MAU: Robot in Disguise - Chapter 9

MAU: Robot in Disguise

by Sleethr

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Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby...

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Author's Note: Umm, no excuses. I found some Worm fanfics and got hooked. Sorry. Thanks to Beyogi and Mouse for the feedback and proof-reading.

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Chapter Nine

 

Mike threw his head back and laughed heartily. “A human woman with a warrior’s heart!” He turned to Sandy, “She would make a fine Klingon warrior!”

Sandy turned and punched him in the chest hard enough to rock him back a step. “~Don’t forget who you’re married to!~” She growled in Klingon.

~Aye woman, how could I forget?~” Mike chuckled, seemingly impervious from pain and  immune from her glare, as he tapped a Star Trek logo pin on his chest, causing it to beep. “~Send the transport to my location! We head for battle!~

~At once, General K'tach! For the Empire!~” Came the guttural Klingon reply almost immediately.

Sadie had no problems translating, but it appeared that Jenna, Mr. Powers and the Agent were out of the loop.  “Empire?” She canted her head to the side, even more curious about the man, or Klingon, because as far as she knew, Star Trek was fiction.  She also wanted to know this Mike dude got to be a General in the fictional Klingon Empire.

Switching back to English, Mike shrugged and chuckled. “Not yet, but we have openings…” he glanced meaningfully at Sadie and Jenna, ignoring the growl from his wife. He turned back to her, completely unfazed by her murderous glare. “Come woman, we head to battle!”

Sadie didn’t know what to expect. His partner, or wife, Sandy seemed to have the Klingon temper with a hair trigger. She looked ready to attack either Sadie or her husband. Instead, Sandy merely growled and nodded, subtly communicating to him that his transgressions wouldn’t go unpunished and fell in beside him as he strode purposefully from the suite.

Still wary, Jenna and Mr. Powers stepped to the side, keeping clear line of attack open on the Klingon warrior.

Ignoring the pair of action stars, Mike glanced back over his shoulder and bellowed. “To the roof, all who intend to join the Klingon Empire in glorious battle!”

Sadie glanced to Jenna, who glanced to Mr. Powers. He shrugged his shoulders, as if to say, “the hell if I know.” Making a snap decision, Sadie decided to follow the crazy Klingon. Worst case, they would be on the roof and she could easily transform and fly to the factory herself. She wasn’t terribly surprised when Jenna joined her.

“I got yer back bud.” Jenna softly assured her.

Maybe Jenna wasn’t surprised, but Sadie was when Mr. Powers joined the pair trailing the Star Trek folks.  Jenna glanced over her shoulder at her co-star. “This might get a little crazy. You might want to stay here. Plausible deniability and all that…”

“Hell no babe! Someone’s got to keep an eye on your perfect backside.” Mr. Powers chuckled and smirked suggestively.

Sadie knew he was a sexist pig, but his remark still surprised her. She expected Jenna to blow up, but instead, she simply sighed, shook her head and cursed softly in Spanish, “~The shit I have to put up with…~

Unsure what she would see when she reached the roof, Sadie felt a little let down by the arrival of a common, everyday C-130.  The large, military transport plane didn’t simply fly over their position. Instead, it somehow stopped, rotated, silently hovered like it was a helicopter and then, slowly lowered itself, tail first  onto the hotel’s helicopter landing pad with the front half of the large cargo plane hovering over the edge of the building..

“What the?” She turned to Jenna, hoping her friend had an answer because as far as she knew, a C-130 needed a runway to land and most certainly couldn’t hover.

“Anti-grav?” Jenna shrugged helplessly, expressing her high tolerance for the impossible. “It is Star Trek and I’m more surprised we didn’t get beamed up or find the USS Enterprise waiting for us.”  She glanced over to the Klingon warrior, “well, a Klingon Bird of Prey…”

Mike chuckled, “We had to start somewhere.”

The plane’s rear cargo ramp lowered and Mike strode confidently into the hovering plane, Sandy at his side.  Darla and the agent followed with Sadie, Jenna and after a moment’s pause, Mr. Powers bringing up the rear muttering to himself, “The shit I do for her…”

As soon as Mr. Powers cleared the ramp, the rear cargo ramp began to rise as the C-130 smoothly and silently gained altitude with its four turboprop engines at an idle.  It wasn’t until the plane had risen five hundred feet that the pilot throttled up the engines, causing the plane to smoothly surge forward.

The list of surprises grew exponentially with every step. From the outside and except for the hovering trick, the C-130 looked like any other C-130, but the inside was a different story. It looked like the interior of a star ship. Smooth panels with built in lighting and other Star Trek themed design elements abounded.  On the left side of the plane, two squads of fully armored Klingon warriors stood at the ready and saluted Mike by enthusiastically slamming their fists into their chest with a grunt as he strode past. The right side of the plane’s cargo hold contained ten Borg drones, plugged into compact Borg recharging units.  The sight of the Borg drones caused her some concern, but she figured that if the Klingons were okay with having Borg drones, then she could ignore them.

Striding forward, a door placed near the middle of the plane’s cargo bay slid open with a hiss, revealing a small room resembling a compact star ship’s bridge.  A group of Star Trek style consoles and even an elevated captain’s chair was in the middle of the space and facing the right wall was a large, floor to ceiling display screen, currently showing the view of the plane from the front.  Past the Captain’s chair and toward the front of the plane, was another Star Trek style door label, “Engineering”.

A female Vulcan wearing a quilted, militaristic uniform jumped up from the Captain’s chair and rendered the fist to chest salute. “General K’tach, welcome back.”

“Lieutenant!” Mike barked. “Get our target from this human,” he pointed at Sadie, “while I ready myself for battle.”

The Vulcan saluted Mike with the same fist to her heart gesture. “Yes sir!”

