A month after Steeljaw found Thunderhoof; he had learned the possible location of a stasis pod that contained one of their comrades. They would need to find it, get the occupant out, and destroy the tracker before the Autobots got a hold of it. The trail had been easy enough to find, the pod had made quite a path when it crashed, within moments his yellow eyes had spotted a piece of the pod.
It was the Stasis Inducer, it most likely broke off on impact, with that missing from the pod it meant that the Decepticon inside had been awake for the ride. Within several minutes they arrived at the crash sight, the front of the pod dented inward, which mean that the Decepticon inside had kicked it open in order to get out.
“Looks like they got out on their own.” Thunderhoof commented, wrinkling his nose when he saw the vomit near the pod.
Steeljaw scanned the forest floor and his sharp eyes spotted tracks leading away from the pod, he didn’t glance behind him to see if Thunderhoof was following, the former crime boss didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. He glanced over his shoulder when he heard the mech curse loudly; he raised an eyebrow as he noticed that his companions’ antlers had become stuck in branches.
“These tracks aren’t very old; who ever made them must still be in the area.” He stated kneeling down to one knee to get a better look.
“They better be,” Thunder grumbled in annoyance as he managed to free his antlers from the tree. “Because if my antlers get caught again, I just might burn down this entire forest.”
Steeljaw shook his head. “Resist the urge, Thunderhoof. We’re trying to avoid capture.”
“Yeah, yeah. I know.”
The wolf faced Con shook his head then paused as he noticed something odd about the tracks. They didn’t seem to be going anywhere…
Thunderhoof tilted his head when he saw Steel’s body language change. “Something wrong, Steel?”
“Quiet, we’re being hunted.” Steel’s ears swiveled around as his sharp yellow eyes scanned their surroundings.
“What do you mean we’re being hunted, besides the Autobots, who’d hunt us?”
“Quiet.” Steeljaw repeated, as he couldn’t seem to get a lock on what ever was moving around in the forest.
Who ever is stalking us, isn’t doing a good job at being very quiet. Steeljaw mused as a flicker of movement caught his attention. Our stalker, Autobot or Decepticon appears to be circling us, most likely trying to get into a good position before attacking. Not very stealthy, but is smart to try to gain the upper hand. I like him already.
Somewhere close by a twig snapped as a leaf drifted down in front Thunder’s face, it landed on his nose the moment he inhaled. He sneezed rather loudly a moment later; the sound echoed all around them, concealing anything that could have helped Steeljaw get a lock on their hunter.
“Thunderhoof, behind you!” Steeljaw warned as a figure fell from the trees behind the antlered mech.
“Eyoo!” Thunder shouted moments before their attacker's foot hit his face in a solid roundhouse kick.
Steeljaw snarled before throwing a punch of his own, said punch was easily blocked, as he wanted to get a closer look at the new comer. It was difficult to see who it was because of the visor and mask covering his face.
“I must say I’m impressed, not many can sneak up on me on like that.” Judging by the head tilt, Steeljaw figured that he was smirking behind the mask.
Before he could blink however, their stalker’s head came forward and smashed into Steeljaw’s face before back flipping away only to become unbalanced a shockwave generated by Thunderhoof’s massive foot hitting the ground.
Steeljaw took advantage and tackled him into a large tree that groaned at their combined weight but held as he kept his clawed hand pressed into his back, keeping him pinned.
Their so-called hunter raised his arms in surrender. “Alright, alright, I give.”
Steeljaw blinked in surprise, their attacker was a femme!
“Hey, I know that voice.” Thunder stated, looking just as surprised as Steeljaw felt.
“You do?” Steel asked, removing his hand from the middle of her back, failing to notice that she had stiffened at the sound of Thunder’s voice.
“That you, Ashwind?”
There was a moment of silence before… “No?”
Thunder chuckled slightly. “Ashwind, baby, what are you doing on earth?”
