Transformers: Rise of the White WitchAuthor:
Some very lucky and likely rich people in Japan own the Transfomers franchise, although Michael Bay probably got a good cut from the movie that just came out.. Never quite figured out who owns the Buffyverse, but I know for a fact that it's not me…Summary:
Just like Tara herself, there's more to her ride than meets the eyes…Joe's Note:
Yes, this is based on Transformers: Hellmouth. At least the first chapter and maybe part of the second. From there it will deviate a bunch, mostly because this is set during the first movie as opposed to after it. Will feature the three components of Arcee from Revenge of the Fallen
but as actual robots because… seriously, three bike girls with one brain who were good for little more than failing at missions and getting shot? Oh hell no.
Waiting in orbit of the red dwarf that she would later learn humans called 'Barnard's Star', the Autobot known as Chromia waited and listened for the signal that would summon her. For now, though, she drifted through the emptiness of space with her sisters, hoping that Optimus's faith in Bumblebee had not been misplaced and that the scout would be successful in accomplishing whatever mission he had been set to so they could move in. While war was hell, sitting here doing nothing was even worse.
Off to her left, Moonracer fired her thrusters and reoriented herself, communications dish extending from the top of her body. "I have a signal. Sol system, third planet. Bumblebee has found someone who might be able to lead us to the All Spark, but there's a Decepticon presence on the planet as well and he needs reinforcement. Orders?"
Hmm. Sending a signal across the stars to the binary system where Optimus and another group of Autobots were waiting would take too long. This was, for better or worse, her decision to make. Realigning her body, Chromia extended her own communications dish just in time to catch the massive data burst being forwarded by the Autobots' forward scout. Data about Bumblebee's current location, data about the humans and the barest fluency in their primary language, data about how to access a massive information infrastructure upon arrival to gather data on alternative forms for themselves… she absorbed it all, carefully separating and filing the information away into the appropriate portions of her memory banks.
Arcee always was an impatient one. Chromia finally made her choice. "Optimus may be closer but that doesn't mean he's heard. That system is a nightmare for communications. So we go. Whether we get there first, second, or as the only reinforcements doesn't matter. What matters is that we get there. So move out!"
Thrusters firing, the trio achieved escape velocity and began heading for the planet they now knew the natives called 'Earth'.
Laying back on one of the rickety picnic tables that dotted the grass around the truck stop, Tara Maclay stared up at the stars and sighed. She was free-ish. She wouldn't really know if she'd given her family the slip for a bit, so far so good. She'd scrimped, saved, checked the mail to make sure she could intercept all her own letters, and now she was off to a college education they knew nothing about on scholarships they didn't know she'd applied for and been granted. Life was… not quite good yet, but better than it had been in a long while.
Out of nowhere, there was a soft whine and a blue-white burst of light that reminded Tara of a camera flash going off. Three fiery balls tore past overhead and she sat up, tracking their progress as they raced over the truck stop and off into the wilderness. There was a thunderous boom and the ground shook, sending her rolling off the table. Then silence descended over the area once again.
Rising to her feet, Tara looked around and found a few people looking at the sky before shrugging and going back to what they were doing. She couldn't understand that. It was raining giant fiery meteors and nobody could be bothered to care about it? Well she cared! What if it had landed on someone or hit the road the bus would need to drive on or something?
Tara raced over to the bus, digging her bag out of the luggage compartment and finding her favorite pair of hiking boots. After all, walking through the woods at night in sandals would just be stupid. Well, doing it at all would be stupid enough, doing it at night would be downright idiotic. With that done, she shouldered her massive backpack and took off for the tree line. She'd gone hiking plenty as a child and the weight of her possessions didn't slow her too much, allowing her to make good time over the slightly rolling terrain. They hadn't quite reached the mountainous regions of Colorado yet, but it wasn't as amazingly flat and boring as the Midwest had been.
Given that the area was wooded but not densely so, it wasn't that hard to find the impact sites. Surprisingly enough, all three meteors had hit almost on top of each other, the impact craters looking almost like a smoldering Mickey Mouse head. Since they were out in the middle of nowhere, Tara figured that there was probably a one percent chance - at best - that someone had been hurt by the landing. Unless there had been a tent that the landing had disintegrated or something? In which case there really wasn't anything she could do. Tara was about to return to the truck stop when something caught her eye and she turned back to face the crater. The lumps at the bottom of each crater that she had assumed were the meteors were a bit too shiny to be any sort of rock she was familiar with, she realized. And all three were moving.
Inching her way closer, Tara could pick out what looked like gears, chains, and all kinds of other mechanical-like parts that meteors shouldn't have, unless her high school science teacher had been horribly misinformed. Thoughts of home and backwards, out-of-date school textbooks fell from her mind as she watched the roundish lumps of metal unfold and rise from the ground, each turning into what looked like a robot. Each was also at least three times as tall as she was. Suddenly, her decision to come investigate was starting to seem like a very bad idea. Backing away slowly, Tara kept her attention firmly fixed on the trio of robots as she retreated. She was going to go back to the truck stop, get back on her bus, go to sleep, and when she woke up in California in the morning, she would pretend this had never happened…
"Halt!" Or maybe not. Tara came to an abrupt stop as one of the robots pointed a great big honking gun at her. "I am damaged. I require your assistance to become fully functional." After a moment, one of the robot's companions nudged the gun-toting robot and it sighed, lowering its weapon a bit. "I require your assistance… please."
The robot took a step towards her and Tara's eyes widened. Wow. The robot wasn't just tall. It was really, really tall. And… it wasn't trying to kill her. It wanted her help. Or was this one of those 'swim halfway across the river before the scorpion stings her' sort of things? She'd fix it and then it'd kill her? Plus… "I-I-I don't know anything about r-robots. How can I h-h-help you?"
