Author's note: In remaining true to Bob Budinsky's description of Repugnus, the author warns those readers who are either offended by foul language or have weak stomachs should not read this story.
IMPUDENT AND REPULSIVE
The lady barkeep with six creepy eyes and a large mole under her chin stirred a tall glass of thick brown water. She dropped two large and wiggling eyeballs into its bubbly mix and stirred once. She candidly handed it to a shapely winged alien before answering Springer's question.
"I dunno why 'n Torments you want someone like him. He's disgusting, even for a robot. But you'll find him tucked inta some corner round here with a batch of creepies. Watch yerself, though. He don't like people too good."
Springer and Afterburner gave the bar keeper an uneasy gaze while the gal mixed another bizarre drink. Afterburner frowned with impatience. He was forcibly dragged onto this wasteful, stupid assignment all the way to Primus-knows-where and he blamed Springer. Springer passed the blame to Magnus who called both Autobots girlie-cakes for their reluctance to visit space station Wynhammer in search of an ex-Autobot named Repugnus.
Rodimus had one of those "dire" assignments; something even the Dinobots would not undertake. Springer hoped this joker of a Monsterbot was not a last-resort situation. If Repugnus refused, then Magnus would have to go elsewhere or handle the problem himself.
More customers packed the tavern. Aliens of every size, shape, species and smell occupied the space station and Springer wondered how they could possibly spot a single Monsterbot among so many humanoids, furries, robots and a variety of other-based life forms. Neither Autobot warrior had the pleasure of preiviously meeting Repugnus. But Kup entailed a nasty fallout between Repugnus and several other Autobots until Optimus Prime was forced to exile the obnoxious belligerent jerk.
And just as the barkeep said, Springer and Afterburner spotted the Monsterbot lounging on a couch among a group of sleazy, creepy aliens.
It was the awful belch that gave Repugnus' location. Undaunted, Springer and Afterburner wove their way through the thick crowd.
Two bulky, big-mouthed aliens next to Repugnus table-wrestled while downing a number of moss-covered shot drinks.
Springer tried not to calculate his chances should a fight strike between these over-sized beasts and he and Afterburner.
"Looky, looky, mifs and mookies. We have an Autobot puke train!" Repugnus' words were punctuated by two burps and a deep-chested belch. "Nice to know the species is still intact."
Afterburner crossed his arms. "It's nice to know you're smart enough to recognize your own kind, Repug. Done any betraying lately?"
"Who wants to know? Oh, did Mommy Prime send you panty-wastes here to give me a pep-talk? Golly. Gonna need a translator."
Repugnus' insults were followed by sniggers from his groupies.
Springer started to turn away. "This is a waste of time, Afterburner. Let's go."
"No!" the Technobot objected, "I won't stand for an insult-"
"HA!" Repugnus rose, "then SIT for one!" Repugnus tripped Afterburner who landed hard on his caboose. Laughter rose around them. Repugnus almost took his chair but Afterburner wasn't done.
"Funny how he resorts to the physical if he can't insult with words!"
Springer dimmed his optics. Wrong thing to say.
"Insulted? INSULTED?!" The Monsterbot came nose to nose with the Technobot. "Looky here, you little filter-licking gunk-sucking, smog-breather. I've put down bigger back-fires than you. You? You're just some half-smeared insect on a grill. NOT WORTH MY EFFORT."
Repugnus turned his back on Afterburner with a smirk. Afterburner wanted to punch the arrogance out of the creep. "You were right, Springer," he announced loudly. "This repo version of an Autobot really IS stupider than he looks."
Repugnus froze. Then a gleam lit his right optic. He silently swept up two more shots from the tray and downed them in a single gulp. "Thacking Autobot puke dispensers." He swung around, snapped open the filter compartments on either side of his chest and sprayed Afterburner with used fluids, old liquids and dead bugs.
The stench was mortifying so that even the Monsterbot's companions withdrew.
"Badda-Ping. Now you're worth my attention," he gloated.
Springer did what he could to control his own reflexive automations. He stepped back, almost unable to handle the putrid stench of decay caked over Afterburner.
Repugnus grunted and turned away. But Afterburner was not one to let a fight go. With a yell, he attacked, punching the Monsterbot in the head. Repugnus stepped backward and sat on Afterburner. "Not enough for you, gunk-sucker? Huh?" And then he discharged, forcing most everyone out the pub.
Springer stumbled out the bar with the crowd, coughing up exhaust from Repugnus' body. Obviously the Monsterbot's diet was not limited to regular energon.
Springer hung over the railing, his optics cast three levels down. He wondered how the Pitt to return to Cybertron without telling Rodimus how he and Afterburner refused to have anything to do with the belligerent retro rat.
Speaking of whom, out he came and Springer's mind raced to find something correct to say.
"Don't like pukes." Repugnus drank down more of the thick green liquor. "'specially Autobot-"
"Yeah, I got it, thanks." Springer returned coldly. "Sorry to upset your day. Just following orders, Pal."
Repugnus chomped on a set of frozen cubes of nitrous-oxide. "Orders, huh? They pin a load of thack on me? Haven't been around for a while and they find I committed something?"
"It's not about a crime. We're not here to arrest you. Rodimus Prime has an assignment, wants to know if you'd be interested."
Repugnus laughed and the harder he laughed, the more ridiculous he looked. "Let me get this right: I'm kicked out cuz I don't like t' be told what to do and now some sleaze-sucking, copulating, gunk-pasted, butt-nugget Autobot leader wants me back? Hey, did you say Rodimus Prime?"
"Wha happen t' Oooze-a-mus-up-my-Prick-a-mus?"
Springer didn't think that was funny, no matter how Repugnus grinned. "He died in the last war."
"OH! And did everybody cry?" Repugnus mocked, "Did-did they say a eulogy? Did they make a grand thacking statue and make all kinds of nauseating noises? 'Oh, Optimus, we'll miss you!'"
"From what I heard, he kicked your ass." Springer growled.