Mike, or General K’tach, along with Sandy proceed past the bridge area, causing the Engineering labeled doors to slide open, revealing an area that looked like a small engine room, complete with a miniature warp core.  Sadie surmised that it was the power source for the anti-grav since the plane’s normal engines looked and sounded like they ran on conventional fuel.  The doors sealed shut as soon as the pair safely passed through them, blocking any further examination of the plane’s non-standard interior.

Unlike Darla, the Vulcan lieutenant looked excited, causing Sadie to wonder if she was really a Vulcan or just a normal human wearing Vulcan ears and a Star Trek themed uniform.  Looking at her closer, Sadie decided that the woman’s uniform resembled a Romulan’s uniform due to the quilted effect of the cloth.  It had been awhile since she had boned up on her Star Trek lore, but she remembered enough to know that Romulans were more emotional than Vulcans.

“Hello and welcome aboard the Collective transport ship, the Defiant. I am Lieutenant Khellian.” She glanced expectantly to Sadie and with a non-Vulcan smile, gestured for her to step closer. “I understand that you may know the location of the MAU?”

Sadie nodded, suddenly feeling a little unsure how to address the woman. She had never been in the Army and ranks confused her. “Yes, umm, Lieutenant? It’s in the Tomachi Heavy Industries factory, I hope.”

“Great!” Lieutenant Khellian grinned and turning back to the table, a satellite map of the Hong Kong area sprang into existence on its smooth surface. With a tap, the map zoomed in on the factory and after another tap, the entire complex sprang to life as a 3D hologram standing on top of the display table.

“Computer, display floor plan.” Lieutenant Khellian spoke and the holographic factory walls faded away to reveal the factory’s floor plan.

Sadie brought up her internal plan of the factory and superimposed it against Lieutenant Khellian’s floor plan. It was close, but here were a few key areas that were different.  The room she waited for her boss matched, but she knew the doorway on north side of the room opened into a hallway, not open floor space.  She pointed to projected floor plan. “This room is where I was forced to wait for Mr. Rogers and this door, opened into a hallway, not an open floor like it looks on the plans.  My guess is that the MAU is somewhere in this area.”

Lieutenant Khellian tapped the communicator badge on her chest. “Pilot, set course for the Tomachi Heavy Industries Factory. The coordinates should be on your display.”

Yes, ma’am. Course set.” The plane banked and accelerated in what Sadie hoped was the direction of the factory.   She knew that she could’ve been there by now, but it probably didn’t hurt to have some backup and with the Trekkies help, she might not have to break cover.

Once Mike, aka General K’tach and Sandy returned, dressed in Klingon battle armor and sporting authentic looking Klingon weaponry, Lieutenant Khellian briefed everyone with Sadie adding details where she could. The plan was to land on the side of the factory closest to the MAUs expected location, break through the doors and secure the MAU.  It sounded simple and the blood thirsty Klingons approved of the straight forward battle plan while the Borg drones gave no indication one way or the other.

“Today is a good day to die!” General K’tach eagerly grinned as his fellow Klingons chuckled. “Who is willing to join us in battle?”

Sadie wanted to be there already, but she realized that with their help, she may not need to expose her secret to these strange, yet likable people.  “Sorry, but this is all a little too overwhelming for me…” She took a step back.

“Of course we will.” Mr. Powers stepped forward, speaking for Jenna and assuming that she was willing to jump into battle. He wasn’t wrong, but his presumption earned him a glare from his co-star.

Jenna sighed and turned to face Mr. Powers. “What’s this ‘we’ thing?!?  Mr. Big Time Movie Star, you’re staying here, on the plane. I can regen.” She held up her right hand, activated her claws and retracted them with a grimace, “You can’t, remember?”  

General K’tach chuckled at the display. “Wolverine?”

Jenna turned back to face him, “Yeah, but it still hurts like a son of a bitch.” She gestured back to Mr. Powers, “He’s staying here, right?”

“Hell no! If you’re going, I’m going!” Mr. Powers stepped forward, showing how determined he was to risk his life with Jenna.

General K’tach laughed heartily at the display. “Yes, these two would make fine additions to the ranks!” He gestured for the pair to follow him as he turned around and walked a few steps to a weapons locker. Opening it, he pulled out two bat’leths, the famous, large, double bladed curved Klingon swords and handed them to Mike and Jenna. “Now, you’re both ready for battle, armed like a true Klingon warrior!”

After presenting the two of them with the wicked looking swords, General K’tach reached for a third bat’leth and presented it to Sadie. “Human!” He gruffly barked, surprising her. “Will you join us in battle?”

Sadie was tempted to accept, but the less attention she drew to herself, the better. “Umm, thanks. You honor me with your offer, but no thanks, I’d probably just cut myself with that thing.”

General K’tach shrugged, as if to say, “oh well, I tried”, and put the bat’leth back in the arms locker.

The rear cargo door was already most of the way down as the modified C-130 touched down about 50 meters from the side of the factory closest to the possible MAU location. General K'tach, in full Klingon warrior armor, complete with a bat'leth and disruptor pistol led the way.

“Q'aplaH!” He roared as he raised his bat'leth and charged the large garage door blocking their entry into the factory.

Behind the Klingons, plodded the kinda creepy Borg drones. Behind the drones followed Jenna and Mr. Powers with; Darla, Lieutenant Khellian and the mysterious Mr. Callahan. Sadie purposefully lagging behind, bringing up the rear.  Sadie wasn’t sure why Mr. Powers didn’t stay on the plane because he was probably the only “normal” human and the one most likely to get injured or killed. She hoped he didn’t get hurt, but she guessed that he thought that he had a macho, He-Man, bad-ass, martial artist reputation to maintain and being surrounded by real Klingon warriors eager for a fight probably didn’t help his judgment any.

The lead group quickly secured the door, but it was locked and wouldn’t open. Sadie noticed the electronic cipher lock and felt a twinge of concern because the Klingons looked frustrated that it wouldn’t open for them. She was about to step forward, offer to hack it and thus, break cover when a Borg drone stepped forward, shot a nano-probe into the lock from his wrist and within a second, the large door activated and began to slide upwards.   

