“I believe everyone is now ready for our adventure.” Switching off the computer, Perceptor began to transform, only for Hound to put his hand out. “Not quite, buddy.” Hound stated as he transformed. The Jeep then suddenly created a human out of thin air in the driver’s seat!
“Wait! That’s not how the organics create life! Unless…”
Upon further inspection, Perceptor realized the human was nothing but a lifelike hologram. Hound’s was styled like himself, having a standard military crew cut and a camo jacket on. “There’s no way we’ll be able to get away with not having drivers.” The Jeep’s hologram exclaimed, surprising the Science Officer. “I’ve studied holograms for a while, but they’re still very limited. Can’t leave the seat or do much else beside look like they’re driving. I’d be best if humans didn’t get TOO close of a look at them.”
Perceptor was concerned about the holograms, but was still thankful the green Autobot would be able to relay this tactic onto them. “Well then, Autobots. It is time to roll out.”
The invisibility tech to hide the Hope worked like a charm as the four drove out of the mountain. Buzzsaw sat in the passengers seat of Perceptor, his holo staring directly forward. It seemed the red Cybertronian was correct in his assessment that the holo’s design were dependent on their personality, with Hound calling his “nerdy”. Big glasses, a black sweater with a buttoned up shirt underneath, and brown hair with a speck of gray to it were the most obvious standouts to the Science Officer.
The ride out of the forest was bumpy even for the SUV, making him wonder if Overcharge and Hot Shot had it worse. Nevertheless, it wasn’t long until the four made it to a main road. Perceptor was thankful the smooth trek, even through the road was quite windy, going on the side of smaller mountains and tunnels. The delicacy of the landscape amazed the Science Officer, with Hound even taking in some of the beauty.
About an hour passed as the group finally made it to their destination, Oaklio. Like the blurry picture showed, the town was surrounded by evergreen trees, with a majority of the buildings looking like they were made of wood. “Oaklio. Population: 18,476. Officially established in 1901, the town is getting ready for its 100th anniversary.” Perceptor communicated with the group through each of their radios, something Hound also taught them.
The SUV listed off many aspects that seemed typical of a smaller town like this. “It’ll be useful to ‘people watch’, as Hound called it.” The four, parked atop a hill that lowered into the town, started to make their way down, only for Hound to speak up. “We should probably split up. I just realized our little convoy driving together might cause a few heads to turn.”
“Good idea, Hound.” Perceptor said as the four officially turned into the city. “We’ll keep in tough with our radios in case anything goes wrong.” Perceptor took a right at a stop sign, with Hound taking a left.
While he was extremely interested in studying the humans, the Science Officer read about a myth pertaining to the town. While Perceptor believed in , not myths, something about the idea of a white lion piqued his interest…
Overcharge was excited to establish contact with the local sentience. He had been hanging out with Hound and hearing all his stories about the humans and their way of life. While the circunstances behind the Hope's arrival to Earth were tragic, it was a far more interesting place than Krogo VI, as described by the Sargeant. Particularly, the locals had a more recent civilization than the Cybertronians, but they were advanced enough to start gathering in urbanized settlements not unlike the cities he had fought in, centuries ago.
“Ah! There you are, Overcharge!” Perceptor watched as the Corporal joined him and Hound. The red Autobot was curious to see what type of contraption Overcharge wished to transform into. “Today’s the day you’ll finally pick a disguise.” The display showed an array of vehicles, from small buggy’s to large semis. “You can pick now. I’ve already chosen.”
Hound stared intently while the Science Officer transformed into… a large microscope? “It’s actually similar to my Cybertronian alt mode. Just perfect for me!” The massive microscope stated to the two. The only response from Hound was a sigh. “Something like that may have worked back home, but microscopes aren’t that big here…” Hound stated, pointing at the view screen. “You’re gonna have to pick a vehicle too, cause that’s far from a disguise.”
Changing back into his Robot form, Perceptor surrendered his idea. “I’m not too experienced with driving, but if you think I should… Nevertheless, I’ll still let Overcharge pick something first.”
Hot Shot watched the group. He was excited and couldn't wait to pick. He watched the rest of the group giddy as he looked at each of them.
“Come on get those gears moving! I'm excited to look at these Human vehicles! And I'm equally excited to see what you bots pick!" You could see hot shots gears turning as the ideas spun around in his head.
Given the opportunity to choose, Overcharge stepped forward and looked for the one. This was not a decision to take lightly, given that appearances were very important to humans. For that purpose, he had made up his mind a while ago. His optics scoured the screen, looking for those special vehicles Hound had told him about. When they landed on a full-size sedan, painted yellow with checkers and bright signs advertising a human-edible item, he knew it had to be that one. Overcharge then made his best effort to adopt it as its alt mode, getting the smallest details right... and overlooking the biggest red flag: he was still teal. Excited, he exclaimed: "This will allow me to get up close and personal with them!" One of his roles being infiltration, the teal Autobot figured taxis served his purpose of gathering information just right.
