Jul 20 2011, 10:51 PM
“That’s right, sir! The Hubble Space Telescope has picked up a gigantic object falling into our solar system!”
“How big, lieutenant?”
“As big—no, bigger than Saturn, according to the radar! Look, sir! Numerous objects are being picked up, falling out of the object!”
“A moving planet, eh?” said the captain of Sector 7. The colonel and the lieutenant stayed still. “This is very interesting.”
“It looks like,” said the lieutenant quickly, “that it’s falling out of the orbit with the sun. It’s disappearing from the radar! But the other objects are coming—to earth.” He gravely faced the colonel. The captain stiffened his lips.
“We need to find where they’re landing. The importance of this occasion overrides all other projects. Get moving, everyone! Make sure no one knows about this.”
Bobby Ridley was just like anyone else in the world. He had a job, a wife, and kids on the way. He couldn’t really complain about his life, but there was always the possibility of more. It all changed that day, when his life ended.
“And then it happened. My dog crapped all over his face.” He had downed two kegs of beer with his friends. They were laughing. But Bob laughed all the more. His friend nudged him on the side. “Hey, what’s so funny, Bob? You’re supposed to be the designated driver! And you’re paying the bill.”
“Me?” he said dejectedly. He dug into his pocket imagining swear words. He paid the waitress quickly, and joined the others. They walked out to his car. They were carousing in his car like louts. He grumbled as he walked into the car.
They drove for a while. Bob felt woozy. The effects of alcohol, or the dreary, misty night? The others were snoring. He tried to stay awake desperately, when a strange shadow sat in the street. He quickly screeched to the side, and was stopped suddenly in the street. He got out to investigate.
Nothing there. He traipsed back to the car, made to plunk back into the driver’s seat. But then a very peculiar noise chimed from a distance away. He got up, and surveyed. He felt an uncommon chill wash over him, like he was dreaming a strange dream. His face glazed, he walked thoughtlessly to the source of the noise.
After climbing up the mountainous forests aside the parked car, he reached a peak. His eyes felt like berries about to fall off a tree. Then a terrible screeched through his ears. The car below went aflame. The screeching got louder. A hand grabbed him. He looked into two terrible red eyes, gigantic, and a robot mouth about to swallow him. Then he fell into nothingness. His whole life flashed before him, and all went into a white light that never ended. He went up and up, and nothing remained of him. He was dead.
“How many cases have there been, sir?” she wondered. The captain looked at her tiredly.
“This is not the only one. Bob Ridley, eh? That’s what we were able to find out about him. His name will show up in the obituaries today, and that’s all. He’s dead.”
Mandy gulped. “What could’ve happened to him? He just disappeared.”
“That’s what Section 7 is all about, Mandy,” said the captain. “To find out about people ‘just disappearing.’ I don’t think this is a coincidence that it happened a week after the space junk fell.”
“What was in them, anyway?”
“Nothing. If anything, we were too late. We’d best ask the only alien we have with us to find out.”
“Captain Forsythe, you can’t mean—“
The captain winced. “Yes. We must talk to subject Sentinel Prime.”
Sentinel Prime was contained in a huge base in Antarctica, several layers below the earth. As Forsythe descended, he contemplated about heaven, hell, and the earth. Where did these beings come from? Hell? Perhaps they are so foreign that humans would never understand them. So far in the heavens that the earth remains clueless of their designs. He had communicated, though only slightly, with many gaps, with Sentinel Prime. He spoke in a kind of binary code that forewent the usual 0’s and 1’s, but with all numbers, and sometimes unknown symbols. He was a living computer. A techno-organic being.
He arrived in the holding chamber, and climbed to the top of the ramp, to talk to the robot. He activated his IBM, and patched in the information about the recent disappearances and the objects spotted by the Hubble. As he did so, the whole room shook and quaked. Snow and piling fell from the ceiling, and the robot’s blue lighted eyes glowed. He seemed to speak. The symbols began to speed through the monitors. “What!” Forsythe demanded. “What do you want! What can you tell us!”