Everything was going smoothly and Sadie was just beginning to think that the assault might go off without a hitch when the distinctive pew-pew sound of a stereotypical sci-fi blaster heralded the arrival of a resistance force. Worse, the leading Klingon warrior was blown off his feet and onto his back with smoke rising from his chest.  Surprisingly, the Klingon seemed to be alive and all doubt was removed when he screamed in anger and struggled to rise to his feet.  More bright red colored blaster bolts started to impact around the advance group, causing them to take cover and fall back.  

Undeterred, the Borg drones stepped forward, firing their energy weapons without concern for the deadly beams of particle charged light flashing through their ranks. One drone was hit, causing it to shudder and fall on its face.  The remaining drones continued without pause. A second blaster bolt struck a drone, except this time the bolt was harmlessly dissipated by an energy shield of some kind, just like on the show.  Sadie really began to wonder where the Star Trek guys came from. It had to have been a MAU, but how could so many people have used one and why would someone want to be a Borg drone?

The enemy’s blaster fire briefly intensified before dropping as the drone’s implacable fire neutralized enemy shooters.  The Klingons took advantage of the lull in enemy fire to surge forward and physically secure the inner doors. Even the Klingon with a large, blacked hole in his chest armor took part in the assault, but it was clear that the man was suffering some serious pain. Sadie was surprised by how effective the Klingon armor was against blaster bolts because she thought the armor was more for show.  She was glad that Jenna and Mr. Powers had elected to stay more to the rear and thus out of the direct line of enemy fire.  She was fairly certain Jenna would survive a direct hit, but Mr. Powers was a different story.

Working in teams of two with a pair of Borg drones backing them up, the Klingons quickly secured the areas surrounding the suspected location of the alien device.  It wasn’t until a team breached the reinforced door to the MAU’s chamber that they took their first Klingon and Borg casualties. As the two Klingon warriors charged through the breached doorway, they were struck by a bright purple beam.  

The pair were halted in their tracks and they briefly screamed in pain as their bodies were surrounded by a bright glow. Their armor and weapons clattered to the floor as their bodies disintegrated. The Borg drone was the next victim of the disintegration ray, reducing its body to a pile of circuits and weapons.  The second drone stepped forward, but like the last time they encountered a new weapon, the second Borg’s shields adapted and harmlessly absorbed the deadly beam.

The drone returned fire with its weapon and two more drones stepped into the room.

“I won’t let you have it!” A man screamed from inside the room.

Sadie’s voice recognition system quickly identified the man as Mr. Zhào. She didn’t see how the man could stop them now. He was surrounded and while he could use the MAU to change into a superhero and possibly escape, there was no way he could destroy the MAU or get out of the building with the MAU.

The shooting suddenly stopped and she heard a Klingon warrior yell out, “Huv!”  The Klingon word for ‘clear’.

Anxious to find out what happened to Mr. Zhào and her boss, Sadie stepped forward and entered the room ahead of Jenna and Mr. Powers.  There were a few of Mr. Zhào’s hired goons lying on the floor, dead or alive she couldn’t tell. Maybe the Borg’s weapons were set on stun, but she forgot to ask and didn’t care because Mr. Zhào was not present.  Glancing to the MAU, she noticed that the doorway was closed and the device was visibly vibrating and making a non-typical humming sound.  

More alarming were the metallic pinging sounds coming from the warehouse.  It reminded Sadie of walking on ice and hearing the cracking sounds echoing beneath her feet as she walked, expecting to be dumped into the water any second.  Was the MAU causing the sounds or was something else going on?

The metal hair on the back of her neck stood on end, causing her to zoom in and focus on the control panel. What she saw chilled her spark to the core. There was the image of what appeared to be a heavily armed and armored robotic fighting suit.  She matched the image to a cartoon series she watched a couple of times in High School.  If her pattern matching algorithm was correct, the suit was a piloted, robotic fighting suit known as a “Gundam”.

She knew that the inside of the MAU could warp space, sort of like a D&D bag of holding, but she had no idea how it could hold a giant, 40+ foot tall robotic suit. Hell, she knew the machine could make some incredible things, but she had zero idea how it possibly create a giant fighting robot. If it could fit inside, where would all the metal come from? Maybe it was making a human sized suit of armor that just happened to resemble a Mobile Gundam suit.

Lieutenant Khellian, the Romulan woman, ran forward and inspected the control panel. “Shit! It looks like the idiot told it to build him a Gundam suit. Specifically, the RX-87-2 from the original series. Is that even possible!?!?” She asked, stunned by what she saw.

Sadie wanted to know how the Romulan Lieutenant knew the specific model number of the Gundam.  She didn’t realize Romulans watched anime, but the other question was probably more important.

The Borg drones in the room paused for a few seconds, before turning to the Romulan and responding to her query in perfect, creepy harmony, “The Collective’s analysis indicates that the creation of a Gundam sized exo-armored suit is within a MAU capabilities. Insufficient data exists to extrapolate the method.”

General T’Kath pulled out his disruptor pistol, mentally weighing it against a giant robot. “Somehow, I don’t think this will cut it.”  He sighed and glanced over to Darla. “It pains my Klingon honor to admit it, but I think we need to make a strategic withdrawal before that thing is finished spitting out that Gundam.”

Darla coolly nodded. “I concur.”

“No!” Sadie stepped forward, surprising General T’Kath and Darla.  “We have to find my boss and get him fixed before that damn thing shuts down!”

Mr. Callahan, who had been practically invisible during the assault, surprised Sadie by stepping forward and backing her up, sort of.  “Yes, we need to secure the unit. It’s imperative that we prevent any further threats to National Security and based upon how it’s been used thus far, World Security.”

