Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Deathlok #8 - A Time for Reflection (part 2)

The three identical Decepticon spies known collectively as Reflector had ambushed Deathlok. As the three deadly robots raised their blaster pistols to fire upon Deathlok, he quickly pondered a plan of action to escape his three attackers. Unfortunately for him, that plan wasn’t coming to him as quickly as he would have liked. He ran out of time. The three Decepticons fired their blasters.


Deathlok: Cybernetic living weapon searching for a way to try and live a normal life. Where will the future take him? Will he ever gain back his lost humanity? There’s no way of knowing in a world where everything is more than meets the eye...


Issue #8 "A Time for Reflection" (part 2)



Deathlok did the only thing he could think of on the short notice that he had. As the three laser blasts streaked towards him, he did a backward flip that sent him ten feet back. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t far enough. One of the three blasts hit next to his feet and exploded the pavement below him. Deathlok was thrown back by the explosion and landed on the ground. His right foot was damaged. It was burnt and smoking.

The three Decepticons were impressed with the maneuvers of Deathlok. One of them spoke up. "A fancy move, traitor, but it did you no good. It won’t save you this time." With that, the three robots raised their blasters again and prepared to fire.

Deathlok was sprawled on the ground and in pain. He was in no condition to leap out of the way again. He knew he had to try a different tactic.

Before Reflector could fire on him, Deathlok asked, "Did you guys say your name was Reflector."

The three robots paused and looked at each other, wondering why he would want to know. The one in the middle replied, "That is correct. We are Reflector."

"That’s what had me confused," Deathlok replied. "Are you each Reflector, or is your name Reflector as a whole?"

The middle robot replied, "We are collectively known as Reflector."

Deathlok started laughing uncontrollably. This angered the three warriors. The one on the right spat out, "What do you find so funny, traitor?"

Deathlok tried to calm down his laughter and then replied, between laughs, "How the hell do you three tell each other apart? I mean, what do you call each other? Reflector 1? Reflector 2? You guys have to have some serious identity issues!" He doubled over and burst out laughing just as hard as before.

Reflector didn’t find this humorous in the least. The robot in the center snarled, "No one mocks us. You’ll pay for that, traitorous trash."

Deathlok suddenly got to his feet and replied, "I really doubt that, asshole." With that he threw two incendiary grenades at the Decepticons, two grenades which he had been pulling out of his backpack while he was doubled over "laughing". The grenades exploded on two of the robots covering them in flames and, while they did little damage, they were more than enough to distract them. Deathlok used this moment of weakness to retreat at full speed. This was a difficult thing to do, considering the condition his right foot was in.

The three Decepticons were too busy dealing with themselves to follow him. While the flames spreading over them were hardly harmful, they were certainly a hindrance. Also, it certainly wasn’t good for their armor. The one member of the trio who was unharmed pointed his hands at his comrades and, instantly, flame-retardant foam fired from his fingertips. Once the fires were smaller, the other two were able to spray themselves down with their own supplies.

With the fires completely extinguished, the three robots took time to survey the situation.

"He’s escaped us!" one of them pointed out, as if the others couldn’t tell.

"We can see that, you fool!" said another. "He knew exactly what he was doing!"

The third spoke up. "He made fools of us. He now thinks that he’s more intelligent than us."

"A mistake he’ll regret," said the second one.

The third replied, "Let him think he has the upper hand, my brothers. We’ll show him Decepticons aren’t defeated as easily as he would like to believe."

The first amended this thought. "Especially not by a flesh bag... gifted with our technology or not."

The third robot finished. "Exactly. He merely has our technology and that is no match for Decepticons themselves.

"Now we must take back to the air and split up. He couldn’t have gotten far. As soon as one of us finds him, we will converge and finish him. Don’t allow him the chance to play his games." With that, the three identical warriors took to the air and each flew off in separate directions.


Brianne walked up to the roof of the building she lived in with Thomas and Deathlok, carrying two cups of coffee. Thomas was up there smoking a cigarette, just like she expected. He was staring off into the sky as if there was something interesting there to watch. There wasn’t.

"Something on your mind, Tom?" she asked her friend as she handed him one of the cups of coffee. Thomas took it and took a long drink.

