but don't use a weapon with more kick than you. Class dismissed."

The 7 of Diaquads The Autobots then scamper off to their respective posts and pasttimes. Jazz is playing a card game with Sideswipe, Ironhide, and Windcharger, Ratchet is playing a computer game in his repair bay, while Mirage is talking with Skyfire and Hound about how he misses Cybertron.
[For those curious about the card game, the suit are a pattern of 4 diamonds (a diaquad), a Gemini astronomical symbol, a cresent, and the lead suit, a star-like compass. The diaquad & cresent are orange-ish or redish in color while the compass & gemini are either black or indigo.]

[Symbol change from Autobot to Decepticon.]
About an hour later, Laserbeak returns from his surveillance mission. He squawks, transforms, and lands in Soundwaves awaiting cassette deck. Soundwave plays back the condor's recording and then goes to Megatron.

"Megatron," called Soundwave.

"Yes," responded Megatron. "what is it?" "Laserbeak has reported that Optimus is trying to call Cybertron," continues Soundwave. "That does not concern me at this time," said Megatron. "Starscream! I want you, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Skyjack, and two cadets to steal a new miniature fusion reactor that the humans have just developed. The facility that it's in is located in Missouri." "Now, Megatron?" asked Starscream. "I was watching an interesting program about the humans' wars."
[Honestly, he was watching a G.I. Joe™ cartoon. Cobra Commander shows up on the TV screen. (Coincidence? Naah.)]

"NOW!" shouts Megatron as he fires his fusion cannon at the television, destroying it.

"Okay," replies Strascream. "I was only asking. Decepticons, transform!"

With that, six Decepticon planes transformed and flew out of the elevating docking tower.

After the Decepticon planes have left, Megatron orders Spectro, one of Reflector's non-central units (he isn't the one with the camera lens on his chest) to clean up the mess from the demolished TV and have it repaired. 'Phase 1 of my plan is in place,' thought Megatron.

As the six Decepticons arrived at the laboratory where the "portable" fusion reactor (This "portable" reactor weighed about 1 ton.) was being unveiled, Megatron called on a secret comm-link Skyjack, a recent promotee of the Decepticons' aerial cadets. This gradute had a black body like Skywarp's, but had red and yellow stripes instead of indigo, white, and violet ones. He also had the power to make his engines run almost absolutely silent. Unless you looked up and saw him, you wouldn't know that he was there.

"Skyjack," the Decepticon leader called out. "this is Megatron. Remember our plan and insure that it all into place." [Megatron's eyes flash a bright red-ish magenta.]

"Yes, Megatron." answers Skyjack. "I guarantee that you will succeed. [closes secret comm-link and starts a conversation with his wingmates.] Starscream, I hope that you won't mind if Skywarp and I begin the attack. I find the element of surprise to be quite useful."

"Permission granted," replied Starscream. "Pay attention cadets, you will learn a lot from him."

The two trainees silently agreed with Starscream. One of them was a lavender-indigo mix (as most of them were.) The other one was a slightly darker purple with yellow stripes, thick army green vertical stripes on his wings, and a matching violet purple chest.

As the scientist at the lab was about to lift the curtain hiding his new reactor from the press, the two black planes quietly flew in.

"As I move this curtain," began the scientist. "we will usher in a new age of technology."

Suddenly a laser is fired at the front of the crowd. People are in shock. Skywarp suddenly teleports in front of the curtain.

"and we'll usher in a boost in the Decepticon energy reserves," Skywarp shouted.

Suddenly, troops from the Missouri National Guard and the Army showed up and started to fire at the six. Their bullets were having very little effect. Thundercracker transformed back in to jet mode and dived down to 300 ft. above the troops and generated a sonic boom. The human military covered their ears in an attempt to block the deafening sound. Starscream and the olive green & purple cadet transformed back to planes and released a barrage of cluster bombs. The national guard was in complete disarray. Suddenly at the Ark, Teletran I was sent a priority one alert about the assualt on the laboratory. Optimus Prime and Prowl received the bulletin and Prowl immediately called for some Autobots to go and protect the reactor.

"Autobots," called an excited Prowl. "there is an attack at a lab in Missouri. I want Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Windcharger, and Cliffjumper to go and investigate."

"Will do, Optimus," answers Cliffjumper. "Okay, you heard the big guy," shouts Sideswipe. "Autobots, transform...and MOVE OUT!"

