When I was a kid, whenever I'd feel small or lonely, I'd look up at the stars. Wondered if there was life out there. I was right.
I was eight when Mission City was devastated by an alien attack. The government tried to cover it up, to pretend it never happened, but they hadn't counted on the sheer number of recordings captured on cameras and cell phones. The recordings soon found their way onto the internet, and it was only days until the secret was out. And that was when they told us: we weren't alone in the Universe.
The public was in uproar. Riots broke out all over the world, countries strengthened their military, international relationships began to break. Everyone was fearful of another attack. But that attack never came. Instead, the aliens came out into the open, unafraid of showing themselves. They helped repair the damage they had caused, rescuing hundreds of people from the rubble, and saving the lives of hundreds more. Government estimates predicted that their efforts would save billions of dollars. The Autobots were labelled heroes.
We were desperate to know everything about the aliens, so the Autobots became rockstars. The media clamoured for interviews, the tabloids fought to get exclusive photos. Toys, cartoons and movies were made celebrating their achievements. Car manufacturers offered to pay millions for the Autobots to endorse their companies. The 'Transformania' lasted for several years, helped by the intermittent arrival of more of the alien robots. Humanity was obsessed.
Over the next few years, the Autobots continued to prove themselves, helping out with earthquakes, floods, oil spills, and the swine flu pandemic. Occasionally, they would fight off an attack from an opposing faction of alien robots. The five years from two thousand and eight to twenty-thirteen was one of the most prosperous periods mankind had ever seen. With the Autobots, we had nothing to fear. With the Autobots, we were untouched, untroubled by anything the Universe could throw at us.
But then came San Francisco. Then came the greatest threat humanity had ever faced. Then came the Kaiju.
Chapter 1: K-Day
August 10, 2013 – Autobot Command, 0830 hours
Over the past few years, an advanced team of Autobots have taken refuge on Earth under my command. Together, we form an Emergency Response Unit. Our job is to protect the people of Earth from the threats their very planet throws against them.
"What's the latest, Ratchet?" Optimus asked, walking up beside the Autobot medic. Ratchet was monitoring a large array of screens, all of which were showing various news reports happening in San Francisco. His assistant, Jolt, was trawling through complicated graphs and data tables on a nearby console.
"Still not sure, Prime," Ratchet said. "We know something's heading towards the Bay, but no one knows what it is. I've asked the Pentagon to clarify, but they say they're in the dark too. Jolt's hacked in for good measure, but it appears as if they're telling the truth this time."
"Looks like we may have an emergency on our hands. Watch the situation carefully, and if anything happens, let me know."
"Will do, Prime."
One of the greatest assets to our efforts is Wheeljack. A great scientist on Cybertron, he had a keen eye for experimenting. On Earth, his experiments have largely been successful, and he has greatly improved the lives of humans and Autobots during the three short years he has been here.
"Wheeljack, how goes the weapons testing?"
"It's going excellent as usual, Optimus. I've removed Ironhide's arm cannons and supplied him with pistols he can store on his back. Should make it a lot easier for him to get into tight spaces now," the Autobot scientist said, tossing one of the weapons specialist's canons aside.
"Hopefully he won't explode," Mirage said. "Your experiments are always exploding, Wheeljack."
Wheeljack sighed. "Those guns aren't experiments, Mirage. I've been working on them for years. They're smaller, sleeker, lighter...superior to the cannons in every way."
"Hmph," Crosshairs said. "Sounds like you've just copied my guns and given them to 'hide over here."
"That's not true, Crosshairs, and you know it. I designed Ironhide's new weapons from scratch, specifically as replacements for his cannons.
Ironhide tossed one of his new guns from hand to hand. "I liked my cannons," he grumbled. "Made me look tough."
"You always look tough, Ironhide," Chromia said kindly, patting the old Autobot on the knee.
"Pah, take it outside you two," Mirage said, turning away from the display of affection.
Optimus smiled and left the Weapons room, leaving Mirage and Chromia to their argument.
Although we are all happy on Earth, I sometimes think that our job is too dull for some of us. The younger Autobots were born in war, and killing Decepticons is all they know. I can only pray that they eventually outgrow their violent tendencies.
"Hyah!" Drift shouted, and he jumped off the platform, his sword raised above his head. His target was right in front of him, and he brought the sword down - only for it to be blocked.
"It'll take more than that to get the better of me!" Sideswipe grinned, and he lashed out and kicked Drift away. Transforming his hand into a blaster, he fired several shots over the Autobot swordsman's head. "I win...again."