He stared at her, hardly believing she was even asking. "What do you think is on my mind, Bri?"

Brianne took a drink of her coffee and asked, "Sean?"

Thomas nodded enthusiastically. "Hell yeah, Sean."

"Are you worried about him?"

"You mean him fighting those Decepticons?" Brianne nodded. Thomas shook his head. He still couldn’t believe she didn’t understand. "Dammit, Bri, I already told you. I’m not worried about the kid. He’s a tough son of a bitch. He’s built tough. He can handle whatever those robotic bastards have to throw at him."

"He’s just a kid, Tom."

"Bri, have you ever looked at him? He’s not just a kid. He’s a God damned killing machine."

Brianne was growing frustrated trying to read Thomas’s mind. "Then what the hell are you so worried about, Tom?"

Thomas set his cup of coffee on the ledge of the roof and took a long drag of his cigarette. He turned to Brianne. "Have you thought at all about what he told us about his creation?"

Brianne nodded. She suddenly realized where he was going. The fact was, what he was worried about was bothering her too. In fact, like Thomas, it was bothering her more than Deathlok’s safety.

"You realize what it means, don’t you?"

Brianne nodded. "It means that the technology we used to work with was taken from those transforming aliens."

Thomas threw his cigarette off the roof. "Everything we helped build came from them. All those weapons and machines of war. The press is talking about those Decepticons and what monsters they are. Well, what are we, Bri?"

Brianne grabbed Thomas’s hands. "We’re different, Thomas. We didn’t know."

Thomas pulled his hands away. "No, Bri. We didn’t ask. Because of that, those Decepticons aren’t the only monsters on this planet."

Brianne grabbed Thomas’s face and looked into his eyes. "Thomas, we found out what we were creating and because of that, we left. What difference does it make where that technology came from?"

"The people who hired us USED machines of destruction. They ANALYZED them. They didn’t do anything to stop them. It was bad enough when I just thought we were taking advanced technology and making weapons from it. No, we were taking an already deadly technology and just improving on it. They knew what it was for, and that’s why they took it."

"But that’s their fault, Thomas. It wasn’t our plan. You can’t take responsibility for anything that came from them because we left. We didn’t allow ourselves to become them."

"We ran away, Bri. We didn’t do anything to stop them. Weapons were still built. Hell, I’m sure they’re still being built. Just because our project got shut down, do you really think it’s gone? No. There are more out there and they’ll just keep making more and more weapons and more and more people will be killed. And what did we do to stop this? We ran."

"Thomas. What could we do?" Thomas walked away from Brianne and went back to the ledge to pick up his cup of coffee. He took another long drink from it. Brianne just stood, watching him.


"Yeah, Tom?"

"Thanks for the coffee. You make a damn fine cup o’ joe." Brianne smiled and nearly laughed.

She walked over to the ledge next to Thomas and he put his arm around her. She asked, "Do you really think Sean’s gonna be okay?"

"We can only hope. He’s our only chance at redemption."


As Deathlok ran along the busy New York streets he pondered what to do next. "I’m getting sick and tired of running," he thought to himself. "It seems like it’s all I’m ever doing. Maybe it would help if metallic dickweeds would quit attacking me! Speaking of which..." He suddenly realized something.

"Computer, how did these losers find me? We got rid of the tracking bug the ‘Cons were using to find me (See issue 3)."


"Well, if they’ve been watching me all this time, why haven’t they done anything until now?"


"Of course. It would be so out of character for you to give me a straight frikkin’ answer for once. Okay, was there some sort of pattern to their attack? Was there maybe something significant that happened or that I did right before they showed up on our sensors?"


It immediately made sense to Deathlok. Of course! I hadn’t told anyone about that. For all they knew, I didn’t know jack. They were staying away from me as long as I knew nothing about them. As soon as they realized that I did, then they realized I was a threat!

While Deathlok had been pondering this he hadn’t been paying much attention to where he was going. As he was hobbling across a busy intersection, a taxicab nearly ran into him and blared it’s horn. Deathlok snapped out of his daze and pounded on the hood of the cab. He shouted, "Hey! I’m runnin’ here! I’m runnin’ here!" With that, he took off.

Inside the taxi, the frightened tourist in the backseat leaned forward and asked the cabby, "What the heck was that?"

