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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 19 - Manhole War, Part 2 - Battle for the Manhole
by TheOrange - JUL.2001
Lost Episodes Reading Order  < 23 > 

Last time on the Lost Episodes...

Obsidian: <to himself> She's too clingy, too needy, too... butch.  I need a girl who's more feminine.  Someone who isn't afraid to stand on her own...

<cut>

Thrust: What's going on here?  What have you done to Jetstorm's room?!

<cut>

Stryka: I would date with you.

<cut>

Obsidian: <slowly leaving> Pigtailed girl... I love you.

<cut>

Silverbolt: <spinning around> Blackarachnia!

And now, back to our story.

<Inside Megatron's Mighty Metal Megahead>

Megatron listens inattentively to Thrust's sad, paltry tale as the Diagnostic Drones flit about the interior of the massive skull-robot-thing, making adjustments and fine-tuning equipment.  All of their energies seemed focused on a rather small, yet extremely well-wired chamber.

Megatron: Is that all?

Thrust: You don't think it's enough?  They took over Jetstorm's room!  And now these "Dinobots" have--

Megatron: ...have done NOTHING to warrant our intervention!  Is this the reason you called me away from my VERY important work?  So that I could hear your wailings over some maligned affliction regarding a hole in the ground?

Thrust: But, Jetstorm--

Megatron: Jetstorm is GONE.  The last of the treacherous element has been weeded out from our midst, and has been replaced by far more capable and intelligent members.

Megatron glowers at Thrust for a moment, who stares at Megatron's virtual image with puppy-dog-like intent.

Megatron: ...well, almost.  I have neither the time nor the patience to listen to your sniveling.  There are far more important tasks at hand!

Thrust: Like recapturing the Manhole of Doom?

Megatron: Yes, like recapturing the...

The Diagnostic Drone flies up to the holographic image for a moment and whispers into its holographic ear.

Megatron: NO!  This "manhole of doom" is none of our concern.  Good riddance to it!  Maybe now you'll destroy the Maximals for me rather than waste valuable plot-driving time playing cards!  Yeeeesssss...

Thrust: But--

A tendril whips out at Thrust faster than sight, and pulls him closer to the ghost image.

Megatron: Now, you will go and find your comrades and bring them to me.  We are nearly ready to move on to the next phase of our plans.  There is time neither for delays nor petty self-indulgence!

Thrust says nothing as he is put back down on the balcony.  He turns around to leave, when Megatron pipes up again.

Megatron: Oh, and Thrust?  Disobey me and it'll be the last time.  Yeeeeessssss...

Thrust: Since when I have I been anything but loyal?

Megatron: Indeed...  You are, after all, only Waspinator.

Thrust wheels by as the Diagnostic Drone hovers over the exit.  Thrust stares at the grin that splays over what passes for its mouth.

Diagnostic Drone: That's right, run along like a good little lap dog.

Thrust: Outta my way, Skir.

Thrust backhands the little blue orb with barely a thought.  The Diagnostic Drone, Mark II flies up beside his companion to aid him.

Bob Skir / Diagnostic Drone: A little help, here...

Marty Isenberg / Diagnostic Drone, Mark II: I have no sympathy for you.

Bob Skir / Diagnostic Drone: ...sh-shut up, Marty...

Outside, The Big Giant Floating Head is submerged up to the eyes in water.  A tiny, almost unnoticeable rubber ducky bobs up and down in front of it.

Megatron: >sigh< No one understands us...

Rubber Ducky: >SQUEAK!<

<A temporary sickbay -- Inside the Maximal base>

Checking his readouts and medical data, Rattrap keeps silent vigil over the unconscious Blackarachnia, who in a few moments becomes not so unconscious.

Blackarachnia: What happened?

Rattrap: You have a little bump on your head, but otherwise you'll be fine.

Blackarachnia: But the pain...

Rattrap: I took care of that.

Blackarachnia: ...?  You're right!  What did you do?

