Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Bishop #3 - Urrggh! Where am I?

"Urrggh! Where am I?"

Bishop cautiously lifted his trembling left eyelid. He repressed an involuntary urge to yawn and looked around. He was in some kind of transparent foam cocoon. It seemed to cover the entirety of his body, but did not hinder his breathing. In fact, he could barely feel its existence at all. He opened his other eye and took a good look around. The material seemed soft to the touch. He swung his left arm up gently, and the foam effortlessly stretched to accommodate him.

"You are fully conscious now, yes?" The robotic, yet disturbingly smooth voice belonged to Death's Head, Bishop guessed.

"Yeah, I'm awake. Where am I?" Bishop looked around to see a run down empty cabin, converted into a military bunker. It already contained many instruments of war, evidently collected by Death's Head.

Death's Head gestured with his hand. "This is my current residence. We are a close to Sector 17 as we can be without fear of detection. I have kept you here to ensure your safe recovery. You were badly hurt when I found you."

"Indeed. But where is this.. this sector 17?" Bishop was still trying to get a grip on what was going on as he was recovering from the interdimensional trip as well as his trauma from previous injuries.

Death's head continued with his explanation. "It is a top secret Government research and testing base. Its existence has long been overshadowed by that of Area 51, a decoy set up to draw attention a way from Mt St. Hilary. You understand what I now mean, yes?"

"Yeah, this era's Government is keeping secrets from its people. Tell me something I don't know." Bishop grumbled beneath his breath.

Death's head still heard Bishop's statement of loathing. "Ah. Your fellow X-men have not informed you about its significance? This is a setback, yes."

Bishop nodded his head. "I've been out of contact with the other X-men for a few months now. What's so important about this place?"

"It contains the necessary substance to activate the X-factor Gene; amongst other things."

Bishop's jaw was left wide open in surprise at the statement. "What? You mean they have something there that can mutate normal humans?"

"Precisely. And now the substance has spread around the world, they are guarding its source, and the other things there."

Even though Bishop could tell by the emphasis of the word, he still had to confirm the meaning. "What other things?"

"An extra-terrestrial space craft and its crew." Death's Head responded.

Bishop frowned. He had enough of an unfortunate experience with aliens recently to have developed more that a slight dislike of them.

"What aliens? Kree? S'hiar?"

"No. These are far more powerful, and have not been encountered by you before. I have however. In my previous form I was transported from a Universe where they had established themselves on Earth already, and were living in relative peace with Mankind. One caste of them were, at least."

"Then they're not all friendly?"

"No. They are called Cybertronians, or, towards Humans they refer to themselves as Transformers. They can alternate their forms to appear like common mechanical devices,a form of camouflage, if you will. Observe"

Death's Head pushed a button on a nearby console and a television screen replayed the battle Bishop had been injured in (see last issue). The cameras panned across until the F-15s were in full view then freeze-framed.

"Seeing the symbol they bore was enough to convince me of who they were. They are Decepticons, the less agreeable faction. Now watch this footage, taken from my memory banks."

Two almost identical Jets flew along and then, amazingly to Bishop, transformed in the same manner that the sentinels had on the highway.

"So you're saying that these Decepticons have been going round at random, wreaking havoc?

"Yes. The government has been covering up incidents in the manner you experienced. What troubles me is that the other faction, The Autobots, have not been sighted anywhere. They were always around to keep the balance. If the group of transformers here on this Earth is composed entirely of Decepticons, it would be a serious problem, yes?

"Indeed," said Bishop, nodding his agreement. Why have you come after me?"

"I mean to infiltrate the crash site around sector 17 and see if there are any Autobots present on this planet. If not, we will have to see. I chose you specifically because of your natural abilities. Cybertronian weapons technology is 95% energy based. Even their missiles are often in fact unstable energy packets."

"Right. Okay, I'm happy to help, but how do I get out of this thing?"

Deaths Head pushed a switch on the console. The cocoon dissolved, and a rack holding Bishop's uniform slid out of the wall.

"There will be soldiers guarding the Base who do not use energy weapons. To that end,I've had your uniform interwoven with a special Diamond/ Kevlar thread. It should be strong enough to protect you from any conventional Automatic weapons fire, such as an AK-47 or an M-16.

"Thanks," said Bishop as he dressed. "So, do we have any maps of this place?"

"None. It appears to have some kind of electronic blanket that covers it. It prevents any photographic or radar scanning. Recons have proven impossible."

"Great," muttered Bishop sarcastically. "when do we leave?"

Suddenly the ceiling caved in and three large robots stood there, bearing a striking resemblance to the F15s that had attacked the people on the highway.

"Decepticons?" asked Bishop.

"So, the Fleshling knows what we are," said the white jet in a high, grating voice. "Destroy Him! I'll take the mechanoid myself."

The other two robots started firing. Bishop dived for cover behind a piece of computer terminal, and leapt out from behind it onto a piece of rubble. He clambered his way out of the hidden bunker, and was pulled back inside by the purple robot.

"Foolish flesh creature! Did you think you could escape Skywarp?"

Bishop answered him with a shot from his Plasma rifle. It struck Skywarp between the eyes, and the Decepticon dropped Bishop in surprise.

"Skywarp you fool!" yelled Starscream, ignoring Death's Head for the moment. "My Null Rays will suck him dry of electrical energy!"

Starscream fired at Bishop. A purple beam struck Bishop head on. Then, to the surprise of everyone present, Starscream screamed in pain as all the energy was sucked out of him. Then, the other Decepticons collapsed. Realizing what was happening; Skywarp used the last reserves of his power to teleport himself and the others away. Bishop slumped to the floor, barely able to contain the energy he had just absorbed. Cautiously, Death's Head walked closer to him.

"What just happened?" croaked Bishop.

"No time for that! Quickly, Discharge the energy! You currently hold enough charge to level a city to the ground! The Bunker generators should hold it though. The next room, quickly!"

Bishop staggered to the next room, and all Death's Head's optics could register for a moment was a blaze of yellow energy coming from down the corridor.

"What just happened?" said Bishop, tired, but feeling better.

"Exactly what I'd hoped. The negative energy from his null rays was heightened by your mutant abilities, and all the electrical energy was sucked out of the room."

"What about you?"

"That foam also an amazing insulator."


"Anyway, now you've experienced them, are you prepared to join me still in my search for the Autobots?"

"If it's Autobots you're looking for," said a robotic voice with a strangely southern tone, "Then I think you're covered"

A large white robot resembling a Porsche climbed over the mess.

"Jazz is the name, and if you know who we are, I think there's some serious explaining to do." {Evidently Jazz got delayed with his rendezvous in New York...See X-Men #4 for the details}

No comments: