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Old 2006-12-23, 03:38 AM   #1
Denyer
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Smile Their First Noel (by Clogs)

“Well…” said Frenzy after the long, long silence began to get to him. “It was a good idea at the time…”

The Decepticons looked at the Christmas tree thoughtfully.

“Should it be bending over like that?” asked Skywarp.

“Too many lights, I believe,” Megatron murmured.

The tree was, by human standards, huge. It stood at least forty feet high – or it would have, if the over-enthusiastic decoration team has not laden it with the heads of street lamps wired up with heavy-duty cables removed surreptitiously from an electricity substation. The skeins of tinsel, so brightly golden and red, were an afterthought twisted among the sagging branches.

“Maybe tying Laserbeak on the top was going too far?” Starscream remarked.

“We’re all a bit big for fairies.” Every optic swiveled to the speaker, Thundercracker, who pulled a face and spread his hands helplessly and cried: “What?”

Soundwave moved through the group and reached over to release the ropes tangling the feet of his flying spy-cassette. He had not been happy when the suggestion had been made to add something to the treetop. OK, not as unhappy as Laserbeak. “Mission failed,” he stated metallically. “Christmas must be cancelled.”

The fir tree rose a little as the weight was removed from its top, but still listed like a ship in a storm. Frenzy checked the stability of the dredger bucket filled with boulders; there was grubby and torn red crepe paper wrapped round it, secured with yards of peeling sticky tape. He was rather proud of this achievement. It was a considerable improvement on the previous three tries, not counting the one with pink voile, which, in his opinion, had best suited the base décor.

“We’ve gone to all this trouble fer nuthin!” wailed Rumble.

Megatron rubbed his chin as he walked round the display. “It is somewhat inelegant,” he said. “But, I think, adequate. I doubt whether we could do better at this point in the celebratory period.” He looked up at the chronometer, which had been synchronized with the local Earth time and read 10:43pm. “Are the letters ready?”

Thundercracker offered his leader a large handful of paper. “Got ‘em here!”

Scanning the scribed Cybertronian characters, Megatron discovered that his warriors wanted sundry weapons, missiles and other instruments of destruction, some quite novel and, as yet, uninvented. One note caught his optic, written in Starscream’s careful, small hand… “I don’t think you’re supposed to ask Santa for this!” he hissed, thrusting the letter under the Seeker’s olfactory receptor.

Starscream recoiled. “Why not?” he snapped defensively.

“I have already asked for total dominance of the universe!”

“Surely you can spare me a solar system or two, then?”

Megatron articulated a sigh. “And what’s this?”

Starscream managed a weak smile.

“Furry dice? Furry dice!” Megatron looked though the letters again and discovered the same item on several of them. He glared menacingly at his troops. “Autobots can have furry dice, but not Decepticons! Do I make myself clear?”

The offenders sadly watched as he methodically adjusted their lists with a light toasting from his fusion cannon. When he turned to lay the letters at the foot of the tree, all the jets stuck out their enunciators, but were standing innocent again when he turned back. “Now, have we been naughty or nice?”

As one, the team chorused: “Nice.” There were some crossed fingers.

Megatron approved and asked, “Any questions?”

Frenzy stood up and raised his hand uncertainly. “Er, Megatron – how will Santa get down the chimney? ‘Cos we ain’t got one.”

Casting back through the information gleaned from the humans’ popular communications networks, Megatron hit upon a suitable answer. “He has a techno-key that will open the door and let him in, instead.”

“Warning! Intruder alert!”

“Soundwave!” Megatron remonstrated. “If we hear anything in the base tonight, no one – and I repeat NO ONE – is to investigate.” He checked the time and gestured to a side door. “Now, go to your quarters and straight to bed.”

* * *

Ironhide glanced at the wall-mounted chronometer, the giant coloured stockings pegged up next to it, and then drawled: “So, what’re we gonna do, Prime?”

“The Insecticons can’t have gone far,” Prime replied. “They stole too much.”

“Heck! They’ve probably eaten most of it!”

Prime nodded. “Unfortunately, I have to agree.”

“Serves ‘em right if they get indigestion.” Ironhide crossed his arms and then added: “If’n they ate the gelignite.”

The Autobot leader began to pace up and down The Ark’s control room, hands clasped behind his back. The explosive would have smelt attractive to the Insecticons; in fact, it was possibly the reason they made such an uncharacteristically bold attack in the first place. He wished he had not agreed to store the stuff until the authorities could collect it, especially as the holiday season meant no one was immediately available to do so.

