This was bad, this was bad! Three human youths pound their feet as the run through a nightmarish landscape that was, perhaps once upon a time, their home of Jasper, Nevada. They weren't sure as to how they got here, something must have caused the ground bridge to become unstable. Suddenly the lone female of the group darts behind some rubble, then grabs and pull the tallest male, who in turn grabs their youngest member. At last, a chance to catch their breathe and clear their lungs of smoke. They cough heavily then breathe through either sleeves or collars.
“W-where are we?” Rafael whimpers in fear.
Miko answers sarcastically, “Jasper, Nevada. Welcome to Hell on Earth! Enjoy your stay.”
“Miko!” Jack snarls at her looking out from their hiding place. This was wrong, this wasn't the Jasper they knew. Raf's idea of going to a different dimensional seems more logical by the second, more so after crossing what they thought was a Decepticon, but its eyes were blue, not red.
They can't run forever. Humans by nature had large brains, time to use them to figure out this mess. Another explosion, guess they would have to think on the run! The trio climbs up the rubble pile and slides down the other side, starting their sprint once more. But not full speed, keep a steady pace, endurance was needed more importantly then speed. Speed they could use when danger was close by. How had all this happened? Rafael stares straight ahead following after his faster friends trying to put two and two together.
~One hour earlier ~
A Saturday like any other. Spring Break had started and Jasper was soon to become a ghost town as many left for vacation. But not Jack, Miko, and Rafael, nothing offered by normal vacation standards could best spending a week at a secret base of giant alien robots. As far as Miko's host family, and Rafael's parents knew, a school event had been arranged for Spring Break that the trio would be attending. With June as a 'volunteer chaperon' they agree to the matter. The children would be on a safe educational trip for a week to learn of the native wildlife and how life was before technology.
Bumblebee celebrated the idea if it meant more time with Rafael, the young scout considered the him like a little brother. Bulkhead jumped at the idea, now him and Miko could have a blast just like any best friends would during a week long holiday. Arcee had no arguments to to idea, her and Jack could use to time to prefect her performance as well as give Jack adrenaline pumping entertainment that any teenager desired. Optimus Prime was unsure of the idea, concern for their safety, one false move and the humans would be squished. But, the idea of them recharging in the higher areas of the base and agreeing to not be under foot soothed the leader into allowing the idea. Ratchet was the lone bot to despise such an idea. The humans were bad enough on the weekends, but now to have to listen to their mindless chatter and harsh noises for a week! The medic groans at the idea but was severally outnumbered. He begrudgingly agrees, if nothing else, perhaps young Rafael could be of some aide with this horrid human technology.
But of course, the Decepticons remain ever present as the secret war rages on. It would appear they were getting an early start, and already the Autobots were getting called to battle. Miko saw it as a perfect way to start the vacation. After making sure Ratchet wasn't looking, she darts for the bridge. Jack calls after and races to catch her. Raf looks up and runs after Jack trying to stop the oldest youth from running through, you would think Miko would learn by now such activities were dangerous.
At the other end, Bulkhead is the last to hop out but the ground bridge does not fizzle as normal behind him. With the humans still inside, it stays lit as Ratchet reaches towards the lever to close it. But suddenly, the ground bridge begins to shake and warp tossing the three humans within. A warning beeps on the screen catching his attention, “What the... electro magnetic interference? What could be causing th-” he cuts himself off turning to see the humans gone. His mind suddenly clicks, “A solar flare? No! Ratchet to Optimus! Anyone! Look behind you! Are the children inside the bridge?”
Bulkhead turns and sees the kids struggling to keep balance inside the ethereal tunnel, “What are you doing! Go back!”
“No!” Ratchet cries, “Get them out of a there! A solar flare is intervening with it! Get them out! Now!”
“Bulkhead!” Miko calls out in fright.
“Miko!” Bulkhead reaches towards the ground bridge to grab them as the trio dashes towards the large hand.
