How Megatron Got His Love Back
or, How Blinky Saved Christmas
Kickback here - Our friend TC wanted a story for her Blinky Shrine, so Wayward passed the buck to the one who had first called Powerhug the Insectron 'Blinky' - her sister. Most of what Laura knows about Beast Wars comes from reading 'Other Vengeance' however, so while everyone in this story is robots, some are inexplicably female. And now, here's Laura:
Megatron splashed at his bathwater, but he didn’t enjoy it. It was a cruel thing, he thought, when a giant tyrannical robot overlord couldn’t take pleasure in a good soak.
Inferno stood beside the massive tub, canon at the ready. “May I heat up your bathwater, my Queen?” she asked. Megatron waved aside her question with a weary hand. It cost him to much to turn his head.
Though Inferno was immune to subtlety, even she could see Megatron was in deep despair. To ask what was the matter would imply her Queen was an unfit ruler, to stay silent was to mean she was an unfit guard. A quandary!
Inferno wasn’t entirely sure what ‘quandary’ meant, but it sounded good. A kwan dairy of a problem.
Megatron let out a sigh that sloshed the bathwater over the rim of the tub. Inferno took that as a good excuse. “My Queen, you seem … low.”
“Oh, Inferno,” he sighed in the way that only a millennia-old being can sigh…
“There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.
There’s a pain goes on and on.
Lonely baths with bursting bubbles,
Now my duck is lost, and gone …”
Scorponok walked past Megatron’s chambers, heard the singing, and groaned.
“Why doesn’t he just get another damn rubber duckie?” he muttered, but very, very quietly, and continued on his way to the control room.
He heard talking as he approached, but only one voice. He crept forward until his head was just barely peeking around the corner.
“Oh, you’re a naughty one, Terrorsaur,” Terrorsaur cooed to himself as he looked in the mirror-like surface of a console. “Bad little Terrorsaur, you sleek, handsome thing, you. How can you stand yourself, you wicked, wicked ‘bot …”
Scorponok backed away and coughed loudly, then strode into the control room, trying to curb his amusement, not only at Terrorsaur’s little show but at the way the pterodactyl had effortlessly started muttering, “… on the north side looks clear, no sign of Maximal activity, oh, hello, Scorponok, quadrant 436-b looks good … Scorponok, my flying chair’s making a rattley noise, be a dear and fix it, would you?”
“Sure. Wouldn’t want to distract you from your important work. You naughty little ‘bot,” he added under his breath.
Blackarachnia strode into the command centre. “I hope you all fall into lava and die,” she announced, then strode out.
Scorponok groped for a wrench from under Terrorsaur’s flying chair. “What’s that, fourth time today?”
“Fifth,” said Terrorsaur, making an excellent show of not admiring himself in any way. “But that’s the first time she’s mentioned lava.”
The voice of Majel Barrett interrupted softly. “Stasis pod detected, sector Raquel Welch.” Scorponok made a mental note to forbid Terrorsaur from naming any more sectors.
“Phoo,” Terrorsaur pouted. “Not another pod. If we ignore it, will it go away, do you think?”
“It's worth a shot,” said Scorponok. “Find out if Waspy’s near there first, just so she doesn’t stumble on it by accident.”
Terrorsaur tapped in a command on his console. “Waspy? Where are you?”
Waspinator sounded happy. “In Sector Towels,” she said. “Waspinator is arranging terrycloth.”
“Didn’t Megatron tell us we weren’t supposed to rearrange the fragile ecosystem and disrupt the natural environment?” Scorponok called, fiddling with a screwdriver.
“That was Optimus,” said Terrorsaur.
Waspinator buzzed. “Megatron could not find aft with both hands.” She paused. The boys braced themselves. “Because Megatron’s only got ONE!”
“Good one, Waspy,” said Terrorsaur unenthusiastically. “Make sure you don’t go into Sector Raquel Welch. There might be, oh, Maximals around there.”
“Another stasis pod?” Waspinator shrilled. “Don’t Maximal fizzheads check their luggage?”
“I’m going to kill those people at the luggage check,” said Optimus.
“Feh! I for one am not going to get the dumb thing,” said Rattrap. He was in the middle of a ping-pong game between himself and the wall. “Remember the last guy we got?”
