Optimus Prime sat his errant children of Primus down in the woods. The night air was, by human standards, cool and pleasant.
The war was over; at least, it was for these proud warriors. Many had sacrificed themselves so that the others could live on. The thought did not hang over them lightly. Each Dairycon warrior remembered those that fell in that climactic last battle; they vowed never to forget them. By living, they honored the ideals of those who had gone before them.
Over a mug of hot energon and a crackling fire, Optimus tells them the following story...
"Everyone, gather round and let me tell you a tale.... about drinking, time travel, and the power of friendship. This is the story of 2 Cybertonians, TB-1 and UWB... whom you affectionately know as Uncle Whiskey Breath and ToiletBot..."
"It all began at maccadam's. a BAR OUTSIDE OF SPACE AND TIME. A nexus linking all realities...
We see TB-1 and UWB drinking.
(Their true Cybertonain names being unpronouncable in the language of the humans, they have been translated as close as possible. Thank Primus most of these large alien robots like to take on recognisable names - Language Larry)
UWB gets whiskey, TB-1 gets a slug of Nucleon.
TB: "What's this?"
Bartender: "Oh,it's great, it'll make you feel strong and alive. Some old Dynobot brought it in."
TB-1: "Oh... ok. (drinks)
UWB: "So, what's your mission profile this time?"
TB-1: "Well," (looks around conspiritorically; not seeing anyone immediately observing them, he continues) "I have to get this tape (shows him a small cassette) to Convoy. Something about getting it inserted into the correct timeline or somesuch."
UWB: (looks at the tiny item) "Is that who I think it is?"
UWB: "How did you get it?"
TB-1: "Hey, I'm not just another pretty face... so, you wanna come along?"
UWB: "Do I! I'm tired of cooling my heels here. Barkeep! A few more for the road..."
UWB takes a few more shots of whiskey. TB-1 takes another few shots of the strange liquid poured in-front of him. After drinks, they get up to leave... a bit unsteady, as it happens. They don't notice the barkeep nod to a dark figure in the back of the bar...
Exiting hyperspace, UWB and TB-1 enter orbit around a small blue planet. UWB exits the cockpit of his sleek turbojet, which transforms into his partner UWB. In robot mode, they hover, taking scans of the area.
UWB: "This appears to be the place."
TB-1: "But according to the data, we're early."
UWB: "Not to worry. It's a nice view; I don't mind hovering here until events catch up."
TB-1: "So run this past me again."
UWB: "Basically, we're to replace the cassette Skids is carrying with this one. It has additional information on it that will allow events to unfold properly in our timeline. Once we do that, we have to hightail it out of here; the entire Decepticon army will be right behind him, and I don't want to be around when that happens."
TB-1 agreed. He removed a small polishing rag from his compartment and bgan to shine his chassis. The accumulated dust from spacial travel threatened to hide his perfect shine, and he wasn't about to let that happen.
UWB: "Always shining yourself. I swear, you're worse than Sunstreaker."
TB-1: "Hey, it's like I always say, a clean 'bot is a happy 'bot."
UWB didn't get a chance to respond. For out of the distance another ship exited hyperspace and transformed. The green and gold sheen were unfamiliar to the two heroes, as was the chassis design. It had the look of an advanced Seeker jet, but the markings were off...as was the symbol.
TB-1: "What the hell?"
There was no answer from the newcomer; he merely deployed a blaster from his arm and fired. The shot hit TB-1 directly in the chest; sparks shot out from the entry point just as energon began streaming from the back, turning quickly to icy crystals in the cold of space.
There was no sound; in space, they say no one can hear you scream. But the look of shock on TB-1's face spoke volumes, as did the sudden squak of static over the inter-autobot radio.
UWB: "TB !!!"
TB-1 couldn't respond; it took everything he had just to stay online. Holding the polishing rag to his chest, he attempted to stem the flow of precious lifeblood into space. The shot had been abnormally powerful; no Decepticon should have been able to generate such a devastating single shot. Cracks formed around TB-1's back as he began to lose orbit. His orbit had been stable initially, but the shot had carried him lower into the blue planet's atmosphere, where gravity had gotten ahold of him.
An idea; TB-1 figured he could risk transforming back into turbojet mode and angle his approach. Theoretically, he should have enough energon to jump clear of the planet's atmosphere once he righted himself. Stuffing the rag into his wound, he willed himself to transform.
He remained in robot mode.
Gravity pulled harder on him, as his backside, in addition to cracking, began to glow red from the friction. Tough as his cybertonian alloy was, it wasn't tough enough to survive planetfall.
Not while stuck in robot mode.
UWB watched helplessly as TB-1 struggled in the planet's grip. He radioed him, with no response. He was dumbfounded as his friend flexed and flailed as gravity drew him in further. Why didn't he transform and escape? Was he that badly damaged? From only one shot?
He made a move to assist his friend, when the stranger appeared in-front of him. A transmission came across UWB's fieldline:
The Leader: "Never mind about your friend. You have bigger problems to worry about. Namely, me. Now hand over the cassette."
UWB didn't answer; he merely narrowed his eyes, unslung his cryo shotgun, and fired at point blank range.
The Leader dodged the shot.
The Leader: "Now, now, that won't do. You have a choice to make; give me the cassette and I'll leave. Or fight me, and your friend dies. And I get the tape anyway. It's your choice, really."
UWB snarled. His friend was too-important to lose. Yet Convoy had trusted him with this mission. It was of the utmost importance. And here was this small figure buzzing around him, threatening the mission...
UWB transformed into his assualt cruiser mode. Though useless in space, it did sport one very important thing:
His heavy armaments.
UWB fired a rapid series of blasts, calculated to hit every concievable escape angle the enemy could use.
What he hadn't counted on, however, was the enemy choosing *not* to escape.
The Leader: "Dear me. You did the same thing last time. I took quite a bit of damage from you and your friend. Do you think I wouldn't have worked it out?"
At this, UWB finally answered him: "What do you mean, 'the last time'? I've never seen you before. Who are you? And why are you attacking us?!"
The Leader: "Sorry, not for me to tell. You and your friend there play a very vital role in my plans one day, and I can't very well have you messing it up." With that, the Leader snatched the cassette, and fired again.
UWB went into stasis lock.
TO BE CONTINUED!