The robot began to speak nonsense language through his mouthpiece. A single word was sung slowly in a kind of mantra: “Decepticons… Decepticons…”
NEXT: Ancient Earth
Jul 27 2011, 05:53 PM
App. 12,000 B.C.
“Big happy ceremony! We defeat spear tribe today!” the tribe leader, Mina, shouted with mirth. The other upraised their stones. “Might makes right, might makes right!” they shouted.
“Big scary men with spears beaten now,” said Thot, the tribe elder. “Now I give Mi-na my precious keepsake. Precious stone from volcano in the north.”
Mina grabbed hold of it. It glowed an uncanny red. She smiled. “This is special happy-maker for you and Fier,” Thot said. Mina looked round. There in the middle sat Fier, blushing. She bundled up to him, and clasped his wrist.
“Today we be married!” cried Mina. “Happy day today!” They all cheered.
That night, Mina sat alone in the starlit darkness. She pondered her various victories over the giants and the opposing tribes. Soon she would be leader of the Kal-Est tribe, and their empire would expand throughout the earth beyond. She yawned and stretched. Then Fier came up to her, to sit and watch the stars with her.
They spent hours speechless at the great black canvas. “Look!” Mina said. “Two red falling stars! They come soon! This good luck.” Fier smiled and looked into her glossy eyes. “We go to find the shiny things tomorrow, no?”
They went into the forest in a large group to find the fallen meteorites. But what were they? The smoke had cleared. “Large strange rock!” Mina said, feeling metal fragments. “Strange material!” She turned about quickly. “Good for selling, and keeping, yes?”
The elder shook his old head. “No. This is messenger from God. We make altar here, and wait for him to come. Look—this not the only rock to fall from space. Four others just like it, too. They come to fight our enemies. Let them do their work. Do not disturb.”
The group was awash in silence. But Mina wanted to know more about these fallen rocks. The others all went back to the camp, but Mina stayed behind.
She clamored up to the tip of the fallen ship’s tip, to look down into the rubble. The whole thing looked like it smoked for a while. In the depths of the ship, she discovered unearthly things—chunks of some kind of metal she had never known before. But she did know—just then—that this ship was alive. She climbed out of the ship, full of awestruck wonder, and, for a split second, she thought she saw a tall manlike being standing in the sun. She looked away, and turning, it was gone. She headed back to camp, her head swimming with questions.
The camp burned with festivities and joy that night. But Mina did not participate. She stood at the edge of the camp, her fists resting on her chin. “What wrong, Mina?” said Fier, coming to her. “You seem depressed.”
“We find new thing today. But Elder want to leave it alone. Why?”
“He only care about our well-being, Mina. You should know. You leader! You care for those under you. No?” Fier grinned.
But Mina was still mopey. “We go tomorrow,” she said, turning to him. “We find the new beings. We find out about them. Maybe they take us to heaven, from whence they come.”
Fier sat there listlessly for a while. “But what if we no come back alive? What then? You leader!”
Mina stood up, and strode away. At ten paces, she turned, resolute. “Then I go alone, and die alone. You my husband now. We must stick together.”
“You so stubborn!” cried Fier. “But that why I like you.”
“The other rock fall somewhere around here,” said Mina. “Let us go into these woods.”
“But Mal’Est Tribe live in here! There only two of us!” said Fier. “We surely get killed.”
“Not so,” said Mina, “I strongest woman in Kal-Est! We overcome them yet.” She turned to Fier. “I tell you, Fier, these beings show us to the legendary city—the city of the gods.”
Fier’s face went blue. “That city only in legends! How you think that possible!”
“I know in my gut,” said Mina. “These beings from the beyond. I know it.” Fier gulped.
They came to a clearing. The woods chirped and cooed in their wake. Mina sat down. “Now I eat,” she said. “Here.” She threw a piece of meat to Fier. He juggled it in his hands momentarily, and ate of it. They waited until dusk. Nothing could prepare them for the next incident.
They were sleeping when snorts and snickers awoke them. They slowly awoke, peering about, trying to figure out what made the noises. Sure enough, in the moonlight, they spotted a group of Mal’Est people, encircling them, wielding axes and clubs. They sniffed and snorted, approached them, meaning to kill them.