Nonchalantly, the cabby replied, "Some sorta giant cyborg... in a trench coat." He then turned around and asked, "You’re going to La Guardia, right?"



"Hurry up and fill the bag, Baldy! The clock’s ticking!" screamed the super-criminal known as the Scorpion. He had sunk to an all-time low and was now robbing the Oxenford Federal Bank.

The balding, middle-aged bank manager was filling an empty sack with stack after stack of brand new bills from behind the desks as fast as he possibly could. It was a tough job to do, considering how badly his hands, and entire body for that matter, were shaking.

All the other employees of the bank and customers who were unfortunate enough to be there when the deadly criminal showed up were lying on the floor face down. Some were crying, others praying. One security guard that tried to be a hero was rewarded with the Scorpion’s deadly claw shoved through his stomach. He wasn’t dead, but he soon would be. He was lying on the ground, passed out while a powerful toxin spread through his body.

The manager handed the stuffed-full sack to the crazed villain who shouted, "You’d damn well better not have put any ink packets in here, Baldy! If I look through here and find just one, you’ll suffer a fate worse than death."

The frightened manager shook his head and insisted, "N-No, Sir, I didn’t! W-We don’t normally keep any behind the d-desk. You can check if you’d like."

The Scorpion peeked into the bag and then said, "You’re a pretty smart guy. Keep it up and you should come out of this all right. Now there’s one more thing I want from you. I have one more bag and it’s empty. I don’t want to leave with it that way."

The manager replied, "I’m sorry, Sir. There isn’t any more money back here. I’ve given it all to you."

The Scorpion smiled a wicked smile and said, "I’m quite aware of that, Baldy. You see, what I’m after is what you’ve got in the vault."

The manager’s eyes grew wide and his shaking increased. This made the Scorpion smile more. There was nothing like seeing that kind of fear in people he was threatening. It reminded him why he became the Scorpion in the first place. As plain old Mac Gargan, no one had ever taken him seriously or thought much of him at all. However, as the Scorpion, he could strike the fear of God into men.

The manager managed to stutter out, "I c-can’t open the vault, Sir. It has a t-time lock that not even I can do anything about."

The Scorpion said, "That’s just fine with me. You see, I have my own way in." He then raised his tail and held it right in front of the manager’s face. A drop of green liquid dripped off of it and onto the counter beside them. The drop immediately sizzled and burned a large, smoking hole in the middle of the counter.

The Scorpion continued, "Just show me to the vault and I’ll help myself."

Before the bank manager could lead the costumed villain to the vault, a voice from the doorway of the bank stopped both of them in their tracks. It said, "I never thought I’d see the day when the infamous Scorpion had to resort to lowly bank robbery."

Quickly the Scorpion swung around and raised his tail to destroy whoever that was suicidal enough to say such a thing. Fortunately for the man at the door he was one of the few people who could get away with it. That man was the super-villain Electro. The Scorpion dropped his tail. He told Electro, "You have some nerve saying a thing like that to me, Electro. What the hell are you doing here?"

Electro casually walked over to the Scorpion and the nervous wreck of a bank manager. "I’m doing multiple things, Scorpion," he answered. "First, I disabled the silent alarm that your sweaty friend there was so kind to trigger."

The Scorpion immediately spun towards the frightened witless man. "You stupid fool," he cursed.

The manager tried to explain. "W-Wait! Please! I didn’t..." Before he could finish, the Scorpion had decapitated him with his tail-claw. The bank manager’s dead body fell to the floor. His head rolled next to a woman in her thirties who immediately began vomiting.

Electro looked at the corpse on the floor and said, "Very nice. I see you’ve lost the hi-tech purple suit and gone back to the conventional old green one."

The Scorpion then raised his claw to Electro’s head and said, "I’m not here to talk fashion, Electro. You may be next if you’re not careful. Now what are you really doing here? Are you trying to get a cut of this?"

Electro laughed and said, "Please, Scorpion, give me some credit. I may be in a slump, but robbing banks is hardly my thing anymore."

The Scorpion was losing patience. He spat, "Then what is your ‘thing’, Electro?"

