Wednesday, March 02, 2005

All Fade Away #2 - The Cosmic Monster

Marvel Universe Transformed Presents: And They All Fade Away

The history of Earth has been a sordid one. Since its beginning, Earth has been visited by extraterrestrial beings. Beings that wielded great power, great courage, and infinite greed. This is one of those tales.

Issue #2: "The Cosmic Monster"

Written By: Wes A.


Place: North Africa, 1943

The world was not a safe place to live for mankind. Then again, it wasn't a safe place for anyone to live in. Throughout Europe and most of the world, a bloody war was raging. The fanatic Nazi party and their allies in the Third Reich marched on nearly every country and every government in the world. Recently however, the Allied countries led by Britan, Russia, and the United States were making headway in the war and leading a charge toward the Nazi braintrust in Germany.

But all of this mattered little to the Decepticon Shockwave. These humans were so caught up in their own petty squabbles that they were unaware of what true horror lay beyond their pathetic homeworld. Shockwave would be sure to teach these tiny mammals what true horror was. Of that, he was 100% certain.

As Shockwave lay on a giant platform inside a Nazi bunker, he thought of ways to ensure the most painful death for his captors. The platform was at ground level inside a giant warehouse sized room converted into a lab. Machinery used to monitor and test Shockwave took up as much space as Shockwave himself. All around him, various scientists were studying Shockwave. Some analyzing his inner circuitry, some his exterior shell, and some just watching him like some lab experiment. In reality, Shockwave knew that that's what he was to them, just some experiment. Not for the first time, Shockwave wished that he had control of his limbs. Although these humans were very inexperienced in robotics and artificial intelligence, they were able to find the systems that controlled his motor functions and figure a way to control them.

"[Ah Shockwave, how are we on this fine day?]*" (*translated from German-Wes)

Shockwave's eye grew bright with hate when hearing that voice. It belonged to his "keeper", Franklin Heid. Franklin approached the inert Decepticon with a smug smile on his face. Shockwave saw that smile every day for the last two years. Franklin stood beside Shockwave's headpiece.

"[What, feeling unsociable today? You shouldn't be. Yesterday's field tests went very well. We have been making great strides in understanding your weapons capabilities. We predict that with this new data we can make an advanced form of Sleeper robot within the year.]"

Shockwave remained mute. The smile on Franklin's face faded a bit.

"[You should be very happy. Thanks to your donations, the Reich has benefited greatly. Our Sleepers, designed after you, have been very successful against Germany's enemies. If not for the other sides greater superhuman forces, they would not have been able to get as close to Germany as they are now.]"

Shockwave remained mute. The smile on Franklin's face was gone.

"[Shockwave, you would do best to remember that your fate lies in my hands. If someone else were put in charge of this operation, you may have very well been dismantled long ago. Some in the leadership believe that to get more of your�donations, dismantling you would be better. I have convinced them otherwise. I believe I deserve a little bit of gratitude for that.]"

Shockwave slowly turned his head. His yellow eye was just a few feet from Franklin's face. For a moment, the two merely stared at each other. It was Shockwave who broke the stare down.

"[I will take great pleasure in ending your pathetic existence.]"

Franklin's face contorted in rage. He rammed his fist into Shockwave's faceplate.

"[Arrgghhh!!]" shouted the German scientist, holding his bruised hand.

The other scientists turned to see what the noise was, then busied themselves with their work pretending not to notice. Franklin spat into Shockwave's eye.

"[Very well, stay ungrateful for all I've done for you! Without me, you are nothing!!]"

Franklin stormed out of the warehouse lab in a fury. On the inside, Shockwave enjoyed causing his "keeper" pain. It was one of the few things that he had been able to enjoy over these last few years.


Mt. St. Hilary, United States of America

Unlike the past four million years, the Ark was full of activity. Scientists and technicians were all over, studying the ship's computers. Near St. Hilary is a secret army base, where General Robert Sesimen runs the operation. Over the past ten years, the U.S. has been studying the Ark's technology has been beginning to use it to make advances in human technology. Television, radar, and even the in production atomic weaponry were receiving advances from the studying of Transformer technology. American scientists were now building actual computers. They predicted that one day it would even be possible to have computers in every persons home in America. Now though, humanity needed a more direct contribution.