Rattrap: Eh, the virus mutated your Technorganic body's natural internal nanite system so that it reverts your form to an earlier template.  The little critters were having a spot of trouble with your TransMetal half, so I, ah, fixed it.

Blackarachnia: <smiling> Ever my protector, right?

Rattrap: Yeah, well... it was my fault you got infected in the first place, and I should have gotten you out of there when the quantum surge hit.  What can I say, Webs; it was the least I could do.

Blackarachnia: <getting up> So I won't turn into Tarantulas anymore?

Rattrap: Well, er, not exactly.

Blackarachnia: What?  I thought you said--!

Rattrap: Don't burst a servo, kiddo!  You're still...

Blackarachnia: Still what?

Blackarachnia falls over, unconscious.  When she gets back up a few moments later, she has turned into Tarantulas.

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: Oh, terrific...

Rattrap: Since we don't know a lot about these Technorganic bodies, I couldn't remove the nanites, but I did manage to reprogram them a little.  It'll take a while, but I think they can eventually be taught to handle your TransMetal half, and then we can work on a way of curing--

Stomping is heard, followed by a loud crash.

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: What in the name of Hook, Line, and Sinker is going on out there?!

<Outside the makeshift sickbay>

T-Wrecks: You dishonor yourself with this needless display of aggression, pup.

Silverbolt: After everything I've suffered, you dare mock me with this feigned aloofness?  Do dare sully *my* honor and that of my lady?

T-Wrecks: Any warrior who can best the leader of the Dinobots in battle deserves the respect of T-Wrecks.

Nightscream: <singing> You got beat up by a giiiiirl!  You got beat up by a giiiiiiir-URK!

T-Wrecks: <holding Nightscream by his hair> Silence, whelp.  <to Silverbolt> My feelings for Blackarachnia are nothing more sinister than those of admiration, young one.  Do not push this issue further, lest you bring terrible consequences to bear.

Nightscream: <rubbing his injured scalp> ...pain...

Silverbolt: Though I must maintain my distance, I am still charged with her safety and well-being.  Your presence here is unwanted, and I'm going to make certain that you do no more damage by remaining further!

T-Wrecks: Ha!  This false bravado does not impress me!  What right have you to claim exclusivity over this fair one's spark when you deny its cries for companionship at every turn?  If she were truly Predacon once, how disgraced she must be to remain in service with this rabble.

Silverbolt: Go on, "Big T," just push me one more decimeter.  We'll see how "big" you really are.

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: Are you boys quite finished?  <to T-Wrecks> You should be ashamed of yourself for stooping this low!  <turns to Silverbolt, more sorrowfully> And you...

The s/he spider slides back up the webbing, and whispers almost inaudibly.

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: ...don't do me any favors.

T-Wrecks: He is right.  This bickering is unbecoming of both of us.  I am... dishonored.

Botanica: Are your skull casings as thick as your senses of pride?  Don't you know who that was?

T-Wrecks: ...Blackarachnia!?

Silverbolt: She's awake!  Why didn't anyone tell me...?

Botanica: I'll go find her...

As Botanica burrows off into the distance, T-Wrecks and Silverbolt stand in silence over the incapacitated form of Nightscream.

T-Wrecks: I had heard of her affliction, but I never thought...

Silverbolt: If it had not been for you, she still might be here, and we could have learned what happened to her out there!

T-Wrecks: ENOUGH!  I will suffer no more of your childishness.  I am going where I am needed.  You would be wise to do the same.

With that, he turns around, transforms, and stomps off out of the Oracle cave.

Nightscream: Woah.  He sure showed you, eh birdbot?

Silverbolt: You die now.

Nightscream: <cringing> Mommy!

<Jetstorm's Room -- Inside the Palace of Proverbial Plenty>

Obsidian: You want us to disobey Megatron... for this?

Thrust: Yeah, why not?

Stryka: It is our duty to protect Cybertron!

Obsidian: And Megatron IS Cybertron.