Ashwind turned around to face them, her mask and visor sliding back to reveal full luscious lips and beautiful deep green eyes. Clearly annoyed at being called baby. When she talked, one could barely make out that she had the same accent as Thunderhoof.
“Ok, one, don’t call me that and two; I was arrested because I’m related to Hightower.”
Steeljaw narrowed his eyes, his hatred for the Autobots growing with this new knowledge.
“You arrested because of that?” Thunder replied, clearly stunned.
She was arrested all because Hightower is her old man, me? A no good snitch.
Ashwind ignored the urge to roll her optics at him.
“How exactly do you two know each other?” Steeljaw asked, finally speaking.
Thunderhoof grinned broadly. “She’s my fiancée.”
“Yeah, was. That little arrangement you and my father made was back on Cybertron. Does it look like we’re on Cybertron?”
“Ah, don’t say that, babe.”
Ashwind glared at the antlered mech wanting to punch him in the face before all jumping into his arms with a yelp when Steeljaw’s claws raked her shoulder where the Decepticon emblem lay.
“Ah, it’s ok, babe,” Thunder all but purred as he put his arms around her. “He’s just removing the emblem.”
“It’s the emblem I’m removing,” Steeljaw replied as Ashwind removed herself from Thunderhoof’s grip. “It’s the tracker.”
“Well, a little heads up would have been nice.” Ashwind muttered looking at her shoulder.
Seizing the moment, he tried to wrap his arms around her again, only to have his hand slapped away.
Steeljaw ignored the apparent lovers as his ears twitched, searching for a certain sound as they would need to get moving soon.
“Ah, don’t be mean, baby.”
“Don’t call me that!”
“We need to move, now.” Steeljaw suddenly growled.
“What’s wrong?” Thunder asked.
“Alright! Found it!” A deep voice called.
“We need to fade before they find our tracks.” Steeljaw quietly growled.
“They who?” Ashwind asked.
“The Autobots, no doubt that voice belonged to the traitor Grimlock,” Steeljaw replied. “Follow me, quietly.”
Thunder held out his hand for Ashwind to take and he flashed a charming grin.
Ashwind rolled her eyes and walked past him to follow Steeljaw, realizing her mistake a little too late. With Thunder walking behind her, he would most likely stare at her aft the entire time they walked.
She would just have to endure it until they reached their destination, wherever that was.
X X X
They walked for an hour and a half before the trio came across a cave in the mountains; rocks and scraggly bushes kept it partially hidden from view, it also helped to have a large rounded boulder blocking the entrance.
Steeljaw approached the boulder and glanced around to insure that no one had followed them before rolling it aside and gesturing for Thunder and Ashwind to step inside the cave.
Ashwind stepped inside firs, glancing up at the low ceiling to see scuff marks, it would seem that Thunder had learned to duck inside the hard way. She resisted the urge laugh at the thought of it.
“Think you can find a place with a little more head room?” Thunder complained as he followed Ashwind inside.
“We won’t be staying here for more then a few days, not with the Autobots close by, anyway it’s about time we went looking for another spot to hide until we can find something more permanent.” Steeljaw replied.
“It’s a shame that I don’t have my human minions. They could have gotten us some good stuff to use.”
Ashwind blinked in surprise, looking at Thunderhoof. “I’m sorry, what?”
Thunderhoof looked at her and smirked. “I had some humans getting stuff for me. They thought I was some kind of mythical creature or something.”
Ashwind laughed. “You’re a lot of things, Hoof. But mythical is not one of them.”
Thunder just shrugged. “Who knows how humans think.”
“It will be best to avoid them for now on. Two of them are in league with the Autobots.” Steeljaw replied.
“I know. I know… you’ve said so before.”
“Heed my words then and I won’t have to say it again.”
“I have been,” Thunder grumbled. “And who say ‘heed’ anymore anyways?”
“It makes it sound more urgent and mystical.” Ashwind put in.
