The Diagnostic Drone, er, I mean, Bob Skir
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Beast Machines: The Lost Episodes, Season 2 - Battle for the Manhole
The Lost Episodes: A Fanfic of Not-Quite-Epic Proportions
Beast Machines: The Lost Episodes
Beast Machines: The Lost Episodes, Season 2 - Battle for the Manhole
Robots in Disguise: The Lost OAV
The Misdaventures of Phil Bond, Accidental Secret Agent
Episode 15 - Redemption
by Traegorn RavenHawk - APR.2001
Lost Episodes Reading Order  < 18 > 

Last time on the Lost Episodes...

    "I'm searching for the last Autobot bitch..."
    "Of course the Key didn't effect you, idiot!"
    "Shit, man, I got five kids to feed!"

And now, back to our story...

    NickBee gradually increased pressure on Bob Skir's (the Diagnostic Drone's) small spherical head.
    "Now, I'm going to ask again.  And this time, I want an answer other than 'all will be revealed', Skir!"
    The Skir Drone fidgeted in NickBee's crushing grip.  "I really don't see how this is necessary, Sir. Small things like that really aren't important in the scheme of things... I mean, who really pays attention to details like that..."
    "I do!" spouted a second Drone from twenty feet away.
    "Shut up Marty!" yelled the first Drone.
    "Excuse me, I don't mean to break up this creative exchange," NickBee again increased his grip, until a several rivets popped on the small, spheroidic drone. "But I want my fucking question to get answered!"
    "Oh, yes, that..."
    "Yes! That!" spit back NickBee.
    "It's quite simple really..." stuttered Skir.
    "THEN SAY IT ALL READY!" yelled the infuriated Vehicon.
    "You are not organic."
    It took several seconds for the words to register for NickBee.
    "What?" NickBee was confused.  He let his grip slip slightly.
    "You are not organic." slowly repeated Skir.
    "I understand that's what you said, Skir.  How the hell is that even possible though? My mind at least is organic.  I'm Nick!  I'm half Nick and half BumbleBee.  My bio and tech specs even say it!"
    "No, no you aren't," corrected Skir.
    "And since when were bio and tech specs accurate?  Have you seen the Noble toy?" piped in Marty.
    NickBee's confusion began to taint his anger from before.
    "What do you mean by 'No you aren't'?" NickBee's eyes narrowed.
    "I mean, simpleton, that you - as in the person who you are - is not, and has never been Nick Carter," replied the Drone, in a slightly condescending voice.
    "What?" NickBee's anger snapped back to full attention.
    "Do you really think Megatron would bother to grab you from history just to create another Vehicon, when it is so easy to create a shell program, slap it on a spark, and toss it into the field?" asked the Drone. "Not to mention, BumbleBee was old Autobot technology.  Inefficient, and inferior.  You could toss together a few spare tank drone parts and come up with something more battle ready . . ."
    "Umm, Bob?" asked a slightly intimidated Marty, noticing the veritable aura of anger surrounding NickBee.
    "Shut up Marty.  NickBee, didn't you notice that Megatron didn't even had the ability to travel back to the twentieth century at will until after you were created?" continued the Drone, in a much too nonchalant tone.
    "Megatron...." The words slid out of NickBee's mouth like vile, rank fluid.
    "Yes Megatron.  All his doing," amended the Drone.
    "Megatron and I need to talk," stated NickBee.  He then slammed Bob Skir downward, causing massive damage not only to the Drone, but to the ground beneath.  The yellow vehicon then transformed himself into Volkswagen Beetle mode, and sped off.
    "Y'know, Bob, it would have hurt less if you just lied or something.  It's not like you haven't before..." lectured the Marty Isenberg Drone from above.
    "Shut up Marty," replied the crumpled heap of scrap metal from the ground.