Mina clutched her club. A Mal’Est fisted her, and snatched the club from her hand. Then he beat her to the ground. The Mal’Est were speechless people. Their grunts and snorts were nonsensical horror to their ears as they encroached on them, ready to beat them. Mina’s eyes gazed into her offender’s, a tiny gasp escaping her horrified lips. He began to hold her down.
“Mina! They kill me now, but I just want to tell you—“ said Fier. “—That I love you, with all that I am.” Mina’s eyes met his, and they reached for each other. Fier was cut to the bone by a Mal’Est, fell to the turf. Mina’s eyes returned to the brutish eyes of the offending Mal’Est.
Then it happened. A tremendous roar erupted through the forest. The Mal’Est fled. Mina stood. Before her, a stomping, tromping earthquake blasted beneath her feet. Or was it an earthquake? No. The trees furled before her, and an unusual feeling crept up her spine.
She felt through the glade, and before her, a huge metal beast towered over her, roaring and screaming, screeching and ripping. She backed to the clearing. The monster sniffed and scowled like the Mal’Est. It inched ever closer, closer and closer. It was now face-to-face with her starry eyes, metal ones meeting fleshly ones. The beast rose, and roared again. Mina closed her eyes. She knew it—today she’d be eaten. But she looked back. The beast was gone.
She returned with stories abound. But the village was stirred against her. “She spotted a Mamaro!” they cried.
“Mamaro! Mamaro! Mamaro!” The children kawed.
“But I thought Mamaro were extinct,” she said. “I’m telling you, Thot! These were the other worldly beings. These are the ones that would teach us to find the city of the gods.”
“You have it in reverse. The Mamaro’e were real, and the city of the gods is a myth,” said the elder. “But you have acted recklessly, Mina. You had my son killed. And you go against your responsibilities. For this, you banned from Kal’Est Tribe. Go, and never return.”
She was crestfallen. She begged the elder. “Please! Let me find more about the metal men! I find out more, I promise!”
He shook his head, and hit the ground with his staff. “Now go. Take food for your travels, Mina. I don’t expect to see you here again.”
She gave the elder a passing glance, one that said "I am in the right here. I will show you!" The night gazed into her soul as she traipsed about the village, saying good-by to her soldiers and the villagers. Tearful faces abounded, and she grasped many people in her six-foot embrace. She left in the morning.
She traveled for hours and hours, across land, river, and forest. She made her way to the High Woods, where the Wood People lived. She took out her canteen, and drank. Then she dipped in a pool, washing her naked body. The next thing she was certainly not prepared for.
There was Fier, standing there, with no injuries or anything. He was naked like her, basking in the setting sun. She waded up to him desperately. Her trudges struck the water harshly. Then, as she came close to him, a bright light shined, and Fier disappeared.
She treated the incident as some kind of dream or vision. She made her way through the High Woods further and further, until she came to the Gorshin Peak, where she sat for hours, gazing at the woods below. She kicked her feet about, imagining what it would be like to have children, to live in Kal’Est instead of wandering the earth. Would she ever have a place to live? She wondered. She sighed heavily, and plunked her chin on her fists. When she got up to leave, a snare swooped down from the rock face, and she was caught and unable to move. “What happen?” she said.
Two beautifully dressed men came from behind the rock, speaking in some strange language. She thought they looked like flowers in their gaudy raiment. A giant lumbered forth, and pulled the net with one hand, heaving Mina over his shoulder. She kicked and struggled, full of anger and strife. “I Mina! Strongest of the Kal’Est! I fight forever! You not have me!”
One of the robed men walked up to her. He smiled at her, and disappeared suddenly in a kind of magic light. Then the giant began to walk off, carrying her.
The giant carried her across many badlands, places that the Kal’Est had forbidden to go. Those men—were they from the city of the gods? She considered. Maybe her dream would finally be fulfilled. But out of nowhere, as she thought about these things, a screeching shadow split the net apart, allowing her escape. The giant hummed. He made to strong-arm her. “Now I free! You not want to mess with me when I free!” She began to pummel the giant. Then, a saber-tooth tiger appeared, and mangled the giant. Mina’s eyes diluted. She ran, trying to escape the beast’s encroaching mouth.