Thunder just snorted.
A steady ‘drip drip’ caught Steeljaw’s attention, he found the source a moment later; there was a nasty gash on Ashwind’s right arm.
“You’re hurt!” Thunder exclaimed.
“Hmm? Oh, I didn’t even notice it had reopened.” Ashwind stated, looking at the wound.
“When did it happen?” The Antlered mech sounded truly concerned.
“Some time during the crash.” Ashwind coolly replied as she walked over to an underground spring to clean the cut.
Thunderhoof followed her. “Are you ok?”
“I’m fine, it looks worse then it actually is.”
Thunder glanced at the cut then looked around. “I think there’s a first aid kit around here.”
“No need, I found one. It survived the crash.”
Steeljaw watched in mild interest as she skillfully repaired the wound, he stroked his chin as he became lost in thought.
Thunderhoof started to hover. “Are you sure you don’t need any help with that?”
“Are you a fully trained and certified medic?” She asked dryly.
“No, but neither are you.” He pointed out.
She snorted. “Actually I am. You see, I wanted out, and becoming a medic would allow me to do so.”
Thunder blinked in surprise. “You’re a medic and you never told me?”
Her eyes narrowed. “No one knew and I wanted to keep it that way until I became a certified medic.”
Thunder looked at her in surprise. “You didn’t even tell High Tower?”
She gave a dry laugh. “Are you kidding? Of course I didn’t tell him!”
“When were you going to tell him? And when were you doing to tell me for that matter?”
“I day I was arrested,” She paused for a moment before speaking again. “And… never. Getting out also meant that you and I would not happen, I would be free and live my own life.”
Thunder blinked in surprise again. “What do you mean we wouldn’t happen? We’re engaged!”
“Yeah, we’re not, because I never agreed to it!”
“Take it outside, now.” Steeljaw growled finally speaking.
Thunder looked at the wolf faced Decepticon in confusion. “What? Why?”
“One; I’m tired of listening to you argue,” Steeljaw replied. “Secondly, the echo makes it sound worse.”
Thunder crossed his arms and rolled his eyes with a growling grumble.
“I’ll go, because if I stay in here any longer, I’ll use my medical skills for something other then healing.” Ashwind stated before storming out.
Steeljaw stepped between them before Ashwind could do anything rash. “Enough, both of you.”
Thunder growled but backed off.
Ashwind glared at Thunderhoof before backing off as well.
Thunder watched her leave the cave before walking deeper into the cave to sulk.
X X X
Ashwind had no idea where she would go, so she just walked. At least the weather was pleasant, warm without being too hot with a cool gentle breeze. As she looked around, she couldn’t help but admit that this planet was far more peaceful then Cybertron could ever bee. She just hoped this world would remain peaceful.
She heaved a small sigh before sitting down on a boulder that rested near a small river.
What was she going to do now? She had no desire to stay with Steeljaw and Thunderhoof, but she couldn’t go to the Autobots either, even if she wanted to, she wouldn’t go, not after being arrested by Autobot police along with her family. If you could call it that.
She growled in irritation, she was stuck on this planet with that irritating tractor who didn’t know how to keep his mouth shut and his hands to himself.
Primus hates me. She thought before throwing a large rock into the river.
Maybe should steal a ship and fly off somewhere, but where would she find one, it wasn’t as though there was a working Cybertronian Shipyard on this planet.
Primus definitely hates me. She growled in annoyance and went to throw another rock when a flash of green caught her attention.
What in the world was that?
She slowly rose from the boulder, her senses on high alert. Thudding footfalls near by caught her attention, along with another flash of green.
I’m being hunted, She thought in mild amusement. Ah, my hunter is circling me.
Well, if this hunter thought he was going to catch her off guard, he had another thing coming.
She smiled a little as she stepped into the under until it reached her ankles.
Come and get me, my hunter. She thought as the foot steps drew closer.