Hound also felt the taxi was a good choice for him. “I like the design. It’ll fit well in Oaklio.” Perceptor realized then that he hadn’t let the entire team know where exactly they would even be going! “Oh goodness, I haven’t told you two about our destination yet!” Using this opportunity, he brought up pictures on the Mobile. Evergreen trees stood tall around a small town, but the picture quality wasn’t too clear for more details.
“Oaklio is the closest town west of Mt. Bison. Hound says it’s size will be perfect for more analysis of the organics, but I’m getting ahead of myself. We’ll see it soon enough.” Bringing the pictures of vehicles back up, he continued. “Hot Shot. You can pick next.”
“Actually, Perceptor. I think we should just get yours out of the way.” Hound went up to the keyboard to bring up various larger scaled vehicles for the Science Officer. While not a huge Autobot by any means, Perceptor was the biggest of the group. Plus, the shoulder scope would need to be accounted for in this new mode.
Still bummed that the microscope isn’t going to work, Perceptor spent more time trying to pick the perfect mode. “I have an idea!” The red Autobot quickly transformed into a red SUV in the middle of the three. As for the scope, it contracted and folded atop of the roof, looking as if they were human supplies. “That took quite a bit of finessing, but I think I got it.” Transforming back, Perceptor knew he had to get used to his new body, even though stylistically it wasn’t too different. “I apologize, Hot Shot. You can choose now.”
Hot Shot raced forward after everyone picked their vehicles it was finally his turn and he knew what he wanted.... Or he thought after seeing the various cars and body styles he got stuck. He flipped through the images over and over. It took him some time but he finally came to a mode he could be proud of. It was sleek stylish and most importantly fast.
“Hot Shot scanned the vehicle and quickly transformed to show off his new jet back tuner car with some green accents. He rev'd his engine and yelled out as as his tired spun around.
“Woohoo! Man have I got the need for speed!" He spun his whole chassis around then transformed back into bot mode which looked for the most part the same as before.
“So those are called donuts? Fascinating…”
Science Officer Perceptor navigated this “internet” Hound talked about in his lab as he stared at a picture of the treat. He wondered what the purpose of the round item truly was.
A few weeks had passed since the Ravages attacked the wreckage of the Hope, no one even finding the ship since. Hound told the group that their ship was stuck at the bottom of Mt. Bison, apart of a rarely traveled forest range in Washington State. Nevertheless, Perceptor wanted to prepare, using the invisibility technology from the ship itself to cover the hole in the cargo hold with a very realistic looking mountainside.
Their first act of business was to take care of the dead. While Skids’ condition hasn’t changed, it was too late for the rest. Since Cybertronian funeral customs were not possible at the time, the group decided to follow Earth’s customs, burying them along a nearby evergreen tree line. Perceptor had learned much about Earth’s customs in fact. The internet and Hound continued to give him a good idea of how the organics, humans, lived their lives.
“What did you think of this Y2K problem when it happened?”
Perceptor didn’t even look away from the Teletraan Mobile as he asked this. Hound stood across from him, tapping one of the beakers filled with a sloppy gray liquid. “Oh, well a lot of the humans ended up getting scared of it. My owners even got me a little freaked out!”
Hound was thankful he had been taken care of by them over the years, but he knew there wasn’t a way to return to them without causing issues. Besides, being at the Hope was much more important to him.
“I was worried it could affect a bot like me, but nothing really ended up happening, mostly due to preparation by computer wiz’s!” The green Autobot glanced at another beaker, this one filled with soil. “I mean, what if it got into my head from I’d use the internet? My circuits could’ve been scrambled!”
“You might be giving the human’s creations too much credit, Hound.”
The Jeep’s databanks showed him his times when he was in the Earth’s war, doing what humans called “remembering”.
“I don’t think you give them enough credit…”
Hound’s mood quickly shifted once a certain metal bird made a strange noise through the hallways, perching on Hound’s shoulder. “Buzzsaw!” He exclaimed, petting the drone. Perceptor had decided to melt down the drones using a service machine intended for Energon mixing. The dead Rumbles, Frenzies, and Ravages all got dumped in the mixer, but Hound opted to keep the Laserbeak drone, giving it a new black and yellow color scheme along with some rotors to replace the wings. Apparently, one of Perceptor’s parts used to fix the drone’s head looked like a buzzsaw, so Hound give it the perfect name.
