Campaign Car's orders to the others were simple: scout the location, and report back to base. If possible, recover the anomoly. The other Dairycons were not to be made aware of the mission, if at all possible. If any one of the three needed reinforcements, then they were to call one of the other two. And of course, under no circumstances were they to reveal their existence to anyone.
So of course Campaign Car was not surprised when he heard a loud pop, and felt a blast of cold air. He skidded. The road had turned to ice beneath his wheels. Even with 18 of them, this mode would be useless in such treacherous conditions. Campaign Car transformed and turned, scanning for the source, knowing full-well who it would be.
"Hey dere!" said Uncle Whiskey Breath, taking aim once again with his blizzard shotgun. "Whatcha doing round deez parts? Planning something sneaky, I bet." Campaign Car was appalled. "What are you shooting at me for, you idiot?!" he shouted. "I'm on your side!"
"Eh, I know," Uncle said, holstering his weapon. "But when I saw you, I got to feeling all nostalgic. Dis was kinda how we first met, doncha know."
Campaign Car: "Believe me, I know. I was there, remember? But that was a long time ago, and things have changed a lot since then. Last time I checked, I was the commanding officer in-charge of you. So where do you get off assulting your superior?!"
Uncle: "Da only ting yer superior at is making an arse of yerself. So why're ya here?"
Campaign Car: "None of your business."
"So why are you here?"
"None of your business."
Crackup walked away from the holotransmitter, having made sure to scramble the coordinates of his last message. It wouldn't do to have the Leader guess at his plans so soon.
Not until he could crush him, anyways.
The Leader followed him; perhaps to question him further on what he was doing, or maybe to offer yet another long-winded explanation on this grand scheme he was revealing. Either way, Crackup was in no mood for it. He left the communications room. The Leader followed.
The Leader: "Trying to overthrow me again, are you?"
CrackUp: "No. And what do you mean, 'again'?
The Leader: "Well, one time you got ahold of a golden disk and used it to destroy me. Another time, you had Washout attack me on Cybertron. Still another time, you revealed my plans to the entire Dairycon contingent. Each time, I had to do a major reset. I've learned each time. That's why you're trapped in limbo. That's why I assigned Heffer to Washout. And that's why I gave them the Golden Disk to Washout. This way, all the loose ends are tidy, and things can continue without your influence."
CrackUp: "There's something you may not have considered."
The Leader: "What's that?"
CrackUp: "That by foiling my plans, you're doing the universe a great disservice. Perhaps my victory is supposed to be the true result, which is why you keep having to change things."
The Leader: "Yes, you've used that excuse several times in the past. But my answer remains: you must not be allowed to influence history. And neither can Defensis."
With that, the Leader walked away, leaving Crackup to fume, clenching and unclenching his fists. He thought about attacking him right there; a quick slash to the back would surely incapicate the Leader. However, upon thinking it, the Leader called out in the receding distance, "attacking me never did you any good either. But it's nice to still see you try."
Crackup continued to fume in silence.
The delivery car picked up speed and smashed directly into him, knocking him on his side and into a roll down a shallow embankment. Transforming, he made note of a large dent, and several smaller dents where the ground proved denser than his exo-plating. "That's going to leave a mark", thought Defensis. Jumping out of the ravine, he faced the delivery car, which had also transformed into robot mode.
"Domino", Defensis hissed.
"Nice to see you remember me," he replied. It had been a different time, and in a different form, when Domino had last seen the old 'bot. Back then, he'd been routed in a critical battle, just like his brother Bailjumper had been routed by Uncle Whiskey Breath. These old-school Transformers thought they could just stomp on the new generation with impunity.
Well, Domino was going to stomp back.
Repairing the damage caused by these battles was no easy task.
But that's what they were here to do. Although usually supervised by one of the larger Transformers, The Miniature Constructicons (history would record them as being the precurser to 'MiniCons') went about their business. Built to small scale from the original Constructicons blueprints, these little fellas could get in to repair just about anything the larger Guzzlers wrecked. This was especially important when dealing with places such as Las Vegas; many humans came thru these parts, and it wouldn't be fair to leave the damage for them to deal with. So in they came, wherever, whenever, and repaired the damage, brick by brick if necessary.
"Tipsy, Poser, front and center!" WannaBee barked. He fancied himself the Leader of his little 3-man team, so his name was apt to everyone but him.
WannaBee: "OK team, we've come a long way. The job is officially finished. Soon as we hook-up with the other crew, we can make tracks for Cybertron!"
The minicons were delighted. It had been some time since the MiniCons had all been together in the same place. They were looking forward to swapping stories about their various adventures. Usually, they'd run into a group of mini-spies back in from patrol, and along with the micromasters, they'd share a few pints the local energon pub. It made for a pleasant day.
Transforming, the Mini Constructicon Team rolled off to join their friends.
It was not what they expected.
Washout and Heffer arrived to find a battle already in-progress. It appeared that their target was already being attacked by another Transformer. Odd; the Leader had made no mention of someone else going after thier target. The dimensional hop dissapating behind them, Washout transformed into vehicle mode and parked a safe distance away. Heffer followed suit.
Washout: "You know, this doesn't sit right with me. This was supposed to be a quick, clean operation. But that other guy is mopping the floor with our assigned target. I'm not so sure what we should do, now."
Heffer: "Perhaps we should help?"
Washout: "Yea....but help who?"
Washout pondered this problem as the battle continued.
Defensis had landed a few good punches, breaking a few pieces off his opponent and sending him stumbling, but that initial hit had taken him by surprise; internal circuitry was damaged, and unable to immediately repair. Weapons were off-line in both modes; he was forced into hand-to-hand combat.
And he was losing.
That old codger could sure take a hit.
Domino, in the darkest recesses of his mind, pondered whether he could even beat this old codger. He'd lost his gun; without it, he couldn't burn Defensis delicate circuitry. And Domino was poorly-equipped for close-quarters combat; he had no other weapons.
No other weapons...
Domino summoned Barry. Using a magnapulse, the programmed canister flew thru the window of the resturant, and into Domino's hand. Toggling the switch, he erased everything of Barry but the utensils he was using to flip burgers. He then enlarged those to transformer-sized projections.
Domino was now armed for combat.
With a giant spatula and tongs.
TO BE CONTINUED.
ONWARD TO PART 3!
Back to the Dairycon Universe!!