But both parties are to slow. The blue and green swirl suddenly changes to yellow, then orange, and finally takes on a reddish hue. The bridge collapses in on itself with the humans still inside. Out both ends is shot a hot blast of air, strong enough to knock Bulkhead back and to his hind side with a hiss from the heat. On the other side, the air whips out and knocks Ratchet into the computer causing it and him to the fizzle for a few minutes.
Bulkhead looks up in shock, “Miko!”
“Jack!” Arcee calls out.
Bumblebee let's out a worried beep.
Optimus stares in shock, “No! Ratchet! Get a fix on the humans!”
Ratchet struggles back up, the hot blast nearly crippling the old medic, as he begins to frantically search for them, “Come on come on.”
“Ratchet!” Optimus calls again almost angry, his voice holding urgency.
“By the All Spark....” Ratchet answers, “I... I'm sorry. I can't detect them. They've seemed to have disappeared from the very planet.”
“No!” Optimus cries out, no humans were suppose to be harmed, much less killed!
But they lived. As for where they were, neither had a clue. It looked like Jasper, but also like a nuke had been dropped on it. Jack, Miko, and Rafael push themselves up, skin singed by the looks of a sunburn, what a trip. “Way to go Miko,” Raf comments.
“Hey, you didn't have to follow me, pipsqueak,” Miko points out.
“Not now guys,” Jack speaks pulling out his phone and trying to call his partner, “Arcee! Arcee, can you hear me?” His signal seemed clear, a blessing in itself.
But the voice that answered wasn't the Arcee he knew, “How did you get this com link?”
“Arcee?” Jack questions looking at the phone, “Is that you?”
“Who is this!” the female voice hisses.
Jack cocks an eyebrow, “Th-this isn't a time for games! Look, I'm sorry we went through the bridge. But, can you and the others come get us. I'm not sure were we are. Jasper, I think. Or what used to be it.”
The voice sneers again, “You got some nerve human, I'll enjoy ending your life.” And with that the line goes dead.
Jack stares at the phone in shock, “Whoa... she's mad.”
“Great...” Raf groans.
Miko growls, “Another lecture from Optimus. Fantastic!”
“Guys, she threaten to end by life,” Jack points out.
Miko looks at him in disbelief, “Did you get the wrong number?”
Suddenly a shot rings above their heads crumpling what was left of a building. They look to their attacker finding... Arcee? No, it couldn't be. This Arcee... her optics were red! Her colors were darker, a more silverly blue, and red instead of pink accents, “Hello, human. Needed a lift?” Her voice drips with venom, bearing a dark reminder to that of Arachnid.
The humans back away from the killer two wheeler as she makes a slow approach, “Have you chosen to turn yourselves over as our slaves?”
“Slaves! Arcee! You're an Autobot! What happened to you!” Jack demanded looking at this rouge.
“Oh, nothing, just taking over you planet, piece by pathetic piece,” with a dark laugh she reaches down to them as they scramble up against the rubble. This was wrong, did they land in an alternate reality? Why was Arcee behaving like a Decepticon!
A battle cry came above them, something purple and white leaps from behind the rubble and tackles this fake Arcee away. Webbing flies and ties down the Autobot, the white figure stands on eight legs and looks under her self to the humans, “Run you fools!”
“Spider bot!” Miko cries out, indeed it did look like Arachnid, but different, first her color, and her optics, they were a brighter purple, full of concern for them, not hate. But the sight of a familiar foe was enough to get their legs moving and off the trio runs as the red eyed Arcee frees herself and launches at the white spider.
Keeping together, the trio runs through the ruins, first thinking to head towards the Autobot base. That idea quickly changed seeing a dark formidable tower standing in it's place, a purple Autobot symbol was illuminated bright on one side. This was wrong, they must be going mad! What was going on! What was happening? A Decepticon had just saved them from an Autobot, and Autobot that tried to kill them, tried to enslave them!