"Pfft!" Repugnus staggered as he tried not to laugh, "It was a good fight! That much I'll admit! He and me, thacking tore the place up! At's right, Little Pukester! One thing about Prick-a-Muss: he knows how to throw his thacking weight around!"
Patience lost, Springer's optics dimmed as Afterburner stumbled out, wiping waste material from his chassis. "I'm going to take a good guess, Repugnus. And, say, thanks for the entertainment."
"I didn't think it was entertaining enough." Repugnus answered sardonically. "You uh-you gonna take laughing bot here with you? Or is his next mission supposed to send him to disposal? Actually, you look better now than when I first saw you, Autobot. All packed up and ready for a fresh start-"
Afterburner attacked like a cat and caught Repugnus in the middle. The Monsterbot hunched over, actually pretending injury. He caught Afterburner's next attack and rather than kicking or punching, Repugnus slapped the Technobot.
Didn't see that one, didjya, flybot?" he back-slapped Afterburner. "Not fast 'nuff. Dribbling rust-bucket. Need practice." Repugnus deflected one wimpy blow after another, dodging and making faces at the short-tempered Technobot. "Seems to me your Mommy Prime just had a few spare bolts and filters and made you. Oh, sorry, USED filters." Repugnus again deflected kicks and punches. He dodged head-butts and elbow shots. In between each attack, he'd slap Afterburner on one side of his face then the other followed by a hand-butt to the forehead and one under his chin.
Springer understood why Magnus sent Afterburner along: to get a taste of his own proverbial medicine. But the vicious fight was counter-productive. He waited for a chance to separate them. Unfortunately, Springer did not want to touch Afterburner, still blotched with Repugnus' waste material and he certainly did not want to touch Repugnus just in case the Monsterbot hit him.
Springer felt the situation required something stronger than words and diplomacy. He jumped off the deck, summer saulted and shifted to chopper mode. With one good shot, he managed to get their attention. "Personally, I'd not mind you two slappin' each other like a pair of old ladies at a clothing sale. But there's a ship that needs to be retrieved before the Terrorcons get to it.'
'Repugnus, you interested?"
The Monsterbot had half a mind to transform and shred the Technobot. Springer surprised him enough to make him think. "A thacking rescue mission? Whaddo I look like? A freakin' medic? And what the thack is a Terrorcon?"
Springer shifted back to robot, landing loudly on the deck. He crossed his arms and frowned. "They're a pack of Decepticons that are probably tougher than you."
"Doubtful." Repugnus snorted.
Afterburner stepped up to say something but Springer warded him off. "Come on, then, Repug, if you're such a tuff bot-"
"What's the payment? What's in it for me?"
Afterburner could not keep his mouth shut. "You slobbering, self-centered mercenary! How dare you call yourself an Autobot!" Before Afterburner thought about reacting, Repugnus shifted and punched him with the blunt side of his claw. The Technobot went flying down the passway and his back cracked a support post.
Satisfied at the sight, Repugnus turned to Springer. "What's the pay?"
Springer thought he'd have tranquilize Afterburner when he explained they were ordered to transport Repunus to his destination. They boarded the ship and immediately Afterburner rattled off all kinds of rules and regulations. But he quit as soon as the Monsterbot started mimicking. Afterburner sat in the co-pilot chair and sulked while Springer guided their ship off the Wynhammer and into space.
"So, so you're a what again?" Repugnus asked.
"A Technobot." Afterburner answered a second time.
"And what the thack is a Technobot?"
"I'm part of a combiner."
"A combiner, huh? What the Pitt does that mean? What do you combine?"
"I merge with other Technobots to form a single robot."
"You . . . merge with them . . . " Repugnus sounded thoughtful. "Is that the same as copulating?"
"Oh for the freakin' sake of Primus!" Afterburner snapped. "Do *I* look like I"m capable of reproduction?"
"I sure the thacking hope not. I'd feel sorry for the slag-headed offspring."
"Hey," springer called from the navigator's chair, "can you possibly trim your use of four-letter words?"
Afterburner's patience thinned. "He means to cut down on the cussing, warp-head."
Springer gave the Technobot a dirty look but said nothing.
"Oh!!" Repugnus mocked. "Cussing offends you! Tell me, something: are all Autobot self-righteous dipsticks like you pukes?"
Afterburner about jumped from his seat when Springer kicked him in the chest. "NOT RIGHT NOW!"
"Scrap you, Springer, you're NOT my boss!"
"We're NOT here to fight, Afterburner!
"THE PITT WITH MAGNUS! And you can't tell me what to do!" Afterburner again attempted to get up when a high-pitched whine of a laser pistol sounded in the cockpit.
Springer trained his weapon point blank on the Technobot. "Mister Laser Pistol says you'll do what I say or you'll be dreaming sweet."
"You don't have the stuff to pull that trigger, Springer."
The world went dark for Afterburner and he slumped in his seat.
Springer glared at Repugnus. "Are you gonna try anything?"
The Monsterbot only shrugged. "You're the bot with the ship and the gun. I can respect that."
The rest of the flight remained smooth until Springer started planetary descent. "Gonna get bumpy here," he warned, "hold on."
Repugnus secured himself and stared out the front view screen, anxious to see what lay ahead.
Storm clouds and adverse temperatures rocked the craft and at one point, flipped it upside down. Repugnus whooped and cheered, "Ride 'em up long an' hard, my little bot! WAAAHOOOOO! WAAAHOOOOO!"
Springer found the noise irritating but could do nothing until he navigated out the storm.
The planet welcomed them with thick jungle, horrendously tall trees and foliage so compact, the wrecker could not find a landing spot.
"Just thacking hover. I'll drop." Repugnus snarled.
"Fine. Let me get to the coordinates and explain-"
"I don't need to be house-trained, Autobot. Just let me the slag out."
"FINE!" Springer slammed on the brakes -so to speak-and got a snarl from his passenger. "Let me tell you what's going down before you bail."
