(Near the outskirts of New Orleans, Louisiana, May 1st, 2014)
It was the dead of night around an old abandoned shipyard with warehouses sixty-feet high. The only noise were the sounds of nearby animals, along with the moving wind blowing against stone, grass, water and metal. But that began to change as a convoy of twenty-five black-painted vehicles, made up of twenty-four 2007 Cadillac Escalade ESVs and one 2007 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 LS drove into the area with two CW-407A Light Attack Helicopters flying above them for close air support. As they neared the abandoned shipyard, the vehicles began to spread out into a perimeter, blocking any known escape routes with the CW-407As hovering overhead, ready for action. From each Cadillac Escalade, four men in black BDUs, wearing full tactical gear and body armor, came out. All of them armed with either Salient Arms International Tier One AR-15 Assault Rifles or M249 Para SAWs, with some of them carrying Heckler & Koch HK69A1 Grenade Launchers.
Stepping out of the Suburban's front passenger door was a grey-haired man, wearing both black fingerless gloves and a tactical headset instead of a combat helmet, clearly the leader of this group as eight of his men walked up to him.
"Take Golf Squad to cover the left flank while Bravo Squad covers the right. All remaining squads will move down the center," ordered Cemetery Wind Field Commander James Savoy to his subordinates, who quickly nodded as they headed back to their respective squads before leading them to their assigned positions as their CO contacted the helicopters above them.
"Cobra to Viper-One, do you have any visuals, over?" said Savoy into the boom mike of his headset.
Hovering above, the copilot of Viper-One replied: "Negative, Cobra. We don't-wait..." he paused when he noticed something new appeared on his screen. "Got a faint Energon sig in one of the warehouses up ahead."
The former Green Beret quickly relayed the info to his eight squad leaders who began leading their men towards the suspected warehouse, taking care to watch the alleyways and side streets incase of a possible ambush. Suddenly, the suspected warehouse ahead of them exploded, causing the Cemetery Wind Operatives to take cover from flying debris.
From out of the smoke, Jetfire came running out. Without wasting a second, the ninety-six CW Operatives began firing at the fleeing 50-foot black-colored Seeker, pelting his back and wings with both 5.56x45mm NATO Armor-Piercing/Tracer bullets and 40x46mmSR High-Explosive-Dual-Purpose (HEDP) grenade rounds.
Seeing their target trying to escape through his binoculars, Savoy quickly barked orders into his tactical headset.
"Cobra to all squads, target's making a run for it. Return to your vehicles immediately. Vipers, keep your sights on the target and pursue. Remember: this one's a flyer, so target his wings and engines to keep him grounded!"
Once finished, Savoy ran back to his Suburban, followed by his men as the two CW-407As began to pursue Jetfire.
"Damn humans..." muttered the former Decepticon in his thick Australian-accent as he kept running while still under fire. Jetfire was about to transform into his alt-mode when the two CW-407As caught up and began firing Hydra-70 Air-to-Surface Rockets at him, badly damaging the two JT11D-20 jet-engines that made up his thighs and causing Jetfire to tumble forward. By then, the CW Operatives got to the old Seeker's location in their vehicles and opened up on him when they got closer. The two CW-407As withdrew after firing all of their Hydra-70s.
Jetfire fought back by firing his right forearm-mounted Particle Beam Cannon, but was starting to falter under the humans' relentless assault. By the time Savoy gave the order to cease firing, the elderly Seeker had his entire lower left leg and his right forearm blown off, along with sparks and green Energon leaking from different parts of his chassis.
Letting out a pained gasp, Jetfire pulled out his Double-Bladed Energon Axe to support himself as he stood on his knees. "Blasted humans, no honor in them whatsoever," cursed the bearded mech.
Deeming that Jetfire could no longer fight back, Savoy casually walked closer towards the Seeker with his men ready to deliver the killing blow if he gave the signal. "Not bad, Decepticon," he mockingly commented.
This caused Jetfire to narrow his red optics at him. "I'm an Autobot, you stupid meatbag!"
The former U.S Army Master Sergeant only snorted. "If so, why are you running?"