“Coast is clear, buddy?” The Sergeant asked him, the bird using the spinning saw embedded from its torso to communicate back. Perceptor finally looked back at the two with an annoyed, but thankful demeanor. “Such a bizarre creature, but it’s proven useful. Would’ve been a waste to melt it.” Unfortunately, most of the scrap from the drones had to be used to keep the ship’s power on, since Overcharge couldn’t be used as a permanent source. However, the red Transformer was able to make a few weapons for him and Hot Shot.
“Well? He said yes, Perceptor. It’s time for you to see this beautiful world in person! Well, in Cybertronian.” Hound’s words made the Science Officer ecstatic. Since all the work on the Hope took up their time, none of the Hope’s original crew had made it far outside of Mt. Bison.
“All Autobots, please report to the Teletraan Mobile!”
Perceptor had managed to get the intercom on the Hope back online a while ago, calling this out all around the ship to wherever Overcharge and Hot Shot might be. He knew they wouldn’t waste time getting to his lab though.
Today was the day they’d become robots in disguise.
The metal bird scraped across the cargo hold, coming to a complete stop right on the edge where the Hope and the landscape met. Perceptor stared inquisitively at the drone, picking it up to see what it truly was. The limp machine sported red sprites (although some of them had scraped off) and, like the Ravages, had a small brand.
While Perceptor held the bird, Hound wondered what all of this meant. He’d already been through the a few wars and definitely didn’t want to go through another, but the Decepticons attacking his new home? He couldn’t stand by and watch, even if the red Autobots seemed to not trust him.
“They’ll be back, you know. Were the Decepticreeps following your ship when you crashed?” Hound tried to get answers, but Perceptor’s optics only narrowed once the green Autobot spoke. “You may have fought with us, but I’m still unsure of few things. I think I should be the one asking questions, ‘Sergeant’.”
“Why do you act like Sergeant isn’t a rank? Sure, it was a more recent addition, but…” Suddenly, the ship’s cargo hold perplexed Hound. Obviously it would be damaged after a crash landing, but it wouldn’t rust…
“No… Your ship… it isn’t called the Hope, is it?”
That make Perceptor perk up.
“You know of our ship and this clearly isn’t Krogo VI.” Perceptor uttered while walking toward Hound. “Perhaps we need to follow this trail more. Do you know what planet we are on?”
Hound could barely speak after hearing this confirmation. “This is Earth. You-you guys didn’t come here to save me.”
“Our mission was not a rescue. I-“
“No, no, no. I came here to rescue YOU, Science Officer Perceptor. It’s been so long that I forgot your faces from the mission files. You’re Overcharge, and you were the one in stasis, Hot Shot.” Hound pointed at the other two, amazed they also ended up on Earth.
“You three went missing 300 YEARS ago!”
Hound knew this shocking revelation would surprise them, but the looks on their faces said otherwise.
“…I do not know what a year is.”
After a lesson in the difference between a cycle and an Earth year, the four met back the Teletraan Mobile, hoping to get more answers from Hound. While there was still an array of confusion coming from the Science Officer, much of what Hound said made sense.
“Around 60 years ago, I was sent by Sentinel Prime to find the Hope. Krogo VI ended up being a lost cause, barely any Energon to siphon, but your disappearance weighted down on the poor bot. He’d sent search parties out before, but to no luck. As I went out to space, I accidentally ended up in a warp hole.”
Perceptor stopped him there. “I would assume the was the same warp hole we went through.”
“Then this should also sound familiar. The warp hole damaged my ship. Had to crash land in the Atlantic Ocean. Once I made it to the surface, it was awful. The humans, the organics living on Earth, were in the middle of an all out war, kinda like our own. Knowing I couldn’t participate in it, I disguised myself as one of their vehicles.”
Hound transformed in front of their optics, showing the three his clean chassis. Transforming back, he continued.
“It was violent. I saw some horrible things, but I couldn’t do anything about it. Just had to watch and be driven. After the war, I tried to make contact with home, but everything I did came up empty. Eventually, I ended up in an auction and was bought by a… nice couple? It’s complicated. Anyways, my owner kept good care of me. I could’ve driven off at any moment, but I knew I had to accept this new life.”
“And you didn’t end up finding any Decepticon signals as well?”
“No sir. No signals whatsoever until your ship finally broadcasted one. I did check the internet though once my owners got it! Useful resource. Kinda like our Mobiles. Actually…”
Hound tapped several buttons on the Teletraan Mobile, much to the dismay of Perceptor.
“Please don’t touch that!”
Sounds of screeching and static came out of the Teletraan’s speakers.
“Don’t worry! It’s just dialing up to AOL! Very primitive tech, but it’ll be useful, trust me!” Hound called out, yelling over the Teletraan. Thankfully, the sounds stopped, a small tab appearing on the screen titled “EARTH INTERNET”. Hound chuckled as he saw this. “So, what’s next sir?”
Perceptor then realized that he was technically the one in charge of the four. Specialized ranks like his were the equivalent of a Lieutenant, but no one time did that idea cross his memory banks. He just gave out orders because someone needed to.