More shot fire around them, seems they had ran into a battle field. No time to think, no time to plan, only time to run. Something flies in front of them for a moment halting their run. It was Starscream! But, bearing a Decepticon insignia that was colored red. His colors were brighter, no longer that dull silver but more vibrant, like he stood for the shining hope of the future, not dark destruction. They catch a look at his optics, burning a brilliant blue. Whatever blast rocketed him towards them left a mark on one shoulder, but the energon that leaked out was pink, not blue. The Decepticon appears to not have seen them, he jumps back up and launches several missiles fleeing back into the fray, “Come here Autoscum!” Nice to hear his insults were the same. So far that was the only thing that was familiar.
A clear path, they run ahead, looking around perplexed and scared, Rafael at one point swearing he saw Bumblebee, but his colors were inverted, and the scouts optics glowed red like Arcee's had.
Raf wasn't sure how much longer he could run, his small body was built for technological work, not long distance running. He began to slow down out of breathe, “Guys! Guys wait!”
Jack slides to a halt retreating to grab Rafael and pull him forward, “Come on! We have to keep running Raf!”
“I can't!” the blond headed boy protest.
Miko rebuttals, “The red eyed 'Bots are going to catch up! Or the blue eyed 'Cons will see us! Come on!”
“Well, well,” a familiar deep voice rings from above, “Look what I found.”
They look up, it was Bulkhead, but his optics to were now a sinister red, the army green now a toxic looking shade. Wrecking ball raised he chuckles, “How squishy are you three?”
“Bulk...” Miko looks up in disbelief, “Bulk! No! It's me! Miko!” tears begin to run down her face.
“That's not our Bulkhead!” Jack points out. He looks around but they were trapped by the towering Autobot.
With a battle cry, he swings the wrecking ball, the humans brace for impact. Another cry is heard followed by the sound of metal hitting metal. They hadn't been squashed. Miko looks up, is was Breakdown who rescued them now! Breakdown's colors were changed from blue to red, his face yellow and the optic they briefly saw closer to orange, the gray however remained to same
“Whoa....” was all Miko could manage.
“Leave the humans alone!” Breakdown snarls knocking the wrecking ball away and hammering into Bulkhead, “Get out of here you three!”
No time to ask questions. The trio of human youths take off again new energy found after seeing Bulkhead nearly squash them on purpose. They make it out of the city and into the open desert hearing the battle wage on behind them. It seems Jasper had been lost to the Cybertron Civil War. The rest of the planet surely knows by now. Not sure where to go, but unable to stay, they head off at a slower pace, Jack thinking of a stream he and Arcee had located. They couldn't call for back up, that risk them getting harm. Arcee, Bumblebee, and Bulkhead were now their enemies. Did that make all Autobots the bane of mankind now? Then... that would mean the Decepticons are the good guys!
Jack groans at the thought, “Bot are bad and Cons are good. What are we going to do? We are so dead.”
“Have to agree with ya there, Darby,” Miko replies.
Raf whimpers still trailing behind them, “Its like we are in a mirror universe. We some how shattered the glass and got to this side.”
“I hope we can re-shatter it and get back,” Jack notes.
They hear an aircraft above but out in the wide open there was no where to hide. Was it Megatron? And if so, was he now a good guy? Whoever it was, drops from the sky, its armor a deep black with dark red markings hinted with gold. The being towers over them at least two maybe three stories tall. They screech to a halt and look up at the alien.
It finally speaks, making a cold chill run down their spines, “Well, well, look who I found.” The figure turns around revealing himself to be none other then... Optimus Prime. Normally this would make them jump for joy but not this time, this time, he was the last being they wanted to cross paths with. He resembles the harbinger of death cast in a Cybertron form, optics a horrid terrifying shade of red. He draws his weapon and aims it at the humans, “Only time I will ask you this, join as my slaves, or perish.