"You think I'm an idiot?!" snapped Jetfire. "Lord Prime told us we're being hunted-by you humans!"
He then played a recorded message from Optimus.
"This is Optimus Prime to all Autobots! Cease all contact with humans! I repeat, cease all contact with humans! Cemetery Wind is hunting us! Lay low, stay hidden and stay together! Do not let the humans of Cemetery Wind find you!"
Once he was done playing the message, Jetfire continued: "You attacked us! Killed so many of us at Autobot City! Well, if you want to take me down, then you'll be joining me!"
And with that, the old Seeker raised his axe over his helm as he prepared to bring it down on the human. Startled by Jetfire's bold move, Savoy started to back up as his men prepared to fire. When suddenly, a high-velocity projectile struck the old Seeker in the lower chassis and severing his bipedalism cord, causing Jetfire to drop his weapon as he fell flat on his back with a grunt.
From the nearby water rose a 22-foot dark-grey mech. The entire front of his helm was covered by some kind of sniper rifle that subspaced itself away to reveal the mech's surprisingly humanoid faceplates and green optics. Savoy and the CW Operatives backed away as the unknown mech began walking up towards Jetfire, who managed to turn his helm before narrowing his optics as he recognized his shooter. "You-I know you. The Bounty Hunter, Lockdown."
"I'm honored that I'm known by an ancient Seeker such as you, Jetfire," replied said mech with a British-accent as he stood above him. "However, you're just like the rest of them. Autobots and Decepticons, like little Sparklings, always fighting, making a mess out of the universe that I've got to clean up afterwards."
As he spoke, Lockdown's right arm shifted into a menacing hook. "If you value your life, old timer, then you will tell me what I want to know," continued the Bounty Hunter as he leaned forward and put his left pede on Jetfire's chassis, pinning him to the ground. "Tell me where Optimus Prime is."
Jetfire glared at Lockdown for a moment as if he would sell out Optimus or his fellow Autobots. Five seconds later, he gave the Bounty Hunter his answer: "Never."
And with that, Lockdown plunged his hook right through Jetfire's chestplates, causing the Seeker to arch his back in pain before the Bounty Hunter ripped out Jetfire's spark violently. The Seeker's optics flickered for a few seconds as he fell back lifelessly to the ground.
"Never is already here," replied Lockdown as he walked away, crushing Jetfire's spark as his right arm shifted back to normal.
"He's all yours," he said to Savoy as he transformed into a sleek 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Coupe before speeding off. Savoy smirked sinisterly as he contacted his superior about another confirmed Transformer kill as one of his men began treating two fellow operatives for minor burns.
None of them, however, noticed the pink 2008 Ducati 848 Motorcycle on a nearby hill. After a few seconds, the holoform of a female motorcyclist with a helmet on, appeared in the seat as its engine and headlights turned on before driving away from the scene at full speed.
(Abandoned airport, two hours later...)
As he worked on a communicator device that wouldn't attract the attention of nearby humans, the 15-foot Autobot Scientist/Inventor, Wheeljack, could still overhear the argument between Ironhide and Jazz with Ratchet standing nearby. The other occupants: Mirage, Sideswipe and Jolt were watching the perimeter. Even they were listening to the argument a little.
"Calm down, 'Hide. Going gung-ho isn't going to help our situation," ordered Jazz as the 22-foot black mech only growled in aggravation.
"I almost can't take any of this slag anymore!" bellowed Ironhide, causing the ground to rumble a little. "We've been on the run for three years and have not once done any drastic counter. How much longer are we going to have to keep running with our afts in the air?!"
Jazz only glared at the Heavy Weapons Specialist, not the least bit intimidated. "You remember Optimus' orders: avoid human contact at all costs. Right now, humanity thinks that all of us are the enemy. Attacking them would just increase their fears," retorted the 15-foot silver mech. "Our best chance to survive is to keep moving from state to state, searching for any Autobot survivors and Optimus."