It stalked Mina, she having no place to hide. It was playing with her, creeping around her footsteps. Then, that shadow swooped down and attacked the beast, piercing it with some kind of beak. It fell to the ground, whimpering. She had her chance. She ran.
She came back to the forest, kneeling by a tree, heaving, hawing. She peered behind her mane. The beast was long gone.
But the Wood People were approaching. She could hear their chants, as they busied about her, dressed in bushes. She gulped. She heard from her tribe that the Wood People could turn a person to wood with a single touch. She was frozen in place, standing in the dark woods, the moon glinting from above the treetops. She crunched the leaves beneath her feet, and widened her eyes, trying to see in the dark. The hums of the Wood People was coming ever closer. Closer, and closer, and closer.
She closed her eyes momentarily. When she opened them, right in front of her were two white balls,--no, eyes indeed, with black face paint covering their outer rims. A bony man stood before her, dressed in leaves and bushes. She tried to back up, but the sticky body heat of another forced her forward. She was completely surrounded.
Then, a scorching heat, unlike any kind of thing she had ever beheld, blasted about the Wood People. They scattered and fled, dropping their bushes and leaves, revealing dark-painted naked bodies. The orange wisp remained on the ground, and Mina’s eyes transfixed on it. “It is like—like a star on the earth.” She danced about its peculiar form, surveying it, studying it. She touched the orange-dancing earth-bound star, but it sizzled her fingertip.
“You should not do that,” came Fier’s voice, from behind her. She turned round. There was Fier, dressed in some kind of blue armor, with a brown spiked helmet on his head. He stood next to the flames. “This substance new to human. It call ‘fire’ on my planet.”
She stood there, dumbstruck. “You Fier. I saw you die.”
“Your friend did die. I not him. I take his body, to fit in with human people. You call me Grimlock. I am leader of Dynabots, from the planet Cybertron. What your name?” Grimlock turned to Mina.
“My name? Me Mina! You show me great new thing today. This fire, it is? I will show my tribe! You come with me. Make more!”
“I leave that for you to find yourselves. Best if beings like me not meddle with humans.”
She stared into Grimlock’s robotic eyes. “Please! Come with me to village. They say you mamaro, but now I know—you from other world. From the beyond.” She was smiling.
Grimlock looked at her in an alien sort of way. A strange voice spoke out of nowhere in particular. “I only in this form for short time, as computer say just now. I show you my true form. Then you know—I cannot be with your kind.”
A great light flashed, like the light that she saw earlier. Once the light settled, a great metal beast stood before her, along with five others, shining in the firelight. “Me Grimlock. This Sludge, that Swoop (he save you from man and cat earlier), that Slag, and that one Snarl. We come here for distress signal from others from our planet. Indeed—we come from great beyond. We Transformers, and can turn into any sort of thing.”
Mina felt faint. “I take you back to your village.”
“But they banish me. They kill me if I return!”
“That your problem. I search for the others that landed here.”
“Wait!” Mina was saying. “We find city of the gods. Maybe they know where to find your friends.”
Grimlock heaved. “Sound like good plan. You know where city is?”
“Maybe with your help, we find it?”
Grimlock roared. “What a stupid human. Not know where to find things on own planet. Come, Dynabots. We find Ark on our own.”
Bad Moon Rising
Mina traversed through the woody forests and craggy mountains, the ancient sky burning behind her. She felt alone, and did not know how to thank those who saved her. She was amazed by the new gift of fire that Grimlock had bestowed her. She thought she would harness it somehow, like there was some kind of way to use it. She experimented, trying many things to ignite fire.
She eventually reached a kind of totem amidst the badlands, like a small tower. She rested by it.
“A strange moon besets us tonight,” she heard someone say as she slept. Her eyes slowly drooped open. “It is pale and red. Unlike any I have ever seen. This might mean trouble.” Mina snored. “My name is Enoch. I come from the city of the gods. You were meant to be one of the king’s concubines. But something got in the way. What?”
She was still only barely awake. “Metal beast,” she said, “helped me. Came from great beyond. Looked like a mamaro.”
