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Nova part 5

The ongoing Transformers fanfic part 5.

What happens when Nova finally finds what she's looking for... ;-)

Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four

Nova Black's luck changed when she least expected it. She had gone to the old bot's store, a trip she made fairly often these days. Keeping the signal dampener powered-up enough to cover the whole settlement was a tricky business. It wasn't built to hide more than one signal, and the magnifier they'd built threatened to overheat whenever some bot looked at it sideways. Since Nova cared more than any of the rest of them did about making sure it stayed on, she was usually the one to make the trip.

It was always the same. She'd turn into the usual alley, head inside, endure the usual taunts about her past, and eventually emerge with the supplies she was looking for. It had become a ritual by now. He mocked her, and she spat the insults back at him. She didn't mind it in the least. Anything was better than the way the others looked at her, nodding or shaking their heads, whispering when she passed.

Hell, repetitive as it was, heading there for supplies was probably the only chore she came back from smiling.

This time, she arrived just in time to see someone else heading in ahead of her.

It wasn't the first time she'd caught sight of one of his other customers. Most tried their best to avoid being seen going in, and many managed it. Still, as Nova herself knew quite well by now, anyone could end up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

She wasn't particularly curious. Seeing what the other bot was up to would be interesting, but hardly useful. And she'd managed to go undetected. Others could have the same courtesy, unless they --

Nova gasped, her jaw creaking faintly as it dropped open. Wincing, she slipped into the shadows as quietly as she could. The stranger's optics had glittered blue.

So the Autobot rebels are out here. She clenched her fist, watching the stranger slip inside the old bot's shop, an unmistakable red symbol branded onto his chest.

She shook her head, wondering if her optics were glitching. Was the arrogant fool really flying those colors so blatantly? At least the alcove she'd found had been hidden. Well, she'd just have to go in there and --!

Hissing, she relaxed her hand, forcing herself to calm down. Barging in and picking a fight would only irritate the old bot, and then she'd have to find another source of supplies. And however satisfying it would be to finally catch up with one of the little slaggers and knock him senseless, doing anything would likely spook the rest.

And while spooking them might get them out of Settlement Four, it would also kill any chance she had to find out who they were, or what they were really doing here. Better to calm herself down and wait for the Autobot to come back out, follow him, and see if she could discover any of the rebels' plans.

Waiting a moment to be sure the noise wouldn't attract unwanted attention, she transformed and took off, circling the area. She'd see better in the air than on the ground, as long as she was careful to keep from being noticed herself.

And as long as circling the alley near the shop entrance over and over didn't bore her until she couldn't take it any more. She sighed. This wasn't her kind of mission. If only Leech were here. He'd be good at this lurking in wait thing.

She hesitated. She never would have thought she'd want that bot around. For starters, the two of them had been built in the same batch, and Decepticons of their build were sometimes close with those who'd been built at the same time.

Sometimes. Those of lower rank, like Nova and her comrades, were built in such large batches that it was often either impossible for any individual to discern who his kin were, or a safe bet to assume everyone who looked similar must be his kin anyway.

Nova herself had never wondered. There wouldn't have been any point. How exactly was someone supposed to stay loyal to ten, twenty, fifty, a hundred others? She was one of only a few of her exact build in the group where she lived, and she liked it better that way.

She wasn't sure how large a batch Cinder and Leech had come from, though. And although she doubted that even Leech had liked the bright red fool, she had killed him. If he did care about kinship -- or wanted to use it as an excuse -- killing his fellow conehead would give Leech ample license to hate her.

On top of that, Leech's hissing, shattered voice gave Nova the creeps. No one knew quite what he'd done to himself that had rendered his vocalizer so quiet and bleached his paint job to its garish white, and most didn't want to, either.

Whatever he had done, though, it had upgraded his weapons systems considerably. His lasers made his firepower second only to Bane's, and Bane had long ago filled every available space on his frame with the most exotic and powerful guns he could scavenge or trade for.

Not that she'd ever seen Bane use them. Deadly as they surely were, she strongly suspected the Subcommander hoarded them like he hoarded energon and merely waved them at most potential enemies. Nova smirked. All that extra metal must weigh him down so much he'd never hit a nimble enough enemy, should one ever actually call the indolent fool's bluff.

Nova had rarely seen Leech use his weaponry either, though he didn't flaunt his as Bane did. Leech's vocalizer wasn't the only thing his tinkering had damaged. He'd been frail ever since, requiring a ridiculous amount of energon for even the most basic of his systems to run properly. His frame had grown pale and brittle, requiring him to invent something else to protect himself during brawls or battle. Most suspected that he'd reverse engineered the device from an Autobot-built force field generator. Whatever it was, needing to keep it charged only made Leech that much more fuel-hungry.

Which made him much more inclined to conserve his energy and plot than to rush headlong into a fight.

Which, in turn, would make him better than Nova at this... if he were here, anyway. Slag, by now he'd probably have invented some device to record what was going on inside from this distance. He wouldn't have to fly around in circles like --

Finally. There you are, you little bastard, she thought, watching the other leave. He had transformed, and carried a large pile of parts she couldn't recognize. She switched on her cameras and swooped down for a better view, hoping he wouldn't hear the sound of her engines or look above him at the wrong moment.