The Saboteur's words made Wheeljack think back to the past three years. Ever since the Battle of Chicago, humanity had begun to fear and hate Cybertronians (or Transformers as the public like to call them), both Autobots and Decepticons alike. Many had assumed (incorrectly) that Optimus Prime had let the 'Chicago Massacre' happen to point out to Earth's governments that they cannot negotiate with Decepticons any more than they can with terrorists. With pressure building up from most of the American public and Congress, both the U.S President and the British Prime Minister had no choice but to decommissioned NEST and dissolve their treaty with the Autobots six months after the Battle of Chicago. Despite that, the President still granted the Autobots asylum in the United States. Prior to that, five months earlier, as more Autobots began to land on Earth, the U.S Government gave Optimus and his group permission to build a base in the Grand Canyon, affectionately calling it 'Autobot City', in order to mine the Energon deposit discovered there. Also, Wheeljack was able to build a GroundBridge that can transport Autobots to different coordinates on Earth. For a while, things began to settle down.
But that changed when the Central Intelligence Agency created a new paramilitary black ops unit called 'Cemetery Wind'. Officially, Cemetery Wind was supposed to hunt down Decepticons, but suddenly started to secretly target the Autobots too. Their first act was launching a unprovoked full-scale assault on Autobot City, half a year after Chicago. Unprepared and taken by surprise, the Autobots stood little to no chance against the armed humans' assault, with Optimus' trailer destroyed and some of the newly-arrived Autobots being killed right away. With no means to directly contact the U.S Government or CIA Director Mike Hunley, Optimus ordered the remaining Autobots to scatter and go into hiding. Many of the Autobots managed to make it through the GroundBridge before it was destroyed. Omega Supreme, aka the Ark, took off with the Wreckers, the twins, Elita, Chromia and the twenty-one Hatchlings found in Namibia, onboard. Wheeljack personally destroyed any of his prototypes and tech he couldn't bring with. Better they be destroyed then used against them.
And so, for the past three years, the Autobots had been on the run from Cemetery Wind as they hunted down both them and Decepticons, regardless of faction. Some Autobots had tried surviving on their own, while a few had managed to form small groups and hold out, hence the current situation. Jazz and his group had been moving from county to county, hiding in abandoned airports, shipyards and other facilities, all the while searching for any other Autobot survivors and Optimus.
Wheeljack was brought out of his thoughts when he heard Ironhide growling as he tried to restrain himself from attacking Jazz. It was then that Ratchet, the Autobot Chief Medical Officer, came in and broke up the fighting. "That's enough, you two. Fighting amongst ourselves won't do any good in solving our situation. Let's wait for Arcee to return from her scouting trip," said the 20-foot lime-green and white mech, causing Ironhide and Jazz to back off from one another.
Ironhide's anger was understandable since he wasn't known for running away from a fight. The fact that the humans have turned on them after the Autobots had sacrificed everything, even their own homeworld to save Earth, just ticked him off. Plus the black mech's current behavior was also because they're had been no contact with the Ark since the attack on Autobot City, including his sparkmate, Chromia, who took off aboard said ship.
It was at this moment, the same pink motorcycle came driving towards the three mechs. As she neared them, Arcee deactivated her holoform before transforming into her 16-foot biped form before coming to a halt in front of them. Sideswipe, Mirage, Jolt and Wheeljack joined the four as they listened to what Arcee had found. Sadly, she had no good news as the pink femme shook her helm as she gave them her report.
To hear of Jetfire's offlining didn't do any good for the Autobots' morale. Ever since he was revived after the Fallen's death in the Battle of Giza, the old Seeker had worked hard to atone for the crimes he committed during his time with the Decepticons. Most notably, Jetfire had fought valiantly during the Battle of Chicago, taking on Shockwave and facing against many Decepticon-manned Orbital Assault Fighters and bringing them down with great determination. To hear of his brutal murder at the servos and hands of both Lockdown and Cemetery Wind was greatly disheartening for the group as they hadn't found any other Autobot survivors this month.
"That makes the fifth one this year," lamented Ratchet, with Mirage, the Autobot Spymaster/Sniper nodding his helm in agreement.