Enoch’s robed appearance started. He turned to her. He carried a white pearly sphere in his left hand, which glowed when he spoke. His head was veiled by a raven-like hood. “What else?”
“He show me fire. He look like my husband.”
She thought it was a dream. When she woke up, she resumed her travels, seeing this strange event as a sign to show her the way to the city. But she wondered: what if she got there, and got abducted again? It seemed she was looking exactly for trouble. But she didn’t care. She would follow the man, if she could, and go to the city of the gods.
She could see no sign of the man I her dreams. The badlands were barren of animals, and the sun beat down on her shoulders. She felt weak and emaciated. The noon days were boiling and sweaty.
She thought she would die. No wonder no one sought the city. Her eyes began to become dark. Her arms barely moved. She felt like stone. The angry sun condemn her to death. Then she saw that mysterious light again. Fier’s body, dressed in that strange gray armor, was standing there talking to Enoch, before a golden stairway. They were speaking in some strange language. A language that seemed to suggest laughter and joy, mirth and merriment; yet total sorrow and seriousness. This was the language of the gods.
She awoke, and found a great fire before her. There were two slaughtered animals also, cooking in the firelight. She rejoiced inwardly, and danced about the fire in happy, deft movements. Her smile was alone to be sure, but full of joy and success.
Her travels recommenced the next day, after eating thoroughly the animals that were slaughtered before her. She knew it now: If she were to find the city, Enoch would intervene for her, as he had prepared a feast before her before. She figured it would only be a manner of time before she would reach the city.
She climbed a high mountain, one so high that she felt out of breath as she came to its top. She named it Mt. Guluburu, which meant big and tall. The air got colder and colder as she climbed. But she reckoned that she had been through worse. She was a warrior. And this was a battle she’d win yet.
The downing sun looked like nothing else she had ever seen when she reached the peak. Her eyes squinted in the benevolent shine. She slept in the cleft, like a spider, only to awake to a horrible screech. She followed the noise, sidling along an icy slope.
The moon was blood-red, and in its red glow was Fier, shackled, chained to the side of the mountain, howling and screeching Grimlock’s horrific voice. His face looked jumbled and messed up, his armor now gone, revealing a human form. She could only wonder what happened. She asked him what happened, standing there awkwardly.
“I find man from city of gods,” said Grimlock, “I show him secrets of the beyond. Then I find city of the gods. Not know that they allied with Decepticons.”
“Yes. Bad Decepticon, Shockwave, building Energon siphon on moon. He plan to suck the world of Energon, and leave it lifeless and barren. That why it so red now. Must find some way to stop him.”
“I not know how,” said Mina, “this sound beyond me. Moon is god in the sky. I merely human. What you suggest? I untie you!”
“No,” said Grimlock, “these shackles only thing keeping me alive. The puny humans in the city want to learn from me, so they use technology borrowed from Decepticons to keep me in semi-stasis to study me more. Really they are being duped by the Decepticons. They keep me alive to learn more about Autobot’s plans.”
“Autobots? I not know. Thought you were Dynabots.”
“And you not forget! But Autobots work with Dynabots in war against Decepticons. Autobots come to Earth to flee from war-ridden Cybertron, and find new resources, hide Allspark. But Decepticons catch wind of plan. And they send envoys to attack.”
“What we do?” said Mina. Her eyes were glossy and wind-beaten.
“Swoop come and feed me energon every once and a while to keep alive. You go with him to city. There you convince other humans to stop working with Decepticons. They being foolish, you stop them, even if you have to beat them.”
“But they like the gods! I only human. They use magic. I have only fists and my club,” Mina insisted.
“You figure out something.”
Of Gods and Men
Swoop showed Mina the way to the city. It was just past the mountains, beyond a cedar forest. Its name, according to the commoners living there, was Catalhuyuk. There was no mistaking it when she got there: It was all billowing towers, globed houses, and godly architecture; pillars and verandahs, ornamented walls, purple flags, and sparking environs. She came to the city gates. Two robed men with spears blocked her.
“Gomo gath nomer fin de?” they asked. She could not see beneath their helmets. She gulped, and tried to look determined. “I come to speak with elders! I tell them to stop worshipping Decepticons!”