"General, I strongly advise against this."

"Blow it out your hole doctor, I have my orders."

General Sesimen strode through the halls of the Ark with a man in white lab coat trailing behind him. Sesimen was a man in his mid thirties who just made General ranking. He had well-developed muscles from years in the military and a head full of red hair. The man trailing him was likewise in his thirties, with jet-black hair and wire rimmed glasses. The man's name was Professor Philip Garland. For the past six years he was the leader of the team investigating the Ark. While the General appeared calm, the Professor was far from it.

"You don't know what will happen! For all we know, they'll blow us to bits for stepping into this place." said Philip.

"That's a risk the President is will to take, Professor." replied Sesimen calmly.

The two men continued into the bridge of the Ark. There, technicians were busy setting up two of the Transformers to several large machines, which were in turn connected to Teletran-1. The two Transformers were laid out on two platforms in the middle of the room.

For the past ten years, the Transformers in the Ark were moved as little as possible. The government wanted to take the project one step at a time. First, study the ship, then study the aliens. Since human tech wasn't as advanced, it was taking a while to study the ship. One of the technicians saw Sesimen and Philip approaching, still in argument.

"Well the President had better realize that this procedure is far ahead of its designated time table."

"We realizes that."

"I'm not even sure if the English language programs we've installed in these two is even going to work."

"We realize that too."

"And even if they do come on-line, understand us, and want to help us, there's STILL no guarantee that-"

"Doctor!" snapped Sesimen, "We understand the risks involved here."

"I'm not so sure that you do."

Sesimen was about to refute that remark, but restrained himself from doing so. He massaged his forehead with his left hand.

"Philip, we're out of options. If our intelligence is accurate, then I don't think Captain America and the Invaders can even stop the Nazi's this time. We need to start fighting fire with fire. Yes, it could blow up in our faces, but that's a risk we need to take."

Philip had a scowl on his face. He didn't like this, it was too soon. They needed time, the one thing they were running low on even as they spoke. He understood what needed to be done. He only hoped that it would be enough.

Philip turned to the technicians at the controls of Teletran-1. "Ok, do it."

The technicians started their respective stations. Teletran-1 came on-line, as did the machine connecting the Ark computer with the two Transformers. On Teletran-1's main screen, Cybertronian language appeared, along with two transformation schematics. The files were fed from Teletran-1 into the machine, which were fed to the two Transformers. After a few minutes of this, a compartment in the ceiling of the Ark opened and two machines flew out. They were about half the size of a car, with two grappler hooks, and some sort of cannon-looking device on top. The two floating machines approached the Transformers.

"What are those?" Sesimen asked Philip.

"W-we're not sure. From our initial study, we found out that they don't have weapons."

"But other than that-"

"-We have no idea."

As Philip finished Sesimen's sentence, the machines began working on the Transformers. In actuality, they were repair droids. The "cannons" on them were reformatting lasers. They repaired the Autobots wounds and reformatted them to their new transformation modes. After ten minutes of work, they went back to their compartment. The humans in the room stood as still as statues.

"Did it work?" asked one of the technicians.

"Ohhhhhh." Moaned one of the Transformers.

The two giant robots eyes flickered with energy. They began to stand up, moving their joints around as they did. One of them was colored green and orange, the other was yellow and red. The yellow and red one was the first to speak.

"What happened?"

"I'm not sure," responded the green and orange one, "Last I remember was punching out Reflector when--hey what's going on here?!"

By now the two had taken a good look around. They saw their comrades and enemies alike lying on the floor offline and nearly a dozen humans. The green and orange one quickly assessed the situation and grabbed a pulse rifle that was nearby. He aimed it at the humans.

"Who are you? What are you doing on the Ark?"

Sesimen cautiously stepped forward. "Don't worry, we not-"

"I asked you a question, now you will answer, fleshling!" ordered the armed Transformer.

"Now wait a minute!" growled Sesimen.

"I said NOW!"

Philip chuckled. "Meeting of the minds."

Sesimen flashed Philip a dirty look. The red and yellow Transformer stood beside his companion.

"Overdrive, I don't think they mean us any harm." he said calmly.

"How do you know? For all we know, the Decepticons could have-"

"The Decepticons are offline too. I don't think they're working with them."