Suddenly 4 sports cars are seen driving on a small makeshift elevated road out of the enterance of the Ark. In the lead was Windcharger, a small red Pontiac Trans Am. As the fastest Autobot over short distances, he was usually ahead of the pack. behind him was Sideswipe, a red Lamborghini Countach, driving beside his fraternal twin brother, a yellow Countach with an exposed rear engine and a black trim named Sunstreaker. Behind them was a small red Porsche 924 Turbo with a large spoiler, Cliffjumper. The four broke quite a few speed limits trying to get to Missouri from Northern Oregon.

When the Autobots entered the town where the lab was, they were slightly more careful as they made their way there.

"I hope you don't mind if I take a different approach," said Windcharger as he transformed, formed a magnetic forcefield and floated the rest of the way there (like Magneto from the X-Men).

"No problem," said Sunstreaker. "Hey Cliffjumper, what do you say to me and my bro racing you the rest of the way?" "You're on!" shouted an excited Cliffjumper.

Fortuneately for the Autobots, the Decepticons had spent most of this time harassing humans and using a portable energon cube creator to see if the reactor was capable of filling cubes. After they had successfully filled two cubes, Windcharger popped up behind them and used a magnetic pulse beam on one of the cubes. It quickly became infused with magnetic energies and exploded.

"Autobots!" Thundercracker shouted.

"You got it," shouted Sunstreaker he transformed and retracted his right hand. In its place emerged an energy weapon. The barrel from this weapon fired an energy beam that electrified and destroyed the second cube.

The Autobots were shooting at the Decepticons, who could not effectively fight their foes.

"Decepticons," yelled Starscream. "we have what we came for. return to base!"

Skywarp grabbed the portable reactor like it was briefcase and ran with the other Decepticons out of the laboratory and transformed.

As Skyjack left, he said to the humans, "Thanks for giving us your 'new age of technology.'"

"We'll get your reactor back," said Windcharger to human scientists. His speech was a bit faster than the other Autobots, but he knew how to comfort people in times of crisis.

The Autobots transformed and took off after the Decepticons.

[Nothin's Gonna Stand In Our Way by Spectre General is being played in the background.]
Drivers in town as well as on the highway were surprised the see 6 F-15 fighter planes streaking across the sky and even more that they were being chased by 2 Lamborghinis, a Porsche 924, and a Trans Am.
The four Autobots bobbed and weaved through the highway traffic. Windcharger and Sunstreaker maneuvered through the human-driven vehicles with ease.

"Watch it lady," shouted Sunstreaker as he passed by a woman in a domestic compact car. "Do you know how much custom body work costs?"

Cliffjumper and Sideswipe made their way through by executing various unusual stunts, such as using exit ramps for shortcuts and driving on two wheels between 18-wheelers.

"Yeee-HAAAA!!!" exclaimed Sideswipe after using an off-ramp as a jump ramp.

The Decepticons were well aware of the Autobots following them, but for some reason, hadn't fired on them.

"Keep going," ordered Starscream. "We're almost there."

"I don't know where you think you're going," shouted Sunstreaker as he transformed and fired a missile at the planes. "but you aren't getting there today!"

The missile streaked towards the lavender and indigo Decepticon. He responded by tilting his body so that the missile flew past his wing without touching him, and hit the Decepticon flying overhead, Thundercracker.

"Errgh!" groaned Thundercracker. "Thunderwing, I oughta deck you for that!"

"Don't get mad at me because you didn't think to do the same," replied the wily cadet.

The Decepticons were forced to land in a nearby railroad yard, but not before Thunderwing fired off a plasma charge at Cliffjumper. After examing Thundercracker's wound, it was determined that his wing was heavily damaged from the missile. He would be unable to fly (in plane mode, at least). Starscream shouted in rage and flew off, leaving his suboridinates behind. As Skywarp and the cadet with olive drab stripes prepared to carry him on the last leg back to base, the Autobots arrived. As Thunderwing prepared to raise his weapon, it was shattered a shot of Cliffjumper's glass gas.

"I guess you thought I forgot about you," said Cliffjumper. "Prepare to hand over that reactor, 'cause you just got busted!"

"We'll see about that, Autobrat!" boasts Skywarp.

Before Skywarp can make a move, he and the cadet with purple and green wings are punched out by Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. With one of the Decepticons injured, two kayoed, and their commander gone, Skyjack and Thunderwing -- who at this point only has one cyclone gun left -- decided surrender was their only course of action.