The Klingons were clearly ready and spoiling for a fight, but Darla addressed each point with cold hard, Vulcan logic. “Sadie, finding your boss and the victims of this unit is underway and will not impact our withdrawal. Callahan, based upon Lieutenant Khellian’s and the Collective’s analysis of the Gundam threat, we lack sufficient force to secure this unit. Logic dictates that we retreat.”

Callahan did not look happy with her assessment. He glanced anxiously at the MAU before returning his gaze to Darla. He sighed and reluctantly nodded with agreement.  “It’s a working MAU and I hate to think what we’re losing, but you’re right.”

Darla responded with a slight nod. “Of course, any other option would be illogical.”

Sadie gulped, gathering her will to expose her secret to everyone. “I might be able to stop him, but it’s more import that we find my boss and all the other executives the bastard changed. We can’t leave them here.”

“What can you do?” General T’Kath turned to Sadie, clearly perplexed by her statement.

“It will take a couple minutes for me to change, but my main cannon is designed to take out Decepticons and it might be enough to damage the Gundam, if I’m lucky.” Sadie cringed at the thought that she might be throwing away her secret for nothing.

“Cannon, Decepticons, you?” General T’Kath studied her for a second before giving up. “I don’t see it.”

Sadie was about to begin her Arcee transformation sequence and show him when a Klingon warrior entered the room and called out. “Sir!  We found these girls,” he turned and gestured to a group of half-naked young girls with animal features filing out of the door behind him, “locked up in the back. Sorry it took so long for me to report, but we had to remove their collars before we could move them and some of them were a little hesitant to follow us.”

“Sadie?” A young girl’s voice called out to her.

Sadie turned and spotted a busty girl with fox ears and a bushy fox tail leading a group of animal girls looking at her with hope filled eyes. “Mr. Rogers?” She asked, knowing that the innocent looking, over-sexed young girl was her boss, but afraid to hear confirmation because she didn’t want her boss to be stuck in that form or know her own secret.

With her confirmation, Mr. Rogers seemed to grow an inch in height and gain extra confidence as she strode purposefully to her side. Ignoring everyone around her, she faced Sadie and with her hands on her hips, she looked up at Sadie and glared at her with a stern expression. “Yes and while I am delighted to see you, I have to ask why you are here, risking your life young lady!?”

Getting chewed out by a four foot tall teenage fox girl who just happens to be her Boss and a 50 something year old man was a bit hard to handle.  The hardest part for Sadie was not laughing because her boss looked and sounded so darn cute. She glanced away, back to the MAU and the impending  60 foot tall, giant fighting robot with lots of guns. “Ummm, sorry sir, but we really need to get you out of here before Mr. Zhào comes out of that thing with guns blazing.”  Sadie glanced back to General T’Kath. “Sir, can you get them all to safety while I see if I can stop whatever comes out of the MAU?”

General T’Kath nodded, “Everyone, back to the transport, move it!” He yelled, gesturing with his arm in the general direction of the plane.

“Sadie? What’s going on? Why are you staying?” Mr. Rogers refused to follow the group being herded toward the converted C-130.

“Sorry sir, but I have to change now, before it’s too late.” Sadie anxiously glanced back to the MAU and initiated her Arcee transformation sequence, causing her human facade to fall away.  She glanced over her shoulder at a shocked Mr. Rogers. “I’ll tender my resignation as soon as we get you back to your body, but youuu nnneeeedddd tttooo gggooo, now!” Her voice digitized at the end, causing Mr. Rogers to jump back in fright.

“Mike, take her.” Jenna ordered Mr. Powers and pointed to the diminutive Mr. Rogers with a glance.

“What about you?” Mr. Powers asked, even as he surprised Mr. Rogers by picking her up and placing her tiny, feminized body over his shoulder like a sack of peas, ignoring Mr. Rogers’ demands to be put down.

“I’m staying.” Jenna glanced over to her rapidly changing Transformer friend. “If it’s finished before she’s ready, someone has to distract it.” She held up her claws. “And who knows, Wolverine took on some pretty damn big robots in the comics, maybe I can do some serious damage myself.”

Mr. Powers paused for about half a second, almost like he was going to demand to stay behind himself, before simply nodding with agreement. “Okay, but don’t think we aren’t going to have a serious chat about all this when we get back.”

Jenna sighed, “You got it, now get outta here!” She followed up with a hug and a quick kiss on his lips, surprising Sadie and judging from his expression, Mr. Powers too.

As Mr. Powers retreated, General T’Kath returned with Sandy right behind him. They were arguing with each other in Klingon, but they stopped short at the sight of Sadie transforming into Arcee.

Sadie was stuck midway between her Decepticon form and Arcee form and hated the feeling of helplessness. If she had known that she was going to need to change from her compressed Decepticon form into her Autobot form in a combat situation, she would’ve tried to make the sequence faster.  Then again, if she had know she was going to get stuck as a female robot, she wouldn’t have played with the damn MAU in the first place.  Okay, maybe not, but she would have been much more careful.

The time it took sucked because the Mr. Zhao and his damned Gundam could come out of the MAU any second now and there would be Jack shit that she could do about it; if her cannon could damage it in the first place.  She was glad Jenna was sticking with her and she was worried about her, but she was more worried about the Klingons. They probably didn’t have her super healing factor.

“You all should go.” Sadie’s highly digitized voice sounded a little creepy even to her.

“Hah! And miss the fight?!?!” General T’Kath laughed and glanced over his shoulder, “Not a chance. Hell, if my disobedient wife,” [Whack] He ignored his wife’s forceful slap, half punch against his shoulder, “is any indicator, I fully expect to be joined by over half my warriors here soon.”  