"There's a ship down there with a negative singularity crystal in it. The ship and crew have been swallowed by some creature the engines backwarped and the crew died from radiation poison. The Terrorcons have been deployed to retrieve the singularity. We don't want them to have it."
"Is that it? You don't want them to get it?"
"Thacking self-righteous, puke-faced Autobots! Just cuz the 'other side' has different ideals than you, you think you're the good guys. 'Oh, let me save you so I can be adored and remembered, admired and idolized! Let's not fight! The weak need to be protected!"
Springer inched his finger toward the eject button. "Sounds like you'd be happier as a Decepticon. Maybe you'd like to kiss and make up with them!"
The shuttle floor dropped out from under Repugnus and he fell a good sixty feet into the swamp.
Springer zipped out of orbit without a second thought.
Repugnus tumbled in the free-fall and landed face-first in the filthy black waters of Planet Croises-T. He sat up and blinked through mud and debris. The world around him stood deathly silent; not a soul to be seen or heard for miles and miles. The mud under his weight slowly gave way and delighted by its soft, slimy feel, Repugnus dropped to his back and gleefully wallowed in its texture, laughing and kicking like a child in a mud puddle.
"Waahoooo!" he screamed. "Come and get me, D-thacking-cons! Heeer's 'Pugnus come t' play!"
He stood and the mud and slime oozed over his body. The current temperature read ninety-eight point three degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity factor of eighty-seven percent. The stifling heat gave rise to a decaying stench from both plants and animals.
Repugnus considered it beautiful.
A bug the size of an office chair buzzed its way toward Repugnus. He transformed and snapped out a long tongue-like device. The bug crunched between Repugnus' jaws and he gleefully drooled its juices.
Now, did Springer not mention something about a monster, a ship and Terrorcons?
Tugging his way through the mud pit, the Monsterbot ambled to drier land. At first all he encountered was light brush, tall slender trees and all the foot-long bugs and lizards he could munch along the way.
By and by the jungle grew dense with carpets of glowing mosses, thick, broad trees with lofty tops and house-sized trunks. Swamp cactus bulged with ripened fruit and the ground slipped with peat moss, dead insects and animal remains. Toward nightfall, Repugnus switched his sensors to thermo-vision and infra-green. The world around him seemed more sinister in the dark. Large, six-limbed beasts climbed down from the tree tops and fed on bugs or cactus fruits.
As fascinating as Repugnus found the sights, he trudged froward, hoping to encounter the so-called Terrorcons. He looked forward more to a good fight than recovering some piece of space junk from some beast which would most likely 'pass' the craft in a matter of days. Easy enough, the Monsterbot thought to himself; just go through the excrement and haul the ship out.
A foul stench touched the air some miles later. Repugnus took several samples of the unsavory smell to determine direction of origin.
The stink was remarkably original, nothing quite like it, strong with decay and used fluids. A good deal of sulfur and potassium came in the mix, three types of salt and one part nitrogen.
This way; further inland.
Repugnus sloshed through a small bog then shoved his way through a mass of tangled vines and trees. Bats with four wings darted at and away from him. He crunched giant thorns and paid no heed to his scratched and marred exterior. The stench beckoned him like scavenger to rotted carcass. A prize waited at the end beyond the matted brush and vine-enveloped trees. The stronger the scent, the faster Repugnus moved.
Fortunately, it was not a terribly fast pace, otherwise the Monsterbot would have fallen right over the precipice. sharp, jagged rocks waited for him a few hundred feet down. The canyon stretched half a mile out and disappeared into early morning fog.
Repugnus squatted and used all his sensors to scan. The reaching pillars extended far underground, surrounded by quickmud.
A breeze picked up and pushed the navigating stench from the north; the Monsterbot's left.
Repugnus stood, but could not completely leave the canyon. A moment later, he found out why: a snake monster lived below. It lifted a hideously long head from the quick mud then sank back down. Its long, stone encrusted body trailed like a train with almost no end.
His curiosity now satiated, Repugnus returned his attention to the hunt. But again he paused and searched the blue-grey sky. From a great distance, the Monsterbot swore on his own grave he could see the ugliest bird he could remember encountering.
From the enclosure of tree and vine to open spaces of plain and hillock, Repugnus followed the icky smell to the edge of low-lying mountains.
Upon reaching the hills, the Monsterbot found many a boulder contaminated with the same searing nasty scent as in the wind.
Repugnus glanced at one boulder then another. He sniffed and inhaled the abominable blotches of nastiness. Repugnus smeared a sample of it with his finger and licked it.
Ammonia mingled with sulfuric acid and a concentrated copper dioxide compound complicated with nitrate.
Disgusting, but good.
Well, make that good until something cold and even more foul-smelling hit Repugnus' right optic. He wiped it, tasted it.
"Heerrr . . . Goody, Goody, Goody" he cooed. "Uncle 'Pugnus wants to play!" the Monsterbot dared a step toward a towering boulder. A dark brown puddle of gunk gathered round its base. "Come out and play, Goody. Uncle Pugnus is aaalll by hisself. Don't be shy. I won't scare you-at first."
The impact hit Repugnus so fast and hard the Monsterbot fell head-over-feet and got the licking of his life-literally.
Judging by its behavior, it should have been a dog. But its head was way too small, arms too long, Gargoyle or gorilla? Neither. The beast's insignia was a dead give-away. It opened its mouth and a nasty odoriferous gas eked out like rot from a ripe diaper. "PLAY!" it drooled all over Repugnus who did not so much as flinch at either the feel of the goo or its vomitous odor.
Repugnus gave the nasty thing a back-handed slap, sending it through the air. "Not impressive, my little vat dropping. Not thacking impressive at all. Come along little can opener, how about an enema?"
It hopped over the boulder and shifted to robot mode in mid air, kicking the Monsterbot between the optics. The attacker rolled and jumped to its feet upon immediate landing.
