Hook awoke with a start. He hadn't even realised he'd cycled down into a recharge mode. That in itself said something about his age these days, and reinforced the notion that his decision was the right one.
So that was it. He'd stuck to the letter of the agreement with High Command, if not the spirit. As far as they knew, he simply did what he did in order to survive, and to honor their bargain to the best of his ability. It didn't hurt that he saved the Maximal crew, and was willing to supply a nearby research base with energon for their own activities. Those activities, in Hook's opinion, were highly suspect, but as long as they left him alone, so be it.
Oh, they had tried, those Dairycons. They had tried mightily to involve the BrewMasters in their War. They'd split his team. Even went so far as to get them assigned under Electrum Beast. But Hook knew better than to serve for some random ideal. He knew better than to jeaporadize the peace he had worked so hard to find. So he endured. He endured the fuel creation, he endured Line and Kugel's irrational love of the fleshlings, he even endured the various brews he concocted for human and cybertronian alike. Although, in the latter case, enjoyed might be a better word... if Hook could ever articulate what joy was for him.
All he knew was, he'd finally found peace.
ElCowmeno supervised the loading of his comrades onto the tug. The fleshlings weren't gentle; in their hidden alt modes, the Mexicons looked like so much trash, and were treated by the dockworkers acordingly. The Mexicon Leader grimaced as they carelessly tossed another of his comrades into the cargo hold. Though it wouldn't do to reveal themselves too-soon, it was supremely difficult to keep quiet. How would the humans feel, ElCowmeno wondered, if he tossed them around like that.
Mercifully, the last was loaded. He was driven onto the deck of the ship, and secured. It would be a long trip, on rough seas, and on a primitive human vessel to boot. But it was worth it. Soon, they would be home.
Next stop: Mexico!
"This *means* something."
The human character character heaped his starched fuel source into a lopped pyramidal configuration while the others of his clan looked on. It was obvious that this particular human was deranged, but why he was indulged instead of being hauled off for repair escaped him entirely.
Closing down the browser in his HUD, Steers mused; the documentation these fleshlings provided was phenomenal; however, he wasn't sure he could vouch for the veracity of a lot of it. He'd entered a search function into the human 'web' database that cross-referenced human reaction to extraterrestrials with this particular location, and it provided him with what he thought was a documentary. However, after viewing this 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind', Steers suspected that what he'd just witnessed of Devil's Mountain was what the humans called 'entertainment...'
Steers chose to stay in his vehicular mode. Though his arrival here was likely unseen, he did not want to take a chance. There was no sense in panicking the humans until he was sure he could introduce himself without incident.
Steers pondered; this location was, geographically, a number of mega-miles from their original proposed base. They were supposed to be somewhere in Dairyland. However, for some reason left unexplained to Steers, Prime seemed to prefer the mountains....
So a number of Dairycon seach parties were dispatched to find a new location for their base. This one seemed a bit too-trafficked for his tastes. Perhaps they could find something a bit further away from the humans.
Steers checked his navigational display. Thru his conversion to human measurment terms, he was approximately 100 miles away from something called, 'the face'. It was listed as a mountain, however, so Steers decided to check the location.
Hopefully, it would have fewer humans than this one.
"It is decided then?"
"Yes. They are aware of what happened. The report has been filed."
"So they believe themselves victorious?"
"Yes. They will not expect an attack from the same quarter."
"What'erya doin, Jack?"
"I'm waitin' for Botanica."
"See, I went to this local show to sell my cow, an' they gave me a packet of seeds. It was labeled, 'Grow your own Botanica.' So I'm waitin."
"Don't you think you should plant 'em in dirt?"
"What? And ruin their MISP status? What'erya, an idjut?"
WannaBee had always questioned Hook.
Oh, he'd read the reports. How he was pardoned at the end of the Great War; that the Decepticon reprogramming done to him by Megatron, (that even Omega Supreme wasn't able to correct), had somehow finally been undone, turning him 'Autobot' again. And that this was the reason he was trying to seek solace in solitude.
Yea, he read it. He just didn't believe it. Once a stinkin' Con, always a stinkin' Con, if you asked him.
He'd never say it to him outright, of course. Political correctness and all that.
There were times he wondered if he made the right decision, leaving with the others. He'd had the chance to stay. But the Teams had to remain balanced; three who stayed... and three who left.
He would never confide these fears to Tipsy and Poser. One was his spark-brother, and would never understand. The other seemed to drink. A lot. So he maintained his cheerful demeanor, and never let on about his uncertainty. He felt this was the mark of a good leader, such as it was.
It was not without a certain amount of dread that he was attempting this meeting. The other Dairycons had been off-planet for a time now. Disappeared right out from under them, as it were. He'd no idea where they'd gone, and not a one had yet to return.
He'd lost the signal from his doppleganger. They were in a pitched battle on another planet, and they'd lost the darn signal. He feared... no, not fear. He expected the worst.
He expected that the Dairycons had all been destroyed.
So he decided to return to the location of the only other Source of Transformer life on the planet.
He decided to return to the NorthWoods.
It was his hope that the others would know what had happened.
The Storm had come upon them rather suddenly.
ElCowmeno never thought they'd named these hurricanes properly. He'd made a study of the subject, and although the nuances escaped him, he knew some human names had more impact than others. If the goal was to scare humans into retreating form the hurricane, why did they name them something more sinister, like Hurricane Ike? Even Tina knew that when Ike came roaring in, you'd better pack your stuff and get out...
He'd hoped to commandeer a shuttle to get his people home, but no-one had answered his hail. It was unsettling; he'd mediated on the Taco of Leadership, but it provided him no answer.
It occured to him that perhaps the reason he didn't recieve an answer was that there was no-one left to answer him...
This made the mission of the Mexicons even more urgent. Their return to the Homeland would have to wait. Not only would they have to survive this storm, but they would have to find out what happened to the rest of the Dairycons...
End Part Two.
To Be Continued!