Electro brought his face inches away from the Scorpion’s, obviously unafraid. "My ‘thing’, Scorpion, is redemption. I’ve come to save you from this life of mediocrity. You and I both know that your reputation is much lower than you deserve. I’ve come to offer you a chance to be the super-criminal that you’ve always deserved to be."

The Scorpion lost his hostility and lowered his tail. "How do you plan to do that?" he asked, sounding interested.

"How would you like to be counted amongst some of the greatest super-criminals around? I offer you a membership to an elite team consisting of only the greatest minds and powers there are."

The Scorpion asked, "Who’s in this team?"

Electro replied, "You’ll find out when you come with me. Join us and you’ll never be thought of again as a lowly punching bag for the heroic super-types. You’ll have the respect and fear you deserve, that you’ve always deserved."

The Scorpion looked at the people on the floor of the bank and said, "I ain’t givin’ you any promises, but I’m willin’ to hear you out."

Electro smiled and said, "Very well. Then why don’t we go somewhere more discreet and we can discuss this in more detail." With that, the two super-criminals walked out of the bank, the Scorpion, of course, carrying his one full sack of money.


Deathlok continued running as fast as he could with his injured foot. He ducked into an alley and paused briefly to allow his self repair circuits work on his foot. Reflector hadn’t shown up again and he was starting to hope that maybe he had lost them or they realized that he wasn’t worth their trouble. It was a feeble hope, he knew, but it was a hope, all the same.

Just as he was about to start running again, he was ambushed, not by Reflector, but by ten Onex Guard warriors descending from the sky. They hovered in the air above Deathlok and, since there wasn’t much room for them in the cramped alley, they spread around themselves out and surrounded him.

The soldier nearest Deathlok, in front of him, spoke up. "Deathlok, I am General Walter Barnett of the Onex Guard. We are here to see you terminated and the atrocities you’ve committed, avenged."

Deathlok shook his head and groaned, "Not you guys again."

"We knew you’d be back, cyborg. I knew you couldn’t resist returning to the scene of the crime."

Deathlok was baffled. He looked around to the numerous warriors with their rifles trained on him, trying to figure out what this was all about. "Just what the hell are you talking about?"

Barnett replied, "Of course you wouldn’t know. After all, what is one insignificant human life to you?" Deathlok continued to look puzzled, so the soldier went on. "This is the same alley where you battled some of our comrades (In Deathlok #s 4 & 5). This God forsaken place is where you took the life of my best friend. He was a soldier by the name of Fuller and, according to our reports, he was the first that you killed."

It was now clear to Deathlok. He was just trying to remember the first armored prick that he killed. "That guy?! Well, I’ve got news for you, buddy. While I gladly take the blame for the deaths of your other friends, that guy... Fuller was wasted by your own men."

General Barnett said, "Typical of a heartless killer to take pride in murder. However, it’s also unbecoming of you to try to hide your crime behind those who are more noble than you."

Deathlok had to stifle a laugh. "Who the hell really talks like that? Do you get all your dialogue from some super villain guide book?"

The Onex Guard brushed this off and replied, "The only villain around here is the inhuman monster standing before me. Prepare to pay for your crimes, Deathlok."

Deathlok quickly pulled off his trench coat and whipped his blasters from their holsters. He replied, "Oh yeah? Well, prepare for me to not go down without a fight."


One of the robots that made up Reflector was hovering in the air, less than half a mile away and was watching all that was progressing. He reported to his two comrades. "Deathlok has been spotted. He’s rendezvoused with some reinforcements who appear to be heavily armed. Be prepared for resistance."


"Listen, guys," Deathlok was still trying to talk the Onex Guard soldiers out of doing something stupid. "You don’t know what you’re getting into here. There are three Decepticons on their way here. They could be here any second now. If you guys know what’s good for you, you’ll pack up and get the hell out of here. If you want to fight me, I suggest you do it another day."

Barnett replied, "You’ve run out of excuses, Deathlok. Your petty threats don’t frighten us. Your time is up." The other Onex Guardians, who had remained motionless until now, raised their weapons, ready for the command to fire.

Deathlok screamed at the General, "Listen to me, you ignorant asshole! I’m not threatening you! I’m warning you!"

But it was too late. Reflector had arrived. The three robots spread themselves out. Two hovered at the ends of the alley, while the third hovered over the middle, right in the center of everyone. The three Decepticons had their blasters ready.