Repugnus, a bit slower in reacting, merely took the fall as though he meant to do that. He popped three gaskets along his backbone, shifted to robot mode himself and smiled. "You're as ugly as you smell, Conny-Boy. What's yer secret? Cesspool de' perfume? Carcass oeuvre devours? Or is that just the way the thacking package comes?
No verbal answer. The beast in mechanical clothing sided-stepped, sloshing in his own over-productive juices.
"Got a name, Conny-Boy?" Repugnus scanned around them, measuring distances between them and rocks.
"Blot." The Terrorcon spat a gross glop of brown goo but missed Repugnus not because the Monsterbot ducked, but because Blot was such a poor marksman.
Repugnus grinned. "How about my turn, little Conny-Boy? Eh?" Before Blot could react, Repugnus squished ooze from the ground into Blot's optics. With a single swipe of his claw, the Mosnterbot hacked a slice of boulder over his opponent.
Blot squealed like a wild goark gone mad. But he did not get out.
"HA!" Repugnus bellowed. "Pugsy one, Connys, zippo!" The Monsterbot sloshed along the bogging ground, now saturated with Blot's nasty excessive fluids. The place smelled worse than ever and attracted swarms of flies. Repugnus figured if the botched-up Terrorcon hauls his rusted, puke-infested carcass from under the boulder, he'd be too damaged to fight. If Blot decomposes, the area will end up too polluted for anything to grow for a long time to come. Either way, Repugnus thought it funny.
The Monsterbot traveled a good ten miles before the sun sank beyond the trees. The wilderness shifted from a stinky, slimy bog to a mountainside of sharp, crumbling rocks. The area here was as bland and lifeless as the swamp was wet and teeming with alien life. Rocks tumbled from the other side of the valley of stone. Repugnus shifted from Monster to robot form and scrunched down. 'Tired' wasn't in his vocabulary, but the Autobot needed time to sit and listen. Springer's words suggested there was more than one Terrorcon. So why weren't there more of them?
A long time ago, on a planet far, far away, Repugnus learned to never ask such dangerous questions. He never needed to look for danger and excitement; the two always found him.
That's why the Monsterbot berated himself in such foul language that it made Hun-Grrr and Sinnertwin laugh as they shot up from the vast rock pile.
Repugnus leapt out of the way before Sinnertwin's right head plunged into his spot. The Terrorcon hauled his head from the crushed rubble and spat a stream of liquid fire at Repugnus who swiftly shifted to monster mode and shielded his optics as the fire rained over him and pooled into the mountainside.
Sinnertwin withdrew his initial attack and grinned. "Looky this, H.G., we have a nice metallic one, skinned and ready for the bar-B."
Repugnus stared back at his new opponents. His tough exostructure steamed with the heat of Sinnertwin's flame. But the Monsterbot felt no pain. "You don't want to eat me, he replied: "poisonous."
Sinnertwin and Hun-Grrr laughed before they leapt for the Autobot rogue. Between their weight and Sinnertwin's fiery breath weakening the mountainside, it caused the crust to give way and all three robotic monsters plummeted into a huge cavern.
Repugnus smashed through overhangs, horizontal stalagmites and a shallow lattice of crystals before he slapped into an underground lake of natural heavy water. Rather than head for the surface, however, the Monsterbot dove down where he turned his body upward, claws wide and ready for reception.
The two double-headed Terrorcons smashed against the cavern walls as they fell out of control. Hun-Grrr hit the water first, creating such a tremendous splash that the entire circumference of the lake leapt on impact. Sinnertwin followed suit, collapsing back-first.
Because of his weight, Hun-Grrr dropped more quickly then Sinner. He learned, however, that idleness was unwise when dealing with Repungus and the Terrorcon jerked his body as Repug's claws slashed along his sides.
Hun-Grrr waved his body up and down like a Cybertronian stainless steel dolphin. He twisted round and one head snapped at the Monsterbot while the other received a kick in the right optic.
Repugnus was not a graceful swimmer-nor was he light enough to float. He sank down, down, down. Pressure popped two gaskets and internal leaking gave the Mosnterbot a disgusting taste in his mouth (disgusting even for him).
Repugnus finally contacted the bottom of the lake, landing on fine, soft silt. Activating all scanners, the Monsterbot found himself surrounded by a pair of gigantic white crab-like creatures with spikes pointing off their backs and sixteen legs jointed up or laying flat in rest.
No eyes-or as far as Repugnus could tell. They did not move, either. The Monsterbot remained where he landed and wondered when his playmates were going to arrive. He searched the watery domain for signs of the fallen Terrorcons but the deep dark water refused to yield any signs of life other than the crabs and giant forests of creepy purple kelp, budded with hand-like pods.
Time to just leave.
The Monsterbot took cautious steps from the sleeping giant crabs. No sense in rousing the neighbors. Repugnus tried his best not to stir the silt. One foot up. Pause. Down. Pause. Wait. One foot up. Pause. Down. Wait.
His sensors told him a solid object lay ahead one-sixteenth of a mile. But the cold water prevented him from using thermoscan; he could not even register the sleeping crabs.
No sign of the Terrorcons and Repugnus suspected they either escaped the water and waited for him (not good, but could be entertaining) or the pressure of the lake's depth blew them to Torments (good, but disappointing).
Sixteen other crabs occupied the bottom of the cavern lake. Repugnus wondered what could possibly be down here that fed them, considering both their dubious size and number. For what Repugnus understood, crabs were scavengers. Yet the lake contained nothing but huge purple kelp.
His answer popped up from the lake bottom; literally.
Thousands of tiny organisms rushed up from the silt and attacked the kelp, gorging themselves on the hand-shaped pods.
Repugnus backed off as a medium-sized blind crab found its way to a string of kelp, pinched off a stem and devoured the whole thing: creatures and all.
Repugnus carefully backed off until his backside bumped into solid rock. His sensors indicated the rock reached upwards for a mile and a half-about the same distance of his fall.
