My name is Minefield, and I'm dead.

At least, I think I'm dead.  This sure ain't Cybertron, that's for sure.  It's funny, in a way--I never thought it would end like this.  See, I figured I'd get shot down by some Decepticon in battle... or even while trying to disarm a thermal detonator or something.  Certainly not waiting out the rest of eternity in a place I don't even understand.  

Prowl used to say that I was the antithesis of logic.  Heh.  I remember the first time he used that one on me--I just nodded my head and grinned at him until he left the room... then consulted Teletran to find out what in the blazes that even meant.  I guess he figured that the odds were against me, that sooner or later one of the bombs I was dismantling would blow up in my faceplate.  Prowl never believed in luck--he said it didn't exist; everything could be rationalized through science and reasoning.  He never could quite explain me, though--"anomaly" was the word I think he used.

It's not like I wasn't useful or anything.  Shaky hands or no, I was the best field disarmer the Autobots had.  I could shut down a thermonuclear warhead faster than you could say, "Take cover!"  I know everybody gets a little jittery around me, but that's just because most Autobots aren't programmed to understand weapons like I do.  I liked the idea that I wasn't just blowing things up the way the Decepticons did--I was dismantling the instruments of our own destruction.  Battling entropy, as it were.  Kinda ironic, isn't it?

I don't think it was a matter of folks not trusting me.  They just sorta looked at me like I was... a curse.  Like somehow I caused bad things to happen whenever I was around.  Like they would be better off if I weren't around.  If you ask me, they brought it on themselves.  If they'd just loosen up a little bit instead of worrying about what disaster Minefield's gonna cause next, everybody would have been a lot happier.  And, well, the fact that somehow I managed to survive when the Decepticons started the war on Cybertron proved that much, right?  Or maybe people just didn't like me because I was beating the odds.  I was pretty good at that.  Anyway, Prowl never came right out and said it, but I know he was convinced I would have bought it long before he did.  Shows what he knew.  Sigh.

 When Optimus Prime was selecting warriors to leave Cybertron in search of some new energy sources, only a small handful made the final cut.  You might say I bombed.  Uh-huh.  I didn't get it--even Bluestreak got to tag along, and most of the time he was about as useful as a flint in a room full of energon detonators, if you know what I mean.  Oh, sure, Optimus had his reasons.  He said he wasn't gonna be gone long, and that he needed some of us to hold down the fort (even though Megatron was sure to detect his departure and follow).  Well, we all know that the Ark didn't exactly leave for a weekend holiday.  So there was me and a handful of other Autobots, basically abandoned on Cybertron for four million years.  After a while, I came to realize that the Ark mission was a death sentence after nobody came back.

It was around the time that the Decepticons got their space bridge finished that Optimus finally made contact with Cybertron again.  I guess something had gone wrong and everyone had been only knocked out for a few million years.  Hey, these things happen.  So did they come back home and help us win the war?  Nope.  Did they ask us to join them on... Earth, I think it was called?  Hardly.  Did they even ask us if we needed anything--troops, supplies, spare parts?  No thanks, we can make do without them somehow, but thanks for caring.  What was so important about Earth, anyway?  

So, I kept in touch with Prowl and Bluestreak--Blue, for the most part.  Prowl was much too busy to be bothered with trivial matters like being pen pals with insignificant little me.  Bluestreak was only to happy to correspond with me, on the other hand--and Primus, did he gab!  He told me about Earth a bit, the aliens they met while the Autobots were there (humans, if I'm remembering it right--tiny little buggers, apparently), how the other Autobots were getting on, that sort of thing.  I asked him once or twice if he wanted to come visit, but I guess Optimus was kinda too worried about trying to save that Earth planet to shuttle anyone back home.

Bluestreak used to tease me in our communiques about Megatron's assorted superweapons always blowing up.  He said he figured I must be doing it--I was the "bomb-bot," after all.  I guess he thought it was funny or something.  I didn't.  Not that I ever tried to explain it to him--I prevented explosions, not make them.  

Then, of course, the inevitable happened.  Prime was so busy with Earth, and there were so few of us left, that the Decepticons managed to take over the entire planet.  A few of Prime's soldiers snuck into the new moon bases when Megs had his back turned, but for the most part we relocated to Earth.  Autobot City was nice enough, I guess, but it just wasn't home.  