One of the robots announced, "Humans, leave this area immediately. If you do not back away from Deathlok you will all be destroyed."

Barnett shot back at him. "We aren’t afraid of you alien psychos! We’re armed and armored in your technology. Deathlok is ours and you won’t keep us from him." With that, the Onex Guard shifted their aim from Deathlok to the three Decepticons.

The Decepticon replied, "You are fools, just like the rest of your pitiful race. You are involved with something that you can’t hope to walk away from."

Barnett shouted, "We aren’t afraid of you, Decepticons. We outnumber you and outgun you. So, you’d better start thinking about how important Deathlok is to you."

Deathlok was looking back and forth from the Reflector robots to the Onex Guards. He couldn’t believe what was going on. These two sides were fighting over him, but both had shifted their attention to each other. Of all the guns that were being held at the ready, not a one was trained on him. What was most disturbing to Deathlok was that, since he couldn’t tell their emotions through their armor, the rest of the Onex Guards seemed just as determined as their leader. This wouldn’t be pretty. He shouted at the general, "Barnett! Listen to me! This is all a misunderstanding..."

Barnett replied, "Enough, cyborg. We will not back down."

And then he gave the dreaded order. "Onex Guard! Open fire." And then all Hell broke loose. There was a symphony of blaster fire going in all directions. From Onex Guard soldiers to Reflector. From Reflector back to the soldiers. Unfortunately, while Barnett was right about having Reflector outgunned, their firepower still wasn’t enough for the mighty Decepticon warriors. The human blasters did little damage to their metal hides, but the Decepticons’ beams tore right through the soldiers’ armor.

Then as quickly as it had begun, it was over. The floor of the alley was littered with chunks of burnt armor and the smoldering corpses of ten Onex Guards. Hovering above this carnage were the three Decepticons holding their smoking blasters. The only damages they had to show for were some minor scorch marks and a few sparking holes in their metal shells. The only thing missing from all of this carnage: Deathlok.

One of the Decepticons said, "Deathlok has escaped!"

The next one continued, "He was merely using these armored humans as a distraction."

The last replied, "Apparently. He’s more cold hearted than we gave him credit for. Perhaps a Decepticon still dwells within his weak frame." He then turned to the other two Decepticons and ordered. "You know the drill. We split up and find him. Next time, we mustn’t allow for any distractions. Next time we finish the job." With that, the three Decepticons took back to the air.


Back down in the alley, however, there was movement. One of the soldiers managed to sit up. It was abnormally difficult considering his condition. He was missing his right arm and most of his right leg. The soldier was General Barnett.

He called out to his troops. "Men, women: do any of you copy?" There was no reply from the soldiers. He repeated his question, this time with a touch of panic in his voice. "Do any of you copy?" There was no audible reply. However, amongst the pile of broken armor and broken bodies, an armored arm feebly raised to the air.

Barnett immediately began pulling himself toward the fortunate soldier. When Barnett reached him, he realized that the soldier wasn’t as fortunate as he had thought. Whoever it was had a huge hole burnt right through his or her midsection. A direct hit. Smoke and the horrible stench of fried flesh wafted from the wound.

Barnett reached for the soldier and with some trouble managed to pull off his or her helmet. When he got it off he was horrified to find who it was. He was a young, man with thick, unruly blonde hair. He had a scraggly three-day beard that was getting soaked in the blood that was flowing from his mouth. His bright blue eyes looked like they were begging Barnett for mercy. "Curtis," Barnett gasped. Curtis was his brother-in-law. He had married General Barnett’s sister less than a year ago. Walter Barnett was his best man.

"Help me, Walt," Curtis gasped. "Please."

Barnett searched for the words to assure him he’d be okay. Unfortunately, he couldn’t think of any. "I can’t, Curtis."

"Then kill... me." That was the last thing Curtis said. His eyes continued staring right into Walter, but the life behind them was gone. It was a look Walter Barnett knew he’d never forget.

General Walter Barnett wanted to hold his brother-in-law in his arms. He wanted to reach to the sky and scream out to God asking him why he’d taken such a good kid. But, frankly, Walter Barnett didn’t have the strength or, with one arm, the ability to do that. Instead, he just broke down over the dead body of his brother-in-law and bawled.