********

Beast Machines: The Lost Episodes
Presents
REDEMPTION
Episode 15 (Season 2, Episode 2)

By Traegorn RavenHawk

********

    Rattrap slowly removed the outer panel from the Quantum driven space/time converter chamber.  The warehouse that held it had been abandoned after the maelstrom from weeks before, and long forgotten in the minds of the Vehicons. Rattrap studied the wiring, and began to prod at the circuit control boards.
    "Eh, if I can just... there!" a slight spark shot out of back of the panel, as the Maximal made some fine adjustments with a large hammer.  He spent several minutes working with the system. "One artificial quantum wave coming up!"
    "Rattrap?" the voice that had once belonged to the Predacon Tarantulus echoed from the hallway outside.
    "Webs?  Get out of here! Before..." but by then the surge had already begun.

********

    NickBee mounted the narrow precipice that overlooked the darkened husk of  Cybertropolis.  His cold eyes moved towards the hulking, giant head that hovered before him.
    "Megatron!" yelled NickBee, from his awkward position.
    The Megatron's behemoth form turned towards him. "What is it now, incompetent yellow thing?"
    NickBee let the insult pass, and continued in his fury. "You've lied to me!
    The giant head sighed. "So what? I've lied to everyone at some point.  Even Theodore..."
    "...Theodore?"
    "Never mind!" snapped Megatron.  "What idiotic notion has brewed in that silicon scrap of  a central computer you dare call a brain?"
    "That's just it.  I don't have a brain!" yelled back NickBee.
    Thrust slowly wheeled out of the shadows. "Aww, Scarecrow gonna cry?"
    NickBee swiveled and leveled his blaster at Thrust.  "Shut up Wasp-bitch.  No one asked for your god damned opinion!" The yellow vehicon redirected his attention towards Megatron. "I'm not human am I."
    Megatron sighed again. "No.  You're not.  Now, if you'll please be quiet--"
    "I knew it you sack of shit! It's all been a-- " interrupted NickBee.
    "BIG F*&!ING FLOATING HEAD HERE!" boomed Megatron.  "You do NOT interrupt the big floating head!"
    (Somewhere in orbit Unicron muttered "Preach it brother.")
    "Yesssss.... I would like to continue, if you'd please be quiet. I have a mission for you two bickering brain dead bots.  Skir!"
    A highly damaged Diagnostic Drone slowly rose from the background.
    "Yes?" it inquired in a tired, uninterested voice.
    "Viewscreens!" barked Megatron.
    "Whatever."  replied Skir, as he struggled with a pair of large, rather useless viewscreens.
    "As you can see, two of the maximals have managed to temporarily deactivate themselves," began Megatron.  Images of an artificial quantum surge flashed on the image panels. "Since they were in fact the Maximals in charge of monitoring the perimeter of their settlement, this leaves the gardening group not just without warning of upcoming attack, but also without the two fighters that have long range weapon capabilities." Images of Vehicons getting their asses kicked by Rattrap and Blackarachnia flashed across the screens.  "Because of this, we have been ensured an easy route of attack.  This window may soon collapse, and because of other impending. . . complications . . . we must move now."
    "When do we strike?" asked Thrust.
    "In two hours time!  Begin drone preparations immediately!" commanded Megatron.
    "Whatever you say big guy." saluted Thrust, as he turned away and rolled towards the ranks of drones that lay behind them.
     "...whatever..." muttered NickBee, speeding off into the night.

********

    NickBee's tires screeched as he pulled a hairpin turn on the highways of Cybertropolis.  He sped through the block of desolation that had once been a great city with only one thought to guide him.  Betrayal brings betrayal. Considering the yellow bot's current state of mind, the fact that he was able to put together such a hackneyed, almost sensical phrase was quite a feat.  He wasn't sure what kind of welcome he'd receive when he arrived, but he knew that what he was doing was what had to be done.  So when he approached an all too familiar manhole, to descend into Cybertron's depths, he was not quick to notice that he was not alone.
    "Thrust to Megatron, I think we have a problem."