“Filiel tomor fin de gogath?” they chuckled. They indeed seemed like gods: their demeanor, their voices, their height. Mina wanted to marry one. “Fin de, fin de, gomor teedeth. Yaborwah Catalhuyuk.” The doors opened. She entered.
She had heard from Thot that anyone who would enter the city of the gods would never return. She looked about her. The streets were paved with gold and silver, and completely vacant. There was a flight of staircase leading to a grand tall tower, which billowed into the sky. It was so high that Mina had vertigo looking up at it. She traipsed up the winding stairways, until she came to its entrance.
“Yab yab ento wir fin de fin de gomo la burf entil Canas, abba de Zenway. Gotoroh, gotoroh, youf fin de filloways,” said a guard, opening the door into the tower.
She entered, and traipsed up seemingly endless flights of stairs. The walls were scorched black stone, with blue torches lighting the passages. She made her way ever more to the topmost floor.
She could not be prepared for what she found there.
There before her was a torchlit round room, with a glass sphere, with four pillars surrounding it equidistantly. In the center of the room was a glass container with a gigantic brain hooked to various metal tubes in a glass of water, bathing in gross green water. She felt like retching. A white-robed man with a snidely smile and a long nose walked before her. He carried a white ball in his hand, not unlike the one that Enoch carried. Mina walked unabashedly up to him.
“Why you work with Decepticons? They evil!”
The man’s smile became wider. “What a foolish mortal. Came to disturb me, Zenway ruler of Catalhuyuk?” He walked up to her, coming uncomfortably close.
“You can talk like me? Why that?”
“Are you so naïve? This crystal ball in my hand translates speech. Surely you must be of noble birth to have reached here!”
“I from Kal’Est Tribe!”
The man laughed uproariously, a screeching kind of laugh that bit into Mina. “What a laugh! They are a bunch of weaklings! The lowest class!”
“How dare you! I beat you out of working with the evil ones!” she was determined. But the man shuffled to the middle of the room, not amused.
“Evil ones? They are merely a key to a brighter future! Can’t you see? Humans and gods—watching over the universe. We are of the gods--born of Canas, the son of the first man. That brain, you see it? It once belonged to him.” He laughed that screeching laugh again. "We are invincible. The little ones living in villages will only serve us, and the ones you call the 'evil ones.'"
“You not know! They have siphon in moon! They plan to kill everything on earth! You the one that stupid!”
“Someday you cattle will care less about the affairs of the gods. Guards! Take this one to be processed.”
A couple of giants strong-armed Mina, and though she fought back, it was no use. She was carried off, upon being beaten.
She was thrown in a dank cell, with barely any light peering out of the window above her. She felt destitute and lonely as she sat in shambles, the shackles binding tightly to her wrists. She wanted like nothing else to be back in Kal’Est, the sky pouring down on her shoulders and the endless fields beneath her feet. But she knew those days would never return to her. She sat in a puddle of water, planting her fists in her naked cheek.
She began to dig in the turf, finding tough gravel cramming up her fingernails. Then she felt something tink against her finger. She dug harder. Sure enough, a metal ball, completely made of some thick material, yet hollow, appeared. She picked it up. She began to shake it, wondering what it could be. She pressed her ear against it.
It began to speak. She shook it more. Some kind of strange tongue, to be sure, alien for certain. She plocked it on the ground. Then a light flashed out of it. A face appeared, like the one that Grimlock had. Except much uglier.
The face spoke some strange tongue, and images flashed before her: a frigid waste, a terrible dark landscape made of metal, and the earth as she knew it, plains and yellow grass; dunes and badlands. She was curious about it, and wanted to study it more. After ten minutes of showing the images, it flashed off, and the ball returned to normal.
After thirty minutes, the ball began to glow. She picked it up, and her whole form began to shake and vibrate along with the ball. Now it shined, light as the sun, her body with it. Then she saw all go white.
The Beast in the Moon
Mina awoke in some dark cavern. Red energy glowed every where around her. Tubes and wires snaked along a rock-choked path, leading up to a gross vibrating thing, which interconnected with various other bulgy vibrating things. She traipsed through the narrow corridors, in plain wonderment.