Thrust: Tell me something I don't know...  What about glory?  What about honor?  What about standing your ground no matter what, and holding on with all your spark that which is most dear to you?  <violins begin playing> Haven't you ever had something that was so special, so sacred to you that the very thought of losing it would drive you mad?  Wouldn't you do anything to protect that which is more important than all the universe?  Now is your chance to do something so selfless that small-minded things like obligation and responsibility pale beside it.

Stryka: It is our duty to protect Cybertron!

Obsidian: And Megatron--

Thrust: --IS Cybertron.  Yeah, yeah.  Forget duty!  What is it that YOU want most?

Stryka and Obsidian look pensive.

Obsidian: Will the Maximals be there?

Thrust: I'm sure they'll show up eventually.  This plan can't possibly fail.

Stryka: <to herself> If the Maximals are there, then maybe that hunky Predacon will be there too!

Obsidian: <to himself> I might see the pig-tailed goddess once again, if all goes well.

Obsidian and Stryka: We'll do it! <they glance at each other again>

Thrust: Then let's get going, kids!  We've got a manhole to save!

<By the river side, much like the one from Episode 9>

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: That stubborn idiot.  What is he trying to prove, anyway?

Blackarachnia stares at the cool, seemingly motionless water.

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: Looks cold...

Just as Blackarachnia is about to slide into the water, dozens of little robot critters which look like phallic vegetables begin to surround her/him.

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: What the...?

Botanica: GET DOWN!

Botanica jumps at Blackarachnia from the back, who is in no position to react.  The both of them, along with the little robot things, fall headlong into the river.  Blackarachnia lets out a scream of shock, which is muffled by the density of the liquid surrounding them.  Moments later, they surface.  Blackarachnia doesn't even care that she has returned to her original form.

Blackarachnia: ACK!  Why--

Botanica motions to be quiet and points skyward.  Several small but rather concentrated battalions of helicopter drones pass overhead.  Rumbling from ground units carries throughout the riverbed.

Blackarachnia: What are you doing here?

Botanica: I followed you from base.  And I'm not the only one.

Beyond the air fleet, Blackarachnia sees a vague, birdlike figure perched on a nearby skyscraper. 

Botanica: What do you say we continue this in elsewhere, in private?

<The Manhole of Doom, moments later>

Dinotron: I can't stand this waiting around.  Where's the boss?

Airraptor: I think it's kind of fun...

Dinotron: You would.  <draws another card> By the pit!  Is there no end to this randomized madness!?

Dinotron stands up, brandishing his sword in order to vanquish his undesirable hand once and for all.  Triceradon barely takes notice.

Triceradon: Do you have any eights?

A card flutters down in front of the cross-legged Dinobot.

Triceradon: Thanks.

Striker: That wasn't me.

Triceradon: <turning around> Then who--

Triceradon is sucker-punched by a lone BumbleCon, which transforms and drives away.  Airraptor transforms to chase after the offending drone.

Triceradon: What the hell?  Get that little prick!  No one attacks the Dinobots and lives!

Triceradon isn't able to finish before he and the others see Airraptor fall to the ground, sparks flying out of his damaged areas.  He is quickly followed by scores of helicopter drones.  Ground troops take no time in surrounding the small group.

Striker: Oh... shit.

BumbleCons take formation and begin circling the cornered Dinobots.

Dinotron: I think we should call for backup.

Triceradon: No way!  We can handle this!  Dinobots: ATTACK!

Thrust: Destroy them!  Don't let a single one of the Maximals escape!

Triceradon: WHAT did you call us?

Striker: Crap... he's gonna blow.  Take cover!

Triceradon: REEEEEAAAAARGH!

<Traipsing about the sewers (we haven't seen any Maximals do THAT for a while, have we?)>

We now return you to this heartwarming conversation, already in progress.

Blackarachnia: ...I was a fool to believe he... we... could be like we used to.  I'm better off without his all-encompassing asceticism, alone.

