A.N: Sorry for the wait fellow mechs and femmes. I've been battling the great evil known as the Writer's Block and losing very badly…
Disclaimer: Transformers isn't mine...
Chapter Eight: Family Reunion
By Delphine Pryde
Sunstreaker and Sideswipe were fearsome warriors able to rival even an airborne elite Seeker with a style of fighting that would later be nicknamed by humans as Jet Judo, so it's not that hard to comprehend a single Decepticon, even a shock trooper of Barricade's caliber, didn't stand a chance. The human saying about being caught between a rock and a hard place came to his CPU as the mech's burning red optics moved back and forth between the trickster twins, nervously.
Frenzy, his hyper glitch of a so-called partner had scampered off as soon as the Autobot twins appeared, though not before launching a few sharp yellow disks at the yellow twin. The Decepticon hacker was smaller than most adult humans and had quickly used this to disappear from danger, not that Barricade blamed him, the yellow Autobot twin was sure to hold a grudge against Frenzy for scratching his paint job a few minutes ago. Sunstreaker was well known in both Decepticon and Autobot circles for his vanity and subsequent wrath against those who would ruin his "perfect looks" and since the smaller Decepticon had skedaddled Barricade was the focus of his current rage.
Steeling himself for a world of hurt, the Decepticon launched himself at the red twin, Sideswipe, catching the Autobot by surprise by the sudden fierce attack. No doubt the Autobot expected him to continue cowering, well, he'd show him and his pretty twin what a Decepticon shock trooper is capable of. As his back kick caught the approaching Sunstreaker he gave a fierce grin, he might loose but by the Pit he'd make them pay heavily for their victory.
It wasn't cowardice that had sent the tiny Decepticon scrambling away from the oncoming battle, at least not entirely. Frenzy had received a communication on a private channel that had hadn't been used in sometime-by Cybertronian standards. The message had been a simple: "I am here." The sender- the Decepticon's Chief Intelligence Officer: Soundwave, his creator. You don't ignore a com from your Creator, so he took off to meet up with Soundwave. At least he'd cotton a shot in, Frenzy thought gleefully.
Frenzy was part of a sub-class of Transformer's that's name would translate something like Cassettecon in the English language. Cassettecons, while every bit as intelligent and sentient as their larger counterparts, were similar to drones in that they both needed to be partnered to a full-sized Transformer in order to survive. With their small stature's they could only maintain necessary energy levels for short periods of time on their own, thus a partner, actually linking to the larger mech's energy system. Soundwave held a chest compartment for several Cassettecons to recharge.
The Intelligence Officer had created six Cassettecons, including Frenzy, before the Allspark had been launched off of Cybertron. Being a mech with a gift for being able to read the CPU's of others, Soundwave had a strong bond with his creations that was unusual when it came to typical Creator-Sparkling bond. The only bonds stronger were those of Sparkmates and twins. When Starscream had been selecting a crew to go after the Allspark and Megatron and had chosen Frenzy for his superior hacking skills, Soundwave had been less than pleased, even more so when he found out he would not be apart of the Nemesis' crew and so Frenzy would need to be partnered to another mech. His Creator had always been loyal to Megatron and had often gotten on Starscream's bad side by revealing plans the Seeker had conjured up to become the Decepticon leader. The Air Commander and Decepticon second-in-command had taken a small amount of pleasure taking away on to the Intelligence Officer's precious Cassettecons and re-assigning Frenzy to Barricade. The only thing Soundwave could to was instill a measure of fear into Barricade if he didn't take proper care of Frenzy. The tiny hacker figured the threat was the major reason Barricade had risked himself to retrieve Frenzy's injured from in the secret halls of Sector Seven beneath the Hoover Dam.
Following the bond, led Frenzy to a gleaming, deep blue Toyota Highlander SUV with tinted windows hiding the vehicle's interior from prying eyes. As he approached, the back passenger door swung open of its own accord. Frenzy scrambled inside, the door closing behind him with a soft click.
Despite the outside, the vehicle's interior held no seats or anything else a real Toyota Highlander would have had, instead there was just empty space or rather there would have been empty space if said space hadn't been occupied by Frenzy's five Cassettecon siblings. It was actually quite crowded and uncomfortable. There was Rumble, a rust colored, red-optic physical copy of Frenzy, Lazerbeak and Buzzsaw-who looked like metal birds, Ratbat-the human translation of the Cassettecon's name was an accurate description of what he looked like, and finally the largest of the siblings and only femme, Ravage, who largely resembled one of Earth's giant felines.