With less than thirty seconds to go before her mode transformation was complete, the air in the room stilled as the MAU suddenly stopped making noises. Everyone tensed as the doorway re-appeared.  Almost immediately, a giant metal hand reached through the door, causing the space around the tiny opening to distort, as if someone was holding huge magnifying glass in front of the opening. From the distortion emerged what everyone feared, a giant, sixty foot tall, well armed and armored, fighting robot.  With its head brushing against the ceiling and tank sized guns, the monster looked impossible to stop.

[Snickt!][Snickt!] Jenna’s claws came out and for once, she didn’t flinch from the pain of her claws erupting from beneath her skin. Without pausing, she yelled and charged the giant robot which simply stood in place.  The thing had to be complicated and Sadie prayed they could somehow disable it before Zhao figured out how to pilot the thing.  

General K’Tach and Sandy fired their disruptor pistols, aiming for the head, but either the range was too far or the armor was impervious to their weapons because they didn’t appear to be doing any damage.  Their fire did cause the giant to raise its hands, covering the sensors. So, maybe their fire wasn’t completely useless.  

Expecting the same from Jenna’s claws, Sadie was pleasantly surprised as Jenna’s claws effortlessly cut deeply into the thick armor covering the giant’s shin.  In no time, Jenna-rine had a large opening into the robot’s right shin, exposing complex mechanics and electronics. Sparks and smoke from leaking hydraulics systems began to billow from the opening as she continued to rip her way through the lower half of the Gundam’s leg.

Ten more, agonizingly long seconds to go before Sadie’s transformation sequence would complete.  “Come on, Jenna, you can do it…”  Sadie whispered encouragement to her friend.

The pilot of the Gundam finally seemed to notice the damage she was causing and ignoring the Klingon disruptor fire, he reached down and swatted at Jenna, as if she was a pesky insect.  Jenna spotted the giant hand descending toward her and while unable to dodge it, she did manage to roll with the blow. Her body was sent flying through the air directly toward the far wall, but instead of slamming into the wall like a helpless ragdoll, she somehow controlled her flight, impacting the wall feet first and instantly springing back to attack the Gundam.  This time, she aimed higher up on the Gundam’s body and latched onto its hip.  

Sadie prayed that her friend wouldn’t get hurt as her transformation timer finally reached zero. Wasting no time, she stood and instantly began transferring power, charging her main cannon to full power.  

[HUMmmm…] The barely audible sound of her cannon charging started out as a low hum, but quickly hit frequencies only a dog could hear just before it hit full charge.

Sadie hesitated firing her cannon. While the Gundam was a ginormous target, she decided to hold her fire and see what Jenna tried first.  She didn’t want to take a chance and accidently shoot her best friend.

Climbing higher and leaving deep scratches in the Gundam’s thick armor, Jenna reached the chest and cockpit area.  Unlike the leg, she couldn’t bring both claws to bear on the thick chest armor protecting the pilot, but the three claws on her one hand still managed to leave deep gouges in the armor.

Aiming for the chest was probably bad.  The armor looked pretty thick and she didn’t want to accidently hit Jenna.  Sadie lowered her aim, looking for less protected areas.

This time, the pilot raised his hand to slap his chest in an attempt to crush her like a pesky mosquito.  Jenna saw the blow coming and abandoned her efforts to cut through the chest armor. Instead, she pulled herself up, allowing the Gundam’s hand to hit its chest where she had been. Using its own hand against it, she used it as a springboard to jump higher up, going for the neck.

Her claws dug deep grooves into the neck as she swung around, toward the Gundam’s back.  The gatling guns mounted on the side of the Gundam’s head began firing at the Klingons as they redirected their fire into the opening Jenna had made in the armor protecting it leg.  Without the armor, their disruptor pistols began to have a noticeable effect against the relatively fragile internals.

“Ahhh, you damn pests!  Nothing can stop me!” The loudspeakers built into the Gundam screamed.

The Gundam took a step forward, its damaged leg and foot buckled, but Zhao managed to correct for the damage. The sudden movement jostled Jenna and almost caused her to lose her grip.  Undeterred, Jenna swiped upward with her claws, eviscerating and causing the bank of gatling guns on the left side of the Gundam’s head to explode.  Some of the blast caught Jenna, causing her to cry out in pain as shrapnel lacerated her upper body.

Enough spectating, it was now or never, Sadie aimed for the Jenna sized opening in the already damaged leg armor.

[Whooompphhh!!]

The full power shot drove her arm back as an intense beam of light and whatever else made up Arcee’s Autobot weaponry slammed into the opening, effortlessly cutting through the exposed internals of the lower leg and punching a one meter hole through the rear of the Gundam’s leg, partially severing its right foot.  Smoke, sparks and fluid poured from the heavily damaged limb.

A wisp of smoke exited from her cannon’s barrel and she resisted the urge to blow on it like a wild west gunslinger.

“Yes!” Sadie yelled as she initiated a second full power charge of her main gun, causing it to emit a high pitched whine as it powered up again. “Take that you two bit hunk of scrap metal!”

That got the Gundam’s attention. The pilot of the Gundam twisted its torso toward Sadie. She watched, poised to dodge as the large, tank sized weapon built into its right arm started to point in her direction. The Gundam’s weight shifted to its damaged leg and foot and with a loud groan, followed by a sharp snapping sound, the Gundam’s partially severed foot twisted and snapped, pitching it forward and ruining its aim.  Perhaps by reflex, the pilot fired his Gundam’s main cannon, but the lurch caused the beam of destruction to miss Sadie, and everyone else, by a mile.  

Hanging onto its head, the sudden motion caused by the Gundam’s foot collapsing caught Jenna by surprise. She was in the process of lining up to take a swipe at the right side bank of gatling guns when the Gundam’s body began to fall forward, kicking her back and partially dislodging her.  Her left hand claws dug into the head, but she was powerless to stop herself from falling off when the Gundam’s head suddenly stopped moving downward as the pilot caught itself by using its right arm.  The whiplash effect flung her off, her claws leaving deep gouges in the right side of the Gundam’s head, almost taking out the second bank of gatling guns in the process.