He cried for what seemed like an eternity. He cried not just for Curtis, he cried also for his lost friend, Fuller. He cried for the bodies of the all the fine soldiers lying around him. He also cried for the countless victims at the hands of the Transformers.

When he had finished crying, a change had overcome Walter Barnett. No longer did he wish Deathlok dead. Now he knew who the real enemy was. Barnett realized that Deathlok was nothing more than a pawn. A pawn of those robotic alien Transformers. They were the real threat. They were the real monsters. They were the real killers of all of his men and his friends. As General Walter Barnett kneeled in that alley amongst the corpses of so many brave soldiers, his own body broken and weak, he made a vow. He vowed that he would hunt down and destroy every last Transformer, even if it took the rest of his life.


As Deathlok hobbled nearly half a mile away he was counting his lucky stars. Those armored pricks actually managed to save my hide! Too bad I can’t thank any of them for it.

"ONE UNIT OF REFLECTOR WITHIN 100 METERS AND CLOSING," his computer suddenly warned him.

Go fig, Deathlok thought. God forbid they should allow me a moment’s rest.

To prepare for their arrival, Deathlok reached into his backpack and pulled out a special grenade. Perfect for these bastards. He attached it to the end of one of his blasters.

Now where to go? He needed to use it at just the right time and in the right place or it would be a complete waste. He’d just piss them off more and prolong the battle. He was looking to end it. Deathlok didn’t get the chance to find his place.

Just as his computer alerted, "ONE UNIT OF REFLECTOR HAS DISCOVERED THIS UNIT," a large blaster bolt exploded right at Deathlok’s feet. He was sent hurtling through the air and crashed onto the roof of a parked car.

The Decepticon raised his blaster to fire again. This blast would take out both him and the car. Deathlok pondered, Should I use up my one ace in the hole now? He didn’t have time to contemplate it. He raised his blaster and fired. Only he fired his blaster that didn’t have the grenade. His shot his its mark, right in the Decepticon’s face.

The Reflector robot didn’t get a chance to fire. He grabbed his face in pain. His blasters aren’t supposed to hurt this much, he thought. We made them weak on purpose. So he wouldn’t be a threat to us. When he removed his hand from his damaged face, he saw Deathlok hobbling away. Only now he was moving even slower than before. The Decepticon’s blast had done quite a number on him. The Reflector robot decided to wait for his comrades to join him. After all, Deathlok wouldn’t be getting far.


As Deathlok slowly limped away, he held his hand to his side. Somehow, that last shot had put a crack in it. Deathlok wasn’t sure whether it was from the explosion itself or when he landed on the car, but it didn’t matter much. He was losing a lot of fluid from the wound as well as from his two damaged legs.

"Computer, can’t you take the pain out of my legs for God’s sake? They’re still in usable condition. The only thing slowing me down is the God forsaken pain."


Somedays it just don’t pay to be human, Deathlok thought.

Deathlok took the chance to look back to see how the member of Reflector was faring. While his face looked cracked and charred, he seemed to be all right. However, he was just standing in the middle of the street, doing nothing. Maybe he learned his lesson, Deathlok hoped. And then maybe I might be a good candidate to join a boy band. Whatever the robot was up to, Deathlok knew it wasn’t anything to be hopeful about. In fact, he assumed the robot was just waiting for backup. Doesn’t bother me. Go ahead and give me time to take you where I want you.

As Deathlok turned the corner of the block he saw down the street exactly what he needed. In the middle of the street was a roadwork site. It was a huge hole in the street that had been barricaded off. The hole lead straight down to the sewers and to Deathlok’s salvation. Best of all, because of the roadwork, the street was completely deserted. I might be able to get out of this in one piece. As long as those robo-dicks don’t kill me before I can get my slow ass there.


The two other Reflector robots arrived to rendezvous with their comrade. "Where is Deathlok?" asked one.

"You said you had located him," said the other.

"And what happened to your face?" asked the first.

The damaged Decepticon replied, "The traitor got a lucky shot off, but not before I took a little bit out of him. He limped down that way. I knew he wouldn’t get far so I decided to wait for you two."

The Decepticon with the circle in his chest laughed. "Has his lucky shot made you afraid of him?"