One claw in front of the other and soon the Monsterbot was half way out the water. One claw then the other slammed into the rock face and lifted his weight until he cleared the lake of heavy water, then another ten minutes later, Repungus stuck his head out the hole he fell through.
Cool humid night air greeted him with an array of bright stars, singing bugs and the valley of rocks.
A bit better a sight than the cavern. But the scenery offered no sight of the Terrorcons. Regrettably, Repugnus guessed his playmates went to the Pitt in a rusted bucket. Just as well, he supposed. But it meant the rest of his mission was going to be a yawner.
The Monsterbot pulled himself completely out and trudged or tripped down the rocky mountainside by light of the three distant moons and his own sensors.
Two miles became seven and later ten. The valley of rocks finally opened into another valley of fine tall grasses waving and hissing softly in the early morning breeze.
Repungus loved this time of day because sometimes it was still dark and the grass was always wet.
Something crawled along the ground off the horizon; something huge and brightly colored.
Repugnus could not resist a closer look. As quiet as a retro-rat, the Monsterbot approached a mountainous creature. Six legs lay folded at its underside. A thick, heavy tail completed its backside and a good amount of blubber rolled out from its neck and ribs.
The Autobot rogue stepped ever closer. He twitched, actually a little nervous. The beast moaned and a bit of smoke escaped its nostrils. Repugnus thought that strange. He heard of some organics capable of spitting fire, but this thing with a squared head, did not seem the right sort.
"Hey there, you oversized electric toad. Say AAHHH." Repugnus peered at its mouth-which was big enough to eat him like a bug-only he'd be extra-crispy. Repugnus pushed against the upper lip which resisted him like a giant deflated innertube.
The beast actually cooperated but the results proved less than perfect. As it opened its cavernous mouth, a putrid, reeking stench rolled out like a billow of invisible smoke and it almost bowled Repugnus over. He staggered, gaging and gasping for cleaner air. All his filtrations systems kicked in and he coughed and gaged a bit more until the air cleared.
"PRIMUS! NASTY! Better change your diet, Poochy.
It sounded so pitiful.
The great fat lazy, six-legged beast opened its mouth wider and Repugnus shut off all air-intake valves to take a quick scan of the creature's insides.
He registered metallic alloys, T-ionic acid, zeta-silver chargers and negative space output.
The last one was a bit surprising but just as real as the T-ionic acid.
"Seems to me you ate a piece a' bad meat, there, Poochy." Repugnus dodged the teeth as the beast shut its large mouth.
"Well, Poochy, we can do this one of three ways: I can make you gag and spit up the stupid craft, or I can wait a few days and see if you crap it out-but I don't really have time for that. Or I can try an enema: from the inside.
"That's what I say."
Something fast and rock-solid slammed into Repugnus so hard, the Monsterbot did not have time to gather his
wits. He was struck again and now the Monsterbot gathered himself, transformed to monster mode and held steadfast when the next attack came. He caught the perpetrator and almost got his face bitten off.
"What's this? A little blue-and-white piece of puke. Hello, Puky. How's the good life?"
It looked like a fish, though Repugnus could not tell the species. It snapped and snarled with teeth longer than its claws.
"Quite the savage, hu? I'd kick yer aft if you weren't so funny looking."
"GGGGGGAAAAAAAHHHHH!!" It transformed and held a laser pistol to Repugnus' face. "You make fun of me now, Autobutt, but the Terrorcons mean business here!"
"Izzat right? Huh. Too bad I'm not impressed. So far I've only seen three of you. That is ,unless that Pitt-ugly bird is a buddy of yours, too." Repugnus thought that possibility out more carefully. "Say, you guys aren't a combiner, are you?"
His answer came in the aft when something kicked him so hard, he flew freely before eating grass.
"Goaly" Hun-Grrr declared in robot mode. "Terrorcons two, Autobutt, natta!" Hun-Grrr followed his boast with a horrendous roar that temporarily shorted Repugnus' audios.
The roar sounded more like a call than just a bragging billow. And sure enough, Repugnus' guess proved him right: that 'Pitt-ugly' bird appeared from the north-eastern horizon and in its claws dangled something else. 'Pitt-Ugly' zoomed in, dumped his load and landed in robotic form next to Hun-Grrr.
Hun-Grrr returned to monster mode and his two heads accounted for all the other members of the Abominous gestalt. "Nice tactic, Rippersnapper. Too bad your height isn't to your advantage. And bully for you, Autobutt. Great sport. We thought you couldn't handle a little water back at the Valley of Rocks."
"Only gunk-heads drown, beakey-boy. I come with a full life-time warrantee."
The Terrorcon leader laughed again. "I like you, Autobutt. Come and join us. We will call you brother. You are worthy of being a Terrorcon."
"Brother, eh? Sounds chummy."
"Hun-Grrr speaks truthfully, Autobutt." Sinnertwin declared behind the Monsterbot. "Intel says you and the Autobutts don't play nicely."
Repugnus turned about and smiled at Sinnertwin and Rippersnapper. But it was not a very nice smile. "Remember that Windsheer was executed three cycles ago? Do you?" He waited for all the Terrorcons to nod. "Well, see, I ran inta him sometime last decade. A loose screw with a real loose mouth. Put me in the Paruvian jail for six years. Thacked me up. So I got even. You bunch a' pukes executed that gunk-sucker based on false information, here-say and two well-paid witnesses. Still wanna take me home and feed me? Anyway, I got some sorta present to take back to my colleagues."
"Forget it, Autobutt," Rippersnapper snarled. "That g'king little ship is digesting inside that disgusting flesh creature. Ain't nohow you gonna extract it."
Repugnus' stare drifted from organic to Terrorcon. He tilted his head just so. "Interesting words from a pretty-boy con-thack like you. Does Megatron paint you all up and take you to tea parties, too? Does he wipe your filters and wax your tummy each night?"
Rippersnapper stared back, his faceplate a blank while he tried to control his anger. But Repugnus knew anger when he saw it. How many buttons does a Monsterbot have to push to get someone else to throw the first punch?