The ball began to float, and fly off in some direction. She figured, if she did not know where to go, the ball would. So she followed it.
She felt as though she walked through the belly of a huge beast, with organs and things spitting out at her. Once she passed copious more wires and cords, she came to the center of the red energy, and where everything connected. There before her was a gigantic metallic being, with arms and legs, vaguely showing through from all the metal things poking into it. It had a single eye looking listlessly in front of it, now and then dotting left to right. It talked in some kind of strange tongue, resembling that of the face in the image from the ball.
Finally, it spoke in her tongue: “WHERE DID YOU OBTAIN THE BALL?”
“Me just find it. You Shockwave? I stop you!”
“ILLOGICAL. I CANNOT BE STOPPED. DYNABOTS HAVE BEEN STOPPED. NATIVES POSE NO THREAT. I AM UNSTOPPABLE.”
A bunch of cords and wires constricted Mina, and held her in place. “THIS WORLD NOW BELONGS TO THE DECEPTICONS. YOU WILL BE ELIMINATED. COMPUTER: DEACTIVATE OXYGEN FLOW. NOW YOU WILL DIE A SLOW DEATH, HUMAN.”
Mina struggled and pushed. But the air was beginning to thin. Quickly. “BEGIN LUNAR TRANSFORMATION SEQUENCE.”
This was it. Mina would die today. And the whole world with her.
Mina awoke on a beach. She reckoned that it was the same beach that stretched across the Great Sea, a place her tribe rarely visited. What had happened? Why did the Earth seem so normal? She wondered. The day was bleak and uncanny. Quiet like never before. She could not understand it. She felt like yelling out, if only just for human contact. She had not eaten in days. Yet she did not feel overwhelmingly hungry. She felt free, and happy, and alive. She smiled, then and there, and yelled out across the pink and blue nothing.
After eating some fish, she went to sleep that night. She awoke to the screeching of some giant bird, which encircled her above. It was large for a bird, when she realized it was no bird at all. She stood still, waiting for Swoop to land. He encircled her for a few moments, and transformed into robot mode, a sight that she was never quite prepared for.
“What happen?” she asked Swoop. “Why I alive? Shockwave dead?”
“Yes,” Swoop said. “Grimlock might be able to explain. I bring you to him.”
They departed, and flew for quite some time, the clouds cascading through Mina’s arms and legs. They were very high up, but she didn’t care. She felt close to the beyond, close to the gods. Soon came to the peak of Mt. Guluburu, Grimlock in his pathetic pose. “You succeed,” he said, perchance a smile on Fier’s borrowed face. “I commend you.”
“We not sure completely, but might be able to tell if you tell us what happen.”
“I got to moon with strange metal ball I find in prison. Shockwave bind me in cords to stop me, and shut off air so I can’t breathe. Then all went dark.”
“Ah,” Grimlock said, “metal ball is artifact. Probably Decepticon. Reads signatures and teleports to closest matching one. You got lucky. I think that Shockwave defeated because when he touch you, he get human characteristics, and therefore need air to live. He not dead, only asleep for a very long time.”
“Then you go back?” Mina said. “Back to your land in the stars? I see it in metal ball! It beautiful!”
“No,” Grimlock said, “I still go offline if released from chains. Also we must find Ark and the Allspark. That our primary mission. Perhaps city people know something.”
“I help! I go back and ask!”
“Last time you end up in prison,” Swoop said.
“Yes, but if you help me and attack them—“
“That not Autobot way. You done enough. Go away and forget you deal with us,” said Grimlock. “I should never have sent you to city in first place.”
“But I banished from tribe! I want to help!” Grimlock’s facsimile body winced.
“Then you do this for us. You search for Enoch, man I walk with before, and try to find cyber-cables. They may be able to free me from shackles. He also may have leads on the Ark. Got it?”
“Got it!” Mina was determined. She would show that she was worthy. “May the Eternal Spirit watch over us for all time!”
Grimlock’s human body smiled at her, his metal skeleton showing in his face. Swoop transformed into pterodactyl form, and she rode him off into the orange sunset.
NEXT: Nebulans on Earth