“You mean the fiddler crab who insisted we call him Rock Lobster?” Rhinox said dully, trying to clean out the perpetual grease that got into the computer. “Or the penguin who had amnesia and thought everything was alcoholic? Or Pancreas Jack, the thespian praying mantis?”
The ping-pong rebounded off the wall and hit Rattrap on his forehead. “Yeah, them.”
“I didn’t pack them,” Optimus grumbled. “Look, let’s just forget it was even mentioned, okay? If Primus wants us to take in this person, he’ll find a way, with or without us.”
“You said that about the supermodels, too,” Rattrap muttered.
“Well, there aren’t any supermodels, okay? So knock it off!”
The pod was very oddly-shaped. It looked, in fact, less like a pod and more like a wallet. In actual fact, in fact, the only resemblance it bore to a pod was the word POD stamped on the side. Possibly this is what caused the confusion. It was an easy mistake to make.
“Hither, my friends of luckless destiny, for it is thence where I heard the noisome alarm,” said Manterror, or, as he liked to be called, Pancreas Jack.
“Why is the alarm smelly?” asked Rock Lobster.
Pancreas Jack paused mid-stroll. “Have pity on this poor jester, for he knows not what you mean,” said Jack carefully.
“Noisome means smelly, not noisy. Smelly,” said Rock Lobster helpfully. “Like… nasally unpleasant?”
Jack gave him the slow, careful stare of an insect, and then, slowly and carefully, resumed his strolling. A few yards back, a penguin waddled along as best he could, inebriated as he was.
“IIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiii don’tcareifthe SUNDON’SHINE, I … getmylovinintheEVENINtime …” the penguin slurred lustily.
“Well done, Bouncy,” Rock Lobster said automatically.
A few minutes and several confused choruses later, the small group came upon a wallet. It had the word POD clumsily painted on the side.
“Hark, my fellows! The time is nigh, To see what creature doth lay inside!” Pancreas Jack cheered.
“What is that?” asked Rock Lobster.
“’Tis a craft of extraterrestrial proportions, liken to the same which brought you hence,” said Jack.
“Oh,” said Rock Lobster. “I was confused.”
“Open ‘er up!” said Bouncy in a moment of lucidity. “Lessee wha’ the futon holds!”
Delicately, Pancreas Jack split the wallet open and pried at a hard, blue carapace inside. “What manner of man or god unborn Could bring this sullen thing to scorn,” he started to say, but was thankfully cut off by the thing inside abruptly rolling out, unfurling, looking around and then squealing and giving out all manner of hugs.
“Zoot alors!” Bouncy yelled. “It’s got me by the nadgers!”
“You don’t have nadg-” started Rock Lobster, but was interrupted by a powerful hug.
“Love!” cried the newcomer. “Love for everybody!”
“I’m picking up some weird readings in Raquel Welch,” said Terrorsaur, and snickered.
Scorponok underlined his mental note about Terrorsaur’s choice of names. “Like what?”
A twisted hunk of metal flew into the room and crashed into the opposite wall. Blackarachnia strode in again. “Get slagged, losers,” she snarled, and strode out.
“Oh, that’s much better, she’s back on track,” said Terrorsaur. “I keep getting these hearts and smiley faces where I should be getting numbers.”
“Blame the Maximals,” said Scorponok. “Or Tarantulas, though I doubt hearts and smiley faces are her style. It’s probably Rattrap.”
“No, he’d send pictures of himself mooning us,” said Terrorsaur. “What fresh hell is this?” he cried dramatically, flinging one arm over his eyes and throwing his head back. He snuck a peek at himself in the screen. Looks good, he thought.
Scorponok finished up his repairs on the chair. “Done,” he said. “Keep an eye on the readouts. I’m going to go patrol for a while.” He nudged the lump of metal aside with his foot. “Be careful not to trip on that, you sleek, handsome thing, you.”
Still looking at himself, Terrorsaur idly replied, “Why, Scorponok, I never knew you ca-” He closed his mouth abruptly in embarrassment as Scorponok started laughing.
“It’s not a Predacon trick, Rattrap,” Optimus said wearily. “Tigatron and Airrazor were probably just sending notes to each other.”
“Oh yeah? Riddle me this, monkeybutt,” said Rattrap, pointing triumphantly to a new readout. Optimus sighed and stomped over to Rattrap’s new declamation on Why Predacons Are Bad.