********

    Primal adjusted his straw hat, and picked up his red handled gardening sheers.  "Now, we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way.  First you..."
    "Optimus, I really can't see how..." muttered Silverbolt.
    "Now you've been gone for a while, and you're going to make up for it by learning Bonsai like the rest of the Maximals, and that's an order!" roared Optimus.
    "Yeah yeah yeah, whatever, Buddha monkey.  It's not like it matters at all..."
    "What was that?" asked Optimus, giving Silverbolt a stern look.
    "Umm, I said 'Hey, that's not funky!  That branch is too tall!'  Umm, yeah."
    "Very good Silverbolt!  Now you're getting it!" replied Primal, with a grin.
    "Oddball."
    "What was that?" asked Primal.
    Silverbolt quickly glanced around, grabbed a rock, and threw it at Nightscream -- causing the Bat-winged Maximal to plummet from his perch, high in the chamber.  "I said, 'He's going to fall!', and I was right."
    "Ah yes, Silverbolt, we have missed your sage advice..."
    "Oww....." moaned Nightscream from the corner.
    "Big Bot!" yelled Cheetor, as he ran into the cavernous planting area.  "We got a problem!"
    "Slow down little fella," replied Optimus in a calming tone.  The large ape rolled to his feet.
    "Nick.. huff... Bee's... huff... here..." panted Cheetor, gasping for air.
    NickBee burst through the cavern entrance, pulse rifle armed.  He quickly dropped the gun, and raised his hands in the air. "I'm not here to fight -- I'm here to warn you about..."
    "And why should we believe you?" asked a fairly skeptical Silverbolt. "What's to make us think you're not just here on a raid?"
    Suddenly, a burst of blue light ricocheted through the cavern, striking NickBee. The yellow vehicon stumbled, and fell to his knees.
    "Simple kid, because I am." Thrust, followed by a small army of Cycle and BumbleCon drones.
    "...Thrust is coming... with an army..." stammered NickBee.
    "I think we figured that part out, genius," sarcastically replied Nightscream.
    Thrust quickly fired a pulse at the bat winged Maximal, laying him out flat.
    "Thanks," mumbled Optimus.
    "No problem," replied Thrust. "Now, I think it's time for the rest of you to..."
    "Not... so... fast," rambled NickBee.  He had managed to recover his pulse rifle.
    "Ooh, whatcha gonna do, hairdo boy?  Shoot every drone?"
    "Not quite," responded NickBee, as streams of hydraulic fluid gushed down his side.  He aimed the pulse rifle at a platform located directly above Thrust, and with his last effort, shot it's support struts.  The metal grating crashed down towards the General....
    ...and missed by a good ten feet.  "crap..."
    "Crap indeed." Thrust fired a final shot directly into NickBee's chest -- spraying components around the room.  "Now onto Buddha monk..." a large fist slammed into Thrust's head before he could finish the expository sentence.
    "Forgot we here, huh?" asked Primal, as he began the almost ritualistic pummeling of the drones now filling the room.
    "What's that Duncan?  No, I didn't move your sword....." mumbled the maroon moron from the dirt floor.
    The tide in the room was soon turning, however.  Slowly but surely, the Maximals found themselves outnumbered by the sheer onslaught of mindless killing machines that were piling into the cavern.
    "Uh, Bigbot?" eeped Cheetor, as he vainly attempted to fend off sixteen BumbleCons, and still look vaguely cool.
    "Yeah... Optimus?" meekly chirped Nightscream, as he was slowly reduced into a punching bag by ten cycle drones.
    "What is it?" replied Primal, as he destroyed three more drones.
    "We're getting our asses kicked," spat out Silverbolt, as he narrowly avoided getting his arm shot off.  Silverbolt quickly rebounded off a wall, slamming shoulder first into a column of drones.  The victory was short lived as twice as many drones began to literally pile upon him.
    "Where the hell are Rattrap and Blackarachnia?" roared Primal, as he found new ways to bend Cycle and BumbleCon drones into entertaining shapes. As Primal Spoke, the sounds of revving engines roared through the caverns.
    "Not more of them," squeaked Cheetor, as he struggled to block the fire of several pulse weapons.
    At that time, Thrust began to pull himself off the floor.
    "Eh, not quite spots," called a familiar voice.  Rattrap and Blackarachnia roared into the Cavern, each sporting swank, yet oddly retro, Transmetal forms.
    Thrust then quickly transformed, and fled.