“Well… as my first act as leader, I elect to share my leadership duties with the three of you. We’ll work together as equals, help each other as equals. Fight as equals.”
A blizzard coated the two jets with snow as they continued to fly north, following Soundwave’s beacon in what they would soon learn to be the Canadian territory called Nunavut. What they saw wasn’t hard to miss. A large castle hidden by the ice caps emerged for the two. Leaving them in awe.
“He built this! Glad he didn’t end up waking us up sooner. I bet this would’ve been a pain to build! Ha!” Ramjet slowed with Slipstream on the runway appearing in front of them. Inside the bay were many drones working on weapons, carrier planes, and best of all, Energon. Ten of the drones carried their leader, still a large glowing box, toward the two. Ramjet almost chuckled until Slipsteam elbowed him, although she admitted that it did look a little silly.
RAMJET. SLIPSTREAM. IT HAS BEEN 312 EARTH YEARS 6 MONTHS 14 DAYS 2 HOURS AND 38 SECONDS SINCE I LAST COMMUNICATED WITH YOU.
“…OK?” Slipstream shrugged, unsure what any of that meant. “So… Soundwave, right? It seems like you’ve built up a nice small army.”
CORRECT. THIS PLANET IS PLENTIFUL WITH ENERGON. I HAVE TRIED CONTACTING LORD MEGATRON 4,742,895 TIMES. I HAVE RECEIVED NO RESPONSE. TWO DECEPTICON SOLDIERS WILL BE USEFUL IN OUR CONQUEST OF THIS PLANET FOR LORD MEGATRON.
“How did you find the Autobot’s ship?”
I KNEW OF THE HOPE’S LOCATION SHORTLY AFTER LANDING ON EARTH. MY CONNECTION IS LIMITED. MY SUPERIOR INTELLECT WAS DAMAGED. SLIPSTREAM. RAMJET. YOU WILL FIX IT. LASERBEAK-84 WAS SUCCESSFUL WITH IT’S MISSION. OUR NEXT PHASE WILL BEGIN.
End of Part 2: Earth
Perceptor’s savior came in the shape of his extremely recent companion, watching him slash through the nasty drones. “Thank you, Hot Shot! I thought for sure that I was a goner!” The Science Officer wasn’t expecting to be torn apart today, that was for sure. As he got back to feet though, the Ravages growled, unmoving.
The group, mostly Hot Shot, had taken out quite a few, but not nearly enough to stop fighting altogether. Nevertheless, the black panther bots literally turned tail, heading back into the wilderness. “Ok… I’m confused…” Hound rubbed his head as they dodged through the trees, only to turn around to see one more.
Except it wasn’t a Ravage. A metallic hawk sped behind the Corporal, heading toward him. “Overcharge! Watch out!” Perceptor called out. He wondered if the small drone snuck in during the chaos.
Overcharge’s suggestion to circle up made sense. Perceptor worried that these new rabid metal creatures could make it inside of the Hope, ruining whatever connection they had back to home. Unfortunately, they didn’t have much time to plan further as Hot Shot fired erratically at the Ravages. Some shots did hit their targets, Perceptor watching as a few slumped over dead.
However, most blasts went into the forest, causing scorch marks in the gigantic evergreen trees. It was clear to Perceptor that the Private was still jittery from his stasis rest. The Ravages didn’t seem to care, screeching as what felt like an entire battalion came bolting toward the four. “Goddamnit! There’s too many of them!” Hound yelled, firing his bazooka. No trace was left of the poor Ravages that got hit.
Not that Perceptor cared. He was more busy wondering what a Goddamnit was.
As chaos unfolded (with the Science Officer joining in the battle, albeit missing most of his shots), he knew the Hope needed to be prioritized. “Overcharge! Fall back to the cargo hold and keep it secure. Hot Shot! I’m gonna need you to calm down and-“ Three Ravages took advantage of the weakest looking prey, latching their jaws onto Perceptor’s limbs as he fell backward. “No, no! Get off me!” Hound could only watch, still busy with his own batch of drones.
The black hawk took flight, gliding across the sky to the cargo hold. While the night kept it hidden for now, it was clear this was no organic bird, but another machine…
Birds chirped as they flew between many lush evergreen trees, a clear river flowing nearby. In one of trees was a hawk, mostly black with streaks of red donned on its body and wings. It didn’t chirp, or make any sound for that matter, staring directly at a dark green Jeep going off-road. The peaceful landscape was glistened by the full moon and stars, reflecting off his small windshield.
They’re lucky they landed so far from civilization.
The Jeep’s axels bounced while it went over the uneven terrain of branches and grass. Hound felt the area was beautiful, wishing he could stop and enjoy the scenery. After so long without any other Autobots though, he couldn’t allow this opportunity to slip. Unfortunately, his trek was stopped, parking next to a large mountain.