Botanica: Do you really want to leave him alone like that?  <sighs> I know what it's like to be out of place, ostracized.

Blackarachnia: What do you mean?

Botanica: Hasn't anyone noticed?  My character cliché and thoroughly uninteresting.  Fans hate me, and the writers don't know what to do with me.  I can't even figure out what I'm DOING here.  Is a little development too much to ask?  ...and then there's you.

Blackarachnia: What *about* me?

Botanica: He cares about you, can't you see that?  You have something to worry about.  I spend all of my time off camera, so I made these little ones to keep my company.

Blackarachnia looks down at one of the little carrot-shaped robots.  It tugs at its bandanna so that it accentuates its one eye, and gives her a thumbs up.

Blackarachnia: You're right.  <picks up one of the carrotrons> I guess... I love the dunderhead.   <putting the little robot down> But I just can't take him like this.  I've almost forgotten what it was that made me want to get him back so badly.

Botanica: I see.  <pauses> So... what do you think of that Rattrap, eh?

Blackarachnia: URK!

Blackarachnia looks up through an opening in the sewer.  Sounds of battle can be easily heard.

Blackarachnia: What do you suppose is going on up there?

Botanica: Let's take a look...

Botanica sends some of her little companions topside to get a good look, while she generates a temporary periscope.

Botanica: The Dinobots!  They're under attack!  We've got to help them!

Blackarachnia: You can't!  You saw all of those drones back there.  If we jump in without a plan of attack, we'll be slagged!

Botanica: What do you suggest?

Blackarachnia: Are Obsidian and Stryka up there?

Botanica: From what I can see.  Their drones sure are.

Blackarachnia: I have a plan...

<Very, very near the Manhole>

Triceradon: Striker!  You dead?

Striker: Not yet.

Triceradon: What about the others?

Striker looks at what's left of Airraptor and Dinotron.

Striker: Dead.

Dinotron: <weakly> We're not *quite* dead!

Triceradon: Options?

Striker: None.

Triceradon: It was good knowing you, buddy.

The two remaining Dinobots charge headlong into the fray, with nothing but melee weapons.  They take on a small group of BumbleCons, and do quite a bit of damage before the heavy-hitters catch up to them.

Thrust: You won't stand between me and my dreams any more, filthy Maximals!

Triceradon: REEARGH!  DIE!

Stryka's drones surround the pair and begin to fire, when they suddenly veer off.  The BumbleCons likewise beat a hasty retreat, leaving one or two to deal with the enemy.  Striker and Triceradon look around, dumbfounded.  Finally they see, standing just in front of the Manhole of Doom, a very pissed off looking Blackarachnia, sporting pigtails.  She is flanked by scores and scores of carrots with bandannas and machine guns.

Striker: I don't know what those things are, but I'm not about to argue!

Thrust: Why must everyone stand between me and my happiness?  I won't accept this!  BumbleCons!  DESTROY them all!

The small little carrot robots put up absolutely no resistance to the fierce attack of the Vehicon troops.  In all the carrot-based carnage, Blackarachnia reaches for a secreted vial of hot water and douses herself, turning into Tarantulas.  S/he leaps over the destruction and comes to the aid of the two fallen Dinobots, fending off helicopter drones trying to finish them off.  This immediately catches the attention of Stryka, whose drones are currently busy pummeling Triceradon.

Stryka: Such power!  Such brute force!  This is a man unafraid of his own strength!  I want him even more!  But I can't allow my intentions to seem transparent to the others...

Stryka directs her attack towards the new Predacon, who handles the drones with ease.

Obsidian: <to himself> What's wrong with her?  Why doesn't she follow our plan of attack?

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: Is that the best you can do?  I was hoping an intellect of your caliber  would be able to better challenge my guile!  EhehHEhEhEheh!

The remaining Dinobots, not wasting the opportunity, retreat back to the manhole, their fallen comrades in tow.  However, as they take up their positions Triceradon's foot collides with Tankorr's head, sending it hurling down the manhole with most of the card deck.