Sadie watched helplessly as her friend was flung from the head of the Gundam. Unlike last time, there was little Jenna could do to adjust her trajectory toward the hard, concrete floor below.  She whispered a quick prayer for Jenna’s healing factor, but her firing options opened considerably without her friend anywhere near her line of fire.  

The giant, space ship killing arm cannon of the Gundam had to go.  She aimed for the right shoulder and fired.  Her aim was true, but the heavily armored shoulder  absorbed most of the blast.  While her shot failed to punch through the armor and disable the arm, it did manage to leave a considerable dent.  Sadie’s damage assessment calculated that one more shot in the same spot should make it through the buckled plate protecting the shoulder joint.

Perhaps realizing that it might be able to be defeated, the pilot of the Gundam dropped to it’s left knee and brought its left arm with its large, heavy shield to bear.  Sadie fired a third shot, but the heavy shield intercepted the shot, leaving a black scorch mark. Her beam failed to do more than superficial damage to the Gundam’s shield.

“Damn it…” Sadie muttered over the hum of her main cannon recharging.  The three full power shots had already chewed through 15% of her power reserves. “Holy crap, I’ve burned through more power in three shots than I normally use in a month! I’ll run out of juice if I have to keep this up.”

Sadie realized that she needed to move and take advantage of her mobility instead of trying to act like a wild west gunfighter who stayed in one place, attempting to gun her opponent down with steely determination.  

“You can’t have it!” The pilot screamed as he rotated his Gundam’s right arm back and grasped the phone booth size MAU in its right hand.  

With the Gundam rotating to the right, Sadie countered his movement and ran to the left as the huge shield began to rotate away from her, inadvertently exposing its back to her gun. With a clear shot open to the back of the Gundam’s head, Sadie fired her cannon for a fourth time.

Her aim was flawless, but the angle of the shot did more to limit the damage she caused than the relatively light armor of the head.  Her shot grazed the back, taking out a good sized portion of the back of the Gundam’s head, but because the angle was from the floor, her shot missed the camera systems located closer to the front of the Gundam’s face.  On the plus side, she managed to take out its remaining gatling gun bank.

“You bitch!” The Gundam rotated back around, once again placing its heavy shield between her and another clean shot.  The MAU was clutched in the Gundam’s right hand and the only good thing Sadie could see about that situation was that it meant that the bastard couldn’t fire his main cannon without the use of his hand.  Why they designed the gun to be aimed and fired like a normal weapon with an external trigger was beyond her, but it was a robot based on an anime cartoon.

Sadie chuckled at that thought since she herself was based on a Japanese cartoon robot.  With its hands full and unable to shoot back, she realized it was all over for Mr. Zhao and his stinking giant fighting robot suit.  He just didn’t know it yet.  Feeling a little like David versus Goliath, Sadie transformed her lower half into her wheeled mode to gain additional movement speed and mobility.  

Instead of wasting the time to charge her main cannon for another full power shot, she ripped off a burst of rapid fire shots using her smaller twin cannons, aiming a burst of fire toward the Gundam’s vulnerable head while her tires scrambled for traction on the concrete floor.  Jenna was up and being helped by General T’Kath and Sandy.  Although very bloody, it appeared like her fall onto the floor did little to slow her down.  She was already turning back toward the battle and it looked like she was aiming to have a go at the Gundam’s left leg.

Six more Klingon warriors joined the fight and it looked like the combined fire of eight Klingon disruptor pistols were starting to have a noticeable effect against the armor.  Sadie spotted an opening and decided to power up her cannon for another shot. She needed the Gundam to drop the damn MAU and the only way she could see that happening is if she destroyed the hand and arm holding it.  

Aiming for the hand was out because she wasn’t sure if her cannon could somehow damage the MAU and she didn’t want to take a chance.  Figuring that her best chance would be to aim for the less armored elbow joint, she skidded to a stop and took the time to carefully line up shot.

Her cannon was 90% charged when the damn Gundam surprised her and probably everyone in the room by suddenly standing and blasting itself straight up, through the flimsy ceiling and into the night sky.  

“Damn it!” Sadie yelled with frustration and fired a shot at the rapidly ascending Gundam, wasting her shot because her beam only scratched the Gundam’s thick chest armor instead of blowing off the arm like she had originally intended.  “Damn it, damn it, damn it!  Why in the hell did they have to make those things fly?!?”

“~Shit!~” General T’Kath swore in Klingon before tapping the Star Trek communicator on his chest. “T’Kath to Khellian, please tell me you are tracking the Gundam?”

As the Klingon general spoke, Sadie initiated a change into flight mode.  The distinctive sounds of Transformer reconfiguring echoed in the empty and now roofless room.  

“~Wow~” One of the Klingon warriors pointed to Sadie’s rapidly changing form.

“Yes sir, but there is little we can do about it. Analysis-” General K’Tach interrupted her.

“Nevermind Lieutenant, it looks like our _simple_ secretary has another trick up her sleeve.”

It took Sadie only five seconds to make the change from robot mode to air mode. Five seconds that gave the bastard Zhào more time to escape with the only thing that could give her boss his body back.  She didn’t let the time go to waste.  She locked locked onto the Klingons’ communications frequency. “I’m going after it.  Please send me its current coordinates and heading.”

“It’s already entered Chinese airspace.”  Lieutenant Khellian reported.

“I don’t care. I have to get that MAU back!” Sadie couldn’t afford to give up and unlike the Star Trek people, she didn’t have to.

“Sir?”

General K'Tach sighed. “Just give her the data. At this phase, I think she’s our only chance.”

“Yes sir, but how can she chase it down?  The thing is already up to mach 3 and still accelerating.”

“Hah! Just Mach3?!?!  I’ll catch him, don’t worry your pointy little ears Lieutenant. Just feed me his coordinates and I’ll take care of the rest” Sadie chuckled and lifted off the ground the second her systems reported ready for flight.