What are they doing inside of Mt. Bison?”
The Autobot transformed mid sentence, revealing boxy frame ordained with stars and red and yellow stripes. A single pistol was strapped to his right thigh, but a large bazooka was the real showstopper, rope over his chest holding the weapon on his back. “So, we are you hiding?” Hound surveyed the area, but the only noticeable objects in front of him were rocks, rocks, and more rocks.
“Oh, maybe they’re hiding… or they’re trapped!” Hound pulled the bazooka onto his shoulder, hoping he was right. If he was being honest with himself, he just wanted to use it again after so long. “Eat your heart out, Patton!” Several shots of yellow lasers blasted into the mountain, each shot taking away a little bit of the craggily wall.
The hawk continued to stare, watching the once rocky wall turn into a jumble of metal scrap. “Woah. Maybe I went overboard…” Seeing the condition of the cargo hold, Hound was expected a stern talking to by the ship’s Captain. Instead, three Transformers ran out, standing at the edge of the hold. “Please drop the weapon or we’ll fire.” The red one stated, holding a long rifle.
“Wait wait wait! I’m an Autobot like you.” Hound noticed the Autobot logos, but still gently dropped his weapon, hoping not to raise tension. “Sergeant Hound, responding to the distress signal, sir!” He came a salute, but the red Bot didn’t seem convinced.
“Sergeant isn’t one of our ranks, Decepticon.”
Two jets flew above the four as they didn’t let up, sending Hound mixed messages as he watched the white seeker head toward the skies with its companion. “What are you talking about?” Hound took advantage of the situation by pulling his pistol out. “I know a Cybertronian seeker when I see one! Now who are you!”
Perceptor was completely appalled. When he had checked the two Decepticon’s bodies, he got no lifelines. Expecting to scrap them for parts after they dug out of the Hope’s tomb, this new addition decided to do it for them. However, something was astray. “We are not affiliated with them. Drop your second weapon please.” Perceptor knew he probably wouldn’t be as assertive under normal circumstances, but with two by his side, the odds were in their favor.
More trouble seemed to arise though as a shadowy figure struck the green Transformers in the back, slashing at him. “What the?” Hound turned to fall on his back, grabbing the creature by its neck. Bang! Bang! Two pistol shots went through it, dropping dead. “A… panther?” Hound looked shocked. The “panther” was metallic, obviously showing him what affiliation it was as he noticed a faint purple symbol on its rear.
Perceptor also noticed Cybertronian writing on the creature. “Ravage-165…” The Science Officer noticed similar model numbers on the dead drones in the cargo hold. “I highly doubt you’re a Decepticon at this point.” Perceptor lowered his weapon, but this was a mistake. Many pairs of purple eyes illuminated between trees, rocks, and anywhere else a smaller drone like that could hide.
Growls and purrs took over the sounds of the forest as each slowly made their way toward the four. “We are going to need your help, ‘Sergeant’.” Perceptor tried to keep his fear inside his chassis. Even with their small size, they were the ones to be outnumbered.
“What? Whe- what is this?"
Perceptor stood above the panicked Autobot. “I understand your shock, no pun intended.” He pulled the cap off the Overcharge, tapping a few buttons on the keyboard next to him. “A lot has happened. We seemed to have travelled through a warp hole and survived.” Perceptor surveyed the broken down medical bay. “The Hope is currently trapped inside of some sort of rocky tomb. I regret to inform you that most of our crew has perished, including Captain Kup.” A somber look appeared on his face, opting to type back on the keyboard.
Still disoriented, Overcharge put his head between his hands. "Decepticons were boarding us... they blasted Hotlink to kingdom come and shot Skids... and then I picked him out and ran out of the room... damn... Skids is probably up there with Captain Kup and the crew right now, isn't he."
Perceptor assumed the lifeforms in the cargo hold were of Decepticon origin. He couldn’t even find Hotlink’s body, but Overcharge was right to think Skids was dead. After all, most lifeforms don’t survive a headshot. “Surprisingly, Skids is still alive, albeit barely.” He motioned over to the large tube to the left of him. “I managed to put him in stasis before his body completely shut down. However, his memory banks are completely lost and I don’t have the technology to revive him. He’ll have to remain here.”
Overcharge was surprised to hear that Skids managed to survive, even if it was likely he would never be the same. "Huh. That's one thing gone right. Yay us..." He looked at Skids' pod, before looking at the Science Officer. "What was that you said about being trapped in rock? Are we in Krueger... 7?" Overcharge asked, getting the name of Krogo VI wrong.
