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Crosshairs: Targetmaster Down

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I’m Crosshairs, and I’m a Targetmaster. There used to be a whole lot of us. But then there used to be a whole lot of Autobots.

Trouble was brewing on planet Earth, one of the last refuges for our kind that we hadn’t completely screwed up yet. I’d heard we’d had good relations with this world’s dominant species - had being the operative term. Seems they’re hunting us now, yet for some reason that I can’t fathom Optimus Prime has told us hands off. In other words, they can shoot at me but I can’t shoot at them! I think someone’s got a few wires crossed.

But more about me. Summoned to this rock because something’s going down - one of the old legends or prophecies or legendary prophecies is coming true, and Prime needs firepower. And when someone needs firepower, they need me.

And the other Targetmasters too, of course.

Blurr, as usual, ran on ahead. Now we’ve lost contact with the idiot. Hot Rod quit to do his own thing ages ago, Kup retired, and Scoop started a cult based on the resurrection of Starscream the Chosen One! Idiot. That leaves our squad commander Pointblank, Sureshot, Quickmix, Landfill and Hound.

And yours truly.

We fell through the atmosphere in planetfall mode within a couple of miles of a place called Chichen Itza, in the country of Mexico. Finding local camouflage looked problematic - mostly organic lifeforms below, none of them a compatible match for me. There were a very few roads - hopefully an interesting vehicle would come my way.

Several did, but not on the roads. Instead, a squadron of fliers came in on an attack vector. Naturally I was the first to spot them, and I had a response all ready. In a flash I’d transformed to battle mode, a gun in each hand. I filled the air with chaff just as the hostiles launched missiles, and not a single piece of their ordnance got through.

“Crosshairs, do not engage!” Pointblank shouted over the comm. “We have orders not to harm humans.”

“Sir, no life signs detected,” said Sureshot.

“Then they’re all mine!” I said, and I altered my descent vector a tad. All three lifeless machines altered course to intercept me, and opened fire with projectile weaponry.

Not fast enough. I pulled a signature move, ejecting two parachutes behind me and then opening fire with both barrels. The hostiles couldn’t compensate in time and flew under me, right through my field of fire.

Three targets down, easy.

“Hello, Mama!” I said. I have no idea what it means, but it’s some kind of slang I found on the World Wide Web and I like the way it sounds.

“Crosshairs! I ordered... oh, what’s the use?” Pointblank said. He might’ve said more, but that’s when he made planetfall. The others hit shortly after, leaving me as the only one left in the sky.
My own fault. That’s what happens when you use chutes. Still, I’d only be about a minute behind the others. Except... they’d travelled a lot further forward than I had. Too late to worry about that now, I thought, and I steered myself toward that road I’d spotted earlier. I could use that road and drive to the others’ location in no time. Might even find an acceptable Earth mode along the way!

I’d nearly touched down when the real attack began. Not by ineffectual human-built crap, either. Three cybertronian fliers streaked across the horizon and strafed the ground where my pals had landed.

Three very familiar cybertronian fliers: Slugslinger, Triggerhappy and Misfire. What were they doing here? Well, apart from the obvious. Which was killing my fellow Targetmasters. I’d seen very little retaliatory fire from the ground - they’d been completely flat-footed. Those Decepticons had known exactly where we were comin’ down.

And I woulda been with ‘em, if those human-built things hadn’t come at us. Heh, and if I’d obeyed orders.

I transformed and made a bee-line for the battlezone. Nothing to scan yet; my cybertronian vehicle mode was a small crate transport truck with a flat bed, where I’d installed a turret. I kept my optics on the sky; the Decepticons were coming in for another pass. I was at my top speed, but there was no way I’d get there in time.

Triggerhappy and Misfire stayed the course, but Slugslinger peeled off.

And came at me.

To be continued...