"That's right, we mean you no harm," said Philip, "Actually, we need your help."

"Not until we get answers." said Overdrive, who still had his rifle aimed.

The red and yellow Transformer sighed. He carefully stepped forward. "My name's Downshift, this is Overdrive. We're Autobots, the one's who built this space ship. Now, perhaps you can tell us what you're doing here, why we're not speaking Cybertronian, and what you need our help with."

Philip stepped forward. "My name's Philip Garland. The man to my left here is General Robert Sesimen. We both work for the United States of America. We found this ship several years ago, and we've been studying it ever since. Might I say, as a scientist, it's been a dream come true. We've decrypted you language and we know that you're a peaceful people, like some of us are on our planet, Earth.

"For the past few years, several of this planet's governments have been declaring war on the rest. We've been making progress in defeating them, but recently we've found out that they've come across a very powerful weapon. One that we need your help in destroying. We had hoped to prepare a proper awakening for you all, but this is a desperate time. Please, will you help us?"

Downshift looked to Overdrive. The two had known each other for a while, fought beside each other. Overdrive was a fighter, he didn't trust others with ease. But one he knew he could trust was Downshift. He could see in Downshift's eyes that he trusted these humans. Besides, they could have just taken their weapons without waking them at all and use them.

"If we do this, you'll wake our comrades?" asked Overdrive.

"You have our word." piped up Sesimen.

"Ok then, we'll do it."


Greenland, a Nazi outpost

Shockwave gazed out at the Atlantic Ocean, standing still like a statue. He stood at the end of a cliff on the coastline. It was the first time in years that he had been on the surface of this world. The Nazi's had shipped him from his "cell" in Africa to this location. He tried to break free, but they had taken certain steps to prevent that. A device had been planted near his motor function circuits, a device that allowed them to control his movements. He was little more than a doll that could think. Franklin Heid strode up to him, a swagger in his walk. He joined Shockwave in looking out at the ocean.

"[Beautiful day, isn't it? Personally, I've never been very fond of Greenland, too damned cold. But I do admit that their coast provides some modest view. Now, if you turn to the right, I believe there's a pod of whale's that�oh, silly me. You can't turn to the right, can you?]"

Franklin laughed, as Shockwave remained statue-like. Shockwave reminded himself of the promise he made earlier.

"[You can't move,]" continued Franklin, "[Not without this.]"

Franklin motioned to a large machine a few feet to their left that had a large control console installed. It was very large and had to weigh at least a few tons. Franklin strode over to the console and punched a few buttons. Shockwave shifted to the right.

"[Ah, is that any better?]" asked Franklin in mock concern.

Shockwave remained silent. Franklin's face darkened a bit.

"[Very well. We're ready anyway. It's time you know your mission. You'll use your flying capabilities to fly over the Atlantic Ocean towards England. Once you land, you'll make your way to the core of the British Empire: London. We've reinstalled your shoulder cannon and have recharged it. You'll use it to destroy the city, wiping it out. Then, if possible, you'll locate Prime Minister Churchill and Parliament. You don't need to destroy them, just apprehend them. We plan on taking them to Germany and publicly executing them there. We're going to give your motor functions back to you, but we'll be watching your progress through your visual preceptors, which we'll see through the screen here.]"

Franklin motioned toward a screen on the machine.

"[We've taken the liberty of installing an explosive device inside you. Disobey these orders and we'll activate it. Any questions?]"

Shockwave turned his head and looked at Franklin.

"[Yes. Are you in good physical condition?]"

Franklin furrowed his brow in puzzlement. "[Yes, moderately. Why?]"

"[I'd like to know how much torture you'll endure before I kill you.]"

Furious, Franklin was prepared to push the explosive order on the console, when he heard an explosion over the side of a hill nearby. He heard the screams of Germans, the ones sent to watch over them. Cursing, Franklin activated Shockwave's motor functions. Shockwave felt control of his body return to him.

"[We're under attack, destroy them! Fail to do so and I'll destroy you now.]"

Shockwave saw Franklin's hand hovering above the button. Despite his hate, Shockwave wanted to live even more. He conceded. However, he didn't have to go to the enemy, they came for them. Over the hill came Overdrive and Downshift.

"[What? How did they get here?]" said Shockwave to himself.