“I am also concerned about the weapons they took. Many of them are in a potentially dangerous condition. I wish I had had them decommissioned!” Prime stopped in front of his old friend. “Please ensure that anything the Insecticons left behind is dealt with as soon as possible.”

“Sure thing, Prime,” Ironhide assured him and strode off.

It had been a long day. Optimus Prime rubbed his optics and focused on the clock. In less than an hour, it would be Christmas Day.

* * *

Bombshell sat down and moaned, rubbing his abdominal region carefully. “I feel sick,” he whimpered.

“Told you not to eat too much of the candy, candy,” said Shrapnel smugly.

Kickback was also feeling terribly unwell. He dropped beside his fellow Insecticons and held his head in his hands. “What was in that stuff?” he wanted to know.

Shrapnel, the only one of them to demonstrate restraint when faced with the huge pile of individually wrapped chemical delicacies, picked up one of the last four lying nearby and held it up critically. “Nitrocellulose, nitroglycerin, sodium nitrate and particles of wood pulp, pulp,” he said.

“Oh. Yeah,” Kickback agreed. He knew that; he had scanned the wonderful sweets before tucking in. He also knew what to avoid in the future. Bombshell slipped onto his back and moaned some more. He felt heavy inside and did not want to move. He remembered the raid and managed a chuckle. Suddenly, surprisingly, he felt hungry again. “Hey, any of those edible?” he asked.

“You’re not having anything else to eat tonight, night!” Shrapnel snapped. He deliberately moved round to put himself between his comrades and the huge heap of stolen Autobot weapons. “If you do, you’ll go bang, bang!”

“I wish,” muttered Kickback, perhaps slightly off topic.

“It’s Christmas!” Bombshell protested, rising to his knees. He looked wistfully at the weapons, optics wide and hopeful.

Shrapnel noticed that Kickback was also staring at the glints of starlight on the shiny muzzles. It was hard to resist giving in, but he stuck, as it were, to his guns. “No more! Now we have the power to attack Megatron at last, last. We have the co-ordinates for his base – let’s fly, fly!”

The other two Insecticons nodded wordlessly. Just thinking about this opportunity roused them and they clambered to their feet, transforming into their alternative forms. Seizing up the guns between them, they took to the air and headed for the current location of the Decepticon base of operations.

“Don’t think I’m not watching you, you,” Shrapnel told them.

Out of the midnight darkness, he heard two voices simultaneously saying, “Awww!”

* * *

Ironhide greeted Prowl and his team when they returned to Autobot headquarters just after midnight, empty-handed and quietly annoyed. “No luck?” he asked.

“We couldn’t find them,” Prowl admitted. “There was too much area to cover.”

“Any news from Powerglide yet?” Optimus Prime stepped back from Teletraan1, his movements betraying anxiety.

“None, I’m afraid.”

“He’s our last hope,” Prime said. “Should the Insecticons enter a town or city, they could well put human lives in extreme danger.”

“You worry too much, Prime,” Ironhide said.

“Of course he does!” Powerglide entered the control room, radiating an air of happiness. “Sorry I didn’t call you, but it seemed wiser not to, in case the transmission was intercepted. I located the Insecticons and followed them to the latest Decepticon base. They ate some broken trees outside it and then chewed their way in.”

Ironhide chuckled. “Looks like Megatron’s got last minute holiday visitors!”

* * *

“No, I cannot hear reindeer on the roof!” said Starscream.

Skywarp, head cocked to one side, insisted: “I heard somethin’! I’m gonna take a look.”

Thundercracker intervened, laying a hand of restraint on the black Seeker’s shoulder. “Megatron said we weren’t to check up if we heard anything.”

Reluctantly, Skywarp stopped, but he was still troubled. “Sounds like somethin’ dropped on the roof an’ slid down,” he grumbled. “You heard it, too!”

Thundercracker nodded. “Yeah, but I also heard Megatron and I ain’t putting myself in line for a good blasting!”

The Insecticons stared and stared at the tree. They had already consumed the pile of twisted and mangled pines outside, but this was a special and unexpected bonus.

“Yum!” exclaimed Shrapnel with evident relish.

“Go down a treat with these,” Bombshell suggested, holding up one of the guns.

“Yes, yes! But the power packs are old and won’t taste too good, good.”

Kickback wondered why this tree was laid out for them so attractively. “It might be a trap,” he warned the others. “Be careful.”

Gutting the weapon he held, Bombshell laughed. “Megatron wants to be our friend.”