“Sending…” Lieutenant Khellian replied, her tone expressing doubts even as the tracking data flowed into her systems.

Sadie wasted no time. She pointed her nose up and for the first time, engaged full thrust, shooting out of the warehouse and hitting a bone crushing 30 gravities of acceleration.  She broke Mach1 less than 2000 feet off the ground. A human pilot would’ve been crushed flatter than a pancake by the acceleration, but thankfully, Sadie didn’t need to worry about organic limitations. She made a note to test her inertial dampeners before she tried this trick with a passenger.

“Son of a!” Sadie heard over her comm channel, causing her to chuckle.

“Told ya Mach3 was slow!” She laughed as she hit Mach5 at twenty thousand feet and forced herself to level off before she accidently reached orbit. Still accelerating, she estimated intercept in less than fifteen seconds.  If she wasn’t careful, she would overshoot her target.  She decided to rollback on her throttles and maintain an easy Mach6.  Zhào didn’t appear to notice her approach, his course remained steady.

“Sadie, the Chinese are scrambling fighters. You have two minutes until things get crowded up there.” Lieutenant Khellian warned her.

“Affirmative and thanks for the heads up.  Intercept in t-minus 5 seconds.”

Since Zhào still seemed to be clueless about her closing in on him, Sadie decided to swing a little wide and come in from his right side. She hoped to line up a shot on his right arm again and get him to drop the MAU.  With twenty thousand feet to work with, it should be easy for her to track and retrieve the MAU without needing to fight him for it.  Worst case, she figured it wouldn’t hurt to disable his main canon.

The Gundam didn’t react to her presence until she got into visual range her target. She didn’t understand why the thing didn’t seem to detect her sooner, but maybe its systems were designed to detect and fight other giant robots instead of tiny robot planes.  Instead of taking evasive actions, Zhào jinked a little to the left, seeming more from surprise than with any effort to avoid her. Maybe he thought she was just a human missile and was not a threat to him?  

Sadie used that his lack of alarm to her advantage.  She carefully lined up her shot and fired another, energy draining shot from her main cannon.  

[Whooomphh!]  

Her aim was true, but she failed to damage to the Gundam’s elbow joint as much as she hoped.  Her shot appeared to cause significant damage to its main cannon as it punched through the cannon and damaging the elbow joint, it just didn’t penetrate as deeply into the joint as she had hoped.  He didn’t drop the MAU and worse, he transferred the MAU to his left hand.

“~Damn you~” Zhào cursed her in Chinese. “~I won’t let you, or anyone have it!~”

The Gundam abruptly changed course, turning straight up as Zhào maxed out its thrusters.

“~Where in the hell are you going?!?~” Sadie transmitted.

“~Where no one can get me. Ha ha ha ha!~” Zhào laughed maniacally as he slowly --by Sadie’s standards-- accelerated up and away from Earth.  

“~Look asshole, I could blow you away right now and you’ve got nothing left to stop me from doing just that.  Drop the MAU and I’ll be more than happy to let you go.~” Sadie tried to reason with Zhào. She realized her tack was probably a little lacking, but she didn’t care.  Her power was down to 60% and she hoped he believed her threat because she didn’t want to waste more power attempting to damage him enough to stop him.

He ignored her threat and continued his assent. Sadie charged up her main gun again and fired.  Zhào reacted faster than she expected and blocked her shot with his shield. “~Haha, you got nothing left bitch and soon, I’ll be out of your puny jet engine range~”  He taunted her as he passed sixty thousand feet and continued to accelerate under the constant thrust generated by his engines.

Thankfully, Zhào failed to notice that she had no trouble keeping up with his assent.  A normal jet aircraft would’ve struggled to reach fifty thousand feet, yet here she was easily passing seventy thousand and she was thankful to Zhào for one thing.  The curve of the Earth looked extremely beautiful from this height.

She decided to change tactics and aim for his propulsion systems.  With his right foot mostly gone, he was down one thruster.  She charged her main cannon and fired straight up, hitting his left foot thruster dead center and blasting apart his entire left leg, up to the robot’s hip.  His assent dramatically slowed, but did not stop.  The two thrusters in his back would be her next target.

“~You bitch!~” Zhào screamed at Sadie as he impotently raged.  A squadron of Chinese Air Force FC-1 Xiaolong fighter jets had arrived, but stopped gaining altitude a little under sixty thousand feet and struggled to maintain that altitude.

“~Unidentified aircraft. You are ordered to lower your altitude and land at Changde Air Base or we will be forced to destroy you.~”

Now at eighty thousand feet, Sadie wasn’t worried about their threats and it appeared that neither was Zhào. He laughed. “~Haha, you fools, your puny missiles can’t hurt me!~”

Predictably, they fired and all of their missiles tracked right for the Gundam, completely ignoring the tiny Arcee and as Zhào predicted, the missiles had zero effect on him. All the explosions did help distract and momentarily blind his sensors.  Sadie used the distraction to her advantage and closed in on the Gundam from behind, landing between his shoulders and above the back thrusters.

“~Thanks for removing the pest for me fools!~” Zhào didn’t seem to realize Sadie was now on his back and while she transformed back into robot mode, she did nothing to bring attention to that fact.  

To do what she planned, she needed her hands and a more flexible way to aim her main cannon.  Lining up a shot as a jet and from thousands of feet away wouldn’t give her the results she wanted.  What she wanted to do use as little power as possible and force the Gundam to shut down or make Zhào eject, if he could.  She planned on using the opening in the back of the Gundam’s head and blast and/or rip out everything between the head and wherever Zhào was hiding inside the torso.

It didn’t take much damage for Zhào to realize that something was not going to plan. His damaged right arm was unable to reach behind his head and he was unwilling to let go of the MAU in his undamaged left hand. She fired her twin energy cannons down, toward where she guessed the cockpit must be. Her blast penetrated deep into the neck of the Gundam, but it looked like it would take more effort on her part.