“That, I am not certain, if you meant Krogo VI. Come with me.” Hoping to bring Overcharge to the Teletraan Mobile, he caught a glimmer from the crate he was pushed into. “Hmmmm.” Perceptor slid his hand across the lock holding it together, only for another stasis pod to slid out. “I can’t believe it…” He muttered, staring at the black Autobot inside, his green highlights matching the liquid. “Who is this?” Perceptor attempted to prop up the tube, but it proved to be quite heavy.
"No way I’d know..." The teal Autobot only managed to utter these few words, as he got up from his resting place and sauntered towards the pod containing the mysterious Autobot. "The orange box... can't it tell you who's in all these pods? Doesn't it have a... a crew registry?" Overcharge proceeded to help Perceptor prop the tube up.
“That is correct.” He responded, thankful for the help. The two went back to the main lobby. Perceptor had used the Teletraan Mobile a few times since their crash landing, but this new predicament needed to be prioritized. A name popped up, along with a picture. “Private Hot Shot. Supposed to serve as a Scout once we got to the planet.” Different from Recon soldiers, Scouts played the part of hit and run tactics, speeding off before trouble could erupt. “It seems he was injured before our trek and needed to heal during it. I wonder if that ended up saving his life.” Perceptor thought of the Autobot floating through the cold depths of space, but decided against continuing it. Before they went back to the medical bay though, the Science Officer checked their location. Big text that said “UNKNOWN” appeared. “So not Krogo VI then, unless some wires got scrambled in the Mobile.”
“Hope he's gotten that rest he needed. I don't see anybody on their feet besides the two of us and getting out of the rocks is going to be a lot of work..." He was briefly interrupted when a roof panel that was hanging from a wire finally broke free and fell to the floor. "Never mind getting this ship to take off again. I'm no engineer but... looks beat to scrap from here."
“I… agree. While it may be early, he seems to be in better condition than Skids.” Perceptor had to make a decision as he walked back to the medical bay. Opening Hot Shot’s stasis tube was risky, but Overcharge was right. They were trapped and needed all the help they could get. Connecting the tube next to Skid’s, so that the liquid could drain, Perceptor quietly pulled open the tube. Thankfully, the Private looked to be in healthy condition. “Hot Shot?”
All was silent.
All that could be heard was the buzzing of his spark. Then suddenly, the hissing of hydraulics as the pod opened. His fingers started to move as Hot Shot spark started to fully come online, his eyes lighting up. He blinked a few times. but he was groggy... "Where..." Before he could finish, he heard someone say his name. With his fuzzy optics though, he couldn't tell who it was in a haze, thinking he was still in his Decepticon holding cell. Leaping from his pod he pulled his Ion Blaster and pointed it at Preceptor. "I won't let any Slagging Con get me again!"
Perceptor’s optics widened as the weapon pointed at his face, holding his hands up. “Please don’t be alarmed, Hot Shot! We are allies.” It was clear the Private was dazed from his rest and Perceptor knew he had to navigate this situation. “Autobots. See?” Hands still up, he motioned a finger down to his chest. “Now could you please put the Ion Blaster down? There’s a lot to share with you.”
everything still looked fuzzy. Hot shot used his hand to snack his head a few times, trying to recalibrate his optics. It took a second or two, but they finally adjusted and he was able to see better. Looking at Preceptor, Hot Shot saw the Autobot logo and let out a few labored breaths as he put the blaster down and looked around. "Sorry about that... Stasis Lag it can really mess with your systems.”
By the time Hot Shot had calmed down and could look his way, Overcharge was already ready for battle, his optics and lights shining bright with energy siphoned from the ship and his hand pointed at the Private. However, as the situation was defused, he put his hand away and calmed down. "Well, that's a full charge cycle wasted... Doc, do you have any empty batteries? If I try to give back this electricity, I'll just blow the room's fuses. And if I keep it for too long, I start having pains."
“I wish I could’ve studied your powers before this tragedy…” Perceptor thought to himself, pondering if the Corporal’s powers were more than meets the eye. “Hmmm… try to power up the bridge’s batteries. If I recall correctly, those are fully depleted.” The Autobot turned back to his new companion, interested. “Perhaps I should introduce myself. I am Perceptor, the Hope’s Science Officer. This is Overcharge, a reconnaissance type. We are all that is functional on this ship.”
Perceptor explained the situation to Hot Shot, from the attack to the fatalities. “And that’s how we ended up here. Come, we should get to the main lobby to work on Teletraan Mobile before we start digging.” Perceptor proceeded to walk toward the door, but turned. “Or do you have any questions, Hot Shot?”
Hot Shot looked at Preceptor as he talked and told him all that had happened. It was a lot to process as he turned to leave Hot Shot, not wanting to tell him he was more lost than the Hope was. He just shook his head "Nope, no questions... Just ummm lead the way Preceptor."