Shrapnel and Kickback both sniggered. Sure! Megatron was their friend! Still, they simply could not resist the temptation, as their flight had made them hungry and the other trees had really been little more than an appetizer. Removing and dumping the weapons’ energy cells in a pile, they began to eat.

* * *

“Autobots! Transform and roll out!”

Followed by assorted smaller vehicles, Optimus Prime led the way with Powerglide soaring overhead. Megatron had chosen a spot not more than two hundred and thirty miles away from The Ark and they would be there well before morning. Prime belted along the highway with carols tinkling round his cab, absently humming along to those he had grown to like during the past couple of weeks.

“Oh, man!” That was Jazz, broadcasting a tight transmission to the whole team. “You got a loose pipe or two, Prime?”

Prime reviewed the current tune and replied, “It’s hand-bell ringing.”

“And ain’t it a ding-dong!” Jazz said, clearly unimpressed.

“It’s traditional…,” Prime pointed out.

“That’s one tradition that’s surely perdition!” Jazz was supported by several other voices over the channel.

Prime decided not to argue. It was Christmas, after all, and it would be best to ensure goodwill among his troops. He recalled the stockings hung up so hopefully the previous evening. No one could deny that the Autobots had been nice since they awoke on the Earth earlier in the year - unlike the Decepticons, who had been very naughty indeed.

“Will Santa still come if we’re not there?” Bumblebee wondered.

“Of course!” Prime reassured; he had left Ironhide behind with strict instructions to maintain watch and follow the gift list he had printed out. Of course, he had had to let the senior mech into The Secret. He would have to slip him an extra little energon consideration later.

* * *

Kickback was hiccupping and waving frantically for help. “I’m fizzing inside!” he gasped.

“Too greedy, greedy,” observed Shrapnel, moving over and lifting an appendage to pat his comrade on the back.

“Don’t!” Bombshell transformed into robot mode and pushed Shrapnel aside. “On top of that jelly, there’s no telling what a sudden jolt will do…” He trailed off and suddenly clamped both hands over his faceplate, gave a hiccup, and continued in a muffled squeak: “Oh, Primus! We both ate some of the guns on the way here.”

Shrapnel edged carefully away, wondering just how far away he needed to be. “Eh, don’t make hasty moves, moves,” he said. “Water!” Kickback cried. He raced for the door and on through a few ill-lit but oddly shiny corridors to find the hole they had made in the base wall. Opening his wings, he shot into the early morning sky. Bombshell was not far behind him.

Shrapnel looked around at the devastation and absent-mindedly picked up the end of the last piece of red tinsel. He slucked it up whilst checking whether or not there was anything else left. He was a little disappointed, but then recalled the pretty trees in the several small settlements they had flown over to get here. Ambling after the others he gave a small, contented burp; Kickback and Bombshell would not be joining him. It paid to exercise moderation at Christmas…

* * *

Megatron strode into the command centre and frowned. Where was the tree? For that matter, where were the lights, tinsel and bucket? All that remained were sad lumps of rock and shredded crepe paper. However, the letters were gone and in their place was a gleaming pile of energy cells. He hurried forwards eagerly to scoop up a handful.

“Has Santa been?” asked Rumble, wandering in and yawning dramatically.

Megatron considered. “We have certainly had a visitation,” he said, allowing the cells to pour though his black fingers.

“Oooh!” Rumble joined his leader and gawped.

“Perhaps not what we asked for, but adequate. Now we can restore full functionality to our systems and prepare to attack the accursed Autobots!”

“On Christmas Day?”

Megatron gazed coldly at the smaller unit and gave a twisted smile. “They won’t be expecting it! Signal the others.”

A few minutes later, the Decepticons duly filed into the command centre, their expressions ranging from childlike wonder to downright cynical. “Did we get any presents?” Thundercracker immediately wanted to know; he had asked for several huge bombs, new laser targeting, engine mufflers and a subscription to ‘The World of Bird Watching’’.

“These are all that we received, but they are exactly what we need.” Megatron held up one of the energy cells so that it reflected the ceiling lights, resulting in assorted gasps and disappointed sighs.

Starscream and Soundwave knelt and began to pick through the few shreds that remained, scanning and auditing the information. “At least two individuals,” Soundwave reported as Starscream nodded agreement. “We must search the base!”

There was the soft sound of Skywarp’s guns coming on-line. “I told you I heard somethin’,” he growled.

“Yes, Santa and possibly, as I understand it, Rudolph,” Megatron said with a dismissive wave.

Soundwave managed to sound puzzled: “Observation: the tree has been eaten.”

