Here's the second chapter ladies and gents, not a very large action scene at the moment. I decided I wanted to save the really big battle where we get to see what some of these new characters can do for later. If you're at all familiar with the Beast Wars television series I would also like to take this opportunity to mention that this series picks up a little before the Episode Call of the Wild.
And am I ever going to have fun re-creating the episodes with the new members of the cast thrown in. Some events might take on an even bigger alternate approach. I can safely say right now that things are going to be really fun. Oh and I hope everybody likes the choice in Buffy's beast mode... A physical description of her robot mode and appearance will be revealed in the next chapter when she transforms.
Deep beneath the ocean waves of the mysterious planet a Maximal emerged from her stasis pod – due to faulty systems her stored data tracks were slightly disjointed. She could recall a time when she was on the planet Earth living the life of a spoiled rich girl, but as the Maximal programming took over these memories slowly began to fade, until nothing of them remained.
The dark blue and green marked giant squid began to swim through the water away from the pod. Her internal sensors had automatically locked onto a Maximal signal beacon – one which had been established on the off chance something like this would ever happen.
“Data tracks damaged. I can’t remember my name,” she complained floating briefly in the dark waters of the current depth. “I suppose I’ll just have to think of one. Now where do I find a reflective surface to see what I look like? Maybe it’ll jar my memory.” Swimming on further the Maximal resumed her trek towards the source of the signal. A starship sitting at the base of a waterfall atop the cliffs which led to the ocean.
Blackarachnia hated being saddled with Scorponok, but after the incident with Inferno Megatron wasn’t taking any chances where the spiders were concerned. He refused to let either of them reprogram a Maximal stasis pod – especially after shell-head reported the incident on the flying island.
At least Scorponok was useful in helping to reprogram the pods – two of them had landed relatively close together and even with her considerable skills there wasn’t a chance in the Pit that she could have reprogrammed them both before they activated.
“There isn’t any life forms in this barren wasteland,” Scorponok complained as he crushed the Maximal programming chip in his claw now that he’d completed installing the Predacon shell program.
“A mountainous region may not have any living specimens to choose from, Shell-Head, but it is possible there are fossil remains under the rock,” Blackarachnia reminded.
“You don’t mean? More dinosaurs?” Scorponok asked with a slight hint of a nervous twitch.
Blackarachnia rolled her optics. “What’s the matter? Don’t like the thought of having some powerful new soldiers in our ranks?” she demanded with a chuckle.
“I can’t help it,” Scorponok shot back. “Do you realize how Megatron will react if we come back with a Predacon in a body stronger than his?” he demanded.
Blackarachnia paused in the final programming adjustments – her clawed appendages ceasing the rhythmic tapping that had accompanied her work. “I hadn’t thought of that,” she admitted. “He’s been in a foul mood ever since Starscream showed up and tried to off him,” she added.
“It’s his own fault for trusting that treacherous Decepticon,” Scorponok muttered. “And you too,” he added under his breath.
Blackarachnia’s gaze narrowed. “What was that, Shell-Head?” she asked in a venomous toned voice.
“Nothing,” Scorponok replied shrewdly. His gaze fell on the stasis pod as it emitted a tone – the onboard computer’s vocalizer programming must have been damaged. The pod began to shake briefly.
“Fractyl Terrorize!” the new Predacon cried out. Instantly a short green and grey unit emerged from the stasis pod. “Interesting,” he mused studying his form.
“Guess you were right, Blackarachnia, this one’s a pterodactyl,” Scorponok reported.
Shrugging Blackarachnia finished her special programming work – if Scorponok had been smarter he might have noticed when she deviated slightly from the assigned task, but Scorponok always was unobservant. “This new female Predacon isn’t going to steal my thunder,” she remarked. Perhaps she was being petty, but she had an image to uphold and any new femmes showing up with equally attractive bodies might just upset her ability to control the male Predacons with her feminine charms.
“New programming accepted resuming DNA scan,” the computer announced.
“Are you using variable oscillating frequencies in your shell programs?” the new unit asked moving to stand beside her.
“You’re aware of the shell program?” Blackarachnia countered in surprise.
