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AU August Challenge

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August AU Challenge

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August 1st and 2nd – Reverse Recruitment

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Tarn watched as Kaon did his thing, his crimson optics narrowing. The screams of their current victim filled the smallish space between the buildings along with the flickering light of Kaon at work. And it was in that flickering light he first noticed something that had not been there when they'd cornered their prey in these fatal back streets. Down one of the alleys several small creatures had appeared—tiny things. Each was no larger than the size of one finger segment ,f that even. Possibly some sort of local vermin on this planet. They stared with wide, silent eyes at the horrific scene before them.

The victim collapsed to the ground—a smoking, twitching mess as Kaon resumed his root mode. “Want me to finish him?” Kaon asked, shoulders sparking ominously and a hand reaching for the mech's neck.

“I want a turn!” demanded Tesaurus.

Tarn nodded to the big mech, giving consent.

Tesaurus stepped forward and with one hand picked up the terrified traitor by one arm and raised him up. His other three arms reached out and gripped the damaged body. With a swift tug the arm was separated and to the victim's horror, was tossed into the whirling grinders before him, where it sparked brilliantly and bounced and was reduced to nothing.

“That was quite a show of fireworks,” applauded Helex. “Do the other arm.”

Tesaurus looked to Tarn again.

“Go ahead.”

And as the now armless mech screamed static and his limb bounced around in the grinding well, giving of another delightful shower of sparks, Tarn noticed that there were more of the little rats staring out at them.

“Do a leg! Do a leg!” Helex encouraged hoping for the same show.

“No,” Tarn interjected before Tesaurus could tear off another limb. “I want him to stand on his own feet for this.”

The other four sighed as Tesaurus set their target down and turned him toward the DJD's leader. Feeling him falter, Tesaurus held him up, the mech's transfluid slicking his fingers.

“Can you hear me?” asked Tarn.

“Y-yes...” whimpered the mech, his voice barely there.

“Do you know why we're here?”

“Please... please spare me...” he begged.

Tarn sighed. Yet again the lesson had been ignored. And then he gave the victim one of his typical canned speeches about betraying the cause and not fulfilling his destiny, which was in fact the Decepticon destiny since the coward had enlisted with the cause. This particular target hadn't been anything exceptional. Just another deserter of the ranks. These days Tarn only went to the trouble of preparing something interesting or unique for the victim's last lesson if the offender had done something interesting or unique. Halfway through, Tarn noticed that the odd little vermin were even more in number now, their bodies becoming a yellow and blue carpet at the head of the alley. Their beady eyes were fixed carefully on him as he spoke. And when Tarn finished his speech he gave a nod to the team. “All right. You may have a leg. Or both. But if Vos wants a turn with him first, let him have it. I'm going back to the ship. I have some additional reports to fill out.”

With that he turned and walked for where they'd left the Peaceful Tyranny but paused at the hums of puzzlement from his team and the strange murmuring sound coming from below. Tarn turned and looked down to see the legion of yellow rats gathering at his feet, encircling him at a polite distance. “What the...?” Tarn asked with none of his usual eloquence.

One of the rats stepped out of the crowd of pudgy little bodies, raised two tiny arms in supplication, and called out some gibberish to the towering mech. Apparently they weren't just sentient but had something of an intelligence as well. However the translation unit came up with nothing when the phrases were run through.

Tarn bent down slightly and the alien rats' representative called to him again. Something different but still gibberish. Round eyes, which Tarn now saw to be covered by a pair of protective goggles, blinked up at the Decepticon. The blue skin over the lower half of its body now was seen to be some sort of garment. “What do you want?” Tarn asked. These tiny creatures had just paid witness to something terrible but it seemed to only draw them to the DJD's leader.

The representative looked at a loss, and then muttered toward some of the other tiny aliens. They chattered much among themselves, and Tarn couldn't help but be intrigued. Finally something seemed to be decided upon amongst them, and their leader turned back “Bah-weep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong!” it called happily up at him.

Tarn, despite himself, returned the answer.

The little yellow aliens seemed much excited.

Tarn caught himself. He didn't have time to waste on these tiny street rats, fascinating as they might be. He rose from the crouch he found himself in and continued on to the ship.

The little aliens cleared a path through their ranks for him, but the murmuring sound they made did not cease. At the end of the alley Tarn paused and looked again. The carpet of blue and yellow had followed him up the alley, huffing along at top speed on their itty-bitty legs.

Amused, Tarn walked on, wondering how far they would follow him. He slowed his pace and resumed his course back to the Peaceful Tyranny, keeping an eye on the diminutive horde trailing him.

And to his surprise they managed to follow him all the way there. At the foot of the gangplank, Tarn stopped and the alien rats gathered about him once more, though now panting and wheezing for breath. Their leader stepped out of the mass of bodies once more, staggering over nearly all the way to Tarn's feet. Carefully Tarn picked it up and studied it as it caught its breath.

It was a strange little organic thing with a simple, pudgy ovoid body and bright yellow bald skin. “What do you want?” he asked it.

“Bah-weep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong?”

“I believe I asked you a question first.”

The tiny yellow leader broke into some sort of imploring speech, all gibberish though. Sometimes Tarn thought he understood a word or two, but perhaps that was just the intonation the words had been delivered with. But despite not understanding the language, somehow he understood what he was being told.

“You? You want to serve me?”

The little yellow manikin nodded its head enthusiastically. “Si si si!” it blurted.

“Do you know who I am?”

It shrugged its shoulders sheepishly, but then gave a growl and another line of gibberish that ended with something sounding like “iago honcho.”

“You're awfully small though.” Now that it was standing in the palm of his hand, that fact was all too obvious.

The would-be henchman drew itself up firmly and puffed up its chest. Another line of gibberish and a gesture to its brethren had the carpet of yellow and blue growling and likewise puffing defiantly.

“Well then. Perhaps we'll give it a go,” Tarn responded smoothly despite himself again, “as you have that much confidence in becoming my minions.”

The alien rats all cheered, and with renewed vigor followed their new master up the gangplank into the Peaceful Tyranny.

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