Rippersnapper shot into monster mode and trampled Repugnus so fast, the Autobot almost did not see it coming.
Make that: he did not see it coming, period. Especially since Repugnus found it difficult to pull his large head out of the ground. He shook off excess dirt. "Wow. Nice try. Let's go again."
Sinnertwin shifted to robot mode and aimed his weapon at Repugnus. "Think NOT, Auto-freak! Time to expire."
With a roar from Hun-Grrr, the Terrorcons shifted once, conjoined their forms and the giant robot, Abominus took a teasing step toward Repugnus.
Not that Repugnus was really afraid . . . okay, he was indeed a little worried (not the same thing) but the first thing to cross his mind was self-beratement for being some filter-wiping Autobot leader's personal fool. Who else would send him on the most retarded mission to get his aft kicked across the cosmos?
And what was the new Autobot leader's name again?
Repugnus did not have time to recollect as Abominus' right foot contacted Repugnus' left thigh. Physics and geometry could never express either the speed, the length or the pressure of the face-first impact Repugnus took from the kick.
But it hurt.
Repungus sat up and took account any damage. Nope. All's good. He faced the Terrorcon giant and scanned for weakness.
Not yet . . .
Not yet . . .
And the big boy was coming a bit too close. Repugnus wondered how the other Terrorcons managed to withstand Blot's nastiness. A cloud of flies swarmed around the Terrorcon's left arm where Blot dripped and leaked.
But the flies gave Repgunus an idea.
Rather than try to run from the giant, the Monsterbot ran to Abominus.
It was true that the bigger things were, the harder they fell. But Repugnus noticed Abominus wasn't clumsy enough to fall over his own two feet; that was Bruticus' problem. So the Monsterbot took on an insect's tactic: crawl up Abominus.
Abominus reached for his foot when the Monsterbot jumped from it to the back of the calf.
"GET DOWN, YOU RUSTED GLITCH MOUSE!"
Repugnus flattened his form against Abominus' inner leg as the Bot-arm swept toward him. Using his powerful claws, the Mosnterbot swung and climbed from one part of the gestalt's body to another until he found himself a nice little nook in Ab's back. The Decepticon giant squirmed and arched, struggling to reach the one dead-center spot on his backside. Repugnus tore off three panels and squeezed in like a parasite.
Repugnus admitted he wasn't a techy. His forte lay in bad manners, big fights, foul language and disturbing rumors. Three of the aforementioned criteria certainly did not help the immediate situation. But the 'big fight' did.
Repugnus needed to find a way to divide and kick aft. His answer came to him as Abominus squirmed and danced in a struggle to get Repugnus out. The Monsterbot held tightly until the giant settled. It was jut long enough for Repug to spot an opening in his home-made compartment.
Shifting to robot form, he unlatched the hatch and peered in.
Long florescent connectors glowed softly, dropping down the length of the giant's body.
"No need to unscrew the light bulb when you can just unplug the extension cord," Repugunus transformed back and with a skillful stroke, snapped the conjunction cords keeping the Terrorcons together. All six robots, Decepticon monsters and their Autobot playmate, crashed into the wet grass. Cutthorat cried out in disgust when Blot splattered him with foul-smelling nastiness.
"WILL YOU QUIT DROOLING ON EVERYTHING??!!" Cutthroat tried to smear some fluid on the grass while Repugnus whooped and laughed.
Egged on by the monster, Blot drew in a deep breath and spat in Cutthroat's optic.
The Terrorcon flier lost it and scampered for his comrades but he did not get very far before Repugnus spat him in the other optic.
Enraged, Cutthroat turned to the Monsterbot and yet again, Blot spit at him so that the flier could not decide who he wanted to mangle first.
But the sky above fixed the situation entirely. It started with a smear landing atop Rippersnapper. The shark-like beast touched it with his hand and it stretched out like slime.
Another colorless drop fell on Sinnertwin and dropped, stretching out rather than simply hitting the ground.
"Uh-oh." Repugnus searched the clouding sky, noting how odd the cloud cover looked. At first the clouds blotched the clear sky but once the breeze died, the clouds raked down just like a downpour.
This downpour, however, was a rain of slime. Repugnus whooped and laughed while all the Terorcons-except Blot-stood in one place, annoyed, grossed out and dripping with colorless goo.
Cutthorat tried to shake off the slimy rain in an emotional frenzy. "I HATE THIS PLANET! THIS IS DISGUSTING! AND SOMEONE SHUT THAT SLAGGING AUTOBOT UP!"
Repugnus snapped a claw toward the winged Terrorcon. "Em's fightin' words, there, puke-pill. Come and get me!"
Cutthroat came at the Monsterbot with abandon and a cry. He hit Repugnus as the rain intensified and turned the valley into a green slip-'n-slide
Repugnus took the punch then delivered one of his own. Cutthorat flew out, shifted in mid-air and tried to fly back but the slime-rain weighed his wings down so that all he could do was re-shift and fight in robot mode. Before he could rejoin the Terrorcon group, however, Sinnertwin, Hun-Grrr and Blot all charged the annoying Monsterbot.
Sinnertwin tried to spit fire but the slime storm proved too thick and heavy to evaporate by fire.
"My turn." Repugnus scooped up a claw full of slimy mud and hurled it into Sinnertwin's face. Rippersnapper charged the Monsterbot but Repug heard his clumsy steps and slid on the slimed grass, tripping the Terrorcon then ripped his arm off and fed it to Hun-Grrr as the leader came at him.
Repugnus yanked Ripper's arm out of Hun-Grrr's mouth as fast as it landed there and slapped Sinnertwin before kicking Blot in the midriff.
Ripper growled and tried to whack the Monsterbot with his tail. That melee succeeded and Repugnus landed between Hun-Grrr's two heads.
Hun-Grrr transformed so that the Monsterbot fell off then the Terrorcon kicked Repug to Sinnertwin who volleyed him to Ripersnapper who tossed him to Blot with a laugh.