“I may have been a Maximal, but that doesn’t mean I was a stupid one,” Fractyl returned with a slight smirk. “Actually I quite appreciate this chance to test some theories of mine concerning the Predacon hierarchy.”
Blackarachnia stared at Fractyl incredulously. “Terrific,” she moaned. “An egghead scientist type.”
“Geochemist actually,” Fractyl corrected reaching up to adjust something on his face which wasn’t there. “Strange. For some reason I felt there should have been an item there,” he remarked thoughtfully. “Perhaps these phantom memories of another life are causing a glitch in my central processing unit. It will have to be corrected at once.”
Scorponok shot a suspicious glare at Fractyl and rolled his shoulder joints briefly as he turned back to face the empty stasis pod. “Yeah well whatever,” he said. Taking aim his claw clacked twice and a missile fired causing the pod to explode.
“What in the Pit did you do that for?” Blackarachnia demanded.
Scorponok smirked. “Megatron doesn’t want Tarantulas to get his claws on any of these Stasis Pods,” he explained. “If any of them are relatively intact my orders are to deal with them,” he clarified as he turned his attention to the still occupied pod. “Taking kind of a long time to find any more fossils ain’t it?”
Blackarachnia shook her head. “Just be patient,” she snapped irritatedly. “Megatron could have at least let me in on the plan, personally I don’t want Tarantulas to get any of these pods either,” she muttered to herself. Without warning her systems began to crackle with excess energy.
Fractyl blinked slightly as he too began to feel the odd effects. “What on Cybertron is this?”
“Energon overload,” Scorponok explained as he reverted to beast mode. “Must be a large concentration in this area,” he added. “We usually have longer in the field than this.”
Fractyl transformed back into his beast form and studied his new mode curiously. “Our organic outer shells protect us from the excessive Energon fields of this planet,” he stated. “Similar to the Pretender technology of the Autobots and Decepticons. Fascinating.”
“Suitable life form detected,” the computer finally announced.
“It’s about time,” Scorponok said grumpily. “I want to get the slag out of here before any Maximals show up. Too volatile around here for a battle,” he added clacking his claws nervously.
The protoform inside of the pod was altered by the internal systems and a brief flash of light escaped from the seals. All three Predacons watched in anticipation of witnessing the birth of a new Predacon – Fractyl however was still mulling over the revelation of the Energon overload problem. A horn pierced the pod’s lid. And then a rather large dinosaur broke free trampling her pod in the process.
“Wow,” Scorponok blurted as he stared at the powerful looking beast in front of them.
“Quite impressive actually,” Fractyl agreed. “Styracosaurus,” he classified the species with a slight nod. “Are you sure we aren’t on Earth?” he asked turning to Blackarachnia.
“Earth doesn’t have two moons,” she replied pointing out the second moon hovering in orbit close to the first.
“Most curious. You are aware that many of these species are indigenous to Earth are you not?” he wondered.
“Megatron assumed it to be some colony world of theirs. Either that or the mysterious aliens we’ve encountered relocated numerous species from there to this world as part of their strange experiments,” Blackarachnia explained with a shrug.
Fractyl grew contemplative.
The Styracosaurus eyed the three of them curiously. “So who among you is the leader?” she asked finally in a surprisingly soft voice for a creature of her size.
Scorponok scurried forward on his eight legs. “Megatron is our one and only
leader,” he declared. “Do you swear fealty to him?”
Chuckling the Styracosaurus gave a brief nod. “Depends on how tough he is first,” she stated. “I’ll decide if I’m going to follow some guy named Megatron once I see him in person. So where’s the base?”
“We’ll take you to it,” Blackarachnia said before Scorponok could try and pick a fight with the unruly femme. “Do you have a name?” she asked.
The Styracosaurus blinked a confused look crossing her features. “Buf… No! Call me Strykeback,” she said with a slight smile.
Jawbreaker arrived on the scene of the battle just when Rattrap and Rhinox started to suffer Energon overload.
With a mighty cry of triumph Manterror ignored his own early warning signs and prepared to strike down the puny Maximals.
Jawbreaker leapt at him jaws open wide and he clamped down on the Predacon’s arm. “Hwlo, Ddby,” he said with a mouthful of Predacon.
“The Manterror will crush you!” Manterror shouted swinging his free arm at the hyena.