"Only because you used your guns," Drift snapped, pushing himself to his feet. "If it was swords only, it wouldn't even be a competition."
"Hey now, don't go startin' an argument, because we all know who the best fighter is: me!"
Drift and Sideswipe scowled as Jazz swung down from a catwalk.
"Sure, Jazz. The day you learn how to pick up a sword, let me know," Drift said. Jazz was infamous for his lack of competence with any sort of melee weapon, mainly because he'd never bothered trying one.
"Hey now, we all know swords and me don't get along. I think I'll just stick to my guns."
Sideswipe and Drift exchanged glances. Sideswipe grinned.
"Hey Jazz, look. Jolt's outside his lab!" Sideswipe said, indicating a spot behind Jazz.
"Really? Where?" Jazz turned, and was promptly knocked sideways by a blow from Drift's sword.
"Hey, that wasn't funny!"
Thankfully though, not all of us have expressed our idleness with violence. The Wreckers have thankfully decided to express their boredom almost constant construction.
"Tell me again," Arcee said, "what the point of this is?"
"Extra protection against rockslides and avalanches," Leadfoot explained. "If you're working in an area just after a landslide, chances are there'll be another while you're there. If you wear this, your paint ain't gonna get scratched."
"Wreckers' guarantee," Topspin added.
"So it's a suit of armour?" Elita-One asked. "Can you imagine Ironhide putting that on?"
Roadbuster sighed. "We don' care what that big idiot looks like, just as long as he uses the damn thing. It'll stop all the scratches he keeps getting. You should hear Wheeljack grumble about how much paint he goes through every year. It's taking up too much of his budget, he says."
"Wheeljack's problems are Wheeljack's problems," Arcee said. "Ironhide should just be thankful that he hasn't blown up yet."
"I don't understand Wheeljack's 'putation," Leadfoot said. "He don't blow stuff up any more than we do."
"You tell us when to expect it. With Wheeljack, it just happens."
While most of us have forged strong bonds of friendship over the years, there is an exception to the rule. Mudflap and Skids have irritated everyone at some stage or another, but hopefully they'll soon grow out of it.
Hound whistled cheerfully to himself as he polished one of his many guns. Although he rarely had to use them, he always made sure they were well looked after and remained in top condition. After all, you never know when they might come in handy. He remembered an incident a year ago, when several humans had been taken hostage by a group of terrorists. The only way to free the hostages was to injure the terrorists from range - something Ironhide's cannons couldn't do without blowing both parties into oblivion. Hound was happy to provide the solution.
Suddenly, a loud thump on the wall interrupted his work. Hound stopped whistling and listened intently for any further sounds. Sure enough, raised voices could be heard from the next room.
Sighing, Hound stood up. "Do they ever learn?" he muttered, and made to go for door, before deciding that smashing through the wall would be much more effective.
The Twins stopped fighting immediately and stared up at Hound.
"How many times have I told you two to cut it out?" Hound rumbled, picking up the small, troublesome Autobots with ease. "If you two can't behave, I'll send you to Wheeljack's laboratory. I hear he's working on something big."
Skids and Mudflap glanced at each other.
"Uh, he did it, not me!" Skids said immediately. "You can't go blamin' me for something this idiot decided to do."
"Hey, that ain't fair!" Mudflap retorted. "You started it! You said my arm was too big!"
"I was just statin' a fact. If you can't accept life -"
"You, Skids, shut up," Hound said before the situation got out of hand. "Your arm's too big too. Now quit it or you're both going to Wheeljack."
The Twins nodded meekly, and Hound promptly dropped them.
"Ow! That hurt!"
"Good. Might do you good to feel some pain now and then."
"Aw, Hound, we're sorry. I won't do it again," Mudflap promised. "I don't know about Skids here, though, you can't control him."
"All right, that's it," Skids said, and flung himself at his brother, pummelling his fists into the orange metal.
Fortunately for the Twins, Hound was stopped from taking further action by alarms blaring through the building, followed by the sound of Optimus' voice over the comm. system.
"All Autobots to report to the Control Room; this is an emergency!"
All thoughts of the Twins disappeared from Hound's circuits, and he hastened to the Control Room.
A few seconds later, Mudflap looked up. "Hey, where did Hound go?" he said. "Look what you did, you made him go away!"
"That wasn't me, I thought I heard Optimus saying something over the speaker things," Skids replied.
"No you didn't."
"Yeah I did."
"That's what you think."