Taking another step closer, the robot dropped to one knee and leaned over Tara, chest opening to reveal a mess of very high tech components that didn't look at all familiar to Tara. "The impact of my landing has jarred loose a wireless transmitter that I require to access your planet's data infrastructure so. Without that link, I cannot remotely download information about an acceptable form to take and will have to risk approaching a populated area. While the hands of my companions and I are too large to reach in and reconnect it, yours should be small enough to be sufficient for the task."
"Oh. Kay." Tara leaned in closer and looked around, but nothing screamed 'transmitter' to her. To be honest, nothing looked out of place at all to her, but then again she hadn't seen the inside of a fully functional alien robot before to compare this one to. "Y-you can give me d-d-directions, right?"
"Yes." There was a soft whoosh and Tara looked over to find a glowing, translucent blue representation of the same parts she was looking at. Hologram. Cool. One part in particular went red and blinked a few times. "This is what you are looking for. I do not know how far it has deviated from the required socket, only that it is not in place."
Tara took a moment to memorize what she was looking at, and then got to work.
In the end, her smaller hands had been 'sufficient' but the job had required her to remove half a dozen other parts to reach the runaway transmitter, reinstall the parts she'd had to remove to track down said renegade transmitter, and then reinsert the transmitter into its socket. Which, Tara discovered after checking her watch, had taken her almost half an hour. Considering her bus had been about twenty minutes from leaving when she'd set out and she guessed it had been a five to ten minute walk from the bus to here and therefore it would take just as long to get back to the truck stop… she was in trouble.
At least the robot… Chromia, as the being had instructed Tara to call her, seemed happier with her situation now. Her situation. Tara didn't know why, but Chromia and her companions Arcee and Moonracer all had feminine tinges to their synthesized voices. Which was odd. Why did alien robots need genders? They were sitting in a circle a few feet away from Tara, projecting a rapid-fire stream of holograms that seemed to include every make and model of car, truck, and SUV currently roaming America's highways. "So many choices, so little time…"
"Um, C-Chromia?" The robot looked down and Tara blushed, even though she'd invited the attention. "When you do pick something out, can you maybe g-g-give me a ride? The bus left while I was helping you, and now I'm s-stranded."
There was a pause as Chromia appeared to consider that. "You sacrificed your own plans and source of conveyance to help me. That was most considerate of you, given that you do not know me. Where are you headed?"
Hope bloomed. Did this mean Chromia was considering it? "California. A town called Sunnydale."
"We are tracking a being who is currently in…" Chromia trailed off, head slowly turning back and forth. "…Nevada, I believe you call it? If you do not mind us stopping in Nevada to accomplish our mission first, one of us can then continue on to this 'Sunnydale' with you after." Turning back to the glowing figures, she gestured at the flickering holograms. "Although first we must select appropriate vehicle modes and download the necessary information."
One particular image flashed past and Tara perked up. Oh! Her dream car! If they were looking for disguises, maybe she could get a chance to test drive it by talking one of them into taking it as their vehicle form? "Wait! Arcee! Can you b-back up? The Prius." All three came to a halt before the smallest of the three - who was still easily twice Tara's height and then some - shifted her holographic display to show the car in question. Tara nodded. "Would you mind becoming that?"
Arcee looked over at Chromia, who just shrugged before nodding. Arcee gave a full body shudder and suddenly her body began to let out clanks and whirs as gears and strange, nameless parts began to move. Tara instinctively jumped to her feet and backed up, watching as the fifteen foot tall - fourteen feet, eight and four tenths inches to be precise, at least according to Arcee - robot transformed into a pink Toyota Prius. The car's engine revved a few times and then the Prius shifted back into Arcee. Her robot form was different now, Tara noticed, glossy pink panels visible here and there as signs of her newfound alternate form.
"Okay, one down, two to go." A bit more confident with one transformation under her belt, Tara turned to Moonracer. She was a bit bigger than Arcee, so either a full-sized car or maybe a crossover. Hmm. Well, they already had one hybrid. Why not two? "Moonracer? Why don't you look up the Highlander Hybrid?"
Tilting her head to one side, Moonracer stared at a hologram of a Toyota Highlander. "What is the significance of this 'hybrid' vehicle you have asked me to become? Arcee's vehicle mode is described similarly."
"It's eco-friendly. There's an engine and a battery instead of just an engine which makes it better for the environment, and… that probably doesn't matter because you're an alien robot and I bet you don't burn gas when you drive, do you?" Moonracer and Arcee shook their heads and Tara sighed, looking up at the starry night sky. Right. Stupid her. What were the odds they had gas stations in space or something for alien robots that became cars to fill up at? "O-oh. Well then you can b-b-become a regular Highlander or a Hummer or a tank or… whatever."
Moonracer went back to staring at the Highlander for a moment before nodding decisively and transforming into a silver version of the vehicle. "Actually, I rather like this form. Thank you for your assistance."
Looking over at Chromia, Tara discovered the third member of the trio was in the process of transforming into a large black truck. Well, two out of three as hybrids wasn't bad. Even if they didn't actually burn gas and so their hybridness or lack thereof was a moot point. "Now we just need to find the nearest road and begin our trek to Tranquility, Nevada. During the journey, we can connect to the Internet again and begin synthesizing personalities more suitable for interaction with humans."
Returning to robot form, Chromia led the way as the quartet bean to hike back through the forest towards civilization, forcing Tara to jog at a steady pace to keep up with the robots' long strides. What seemed like a casual brush against one tree sent it toppling to the ground, the vibrations racing up Tara's legs and nearly making her fall on her butt.
Oh yeah. Her new friends were real eco-friendly. So much for saving trees.