He gave no sign of having seen her. Thanking Primus for her luck, she followed him, turning on her recording devices. He'd probably try to contact his headquarters soon. With any luck, her decoder still worked, even after all this time.

"Burden to Base One. I've got the supplies and I'm headed home."

Excited, Nova accelerated. The bot's next words, however, dashed her hopes.

"But I think I'm being followed."

Cursing quietly, Nova ducked behind a building.

"This is Base One. Don't head back here until you shake whatever's chasing you."

"Wasn't planning on heading back with someone following me." He chuckled. "Don't worry, Base One. I've got nothing else to do today. I'll lead the little slagger in circles all day if I have to."

Damn it. If she spent all day chasing this fool, the others would start to get suspicious. Especially Brightbolt, and she really wasn't in the mood to deal with him.

On the bright side, at least she was recording this. She had video of the first and audio of both. And, even more importantly, proof that there really were still Autobots around.

"Is the bot on your tail on the ground or in the air?" came the voice over the comm, gravelly and deep.

"In the air."

"Oh scrap. You never could keep a low profile, could you? Is it still following you?"

The front of the vehicle turned, looking for her. She stayed where she was.

"Don't see anything, but that doesn't mean slag."

The other growled. "In the air, huh? Odds are high whoever that is wasn't built one of us. Spy for the Decepticons?"

"I don't think so. If that thing was a 'Con, there'd be five of 'em shooting at me by now. I'm gonna say Neutral but unfriendly."

"We hope you're right. The last thing we need is Decepticons noticing us."

"Right. I'm gonna handle this and then head back. 'Til all are one."

"'Til all are one."

They actually say that when they cut off their comm links? Out here? Idiots. You'd think they're asking to get caught.

The thought chilled her. Maybe they were, at that. Whatever they'd bought, they were building something out of it. This wasn't just about stirring up a few fed-up Neutrals to their cause.

She looked back down at her quarry. He'd already started his engine again. She'd have to decide: leave him since he knew she was on his tail, or follow anyway? If she didn't give chase soon, she'd lose him.

She took off -- in the opposite direction. She'd been hiding long enough that maybe he'd see her going the other way and think she'd given up.

"Come on, jet, whoever you are," he taunted. "I know you're still looking for me. I wasn't built yesterday."

She chuckled. He must not know she'd decoded his communication.

Fine, Nova thought. Maybe coming after you won't help me find your base. But if you want to play, I'll play with you.

As the other accelerated, she matched his speed. It felt good, twisting between buildings, racing to keep up with him. How long had it been since she'd sped through the air for the hell of it, electricity racing through her circuits?

And whoever this Autobot was, she had him worried. She couldn't see his expression since he was currently in his vehicle mode, but she didn't doubt that if he had transformed, he'd be frowning and glancing over his shoulder, hoping he'd lost her. She hadn't honestly made anyone nervous in stellar cycles. She chuckled, flying lower and closer to her quarry.

He turned, as sharply as the large bed behind him would allow, and she swerved to match it, fighting not to laugh with relief as she spun.

And always, he remained below her. After stellar cycles without fighting, without sparring, without even racing like this, she still hadn't lost him. It sent a thrill through her spark, knowing that after so long, she could keep up with an enemy. A slow-moving one, maybe, but still more than a drill or a test or an exercise.

And he was carrying something. Whatever it was, it was probably bad news. She could always destroy it now, before they had a chance to build whatever they intended to create. Better to stop them now than have a bigger problem later.

Energy crackled through her circuits. She could feel its steady hum through every system, including the weapon system she fought to keep inactivated. Warmth roiled just behind her lasers, tantalizing her. Her frame quivered, wanting to set that energy free in a burst of heat and light, to watch the other char and blacken under it.

No, she told herself firmly. Even in the old days, even with the rest of her team backing her up and Bane trolling the skies just below them, slow-moving but no less deadly for it, his mismatched weaponry striking fear into anyone on the ground, attacking now would still be foolish.

Muting her audio output to keep her adversary from hearing her curse, she spun around and flew back toward the Settlement, her frustration lending her speed.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 27th, 2009 03:24 am (UTC)

Oct. 27th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
Liked this chapter? XD
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 27th, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)
I'm glad you like it! And yeah, they are up to something... XD
Oct. 27th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
This continues to be very enjoyable and highly intriguing. I like how Nova got bored enough waiting for the Autobot to start on quite a lengthy reminiscence - which itself was very cool - after which the narrative looped naturally back on track.

Also, characterisation squee! Nova isn't a wholesome and repentent good guy, and I love that. Especially when she enjoys the thought of making someone else nervous. Very cool.
Oct. 27th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)

"I'm gonna say Neutral but unfriendly" - sums up Nova pretty closely regardless of who she's talking to!

My question for the moment is wondering what the other Neutrals are going to make of the data Nova recorded... or if she's going to show them at all!
Oct. 31st, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
"I'm gonna say Neutral but unfriendly" - sums up Nova pretty closely regardless of who she's talking to!

Oct. 28th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Continuing to go very well. In additiom, you're hitting a great balance in the anthropo/machine fixation I seem to have locked myself into.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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