“~Get it off! Get it off of me!~” Zhào screamed with panic as the Gundam began to gyrate uncontrollably as he attempted to dislodge her from deep inside his Gundam’s head.   

Sadie felt the Gundam shudder as all power to the head was cut. Explosions sounded from deep inside the Gundam’s chest area and she was almost knocked from her perch as the entire back of the Gundam separated and rocketed away from the main body.

The empty Gundam shell slowed, but continued to climb on inertia alone.  Sadie waited for a few seconds, watching the escape pod and wondering when it would pop some parachutes or maybe use its built in engines to control its descent.  Once again, the Gundam surprised her when wings popped out and the escape pod turned into something resembling a fighter jet.  

“Oh, come on!  You’ve got to be kidding me!” Sadie exclaimed as she watched Zhào attempt to gain control his aircraft.  It was clear to her that the man was not a pilot, or at least, not an experienced pilot.  

Ignoring the out of control escape pod slash aircraft, Sadie focused on her goal, the MAU. She climbed down the Gundam’s arm and reaching the hand locked around the booth sized MAU, she reached out and touched the control panel with the tip of her finger.  She willed it to collapse into storage mode and for a change, everything worked exactly as she expected it to work. The MAU instantly turned into a suitcase sized object and fell between the Gundam’s fingers with Sadie right behind it.  She grabbed it and using the meager propulsion provided by her own anti-grav, pushed herself away from the Gundam’s body. Clear from the hulking, almost suborbital wreck, she initiated her transformation back into a jet, placing the MAU securely in her cockpit near the end of the five second process.

As she locked the MAU down with her automatic seatbelts, Sadie glanced back at the Gundam. “I wonder where that thing is going to land?”  A quick simulation using data from her targeting systems plotted it a possible impact somewhere over northern Mongolia or Russia.  She didn’t have enough data or time to narrow it down to anything smaller than a 100 mile radius, but it appeared like the odds were against it hitting a populated area.

She debated giving it a nudge to make sure it landed somewhere safe, but had to give up on the idea when her threat alarms began sounding. Someone had a missile lock on her.  “Son of a bitch!” Sadie made a few quick jinks to try and break the lock while simultaneously looking for the idiot trying to shoot her down.

She quickly spotted Zhào and two missiles heading her way.  Against a normal plane, the missiles may have been a threat and they would hurt if they hit her. Sadie watched as the missiles approached and at less than 100 meters, she shot straight up, looping back around and turning inside the missile’s track as they tried to follow her. With her now behind them, they lost their lock on her and entered seek mode in an attempt to reacquire her.  Not wanting to worry about them somehow coming after her again, Sadie shot the missiles out of the sky.

Zhào proved to be stubborn and decided to press his attack on Sadie.  She easily avoided his cannon fire as he attempted to take her out the old fashioned way, via a dog fight.  “Seriously dude?!?!  You really should give up now.” She teased him, half hoping he would give up, but wanting to at least give the man a chance now that she had what she wanted.

“~Bitch, you’ve ruined everything!~” Zhào ranted as he fired another burst of 25mm cannon fire in her direction.

Sadie watched with contempt mixed with amusement as his wings wobbled with every course correction, betraying his lack of piloting skills.  The man could barely keep his plane in the air and he was still trying to kill her.  The man was seriously crazy.  “One last chance Zhào. Break off now and I won’t shoot you down. I just wanna help the people whose lives you attempted to steal from them.”

“~Never! Die!~” Zhào opened fire, holding his trigger down and spraying rounds everywhere and even launched a second pair of missiles at her.  Without a lock, the missiles sailed harmlessly past, missing her by almost a real mile.  

It was time to stop playing with the man and put him out of her misery.  Sadie jinked up and then, back down, performing an impossible, for a human pilot, negative 30 G loop.

“~What the!?!? Where in the-~” Was all Zhao was able to get out before Sadie’s twin cannons punched into the belly of his plane. The rear of his craft burst into flames and he tumbled out of control.  Not trusting the man not to have another trick up his sleeve, she followed him down, toward a second squadron of Chinese FC-1 Xiaolong fighter jets. The first squadron must have gone bingo on their fuel attempting to keep watch on the Gundam and her maneuvering at seventy thousand feet.  

Half of the squadron peeled off, changing course to follow Zhào and with an escort being so graciously provided by the Chinese Air Force, Sadie decided that it was time for her to bail. Especially since the other half of the squadron decided to take an interest in her.

“~Unidentified enemy aircraft!  You are in the People's Republic of China airspace illegally and have engaged in hostile actions with another aircraft. You are ordered to land or we will be forced to shoot you down.~”  Came the voice of the Chinese pilot leading the group heading in her direction as all eight fighter jets trying to close in on her six sought a missile lock on her.

“~Sorry guys. I’d love to stay and chat, maybe have some tea or General Tso's chicken with ya, but I have places to be.~” Sadie mocked the man attempting to make her heave to.  He did not appreciate her attempt at humor and immediately ordered his men to fire on her.  Only two managed to achieve missile lock and Sadie decided she had overstayed her welcome and didn’t want to embarrass the Chinese government even more by shooting down their expensive fighter jets.  She pushed her throttles to their stops and went from a relatively slow Mach 2.6 to a blistering Mach 10, easily outrunning the missiles attempting to chase her down.

“~Okay, maybe next time?~” Sadie leveled one last taunt as she climbed to sixty thousand feet and put on a little more speed in the process.  She maintained a comfortable, missile immune Mach 12 as she headed back toward Hong Kong.  

Anxious to know where to go and pretty sure that the Chinese were putting everything they had into tracking her, she switched back to the Klingons’ encrypted frequency. “Hello, T’Kath? This is Sadie. I have the package. Where are you?”

~o~O~o~



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