She crouched down and let the water slip through her fingers when she lifted her hand from the water.
X X X
Grimlock grumbled to himself as he followed the footprints, why did he have to do this. Sure, he was strong enough to take on anyway he might cone across, but he wasn’t a tracker. Having had to find the trail several times already.
He paused and looked up at the sound of splashing water. Someone was nearby!
He transformed into his bipedal form and parted the foliage with his hand, his jaw dropped when he saw her.
Guess I should bring here in. Grimlock thought.
He knew he should call for back up, but he figured that he could take her solo.
X X X
Ashwind smiled, keeping her back on to her hunter who was now foolishly charging her.
That’s it, my foolish hunter. Just a little closer. Now!
Reacting swiftly, she gave her hunter a round housed kick to the face, spraying water everywhere as she did so. She smirked upon hearing the grunt of surprise then a splash, a small part of her hand hoped that it had been Thunderhoof but she knew that he could never be that stealthy. One can dream.
She waited for her stalker to get up before giving him another taste of her skills, this time he landed on his back where he lay, clearly stunned.
“Oh, man… what hit me?” He groaned.
“That would be me, big boy.” Ashwind replied, coming over to stand beside his head, a small sultry smile on her face.
“You’re cute.” He blurted, still dazed.
Ashwind chuckled softly. “Why, thank you. Though you are not the first person to tell me that.”
“You’re the fourth femme I’ve seen on this planet. You’re cutest though.”
“Fourth? Far as I know, there were only two on the prison ship, Filch and myself. Who is the third and fourth?”
“Oh, that’s Strongarm; a trainee or something and the fourth, she doesn’t talk much,” He replied before getting to his feet. “My name’s Grimlock.”
Ah, the traitor Steeljaw was talking about. Ashwind mused as she let him stand, liking what she was seeing. “You can call me Ashwind.”
Grimlock tilted his head slightly before clearly his throat. “Um, you know I gotta take you in right?”
Ashwind put her hands beside her back and twisted a little from side to side, batting her eyes at him, trying to appear innocent looking.
“But I’ve done nothing wrong.” She said sweetly.
“If that’s true then I guess I can take you to Bumblebee so you can talk to him. He might even let you join, like he did with me.”
Why does the name Bumblebee sound so familiar? She wondered.
“Really?” She said curious now. “And Bumblebee is who?”
“He’s the guy in charge of rounding up the escaped prisoners.”
Ashwind’s eyes narrowed, her green eyes smothering and she dropped the innocent façade. “He sounds like a cop, I don’t like cops.”
“Nah, Bee’s a good guy. As I said, he let me join up instead of putting me back in my pod. Come and talk with him, he’ll hear you out.”
She scoffed. “There’s no such thing as a good cop, it was “good” cops who imprisoned me for nothing other being the daughter of High Tower.”
“Bee won’t arrest you for that,” Grim told her. “C’mon, I’ll take you to him.”
“Get fragged.” She growled before turning her back on him.
“I’d rather not force you to come with me, but I will if I have too.”
Her optics darkened as she turned to look at him. “I’d like to see you try.”
Grimlock raised an eyebrow. “I’m larger and taller then you, if you haven’t notice.”
She snorted and crossed her arms. “Is that meant to scare me?”
“No, but this might.” Grimlock said before turning into his beast form and loosed a roar.
Ashwind had taken a step back, not out of fright only to avoid the tail from smacking her during the transformation.
The second he finished, Grimlock charged, hoping to grab her without hurting her in the process.
Ashwind easily avoided the charge, his moves were predictable and thuggish, and he would tire himself out before he could close. On the other hand, she could just take him out with another roundhouse kick to the face that always worked.
Predictably, he charged again. She waited until the last possible second before swinging out her leg where it connected with his bottom jaw and she had the pleasure of watching him splash into the river.
She gave a pleased chuckle before walking away and foolishly dropping her guard.