Megatron had to grant that. “On reflection, we should have left out a glass of sherry, a mince pie and a carrot…”

“You think figments of the fleshlings’ imagination would devour a tree?”

Megatron turned slowly. The voice had been distinctive and he knew the culprit was… “Starscream!”

Finding himself alone as Soundwave stepped hurriedly aside, Starscream raised both hands to pectoral height in a gesture of conciliation. “Megatron,” he said, reasonably. “All the evidence points to Insecticons invading the base last night, carrying stolen Autobot weapons and possibly intending to attack us.”

“Clearly, we were not attacked!” Megatron snapped witheringly. “Santa came and left us these presents.”

“Oh, please! Santa doesn’t exist.” Starscream faltered, knowing his neck was on the line and, anyway, a little unsure how to put what he wanted to say. “None of us has a mech line programme facilitator...” “A what?”

“A cybergenetic file donator. A secondary progenitor... Oh, damn - a father. Everyone knows that Santa Claus is their father.”

This was news to Megatron. He had studied the cultural output of both the television and radio stations, and such information had never been discussed in any of them. He wondered how Starscream had come by it and challenged him to explain.

“I could find no satisfactory scientific theory of how Santa could cross the entire planet in a given space of 24 standard hours, visiting every home to drop off the desired presents. So I kidnapped and questioned an expert.”

“Who?”

Starscream looked uncomfortable. “Spike Witwicky.”

“You expected an Autobot sympathiser to impart truth to you?” Megatron was outraged. He aimed his cannon at the Seeker and ordered the cowering wretch out of his sight. Once Starscream had fled, Megatron pointed to the pile of energy cells and told his mechs to install them into the master computer and weapons array in preparation for a final strike against their enemies.

* * *

Starscream found a suspicious hole in the base wall, but felt too sour to bother returning to alert Megatron, so he walked out through it and into the arms of the advancing Autobots. He was as surprised to see them as they were to see him. In the impasse, Optimus Prime approached, but maintained a cautious distance.

“Are you in possession of Autobot weapons?” Prime demanded.

“Not personally,” Starscream replied with some sarcasm. “But Megatron has a pile of power cells clearly taken from some.”

“What’s he going to do with them?”

Starscream shrugged, a simple movement which lifted his arm cannon, and he froze, aware that the nearest Autobots had suddenly oriented their armaments on him. “Our computer and ordnance are low on energy.”

“Then, we retreat.” Optimus Prime signaled to his troops and they began to fall back in an orderly fashion, transforming and moving away at high speed. The Autobot leader put up his gun and turned to follow.

At this point, Starscream wondered if he had missed something. Optimus Prime had turned his back on him? “Er…” he began.

“Take my advice, Starscream, and get out of here,” Prime said, striding away. “Those cells come from kit that’s been degrading for the last four and a half million Earth years.”

“But, aren’t you going to shoot me or take me prisoner?”

“Not today. Happy Holidays!”

Starscream stood watching until the Autobots were out of sight. He gazed at the golden light of the dawn, the soft illumination gently bringing new promise to the world, and laughed a clear, easy laugh. As he sprang into the air, the morning sunlight touched his airframe with fingers of loving fire, turning him into a golden angel. “Happy Christmas!” he called.

And he was still accelerating when he heard the explosion….

 
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Old 2006-12-23, 04:44 AM   #2
13thScorpio
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That was great.Thier entire comprehension of christmas.Great.

Originally posted by Denyer

“Furry dice? Furry dice!” Megatron looked though the letters again and discovered the same item on several of them. He glared menacingly at his troops. “Autobots can have furry dice, but not Decepticons! Do I make myself clear?”




 
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Old 2006-12-23, 09:01 AM   #3
zigzagger
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That was cute. Kind of like a Charlie Brown's X-mas meets The Transformers cartoon special. I ended up making a nice cup of peppermint hot chocolate while I read this because it made me feel all X-mas-ish.
edit: Megatron acting as the stern father as he told his followers that it was time for bed was just brilliant.
 

Last edited by zigzagger; 2006-12-23 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 2007-01-03, 10:38 PM   #4
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Oh, that is too cute! I love how Starscream made it out safe! (Poor, poor Frenzy.)
 

Megatron? Who's he? I only live to serve Starscream.
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Old 2007-01-20, 09:35 PM   #5
numbat
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That was brilliant!

I had it all pictured G1 Cartoon-style (animation hiccups and all...).

I really loved your take on the Decepticons - I can totally see Megatron in that situation... In fact, all the characters were written perfectly!


 


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