Terrorsaur squawked and reverted to beast mode. “Forget these Maximals! We have the protoform, let’s get out of here,” he said flapping his wings and taking to the sky.
“Yes, Manterror, revert to your robot mode before the Energon fields destroy you,” Tarantulas agreed.
Waspinator buzzed in distress as his robot form flopped about half-rebuilt. “Wazzzzzpinator needs a lift,” he called out.
Tarantulas eyed the completely useless stasis pod with a sigh and quickly transformed back into beast mode. He gathered up Waspinator’s body and scurried off.
“The Manterror does not flee from a fight!”
Rattrap twitched his nose slightly. “Yeah? Well if the Manterror doesn’t get lost he’s goin’ ta be in a world o’ hurt,” he declared as Optimus, Cheetor and Sonar arrived.
Manterror grit his teeth in frustrated rage and quickly returned to beast mode.
Jawbreaker let him go landing on his paws gracefully. “Wow, talk about anticlimactic. I was itching for a big fight too. Oh well, that beast mode old Deadboy got saddled with really creeped me out. Bad memories.” He turned to the rest of the Maximals with a cackle. “Name’s Jawbreaker, my pod landed a few klicks that-a-way,” he introduced indicating the direction he’d come from.
“Good to meet you, Jawbreaker,” Optimus returned. “I’m Optimus Primal, this is Rattrap, Rhinox, Cheetor and…”
“Willow,” Jawbreaker interrupted as he caught sight of Sonar.
“Sonar,” she corrected ignoring the strange kinship she seemingly felt towards this curious looking Maximal.
“Uh right… Sonar,” Jawbreaker said shaking his head and approaching the others. “So… What’s a Maximal supposed to do on this planet when he’s cheated from fighting Predacons?” he asked.
Rattrap chuckled. “You could always help me get that piece of Waspinator,” he suggested indicating the Predacon’s thorax hanging from the tree.
Jawbreaker laughed. “Think I’ll pass, Rattrap,” he said.
“We’d better get back to the base, Optimus,” Rhinox suggested. “Airazor is guarding it by herself after all and any other Maximals will be drawn to the signal beacon we recently installed,” he added.
Optimus nodded slightly eyeing Jawbreaker briefly with a hint of curiosity. “I suppose so,” he reluctantly admitted. “I’d rather see if Dinobot or Tigatron got to their pods before any more Predacons did… But I have a feeling Megatron could try something if he decides it would be better to take out our base with the forces he’s got rather than risking letting all of us regroup there,” he said.
Jawbreaker circled Sonar sniffing her fur – it was a russet red color with a familiar scent to him thanks to Xander’s memories. She was definitely Willow.
“Do you mind?” Sonar demanded.
“Sorry. Instincts ya know,” he returned apologetically.
“Well try to curb those instincts, mister,” she snapped irritably. “I’m not interested in securing any romantic partners on this mission,” she added.
Jawbreaker smirked. “Different strokes for different blokes as the humans say,” he returned.
“Stow it,” Sonar shot back.
Jawbreaker bowed his head slightly and started following the others as they cleared out of the area. “Shouldn’t we retrieve my pod?” he wondered.
Optimus shook his head. “No time! I’ll have Rattrap destroy it,” he said.
Rattrap frowned. “Awwww man, I gotta play demolitions rodent again?”
Optimus nodded. “We can’t risk any of the Predacons finding it and using our technology against us,” he stated.
Rattrap sighed. “Fine, fine, Yeesh. I’m on it, boss monkey, but you owe me.” Stalking off into the jungle he was swift to vanish.
Jawbreaker frowned as he began trailing behind the others. “So far we know Willow is a Maximal called Sonar and Angel got turned into a Predacon with a serious personality quirk.”
“Yeah. Referring to himself in the third person
,” Xander said to him from inside of his head. “Why’d he have to be a praying mantis? Bad Miss French flashbacks,
” he complained.
Jawbreaker laughed. “Here’s an even scarier thought, what if Angel and Angelus both got cloned and put into two different bodies?”
Xander mentally shuddered. “If I have to play nice with Deadboy again I’m not going to be happy
,” he stated.