Grimlock shook his head before getting back to his feet; he noticed that she was walking away, most likely thinking that she had defeated him. He smirked before transforming into his robotic form and before she realized what was happening, he had rushed forward and scooped her up.
He had around the waist with her arms pinned against her sides, as he straightened up her feet dangled a couple feet off the ground.
“H-Hey! Put me down!” She shouted as her feet dangled.
“Nope, I’m taking you in.”
“Go frag yourself, Dinobot!” She growled as she struggled.
“Quit struggling, I’m not hurting you.” He complained, only to have her curse at him in Cybertronian.
“I will break your face!”
“You can’t reach my face.” She cursed at him again.
The sound of birds suddenly taking flight caught his attention; normally they took off because he roared. This was something completely different.
Ashwind grunted as Grimlock suddenly let her, she rolled to the side to avoid being squashed as he fell forward.
“Ugh, what happened?” The Dinobot asked slightly dazed.
Ashwind couldn’t help but smirked as she heard Steeljaw’s voice, it was now two against one, and she liked those odds.
Once back on his feet, the green and black Dinobot transformed back into his animal form and loosed another roar before charging at the wolf like Decepticon.
Steeljaw easily avoided his predicable moves, he spun around to smack the Dino in the face with his tail, and he gave a yelp of surprise as Grimlock bit down on it as it past his face. The only thing he saw was the smirk on the other’s face before being swung around a few times before being let go and sent flying.
He would soon learn that Grimlock had only let him go because Ashwind had landed a kick to the side of his head and within several moments had driven him off.
Steeljaw rose unsteadily to his feet, he put a hand on Ashwind’s shoulder when she ran over to see if he was all right.
“How you feeling?” She asked.
“A bit dizzy.” He admitted before inspecting his tail for damage.
“Let me see, it a little scuffed up but you’ll live.”
He gave her a small nod. “Grimlock will be back with the rest of his team, we need to get going. Let’s grab Thunderhoof and leave.”
X X X
As the trio walked, Ashwind kept a distance of a respectful three feet between herself and Thunderhoof, it wasn’t an easy task as he kept trying to get closer to her. She had even punched him in the shoulder a few times; all he did was pout before trying again. Primus, how she wished she had gun!
“Thunderhoof, do you have rocks in your head? It’s pretty clear that she wants you to leave her alone.” Steeljaw growled after the eighth punch was administered.
His tail lashed back and forth in agitation, it was like dealing with a couple of teenagers! He needed them to work together and that wouldn’t happen if Thunderhoof kept trying to hit on Ashwind.
“Hey, Steeljaw hold up.” Thunderhoof said after a minute past.
Steeljaw sighed and paused. “What’s the hold up back there?”
“We’re being followed.” Ashwind replied.
Steeljaw’s eyes narrowed and he looked around. “Are you sure?”
Thunder tilted his head, wondering why Ashwind’s eyes had changed color. They had gone from deep green to golden amber.”
“I’m sure.” Came her reply.
The wolf like Con growled and flexed his claws.
“You’re surrounded; you’d be wise to surrender.” Steeljaw instantly recognized Bumblebee’s voice.
“Get bent, Autobot!” Thunderhoof growled.
“I won’t ask again,” Bee replied. “Ashwind, you were wrongly imprisoned, this is your chance to clear your name.”
Thunderhoof and Steeljaw shared a glance, both thinking the same thing as they looked at the femme. Would she truly go with the Autobots?
“Clear my name?” Ashwind echoed there wasn’t hope in her voice but barely repressed anger. “I couldn’t clear my name before because of my father, what makes you think I’d try it again?!”
“You are innocent and have done nothing wrong.”
“And yet…. I was still arrested!” She yelled before giving an actually animalistic growl.
Almost on instinct, she shifted into her other form; only she didn’t turn into a vehicle of any kind… Ashwind was a Dinobot...