“Very well.” In actuality, part of Perceptor wanted to give the bodies a proper burial, but the Teletraan Mobile’s security was above all else. Keeping it intact was their only way to possibly send a message back home. The two left, Perceptor assuming Overcharge did the same toward the bridge. The main lobby was still messy from the explosion, Perceptor not bothering to clean up as the large view screen still displayed “UNKNOWN”. “This won’t be easy…” He muttered, tapping to get out some sort of signal. However, it had already been done. “Strange. A distress beacon was sent out already. Must’ve been automatic.”
BANG! BANG! BOOM!
The Hope rattled, sending whatever tools left on Perceptor’s table on the floor. “That came from the back of the ship!” The Science Officer’s fear heightened as he ran toward the cargo hold.
Along the hallways that led to the cargo hold, Perceptor met Overcharge, also running towards the noise. "I heard that! I'm guessing one of those Cons isn't quite dead, huh?" As they ran together, he added: "I managed to charge some of the batteries! The systems should work long enough for you to do something before they're depleted again..."
Ron! I swear to God if you’re workin’ on that Jeep again, I’ll-“
“Will you shut up already? This is history!”
A heavyset man with a short gray beard and baseball cap rolled back under his prized possession, an original WWII Jeep passed down from his father. He had managed to take good care of the vehicle for many years, keeping the paint and parts pristine. “Dammit, where’d I leave the stupid flathead.” Rolling out to look for this screw driver, the Jeep remained silent outside, but inside…
No… that can’t be true. A signal? An Autobot signal? 60 years and they’ve finally found me! Hahaha, yes! I can’t believe they…
Wait a minute.
That’s a distress signal…
“Aw, come on!” The man ravaged through his toolbox, only for the Jeep to start up. “What the?” He exclaimed, turning around to see the headlights illuminate. The Jeep didn’t waste any time speeding out of his garage, leaving tire tracks across his driveway. “G-ghosts! The ghosts of dead soldiers took my car? Why? Why?!” He called out to the Jeep, but it didn’t slow down in the slightest.
Uh oh. No driver.
The Jeep quickly created a lifelike hologram in the driver’s seat. He knew those years of practicing holos would pay off in some capacity. Leaving the suburbs, the vehicle headed northwest.
Years? Geez Hound, you’ve been on Earth WAY too long.
“No no… no?”
Perceptor jutted up, looking around not to see shiny stars. or a warp hole, but sharp rocks sticking in the windows in front of him. Wherever he was, it wasn’t space. “Uh-I-huh?” The bridge didn’t look too different, other than the rocks decorating the place. The two Decepticons were still laying on the ground, albeit scuffled around from the landing. Kup and the pilot’s corpses also didn’t change much, but Perceptor wished he didn’t have to see them like that.
“Better check for survivors.” Not wasting any time, Perceptor pried open the doors with a nearby piece of scrap, bringing himself back into the hallways of the Hope. What he saw in these halls broke him. More often than not, he’d find a dead body than one that was shut down. Protocol was too deal with the wounded first, so anyone who wasn’t conscious was taken to their medical bay. It was small, never intended to be used in the capacity it would have to be, but he managed to bring four bodies into stasis.
“You’ll have to stay offline until we get better care. I’m sorry.” The Science Officer hooked up wires to their heads as they laid on makeshift gurneys. Ironically, the hardest part for Perceptor wasn’t the death, but lifting the offline around the ship. He understood very clearly he wasn’t the strongest Autobot and it showed. Eventually, he made it back to the cargo hold.
A good chunk of it had been blown away, Perceptor assuming this was the explosion that rattled the ship around. Many blue and red lifeforms of unknown origin surrounded the space, utterly decimating their metal bodies. However, two bodies stuck out. “Overcharge!” The Officer ran toward him and one of the soldiers stationed on the ship. Perceptor had never gotten his name and it seemed he never would, considering the hole in his head.
“Wait… he’s still functional?” Perceptor pulled up the blue Autobot’s chassis, leaving an unconscious Overcharge behind. “Don’t worry old friend, I’ll be back!” He called out, obviously not getting a response. Skids, who Perceptor looked up on the Teletraan Mobile, took over their only stasis tube, a contraption saved for only the worst of injuries. Perceptor tapped away on a keyboard as the barely alive Autobot floated in a light green liquid. “Memory banks are fried. Expected. But maybe…” Perceptor considered the options, but he wished not to leave Overcharge in the cargo area.
Dragging the final Autobot back to the medical bay, Perceptor connected Overcharge to the final stasis cap, only for a jolt to send him flying into an unopened crate. “Ah… I should’ve taken caution. His energy powers could be unstable.” He uttered while rubbing the back of his head. Thankfully, this seemed to be a saving shock, as Overcharge opened his eyes, laying on a gurney.
“Overcharge! By the Matrix, you’re alive.”
