Beast Hunters - Then Like Now

written by SlipBot

"Comander Optimus, we've picked up on the Pred ship's trail."

"Excelent," the large bot standing next to the command panel replied to his comm officer. "Take us closer."

"Aye aye Big Bot," came the voice of the Navigations officer, a youthful Maximal.

"Optimus, it appears they are preparing to jump to Transwarp speed."

"Exactly as the Maximal Council had predicted they would," the towering figure, with a look of leadership honed over centuries, answered to his cheif of operations. "You may want to get our transwarp engines ready old friend." The chief nodded.

"Sir?"

"What is it officer?" Optimus said, looking over to his engineer.

"Why are we even bothering to chase this ship? We're a science vessel, not a constabulary cruiser!"

"Come on little bro," came the voice of the bot at the sensor control station. "Where's your sense of adventure, your sense of excitement?"

"I think I lost it after our drop off at Teceron 12! I still can't get the image of those worms out of my head!" The Maximal shudders at the thought.

"You didn't like that?" the other bot responded. "I couldn't stop thinking that we would never have a greater time!"

"I kept thinking we were all ganna die!"

"You would!"

The ship suddenly trembles.

"Optimus, we've been hit! The Preds have seen us."

"Aw man, now we really are ganna die!"

"We must protect the Captain! I shall hurt all opposition!" roared the bot working at the defense station.

"Another volley incoming! Take cover!"

The command deck rocked back and forth, while sparks flew off of the the consoles, as the ship took on hit after hit, of enemy fire.

On the hull of the ship, a massive explosion reverberated across the metal.

------

A massive explosion reverberated across the metal on the ship's hull.

"What's going on!" ScratchCap yelled as he raced onto the command deck of the Astroplex.

The ship was being shooken up as the sound of explosions resounded off the hull.

"Sheilds have failed on the east side of the ship," the synthetic voice of K-9 responded to the queiry of his comrade.

"What? How did that happen?"

"Oh, let me think, could it be the Preds?" yelled Wingspan sarcastically from her console. ScratchCap ignored her and turned back to the ship interface panel linked to K-9's salvaged spark and central computer.

"Statis of the ship?"

"Its holding, for now. But at the rate of their attack, the third habitation deck will be breached in just under a megacycle." the voice methodically responded.

The Rooster/Snake fuzor quickly noted to himself how much more calm and collected K-9 was now as part of the computer. Not the hyper bundle of energy he was when he had a body.

"Prowl, Squall, Stampede, Hippog, SkySaber, and Whisper are all out there fighting now. Autoguns are down. I am attempting to compensate."

"I shall join them!" he yelled racing out towards that deck's portside access lift. He grabbed an air board from next to the door. The fuzor leapt down through the lift door, placing the board under his robotic feet.

Immediaetly the jets turned on, and the plank, usually used for ship repairs, blasted off under the ship and between its many support strutters towards the east side.

Heading up a short canal in a hillside, ScratchCap found the other Maximals engaged in a firefight with a group of Preds. He took a place next to Hippog.

"Here's another hit I know you'll like ya stinkin' Preds!" the frog yelled. Scratch had never understood why he wanted to use so many odd phrases.

"Bludgeon declares you shall all be reverted to slag!" yelled the twisted Millitant from his position across the battleground.

"Ha! I bet he does!" Scratch yelled back and the Millipede/Ant. Drawing a quasio cannon he had grabbed on the way out, he began shooting off a series of high energy pulses at the opposition.

Of the first five shots, he managed to take out Circe and Architron with one of them, the rest all overshot, or undershot.

"If your going to try and help, at least aim better!" SkySaber called over to his companion.

"If you dont want the ship to be blasted apart, you'll take all the help you can get!"

Shaft, Ravager, and Savage took this oportuity to rush towards the south side of the ship, which had an easy access port to ships interior.

"Someone's got to stop those three!" Prowl yelled.

"You won't have the chance!" Siege yelled as he sprang up from the ground, shooting at the second-in-command and the several Maximals next to him.

Fire roared around the group as a mini bomb dropped by Siege explodes into a cloud of napalm, ash, and shrapnel.

----------

Loose metal, dust, and sparks flew across the cabin of the Axalon as the fight between it and the rogue Predacon ship continued.

"Sir, we're taking heavy hits all over the place!" The sensor bot informed the bridge crew.

"Can we stablize the shielding?" Optimus called back to the brother.

"Eeee, no fearless leader. We need all of the power we can to fight off the ship and power up the Transwarp engines!"

"What is the statis of the Pred ship's engines and ours?"

"We have half power," the comander's old comrade relpied. "The Pred ship is at three quarter power."

"We need to get ours to match. Divert power from the fourth and fifth lab sectors to the engines."

