Somewhere in Dairyland...
"Uncle, you have to quit drinking!"
Ticker was adamant. Uncle's fuelpump was already enlarged. If he kept consuming energon at his current rate, he'd suffer a total systems shutdown.
"I'm serious! Not one more drink!"
Uncle: You know, dis storyline sucks, I'm outta here..."
With that, Uncle left, and Ticker was alone to talk to herself. "That was it!", she fumed. She'd had to reboot him no less than three times this week alone. No wonder he was having trouble remembering why he was here! And Electrum Beast using Uncle as his personal errand boy was only making the problem worse. Ever since Campaign Car defected, EB had been even more tied into his work than usual. There was a special project in the lab that even she wasn't allowed in to see. And with everyone else currently operating at peak effeciency... well, that was that. She'd make *sure* Uncle would stay online this time, even if she had to shadow him wherever he went....
Electrum Beast: "Uncle Whiskey Breath, I need you to make a special run to Brew City."
Electrum Beast: "Er, yes, ahem. Anyways, with your added presence amongst our ranks, we don't have enough energon to power a full scale assault- on our research. I'll need extra fuel supplies for the new project I'm working on. Since everyone else is already on-assignment, I thought you wouldn't mind, especially since Prime has officially assigned you to our team now. Can you assist?"
Uncle didn't respond. He merely saluted, spun around, and stumbled out of the room. He didn't know what was so darned important about needing more energon -after all, that bossy lady told him he'd drunk more than enough- but any excuse to get out of this stuffy Base was a good one.
Gathering a number of energon-carrying containers, he headed for the lift. Smoothly running hydraulics lifted him above the ground level to the surface. Disembarking, he watched as the statue of an old earthen flying craft slid back into position. One of these times, he'd have to ask Electrum Beast who this 'Mitchell' was, and why there was a statue of him at their base. Storing the containers, he transformed into vehicle-mode, and rumbled down the road. Almost as an after-thought, he deployed his Cloak of Cow. After all, he wouldn't want to stick out amongst the populace (at least, that's what they kept telling him). Apparently, he wasn't equipped to scan an alt-mode on this planet, so he used the device he'd woken up with. For the hundreth time, he pondered what he was doing here (yet not stopping to wonder what the humans would think of a holographic cow going 200 miles an hour down the highway), Uncle sped off.
Moments later, the entrance slid open again, and a small medical shuttle emerged. Firing her engines, Ticker soared off after Uncle Whiskey Breath.
The Battle was On.
To Be Continued!!
Battle for Brew City
"I'll trade you Speed Convoy for Nemesis Magnus."
It seemed like a good trade. After all, they were both powerful in battle, but he had a special affection for Convoy. It wouldn't do to leave him out of battle at such a critical time. With a nod to his foe, the transaction was completed.
The small boy slapped the card down on the playing field.
"Hah! PlotBlast! I got you!"
"It's easy. If I have all the Maguffins on the field when I put Convoy in-play, I wipe out your entire storyline! Now your entire set of characters was revealed too-early, and has been stolen by another convention for next year."
"Haha, yes! That will learn you to reveal your players too-early in the game. I had time wo work on my strategy."
"Shall we play again?"
"Sure. Maybe this time, instead of having a convention steal your character, I'll use my Gobackintime card and have a large corporation steal them."
"Yea, well... this game sucks. I quit."
"What do you men, you quit?"
"We've been playing this game for years, and I'm tired of it. So I quit. And I'm taking my cards with me."
"But you can't do that! I've only just learned to play the game!"
"Don't worry. There'll be other players. Just not me."
With that, the small boy left the playground. A small tear ran down the other child's cheek as he watched his friend go. Looking down, he saw that not all the cards had been taken by the small boy. There was a small stack, a special parting gift just for him. Clutching them to his chest, he waited, patiently.
A new player could come along anytime now.
Uncle was severely overfueled.
It always went that way in this particular human metropolis. The Transformer-grade fuel they made here went down smooth, with just a hint of something corrosive. It always left him woozy, and always left Ticker yelling at him.
Ah well, at least it dulled the pain. He estimated that it had been over a year since he'd crashed here, and lost his friend. Although he'd never admit to it, he still scanned for his friend whenever he was sober. Those sober moments were becoming less and less these days. His memories too-painful for any one bot to endure, he would consistantly overfuel. It made the pain in his processor go away, but then that she-devil pain in his posterior armor plate would kick in, nagging him about how much he'd been drinking....
Sigh. He knew they cared for him, but only as a relic of a bygone era. He didn't know how long he'd been out; his internal chronometer had reset to when he came online again. All he knew for sure was how long he'd been online since the crash, and the fellows who found him, well, they were no help. They didn't even *look* like the Cybertonians he remembered. Back in his day, a Transformer was made out of metal, and had a clearly defined allegiance. Nowadays, you had animal bits mixed in, faction symbols he didn't even recognise, and what the heck was with this size-changing thing they did? Subspace was where you stored your weapons and accessories, not the bulk of your body! It made no sense to Uncle, but being the good bot, he pressed on.
Rumbling down the highway, with the energon containers clanking loudly against his frame, he failed to notice an enemy sneaking up behind him...
To Be Continued!
Battle for Brew City!
It always seemed to go the same way:
Optimus Prime: "What do I smell on your breath? Have you been drinking again?"