"Don't blow your engines over it," started Sideswipe.

"You tried your best," continued Sunstreaker.

"And it just wasn't good enough," finished the twins.

"Were they ever good enough?" asked Windcharger.

While the Autobots are standing together over the defeated Decepticon air warriors, a unseen figure gets into position behind them.

"We'll show you how good we are," shouts Thunderwing.

As Thunderwing finishes speaking, all four Autobot warriors are hit in the back with powerful attack. One by one, they fall, the points of impact still smoking. Eventually, Starscream and the three Reflector robots appear.

"Great timing, Star--"

As Skyjack rises to praise Starscream, the Decepticon Air Commander points his weapon at Skyjack's head.

"You were very convincing," said Starscream. "Maybe I should shoot you for being too convincing. [Starscream lowers his weapon] You two, wake those fools up, grab Thundercracker and the Autobots and return to base!"

The Decepticons fly off, Skywarp carrying a wounded Thundercracker, Skyjack carrying Cliffjumper, Thunderwing carrying Windcharger, Starscream carrying Sideswipe, and the remaining cadet carrying Sunstreaker. They are quickly followed by the Reflector trio.

[Commercial Break. - Spectro, Viewfinder, and Spyglass fly in and transform in to Reflector (the camera), whom in turns flashes his flash cube. After the flash, he is replaced by the logo and break statement.]
[Return from commercial. - Jazz races up, transforms, then spins around while shooting.]

The Decepticon planes and [all of] Reflector arrive and enter the tower that serves as the entryway to their undersea base. Starscream is feelng proud about his latest victory. As he leads the Decepticons in returning to the command room, he feels the need to brag.

"Fellow Decepticons," began Starscream. "what you see before you is positive proof of what good leadership -- and a change of administrations -- can do for our cause and reputation."

When Starscream's team reaches the center of the room, they dump the defeated Autobots into a pile. Soon, many of the remaining Decepticons stare from the outside walls of the room, surprised at the aerospace commander's "offering". eventually, Megatron arrives with Soundwave.

"Behold, Megatron!" boasts Starscream. "Proof that a force under my command never arrives empty handed!" This display of pompousity is continued by Starscream handing Megatron the portable reactor.

"Is that so?" Megatron asked, smugly.

"Naturally. I decided to use the brilliant idea of ambushing the very Autobots sent to stop us."

"Well, then. I'll have to commend you for using the idea..." Starscream smilied for all to see. "...that you borrowed from Skyjack after I gave it to him!"

Starscream was appaled. He turned towards Skyjack, whom responded with a silent nod.

"Impossible!" Starscream shouted.

"How else do you think that Reflector was suddenly available to help you?" asked Megatron.

"How dare you question the product of my leadership!"

"You're right," said Megatron. [Megatron's eyes flash a bright red.] "Who am I to question your leadership?"

As if on cue, Viewfinder (the central Reflector robot) hands 4 pictures to Megatron. One of them spotlights Thundercracker's still smoking missile wound, another shows the broken pieces of Thunderwing's gun, and a third shows the Autobots punching out two of his troops. On the bright side, the fourth picture shows the Decepticons flying off with their prisoners.

Megatron flashes the pictures at Starscream, making sure the first 3 are in the forefront. "However, I will dare to show you the answer to your leadership.

Seeing the pictures, Starscream is infuriated. He starts toward the Reflector robots and hits Spyglass so hard, he topples onto the other 2. Then he swipes the pictures and storms off.

"Starscream role was flawless," said Megatron to Soundwave. "He accomplished both objectives so well that I should commend him. If only he didn't try to turn every successful action into a political campaign!"

"Response: understandable, Megatron," Soundwave responds, in his usual monotone manner.

Laserbeak flies through a hallway, past a defeated Starscream, into the command room where Soundwave and Megatron await him. He greets them with a series of squawks, letting them know he has important information.

"Laserbeak," called Megatron. "we've been waiting for you. After Soundwave processes the your findings from Autobot headquarters, go to the interrogation room. We have some real work for you."

Laserbeak squawks in response, then transforms into a cassette and lands in Soundwave's open tape deck. Soundwave walks to an A/V room so that he can play back Laserbeak's report. He transforms into cassette recorder mode and lands on a table, where a cable extends from a monitor to connects to his side.