"Frenzy: returned," stated the monotone voice of his Creator.
The Creator-Sparkling bond surged open as Soundwave reviewed Frenzy's memories of the time since their separation. The hacker patiently let the other sift through his CPU without a fight, he could feel relief emanating from his Creator that he had come back intact. Soundwave particularly lingered over the recent events of Frenzy being rescued from Hoover Dam and the recent attack by the Autobot twins. "Conclusion: Barricade has been an acceptable guardian, deactivation not acceptable." Which meant they'd be going to rescue the shock trooper.
"Yes, finally some action!" Rumble cheered, "Space travel is soooo boring."
Lazerbeak somehow managed to give a distasteful look at his brother. "Not all of us are constantly spoiling for a fight," the bird-like Decepticon commed over the family unit's private channel.
"That's because you're a pathetic fighter," Rumble sneered.
"That's hardly my fault, I was built for reconnaissance," defended Lazerbeak.
Ravage growled at the two, "Don't either of you start," irritation was evident in her comm.
"They've been fighting about the same things since you've been gone," Ratbat chirped to Frenzy. "Rumble hasn't been the same without his partner in crime." Buzzsaw nodded in agreement.
"W-what e-ever, let's r-rescue B-barricade, no t-time to act like s-sparklings," was Frenzy's reply.
Rumble pouted, as Soundwave started moving, heading to Barricade's last known location. Trying to cheer Rumble up, Frenzy asked, "S-so what pranks have y-you done s-since I l-left?"
Rumble's optics lit up considerably as he opened his mouth to reply, the other sibling groaned, many of those pranks had been played on them.
They would have made great Decepticons, a traitorous part of Barricade's CPU whispered. To most Autobot's fighting was a last resort, if no other choice then they'd take out their opponents as quickly and mercifully as possible, no playing around. Not these two, Sunstreaker and Sideswipe liked to mess around with their enemies, drawing out their suffering just like most Decepticons did to any Autobot they caught. Case in point: Sideswipe had caught the struggling Decepticon in a hold that left Barricade's weapons useless and incapable of fighting back while Sunstreaker pounded him relentlessly with his fists. The yellow mech's blue optics blazed almost white with battle lust, a psychotic look on his face that would have been more at home on any Decepticon's face. Yes, it really was a shame they'd never joined the Decepticons.
Warning glyphs flashed across his optics informing Barricade of just how damaged he was, the structural integrity of his chest armor and in turn his spark casing was worrying, wouldn't take much more to put him in stasis lock. No doubt the Autobot twins would take the opportunity to finish him off permanently.
Before Barricade could contemplate anymore of his demise two things happened: Sunstreaker, who had pulled back his arm for another punch had suddenly frozen in shock before falling to his knees, hands covering his audios in pain and Sideswipe releasing his prisoner before following his twin to the ground, hand clutching at his head trying to desperately stop the pain. The shock trooper would have been blinking in confusion if he had eye lids, as it was he just stared at his fallen opponent, dumbfounded, until a familiar voice snapped him out to his stupor.
"B-barricade!" There was Frenzy, the hacker waving frantically from the rolled down window of a blue Toyota Highlander. "H-hurry, S-Soundwave can't keep it up much longer!"
Ah, that explained it, one of Soundwave's most infamous abilities, besides telepathy, was the ability to manipulate conic waves to incapacitate his opponents with unbearable pain in their audios. The downside of the sonic attack was the energy and concentration it took and therefore could only be used for a short period of time.
Wincing in pain, Barricade carefully moved a distance from the tins, maneuvering around grasping hands as Sunstreaker grabbed at him futilely, and with some difficulty made the transformation into his patrol car mode and sped away, Soundwave following closely behind. Once a sufficient distance away, Soundwave stopped his attack, leaving the twins kneeling on the black asphalt, audios still ringing in pain.
When his self-repair had finally taken away most of the sting in his audios, Sideswipe pulled himself to his feet, Sunstreaker soon following. "Enough fooling around, let's meet up with the others," the red mech said, nonchalantly as if nothing had happened.
"Fine, the sooner we get there the sooner I can fix my paint," grumbled Sunstreaker.
A sudden smile bloomed on Sideswipe's face. "Speaking of fixing things, we now have a brilliant excuse to visit our favorite medic.
In the med bay of the unfinished Autobot base, Ratchet felt a sudden sense of impending doom.