The humans step back and topple to their rears. There would be no running from this, no where to hide. They were far from the battle, no mirror verse Decepticon to save them this time. They look at the powerful leader of the Autobots in pure fear. Pulses racing, breathes grow short, tears begin to roll down their cheeks. This was the end of their short lives. Never again would they see their families, never again would they see the Autobots they once knew and loved. Miko and Raf huddle behind Jack, who bravely shields them. But it would be no good, one shot would destroy them in a matter of seconds.
The dark Optimus narrows his eyes, “Then per-”
Another familiar, this one causes the humans' stomachs to sink even lower and their hearts catch in their throats. Both parties look to the west. Optimus's jaw is greeted with a swift punch from Megatron himself. The Decepticon leader doesn't let up and continues to pound the dark Prime with various kicks and punches knocking him away from the humans.
The dueling titans then draw their swords and clash against each other, “Optimus! Have you not caused enough damage already!” Megatron snarls, “Already have you plunged Cybertron into darkness, poisoning her by take that which does not belong to you! You are now so low as to attack children!”
“Spare me Megatron,” Optimus snarls, “You, a gladiator, have no business becoming a Prime. What was the council thinking, those blind fools.”
“The council is dead!” Megatron spits back, “Do you intend on darkening the entire Universe! Enough of your madness! Stop this! Now!”
“And let you, and your foolish ideas come to fruition,” Optimus scoffs, “I rather Cybertron dead then to continue as it was, under your guidance.”
Megatron grunts and looks to the startled humans, “Then I at least ask, leave the humans out of this! They have no part in our fighting!”
Optimus laughs, “Oh but they do. Purely by being on a planet where so much was stowed away. They are in my way, no better then scraplets these fleshly pests!”
Rafael gapes at the scene in awe as the titans engage their shoving match, “Are... is Megatron saving us!”
“I think so,” Jack answers.
Miko swallows, “Weirdest, Spring Break, ever.”
Suddenly a portal appears, a heavily scratched and dirty blue sports car speeds through, followed by a bulky green flier. The sports car calls out, “Megatron! Jasper is lost! We have to get out of here! Hurry!”
“Knockout! Get the humans!” the blue eyed leader calls out.
Knockout pauses then spies the humans, “Scrap....” None the less he races forward causing them to jump to their feet as he whips around, “Hop in you three!” The medic orders swinging open his doors. No longer pristine, he chassis was covered by marks of war aplenty.
“Are we seriously siding with the Cons?” Miko questions.
“We are seriously siding with the Cons,” Jack answers nearly pushing them into the sport car before jumping in behind them.
“Dreadwing!” Knockout calls heading back to the bridge, “Cover me!”
“No!” Optimus snarls breaking free from Megatron only to meet a barrage from Dreadwing's canon. Megatron hurries away from the fight turning and firing at his rival motioning for Dreadwing to retreat as Knockout races back through, then following after them. “Soft spark cowards!” Optimus cries out leaping at the portal, but it vanishes before he makes contact. Clenching one fist, Optimus Prime snarls, "Autobots to me. Send the drones and put our new slaves to use finishing my fortress of power on this world.
At lastlong, they could catch their breathe. Hours it feel liek they ran, legs burning from over use, lungs stinging from the hot air filled with shrapnel and smoke. They cough into their clothes once more fully aware of who they were getting a lift from. But... if these was truly a mirror universe to their own, they should be safe.... right?
“Are you three okay?” Knockout suddenly asks slowly riding through the Decepticon base back to the main bridge.
Miko and Rafael freeze to frighten to answer. Jack, being in the passenger seat stutters, “Ye-eah....Are... is your name... Knockout?”
“It is,” the car answer calmly.
Jack continues, “A-A Decepticon, m-medic. Correct.”
Knockout suddenly stops jolting his passengers, “How did.... we've never met! How did you know that!”
“Long story,” Jack answers and Knockout continues through the base, “But... this is Earth. Right?”
“Are you sure you are okay, human?” Knockout questions, “Where else can you locate your species? You seemed surprised, and well... we are aliens. There is no need to fear us Decepticons. It is the Autobots you should worry about. As you saw. You are lucky to have survived an encounter with their leader.”
