Beast Hunters - Casualties of War

written by Hound99

Deep within the fortress/ship Astroplex, two Maximals are in deep discussion. One, the immense Alpha Hound, towers over his 2nd officer, Prowl. The two have chosen to meet in the Autobot Council Hall, a large chamber, once used for Autobot briefings, now the command room of the ship's leader, Alpha Hound.

"I'm not comfortable with this, Hound..."

"I understand, my friend, your namesake would not be happy either. But we have little choice, with our opening offensive stalled against Bludgeon's forces, we need to find out."

"Still...don't you realize the danger to our bots by sending them near it, the Predacon activity near there is very heavy."

A long silence followed.

"...Of course I know the hazards, but these bots knew what they were getting into when they signed up."

"But they didn't sign up for this, this is-"

"ENOUGH!!...enough, old friend, the island will be scouted, hopefully by one of our flying units, maybe Eclipse. If not, then a recon patrol must go, for to leave Bludgeon to his schemes is to invite our dooms upon us."

"Very well, Alpha, I suppose there is logic to your action."

Smiling, the Maximal leader replied, "Of course there is, otherwise, you would never back down."

------

Deep within the misty moors, Whisper moves stealthily thru the broken rock and scrub brush. It was impossible to see if anything was going on here.

"What are you thinking, my friend?" asked the gigantic Squall, the bear/eagle, as he huffed over to her.

"Ah, I'm just frustrated, it wasn't supposed to happen this way."

"What do you mean?"

"The war, the rescue, I thought it would be a lot smoother than this! I hate all this fighting, I did a little on Cybertron but that was just an occasional brawl, this is really different."

"Ah, the best of plans often go awry. It happens to all of us."

Whisper looked guiltily at her companion, "I'm sorry, Squall, I forgot about your brother, Scoop, I did-"

"Bah, I do not wish to speak of that, but there is no reason for apology. As I said, things happen, you have to deal with it."

"I just wish Goldmane were here, it would make it easier..."

"Hmmm...Alpha Hound sent him to the laser relay station with Sonar and a few others, right?"

"Yes, I wonder why, he knew we were together and yet he separated us!?"

"Our leader seems to try and keep all the couples separated, thinks they distract each other on duty, I believe he will do it to Skysaber and Eclipse too."

"But why?"

"Don't know, but a rumor says he lost his love on a mission once."

"Oh..."

The two friends continued to make their way thru the fog-shrouded hills.

------

The two missed the flying form that flew above them in the mists. With a slight buzzing, Savage, the beetle/tortoise flew back to the east of the Maximals. Landing his bulky form in a copse of trees, he waited for his companions. Razorclaw, a crab and Flashfire, a salamander, moved from the shadowed foliage.

"Your report, Savage, now, "said the massive crab.

"Uh...I heard...two Maximals talking in the fog over there." The fusor pointed with his snout.

"You heard them, you didn't check for more?! By the Forge, you're a fool!

And what does that head bob mean?"

"You-you better shut up or I'll-"

"You'll what, sit on me? Ha!"

"Shut up mates, both of you," said the fiery Flashfire, "the Fires beg me to unleash them. Let us make haste from these dank hills so that the Maximals will feed my flames."

Although leader, Razorclaw eyed the pyromaniac and decided to let his outburst slip. That one, he didn't need to have as an enemy. The three set off in a western direction.

------

"Well, Squall, we've done a sweep of this entire area and we haven't seen a thing."

"Hmmph, I think you just trying to get back to a CR bath."

She allowed herself to grin slightly. "Perhaps, but it has more to do with my olfactory sensors picking up your wet and smelly hide."

"Heh heh, very good, little one. Mentally sparring with you is always a challenge." The two chuckled together.

"Umm...Squall, can I ask you a question?"

"Yes, little one, go ahead."

"You were forged as a fusor, was it difficult for you to adjust to it?"

"No...I never knew any other form, in fact, I'm quite comfortable with it.

Why, are you having trouble?"

"Well, I'm just having difficulty dealing with my new body and some abilities."

"Ah, your sonar abilities?"

"How did you know-?"

"I know a thing or two of these Terran creatures., It was an educated guess."

"It's like the another sense and it confuses me sometimes, I-"

"What's wrong?"

"Something's coming, a few things, but I can't tell where they-ahhh!"

The two dove for cover as a barrage of gunfire erupted around them. Howling from the mists came the Preds, Razorclaw and Flashfire running, as Savage buzzed by above.

Wincing at her slight shoulder wound, Whisper returned fire with her handgun. The slight flash to her side told her Squall was using his eye lasers.

As Savage flew by them firing his rocket launcher, Squall hunched down and propelled himself with legs and wings onto the beetle/tortoise's back.

"Squall, wait, what are you...?" Whisper tried to shout over the battle-noise. She was suddenly blinded by a burst of light, her infra-red vision overwhelmed. Make that fire, she thought as she saw the insane Flashfire ignite his weapon. Surprisingly, not at her but at the two struggling fliers.

"Aaaauughh!" They both screamed in unison as the flames caught them.

"The Fire calls you! Feed the Fire!," screamed the salamander.

"Flashfire, what the slag are you doing?," everyone yelled.

Squall, realizing his position, timed his jump off but not before shredding Savage's wing with his claws. The still-screaming Pred disappeared into the mists, and moments later a ‘boom' shook the area. Squall's fall brought him feet first down upon the Fiery Maniac, crunching him into the ground. Flashfire's last words were a groan as he slid into stasis lock. Whisper was suddenly hit by one of Razorclaw's shots, spinning her around. Crying out in pain, she saw the smirking Pred advance on her, thinking her down.

"Oh, slag!" She thought as she brought out her paralysis cord. Diving from behind her cover, she threw the cord at him. Seeing her actions too late, he still managed to block it with his claw-shield, losing all function in his arm. Regardless, he brought his double gun arm-claw around to hit her twice. Screaming in pain, Whisper collapsed from the damage to her legs.

"Hah-ha, well, I guess I'll get to skin a cat for me-self!"

Steeling herself against the pain, she brought out one of her electro-magnetic grenades, it would send the Pred into complete shut-down. Approaching more carefully this time, Razorclaw could still only look as the grenade, already activating, flew towards him. Suddenly, waves of pain shot thru him and then he felt nothing. The world went black.

With a sob of relief, Whisper watched as the crab fell over the moor's edge they were on. Moments later, she felt confusion as a spark-shattering scream and an explosion shook the land.

Changing into beast mode, she limped over to the edge. A blackened spike of rock, with Razorclaw's few remains speared thru, jutted from the ground.

Her confusion changed to horror.

"No...I didn't...that wasn't..." Silently, she cried to herself, what had happened? She felt a hand upon her shoulder. Looking around she saw Squall in his burnt robot form.

"Come, little one, we must leave, it's still dangerous."

"But Squall...I didn't..he wasn't supposed...I ca-..."

"I'm sorry, Whisp, nothing can be done."

Changing into beast mode, the bear/eagle turned and walked away. "Welcome to the Beast Wars, my friend."

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