[Symbol change from Decepticon to Autobot.]

Prowl runs to the main computer room of the Ark looking for Optimus Prime. He eventually meets him entering the other hallway to the room.

"Optimus," exclaimed Prowl. "I've lost contact with our warriors!"

"What did you say, Prowl?" asked Optimus, concerned and hoping that Prowl didn't pick now to practice a sense of humor.

"When we sent Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Cliffjumper, and Windcharger out to stop the Decepticons in Missouri, they never returned. I lost contact with them about an hour and a half after they arrived. Incidentally, Cliffjumper reported that the situation was 'handled' right before their signal was interrupted."

"This is terrible, Prowl! That would mean that the Decepticons have inadvertedly found a flaw in our fighting forces. We must get them back as quickly as possible."

"Yessir. What shall I do?"

"Assemble the remaining Autobots who possess the most combat experience."

[Symbol change from Autobot to Decepticon.]

Soundwave walks up to Megatron's command chair an hands him a disk. After Megatron scans it, he hands it back.

"Excellent," exclaimed Megatron. "This confirms what I have been suspecting for the past few months. [Megatron stands to call to his warriors.] Decepticons! Out of the battles you've been losing, many of them were to scouts, scientists, and engineers! [Most of the Decepticons look shocked, others show don't seem as surprised.] The Autobots may outnumber us by almost 2 to 1, they only have four true warriors. Now that we have all four of them, we will deliver a striking blow to the Autobot ranks, once and for all!"

Starscream, a recently repaired Thundercracker, Skywarp, Frenzy, the cadet with green stripes on his wings and 3 other cadets stand forward.

"Do you believe that you can handle this change in battle conditions?" Megatron asked.

"Of course!" the Decepticons replied in unison.

[Symbol change from Decepticon to Autobot.]

Teletran I beeps, informing the Autobots of a Decepticon transmission to Autobot headquarters. Optimus Prime, Ironhide, and Skyfire arrive to take the call. Ironhide checks out a virus scan.

"It's clean," said Ironhide, before pushing a button and allowing the link through. Megtron appears on the screen, at what looks like an abandoned electrical substation.

"Optimus Prime, this is Megatron." started Megatron.

"We know who ya are, Decepticreep," replied Ironhide. "Make yer pitch, but whatever snake oil yer sellin', we ain't buying any."

"Very well, but I'm sure you'll want to buy this!"

Megatron steps back to reveal the four missing Autobots chained to high tension towers. Shouts of "You'll get yours", "Shove it up your tailpipe, Megatron", and less... decent quotes are heard in the background.

Optimus is enraged at seeing his Autobots in danger. "Megatron, if so much as a license plate is dented on them,..."

[Megatron laughs evily - Frank Welker style.] "Perhaps now you'll 'buy my snake oil', Prime? Meet me at the abandoned coal plant in Caldwell, Idaho. You'd better hurry! We Decepticons aren't known for keeping our safeties on."

At that point, Laserbeak is shooting near misses at the helpless Autobots. The connection is cut off. Optimus stomps the ground hard and calls for Prowl to meet him outside.

[Symbol change from Autobot to Autobot.]

"Prowl, have you assembled your team?" asked Optimus, intent on getting phase over as soon as possible.

"Yes, everyone is here," answers Prowl.

Behind him stood Trailbreaker (the defensive strategist), Jazz, Ironhide, Skyfire, Bluestreak (the talkative gunner), and Brawn.

"Hmm... these six are all you could find?"

"I did ask Mirage, but he declined."

"Right. [Optimus opens a communications link with Mirage.] Mirage, come here. NOW."

After waiting for Mirage to arrive, Optimus informs his group of the situation.

"Autobots," began Optimus. "this is where Megatron is holding our missing comrades. In order to get them back, I had to assemble the seven of you here in order to help me. As you know, the four Autobots they captured are warriors, the rarest commodity in our ranks. Are there any questions?"

[Bluestreak raises his hand.] "I don't mean to be a downer or anything, but won't the Decepticons have an advantage if a battle takes place?"

"Yes, Bluestreak," answers Prowl. "Out of the Decepticon ranks we know of, they have 3 warriors, not including Starscream and Megatron, and they are currently in the process of training more. We know of 3 warriors who were sent back to Cybertron on the space bridge for advanced-level training. They may return within the next year."