“Optimus Prime,” Jack comments.
“A false Prime at that!” Knockout snarls, “But... no, it would be best for Megatron to explain.” The doors suddenly swing open as he halts. The humans look out seeing several familiar, and what they recall, unfriendly forms. Thus they refuse to move, instead scooting further inside.
“It's okay,” Knockout gently nudges them with his seat belts, “We don't hurt humans. Come on.” His tone was comforting, another in a long list of oddities this world gave them. The humans trade and look, Jack nods and steps out first, the other two following. They step in front of the sporty car regrouping into a tight huddle. Knockout transforms without warning standing back up causing the humans to dart from him.
Miko suddenly halts causing Jack to run into her, Raf content to stay hidden between them, thankful he was roughly half their size. They look up locking gazes with Megatron. The silver tyrant was no more, instead of a dark take, his armor was light, his bright blue optics hold hope for the future, not hate towards all he saw.The scars they recalled on his face were gone save one, running down the inside curve near his right optic. He easily outmatched the other Cons in size, the group of humans slowly turn their heads. Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Knockout, Breakdown, Arachnid, Dreadwing, and even a small number of Vechicons standing outside the circle.
The sound of gears churning, Miko and Raf look back ahead and yelp running into and around Jack and getting behind him. Megatron stops his reach towards them retracting his clawed hand then turns it to offer his palm, getting down on one knee, “Do not be afraid, young humans. Are you alright?” Jack turns and look up at him along with the other two humans, an eerie resemblance to how they first met Optimus came to mind. Megatron tilts his head and gives them a soft smile, his expression softening towards the small organics, “I suppose I owe you an explanation. My name is Megatron.” he gestures to those standing around him, “and these are my loyal Decepticons. Do not let our title frighten you. It was a name given to us by the False Prime to strike fear into others. If our means to restore Cybertron are Deceptive in their eyes, then we gladly wear our name. Those who attempted harm to you, are called Autobots. Their leader, the one I was fighting is called-”
“Optimus Prime,” Jack interrupts.
Megatron gets taken back, “You know him?”
Jack shakes his head, “Yes and no. We know his name, and actually all of yours as well.” The humans turns one by one pointing and correctly naming those present, “And.. if this world is what I think it is, it is because of Optimus and the Autobots that Cybertron went dark. And you, Megatron, you were to be the next Prime, but... correct me if I'm wrong, Optimus took it from you and ran. His hate poisoned Cybertron. He named you Decepticons to strike fear into others. But instead you are fighting to revive Cybertron, to make it better then it once was.”
Starscream speaks, “How do you know that...”
“And us!” Breakdown points out.
“W-would you believe us if we told you,” Rafael shyly questions, fearful of the titans surrounding them.
Megatron answers, “We have no reason not to believe you. You have been correct so far, somehow.”
Jack sighs, “Okay... how to explain.”
“Short version,” Miko chimes in, “Where we are from, you are the bad guys and the Autobots are the good guys.”
“And the long version?” Arachnid asks.
Miko breathes deeply, “We befriended the Autobots helped them fight against you guys, Megatron made Cybertron go dark, Optimus Prime is a real Prime and wants to relight Cybertron but doesn't want humans harmed while the Decepticons don't care who gets hurt or how many planets they destroy in Megatron's path to defeating Optimus, somehow we got sent here with no clue other then a groundbridge malfunction.” The female then pants having lost her breathe doing that.
“By the All Spark,” Megatron speaks, “Well, know you are safe here aboard my ship. In fact, this may be the safest place for you.” He takes both hands and gently scoops up the human children in his clawed hands, “But not on the floor.”
A sound of static comes from Soundwave as he points at the humans his colors having a less dramatic change, the silent informent still bore his darken palette but with shades of gold and silver instead of black and purple. His facemask however remaines as dark as ever.
“Then we must watch our step,” Megatron answers then looks back to them, “Now, what do you mean by 'your world'?”