The damaged one shot back, "Of course not. It’s only a superficial wound. I just thought it best for us to combine our efforts to destroy him. It will go much quicker."

The other one without the circle replied, "And much more painful." With that, the three laughed wickedly and took to the sky.


Deathlok couldn’t have been more than fifty yards from the road work site when his computer warned him, "ALL THREE REFLECTOR UNITS WITHIN 100 METERS AND CLOSING FAST."

Deathlok shouted, "Enough with the metric bullshit already! What the hell does that mean in English?"

"It means you’re dead either way." Deathlok turned around. There were the three Decepticons hovering in the air nearly right above him. Their blasters all aimed at him.

"You three really know how to sneak up on a guy, don’t you?" he asked.

One of the robots replied, "We always use stealth. Even when our prey doesn’t require it."

Deathlok was surprised that they replied. Apparently they thought he was such a lost cause that they could afford to take their time. He didn’t mind. Their talking gave him time to keep backing towards the hole in the street. Only about thirty yards to go, he thought.

Another one of the Decepticons spoke. "He’s right. With a prey as slow as you are, we can afford many luxuries that we usually don’t."

"Oh yeah?" asked Deathlok. "Like what?" Twenty yards.

"Like pain," replied the robot with the damaged face.

"So that’s the way it’s gonna be then?" Deathlok asked. "No quick, merciful death? I really thought you guys were nicer than that." Ten yards.

The Decepticon with the metal circle on his chest shouted, "Enough of your annoying prattle. You die." He held his gun straight out and put his finger on the trigger. Deathlok was right about them taking their time because the robot didn’t even get a chance to pull his trigger before Deathlok whipped out his blaster and fired the grenade right in the middle of all three. The grenade exploded in a magnesium flare. Its true function was for signaling, but it served its new purpose just as well. None of the Decepticons were ready for it. The flare assaulted their hypersensitive optic sensors with a blinding light. The three members of Reflector put away their guns and covered their optics with their hands trying to block out the light source. It was too late. Their sensors were already badly damaged.

Deathlok limped his way closer to the hole in the street. With the three Decepticons in agony, he would have a clear road out of there. However, the Decepticon with the circle in his chest recovered more quickly than Deathlok suspected. While his increased visual powers were of no use, he had minimal use of his normal vision. When he removed his hand from his eyes he saw Deathlok heading for the hole. "He’s escaping," he shouted to the other two.

Deathlok was about to jump down the hole when the three robots flew over to him. Hovering in the air right above him with their blasters drawn, they looked dazed, but still dangerous.

"Nice trick," the one with the circle in his chest said. "Why don’t you try it on for size?" That’s when Deathlok found out what the metal circle was for. It opened like a mechanical iris. Inside was a giant lens that immediately blazed forth a light ten times as bright as the one from Deathlok’s flare. Since the robots were ready for the beam, they were able to set up optical safeguards against it. However, due to their optical damage this left them with barely any vision at all.

Deathlok eyes were nearly destroyed. His cybernetic optical sensor was instantly fried and his human eye wasn’t much better. Needless to say, he couldn’t see anything. He didn’t see the twisted smiles on the faces of the murderous robots. He didn’t see as they simultaneously raised their blasters to fire. He also didn’t see as all three fired on him at once.

Fortunately for Deathlok the three of them couldn’t see him very well, either. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have given him the opportunity to stagger closer to the hole and drop in. Because of this, their blasters missed him and instead hit the pavement around where he had been standing right before he fell into the hole. Unfortunately, just as he fell in, the blasts hit and exploded. One was close enough to the hole that it broke open a gas main that had been sealed off for the road crew. There was an enormous explosion that knocked the three Decepticons backwards and to the ground.

By this time, the one with the lens in his chest had shut off his beam, so the three returned their optics to normal vision, which was still not functioning completely right. But they didn’t need perfect vision to see the image before them. A section of the street stretching twenty feet had exploded and was in the middle of a raging inferno. And somewhere in there was a blinded Deathlok.

The Reflector member with the lens on his chest turned to his comrades with a grin and stated, "Starscream will be proud. It looks like Reflector has finally killed Deathlok." The three began laughing together as they watched the street burn in a tower of flame.

The End?

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