"It seems those bastardos are becoming more adept in locating us," commented the 15-foot rosso corsa mech in his thick Italian-accent as he crossed his arms over his chassis. "We best be ready to move soon."
At that moment, Wheeljack's communicator device sprang to life, startling all eight Autobots as static filled the air as distorted voices were heard. The 15-foot white mech with red and green racing stripes ran up to the device, trying to strengthen the signal, as the others joined Wheeljack at the table.
"Is it an Autobot?" asked Sideswipe as the 15-foot silver Frontliner leaned in closer.
"Has to be, this device I built was designed to lock only onto Autobot comm frequencies," replied Wheeljack. "Now give me a second as I try to get a fix on the signal."
After a few seconds, the signal began to clear up as a voice was heard.
"Hound, here...attack...Cemetery Wind...need assistance...Bumblebee...Drift...Crosshairs..."
"Hound? I haven't heard from him since Autobot City," said Ironhide with surprise and relief at hearing the Commando's voice.
"And did he say 'Bumblebee'?" asked Arcee, hoping that her lifelong crush was alright.
"Hound also said that Drift and Crosshairs are with him too," added Jolt, the 16-foot blue mech who was the Junior Medical Officer.
Jazz looked at Wheeljack. "Can you pinpoint their location?"
The Scientist/Inventor typed a few commands into the device before looking at the screen. "It's not solid, but they're two miles west of here. Looks like an abandoned factory."
"Okay. Arcee, help 'Jack pack up. Something tells me we'll be looking for a new hideout. The rest of you, we've got four fellow Autobots to save!" ordered Jazz as he and the others transformed into their respective alt-modes and headed out, hoping that they weren't too late.
(With Bumblebee's group...)
"Move your afts in gear, 'Bots!" shouted Crosshairs in his Australian-accent as the 17-foot neon-green and black 'trenchcoated' Paratrooper fired several shots with his dual Ion Machine Pistols at their pursuers.
Beside him was Drift, the 15-foot black and light sky-blue Samurai/Triple-Changer, dual wielding his Cybertanium Katanas as he used them to deflect incoming rockets. "I'm detecting twelve enemy helicopters heading towards us," reported the former Decepticon turned Autobot Master Swordsman in his Japanese-accent as he deflected another rocket.
"Let's move deeper into the factory! They won't risk chasing us in close-spaces!" shouted Bumblebee through his radio as he dodged some rockets.
"Hound, get your fat aft over here!" shouted Crosshairs to the 24-foot portly Commando who was running towards them.
"Shut yer trap, Crosshairs!" yelled Hound as a rocket grazed the Woodland-Pattern bearded mech's back. "I ain't that slow!"
The group of four made it inside one of the buildings, not bothering to turn on their lights as it would immediately give away their location to their pursuers. They stayed quiet as their audio receptors picked up the sounds of CW-407As flying overhead, searching for them with their wide-beam Energon Detectors mounted in ball-turrets. Peeking out through a nearby window, Hound could see that the Cemetery Wind Operatives had brought in some 2007 Cadillac Escalade ESVs with roof-mounted M134G Miniguns. He could also tell that the humans on the ground were very hesitant on moving forward, since going into tight spaces would give the Autobots a tactical advantage.
"Let's try to find another exit, then we can quietly slip past them," suggested Drift, getting nods of agreement from the others. As they were about to move, a male voice speaking from a megaphone made them paused.
"I know you're in there...Bumblebee, is it?" asked the person on the megaphone. "This is Staff Sergeant Brandon J. Khendsovan. You probably don't remember me, but I was a former member of NEST before leaving."
The name made Hound frown. "I know him. That traitor defected when we caught him selling info on us to Cemetery Wind in exchange for money," muttered the Commando in disgust.
"Why don't you and your three fellow Autobots surrender, Bumblebee. You're both outnumbered and outgunned," continued Brandon. "After all, you don't want anything to happen to the remainder of your late friend's family, right?"