"No, that's what you think."
The pair of them continued arguing all the way to the Control Room.
'Breaking news, a giant monster has just emerged from beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. My god, it - it must be at least three hundred feet tall!'
the news reporter said. It was evident from his voice that he was panicking, and for good reason. Giant monsters attacking cities was a concept usually reserved for the cinema.
"Ratchet, any idea where that creature has come from?" Optimus asked.
"None I'm afraid. I've looked in the relevant databases, but the search comes up clean. No one has a clue."
"It could not have appeared from nowhere," Optimus mused.
The door behind him whooshed open, allowing the other Autobots entry.
"We're all here, Prime," Ironhide reported. "What's the crisis?"
Optimus stepped aside, allowing the Autobots to gaze upon the scene in San Francisco. A giant monster was approaching the Golden Gate Bridge, its arms reaching out to scrape against the metal pylons. Cars crossing the bridge skidded to a halt, their frightened occupants staring out the window to get a look at the behemoth towering above them.
"Now that is one big ugly monster," Jazz said. "Wouldn't want to be in the way of that thing."
"Well, those people are," Chromia pointed out. She turned to Optimus. "Are we heading over there to stop it?"
"Yes. If this creature is hostile, the amount of damage it could cause would be catastrophic. Even if is not, there is still a strong possibility that it will cause a large amount of damage, merely because of its size."
"That sort of damage?," Crosshairs asked, pointing at the screen. The Autobots looked up at the screen just in time to see the monster collide with the bridge, letting out a triumphant roar. Its thick, long and clawed forearms tore the bitumen to shreds; the suspension cables snapped, and the bridge buckled, unable to resist the amount of force being applied to it.
The Autobots watched anxiously, hoping that the monster would stop moving forward. But it didn't. It plowed through the bridge, paying no attention to the cars, people and trucks that were sent plummeting into the waters below. Like a mindless beast, it lumbered forward, shrugging off the bits of steel that collapsed against its frame.
Optimus clenched his fist. "Autobots, it appears as though humanity once again is in need of our help. Time to roll out"
"Affirmative, Prime," Ironhide replied. "Autobots, to the hanger!"
Optimus laid a hand on Topspin's shoulder as the Wrecker moved to follow Ironhide out of the control room.
"Topspin, I want you, Roadbuster and Leadfoot to remain here. While I doubt our services will be needed elsewhere while the monster is attacking San Francisco, it always helps to be prepared."
Topspin's shoulders slumped. After several weeks of boredom, he had been looking forward for the chance to give his wheels a good run. "If you say so, Optimus," he sighed.
"Thank you, Topspin," the Autobot leader replied, before transforming and driving towards the hanger exit.
"Wreckers, get your axles over here!" Topspin shouted. "We're on housekeeping duty."
'San Francisco is now a war zone … I have just received information telling me that the US Airforce is sending in jets to take the creature down … dear god, the creature just destroyed that F-22! It's a complete wreck, no chance of survival … the President has urged for citizens of San Francisco to evacuate as quickly as possible … the Autobots are en route and are expected to arrive in less than half an hour.' With these words, the world let out a small breath of relief. Everyone had seen the Autobots perform miracles; it was time to see if they could pull off another.
The flight to San Francisco was spent in silence as the Autobots listened to the endless news reports describing the monster's attack. It had now reached the mainland, and had cut a wide path of destruction through the city. Thousands had been evacuated, by thousands still remained in danger. All efforts to take down the beast had failed. Humanity was relying on the Autobots now.
"Prepare for drop in T-minus two minutes," the pilot announced.
"Ugh, finally," Sideswipe moaned. "I hate being in planes."
"Tell me about it," Wheeljack agree. "I'd much rather be in my lab." He paused. "I hope I remembered to turn my particle accelerator off before we left. I don't have the budget to do the experiment again."
"All you're worried about is your budget, Wheeljack?" Jazz piped up. "I'd be worried about the whole building going up!"
Wheeljack bristled. "Are you ever going to let that one incident go?"
"No," Sideswipe and Jazz said together.
"One minute to drop. Lowering the hatch." Right on queue, the back of the aircraft began lowering down, exposing the inside to the howling wind.
"Autobots, you're cleared for the drop."
Optimus accelerated forwards and drove out of the aircraft, transforming as he went. Once in robot mode, he pointed his face down, accelerating towards the ground. Glancing left and right, he saw his fellow Autobots performing similar manoeuvres. They fell freely for several seconds, before triggering parachutes to slow their descent. Once they were within a safe falling distance, the parachute cords were cut, and they fell briefly before landing safely on the ground.