"Done"

The deck grows quiet for a minute while the hum of the power transfer takes place.

"We now have 83% power to the engines. The Preds are up to Ninety!"

Optimus stood in thought, as his ship shot off some more rounds at the Pred Cruiser. Pressing some buttons, he had the spherical display field project an image of their target. He highlited a spot the mid section.

"Navigator, bring us to relative position 12-9-Seti. Gunner, aim the fore cannons at this spot, and fire when in range."

"Aye sir," the yellow tinted kid at the helm replied.

"As you command, Comander. The villains shall Paaaay!"

They easily came into position, and the shot easily went off. It missed its mark, but the next two, fired in quick succession, hit dead center at the designated spot.

A shiver of energy pulsed from the damaged area, difusing part of the ships' transwarp capabilities.

"Pred ships engines down to 85.7 percent. We are up to 85.3," the Chief of Operations announced. "Now, even if they are able to enter TransWarp space, we shall be able to follow them."

"Lets hope it does not come to that." Optimus replied with a burdened sigh. He began calculating the next spot they should target.

"But if we do, it will be one heck of an adventure once we reach the other side!" the sensor-officer smirked as he transfered the latest data to the central display.

"If we all don't die on the way there!" his brother chuckled.

----------

Rocks piled up on top of ScratchCap as the shock wave of the mini-bomb reached him. Fortunaetly, one of his betty bombs was caught in the blast and its timer activated as it lay burried several feet from the Basilisk. Blowing a clear path through the rocks as it exploded, the detonator freed its owner from his prison of a few seconds.

"Convenient"

ScratchCap took a quick look around, noticing that he had been blown back several yards from where he was. The battle was still going on. Hippog, Whisper, and SkySaber had all been taken out in the last blast. Squall and Stampede were busy fighting off the attacks of Siege. And Prowl was busily shooting it out with Millitant.

Glancing back towards the ship, he noticed that Shaft, Ravager, and Savage were still heading towards the ship, fighting it out with Quiron. Though the dolphin beaver was new to the fight, he was already in worse shape than many of the others.

The Basilisk rushed off, shooting off the quasi-io cannon. The blasts off-lined Savage, but allowed Ravager to begin laying into ScratchCap with a volley of lasers from his optics.

"Ohh, thats an impressive talent!" he laughed as he pulled the trigger on his borrowed gun.

Nothing happened. Apon checking the pressure gauge, he noticed it was preparing to overload.

"That's not good!"

Thinking fast, he threw the large barreled gun towards the tri-form fuzor. The massive brute caught it easily, eyes widening as he noticed the emminent overload.

"Whoops, sorry!" ScratchCap laughed as he jetted past the explosion of the maintenance board.

----------

"Whoa, sorry about that folks!" the Nav bot apologized as the ship hastily verred slightly.

"The Pred ship has entered TransWarp Space!"

"Can we pursue?" Optimus querried the crew.

"Yes, we were ready a few minutes before the Preds were."

"Than lets hit it!"

"Done and done Big Bot."

A dropping hum filled the ship. Everything seemed to slow down for a moment before a surge of blue light pulsed through the ship, acelerating it to bone stattering speeds.

----------

A low hum filled the audio circuits of the Maximal as he dodged the energy blast of Shaft's twin Magnum blasters. Drawing his riffle, ScratchCap let loose a spread of shots across the Utharaptor's chest.

Racing off towards the edge of the northern hill under the Astroplex, Scratch pressed his robotic palm against an outsrop of rock, which caused a panel to slide open.

"Restocked!" he yelled, turning around with a long barreled energon bazooka. He fired off a shot, which knocked the Pred scientists for a loop, overloading his motor circuits with energy. "One left!" he cheered, raising a fist into the air.

"Think again!"

Scratch wheeled around to see Throttle, Drow, WarpScream, and Tigershark, all with weapons drawn.

"Slag! Will this ever end?"

"Not while we're around!" Drow continued as he gave the signal to open fire. Bullets, lasers, and energon pulses planted themselves across ScratchCap's chest.

"Ow!"

----------

"Man, that was a harsh jump!" the sensor bot moaned as he stood up.

"Yes, rougher than usual." Optimus said, looking to his friend at the computer station.

"Regrettfully, we took some damage on the starboard engine, it made the launch into TransWarp harsher."

"How will it effect our exiting?"

"Hmm, hard to say," the bulky framed brown/green robot murrmured. "It could overload our engines. If that happens, we had better hope we are near a planet, otherwise we'll be dead in space in a matter of minutes."

"Eeeeeee, but even if we are near a planet, we'll have to make a crash landing!"