    "I got good news and bad news," said Blackarachnia, in a voice that sounded like it should belong to a suitcase. "The good news is, the Cavalry has arrived..."  Blackarachnia and Rattrap quickly transformed, pulled out their appropriate weapons, and blasted the vehicons in the room to the pit.
    "The Bad news?" squeaked Nightscream, as he tossed a broken cycle drone off of his wing.
    "Eh, the bad news is about six times as many drones are on their way.  We got about ten minutes," sighed Rattrap. "Looks like we got at least one of them though." Rattrap kicked what was left of NickBee's body.
    "No!" yelled Primal. "Don't damage him further...  He tried to warn us, and... and I think I have a plan."
    "Warn us?" asked the Tarantulusesque Blackarachnia. "NickBee tried to warn us?"
    "Yes," replied Primal. "And I think the least we can do is save his life.  It may save our own in the process."
    "I don't think I follow, Bigbot," chimed in Cheetor.
    "Of course you don't Cheetor.  You're an idiot," calmly stated Primal, as he lumbered over to NickBee's fallen body.  The hefty Maximal leader placed his hands on NickBee and began what can only be described as "that glowing light reformatting thingie".  NickBee shifted in shape and color.  His DNA scanners swept the immediate area, picking up the DNA of the fossil ridden caverns of Cybertron... but the result was one that surprised those in the room.
    "A giant, golden beetle.  He's literally a giant yellow beetle now?" asked Nightscream, staring at the shimmering form in front of him. "Oh, that's so fricking helpful. 'Oooh oooh, I'm in trouble, I'm going to go call my giant insect friend to help me!'  Light of f*&!ing Primus, that's the dumbest alternate mode I've ever seen!"
    By now most other maximals were staring at Nightscream.
    "What?" asked the Bat.  He then noticed that the now beetled NickBee was moving towards him. "Ooh, is the Beetle mad?"
    NickBee quickly transformed.  What had been a giant beetle, was now a robot with gossamer wings, powerful extending claws that resembled the beetle's mandibles, and an all to familiar head and hairdo.  But what Nightscream noticed first was the fact that NickBee was a good foot taller than him, and currently holding him up by the throat.  Before NickBee got the chance to ritualistically pummel Nightscream though, engines began to echo in the cavern.
    "Eh, so it turned out to be six minutes, so sue me," shrugged Rattrap.
    "I think this should be pretty easy," smiled Primal.
    "Are you nuts, Bigbot?" protested Cheetor. "We were outnumbered before, and now it's just going to get worse!"
    Primal sighed.  "Cheetor, how many episodes have NickBee, Rattrap, and Blackarachnia had these bodies?"
    "They just got them now.  Why do you ask?"
    "Eh, kid, I think what Optimus is saying is... this is our introductory episode," explained Rattrap.
    NickBee dropped Nightscream on the floor. "You two ready?"
    "Do you have to ask?" replied Blackarachnia.
    "Eh, then let's do this!" Rattrap, NickBee and Blackarachnia charged down the corridor towards the oncoming horde.
    "So, who wants to play go fish while we wait?  I have cards?" asked Silverbolt.
    Primal, Nightscream and Cheetor just stared at him.
    "What?"

********

    Several hours later, Thrust slowly rolled up to the precipice that confronted Megatron's behemoth head.
    "So, you failed.  Yesss....  Even with an army of drones larger than any other force I have ever given for your use.  Pathetic," scolded Megatron.
    "Well, what the hell do you expect?" squeaked Thrust. "Three introductory episodes at one time?  Unicron himself couldn't even handle Rodimus Prime's introduction!"
    "Hmmm, I may have to make a few introductions myself... yessss... my army does need reinforcements..."
    At that time, a flaming Maximal shuttle streaked through the Cybertropolis skyline.
    Thrust just shook his head. "Not again..."

********
Epilogue:
Soul Search

********

    The wolf slowly bounded through the darkened alleys of the city.  He could smell the fires burning... not just around him, but inside himself as well.  He was hungry...  he hadn't fed on energon in days...  but it didn't matter.  He would find an outlet soon, one that could be controlled at least...
    He couldn't think clearly still, not since he had left the body that they had once shared.  His mind was shattered, broken, bent.  Not that he knew it if it were ever whole.  He just knew that if he could remember his name... that it all might start to make sense.  Noble? the name rippled across the void that was his thought... no, that was the false name the other had given to the warm ones...  it was...
    Theodore... and everything began to fit together... 

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