Thrust: Damn you!  <pounds fist on the ground> Has society totally broken down?  Is nothing sacred?  Is love a lie!?

The Manhole now secured, Blackarachnia/Tarantulas starts taking on the rest of Stryka's modest battalion of drones.  It's just then when Stryka herself joins the battle, and locks claws -- so to speak -- with the feisty Predacon/Maximal.

Stryka: <to Blackarachnia/Tarantulas> Come with me.  Join the Vehicons.  You served under Megatron once.  Throw aside this petty conflict and serve with him again.

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: Such strength!  Such confidence!  I *like* that in a woman!  EheheheEHeheheh!  Certainly, I will join you, but on one condition. 

Stryka: You have but to name it.

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: Could you take me to see the sparks?  I would love to see the sparkle of their little glowing lives... so much like your eyes... EHhehEHheHeh!

Stryka: Oh... I wish I could, my love... but I cannot--

Obsidian: Stryka!

Blackarachnia/Tarantulas: Fine, if you won't talk to me, then maybe your boyfriend will talk to my Maximal counterpart.  I hear she's nearby... REAL nearby.

Blackarachnia ducks into the manhole, and comes out looking like her normal self.

Obsidian: Pigtailed goddess!  I must have her only for myself!  Drones: Destroy the Maximals!  Leave the fair one to ME.

Blackarachina: I guess this wasn't such a great plan after all.

Striker: Your courage shall not go unanswered, lady 'Arachnia.  We shall meet again after our deaths, where you will receive the reward for your true bravery and friendship in the face of certain destruction.

Botanica: MUST you be so morbid?

As a line of helicopter drones bears down upon the group, guns blazing, a well-directed energy bolt sends the battalion flying into itself and exploding in mid-air.

Triceradon: It's the boss!

Striker: And he's brought reinforcements!

T-Wrecks: It is not I you should thank, it is...

Blackarachnia: ...Silverbolt.  You were watching us the whole time, weren't you.

Silverbolt: I--

Primal: There's no time for that!  Maximals: ATTACK!

Cheetor: Oh yeah!  Time to get *dangerous!*

Blackarachnia: Here to save me again!  Don't you ever quit?

Silverbolt: Not when my lady is in danger.

Blackarachnia: I'm not anyone's "lady"!

Silverbolt spies a lone BumbleCon sneaking around their defenses, heading for Blackarachnia.  Without thinking, he grabs one of Cheetor's swords, leaps onto the offending Vehicon, and slashes its tires and engine with his stolen weapon.  The drone flips on its side and begins careening wildly, going into a deadly spin.  The wayfaring Volkswagen chassis finds itself on an intercept course with Obsidian -- who doesn't see it coming.  Acting out of instinct, or a deeply-rooted subconscious, Stryka slides in front of her escort and absorbs the blow.  Mostly.  The two Vehicon generals are knocked aside, entwined in each others arms, Obsidian in Stryka's more than the other way around.

Obsidian: You... saved me.

Stryka: <relaxing her voice> Of course.  Vat else vould I be doink here?

Obsidian: Oh... Stryka.  Let's go home.

Stryka: I zought you'd never ask.

The two lovebirds and what remains of their contingents leave with them.  Thrust, alone, and not suspecting the retreat, charges headlong into the surviving Dinobots, who stare him down.

Thrust: Look at what you've done!  All I've worked for, all of my dreams... you've destroyed them!  That's fine... do your worst!  Nothing matters anymore, not without the Manhole!  BumbleCons: ATTACK!

Nothing happens.

Thrust: BumbleCons!  <looks around> Oh, bloody hell.

Triceradon knuckles Thrust square in the head.

Triceradon: THAT'S for calling us Maximals...

<Epilogue>

NickBee flutters to the entrance of the Oracle chamber as the Maximals and damaged Dinobots return to base.  He transforms and lands on the walkway.