He read it a few times, brow furrowing in bewilderment. Finally, he said, “Rhinox? What’s a jelly doughnut?”
“Who are you?” Jack asked, for once being shocked enough to speak plainly.
“Blinky,” said the blue pillbug. “Love!”
“Oh,” said Jack weakly. “I see.”
Blinky looked around hopefully. “Jelly doughnut?”
“Sorry, no,” said Rock Lobster, mouthing, What’s a jelly doughnut? to Pancreas Jack. It didn’t work very well, since Rock Lobster had no real mouth.
Pancreas Jack recovered his aplomb. “Dearest friend from an unknown world, wilst thou join my merry men and I, to wander the earth in search of the ineffable answer to mankind’s woes?”
“Love!” said Blinky. “Silly.”
And so it came to pass that Pancreas Jack and his Trombone Platoon, as he called them, became known as Blinky and the Love-Bugs. This mostly involved Blinky hugging darn near everything in reach, though everything in reach tended to be ferns and tree stumps and Bouncy.
“Gadzooks!” Pancreas Jack confided to Bouncy and Rock Lobster one day while Blinky was furiously hugging a rock to death, “Methinks the little pillbug needs a greater challenge!”
“A greater challenge than making a rock happy?” Rock Lobster frowned.
“A touch! But no. Methinks the cobalt pillbug needs to be taken into the very heart of darkness and make merry those within.”
“Gosh!” Rock Lobster exclaimed. “You don’t mean …?”
Jack nodded, his antennae bouncing vigorously. “The still-unnamed Predacon base!”
“*Hic* hip, hurray,” Bouncy muttered.
“Softly, my comrades!” Jack murmured to his assault team. “We must infiltrate this stronghold and discover that which makes them happiest! ‘Twill be a dangerous errand, but if we are stout of heart and pure of mind, we shall leave our woes behind! Hist … where’s Blinky?”
“Boogered away when you was soliloquing,” Bouncy said.
Jack sighed. “This … is a comedy of errors.”
Rock Lobster looked affronted. “I’m not an error!”
“Love!” Blinky announced to Scorponok.
Scorponok looked down. Trundling happily next to him was a cheery-looking pillbug with one droopy antennae. He sighed. “Terrorsaur!” he yelled. “You were supposed to be watching to make sure nobody snuck in!”
“I can’t heeeear you,” Terrorsaur sang from the next room.
Scorponok took hold of one of Blinky’s antennae and dragged him towards Terrorsaur. “You were supposed to be watching,” he scolded Terrorsaur. “Look what just got in!”
Blinky looked between the two. “Love?”
Clang. Clang. Thwack. Clang. A fat cogwheel skidding into the room announced Blackarachnia’s arrival. Scorponok shoved Blinky into the corridor just as Blackarachnia entered and announced, “Get slagged and who the Pit is THAT?”
Scorponok stood in front of Blinky, trying to block him from view, but the pillbug simply crawled more and more forward until Scorponok got bumped in the back of the knees and sat down onto him. “Loooove!” Blinky sang.
“I’m not cleaning up after it,” Blackarachnia snarled, turned, and left.
Blinky was silent for a moment. “Jelly doughnut?” he asked, quietly.
Scorponok patted Blinky and sighed. “You and me both.”
“Should we go in?” Rock Lobster asked worriedly.
Pancreas Jack rubbed his front legs together and preened. “Poppycock! This is his big moment, isn’t it? That is,” he corrected himself, “Nay, Doubting Thomas, glory is not earned by the deeds of many but by the deeds of one.”
“You jest don’t like being in a group called Blinky and the Love-Bugs,” Bouncy said.
Rock Lobster seemed to have something troubling him. “Wait, what’s a Doubting Thomas?”
“OOOoooooOOOoooo! Pillbug is adorable!” Waspinator cooed, tickling Blinky with four of her legs.
“I thought you’d like him,” Terrorsaur said smugly and gestured violently at Scorponok, who looked about to speak. “But maybe you should keep him in your room. I don’t think Megatron would approve.”
“Oh, fine. Come on, Blinky-bot,” said Waspinator. Blinky hadn’t, in fact, found time to mention his name, but Waspinator took one look at his giant, compound eyes, his one droopy antennae, his big loveable pincers, and decided he looked like a Blinky. “Thanks, Terror-bot,” she said, and rapped several times on his back with her forelegs, sending pleasant vibrations through his body.