"Yes," Optimus pondered for a moment. He whelled around. "You three," he commanded as he pointed to his comrad, his helmsman, and the bot at the sensor station. "You are to stay here, the rest of you report to the hold and load yourselves into Stasis Pod's along with the remainder of the crew."

"What!" the bott at comm bursted out. "There is no way I'm getting into one of those coffins." Her brash, femine voice did little to conciel her fear of the pods.

"No choice," the commander responded. "I need these three to help land the ship safely. And we only have four CR chambers, we will need to get ourselves into Beast Modes as fast as posssible to ensure we can be safe on this new planet. Now GO!"

"Ah slag!" the sensor bot's brother sighed as he rushed off the command deck with the security and comm bots.

"I shall see you soon brother!" the sensor bot called down the hall before turning back to engage the sensor sweep of the TransWarp wave. A sullen look, filled with deep thought, expressed itself on his face.

----------

"I shall see you in the pitt Predacons!" came the voice of K-9 over the external P.A system. Several dual barrel guns dropped down across the underside of the emmense ship, taking aim at the opposition across the field.

The guns began firing in quick succession, lighting up the area with a show of blue, green, red, and white blasts.

The Preds ducking and dodging the guns, grabbed up their fallen comrades and rushed off running, flying, or gliding.

"See Pred, see Pred run!" ScratchCap laughed as he fell into stasis lock.

----------

"Slaggin pods! Hate these coffins."

"I dont blame you short stuff," the comm bot laughed at her compainion as the door shut on her pod.

"But we must do what the commander commands! Everything, For the Commander!!" the security drone bellowed, raising a fist before ducking it in under his door.

The short demolitions officer, standing a moment before at the engineers station, took a look around as his foot rested on the lip of his destined transport. All around, around two dozen crewmen were assembling themselves into their various pods. Many more lined the launch ramps around the cylindrical room near the rear of the Axalon.

"I guess I have to join the science teams on this mission," he laughed with a sigh. The already loaded pods were meant to be there. The ships mission was to drop pods to the surface to study the indigenous life. But this situation called for more of them to be dropped. But why him.

He sighed once more before he began to step inyo the pod.

"Wait brother!" came a voice from behind. The other bot whelled around.

"Brother?"

"Yeah, I can't let you do this."

"But you heard Optimus! I have no choice." His brother merely shook his head.

"I talked to him. We both think you would be better suited to staying here. He picked me because he needed sensor readings, but the navigator can do that. He needs an engineer more."

"But, I..."

"No buts. You hate adventure! I love it. Let me take the pod." The ship was rocked havily as it dropped out of TransWarp.

"Fine! But hurry up! We'll be dropping the pods soon!" the brother yelled as he walked off towards the hatch.

"Yeah, thanks," the adventurer sighed, looking back. "See you around bro'."

"See ya around."

The sensorbot climbed into the pod and watched his brother head out of the room before the door latched shut and he was puched into the warm glow of robotic sleep, embracing the coming adventure.

----------

A latch unhooked as a massive door swung up from the small round chamber. Outside, Alpha Hound stood to great his officer.

"All repaired I see?" the alrge Maximal quipped as the Rooster/Snake stepped out onto the command deck.

"Wha? How did I get here?"

"I brought you in when the Pred's retreated," Prowl laughed at the demolitions officer.

"Prowl, but you weren't..." he paused a moment as the events of the last few hours seperated from the memories that surged through his nueral capacitors. "Yes, yes, I remember now." He shook his head.

"Good." Hound looked down at ScratchCap, not to be condescending, but merely because of his hieght. He smiled. "You fought well. And it seems that the new weapons stores were a smart plan."

"Yes, that bazooka came in handy."

"But I'm still confused," Prowl said, turning to the commander. "Why did Bludgeon attack us? This isn't normally his style."

"That's what worries me Prowl." His sub commander shrugged as he stepped into the now empty CR chamber for a few miner repairs. Alpha Hound turned towards ScratchCap.

"I noticed you were really content in the CR Chamber. As a friend, could I ask what was on your mind?"

"I was remembering the last time I saw my brother. It was right before I went into my stasis pod." He sighed a little.

"Don't worry, we'll get you back to your brother. We'll all be back on Cybertron soon."

"No need, my brother isnt on Cybertron."

"But you were in a pod. All of the pods were loaded back on Cybertron."

"Not all, about twenty of us had to get into pods to protect us in the crash." He paused a moment. "Im not sure how I remember all of this."

"Some pods enable their occupants to retain memories from their past. It does make sense." The two stood in silence for a minute. "Im sure your brother is safe. We'll find him for you. You can be sure of that."

"No need, I know he is safe." He said, turning to leave.

"How so?"

"He was on board the Axalon when it crashed. He's still there too. Ever hear of Rattrap?"

END

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