Airraptor: Primus, look at me.  I'm a wreck.  Are you sure there's no CR chamber around here?

Primal: <brushing off his hands> Positive.  Your wounds are very grave indeed.  The only way to save you is... to reformat you!

Airraptor: NOOOOOOOOOO!

Primal: Hahaha!  Just kidding there.  You'll be fine.

Airraptor: Kill you!

NickBee looks up expectantly at Silverbolt, whose expression is entirely sombre.

NickBee: Is it...?

Silverbolt only puts his hand on NickBee's shoulder, and stares him long and hard in his rather human-looking eyes before shaking his head in sadness.  He continues to walk past with the rest of the Maximals as NickBee slumps in disdain.

NickBee: No... this wouldn't have happened if I had been there.  Did you see the original script?  I was supposed to have this wonderful spark-to-spark with Silverbolt <waves the first draft of the script around>.  Is this what I joined the Maximals for?  To be overlooked at every important juncture?  When will I get what's coming to me, dammit!

Primal: <thumbing his nose> Oh, yes.  That reminds me.  Remember when you called me "Buddha Monkey" back in episode two?  <cracks his knuckles alternately> I still haven't quite repaid you properly for that remark.

Optimus pulls back to land one on NickBee when the small Maximal covers his head with his mandibles.

NickBee: Not in the face!  I'm a pretty man!

Primal: <holding his hand next to his head> What's that you say, Boastful Fist?  You don't care?

Primal pummels NickBee.

Nightscream: What's the big deal?  It was just some dirty old manhole.  Right?

<The Remains of the Battle>

Thrust sits alone at the edge of a newly-formed crevice in the ground, surrounding the location of the once-revered Manhole of Doom.  The lone Vehicon mutters to himself in his solitude.

Thrust: It's gone... it's gone... it's gone... I have nothing left... nothing left...

An image of Botanica and Blackarachnia forms in Thrust's eye.

Thrust: But you understand, don't you?  Of course you do... of course you do...  Chicks just love the brooding loner bit.  Brooding loner... I'm a brooding loner...  I'll show them all...

Thrust raises a defiant fist at the sky.

Thrust: I'LL SHOW THEM!  YOU'LL SEE!

>The End, for now...

*    *    *

Tales of Cybertron, Part 4

Benny: Come on, there isn't a lot of time!

The Last Autobot: Slow down, kid!  My servos aren't what they used to be.

Benny: We have to go now!  Now now now, go go go!

The Last Autobot: What's the big hurry?

Benny: We have to show the Maximals that they were wrong about Cybertron!  Reformatting isn't the answer!  <stops running> They're trying to destroy us all, don't you see?

Benny stares through the old codger as the image of Mr. Bamt rolls around the the background.  Pathetic... failure... purge the kiddies...

The Last Autobot: Son, when you get as old as I do, you don't see much of anything any more.

Benny: Are you going to help me or not?

The Last Autobot: I don't know, I just have this nagging feeling that I'm supposed to be waiting here for something, but I can't quite put my finger on it...

Benny: This is it!  Trust me, I've got five kids to feed!

<In orbit>

Thrust: <from the planet's surface> I'LL SHOW THEM!  YOU'LL SEE!

Unicron: Not if I show them first, impudent one.  Prepare for essence transfer!

Galvatron: BWAAAA!

Bob Skir / Diagnostic Drone: Before that... <pulls something from behind his back> you may want this.

The Diagnostic Drone carefully lays a sticker that says "Property of Phil Bond" on the side of the screaming Decepticon's head.

Unicron: Hmm... what makes you say that, insignificant metal flea?

Bob Skir / Diagnostic Drone: Call it a hunch...

Unicron: It is time!  Let the universe quake!  The devourer at last is returned!

Lights fizzle and flash.  The Diagnostic Drone looks on approvingly through his shades.

Galvatron: UNICRON is reborn!

Holy crap on a rusted metal pole!  Is this the end for the Transformers?

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