'Bee froze as memories came back to him, taking him back three years ago to the day when his two best human friends were brutally murdered in cold blood. He was with Sam and Mikaela, parked inside the garage of Mikaela's owned car repair shop in Nevada the day after Cemetery Wind launched their unsanctioned attack on Autobot City. Daniel, Sam and Mikaela's infant son, was being cared for by Sam's parents when a detachment of CW vehicles and operatives appeared before surrounding the shop. From inside the garage and in his alt-mode, the yellow mech with black racing stripes could hear the men demanding the whereabouts of any nearby Autobots from the young couple, while stating that all Cybertronians were illegal and they were a menace to humanity. Bumblebee had only realized too late how ruthless these people were when he heard a huge scuffle outside before hearing a sidearm being racked that was soon quickly followed by the sounds of two gunshots. Bursting out of the garage, the young Autobot quickly shifted into his 16-foot biped form, smashing aside vehicles and startled CW Operatives until he stared at the bodies of both his human charge and his wife in horror. Sam and Mikaela had both of their hands tied behind their backs, blindfolded and gagged before they were each shot execution-style with a single 9x19mm Parabellum FMJ (Full-Metal-Jacket) round to the forehead. Even though he wanted nothing more than to kill all of the Cemetery Wind Operatives around him, Bumblebee knew that he was outgunned and that fighting them would endanger nearby innocent bystanders. And so with a heavy spark, the young Scout was forced to flee, but not before calling the nearby hospital so that Sam and Mikaela could be given proper burials. Bumblebee spent the next few weeks after that to make sure that both Daniel and Sam's parents were safe before heading out to find any other Autobot survivors.
Now hearing this bastard threatening Sam's remaining family caused the anger in 'Bee's spark to rise. The fact that they were planning to murder an innocent child like Daniel Witwicky, who was just two-years-old, only caused the Scout's anger to grow into tranquil fury.
This was something that the other Autobots had noticed. "Don't listen to the afthole, 'Bee. He's just trying bait you," hissed Crosshairs.
Unfortunately, Brandon's next words were: "We will kill them, as they are all charged with high treason for siding with alien threats. Although, my superior might want us to bring in the kid, Daniel, right? After all, we always need new recruits."
That had been the last straw. Sliding down his battlemask, Bumblebee broke through the factory wall as he morphed his right arm into his signature Solar Plasma Cannon before deploying his dual shoulder-mounted Six-Tubed Micro-Rocket/Missile Launchers. With a battle cry, 'Bee fired two Micro-Short-Range-Surface-to-Air-Missiles (MSRSAM) at the two closest CW-407As and bringing both of them down in flames. The remaining ten helicopters flew in towards the mech, followed by the CW-manned vehicles, but Bumblebee didn't let up as he kept on firing.
"Aw, slag," cursed Crosshairs as he cocked his dual Ion Machine Pistols before running out to join 'Bee.
"Threatening an innocent human child is totally unacceptable," commented Drift as he joined his comrades. Behind him, Hound came charging out with his X19 Scrapmaker Minigun at the ready.
"Eat this, ya bitches!" yelled Hound as he fired his triple-rotary-barrel weapon at three Cadillac Escalades, shredding all three vehicles and killing their occupants instantly.
One of the CW-407As tried to take a shot at the Commando, but was brought down when Drift threw one of his Cybertanium Katanas into the air and cutting the helicopter's tail in half.
Seeing this, the nine remaining helicopters flew higher and remained at a safe distance before continuing to launch Hydra-70s on the four Autobots. Meanwhile, the CW vehicles had begun to do zig-zags around the Autobots, trying to avoid being hit while firing back at the same time. Although the various smokestacks and buildings limited their maneuverability, they also made cover for them too. In a few minutes, all four Autobots were soon pinned down as the operatives moved in for the kill. But that changed when an explosion suddenly occurred, hitting one of the Cadillac Escalade ESVs from behind and sent it tumbling into the air before hitting the ground violently.