I remember the day we heard that Prowl's shuttle crew got killed.  Apparently the Decepticons had perfected whatever kind of new weapons they'd been working on--normal armor didn't stand a chance.  The poor guy was on a supply run, for Primus's sake!  I'd only been stationed in Autobot City for three days.  That should have been me on that shuttle, not Prowl.  The thing is, I'd asked to be assigned to one of the moon bases, but Prime wanted to work closely with the troops he'd been fighting alongside with for years.  Not that it mattered, since a couple of the moons got eaten by Unicron.  And Minefield cheats fate once again.

Sure, I was part of the battle on Earth.  I wrestled with one of those Insecticon fellows--ripped the antenna right off his shoulder, too.  I even rigged a couple of discarded shells to detonate in front of the city entrance just as the Decepticons invaded the city--I figured that would at least take a few of them out.  'Course, Optimus saw to it that Megatron never got to the main ramp.  Turns out the shells were duds anyway.  Heh.

I was kind of an outcast after that.  I mean, Decepticon bomb technology was becoming all but obsolete; there was hardly anything left for me to disarm.  And I admit, I wasn't exactly state-of-the-art myself, anymore.  I ended up taking a shuttle back to Cybertron with Bluestreak, but he didn't talk much.  I guess war does things to you after a while.  He'd lost a lot of friends, too.  Or maybe the years he'd spent on Earth helped him to develop a bond with the other troops--they'd kind of formed a clique.  Or maybe he just didn't like me anymore.

Things were pretty quiet back on the home front.  I heard that Bluestreak finally got scrapped when the Autobots were trying to save another planet--Paratron or something like that.  The planet blew up, in the end.  There's irony for you--Bluestreak gets killed in an explosion instead of me.  Go figure.

It wasn't too long afterwards that Cybertron was finally revitalized, and things more or less got back to normal.  A lot of Autobots traded in their battle-worn bodies for new forms.  Downsizing started as a trend (inspired by the Headmasters or Targetmaster probably), but soon became the norm.  When full-sized Autobot parts started getting scarce, I switched to a smaller form too.  I mean, the entire planet was starting to cater to these micro-sized guys--I didn't want to be an outcast.  Not again.

And then it happened all over again.  Another Transformer calling himself Megatron started taking control of the cities, one at a time.  I dunno where he even came from--not that it matters much.  His Vehicons started popping up--just a few of them at first, then more... until there were hundreds of them scouring the planet.  A few of the survivors I found here and there claimed that all the Autobots and Maximals that were disappearing were being rebuilt into more drones.  I didn't get it--still don't.  What's the point of taking over a planet if you turn everybody into mindless automatons?

I guess I just got cocky or something.  I didn't think much of these robo-tanks--I coulda stepped on them in my Autobot body.  Even as a pint-sizer, I could still run circles around those slowpokes.  But then I must have tripped a trap when I was trying to find cover--a slaggin' detonator, of all things.  Threw me for a loop, disoriented me, and before I knew it I was cornered.  

That's the last thing I remember clearly.  I have some vague impressions of a gigantic claw grabbing me, but that could be the hallucinations I've hard people talk about that you supposedly experience right before dying.  And now I'm trapped in some kind of limbo... no longer alive, but not quite dead.  And for some reason I know that there are millions of others trapped, just like I am.  Where am I?  

I think about these things every so often--I mean, it's not like there's anything else to do.  See, I always had this idea that my function cycle was just around the corner--I honestly didn't expect to see the end of the war, let alone the beginning of a new one.  Prowl was right all along--I am an anomaly.  Ever since the war ended, I knew I didn't belong on Cybertron anymore... for some reason I was one of the very few Autobots left alive.  Like I was the butt of some great, cosmic joke.  And when I finally do bite the big one, thinking that there's a slim chance I'll get to be reunited with my brothers... all I get is a living death, trapped inside nothingness.  And still an outcast, when you think about it.  First I was the Autobot who wasn't supposed to live.  Now I'm the Autobot who doesn't get to die.

Kinda ironic, isn't it?


Author Notes:  In case you didn't realize, this entire story was inspired by a three-second scene from the Beast Machines episode "Fires of the Past."  A junked robot shows up who is probably supposed to be Bluestreak, but whom I decided was not because a) he's got Prowl's hood, not Bluestreak's and b) he is blue, which Bluestreak is not.  So, I decided he was actually a different Autobot with a similar design, and wrote up a convoluted little tale explaining why we never saw him.  I also effectively wrote off at least one blooper—did you catch it?


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