"Surprise, Shockwave!" yelled Overdrive as he fired his pulse rifle.

Shockwave darted to the left, narrowly avoiding the weapons fire. He charged his shoulder cannon and prepared to fire. Overdrive and Downshift each had their weapons locked onto Shockwave. They were about to fire when they felt themselves coming under fire.

"[Blow them to pieces!]"

The two Autobots saw several German planes firing coming at them, guns blazing. The German bullets bounced off the Autobot's hides. With a few quick blasts, Overdrive destroyed the planes. However, the planes provided enough distraction for Shockwave to power up his shoulder cannon. The Decepticons fired on Overdrive, hitting his left shoulder. The Autobot went down to one knee. Downshift turned and began to fire on Shockwave.

"This is the end of the line Shockwave!" shouted Downshift as he blasted.

As the two Transformers traded weapons fire, Franklin got on the radio to a German detachment close by.

"[Mayday, this is Franklin! I need assistance immediately!]"

The German commander on the other end answered the radio. "[We're sorry Doctor, but we need to abandon the mission. American bombers have been sighted heading our way and they'll be here within fifteen minutes. We are leaving in five. If you are not here by then, then may god protect you.]"

The radio went silent. Franklin's eyes went wide. Why would the Americans send bombers when they already sent two robots similar to Shockwave. He didn't care. He hopped into his nearby jeep and sped off toward the detachment. Shockwave was on his own now.

Shockwave hit Downshift with several blasts from his shoulder cannon. The Autobot was flat on his back, smoldering holes in his abdomen. Shockwave closed in for his final blow. He aimed at Downshift's faceplate, ready to fire. Suddenly, the flying form of Overdrive smashed into Shockwave and the two went tumbling. While his partner was busy brawling with the Decepticons, Downshift looked towards the sky to see half a dozen bombers approaching them. It didn't take very long to figure out who their targets were.

"Overdrive! We have to get out of here!" he shouted.

It was no good. Overdrive had Shockwave pinned to the ground, trying to rip his very head off. Downshift transformed into his new form, a U.S. army jeep and began to speed away. A few moments later, the bombs went off. The entire landscape was swallowed in fire, decimating it.

Downshift escaped from the blast area. When he made sure the planes were gone, he returned. He looked around at what was left of the area. The cliff was now much larger than it was before, debris scattered all over the new cliff. Downshift tried looking for some sign of his friend, anything at all. But he found none.

"I'm sorry Overdrive. We both knew that I wasn't a warrior, but that's no excuse. The Autobots need brave Transformers like you. I...I'm sorry."

"Oh shut up."

Downshift looked to his left and saw a pile of debris moving. He rushed over and began to throw the chunks of rock away. After a bit of digging, he found Overdrive. He was literally missing an arm and leg, and had multiple gashes on his surface, but he functioning.

"Overdrive! I thought you were-"

I nearly was. Luckily, I managed to get out of the main blast area. Did you get an ID on those bombers?

Downshift shook his.  "No. I can only assume that their targets were us. Come on, we'd better contact the Americans so they can get us back to the Ark. Teletran-1's repair droids are going to have quite a time putting you back together.


Philip threw a pile of his lab notes to the floor in anger.

"Damn it General, that wasn't necessary!" exclaimed Philip, "The aliens trusted us and what do we do?! We betray them!"

General Sesimen held up his hands in a defensive manner. "Doctor, I was against the decision from the start. But the joint chiefs decided that it was best to cover all our bases. If the Nazi's scored that victory, the Allies' chances of victory would be shortened. Besides, the operation was a success. The target was destroyed and both Autobots made it back. The damaged one is nearly done being repaired."

"So if they helped us, why are we wiping their memories?"

"Like I said, we're covering all our bases. When we do awaken all these people, we want it to be with a clean slate. It's just business, that's all."

Philip was staring daggers at the General. He had never trusted the General. For all he knew, it was the General who had sent the bombing order. But this wasn't a time to talk treason. It was time to just follow orders. For now.

"Ok General." he simply said.

"Good," said the General with a smile. He turned to a glass canister in Philip's lab. Inside was a mass of black goo that seemed to slither like it was alive. "Now, why don't you update me on the progress of your study of this symbiote creature."

To be continued

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