"Fistfight," came the all-too-familiar voice, "please report to the observation deck."

The little black-and-purple robot let out an electronic warble and reluctantly pulled himself away from the Ferrari he was busy dismantling. He'd already managed to strip off most of the cherry red body panels and had nearly gotten it down to the frame, which was typically when the real fun began. There was nothing quite so satisfying as yanking apart an automobile piece by piece, pretending his Autobot prisoner was screaming as he tortured him to death. He could almost hear the desperate cries of protest. Alas, playtime would have to wait. The boss was calling.

He jumped down off the maintenance platform and made his way to the lift chamber. The Decepticon mothership was enormous, particularly from the perspective of a little terror droid who barely came up to the knees of most of the Decepticons on board the craft. He waddled along as quickly as his tiny little legs could carry him. It was times like this that he was jealous of Wingthing. At least he could fly. A Decepticon who couldn't fly was a joke.

Fistfight found Shockwave hovering over a computer monitor and surveying images at a greater speed than Fistfight could even process. The guy really was one big, walking computer. He beeped expectantly to notify Shockwave that he'd arrived.

"Your tardiness is inexcusable," Shockwave said in that carefully-regulated monotone of his. Fistfight knew that the angrier Shockwave was, the more he tried to make it sound like he wasn't. Right now, he sounded like he really, really wasn't angry. "Next time, be punctual. Prepare to depart for Cybertron momentarily. Megatron is planning to flood the planet with Nucleon, which will theoretically transform the entire planet."

Fistfight chirped a series of inquiries. Where did he find enough Nucleon for that? What exactly is it going to do to Cybertron, anyway? Are all the Decepticon Action Masters going? Was Wingthing going to be there?

Shockwave returned to his computer monitor. Fistfight knew that Shockwave was perfectly capable of interpreting the fairly rudimentary binary code in which Fistfight spoke. It was a far more succinct method of communication than the clumsy, awkward spoken language that most Transformers used, and Fistfight had always wondered why they all didn't just use the same binary language that he did. Too many years of hanging around flesh creatures, he supposed.

Fistfight had noticed, though, that Shockwave rarely bothered to respond to him directly. Fistfight didn't know whether it was because he was just an artificially intelligent droid, not a living Decepticon, or whether it was because he was such a low ranking robot that Shockwave didn't feel that it was necessary to acknowledge him most of the time. Either way, Fistfight didn't appreciate it. The other Decepticons talked to their partners—some of them, like Soundwave and Wingthing, had even developed a meaningful rapport with one another.

Maybe Shockwave was just jealous that Fistfight could still transform and he couldn't.

"There is a narrow window in the Autobot security network," Shockwave was saying, mostly to himself. "I calculate that if we achieve a geosynchronous orbit around Cybertron we will be able to pierce the security grid directly over the ruins of Old Iacon in approximately seventy-three thousand astro-seconds."

Fistfight whooped and beeped excitedly. It had been a long time since he'd been to Cybertron and longer still since he'd engaged the Autobots in combat. He gleefully thought of the smaller, weaker Autobots and which ones might make good targets for him. He'd always wanted to tear Bumblebee to pieces, for example. He was such an obnoxious yellow thing. Then there were Jazz and Prowl and Wheeljack. All of them were basically interchangeable in his mind, as they all pretty much looked alike to him. They were a little stronger, though, plus he remembered that one of them was driving some big, energon-powered flying cruiser now. Maybe he would just set his sights on Bumblebee.

Fistfight clasped his little claws together in delight as he concocted a scenario in his mind. He'd have to catch Bumblebee alone, find some way to separate him from the rest of the pack. Chase him into a chasm or something, maybe, or blast one of his friends and get him to chase Fistfight in retaliation. He'd have to be in vehicle mode, naturally, so Fistfight could get the drop on him and immobilize him. If he acted quickly enough he could rip open the little Autobot's hood—no, wait, Volkswagens had their engines in the back. Rip open his trunk, then, and cut the main cable to his computer. Render him totally helpless. Then he could take his sweet time. Piercing each tire, one at a time...ripping off the lug nuts...chopping each axle in half...gouging out his fuel tank and cackling as all that energon spilled all over Fistfight's face...

Oh, wait. Bumblebee was one of the ones who was using Nucleon now, wasn't he? No, no, no! He couldn't even transform anymore! Those stupid Autobots, almost all of them were Action Masters these days! How was Fistfight supposed to get his kicks if none of them turned into cars?!

He grumbled to Shockwave, waddling off and making up some transparent excuse about how Starscream had assigned him to maintenance duty. Shockwave nodded absent-mindedly and made a dismissive wave of his hand.

"Axer," he said over the communicator, "your presence is requested on board the mothership. Megatron is prepared to offer you substantial reimbursement for your services. Should this interest you, please respond with all due expedience." Without a second thought, he'd already found Fistfight's replacement in this grand and glorious campaign. Obviously, Shockwave didn't need him at all.

Fistfight sulked all the way back to the hangar bay. He took one look at his half-disassembled project and swung at it with a petulant karate-chop, putting a tremendous dent in the chassis. Stupid Autobots. They always ruined all his fun. He uttered a binary curse.

He continued to pick apart at the innards of the Throttlebot named Chase, but he knew he wasn't going to enjoy it at all now. One of these days, he mused to himself, he was going to have to find a new hobby.



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This  Story Written May 2010