Optimus Prime: "That's it. I have had it. You are hearby discharged from your duties on Cybertron. You are assigned to this divergent new timeline. You will be its guardian. You will find your friend, and the missing cassette. And you will never, ever come home again."
He always wake up from his involuntary systems shutdown in the medbay, screamimg that word. Ticker, with a pained and concerned look on her face, would ask if he'd been dreaming.
That's what the humans called it. Dreaming.
Uncle called it a Nightmare.
It was this nightmare that kept him moving. Kept him fueling, too. Fueling too-much, apparently. He could never recall if that was a memory of something that had happened, or something his overheated processor cooked up for him after a particularly bad bout of over-fueling. Either way, he wanted nothing to do with it.
He snapped back to awareness. He was on a mission. Not the one in his dream, but the one assigned to him by Electrum Beast. Events were coming to a head, and he needed to get this special blend of energon back to Base as soon as possible. He could brook no delays.
It was then that he heard the scream of flight engines combined with the screaming of his name.
Ticker had found him. Flying past at incredible speed, she was able to overtake and surprise Uncle Whiskey Breath. Extending her grappling claws, she scooped him up, attempting to lift him off the roadway and fly him to parts unknown.
She was in for a surprise.
Uncle was a lot heavier than she thought. It could have been the extra fuel he was carrying, but she suspected that in her anger, she'd miscalculated how much an old relic like him would weigh. Engines straining, she managed to get him off the ground. But she wasn't able to maintain her speed. Engines flaring, she was able to hold him abobe the road while she screamed at him.
Ticker: "I told you to quit drinking so much! I don't care what Electrum Beast's mission was I told you to quit drinking I can't restore your memories when you're plastered can't you see I'm only doing this because I care about yoooouuuu.......!"
She didn't get to finish her rant, which was rapidly degenerating into babble. Uncle had transformed, shed the external containers (which were still caught in Ticker's grabber claws) and was rapidly plummeting to the ground.
The fall evoked memories of a similar time. Stunned into action, Uncle deployed his Blizzard Shotgun and fired at the ground. A solid stream of compressed gasses quickly formed an ice pole, which uncle used to slide down to the ground. One nice thing about this planet at time of year; his weapons had some useful quirks in the atmosphere.
Standing on the ground, he straightened up and took aim; He didn't mind Ticker yelling at him, but he'd be darned if he was going to let her attack him physically. Lining up his sights, he fired, scoring a direct hit on her undercarriage. Engines spluttering as they filled in with ice, combined with the extra weight from the fuel containers....Ticker lost altitude.
Straight into Uncle Whiskey Breaths outstreatched arms.
Uncle: "Hey dere, little lady. looking for me?"
She was angry.
Mostly at herself.
She'd been trying to fix Uncle Whiskey Breath ever since he came into their midst that fateful winter day. Such a strong, proud warrior from their home planet. She'd pieced enough of his story together to know that there was an epic battle in space above them, between Uncle, a great enemy, and Uncle's friend. His friend had been lost, and Uncle was searching for him. The despair of not finding him, combined with the failure of his mission, had caused him to turn in on himself. He'd asked Ticker once to wipe his memorycore so he wouldn't have to hurt anymore. She refused, instead wanting to comfort him, to help him heal his pain. But nothing she did seemed to help, and Uncle began to wipe away his memories on his own, with incompatible energon. The local brew damaged his systems; it needed to be refined to run thru him properly. But he began to spurn the refined energon she'd make for him, turning instead to the task of forgetting everything that made him who he was.
She couldn't stand to see him do that to himself. So she nagged at him, constantly warning him about his drinking, hoping he'd change, not being able to admit that her concern went beyond normal medical matters.
She could never admit that she was in love with him. Her strength, her passion, it could all be his, if only he'd let her in.
All of these thoughts went thru her head as she fell from the sky. Transforming, she landed with a loud clang in Uncle's outstretched arms. She'd gone out to save him - and he just went ahead and saved her.
Then again, he was the one who put her in this danger.
No, no, that wasn't fair. She came out here and attacked him, he defended himself, and did so without harming her. She should give him a chance... Ticker took a deep breath, and turned to look into Uncle's eyes.
Uncle: "Hey dere, little lady. looking for me?"
Ticker: "You suck."
Uncle set her down, but did not let go of her. Arms around Ticker, he looked into her eyes. The facets of her primary optical sensors glistened in the gently falling snow. Uncle felt something he'd not felt in a very long time.
Uncle: "Ahhh, much better. The fuel da locals brew up always leaves me gassy."
Ticker: "You're a pig."
Uncle: "Yep. Wanna go back to Base?"
Uncle transformed. Ticker climbed on-top of Uncle, and rode him the entire way home. Perhaps things were going to be ok after all. Nothing much ever happened around these parts. Maybe a little over-fueling once in awhile would be a good thing for Uncle. She'd make sure she would always be there to reboot him if he over-did it again.
The cloak of cow now covering them both, Ticker giggled as Uncle rode over potholes, bouncing her up and down his chassis. Life was good, Uncle thought. A couple of brews, his best girl... he could get used to this. Perhaps he would even cut down on the drinking a little, so Ticker wouldn't have to worry so much..
But just a little.
And only to make Ticker happy.