Perceptor froze with fear. He didn’t sign up for such brutal events as this! While turning back toward the door to flee, Ramjet shot the control panel to the left of it, locking him inside. “Heh heh. Where do you think you’re going?” Ramjet scoffed as he walked closer. Slipstream tossed the bloodied head into the pilot’s corpse pile, Perceptor’s optics widening.
“Please! Why are you doing this?” The Science Officer slipped as he slowly walked backwards, falling on his back. The two murderers laughed at the mistake, Slipstream placing her foot atop Perceptor’s torso. “Do you really need an answer to that? Who do you think we are?” She wiped the blueish purple liquid off of her blade, placing it back in her forearm. “We would just like to continue this fun little trip you’re taking. Well, not the trip you just did. The journey you’re on.” Slipstream had a perplexed look on her face. “Do you know how to pilot this? Triggerhappy over here took out your friends.”
The Hope rattled and rocked as a large explosion commenced in the cargo hold. The three left alive on the bridge were sent flying an all directions, the ship not attempting to course correct. As smoke filled the entire backend of the Hope, Perceptor laid on the bridge’s floor, noticing a large swirl of multiple colorful waves outside the front window. “Wormhole!” Immediately jumping up, he noticed the two Decepticons, their chassis’s sliding across the ground while the ship began to be sucked inside.
“No no no no no!” Perceptor pulled on the bullet riddled pilot seat to sit near the controls. While he would never wish to not be a scientist, he felt a pilot’s license would’ve been quite useful at the moment. Gripping the controls tightly, he attempted to bank left, but nothing would budge. It was too late for the Hope. Perceptor felt almost weightless as he watched the bright colors engulf his vision.
And then, nothing.
Many light years away, a mangled mess formerly called the Hope came out of the warp hole. The mess floated on its side toward a large planet. It looked nothing like Krogo VI, instead being mostly shades of blue, green and brown. No one was around to see the beautiful planet, the only one awake no having eyes to begin with.
CALCULATING THE BEST LANDING LOCATION.
The black spherical vessel let go of the mangled mess, sending itself farther and farther away as the Hope broke through the atmosphere. By this point, standard protocol for a crash landing would’ve broken out, but without a Captain, or any crew member functioning for that matter, nothing was slowed as more parts flew off, the ship slamming into the bottom side of a mountain. The ship’s parts tore deep into the rocks, sticking snuggly inside as an avalanche of boulders began to cover it. From the outside of the mountain, it looked as if it had only been lightly scarred. However, this mountain how carried something important to the planet’s future.
The black sphere, on the other hand, gently landed within a snowy tundra. While the sphere has minor damage, what was inside felt weak after traveling through the worm hole.
ENERGON LEVELS DEPLETING. COMMENCING SCAN OF ENERGON.
ENERGON LEVELS MORE THAN SUPPLEMENTAL. PROCEEDING WITH RECUPERATION PLAN.
End of Part 1: Hope
Topics I Participated In
“No, no! Please be careful with that!”
Two Autobots held a large cabinet tightly after hearing this statement, putting it next to the Teletraan Mobile in the HOPE’s main lobby. While the ship was large, a majority of it’s space was reserved for the cargo they’d be transporting back to Cybertron. A bridge, their single lobby and barracks were all this Autobot crew would have to themselves.
“Thank you.” Perceptor helped them scoot the cabinet into position. He could only bring so much equipment with him on their trip, but the Science Officer felt it would be necessary for research. Various beakers and tools surrounded the area, with Perceptor well aware this could annoy the other crew members. “It’s… not perfect…”
“Well, fix it yourself. We’re done here.” The two Autobot helpers quickly left the lobby before Perceptor could respond. “No, that’s not what I… meant.” Looking defeated, the Science Officer glanced around the area. The ship was clearly run down, with paint scraped off and metal peeling from the corners, but the war effort meant other projects, mostly weapons, had to be prioritized. With everything set up, Perceptor left to go join up with his Leader on the boarding ramp.
“Sir. I have finished my assignment.” Walking down the ramp toward Sentinel Prime, Perceptor kept a very professional demeanor with the Autobot’s greatest commander. “Do you have any other orders?” Sentinel Prime chuckled to himself. Perceptor was one of the few Autobots he knew who would willingly ask for MORE work. “Not yet. We better wait for the other recruits to arrive first. They should-“
“I see one now, sir.”
Perceptor’s shoulder scope zoomed in on a single vehicle speeding toward their location. “Which one is it? My optics aren’t what they used to be.” Sentinel Prime admitted, trying to squint. “I wouldn’t know sir. None of us were given the crew log.” The Leader grunted, turning to look up the ramp. “That Kup, I swear.”
Getting a very close look, Perceptor wondered who his new companion would be and what position he’d fill. “Interesting…”