"What a wreck," Jolt said distastefully, looking around.
They had landed on the edge of San Francisco Harbour, right in the middle of the path of destruction the creature had forged. Ahead of them plumes of smoke rose out of destroyed buildings, while rubble and other debris lay strewn across the roads. Parts of the city still burned, even hours after the attack, a three mile wide line of destruction and death painting the creature's path far too easily.
"Reminds me of Cybertron," Ironhide observed. "All the destruction... all the death."
"It's almost as bad as that, I'm afraid," Ratchet said sadly. "All of this was caused by one creature. On Cybertron, it would have meant that Trypticon had gone for a walk."
"Like he did at Tyger Pax," Arcee said. "I'll never forget that day." She shivered. "Trypticon... Megatron crushing Bumblebee's voice chip... thank Primus he's still with Sam."
Optimus wandered over to a crushed building. Shifting through the rubble, he soon found the bodies of a family. "'Till all are one," he murmured softly.
"What are we going to do, Optimus?" Hound asked. "We've rarely faced anything this big before."
"Attack the thing, of course," Drift said. "Anyone got ideas?"
"We could, uh, you know, retreat," Skids suggested hopefully, earning a look of utmost disgust from Elita One.
"Well, aiming for the legs would make the most logical sense," Wheeljack said. "Once its mobility is gone, it is a perfect target for any military bombardment. If I remember correctly from the news reports, its ankles and wrists appear to be the least heavily armored parts of its body, so we should aim for them if we can."
"Sounds like a plan," Sideswipe said. "But how am I going to navigate through all this rubble?" He looked down at his wheeled feet in dismay.
"You could try jumping. Yo' got good suspension, you'll be fine! Hey Mudflap, can you imagine Sideswipe jumping up and down like one of them kangaroos?" Skids started laughing.
Elita-One rolled her optics, transformed her hand into a gun, and shot Skids in the chest.
"Will you shut up?" she hissed. "Sometimes I wonder why Primus bothered making you two!"
"Hey now, I've got nothing to do with this," Mudflap said hurriedly. "That was all Skids' fault."
"I've changed my mind," Chromia stated. "I wish Bumblebee was here, if only to keep you two in line! Now shut it!"
Mirage snorted. "Look at us. We're facing one of the biggest enemies we've ever encountered, and all we can do is quibble!"
"Alright, alright, let's focus on the job at hand," Crosshairs said. "We have a three hundred foot monster a couple of miles ahead of us. Weakpoints are legs, ankles and wrists. Optimus, we need a battle plan now."
Several jets flew overhead, heading for the cloud of smoke that contained the monster. The sound of heavy machine gun fire was heard a second later, followed by a loud, horrible roar, before a small explosion blossomed in the distance.
Optimus stared off determinedly into the distance, before turning to face his fellow Autobots. "Mirage, Sideswipe, Drift, you three climb the creature's legs and cut the tendons in its knees. Hound, you and Ironhide concentrate your fire on the hip joints. Arcee, help Elita One and Chromia evacuate humans from the area. The rest of you, do whatever you need to do to bring that thing down. It must not get past San Francisco!"
"What about you, Prime?" Ironhide asked.
"I shall aim for the ankles," Optimus replied. "Autobots, transform and roll out!"
Author Note: A collaborative project between myself and a friend, this story has been on our minds since the first week of the year. We didn't start planning it in earnest until I actually saw Pacific Rim, but seriously, we have been planning every single detail of this story. Character bios, a timeline...you name it. The reason we need so much is because this story is going to span the entirety of the Kaiju War - all 12 years of it. It's going to be massive.
To clarify, the story uses the Transformers Movieverse continuity (ie: Bayformers), but with a few crucial differences - Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon and Age of Extinction never happened. Instead, the Autobots were revealed to the world after the Decepticon attack on Mission City. So no spaceship on the moon, no sun harvester in the Great Pyramid. We are keeping the Autobots from the sequels though, as you probably realised. We're also borrowing bits and pieces from other TF continuities as well, specifically G1 and Aligned (the Cybertron games and the Prime cartoon).
Aside from that all, my friend and I strongly encourage feedback, especially constructive criticism. We want to make this story the best it can be, but we can only achieve that with your input. Also, at this stage updates will be regular (~ 1 week intervals), but I can't promise that will last. I'll also be going back and editing older chapters as we continue to revise them.