“Watch the paint job,” he murmured, but it was clear he didn’t care.
Wasp and pillbug burbled their way to Waspinator’s quarters. On the way, Blinky looked up at Waspinator as slyly as he could ( which wasn’t, ) and said, “Love?”
“No thanks, Waspinator already has Terror-bot,” she said.
Blinky did a sort of tap-dance, suggesting that no, that wasn’t quite what he meant. “Love?” he said again.
“Oh! No, Waspinator and Terror-bot don’t love each other. That’s a very squishy thing to do,” said Waspinator. “Besides, Terror-bot’s sort of an idiot.”
“Love,” Blinky reprimanded.
“Waspinator likes sort of idiots.”
“Love,” said Blinky, mollified.
Blinky learned quite a lot in the next few hours.
Predacons were very easy to observe. You simply had to look at them for a few moments and there they were, clear as day.
From his shelter in Waspinator’s room, he scavenged bits of anything he could find and stuck them together with anything sticking-together-like. And the next day, he made his deliveries.
The next day also happened to be December 25, but since Jesus wasn’t really around, it seems pretty silly to call it Christmas and draw any attention to the fact that, hey, Blinky’s sort of like Santa Claus, isn’t he, and Blackarachnia looks like a pretty good Grinch when you think about it. But that’s silly, and shall not be mentioned.
Scorponok was mildly surprised to find a coffee mug dangling over his head when he awoke. It had the words YOU’RE SUPER!! emblazoned on it in cheery blue.
He inspected it cautiously and wondered what the Pit it was for.
Nevertheless, he felt strangely better for getting it. He carried it around in his subspace pocket for many months, sometimes using it to hold nuts and bolts and tiny wrenches, sometimes just taking it out and looking at it. And when he lost it after going on patrol in Sector Omega ( a good name, he thought ) he felt genuinely sorry.
Terrorsaur woke up and saw himself.
He rolled over and saw himself.
He glanced over his shoulder and saw himself.
And he was very happy.
And then he looked in a corner ( to see if he would see himself ) and instead saw a cardboard cut-out of Raquel Welch.
And he stayed in his room for the rest of the day.
Waspinator woke up and found three towels draped over herself.
She then realised that her head was being supported by three towels.
In delighted surprise, she glanced around the rest of the room, and, sure enough, hung like three magnificent tapestries were three more towels.
Three and three and three!
“Towels!” she fluted.
And the following day, when Waspinator nearly knocked Terrorsaur silly with the thumping she gave his back, and when he asked why, and she told him, and he told her, and they went into Terrorsaur’s room with all nine towels and the mirrors and Raquel Welch, well, they just about had the happiest day of their lives.
Tarantulas was very difficult to shop for, especially when Blinky saw the sorts of things she enjoyed. So Blinky decided the best gift was to leave her the heck alone.
“Who put these here?” Blackarachnia bellowed. On her desk were little figurines. She was about to smash them into tiny pieces when the details caught her eye.
And Tarantulas …
And EVERYONE …
She no longer threw things down the hall, and she no longer strode into the control room every few minutes to shout her hate at everybody. Now, she shouted at them from the comfort of her own room. She also built a miniature volcano and cliff and rapids and spikes and acid pools and was as happy as a slimy crustacean.
Her heart did not grow three sizes that day. That would be weird.
Megatron fell asleep in his tub again, but was awakened by something gently nudging his arm. He opened his eyes. It was the most movement he made in the past two days.
And then he roared in happiness, causing Inferno to rush to his side. “My Queen, are you all right?”
He held something in his hand. And he squeezed.
And it went, ‘squeak’.
Blinky did not get Inferno anything. Rather, he gave her nothing tangible.
And yet, who could say that Inferno was not the happiest of them all?
And so, gentle readers, our story draws to a close. Pancreas Jack and his once-again Trombone Platoon continued their search for the ineffable answer to mankind’s woes, which they were too dense to find, and this was just fine for them all. The Maximals continued to ignore all incoming stasis pods. The Predacons had just discovered new levels of joy, every day.
And Blinky, the Loviest Pillbug in the World, snuggled once more into TC’s wallet ( with the word ‘POD’ painted on the side, to allay suspicions ) and zoomed off into the stars. And into our hearts. The stars in the heart … of my soul.