Rob's Pile of Transformers: "Time Alone"

There came a day when I was issued the following challenge:

>> Now just one request: pleeeeeease write me a fanfic that deals with
>> nothing of the above or includes what you ask writers to put in it, is
>> readable, and doesn't consist of wham-bamm-thank-you-that-was-a-battle 
>> Then again, leaving all of the above out of the story... where's the fun?!

To which I responded:

"Generic Introspective Non-combative Autobot-Decepticon Interactive Third
Person Past Tense Fits-Within-the-Second-Season-Cartoons All-FCs
Non-Vague-and-Obscure Fanfic" 

or

Time Alone


   It was a windswept, brisk day.  Streaky clouds filled the sky above the
Atlantic coastline, diffusing the fading late afternoon sunlight to a thin
smear across the backs of the clouds.  The beach was devoid of humans,
only a smattering of seagulls braving the winds and the chill.  Summer's 
last echoes were fading away in light of the coming winter, and Earth's
lifeforms were busy bracing for the harder times ahead.  In a word, it
was... 

   *Lonely,* Beachcomber thought.  *Just plain lonely.  Kind of nice.*

   The Autobot geologist puttered down the empty beaches in his buggy
mode.  His speed barely topped ten miles an hour.  He was in no hurry; he
wasn't trying to get anywhere.  He was already there.  Or maybe he'd
already been there.

   *Maybe I'm on the way home again,* he thought.  *What's home, then?*

   He slowly weaved a path through strewn boulders that littered the beach
like the floatsam of a shipwreck.  Ancient forms, pieces of this planet, a
world that constantly destroyed and renewed itsef through entirely natural
processes.  Amazing.

   Beachcomber transformed to his robot mode and knelt by one of the rocks
that caught his attention, an incongruous-looking piece of granite sitting
among the piles of metamorphosed basalts.  He wondered how it had wound up
here.  

   *Mostly grey... low mica content, a _lot_ of silica -- uh oh.*

   It registered peripherally, and he looked up in alarm.  Thundercracker. 
Standing on the beach in robot form, not a hundred yards away. 

   Beachcomber stared, trying not to panic.  He didn't have a weapon on
him anywhere; he was supposed to avoid contact with the enemy while out
on solo expeditions.

   He didn't move an inch, but it was pointless.  The Decepticon warrior
was staring right at him.  Staring at him... but otherwise, just standing
there.  Silence ensued, the roaring of the breakers the only noise between
them.

   "You going to shoot or what?" Thundercracker shouted at him, finally.
Beachcomber wasn't sure, but he sounded... _annoyed_.

   "Uh, no, not if I don't have to," he said, still kneeling by his rock.

   "Then how about doing me a favor and getting out of here.  I came out
here to think.  I don't think too well with Autobots around."

   Beachcomber's mouth drew into a taught line.  *Just like that, he wants
me to go?*  The warrior side of him came to the fore, analyzing the
implications.  *Could be a trap.  Could be clearing the area for some kind
of project or scheme.  Prime would want me to keep an eye on him if
possible...*

   "Well, listen, I'll just keep a low profile, alright?  I'm just
studying some of the rocks along here --"

   "Go find some other damn rocks.  Leave me alone."

   "Hey, like I'm sorry about that, okay--"

   "Just leave me alone!" the Decepticon shouted.  He turned and walked on
down the beach.

   Beachcomber gaped after him for a moment.  *It's a trick!* part of him
mind shouted at him, a little paranoid corner that lived in constant fear
of the Decepticons, a part that lived in every Autobot.  But Beachcomber
had worked long and hard to keep his true self intact through countless
millenia of warfare, and his time on Earth had reinforced it.  He
recognized a true and heartfelt request, even couched as it was in anger.

   "Hey, noooo problem," he said, half to himself, and transformed back to
his dune buggy mode.  "I'll just, ah, find some other 'damn rocks'." 
*Time to make some time. Don't want to push my luck.*

   He sped off up the coast in the opposite direction.  Thundercracker
wanted to be alone. If he needed it that badly, Beachcomber wasn't going
to argue.  And there was no better place he could think of for it. 

   Beachcomber drove off, and silently wished Thundercracker good luck in
reaching his own destination, wherever it might be. 

THE END, blah blah.  Okay, maybe it's not "readable", but I think it
passed on most other counts... :]


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