"Autobots, attack!" yelled Jazz as he transformed into biped form before firing his Crescent Shield Cannon. He was soon joined by Ironhide, followed by the others. Mirage quickly deployed his left wrist-mounted Ion Sniper Rifle as he targeted the CW Operatives manning the roof-mounted M134G Miniguns on the Cadillac Escalades, with each of his shots bisecting the gunners literally in half. Sideswipe skated around on his wheeled-pedes and slicing the Cadillac Escalades in half with his dual wrist-mounted Cybertanium Swords after Mirage took out each gunner. Meanwhile, Ratchet was dealing with the remaining CW-407As with his Energon SMG, while Ironhide fired his dual forearm-mounted Ion Pulse Cannons as Jazz and Jolt made their way over to the other four Autobots.
"Ha-ha! Reinforcements are here!" cheered Hound as he and Jolt helped Drift up, whose left leg had been damaged by shrapnel.
Jazz stood beside Crosshairs, firing alongside the Paratrooper. "We got your transmission! We're just glad we managed to make it here in time!" shouted the SpecOps mech.
"Damn good timing too!" replied Crosshairs.
Bumblebee ignored all this as he scanned the battlefield for the vehicle that Brandon was in. Eventually, he spotted it: the sole remaining 2007 Cadillac Escalade ESV with a roof-mounted M134G Minigun as it drove away from the battle. With a growl, the young Scout quickly transformed into his alt-mode of a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS Coupe as he gave chase.
"'Bee, where are ya going?!" roared Ironhide as said 'Bot drove off. The Heavy Weapons Specialist quickly shifted into his alt-mode of a lifted 2006 GMC TopKick C4500 Ultimate Class IV Crew Cab Pickup Truck with twin smokestacks and a Road Armor front bumper accessory as he drove after Bumblebee.
"Bugger lost his slagging processor!" cursed Crosshairs as he finished off the last CW-407A.
Back with Bumblebee, said mech had finally caught up with Brandon's vehicle, all the while avoiding the 7.62x51mm NATO Armor-Piercing-Incendiary/Tracer rounds being fired at him from the Cadillac Escalade's roof-mounted M134G Minigun. Activating his Stealth Force mode, Bumblebee opened up on the black-painted vehicle. Eventually, the Cadillac Escalade made a hard right turn due to the heavy-fire it was taking. That gave 'Bee a chance to transform into his biped form before delivering a powerful kick with his left pede at the vehicle. The blow sent it flying before crashing hard into the ground, skidding a few seconds before coming to a stop. The impact had also damaged the engine, causing flames and fuel to leak out.
Bumblebee slowly made his way towards the wreckage, keeping his optics open for any movements. That's when the back-hatch window was broken, causing glass to fly everywhere as a left black-gloved fist stuck out. Slowly, it was followed by a man wearing a bloody and torn Cemetery Wind Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and tactical gear trying to crawl out of the wrecked vehicle. He was clearly in pain if the coughs and grunts were any indication. Although he was wearing both a helmet and kerchief that covered his lower face, the noise he was making was enough for Bumblebee to identify him as former Green Beret and U.S Army Staff Sergeant Brandon J. Khendsovan.
Morphing his right arm into his Solar Plasma Cannon, Bumblebee slowly raised it towards the crawling man. With a cold glare in his optics, the Scout fired. The last thing Brandon saw was a yellow-orange plasma bolt flying out of 'Bee's weapon that flew straight towards him as it struck the wrecked vehicle, taking the rogue NEST Soldier with it as it exploded in flames.
As the smoke from the flames reached the sky, Bumblebee stared on apathetically. He didn't even notice Ironhide who had just caught up with him before changing into his biped form. Placing his left servo on the yellow mech's right shoulder, Ironhide asked: "What the frag was that all about, 'Bee?"
The Heavy Weapons Specialist got no response from Bumblebee, saved for the young mech to brush his servo off. Without a word, 'Bee transformed into his alt-mode and drove off to regroup with the others. Ironhide kept his optics on the Scout, a look in them said that the black mech had a feeling of what had caused 'Bee to become so ruthless a few seconds ago. He then turned his attention to the still-burning wreckage, noticing the scorched corpse sticking out of the back-hatch window. Eventually, Ironhide shifted into his alt-mode and went back to regroup with the others.