Jawbreaker shrugged. “Can’t be helped. If Primus was interested in keeping the sides dead even numbers wise… he would have made sure that both personalities got here.”
Xander sighed. “Great! That means I could be fighting against Miss Calendar, Giles or Buffy if the Preds got to them first,
” he said dejectedly.
“You’re forgetting Cordelia,” Jawbreaker reminded.
“I’m used to fighting with her
,” Xander said with a mental smirk.
“But are you used to working alongside of her?” Jawbreaker felt Xander grow cold with abject fear at the prospect and began to cackle.
“Do you have a mental problem?” Sonar demanded breaking into their private conversation.
Jawbreaker shrugged. “Hard to say. Sometimes I feel like two different people,” he added with a laugh.
Cheetor shot him a look. “Great we got a psycho on our side.”
Optimus frowned. “Cheetor, that’s no way to talk about our allies,” he chastised.
“Sorry, Big Bot. It’s just…” Cheetor trailed off.
Jawbreaker broke into the conversation by rushing to rejoin the group. “Relax, kid. I’m a hyena and they tend to find humor in just about everything. It makes for great parties,” he said with a grin.
Cheetor eyed Jawbreaker warily. “Ok.” He skirted away from the hyena and started trailing beside Rhinox.
“Do you have any memory glitches also?” Sonar asked conversationally.
Jawbreaker shook his head. “Nope. My pod didn’t affect my data tracks at all. Guess it wasn’t damaged in the planet fall,” he said. “By the way. What planet are we on anyway?”
“We’re not sure,” Optimus admitted. “We were tracking Megatron’s warp signal in order to retrieve the Golden Disk. He stole it. We could be anyplace, anytime and the Transwarp probe the High Council sent recently left before we could get in touch with it… So basically we’re stuck here with the Predacons fighting this Beast Wars.”
“Beast Wars?” Jawbreaker repeated and then he started laughing hysterically. “Oh that’s really funny,” he declared.
Optimus and Rhinox shared a confused look.
“What’s so funny about it?” Cheetor demanded.
Jawbreaker sighed. “Kid, in case you failed to notice Optimus here just used a grammatically incorrect term. He should have said Beast War.”
“Oh.” Cheetor lowered his head in embarrassment.
“Come to think of it, Optimus, the new guy has a point,” Rhinox remarked.
Optimus shrugged his shoulders. “It doesn’t matter,” he said. “You’re gonna have to try and curb that funny bone around Dinobot though,” he warned.
Jawbreaker blinked. “Why?”
“Cause ol’ Choppaface used to be a Pred, and he doesn’t exactly like it when someone laughs for no apparent reason,” Rattrap replied as he rejoined the group. “Plus he’s got a stick up his butt, the whole honor and duty spiel.”
Jawbreaker shrugged. “Sounds to me like a challenge,” he returned with a broad grin.
Xander mentally shook his head. “Sounds to me like Worf.
Jawbreaker started to chuckle softly. “Think he’ll look like a Klingon?” he asked.
“I hope not,
” Xander replied with a hint of nervousness. “That’s all I need. To meet up with a real live alien Klingon-type,
” he added.
Jawbreaker smiled. “With your track record then I suspect we’re going to have a lot of fun times with good old Dinobot,” he said.
Megatron approached the stasis pod with a determined gait – his large feet stomping the ground and causing it to shake as he moved. “Megatron Terrorize!” he shouted converting into robot mode the Predacon leader began to assess the pod’s status.
“System failure, system failure… Warning DNA Scanner malfunction repairs required,” the computer alerted with bursts of static in between words.
Megatron smiled satisfactorily. “Excellent, yesssssss. I shall get this pod back to base and use the onboard computers to reprogram it instead. Another new Predacon to join my ranks. And soon… if all else goes according to my calculations we may be able to tip this war in my favor, oh yesssssss.” Returning to beast mode – Megatron gently picked up the pod in his powerful jaws and began to march back towards the base. Eager to greet the new Predacons his other soldiers had hopefully managed to activate.
While inside the pod the essence of Jenny Calendar – also known to her clan as Janna Kalderash – began to experience terrible nightmares as her senses detected the forced separation of both Angel and Angelus unleashing the beast she had been sworn to safeguard by her people.To Be Continued