Blot did not catch Repugnus. The two fell, slipped and tumbled in a wrestle of mud and slime. At first Blot pinned Repugnus. The Terrorcon gargoyle rolled over, wrapped his long arms around the Monsterbot and tried to strangle him.
Repugnus could not break Blot's bonds. So from the elbow, the Mosnterbot swung his arms out, extended the points of his claws and jabbed Blot's sides, sinking through metal like a hot iron through rubber.
Blot released him with yelp and a squeal. Repugnus rolled off him, sliced the Terrorcon's head off, stood and bounced the head between his two claws like a ball.
"Stop! Mmmph! Stop! Mmmph! Stop! Mmmph!"
"Eeewe." Rippersnapper took a step back, disgusted.
"Wanna play catch?" Repugnus dared.
Hun-Grrr laughed heartily. "I do not contest your humor, Autobutt. Too bad you force us to annihilate you."
Repugnus stopped bouncing Blot's head, transformed and stared into the beheaded Terrorcon's optics. "Did you hear that? Your boss still wants to take me home. I'd call that somethin' close t' treason if you askin' me."
Blot's optics narrowed in annoyance. "Quit playing around, YOU STUPID G'THACKING AUTOBOT AND GIVE ME BACK MY THACKING HEAD!"
Repugnus stared then grinned. He dropped Blot's head on the ground with a gross "splat".
"NNNNNGGGGHHHHAAAA"! Blot spat out several curses until Repugnus shook his head.
"Potty mouth." and he bent over and turned Blot's face into the slimy muddied grass. Blot's head kept snarling and cursing until Repungus stepped on it, burring the Terrorcon's head several feet down. "Now you're a good little Conny."
The slimy rain kept coming, drowning the valley floor in three feet of nasty slimy stuff. The one-armed Rippersnapper, stood still while the nastiest of storms oozed over him.
the other Terrorcons jumped Repugnus.
Sinnertwin punched him in the face.
Cutthroat kicked him from behind.
Rippersnapper joined in and gripped the Monsterbot's left arm between his teeth and together they pushed him into the slim, kicking and punching until Hun-Grrr transformed to monster mode and backed up then with a running start, leapt up and landed in the Monsterbot's middle. With an "URK!" Repugnus convulsed as Hun-Grrr crushed his innards.
"Die! Die! Die!" Hun-Grrr jumped up and down on the Autobot rogue until all that remained was a muddy, slimy area under the Terrorcon's body. But Hun-Grrr wasn't quite satisfied. "Down! Down! Down!" he pounded the slime and mud until the other Terrorcons also dripped with it.
"Gahhh . . ." Rippersnapper snorted, "Hun-Grrr, th thacking Autobot is buried-and you're covering us all up-"
Hun-Grrr took a final leap after slapping Ripper and with a back-flip, transformed, splashing slime around him. "Find Blot's head, you paleolithic rejects! Or I'll just reprogram the Monsterbot and replace you with him!!" He watched them slosh through the ooze as the slime storm slowed to a drizzle. Hun-Grrr actually liked the idea of reprogramming Repugnus. If nothing else, the Monsterbot could replace Cutthroat.
The day nearly ended and the Terrorcons still could not find Blott's head. Hun-Grrr grew more agitated with each passing half hour. Sinnertwin, Rippersnapper and Cutthroat criss-crossed each other's paths over and over until Sinnertwin chose to try a different direction. By then, the slime-storm was passed and tiny stars peeked between breaking clouds. Visual contact between the wandering Sinnertwin and his fellows grew dimmer. But in so doing, 'Twin managed to find Blot's lost chassis, sitting in the mud and slime, as directionless as a dummy.
Sinnertwin snarted. "Damn lucky Hun-Grrr likes you, metal moron. I woulda just left you! Sinnertwin turned away. His two heads searched opposite directions, hoping to see some sign of the reject's head. He lifted his back left leg as he departed when Blot's hand grabbed his foot.
"Hey! Let go! Unless you want to lose ANOTHER body part!" He yanked his foot, struggling for freedom. "I SAID, LET GO!" and he yanked hard. Blot's hand let go and Sinnertwin tripped forward from his own force. He pushed himself up, transformed and aimed to kick Blot's chest.
Instead, he came optic-to-optic with Repugnus, slimed, smelly, but pretty much in one piece.
"Thanks for the tug-a-war, conny-cakes."
Sinnertwin shifted instantly and one head spat fire, the other acid.
Repugnus avoided the acid spray and with one swift move, sliced off both Sinnertwin's heads.
By now, Hun-Grrr lost contact with his group of metal morons. Outraged, he started looking for Blot's head himself.
One half a mile became three. Then five. No signs or symptoms of his metallic moronic teammates. Blot's head should not have been that far from his body!
How could a group of instinctive killers be so incompetent?
Hun-Grrr repulsed at the sight of one of Sinnertwin's heads splatting the ground beside him. "Hey, Boss." Sinnertwin sounded guilty. But Hun-Grrr ignored the bodiless head. His two heads scanned everywhere. But he found nothing in the dark except distant energy readings from the other Terrorcons.
Hun-Grrr tried to contact the others via interpersonal radio.
That was, until something heavy slapped the face of his right head. Hun-Grrr roared then fell silent upon sight of Rippersnapper's optics staring up, glowing.
"I didn't see nuthin. I didn't see-"
"SHUT UP!" and the Terrorcon leader kicked Rippersnapper's head aside.
Something else hit him in the side.
Sinnertwin's other head lay in the soggy slimy grass. I HATE this planet! I HATE this mission. And I REALLY, REALLY, HATE THAT MONSTERBOT!!"
And Cutthroat's head hit Hun-Grrr's back, bounced once then plopped to the slick grass.
Hun-Grrr roared so that an echo returned: "REEEEPUGNUUUUUSS!!!!"