"Does anyone wish to back out of this rescue?" asked Optimus. [All eyes are on Mirage. After a silent pause, no one moves.] "Good. AUTOBOTS, TRANSFORM AND ROLL OUT!"

Optimus Prime transforms, and joins up with his trailer. Prowl and Jazz transform and follow him, Trailbreaker and Ironhide transform and line up after Prowl and Jazz, and the rest of the Autobots do the same. The convoy heads towards Idaho and the rescue of their friends.

[Symbol change from Autobot to Decepticon.]

The Decepticons are waiting on the Autobots to arrive. As expected, Megatron has his top fighters -- Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Frenzy, Thunderwing and the green striped cadet -- in ambush positions, while a less threatening crew -- Rumble, Ravage, Buzzsaw, and Laserbeak -- keep "watch" over the Autobot prisoners.

"Blitzwing," Starscream calls out to the green striped cadet. "Megatron must think a lot of you to select you for this mission. Keep it up and you'll go pretty far in this organization."

Blitzwing has his mind on other things. Looking out of a set of "binocular" shades, he spots...

"The Autobots!" exclaimed Blitzwing.

Blitzwing spotted Optimus and his convoy about a half mile away, giving the Decepticons time to duck back into their positions. As soon as the Autobots rolled up, the Decepticon cassettes began firing at them. Optimus takes the initiative by shooting back at Rumble before he could begin an earthquake attack. Jazz follows up by warding off Laserbeak with a shot from his flamethrower. However a stray flame landed on a derelict hopper car which still had some coal dust, causing the inside of the frieght car to catch ignite.

"Watch it, guys!" exclaimed Jazz. "This place could get hot really fast!"

"We'll make it hot alright," retorts Thundercracker, initiating the ambush, while the Autobots are busy fighting the smaller Decepticons. He fires an incendiary laser at Jazz, barely missing him.

"Above you, Autobots!" shouts Optimus Prime, just as Thundercracker, Frenzy, and Thunderwing reveal themselves and start shooting.

The Autobots take defensive positions, despite the lack of cover. Mirage fires at Ravage, determined to put him out of action so that his fellow Autobots have less of the cat's brand of mischief to content with. Brawn challenges Rumble to a beatdown while Prowl and Bluestreak trade shots with Buzzsaw and Laserbeak. Trailbreaker and Ironhide contend with the threat posed by Thundercracker and Frenzy, while Skyfire gets into an aerial battle with Thunderwing.

Before Optimus and Jazz can supply backup to the splintered Autobot effort, they face an air support run by Starscream, Blitzwing, and Skywarp. Optimus fires his laser rifle at Starscream, narrowly missing him. Jazz greets Skywarp's run with a stream of fire from his flamethrower. Skywarp teleports away, with a wisp of smoke as evidence of his contact with the flames before his disappearance. This left an opening as Blitzwing charged through the flames, transforming into robot mode, felling Jazz with a flying kick.

While the Autobots are holding their own, eventually the battle turns against them. While Brawn did knock out Rumble, he had no time to recover before Frenzy's laser fire felled him. Ravage pounced on Mirage, knocking him into Jazz, who was already engaging the tough cadet Blitzwing. Seeing this, Prowl broke from pinning down the birds with Bluestreak to coordinate the efforts of the others. Without Prowl's help, Bluestreak lost his confidence and could not keep up with the quartet of laser shots being fired back by Laserbeak and Buzzsaw. To add to the confusion, Starscream caused even more uncoordination by using his cluster bombs on the Autobots.

To be continued...

You are the th person to be mystified by this story and await its completion.

Links to X-Men and Generation X sites on the Web as well as descriptions of some of my TF: Alternative characters.

Downshift, a humanoid Autobot.
Desirée, a female Omnibot designed to resemble my best friend, Tracie Brown.
Solar Phœnix, a really fine sista who you really, REALLY don't want to call "high yellow".
Cardiac, an Autobot surgeon whose specialty is human medicine.
To discover why I have the username I do (Savannius), read all parts of this page.
Here's one of a few decent X-Men Pages
Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: I do tend to use a number of "large words" in my stories, so come correct. Don't feel bad if you don't know.
A page devoted to my favorite member of Gen. X, Monet St. Croix, better known as "M".
Memphis: Take a look at the city I call (ugh!) home.
Boobilicious. Self-explanatory.

Interstate 10: East Frwy. (who really goes any further east than 5th Ward anyway?)

Return to the Master Site. Go to the Metroplex.

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