A sharp whistle called Hun-Grr's attention to his left and a good half mile away. THAT was Repugnus. Hun-Grrr did not laugh this time. Their whole mission was scrubbed on the account of one filthy Autobot. Not only did the Autobot distract the Terrorcons from their mission at hand, but Repugnus single-handedly managed to make fools of every one of them.
No wonder the Autobots kicked him out on more than a few occasions! This Monsterbot was a royal pain in the aft!
Having completely lost his cool, Hun-Grrr charged across the valley, tracking after the Monsterbot like a rabid lion, intent on one thing: blood.
Repugnus ran but even with a good head-start, he was no match for a Terrorcon bent on destruction. Hun-Grrr took him down like a run-away train and the two tumbled and wrestled; a knot of arms, legs and heads.
Repugnus started using his lethal claws, but always, Hun-Grrr caught them between his teeth.
"Forget it, Autobutt. I can see you move and predict each swipe. You're too slow."
"Your flunkies are slower still, puke pot."
"Not my fault they're too stupid to avoid you. As for you, my little pet project . . . " Here Hun-Grrr pinned Repugnus so that the Monsterbot could not move at all: " . . . it's time to have a change of mind."
A soft tingling pricked Repugnus' forehead before it became a painful, searing sensation. He tried to kick his way out from under the dragon, but neither arms nor legs obeyed his desires. Something intangible, indescribably dark filtered through his cranial casing. It traveled into his meta-processor. It burned and seared chips and with it, voices moaned. Whispers of darkness spoke to him and the Monsterbot realized what was happening. Frantic to protect who and what was his, he rerouted systems operations, bypassing vital areas around his own CPU, redirecting lines, commands and power going to and from his spark.
Tumultuous pain raced down his back and began to infiltrate his extremities. Instinctively, Repugnus tried to set up security systems to keep out the intrusion of reprogramming. But he knew that only baited the invader. Instead, Repugnus set up false leads, dead ends and rerouted the invader until Hun-Grrr screamed and dropped the connection.
Repugnus managed to kick the Terrorcon off and crawled away. Hun-Grrr bucked and danced and hollered, his optics shattered while smoke and fluids seeped from his mouths. He roared and sputtered as his own systems reeled from feedback.
Repugnus forced himself up. Exhausted, he sat and watched Hun-Grrr dance about, a mad thing now aflame within his own mind.
Repugnus edged toward unconsciousness. The reprogramming virus dissolved a good portion of whatever was in his head. The Monsterbot fell on his back, his optics staring into a sky as empty as his emotional structure. He grew cold within.
Oh, Primus, please, don't let it be too late!
Meta-processor, sixty-five percent offline.
What sin . . . which sin cost him?
The reprogramming stretched throughout like a spider's web.
Repugnus wondered if this was what it felt like to be eaten from the inside-out. His body went numb. Most all scanners fell offline but distantly, he was yet aware of Hun-Grrr's occasional moan.
It didn't matter, and now Repugnus realized what really was important. It wasn't the war. It wasn't the matter of choosing sides. How had he lived his life?
He wasted it in arrogance.
It was wrong, he thought with the last bit of light left in his spark. "Please, I was wrong."
He awoke. All scanners flickered to life. His optics dimmed on and he met the unchanged night sky. How long was he out? What time was it?
Repugnus did not know because almost everything was reset.
Everything, that was, except his memory. But that, too, felt distant as though it were a story of someone else's life.
SENSOR RELAYS ONLINE: 79%
TRANSDUCTOR RELAYS ONLINE: 84%
TERMINAL TEXTPORTS ONLINE: 48%
LATERAL TEMPLOID EXPLATUMS ONLINE 73%
MULTIPHASIC RELAYS ONLINE 96%
ENERGY LEVEL OUTPUT: 52%
That meant he was hungry.
Repugnus drew breath. The cold air tickled his intake valves but it did not make him smile. He sat up and ran another system diagnostics with similar results.
What the Pitt was he doing alive?
Repugnus looked at his claws to make sure he was still in his own body. Blood-stained, muddy and scratched, his claws were still his claws.
He was still alive and he knew who he was. But something seemed to be missing-or added? The Monserbot could not tell. He stood as down lit the sky a pale ruby. Dabs of clouds frosted the sky like spun sugar edged on a cold glass.
A few yards away lay the mountain-beast, still slumped and smoking at the nostril.
Repugnus stared into nothing. He was still himself but not quiet what he was. The attack was the last thing the Monsterbot ever expected and it forced him to have a new respect for the Decepticons.
NOW he had a real reason to be an Autobot. Never again would anyone-ANYONE try to mind-rape him. Repugnus treaded the soaked ground with unsteady legs. In spite of the sun, the world seemed bleak. He no longer cared about the weather or the land. Afar from him, the Terrorcon leader finally settled, still howling and moaning. And if Hun-Grrr knew Repugnus approached, he did not react. Repugnus doubted the Terror con was aware of anything but his own self-induced agony. It seemed that decapitating him was too kind a thing to do.
Hun-Grrr's left head spat after Repugnus separated it from his body. "MONSTER!!"
"You should talk."
"This isn't OVER, Repugnus, you thacking brechnah!"
Repugnus realized that normally he would have said something even more insulting; something even the Terrorcons would have been embarrassed about. But it was pointless.
He may have defeated them, but Repugnus did not win. He lost something and realized he could never get it back. Was this because of the war? Or was it because he should have terminated and did not?
Repugnus recovered the singularity and chose to deliver the goods in person. Upon arriving on Cybertron with no fanfare, the Monsterbot completely ignored everyone and everything around him. Numb to the world, all he cared about was his objective. He set a box down on Rodimus' desk with no remarks.
Rodimus stood, surprised. He never met Repugnus face-to-face. "Repugnus! Is-is that . . .?"
"Exactly what you asked for."
Rodimus stared at it, bewildered. "How . . .How?"
The Monsterbot gave the Autobot leader a grim smile. "An enema . . . from the inside." He turned and left the office, knowing once again, he managed to gross someone out.